Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm totally GAGA for Glee's Max Adler and Naya Rivera!

Can I just say that Max Adler and Naya Rivera totally need Emmy’s this year!  I mean, they are just amazing and own it every episode.  I know, this blog is supposed to be about films, but let’s be honest; only like 3 people even look at my blog and it’s because I begged them to.  I can talk about whatever the hell I want to.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I completely worship ‘Glee’.  Sure, it’s probably the dumbest show on television now, and its insistence on force-feeding gay tolerance borders (or completely thrusts itself over the line) preposterousness, but it is just so damn fun.  But, back to the topic of conversation; Adler and Rivera are consistently the best things about this show, and now that they are each other’s beards I am so excited to see more of them together.  I’ve been impressed with Adler for some time now, ever since that ‘epic kiss’.  Just the way that he has handled his own insecurities and fear of self-loathing is remarkable and spot on in developing emotional layers; layers that this show often ignores.  But it’s Rivera who has captured my attention as of late.  She also has layers, and she had to handle a similar situation with her feelings for Brittany.  Naya also has impeccable comedic timing, which makes her snarky line readings the best part of any episode (“The only straight I am is straight up bitch”).  So, here is my little ode to two of the best young actors making the rounds today.  Please, let this open the door for far more from these two!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

God Bless, Bitches…


I’ve been relishing over the trailer for ‘Melancholia’ for the past few days, completely obsessed with every frame of it.  The more I think about it the more my hopes and dreams start to overtake me.  I’m becoming obsessed, and not the kind of obsessed that ‘makes sense’ in my cinematic loving brain.  I’m starting to remind myself of those freaks I made fun of last year for slitting their wrists over Natalie Portman’s demon ballerina.  Seriously, I need help; and yet, I don’t want it.  The idea of Kirsten Dunst getting an Oscar nomination makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs “Hallelujah” and I mean that!  It’s about freaking time.  Forget Natalie Portman, who’s deserved an Oscar like NEVER…Kirsten Dunst is a superlative actress who delivers film after film and yet is so disgustingly underappreciated in this industry.  Why hasn’t she been handed an Oscar nomination yet?  No offense to Miss Portman, who can be very good at what she does, but you can color me bitter.  But then, I think to myself, maybe ‘Melancholia’ will be for Von Trier what ‘Black Swan’ was for Aronofsky.  I mean, this is said to be Von Trier’s most accessible film, and he is a respected GENIUS auteur who is bound for Oscar attention someday, or is he?  His films are so abrasive and so controversial, and he obviously could care less about the Oscars (he doesn’t even try, which is what I love so much about him) and yet, can anyone really say that Darren Aronofsky tried?  I mean, it’s not like a film about a psychotic lesbian ballerina screams Oscar and yet, it racked up those nominations and won a top prize for its lead star.  From the look of the trailer, it is heavy in the Von Trier signature styling and yet it seems very polished and glossy, almost too pretty for a Von Trier vehicle; which gives me an ounce of false hope.  I really want nothing more than for this film to be epic, considering the fact that ‘Antichrist’ was not, but I’d also love to see Dunst and Von Trier in the Oscar race.  Being realistic, I should keep my hopes solely in Dunst, but then again…you never know.

THIS
LOOKS
AMAZING

If you haven’t seen it, watch it here!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Official (April) 2011 Oscar Predictions!

Okay, so this is going to be a work in progress, and it'll (I'm sure) change a lot over the year, since, well, we don't know ANYTHING at this point...but it's always fun to predict this far in advance, since it gives us a chance to see how much we think we know versus how much we actually 'get'.  So, judging from the films slated for release this year, and a few slated for next year that I assume will get pushed to this Oscar season (J. Edgar is already filming, and Eastwood works FAST...and there is no way that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is going to miss the ten year anniversary of 9/11), I've compiled what I think will happen at the Kodak Theater next year.

But I'm probably wrong.

Best Picture:
Carnage
A Dangerous Method
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Ides of March
J. Edgar
Moneyball
Super 8
The Tree of Life
War Horse

I know that this seems almost too prestige and serious, but the films slated look so good it's almost foolish not to predict them.  I just don't know who to drop, and while I assume that an animated film will sneak in every year that the 'ten nominee' field stands, I just can't think of which one could (Cars 2 is not happening).  I may be over-predicting certain films (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) but I just really see them doing very well this year.

The one film I wish I had room for was Contagion.

Best Director:
David Cronenberg/A Dangerous Method
Stephen Daldry/Extremely Closer and Incredibly Loud
Clint Eastwood/J. Edgar
David Fincher/The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Terrance Malick/The Tree of Life

I'm not sure what to think of The Invention of Hugo Cabret and it's chances, but a lot of my friends think that Scorsese is going to be nominated.  I'm not so sure.  In fact, the one that I was aching to predict but left off because there just isn't enough room for everyone was George Clooney.  Heck, Soderbergh is also a possibility if Contagion gets a Best Picture nomination.  And what of J.J. Abrams?  If Super 8 is a smash, he could find himself nominated; but then again, they denied Christopher Nolan.

Lead Actor:
Daniel Craig/The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Leonardo DiCaprio/J. Edgar
Michael Fassbender/A Dangerous Method
Ryan Gosling/The Ides of March
Gary Oldman/Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

I don't know why I seem to be the ONLY person prediction Daniel Craig, but if the film is big (which I assume it will be) it seems like the perfect opportunity to nominate someone who has yet to be embraced by The Academy.  Fassbender, Gosling, Oldman...they seem like surefire runnerups to Leonardo DiCaprio, who is bound to win the thing this year (Eastwood + Real Person + OVERDUE = Oscar).  This lineup almost seems too obvious, but in this category that is usually how things fall.  Sure, Craig is my weakest link, but I'm going to hold onto it (I said it first!).

Lead Actress:
Glenn Close/Albert Nobbs
Rooney Mara/The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Elizabeth Olsen/Martha Marcy May Marlene
Meryl Streep/The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams/My Week with Marilyn

I've said all I need to say about this race here, so read up.


Supporting Actor:
Kenneth Branagh/My Week With Marilyn
Nicolas Bro/War Horse
Viggo Mortensen/A Dangerous Method
Christopher Plummer/Beginners
Christoph Waltz/Carnage

I don't know what the hell to think about this category.  I feel pretty good about predicting Bro, since early word is that he has the meatiest supporting role, and I'm sure that the film will net at least one acting nomination.  It's been too long since Branagh has been in the race, and this role seems tailor made for his acting style.  Mortensen will be co-lead, so you know he'll be demoted to this category so as not to take votes from Fassbender.  If Carnage is a big hit, then it'll net some acting nominations, and Waltz seem ideal considering the character and the fact that he'll be co-lead as well.  Plummer has a PLUM role, and he's recently been accepted by The Academy, so I see them wanting to embrace him again.

Not predicting Armie Hammer (too young) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (overkill) seems foolish, but there is no room.


Supporting Actress:
Zoe Caldwell/Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jessica Chastain/The Tree of Life
Julia Ormond/My Week With Marilyn
Vanessa Redgrave/Coriolanus
Kate Winslet/Carnage

There are just too many options for this category.  Knightley, if nominated, could actually win this thing, so not predicting her was hard, but I fear she could wind up in a category issue (ala Atonement) and get shafted alltogether.  That leaves Watts, who is looked over far too often for me to consider her here.  I wanted to, but this is bound to be the DiCaprio show.  I feel really good about Redgrave, Winslet and Chastain.  I know that Malick doesn't do too well with his actors and nominations (he's GREAT with actors, they just never get nominated) but this role and this actress just seems so 'it' right now.  Ormond is playing a legend, and we all know how the Academy feels about 'legend worship' and Caldwell has a GREAT role, so...her!

Adapted Screenplay:
Carnage
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Moneyball
The Skin That I Inhabit

Original Screenplay:
The Beaver
Beginners
Contagion
J. Edgar
Rampart

This is all pure guesswork at what films I think have the best shot with a Best Picture nomination that usually translates into Screenplay noms.  This year seems very rich with Adapted works, so cutting those was hard, and then finding filler for Original works was hard as well.

Who knows.

Editing:
Contagion
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
J. Edgar
Super 8

The like flashy and they like Best Picture frontrunners, so J. Edgar, Super 8 and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (and hopefully Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) seem like easy gets.  I know that predicting a film that I didn't predict for Best Picture seems odd, but what the hell.

Cinematography:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 2
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
The Tree of Life
War Horse

The only ones I'm pretty confident in are The Tree of Life and War Horse, which seem like early locks here.  Outside of that, it's anyones guess; although many people tell me that Harry Potter is winning this. 

Sound Editing:
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Super 8
Thor
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

Sound Mixing:
Contagion
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Super 8
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
The Tree of Life

I don't understand these categories and I don't claim to (in fact, in my personal Fisti Awards I lump them together) so when predicting it seems like I'm grasping at straws.  They like Oscar bait films but they also cream all over action films, so it's a random guess here.

Costume Design:
Immortals
J. Edgar
Jane Eyre
My Week with Marilyn
War Horse

They tend to go for showy and pretty, and Burton...so he's not in this year and showy and pretty is what we are left with.  I think this should be an easy win for My Week with Marilyn considering the depth of work they have to do with that film.

Visual Effects:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 2
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Super 8
Thor

I'm wondering if Super 8 will wind up being this years Inception. 

Makeup:
Albert Knobs
The Iron Lady
War Horse

The Glenn Close vs. Meryl Streep battle continues! 

Animated Film:
Chico and Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Rango
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Winnie the Pooh

Anything but Cars 2!!!

Art Direction:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
J. Edgar
My Week With Marilyn
War Horse

I don't know really...but who does.  Films like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo could easily be snubbed here, but then again it may capture the right mood for The Academy to embrace it.  I feel most confident in Hugo Cabret and My Week with Marilyn.

Original Score:
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
J. Edgar
One Day
War Horse

Like picking names out of a hat really... 

I’m not predicting Original Song and Foreign Film or Documentary and those pesky shorts ATM

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bow down to the master?

Initially, I didn’t know what to think about this.  I mean, we all know that I worship Russell Crowe, and I pray every night that he receive another Oscar, but most importantly I just want him to do good work.  That isn’t to say that I don’t think he does.  In fact, even his latest string of ‘less Oscary’ material has been elevated by his acting approach (he was particularly effective in ‘The Next Three Days’ despite the film lacking the extra punch it needed).  Hearing that Crowe was doing a Kung-Fu movie (The Man With The Iron Fists) took me back a bit.  I mean, he isn’t the most ‘kung-fu’ looking guy.  Hearing that it was being directed by RZA (who has collaborated with Crowe in the past) also took me for a loop for a minute.  I’ll tell you this though; the more I think about this and dwell on the cast (Grier, Liu, a bunch of Asian’s I don’t know) and consider the excitement spilling over from those who know and appreciate Kung-Fu movies and RZA’s approach to the subject I’m starting to get really excited over this…I mean, could this be kind of epic?