Monday, March 2, 2015

A Fistful of Thoughts...about dynamic duos, thieving minorities, Canadians, pearl necklaces and thirsty Oscar winners!

It's Monday, so it's time to delve into another Fistful of Thoughts, and this week we have a diverse group of controversial comments, promising projects and hilarious discoveries.  I'm sure that many of you have already heard about some of these stories, but let's talk about them together!

Let's start with some good news!

Have you seen Wendy and Lucy?  If you haven't, see it.  It's Michelle Williams' best performance, a heartbreaker of a film about a homeless girl and her dog.  Just...UGH!  Have you seen Meek's Cutoff?  If you haven't, see it.  It's one of, if not my favorite, modern western.  Just, staggeringly beautiful and so developed thematically.  What do these two films have in common?  They both star Michelle Williams and the are both directed by Kelly Reichardt!  Word is, they're working together again!  I'm all in for this.  There are no known plot details or even a name yet, but apparently they're getting ready to start shooting, so we should be seeing something about this soon.  I'm so excited!  Michelle Williams needs an Oscar, but more than that, she just needs to continue delivering staggeringly good work, and working with directors who coax the best out of her is the best way to do that.

Moving onto something a little more...controversial, have you heard the comments expressed by Michelle Rodriguez about minorities stealing 'white actors' Superheroes?  Well, in case you missed it:

"Because of this whole 'minorities in Hollywood' thing … it's so stupid.  Stop stealing all the white people's superheroes. Make up your own."

Then she goes on to say:

"It's not about taking Catwoman or Superman or Green Lantern … and trying to make them fit to whatever cultural background you are. I just feel like it should be more creative than that, and I think that people need to stop being lazy."

Talk about stirring the pot, since diversity within the film industry has been under fire so much lately, but before we jump down her throat, let's just talk about what she's actually saying here.  As a minority herself, the sting of what she says should be so...harsh.  I mean, if Margot Robbie said this, she'd be crucified, but it's not like Rodriguez has a career to destroy at this point, and in her position, a good Superhero role might actually do her some good.  Instead, though, she raises a point about the laziness and the whole 'make up your own' angle.  I think she raises a good point, and yet, her point can be pretty immediately debunked considering the fact that 'creating your own' Superhero isn't all that easy.   I mean, these Superhero franchises come with built-in fan-bases, and they rely on that nostalgia to draw in the crowds.  Then again, as Guardians of the Galaxy showed us last year, with the right marketing campaign you can draw in a massive crowd even if no one has ever heard of your Superheroes before.  I've voiced my personal concerns with some recent Superhero casting (I'm sorry, but Michael B. Jordan makes NO SENSE), but I'd never really begrudge an up and coming actor from receiving the gig of a lifetime, and let's be honest much as we may not want to admit it, Superhero movies are pretty much 'all the rage', so...

Here's to hoping that this genre can be explored more from a culturally diverse angle.  What they need to do is make that Black Panther movie already!

Alright, let's jump back into some good news...some GREAT NEWS!  The Canadian Screen Awards were help over the weekend, and guess what...MOMMY SLAYED!!!  You'd think I voted on these things, considering my recent doting all over Dolan, but I didn't vote and he still prevailed, pulling in a total of 9 wins for his film.  Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Makeup and Editing!  This is just amazing.  What is even more amazing (and kind of hilarious) is that the nights other big winner was Pompeii.  At first I was thinking, "this has to be a different Pompeii", but's the critically panned action film about the exploding volcano!  Apparently it was filmed in Toronto, and it took home five trophies (Art Direction, Costume Design, Visual Effects. Sound and Sound Editing).  I kind of love the stark difference in quality of these two big winners.  Granted, I haven't seen Pompeii yet, but...come on.

Now, I want to just talk about Lupita Nyong'o's Oscar dress for a minute.  I'm sure you heard that it was stolen from her hotel room after the Oscars when she...left the door ajar (LOL), but have you heard that it was returned by the thieves because the pearls, which were reportedly worth $150,000 were FAKE!  I'm in love with this story!  This just goes to prove why all the "who are you wearing" BS is such, well, BS.  Like, all the "ooh" and "ahh" about the fact that these women are being loaned thousands and thousands of dollar dresses is just ridiculous to begin with (and yes, I look at the dresses too), but this story is just GOLD!  Calvin Klein is all on the defensive trying to say that they never said the pearls were real, but that number didn't come out of nowhere, and they never corrected all the hoopla UNTIL the thieves outed them.  Poor Lupita.  She looked...expensive (tacky, by expensive), and now all anyone will think of is how she wore a dress from Claires to the Oscars.

And lastly, let's talk about this:

This first look at Redmayne in The Danish Girl is all over the place right now, and many, many people are weighing in on this.  There is outrage from the trans community for the use of a non-trans actor in the role of, well, a trans person, much like the outrage over Jared Leto's Oscar campaign for Dallas Buyers Club.  I'm not even going to get into that.  I don't have a problem with a non-trans actor taking on this kind of role.  It's called acting for a reason.  What I want to talk about is Eddie's THIRST.  LOL, he's in the hunt for back to back Oscars, and while we'll talk about this a little more next month when Josh and I post our annual April Oscar Predictions, but the thirst is real, and the hunt is going to be messy.  While Eddie Redmayne looks a lot like Jessica Chastain in this picture, I'm having a feeling his Oscar success is going to look a lot more like Tom Hanks' at this point.  Like, this is the purest of bait and Oscar LOVES this stuff.  Doesn't hurt that his director is Tom Hooper, the troll who stole David Fincher's Oscar and the guy who directed Colin Firth and Anne Hathaway to Oscars, not to mention getting noms for Helena Bonham Carter, Hugh Jackman and Geoffrey Rush.  

We may need to brace ourselves for another year of Redmania.



Here's What I'll Be Reading Today:
Ryan discusses Do the Right Thing
Keith talks about 5 Phenomenally Horrible Movie Fathers
Sati reviews Kingsman: The Secret Service
Kevin reviews The Duff
Mario reviews St. Vincent
Mariah remembers Leonard Nimoy
Paskalis compares Let the Right One In, book to movie
Cindy compares Boyhood to The Truman Show

And lastly, let's all bask in our friend and fellow blogger Alex's glory as he experiences a real dream come true in the success and festival run for his film, Wait!


  1. Rodriguez's comments are interesting. She's right in a way. It's like this all female Ghost Busters. The gimmick is too distracting, make another film with a strong female cast that's original.

    Redmayne's thirst. lmao. Is this movie even going to be ready by the Oscars next year? They're still shooting it? I don't get the outrage. I don't care when straight people play gay or vise versa, it's acting, people. It's not a challenge if you're playing someone close to yourself. I did see a picture of Amber Heard in this movie and she looks fine though.

    1. Yeah, that Ghostbusters reboot sounds...disastrous.

      And I'm with you 100% on Redmayne and on the whole actors playing against type. I hate all the hate it receives.

      And I'm pretty sure this will be completed in time for Oscar. They have plenty of time to wrap it up, edit it and get it promoted. Eddie will WORK IT!

      Welcome to Oscar season!

  2. Personally, I don't understand this backlash against Eddie Redmayne, in general. Yeah, it's another pretty baity role, but he seems to take of projects that will actually challenge him and they are roles he's actually interested in and passionate about. I mean, if you had the opportunity to play this role (or Stephen Hawking, or really any of the films he's done), would you really pass on it because it's just another "Oscar bait role?"

    Yeah, I'd like to see him get a little more diverse in the future, but he's landing great opportunities and he's taking them (like anyone would). But yeah, it would be nice to see him do something really different next (though I'd say Jupiter Ascending was pretty different for him, even if it was a flop, it was something different).

    I totally get what Michelle Rodriguez is saying but yeah, it's pretty convtroversial and there's passion behind comic book movies because they're based on existing characters. It's a nice thought but yeah, doesn't work all that well..

    1. I honestly don't really care one way or the other. I was rooting for Keaton, and Redmayne's thirst for Oscar was distracting, but he's on a role and I'm happy for his career. I loved him in Les Mis, and I am actually really excited to see him in this film because it's a very brave role and he's going for it, which is commendable.

      Rodriguez raises a good point, I just think it's harder than she's making it out to be.

  3. Ahah, Redmayne does look a bit like Chastain in that pic, but yeah I agree w/ you on this "...this is the purest of bait and Oscar LOVES this stuff." I do think he's great in Theory of Everything but was he better than Keaton? I wouldn't say so, but his role is the kind of stuff Oscar loves.

    1. Yeah, unless the film is panned...I think Redmayne is looking at back to back Oscars. Like...OMG the bait!

  4. I cannot bear another season of Redmayne whoring and probably winning....Good lord so many people are comparing this pic to Chastain, that's quite insulting to her, not that I think she is particularly beautiful but come on.

    1. LOL, you have to admit the resemblance. I mean, she's obviously better looking, but Redmayne could be her ugly cousin :-P

      And get prepared. I'm not saying he's winning, but he's pretty much locked up for the afterglow nom, and if his competition doesn't pull out something huge, he may sweep through to another win. It's all sorts of baity, and Hooper has done well with Oscar.

  5. I love the shout-out for Wendy and Lucy! Such a lovely and underrated movie.

    1. Yes, it's such a gem of a film that so few have taken the time to see.

  6. So far, I've seen 3 films by Kelly Reichardt as I'm hoping to see Night Moves as she is considered for a future Auteurs subject as I like the idea of Kristen Stewart doing a Reichardt film as she is making good career choices.

    Eddie Redmayne looks good as a woman but he needs to stop going for the Oscar all over again. Don't be like Kirk Lazarus who takes himself way too seriously only to realize that he has no idea who he is.

    I've seen bits of Pompeii and... blech!

    1. I haven't seen Night Moves yet, but I hope to soon. I hope that she gets the Auteurs treatment. She'd certainly deserve it!

      LOL, Redmayne will probably dial it back soon.

      I have no intentions of seeing Pompeii, although part of me kind of wants to, just because I've been there and hiked the mountain and so...I have a spot for it in my heart.

      The movie would probably ruin that spot, though.

  7. Hi Fisti, thanks for the shout out! You always post thought provoking conversations in a respectful manner.

    I partially agree with Rodriguez. It's a complicated issue. For example, I would never ever want to see Superman as anything other than a tall Caucasian male, with black hair and blue eyes. I'm so hard core about Superman that I didn't even care for Brandon Routh---why you ask. B/c he didn't have blue eyes! I also had issues with Famke as Jean Grey. I never could buy her as a red head.

    So yes, there are some truly iconic characters that shouldn't change physically. However, a character like Heimdall in Thor (Idris played him) or Nick Fury played by Samuel L. Jackson is fine. I would note that there was a black Green Lantern (John) in the comics, so that is canon. So I'm not sure why she mentioned the Green Lantern. Also, Eartha Kitt was Catwoman in the 60s. The Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm is strange considering that he and Sue Storm are brother and sister.

    On the other hand, I do understand the desire to cast actors of different ethnicities, if they are the best person for the job. When dealing with superhero characters created in the 40s and 50s, it's hard to find diversity there. So for me it's a two-pronged approach. It needs to make sense and the character can't be iconic. If the character is iconic, then it's difficult to make a major change like ethnicity. And like you said, it's difficult to create a new superhero franchise. For some reason DC only seems to know how to do Superman and Batman. On the flip side look what Ridley Scott did to Exodus. The bronzer and glitter in that movie were cray cray.

    1. LOL, Ridley Scott. I haven't seen Exodus yet, but those stills scared me.

      And thank you for the compliment. I try hard to be respectful, regardless of my personal opinion, because controversial subjects are controversial for a reason.

      Yeah, I'm surprised she brought up Green Lantern, and then again, she probably isn't wholly familiar with comics in general (which goes to prove that she probably should have kept her mouth shut).

      I still can't get on board with the Jordan casting. It makes no sense unless they are going to change the fabric of the story. I mean, why cast Mara? Why not cast a black actress. I wouldn't have had an issue with that at all.

    2. I think the casting of Jordan is problematic b/c the character is somewhat iconic. That's when castings run into trouble. I personally didn't care for the casting of Chris Evans as both Johnny Storm and Captain America. Evans makes a much better Captain America. Recasting a character like Nick Fury is fine, but not Johnny Storm. They could have easily recasted 'the Thing' b/c that character is not as iconic and 'the Thing' wears lots of makeup. So I actually agree with you that the casting of Jordan is a little strange, particularly with the casting of Kate Mara.

    3. Yeah, I'm wondering how they're going to spin this...and wondering if they're going to make him adopted...which will just feel awkward.

  8. There is some merit to what Michelle Rodriguez is saying. She just said in the worst way possible. It also ignores the fact that just creating new superheroes and having them catch on enough with the general public and/or the money people in Hollywood to get a film made is incredibly difficult and a process taking years, not days or months. Todd McFarlane caught lightning in a bottle with how fast he took Spawn from obscure comic book to big screen feature (not great but underrated, in my opinion), but that's the exception, not the rule. I'd love to see a slew of new heroes of various ethnicities and of both genders flying across the big screen. She's right, we should see it. We're just not there, yet. In the meantime, it can't be ignored that studios are looking to maximize profits and if diversifying the people on the screen helps them do this, regardless of genre or character history, that's what they'll do. As far as my feelings on changing existing characters goes, my general rule of thumb is if ethnicity is not integral to who this person is then I don't have a problem with changing it. I only apply this to fictional characters, though.

    And yeah, I first looked at that Redmayne pic on my phone and I thought it was Chastain, lol.

  9. I still think Redmayne should have to go to whatever the Hollywood equivalent of the penalty box is for what he did in Jupiter Ascending. I actually don't blame the guy for chasing the bait, as I too would be constantly screaming, I'M ACTUALLY A GOOD ACTOR, PROMISE, just in case someone, somewhere had just watched Ascending.

    Thanks for the link, man. I gotta check out your post asap.

    1. Good god, I really need to see Jupiter Ascending now. Like, I'm living for THAT Redmayne performance.

  10. Reichardt and Williams again? I'm there!!

    I think Rodriguez has a point, but I'm not opposed to adapting superheroes.

    LOL, Pompeii. Never saw it.

    Ha, that dress story is priceless. I hadn't heard the punchline.

    Please no! Anyone but Redmayne AGAIN!

    1. I'm so excited!

      Yeah, there is a balance needed.

      Me neither, and I probably won't. But, you ignored the elephant in the also haven't seen MOMMY!!!

      It's my favorite Oscar story, ever.

      We all better start getting used to the idea...he's coming with the force of a legion of demons to take what he so desires.

  11. I am so sick of political correctness and not hurting anybody's feelings and we better have nothing but ethnic, trangender, transexual, trans am people in films or else one will be branded a racist. Stop the madness! If the person is a great actor/actress, I don;t care if they are black, brown, yellow, red or polka dotted, as long as they can act and it suits the story (one can't have women in the trenches when it is WW1 or have white people portraying slaves and black people owning plantations). Look I will even get in trouble for writing Black instead of African American. I want all of this to stop. Jared Leto was great in his part period-who cares what gender he is or likes. Now about that dress-hahahaaaa-I didn't like it in the first place because It looked like those neck things some women wear in Africa (their tribe) that stretches their neck so much that if they took those neck things off, their neck would break. I love it that the thieves brought it back and called TMZ! I want to see the stars wear a dress they made like Joanne Woodward did. Some of these stars just whore themselves out for a gold statute (think Chill Wills)

    1. Make their own dresses...? Now that's a thought!

      And I agree that anyone should be able to play anyone as long as they have the talent and it isn't an offensive casting.

  12. Thanks for the link, man.

    First, I love Michele Williams but have not seen any of her work with Kelly Reichardt. Regrettably. Need to fix that.

    I really don't know how to feel about Rodriguez's comment. I sort of agree with her. And I sort of don't. And, frankly, I don't really care all that much about superhero movies and who stars in them. If a person of color can do a good job playing a traditionally white superhero, then more power to 'em. I certainly don't think Hollywood should force people who may not be right for a role into one solely to appease critics of the lack of diversity in Hollywood, if that even exists....

    Way to go, Mommy! I'm pumped for you. I know how much you love it. I'm keeping a close eye out for it. Can't wait to give Dolan a try. I know a few of his are streaming on Netflix, but I am getting super busy right now and my movie watching is limited to just a couple of projects.

    Redmayne...again! I hope not. I'm sorry, but I don't see him as a "Twice a Best Actor" all. He sure is taking the bait-y roles these days, ain't he?

    1. You're welcome.

      Yes, fix that ;-)

      Yeah, it seems that most feel she has a point, but not an as exclusive a point as she was making it out to be.

      I'm so happy for Dolan. I hope you can check out his work soon!

      I don't know if I'm prepared for another year of Red-desperation.