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Posts tagged ‘Best Costumes’

“The Artist” Wins Best Picture & Director at BFCA! Also Best SCORE & Costumes!!

I have to say that watching the Broadcast Film Critics Awards tonight was like reading a RRREALLY long book that you wanted to put down, but some how couldn’t, then SUDDENLY a surprise happy ending! And you just LOVE the way things turned out, but you still wish you didn’t have to read the whole book.

At the VERY end of the evening, Michel Hazanavicius won Best Director! Then, he did and made an utterly charming, funny speech, I knew “The Artist” was going to win Best Picture! And then it did! And as Michel called his entire table up on to the stage, the show ended.:( But “The Artist” did win more awards than any other film tonight four. BP, Director, Best SCORE(Take THAT! Kim Novak!) and Best Costumes!

I wish Jean Dujardin had won Best Actor instead of George Clooney, who seemed incredibly smug and entitled. He tried to out-do Viola Davis in terms of a hardscrabble background “I-Come-From-A-Sharecropping-Grandfather” & even more embarrassing “My-mother-used-to-make-my-clothes. “Ick.

It was the only award “The Descendants” won. Shailene Woodley lost TWICE. Once for Best Young Actor/Actress and then also for Supporting Actress, bad news for her Oscar nom. chance. The award for Best Young Actor  went to Thomas Horn, that little boy from “Extremely…” who called it by the Internet abbrev. of its’ initials ELAIC. ” E=Lake” or something like that. This was one of the few real surprises of the night.

I swear they all must’ve known Clooney was going to win because they seemed to keep cutting to him all evening. And he presented their humanitarian award to Sean Penn, who actually was IN Haiti. They spoke via satellite, and again Penn and Haiti completely upstaged and outclassed him.

George was acting like he had won already and was hosting a night club act somewhere.

And I’m a FAN! He’s been on my show! But no, George this was not your finest hour.

Doing really well earlier in the evening was Christopher Plummer who won as we alllll knew he would for “Beginners.” Every other joke he said was funny. But given that he’s 82, we all should look so good. And he seemed like he was in his 60s. Not his age at all.

They kept showing Michelle Williams in shadow. Uh-oh. Not good, I thought. And Meryl and Harvey Weinstein were seen smiling and joking. Meryl was enjoying herself more than I’d ever seen her do at one of these events in YEARS

“The Help” won BIG with three awards, behind “The Artist” which had four who besides Best Picture and Director won Best Costumes& Best Score. Those last two awards were given out BEFORE air-time.

“The Help” won Best Supp. Actress, Best Actress and Best Ensemble. Which allowed Octavia Spenser to make TWO speeches! So she had a “do-over” she called it. Which was funny.

She had the most strange look on her face when she won. It wasn’t happy. More chagrined. Like “Oh no! NOW what do I do?”  She totally didn’t expect, and neither did I. contrary to what Stu Vanairsdale was saying week after week on his Oscar Index. He always had Octavia at #1 all season long. Ditto Christopher Plummer for “Beginners.” But he had “The Artist” & Michel Hazanaviscius all season, too. So kudos to Stu! 4 1/2 out of 6 isn’t bad.

But he was wrong about Jean Dujardin winning 😦 It was annoying GEORGE.

And also only this week did Stu, on his great Oscar Index at www.movieline.com , have Meryl and Viola TYING for “Best Actress.”

And in a very, very red dress, Viola Davis DID give a very affecting speech. And she looked very shocked when she won.

But it wasn’t a tie. And let’s face, “The Help” is a film that the BFCA loved, they really loved. And “Iron Lady” is a critical disaster except for Meryl’s performance….But Meryl immediately stood up when Viola won. And applauded her enthusiastically. Classy. Something it seemed the rest of the room, except “The Help”s table, was not doing.

But nightmare of nightmares that EW cover of last week came true tonight! But will it continue? George & Viola. Will it continue? I wonder….

“Hugo” got nothing. But Martin Scorcese did recieve a quasi life-time achievement award called, strangely, “Film + Music.” I guess that’s the consolation prize of the evening.

“Bridesmaid” won for Best Comedy, then, an entire troup of MEN, ascended the stage and this was supposed to be the big break-through FEMALE movie and it was all men! Embarassing Embarrassing. And Judd Apatow, who was the producer, accepting and every other word had to be bleeped. Which I guess was funny, kinda.

And then he had to be reminded to thank the two female writers…Kristen Wiig and her writing partner. HE NEARLY FORGOT TO MENTION THEM! Was he more embarrassing than George Clooney? No, Clooney was more.

And they had two dreadful comic hosting this always-tacky, subpar presentation. Where is Ricky Gervais when you really need him?

Well, he’ll be there on Sunday, hosting the Golden Globes who I HOPE do not just repeat the four winners we had tonight. Clooney, Davis, Plummer & Spenser in a quartet lock-step, which is what has happened for the past two years.

So in a sense, we’ve already seen this year’s winners(I hope not) and so now the excitement goes out of the Oscar Balloon, and we’ll all be bored to death by the time the Oscars roll around.

Oh Golden Globes! I hope you do something different on Sunday and not just award the same four people!

Well, there’s the musical/comedy category which Jean Dujardin for Best Actor for “The Artist” should triumph in. And Michelle Williams will win Best Actress in a Musical or a Comedy. For sure. Harvey W. hasn’t finished working his magic yet.

Woody Allen’s Masterpiece “Midnight in Paris” Sublime! Sublime! Sublime!

I cannot remember dear cineastes, dear readers, dear theater lovers of literature, when I have been so completely, so  madly, so deliciously transported by a new film. And that film is the much hyped Cannes opener “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen, 77 and now at the absolute height of his immense creative powers. “Midnight in Paris” left me gasping with delight. It’s his latest masterpiece and may simply be the best film he’s ever made.

It’s so delicious, so delightful, so funny, so superbly acted, and brilliantly written and directed. It’s the first film that I’ve seen since “The King’s Speech” that transports you to an absolute height of cinematic euphoria. And Oscar’s gonna go there, too.

I am so sure that the little Golden Guy is going to be happily boarding that magic carpet ride in the form of a 1920’s roadster that whisks our hapless hero, a frustrated screenwriter and Woody stand-in(natch), Owen Wilson, who turns out to be at the height of HIS career as an actor,  in this film, too. Oscar will clamour aboard that flying flivver and happily take it right to the Kodak Pavillion next February, which is where this film is surely going to end up.

With nominations galore. A comedy winning anything from the Academy is always going to be a fight.

However, the Academy has always loved Woody and they’re going to REALLLLY love “Midnight in Paris”. Woody is such Oscar catnip, it’s almost ridiculous.Oscar considers Woody in a class by himself, so many of his films have been nominated and won! Well, no, that’s not true. I think the only time he won Best Picture was for “Annie Hall” decades ago.

But his actors have continued to wrack up Oscar after Oscar, most notably and most recently Penelope Cruz, in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” which this film resembles. “Midnight in Paris” is shot entirely and beautifully in Paris in the daytime and at night, and France and specifically Paris has seemed to have had the same wondrous effect on Allen’s creativity that Barcelona and Spain did with “Vicky Cristina”

“Midnight in Paris” is just suffused with the golden glow of romance that is true love  (in this case, the love of France and all things French) that is so palpable, it seems like it was shot through a lens covered with honey. And written in a Proustian fever dream. But a reverie only of all things light and sweet.

It’s such a charming  love poem to the City of Lights, it’s irresistible. It sends you into a Rapture.

And what a cast! And How many Oscar winners are there in this one film! ? It’s like the word went out and Allen got the dream cast of his career!

Oscar winner Marion Cotillard has never been lovelier or sexier or more captivating. She plays the love object, the muse of Picasso, Modigliani and nearly every other artist of the past two hundred years, and Mlle. Cotillard, so so sensual and intriguing,completely vulnerable, effortlessly enchanting, but so mysterious, you can see that, yes, she could easily have inspired all these great artists that the film claims she has.

Her incredible character named Adriana is one of Allen’s greatest creations. And in writing a love poem to Paris, he’s embodied that romance in one woman, Adrianna, and Cotillard is so delightful, and endearing and sublime, you just can’t wait til her character comes back onscreen and into the story once again.

It’s one of the most challenging roles that Allen has ever written for a woman and the most complex, and Cotillard meets every challenge stupendously. She has to, for the romance of the film to work. She is Paris. Paris is love. So therefore the glowing Cotillard is Paris personified.

She is WOMAN. All the women who have inspired the greatest of artists, and Cotillard shows you quite simply and quite beautifully that yes, she is all that. She’s certainly inspired Allen to heights he’s never really hit before. A great film maker meets the great screen actress in the best role he’s ever written for a woman. Will Oscar take note? I think so. I hope so.

You come out of the film raving about Cotillard as if she were the essence of all the best in French art and culture, and in this film, she is!

Her only petite problem is that she’s won so recently for “La Vie En Rose” playing an indelible Edith Piaf.

Acting in her own language, it seemed impossible that she, an unknown French actress, would win the Oscar for Best Actress. But I predicted she would. Could her Adriana do the magic hat trick of another win? Depends upon whom she’s up against, but I would be shocked if she wasn’t in the running, dismissed as simply a great beauty playing a great beauty.

Wilson, too.

Owen Wilson is so good in this film that you can’t believe it’s Owen Wilson.

But he is and he’s just terrific, and perfectly cast as a WASP neurotic from Pasadena. Wilson’s West Coast-ness takes away any of the memories of the many previous iterations Allen has wrung upon the character of the hung-up writer. This time a dissatisfied, but commercially successful screenwriter, with an even blonder fiancee, who’s a bit of an hysterical bitch, played by of all people, Rachel MacAdams, also at the top of HER game. She, too, is a revelation.

Oh, and did I forget to mention how funny all these characters are? And yes, they are. Very, very funny. You’ll be quoting the laugh lines for the rest of the season.

Academy Award Winner Adrian Brody does this best work since “The Pianist” as of all people Salvatore Dali! In a very brief cameo, he keeps repeating. “Dali! I’m Dali!” and when Wilson’s Gil explains his time-traveling problems, Brody as Dali quips, “It’s perfectly normal. You are from another century, yet you live in this century.” And Luis Bunuel, who’s sitting with them, mais oui, says to Dali, “Of course you think it’s normal, you’re a Surrealist!”

And Marion’s Adrianna is restless, perpetually bored with Paris in the 1920’s. “There are too many Americans here!” or exasperated with Pablo, “Picasso is impossible! He will never have a successful relationship with a woman!”

Hallucinating Wilson keeps having his big blue eyes popping out of his head, like some great silent screen comedian, as he channels, Chaplin, Oliver Hardy, Harold Lloyd…amazingly…yes, it’s the VERY unlikely Owen Wilson, making us laugh and moving us so magically. He’s playing straight man as it were to Cotillard’s muse, MacAdams’ bitchy fiancee and a supporting cast of unparalleled splendor.

Main among them, as I’ve noted in a previous post, newcomer Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway, who just about walks off with the film, and probably an Oscar nomination. And so to may Kathy Bates as a marvelously sensible, warm-hearted Gertrude Stein. “Our house is open to every artist! All are welcome here!” she intones with such bonhommie, you want to move right in to 23 Rue de Fleurus and never leave, which clearly Allen wants to do.

Who but Woody Allen would make Gertrude Stein the most reasonable and warm center of a filmic masterpiece. Which is what “Midnight in Paris” is.

I see Nominations for Best Picture. In a field of ten, a sure bet. Best Director, possibly, for Allen. FOR SURE a Best Original Screenplay and this is it’s almost sure WIN. Yes, I’m saying it now.

They’ll nominate the living daylights out of this magnificent cinematic achievement. Starting with Darius Khondji’s marvelously seductive, luminous cinemtography of the City of Lights, the stunning production design by Annie Seibel that is literally out of this world (and several others) and the sumptuous costumes by Sonia Grande, who makes Mlle. Cotillard comme il faut tous le temps, but it’s the hilarious, moving, beautifully written screenplay that really does leave you gasping with astonishment and delight. Woody Allen redeems himself mightily in “Midnight in Paris” and the many, many Oscars it will get nominated for, this astoundingly simple, but complicated and FUNNY screenplay is the most likely place it will be rewarded.

Also both Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard might be nominated for Best Actor and Actress. It depends on who they are up against. And if they are not dismissed ~ for being in a comedy.

And as I said previously the one with the most buzz out of  the Cannes Film Festival, which it opened, was Corey Stall as Hemingway. That would be in Supporting. And previous Oscar winner Kathy Bates could score ANOTHER Supp. Actress nomination for her lovable lesbian Gertrude Stein.

Gertrude Stein, lovable? Only in Woody Allen’s wild world!

Mesdames and monsieurs, les envelopes, s’il vous plait!

“Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” on Bway! Wonderful! Gay-Fun-der-full!

I’m baaaaaaaaack! And tingling with the excitement, joy and delight of a great new GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY musical, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” which is landing on Broadway at the Palace theater right about NOW! KA-BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s wonderful! Gay-Fun-derful! “Priscilla” explodes like a glitter ball bomb, scattering confetti and good will for all and is even MORE over the Top than the classic queer film version. I know that doesn’t sound possible, but it is, believe me, it is!

Subtle, this isn’t. But how could it be anything else? It’s a non-stop musical with numbers from the ’70s, and some from the ’80s(Madonna’s) and none whatsoever from ABBA.

As it was in the movie.

And let’s not mince words, Madoona’s songs are NOT an acceptable substitute for ABBA’s which are currently STILL in heavy usage on Broadway in “Mama Mia” a show that seems to have no end. Hence the switch to the Material Grrrl’s, er, material.

And the ’80’s just don’t have the same camp resonance as the ’70s and the film of “Priscilla” was pure ’70s, and therefore morely truly, regally camp.

Madonna’s songs sadly make the whole show seem, well, er, tackier than the film version.

But Madge, as she’s called here, will just HAVE to do, because everything else about the show is just spectacular. With the emphasis on SPECK-TACKLE!

The costumes for the film, if memory serves, won an Oscar, and the gorgeous, eye-popping gowns and wigswigswigs(by Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner) and will probably do the same  thing when the Tonys roll around, and guess what? It’s TONY SEASON! Yes, already the plays are opening every other second every which way you look. On Broadway And Off. And it’s wonderful that they are!

And you hope that they’re all gonna be wonderful. And not all of them will be. But “Priscilla” sure is!

The three leads were all unknowns before the curtain went up, but now they’re bona fide Broadway stars. In my book! And turn in such wonderful performances they almost make you forget the great performances of Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce. YES, GUY PEARCE, who all sizzled  in full drag on the screen. Yes, “The King’s Speech”, “Momento”s Guy Pearce, who is now a tres butch Hollywood A-Lister!

And I bet all three of these great gays, er, guys, will all be nominees come Tony Time, which as I said, begins NOW! Will Swenson, as the “straight” one, who has a previous wife and child. An incredibly touching Luke Mennikus brings the audience to tears as the lonely son Benji.

Benji provides the “plot” of “Priscilla” this time more heavily emphasized than in the movie. Benji wants to meet his absent father. Even if he does wear “purple pants.”

And Benji and his Mom are located in the middle of nowhere, in the Back of the Back of Beyond of the Australian Out Back, Alice Springs.

And Tick  a.k.a. Mitzi is reluctant to make the, er, confrontation, and takes old friend, Bernadette, a stately, classy transexual along for support( and back -up singing). Bernadette is (Terence Stamp in the movie) played to purr-fection by the Original Aussie(and London, and Toronto) Bernadette, Tony Sheldon. Who is staring at a Best Actor in a Musical Tony Nomination. And Will Swenson may be, too. After all, Douglas Hodge won in this category just last year as Zaza in the recent revival of “La Cage Aux Folles.”

Or will they put Will  Swenson in the Supporting Actor in a Musical category? Ah, but then he’d be up against the,er, stiffest competition of all, the break-out star Nick Adams, as the loud, motor-mouth Felicia, who pretty much steals the show, with one show stopping number after the other. Almost too numerous to list.

And I kept thinking I’d see his handsome face(and fizz-eeek!) before and the program notes reveal we’ve seen Nick strutting his/her stuff in the chorus of the latest “La Cage” and also “A Chorus Line”s revival and also “The Pirate Queen.” Yes, I’m such a Broadway baby I even survived “The Pirate Queen” and no, the studly/femme Nick Adams DIDN’T play the title role. But THIS TIME!

He arguably has the role of his/her career making bitchy/lovable Felicia a magnificent gay monument. And probably winning a Tony come June, too!

It was all so wonderful, I’ve run out of glittering adjectives! Go! Just GO! To “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”! Long may she rave!

Oscar Voting Closes;Massive “King’s Speech” Landslide Coming Soon!

Well, it’s alllllmost over! One of the longest Oscar races in history. Although actually it isn’t. Last year had the Olympics to make it two to three weeks longer.

But the reality of The Race is that I personally feel (and this feeling is shared by NEARLY everybody) that The Race ended at Toronto at the VERY FIRST PRESS SCREENING of the Festival. TIFF started and so did the Oscar race with the BANG! of the first unspooling of “The King’s Speech.”

I realized as I sat there with the stunned audience of hardened TIFF-goers that we had seen the Best Film Of the Year. ALREADY! BANG! right out of the gate. It was like a cinematic miracle had occurred. People were crying, and laughing, in all the right places and critics sat frozen watching the end credits roll ALL THE WAY THROUGH. And then there was applause.

There’s always applause at the end of “The King’s Speech.”

Having seen a rather OK BBC version of this same story with James Wilby, who was perfectly fine as the stuttering King, but he didn’t break your heart the way Colin Firth does, and did. Over and over. Throughout this whole movie. The pain. The silences. And fright that man experiences.

A king is a terrible thing to be, is the movie’s motto, I guess. When you don’t want it. And feel you can’t do it…His wife believes in him. And I believe the Academy voters believe in her, too. The most beloved historical figure England produced in the 20th century. The Queen Mum. Who STAYED IN LONDON DURING THE BLITZ!!!!!!!!

People still talk of that courageous act, today. As the Queen Mum is always shown in newsreel footage of WWII tip-toeing gingerly through the rubble of the East End with the King following behind her.

Aw, “The King’s Speech” is going to win everything.! The question is HOW MANY?!? 12? It’s nominated for 12. And I just think the Academy is on a mission this year. They want to send a message to the world loud and clear. WE LIKE MOVIES LIKE THIS ONE! And we want to make more movies like this! Inspirational, moving, unforgettable. I think it’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen or will ever likely see.

And so I’m predicting it will win everything it’s nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor(Geoffrey Rush) Best Supporting Actress(Helena Bonham Carter), Best Director Tom Hooper, Best Original Screenplay (David Seidler), Best Score(Alexander Desplat), Best Costumes(Jenny Beaven) and on and on and on.

Oh, and in Best Actress…It’s still Natalie Portman.

Last minute heebie -jeebies in this category are not going to unseat the beautiful young girl who gives the performance of her lifetime in “Black Swan” that is the very pregnant Miss Portman.

She didn’t make it across the Pond in her heightened state to receive her BAFTA win, but she did win it over Annette, who’s a lovely lady…but Natalie, there’s no stopping Natalie, and it’s the only win Fox Searchlight may get with that film. But it’s a big one.

So them’s my predictions pard’ner, and I’m sticking to ’em.

Fun fact: Since the BAFTAs moved their date forward to precede Oscar, the category that has matched Oscars 80% of the time is, you guessed, that hard to define, always mettlesome, Best Supporting Actress.

Oh, and Stu Van Airsdale has a FAAAAABulous summation of his Movieline graphs at www.movieline.com

And yes, “The King’s Speech” was filmed (in part) on a gay porno set. It’s been confirmed. WHO CARES?! That would be Lionel Logue’s offices, the one’s with the mottled, decaying, unmistakable backdrop. Makes me like it even more! This is just been revealed TODAY! And watch it wins Best Set Design!

“Helena Bonham-Carter could win Oscar!” sez Anne Thompson

Anne Thompson, the sharp, astute, objective observer of all things Oscar, is at Indiewire these days, with her own blog, that is really a site in-and-of-itself. Always even-keeled and balanced in the coverage of Oscar subjects ~ I’m jumping for joy over Anne  (sometimes I call her St. Anne, well, because…she is…In Oscarland  terms, anyway) just having written a HUGE piece on “Helena Bonham-Carter Could Win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress” on http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/

CHECK IT OUT IMMEDIATELY!

And the reason I’m doing cartwheels, is because Even Anne does NOT make pronouncements like this lightly. Being a crack journalist as well as a keen Oscar observer, she WAS backing Hailee Steinfeld, last time I checked, but has JUST switched to HRH HBC because of, you guessed it, the BAFTAS! Which as you know Helena just won on Sunday. And I’ve been predicted this since the beginning! SWEEP!

And to top it all off, Anne had compiled a DELICIOUS series of video clips that really show off Helena in MAHvelous ways, darling! You’ve GOT to watch each and every one!

It’s been an uphill battle for Helena, as I said early on, because her performance is UNDERSTATED, sophisticated and subtle. Something Oscar doesn’t usually go for. She is chewing NO scenery here. Nope. Just tea and crumpets, though she DOES seem to be munching all the way through this brilliant movie. Yes, she overeats, and gets plumber and plumber as the films goes on, to where at the end, she is clearly wearing a fat suit! Yes, she is! And she’s ADORABLE in it!

 And she’s playing, lest we forget, the role Oscar LOVESLOVESLOVES to award in this category, the supportive wife! “The King’s Speech” makes it clear that King George VI could NOT have overcome his stutter without his wonderful, devoted wife who is the one who FINDS Lionel Logue(Geoffrey Rush) in the movie in the first place.

Jenny Beavan is the brilliant British costume designer, who is also up for an Oscar (again) this year for “The King’s Speech”s marvelous pastel-perfect period finery. Jenny has been costuming Helena since her Merchant-Ivory days. And Anne Thompson lays this all out in judicious, delicious clip after clip.

I’d do it myself, but I’m too tech-tarded, as you know….someday I’ll figure out the visuals…but right now just run on over to Indiewire and Thompson on Hollywood and see why I’m particularly thrilled with Anne’s great piece, predicting Helena’s win!

Yes, the “King’s Speech” has coattails, white tie and tails, probably, and Helena and Jenny Beaven and Geoffrey Rush and many others may be riding them all the way to OSCAR the Sunday after next! Coattails is another word for SWEEP!

There’s also a marvelous clip of HBC as HRH The Red Queen in “Alice in Wonderland.” interogating frog footmen, one of whom stole her tarts! “Off with his head!” she exclaims.

Helena Bonham-Carter! How do I love thee? I’ll let Anne Thompson count the ways!

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