a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Indiewire.com’

“Oscar Talk” Indiewire/Hitfix ESSENTIAL listening!

I don’t think I’ve ever been able to emphasize how really ESSENTIAL and marvelously entertaining the just-returned weekly podcast “Oscar Talk” is. Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood at www.indiewire.com and Kris Tapley once of In Contention but now of www.hitfix.com really do lay it down each week with gusto, comraderie and wildly divergent generational and gender-wise and yet respectful points of view. It’s the best two-critic mana a mano chemistry I’ve seen since it was Siskel v. Ebert every week. How I miss them both!

TV has just dumbed down its’ movie coverage soooo badly in the intervening decades, and for those of you who miss “At the Movies” as much as I do, “Oscar Talk” is the next best thing. But it’s only a podcast AT THE MOMENT. But for Oscar followers like I know you all are who read this on a daily basis(and check back to see if I’m posting or not posting) “Oscar Talk” can’t be highly enough recommended.

This week, Kris was in a car accident, and hasn’t made it to NYC yet, where he, now married, is going to be for a year. So he has not seen some films that Anne was raving about like “End of Watch” the stunning cop drama with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena that is the best work of both of their careers to date. Anne wonders if they could even be part of the awards conversation this year and I vehemently say “YES! PLEASE!”

Best Actor(for Jake) is a jammed-to-the-gills category. Michael Pena might have more luck with the less jammed Supporting Actor round-up.

And talk about jammed! Both Anne and Kris were musing about the newly arrived avoirdupois of Sir Anthony Hopkins’ “Hitchcock” being jammed into the race at the last-minute by Fox Searchlight. It MUST be about Hopkins’ leading performance, that has caused the wiley Oscar Foxes’ at Fox Searchlight to go for this Leading Actor kind of gold.

They did this with Jeff Bridges and “Crazy Heart” three years ago. Another last-minute entry and HE WON! So…perhaps they feel they can do it again. Also, Anne Thompson posited that Dame Helen Mirren as Hitchcock’s wife Alma Reville would be a Best Actress contender and that Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh would be Supporting.

Anne also noted that the other actresses In Contention(the name of Kris’ prior Oscar blog) “are not happy about this.” Which could mean that not only is Sir Anthony’s Sir Alfred but also Dame Helen’s Lady Hitchcock and Johansson’s Janet (Shower scene)Leigh also good enough to be nomination-worthy.

And Anne added that “Hitchcock’s relation, his love story with his wife, is a story we haven’t been told.” And this version is reverential evidently, whereas the HBO flick “The Girl” about his predatory relationship with actress Tippi Hedren is the exact opposite.

In any case, this is quickly become a MUCH more interesting season to write about with all these new developments cropping up every other minute. But if you listen to “Oscar Talk” every Friday (it pops up around 12:45pm EST) you’ll feel VERY on top of things. As Anne and Kris are.

It’s like being there! I love it!

In other news, I’ve started attending the New York Film Festival and I’ll get to that in a minute. Two films I saw already are outstanding “Casting By” a doc by Tom Donahue who did “Guest of Cindy Sherman” and “Beyond the Hills” the Roumanian nun/exorcism/lesbian movie that won its’ two unknown student leading actresses a double Best Actress Award at Cannes, beating out Marion Cotillard for “Of Rust and Bone.” I recommend both highly.

Looking forward to “Amour” coming up, and skeptical about “Life of Pi” and “Flight” the Opening and Closing Films at the NYFF. We shall see.

Noomi v. Rooney~ Take Two~ “Dragon Tattoo” FINALLY lands…

So it is with great trepidation that I look forward to Monday and the inevitable screening of the American version of “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Will I like or won’t I? I would like to THINK I am approaching this with an open mind. But I wonder…

If you saw all three brilliant, beautiful Swedish movies and read all the books and had the privilege of interviewing Noomi Rapace herself, how un-prejudiced, how objective  can you really be?

I mean, I’ve gone on record with my indignant “How dare they remake perfection?” and you can look back in this blog to find many, many posts on Steig Larsson and Lisbeth Salander and how wonderful I thought this all was…The three Swedish movies and those three great un-put-downable books…

So I didn’t REALLY press the press people behind this film. I mean, there was this EMBARGO and all, I guess Sony(who is the producer of this $125 million REMAKE) figured that they knew I probably wouldn’t like it so they didn’t pursue me and I didn’t pursue them and there was this awful embargo thingie.

And everyone kept saying “It’s not an Oscar movie.” anyway…so I took it easy…but now that the embargo is lifted and the reviews are starting to pile in and pile up…and they’re GOOD…I’m beginning to thaw towards Rooney Fincher…I think of them as one…

MAYBE I might even enjoy this.

I feel so terrible for Noomi Rapace. But maybe…just maybe…I might actually LIKE this movie….This is a pre-review. I’m “reviewing the situation” as Fagin sang so memorably in “Oliver!” another Best Picture winner of years gone by…

Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone just LOVED it to pieces. But then of course, she’s a HUGE Fincher fan. Read her moving pieces, by all means, at  www.awardsdaily.com But Stu VanAirsdale at www.movieline.com said in his ESSENTIAL Oscar Index this week that she was the only one…

But then more reviews, like Owen Gleiberman in EW www.ew.com wrote very movingly about it. And Rooney Fincher DID get a Golden Globe nomination, and then and then….

A fellow journo, a broadcast TV producer took me out to dinner tonight at my favorite place in NYC Angus McIdoe’s www.angusmcindoe.com and he told me that he had just done the “Girl with a Dragon Tattoo” TV junket THIS AFTERNOON!!!??!!!

I had no idea it was TODAY! And obviously, I wasn’t invited…and well, my friend, who had read none of the books, and HAD seen the movie, liked it. He thought it was “interesting.” Hmmm…

And he said Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig were taking it VERY seriously. And Christopher Plummer and Stellan Sarsgaard were not. THEY were incredibly jolly and having the time of their lives, evidently. Stellan, who I’ve interviewed many, many times, stood up and greeted every journalist as they came in the TV junket door.

No one ever does that.

And Christopher Plummer was jovial personified, my friend said. Well, I countered “Of COURSE, he is. He’s having the biggest moment of his career. He’s in this BIG movie, and he’s going to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor this year. Of COURSE, he’s in a good mood!” And he was incredibly funny and witty as only Canadians can be when they’re on a role.

And Rooney Fincher? She said as my friend entered her suite that she was in a bad mood. Guess she was still in character…Did she say that to allll the journalists?

But in all fairness, the movie is riding on HER, and her performance, and even though she’s got Cynthia Swartz on her side, she doesn’t have Harvey Weinstein. She’s got Scott Rudin, whose dreaded EMBARGO seems to have nearly killed the buzz on this film…I mean, it’s all a tad late, isn’t it?

To open a film this late in the (Oscar) season, and to junket it TODAY when Christmas is nearly upon us…Peace on Earth. Good will towards men. The OPPOSITE philosophy of Lisbeth Salander. The Feel Bad Movie for Xmas…

Well, I guess I’m in the mood for it…Buzz is starting. People seem to have wildly divergent reactions to it.

Kristopher Tapley got into an almost-fight in his podcast with St. Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood www.indiewire.com Anne REALLY liked it. She really, REALLY liked it. Like Sasha did. And Krist HATED it…

But he admitted to liking Rooney Fincher’s performance…Hmmm…

Well, if Sasha and Anne and OWEN liked it…

But one thing’s for sure. It’s TWO HOURS AND A HALF!!!!!

Well, on Monday I’ll let you all know what I thought. Or for sure on Tuesday.

And I DID like “Se7en” and “Zodiac”…HATED “Fight Club” and “The Joy of Typing”….so…we’ll see…Is it too late-breaking for Oscar? Everyone says “Yes” but maybe I’ll like it just for itself.

My friend said they took the book very, very seriously. I liked the sound of that…

But can Rooney erase the memory of Noomi?

Oscar Race Now a Royal Flush. The Queen of England likes it. She really likes it!

OMG! Game, Set and Match!

Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth, just saw “The King’s Speech” and has issued a statement (and entered the Oscar race for the first time herself!) saying she found it among other things “moving and enjoyable.”!!!!!



OMG! *bows and courtesies at the same time* Your Majesty!!!

The Royal Family, never, NEVER comments on films, let alone biopics of a family member, in this case the Queen’s late father and mother, George VI and his queen, also named Elizabeth, and she LOVED it evidently. She found it “moving and enjoyable” and many other things that you can read about over at www.indiewire.com

I just can’t believe it! I thought this was going to be a quiet weekend for TKS, what with it not qualifiying for the WGA(Writers Guild Award) on a technicality. So it was going to be a low-key weekend for Colin & co. Then BAM! This bombshell lands! And I couldn’t be more surprised and delighted.

“The King’s Speech” tells the story, a very painful story, of a reluctant king who stammered, and yet wanted to do the right thing by his country. Then WWII breaks out, which is how the film ends…

And I just think and I’ve said this ever since I saw this brilliant, moving film at the Toronto Film Festival in early September, that I thought it was one of the best films I’ve ever seen IN MY LIFE!

I didn’t expect to respond to it as profoundly as I did, which is a tribute to all involved, the list of names I don’t have to repeat yet again, but all EVERYBODY, EVERYONE is going to get showered with first the BAFTAS, all 16 of them, then the Oscars, all 12 races. I said it was going to be a sweep.

And I was just settling down to explain why in my Oscar blog here, but Her Royal Highness swept in and just did all my work for me. She explained why “The King’s Speech” is going to be the King’s Sweep. As in EVERY SINGLE OSCAR. Every single category.

I was going to break them all down one by one and now I don’t have to. The Queen of England just did it for me. Any Academy members, who one hears from all corners, that they LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it already, and now with the Queen telling them what to do, will write “The King’s Speech” down and as Colin Firth put it to me, in another context, “Tick all the boxes.”

NEVER! NEVER has the Royal Family broken its’ code of silence which is the historic stance they take to anything written about them. They NEVER respond.

But for the QUEEN to tell voters all over the world that SHE LOVES THIS MOVIE ABOUT HER PARENTS, by god, they are all going to return the compliment and vote every single nominated member in.

Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone said this at first, as noted a few posts back. “It’s coming for everything.” www.awardsdaily.com Then she back pedaled on this week’s Tom O’Neill Gold Derby to basically only Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Original Screenplay for David Seidler.

THEN she wrote one of her 4000 word State of the Race pieces, beautifully, eloquently, and elegantly as always and called it “A Tale of Two Movies” Admitting TKS would get BP. So that pushed her win count to four. Mine has remained at 12 for 12, not since “Ben Hur” or “Titanic” THAT kind of sweep…and now, we have a real reason ~ The QUEEN OF FUCKING ENGLAND likes it! She really likes it!

So the Academy members can just relax and check all twelve boxes. And they will gladly do as the Queen commands. More than any other American group except the Tony voters, the Academy is Anglo-philic to a fault.

Tom Hooper just won the DGA. Done. Sasha (and me, too) thinks that Geoffrey Rush is in, over Christian Bale. DONE.  And the Up in the Air, confusing as always Best Supporting Actress category is now Helena Bonham-Carter’s to lose. If the QUEEN OF ENGLAND said she loved how her father was portrayed, AND HER MOTHER, TOO. Helena B-C wins it, as I always said she would. DONE.

Everybody agrees on David Seidler. And the costumes and the art direction which MIGHT have gone to “Alice in Wonderland” are now also part and parcel of this Royal Flush. Best Editing is always won by the film that wins Best Picture, so that’s in TKS shopping cart, too….

Best Cinematography…well, MAYBE the overdue Roger Deakins would have been the choice, given his many nominations and no wins, but now people are starting to talk about the incredible use of the wide-angle lens that the genius director Tom Hooper uses in TKS to such devastating effect. Making for one thing the 6’3″ strapping Colin Firth look like a small, scared man, which King George VI was. Well, the more that gets talked about and seen. And EVERYBODY is now going to watch that screener, if they haven’t already, and check off every box.

And what’s left? The Score. Check. Sound Mixing, all those crowd scenes in front of microphones, all the stuttering scenes, every splutter, every click, every stammer, though those are a brilliant actor’s(and director’s) creation, every single throat catching murmur…and the silences, too. That’s all sound mixing. CHECK.

I think we’re about done now.

And looking at those below the line categories I would say that only Roger Deakins is any real threat, so 11 nominations out of 12 MIGHT happen. But they’ve been snubbing Roger Deakins for decades, and maybe they’ll snub him here, too.

It’s going to win EVERY SINGLE BAFTA AWARD next week in England. And so not to be out done, the Academy will just hand over all the Oscars, in its’ arsenal, too.

Chris Tapley, over at www.incontention.com just floated the boat that MAYBE Michael Arndt will get the Best Adapted Screenplay for “Toy Story 3” which I personally loved. And so did a gagillion other people all over the world…And then “The Joy of Typing” could end up with NO-THING! Which is pretty much exactly what it deserves.

Her Royal Highness, the Queen of England herself, is now telling Oscar AND Bafta voters what to vote for, and this annoucement is SOOO perfectly timed, too. Basically obliterating the WGA pre-ordained “Typing” triumphs this weekend.

God Save the Queen!!!!

Queen of England saw “King’s Speech” & LOVED IT!

Never has a member of the Royal Family seen a film and commented publicly on it! See www.indiewire.com Anne Thompson, of Thompson on Hollywood just shot me the email blast that went out to the world. “Your move, Social Network!” said Anne, and I quote.

GAME OVER! My TV show is coming on in NYC on Ch.56 on Time Warner Cable in Manhattan. It’s on Bill Dawes, “Lombardi” and football! My first EVER Super Bowl Show!

Must dash! But you can see it on YouTube at www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow

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