a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Jesse Eisenberg’

“Cafe Society” Worst Woody Allen Ever? S.O.S. Same Old Story

Kristen Stewart 1As you can see by this ultra glamourous pic above ^ of Kristen Stewart, Woody Allen has cast her against type, as a nice little goodie two-shoes,compleat with bows in her hair and ankle socks, in “Cafe Society”. Her character, Vonnie, has to appear so beautiful that the men in the movie fall madly in love with her. The men being Steve Carell as well as his nephew Jesse Eisenberg. And they’re all very good in this magnificently shot and styled paean to old Hollywood in the ’30s.

But this is perhaps the worst movie he’s ever done.It’s soooo boring. It’s that we’ve seen it all before. Over and over and over and over again. We expect more from the man who gave us “Midnight in Paris”, “Hannah and Her Sisters”, “Blue Jasmine”, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and his Oscar winner “Annie Hall.” But this is not that. Not by a long shot.

At least his other recent sub-par look at the glamourous life circa 1920 “Magic in the Moonlight” had a very strong performance by Colin Firth. And it’s always the younger woman/older man scenario, but at least focusing as much of this film on the young Jesse Eisenberg, the edge is slightly off that scenario, but only slightly. But it doesn’t last for long. Before it’s back to the Carell/Kristen plot-line. Ho-hum.Or rather ho-humbug.

Eisenberg, an actor I’ve always had trouble liking, is appealing in this, and more amourously aggressive than I can ever remember him being.

Kristen & Jesse 1

But try as they might, he, Carell and Stewart and all of the rest of this capable cast, just can’t rise above this bland, bland script.

I felt like I knew what lines the characters were going to say before they spoke them. Parker Posey, here a bubbly, throw-away blonde, is pretty much just window dressing. Corey Stoll is snidely effective as Eisenberg’s gangster brother.Blake Lively is, well, lively.

The only one who really broke through for me was Sari Lennick of the Coen Bros. “A Serious Man.” As Eisenberg’s hyserical, kvetchy sister-in-law and Stoll’s wife.

The biggest,.most consistent laughs in the film, and there are some, not much, but not enough, the most laughs come when Stoll’s character has killed some hapless or irritating sap, and throws the bodies into a ditch as a cement mixer pours cement on them in clearly a New Jersey setting.

Santa Loquasto has designed “Cafe Society” to a fare-thee-well and legendary lenser Victorio Storaro has shot it magnificently. It couldn’t look more glamourous, or be so empty. What a shame!

Do something NEW Woody!!! Surprise us!!! Don’t bore us…All our lives are too short for drivel like this.

#Woody Allen #Cafe Society #Kristen Stewart #comedy #Hollywood

Oscar Nomination Predictions ~ Best Actor and Actress

Well, this year I feel the BAFTA nominations have had a huge impact – on me personally. I find myself THINKING about them more than I have ever had in my Oscar life before. Now the BAFTAs can’t influence the Oscar nominations which will be announced bright and early Tuesday morning. The only day of the year I actually look forward to getting up that early.

They CAN’T influence the actual Oscar nominations, as I’ve said , but they can TELL US something that perhaps we’ve not seen coming. And REVEAL what a large group of voters, supposedly the numbers are one in six Academy members, are thinking.

And first of all I’d say they REVEAL that Julianne Moore is much more IN the Best Actress race than just about everybody under the sun in the U.S. has given her credit for for “The Kids Are All Right.”

And their leaving out of BOTH Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lawrence for “Rabbit Hole” and “Winter’s Bore” completely, shows us that these presumed locked ladies are not so locked at all.

We all can agree on Annette Bening for TKAAR and Natalie Portman for “Black Swan.”

And they have my favorite performance, who I also think is going to WIN, the BAFTA, Noomi Rapace, down for “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s”. Of course, she’s really being honored here for ALL THREE Steig Larsson films.  I think her Lisbeth Salander trumps Natalie Portman’s schizy ballerina. In British eyes.

But–

So my Best Actress nominees are –

ANNETTE BENING – The Kids Are All Right”

JULIANNE MOORE- ‘The Kids Are All Right”

NATALIE PORTMAN- “Black Swan”

NOOMI RAPACE-“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”

MICHELLE WILLIAMS- “Blue Valentine”

Putting Rapace in there is really going out on a limb…but…I do think the BAFTAS have pointed the way for this category this year. And I’m replacing their Haillee Steinfeld for “True Grit” with Michelle Williams. And I’m betting the Academy which seems hell-bent on honoring Steinfeld will put her in Supporting as I said yesterday. Which I think is where she belongs.

Best Actor, this is easier

JEFF BRIGES – “True Grit”

COLIN FIRTH “The King’s Speech”

JAMES FRANCO- “127 Hours”

JESSIE IRRITATINGBERG – “The Movie About Typing”

RYAN GOSLING- “Blue Valentine”

I think Robert DuVal is not going to make it in for that sub-par performance in “Get Low” or “How Low Can You Get?” or “How to Throw Your Own Funeral” which actually sounds like a fun movie with that title. But trust me, it isn’t.

Looking eastward again to the BAFTA nominees, I’ve got four of their five for Best Actress AND Best Actor! Now that’s an impact! Their fifth Best Actor Nominee is Javier Bardem for “Biutiful”…and he could sneak into that fifth slot, but I don’t think people have been watching the movie. Whereas they WILL have watched “Blue Valentine.”

“King’s Speech” Breaking Box-Office records!

I’m oh so happy to report that the brilliant, moving, unforgettable “King’s Speech” is breaking box-office records this holiday weekend in VERY limited release. Check out just how much, where et alia at www.indiewire.com The inimitable Scott Feinberg also talks about this and many other fabulous things at www.ScottFeinberg.com

He used to call it com.www.And the Winners Is…com

And he’s got an actual Academy member to write about everything Awardsworthy under the name of Deep Voice. It’s a member of the Writer’s Branch and is he cantakerous! But interesting. He thinks for example that “The Kids Are All Right” has got no nominations in its’ future, just Mark Ruffalo!(?!) And I agree that “The Social Network” doesn’t “make you care. It doesn’t move me.” But that nevertheless he’d nominate Justin Timberlake as Best Supporting Actor. That’s TWO nominations in that category, gone, from this guy, who can’t even vote for the Actors UNTIL they are nominated by the Actor’s Branch, come nomination announcing day. He can however nominate WRITERS in the two categories that the Academy has, Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay. EVERYone in all the Branches gets to nominate the Ten Best Pictures… but I digress…

Also this the coming Awards Avalanche week. Tomorrow night is the Gothams, where, probably “A Winter’s Bone” is going to clean up, and then later this week, on Thursday, the National Board of Review is set to announce its’ winners.

Update: It did. It got Best Feature and Best Ensemble, but no Jennifer Lawrence as Breakout Performer, which she was nominated for, but didn’t win. Does this help the film get into the Year’s Ten Best at the Oscars? Hmmm..(Sound of Oscar…thinking…) Hmmm….

The National Board of Review are a New York-based awards-giving group that has a LARGE portion of females in their membership, a rarity in this male-dominated business, believe it or not, and also many, many gay members. More so than most groups.

And judging by that, I’d say “The King’s Speech” is going to sweep. It’ll get Best Picture from them, and Colin Firth will win the first, but not the last of his many, many, much deserved awards that are going to be coming at him like, well, gangbusters. Mixed metaphor? But hey that’s what I do!

Helena Bonham-Carter should also score here where they consider a year’s work not just one performance like the Academy. So HBC should qualify for not just her shy, sly Queen Elizabeth in “The King’s Speech”, but also her mad Red Queen in “Alice in Wonderful” and her 15 min.(or less) turn as Bellatrix La Strange, the witchiest witch who witch there was more of in the latest “Harry Potter.” Now playing…

Best Supporting Actor…I think they are also going to go for Geoffrey Rush, here. And maybe also for Best Director, Tom Hooper. If they go for Hooper over David Fincher(who’s shooting the Milennium Trilogy in Sweden, and may not get back for the ceremonies in Jan. You wouldn’t think this would count against him, but the NBR wants all its’ winners present and accounted for. Yes, they do.)

Best Actress may very well be Natalie Portman, starting her awards march. She, along with Firth, well, the two of them are going to be seeing A LOT of each other as the awards season rolls out like a juggernaut over all our Oscar-filled lives…

Breakthrough Performance by an Actor could be the only award that “The Social Network” wins….Will they give it to New York native Jesse Irritatingberg? They like Native New Yorkers. So that’s what Natalie Portman, from Long Island, has going for her, too.

Or it could be someone else from “The Social Network” Even Justin Timberlake could score here.

I’d be very surprised if Jennifer Lawrence (who totally doesn’t deserve it) will find her week bracketed by awards. First from the Gothams on Monday as Best Breakthrough then by the NBR later this week. She’s got that blonde teenage mojo working…Whether I like it or not…And I don’t…

Update: She didn’t win the BreakOut/Breakthrough category tonight at the Gothams…and with all this hype, she certainly SHOULD have…but the NBR may fall for it…

Best Adapted Screenplay would be the first Aaron Sorkin win and start his line dance to the Podium at the Kodak.

And now they’ve just announced that Anne Hathaway and James Franco are gonna c0-host the Oscars!?!?! Sounds like a big mistake. Also this may eliminate BOTH of them from the race.

Personally, I LOVED “Love and Other Drugs” but it’s a zesty, sexy Rom Com, with a dash of Parksinson’s Disease thrown in…as an Oscar grabber… for Annie, which I don’t think it’s going to be. Rom Com’s almost NEVER rank with the Academy, especially in this crowded year for females!

And can Annie and Jimmy pull off hosting duties? I’m of the mind that yes, SHE can. Annie can do anything. Great inner resources as a performer. Comes from growing up with Mom as a actress and a gay brother. Talk about Drama!

But James is soooo laid back…I keep thinking of him in “Pineapple Express…

“The Social Network” lost…Jesse Irritatingberg, anyone?

I really was greatly disappointed by “The Social Network”

which I saw yesterday AM at the NYFF. I just hated it. And everything it stood for. YUCK! And I wrote a

LONNNNG negative review, which just disappeared when I hit “Publish” Where did it go? Let’s see if this

 works.

Hmmm….it seems to be working…but I’m afraid if I go on and on — and I was really seething about it last night it’ll be toooo long for WordPress to absorb or something.

I don’t think this is a film that the Academy will embrace. Especially with Jesse Eisenberg’s stilted , irritating

vocal choices. He speaks faster than anyone else ever has in a movie…I felt like I was watching a hyped up versioin of “West Wing.” “West Wing” with teeny boppers.

And people staring at screens? Giving depositions in a room? This is not cinema…It’s not “Citizen Kane” though it wants badly to be that. Its’ template is “Citizen Kane”. But Eisenberg’s Zuckerberg starts out as an asshole and ends the same way….No growth. No change. No depth. And we’re supposed to be SORRY for him at the end??

He starts out as an asshole and ends up a lonely asshole….

I didn’t care…Shallow, callow, ugh!

And I just kept thinking of how Hugh Dancy or Andrew Garfield(who should’ve been playing the lead) or even Emile Hirsch…would’ve added depth and some kind of insight into this vile, dreadful kid. OK. He has no social skills and the irony, o so deep, is that HE can’t connect though he’s connected everybody else in the world, seemingly.

The REAL Zuckerberg’s giving out a $100 million dollars to Newark’s  school system is admirable, but I didn’t catch Oprah.And Oprah has nothing to do with this movie. That was last year and it was called “Precious.” This is not “Precious.”

And it’s Very, VERY wordy. This is NOT the kind of movie that teens or fanboys are going to go crazy for. “Algorythmns” is not something that gets butts in seats. So a movie about a kid genius(supposedly) is simply too smart for  its own good.

And Sorkin’s script seems just WAAAY over Eisenberg’s curly head. It’s like casting Michael Cera in a drama. It’s something you just wouldn’t do. And director David Fincher can be blamed for the casting…He’s got this thing about turning all his leading men into robots. Like Brad Pitt in “Benjamin Button,” which I hated for similar reasons. I couldn’t relate to the leading actor’s performance. Ditto”The Fight Club.”

And this film is all Eisenberg, all the time. I hate to think of all the sensitive young actors who will be discouraged about going into acting when a flat, empty, annoying performance like this is hailed.

And some are indeed hailing it. Which is even more sickening.

I liked Fincher’s “Zodiac.” The leading performances were fantastic. Jake Gyllenhaal at his best. Robert Downey Jr. Great atmosphere…AND suspense. And the Academy come awards time didn’t care. Fincher’s is not a defulate Academy favorite.

This is not an Academy movie. None of the performances are good enough to be nominated IMHO. Oscarologist that I am….But the Academy are sometimes like sheep if the critics rave enough, and there’s a Wall of Sound yelling “This is a great film!” they may follow suit with nominations just so as not to look stupid.

AND then the was the President of the Golden Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press magnet who was seemingly FORCED to sit in the audience with the rest of us ink-stained wretches at the Press Conferendce and complained loudly from his seat that either Fincer or Sorkin or the cast or all of them, refused to pose with him for a picture. And as incredible as that soundss it something you MUST do  or you won’t get a Golden Glob nomination..

So it looks like “The Social Network” isn’t gettin’ any. Except for Justin Timberlake. They’d nominate him for Best Supporting Actor just to sell tables at their Big Do.

So tonight I went out to see a play for the first time since the summer when I enjoyed Al Pacino ‘s “Merchant of Venice” in Central Park.

I saw “Brief Encounter”, the suped-up version of the beloved Brit War movie by Noel Coward – here just trashed to death by a bunch of kitcshie Brits making fools of themselves. Skilled as comics, musicians and ventriloquists though this ensemble seemed to be, it is not something that can be sent up, like Alfred Hitchcok’s “39 Steps” so successfully was…It’s in THAT fashion. UGH!

But not as painful to sit through as “The Social Network” Jesse Irritatingberg’s voice was like nails of  chalk on a blackboard. EEK! I got SUCH a headache from that voice AND this movie and it’s upsetting me still.

Oscars? Well, maybe in a field of ten, if “The Blind Side” can get a Best Picture Nomination then so could “The Social Network.” Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay will certainly be nominated, I think. As badly delivered as t mostly was. The Writers branch will feel “Oh! At last a film where the screenplay dominated!” and they’ll nominate him for Best Adapted Screenplay. All these rave reviews….I just don’t get it….Except that critics today obviously spend too much time online…

A movie about Facebook? WHO CARES!?!?

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