a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Oliver Platt’

“X-Men:First Class” is exactly that! Michael Fassbender is a Magnetic Magneto!

Topping the box-office charts this weekend and packing the fanboys and everyone else in  is the “X-Men” pre-quel, now called “X-Men:First Class” and it really is a first class entertainment. An Action Hero flick with pyrotechnics galore. But it’s Irish actor Michael Fassbender as the most magnetic Magneto imaginable that powers this flick into the stratosphere. An actor I’ve admired greatly in many smart Indie films like “Hunger”, which was on my year’s 10 Best List that year,”Fish Tank” and many, many more. He makes smart choices and smart directors seek him out.

And here he is in the role he was born to play. I never thought of him as an action hero. I just thought of him as a very, very talented, but underappreciated actor. Although he works constantly, his really good work in a big film of two years ago “Inglorious Basterds” went pretty much unnoticed. He was also doing sword and sandal duty in “300” in a Supporting Role.

Supporting roles will no longer be something you see him in because he’s the real break-out star of this very well done popcorn movie. It’s NOT in 3D thank goodness. I hate those glasses. They sometimes make me quite sick.

And the lead in this film is James McAvoy as Xavier, and he and Fassbender really make the chemistry, the human, acting kind of chemistry, not just the CGI- kind these super-heroes are constantly capable of producing really work. There are ACTORS here! And the best of the younger generation I might add, and attention must be paid.

I will go see every sequel to this prequel from now on because their dynamic duo dynamism is dynamite.

Less successful, but I don’t rate her much as an actress anyway, YET is the least deserving Academy Award Nominee of All Time Jennifer Lawrence, who certainly nails the babe-licious part of this character, who when she turns blue and scaly, often sheds all her clothing at the same time. Since I don’t think she has much range ALREADY, the blue make-up, with the yellow CGI cat’s eyes, made her look like she was acting more than she actually was.

There was a certain poignancy that she exhibited as Mystique and she’s certainly easy on the eyes. And VERY TALL. That they kept pairing her with the much shorter James MacAvoy (she’s his adopted sister, or something like that), I kept wondering how many boxes he was standing on or how many holes she was standing in, to make them look equal in height. But they do! That’s one of the neatest special effects of all in this special effects laden movie.

I couldn’t keep who did which effect and who has what super power straight, there are so many mutants in this movie.

Oliver Platt plays the small part of one of the only humans in this mutant-filled movies, but his only super power seemed to be that he was simply fat. But at least he WAS a human.

Kevin Bacon seems to be having the time of his life as the villain of villains here. You really need a score card to keep all the Super Heroes straight in this movie. I’m not an X-Man addict, so I can’t parse them all and who they all turn into later. Although I do remember vividly Ian McKellen’s gleeful, older Magneto. An Action Hero At Last! At age 60 something!

And one of the indelible moments I have with Sir Ian, was when I was interviewing him in his dressing room on Broadway back in 2001 and he had a Gandalf figurine and a Magneto one, too, and he made them fight with each other! Hilarious! He was on Broadway with Dame Helen Mirren having a gay old time screaming at each other in one of Strindberg’s more strident pieces “The Ghost Sonata.”

And my favorite Michael Fassbender moment was when I was interviewing him for “Fish Tank” and I was the one who broke the news to him about the death of a mutual friend, the great Irish movie critic, Michael Dwyer, and how he nearly burst into tears, when he realized he was here in NYC and was missing the funeral that was taking place in Dublin.

Michael has a great, sensitive soul and will make a great, great movie star.

Unfortunately, both these interviews were for print, so I never got either of them on camera, for my TV show, but I look forward to many, many more with these two terrific stars,James MacAvoy and Michael Fassbender acting their hearts out in and giving class to “X-Men:First Class.”

Oscar at Alfred Dunhill. The IFP Nominees Party.

So everyone, of course, was wearing black. It’s New York. It’s getting colder. It’s always black, black, black.

 Me? I was wearing my famous purple pants and cap, and everything else was orange. I POPPED in the room, needless to say. I hate going to parties and being the most famous person there.

But WHAT was I doing at Alfred Dunhill, probably the most expensive, exclusive ( it’s British, y’know. They started out making saddles…and er, moved on up…) Men’s shop in NYC? I think it outdoes Brook Brothers. But at least at Brooks Brothers, there’s some traces of color, some variations, in style, in selection. But no. These were all slate-grey to black SUITS. And you know what the word “suits” mean in Hollywood. The irony was getting a little heavy in here. And where were the Dunhill swag bags? Oh, there weren’t any…

Black, that’s what all the men were wearing, and all the women, too. Well, SOME women wore black skirts. Being all Orange myself, I felt like a Mexican at a Presbyterian funeral.

And the deepest irony is that this was the party for the Gotham Awards Nominees. The Gotham Awards being the East Coast equivalent of the West Coast’s Independent Spirit Awards. Since when did the Gothams get so chic?

The Gothams in a couple of weeks are the first awards ceremony of the New York season. A minor distinction because there’s virtually no ceremonies here. It’s all on the Left Coast, so being a New York Oscar blogger, well, it ain’t easy.

But oh! Suddenly, there was Scott Feinberg!

Who actually IS an Oscar blogger himself. www.scottfeinberg.com

He was started out at Awardsdaily as I did, and still proudly am, but Scott has his own Oscar site. I have merely this humble WordPress blog. And Scott flies back and forth from Coast to Coast. I, however,due to fate and circumstance, just stay here.

But Scott who looked like he should be or MIGHT be wearing Alfred Dunhill at any moment did have a few things to say. He was standing with a bright young lady from 42W who surprised with an invitation only on the day OF. I was supposed to be attending Anthony Del Col’s and Conor McCreery’s big graphic novel, of “Kill Shakespeare” launch party in the Village and they were EXACTLY at the same time. But when Oscar calls…you’ve got to go.

And what about Feinberg”s favorite topic of late? The Annette Bening/Julianne Moore duo of competing(for the Oscar)Lesbian Moms in “The Kids Are All Right?” He agreed with the Focus Features’ exec who was there(I was recognizing press and press agents, but NOOO actors, and no nominees) who said ONCE AGAIN, and with feeling, that both women are being “run” in the Oscar Derby, equally, and that all the stories and rumors about both of them, are nothing but “Stirring the Pot”. “It’s because it’s two women, and they are both playing Lesbians and they have to have something to write about. None of it is true. They are both equal.”

But the ever dapper Scott did admit that he thought Natalie Portman was the leading contender in the Best Actress category, and I concurred.

“Did you see it?” he said, And I said, yes, and that I agreed with him, and that I loved her in it.

“AND SHE DANCES?!?” I exclaimed,” Degree of difficulty!” The Academy counts things like that.

And then we both remarked that in the Hollywood Reporter’s recent  Best Actress Issue Roundtable video, Natalie Portman said NOTHING. And the others were all looking at her, like…well, through tense smiles I would say. Or gritted teeth. Judge for yourself at www.hollywoodreporter.com

The others were Amy Adams and Hilary Swank, both of whom very well may not be nominated, so what were they doing there? Annette Bening(but NOT Julianne Moore), Nicole Kidman and Helena Bonham Carter(who would be in Supporting, for both “The King’s Speech” and “Alice in Wonderland.”)

“Natalie Portman said NOTHING!” Scott exclaimed.

“She just sat there and grinned,” I said.

And I was thinking “Who does that grin remind me of? Oh! The Cheshire Cat! It’s a grin that says ‘I know I’m going to win.”

 And I agreed with Scott again. She didn’t need to say anything. She was the least needy of the group.

And we both again agreed on Colin Firth for “Best Actor” for “King’s Speech.”

“Yeah, he’s got it,” we both said simultaneously, almost.

And the irony of this Party for the Nominees was that there were virtually no nominees.

Except for Oliver Platt, who was wearing a full face of make-up. He was announcing the nominees for their new Genius Award, which is like a people’s choice award in that emails were taken from the public to determine the nominees.Platt was nominated as part of the Ensemble of”Please Give,” a film that went by in a blip.

I didn’t hear who was nominated as Geniuses, but I’m sure they’ll send me a press release list later, and I’ll add them in. I couldn’t hear because I was too busy going on an Oscar egg hunt with Scott Feinberg.

So besides Scott and Bryan Brown of  www.Indiewire.com and Oliver Platt, I didn’t recognize anybody. And nobody could point any of the nominees out to me. Not even the programmers of the Awards! “Producers,” I was told, “It’s mostly producers who are here.” But nobody knew who they were. OR what films they were with…VERY frustrating.

I do know that the irony of the evening was those rooms full of expensive suits. The kind of suits that Indpendent Filmmakers could NEVER in their wildest dreams afford. I certainly couldn’t. Maybe Scott Feinberg can.

But the humanity of it all was summed up to me by the dashing Dunhill Executive of All Media, Jason Beckley, who was British,and who I thought was a Nominee, an Independent Film Star, or at the very least a director, but no, he has Dunhill’s Marketing Director and just flew in from London for this event.

Marketing Director Beckley said, in all sincerity, that “Alfred Dunhill wants to be associated more and more with culture. With the Arts. With Cinema. That’s why we’re sponsoring this party here.”

And he meant it. And if that’s the case, it’s a good thing. And I’m glad I went.

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