a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Stephen Hawking’

Gay Filmmaker Richard Glatzer Passes at 63 from ALS

The great filmmaker Richard Glatzer has passed from the crippling disease ALS. He was 63. He and his partner Wash Westmoreland, who does most of the talking in this interview, was by his side for the past 20 years.

This interview takes place on the steps of the Courthouse in Newport, Rhode Island, where their break-through film “Quincenara” was the Opening Night sensation in the summer of 2005.

As in most small festivals, you end up hanging out with the friendliest face and that for sure was Richard.

Unbelievably, he developed ALS, the same disease that struck Stephen Hawking, and that Eddie Redmayne just won an Oscar for portraying a few weeks back. And even more poignantly, neither Richard nor Wash could attend the Oscars, seeing Julianne Moore win for their film “Still Alice.”

Moore had been saying that Richard was effected also by early on-set Alzheimer’s, which was what the movie was about, but in her final Oscar acceptance speech, she admitted, at last, it was ALS. And unlike Stephen Hawking who is still alive and vital today in his ’70s, Richard’s disease progressed extremely rapidly.

He was a talented, genial spirit, a fellow native New Yorker. It’s a great loss to the independent film community, to the gay community and to the world.

R.I.P. Richard.

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Back and Forth on the Eddie R. Smear Campaign. Why It Won’t Work.

Golden Eddie 2Sasha Stone at http://www.awardsdaily.com just wrote a piece on Kris Tapley’s piece at http://www.hitfix.com and I responded. Here’s what I wrote ~

“I too actually LIKED “Jupiter Ascending”. And wrote about it at length on my blog. Click on my name above^ and you’ll get there. I was F.U.N. And Eddie R. brilliant actor that he is, was really quite scarily terrific as the evil queen of the universe. And yes, he was playing camp to the max, but he did it SO WELL. I mean at one moment with the REAL queen(in this movie) of the universe, Mila Kunis, he got actually, totally demonic.

And yes, the script required that he scream at the top of his lungs, and vocal range, so he did.And the audience roared. It was a joke, OK? It’s comic. They were SUPPOSEDLY to laugh.

There’s good camp and there’s bad camp. I admittedly decided to check my brain at the door, as I say, on my blog. And I did. And I enjoyed it for its’-so-bad-it-good unbelievable factor, and the visuals are stunning. And Channing Tatum? In Imax and 3D? What’s not to like?
All this Eddie R smear stuff, by Jeffrey Wells at http://www.Hollywood-elsewhere.com, particularly, is people just grabbing ,as they say, a meme and riding it for all the hits they can get. JW in particular this Oscar season has been complaining how boring it is, because Julianne Moore, J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette are soooo locked.

And the only movement at all is in the Best Actor race, and JW is VERY afraid that “Birdman” is going to lose everything. Like “American Hustle” did last year. And I think that may be what’s happening.
As exalted a source as Harvey Weinstein himself said that Richard Linklater is going to win the DGA tonight. And JW will have a very entertaining meltdown-to-end-all-meltdowns. And his hits will stay high, which is really all he cares about anyway. In case there was some doubt.

There’s just been nothing else to write about this week, so he and those like him have to come up with SOMEthing. Bravo, to Kris Tapley by the way.”

This is just some posters, some Oscar “pundits”, looking to resurrect Eddie Murphy’s Oscar loss as a “Norbit” moment. This was for his role in “Dreamgirls”, which seems like light years ago. Everybody thought it was going to get nominated for Best Picture, then it didn’t. Jennifer Hudson won for Supporting Actress that year, in what was once again category fraud. She was playing the lead, Effie White.

And Eddie Murphy had the TRULY supporting role as James “Thunder” Early, and while he was very good in what he had to do, I always felt he was just missing ONE crucial scene that could’ve locked in his Oscar chances. He lost, famously, to Allan Arkin for “Little Miss Sunshine.” And at the time of the Oscar voting, which is NOW  btw, his “Norbit” film opened with him plastered all over Hollywood and creation as a very, very fat black woman.

And this was supposed to have lost him his Oscar, and Eddie M. ran screaming from the ceremony. Talk about screaming queens. He immediately left when Alan Arkin won. I wish we had pictures of his more-than-hasty exit.

But Eddie Redmayne is a serious actor giving a serious, actually iconic, performance as Stephen Hawking in “A Theory of Everything.” And this smear moment is Jeffrey Wells and others attempts to stop Eddie R.’s momentum going into the Best Actor race, which started yesterday. Jeff you see is all-in on “Birdman”. I hate to think what is going to happen, as I said, in my “Awardsdaily” comment, if “Birdman” loses EVERYthing to “Boyhood” (and to “Grand Budapest Hotel”) and ends up with a goose egg on Oscar night which is two and a half weeks away.

Wells actually refers to Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair as “a gimmick”!

Mary Dugan, PLEASE!

“Jupiter Ascending” is Fun. It’ll probably make millions

Jupiter EddieI’ve never been an out-and-out Wachowski Bros. geek. “The Matrix” was OK, but it didn’t rock my world. And the sequel, then the three-quel just got worse and worse. But they in no way prepared me for the indecipherable “Cloud Atlas”, but I sat through the WHOLE thing, thoroughly befuddled beyond belief. And wanting to leave at every edit.

So going into “Jupiter Ascending” ONLY because Oscar front-runner Eddie Redmayne is in it, I wisely decided to check my brain at the door, and just enjoy whatever little there might be to enjoy in the over-the top visuals,Redmayne’s performance, and Channing Tatum in IMAX 3-D. And you know something? I actually did.

The audience was laughing, it’s true, and they left chattering and smiling. It was a packed press house, and yes, Virginia, there is STILL a vast audience for empty-headed, eye-popping extravaganzas, which “Jupiter Ascending” really is. And I predict it will make millions.

There’s really nothing like it out there right now at the Mega-plex, and the whole thing is so damned enjoyable, that I don’t see it effecting anyone’s career negatively, especially not Redmayne’s. He’s actually demonic as hell as Balem Abrasax(gotta love that name. I’m sure it’s an anagram for SOMEthing.) and actually scary when he needs to be.

A vampirish villain-to-end-all-villains just when you thought there was nothing new under the villain sun. And Redmayne acts the hell out of the cheesy/hilarious dialogue he’s given. He has the daunting task of having  to top all those super-colossal special effects, and y’know something? He DOES!

He INHALES all his lines in a very deep basso voice we’ve never heard him use before. And when he gets upset at his useless underlings, he starts SHRIEKING like, well, like a screaming queen. Which is what he is playing.

He does it so well, and the Wachowskis(one of whom, Lana, is the only transexual filmmaker turning out features to the tune of $175 million budgets) really seem to be having the time of their lives blowing up everything and turning everyone into aliens. And y’know what? It was good ole fashioned pop-corn fun.

And the Academy is not going to hold this against Oscar frontrunner for Best Actor Redmayne. He’s got a supporting role. It’s Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis(she’s Jupiter, he’s the hero)’s names and faces who are on the billboards. The Academy is not going to see a film like this for the unwashed masses.

And his Stephen Hawking is a hero, and a heroic acting achievement in “The Theory of Everything” that I’m sure is going to sweep the BAFTAS the day after tomorrow.

The Academy Voters aren’t going to see a movie like this. And Redmayne is such a delicious, memorable villain, they’ll applaud his range and his ability of make lemonade out of, well, y’know.

And the Wachowskis will be laughing all the way to the bank,

Eddie Redmayne Wins Best Actor SAG!!!!!!

Theory 6WOWOWOW! Eddie Redmayne just won the Best Actor Award at SAG for “The Theory of Everything.” Playing the multi-disabled astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, Redmayne had to literally twist himself into a pretzel, literally and figuratively. Congratulations, Eddie!

This is a very important win for him. People kept saying it w as going to go to Michael Keaton for “Birdman” which just won the Producer’s Guild Award LAST night for “Best Picture” trouncing “Boyhood”, the presumed front-runner.

But this is his FELLOW actors chiming in. And the actors know, Redmayne was playing a CHARACTER, whereas Keaton was playing himself in “Birdman.” Not such a difficult feat.

“The Degree of Difficulty” the actors always go for that. This is just tremenous good news!!! I’m so happy for Eddie!

And also if we throw ourselves back a couple of years ago, this is where Jean DuJardin won for “The Artist.” And then he went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor.

The guild awards reveal A LOT. What the industry, not the critics are thinking. And now this puts Eddie in the pole position to win at the Oscars. And he’s only 33! Plus, lest we forget he just won the Golden Globe Award, too, for Best Actor Drama.

WOWOWOW!!!

“American Sniper” Sound & Fury Signifying It Will Win Both Sound Oscars

Here I go again, cut and pasting a reply to yet ANOTHER tumultuous, magnificently written piece on “American Sniper”s chances now that it’s become Ben-Hur. Read, by all means, what Sasha Stone has to say at http://www.awardsdaily.com. She’s been doing this day after day. I don’t know how she does it, but she does it. She’s one of our great writers. She sets the bar so high, and then keeps raising it!Younger EddieBradley Cooper 2

And here is what I said in my reply to this hot button topic ~(PS: I was in a bus crash today, which I wrote about but didn’t get posted in this section. Don’t know how to move it to here. Tech-tarded still. After all these years.)

“ANOTHER brilliant, impassioned piece of writing from Sasha, analyzing this past weekend’s rather astounding events at the box-office.

Sasha hasn’t dragged politics in to this year’s Oscar race, the movies themselves have, like it or not.

Tom O’Neill was raving about “American Sniper” on Entertainment Tonight for “livening up the Oscar race.” It DID look pretty boring and predictable, more so than ever, with Moore, Arquette and Simmons having all their categories, Best Actress and the two Supporting categories laid down in Grauman’s Chinese cement already.

But now comes “American Sniper” and SUDDENLY there’s actually something to DEBATE about. Something to write about for the blogosphere. But they are not Academy voters.

The Academy still has many members who DON’T EVEN HAVE A COMPUTER!?!? But are too ashamed to admit it, and the average age is 80 or 85. Not 62. As they are saying. Just attend an actual academy screening and the number of walkers and wheelchairs lined up at the back is staggering.

That said, “AS” doesn’t have a chance with the Left-leaning Academy. R U kidding me? It will never win Best Picture. They will think. “It’s gotten the $. It doesn’t need the awards” but it just might get something. Like the two sound awards! Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing.

Now, as far as Best Actor, if the sudden attention being paid to Bradley Cooper, translates into actual votes(and I wonder about that), it’s Michael Keaton who gets hurt by this. And the people who were going to vote for Eddie Redmayne are still going to vote for Eddie Redmayne.

He’s playing a heroic, triumphant character, a real person, a genius, Stephen Hawking, who’s ALIVE. IN SPITE OF EVERYTHING.And he’s playing a CHARACTER. Not himself, or a version of himself as Michael Keaton is doing in “Birdman.”

Bradley Cooper may win an Oscar some day, but no GG, SAG, etc. percursor love, kills his chances but allows him to take “steak eater” votes away from Keaton. Everybody knows he’s going to get a Tony for Best Actor this year for “Elephant Man” on Broadway, and every other award, too. They’ll let that be enough for him for this year. And vote for Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything.”

And watch out for “Grand Budapest”! It could win the SAG Ensemble this Sunday and then everything will be up for grabs! Topsy-Turvy!”

Post Golden Globes ~ Big Winners, Big Losers, What Next?

Golden Eddie 2Tilda GrandPost Golden Globes, what’s the story? Some films won big. There were two major surprises in the top categories, and some films really went down in flames. What does it mean in terms of the Oscars? Well, actors are able to debut or audition, if you will, their winning personalities and speeches. The biggest surprise of the night, but not for me, or anyone reading this blog, is that Eddie Redmayne triumphed in Best Actor Drama for his stupendous performance as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.” He’s playing a real person. Check. He’s playing disabled. Check. He’s British. Check. Yep, he could win Best Actor at the Oscars. His next test is  at SAG, which is coming up soon.

But next, tomorrow, in fact, is the DGA announcements of their five nominees for Best Director and if James Marsh, the director of “The Theory of Everything”, who has already won an Oscar in the past for his directing of the doc “Man on the Wire”, if James Marsh turns up as a surprise nominee among the five honorees, it will cement the momentum of “Theory”.

Also, the other surprise win of the night(But again, not to me or to you, dear readers, dear cineastes) was the grand “Grand Budapest Hotel” winning Best Comedy/Musical over “Birdman.” If “Budapest”s director, Wes Anderson’s name comes up there, as I expect it certainly will, it, too, will confirm the momentum that “Budapest” seems to be enjoying. This is after 11 BAFTA nominations last week.

The biggest losers of the night were “Imitation Game” which went home empty-handed. I wonder now if Benedict Cumberbatch even gets nominated. Eddie may have just knocked him out of contention. Just saying…

Also batting zero was “Foxcatcher” which is now in its’ death throws in terms of the Awards race. The much maligned “Selma” only managed Best Song, which is pretty embarrassing, for such a great, important film. And also “Gone Girl” got nothing. Ditto “Into the Woods.”

And what’s next after the DGA? On Thursday morning, bright and early, the Oscar Nominations themselves will be announced.

Can’t wait!

 

A.C.E. announce! The Importance of Editing to Oscar

Nightcrawler 2The A.C.E. or the Eddies, the Editing organization that the public may not know about, but the industry sure does, just announced their nominees and this year in their two film categories there were 11(!) nominations.  Six in Drama and Five in Musical/Comedy, like the Golden Globes. There was a tie in the Drama category, but they’re not saying who or which film. Including “Nightcrawler”, they were “Gone Girl,” “Boyhood”, “Imitation Game” and “Whiplash.” And the also surprising last minute, late comer to the race,  Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper.”

The importance of editing as the central or key aspect in film-making today and in the awards season race, can not be underestimated. And also, no Best Picture has won without at least an Eddie nomination, Which is bad news for “Selma”.

If I had it to do over again, I’d study film-editing myself. Sometimes you feel like you’ve missed your calling and I think about trying to start to learn how to edit everyday. But I digress…

The guilds are the first REAL sample of how the industry is feeling this year about the Oscars. All the other awards so far are mainly voted on by CRITICS! And there are NO critics or press in the Academy.

There ARE press agents, but they only are allowed to nominate five pictures for Best Film, as one small for instance. When the nominations are announced they THEN get to vote in all the categories, but this is Phase I, the nomination phase. In fact, Academy members are nominating right now as we speak.

And next to the VAST Actor’s Branch, the second branch that really has a say, I think, is the Editor’s Branch. Not all the members of A.C.E. are IN the editors branch, by the way, but it’s a pretty good indicator.

And what’s surprising about today’s announcements, is what was left in that wasn’t expected, like for instance “Nightcrawler” (on my year’s 10 Best List for sure) and also the late opening Clint Eastwood “American Sniper” starring Bradley Cooper.

Nobody expected either of them to make it and that means they may make it into the Best Picture race at the Oscars. Left out was “Selma”. Which is kind of shocking, with all the supposed momentum that is building for it. But maybe it’s not. Also left out, I’m sorry to say was my fave “The Theory of Everything.” Watch for the Oscar nominations to correct that in two weeks.

But Jake Gyllenhaal has started really picking up nomination speed with nods from the Golden Globes, SAG, and the Broadcast Film Critics. And now this.”Nightcrawler” has LEGS! As many legs as a centipede, it seems.

http://www.hitfix.com has the rest with spirited analysis by their great Kris Tapley and Gregory Ellwood. The complete list is there.

And on Monday, the Producer’s Guild is set to announced its’ list of ten nominees for Best Picture. The PGA as it’s called was the first group to vote for “The King’s Speech,” when they voted for their winner that year when everyone else up to that point was going “The Social Network,” a film that I STILL intensely dislike. I still think of it as “The Joy of Typing.”

The PGA even more than the A.C.E. Eddies are ALLLL mostly Academy Members. They have ten slots and use a preferential ballot, like the Oscars do.

So films that are on the edge of the Oscar bubble, like for instance “Gone Girl,” “Nightcrawler”, “American Sniper,” “Unbroken,” “Into the Woods”, “A Most Violent Year” or “Whiplash” will find their hopes either raised or dashed on Monday.

I think frontrunners like “Boyhood”, “Birdman”, “Imitation Game” and “The Theory of Everything” will all be on the Producer’s List. And “Selma”, too, even though it was left off the A.C.E. Eddie’s today.

Never underestimate the importance of film editors. They silently run the show, and year after year do great unsung work that is respected and admired by the industry. These are the first voters we’ve heard from who REALLY count.

So who do these Eddie Nods help? For sure, Jake Gyllenhaal’s bid to get in to the extremely tight Best Actor Oscar race. It could help give “Nightcrawler” Best Picture cred, too. And don’t forget the wonderful 60-year-old-but-still-glamourous Rene Russo, who could get swept into the Supporting Actress race. Why not? She certainly deserves it.

And what of Bradley Cooper and “American Sniper”? Well, we shall see what we shall see.

 

 

 

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