a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘The Dark Knight’

Batman Opens. I stay home.

“The Dark Knight Rises” is opening to the general public in a matter of minutes. The midnight screenings in IMAX are going for $100 a pop. So says the Wall Street Journal. I could care less. I’m glad that people EN MASSE can still get so excited over a movie. But I’m just shrugging it off…

Anyway, I couldn’t get in if I wanted to this weekend it seems it’s TOTALLY sold out!

I can wait.

I didn’t like “The Dark Knight” particularly either. Though of course, the screen just ignited whenever Heath Ledger’s The Joker appeared, and posthumously, he totally deserved his Oscar. Sad. And Frightening.

The only reason I’d want to see this film is Anne Hathaway’s Cat Woman. Oh, and Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate, who seems to be Batman’s wife in this.

Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone raved about the two women’s performances, but as I looked over all the Top Critic reviews I could stand on Rotten Tomatoes, NOBODY mentions Annie or Maid Marion except to say they’re THERE.That’s not good for Oscar.

The only one whose buzzing about them is Sasha. Still, there’s “Les Miz” where that TRAILER! That trailer for “Les Miserables” with Annie singing “I Dreamed a Dream” just hits it out of the ballpark! And if Catwoman isn’t an Oscar-ish role, the doomed Fantine in “Les Miz” IS. So Catwoman and the mega-hype and the mega-millions that “The Dark Knight Rises” is going to inevitably make is not going to hurt her Oscar chances, but I don’t think ANYbody in TDKR is going to get Acting Nods for this one. Just based on how the major critics are reacting.

Rex Reed’s review was so negative I couldn’t bare to read it. And of course, there’s the whole Marshall Fine~Death Threats scandal that forced Rotten Tomatoes to close down its’ comments section on TDKR. I am NOT going to go any further into THAT brouhaha, but you can read what Sasha has to say about it at http://www.awardsdaily.com.

I don’t think Marshall Fine will ever be FIRST with a negative review of ANYthing ever again. Oscar Grouch Jeffrey Wells loved it sez Sasha, but again, he, even if it loves something, he spoils it rotten in his reviews, so I guess since I AM going to see this film eventually, I’m just staying away from what everyone has to say as much as one possibly can in this Bat Blitz were going through. Just read the headline captions of the Top Critics at http://www.rottentomatoes.com That tells you everything you need to know, without spoilage.

Me? I wasn’t even INVITED to see it! I did see TDK in IMAX at at press screening, and thought it was too dark and TOOOOO long. But there was wonderful Heath giving a performance for the centuries…

It was like he was having a nervous breakdown and Christopher Nolan(the director) just recorded it. It’s like the camera was pressing him to madness. Or was he just going mad anyway? Poor Heath…

I guess the question is will the Academy having snubbed TDK, which caused SUCH a furor back in the day, will they nominate it NOW? Now that it’s the last one, and it’s finished? Maybe….

They’re NOT nominating it several years back for Best Picture is what caused the Academy to change that category to Ten. Then change it again.

Will they try to make amends now? Well, the overall favorable reviews indicate they just might.

Me? I’ll wait til the stampede of the crowds is over.

This also begs the question ~ Will the Academy FINALLY nominate Christopher Nolan? He’s been snubbed, notoriously, over and over and over again. With only five Best Director slots, will he get in or remain in the Comic Book Ghetto for several years more? Until he does something AWAY from Batman? The fact that the actors and actresses are not being praised(except for Sasha) then I don’t think it will win Best Picture, no matter if it surpasses “The Avengers” which was just total crap-ola.

And “Spiderman”? It’s like it didn’t even open…

And the weather in NYC was back in the heavenly 70s for a most welcome change! It’s been over 100 one way or the other for what seems like a month!

DGA announces its’ Nominees for Best Director!

Newsflash, Oscarwatchers! Dear readers, dear cineastes, the all mighty Directors Guild just announced their nominees. Five only. For best director of a motion picture 2010.

This announcement is RRREALLY good news for the nominated directors and their pictures. And bad news for those that are left out.

Some surprises, of course.

Tom Hooper, “The King’s Speech” His first nomination

Christopher Nolan, “Inception” Nominated twice before for “Momento”(one of my top ten films of the DECADE! And also, the Batman sequel “The Dark Knight”)

Darren Aronofsky, “Black Swan” Also a first-time nominee!

and the Big Surprise, the universally not-liked David O. Russell of “The Fighter” shows that yes, they like him, they really like him.

And of course, David Fincher, who was nominated once before for “Benjamin Button” is nominated AGAIN for that Film I Will Not Name.

Surprisingly, no Coens for “True Grit” which is doing so well at the box-office. Also, no Danny Boyle for “127 Hours.” Bad news for those films and though they may make it into the Oscar Top Ten, this puts their actors suddenly in a big of jeopardy, to put it mildly.

Also, no John Cameron Mitchell for “Rabbit Hole.” So Nicolle Kidman look out.

No Lisa Cholodenko for “The Kids Are All Right” and no Debra Granik for “Winter’s Bone.” So all male nominees. No women at all after last year’s great breakthrough triumph of Katherine Bigelow winning Best Director for “The Hurt Locker.”

Also out, I’m now thinking is Matt Damon for “True Grit” although Jeff Bridges and the awful tyke Hailee Steinfeld seem in the stronger positions in their categories.

Also, no Tony Goldwyn for “Convinction.” Not good news for Hillary Swank. Though I think the never nominated Sam Rockwell could surprise in Supporting.

Also, not good for James Franco’s Best Actor chances of “127 Hours.” I think he’ll get a nomination but without a directing nomination, “127 Hours” is in a much weaker position than it was yesterday. Although people aren’t going to it.

I think these five gentlemen are IN LIKE FLINT though as Nominees for Best Director at the Oscars.

Congratulations to Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech” who is the one who named me the Oscar Messenger, let’s not forget!

This group of five men are locked and loaded. So now we know…

“The Fighter” An Oscar Knock-Out!+ Other Awards News

I have to say, having just returned from an Academy-ish screening(it was mixed with guilds and obviously, actual press, too. I mean,was there!) and yes, it’s got Oscar nomination chances galore!

The audience at this screening seemed to love it, as I was tipped that the Academy would and they audibly did. That was born out by all the laughs and gasps and cheers throughout, though there was no final applause at the end. Every one left with smiles on their faces. ALWAYS a good sign for Oscar!

Mark Wahlberg’s passion project of many years has come to ripe fruition with him wisely surrounding himself with the some of the Best Actors in the business, like Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams, all of whom I think are assured Oscar nominations in Supporting for this.

So it’s a holiday feast of blue-collar, but blue-ribbon actors all trying to out-do each other in what is a veritable Oscar smack-down and SUCCEEDING mightily. Each landing punch after thespic (acting) punch in this knock-out of a movie!

Although this is a boxing saga, it’s really more of a family drama, being played out against a boxing background. This Lowell Massachusetts hard-scrabble setting, replete with Boston accents, gives Leo, Adams and especially Bale, career-capping chances to really go to town in an award-winning, Oscar-baity way. Are they chewing the scenery for Thanksgiving? Gobble Gobble. Well, Leo and Bale are anyway…but the Academy LOVES these showy turns.

Wahlberg OTOH plays it down, very understated, almost dour and lets the wildness of the colorful characters around him shine. And shine, they do!

Bale is unfogettable as his crack-headed brother who is also his f**ked up trainer. Leo is  their horrible Mother-From-Hell  who is also his money-grubbing manager, and Adams gets to play against them as the good girl who he hooks up with, and who has to stand up to his insane family AND SHE DOES! You are totally rooting for her to take down the dastardly, deadly duo of Mom Leo and Brother Bale. This movie is one juicy fight scene from beginning to end! Whether it’s in the ring, or in the living room, or on the front porch, EVERY one is fighting!

As Wahlberg is also the producer here (and Bob and Harvey Weinstein are also listed as producers, too(!) with Paramount the main distributor) he’s going to get nominated for  getting this made & helming this irresistible (to the Academy and I think to audiences, too) combo of heart, guts and BOXING.

Boxing films have traditionally been catnip to the Academy and this one, though the formulaic trailers have been misleading-by-a-mile, “The Fighter” will be no exception. So in a field of ten possible nominees for Best Picture, I say the “The Fighter” is going to score one of those ten best slots.

With Wahlberg so monotone himself, I don’t think he’s got a chance at an Acting nomination. But as a producer of “The Fighter”, yes!

It’s going to be a Golden Glove( and Golden Globe) bout between Geoffrey Rush for “The King’s Speech,” and Bale for this in Supporting Actor  and THAT match-up is going to cause all the major Oscar attention for this film.  And those two performances are so different and also so  juicy, well, it’s a delicious prospect!

And Melissa Leo and Amy Adams are BOTH so good that they are BOTH going to be nominated most likely. Canceling each other out, and leaving the win to Helena Bonham-Carter for “The King’s Speech.” 

When two actresses from the same film get nominated in Supporting it’s historically someone else, who wins. The last time I remember this happening was in 2001 for “Gosford Park” when it was both Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Maggie Smith going head-to-head in Supporting…and somebody else won. Jennifer Connelly in a year that there was “A Beautiful Mind” sweep.

Bale v. Geoffrey Rush, who is brilliant, but already HAS an Oscar would be literally duking it out til the last minute in Supporting. Rush, as the hilarious, genial ,but tough speech therapist Lionel Logue, who is the Australian Henry Higgins teaching Colin Firth(the King) how to speak, is going to be a Battle Royal(pardon the pun) with Bale’s junkie, who, though everyone forgets it, as also a Brit. Yes, he is. He really is. Remember him as the kid in Spielberg’s “Empire of the Sun”? Yes, that was little Christian. A child actor who has endured and ended up as “The Dark Knight.” Yes, that was him, the last time in the hood and cape. But all people remember from that film is the astounding Joker of the late Heath Ledger. R.I.P. Heath.

Bale, however, ALMOST overdoes it in the OTT category,but how can you play a character who is always tweaking, and not seem OTT, as well as ADD? Bale has lost a ton of weight for the part and as a  junkie who jumps out of windows to escape his harridan, chain-smoking mother (Leo), I do think he’s in contention.

It’s just that how much do they like Christian Bale? I mean, really? With that Internet rant to that poor stage hand being something that still lurks in people’s mind when they think of him? They may just make him wait, and give Rush a second Oscar for what is clearly the performance of the year.

But Bale’s never been nominated before and Rush has won before.  Me, I’d vote for Rush…but…it’s gonna be a fight to the photo finish at the Kodak between the two of them.

It’s also just a question of HOW many Oscars are they going to give to “The King’s Speech”? Colin Frith and Helena Bonham-Carter are both way out in front in Best Actor and now, Best Supporting Actress, too. Is “The King’s Speech” going to sweep?

I heard people discussing how there was one movie where there were lines around the block about ten days ago.  It was for a SAG screening and that was for “The King’s Speech.” “The Fighter” was well attended, but not full, by any means. And no applause at the end, though a consistently involved chorus of laughs and gasps, means they were involved. But  not as enthralled as “The King’s Speech” audiences are.

Bale has the best Oscar shot of the bunch of them. He gets to OD, and then go cold turkey in a jail cell! Now that’s what I call a PART! So Christian Bale will finally get his first Oscar nomination…

But will he win?

And in terms of other films…I heard when the New York Film Critics get together to vote soon, very soon. (“True Grit” FINALLY starts screening next week for all and sundry) that at the moment it’s still going to be a pitched battle between “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network.” So, what else is new? That’s the way it’s been since Toronto!

Except that today, “The King’s Speech” just got 100% from the Top Critics on Rotten Tomatoes! How can ANYone argue with those stats? Especially the Academy!

Harvey Weinstein must be having a very happy Thanksgiving indeed!

Coupled with women, who are just flat out refusing to see “127 Hours” because of the gore, and the arm-thing…

People, again it was women I was talking to, are not digging “Black Swan.” ‘It ruins ‘Swan Lake'” one balletomane told me. But ballet lovers are going to be in the minority of AMPAS.

But then, of course, WOMEN are not the majority of the AMPAS voters. The SWORM are. Single White Old Rich Men…

And EVERYbody is digging Michael Douglas’ performance in “Solitary Man.”

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