Saturday, 15 September 2007

She is missed

“We have one more award to give out. Is Buffy Summers here tonight? Did she, um... This is actually a new category. First time ever. I guess there were a lot of write-in ballots, and, um, the prom committee asked me to read this.
"We're not good friends. Most of us never found the time to get to know you, but that doesn't mean we haven't noticed you. We don't talk about it much, but it's no secret that Sunnydale High isn't really like other high schools. A lot of weird stuff happens here. But whenever there was a problem or something creepy happened, you seemed to show up and stop it. Most of the people here have been saved by you or helped by you at one time or another. We're proud to say that the class of '99 has the lowest mortality rate of any graduating class in Sunnydale history, and we know at least part of that is because of you. So the senior class offers its thanks and gives you, uh, this."
"It's from all of us, and it has written here, "Buffy Summers, Class Protector".

Nothing small about Minnie

When “Circle of Friends” first came out, everyone was going ga ga over Saffron Burrows. I however, when not being distracted by Chris O’Donnell’s horrific oiresh accent, was transfixed by the plump and beautiful Minnie Driver, the films star.

What happened to her career? It all seemed to sky rocket after “Circle” and peak with “Good Will Hunting” two years later.
Minnie is blessed with a different beauty. She is not a typical Hollywood beauty, but she is beautiful. The woman can sing and act her socks off, but the Hollywood casting directors don’t take notice.

One could say it is because she played a bond girl and that can end a career, but her scene was over in a second. (guess Bond likes ‘em Sports Illustrated ready) She also got a role in “Sleepers” but with so many big male names, she got lost.

She shone brightly opposite John Cusack in “Grosse Point Blank” and had some of the films funnier moments (the funniest came courtesy of John’s sister Joan). That was out the same year as her Oscar nominated performance.
Her glory in “Good Will Hunting” was overshadowed by the fact her co-star and real life partner, Matt Damon, dumped her on Oprah Winfrey. Still she came to the ceremony looking lovely and smiling away even as another name was called out.
She has not had the career she should have had. Minnie should have the career of lemon face. Could she of not played Roxie Hart? Do you not think she would have made Ruby more than just squinty faces and shouting? Why has she not found the roles she can so easily play.

I think we should go back and re-cast Minnie in all of lemon faces roles. Would she have been as good in “Bridget Jones’s Diary”? Of course she would. Do you think she would have been better playing the lead female in “Cinderella Man” and “Miss Potter”? No Doubt!!

But like so many great actresses, Minnie now has to find new life on TV. She is apparently AMAZING in “The Riches”, enough to get a nomination for Lead Actress out of those twisted Emmy voters. Lets hope this leads to more film work.
Not only can she do drama, but she is “fantastic at comedy!
All you need do is witness her stealing scenes from Megan Mullaly in “Will and Grace” and Joanna Lumley in “Absolutely Fabulous” (turn the volume down for that last clip). I remember watching these as assuming that she would get snapped up by casting agents again. Boy was I wrong.
She apparently has “Ripple Effect” and “Take” due out this year, but I have heard nothing that what is on IMDB.
Any one who can make the filmic abortion that was “The Phantom of the Opera” watchable deserves to have a HUGE career (was she the only one who realized she was in a crap movie, and that going campy was the only way to survive it with dignity in tact?)

Lets hope that “The Riches” leads to some more film work for Minnie. It is always sad when real talent does not get the chance it deserves.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Musical Appreciation Class 4

Talking about musicals and remakes, please cast Toni, please cast Toni in either the story of Liza, or the remake of "Caberet"

Best Actress Prediticions

The top four are very likely. Ellen Paige, Marion Cotillard and Julie Christie are locks. Angelina Jolie is very very likely. Now for that damn fifth slot. The most likely duke out will be between Amy Adams, Laura Linney, Cate Blanchett, and Keira Knightly. Out of them all Adams is most likely to be the new sweetheart of America so she is in (for now).

The Top Five!

1 - Ellen Page is going to be nominated and as a young pretty thing, she could win the damn thing. She lost alot of precursors to Christie early on, but since has gained momentum. If the film is nominated, she will win the thing since she carries it.

2 -Julie Christie has made a big mark on the awards radar for her touching and universally praised performance as an Alzheimer’s victim in “Away From Her”.
At this point she has won everything, she could win the Oscar easily.

3 -Marion Cotillard had a difficult fight ahead of her, but now she looks like a front runner. Her performance of Edith Piaf in “La Vie En Rose” is sensational, garnering RAVES from audiences and critics. However is that the film was not nearly as well received as she was.

4 - Angelina Jolie is still gaining buzz for the early reviewed "A Mighty Heart". Some feel she is saturated enough though, what will her and Brad's daily tabloid goings ons. She is wonderful in the role, as GG, SAG and BFCA have agreed, so this could see her in.

5 - “Atonement” has been garnering raves all around. Especially for the actors. Keira Knightly is a star, and now it emerges that she is a very good actress. Now she has another critically successful film where she is singled out. Will the Academy LOVE the film?

The Next Five

6 - Amy Adams in Disney's Enchanted. Seems unlikely on paper, but remember that Johnny Depp got a nomination for playing lead in a film based on a Disney ride. The reviews are unanimous about her performance...she is brilliant, she has the GG and BFCA

7 -Cate Blanchett is becoming the new Meryl Streep She could see herself nominated for her performance in “The Golden age”, but the critics are not happy with the movie at all, and she may be wearing her welcome a bit with the Academy.

8 -”The Savages” will give Laura Linney another shot. She is very deserving, and the critics are behind her but no love from the precursors. Her problem is if not many people see the film, if they do, she is in. If she is nominated, there is a good chance she will win the thing.

9 - Jodie Foster is an icon. In “The Brave One” she is has been getting flat out raves from all the critics, although the films reviews less kind. She got the GG nom, she just needs a big ole push from the studio and an amazing campaign highlighting those great reviews.

10 - Nicole Kidman is getting great notices from a few critics for her performance in "Margot at the Wedding". She is also getting not so good ones. It doesn't help that her character is considered horrible and mean. She needed a Globe nod and a smart campaign and got neither.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Will she have the energy for "The Reader"

The Reader is a book that tells the story of Michael, a 15 year old School boy in Germany who meets a 36 year old tram conductor called Hanna, who cares for him while he is ill. They begin an affair, a ritual of bathing and making love, before which she frequently has him read aloud to her, chiefly works of German Literature (hence the title). The affair ends months later when Hanna suddenly leaves leaving Michael full of guilt, affecting all his later relationships.

They later meet again while he is al law school observing a war crimes trial. A group of middle-aged women who had served as guards at a satellite of Auschwitz near Cracow are being tried for allowing Jewish women under their ostensible protection to die in a church that burned after being bombed during the evacuation of the camp. To Michael's surprise, Hanna is one of the defendants.

The Weinstein Co. has snapped up the rights for the movie which will re-team Nicole Kidman and Stephen Daldry, who worked together on "The Hours,"

Based on Bernhard Schlink's international best-selling novel, David Hare, who adapted the Oscar-nominated screenplay for "The Hours," will do the same for "The Reader."

Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack are producing the long-gestating project, which originally was set up at Miramax, alongside "The Hours" producer Scott Rudin. Shooting is scheduled to begin next month in Germany. Ralph Fiennes has also been cast, probably as the adult Michael.

One can only wonder if Kidman will indeed portray Hanna from 36 to an old woman? The last time her and Daldry teamed up with a good makeup artist, the results ended in an Oscar. Could that be the ticket for her Oscar wins? Is she too beautiful for Oscar? Do they need to see her uglified to really see her talent? Who knows?

The woman is taking on A LOT of high profile projects lately…one has to wonder how she manages the time to prepare herself to find the truth in performance for each new character.

She has four very complex looking roles coming out in the next year or two, all of them appear to either be filming now, or in post production. How does one manage? Will she burn herself out and take a year off working afterwards, or will she phone in a few performances?

I find actors amazing creatures. How can they get inside the head of characters and then switch off, especially when the characters go through so much emotional turmoil. No wonder poor ole Bjork was frazzled and swore to never act again after “Dancer in the Dark”.

How do they do what they do, then skip over to the next project, and the next character?

Monday, 10 September 2007

Christian Bale - Hot Mo Fo

He is the thinking man/womans peice. Yummy with a big ole spoon. May you get your recognition...and soon!!

Some 2007 Acting clips

Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent in "Away From Her"

Keira Knightly and James McAvoy in "Atonement"

Keira Knightly, James McAvoy and Saiorse Ronan in "Atonement"

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Best Supporting Actress Predictions

Swinton, Ryan, and Blanchett are in. AS with Ronan, MacDonald, Dee, Keener and Redgrave, well simply I played eeny meeny miney mo and this was the outcome.

The Top Five

1 - Amy Ryan is getting best in show notices for the Ben Affleck directed "Gone Baby Gone". A fresh face is always welcome, and added to this she has just about won EVERYTHING. Apparently it is not an amazing performance, but she will be nominated, and could even win.

2 - Cate Blanchett plays Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There” and the gimmick may pay off. She is the main female in a film that will surely have alot of love, but strangely she has lost out on ALOT of precursors to Ryan. Could the ole Blanchett magic be wearing off?

3 - ”Michael Clayton” is very male centric. But Tilda Swinton walks away with one of the best performances. This and the precuror attention she has gotten should be enough to get her a nomination. She is respected and considered due for at least a nomination.

4 - Ruby Dee has a small role in "American Gangster" but she is said to be the voice of reason and has a big ole scene that may get the Academy's attention. She has been around for ages and is thought of highly within Hollywood circles, enough that they could nominate.

5 - Saoirse Ronan has just been cast in “The Lovely Bones” which means the girl has the goods to pull off a complex character. Without her performance the entire film would fail. Strangely she is not getting the precursors she needs. I think the Academy will rectify that.

The Next Five

6 - Catherine Keener seems to always be popping up at the Oscars. She has been singled out by both the BFCA and SAG for her performance in "Into The Wild" and this could easily see her slip in. She is obviously well respected, but this category is ripe for upsets.

7 - Only some one as brilliant as Vanessa Redgrave could have pulled off the ending to "Atonement". She gets the biggest emotional payoff and this could very well see her make it into the top 5. She is not as much as a lock as Saoirse is, but she would not be considered a long shot either.

8 - ”No Country for Old Men” may be all about the men, but early reviews suggest that Kelly MacDonald is just as good. Judging by the films RAVES, she could get swept up if the film takes off with the Academy. Plus Scottish girl doing a Texan accent - worth an award in itself!

9 - Jennifer Jason Leigh has been ignored by the Academy for a very long time now. It looks as though she will finally be on the short list with “Margot at the Wedding”. People think she is well over due but she has nothing to show in way of precursors.

10 - Marisa Tomei has been a Oscar joke for years!!! "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" has been getting great reviews all around for the cast, and she is no exception. In such a weak year for actresses, this could be the type of role needed to send her into the top five. No precursors though

Going back to Oz

I will loose valuable gay points for this admission (though my I LOVE Madonna posts more than make up for it) but I am not a fan of “The Wizard of Oz”. I was always intrigued by the Wicked witch, but I always found all the other characters tediously childish.
Sure the signature song is wonderful, and Judy tears the sh*t out of it, but as a child I was bored by this film.
I remember whenever Mum put it on to entertain me, I would be upset and demand “The Parent Trap” or some other Hayley Mills film (I was obsessed with her, so much so that me and my best friend Heidi used to play the movie – I was always Susan because of my short hair, but I yearned to be the well mannered, classy Sharon *sigh*)

The only time I appreciated the world of Oz was when I read Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. The whole world came together and the characters were all fleshed out and sympathetic. It made sense, and for a children’s fantasy story, it was extremely political and thought provoking.

As much as I loved the musical of Wicked, the book should really have been filmed as a miniseries on a Showtime/HBO to really do justice to the book, and the world of Oz created by Gregory Maguire.

So imagine my delight at the news that Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures are teaming to re-tell L. Frank Baum's classic story, based on an idea from comic book writer/artist Todd MacFarlane that has been fleshed out by screenwriter Josh Olson. This combination alone sounds like it would produce very very interesting results, add the subject matter, and you have one interested blogger here.

MacFarlane did design a line of Oz dolls in which Dorothy was redesigned to look like a S&M victim, however this will not be the image for the film.
This new Oz is expected to be darker in tone, according to Olson ''I want this to be Harry Potter dark, not Seven dark,'' Olson said.
I would be happy with something in between. Something more along the lines of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, but not so one sided. I hope Maguire’s wonderful story is not forgotten in favour of making the Witch just a villain and Dorothy just a hero. I hope they mix things up a little and try to combine both stories and do not shy away from appealing to adults and instead pander to children.

Then again, perhaps they can make two films, the second telling the story of Elphaba. Please oh please, don’t just leave it as the story told in the musical. There is so much more to it.