Saturday, 29 September 2007

The Best Actress race.

Should have been HUGE!!

Milla Jovovich - The Gentleman Who Fell

Holy "Recount"!!!

From Variety:

”Kevin Spacey, Laura Dern, Denis Leary, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, Ed Begley Jr., and Bob Balaban will star in HBO Films' Recount, a drama about the 2000 presidential election and the legal and political maneuvering from the point of view of both the Bush and Gore camps.”

This sounds like a sure fire Oscar bate, but will have to do with Golden Globe status. The film starts shooting next month in Florida and is scheduled to air on HBO during the home stretch of next fall's presidential election. This is a smart move, but I would be good to have the film (if it is any good) open in theaters followed by a stint on TV. A political drama with a group of actors who have oddles of award nomination under their belt would not only guarantee box office turnover, but also TV viewership, especially at this time.

Thing get more interesting as the casting is revealed.

”Spacey stars as the former chief of staff to vice president Al Gore and one of the lead attorneys who challenged the voting results in Florida. Dern will play Katherine Harris, the secretary of state of Florida who certified that George W. Bush had won the state. Begley plays the lawyer who appealed the results and argued for the Democrats in court. Leary plays a pollster on the Democrat side, and Hurt plays Warren Christopher, a key player in the Gore camp. Wilkinson will portray James Baker, brought in by the Republicans to see that the disputed results held up. Balaban plays the lead attorney for Bush and Dick Cheney.”

Laura Dern playing a villain!!!! I am so there!
Then things take a turn for the strange and interesting. Not quite sure if it will a negative impact or not.

They have hired Jay Roach to direct (???????) a script written by Danny Strong (????? But oddly interesting)
Does the director of “Meet the Parents” and “Austin Powers” and Jonathan from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” have what it takes to do a political drama? Who knows?
I will be very curious to see the results, and we all know the dialogue will be zippy at least!

Friday, 28 September 2007

I love a good opening

The first 4 minutes of "The Kingdom". One word....WOW

Thursday, 27 September 2007

The Best Actress race.

Should have been HUGE!!

Nikka Costa - Like a Feather

This years race is sewn up!

Clint “you made a movie so we will nominate you” Eastwood is considering the upcoming Nelson Mandela movie The Human Factor as a possible directing vehicle.

Morgan Freeman has already signed on to play Mandela in the film, which is about how the 1995 Rugby World Cup helped heal post-apartheid race relations in South Africa.

Set immediately after the fall of apartheid, when Mandela was released from prison and became president, the film is an adaptation of the John Carlin book The Human Factor: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Changed the World. Warner Bros. is in talks to finance the project, and Matt Damon is considering a role as the team's captain.

Clint + Morgan + Mandela = Oscar. I mean can this really fail? We all know that Clint puts his all into a movie, and he will with this. I hope this gets Morgan his long deserved Best Actor Oscar. The man is a legend and deserves this trophy, not the one he has.

Sure I get annoyed that Clint gets nominated for EVERYTHING he does. I tdoes take the joy out of the race a little. However I do know the man has oodles of talent, and can get some great performances out of his actors. The only reason “Letters From Iwo Jima” got no acting noms is because…well….you read it here already.

Firstly though he is directing “The Changeling”, which stars Angelina Jolie. If she fails to win a nom for “A Mighty Heart” she will get one for this.

And the Link goes to….

I am all linky linky today as there are many great things going on in the blog-o-sphere right now (how sad does that sound eh?)

Firstly I am still debating if I am going to take part in this wonderful blog-a-thon. I love the subject matter, but I fear the films I have in mind may be too much of a stretch. Perhaps I can convince Jose to join me in it.

Speaking of Jose, he breaks down the Emmy’s for me (I don’t get em in London) and give big shout outs to two of my favourite girls.

Since I becoming obsessed with music once again I am delighted to have found Arjan’s blog. He has a stream for the whole of academy Award winner ANNIE LENNOX’s new album. An annie release is cause to celebrate. He also gives a shout out to fellow poof Darren Haynes and his hubby directed new video (I haven’t seen a cassette tape in YEARS!). Yay for the out gays!

Now to confuse you with similar names, Arden is back, with a new post that made me laugh. She muses on her life and the coming of winter, and gives a shout out to my girl Cherita

My New Plaid Pants has THIS horrific news. When will Anna get a break?

Cinéfest '07 is over and the cellar door has the low down (see the “Donnie Darko” references??)
Mainly Movies goes and gives Toronto the Oscar category treatment. I love nomination lists…they make me all gooey

The Oscar Igloo and Myles Hughes break down Best Actor better than I ever could.

My bible takes us through the the race as it stands now.

And finally The Film Experience goes and explodes with juicy tit bits and info this week. First up is his dedicated and thorough take on the Foreign Film Race
Here is hoping I see even more this year.
Second we have him spooging out his love for ONJ, and her shiny shiny hair. She was lousy with virginity you know? There is also a actress-sexual and gay man's fantasy video at the end.
And finally he goes and comments on Julian Schnabel at NYFF and talks about the possible upset in Best Supporting Actor (how cool would that be)


Wednesday, 26 September 2007

The Best Actress race.

News Shock!! Madonna's a Fake!

Well are we all really surprised. This had to come out sooner or later. All I have to say to the person who devised this plan is an big loud celebratory "BRAVO".
I have gone to 'Madonna's Thoughts' many times. I have always found it funny and has some good news and other info. The Mariah Carey dart board game is hysterical as well.

The best part is the comments people have left. Some got the joke and others felt cheated. To be honest I bought it for a little while, actually thinking it was an assistant, but when you think about it, do you really think Madonna's assistants have this sort of time? Poor things work 24/7.

Anyway, whoever you are, the joke was great, well done and thank you! Made me laugh all day!

Then again...maybe it is her. I can see so see her blogging in bed with Guy.

Jesus is coming...look busy!

Ever wondered what Jesus did in those middle years? Was he back packing across the world? Was he sitting with traveler friends getting stoned in Thailand? Was he partaking in beer binges in Australia? Was he skinny dipping in the Red Sea?

Well Director Drew Heriot will tell us. He is planning on directing the indie film “The Aquarian Gospel” which tells the story of Jeesy Chreesy from 13 to 30 (didn’t Jennifer Garner do something similar) as he raved it up big style, before Mary gave him a strong talking to “Jesus, you need to get out there and perform some miracles and get some disciples, the neighbours are talking”.

The Producers plan on using actors and modern day spiritual leaders in cameo roles, portraying prominent historical and religious figures that Jesus encountered.

Great…another bible movie. Just what we need, time to stir up the right wing Christians again. The casting of modern day spiritual leaders interests me. I bet the pope will be a right demanding diva. And who are they going to portray? I cannot for the life of me think who is going to play Medusa, Ghengis Khan, King Tut and Puff the Magic Dragon plus the various other biblical figures. Can you?

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Mini Review - Away From Her

You wouldn’t think to watch it, but “Away From Her” is written and directed by a girl not alive in 1978.
Sarah Polley shows such maturity and assuredness behind the camera that you would not be surprised to see a lengthy list of directing credits behind her. However, aside from a short film and some TV work, this is her feature debut.
And what a wonderful debut.

“Away From Her” tells the story of Fiona and Grant, and couple in love since they were eighteen. Forty Four years of marriage later they are still in love, although Fiona is slowing forgetting thing. First where the knives and forks go, but soon where she lives.
Fiona has Alzheimer's disease, and she decides to be institutionalized to ease the burden of her beloved. He reluctantly agrees and what transpires is heart breaking.
Polley never goes for the big emotional scene, the crescendo of music to entice buckets of tears, instead she goes for the reality and that makes this film all the more touching. She fully invests in her actors, a wise move.

Julie Christie is luminous in the role of Fiona. She plays her role with grace and ease. Her descent into the confusion of memory loss is played mainly in her eyes. In her eyes you see the pain and anguish, even if her face barely moves. An impeccable, if oddly hazy performance.
As the wife of a fellow patient, Olympia Dukakis has rarely been better. She shows such restraint and infuses Marian’s bitterness and anger with a desperate need.

The real star however is Gordon Pinsent. Such a shame Oscar will forget him, as this is the performance from the film that people will take with them. His quiet heart break is a thing of awe to watch. Even as he stands stoic and noble, you see his insides crumble with grief. He is damaged, yet goes on out of love.

Not much more can be said about this film that has not already been said. An assured debut for Polley. A few of the scenes perhaps needed more thought from all involved to ring true, but it still manages to pack an emotional wallop.B-

I want my Gay TV!

I was reading through some of the news stories on The Hollywood Reporter and I read the following blurb:

”The number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender series regular characters on scripted network TV has declined for a third straight year, according to the annual ''Where We Are on TV'' study by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Bonnie Somerville's bisexual Caitlin Dowd on ABC's drama Cashmere Mafia is the only non-heterosexual character being introduced in this fall's new batch of shows. There are a total of seven series regular LGBT characters, or 1.1 percent, on the five broadcast networks this season, down from nine last season. Six of the seven series are on ABC: Brothers & Sisters, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, and Mafia. The seventh regular LGBT character is Oscar Martinez on NBC's The Office. On the flipside, LGBT representation on mainstream cable networks jumped to 57 characters this year, including 40 series regular characters, up from a total of 35 (regular and recurring) last year.”

Are we really surprised? In main stream American media they try to pretend we (the gay community) do not exist. I mean across the pond gay cops are nothing new, nothing to bat an eyelid at. Most of the most popular TV shows in the UK have gay characters. All reality shows seem to fly the rainbow flag with pride, but not in the U.S.
Why is this?
Why can there not be a gay investigator on C.S.I.?
Gay men do not just have to be flower arrangers, decorators, beauticians, hair dressers, or fashion hopefuls. We can be cops, business men, out door enthusiasts, spy’s, hit men and even politicians.

Look at Captain Jack on “Torchwood”. He is gay, tough, sexy and hardly a musical number or fabric sample book in sight. In fact most of the characters on “Torchwood” are bi/curious (well the men anyway).
So refreshing to see it played out, especially in the very casual way it is approached. It is almost like this small “Dr. Who” spin off is trying something new and refreshing by “presenting sexuality other than heterosexual as normal. It is almost as though homophobia and sexual ignorance does not exist in Cardiff and people are left alone to love and lust after who ever they want. (if I thought that was actually true I would so move)

Sure there are very gay friendly places in the world. In America it is the coasts (the largest part however, the middle, is not). In England it is London and Brighton.
Then there is Europe which is pretty gay friendly all over – remember that scene in “Madonna: Truth or Dare” when the tour goes to Europe and that ‘weight’ is lifted after leaving the U.S.? Everone is happy and gay and having a ball? Well it is pretty much like that most of the time.
However the middle east and the soviet bring us back to the reality of the world.

Back to "Torchwood" check out this clip from the pilot episode.


We are normal, even in mainstream UK television.

As much as I loved “Queer as Folk” and “The L Word” is still longed for a real representation of what life is. We all mingle with straight men and women all the time. Gay men and gay women are (gasp…horror) friends in real life.

The reason I am thinking about this now is I have been watching, for the first time “My So Called Life”.
How refreshing it is to see a gay character in a high school show, who is not a whimpering sissy, and not being the victim of bullying.
Did I mention this was a U.S. TV show in the early 90’s?
It seems that gay men and women made such great strides in the media up until around 2000/2001, then everything went pear shaped and down hill.
Wasn’t it around this time that a certain right winged performing monkey became president?

Dorothy sang, and we took as an anthem, “Over the Rainbow”. I think you need to head a little bit higher darling.

Monday, 24 September 2007

The Best Actress race.

More remakes/adaptations/revamps

Again, from Variety:

"Jason Bateman has been set to join Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in "State of Play," the Kevin Macdonald-directed adaptation of the British miniseries for Universal Pictures and Working Title.

Drama revolves around a newspaper's investigation of the murder of a girlfriend of a fast-rising congressman, played by Norton. Pitt plays the former campaign manager of the pol who spearheads the paper's investigation, and Bateman will play one of the key reporters chasing the story."

This is all well and good, and I am very happy Jason Batemen is getting a career again, and it will be nice to see the sexy actor in a film with two other sexy actors. However I do have a gripe. When there are remakes, or adaptations I actually make it my business to see/read the original. It is something I just like to do.
Gives me insight and a platform from which to critique.

I am running out of time. I have so many books to read, and so many things to watch in preparation of the upcoming Oscar season, I can't keep up. It is exhausting.
Please movie makers, please, for the sanity and life of a movie buff in Clapham London, please write a ton of original screenplays!!
I will be so grateful. I still have not read "Atonement".
I am failing
Please help me.

(Or I could just not bother....I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED!!)

Michael say wha???

From Variety

"HOLLYWOOD -- The 34th Ghent Intl. Film Festival kicks off Oct. 9 in Belgium with three movies.
Richard Attenborough will be on hand for the Euro preem of his "Closing the Ring," which opens the Festival Previews section; the competition bows with "Die Falscher" by Stefan Ruzowsky, and Almost Cinema opens with Paul Freeman's Darfur genocide docu "Sand & Sorrow."

Attenborough's "Ring" stars Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer, Neve Campbell and Mischa Barton in a romance that begins in WWII when three pilots fall in love with the same woman."

How have I not heard about this?
I mean Richard Attenborough is a great and I had no idea he had a film coming out.
Where have I been?
But far more importantly can this affect the Oscar race? I mean Christopher Plummer and Shirley MacLaine! Need I say more.

In doing a little research I see it has gotten a few good reviews, mainly for MacLaine which is always an exciting prospect. I love me some Shirley I do.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

The Best Actress race.

Brother Grimm?

Thanks to the Film Experience, I was introduced and had the pleasure of watching Susanne Bier’s 2004 war drama “Brothers”. The story is about a man who is sent to fight in Afghanistan while his black-sheep younger brother cares for his wife and child.

The film was heart breaking and very very emotionally real. Great films like this usually get remade, and Jim Sheridan is an interesting choice, however I have to wonder if he is going to treat the material with the unsympathetic hand it needs to pull off the power.

The two lead men for the film are in negotiations, Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal. To me they seem far too young for these roles, but then again they are hot young things that are getting cast in EVERYTHING. Leonardo, who is also in everything, would have been a better fit age wise, or even (SHOCK GASP) an unknown.

Lets hope negotiations fall though and these two juicy roles go to some of the wonderful actors who I would like to see more work from. I am not knocking everyone’s favorite imaginary boyf and Spiderman, I just think they need a little break.