Friday, 16 October 2009

For Your Consideration

Best Actress - Catalina Saaveda

Well the raves have been pouring in for some time, but no one is noticing.

Perhaps is has to do with her being an unknown.
Perhaps is has to do with the fact she is not a Glamazon.
Perhaps it has to do with the fact it is a foreign language performance.
Or, perhaps, it is a combination of all of the above.

Whatever the reason, one should not ignore a performance that has been garnering so many raves.

Catalina Saavedra, ever since Sundance (where Carey Mulligan and, to a lesser extent, Gabby Sibide hogged lead actress buzz) has been getting the type of reviews that would make most Hollywood actress salivate.
“As Raquel, the housekeeper for an affluent Chilean family for 23 of her drab 41 years, Catalina Saavedra conjures a performance of such unflinching intensity and naked bravery in The Maid that at times it's painful to watch.” Lisa Schwarzbaum – Entertainment Weekly.

“Saavedra's brave, unrestrained performance as the strange and self-destructively territorial Raquel (which earned her a well-deserved best actress special jury prize at Sundance) is both understated and forceful, combining incrementally revealing facial expressions and increasingly hostile body language to reveal an intensely lonely and conflicted character.” Justin Lowe – the Hollywood Reporter.

“Saavedra is riveting as a servant whose unblinking focus on her routine masks a profound loneliness.” Justin Chang – Variety

“In a remarkable performance that won her a special award from the world cinema jury at this year's Sundance Film Festival (which also gave Silva's film its Grand Jury Prize), Chilean television vet Saavedra goes through one of the most uncanny psychophysical transformations I've ever seen in a movie without the benefit of obvious makeup or other prosthetics.” Scott Foundas – The Village Voice

“Saavedra, in an incredibly vanity-free performance, never shies away from Raquel’s darkest edges and still forces us to empathize with the frustrations and stunted loneliness of a life lived in servants’ quarters.” Time Out New York
I mean with raves like this, an Oscar Campaign should already be in motion, but alas I doubt there will be much of one.
Unless you are a sexy, well known actress, breaking the foreign language barrier can be a tough one.
Perhaps she can pull off a Fernanda Montenegro!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Trailer Park

So there are three trailers of note out as of last night.

Firstly Amy Ryan and Michael Shannon star in 'The Missing Person' a strange film noir that got some attention at Sundance, but not enough for it to shake up the awards race in any major way.
The whole trailer, music, cuts, scenes they show just look rather boring and lazy.

Next we have 'Dear John' with hunk of hunkness Channing Tatum teaming up with Amanda Seyfried in an Iraq war love story.
This is from the writer of 'The Notebook' and director Lasse Hallström so expect a little bit of slush.
It seems as though Amanda is positioning herself to have a long career.

Finally everyones favourite Jewish hating crazy Australian is back. Thankfully in front of the camera trying on the Boston accent - anything better than his Scottish. 'Edge of Darkness' is another vengeance film, but at least it is not a Mayan snuff film or some more Jesus torture.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

'Skank Robbers'

When and Oscar winner makes something that looks this good, you just gotta post it.

Paloma Faith

So on a whim I bought this album. I had heard good things and was curious as I am totally into this soul rival, even though it is very white in the mainstream.

I loved the album. Great pop tracks with a 60’s soul and rockabilly sound to them. Her voice is a mixture of Amy Winehouse and Gabriela Climi.

Paloma is half British half Spanish and grew up not far from where I work in London.
She was a burlesque dancer, and began singing just to imitate her blues and soul idols. Eventually she found her own voice.

She has also lent her voice to the new Basement Jaxx album. I highly recommend giving the album as a whole a listen to. Songs like ‘New York’, ‘Play On’ and ‘Upside Down’ are just fantastic slices of genre hopping pop.

By her album ‘Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?” now

I'll be the late night lady you won't recognize,
I'm a chameleon I'm always in disguise
I'd read your future but it's written in the past,
Take a good look might be your last

Don't try to show me, cause you don't know me,
Stay away!!

I can be wilder than the wind,
119 miles an hour,
I'm in a whole other dimension,
Dancing doubles on the floor,
You think I'm crazy, a little bit hazy,
But I'm stone cold sober

You're telling me something
But there's nothing cheap as words
I'm walking away before I do affect the birds
Excuse me Mr I've got other things to do
Than to stand here listening to you

Stop talking at my face
Take a rocket out to space and ..
Stay away!!

I can be wilder than the wind
119 miles an hour
I'm in a whole other dimension,
Dancing doubles on the floor
You think I'm crazy, a little bit hazy
But I'm stone cold ..
I can be wilder than the wind
119 miles an hour
I'm in a whole other dimension,
Dancing doubles on the floor
You think I'm crazy, a little bit hazy
But I'm stone cold sober

In the madness of the storm,
I'm the one to carry on,
I don't need no medicine,
If you're looking for a cure,
Don't be knocking at my door,
I'll never let you in
Take a rocket out to space
And stay out of my place

I can be wilder than the wind
119 miles an hour
I'm in a whole other dimension,
Dancing doubles on the floor
You think I'm crazy, a little bit hazy
But I'm stone cold ..
I can be wilder than the wind
119 miles an hour
I'm in a whole other dimension,
Dancing doubles on the floor
You think I'm crazy, a little bit hazy
But I'm stone cold sober

Hollywood Film Festival Awards

I already reported on the Julianne win earlier, but here are the other winners in various categories. It seems like they are creative categories just get peoples names in there who contributed to every good or money making movie out there.

Anyway, really happy for 'Precious' and if rumours are correct.... Hillary Swank won actress of the year - With Sibide and Mulligan honoured elsewhere, it could very well be true.
Hollywood Actor Award: Robert De Niro, “Everybody’s Fine”

Hollywood Supporting Actress Award: Julianne Moore, “A Single Man,” “The Kids Are Alright,” “Chloe”

Hollywood Director Award: Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”

Hollywood Producer Award: Ryan Kavanaugh, “Brothers,” “Nine,” etc.

Hollywood Screenwriter Award: Nora Ephron, “Julie & Julia”

Hollywood Breakthrough Actor Award: Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker”

Hollywood Breakthrough Actress Award: Carey Mulligan, “An Education”

Hollywood Breakthrough Director of the Year Award: Lee Daniels, 'Precious'

Hollywood Comedy Award: Bradley Cooper, “The Hangover”

Hollywood Breakthrough Screenwriter Award: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber, “(500) Days of Summer”

Hollywood Animation Award: “Up

Hollywood Cinematographer Award: Roger Deakins, “A Serious Man”

Hollywood Composer Award: Alexandre Desplat, “Cheri,” “Coco Before Chanel,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Julie & Julia,” “A Prophet”

Hollywood Costume Designer Award: Colleen Atwood, “Nine”

Hollywood Editor Award: Dana Glauberman, “Up in the Air”

Hollywood Production Designer Award: Rick Carter, “Avatar”

Hollywood Visual Effects Award: Scott Farrar, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”

New Hollywood Award: Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”

Hollywood Spotlight Awards: Shorheh Aghdashloo, Paul Schneider, Melanie Lynsky, Zachary Quinto

Did you know?

Helen Mirren had to drop out of playing the social worker in 'Precious' because her schedule was rammed. Who would have though Mariah Carey would be the most logical replacement.

Apparently it paid off.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


Wrote a piece about it. Want to hear it? Here it goes.

In a recent and rare post on ‘Precious’ over at Awards Daily, I was reading the comments just to see what people were thinking about the film. If they were excited, if not why were they not excited.

You know the stuff a crazy fan wants to know.

I also wanted to see if there were reasons people did not want to see the film. Perhaps they are slightly racist, perhaps they do not like hard and gritty films. When I came across this post by ‘Hunter’

At first I was really upset that someone could be so bloody ignorant and prejudice. Some other commentators came back in attack, but then the same person posted this.

Right I was furious. How could someone, not only be so crule, but be so un informed.
Then it occurred to me. He may just be vocalizing what a lot of other people think, but never would say.
We all want to give off the illusion of having no prejudices, sad thing is we all have them. What can be a simple oversight or action on part, can speak volumes about our inner ‘isms’ to someone else.

I for one have friends of all sizes, colours, heights, ages, and class. However when it comes to sexuality, I have very few close straight male friends. In fact, I think I have none, nor do I actively seek them out.
I fully admit that I am slightly heterophobic.
If ‘Precious’ was about an over weight straight black male, I would probably not want to see it.

Isn’t that bad? So, who would dare share their prejudices in the comments? Or perhaps safer yet, a poll. Go on, be honest!!


The Hollywood Film Festival is handing out its supporting actress award to Julianne Moore who now seems to be in serious contention for that elusive Oscar.

I am not sure how the festival actually works, or what films were being considered, or for that matter, if this award really matters at all (when they do hand out a supporting actress award, it usually goes to a movie star - Jennifer Connelly, Susan Sarandon, Sandra Bullock - only Marisa Tomei was able to translate that into an Oscar nom)

Regardless of the prestige, awards news this early in the year could be a good indicator of future glory.

I would love to see Julianne win, and if she is nominated for the Academy Award she just may possibly beat out current front runner Mo’Nique.

Now Mo’Nique has had the word Oscar buzzing around her since January, however one has to weigh up not only who gives the better performance, but also who is going to get the Academy on their side.

Mo’Nique oozes charisma and charm (cannot wait to see the cast of ‘Precious’ when they make their appearance on Oprah) but will it be enough to over come a woman who many consider should have won twice before?

Time will tell. Perhaps it is easier to imagine who you can visualize standing on stage accepting a win. Right now I can see Mo'Nique, in red with her hair swept up.
I just can;t see Julianne winning in anything but Best Actress.

If Moore wins, deservingly or not, it will be a big upset.

First though, they have to get the nomination.

He drives me crazy

Ok I thought I would post the trailer for Werner Herzog’s ‘Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans’ which premiered on the festival circuit. then I changed my mind, then I went back, and then changed it again.

I must say I am not a fan of Nic Cage at all. I think, most of the time, he looks like a anorexic Mr Potato Head with a bad toupee or really unfortunate Picasso painting. But I had to as the film has gotten some good ink - grrrrrrrr that good ink.

Why oh why does this man still work? Is it because people are still hoping he will have another seven years again, like he did from 1995 to 2007?

All I know is that his wig stylist needs to be shot. He is one of the few actors where the mere sight of his name just sends me brain to a hell dimension.

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

Who is Richard Pryor?

Bill Condon has been prepping his biopic of Richard Pryor for a bit now. He was all ready to go and he had his star. Dipping from the ‘Dreamgirls’ cast he had lined up Eddie Murphy to play Pryor. This would be one of those projects that would not only get fans of Pryor excited, but get awards pundits like myself all ready for the predictions.

“And the Oscar for Best Actor goes to….Eddie Murphy”
To be honest that is not something I really want to here. Sure the man is a talented comedian and was brilliant in ‘Dreamgirls’ but as a person he just exudes so much arrogance. Walking out of the Oscars when he didn’t win, dumping his baby mama via interview. Tacky behavior (I am still upset with Matt Damon for dumping Mini on Oprah) that does not become a star of his stature.
Anywho, due to disagreements with the studio is seems Murphy is off the project.
My guess, they wanted to get the project made and had no time for demanding ‘stars’.

Right now they are talking to someone who I think would make a MUCH better choice.
Marlon Wayans.
Sure movies like ‘White Chicks’ and the ‘Scary Movie’ franchise will make you stop and wonder, but anyone who saw his wonderful work in ‘Requiem For a Dream’ will know that the man has the acting chops to deal with the darker sides of Pryors life.
Apparently a 13 minute screen test saw Wayans transform into the comedian, at which point the producers socks (Chris Rock and the subjects widow Jennifer Lee Pryor) were blown off.
Here is hoping we get to see Wayans in ‘Richard Pryor: Is it Something I Said?’
Here is hoping he gets the part and doesn’t look back. Leave the ‘Norbits’ and ‘Daddy Day Cares’ to Murphy.

Mini Review ‘Up’

Up finally opened up here in the UK, and I dragged the bf to see it (he was not sold on it despite my constant raving “But it is Pixar!!!!”)

Although not as strong as ‘Ratatouille’ or the ‘Incredibles’ (my personal favourites) it is definitely up there with the best of Pixar.

What makes the films from Pixar so distinct is not the animation (although it is consistently beautiful) it is the combination of the voice actors and the screenplay.

Within the first ten minute, only the hardest of hearts would fail to be moved. You see the life of our hero Carl Fredricksen and his wife Ellie told in segments building up over the years as they have tried and failed to have a child and take the vacation they have always wanted. So much detail and emotion have gone into this that you begin to wonder just what is in store for the rest of the film – and whether you are going to be able to handle it emotionally.

Well the rest is a rollicking adventure with thrills, laughs and many touches of tear inducing human sorrow that thankfully never play out with obvious manipulation. Instead they pin point moments in the story to let Carl understand how everyone, no matter how old has dealt with some loss.

Major props go to Ed Asner as Carl and especially Jordan Nagai as the stow away boy scout Russell who almost steals the movie away, tough going when he is competing against a giant rainbow bird and a talking dog called Doug.

Pixar has done it again. Their ideas for stories get stranger and stranger, yet somehow more human.

Grade – A-

Side note: Boyfriend almost ruined a touching moment by declaring in disgust that Carl's wife Ellie was wearing crocs. He hates crocs. I am convinced that he did that only to stop himself from blubbing all over me.

Monday, 12 October 2009


Lars Von Trier is prepping ‘Melancholia’, and sci-fi “psychological disaster movie” and is apparently about a large planet that appears dangerously close to Earth.

Do not go panicking that he is doing a FX spectacular. Expect something smaller with good use of effects (a la: ‘District 9’) and a hell of a lot of human turmoil.
Von Trier's only word so far is that we can expect "no more happy endings".
Have we even had one?

He has done drama, musical, comedy, horror, now sci-fi. All that is left is animation, rom-com and western.
Would love to see a Von Trier animation or rom-com.

Let the wild rumpus start!

So the film has been seem, and the critics are all giving their two cents on what they think.

The over all verdict is it is beautiful, ambitions, and very serious for a children’s movie.
Some critics are loving the film while other greatly admire it, but have some reservations.

I am not surprised by this. ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ was not going to please everyone. Spike Jonze is one of those film makers where people either love him or admire him with a lot of like.

This could still find it’s way into the awards race, but that will become clearer once we hear from all the critics and see how the US public reacts to it (I predict decent box office with the film doing better critically overseas).

Not out of the race, but needs that rabid vocal fan base which I think it will find.