Posts tagged ‘True Grit’

November 16, 2010

Gold Diggers: Actress Action

Since last week The Hollywood Reporter hosted an actress roundtable that was a quite enjoyable watch, I thought I would comment on the state of the actress race. THR had 6 actresses chatting at their poorly decorate table: Amy Adams, Annette Bening, Helena Bonham Carter, Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, and Hilary Swank. I think they batted 5 for 6 in predicting future nominees… but let’s step into the field and take a look.

I’ll show you how I go through my process. There are 2 strategies and I try and use both. There are certain categories that you can fill and choose actresses that you think will get nominated. Or you can eliminate people by mentioning some aspect of their chances that are polarizing and will ultimately fail.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Here’s the field: Amy Adams (The Fighter), Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech), Marion Cotillard (Inception), Elle Fanning (Somewhere), Barbara Hershey (Black Swan), Mila Kunis (Black Swan), Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Miranda Richardson (Made in Dagenham), Saorise Ronan (The Way Back), Sissy Spacek (Get Low), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom), Dianne Wiest (Rabbit Hole)

I’ll be very surprised if someone outside of these 13 names gets a nomination. It’s a very weak field and these are definitely the people with the most buzz. Let’s start with some eliminations. Elle Fanning is probably great, but I think she is the minor with the least buzz. Jacki Weaver has a very strong following, but it’s small. I don’t think many people will see her film, nor do I think her performance is up to snuff.

Mila Kunis is a little too branded as just a pretty face to break through, and I’m not sure the Academy will respond to her being the driving force of lesbianism in an evil way. And I haven’t seen Black Swan yet, but I don’t think Barbara Hershey gets too much to do as the stage mom. Black Swan is Natalie Portman’s show… but we’ll get there later. Marion Cotillard is Inception’s best shot at an acting nomination, but I think the her chances have deteriorated since Inception’s lost steam since the summer. A DVD release might do something, but I bet more for Best Picture win chances as opposed to her nomination chances.

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October 21, 2010

Life and Times: Damon in Demand

In honor of Matt Damon’s new film Hereafter AND True Grit, I decided to feature him as this weeks Life and Times recipient. And he is truly an interesting one. Born on October 8th, 1970 (Happy belated 40th!) in Cambridge, MA, his life took the course of many who live there – he attended Harvard University. He dropped out to pursue his acting career, a move that while risky, clearly paid off. After a couple of less than stellar roles, he decided to make his own luck.

That's when the big breakthrough happened. He and his distant cousin Ben Affleck, maybe you've heard of him, wrote the screenplay for Good Will Hunting. After the movie became a sleeper phenomenon, Damon proved to the world that he was here to stay with a string of lucrative roles.

Since Damon’s movie star life is, well, kind of boring and his big Hollywood narrative was the plot of Good Will Hunting, I’ll just include my favorite smattering of random facts.

– He quit smoking with the help of a hypnotist.

– He founded the H2O Africa Foundation, the Not On Our Watch Campaign, and is a prominent supporter of the ONE campaign fighting AIDS in Africa.

And let’s take a look at his awards:

2 Acting Academy Award nominations

1 Writing Academy Award win

3 Emmy nominations for producing “Project Greenlight”

4 Acting Golden Globe nominations

1 Writing Golden Globe win

5 Screen Actors Guild nominations

I think we can tell that he’s very well respected and is just about due for a few big acting wins.

My least favorite thing about Damon is that in trailers, they always say starring Academy Award Winner Matt Damon, but his Oscar was for Original Screenplay… I’m not taking acting chops away from Damon, but I do see it as a bit of a lie.

But maybe the best thing about Matt Damon is that he’s not afraid to make fun of himself. I think his response to his “Jimmy Kimmel Controversy” says enough, but I’ll also include what may be the best cameo in any movie ever made. That’s right Bill Murray… better than Zombieland.

And now for the composite top 10 list of Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB, Metacritic, and Flickchart. And this one’s a doozy. We have a tie for tenth AND a tie for first place! Which is why I’ve put my first poll question up – to settle this tie.

1. Saving Private Ryan

1. The Departed

3. The Bourne Ultimatum

4. Good Will Hunting

5. The Bourne Identity

6. Ponyo

7. The Bourne Supremacy

8. Courage Under Fire

9. Chasing Amy

10. Ocean’s Eleven

10. The Talented Mr. Ripley

October 19, 2010

Trailer Trash: Top Teasers

I just want to share my two favorite teaser trailers that have hit so far. They are both beautifully cut, thrilling, and they make me want to see the movie!

True Grit’s teaser trailer has recently been usurped by a lengthier, showier, regular (Worse) trailer. The teaser leaves out Bridges, Damon, and Brolin to instead feature Deakins sweeping images, a haunting (original?) song, and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld. And the barrel click at the end? Cheesy and genius! Great cut Coens!

The other trailer is for Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours. And if the trailer doesn’t impress upon you enough that it is Danny Boyle’s film, then you are as a blind as Helen Keller. It is interesting that they aren’t really trying to sell James Franco or even like Amber Tamblyn – not that she is anyone anymore, but it’s nice to see her. Mantle’s cinematography rivals Deakins and it should be a truly harrowing film. And the song has been playing in my mind for weeks.

October 18, 2010

Gold Diggers: The Best of What’s Around

The Oscar season is finally in full swing and week after week more trophy hopefuls will be released to the public for bashing intense adoration. So I’ll tackle a main category and sift through some contenders and interlopers.

BEST PICTURE

Let’s start with the big kahuna, the golden enchilada – best picture. If you don’t live underneath a rock you’ve probably heard the buzz for The Social Network. It certainly does “strike the zeitgeist”, or whatever terminology you want to use that means its of the here-and-now, and it also has a cool factor going for it. Aaron Sorkin? Really cool. Justin Timerblake? Cool. Facebook? Cool.

The King’s Speech is Oscar bait if I’ve ever seen it and I couldn’t be happier. Gentle British biopics are my absolute favorite (see An Education or A Single Man). The whole ensemble including Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter are supposed to be as phenomenal as the next and a biopic about a king with a stutter during WWII no less? A surefire hit.

True Grit is one of the only mostly unseen contenders and if it is the Coen Bros. typical standard of film, it will definitely get the nomination. Another outstanding cast, a surely well-written screenplay and that’s about all you need these days for a best picture nomination. Not to mention Roger Deakins… he helps.

127 Hours is my next safe bet, because Danny Boyle is now in the Oscar club and quite cool. This movie is supposed to be a little harrowing and I think it could turn out to be an edgier choice for the Academy. Again, good script, good actor, good cinematograhy = best picture nomination.

This formula, which should also include Film editing, is what will also ensure The Kids Are All Right and Inception, the Summer holdovers, for a nomination. Toy Story 3 has the epic box office, the Pixar Pedigree, and a probably safe slot for animation open in the top 10.

As my guesses get more outlandish, look to my newly found formula of Actors+Screenplay+Editing=Best Picture and when you see two weaknesses, start to worry. Onwards to Another Year (probably sans Editing) but Mike Leigh is well loved and the film has been getting great reviews.

The Fighter may not have the screenplay but certainly has the cast and the editing to push it through. While David O. Russell is extremely unlikeable, he has worked with most everyone who should push him through to a nomination.

I’ll finally go with Black Swan as my number 10 slot. It’s gotten great reviews and certainly has the cast, editing, and screenplay… it just may not have the support. But I think this might be Aronofsky’s time to claim a little bit of Oscar love.

Best Picture (In order of nomination likeliness):

Best Picture:

1. The King’s Speech

2. Inception

3. The Social Network

4. The Kids Are All Right

5. Toy Story 3

6. True Grit

7. 127 Hours

8. Another Year

9. The Fighter

10. Black Swan

 

11. Winter’s Bone

12. The Way Back

13. Blue Valentine

14. Hereafter

15. Made in Dagenham

16. The Town

17. How to Train Your Dragon

18. Rabbit Hole

19. Love & Other Drugs

20. Secretariat