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Posts Tagged ‘Burlesque’

Wednesday January 12th, 2011

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 1/12/11

  • Movieline: Jen Yamato surveys several awards pundits, including yours truly, about the best picture prospects of “127 Hours,” which some believe have faded in recent weeks, but which I argue are just as strong as ever because of the preferential balloting system. Yes, many Academy members can’t bring themselves to watch the film at all due to the much-discussed farewell-to-arm scene that looms over it, but the majority of those who do see it realize that the film is about so much more than just that moment, and place it high on their ballots. In the era of 10 best pictures, a film that receives a relatively small number of highly-placed votes can easily snag a spot from a film that receives a large number of votes low on the ballot.
  • The Odds: Steve Pond breaks the news that Ryan Kavanaugh, the founder and CEO of Relativity Media and a producer of “The Fighter,” has lost an appeal to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Producers Branch executive committee to have his name listed as one of the film’s producers. “According to the three sources close to the film,” Pond writes, Kavanaugh “took his case to the Academy after the Producers Guild of America had ruled that only three of the film’s six listed producers warranted a ‘produced by’ credit, and a PGA nomination.” Pond notes that both the PGA and AMPAS “have rules that in most circumstances limit the number of nominated producers to three,” and that “a successful AMPAS appeal would have been Kavanaugh’s last chance to land an Oscar nomination.”
  • Inside Movies: Lisa Schwarzbaum, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle (the world’s oldest film critics body), writes about the behavior of Armond White, the “notoriously contrarian” film critic of the New York Press and current president of the NYFCC, at Monday night’s 76th annual NYFCC awards ceremony, which he emceed. Schwarzbaum says that she debated whether it was appropriate to talk “inside-baseball about an organization to which I belong,” but then “got to thinking about the damage done” by White’s mean-spirited remarks — which, according to Schwarzbaum and other reports, provoked reactions from the stage from director director Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”) and actresses Michelle Williams (“Blue Valentine”) and Annette Bening (“The Kids Are All Right”) — and “decided to use this [article] as my podium.”
  • Filmmaker: Nicholas Rombes unearths the trailer of the early Jennifer Connelly vehicle “Etoile” (1988), and notes some hard-to-ignore parallels between that film and “Black Swan.” The former film, like the latter, “also happens to be a nightmarish film about ‘Swan Lake’ that also features a monstrous black swan.”

Photo: James Franco in “127 Hours.” Credit: Fox Searchlight.

Thursday December 16th, 2010

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 12/16/10

  • Sports Illustrated: The most popular sports publication in America has released the cover of its 2010 “Year in Sports Media” edition, and the stars of the boxing drama “The Fighter” — best actor hopeful Mark Wahlberg and best supporting actor hopeful Christian Bale — grace the cover. Inside the magazine, coverage is also devoted to the horse-racing thriller “Secretariat,” the soccer doc “After the Cup,” and the mountain-climbing saga “127 Hours.”
  • Time: Lev Grossman reports that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old billionaire who is portrayed in “The Social Network” by Jesse Eisenberg, has been named Time’s 2010 “Person of the Year.” This only reinforces the narrative that the film’s backers are trying to push for the film — namely, that it is “the movie of the moment,” a timely, relevant reflection of the current zeitgeist and world in which we live today, unlike, say, “The King’s Speech,” which has little connection to the present.
  • Awards Campaign: Greg Ellwood reports that Fox Searchlight — the same studio that famously hired a Volkswagen minibus to drive around Hollywood to promote “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006) and mailed hamburger phones to journalists to promote “Juno” (2007) — has come up with yet another crafty marketing tactic to promote its 2010 hopeful “127 Hours.” This week, industry insiders were sent a T-shirt reading, “I KEPT MY EYES OPEN FOR 127 HOURS” — the film’s subject Aron Ralston did that literally; the studio would be thrilled if you would do that figuratively.
  • Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey questions the sanity of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in light of the group’s many questionable selections for the upcoming Golden Globes. Among them: best actor and best actress nominations for Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, respectively, for laughable performances in “The Tourist,” but nary a mention in those same categories for Robert Duvall for “Get Low” or Tilda Swinton for “I Am Love.” As Sharkey puts it, in light of Depp’s second nomination for “Alice in Wonderland,” “If this is Wonderland, even Alice wouldn’t want to live here any more.”

Photo: Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, the stars of “The Fighter.” Credit: Sports Illustrated.

Monday December 6th, 2010

BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN: “TANGLED” TOPS “POTTER” TO WIN SLOW WEEKEND

Brandon Gray of BoxOfficeMojo.com reports that “post-Thanksgiving doldrums were in full effect over the weekend,” as is always the case after a big holiday weekend — but this year’s was down 14 percent from last year’s. Last week’s #1 “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” and #2 “Tangled” swapped places, but receipts for both were off more than 50% from last weekend. “The Warrior’s Way” was the sole nationwide debut last weekend (“a weak one at that”), but “Black Swan” opened in limited release on just 18 screens and took in nearly $1.4 million (its $77,000 per screen average is the highest ever for a Fox Searchlight film and the second highest of 2010 after last weekend’s showing by “The King’s Speech”).

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Sunday November 28th, 2010

BOX OFFICE: “HARRY POTTER” BEATS “TANGLED,” “SPEECH” BIG IN LIMITED

Brandon Gray of BoxOfficeMojo.com reports that “families were out in force” this holiday weekend, propelling “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” (which also won last weekend), “Tangled” (which had the second biggest Thanksgiving opening ever after “Toy Story 2“) and “Megamind” (which came in a distant third) to the top of the box-office standings. Oscar hopeful “The King’s Speech,” meanwhile, opened in extremely limited release on Friday — it played in just two theaters in Los Angeles and two theaters in New York — and still brought in nearly $350,000, good for the highest per-theater take of any film this year. Overall business, however, was “slightly down” from this same weekend last year, when “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” and “The Blind Side” dominated the pack. The estimated receipts are…

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Friday November 26th, 2010

NOW PLAYING AT A THEATER NEAR YOU

Following is a rundown of films that are making their theatrical debuts this week. We invite you to click on: the film titles (to see this site’s previous coverage of them), the trailers (to get a glimpse of the films for yourself), and the comments section (to share your thoughts before and/or after your trip to the movies)…

Burlesque” (Sony, 11/24, PG-13, trailer)
Faster” (CBS Films, 11/24, R, trailer)
The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company, 11/26, R, trailer)
Love and Other Drugs” (20th Century Fox, 11/24, R, trailer)
Tangled” (Disney, 11/24, PG, trailer)

Photo: Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech.” Credit: The Weinstein Company.

Friday November 19th, 2010

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 11/19/10

  • The Hollywood Reporter: Daniel Miller writes that sources close to the investigation into the murder of veteran Oscar publicist Ronni Chasen have told him that their “working theory” is that Chasen’s death “was planned in advance and not the result of road rage or a carjacking gone awry.” Apparently, “police have obtained relevant footage from one or perhaps multiple security cameras located at… the home of Sherry Hackett, widow of the late comedian and actor Buddy Hackett.”
  • Deadline Hollywood: Pete Hammond documents this week’s frenzy of screenings and Q&As on both coasts for members of the WGA, PGA, DGA, SAG and countless media organizations. (Full disclosure: our own Scott Feinberg moderated two of this week’s New York Q&A’s, for “Frankie and Alice” with best actress hopeful Halle Berry and for “Black Swan” with best director hopeful Darren Aronofsky, best actress hopeful Natalie Portman, and best supporting actress hopeful Mila Kunis.) Pete notes that “one group that really has been making the rounds is the gang from ‘The Kids Are All Right,'” namely best director/best original screenplay hopeful Lisa Cholodenko, best actress hopefuls Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, and best supporting actor hopeful Mark Ruffalo (who told Pete, “I did six days working on this film and I have done 60 days of press”).
  • The Wrap: Daniel Frankel reports that The Weinstein Company “has hired some big legal guns” to wage its battle against the MPAA over the hard-to-comprehend/audience-limiting ratings that the group gave to its awards hopefuls “Blue Valentine” (NC-17) and “The King’s Speech” (R). Studio co-chief Harvey Weinstein said in a statement, “While we respect the MPAA, I think we can all agree that we are living with an outdated ratings system that gives torture porn, horror and ultraviolent films the same rating as films with so-called inappropriate language.”
  • Esquire: John H. Richardson interviews best supporting actor hopeful Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) and learns that the notoriously temperamental actor would not choose to spend time with him or any other reporter if it was up to him. “I want to be able to just act and never do any interview, but I don’t have the balls to stand up to the studio and say, ‘I’m never going to do another interview in my life!’ So I tip my hat and go, ‘Okay, mister! All right, mister! I’ll go do the salesman job.” He further explains his resistance to interviews by noting, “If you know something about somebody, it gets in the way of just watching the guy as the character.”
  • New York Times: Frank Bruni — in a piece that has been compared with Gay Talese’s famous 1966 Esquire profile of Frank Sinatra — brings to life his recent visit with the legendary singer and Oscar winning actress Cher, who is now 64 years old and promoting the new film “Burlesque,” which includes her first big screen appearance in seven years (opposite Christina Aguilera in her motion picture debut). Cher tells him, “Look, I have a very narrow range… I’ve never tried anything more than playing who I am. If you look at my characters, they’re all me.”
  • Thompson on Hollywood: Anne Thompson congratulates Alex Gibney, the Oscar winning documentary filmmaker, on both pieces of exciting news that he received on Thursday — first, “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer,” his doc about the former New York governor, made the Academy’s short-list of 15 films from which this year’s 5 best documentary feature Oscar nominees will be chosen; and second, he was named as this year’s recipient of the International Press Academy’s auteur award, which will be presented at the IPA’s Satellite Awards gala on December 19.
  • Twitter: A spokesman for Zeitgeist Films, the small distributor of “Last Train Home” and “The Oath,” two of this year’s most acclaimed documentaries, Tweeted the studio’s great disappointment at the Academy’s exclusion of both films from the aforementioned documentary short-list. Blogger Peter Knegt suggested that members of the Academy’s documentary branch must have some “personal vendetta” against Zeitgeist, but the studio quickly rebutted that notion, noting that one of its films has previous won the best documentary feature Oscar — for “Nowhere in Africa” (2001) — while four others have garnered nominations in the category over the years.
  • The Guardian: Xan Brooks passes along some recent remarks from British prime minister David Cameron suggesting that the UK film industry needs to make more films ‘Harry Potter’ if it is to survive and prosper. “We have got to make films that people want to watch and films which will benefit beyond themselves as they will also encourage people to come and visit our country,” Cameron stated. UK Film Council [UKFC] chief executive John Woodward later described the suggestion as “short-sighted and potentially very damaging.”

Photo: Ruffalo, Bening, and Moore in “The Kids Are All Right.” Credit: Focus Features.

Wednesday November 17th, 2010

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 11/17/10

  • Deadline New York: Nikki Finke and Mike Fleming confirm the tragic news that veteran Oscar publicist Ronni Chasen, 64, was shot and killed a little after midnight on Tuesday morning while driving home from a premiere of “Burlesque.” Chasen “was incredibly well-liked by Hollywood and the media and her enthusiasm for her clients was infectious, even to the most cynical of journalists,” they write. Countless condolences and tributes were posted throughout the day, and will undoubtedly continue to pour in over the days and weeks to come.
  • Deal Central: Jeff Sneider notes that a “one-word tweak” — namely, editing one use of the f-word so that it “will now be half-uttered” — has swayed the MPAA to change its rating for James L. Brooks’s rom com “How Do You Know” from an R to a PG-13. The folks behind the film are pleased with the news, which they believe will help it to reach a considerably larger audience. “How Do You Know,” which stars Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, and Jack Nicholson, will open in theaters on Dec. 17.
  • Newsweek: David Ansen profiles David Seidler, the screenwriter of “The King’s Speech.” Ansen writes that, at 73, Seidler “finds himself, for the first time in his career, a hot property.” Seidler, for his part, tells the writer, “I’m very happy now, in retrospect, that this kind of success didn’t happen to me early on. It can really bend your head. I would have become very pompous.” Instead, he’s simply very grateful. “I was overwhlemed,” he says of the night last September when the film received a standing ovation following it’s first public screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, moving him to tears “because for the first time ever, the penny dropped and I felt I had a voice and had been heard. For a [former] stutterer, it’s a profound moment.”
  • The Marquee Blog: Mark Marino passes on the news that acclaimed director Baz Luhrmann has made up his mind about which young actress will play the part of Daisy Buchanan in his upcoming adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” Luhrmann broke the news in a statement: “I was privileged to explore the character with some of the world’s most talented actresses, each one bringing their own particular interpretation, all of which were legitimate and exciting. However, specific to this particular production of ‘The Great Gatsby,’ I was thrilled to pick up the phone an hour ago to the young Oscar-nominated British actress Carey Mulligan and say to her: ‘Hello, Daisy.’”
  • The Playlist: Kevin Jagernauth posts the first trailer released for the superhero-action flick “Green Lantern,” which is due out next summer. Jagernauth believes that the Ryan Reynolds vehicle appears to have its “share of problems,” not least of all that “it still looks like something made on a high TV budget or a low tentpole budget.” He adds, with obvious exasperation, “It’s getting simply tedious to watch yet another comic book origin story with all the familiar beats in place.”

Photo: Owen Wilson and Reese Witherspoon in “How Do You Know.” Credit: Columbia.