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Posts Tagged ‘Raging Bull’

Tuesday January 14th, 2014

The Wolf in Context

By Søren Hough
Contributor

* * *

We sit entrenched in an Irish mob den. Here, anyone could be a mole and thus everyone toes Death’s door. Then we are transported to an island, where a man is unsure of what is real, and what isn’t. His feverish nightmare reaches its peak before bringing his world down around him. And now we are in Paris, France, as snow falls quietly in front of a massive clock. Behind its imposing face, two young children discover the secrets of a filmmaker in hiding.

Given Martin Scorsese’s recent films, it’s no surprise there was backlash when he released The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). It’s been more than 20 years since the legendary filmmaker pushed the boundaries of the social conscience. Particularly after Hugo (2011) won five Academy Awards, the public image of Scorsese has been tempered with that of a straightforward, audience-pleasing director. When he followed up the kid-friendly Hugo with the extremely adult The Wolf of Wall Street, audiences seemed to forget that the latter, not the former, is business as usual for the director.

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Sunday September 22nd, 2013

The 10 Past Winners Most Likely to Be Nominated Again This Year

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor

***

Each year, Oscar voters reward several previously unrecognized talents with their first Academy Award nominations. But they have a habit of filling many if not most of their 20 acting slots with people whom they have previously been nominated. (If you happen to have already won an Oscar? Well, then you are sitting even prettier.)

Why is this the case? That’s probably a question for a psychologist, although my own guess would be that voters are more inclined to check out the work of — and reward — work by quantities who are known and established than who are not.

Regardless, there are, as usual, plenty of previous nominees and winners — actors, actresses, directors, writers, and various behind-the-scenes talent — angling this year to be a part of the Oscar race once again. I have decided to highlight the 10 whom I believe have the best shot at scoring that desired recognition.

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Monday September 16th, 2013

Cate Blanchett and the Unusual Jump from Supporting to Lead

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor
***

If there’s one Oscar category where it’s safe to say there’s already a clear frontrunner at this point, it’s best actress. That race is currently looking mostly like a battle for second place, with Cate Blanchett sitting way out front for her role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. Should she end up holding on, it would make her a two-time Oscar winner. (She won nine years ago for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator.) This, however, would be her first best actress prize.

39 men and women have been honored with more than one acting Oscar. Of them, only 11 have won in both acting categories in which they were eligible — in other words, best actor and best supporting actor for men and best actress and best supporting actress for women. Blanchett would become only be the sixth man or woman to ever win first in a supporting category and then win again later in a leading category.

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Friday February 3rd, 2012

Why Martin Scorsese Ventured Into Family Friendly Fare With Oscar Nominated ‘Hugo’ (Video)

On Monday morning, I had the opportunity to sit down for a chat in Beverly Hills with the man who is arguably the greatest director of all time, Martin Scorsese.

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Tuesday January 24th, 2012

Academy Award Nominations: Key Factoids, Stats, and Snubs (Analysis)

Nine films were nominated for best picture for the first time: The ArtistThe DescendantsExtremely Loud and Incredibly CloseThe HelpHugoMidnight in ParisMoneyballThe Tree of Life, and War Horse.

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Thursday February 17th, 2011

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 2/17/11

  • Los Angeles Times: Michael Palin, an actor who is best known for his BAFTA Award winning performance as a stutterering buffoon in “A Fish Called Wanda” (1988), pens an op-ed in the New York Times in which he shares the story of his father’s real battle with a stutter, his own work to help those who suffer from the affliction, and his feelings about the importance of “The King’s Speech.”
  • Editors Guild Magazine: Michael Goldman profiles Pamela Martin, the Oscar-nominated editor of “The Fighter,” who previously worked with director David O. Russell on his directorial debut “Spanking the Monkey” (1994) and subsequently received an ACE Eddie nod — if not an Oscar nod — for her work on “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006). I find it noteworthy that two of the best movies set in the male-dominated world of boxing, “Raging Bull” (1980) and “The Fighter,” were both edited by women!
  • The Odds: Steve Pond shares a slideshow of recent street-art that has gone up in and around Hollywood and is believed to be the work of Banksy, the famously-anonymous street artist who is now an Oscar nominee for his documentary (feature) “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Is this, as Pond and others have suggested, part of an unconventional “Oscar campaign”?
  • MSNBC: Mickey Rooney, the 90-year-old Hollywood legend who I had the privilege of interviewing back in July, has been granted a restraining order against his 52-year-old step-son, whom he is accusing of abuse and intimidation.
  • Vanity Fair: Matt Tyrnauer, the director of the grossly-underappreciated doc “Valentino: The Last Emperor” (2009) and a great writer, has penned one of the finest long-form articles that I have ever read about Hollywood — or anything else — in this month’s magnificent “Hollywood Issue.” Do yourself a favor and read this remarkable true story of Janet de Cordova, a Beverly Hills socialite, and Gracie Covarrubias, her loyal friend.

Photo: Helena Bonham Carter and Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech.” Credit: The Weinstein Company.

Thursday January 6th, 2011

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 1/6/11

  • Entertainment Weekly: Dave Karger speaks with Julia Roberts after a special screening of “Biutiful” at CAA that she hosted for industry insiders to help call attention to the performance of her “Eat Pray Love” co-star Javier Bardem. (Robert Forster, Kyle MacLachlan, and Bardem’s pregnant wife Penelope Cruz were among the attendees.) Roberts explains, “I think the movie hasn’t gotten the exposure. You don’t know where it is. It’s like this hidden little jewel… I just have a great appreciation for what he went through to show us all this.”
  • Deadline Hollywood: Mike Fleming interviews producer-extraordinaire Scott Rudin, who this week became the first producer to receive PGA Award nominations for two features in the same year (for “The Social Network” and “True Grit”), and who will also be receiving the David O. Selznick Achievement Award at the PGA Awards ceremony. Rudin credits his “great [producing] partners on both” and emphasizes that while “the Oscar stuff is fantastic, rewarding and in some ways exciting… it’s not why you do it. You do it because you want to hold your own work to a standard of excellence.” He also notes that while he was heavily involved with the pre-production of both films (he worked closely with the screenwriters, for instance, while they formulated their scripts), he stayed out of the way of the directors during the filmmaking process itself.
  • Awards Tracker: Tom O’Neil advises those who believe that “True Grit” is now the best picture favorite just because it has done well at the box-office ($91.5 million and counting) to “hold your horses.” He submits that “financial success isn’t as important as it used to be to Oscar victory,” citing the fact the best picture Oscar winner went to films that earned at least $100 million domestically 75% of the time between 1986 and 2005, but that 60% of those since have gone to films that did not, including “Crash” ($54 million), “No Country for Old Men” ($74 million), and “The Hurt Locker” ($14 million, or $746 million less than it’s fellow nominee “Avatar”).
  • Hollywood-Elsewhere: Jeff Wells passes along an andorsement of the work of the cinematographer Hoyt Van Hoytema on “The Fighter” from legendary cinematographer Michael Chapman, who lensed perhaps the greatest boxing movie of all-time, “Raging Bull” (1980), among other classics. Chapman writes, “The movie struck me as doing the basic thing that cinematography does when it’s done well, which is to present a three-dimensional stage in which the actors can move.”
  • The Carpetbagger: Larry Rother mourns the fact that the French film “Carlos,” one of the most critically-beloved movies of 2010, is ineligible for Oscar consideration in any category this year “because of a quirk in the rules set by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.” The film “was initially broadcast on French television before it was packaged and sold abroad for distribution, in two different versions, one long and one short, as a feature film,” which constitutes a violation of an Academy rule that states, “Films that, in any version, receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release will not be eligible for Academy Awards in any category.”
  • Vulture: Jordana Horn asks Quentin Tarantino why he omitted Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” — the film to which the Venice Film Festival jury, over which he presided, awarded the Golden Lion back in September — from his year-end top 20 film list. “I’m a little embarrassed by it, actually,” Tarantino says, explaining, “It was never meant to be a dig against ‘Somewhere,’ or Sofia. I simply didn’t consider any of the films I’d seen in Venice for the list.” I put them in a separate box — I was on official duty at that time, not seeing the films theatrically, independently… Now I wish I’d put it on there — I didn’t think anyone would pay attention.” He adds, “I’d have put it in my top 10.”

Photo: Javier Bardem and Julia Roberts. Credit: Entertainment Weekly.

Sunday January 2nd, 2011

INTERVIEW: DAVID O. RUSSELL, BACK IN THE RING AND STRONGER THAN EVER

Late last month, I had the opportunity to chat for about 40 minutes on the phone with the writer-director David O. Russell, who recently received a Golden Globe nomination for his direction of “The Fighter” (Paramount, 12/10, R, trailer), and who is — along with his film, lead actor Mark Wahlberg, supporting actor Christian Bale, and supporting actresses Amy Adams and Melissa Leo — among the top Oscar contenders of the year.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO AUDIO OF OUR CONVERSATION!

Russell is someone who has always fascinated me. Over the last two decades, he has directed five of the most unconventional films to come out of Hollywood — “Spanking the Monkey” (1994), “Flirting with Disaster” (1996), “Three Kings” (1999), “I Heart Huckabees” (2004), and now “The Fighter” (all of which he also wrote except for “The Fighter”) — and yet even the most informed Hollywood insiders know only snippets about him, his background, and his creative process. If people know anything, it’s that he had two brief but spirited disagreements years ago with actors (both of whom subsequently professed their admiration for him as a filmmaker), one of which was leaked online –where a fleeting moment in time can live on forever as if it happened yesterday — and generated a lot of negative attention for him. Over the ensuing years, Russell, who hadn’t made a film since “Huckabees” until “The Fighter,” has said very little publicly about those incidents or anything else. It is, perhaps, for that reason that perceptions — or misperceptions — of him had begun to be accepted by many as incontrovertible facts.

Now, though, thanks to the tremendous response to “The Fighter” and the film’s resulting publicity campaign, Russell is finally speaking directly to people about his own life, work, and outlook. He is defining himself instead of allowing others to define him, and he is coming across as a very smart and pleasant, if somewhat intense, guy. During our interactions this year — at a luncheon for the film, at a Q&A with him and his stars that I moderated, and during the aforementioned telephone interview (the audio of which you can hear below) — he spoke very softly, often took long pauses to consider his thoughts and words, came across as genuinely contrite about his past shortcomings (the topic of which was raised by him, not me), and, above all, seemed pleased to at long last have the opportunity, in the form of “The Fighter,” to remind people that he is much more than just the unwitting star of a viral video. Indeed, he is one of our finest filmmakers.

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Sunday December 26th, 2010

SCOTT FEINBERG’S TOP 10 FILMS OF ’10

PLEASE NOTE: The following rankings and remarks reflect my personal opinions and do/will not in any way impact my projections or analysis on this site, wherein I strive above all else to correctly forecast what will happen, not what I believe should happen. My demonstrated ability to do that over the years is what has led most of you to my site, and any failure to do that will undoubtedly lead you away from it, so you can rest assured that I mean it when I say that one has/will have no bearing on the other.

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Tuesday November 30th, 2010

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 11/30/10

  • The Race: Tim Appelo reveals why Sean Penn has abstained from campaigning for the film “Fair Game” — not to mention his own performance in it as former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson — this awards season: he and director Doug Liman clashed throughout the production, leading Penn to “boycott” any further involvement with the film.
  • In Contention: Guy Lodge reports that “The Social Network” has topped the 2010 list of critics’ favorites that is releases each year by the British magazine Sight & Sound, making it the first American film to earn that distinction in years. The only other films with awards potential that made the cut were “Another Year” (#3) and “Winter’s Bone” and “I Am Love” (tied for #6).
  • The Odds: Steve Pond wonders if “Black Swan” and “The Fighter” — both of which are non-traditional and somewhat disturbing films — will register as “just too damn weird” for Academy voters.
  • Hollywood-Elsewhere: Jeff Wells posts a photo of “Solitary Man”/“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” star Michael Douglas (who is recovering from throat cancer) and his family that was snapped last week at Orlando’s Epcot center. It’s great to see that the beloved actor is looking much better than he did in photos that paparazzi snapped and sold to tabloids several weeks ago!
  • New York Times: Charles McGrath shares the story behind the film “Barney’s Version,” Richard J. Lewis’s adaptation of Mordecai Richler’s beloved book of the same title that was long thought to be “just about unfilmable,” but was ultimately made with Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti in the title role. (It “will play in New York and Los Angeles for one week starting December 3, in the hope, presumably, of snagging an Oscar nomination for Mr. Giamatti, who with the help of several wigs ages four decades in a little over two hours.”)

Photo: Paul Giamatti in “Barney’s Version.” Credit: Sony Pictures Classics.