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.
Posts Tagged ‘Raging Bull’
Nine films were nominated for best picture for the first time: The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, and War Horse.
- 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.”
- Thompson on Hollywood: Anne Thompson suggests that Helena Bonham Carter, a best supporting actress Oscar nominee for her performance as the Queen Mum in “The King’s Speech,” has gained ground on presumptive frontrunners Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”) and Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”) because of her witty behavior at the recent Oscar nominees luncheon and acceptance speech at the BAFTA Awards.
- 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”?
- Art of the Title: Jim Helton and Charles Christopher Rubino share their inspirations for and creative process designing the stunning end credits of Derek Cianfrance‘s “Blue Valentine,” which — spoiler alert — features photos from various stages of the relationship that has apparently just come to an end, set against exploding fireworks.
- Hollywood-Elsewhere: Jeff Wells has his doubtsabout the soon-to-be-released indie comedy “Meet Monica Velour,” which stars Kim Cattrall as a has-been porn star, but I actually saw the film at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, before Anchor Bay Studios picked it up, and felt that it was quite good, in a quirky, “Napoleon Dynamite” (2004)-meets-”Little Miss Sunshine” (2006) kind of way.
- 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.
- 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.”
- Hitfix: Greg Ellwood lists the five films that have been nominated for this year’s USC Scripter Award, which was established in 1988 to celebrate each year’s finest big screen adaptation, and honors “the screenwriter as well as the author of the work in which the screenplay is based.” This year’s finalists: “127 Hours” (Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy’s adaptation of Aron Ralston’s autobiography of the same name), “The Ghost Writer” (Robert Harris and Roman Polanski’s adaptation of Harris’s novel “The Ghost“), “The Social Network” (Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Ben Mezrich’s book “The Accidental Billionaires“), “True Grit” (Ethan Coen and Joel Coen’s adaptation of Charles Portis’s novel of the same name), and “Winter’s Bone” (Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini’s adaptation of Daniel Woodrell’s novel of the same name).
- The Odds: Steve Pond recaps the nominations announced this week by the PGA (where “The Town” was included as one of the final 10, but “Another Year,” “Blue Valentine,” “Rabbit Hole,” “Shutter Island,” and “Winter’s Bone” were not) and the WGA (where “I Love You Phillip Morris,” “Please Give,” and “The Town” scored nominations, but many of the more likely Oscar nominees were ineligible due to WGA rules). The PGA Awards will be announced on January 22, and the WGA Awards will be announced on February 5.
- Variety: Peter Caranicas passes along the Art Directors Guild’s nominees for the three categories that will be recognized at this year’s ADG Awards, which will be announced on February 5. In the period category: “Get Low,” “The King’s Speech,” “Robin Hood,” “Shutter Island,” and “True Grit.” In the fantasy category: “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1,” “Inception,” and “Tron: Legacy.” And in the contemporary category: “127 Hours,” “Black Swan,” “The Fighter,” “The Social Network,” and “The Town.”
- Gold Derby: Paul Sheehan learns that the Cinema Audio Society’s nominees for the CAS Award for best sound mixing are “Black Swan,” “Inception,” “Shutter Island,” “The Social Network” and “True Grit.” Last year, he notes, four of the five CAS nominees for sound mixing went on to score Oscar nods (“District 9” was replaced by “Inglourious Basterds”), and the CAS winner “The Hurt Locker” went on to win the Oscar.
- The Hollywood Reporter: Sofia M. Fernandez shares the names of the seven films that have made the short-list from which the Academy’s visual effects branch will ultimately select five nominees. The finalists are “Alice in Wonderland,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1,” “Hereafter,” “Inception,” “Iron Man 2,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” and “Tron: Legacy.” Fernandez notes that members of the branch will screen 15-minute excerpts from the films on January 20, while the final five nominees will be announced January 25.
Photo: Javier Bardem and Julia Roberts. Credit: Entertainment Weekly.
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.
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.
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.
- New York Times Magazine: Carlo Rotella profiles James Schamus, exploring his double life as a Columbia University professor and C.E.O. of Focus Features, and highlighting some of this year’s Oscar contenders that the “Professor of Micropopularity” has guided into the race, including “The American,” “The Kids Are All Right,” and “Somewhere.”
- 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.
- Hollywood-Elsewhere: Jeff Wells writes that Natalie Portman’s work for/performance in “Black Swan” is “analogous” to Robert De Niro’s fabled work for/performance in “Raging Bull” (1980). He adds, Once this settles in among the rank-and-file, [the best actress race is] over.”
- 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.
- New York Times: Dennis Lim looks at the long and bumpy road that led up to last Friday’s release of Golden Globes hopeful “I Love You Phillip Morris,” which stars Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor. As co-director Glenn Ficarra notes, “Who’s going to give us money to shoot a gay con-man prison-escape love story?”
- 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!
- Thompson on Hollywood: Anne Thompson confirms that the opening night film at January’s 26th annual Santa Barbara International Film festival be Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s “Sarah’s Key,” which stars Kristin Scott Thomas and “has been stunning audiences” in Toronto, France, and Tokyo, where it has previously played.
- 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.