Coming Soon‘s Edward Douglas and Box Office Guru‘s Gitesh Pandya riffing in The Envelope about what kind of impact box-office performance may be having on certain Best Picture nominees. The biggest benefits have gone to Little Miss Sunshine and The Queen. The opposite appears to have affected Flags of Our Fathers and, to a lesser extent, Babel (although it’s outrageous and stupid that the latter should be affected by “only’ making the money so far that 21 Grams did…gimme a break).
“I caught Casino Royale on Sunday. Something kinda stirred in the back of my mind as I watched Daniel Craig do the moves, and about a half hour into it I realized what it was. Craig reminds me of Steve McQueen. In fact, he’s channelling him.
“Not that he absolutely looks like the guy (although he does, somewhat) but something in the Craig equation — the steely understated machismo that McQueen had back in the mid to late ’60s, and shot into a James Bond vessel — is why the movie works. Maybe. Just a thought.” — Jeff Burton, St. Paul , Minnesota, with slight augmentations from Jeffrey Wells.
Budd Schulberg and Spike Lee have been “piecing together” a script about heavyweight champ Joe Louis (and his bout and later friendship with Max Schmelling ) for about five years, according to this 11.24 AP story by Ryan Pearson. I’m sorry but that’s too long. Movies that are truly meant to happen don’t get pieced together over a period equal to one third the lifespan of the average cat. They spew out over a period of days, weeks…months at the most. Okay, a year but no longer.
And the IFP Best Feature award nominees are (a) American Gun (what?), (b) The Dead Girl (congrats to First Look), (c) Half Nelson (drugs in a school toilet stall), Little Miss Sunshine (my personal fave), and Pan’s Labyrinth (the best work ever by the great Guillermo del Toro ). These and other nominees were just posted a few minutes ago. Sunshine and Nelson landed five nominations each.
You might have expected that streaming video of this morning’s announcing of the nominees wouldhave been up on ifc.com by now…nope The names and titles were announced 100 minutes ago (Don Cheadle and Felicity Huffman did the mike duties) and the slacker IFC website still doesn’t have the feed up. They should’ve provided a live feed as it’s happening, no? I mean, this isn’t 1998.
I’ve been there with Ellen Burstyn in a lot of films, but my all-time favorite moment was the way she said to Bruce Dern‘s relentlessly boastful and mouthy character in The King of Marvin Gardens, “You’re full of shit!” The frazzled, end-of-the-road, Uzi-spray impatience in her voice, I mean. It tells you she’s said this to Dern so many times she can barely stand to hear it again, but she has to. Because he won’t quit, because he can’t, because he’s gone over the falls and so has she.
This memory came back after looking at some photos on Burstyn’s new website, which is up to promote her book “Lessons In Becoming Myself.” The press release says it’s “candid, raw, no-holds-barred book.” Burstyn has ended up in a very spiritually whole and connected place — you can see that in her face. I haven’t been sent her book, but reading about finding peace and wisdom isn’t all that interesting…and I hope it’s not about that too much.
I love these two events i(seriously) in her autogiobraphcal timeline:
January 5, 1970. At the age of thirty-seven, Burstyn chooses her current name.
Easter weekend, 1999. Burstyn goes on a spiritual retreat for three days, living on the streets of New York City with no money and no identification. A few weeks later, she forgets her wallet and is once again in New York without money or ID, but feels “completely safe and at home, not just here, but anywhere.”
Tony Scott‘s lame ideas for reconstructing Walter Hill‘s The Warriors is another case of a hip Hollywood guy (and his chortling corporate backers) showing obesiance before the power of street machismo, or the wild west factor in urban culture. Establishing a bond with all this links to a general connection with urban audiences and presumed loyalty down the road. In short, a good business move.
You homies are the shit and the style…predatory turf monsters with fierce expressions and shaved heads and big developed biceps, and you know how fast and cool I can be. (Check out Domino.) And I want to make a film that reflects and worships you and your hard culture (violence, bling, fast money, hot cars, ho’s) to the hilt. Trust me when I say that no amount of grovelling or cinematic fellatio is beyond my bounds.
Scott money quote #1: “I really hate remakes, but the The Warriors is one of my all time favorite movies, and what I’m doing is kind of reinventing it. And rather than a gang it√É‚Äö√Ç¬πs going to be 30 guys who take on 3,000. It’s Kingdom Of Heaven meets The Warriors. We’re going to use the L.A. river bed as a major location.”
Scott money quote #2: “I’ve been meeting all the [real] gang leaders, they√É‚Äö√Ç¬πre saying they√É‚Äö√Ç¬πll sign this treaty for the duration of the shoot. I want this shot of 50,000 real gang members all on Long Beach — tThe Crips, The Bloods, the Vietnamese, the Cambodians, the 18th Street gang… all there. It’s going to be cool.”
Catherine Hardwicke‘s The Nativity Story (New Line, 12.1) “lacks controversy,” said New Line COO Rolf Mittweg to the N.Y. Times Rome correspondent Peter Kiefer, following a Sunday screening at the Vatican. “I think with The Passion, people wanted to see how bloody and gory this movie was. They wanted to see how far one would go to depict that story. This movie isn’t political and doesn’t make a statement in that regard.” Hah! Mittweg seems to almost be saying, “Our film isn’t very edgy. In fact, it’s kinda tame.”
Anyone in a marriage or a romantic relationship knows you don’t air your messy feelings in public, much less at in front of rich industry peers. Keep it at home or in the car. But Kid Rock (i.e., Bob Richie ) doesn’t get this, or didn’t, in any event, at a party he and wife Pamela Anderson attended at the home of Universal honcho Ron Meyer a couple weeks ago, at which time his “male insecurity and major anger issues” erupted over Pamela’s bit on Borat.
A “Page Six” source says this viewing “was the first time Bob had seen the movie, and, well, he didn’t like it.” He allegedly “started screaming” — girl talk for using a forceful, urgent tone — “at Pam, saying she had humiliated herself and telling her, ‘You’re nothing but a whore! You’re a slut! How could you do that movie?’ [All] in front of everyone. It was very embarrassing.” The result, says the story, is that Anderson and Richie have reportedly parted ways. Because he couldn’t contain his asshole-ishness.
Wait a minute…Borat‘s been done and screening since early last summer and Kid Rock only just gets around to seeing it two weeks ago? In mid November? What a lazy, armpit-scratching, self-centered piece of three-day-old cheddar cheese this guy must be. I think it’s also fair to remind ourselves that Ms. Anderson can really pick ’em. Face it, she’s trash herself — a metaphor for the ongoing social devolution.
Unlike the Academy, the Hollywood Foreign Press likes to keep things simple. If a movie is spoken in a foreign language and is also, you know, set somewhere off these shores, it’s a contender for a Best Foreign Language Golden Globe award….even if a L.A.-based distributor funded it. The result, says Hollywood Reporter guy Gregg Kilday, is that Mel Gibson‘s Apocalypto and Clint Eastwood ‘s Letters From Iwo Jima “could” be in the running against Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck‘s The Lives of Others, Pedro Almodovar’s Volver and Guillermo del Toro‘s Pan’s Labyrinth in the 64th annual Golden Globe Awards.
The Academy, Kilday explains, “gives a certain weight to the country of origin, allows only one film to be submitted per country and has no mechanism for the U.S. to submit a movie. But the HFPA considers any film in a foreign language that screens for its members by its deadline. Does that mean a fantasy film using a made-up foreign language that takes place, say, on the ice planet of Hoth is eligible? How about a film set entirely in a U.S.-run Japanese internment camp in the early ’40s and spoken entirely in Japanese?
By the way, the online version of Kilday’s story mis-spells Henckel von Donners- marck’s first name — they left out the “l” in Florian.
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