Rob Epstein‘s The Times of Harvey Milk, 1985’s Best Feature Doc Oscar winner, is now available for rental or purchase via the iTunes Movie Store. You can’t really know Gus Van Sant‘s Milk (nor Harvey Milk himself, for that matter) without seeing Epstein’s film.
The European Film Awards gave the great Kristin Scott Thomas their best actress honor today for her performance in I’ve Loved You So Long, and so all is well and right with the world. Matteo Garrone’s Gomorrah won big also. The 21st annual ceremony was held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Garrone’s film, which will be honored at a dinner party at the Plaza hotel tomorrow night, won best film, best director (i.e., Garrone) and best actor (i.e., Toni Sevillo, who was also honored for his acting in Il Divo ).
Gomorra‘s six writers — Maurizio Braucci, Ugo Chiti, Gianni di Gregorio, Massimo Gaudioso, Garrone and Saviano — shared the best screenwriter award. And Marco Onorato was selected best cinematographer for his work on Gomorra.
Honorary awards were presented to British actress Judi Dench and the founders of the Dogma film movement, Soren Kragh-Jacobsen, Kristian Levring, Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg of Denmark.
Four Christmases will be #1 again this weekend with $20,310,000 — off 35% from last weekend, which is a fairly decent hold. The second-place Twilight is projected to earn about $14.1 million for a cume of $139 million — look for finally tally of $160 million, give or take. Bolt will come in third with roughly $10.4 million.
Baz Luhrman‘s Australia is expected to earn around $7,034,000 — down 52% from last weekend’s middling debut and definitively dead, dead, dead in the water. The hammer-head Quantum of Solace will come in fifth with $6,846,000.
Cadillac Records will earn roughly $3,636,000 in 700 theatres, averaging $5700 per screen.
The slightly expanded Milk, playing in 99 situations, will earn about $1,791,000 or $17,000 a print. Slumdog Millionaire, in 70 theatres, will come in with $1,466,000. Frost/Nixon, playing in only 3 theatres, will make about $172,000.
My liking for the Nothing But The Truth and What Doesn’t Kill You one-sheets follows in the footsteps of In Contention‘s Kris Tapley, who posted these side-by-siders this morning. But let’s also take a moment to acknowledge and respect the plight of these two — a pair of very realistic, strongly written, wholly believable “tweeners” that almost everyone is admiring but which don’t seem to be getting the love, attention or awards action they deserve.
Because, I’m guessing, they’re about straight-up realism in a sort of middle-range (notice I didn’t say middlebrow) way and less concerned with your high-concept, robo-marketed, big-budget stylistic kapow material. I’ve written plenty about Truth, and I’ll get into Kill You tomorrow.
Beware of all Will Smith manifestations, now and forever. The man’s smile is too quick to appear and always looming, hovering. Smith is too engaging, too eager to charm, too emotional, too funny, too likable, too coddled and way too insulated. He seems incapable of simply “being” because he’s too hungry for affection. He can’t not perform. Such men may not be dangerous in the Shakespearean sense of the term, but you sure as hell can’t trust them.
As Charles Bukwoski once wrote, “Beware of those constantly seeking love and approval from a crowd — they are nothing alone.”
And double-beware any big-name actor who asks a film-series moderator for a hug (as Smith did a couple of days ago with Pete Hammond).
I’ve been in a room with Smith live and in private and he’s like this all the time with everyone, with or without an audience of any size. I’m not saying this indicates Seven Pounds might be a problem, but I’ve been told by a Los Angeles journalist friend who’s been known to occasionally give this and that film a compassionate pass that Seven Pounds is in fact an El Problemo. The word this person used, in fact, is “awful.” A word that another viewer used is “contrived.”
Yesterday I failed to pass along the news of the death of Forrest J Ackerman, who died Thursday at age 92. Not out of lack of respect for the legendary editor and horror-fantasy film fanatic who wrote and ran Famous Monsters of Filmland, the first big-time print fanzine, from 1958 to ’83. My hesitancy was due, rather, to an odd feeling that came over me when I examined several pics of the very weird-looking Ackerman after his death was announced.
The late Forrest J. Ackerman; an early ’60s cover of Famous Monsters of Filmland.
I don’t want to convey anything but admiration for Forry, as his friends called him. The man lived for the spirit of classic horror movies, creating a fanboy life before the term “fanboy’ has been invented, a guy who constantly hungered for the wonders and intrigues of cinefantastique. But not a smidgen of the baroque creepiness of horror films rubbed off on his appearance. The man looked like an old-urban-America streetcorner anachronism. A Moustache Pete character type out of a 1940s Dick Tracy short. He dressed like a Hollywood Park bet-taker from the late ’40s or early ’50s. He wore loud, loose-flowing sport shirts that would turn a funeral up an alley.
Ackerman was a giant in his realm, don’t get me wrong, but it’s difficult for me to feel emotional kinship with a guy who looked like a suburban-retirement-home version of Fearless Fosdick or Boston Blackie — no offense.