I’ve seen these day-in-the-life-of-an-Oscar-contender videos before, and they’re always about anticipation and nerves and personal assistants being “on” and excited and laughing uproariously at their employer’s jokes. This one, focusing on likely Best Supporting Actress nominee Melissa Leo (The Fighter) just before the Golden Globes, seems a little less forced than the others. Leo is a firecracker, a killer, a comet.
I got shut out of this morning’s 9 am Eccles screening of My Idiot Brother, which I also blew off last night. So I retired to the Yarrow hotel for a nice scrambled-egg breakfast, and then went upstairs to record Oscar Poker #17 with Sasha Stone and Scott Feinberg, topic #1 being the PGA/King’s Speech upset. It’ll be up sometime tonight. And we all agreed to do a special Tuesday morning podcast following announcement of the Oscar nominations.
Just after failing to crash My Idiot Brother showing at the Eccles — Sunday, 1.23, 9:05 am.
Eugene Jarecki‘s Reagan screens at the Library at 2:15 pm, and then comes a 5 pm P & I Holiday Cinemas screening of Gavin Wiesen‘s Homework. And if that doesn’t work out I can hit a 6 pm showing of Andrew Rossi‘s Page One: A Year Inside the N.Y. Times. There’s a Page One dinner starting around 8:30 pm, and then comes the 9:30 pm Eccles showing of Miguel Arteta‘s Cedar Rapids. And then a couple of after-parties.
Every time I see a radically under-dressed 20something guy running around Park City, where the temperature has mostly been in the 20s and early 30s, I get mildly irritated. I’m almost to the point of being pissed off. I’m talking about weather cold enough to theoretically kill you under prolonged circumstances, and young guys completely waving that off by wearing baggy shorts, sneakers without socks and T-shirts with some kind of flannel shirt or, in some instances, just T-shirts.
No generation or culture in the history of the planet earth has ever dressed this stupidly for cold weather. These guys are biological aberrations…freaks.
I know what they’re doing. I mean, I think I get it. They’re embracing a kind of X-treme sports aesthetic and making a kind of statement to themselves and to women who happen by that says, “I’m so hardcore I’ve willed myself into a state in which serious cold doesn’t matter all that much…my lower legs are beet red from the exposure but I’m totally fine, really, because I’m all rugged-ass and hearty and just not into bourgeois protection…I am the weather and the weather is me. Bring it on and let me honestly feel it.”
But of course, they’re being ridiculous all the same. Thousands of years of civilization and people have always bundled up when it’s cold. And then along comes GenY, saying to hell with warmth and any kind of sensible cold-weather attitude.
Drake Doremus‘ Like Crazy, a press screening of which I blew off late yesterday afternoon to attend that cool Elizabeth Olsen dinner, sold to Paramount this morning for a reported $4 million. The price was reportedly driven up by bids from the Weinstein Company and Summit Entertainment, but Paramount ended up with worldwide rights.
My next shot at seeing Like Crazy will be late tomorrow afternoon (i.e., Monday) at the Prospector Square Cinema. I need a ticket, guys, if you can help.
Pic is about two kids riding a mad current of love, eros and separation anxiety. Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and Anna (Felicity Jones) fall head over heels while attending the same Los Angeles university, but are then separated when Anna is forced to return to London over a visa issue, and the long-distance aspect (Skype, sexting?) kicks in. Jones, I’ve been told, is the other big Sundance ’11 discovery, or being talked up as such.
I read yesterday’s Sharon Waxman/Wrap story about Elizabeth Olsen being the big breakout star of Sundance 2011 just as I was heading to a sit-down dinner for Olsen and Martha Marcy May Marlene, her first starring role for which she’s drawn high praise. In fact, I showed the story to Olsen on my iPhone during our chat.
The younger sister of the infamous Olsen twins, Elizabeth (and not “Lizzie,” as some are calling her in stories) is obviously bright, sharp, focused. Okay, and fairly beautiful. She’s 22, but her voice conveys the savvy of someone a good ten years older. Olsen is also the star of Chris Kentis and Laura Lau‘s Silent House, the Rope-like horror film that’s also playing at Sundance.
I also spoke with Martha Marcy May Marlene‘s director Sean Durkin, executive producer Ted Hope, and producers Josh Mond and Antonio Campo.
Martha Marcy May Marlene director Sean Durkin.
MMMM producer Antonio Campo (l.), Durkin (c.), producer Josh Mond (r.).
Anne Sewitsky‘s Happy Happy, set in a remote Norweigan village, is about an affair between an unfulfilled wife (Agnes Kittelsen) who works as a middle school teacher, and a married Dane (Henrik Rafaelsen) who, along with his wife, has recently become a neighbor. “Affairs never stay secret for long,” writes Marshall Fine, “but Sewitsky has other layers to reveal about this story that deepen the laughs and, ultimately, also bring a note of melancholy to the comedy.”
A publicist asked for a quote about Paddy Considine‘s Tyrannosaur, which I saw late this afternoon. I haven’t written a review, but here’s what I gave her: “The most original adult love story I’ve seen in ages. Easily the biggest shock of the Sundance Film Festival so far. I didn’t see this one coming — it’s a much stronger and more focused film than I expected from a smallish British drama about an older working-class guy with a temper problem. It curiously touches.
Tyrannosaur costars Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan.
Tyrannosaur director-writer Paddy Considine during filming with Olivia Colman.
Tyrannosaur is a drama that deals almost nothing but surprise cards — a tough story of discipline, redemption and wounded love. Cheers to director-writer Considine for making something genuine and extra-unique. He’s not just an actor who’s branched into directing with a special facility for coaxing good performances — he’s a world-class director who knows from shaping, cutting, timing, holding back and making it all come together.”
I didn’t mention the actors — Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan — but their performances simultaneously stand alone and reach in and grab hold. In fact each and every performance (and I mean right down to the dogs) is aces.
The beast of the title is Joseph (Mullan), an alcoholic, widowed, violence-prone rage monster who lives alone in Leeds. He all but melts when he encounters Hannah (Colman), a kind and trusting shop merchant who shows Joseph a little tenderness. Hannah talks the Christian talk but is just as close to alcohol, which she’s turned to as a sanctuary from her ghastly marriage to a homely, ultra-possessive monster of another sort (Marsan) who brings violence and subjugation to Hannah on a constant basis.
Once Mullan and Colman have formed a kind of friendship, the inevitable final conflict with Marsan awaits. One naturally expects (and in facts savors, if truth be told) some sort of howling, knock-down, face-gashing fight between Mullan and Marsan, but…well, I’ll leave it there but it’s more than a bit of a surprise what happens.
I was so taken with Tyrannosaur in the screening’s immediate wake that I shared my reactions with a young freelancer I’d spoken with in the cattle tent. He’d just seen it as well, and basically went “meh.” My mouth almost fell open. “You think what we just saw is just okay?,” I thought but didn’t say. Jeezus Christ. It takes all sorts and sensibilities to make a world.