So, in two hours one unlucky celebrity and one pro dancer will be going home, kissing the mirror ball and a weekly paycheck good-bye. But how will we ever fill up two whole hours when it only takes about a minute to announce a name? Have no fear, ABC is here! With lots and lots of filler! Plus Pitbull and Justin Bieber, so at least there will be music and possibly dancing.
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For films that don't have deep pockets or any number of other elements stacked up against them in an awards season -- genre bias, early-year release, etc. -- muscling into the conversation at the end of the year can be tough. You use what's at your disposal, of course, and you seize the moment when you can. And make no mistake, there's always a moment to be seized. Because an Oscar season isn't a preordained thing. It's constantly shifting, giving slack, taking it in, ebbing, flowing.
This year, for instance, there is softness in the lead actress category to be capitalized upon. Of course, it seems like there is always a fair share of complaints to be lodged against a minimal amount of Best Actress contenders in a given season, but often enough (in my opinion), we have a strong field. And nevertheless, I think that blame lies first and foremost with a dearth of quality female roles than it does a dearth of quality female performances. So you get something like "Hitchcock" showing up with Helen Mirren in tow, or the possibility of multiple foreign nominees (which means, thankfully, they're getting a look as a result of wanting elsewhere), or you see a campaign excited about the possibilities of a Sundancer like Mary Elizabeth Winstead in "Smashed." The doors crack a bit and whoever wedges in a foot gets the shot.
“Uno!,” the first in a trilogy of albums coming from Green Day over the next four months, is a thoroughly enjoyable non-stop torpedo blast of catchy melodies, guitar riffs and propulsive drum blasts.
The trio told Billboard recently that in the schematic of the three new albums, “Uno!” was the album to play as you’re getting ready to go to the party. If so, batten down the hatches because it’s going to be a long night.
[More after the jump...]
I posted my review of "The Mindy Project" yesterday (and I interviewed Mindy Kaling before that). Now it's your turn. How did you feel Kaling both wrote and played her character? Did you feel the supporting players (and guest stars like Bill Hader and Ed Helms) were well-used? Did you laugh? And, most importantly, will you watch again?
Have at it.
A flurry of new titles have been added to the pile of Best Foreign Language Film Oscars submissions -- which currently numbers 53 -- in the last day. Among them are films from such one-time nominees as Georgia and Vietnam, as well, hearteningly, the first ever entry from Kenya. I'm always pleased to see more African films in the mix.
Though I need to investigate the new additions further, only one of them immediately strikes me as newsworthy -- and it's a film I've been half-expecting and wholly hoping would show up here since its Cannes debut back in May. Given its combination of acclaim, awards and name appeal, you might have thought Pablo Larrain's superb political satire "No" a shoo-in to be Chile's submission, but there was always the realistic worry that the inscrutable politics of national selection would determine otherwise.
"New Girl" has begun its new season with multiple episodes, and I have thoughts on both coming up just as soon as I figure out my sex character is named Sgt. Giddyup Carruthers...
I reviewed FOX's "Ben and Kate" yesterday. Now it's your turn. For those of you who watched tonight (or in one of its many online preview windows over the last few weeks), what did you think? Did you like the sibling chemistry between Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson? Did you find it funny? Do you also want to draw attention to your mouth? And will you watch again?
Have at it.
Ben Wheatley has quietly turned into one of the most interesting voices in English film right now, a guy who seems fairly adept at bending his personal storytelling style to the material he's shooting instead of imposing one voice on everything he does. He is sly, with a jet black sense of humor, and he seems to take great pleasure from pushing his audiences to deeply uncomfortable places.
His breakthrough film was "Down Terrace," and I remember how excited Tim League was about that film. It's a very small-scale, well-observed film about a family scratching out a low-level criminal existence, and I liked it a lot. His next film, the genre-bending "Kill List," absolutely flattened me when I saw it at SXSW, and I felt like it marked a real step forward by him. With his third film, "Sightseers," he's made what could be his first cross-over hit, a film that still plays dark and that surrenders none of his personal voice, but that is universal in a way that "Kill List" was never going to be. It is little wonder it found a place in the Fantastic Fest 2012 line-up as Tuesday night's first secret screening.
Chris (Steve Oram) and Tina (Alice Lowe) have fallen in love, and they've decided to take a trip together. Chris has a caravan that he's decked out for the trip, and Tina's as excited as she could possibly be. She's been living with her demanding, angry mother her whole life and she's reached a point where she can't imagine doing it any longer. Chris isn't just a possible romance, he's an escape from a life that has become insufferable to her. She's got the trip idealized in her head before she even leaves the house, and if Wheatley just wanted to tell a story about how real life rarely meets our expectations, that could be potent material. He's got something much more sinister in mind, though, and we get hints of it from the early part of the film when we see hints of Chris's temper, particularly in response to what he sees as the coarse and the rude.
The last time I saw Johnny Simmons and Mae Whitman in the same place at the same time, it was on the Toronto set of "Scott Pilgrim Versus The World." I have a sneaking suspicion I'm going to see members of that cast colliding over and over in the future, and that it's going to remain a very dear memory for them.
This time, we were in Toronto to discuss the new movie "The Perks of Being A Wallflower," and they had three of the young actors who make up the ensemble grouped together for the chat, including Whitman and Simmons. I didn't meet Ezra Miller in Cannes when "We Need To Talk About Kevin" was playing there, and I'll admit that after I saw that film, I thought Hollywood was going to typecast him because of how completely effective he was in the part.
Instead, I think this film will introduce him to a much broader audience, and I think it's going to have a long shelf life. While I may not have known the book, I've come to realize that there's a big audience out there who read and really enjoyed the book, and it's important to them. This isn't just another teen movie to them. The book's characters are significant because they recognize themselves in them.