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Taylor Swift, who brought up guest artist after guest artist during her recent tour, got to crash someone else's show last night: She joined The Civil Wars to perform “Safe and Sound,” their duet from “Hunger Games” on stage for the pair's sold-out show at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.
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What is she wearing? That was the first question I thought when I watched the below excerpt from Madonna’s interview with “Good Morning America” that aired today.
Money can’t buy taste and the fake cheerleader outfit with silver fringe and "WE" necklace distracted me so much that I almost couldn't focus on what she was saying. The interview is largely a snore in which Cynthia McFadden tries to be titillating by asking if Madonna’s recent kiss with Nicki Minaj included tongue, but Madonna is really having none of it.
[More after the jump...]
It's well documented that Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt does the majority of his songwriting and brainstorming in gay dance clubs or piano bars. From the band's latest offering, it appears a drag club has been further added to the circuit.
"Andrew in Drag" is a funny, spirited sigh for Merritt, as he enjoys "the only girl I'll ever love." Again, he proves why he is one of the most refreshingly and rare overtly gay songwriters penning overtly gay songs, wielding his heartache as much as he does his humor and wit. This one is much more juvenile than, say, anthems like "100,000 Fireflies," with a playful use of the term "fag," a reference to a weiner dog and the misanthropic joy contemplating his ambiguous, sensual "misspent youth."
Welcome to Oscar Talk.
In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.
It's been a busy week of announcements and awards shows leading into an even busier week of same as we barrel toward Sundance next week. Plus, ballots are due today (in a few hours, in fact). So let's see what's on the docket today...
As explained in my post last month, I'm breathless that the Dirty Three are prepping their first album in seven years. And, today, the trio has something to show from it.
"Rising Below" features the same attention to recording detail as their last "Cinder" did, with a close miking of the hollow kick drums, textures of the violin and the stoked, narrative guitar lines mumbling through the tubes. Drummer Jim White carries the thing as the mid-toned instruments go and have their own says, several takes and dubs eventually merging into a tension-filled series of ebbs. I'm hot for it, I want more.
Say, what are they drinking down in Georgia? Whatever it is -- and I'll bet it's good -- can we arrange for a few thousand crates of the stuff to be shipped over to Academy voters? The state's film critics have put their heads together for what is surely the most singular US critics' award slate of the season: from "We Need to Talk About Kevin" popping up in the Best Picture and Director categories to a Best Adapted Screenplay nod for "The Muppets" to "The Artist" failing to show up for Best Picture, Director or Actor, this is one group that clearly couldn't care less about their record as Oscar predictors.
"The Tree of Life" and "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" lead the nominations with eight mentions apiece, with both films scoring a pleasingly unexpected acting nod: young Hunter McCracken makes the Best Actor list (with Brad Pitt in supporting), while the critics have singled Tom Hardy out of the latter film's formidable supporting cast.
I haven't watched the telecast of last night's Critics' Choice Movie Awards on VH1 yet, but to hear it from cranky New York Post critic Lou Lumenick, it was the worst piece of produced television in the history of God and heaven and love and death and everything else.
From my spot on the floor, though, it seemed like a pretty good step forward for the show, which is aiming to compete with the Golden Globes as THE televised precursor film awards ceremony of the season (shoot for the stars, so to speak). The move to the Hollywood Palladium in 2009 was a smart branding play, taking it out of Santa Monica (which the Indie Spirits have long-called home) and into slightly more unique waters. And in its third year at the venue, the steady progression of ambition and creativity in how the show is put together on the floor is noticeable and exciting.
The winners of the awards themselves? Not so exciting. Guy has already given that rundown, but I'll say that I was surprised at how well "The Help" did, kicking things off with a big win for Octavia Spencer.
Ah, the old "worst Oscar winners" topic -- it never fails to get a righteous movie-geek conversation going. We all have our personal bugbears, both within and beyond the list of consensus groaners that repeatedly get hauled out for another retrospective whipping. Tom Huddleston's fun list of the Academy's 20 worst decisions pulls from both piles: everyone loves to rag on "Driving Miss Daisy," but Anthony Hopkins's Best Actor win for "The Silence of the Lambs" is a more singular pick. For my part, I'm cheering on his selection of "Forrest Gump," Renee Zellweger and Stevie Wonder, feeling a little protective of "Gone With the Wind" and "The Sound of Music," and itching to add "Braveheart" to the list. Browse and rant at your leisure. [Time Out]
HBO is about to kick off a three-hour bloc of press tour panels, mostly for new shows like the Milch/Mann horseracing drama "Luck," Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Armando Iannucci's "Veep," Lena Dunham's "Girls" and Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's "Life's Too Short." And now we know the premiere dates for all of those shows, plus when "Game of Thrones" season 2 will begin.
Some quick thoughts on last night's episodes of "30 Rock," "The Office" and "Up All Night" coming up just as soon as lupus lets me cut in line...
Forgive the delay in posting last night's BFCA Critics' Choice Awards results: Kris was on the scene and doubtless living it up, while I was catching some shut-eye. I'm sure Kris will fill you in later on how things went down from the inside -- I haven't even seen the ceremony myself -- but the chief news to take away here is that "The Artist" inevitably sealed its status as the film to beat this Oscar season with four wins, including Best Picture and Best Director for Michel Hazanavicius. (Among its other wins is one for Best Original Score -- someone go and check Kim Novak's pulse.)
It appears to have been an evening short on surprises -- but then, when have we ever counted on the BFCA to shake things up? It is worth noting, however, that "The Help" star Viola Davis scored her first big win of the season here, after having been largely shut out of the critics' awards. (After tying for the win in the 2008 and 2009 ceremonies, Meryl Streep remained in her seat this time.) Sandra Bullock started her streak of Best Actress wins here two years ago, and I sense it'll be the same for Davis, whose vehicle, like Bullock's, is more beloved by the industry and the public than by the critical majority.