How much more could be written about "Shame" at this point? Guy loved in Venice. I loved it in Telluride. The film got the inevitable NC-17 rating. Fox Searchlight wore that as a badge of honor and Roth talked to star Carey Mulligan about her performance. The film finally makes its way to screens today (on whichever ones will have them -- some, like Cinemark, will not). I'll be eager to hear your thoughts on the film when/if you get around to it this weekend or in the near future, so come on back here and give us your take if you do. Also, don't forget to rate the film in our "related events" feature below.
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Motley Crue is the latest act to take up a residency in Las Vegas. The “Girls, Girls, Girls” band will play 12 shows at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's The Joint between Feb. 3 and Feb. 19.
“The show we are putting together right now is something that we have never done in our lives,” lead singer Vince Neil said during a teleconference on Nov. 30. “Since it’s a stationary show, and doesn’t have to move around, we can do all kinds of stuff that we’ve only really dreamed about.” He added that “this show that we’re putting together isn’t a traditional Vegas show-you’re not going to go sit in a seat and then stare at the band and wait for the band to come on. You know, this is an interactive show we’re putting on which is it’s going to encompass the whole venue.”
With one of the largest theater chains in the country refusing to carry "Shame" because of its NC-17 rating, I'm not going to bet on the film breaking box-office records this weekend, but I certainly hope it does well.
First, I hope it does well because I'd love to see a serious film with that rating make enough money to justify other studios taking the chance. "Shame" is strong stuff, but it's not sleazy the way "Showgirls" was, and I think it justifies the notion of an "adult film" that isn't just an excuse for barely-disguised pornography.
Second, I just plain like the movie, as I said in my original review from the Toronto Film Festival. I'm excited for Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender to both get a big career boost out of this one. McQueen has proven himself to be a director of note with only two films under his belt so far, and Fassbender is one of this year's big breakout stars for good reason. When we look back at this year, we're going to think of two performers who really made a splash, and I think both Fassbender and Jessica Chastain are just getting warmed up.
This is news I've been excited to report for some time. This year, I was on the London Film Critics' Circle awards committee to determine who would receive the group's annual Dilys Powell Award for contribution to British cinema, which wasn't the most simple of tasks. Many worthy names were bandied about, but the final choice is one no one could take issue with: venerable London-born director and former cinematographer Nicolas Roeg.
It's hard to think of someone more deserving of career recognition: in addition to helming such offbeat classics as "Performance," "Don't Look Now" and "The Man Who Fell to Earth," Roeg brought equal formal vigor to his lensing of "Far From the Madding Crowd" and "Petulia," among others. The choice strikes a chord with me personally, given that "The Witches" was something of a formative film for my seven year-old self. Indeed, Roeg's was the first director's name I ever took note of.
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, busy week on the awards circuit, and it was a busy Tuesday in particular. Awards shows, screenings, nominations announcements and the first critics awards of the season were all thrown into the mix. Let's see what's on the docket today...
You've probably noticed the Fox ads decorating a number of sites (including this one) pimping Andy Serkis's motion capture performance in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." It's apt language -- "The time is now." -- and a commendable play even if it is the steepest of uphill battles. In this morning's Oscar Talk podcast we'll talk a little more about it, but it's worth it to stir the conversation at least to the point that those who walk in Serkis's footsteps in the form, or perhaps Serkis himself down the line, will benefit and maybe be taken a little more seriously in the awards season. The buzz on the matter has been swirling ever since Tom Roth made some public comments about it, and that buzz has made its way across the pond. [Guardian]
It's December, which is list-making time in the entertainment journalism business, and I've noticed a lot more chatter this year on Twitter between different critics as they try to figure out their best-of and worst-of lists. The other day, someone asked whether NBC's horrible "Wonder Woman" pilot - which never aired, but leaked briefly on the Internet - should be eligible. That got me thinking about ye olden days of the '70s and '80s when TV networks would actually air some of their unsold pilots, especially when they were two hours long and could be presented as a TV-movie, or if they had something special that the network could promote one time, even if no one felt it would work as a series.
One example of the latter kind of Busted Pilot Theatre was the show that gave my blog its name: 1989's "What's Alan Watching?," a one-hour family comedy starring a pre-"Parker Lewis Can't Lose" Corin Nemec as Alan Hoffstetter, a suburban teenager who tried to escape his unhappy life by spending hours in front of the TV, often having fantasies where the TV characters would talk to him.
The Satellite Awards don't get much respect on the precursor beat, and there's a reason for that: no one really seems to know who votes for them, they appear to be supremely undiscriminating with their lengthy nominee list, and their choices are frequently as head-scratching as they are admittedly inspired. (Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Best Supporting Actor nominee Colin Farrell in "Horrible Bosses.")
Still, as ridiculous as they are in many ways, I find it impossible to dislike an awards body that has so little regard for its own precursor status -- you certainly can't accuse a group who nominates John Michael McDonagh, debut helmer of "The Guard," for Best Director of trying to anticipate the Oscar race. And it's hard not to be a little tickled by a nominee list that is jointly led, with eight nods apiece, by two films at such opposite ends of the bait spectrum: "War Horse" and "Drive."
About a week ago, I made the joke that things were starting to get ugly on the whole "Dr. Who" movie thing, but I didn't realize that it was going to really heat up, and tonight on Twitter, things got very confusing very quickly.
This all began when Variety ran a story a few weeks back in which David Yates was named as the director of a "Dr. Who" bigscreen film. Yates talked about how they were looking for writers and just starting development on the project. "We're going to spend two to three years to get it right. It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena," he said. Those are some pretty specific quotes, and Yates also said he was going to be working with Jane Tranter, BBC Worldwide's LA-based exec VP of programming and production.
The thing is, no one said anything to Steven Moffat, and that's a problem.
Tonight at around midnight LA time, Moffat tweeted the following:
"To clarify: any Doctor Who movie would be made by the BBC team, star the current TV Doctor and certainly NOT be a Hollywood reboot."
He followed that up about ten minutes later with a second tweet:
It may seem like a lost opportunity to some, but when sitting down with Ralph Fiennes last month the last thing I wanted to discuss was his role as Voldemort in the "Harry Potter" films or what he'd bring to the "Clash of the Titans" sequel, "Wrath of the Titans," next year (That said, I couldn't resist trying to ask about his role in the new James Bond film "Skyfall," shooting next month, but he smiled and said he couldn't say anything). No matter, the subject this day was Fiennes' impressive directorial debut, "Coriolanus."
There's only seven people left, which is surprising given how long this season has seemed to be. Still, it's fun to see Molly Sims trying on Heidi Klum's mannerisms week after week like designer gowns, struggling to determine which (if any) fit. I think Klum's weird, gleeful malevolence is really one of a kind, so I think Sims will just have to come up with some schtick of her own.
A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I eat an unreasonable amount of St. John's wort...