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“When you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there,” Dawes lead singer Taylor Goldsmith sings on the Southern California band’s bouncy “From A Window Seat,” the first single from the Jacquire King-produced “Stories Don’t End,” out April 9.
[More after the jump...]
Fitz & The Tantrums earned a reputation for being a bit of a '70s soul-funk revival band as they grew in popularity in 2011 and 2012. For the recordings -- and for 2013 -- it looks like the sextet is bringing back a little of the '80s.
"Out of My League" is the first single from Fitz & The Tantrums' new album "More Than Just a Dream," and you can hear it below. The set will be out on May 7.
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.
(Welcome to the Oscar Guide, your chaperone through the Academy’s 24 categories awarding excellence in film. A new installment will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 24, with the Best Picture finale on Friday, February 22.)
The first year of “Best Makeup and Hairstyling” doesn’t suggest much has changed in this category with the hairstylists now being more prominently recognized. We continue to have a biopic where a famous actor was transformed into a famous historical figure, a historical epic with aging and battle wounds, and a fantasy epic which created many a monster.
As this category was whittled down to seven bake-off finalists and three nominees, there were surprise omissions at both the first (“Cloud Atlas”) and second (“Lincoln”) stages. But for those of us who have watched this category for years, we have come to realize nothing can really be considered a surprise with this lot. And this year, the category is WIDE OPEN. That is refreshing.
The nominees are…
Various outlets do features along these lines every year, but for some reason, getting Academy members to share their ballots anonymous never loses its thrill for me -- they may just be single voices out of 6000-plus members, but they often make it that much easier to understand where certain Oscar voting trends are coming from. The LA Times has printed the picks of three members -- a producer, director and actor, two of them former nominees themselves -- with commentary. The actor is clearly indicative of where the Academy's "Silver Linings Playbook" love has been coming from, voting for it in every possible category, while the producer and director spread their affections around a little more, with "Zero Dark Thirty," "Argo," "Lincoln" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" all getting some respect. No unanimous choices, either. [LA Times]
A quick review of last night's "The Office" coming up just as soon as we go outside to play catch...
If this is how Steven Soderbergh decides to go out, let it be known he was playing games right up till the bitter end.
One of the interesting things about Soderbergh's career has been how low key the marketing on many of his films has been. Considering how prominent he's been in the Hollywood landscape since "sex, lies and videotapes" first vaunted him to fame, Soderbergh's films often feel like stealth events when they arrive in theaters. Considering this is the last theatrical release he's supposedly ever directing, "Side Effects" arrives in theaters with surprisingly little fanfare, and when I walked into the theater, I hadn't seen anything. Not a photo. Not a trailer.
I've said before that there are two different versions of a film. There's the version that is seen by the audience that has seen the trailers and the clips and the commercials, who walks in with a certain degree of the movie spoiled because that's how we sell movies these days. They're the ones who walked into "Terminator 2" knowing full well that Arnold was not only back, but that he was the good guy this time. They're the ones who sit through movies that have twist endings waiting for the twist ending. Even if they don't know what it is, they know it's coming. Then there's the version of the film that someone sees nine years later when they're at home one day and they see that the next thing on cable is called "Side Effects," and they've never heard of it, but they see that it's a Soderbergh film with Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum in it, and they decide to watch it, and whatever the narrative does, it hits them cold and the script works the way it's supposed to work in a vacuum. If you see "Terminator 2" and you somehow haven't been spoiled at all, the first time Arnold appears, it looks like he's the bad guy again. There's no indication that he's anything but The Terminator until he fires past John Connor and hits Robert Patrick. That's the beat where suddenly the first film implodes and we realize something else is going on this time. If it can work on you in that perfect vacuum, without being ruined at all, it's a very special narrative experience, and I value them when they occur.
Hey, guess what! Each season of "Project Runway" has a certain number of challenges in which our poor, hardworking designers must be slave labor for the judges, and that's begun in earnest tonight. I kind of hate these challenges, mostly because they reek of labor law violations, but also because they usually suck. Remember the mommy and me challenge? The ugly workout clothing challenge? The dressing Nina challenge? Let's hope this one, which is Heidi-centric, at least doesn't force the designers to create plus-size T-shirts for a Walmart line or overalls for NASCAR. You think I'm joking. All I think is that someone in marketing for the show just hasn't made the deal yet.
On Wednesday night, we spent a lot of time with the "American Idol" Men. Too much time, if you ask me. Hollywood Week used to be a highlight of the "Idol" schedule, but Wednesday's show was a mess that didn't leave me appreciating a single singer on a particularly high level.
But maybe Thursday's show will be better as we trim the masculine side of the "Idol" field...
When "Scandal" debuted last spring, I wasn't sure what to make of it, beyond recognizing that Kerry Washington had the goods to carry a series and Shonda Rhimes had fashioned an excellent role for her.
This season, though, Rhimes has kicked the show up to another level by ditching the Crisis of the Week procedural format in favor of reinventing "Scandal" as a gonzo hybrid of conspiracy thriller and high-stakes soap opera, involving election rigging, a presidential assassination attempt, a failed internal White House coup, and all sorts of other crazy shenanigans. It's ludicrous on virtually every level; it's also an enormous amount of fun, thanks to the writing and the performances.(*)
(*) The series has also benefited from ditching the charming but redundant Henry Ian Cusick and beefing up Josh Malina's role as a good guy who's righteously focused on bringing down Olivia.
Rhimes treated the season's first 13 episodes as one big arc, which culminated tonight with a whole bunch of revelations, shifted allegiances, and dastardly conduct. "Nobody Likes Babies" was a particularly strong showcase for Jeff Perry and Bellamy Young, and it resolved almost everything from this arc while setting up some interesting new conflicts for whatever comes next.
I'm talking to Rhimes sometime next week about how she reinvented the show for the better, but I wanted to mark the end of this first arc, and see what those of you who've been watching all along felt about how things wrapped up. We'll see if Rhimes can find a way to top this, but for now, bravo.
What did everybody else think?