Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Golden Globe drama and comedy/musical placements have been clarified.

You can find the full list at Gold Derby.

Some of the decisions are unfortunate, IMO. Here are some notables:

Marion Cotillard: COMEDY/MUSICAL
Charlie Wilson's War: COMEDY/MUSICAL
I'm Not There: DRAMA
The Kite Runner: FOREIGN
Persepolis: FOREIGN (not animated)

So, now comedy/musical actress is officially 10 times more competitive than the drama race. Normally, I'd say Adams, Blonsky, Bonham-Carter, Cotillard, Kidman, Linney, and Page would all be shoo-ins. Except there are 7 of them. And that's not even including Heigl and Russell, who it's hard to see placing over the other 7 (though it could happen). So now, the only shoo-ins (I think) are Adams and Cotillard. You don't get the kind of reviews they got (plus, in Adams' case, great box office, and in Cotillard's case, extreme baitiness) and miss even getting a globe nod. That just doesn't happen. But any of the others could fall short. We'll just have to see. As I said before, I don't see both Kidman and Linney placing... they're just too similar. So I fear one of them could get the cold shoulder (after all, BOTH of them did at the Spirits). My gut feeling now on this matter:

1) Marion Cotillard
2) Amy Adams
3) Ellen Page
4) Helena Bonham-Carter
(might be supporting)
5) Laura Linney
6) Nicole Kidman
7) Nikki Blonsky
8) Keri Russell
9) Katherine Heigl

And of course, Tom Hanks will probably jip someone more deserving out of a globe nod in the male category. My thoughts on that one:

1) Johnny Depp (Sweeney)
2) Ryan Gosling
3) Tom Hanks
4) Philip Seymour Hoffman
5) Johnny Depp
6) John Travolta (might be supporting)
7) Don Cheadle
8) Seth Rogen
9) Glen Hansard

And on Best Pic (comedy/musical):

1) Hairspray
2) Sweeney Todd
3) Enchanted
4) Knocked Up
5) Once

6) Juno
7) The Savages
8) Waitress
9) Lars and the Real Girl

The Cotillard decision really sucks. I am of the opinion that stars who don't sing or do comedy in their movies should not be placed in a category rewarding musicals and comedy (especially when they're as hard-core dramatic as Cotillard is in this film... but the principle also includes, for example, Jamie Foxx in Ray and others who have done this in the past. And this year, with such an imbalance already between the drama and comedy/musical fields... it's just not right. But it's good news for Jodie Foster, Cate Blanchett and others who are still "maybe"s over in the drama race, as well as potential "out of left field" choices, like Ashley Judd in Bug.

On a more positive note, I'm happy I'm Not There is going drama (unlike some other musical biopics), cause I think it has a better chance of getting nominated there than in comedy/musical, where best picture in particular is more contingent on box office and mainstream appeal.

Anyway... lots more to say, but I'm busy. Discuss amongst yourselves.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A few things...

1) Yes, I know I bombed on the Indy Spirit noms - why did I even attempt that? - but I was right about I'm Not There and Juno. It'll always be impossible to predict these with any kind of clarity... better to just sit back and watch. You never know when they'll fawn over celebrity (Angelina's nom) or when they'll shun it in favor of total unknowns (Linney and Kidman missing, Ledger and Bale being snubbed for Marcus Carl Franklin). Plus, you never know what qualifies. But yay for Once probably winning best foreign film and that special "Robert Altman" award for I'm Not There (though I wonder if that'll keep it from winning other categories).

2) I'm getting REALLY excited for Sweeney Todd. There's a featurette and some clips now on Awards Daily, and the film looks like it'll be quite good. Not everything will work, I'm sure, but there are a lot of interesting things happening, there's a good visual style, and all the actors seem to be on their game. And despite fears to the contrary, Depp's singing voice is really quite good. He's untrained, yes, but his singing is far from disastrous. He'll be getting many more "WOW, he can sing!" reactions than "ouch, he ruined it" reactions. So expect Depp to be the talk of the season.

3) I really have to stop now, cause I have a million things to do in the next few hours (and days). No more blogging this week! I'm in the final mad dash with school, and as of yet, have barely gotten anything done. I suck. So no more blogging. NO. MORE.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Independent Spirit Award nomination predictions

I'm Not There
Into the Wild
Margot at the Wedding
The Savages
(alt. Waitress, Lars and the Real Girl)

Away From Her
Once (???)

Once (???... it was made for $150,000 but who knows where they'll put it)

Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There)
Julie Christie (Away from Her)
Nicole Kidman (Margot)
Laura Linney (The Savages)
Ellen Page (Juno)
(alt. Keri Russell)

Ryan Gosling (Lars)
Glen Hansard (Once)
Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Savages)
Gordon Pinsent (Away from Her)
(alt. Sam Riley)

Christian Bale (I'm Not There)
Philip Bosco (The Savages)
Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild)
Heath Ledger (I'm Not There)
Max Von Sydow (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
(alt. Jason Bateman)

Charlotte Gainsborough (I'm Not There)
Catherine Keener (Into the Wild)
Jennifer Garner (Juno)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (Margot at the Wedding)
Samantha Morton (Control)
(alt. Olympia Dukakis, or Sigourney Weaver for something)

Noah Baumbach (Margot)
Diablo Cody (Juno)
Todd Haynes (I'm Not There)
Tamara Jenkins (The Savages)
Adrienne Shelly (Waitress)
(alt. Sean Penn)

Todd Haynes (I'm Not There)
Ang Lee (Lust, Caution)
Sean Penn (Into the Wild)
Sarah Polley (Away from Her)
Jason Reitman (Juno)
(alt. John Carney)

These are totally random guesses and I don't expect them to be right. I just wanted to take a stab at it. But it's hard to know what films even quality for these awards, and in which category. So whatever. I'm probably leaving out several films that are in fact original, but I don't care. I do have this strange hunch, though, that Blanchett will be lead here (even if she isn't anywhere else) and Gainsborough will get in for supporting, along with some of the boys. I'm Not There should be big. Anyway, yeah.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

"I'm not there."

That's what Cate Blanchett might be saying to Harvey Weinstein as they study the nominee list for the oscars in a couple months IF this new "lead" thing is true. My first impression is that this move smacks of greed and hubris - I mean, she's one of five Dylans and is onscreen for what, 25% of the film, at most? - but I suppose there have been lead nominees with less screentime, and there are strategic advantages to this, including box office concerns and other factors. So I'll withhold judgment, at least until I see the film. But in my gut, I just DON'T like this idea. Not at all.

I just got back from Enchanted...

...and I was a little bit disappointed. Not in Adams - the girl has magic - but in the film itself. Just too many talking animals and ill-advised CGI dragons for my taste... they seemed to be pandering to the little kids in the audience, of whom there were many in my theater. For every spark of magic, there was a CGI chipmunk routine that just lingered onscreen for too long. And that was annoying. BUT I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it. I just thought the film could have been much better, when in fact it's quite disposable but for Adams and the other lead actors.

Amy Adams as Giselle lives up to the hype. She really goes for it with this character, and brings the cliché Disney princess icon to life. But what surprised me is how good James Marsden and Patrick Dempsey were as her two love interests. Marsden is just as committed to his role as Adams is to hers. He's dreamy as the silly-but-charming Prince Edward. And of course he gets to sing again, which is nice. And Dempsey anchors the film as the audience surrogate who finds himself slowly falling in love with Giselle. I never understood the fuss about him before (I don't watch Grey's Anatomy), but he was a very effective leading man here. And Susan Sarandon is a hoot as the evil queen, though not necessarily for the right reasons. She's not particularly good in the role, it's just fun to watch her try something like this. It's kind of a Jodie Foster-in-Inside Man kinda thing.

Sadly, the leads aren't quite done justice by the film around them. It's quite frustrating, too, since it seems like there's a really great film in here somewhere, but it's constantly undercut by lame CGI, overexplanation of plot, and lack of character development, despite the actors' best efforts.

Awards chances for Amy Adams:
Golden Globe nom - locked
Golden Globe win - likely
Academy Award nom - possible
Academy Award win - unlikely

Awards chances for the film:
It will be big at the globes. I think the box office and the Adams hype will carry it into the top category, and the score and at least one song should find nominations, too. Probably 4 noms in total. Dempsey or Marsden could get attention in the lead actor category, but I'm betting they'll split each other's support and end up cancelling each other out.

Oscar-wise, I think the film is looking at a song nom and possible score nom, as well as Amy Adams for best actress. Nothing else is happening, I don't think. And Adams is no lock either; the film is REALLY fluffy. It's certainly no Mary Poppins. And even Pretty Woman was much more dramatic. But it will make a lot of money, and Adams is kinda having a "Julia Roberts by way of Julie Andrews" moment (quote: Joe Reid). So the nomination may well come to pass. The win, though? I doubt it. But you never know.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Will these be the globe winners? Discuss.


Rami Kashou is a sexy mofo.


"Are you the one they call Beowulf...?"

(slinks around seductively)

Angelina Jolie is a sex goddess.

And this movie was a lot of fun. I say "movie" because it was definitely that, and not a "film." But it was good anyway. I agree with Nathaniel, see it in 3D. It's probably not nearly as fun without Angelina's boobs all up in your face. Not to mention Beowulf's non-penis.

I think that while the juggling of adventure/spectacle and farce was kind of awkward at times, the decision to go comedic with this thing was generally a wise one. Cause isn't there something inherently comedic about cartoon versions of actors we know? You can't make one of these "motion capture" things and actually expect me to take it seriously. So I'm glad Zemeckis didn't. And anyone who thought he DID should really watch it again. He's totally having fun with this. But I think he managed to get some serious stuff in underneath. Anyway, the high-flung spectacle of it all is the real draw of this piece, so again, see it in 3D. It's really fun, and quite unlike anything you've ever seen before (I would think).

I expect oscar nominations in most, if not all, of the sound/music categories. There's even an original song, and it's pretty good, though I worry for its chances when it's competing against all the Once songs, all the Enchanted songs, the two Hairspray songs, the Into the Wild Eddie Vedder songs, and even all Shakira's songs for Love in the Time of Cholera. That category's stacked this year... they'd better come up with a lineup that's good.

Does anyone know if Beowulf qualifies for a visual effects nom? Cause I think it'd get one, if indeed it is eligible. But since it's an animation technique being used, and not visual effects per se, I really don't know. Then of course, there's the issue of its eligibility as an animated film. But let's not even go there. In any case, I think a few aural noms are happening.


sorry, Greg, I still love you
(except I'm having a shitty night)

I would just like to apologize to Greg for calling him "some random guy" on Glenn's blog, and for accusing him of swinging the Hugh v. Eric race. Cause really, a lot of other people were complicit in that as well... it wasn't all Greg's fault. And since he's come back to participate more lately, he is no longer "some random guy." Sorry, Greg!

I guess I'm feeling bad in general cause (in other news) this Thanksgiving I accidentally insulted one of my family's guests repeatedly by saying how bad I thought dyed-blonde hair ALWAYS looked, not realizing that she had just recently explained how her blonde hair was dyed. Oops. That was really awkward. It was kind of hard to get through the rest of dinner after someone had informed me of what I'd done. Oh well.

And in still other news... I am having one of those bizarre and upsetting emotional nights where all those emotions you usually leave yourself numb to come flooding into your head. It's not unlike the "big dramatic moment" at the climax of a film, when all the feelings start rushing in. Catharsis, and anti-catharsis. All the possibilities, all the things you want and don't have (**COUGH**relationships**COUGH**sex) suddenly seem like they're so much more necessary than you always tell yourself. Like, everything has been okay with me lately, except now I realize that it's not at all. And tomorrow everything will probably be fine. Except NOW, it's just not at all.

That is all.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

10 things I learned (or had reaffirmed) while watching Michael Clayton

#1: Tilda Swinton is SUCH a badass. When it comes to playing evil, self-possessed bitches, no one does it better.

#2: Tom Wilkinson continues to be awesome.

#3: George Clooney is a REALLY good actor sometimes.

#4: Tony Gilroy is one to watch.

#5: Legal dramas can actually be cinematic.

#6: Corporations have too much power.

#7: Really good movies rarely ever make any money.

#8: Whenever things seem REALLY bad, it's probably a good idea to step outside your car and contemplate your life.

#9: Always keep your cell phone on.

#10: I should see Michael Clayton again.

What a knockout of a film.

Major props to everyone involved, especially Tony Gilroy himself. The script was great, and the direction taut and precise. For a former screewriter, Gilroy has a very exciting visual style. And he obviously knows how to work with actors.

I seriously have never been much of a fan of George Clooney (at least as an actor; as a star/personality/hottie/activist/director//Hollywood power player, etc. he is choice), but I loved him here. This role fits him like a glove. Tilda of course was brilliant in her limited screentime. And Wilkinson was great as always as the unhinged-but-maybe-not-as-much-as-it-seems attorney.

I really wanna see it again sometime, to make better sense of the beginning and the time-shifting and all the details, which I was admittedly a little too lazy to put full effort into discerning, given that it was 11:00am on Thanksgiving. But yeah, that was a damn good movie.


Guess what I'm doing this morning?

I'm off to see Michael Clayton (at 11:00am on Thanksgiving) because there's only one theatre left in my area that's playing it, and I'm afraid it'll be gone tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I'm thankful for being able to see Michael Clayton before it's gone. And for having a few days off from school. And for having broken off my fingernail in the perfect way so as to have it grow back right and have not as much pain while healing (seriously, it could've been so much worse). And for only having one year left before we in America elect someone who is not George W. Bush (and who is hopefully John Edwards) to be president.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Enchanted is enchanting the critics.

There are several early reviews of Enchanted online, and it seems the Amy Adams backers were right. She's getting raved up and down for this role. If it hits big this weekend, she'll start looking like the frontrunner for the Golden Globe. I'm still not convinced she's getting an oscar nom, simply because of the fluffy Disney nature of the project, but if the film makes a bunch of money, and voters are annoyed at all the underforming dramatic films, she could place. We'll see.

I didn't realize Echanted came out so soon. It starts tomorrow! (unless you're Glenn and you live in Australia, in which case, at least the value of your dollar's not in free fall) Anyway, I'll probably see it with my mom and my sister this weekend. It'll be fun to see a cute Disney flick in the theater with them again. I can't even recall the last time we did that. Though we did go to Disney World a lot when I was little.

Monday, November 19, 2007

ABSURDITY ALERT: "Famousr" doesn't register KATE WINSLET (!) or MADONNA (!!)

I have lost ALL respect... which was not much to begin with (heh).

Seriously... Kate Winslet??? HELLO!!! She starred in F***ING Titanic!!! You know, that little movie about the boat? And then later, she went on to earn 5 oscar nominations by the age of 31? Look it up, bitch.

And... Madonna????? HELLO!!! She's F***ING MADONNA. She should be famousr than Tom Cruise!

But when you type in their names and try to compare their fame levels to others, the site is all "we don't have anyone by that name in our database. Please note that our site only compares actors" etc.

I should write those "Famousr" people a letter. Gimme a break.

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GOLDEN GLOBE SPOTLIGHT:Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)

Now for the comedic and musical men. Ahhh, the men. It's not nearly as competitive for them as it is for the ladies, but it is still a race worth exploring (if you, like me, love the men). Anyway, here are the leading contenders, as I see them:

DON CHEADLE (Talk to Me)

In his corner: Lots of goodwill in the industry. He's a very strong actor with only one previous nom to his name (for Hotel Rwanda). And once again, he's earned critical acclaim for playing a real person. I don't know much about this film (I missed it during its theatrical run), but it seems likely to earn him a nod in such a weak year.

But... the film never quite caught on the way it might have. It didn't make much money, and no one seems to be talking about it anymore.

(Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End)

In his corner: They love him. They've nominated him for the last two Pirates films. Why stop now? Depp's been a fixture at the globes for the past few years.

But... Captain Jack's kinda played out. Been there, done that, twice over. And Depp-wise, Sweeney Todd is where it's at this year.

Then again... they might just as soon nominate him for both (they did it for Leo last year). Call it "double Depping."

JOHNNY DEPP (Sweeney Todd)

In his corner: Legendary, immensely challenging role. It's comedic AND dramatic AND musical. It's been awards-bait before, at the Tonys. And Johnny's having a great year. And the globes love him. I don't see how he can miss.

But... what if he butchers it??? If the film's a total bust, and people start saying he's sullied Sweeney Todd, then I suppose they might snub him. Maybe.

Then again... I really think he'll get nominated either way. They've nommed him for crap before (Willy Wonka anyone?).

RYAN GOSLING (Lars and the Real Girl)

In his corner: He's a great actor, still riding high from last year's success, Half Nelson... and his Lars is totally unlike that previous (oscar-nominated) role.

But... some people don't like the quirk. Plus, the HFPA didn't even nominate him for Half Nelson... so maybe they won't nominate him for this? And speaking of Nelson, this perf is bound to suffer by comparison; it's hard to follow up Dan Dunne.


In his corner: Lovely, beautifully naturalistic performance in a movie that many people love. His acting, his singing and his songs carry the film. One could argue that he's the principal creative force behind Once.

But... he's not famous AT ALL. He's not even an actor, really. Nor is he American (his competitors are all of the above). Voters will have to REALLY love the film for him to get in. And even if they do, it's easier for them to just nominate one of his songs.


In his corner: Strong performance in a prestige film. Great scene partner in Laura Linney. He's had a great year, and it's probably easiest for voters to honor it by nominating him here.

But... men don't usually win awards for films like this; I'd say Linney's a more likely nominee. And some say she overshadows him anyway. Plus, there's always the off chance he'll compete in drama (in which case, he'd probably be snubbed).

SETH ROGEN (Knocked Up)

In his corner: Lead role in acclaimed hit film. That usually spells N-O-M. Could be the "mainstream" choice if voters are sick of Depp.

But... that's a big "if." And with romantic comedies, it's usually the women who win awards... not to mention, his female co-star is much more famous than he is. Plus, though he's very funny and engaging, he kind of reads as just a schlub playing a schlub... and that's not too hard. If either of the leads gets a nom from this film, it'll probably be Katherine Heigl.


In his corner: This category loves him; he's won it before. And this year, he gave the most talked about performance in a well-reviewed hit. When you leave the film, you definitely remember him (even if you'd rather not). Voters may be nostalgic for the Travolta of yore, to the tune of a nomination here.

But... it's really a supporting role. Since it's a lead in the play, and sticks out so much in the film, voters might ignore that fact and place him here anyway... but that's not a given. Plus, the performance is divisive; there's a good chance it won't be nominated at all.

I'd say all these men have a shot at the shortlist (assuming of course that Travolta's not placed in supporting, and Hoffman's not placed in drama). I think the list of 5 will be culled from these 8 (I'm also assuming, for the sake of argument, that if Sam Riley in Control gets any traction, he'll follow Cotillard into drama). Am I missing anyone? I do think, for the record, that the Jameses (Marsden and McAvoy) would be #9 and #10 respectively (for Enchanted and Becoming Jane). They're both having stellar years. But since they're also both playing second fiddle to their female co-stars, I don't expect to see either of them on the shortlist.

Right now I'd say the list will consist of Cheadle, Depp, Depp, Gosling and Hoffman, with Depp (for Sweeney) and Gosling being the two locks. But I'm probably wrong.

Who do you guys think it'll be? Discuss in the comments.

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GOLDEN GLOBE SPOTLIGHT:Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)

Time to spotlight the ladies of the musical/comedy category. Y'all know I love this category. And this year, it's wicked strong. I'd say all 8 of these women are EXTREMELY possible:

AMY ADAMS (Enchanted)

In her corner: Momentum and goodwill from Junebug a couple years back. And a possible big hit on her hands... could fill the requisite "mainstream" slot. Word is, she brings unexpected depth to her ditzy Disney princess role. And she sings, too.

But... the globes didn't nominate her for Junebug. Maybe they don't much like her? Also, her film is lightweight... and might not be as big a hit as it wants. Though early word is good, box office and critical reaction are still unclear.


In her corner: Headlined a well-reviewed hit film... could fill the requisite "mainstream" slot. Both she and the film itself are easy to love. Her role is both comedic AND musical... a definite plus. And voters may want to reward her for a role she seemed born to play (and is unlikely to top).

But... the film is more of an ensemble piece. She's the lead, but just barely so... she's surrounded by much more famous co-stars. Plus, there's strong competition this year on both the "musical" and "mainstream" fronts.


In her corner: Legendary role. If the film goes over well at all, she'll be in (and could easily win). She seems well cast, too, nepotism or no.

But... will the film go over well at all? No one knows. And even if it does, she might be overshadowed by Depp, who is the focus of the buzz. And if her role's been trimmed as much as people claim, she could end up in supporting. And how is her singing?


In her corner: She's got the title role (of sorts) in the biggest hit in the mix. She's also very hot right now in general, fresh off an Emmy win for Grey's Anatomy. If they really want mainstream, she's it.

But... she might be too mainstream (no chance of an oscar nom). That's usually not a problem in this category, but in this highly competitive year, it might be. And though her perf is good, her role is kinda generic (could have been played by anyone).

(Margot at the Wedding)

In her corner: She's Nicole Kidman, the HFPA's favorite actress. They nominate her even for difficult films (i.e. Birth). And she's getting Birth-level acclaim for her work in Margot.

But... the film as a whole is not so well-liked; reviews have been mixed at best. Plus, Nic's character is quite hateable. And though that usually doesn't deter the HFPA, in such a competitive year... it might.

LAURA LINNEY (The Savages)

In her corner: Strong performance in a prestige film. Dramedies do well in this category. Linney the actress is respected and overdue.

But... Linney the celebrity is less exciting. And this is the golden globe comedy category, not the oscars. Might this star and perf be too low-key for their tastes? She and Kidman are vying for the "talky indie" spot... and we know which of those two they like more. Maybe she should try for drama?


In her corner: Her film is getting great buzz, as is her performance in the title role. Many are claiming she's a lock for an oscar nod, in which case she'd be more than lock here. She also has momentum from her acclaimed perf in last year's Hard Candy. And the globes have no problem with youth: note the love for Claire Danes, Keri Russell, Evan Rachel Wood, etc.

But... it's still all just buzz. Her film has yet to be released and reviewed. Will she (and it) live up to the hype?


In her corner: She's a former winner (for TV's Felicity), so we know they like her. And she now stars in a sweet little film that a lot of people like, in a role completely different from the one she won for. She and the film are easy (for most) to love.

But... they also have vocal (and loud) detractors. The film seems too sweet to be "divisive" and yet it is. Plus, it was released a long time ago. With no real pressure to honor her, might they just forget about it and look to other, fresher ladies?

That's 8 very strong contenders... and I'm not even counting the possible-but-not-very-likely people like Markéta Irglová (Once), the would-be-a-good-bet-if-their-films-were-ever-released people like Michelle Pfeiffer (I Could Never Be Your Woman), and the probably-too-good-for-this-category people like Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose). Counting NONE of those, there are still these 8 that I'd say would be locks in a lesser year.

In fact, I'd call several of them locks anyway, except that there are only 5 spots, which means 3 of them will have to be left out. Which 5 do you think will make it? Which 5 would you like to make it? Which, if any, women not listed here do you think have a shot? Discuss in the comments (please).

p.s. For the record, if you put a gun to my head, I guess I'd say the list would consist of Adams, Blonsky, Bonham-Carter, Linney and Page. BUT what I really think will happen is either Linney will go drama or HBC will go supporting, AND there'll be 6 nominees. Something's gotta give, and soon. Oh, and I think the win is headed to either Amy Adams, Ellen Page or Helena Bonham-Carter... unless Cotillard ends up competing here.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

totally random and entirely useless NBR predictions

These are not final at all, but I just feel like putting them out there, cause I'm in that kind of mood:

Best Picture: Atonement (Focus Features)
alternate: No Country for Old Men

Best Director: David Fincher for Zodiac
alternate: The Coen Bros (No Country)

Best Actor: Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd
alternate: Daniel Day-Lewis (TWWB)

Best Actress: Julie Christie for Away From Her
alternate: Laura Linney (Savages and Jindabyne)

Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men
alternate: Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton)

Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett for I'm Not There
alternate: Michelle Pfeiffer (Hairspray and Stardust)

Best Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody for Juno
alternate: Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson for TWBB
alternate: Christopher Hampton (Atonement)

Special Achievement: The Coen Bros for No Country for Old Men
alternate: Sarah Polley (Away From Her)

Ensemble Acting: the cast of Hairspray
alternate: the cast of I'm Not There

Directorial Debut: Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton)
alternate: Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone)

Breakthrough Actor: Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild)
alternate: Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone and Jesse James)

Breakthrough Actress: Ellen Page (Juno)
alternate: Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray)

Top Ten List
1. Atonement
2. No Country for Old Men
3. There Will Be Blood
4. Into the Wild
5. Michael Clayton
6. Charlie Wilson's War
7. Zodiac
8. Hairspray
9. I'm Not There
10. Once

Anyway, I have no idea why I did this. It's not time yet at all. But I just had it on my mind. The special achievement could easily go to Sean Penn or Sarah Polley or someone else. There are a lot of actor directors and writer/director/producers in the mix this year, so it could go any which way. But I feel like the Coens will take special achievement since they're now finally being honest about crediting both of themselves as directors, producers, etc. I also think David Fincher is sufficiently random to take their directing award. And I just have this weird feeling that Depp will take best actor here. But it could be a lot of others, too.

Discuss if you're so inclined. Otherwise, just ignore. Your call.


Imelda Staunton IS Harvey Keitel (circa 1993)

Sorry for blogging about so many random, stupid things lately. Believe me, I too wish I had a life. But don't you think this 1993 pic of Imelda Staunton (left) looks JUST like this 1993 pic of Harvey Keitel (right)? I don't mean this as a knock on Staunton (I love her); I just think the resemblance is uncanny... which I guess is a knock on Staunton. Oh well.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

random beautiful Mark Ruffalo pic

I have no good reason for posting this, other than the fact that it's gorgeous. Maybe I should've included Ruffalo in the tournament? Oops.


Battlestar Galactica: Pegasus has just blown my mind.



totally bizarre Brad Pitt/James Dean video

This slideshow is overly long and entirely random, but fascinating to watch. It's basically about how Brad Pitt is the sexiest man now and James Dean is the sexiest man of the past, and it features the Young and the Restless soundtrack, among other obscure music choices. I think it's worth a look, for the bizarro factor alone. Check it out.


Friday, November 16, 2007

We've got some close races here.

Most of the Round 3 matchups are proving very competitive. Only 3 of the 8 look decided, as of now... and I'm not counting Rudd vs. Dean, which is still way tighter than it has any right to be. I think we'll be seeing Bana, Craig, Owen and hopefully Dean in the semifinals, but beyond that, it's anyone's guess.

Will the suave and charming Law and McGregor triumph, or will the carnal appeal of Evans and Farrell carry the day? Will the young and pretty Marsden outdo the more intense and seasoned Fiennes? And will the iconic Paul Newman be able to hold off Jake? I dunno. Stay tuned. And please VOTE (in ALL of them).

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm starting to feel like Depp will win the oscar.

All he has to do is pull off the singing. And by most accounts, he does. If the response is positive at all, he'll have the golden globe in the bag - only Gosling seems to have any chance to beat him - especially since he has a likely double nom coming (they've nommed him for his last two Jack Sparrows, and last year's Leo love-fest proves they aren't opposed to double-dipping for stars). And the media will be all over him. All these things will make it hard for the academy not to notice come nomination time.

And as far as the actual oscar WIN... Daniel Day-Lewis is his only real competition. And he's already won. And his film might be a little too "out there" for universal love (Sweeney might, too, of course, but with both films out there in bizarro world, the "due" factor should decide it). Sweeney Todd just seems like the perfect role to do it for Depp, i.e. it builds on his established strengths and plays into his persona (from the clips, Sweeney Todd = Edward Scissorhands + Jack Sparrow) while also stretching him considerably (the singing).

Of course, it MIGHT just totally fail, or be seen as too cartoonish, too much of a retread, etc. But with Sondheim and a lot of others reportedly very happy with the film, I think Johnny'll be hard to deny.

Thoughts on this?

p.s. Oscar predictions are updated. Scroll down the sidebar to find them.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Round 3 is done.

That's it. No more.

It was really fun, though. This was my favorite round yet, in fact. I can't wait to see who makes the cut.

But for now, I'm gonna keep watching Project Runway. I'm already hooked on the new season. I'm watching the rerun of the premiere right now. Soooo addictive. I'll probably end up blogging about it before too long.

It actually reminds me of editing class... we do the same kinda thing where we all get a challenge, some specific scene to edit together or cut down, and everybody ends up doing something totally different. Then we all watch them, and our teacher Dia gives critiques. She's kind of Heidi-esque, in her way. She has a Miranda Priestly haircut, and is very chic. And pretty harsh, too.

WHO'S HOTTER: (round three)
Chris Evans or Jude Law?


Why is he hot?
He just is. Just look at him. Look at his body. He exudes pure sex. He has the physique of a Ryan Reynolds, but with a much less annoying personality. Unlike Ryan, he knows how to work the attitude as well as the muscles.

Hotter than:
Warren Beatty

Hottest role:
That'd have to be his role as Johnny Storm (aka "The Human Torch") in the Fantastic Four hack jobs movies. Johnny is hot literally as well as figuratively. Hardy har har. I actually haven't seen either of the Lame Fantastic Four flicks (can you blame me?), but I might check them out just for Chris. Mmm... Chris Evans in a towel, making fire...


Why is he hot?
Dickie Greenleaf. Gigolo Joe. Brad Stand. Inman. Alfie. Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas. These are ALL good reasons. You want more? How about his killer bone structure, perfect tan, gorgeous eyes, lithe physique, and sexy accent? Jude is just one of those genetically gifted, impossibly perfect creatures.

Hotter than:
Orlando Bloom
Brad Pitt

Hottest role:
Oy, there are so many. Jude's been kind of typecast as "the hot guy." He even played a mechanical gigolo. But there are two roles that stand out: his vain, callous gay playboy Alfred Douglas (Wilde) and his vain, callous expatriot Dickie Greenleaf (The Talented Mr. Ripley). Tough call. But while I am partial to Wilde's gay sex and gratuitous nudity, I have to give this one to Ripley's Dickie, the role that made Jude Law a star.

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WHO'S HOTTER: (round three)
Paul Rudd or James Dean?


Why is he hot?
The "aw shucks" factor. He's got the cutest face you've ever seen, and his own brand of goofy charm. And if you're into men with abundant body hair, he's your guy (and if you're not, he's still super cute). He's also a good actor. He's had a loyal fanbase ever since Clueless.

Hotter than:
Anderson Cooper
John Stamos

Hottest role:
I gather this is a tossup between Clueless and Wet Hot American Summer. Unfortunately, I've seen neither. But I know they both have die-hard fans. I don't think Rudd plays the gay guy in Wet Hot; if he did, this would be an easy call. Where do you guys think he's hottest? I'm ignorant on this one.


Why is he hot?
In the immortal words of Catherine Keener's Maxine: "YAWN, figure it out?" He's JAMES DEAN. He needs no introduction. If you don't know why he's hot, that's your own fault.

Hotter than:
Matt Damon
Marlon Brando
(and just about everyone else)

Hottest role:
Well, there are only three to choose from. Sadly. Of those three, I'd go with the one he wasn't oscar-nominated for: Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause. The thing with Sal Mineo kinda clinches it (for more info on their relationship, click here).

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WHO'S HOTTER: (round three)
Ryan Gosling or Clive Owen?


Why is he hot?
It's hard to define, actually. There's just something about him. A lot of it is just his talent: he looks to be this generation's inheritor of the Penn/Brando brand of naturalistic acting. And that level of talent makes you hot. But it's also his looks, his charm, his ease, and that lost-puppy-dog thing he's got going. Add in his slight "bad boy" streak, and you've got the full package (er... no pun intented).

Hotter than:
Leonardo DiCaprio
Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Hottest role:
I'm finding it very hard to choose between the swoony romance of The Notebook and the druggie daze of Half Nelson. The latter is clearly the superior film and performance (considering that perf is all-time-quality great), but in terms of pure hotness, The Notebook's Noah is made to order. Tough call... but I think I love Dan Dunne too much to deny him.


Why is he hot?
Because he's a badass. He's hot shit, and he knows it. Look at that sly half-grin on his face. It's as if he's saying, "come on, you KNOW I'm the coolest guy in the room." And he usually is. He also has beautiful eyes and a sexy voice, and looks great in or out of a tux. What more can you ask for?

Hotter than:
George Clooney
Tony Leung Chiu-Wai

Hottest role:
His best AND sexiest performance has got to be his tour-de-force in Closer. Other perfs have had their moments - Gosford Park, Children of Men, Sin City - but only Closer is ABOUT sex. And Owen's outacting of Jude Law, Julia Roberts AND Natalie Portman is testament to his hotness. His "Larry" is a true force of nature. Then again, he'd had previous experience with the material - he'd once played Jude Law's "Dan" onstage - so maybe he had an unfair advantage.

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WHO'S HOTTER: (round three)
Paul Newman or Jake Gyllenhaal?


Why is he hot?
Cause he's Paul Newman. Hotness. Icon. And if the chiseled features and finely toned body aren't enough for you, he happens to be a world-class actor, too. Talent is sexy. Paul Newman is sexy.

Hotter than:
River Phoenix
Patrick Wilson
(and just about everyone else)

Hottest role:
Oh god, I don't know. Hud, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid... he's hot in everything. But he's at his hottest (and youngest) in his breakthrough film, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Co-starring with Liz Taylor automatically makes you hotter. See also: Monty Clift.

But to be honest, I'm just going on hearsay here. I really need to see more of Paul Newman.


Why is he hot:
Because he's JAKE. He has an army of Gyllenhaalics tracking his every move. He might be the most-hyped "it boy" in a generation... or maybe it just feels like that to us gays. In any case, those soulful eyes, that goofy smile, that great hair, that body... they're enough to get a guy a little excited.

Hotter than:
Taye Diggs

As hot as:
Warren Beatty

Hottest role:
Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain. This one's not up for debate. Jarhead's infamous "santa hat dance" was very hot indeed, but it didn't involve getting down on all fours for Heath Ledger. Sooo... yeah...

(my apologies to those who wanted these two to compete in the finals... I sympathize... but the draw, she is a faithless bitch... it saddens me, too...)

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

WHO'S HOTTER: (round three)
Colin Farrell or Ewan McGregor?


Why is he hot?
Because he's Irish. Because he's dirty. Because he's drunk all the time. He's also not afraid of nudity or sexually ambiguous roles. And he sure is cute. He's also honest and in your face, and doesn't give a shit. He may make bad movies, but he's a good celebrity.

Hotter than:
Joaquin Phoenix
Aaron Eckhart

Hottest role:
Tough one. He sure was sexy in Tigerland. He was gorgeously tan, blonde and bisexual in Alexander. And he was sweet as incidentally bi Bobby in A Home at the End of the World (though marred by inexcusably bad hair). But he was probably hottest while playing himself in that sex tape he made.


Why is he hot?
Because he's Scottish. And magically delicious. And loves to sing. And be nude. And dance around. And... sigh. We all love Ewan (well, most of us). I don't think I have to get into any more details. He's just scrumptious... sweet as candy.

Hotter than:
James McAvoy
Enrique Iglesias

Hottest role:
Again, tough one. For me, it's kind of a toss up between his queer exhibitionist glam rocker in Velvet Goldmine, his constantly nude, bisexual translator in The Pillow Book, and his love-struck, penniless writer in Moulin Rouge!. When push comes to shove, I guess I'd give it to the best performance of the three: Moulin's Christian.

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WHO'S HOTTER: (round three)
Eric Bana or Russell Crowe?


Why is he hot?
He has an attractive combo of strength and sensitivity: he looks like he could beat up anyone he crossed, but wouldn't hurt a fly. He's like a big teddy bear. At least that's what I see in him... though I personally prefer The Jackman.

Hotter than:
Hugh Jackman
Viggo Mortensen

Hottest role:
He had a nice little sex scene in Munich and a lot of shirtless grunting in Hulk. But neither of those holds a candle to his ever-exposed torso in Troy. Yum.


Why is he hot?
Because he's dangerous. Unlike Bana, he'll chuck a phone at anyone who looks at him wrong. And deep down, who doesn't love a bad boy? His "aggression" got him past Gael. Can it get him past Bana?

Hotter than:
Richard Gere
Gael Garcia Bernal

Hottest role:
Crowe has no shortage of burly tough guys in his filmography. He's played cops, boxers, gladiators, ship captains, even computerized killing machines. But after those have all bled together, the one that stands out (for me) is his sensitive young gay lad looking for love in The Sum of Us. Playing gay earns you bonus points in this tournament. Especially if you're a "man's man" like Russell Crowe.

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WHO'S HOTTER: (round three)
Monty Clift or Daniel Craig?


Why is he hot?
Monty has reached the kind of iconic status where you stop asking why he's hot, and just worship him. But it has something to do with his being a great (and great-looking) actor who happened to be gay in old Hollywood. Tortured souls are sexy. Being gay is sexy.

Hotter than:
Jamie Bell
Rock Hudson

Hottest role:
I have little direct experience with Monty's work, but I've inferred that the answer is either Suddenly Last Summer or A Place in the Sun. Monty + Liz = ouch, too hot for my eyes! UPDATE: I've been told Sun is where Monty burns brightest; Summer is Liz's show.


Why is he hot?
For reasons entirely different from Monty's; Daniel's more of a badass than a tortured soul. And anyone who can work a tux, a speedo AND full-on nudity this well has my love. Plus, when he looks at you, you feel dirty. That's always a plus.

Hotter than:
Chris Evans
Cary Grant

Hottest role:
This is hard. James Bond would be the obvious choice, but there's really a LOT of other stuff out there: his brooding killer in Infamous, his manly poet in Sylvia, his all-brawn younger man in The Mother. Plus, he played Francis Bacon's oft-nude gay lover in Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon. That's hard to top.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

WHO'S HOTTER: (round three)
James Marsden or Ralph Fiennes? (redux)


Why is he hot?
It's his boyish charm. He's young, pretty, and built: a killer combo. He can also sing dance, and play a superhero. Only Hugh Jackman (and to some extent Alan Cumming) can match that.

Hotter than:
Ryan Reynolds
Alan Cumming

Hottest role:
Cyclops notwithstanding, I think his song n' dance man Corny Collins is my favorite. Hairspray finally let him bust out with song, dance and that killer smile, all at once. Swoon.

(click here for a James Marsden slidehow... since there's some extra room...)


Why is he hot?
It's his intensity. Those eyes, that voice... he casts a spell. He can even steal a woman from Colin Firth. That's quite impressive. Also, evil is sexy (see Schindler's List, Harry Potter, etc.).

Hotter than:
Mark Wahlberg
Joseph Fiennes

Hottest role:
That'd have to be The English Patient himself, Count Lazlo de Almásy. That piercing gaze and sultry voice can break hearts and inspire passion. Just ask Katharine Clifton.

(click here for a Ralph Fiennes slideshow... since there's some extra room...)

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So, I finally draw cards for Round 3, and who do I draw first?


This question is not going away. One of them has to go down.

We'll try this again...

It's back!

Hello all.

So, I finally figured out how to restore my old template. It actually wasn't hard at all. There was a link somewhere called "revert to classic template." It just took a while to find. But I found it! And now I'm never "customizing" my blog again. Whenever I do, it ends up more f***ed up and genericized than customized. But I haven't ruled out starting a new blog at some point, in the new format. I can't live in the dark ages forever. And eventually, I imagine I'll be transitioning from my current "fan" type blog into more of a promotional blog (i.e. promoting me, not other established celebrities). So we'll see.

Also, since both Marsden/Fiennes and Dimitriades/Kaneshiro seem forever locked in ties, I've decided to just chuck this whole shakeup idea, and continiue Round 3 as planned. The idea was that the loser in Marsden/Fiennes would face the winner in Dimitriades/Kaneshiro, and the final winner there would go on to Round 3 (along with the winner in Marsden/Fiennes), but you guys can't seem to decide who you want to face whom, so I'm just gonna keep both Ralph and James in, with apologies to Alex and Takeshi. Let's give them a shout out for being hot and international, before we show them the door.

That is all.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

a few things

Thing #1: I was gonna see Lust, Caution, but it has disappeared from the South Beach Regal after ONE WEEK. WTF. I knew this would happen, but I didn't have time to see it last week. Jesus.

Thing #2: I screened Taxi Driver and Do The Right Thing last night for class, and WHOA, Do The Right Thing a damn good film (Taxi Driver is, too, of course, but I'd seen that one already). How is it that Crash won Best Pic from the academy and Spike Lee's film wasn't even nominated? Seriously, how? And how did Driving Miss Daisy win in 1989, anyway? Jesus.

Thing #3: I can't take this really cool Film Directors class with a really cool professor this spring cause it meets at the same time as the Directing the Actor class. Dammit. The class I can't take focuses on Hitchcock (who I've discovered I really like) and later auteurs who can be studied in relation to Hitchcock (including Ozon, Von Trier and others who I also like but can't remember). I really wanna take it. I would just take it next year, but the prof might be going on sabbatical then, in which case I wouldn't be able to take it at all. Jesus.

Thing #4: I still can't figure out how to fix my blog. Jesus.

At least my finger's healing up.


the Once songs are eligible for Oscar

Apparently, all the Once songs are eligible except "Say It To Me Now" (one of the ones I thought WAS eligible) because the shooting of the film actually predated the release of the albums in which the songs first appeared. The film was shot in January 2006 - WAY before it and the soundtrack were released - and the Hansard/Irglova albums with the songs on them were released later in 2006.

I'm not sure this eligibility thing is a done deal (you know how the academy can be about this), but as of now, I'm operating on the assumption that any of the songs could make it... including the centerpiece tune "Falling Slowly." So actually, a situation like this is not entirely out of the question:

5 nominations
Best Original Screenplay - John Carney
Best Original Song - "Falling Slowly"
Best Original Song - "If You Want Me"
Best Original Song - "When Your Mind's Made Up"
Best Picture of the Year

And "Falling Slowly" could WIN. Conceivably. That would be so cool.

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Monday, November 05, 2007


...I destroyed my finger yesterday by slamming it into a car door while filming a scene ("CUT!"). Ouch. So typing is not so fun. I will be doing less of it for the next few days. Thankfully, the finger is on the right hand, and I'm a lefty. And everything will grow back in time. But for now, it's not pretty. The fingernail is kaput, blood got everywhere, etc.

Also, as you may have noticed, I recently tried again to update my blog to the new "customized" format, and again, l don't like the result. I don't like the dots before all the posts, I don't like those little clippy icon things on the sidebar, and I REALLY don't like how it changed the design of all the type/image combo posts I've ever done. Plus, it erased my whole template again. And these things don't seem able to be fixed, unless I just undo the whole update thing.

Does anybody know how to do that (undo the update "customize" feature thing)? I managed to undo it last time, but I don't remember how. Or if anyone at least knows how to change the settings so that all my old posts look the same again, I guess that'd work, too. Please let me know if you do. I want my blog back to normal.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

WHO'S HOTTER: (special international edition)
Takeshi Kaneshiro or Alex Dimitriades?

Time to get international! I've felt guilty for a while now for leaving these two out, so I decided to rectify the situation; they're each gonna get a fair shake. So who's hotter? The foxy Asian or the Greek Australian hybrid stud? You decide.

p.s. I don't mean to shill for Alex, but has anyone seen Head On? Whoa.

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