Monthly Archives: January 2011

slapped around!

Babs will be posting less in the next few weeks.

Babs is being slapped around by  “The Slap”.

Behind the scenes film making is demanding at the best of times.

Would love to blab every now and then about “The Slap”, hopefully I can soon!

Aside from that I promise some news and reviews as soon as I can. It is Oscar season after all.

 

 

 

 

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So damn happy!

I am so thrilled for Jacki Weaver and her Oscar nomination today – Best Supporting Actress for “Animal Kingdom”. She deserves it so much.

This was one of her reactions

“I’m elated to the point of euphoria. I feel like I’m in a walking dream,” she said of her supporting actress nom for “Animal Kingdom. “I’m so relieved that all those millions of Australians who wanted me to get this nomination aren’t disappointed. Happy Australia Day.”

Indeed!

It is a very good showing this year  for all the Aussie nominees walking the red carpet with Jacki.

Geoffrey Rush – Supporting Actor in “The King’s Speech” (His fourth nomination, he has won once for “Shine”)

Emile Sherman – Producer for “The King’s Speech” – Best Film

Nicole Kidman – Actress for “Rabbit Hole” (Her third nomination, she has won once for “The Hours”)

Shaun Tan – Best Animated Short Film for “The Lost Thing”

Kirk Baxter – Editing for “The Social Network”

Ben Snow – Visual Effects for “Iron Man 2”

Aside from the thrill of the Jacki and Co. nominations I was also very happy with the showing for “The Winter’s Bone” – 4 noms (best film, actress, supporting actor & adapted screenplay) after its best film win at the Gloscars! I hope it does well at the Oscars 🙂

Very pleased that “Tron:Legacy” missed out on a nomination for Art Direction and happy that “Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows – Pt 1” was nominated.

Pleased that “I Am Love” got a nomination for costumes, and disappointed that “Black Swan” missed out on a nom for Art Direction.

Overall no real surprises at all – unless you count Javier Bardem – Best Actor for “Biutiful” but I am sure he is deserving, he is a superb actor.

My prediction of the winners will come the week of the Oscar ceremony, which will be presented on February 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

 

 

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In support of Jacki

By the time we wake up tomorrow morning we will know whether the fabulously talented Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom) will be attending the Academy Awards.

I truly believe she will get a nomination, or I will be devastated.

Will have to wait to see the nominations and all the contenders in the supporting actress category to see if she is the worthy one. So far so good.

I saw “The Fighter” on the weekend, so I can announce that I believe Jacki gives the superior performance over her rival Melissa Leo. Melissa Leo is terrific in the role of another controlling mother, but subtle and surprising it is not!  It is a showy role and I believe will earn her the Oscar but I am not so happy about that. A couple of years ago Miss Leo showed such restraint and compassion in her Oscar nominated role in “Frozen River”, she was brilliant. I just don’t think her performance in “The Fighter” is as good as Jacki’s. Also Amy Adams in “The Fighter” (another actress I adore) doesn’t really deserve a nom, she is good in the part, but it takes a while to adjust to her departure from previous roles, and it should have been seemless if it was that good. I have yet to see Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit” the other obstacle in Jacki’s road to Oscar glory – will report when I see it on Wednesday, the day of the nomination announcements.

Other predicted noms include Helena Bonham Carter – “The King’s Speech” (worthy for a nom, but not a win – her time will come I am certain), Julianne Moore – “The Kids Are All Right” (under the shadow of the brilliant performance from Annette Bening). This catergory often produces a surprise lets hope something or someone appears on the list as an upset, as long as it is not at Jacki’s expense.

Jacki Weaver in “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” performed in Adelaide 2010

Footnote: Christian Bale’s performance in “The Fighter” is absolutely wonderful, brave, out there, and amazing –  he will and should win the golden man for best supporting actor “The Fighter”!!!!

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Music to my ears.

2 new interesting musical projects are on the cards, and you know Babs is happy about that.

Although one of them is not entirely enticing to me, the other I am elated about.

The first news is that Clint Eastwood is in talks to direct another remake of  “A Star Is Born”, yes another one *groan*

Don’t get me wrong, I love the storyline of ASIB I am just not sure it needs to be revisited. This time announced to take on the lead role is Beyonce Knowles. Although she was ok in the movie adaptation of  “Dreamgirls”, she was only just ok. I can sense a whiff of camp and perhaps baby-breath in the air, but then again Mr Eastwood can direct with great restraint. Her leading man will be an interesting choice, black or white? Puff Daddy or Robert Downey Jr are among the rumours. At least she will not have another diva alongside her to steal her thunder as the brilliant Jennifer Hudson did in “Dreamgirls”.

Beyonce as Esther?

And who can forget the other Babs? an Esther to forget – although it did give us Evergreen where love is compared to a chair!

 

Hot on the heels of the TV success of Glee comes an new TV musical project.

NBC have ordered a pilot for “Smash”, a one hour musical series about the mounting of a Broadway musical based on an idea by Steven Spielberg. The pilot follows a cross section of characters who come together to put on a Broadway musical. TV writer/playwright Theresa Rebeck wrote the script and is executive producing with Spielberg,. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman  of “Hairspray” fame will pen original songs for the show. Negotiations are underway  for Michael Mayer (American Idiot, Spring Awakening) to direct. Babs is absolutely thrilled and over excited about this one. Although the pilot for a HBO series “The Miraculous Year”, another Broadway based drama (reported in earlier posts) never eventuated 😦  I wonder if it will ever turn up as a tele-movie or a bootleg DVD? I hope so.

I do hope that the pilot for “Smash” is a smash and the uprising of the musical genre continues on its way. All Babs needs now is the proposed film version of Steven Sondheim’s “Follies” to eventuate, now that would be divine.

Steven Spielberg goes musical

Broadway couple and composers Scott Wittman & Marc Shaiman

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It’s showtime! actually it’s HBO – Bob Fosse pic in the works.

HBO has announced that they are developing a biopic about  film & theatre genius director/choreographer Bob Fosse. It is to be directed by Brian Singer (of X-Men fame) and is based on the book “Bye, Bye Life: The Loves and Deaths of Bob Fosse” by Sam Wasson.

Tongues have been wagging in film and theatre circles and rightly so. Why would one want to make a bio on this man when he has already made it himself?

Back in 1979, with “All That Jazz” Fosse directed an autobiographical account of his own creative and physical meltdown. Roy Scheider starred as a fictionalized Fosse character, Joe Gideon – a chain-smoking, prescription drug-addicted, self-destructive director who is trying to juggle careers both on Broadway and in the movies. It is a masterpiece of musical-filmmaking highly regarded in both the theatre and film world. No one can do Fosse better than Fosse, so why bother? I guess it will be interesting to see what take Singer has to the material. He has a reputation as a volatile filmmaker himself. The casting of the lead will be very interesting, a great role for an actor that’s for sure.

Even though I am not sure it is a worthy project, I will of course be waiting in anticipation and hoping it can be pulled off.

The great Bob Fosse

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My Golden Globes picks

Here are my predictions for tomorrows announcements.

Predictions not choices….

See how I fare….

1. Best Picture (Drama)

THE SOCIAL NETWORK

2. Best Picture (Musical/Comedy)

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

3. Best Actor (drama)

COLIN FIRTH – THE KING’S SPEECH

4. Best Actress (drama)

NATALIE PORTMAN – BLACK SWAN

5. Best Actor  (comedy/musical)

JOHNNY DEPP – ALICE IN WONDERLAND

6. Best Actress (comedy/musical)

ANNETTE BENING – THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

7. Supporting Actor

GEOFFREY RUSH – THE KING’S SPEECH

8. Supporting Actress

JACKI WEAVER – ANIMAL KINGDOM (PLEASE!!!!!!!!)

predict – MELISSA LEO – THE FIGHTER

9. Director

DAVID FINCHER – THE SOCIAL NETWORK

10. Screenplay

AARON SORKIN – THE SOCIAL NETWORK

11. Original Song

YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE LAST OF ME – BURLESQUE (CHER)

12. Original Score

ALEXANDRE DESPLAT – THE KING’S SPEECH

13. Animated Film

TOY STORY 3

14. Foreign Film

I AM LOVE

15. TV Series (Drama)

BOARDWALK EMPIRE

16. TV Series (Comedy)

MODERN FAMILY

17. Mini-Series or Motion Pic TV

TEMPLE GRANDIN

18. Actor – Mini Series or Motion Pic TV

AL PACINO – YOU DON’T KNOW JACK

19. Actress – Mini Series or Motion Pic TV

CLARE DANES – TEMPLE GRANDIN

20. Actor – TV Comedy

ALEC BALDWIN – 30 ROCK

21. Actress – TV Comedy

LAURA LINNEY – THE BIG C

22. Actor – TV Drama

BRYAN CRANSTON – BREAKING BAD

23. Actress – TV Drama

JULIANA MARGUILES – THE GOOD WIFE

24. Supporting Actor in a supporting role – mini series, comedy or drama

ERIC STONESTREET – MODERN FAMILY

25. Supporting Actress in a supporting role – mini series, comedy or drama

JANE LYNCH – GLEE

 

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Birds of a feather….hardly!

The results are in from my Divafest film weekend.

Funny enough both films featured a few feathers and both films have a lead female performer full of ambition. Comparisons stop there!

BLACK SWAN & BURLESQUE.

Film reviews.

First up is BLACK SWAN.

Praised by most critics and high up on the award seasons list of nominations and wins so far. Virtuoso director Darren Aronofsky and his wonderful leading lady Natalie Portman team to reveal the reality (and unreality) of the world of ballet. The result is a brilliantly made grand guignol campfest. Sophistocated psychological thrillers have been few and far between since the 70’s so it is a pleasure to see this one succeed. Portman stars as Nina, an extremely driven ballerina given the chance to dance the lead role in the ballet “Swan Lake”. Technically brilliant in the role of the white swan, it is the part of the black swan which she also has to tackle that causes the problems. Egged on by her tough choreographer (Vincent Cassell) to explore her sexual dark side, the poor frigid Nina, with an over protective mother (perfectly cast Barbara Hershey) goes batty over the prospect of fully succeeding in the part. Paranoid that her understudy (the sexually liberated Lily – a breakout performance from Mila Kunis) is out to take over the coveted role. Her mind conjures up all sorts of hallucinations and mayhem, making for high entertainment and cinematic thrills. From the very beginning the film has you on edge and after a night out with her nemesis the film goes full tilt into a frenzy that never lets up till the final image. I was gobsmacked and loved every minute. The performance of Natalie Portman is a revelation, this talented actress has never been better. Her vulnerability, her fears, her yearnings all register perfectly and you never feel that she is “acting” which would have been very easy to do. It is an over the top role and she underplays it to perfection. All the performances are good, Winona Ryder as a defunct diva registers in a small part. The bold production design of black, white and tones of red (pinks) are thoughtfully realised by Therese DePrez. Costumes are detailed and the cinematography is sensational. All around it is a truly great film experience. Darren Aronofsky, thank you very much.

 

Now for BURLESQUE.

Starring 2 divas, one old and one new, Cher & Christina Aguelira. This cliched load of crap is a borefest, not even a boring campfest, just a b0ring film. Of course I  expected all the cliches of the genre – girl travels from middle America to make it as a singer and dancer in LA. She arrives on the Sunset Strip and enters the door of a down on its luck Burlesque theatre run by a jaded and tired showgirl with the bank threatining to close it down and a property developer on her tail to sell. Of course the homespun sweetheart has a voice of gold and can kick up her heels like a rockette, and of course she saves the day. Along the way there are gay men full of witty lines  (hardly witty in this case), bitchy catfighting amongst the dancers and a cute boyfriend on the sidelines. You get the picture. The problem with Burlesque is that it is dull, even the derivative show numbers are flat as a tack. While you might think that watching grand diva Cher sing a song or two without moving a face muscle could be fun, well that wears as thin as Miss Aguelira’s character’s personality. It is a scandal to see Stanley Tucci walking through his role with barely a spark of fun, and why was Alan Cumming (Broadway’s emcee in the “Cabaret” revival) cast at all?

It has no really camp fun moments to lift it up to become an entertaining bad film (a la “Showgirls”) it is just a bad film trying to be camp. You can see the writer/director Steve Antin rubbing his hands when he thinks he has ticked all the boxes to please both the gay audience and the  female fans who salivate over this crap.

Hated it!

The only hope for me is that possibly it will be nominated for a song award at the Oscars and Cher will perform it on the night which will mean that she will turn up on the red carpet in another outrageous Bob Mackie masterpiece…fingers crossed for that one.

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