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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Spidey x 2

Spiderman, Spiderman, friendly neighbourhood Spiderman…..

Broadway Spidey.

Opening night delayed again, for a full month, top earner in previews this week, it is not a “Carrie-esque” flop, perhaps the “Titanic” of the musical theater, as in, remember the doomsayers who predicted James Cameron’s film “Titanic” was going to be the biggest movie flop ever, yet became the biggest hit of its time!

The broken limbs, free falls ending in the hospital, replacement leading lady hit by a flying cable….oh the marketing dream!  Disaster pays!

Believe me, a flood sells a million newspapers and TV coverage.

A disastrous Broadway musical, possible flop, then possible hit, has me on the edge of my seat, hoping Spiderman lands at my feet or crashes on my face and I am the centre of attention in the papers, believe me the audience are there to see the results, good or bad.

Will be interesting if, when it opens, and it is in shape, and the doomsayers drop off, and then it flops…..we will have to wait to see the outcome…..

All for a comic book creation (not!),  the mind boggles. – well at least mine does 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, I am not hoping for disaster, actually, I adore Julie Taymor’s visionary approach to everything, I want it to be a hit. Not that I care for the Spidey character, I just wanna see the visuals I know Julie can create, and if it is a success we can witness more of her visionary brilliance.

Go Julie!

Reeve Carney…Broadway & Julie T’s Spidey….hmmmmm, maybe, must trust Julie T.

Spidey reboot.

I am also interested in the new Spiderman movie reboot….Andrew Garfield, nominated for a Golden Globe for the brilliant “The Social Network” is the new Peter Parker, and he can pick my pecker (not pickled – unlike me! ) anytime. So for someone not interested in the Spidey it is very annoying that interesting people are involved in Spidey projects across all mediums.

Andrew Garfield (so hot!!) & Emma Stone (love her) the new stars of the Spidey movie reboot – good luck spunks!

Damn you Julie T, Andrew Garfield, and previously Sam Raimi, I don’t like arachnids much! But happy to see what you have in your future webs.

 

 

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the lazy side of the award season……

The Dec/Jan/Feb film season in Australia always has me abuzz. It is award season in the U.S. and we in Oz usually have the contenders on our screens before the crucial Academy Award date.

This year has me excited at the contenders yet to see, and the ones I have seen.

My only complaint is the so-called “gravy train” or “band-wagon”. The same highly acclaimed and awarded films turn up everywhere. While I understand that the film critics band together, it really annoys me that the individual guilds also turn up with the same bunch of nominees.

In all honesty, surely in a year of so many films released, can u believe that the top best films also have the same top designers, and composers, and cinematographers?

A film can have a fabulous script and great performances but an average design or score, also a film with a bad script and direction and so-so cast can have extraordinary design or visuals. Yet they all seem to turn up in the same awards.

I remember years ago, with the Academy Award nominations there was always a few outsiders in the design or cinematography categories that would be recognized but no chance in the film, or direction or screenplay catergories, that way you might seek out the visually talented nominees. I could cite examples but then this post will go on, and i don’t have the time to detail (sorry bout that).

This year it seems in all the individual guild awards the same group of nominees appear. laziness perhaps?  or not even have seen the films upfront ?(hope not).

I wish there were a few left of field nominees out there. Guess there will be at least one or two when the Oscars are announced.

eg.

No chance at a best picture nomination, or for direction, acting, but it sure had superbly detailed production design…

MORNING GLORY

Production Designer: Mark Friedberg

The set comprised of a TV studio and the production offices, set in a basement, it felt underground. The apartment of the TV anchor/legend portrayed by Harrison Ford, not seen in great detail, darkly lit, but it screamed of wealth, success, travel etc….totally believable for the character……

the Art Directors guild failed to recognise 😦 beats me

for those who like really good production design, I think you should check it out…in my own opinion!

 

 

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Divafest weekend

I am looking forward to a camp diva- fest weekend at the movies.

BURLESQUE begins on Thursday (how on earth could I resist?)

and

BLACK SWAN previews on the weekend.

both films are enticing for various reasons, both films have the elements of diva-ness.

I will post my opinion soon…..

Stanley Tucci & Cher in “Burlesque” – I smell high camp here

Barbara Hershey & Natalia Portman in “Black Swan” – smell high camp with class here

 

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