Tag Archives: Colin Firth

Babs to direct !!!

The other Babs is going to direct her first film in 16 years.

Showbiz411 has reported that singer/actor/director Barbra Streisand has agreed to direct “Skinny and Cat”, her first film since “The Mirror Has Two Faces” in 1996.

A love story about author Erskine Caldwell and photojournalist Margaret Bourke White, officially attached to star are Colin Firth and Cate Blanchett.  Linda Yellen is producing from a screenplay she wrote. Yellen’s producing credits include the landmark tele-movies, “Playing for Time” and “Second Serve” both which featured stunning performances from Vanessa Redgrave. Her writing credits though have a different quality, she was responsible for the Royal biopics “William & Katherine: A Royal Romance” and “The Royal Romance of Charles & Diana” – Yikes!!!!

Erskine Caldwell wrote about poverty, racism and social problems in his native South his most famous novels being Tobacco Road and God’s little Acres. Margaret Bourke White is best known as the first foreign photographer permitted to take pictures of Soviet Industry, the first female war correspondent and the first female photographer for Life magazine. She has been portrayed on screen in the past by actresses Farrah Fawcett and Candice Bergen.

A famous image of Margaret Bourke White photographing the Chrysler Building for Life Magazine.

This sure is an intriguing project for Babs let’s hope she gets this one right. She has a lot on her plate right now – an upcoming film release with Seth Rogan “The Guilt Trip”, her Back To Brooklyn sold out concerts and a proposed star turn as Mama Rose in a film remake of the musical “Gypsy”.

Busy Babs!!!

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a film that speaks and one that doesn’t

Saw 2 films this weekend. One excellent, the other a dud.

The excellent one is “The King’s Speech”, an Oscar frontrunner and a real treat for fans of superb acting, not to mention a great script, characters to latch on to, and an overall vision that lifts the film to be one of the best of the year.

Colin Firth (surely he will win the Oscar) stars as the stuttering Duke Of York, soon to be King George VI. With the help of an Australian speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) he overcomes his impediment but not before a very entertaining cinematic experience is had by all. Ably assisted by a fine English cast and a supportive future Queen Mother (Helena Bonham Carter shining once again). Oh and another Aussie – Guy Pearce who is fabulous in his small role as the abdicating Edward. Director Tom Hooper does an excellent job balancing a commercial entertainment and slightly art house fare. Intelligent filmaking at its best.

The dud film is the new study of celebrity by Sophia Coppola “Somewhere”. I have enjoyed her previous films on different levels this one I didn’t enjoy at all. A film about a bored actor (Stephen Dorff trying very hard to no avail) holed up at the Chateau Marmont hotel in Hollywood. The boredom factor unfortunately bores the audience. Some may think the slow long takes and repeats may be clever observations of ennui, I don’t. I call it pretentious. The main character is just not that interesting, his daughter whom he is saddled with played by Elle Fanning is the best thing in the flick. Sophia Coppola has told  a very similar tale before, much more successfully with the excellent “Lost In Translation”, why repeat herself? It should have been a short subject film, say 40 mins max, then it may have worked. When I come out of a film saying to myself  ‘what’s the point’ it really annoys me. Also on a visual level it had nothing to add to the dullness. I got absolutely no pleasure from this film at all. 😦

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Oscar Buzz – Best Actor

Colin Firth for “The King’s Speech”

This film has been gaining lots of buzz ever since it was screened at the Telluride  and Toronto film festivals. Its leading man has been giving excellent performances for years now. As Mr. Darcy in the BBC adaptation of “Pride And Prejudice” he had women and some men swooning. He gained his first Oscar nomination last year for the lackluster film “A Simple Man”. From all accounts this film is more of a winner. He plays the part of King George IV of Britian who had a debilitating stutter to overcome in order to rule England with any success. Think of Helen Mirren’s triumph playing the Queen a few years back, then you can be assured that Mr Firth may be standing at the podium giving a speech all of his own.

James Franco for 127 Hours.

James Franco came to my attention with his wonderful performance as James Dean in the TV movie “The James Dean Story”. Since then he has turned up in many varied roles. He was excellent as boyfriend to Sean Penn in “Milk” and he stars as Alan Ginsberg in the upcoming film “Howl”, He has also been dabbling in a bit of performance art – part of which included an appearance in the daytime soap opera “General Hospital”. He seems to be everywhere at the moment even turning up as Julia Robert’s younger boyfriend  in the debacle “Eat Pray Love”. But it seems it is this tour-de-force performance that has the awards pundits blabbing. He plays the part of real life mountain climber Aaron Ralston who became trapped under a boulder for nearly 5 days, his only way to survive was to cut his arm off with a blunt pocket knife.  Gruesome indeed!

Javier Bardem for Biutiful

Javier Bardem is one of my favorite actors of late. He can make an appearance in a dud film (Eat Pray Love) and still exude charm and make the most of a part. In this role he plays the part of a gangster on the road to redemption before his impending death. It’s a dark part in a dark film that may hinder his chances at a win with the conservative Academy.  He won the best actor prize earlier this year at the Cannes film festival. He is a previous Oscar winner for his turn in the Coen Bros. classic “No Country For Old Men”. He and his glamourous and equally talented girlfriend Penelope Cruz will look gorgeous on the red carpet, thats for sure 🙂

Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network.

(Photo by Merrick Morton/Columbia Pictures)

Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg the founder of Facebook has a good chance of a nomination. It is very difficult to make an unlikeable character interesting on screen. He achieves this with great skill. I was mesmerized by his performance. In the past his turn as the son in “The Squid And The Whale” was equally impressive. The film is a critical and box office success so expect him to ride the award train to the Oscars.

Jeff Bridges for True Grit.

Expect Jeff Bridges back again after last years deserved best actor win for “Crazy Heart”. This time he takes on the iconic John Wayne part of Rooster Cogburn in the Coen Bros. remake of the classic western. Back to back Oscars are hard to win, but I do think a nomination is on the cards for this very talented actor.

Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine.

Ryan Gosling is another of my fave actors of the moment. His breakthrough performance as a drug addict in “Half Nelson” earned him his first Oscar nomination. For his 2nd shot at the golden man he plays husband to Michelle Williams in this relationship drama following the pitfalls of marriage. It had recent controversy when it was rated NC-17 for an emotionally intense sex scene. Controversy of course garners attention. The film has been shown at both the Cannes and Sundance festivals and the reviews have all lauded the performances of Mr Gosling and his co-star.

Robert Duvall for  Get Low.

Veteran actor Robert Duvall is in with a chance with this film. He plays the part of a hermit who comes down from the woods to plan his own ‘living’ funeral. The film premiered at the 2009 Toronto film festival and had a delayed release which may hinder his chances. The reviews for his performance and the film have been excellent so expect him in with a chance. The Academy loves the oldies. Duvall won best actor for “Tender Mercies” back in 1984.

 

OTHERS IN WITH A CHANCE

Mark Wahlberg for The Fighter.

Leonardo DiCaprio for Shutter Island & Inception.

Stephen Dorff – Somewhere.




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