Tag Archives: Darren Aronofsky

GLOSCARS 2011 – The Nominees….

Here are the nominations for my Gloscars for films released in 2011.

Leading the pack is DRIVE and TRUE GRIT tied with 9 each, followed by THE HELP with 6 and THE DESCENDANTS and MONEYBALL with 5 each.

Winners will be announced next week…..

Are there any surprises or snubs?  Would like to know your thoughts.

Picture

THE DESCENDANTS

DRIVE

THE HELP

THE SKIN I LIVE IN

TRUE GRIT

 Direction

Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan

Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive

Alexander Payne for The Descendants

Pedro Almodovar – The Skin I Live In

Joel & Ethan Coen for True Grit

 Screenplay

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash for The Descendants

Hossein Amini for Drive

Judy Morris for The Eye Of The Storm

Steve Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin – Moneyball

Joel & Ethan Coen for True Grit

 Actor in a leading role

George Clooney – The Descendants

Ryan Gosling – Drive (Blue  Valentine, Crazy Stupid Love, The Ides Of March)

Brad Pitt – Moneyball

Jeff Bridges – True Grit

 Actress in a leading role

Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine (Meek’s Cutoff)

Judy Davis – The Eye Of The Storm

Viola Davis – The Help

Halle Steinfeld – True Grit

Tilda Swinton – We Need To Talk About Kevin

 Actor in a supporting role

Christopher Plummer – Beginners (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)

Albert Brooks – Drive

Christian Bale – The Fighter

David Wenham – Oranges And Sunshine

Barry Pepper – True Grit

 Actress in a supporting role

Shailene Woodley – The Descendants

Charlotte Rampling – The Eye Of The Storm (Melancholia)

Jessica Chastain – The Help (The Debt)

Octavia Spencer – The Help

Judi Dench – Jane Eyre

 Music

Cliff Martinez – Drive & Contagion

Trent Reznor, Attica Ross – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Mychael Danner – Moneyball

Alberto Iglesias – The Skin I Live In & Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Carter Burwell – True Grit & Howl

 Cinematography

Matthew Labitique – Black Swan

Newton Thomas Sigel – Drive

Jeff Cronenweth – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Wally Pfister – Moneyball

Roger Deakins – True Grit & In Time

 Production Design

Beth Mickle – Drive

Mark Ricker – The Help

Dante Ferretti – Hugo

Anne Seibel – Midnight In Paris

Jess Gonchor – True Grit & Moneyball

 Costume Design

Sharen Davis – The Help

Sandy Powell – Hugo

Michael O’Connor – Jane Eyre

Paco Delgardo – The Skin I Live In

Mary Zophres – True Grit

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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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