Tag Archives: David Fincher

And the Oscar doesn’t go to…..

The Artist is a film that I enjoyed but I didn’t really understand all the awards attention it garnered including the Best Picture Oscar.

I thought I would look back at some other films (from the 70’s till today) that won the top award, and in my opinion did not deserve the honour.

1975

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (it was the year of Nashville – need I say more?)

1976

ROCKY (same year as Taxi Driver)

1980

ORDINARY PEOPLE (same year as Raging Bull)

1982

GANDHI (Tootsie was a gem that year)

1990

DANCES WITH WOLVES  (Marty loses again with Goodfellas)

1994

FORREST GUMP (bests Pulp Fiction)

1996

THE ENGLISH PATIENT (how can one ever forget Fargo)

2001

A BEAUTIFUL MIND (the year of Gosford Park)

2005

CRASH (crashed the party for Brokeback Mountain)

2010

THE KING’S SPEECH (when is Fincher’s turn? – the year of The Social Network)

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16 out of 24 not too bad?

16/24

Two thirds correct is better than half.

I did ok in my Oscar picks better than last year.

Congratulations to all this years Academy Award winners.

As predicted The Artist won Best Picture and another 4 awards, Martin Scorcese’s 3D Hugo took home 5 – all technical.

The big surprise (for me) was Meryl Streep winning Best Actress for The Iron Lady after a 30 year absence – her 3rd Oscar (she gave a terrific speech – a class act). Not her greatest performance but a good caricature of Margaret Thatcher – sad that Viola Davis missed out, glad that Octavia Spencer grabbed gold for supporting actress in The Help. 

Golden lady of the night – Meryl Streep in a Lanvin gown.

Thrilled that Aussie lad Kirk Baxter won his 2nd oscar for co-editing The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – he must love his boss David Fincher after winning last year for The Social Network.

Aussie golden boy Kirk Baxter with his co-winner Angus Wall.

Glenn Close joins the record books (most actress losses – 6) and so does Christopher Plummer now the oldest Oscar winner (well deserved).

I enjoyed Billy Crystal and his banter, the jokes worked for me even if a tad tired. Loved the Wizard Of Oz target audience send-up from Chirstopher Guest’s gang.

The outrage for me was the late costume designer Eiko Ishioka not being in the “in memoriam” section – she has won an Oscar (for Bram Stoker’s Dracula), yet was forgotten – how did Steve Jobs make the cut??? I predict Eiko will be up for an award next year for the upcoming Mirror Mirror, and win!

Julia Roberts in an Eiko creation for the new film “Mirror Mirror”

Talking about next years Oscars – expect a post soon on Bab’s super early predictions!!!

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And the GLOSCAR goes to……

The winners of the Babs Blabs annual film awards – The Gloscars are –

Picture

DRIVE

Direction

Nicolas Winding Refn – Drive

Screenplay

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash – The Descendants

Actor in a leading role

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

Actress in a leading role

Judy Davis – The Eye Of The Storm

Actor in a supporting role

Christian Bale – The Fighter

Actress in a supporting role

Octavia Spencer – The Help

Music

Cliff Martinez – Drive & Contagion

Cinematography

Roger Deakins – True Grit & In Time

Production Design

Jess Gonchon – True Grit & Moneyball

Costume Design

Michael O’Connor – Jane Eyre


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Controversial “Dragon Tattoo” one-sheet poster

A one-sheet film poster for the upcoming David Fincher directed remake of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” has just been released.

Featuring stars Daniel Craig & Rooney Mara showing a lot of flesh.

The film is not due for release for another 7 months and is highly anticipated.

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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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The Gloscars! – the nominees

Top 10 films

UP IN THE AIR

PRECIOUS

THE HURT LOCKER

ANIMAL KINGDOM

INCEPTION

TOY STORY 3

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

THE SOCIAL NETWORK

WINTER’S BONE

THE KING’S SPEECH

Best Director

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN – Inception

DEBRA GRANIK – Winter’s Bone

KATHRYN BIGELOW – The Hurt Locker

DAVID MICHOD – Animal Kingdom

DAVID FINCHER – The Social Network

Best Screenplay

AARON SORKIN – The Social Network

JASON REITMAN & SHELDON TURNER – Up In The Air

GEOFFREY FLETCHER – Precious

DAVID MICHOD – Animal Kingdom

DEBRA GRANIK & ANNE ROSSELINI – Winter’s Bone

Best Actor

GEORGE CLOONEY – Up In The Air

COLIN FIRTH – The King’s Speech & A Single Man

JEREMY RENNER – The Hurt Locker

JEFF BRIDGES – Crazy Heart & Tron: Legacy

JESSE EISENBERG – The Social Network

Best Actress

GABOUREY SIDIBE – Precious

SANDRA BULLOCK – The Blind Side

TILDA SWINTON – I Am Love

ANNETTE BENING – The Kids Are All Right

JENNIFER LAWRENCE – Winter’s Bone

Best Supporting Actor

JOHN HAWKES – Winter’s Bone

ANTHONY MACKIE – The Hurt Locker

GEOFFREY RUSH – The King’s Speech

MARK RUFFALO – The Kids Are All Right & Shutter Island

ANDREW GARFIELD – The Social Network

Best Supporting Actress

ANNA KENDRICK – Up In The Air

MARION COTILLARD – Nine & Inception

MO’NIQUE – Precious

JACKI WEAVER – Animal Kingdom

HELENA BONHAM CARTER – The King’s Speech & Alice In Wonderland & Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt 1.

Best Cinematography

DION BEEBE – Nine

ROBERT RICHARDSON – Shutter Island & Eat Pray Love

BARRY ACKROYD – The Hurt Locker

YORICK LE SAUX – I Am Love

GREIG FRASER – Bright Star

Best Music Score

ALEXANDRE DESPLAT – The King’s Speech, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Ghost Writer, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows – Pt 1.

ANTHONY PARTOS & SAM PETTY – Animal Kingdom

JOHN ADAMS – I Am Love

HANS ZIMMER – Inception

TRENT REZNER & ATTICA ROSS -The Social Network

Best Production Design

JANET PATTERSON – Bright Star

DANTE FERRETTI – Shutter Island

GUY HENDRIX DYAS – Inception

ANDREW McALPINE – Made In Dagenham

STUART CRAIG – Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 1

Best Costume Design

JANET PATTERSON – Bright Star

COLLEEN ATTWOOD – Nine & Alice In Wonderland

SANDY POWELL – Shutter Island

JEFFEY KURLAND – Inception

JANY TEMIME –  Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 1

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With friends like these…….

Film Review:

THE SOCIAL NETWORK.


A film about a computer nerd with dubious social skills who created the internet sensation known as Facebook hardly seems riveting. Believe me it is, and more so.

An exhilarating movie experience, a story told simply and effectively, at once topical and epic in scope.

At the centre of the film is an anti-hero protagonist that is very unlikeable yet he is mesmerizing, no mean feat to pull off.

Directed by David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac) with assured bravado, and with a fine screenplay by Aaron Sorkin (creator of West Wing) the film delivers on every level.

Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) is a computer nerd attending Harvard University, and in a whiz-bang pre credit scene we see him in conversation with his girlfriend Erica (Rooney Mara), he is being an asshole and she dumps him. This leads to him going back to his dorm pissed off and frustrated. He starts up a site that rates girls in the campus according to their “hotness”. It causes a sensation crashing the Harvard computer system. Of course he is caught and reprimanded, this catches the attention of a couple of elite students who enlist him to help start up a new exclusive social network site. Zuck leads them on and creates his own on the side. With the financial help of his roommate and best friend, Eduardo Severin (Andrew Garfield) he creates Facebook. The rest is history.

The story unfolds with a flashback structure during a couple of hearings in which he is being sued by both his best friend and the college jocks he deceived. This way we get to see all points of view in the story and I guess prevents litigation against the filmmakers.

Director Fincher draws out excellent performances and avoids bogging the film down with too much computer screen action which could easily have been done. Every now and then he zips up scenes with his usual technical virtuosity but then reverts back to a simple way to tell the tale, this helps enormously to maintain interest and prevent one becoming bored. Aaron Sorkin’s witty screenplay has some great dialogue delivered at a quick pace, rarely seen in a mainstream studio film nowadays.

Back to the performances –  Jesse Eisenberg  as Zuckenberg has the difficult role of making this tricky character at all watchable, his cold detached look while not giving anything away inside still manages to make you care somehow. English actor Andrew Garfield (soon to be the new Spiderman) is a stand-out as the best friend and the films moral stance. Justin Timberlake as a sleazy Sean Parker- creator of Napster and the Faustian character in the saga proves he has good acting chops. Armie Hammer who plays the dual role of the identical twin jocks (handled with pure technical brilliance) is terrific and Rooney Mara as Erica makes her mark in only a few scenes – she will soon be seen as the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in the American remake to be directed by Fincher. Actually everyone in the cast even down to the smallest of parts do excellent work.

As per usual in a Fincher film technically it is flawless –  editing, cinematography, music, design are all first rate.

“The Social Network”  is a truly great contemporary movie that grabs you from the first scene and never lets you down till its ending. It is by far the best mainstream movie I have seen this year. It is sure to become a classic in the vein of “All The President’s Men” and other such films of their time.

I must say I will never look at Facebook the same way now that I have a bit of insight (whether true or not) into its creation.

The film is really one that will cause a lot of debate and discussion on many issues just what I like in cinema, another reason why I rate this film highly.

NB. I was a little worried about the misogyny portrayed in the film, but then I had to remind myself that the protagonists are all young men and in context it was necessary to include.

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