Tag Archives: Leonardo DiCaprio

Reel Life!

The film biopic is always a popular genre. Sometimes they deal with the subjects whole life or career and sometimes just a certain period, some are accurate, some are fanciful. This year  there are a few movies of interest coming out about famous people that have attracted some top acting talent – the Oscars do love awarding actors playing real people.  Here is a small preview of some.

THE IRON LADY

starring Meryl Streep as former British PM Margaret Thatcher and Jim Broadbent as her hubby Dennis. The film deals with the period immediately prior to the Falklands war.  The Falklands was a crucial point in the Thatcher’s career and the film will unfold over a period of 17 days leading up to the war, showing how she dealt with the pressure. Similar in a way to “The Queen” in which that film dealt with the period following the death of Princess Diana and how Her Maj Elizabeth II dealt with the crisis. That particular film won Helen Mirren a best actress Oscar and you can be sure Meryl will be up for a nomination. The film is directed by Phyllida Lloyd who helmed (if you can call it that) the mega-hit musical “Mamma Mia”, which I have to say, in all honesty, was one of the worst film musicals I have ever seen – in my own opinion! The only downfall of this particularly movie is that they may give us sympathy for the hideous Thatcher, I abhor her and her principals and especially her reforms – she is an evil woman.

Meryl & Maggie

MY WEEK WITH MARILYN

This film depicts the making of the 1957 movie “The Prince And The Showgirl” which paired Marilyn Monroe with Laurence Olivier – with tumultuous results! Based on the dairies of Colin Clark who was a production assistant on the film. It stars Michelle Williams as the screen icon, and Kenneth Branagh as Sir Larry (Ralph Fiennes originally cast in the role had to pull out of the film), and in a supporting role as Dame Sybil Thorndike – Judi Dench. Harry Potter witch Emma Watson is also in the cast portraying an innocent wardrobe mistress, Dougray Scott plays Arthur Miller hubby of Marilyn at the time, and according to Clark a complete arsehole.  Michelle Williams won the role over a bevvy of Hollywood starlets – Scarlett Johansson, Kate Hudson & Amy Adams amongst them. I think they made a good choice, I can imagine Williams will capture Marilyn’s strength and vulnerability to perfection. I expect another Oscar nod for her this year. Check her out in “Meek’s Cutoff”, she can do no wrong.

Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller and Michelle Williams as Maz

J. EDGAR

This film is an oddity and high on my list of wanna-see films.

Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Leonardo DiCaprio as famed FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, it focuses on his controversial career as the founder of the FBI and addresses his homosexuality and penchant for cross-dressing. Armie Hammer who made an impression as the identical twins in last years bio-pic “The Social Network” has been been quoted promising a few kissing scenes between him and DiCaprio (he plays J. Edgar’s lover). The screenplay has been penned by Dustin Lance Black who won the Oscar for another controversial bio-pic – “Milk”. Will this be Leo’s year for the Oscar statue? It sure is fodder for the academy voters that’s for sure. Clint Eastwood is a stalwart director, his films always worth checking out.

Leo the brave & J. Edgar

A DANGEROUS METHOD

This film is the one I am eagerly awaiting the most. Masterful director David Cronenberg teams up for the 3rd time with the fabulous Viggo Mortenson and has also cast alongside him one of my new fave actors Michael Fassbender (Fish Tank, Hunger, Inglorious Basterds).  What is it about? It follows the intense relationship between Sigmund Freud (Viggo) and his protege Carl Jung (Fassbender) – the fore-fathers of psychoanalysis. Keira Knightley plays the women who comes between them. Not so thrilled about Keira in the film, I get very distracted by her jutting chin and very thin body, but I do think she does act well. Cronenberg is one of my all-time favorite directors, and the last 2 films he has made (History Of Violence & Eastern Promises) I think are masterworks of style and storytelling.No idea what to expect but I am sure it will be a treat, and possibly a few Oscar noms in their reach.

Psycho-hunk-arama, Viggo & Fassbender

 

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Babs at the beach

A I am spending a relaxing weekend in a beachside town – Anglesea, Victoria, and after a lovely walk on the beach, I thought I would recall a few movies with either memorable beach scenes or a setting at the beach.

Urquharts Bluff Beach – Anglesea, Victoria

And here they are…..

FROM HERE TO ENTERNITY (1953)

Burt Lancaster & Deborah Kerr frolick in the surf.

AIRPLANE (aka) FLYING HIGH – 1980

Julie Hagerty & Robert Hays parody the above scene from Here To Eternity in this comedy classic.

JAWS (1975)

Panic on the beach in the original summer blockbuster movie

GREASE

Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta share some summer loving

BEACH BLANKET BINGO (1965)

MUSCLE BEACH PARTY (1964)

Annette Funicello, Frankie Avalon and the boys show some muscle

BEACHES (1988)

Barbara Hershey & Bette Midler in the chic flick tearjerker soak up some rays

PSYCHO BEACH PARTY (2000)

Charles Busch starred in and adapted his hit off- Broadway play

THE BEACH (2000)

Leonardo DiCaprio starred in Danny Boyle’s disappointing film

BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (1970)

The stunning Edy Williams featured in a memorable beach scene in Russ Meyer’s camp classic.

PLANET OF THE APES (1968)

Who can forget the memorable ending to this all time classic film.

PAULINE AT THE BEACH (1983)

A little gem from French auteur Eric Rohmer.

Of course there are many many other classic, and not so classic, films with beach settings – too many to mention.

So in the coming Winter months check out a few beach movies on DVD to warm your cockles.

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Designing dreams

I am very excited today, why you ask?

Tomorrow morning I should wake up to the announcement of the nominations for the Art Directors Guild Of America’s annual awards for excellence in production design.

Unlike the Oscars where all designs are bunched in together, the ADG have 3 separate categories for film.

Contemporary, Period & Fantasy.

Last years winners were –

Contemporary – THE HURT LOCKER

Period – SHERLOCK HOLMES

Fantasy – AVATAR

Will be interesting to see what films are nominated this year. I expect “Alice In Wonderland” and “Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows” to appear in the fantasy category. Contemporary – “Black Swan” & “Social Network” maybe?  Period – “King’s Speech”. I would like to see my fave designer of the moment Mark Friedberg get a nomination for Julie Taymor’s film of “The Tempest” and I hope that Dante Ferretti is recognised for his superb designs on “Shutter Island”.

They also nominate TV design, hopefully “True Blood” will get a nomination, I expect “Mad Men” will too, and “The Pacific” of course, good luck to the Aussie’s involved who have already won an Emmy.

Will let you know my honest opinion when the nominations are announced.

Martin Scorcese directs Ben Kingsley, Leonardo DiCaprio & Mark Ruffalo on the set of “Shutter Island” – production designer Dante Ferretti.

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Baz and his unoriginal bone

Cover of "The Great Gatsby"

Cover of The Great Gatsby

Does Baz Luhrmann have an original bone in his body?  In my opinion the answer is no.

He did once I guess – when he co-created  the original production of Strictly Ballroom whilst at NIDA.

Don’t get me wrong, he does bring a touch of originality to the way he directs his movies.

“Romeo & Juliet” was a terrific update of the Shakespeare classic (his best film). “Moulin Rouge” was clever in its use of pop songs to enliven the movie musical. “Australia” was not so clever or original in his desire to bring back the old fashioned Hollywood epic – a la “Gone With The Wind”. It had the weakest of his story lines ever.

Baz recently had a workshop in New York for his proposed remake of F.Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby“.

What will Baz do to this one? I can just imagine how over the top the party scenes will be. I can imagine just how much substance he will (not) bring to the Gatsby character – I predict a cardboard cut-out version. But this is his proposed new movie project, to be made after his proposed stage musical version of Stricly Ballroom – how original is that????

In the workshop Leonardo DiCaprio read Jay Gatsby, Tobey MacGuire was Nick, and Rebecca Hall was Daisy – not bad casting at least.

It is a pity that someone with his showmanship visual flair can’t come up with something 100% original. Vincent Minnelli he aint.

 

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