Now this is a nice gruesome surprise.
The NY Times, in a–I must say–complicated online piece (took me about three minutes to figure out how to read it and then there are all those ads sliding in at you) interviews the young and talented Mulligan. They had the brilliant idea of pairing up Mulligan with different designers. They work, for the most part, only one makes her look a little like Kelly Osborne.
Mulligan says that the Pride and Prejudice shoot “was a mad hippie summer ‚Äî a party every weekend, lots of jumping naked into the lake. And I ate everything; my face ballooned. I realized that catering is a very dangerous thing.” She also says that she now lives in Los Angeles but takes the bus everywhere. Can you imagine getting on the bus and there’s Carey Mulligan? I would advise her to immediately stop taking the bus (economical, unpretentious, but…no). I would also advise her to stay away from certain notorious folks:
I had a meeting with Warren Beatty, which was surreal because I couldn‚Äôt believe I was speaking with him at all. And he couldn‚Äôt believe I was taking the bus. He drove me to my next meeting. I thought, I rather like Los Angeles. People are very kind.
Ebert loves Tarantino’s Basterds:
Quentin Tarantino‚Äôs ‚ÄúInglourious Basterds‚Äù is a big, bold, audacious war movie that will annoy some, startle others and demonstrate once again that he‚Äôs the real thing, a director of quixotic delights. For starters (and at this late stage after the premiere in May at Cannes, I don‚Äôt believe I‚Äôm spoiling anything), he provides World War II with a much-needed alternative ending. For once the basterds get what‚Äôs coming to them.
What’s interesting about his review, though, is that it needed time to ferment — like most great films and filmmakers, it all can’t be absorbed in one shot. Even Ebert needed some time and then a second viewing:
After I saw ‚ÄúInglourious Basterds‚Äù at Cannes, although I was writing a daily blog, I resisted giving an immediate opinion about it. I knew Tarantino had made a considerable film, but I wanted it to settle, and to see it again. I‚Äôm glad I did. Like a lot of real movies, you relish it more the next time. Immediately after ‚ÄúPulp Fiction‚Äù played at Cannes, QT asked me what I thought. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs either the best film of the year or the worst film,‚Äù I said. I hardly knew what the hell had happened to me. The answer was: the best film. Tarantino films have a way of growing on you. It‚Äôs not enough to see them once.
Meanwhile, there is a really interesting, strange, kind of hot exchange between filmgeek-sexpot Kim Morgan and Tarantino on her blog, Sunset Gun. The two seem to be speaking the same language – no, not love but a love for obscure cinema. I dare you to try to keep up with these two. When Kim met Quentin.
And why not? Sensationalism is a tool von Trier isn’t shy about using, so why pretend it doesn’t attract a certain kind of audience? One of our readers will have to let us know from which country this particular type of rating originates. I’m not judging the decision to place the graphic nature of the rating so prominently on the poster. Just making an observation. The quotes chosen on the totem-pole of blurbs don’t exactly focus on the films delicate artistic merits either, so it’s a bold conscious move worth noting. Marketing this movie like it’s an installment of the Saw series will certainly draw attention from ticket-buyers who only know the Antichrist as that rotten little brat, Damien, but how will this strategy fly with the Reel Geezers?
In Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, Michael Fassbender plays Archie Hicox, an undercover British film critic who’s one of the movie’s most surprising heroes. Movie critics stateside are returning the flattering favor, so far dishing up some very generous reviews for Basterds — currently at 82% on RT and 74 on Metacritic. If those numbers hold steady, Inglourious Basterds will have reached a level of respectability AMPAS looks for in candidates for the top categories. Even if it slips below the 70s, across the board praise for Christoph Waltz seems to have his supporting actor nomination firmly locked down. (The role is meaty enough to qualify Waltz for a Best Actor win in Cannes, but we don’t expect that hand to be dealt when Oscar shuffles the deck.)
“…as Nazi colonel Hans Landa, nicknamed ”the Jew hunter” for obvious and terrible ‚Ä® reasons, Austrian actor Christoph Waltz ‚Ä® triumphs, heroically, over Tarantino’s brash, cine-drunk tall tale. His Landa makes a ‚Ä® magnetic entrance in the movie’s first (and very best) scene, terrifying a French farmer suspected of hiding Jews simply by requesting a glass of milk. Waltz, who easily won the 2009 Cannes prize for best actor, centers Inglourious Basterds with the welcome subtlety of his performance. ” (Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly)
“…loquacious Nazi colonel, Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), humorously officious, hypnotizes his prey with a twinkling eye, giant grin, and steady stream of civilized chatter. Landa, the S.S. functionary assigned to rid France of Jews, is not only the movie’s villain, but also its master of revels… there’s a reason why the hitherto unknown Waltz was named Best Actor at Cannes, appears on the current Film Comment cover, and is the subject of an “Arts & Leisure” profile. Waltz’s elegant and clever S.S. man is the movie’s most crowd-pleasing creation‚Äîanother in the long line of glamorous Hollywood Nazis. (See: Tom Cruise in Valkyrie for a recent example.) Indeed, this smooth operator is Eichmann as fun guy!” (J. Hoberman, Village Voice)
I was bowled over by Christoph Waltz, a juicy, flamboyant Austrian actor who speaks perfect English, in the unforgettable role of the finger-licking Gestapo Colonel Hans Landa, a combination of every handsome, blue-eyed movie Nazi from Otto Preminger and Helmut Dantine to Ralph Fiennes in Schindler‚Äôs List. Passionate about gourmet food and fresh milk, oozing a lethal charm that thinly veils a capacity for murderous outrage, Mr. Waltz emanates such energy and discipline that he‚Äôs one 35-millimeter Nazi who deserves an Academy Award.” (Rex Reed, The New York Observer)
But will the cartoon violence and mythological rewriting of history be too over-the-top for Academy voters who like their WWII revenge served cold, and hold the humor? We’ll have to wait and see if the movie’s popular appeal is as broad as its comedic elements.
Lucky for us we have an intrepid reporter on the scene in Toronto when the film fest unfurls next month. Nancy Kriparos will be writing for us as she did last year. This is an exciting year with many films on display that will shortly thereafter be en route to Oscar. We wish Nancy the best of luck navigating the schedule.
First of all, Thank You for noting Thank You For Smoking. Passengers with a boarding pass for Juno are at the wrong terminal.
UPDATE: First still after the cut.
Because it’s been around a while, it doesn’t feel like it’s being seen for the first time.¬† Nonetheless, the revered Miyazaki is being lauded for his use of tradition drawn animation over the more common animation done by computer. Up has just two metacritic points higher than Ponyo, but it does seem to me that the more admiring one is of Miyazaki, the more they are inclined to love his latest. Those who are looking for something familiar in a kid’s movie are not going to find it here. I’ll admit that the movie, compared to Miyazaki’s other works, doesn’t sit high on the list; just as Up doesn’t sit high on the list for Pixar films (if you can even group Pixar together, rather than by director – now I want to remove Up from the tracker but I live in fear of the readers). Nonetheless, one must bow down to Miyazaki, in my opinion, for two reasons. The first is his artistic genius; no one else in animation requires that you surrender yourself completely to him for an hour and a half – and no other director takes you places you never dreamed you would go. The second reason is Miyazaki’s desire to preserve the art of animation.
But enough of my yacking, here is Manohla Dargis:
Its sting is so gentle you might miss it. But when the ocean rises in this wonderful movie, each leaping wave stares out at us with a baleful eye as if in watchful and worried wait.
And Kenneth Turan:
You’ll be planning to see Ponyo twice before you’ve finished seeing it once. Five minutes into this magical film you’ll be making lists of the individuals of every age you can expose to the very special mixture of fantasy and folklore, adventure and affection.
here is a word to describe ‚ÄúPonyo,‚Äù and that word is magical. This poetic, visually breathtaking work by the greatest of all animators has such deep charm that adults and children will both be touched. It‚Äôs wonderful and never even seems to try: It unfolds fantastically.
Kris Tapley points us to this Peter Bart column wherein Bart proclaims D9′s Oscar chances
The obscure import from South Africa registered a $37 million weekend, but here‚Äôs the dirty little secret: ‚ÄúDistrict 9‚Äù is an absolutely brilliant movie that could easily sneak away with some Oscars.
Some critics missed the boat on this one (including Variety), but at a packed Academy screening over the weekend at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, the film received the most applause of any movie in a couple of years. That‚Äôs usually a signal.
Not necessarily; Academy members are people too. Just because they were entertained and loved the movie doesn’t mean that they’ll consider it as a Best Pic contender. On the other hand, Bart is an Academy member himself and isn’t too far off their general demographic. If it appeals to everyone young and old it won’t be ignored completely. Bart also suggests that the studios are too afraid of having a flop on their hands to take big chances with untested directors, “So the big question: Are there more potential winners out there that the majors are too timorous to touch?”
This Bart piece strikes me two ways. On the one hand, the news that D9 is a formidable, even probable Oscar contender is interesting. On the other hand, is this Variety trying harder to get into the Oscar game in order to get those Oscar ads flowing? Finally, is it unethical of Bart to talk the Oscar talk if he is a member? Does that influence the vote? Either way, it’s a good story. D9 goes on the Tracker because of it. It’s also worth noting that a reader signalled me to D9′s Oscar chances several days before this story broke, saying he believed the director had a great shot at a nod.
Foreign Language Film
Live Action Short