And there it goes

Monday, February 28, 2011

What goes, you ask? The end of the Oscars of course, and with it the end of award season. :( Always sad when that happens. I very much enjoyed the ceremony. It ran till 1.30 am in my country and I had to get up four hours later, but who really cares? Only once a year the most important Hollywood night is on the calender.
(Yes, people who didn't watch; that's James Franco on the right)

Did anyone else totally see that joke coming? About the hosts, everyone's saying how dissapointing they were. I honestly didn't think they were that bad. But not much can dissapoint when you don't have ANY expectations. They could've been better, but they got a couple smirks out of me.
The results of the night:

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids are All Right
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
127 Hours
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

I was biting my nails during the last minutes of the ceremony. The two most likely to win were 'The King's Speech' and 'The Social Network', which accidentally also happened to be my pick for favorite and least favorite respectively. I knew TKS was the front-runner after they won Best Director, but you never know. I was so happy when they won! (Luckily for the Academy, I can now continue watching lol). So they do have good taste! 

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening (The Kids are All Right)
Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)
Natalie Portman (Black Swan) - WINNER
Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine

No surprises there.

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem (Biutiful)
Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) - WINNER
James Franco (127 Hours)
Jeff Bridges (True Grit)

Yeah, what else is new. Was it just me, or was he tremendously nervous when giving his speech? Did I hear a little stammer?

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale (The Fighter) - WINNER
John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)
Jeremy Renner (The Town)
Mark Ruffalo (The Kids are All Right)
Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)

As predicted (by everyone)

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams (The Fighter)
Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech)
Melissa Leo (The Fighter) - WINNER
Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)

Wow, the four acting categories were all very predictable this year. Not that I'm complaining; they did deserve it. Still, where are the days when winners actually surprised us?

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Best Documentary Short Subject
Killing in the Name
Poster Girl
Strangers No More
Sun Come Up
The Warriors of Qiugang

Best Short Film (Animated)
Day & Night
The Gruffalo
Let’s Pollute
The Lost Thing
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)

Best Short Film (Live Action)
The Confession
The Crush
God of Love
Na Wewe
Wish 143

Achievement in Art Direction
Alice in Wonderland - WINNER
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
The King’s Speech
True Grit

Achievement in Cinematography
Black Swan
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Achievement in Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland - WINNER
I Am Love
The King’s Speech
The Tempest
True Grit

Achievement in Directing
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
David O. Russell (The Fighter)
Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) - WINNER
David Fincher (The Social Network)
Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit)

Bit of a surprise to me as Fincher was in favor to win. Tom Hooper was a right choice though; it was obviously not Fincher's night.

Best Documentary Feature
Exit through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Waste Land

Liked the little shout-out before the speech.

Achievement in Makeup
Barney’s Version
The Way Back
The Wolfman

Cate Blanchett: "That's gross." Haha, gotta love the woman. The top and rear of her dress are questionable though.

Achievement in Film Editing
Black Swan
The Fighter
The King’s Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Biutiful (Mexico)
Dogtooth (Greece)
In a Better World (Denmark) - WINNER
Incendies (Canada)
Hors la Loi (Algeria)

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
How to Train Your Dragon
The King’s Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network - WINNER

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from Country Strong
“I See the Light” from Tangled
“If I Rise” from 127 Hours
“We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3 - WINNER

Achievement in Sound Editing
Inception - WINNER
Toy Story 3
TRON: Legacy
True Grit

Achievement in Sound Mixing
Inception - WINNER
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Achievement in Visual Effects
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Iron Man 2

Adapted Screenplay
127 Hours (Simon Beaufoy and Danny Boyle)
The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin) - WINNER
Toy Story 3 (Michael Arndt, story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich)
True Grit (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen)
Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik and Anne Rossellini)

Original Screenplay
Another Year (Mike Leigh)
The Fighter (Paul Attanasio, Lewis Colich, Eric Johnson, Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy)
Inception (Christopher Nolan)
The Kids are All Right (Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko)
The King’s Speech (David Seidler) - WINNER

So with a little math work: 
TOY STORY 3: 2 wins

Looks about right. 'The King's Speech' was the big winner and took away the most important Oscars (director, actor, screenplay, picture); Inception took the technical wins (cinematography, sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects); 'The Social Network' took the "allright-have-a-few" Oscars :p (music, film editing, adapted screenplay)

'True Grit', which was nominated in 10 (!) categories went home empty-handed. As did 'The Kids are All Right' and '127 hours'.

Final thoughts before the Oscars

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Watching the red carpet now on ''. Still can't believe my country is not showing it on the telly!

How cool would it be if Michelle Pfeiffer surprised us again. Last year was epic when she showed up to introduce Best Actor nominee Jeff Bridges. I know there's not a big chance since she's busy in NY, but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed...

I'm doing my own "awards" too this year. Categories are:

Best dressed
Worst dressed
Best speech
Worst speech
Best facial expression
Best encounter
Best couple
Best blunder
Best win
Worst win

I'll be so mad if 'Social Network' wins Best Picture! I'nn never watch the Oscars again! (Just big talk of course)

No Brangelina this year either... What's an Award ceremony without the ultimate Hollywood couple attending?

I wonder what Helena Bonham Carter will wear. Her look at the GG was certainly interesting.

Only 1 hour left! Can't wait!

Last predictions 83th Oscars

Here follow my final predictions for the Oscars tonight (major categories only). I've underlined the ones I believe will win (doesn't mean I always like it though).
Visual Effects
  • “Alice in Wonderland”
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
  • “Hereafter”
  • “Inception”
  • “Iron Man 2”
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
  • “127 Hours”
  • “The Social Network”
  • “Toy Story 3”
  • “True Grit”
  • “Winter's Bone”
Writing (Original Screenplay)
  • “Another Year”
  • “The Fighter”
  • “Inception”
  • “The Kids Are All Right”
  • “The King's Speech”
Music (Original Score)
  • “How to Train Your Dragon”
  • “Inception”
  • “The King's Speech”
  • “127 Hours”
  • “The Social Network”
Music (Original Song)
  • “Coming Home” from “Country Strong”
  • “I See the Light” from “Tangled”
  • “If I Rise” from “127 Hours”
  • “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3"
Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
  • John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone”
  • Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
  • Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
  • Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech”
Bale has to win this one; simple as that.
Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
  • Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech”
  • Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
  • Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
  • Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”
This one’s a little tougher. Melissa Leo was the Golden Globe favorite, but we all know that that surely doesn’t mean the Academy agrees. It could be her, or it could be co-star Adams. Steinfeld impressed me, especially considering her age, but I don’t think her chances are big. I have a soft spot for Helena, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for her.
  • “Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
  • “The Fighter” David O. Russell
  • “The King's Speech” Tom Hooper
  • “The Social Network” David Fincher
  • “True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
I’m still appalled that Christopher Nolan didn’t get nominated, it’s just wrong! It’ll run close between Aronofsky and Fincher, but I think Fincher will have the last laugh. He does deserve it, as long as he won’t get Best Picture!
Actor in a Leading Role
  • Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
  • Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
  • Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
  • Colin Firth in “The King's Speech”
  • James Franco in “127 Hours”
I’m 99% sure that Colin Firth will win. How could he not? Eisenberg is overrated and even though Jeff and James were splendid, this year’s Best Actor has Firth written all over it. Ok, I admit I haven’t seen Bardem’s performance, but he was only nominated because Julia Roberts threatened the Academy. 
Actress in a Leading Role
  • Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
  • Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
  • Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”
  • Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
  • Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”
Again, Natalie Portman has this one locked down.
Best Picture
  • “Black Swan”
  • “The Fighter”
  • “Inception”
  • “The Kids Are All Right”
  • “The King's Speech”
  • “127 Hours”
  • “The Social Network”
  • “Toy Story 3”
  • “True Grit”
  • “Winter's Bone"
I know “The social Network” is the front-runner in this category, but I sincerely hope they won’t win. I stand firm with my opinion about that movie being overrated. I still think “The King’s Speech” has a good chance of beating them.

(due to lack of imagination for a better title) The Oscar Curse...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Everyone interested in either movies or Oscars is familiar with the so-called Oscar Curse. I have to say, I've always been skeptical about this superstitious idea of an actress being doomed to divorce once she has won the Academy Award for Best Actress. I actually wanted to do this article about the ridiculousness of it. But while doing research, I started to have doubts. The main reason I didn't find this curse plausible, is that few Hollywood marriages make it anyway. But the research has rightly only included comparisons between marriages in Hollywood; and the percentages are notable. After all, numbers don't lie.

Recent Canadian research has studied more than 751 Oscar nominees from 1936 to 2010. The researchers from the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management and Carnegie Mellon University concluded that the marriages of Best Actress winners were significantly shorter than those of their fellow nominees. Of the 265 married nominees, 159 (or 60%) eventually divorced. From Katharine Hepburn, who divorced her husband a year after winning her first Oscar in 1933, to Sandra Bullock, who split from Jesse James within days of winning 2010's Best Actress award.

My question (which no article could accurately answer) is: what is the cause of these divorces?

First thing that comes to mind; the cliché assumtion of men having the professional superiority over women. Most people that believe in the Oscar Curse, think it's because the significant other feels threatened by the woman's success. Especially since the divorce rates for both Best Actor winners and Best Actor nominees are about the same.
Going back to the very start, men were always expected to bring home the bacon and secure the economical situation. Is this theory still accurate in 2011? Of course it is. No matter how much feminists fight against it, this double standard will always reign. It may dwindle here and there, but you'll never live to the day that it's considered normal that the woman goes out to work in the morning, while the husband stays home to cook and watch the kids. I suppose it's inevitable that this basic theory has an effect on the more advanced events such as great success at an award ceremony. Besides being proud and happy, men might feel slightly insignificant and inferior when seeing his wife taking the stage and receiving praise. This can lead to discomfort on both sides, all due to the ancient double standard of men, women and their respective professional success.

Not only could this lead to problems between the two people and in the marriage itself; the "insignificant" husband could feel insecure and therefore may need a reassurance. And that's where cheating begins and marriages end.

On the other hand, marriages initially occured to secure a woman's social and economical standard. Once married, women felt more secure of their being. Divorce was considered shameful and could cost a woman her position in society, which is why few women risked to do so. These days, women no longer get married for social standard (with exceptions of course), but a divorce is still something for only the strongest among us. Supposedly after winning the most important movie award, she gets a sense of strength and independance. Especially winners who were stuck in mediocre marriages and only endured it for mentioned reasons might have been empowered by their success to file for divorce. In this case, the Oscar Curse is more of a blessing than anything else.

Another way to look at it is plain coincidence. People often tend to seek too much behind things. I mean, science can observe and analyse everything from here to Timboektoe; sometimes things just are because they are. Not everything is explainable.

Conclusion: Maybe. The Oscar Curse could be true; numbers have shown that Best Actress winners are indeed more likely to divorce. But then again it's not really a "curse", is it? Merely an outcome of ancient clichés which could work out for the better. Or it could be fiction; just a mere coincidence that has led to people over-thinking and over-analyzing everything.
Maybe I'm being stubborn, but I personally still think it's rubbish. If a man and woman have a healthy marriage containing mutual respect and understanding, I don't see how a little statue can get in the way of that.

A few of the notable actresses who have been struck by "the curse":
  • Bette Davis - Dangerous (1936)
  • Joan Crawford - Mildred Pierce (1946)
  • Elizabeth Taylor - Butterfield (1961)
  • Elizbeth Taylor - Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1967)
  • Julie Andrews - Mary Poppins (1965)
  • Barbra Streisand - Funny girl (1969)
  • Maggie Smith - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1970
  • Jane Fonda - Klute (1972)
  • Liza Minnelli - Cabaret (1973)
  • Faye Dunaway - Network (1977)
  • Emma Thompson - Howard's end (1993)
  • Halle Berry - Monster's ball (2002)
  • Hilary Swank - Boys don't cry (2000)
  • Reese Whiterspoon - Walk the line (2006)
  • Kate Winslet - The Reader (2009)
  • Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side (2010)

This year's nominees:
* Annette Bening (married to Warren Beatty)
* Nicole Kidman (married to Keith Urban)
* Jennifer Lawrence (single)
* Natalie Portman (engaged to Benjamin Millepied)
* Michelle Williams (single)

I just hope (pregnant) Natalie Portman won't be struck by "the curse".

Michelle Pfeiffer looking ordinary...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I have no problem with making someone look more ordinary for a believable portrayal of a character. I do, however, have a problem with making Michelle Pfeiffer look less attractive for the upcoming movie ‘New Year’s Eve’.
Just compare this picture (Feb 23, on set of NYE)

With this one (Feb 22, at a Lady Gaga concert)

Get what I’m saying? They actually used make-up and hairstyling to bring her beauty down! I was so hoping to see her all glammed up... Maybe a bit shallow, but I just love seeing her at her best.
When I heard her character was a secretary, images of Selina Kyle sprung to mind. We all remember the shy, ordinary secretary in ‘Batman returns’, because even though she looked ordinary, she still looked interesting (plus she turned into Catwoman later :p). I don’t know if Ingrid (her character's name in NYE) will have the same effect.

Maybe it’s just the movie itself. I mean, I loved her plain look in ‘Frankie and Johnny’ (her other Gary Marshall movie), but that was a solid Pfilm. In NYE, she’ll be on screen for like 10 minutes (if we’re lucky) and I want her to blow us away with her screen presence. I know she’s beautiful, but I want the world to know it too. Sigh…
Click Here for a snippet of the shoot.

Hello my dear :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wow, I finally  got my hands on some pictures of Michelle in New York. I was wondering when they would turn up. I mean we saw a lot of pics of Zac Efron etc., and frankly I don't give a damn about those. It started to worry me as Michelle is also shooting for 'Welcome to People'. Won't she give us anything?? Well she has. Here are the pics of Michelle Pfeiffer in NY (presumably shooting for 'New Year's Eve').

She looks amazing, doesn't she?

Great actresses: no Oscars

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Academy Awards gets it right most of the time. But when looking at the overall winners, some things just don’t seem right. Below are five actresses that remain among the most talented, if not the most talented. They simply can’t be left out when talking about screen goddesses and yet they’ve never been acknowledged. These are the top 5 actresses who’ve never won the Oscar for Best Actress:

Note: I’ve only included actresses that are still active. Otherwise, Deborah Kerr and Natalie Wood would’ve surely been included.)

5. Winona Ryder

From her sweet performance in ‘Edward Scissorhands’ to her recent frightening portrayal in ‘Black swan’; Winona always gives a great performance. She has been nominated one time in the Best Actress category for her performance in ‘Little Women’. A big snub by Jessica Lange in if you ask me as Ryder’s acting was strong and honest. After her 2001 arrests, her career hasn’t been what it once was. After a four-year long hiatus, she came back with mediocre films, such as ‘Sex and Death 101’; then followed disasters such as ‘The informers’ and ‘Stay cool’. Though her performances are mostly solid, she doesn’t get the right opportunities to really shine. Her most recent film ‘The Dilemma’ is another disappointment in Winona’s career. I truly believe that if it weren’t for her shoplifting scandal, Winona would’ve had a whole other career, most probably with Oscars in tow. Valuable lesson (re)learned: in Hollywood, it’s inevitable that your professional and personal life intervene a bit.

4. Glenn Close

When I stumbled upon Glenn Close during research for this post, I was simply shocked. She has always remained among my classic favorites and I really think the world of her. In 1987 she was Oscar snubbed by Cher; they were both in the Best actress category for respectively ‘Fatal Attraction’ and ‘Moonstruck’. Cher’s performance was very good, but when you think about the fact that Cher has an Oscar while Glenn Close doesn’t… it just doesn’t sound right. Glenn was so good as the psychopath, Alex, that her performance haunts me to this very day. The following year, Glenn was once again nominated in the Best Actress category for her memorable performance in ‘Dangerous Liaisons’. Though her portrayal of the icy femme fatale was immortal, all five actresses deserved their nomination which made it a close call. In the last 15 years or so, her career has dwindled immensely. She has mostly worked on children movies and ensemble films. However, I have high hopes for her working progress ’Albert Nobbs’.

3. Diane Lane
I literally love every career choice this woman has made. After two slow decades, she proved to Hollywood that she’s in it for the long run. She’s one of the most versatile actresses I know; from thriller to rom-com, from erotic drama to biopic. From the late nineties to this very day, I love every role she has portrayed. She has earned one Academy Award nomination in 2003 for her performance in ‘Unfaithful’. The nominees that year were again phenomenal, which didn’t work out too well for her. I praised her performance, though I don’t think it’s the only one worthy of the Oscar.  Unlike the former two on this list, Lane’s career is still very much active. I have high expectations for her performances in the future.

2. Julianne Moore

I bet this one may come as a shock for some people; I know I was appalled. Julianne Moore has to be one of the best actresses ever. She is a chameleon of the highest level; having portrayed roles as different as water and fire. Though I disagree with many of her career choices, she has made a lot of great ones to compensate for them. She has been nominated twice in the Best Actress category. First in 2000 for her role in ‘The end of the affair’ –one of my favorites. Then again in 2003 for her performance in ‘Far from heaven’ where she got snubbed by Hilary Swank. This year, she got totally snubbed of a nomination in the category of Best supporting Actress, but I’ll write about that later. Moore has had three decades in this business and I’m sure her Oscar wins are yet to come.

1. Michelle Pfeiffer
Where do I even start? When starting this post I said quietly to myself: “Wait a sec, Michelle has never won an Oscar.” Then I started repeating it again and again (yes like a crazy person) and I realized how ridiculous that sounded. Michelle Pfeiffer has never won an Oscar. I’d laugh out loud if it wasn’t so immensely ridiculous. Oscars were founded to acknowledge the very best in Film. I’d say they’re doing a pretty lousy job not giving her one of those things. This is definitely one of those things that can suddenly anger me.
Michelle Pfeiffer is a screen legend, no doubt about it, drama is definitely her best side and she has portrayed tons of amazing characters. So why is it that in all the years she has been active, no one in the Academy has stood up and said “Hey, Michelle Pfeiffer doesn’t have one, how dumb is that?!” Well, someone probably has, but they’ve never done anything about it now have they? When I think of all the less talented actresses that have won Oscars, I just get sick. Reese Whiterspoon, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock; it’s preposterous!
Michelle has been nominated (only) twice; in 1990 for her outstanding performance in ‘The Fabulous Baker boys’ and in 1993 for her role in ‘Love field’. She should’ve been nominated for a lot more of her films though. It’s hard to believe Renee Zellweger got a nomination for ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ in 2002 while Michelle didn’t get nominated for ‘I am Sam’. And it’s plain silly that last year,
Sandra Bullock walked away with the Oscar for Best Actress (The Blind side), while Michelle’s Léa (Chéri) didn’t even get nominated.
Yes, the Academy really messes up sometimes. There’s a silver lining though: Michelle is still as great as ever and returning this year with multiple movies. She’s going to get that Oscar someday; I’m sure of it!b
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