When great British actors reach a certain age Americans, er, media types tend to believe they must have worked together at some point during their careers. In the West End, on the BBC or in some movie. At the least, they were in one of those "Harry Potter" movies, right? Well, not really.
Every season there is a movie or performance that is a head scratcher when it comes to why it does or doesn't appeal to the Academy. Films and portrayals that will be long remembered after a number of other nominated works are getting their share of the best picture spotlight now. Immediate examples that come to mind include "Do the Right Thing" (one of the greatest films of the '80s), "The Ice Storm" (ditto for the '90s), "The Dark Knight" (for the '00s) and, oh yeah, Stanley Kubrick's "2001" (of all time). And as for overlooked actors, last year found both Ryan Gosling ("Drive") and Michael Fassbender ("Shame") of the list of Academy omissions gone wrong. With the advent of the 10 nomination option for best picture, however, you would think that overlooking great movies would be a rare occurrence. Ladies and gentleman of the jury, I give you my own best picture of the year, "The Impossible."
NEW YORK - Having worked in the movie industry for over 15 years, you can probably guess I've seen a lot of films. I've often been asked to attend very early screenings for highly anticipated films. Moreover, I've been lucky to attend numerous premieres in Hollywood, New York and on the festival circuit in Toronto, Telluride and Park City. I have never, however, seen a reaction to a performance in a movie theater like the euphoric response to Jennifer Hudson's turn as Effie White in "Dreamgirls." Spontaneous applause is one thing, an impromptu standing ovation during three separate premieres is something else. And, simply, nothing has ever come close...until this year. Anne Hathaway clearly doesn't have Jennifer Hudson's vocal talent, but she may give Hudson's legendary awards season a run for her money in "Les Miserables."
It's almost Christmas, so it's obviously time to reveal the host for the 2013 MTV Movie Awards, right? Well, maybe not, but with "Jersey Shore" airing its final episode Thursday night MTV decided to use the larger than usual audience to promote next April's annual pseudo-awards event. The bigger surprise was that the network made the inspired choice to tap Aussie Rebel Wilson as next year's host.
NEW YORK - We've been waiting a long time for Hugh Jackman to sing on the big screen. From his Tony Award-winning turn in "The Boy From Oz" to his three stints hosting Broadway's annual awards show to his lauded turn as Academy Awards host (arguably the best Oscars show over the past decade), Jackman has teased us with his impressive voice, sly dance moves and old school showmanship. Granted, producers have tried to get him to commit to a number of movie musical projects, but most of them have been stuck in development hell for years leaving fans to wonder if we'd ever see Jackman sing in his prime. That's all changed with the actor's SAG and Golden Globes Awards nominated turn as Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables." And, in something of a surprise, it turns out that he had to campaign to get the role.
The 2013 Sundance Film Festival is a little under a month a way and while the festival's complete slate is now known, the juries had remained a mystery until today.
If you were to have asked me last June if 2012 was a good year for movies my answer would have been a definitive "no." Sure, "The Avengers," "Moonrise Kingdom," "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and the long delayed "Cabin the Woods" provided some refuge, but for the most part the first half of this year was full of forgettable films. This isn't necessarily anything new. The better prestige films always tend to begin their roll outs in September. By December - all of a sudden - there are seemingly enough great movies for people to champion. The difference with 2012 is that while there were a lot of very good movies, there weren't necessarily a significant number of great movies.
There are only four times in my life when I've been truly nervous to interview someone "famous." One of those moments actually happened last week.
As a journalist, it's your job not to be intimidated or starstruck by talent. Give the subject a hint that you don't have your wits about you and chances are you'll likely end up with a very crappy story. Thankfully, video interviews can be edited around fumbling questions and awkward moments. Even if they are all really all in your head.
Looking for something to make you smile today? Well, Sony Classics released a teaser for Pedro Almodovar's new comedy "I'm So Excited" and thanks to the Pointer Sisters the minor subtitles at the beginning really aren't necessary.
Oh, HFPA. It's Golden Globes time again and how we've missed your questionable taste. You're the only group of approximately 80 something journalists (cough) that can collectively find a way to make almost all the studios and networks happy year after year. It's really quite remarkable and comical at the same time. This year, however, on the TV side you didn't completely play the game. You stuck by your stated rules and really ruffled some feathers with an embarrassing "Mad Men" diss and a sigh worthy decision to anoint "Smash" as something of a critical player (well, at least its not "Revenge"). On the other hand, the movie nods looked as if they were practically copied out of the contenders list every awards season pundit has published for weeks (the page views are appreciated). Except for your comedy or musical categories, of course. We can't help you there. And if you think "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" is worthy of a nomination of any kind I've got some extra DVD copies of "The Tourist" you might be interested in too.