Monday, November 30, 2009

"Why are you so into Pinot?"

"Uh, I don't know, I don't know. Um, it's a hard grape to grow, as you know. Right? It's uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's, you know, it's not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it's neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they're just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and...ancient on the planet."

Monday, November 30, 2009

The first casualty of Oscar 2010?

This is a hunch, but I think The Lovely Bones is going to be disappointed. The unenthusiastic response of the critics for a film as daringly artistic as this (relative to other 'Oscar films') will struggle to excite the audience's or the Academy's interest (although if it had the touch of Clint Eastwood, it may be spared any disappointment).

This reminds me of Revolutionary Road last year: adapted from an adored novel, unenthusiastic critical response, awards vehicle for snubbed Kate Winslet (TLB could be seen as this for Stanley Tucci) and poor box-office due to uneasy subject mature (I expect TLB to be an equally hard-sell, unless Peter Jackson can wave his magic with paedophilia and murder as well as he does with aliens, hobbits and apes). It was destined to be an Oscar contender, yet never gathered momentum...this is already scuppering TLB's campaign.

And with regards to Mr. Tucci...he deserves a gratuitous male lusting post of his own! And, more importantly, should have enough love carried from Julie & Julia to ensure a Supporting Actor nomination. Hoorah!

Monday, November 30, 2009

10 thoughts on...Mark Lawson Talks To Imelda Staunton.

  1. I am convinced Imelda Staunton is my mother with a thinly veiled disguise. I've never seen them together in the same room! If you've ever met my mother you'd agree.
  2. She should have that Oscar for Vera Drake. Will Mike Leigh bring her back into the game with their 2010 partnership? (With Jim Broadbent...I can't wait!).
  3. I love BBC iPlayer. Life with David Attenborough, Cranford (featuring a Staunton, Judi Dench and Eileen Atkins!) and so much more...Time-stealing at its most rewarding.
  4. Mike Leigh is a successful Oscar predictor?
  5. I wish a casting director had the balls to cast her as Juliet (in Romeo & Juliet) too.
  6. I now want my favourite filmmakers to win a Venice Film Festival award more than an sounds so dreamy!
  7. I should really complete that script of mine with a character fit for Staunton (see 1 for why).
  8. She lives two doors down from Emma Thompson!!!! What a glorious piece of trivia.
  9. I should see Taking Woodstock...I do love Ang Lee.
  10. "I'm still open to offers": everyone take note.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

WARNING: Watch with care.

Those falling into the following categories should avoid Meet Me in St. Louis. Especially if you fall into all four.

A) You have recently moved away from your homeland, your family and your friends.
B) You have coincidentally severed some friendships since said move.
C) You have recently ended a serious relationship.
D) You are an adamant cynic...battling with the hopeless romantic inside.

This fatal combination makes this film as distressing as any Lars Von Trier offering, albeit in a rather more charming, and less gruesome, manner.

I can't wait to go home for Christmas.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


"Again, I've been just a big sentimental fool. It's a tendency I have."

As I watched Now, Voyager, sobbing in my university library, Davis' words inevitably struck me. She had seemingly lost her love, while I had gained the awkward glances of surrounding students. Of course her married-lover-turned-father-of-her-pseudo-adopted-daughter, Paul Henreid, does not let this moment linger...he rushes to Davis' side. Obviously, I received no such romanticism. If only this was a world accompanied by a wonderful Max Steiner score, where cigarettes contain the ingredients of high romance (not a range of health issues) and where you, ultimately, have to settle for "the stars".

Funnily enough, it seems that the moon, of the New Moon variety, is asking for me, via some very persuasive friends...but how can one want a werewolf or vampire when Now, Voyager has so much more to offer!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cinematic mission statements x4

"I began writing what they call a mission statement..."

"...and so I made a major decision, I had to make sure I wouldn't end up shit-faced and listening to sad-FM..."

"...I am risking my well-being for a deranged assignment."

And the fourth (I swear this isn't a cop-out!)...

It occurred to me that despite my 13 months of (albeit once inconsistent) blogging, I have ignored the importance of a mission statement - oh so important in setting a narrative into hyper-drive! The past 147 ramblings of ticklepickleme are easily, and obviously, connected: this is a blog dedicated to cinema.

Naturally this is not enough to distinguish myself from the sea of digital resources for film. But perhaps the honest, personal and devoted arena is. An arena where I can express myself through the world I delve into most...the wonderful world of cinema, where reality is projected, multiplied and exemplified.

I am afraid to admit I am more like Bridget Jones than Julie Powell or Jerry Maguire; a fumbling mess that trudges from one mistake to the other. And the similarities continue - I have proved my dearth at karaoke, I am an appalling public speaker, I am also under the illusion I can hold my drink (I am Irish after all!) and I share her fear that I may one day become Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction...

But if Bridget can avoid that, so can I. Right?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"People don't always shiver because they're chilly"

No, they shiver because of this trailer. If this is anything to go by, Elia Kazan had the right idea when he passed on this Tennessee Williams offering that had remained unmade for some 40 years. The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond comes across as a mixture of Death on the Nile with The Notebook...without that delicious cast and unlimited chemistry of the central pairing, respectively.

Unfair you cry? Sure. I haven't seen the finished product, how could this be fair? Especially when Williams has created some of the greatest pieces of film and theater (A Streetcar Named Desire never ceases to stun me...). Still there is no hint that A) Bryce Dallas Howard, who I so love in The Village and Manderlay, has the right chops to really fulfill her character "rebelling against a world of privilege that could not accept her" and B) the film deals with any social issues, oh so prominent in Williams' greatest achievements, beyond the central romantic divide between rich and poor (snore!).

Still it will prove highly intriguing to die-hard Williams fans...and I am open for a surprise delight!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Did someone mention Oscar?

I suspect the inner Marilyn Hack has taken hold of Sandra Bullock right now. A new contender for the actress Oscar...

Can she compete with the likes of Marion Cotillard (Nine), Abbie Cornish (Bright Star), Helen Mirren (The Last Station), etc. for a place alongside the unstoppable trio of Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia), Carey Mulligan (An Education) and Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)?

It certainly would be nice to recognise her, as she is one of Hollywood's most charming starlets, even if the film itself reeks of overt sentimentality.

I think the Academy will bite.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A letter to...

Dear Oprah,

Now you've officially announced the end of your epic stint on daytime television, can we now hope for a return to the big screen? You have the talent (remember your Sofia in The Color Purple) and the power to pretty much make anything happen. You've already proved that with your role, as executive producer, on Precious. Feel the hunger for more?

You know you want an acting Oscar to compliment your array of Emmys, and the Academy are sure to throw one in your direction if the opportunity ever arose. A lot of pressure, perhaps, but you've got LA LA land at your feet: grab it by the balls!

Yours lovingly,


Saturday, November 21, 2009

The birthday girl...

Happy 64th birthday to one of cinema's greatest sources of joy, Goldie Hawn.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Essential cinema.

Capturing the Friedmans is perhaps the most challenging piece of cinema I have yet seen. An unsettling journey into a world full of unsatisfactory answers.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A quick reflection on An Education

That third act cheated us!*

*Have just been released from the enchanting spell of Carey Mulligan's Jenny.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

How to lose friends and alienate people.2

I demand to know the side effects associated with botox! Apart from the obvious stiffening of the lips, it seems that it has morphed Nicole Kidman into Oprah's main audience demographic; a desperate housewife whose life revolves around her man. In a mere 6 minutes and 47 seconds she dissolved my huge admiration of her, and I was left with the hefty thought that she may deserve the backlash that has surrounded her celebrity of late. Or perhaps this change is a result of the unrelenting hatred generally shown her produce since her Oscar win? Or perhaps she is channeling her inner Joan Crawford and is bent on projecting an image of happy families...

Yes, it is wonderful that is she has found a happy family to share her life with - but isn't it a bit pathetic she (and not he!) won't work if it means they have to spend 3 days apart. Is she living in The Notebook? And yes she has two terrifically enticing movies on the way, The Rabbit Hole and The Danish Girl, but with no Daniel around how could she ever be inspired to create? (And yes, I just patronised one of the most powerful women in Hollywood). This interview has cursed her, in my eyes at least, as a failing star. Charming yes, but with little wind - or want of wind - left behind her sails.

PS - she performs 'An Unusual Way' quite well, don't you think?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Do a bit then.


If you're so good at it.

"Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come let me clutch thee: I have thee not, and yet I see thee still."

Now, tell me, who wrote that?

I don't know.


All right then, smart-arse, what about this? "I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky. I should be so lucky." Well? Who wrote it?

Not a clue.

Well, there you are then.

Venus is one of those films I wanted to see in the cinema but didn't due to its release alongside too many an Oscar contender. A fortunate incident brought a copy to my door and so I had the privilege of spending time with Peter O'Toole's sparkling Maurice and the object of his affection (lust?), Jessie.

This terrific piece of comradery exemplifies one of the films main themes; education is relative. It also projects a type of sexual tension most men over 80 can only dream about! Their relationship is doomed (they're walking towards the end of a pier for Christ's sake!), but nevertheless an integral moment in both these lives...

And yes, any Kylie reference would delight me. Especially one that compares her to Shakespeare.

Friday, November 13, 2009

How to lose friends and alienate people.1

Ask Amy Adams and you'll find the answer is this below. Leap Year? More like Leap of Sh*t! Worse still is the fact that I met Miss Adams while she was filming in Dublin...and I didn't take this opportunity to slap her adorable face so she'd run away from this awful project.

Such is the state of Irish - or Oirish - cinema.

Friday, November 13, 2009

20 Seconds of Cruz-ing.

Penelope Cruz continues to reign as the cinematic queen of fiery sexuality, and her voice sounds up to scratch (her English pronounciation is characteristically awful though). Still watching this clip, I feel as if I know how the whole movie will look, feel and disappoint once I am done marvelling at the fun performances. This is a Hollywood musical - why not move your camera Marshall?!? Scared the Academy, who seem have a greater like for the director than both audiences and critics, will shun you? Oh how I wish Fosse was alive to teach him some tricks.

Below is the potentially cringing new song from Kate Hudson, also sporting a fine voice. Surrounded by Marcello Mastroianni look-a-likes, Hudson lusts over 'Cinema Italiano' sounds and looks like a parody of Fellini's films. This could be painful.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oh my ears and whiskers!

The first of three posters released via the Facebook page of The Disloyal Subjects of the Mad Hatter. Potentially one of the most fun marketing tools as we sit and wait for 7,500 Facebookers to 'like' this image before we receive the second.

This is stunning, and I can't wait for more.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

10 thoughts on...The London Times' Top 100 Films of the Noughties

  1. Where is Moulin Rouge!? And Before Sunset? Vera Drake? INLAND EMPIRE?
  2. Little gems Morvern Callar (96) and Me, You and Everyone We Know (80) make the list! Hoorah!
  3. I should really get my hands on Children of Men (52) ASAP.
  4. Is it me or is the world obsessed with Michael Haneke right now? I guess I'll have no choice but to join them and see The White Ribbon...
  5. American comedies are more popular than English ones...
  6. Fernando Meirelles' The Constant Gardner (52) placed higher than his debut, and the greater cinematic offering that is City of God (66). Mmmm...
  7. Casino Royale (8) continues to be overrated by the English press, and yet is still beaten by The Bourne Supremacy/The Bourne Ultimatum (2).
  8. I love so many noughtie films...Waltz with Bashir (65), Volver (56), Sideways (27), Dancer in the Dark (25), Far From Heaven (22), there are so many!
  9. The Queen (9), Casino Royale (8), The Last King Of Scotland (7), Slumdog Millionaire (6). Solid films, but rather conventional stuff for the top ten- surely British cinema has achieved more than these? Just look at Mike Leigh.
  10. I will continue rechecking the list until Moulin Rouge! appears.

Monday, November 09, 2009

A Single Man x4

I'm such a greedy boy...I need another trip to this wonderful world.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

"This doesn't look good"

What the hell? If you're wrongfully accused of plotting to assassinate the US President do you A) talk things out calmly and prove your innocence, B) laugh off the absurd accusation, or C) go on the run, cause many fatalities and crush cars? Silly question right? Not if you're Angelina Jolie, who would pick the unlikely and start running!

There was a time I could stomach Jolie, a time before I was inflicted with Changling. Now I wait in dread until this male dominated world falls at her feet again with Salt, a film that will leave teenage boys in a tizzy as Jolie continues her descent into the world of action porn (next on her list is The Tourist and her all but confirmed role in Wanted 2).

Lust, hate or be bewildered by Jolie below.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Elmo x4

Who doesn't love this furry red 'monster'?

On the verge of celebrating its 40th season, Sesame Street is a television show for kids of all ages - especially film buffs! And with future appearances from the likes of Hugh Jackman, Cameron Diaz and Jake Gyllenhaal it is unlikely to leave our screens or lose our interest any time soon. Hoorah!

Although its difficult not to be a tiny bit jealous of celeb-magnet Elmo...

I want to play the princess and the elephant with Natalie Portman!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


One of Giono's novels has a beautiful character shut away in silence,
called the Absent One. The main character is in love with her.

You always see the world through books, don't you?

They've helped me a lot. Sometimes they help more than people.

Oh how I love this film, I've Loved You So Long is my medicine for life! And this is just one of many terrific moments within its painfully sensitive frame.

Juliette continues to avoid the romantic advances of Michel, inadvertently exposing his own loss(es) while she - and the audience - become increasingly drawn towards this character.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Gratuitous male lusting.6

First Julianne Moore, then Colin seems that I am subconsciously striving to meet the whole cast of A Single Man. Firth was lending a hand to turn on Regent Street's Christmas lights, gently reminding the hoards of lusting fans of his own Christmas offering, A Christmas Carol (Note: I did not know of his involvement in this project and, despite my admiration of him, will continue to avoid).
Left to his own devices on stage, as the MC suffer from a whirlwind of panic, Firth was as charmingly self-depreciating and suave as his cinematic persona would have you believe. On wishing us all a merry Christmas he added "and a happy November before that"...not a single person left unswooned.

Sunday, November 01, 2009