Friday, December 31, 2010

10 moments to cherish...cinema 2010.

  1. Meryl Streep loving sperm in It's Complicated.
  2. Disney not only returning to their traditional animated musical with The Princess and the Frog but also reinvigorating it. If this can be viewed as a taster of what this new Disney team have to offer, then we are in for many treats over the coming years.
  3. The sweetest moment came at the news that The Secret of Kells was Oscar nominated alongside the elite of Hollywood - Coraline, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and the Frog and Up - for Best Animated Feature. This is a deserving recognition for Irish animation and, alongside the deserving success (albeit domestic) of His & Hers, 2010 was a terrific year for Irish film. Hoorah!
  4. That twist in I Love You Phillip Morris. Fucking brilliant. One minute the film drags the audience along a painfully stereotypical finale before smashing it with a genuinely surprising revelation. Ingenious.
  5. Tilda Swinton eating shrimp; the most spellbinding sequence of the year.
  6. Kristin Scott Thomas being told, in Leaving, to "leave" by the man she has just started a romantic fling with. Her flirtatious attitude is broken as pain infiltrates her face. This may be the greatest moment of her career. Stunning.
  7. The final reveal in The Secret in their Eyes. That cell has been haunting me ever since.
  8. Bonnie's reaction to Woody in the end of Toy Story 3. "My cowboy!"
  9. Black Swan. The film is a moment to cherish in itself. Fearless. Brave. And the most fascinating piece of American filmmaking this year.
  10. Annette Bening finally finding a connection with Mark Ruffalo (over Joni Mitchell's 'Blue') before her heartbreaking discovery of adultery. I'm not a massive fan of that performance or film but this moment is so incredibly well executed. I just wanted to give Bening a hug. And Julianne Moore a slap.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

An irresistible question...from Robert Redford.

"I was wondering if you might want to come out for a while, maybe have a drink or something?"

Monday, December 27, 2010

Top of the class. Films 2010.

  1. Black Swan
  2. The Secret in Their Eyes
  3. Toy Story 3
  4. I Love You Phillip Morris
  5. Another Year
  6. A Prophet
  7. His & Hers
  8. Lourdes
  9. The White Ribbon
  10. Whip It
Notable mentions: Avatar, Burlesque, Inception, The Princess and the Frog, Sex and the City 2

Friday, December 24, 2010

Top of the class. Screenplays 2010.

  1. Toy Story 3
  2. I Love You Phillip Morris
  3. The Secret in Their Eyes
  4. A Prophet
  5. The White Ribbon
  6. Black Swan
  7. Another Year
  8. The Secret of Kells
  9. The King's Speech
  10. The Social Network

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top of the class. Performances 2010.

  1. Natalie Portman in Black Swan
  2. Soledad Villamil in The Secret in Their Eyes
  3. Jim Carrey in I Love You Phillip Morris
  4. Leslie Mansville in Another Year
  5. Tahar Rahim in A Prophet
  6. Sylvie Testud in Lourdes
  7. Imelda Staunton in Another Year
  8. Colin Firth in The King's Speech
  9. Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech
  10. Nicolas Cage in Kick-Ass

Monday, December 20, 2010

How do you describe a feeling?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Top of the class. Direction 2010.

  1. Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan
  2. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa for I Love You Phillip Morris
  3. Lee Unkrich for Toy Story 3
  4. Michael Haneke for The White Ribbon
  5. Juan Jose Campanella for The Secret in Their Eyes
  6. Jacques Audiard for A Prophet
  7. Mike Leigh for Another Year
  8. Tom Hooper for The King's Speech
  9. Ken Wardrop for His & Hers
  10. David Fincher for The Social Network

Sunday, December 19, 2010

10 thoughts on...Burlesque.

  1. I love musicals.
  2. I love Cher. And she really should think about opening her own burlesque club.
  3. I want Cam Gigandet. (and I definitely want his cookies!)
  4. I love and want Stanley Tucci.
  5. Also, I love glitter guns. And feathers. And sequins. And light bulbs. And I want them all.
  6. Christina Aguilera has credible screen presence. I was impressed.
  7. Referencing Cabaret and its wonderful ilk was less tragic and more appropriate than expected. This may not be as genre breaking as such musical fare but it contains all the energy within them.
  8. I want to be a dancer.
  9. This is a surprisingly solid film. The songs were good, the cast was great, the camera ignited the energetic musical numbers (take not Rob Marshall) and it was as entertaining as the next piece of Hollywood escapism. Hoorah!
  10. I wish Cher would do more films. And, again, I love her.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

10 thoughts on...the Golden Globes nominations 2011.

  1. The race for Best Picture 2011 had been too long considered a two-horse race between The King's Speech and The Social Network. Thankfully the Golden Globes have put an end to this, awarding The Fighter with seven nominations. Could this be the beginning of a three film battle? Or will The Fighter simply become a recurring Best Picture nominee whilst its cast attract actual awards?
  2. I demand that Cher receives an apology for snubbing her performance in Burlesque.
  3. We were mean to laugh with the atrocious Alice In Wonderland? And people actually consider this the best film of 2010?! (And those same people think that Johnny Depp deserves not one but two nominations for lackluster work?!) A very big boo of discontent from me.
  4. Unfortunately for Leonardo diCaprio, Aaron Eckhart, Sally Hawkins, Lesley Mansville, Miranda Richardson, Mark Ruffalo, Tilda Swinton and Justin Timberlake it seems they will not be adding an/another Oscar nomination to their resumes in 2011. In many of these cases (see: Mansville, Ruffalo, Timberlake) this is tragic.
  5. Where was True Grit?
  6. The race for Best Actor seems to be drying out...could the list for Actor in a Drama be the line-up for Oscar 2011? I wouldn't be surprised.
  7. I thought The Tourist was being mauled by critics? Are the Golden Globes that influenced by star power?
  8. The Animated Feature Film category will be interesting with only three spots for four deserving films. How To Train Your Dragon, The Illusionist, Tangled and Toy Story 3 are all deserving of a nomination...can Disney take two slots? Or will the more creative offering (The Illusionist) be ignored for commercial fare?
  9. Morning Glory should have made some kind of impact. Especially with Alice In Wonderland being nominated (Best Score?!?!).
  10. Mila Kunis is the greatest surprise on offer this year. Her performance in Black Swan is terrific, she is a wonderful personality and I for one would love to see more of her. I am feeling quite confident she could make it to the status of Oscar nominee. Hoorah!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Subtitled wisdom. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

For Me and My Gal.

"I want a beautiful doll. A great, big, beautiful doll."

I'm not a huge fan of birthdays. (I'm not sure why but I know I dislike celebrating them). But I do enjoy a great birthday surprise. Last night this came in the form of a Judy Garland box-set. Followed by a viewing of the very charming For Me and My Gal.

A great gift because A) I adore Judy Garland, B) I shamefully had only seen two of her films, and C) I never realised she had made a film directed by Busby Berkeley (For Me and My Gal), had co-starred Angela Lansbury (The Harvey Girls) or remade The Shop Around the Corner (In the Good Old Summertime). Hoorah!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 09, 2010

And the nominees are...(?)

Best Film - Drama
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The King's Speech
The Social Network
Upset: 127 Hours/Get Low/True Grit

Best Film - Comedy/Drama
The Kids Are Alright
Love And Other Drugs
Made In Dagenham
Morning Glory
Toy Story 3
Upset: Burlesque

Best Director
Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan
Danny Boyle for 127 Hours
David Fincher for The Social Network
Tom Hooper for The King's Speech
Christopher Nolan for Inception
Upset: Peter Weir for The Way Back

Best Actor - Drama
Jeff Bridges for True Grit
Robert Duvall for Get Low
Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network
Colin Firth for The King's Speech
James Franco for 127 Hours
Upset: Leonardo diCaprio for Shutter Island/Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine/Mark Wahlberg for The Fighter

Best Actress - Drama
Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence for Winter's Bone
Leslie Mansville for Another Year
Natalie Portman for Black Swan
Hilary Swank for Conviction
Upset: Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine

Best Actor - Comedy/Musical
Jim Carrey for I Love You Phillip Morris
Harrison Ford for Morning Glory
Paul Giamatti for Barney's Version
Jake Gyllenhaal for Love And Other Drugs
Ben Stiller for Greenberg
Upset: Johnny Depp for Alice in Wonderland

Best Actress - Comedy/Musical
Annette Bening for The Kids Are Alright
Anne Hathaway for Love And Other Drugs
Sally Hawkins for Made In Dagenham
Julianne Moore for The Kids Are Alright
Gwyneth Paltrow for Country Song
Upset: Christina Aguilera for Burlesque/Rachel McAdams for Morning Glory

Best Screenplay
The Kids Are Alright
The King's Speech
Made in Dagenham
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
Upset: Love And Other Drugs/Winter's Bone

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale for The Fighter
Sam Rockwell for Conviction
Mark Ruffalo for The Kids Are Alright
Geoffrey Rush for The King's Speech
Justin Timberlake for The Social Network
Upset: Andrew Garfield for The Social Network/Bill Murray for Get Low

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams for The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter for The King's Speech
Cher for Burlesque
Melissa Leo for The Fighter
Miranda Richardson for Made In Dagenham
Upset: Mila Kunis for Black Swan/Dianne Wiest for Rabbit Hole

Monday, December 06, 2010

Sunday, December 05, 2010

And the nominee is...

The race of the Academy Awards 2011 have just begun but Winter's Bone is definitely turning into the little film that could despite having been written off as a forgotten gem.

With 7 Independent Spirit Award nominations, National Board of Review Award success and a number of other accolades to its name, this will probably follow the shadow of last year's Precious as the universally nominated independent film. It could even - and this may be stretching its potential - become this year's The Hurt Locker, the universally awarded film. It all depends on how much love award bodies have for this little film in a year where The King's Speech and The Social Network continue to be the formidable frontrunners. Wouldn't it be nice to see it turn into a three (or four if my own choice, Black Swan, manages to sway voters) horse race?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

My favourite shot of...The Secret of Kells.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Subtitled wisdom. Lourdes.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

10 thoughts on...Tangled.

  1. Mother Grothel is a delicious creation who - finally! - revisits the traditional villains of the Disney animated musical. She is a nasty piece of work whose attempt to manipulate the protagonist, Rapunzel, is truly despicable. It has been some time since Disney has presented a villain deserving of the label evil (perhaps as long as Judge Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame?) but Donna Murphy's Grothel is a definite treat, and a more than satisfying villain.
  2. The Disney Prince continues to face a new obstacle in the face of true love: the independence of the young woman. While I wouldn't campaign for a return to the passive reaction of Snow White, Cinderella and Princess Aurora, I would like if Disney men did not have to be initially idiotic before the Disney female converted them into superior beings. Can we get a break next time? This battle of the sexes does, however, create a sense of old fashioned Hollywood comedies that is sorely absent from contemporary film...so I shouldn't complain too much.
  3. I love lanterns and the use of them within the narrative of Tangled is fun and quite adorable. I also enjoyed the use of the frying pan as a prop. Inspired!
  4. What is so wrong with the traditional musical format? After the relatively straightforward use of music in The Princess and the Frog, Disney seems to have reverted to their rule bending techniques with Tangled. Alongside the traditional numbers is a pop song, 'When Will My Life Begin', which opens the film in a largely awkward manner. Nothing about the song seems appropriate apart from the lyrics which would probably have been better suited to a traditional musical score. Also during the most visually impressive number, 'I See the Light', the song is sung internally until midway through. This suggests that Disney still lacks faith in good old fashioned musicals and that is very frustrating.
  5. Biological parents have it rough in the world of Disney, but Rapunzel's parents are granted more humanity than their - very! - limited screentime should allow. They're still nothing more than two dimensional representations of unconditional love but you can actually feel it here.
  6. Pascal, the Chameleon sidekick of Rapunzel, reminded me of Aladdin's Abu. Especially when judging the new romantic interest.
  7. Mandy Moore is a terrific Disney Princess. It would be too easy for Rapunzel to have become a diva whose ambition to see a spectacular annual show amounting to as much depth as Paris Hilton wanting a new pet, but Moore injects enough sincerity into the character to create as endearing a Disney protagonist as there has ever been.
  8. My favourite piece of dialogue: "Put him (Flynn Ryder) down! I don't know where I am and I need him to take me to see the lanterns because I've been dreaming about them my entire life. Find your humanity! Haven't any of you ever had a dream?" Terrific!
  9. Rapunzel's initial escape from her tower is followed by an ingenius montage of guilt (as she has disobeyed her 'mother') versus pleasure. This, as Flynn Ryder justly tells her, is "part of growing up." And we've all felt it.
  10. Not as magical as Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin but definitely not a poor comparison. This ticks all the boxes of a traditional Disney musical with enough charm and sincerity to be considered a success.