Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

10 thoughts on...the teaser trailer for Les Miserables

  1. Anne Hathaway as Fantine has been pushed to the fore and, despite my skepticism, there is no denying that her performance appears to be incredibly powerful. Her rendition of 'I Dreamed A Dream' is also impressive. Hathaway is likely to have a great 2012 with this and The Dark Knight Rises.
  2. I love Tom Hooper.
  3. The cinematography is stunning even Hooper's preference for askew camera angles is rather distracting. The birds-eye view of the factory and the shot of Hugh Jackman praying are particularly stunning.
  4. The group of woman, presumably prostitutes performing 'Lovely Ladies', taunting Hathaway after throwing her on the street look deliciously aggressive, cruel and damaging. Hooper seems to have nailed that particular number for sure.
  5. Samantha Barks as Eponine has been hidden here. I'm still convinced that she will become the breakout star from this film, bringing tears to audiences' eyes with 'On My Own' and stealing the limelight from her co-stars...but could it be possible that her role has been decreased in the transition to the screen? I hope and presume not.
  6. This seems to be the perfect cast, right? 
  7. I'm hoping that the above image is from 'One Day More' with the sweeping shot circling the barricade as the song reaches its glorious finale.
  8. Amanda Seyfried has a wonderful smile.
  9. I'm going to love this film.
  10. Oscar is going to love this film. It could easily become the frontrunner with nominations galore. I'm also predicting that Hathaway finds herself nominated for Best Actress rather than Supporting Actress.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cannes excitement.6

And it is all over for another year...Michael Haneke surprised many by winning his second Palm d'Or for Amour. As I said before I am very excited to see this film and am happy to see Haneke celebrated. As for the other awards, I am largely ignorant to the reception or existence of the films. I was distracted by the bigger names and Kylie Minogue. Speaking of which, I am disappointed that I won't be able to say that Kylie starred in a Palm d'Or winning film but perhaps this may be her first step into a successful film acting career. Who knows what the future will hold.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My week through movies.

Reflecting, deciding and escaping with the sun shining.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cannes excitement karma salt in wound.5

The first review I read for The Paperboy labelled it "a disastrous flop" and firmly pointed the finger at Lee Daniels. I thought that all the frustration that I felt after the success of Precious (including an Oscar nomination for direction!) would be repaid with critics and audiences finally noticing how clumsy and obtuse his direction can be. I thought that this would put upset Daniels' career. Unfortunately this was short-lived as other critics have been much more enthusiastic, including the Guardian which gave the film four stars.

Thankfully this news is not all negative as Nicole Kidman seems to have given a performance that is reminiscent of her work in To Die For. So maybe I should give Daniels the benefit of the doubt? Although I did the same for equally overrated Rob Marshall with Kidman and co and look how that turned out.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor..."

...That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite! Hannah, can you hear me? Wherever you are, look up Hannah! The clouds are lifting! The sun is breaking through! We are coming out of the darkness into the light! We are coming into a new world; a kindlier world, where men will rise above their hate, their greed, and brutality. Look up, Hannah! The soul of man has been given wings and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow! Into the light of hope, into the future! The glorious future, that belongs to you, to me and to all of us. Look up, Hannah. Look up!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cannes excitement.4

I was always going to get excited about Holy Motors because of one person, Kylie Minogue. It is rare that she makes big screen appearances and, as such, I feel that they should be celebrated (well other than her role in Street Fighter). But my interest in the film has now widened due to the enthusiastic responses it has received since being screened this morning. If critics are to be believed then this is a "weird and wonderful, rich and strange" film "that appraises life and death and everything in between, reflected in a funhouse mirror". This is the first film of the festival that seems to have delivered something special and I all the more excited because of Minogue's presence.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

10 thoughts on...the trailer for The Great Gatsby

  1. The commercial and critical disappointment of Australia has not diminished Baz Luhrmann's exuberant visual style, in fact he seems to have gone for broke here.
  2. Leonardo DiCaprio and Joel Edgerton seem perfect as Gatsby and Tom Buchanan, respectively, but I'm thinking - and perhaps I'm hoping too - that Isla Fisher steals the film as Myrtle Wilson.
  3. I still think that Carey Mulligan is miscast as Daisy, but I struggle to think of an actress who would have been a better choice. I find the description of the character so intangible.
  4. Gatsby's car is wonderful.
  5. I'm disappointed with the choice of contemporary music, I was hoping to be transported to the 1920's. This contrast of setting/culture worked incredibly well with Luhrmann's previous films, but The Great Gatsby is a story rooted in a specific time and I'd fear the narrative would lose impact if we're constantly reminded of our own culture.
  6. New York is unrecognisable here and I'm not sure that is a good thing, especially as the CGI used to create this world is not convincing.
  7. I always cringe when I think of that shirt scene
  8. This is a very unlikely candidate for major Oscar recognition. It will be too stylish, too flamboyant and - most importantly - its late release date will make it difficult for the film to gain momentum.
  9. I'm less excited for the film after this trailer...
  10. ...but I will always give Luhrmann the benefit of the doubt and presume that I will be pleasantly surprised.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My favourite shot of...Jesus Christ Superstar

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Smile.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

10 thoughts on...the teaser trailer for Skyfall

  1. Skyfall will be the most beautifully shot Bond film, it's brooding intensity fits the character that was established in Daniel Craig's first two outings.
  2. Judi Dench seems to have a significant role in this outing and that is always a good thing. Even if it feels slightly contrived as in her capture in The World Is Not Enough.
  3. Craig has beautiful blue eyes.
  4. I always wish that established female stars would be cast, such as Keira Knightley or Catherine Zeta-Jones. Wouldn't that be wonderful?
  5. Where is Javier Bardem?
  6. Sam Mendes was a great choice to direct this Bond film and it looks like it will be his most cinematic film to date.
  7. Ralph Fiennes is always fascinating, and slightly intimidating, on screen.
  8. It may be too much to hope for but wouldn't it be great if Helen McCrory was given something substantial to do in the film? I fear that she will be stating important plot information rather than being involved in the narrative itself.
  9. Where are Craig's blue swimming trunks?
  10. I'm basing too many judgements on a teaser trailer. Typical fanboy/blogger.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cannes excitement.3

Harvey Weinstein is a saviour or a sinner depending on the Oscar season and the film he is pushing down everyone's throats. This year he was behind The Artist and The Iron Lady, I was disappointed with their successes. However, Weinstein has a genuine passion for film and it is impossible not to admire his ability to build momentum with a film of his choice.

Weinstein has also provided a jolt of excitement at Cannes by building momentum for his films that are not in competition: Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master and David O. Russell's The Silver Linings Playbook. And everything that has been shown/said has whetted my appetite for all three; the feedback from footage screened, his teasing comment that there could be surprise co-stars added to Django Unchained and the released trailer for The Master. This has been more interesting than the majority of screenings and news from the festival so far.

Monday, May 21, 2012

An irresistible statement.

"Sometimes the things you believe in become more real to you than all the things you can explain away or understand."

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Subtitled wisdom.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gratuitous actress lusting.

I know that the majority of film bloggers are interested in Hyde Park on Hudson for the Oscar potential of Bill Murray's performance as Franklin D. Roosevelt but my interest is largely centred on its female cast, particularly Olivia Colman.

The trailer suggests that this will be the type of solid entertainment on a serious topic that will please audiences and award bodies. It also highlights that the very talented and wonderful Laura Linney will narrate the film, and that she will probably be Murray's co-lead. This is all very promising but the icing on top of this very impressive cake is Colman's Queen Elizabeth whose deft skill at comedy is a treat. Watch as she reacts to Olivia Williams (as Eleanor Roosevelt) ask if she can call her "Elizabeth", I think there is reason to believe that Colman could borrow some of the thunder of her co-stars. Could she be looking at a potential Supporting Actress nomination next January?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cannes excitement.2

Michael Haneke's Amour is tale of age, illness and loss has been described as "a tough, harrowing picture but also one that, curiously, remains optimistic and full of heart" and been almost universally praised as a masterpiece. My disinterest in Cannes 2012 has been dispelled. I have struggled to find / think of a film whose portrayal of death has resonated with my own experience, Amour may be the film I've been looking for. This is the first film to make a large impact at the festival, could Haneke take home the Palm d'Or for the second time?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My week through movies.

Being awestruck, excited, content and happy.

Escaping one place for greater opportunities and happiness.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

An irresistible question.

"Isn't it kind of fun holding hands according to sweet and corny custom?"

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cannes excitement apathy.1

There is a glamour, there are heavyweight filmmakers yet there has been very little excitement at Cannes 2012. It seems that the films that have been screened over the last few days have fulfilled their destiny: Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom pleased, Lawless entertained but disappointed, Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone impressed whilst Xavier Dolan's Laurence Anyways divided. I'm hoping some film or filmmaker makes a bigger impression over the course of the festival.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Who's that girl boy?

I will be seeing this very talented actor in Enda Murphhy's Misterman at the National Theatre.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

An irresistible statement.

"I'm not going to be ignored"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Top of the class. Performances in The Hours

I'm not a huge fan of The Hours. Stephen Daldry seems to have focused his attention on his cast and David Hare's great script without much thought/care for the visual treatment of the story. As it is, The Hours is a great showcase for some very talented screen actors but fails to get under the skin of these very disturbed and desperate characters. Imagine what wonders Pedro Almodovar would have created with material so rich! Yet I'm not sure he could have surpassed Daldry's direction of the below performances and, as such, let us celebrate...

10. Linda Bassett

9. Eileen Atkins 

8. John C Reilly

7. Miranda Richardson

6. Jeff Daniels

5. Julianne Moore

4. Toni Collette

3. Stephen Dillane

2. Nicole Kidman

1. Meryl Streep

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

An irresistible question.

"What a lovely girl! How could her King have left her?"

Sunday, May 13, 2012

"Isn't that what they always say?"

Funny business, a woman's career - the things you drop on your way up the ladder so you can move faster. You forget you'll need them again when you get back to being a woman. That's one career all females have in common, whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later, we've got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we've had or wanted. And in the last analysis, nothing's any good unless you can look up just before dinner or turn around in bed, and there he is. Without that, you're not a woman. You're something with a French provincial office or a book full of clippings, but you're not a woman. Slow curtain, the end.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My week through movies.

Waiting, hoping and feeling (slightly) defeated.

Being asked an exciting and unexpected question.

Attending an interview.

Getting a job.

Celebrating with dinner.

Waiting impatiently.

Meeting with an old friend from school.

Celebrating a birthday.

Planning a holiday.