Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Top Ten of 2011... of December 31st, roughly in this order:
  • Alps
  • Melancholia
  • A Separation
  • Bridesmaids
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin
  • Drive
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • The Artist
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Contagion
Honorable mention: Beginners, which would be in my top five but had a festival release last year, so I'm counting it as a 2010 film.

The five I'm most looking forward to seeing:
  • Margaret
  • Shame
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • Weekend
  • Young Adult
Honorable mention: The Muppets.

The five I'm not looking forward to seeing at all, but will see nonetheless because I try to be a completist:
  • J. Edgar
  • War Horse
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  • My Week with Marilyn
  • The Iron Lady
Dishonorable mention: The Descendants. I've liked/really liked every Alexander Payne film so far, but his latest seems like a misfire.
Another dishonorable mention: Moneyball. Maybe I should trust Bennett Miller more after Capote, but I just can't imagine giving a f*ck about this movie.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Doesn't Get More Christmas-y Than This

Discovery of the Year - Greek Weird Wave

Even though I began keeping a "movie diary" only nine months ago (on March 28th, to be exact), I'm almost certain that I’ve seen more films (both old and new ones) this year than ever before. I feel even more confident in saying that before 2011, I had never seen a Greek film in my life. Now, Dogtooth, Attenberg and Alps are among my favorite films from 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively. Dogtooth, which was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar last year, is probably the most (in)famous of the three, but I'm not sure which one of them is my favorite... I guess I'll choose Dogtooth when I'm feeling especially misanthropic, Attenberg when I'm in the mood for a more soulful film, and Alps when I want something in-between.

One thing's for sure: every new Yorgos Lanthimos & Co. project will be at the top of my must-see list.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Proposal to the Acronym That Hands Out the Golden Globes

Dear HFPA,

Nominate both Enlightened and Laura Dern tomorrow and I won't criticize any of the terrible decisions you will almost certainly make in other categories. Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hyacinth Tells It Like It Is

"If there's one thing I can't stand, it's snobbery and one-uppishness.
People who try to pretend they're superior."
"Makes it so much harder for those of us who really are."

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Poster Hall of Shame: Changeling

So, Changeling wasn't actually as terrible as I had expected. It's far from being good, but at least it didn't feel torturous to sit through, which is more than I can say about Invictus. One has to look for small victories with Clint Eastwood films, at least lately. But who really cares about the movie itself anyway when there's a poster like this to behold:

Amazing. Nom nom, Angelina.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I've been too swamped with work and other stuff lately to write something here, but not posting anything for more than a week also wouldn't feel right. And since I realized I somehow still haven't mentioned Lost in Translation in this blog...

"Is that for me?"
"Yeah, it can be for you."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Once in a Blue Moon

I was actually taken aback for a moment – in a good way - the other day when I somehow ended up looking at the National Society of Film Critics Awards winners for 2001. Even though critics groups (at least the more prestigious ones) usually have better taste than AMPAS, BAFTA etc, it almost never happens that they come up with a list as great as this:

Best Film: Mulholland Dr.
Best Actor: Gene Hackman, The Royal Tenenbaums
Best Actress: Naomi Watts, Mulholland Dr.
Best Supporting Actor: Steve Buscemi, Ghost World
Best Supporting Actress: Helen Mirren, Gosford Park
Best Director: Robert Altman, Gosford Park
Best Screenplay: Julian Fellowes, Gosford Park
Best Cinematography: Christopher Doyle & Ping Bin Lee, In the Mood for Love
Best Foreign Language Film: In the Mood For Love

There’s not a single choice here that I don’t like, and most of them would probably be my own picks for best of the year, too. Though, once I’ll finally get around to choosing my personal winners/nominees, In the Mood for Love will move from 2001 to 2000, since I always go with the IMDb (i.e. world premiere) year instead of the year a film was eligible for awards in the States. I haven’t seen The Royal Tenenbaums in years and don’t remember being that taken with Hackman’s performance, so I’d personally go with their runner-up Tom Wilkinson for In the Bedroom, and I’d give Best Director to Lynch instead of Altman... But these are minor quibbles, considering that AMPAS, in a characteristically stupid move, chose A Beautiful Mind (zzz...), with The Lord of the Rings: Vol. 1 (not my thing) and Moulin Rouge! (has its charms, but often annoying) as the probable runners-up.

Anyway, I decided to embark upon a little five-minute research to find any other equally awesome critics awards since 2000 - I still have too many unseen/un-rewatched films from earlier years. It turns out there aren’t any, though the New York Film Critics Circle, also in 2001, came quite close with a winners list that, except for the Actor/Actress categories, is almost a carbon copy of the NSFC one. I like that New Yorkers chose Wilkinson for Best Actor, but I can’t agree with their choice of his co-star Sissy Spacek as Best Actress. Not that I don’t like her in In the Bedroom – she has some great moments, even if the film ends up being the Tom Wilkinson show - but Naomi Watts owned the Best Actress category in 2001. Therefore, I give the edge to the NSFC. Thanks for proving that it is possible for some group somewhere at some point to vote in a way that I have almost no reason to complain!

Naomi accepting the NSFC Award...
...and finding out she was robbed of an Oscar nomination/win.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tagline Hall of Fame: They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

"People are the ultimate spectacle." So true. And I didn't even realize at first how great the poster is and how well it works with the tagline - I guess I was too taken with the verbal to notice the visual.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"I don't hammer!"

To celebrate that I'm seeing We Need to Talk About Kevin tonight (can't wait), a full three seconds of Tilda Awesomeness:

And The Wink:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sucking Lemons

Four thoughts I had after seeing this picture:

Gallery of the Absurd

1. "It's funny 'cause it's true."
2. I want the Renée from the late '90s to early '00s to come back.
3. It seems increasingly unlikely that it will ever happen.
4. I guess I should finally watch Jerry Maguire, even though I'm allergic to Tom Cruise. (And by now, who isn't?)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Testing, Testing...

To kick off this blog, I just can't go wrong with a great quote from a great film. And one that's been on my mind recently is...

"I gotta tell you something, Jane."
"Except for socially, you're my role model."

"Socially retarded" (as Jack Donaghy would say) characters are just delightful. What a coincidence that I also happen to identify with them. And hey, I managed to work in a 30 Rock reference already in the first post! About gazillion more will follow. I'm sure this also won't be the last mention of Broadcast News around here - it's definitely in my top five of the '80s.