Sunday, Aug 18, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website




 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 18, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 3
Movie Reviews
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
And the nominees are ...
Lincoln emerges as the film to beat at the 85th Academy Awards by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, Ang Lee's Life of Pi, and David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook were the big winners when nominations for the 85th annual Academy Awards were announced Thursday morning, receiving 12, 11, and eight nods respectively. In addition to Best Picture, Spielberg's epic was nominated for Best Director, Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actress (Sally Field), and Best Supporting Actor (Tommy Lee Jones), as well as receiving nods in the categories of adapted screenplay, cinematography, costume design, editing, original score, production design, and sound mixing. It is widely seen to be the frontrunner to take home the top prize.

Not that the other two can be easily discounted. Silver Linings Playbook became the first film in 31 years to be nominated in all four acting categories, leads Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence and supporting players Jacki Weaver and Robert De Niro all receiving nods. Also nominated was Russell for both his direction as well as his screenplay adaptation, while the movie additionally received a notice in the all-important editing category as well.

As for Life of Pi, Lee's well-respected adaptation of Yann Martel's mystical novel was nominated for its direction, adapted screenplay, cinematography, editing, original score, original song, production design, sound editing, sound mixing, and visual effects. While obviously beloved by Academy voters, its Best Picture prospects do seem limited due to the lack of any acting nominations. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was the last film to win without any.

NINE TOP CONTENDERS
All in all, nine films were nominated for Best Picture. Alongside the aforementioned Lincoln, Pi, and Playbook are Amour (with five nominations in total), Argo (seven), Beasts of the Southern Wild (four), Django Unchained (five), Les Misérables (eight), and Zero Dark Thirty (five). Left out of the race were perceived favorites like The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, and Skyfall, all of which did receive nominations in other categories.

The biggest surprises of the morning were in the Best Director category. Along with Spielberg, Lee, and Russell, the well-respected Michael Haneke was nominated for helming Amour while newcomer Benh Zeitlin found himself a nominee for spearheading Sundance and Cannes festival favorite Beasts of the Southern Wild. Perceived shoo-ins Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and Ben Affleck (Argo) were left standing in the cold, wondering what had happened.

PHOENIX RISES AGAIN
Besides Day-Lewis and Cooper, the Best Actor nominees include Denzel Washington (Flight), Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables), and, in a minor surprise, Joaquin Phoenix (The Master). Many thought Phoenix's chances had vanished after he made a series of remarks disparaging the Academy, but voters chose not to hold a grudge.

Alongside Lawrence, the Best Actress field consists of Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Naomi Watts (The Impossible), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) and Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild). At 85, Riva is the oldest nominee ever in this category, and at nine, Wallis is the youngest - making for a somewhat unique talking point you can be sure Oscar pundits will be yammering about long after the ceremony is over.

Here's another: For the first time ever, an acting category sports five previous winners vying for the award, the Best Supporting Actor lineup consisting of Academy Award winners Jones, De Niro, Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Alan Arkin (Argo), and Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained). As for Best Supporting Actress, the nominees are also all previous winners or nominees, Weaver and Field competing against Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables), Helen Hunt (The Sessions), and Amy Adams (The Master) for the Oscar.

NO LOVE FOR LOOPER
Along with Lincoln, Life of Pi, and Silver Linings Playbook, the other two Adapted Screenplay nominees were Argo and Beasts of the Southern Wild, while Original Screenplay nods went to Amour, Django Unchained, Flight, Moonrise Kingdom, and Zero Dark Thirty. Snubs in these categories included scripts for Looper, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Les Misérables, and The Sessions, all of which at one time or another were thought of as nomination favorites.

Best Foreign Language Film nominees include Austria's Amour, Denmark's A Royal Affair, Chile's No, Norway's Kon-Tiki, and Canada's War Witch. Best Animated Film contenders are Brave, Wreck-It Ralph, Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, and The Pirates! Band of Misfits, while Best Documentary nods went to How to Survive a Plague, The Gatekeepers, Searching for Sugar Man, 5 Broken Cameras, and The Invisible War. Noticeably absent from their categories were France's The Intouchables, the documentary Chasing Ice, and animated features Rise of the Guardians and The Painting.

The winners of the 85th annual Academy Awards will be announced on Sunday, Feb. 24, in a live telecast from the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. Hosting the event will be Ted and 'Family Guy' creator Seth MacFarlane, and while this year's list of presenters has not yet been announced, one can assume it will be as star-studded as ever. Until then, let the guesswork begin!


Macho Gangster Squad sports an ill-fitting fedora
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

GANGSTER SQUAD
Opens January 11


Director Ruben Fleischer's post-World War II Los Angeles-set old-school macho actioner Gangster Squad was supposed to come out last September, but after events in Aurora, Colorado, rocked the national consciousness, Warner Bros., along with the filmmaker, came to the conclusion that releasing the film as-is wouldn't be in good taste. Why? The fiery, machine-gun-filled finale was partially set inside a crowded movie theater, and considering what had just taken place, the collective unease about how audiences would react was certainly understandable.

So, the last quarter of Gangster Squad was extensively reshot and the release date pushed to this week. It's now time for the movie to speak for itself, and let its star-studded merits speak for themselves, and the fact that it fails to do so on just about every level makes me wonder what all the fuss was about. They could have reshot the entire movie, start to finish, every aspect, and Fleischer's opus would still be nothing more than a glossy, sloppily written, and unevenly directed The Untouchables wannabe, and while pleasing aspects do arise, there just aren't enough of them to make sitting through this disaster worthwhile.

TACKLING A CRIME BOSS
The plot, loosely based on fact, follows LAPD Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) as he sets out to bring down rising crime lord Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). Tasked by Chief of Police Parker (Nick Nolte) to use any means necessary to fight this new kind of guerrilla war, O'Mara brings together a group of law enforcement outsiders to fill out his squad, using tactics honed during the war to make Cohen's life a living hell and stop him from taking over the city.

There are some nice touches, and allowing Penn so much freedom to do what he wants with Cohen was, while obvious, as great a decision as any Fleischer made while trying to bring Will Beall's (a 'Castle' staff writer) script, itself based on the book by Paul Lieberman, to life. But the whole thing is weighted down in faux machismo, the enterprise feeling like an unsubtle fedora-wearing throwback that wants to walk in the same shoes as James Cagney, George Raft, or Paul Muni but doesn't have the faintest idea how to do so. It's all uneasy boastfulness and flippant cigarette-smoking, the majority of the cast going through the motions as if they were auditioning for some low-budget, overly theatrical high school play rather than making a big-budget Hollywood tentpole.

Which is a shame if you consider just how awesome the cast is. Ryan Gosling, Robert Patrick (who steals every scene he's at the center of), Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, and Michael Peña round out the squad. Emma Stone is the femme fatale who draws Gosling attentions, 'The Killing' showstopper Mireille Enos is Brolin's sweetly understanding (and very pregnant) wife, while Troy Garity pops up as Penn's most menacing shoot-first-don't-ask-questions-at-all bit of muscle. Plenty of others also make fleeting appearances, keeping track of the familiar faces something of a mildly amusing game in and of itself.

ONE-DIMENSIONAL CHARACTERS
But across the board, by and large, every single one of them is wasted in one way or another. Gosling and Stone try to get by on their Crazy, Stupid, Love chemistry but the magic is mostly gone, only a couple moments ringing with anything close to the same kind of intoxicating chemistry. Brolin is all swagger, forgetting to bring the same sort of wounded intensity that allowed for Kevin Costner to come alive and become something memorable in Brian De Palma's The Untouchables, while the rest of the squad (save, as I've already stated, Patrick), are stranded with cardboard cutouts to portray instead of anything that resembles a living, breathing enforcer of law and order.

Comparisons to De Palma's 1987 film are unavoidable, so many of the beats and ideas presented in Beall's script uneasily reminiscent of that Academy Award-winning classic. Fleischer doesn't do anything to hide this, and I can't be the only one wondering if Zombieland was a fluke and that it's more unmemorable throwaways like this and 30 Minutes or Less that we can expect from him in the future. Poorly paced, lazily edited, reviling in cliché, and shot to look as shiny as a newfound penny, Gangster Squad is 2013's first disaster, and instead of waiting four months to throw it into multiplexes, Warner would have done better leaving it on the shelf unreleased.


Street fighting man - Schoenaerts stars but Cotillard dominates in Rust and Bone
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

RUST AND BONE
Opens January 11


Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) has come to the coastal city of Antibes in the south of France with his five-year-old son Sam (Armand Verdure), no money, and very few belongings. His sister Anna (Corinne Masiero), a cashier at a local grocery store, takes the pair in, helping him get a job as a bouncer at a popular nightclub while making sure his son gets enrolled at the neighborhood elementary school.

On his first night at work Ali breaks up a fight, possibly saving the mysterious Stéphanie's (Marion Cotillard) life, going so far as to make sure she gets home and giving her his phone number in case she needs his help again. A celebrated orca trainer at Marineland, the lithe and athletic beauty ends up the victim of a tragic accident, losing both her legs when a stunt goes horrifically awry. Weeks after surgery and struggling to deal with her lengthy recovery, on a whim Stéphanie calls Ali, and an unusual friendship blossoms.

A ROAD LESS TRAVELED
Based on a story by Craig Davidson, director and co-screenwriter Jacques Audiard follows up his Oscar-nominated gem A Prophet with the mesmerizing and complex drama Rust and Bone. Visually stimulating, dramatically invigorating, the movie fearlessly refuses to travel down expected roads, showcasing a friendship-slash-romance of opposites that's as bracing as it is intimate. The way Ali and Stéphanie connect, how they relate to one another, the way she breaks down his selfish façade and he in turn gives her a reason to fight back against her unforeseen disability, all of it comes together in a way I found startling.

In the same instance, there is a definite storytelling imbalance I couldn't help but take note of. Stéphanie's story, her journey, the fight she engages in, is something extraordinary, and Cotillard inhabits her to perfection. She makes no wrong turns, never hits a false note, mining depths of emotions and reaching stratospheric heights that blew me away. The Academy Award-winning actress takes her game to a whole new level, and this is easily one of the finest performances I've seen recently.

IT'S ALI'S WORLD
But she's not the focal point of the movie -Bullhead scene-stealer Schoenaerts is. Ali's journey is the one we follow all the way to the end: how he deals with Anna; the way he goes about his job; his slow waltz into the world of unlicensed street fighting, which will ultimately segue into the legitimate realm of European Mixed Martial Arts. All of it juxtaposed with his selfish sexual desires, respect for, and admiration of Stéphanie -he treats her as an equal no matter the situation -and his undeniable love for his son, Sam, making Ali a complex enigma difficult to get a handle on.

Fine. Good. All of this is great. It makes the story different than you expect it to be and sends it down unforeseen paths that are emotionally and intellectually stimulating. Problem is, Cotillard dominates the proceedings to such an extent, her story so viscerally intoxicating, that she overwhelms everything else. As good as Schoenaerts is (and he is wonderful), as great as many of the scenes involving him are, the movie cannot help but stall out whenever Stéphanie is not around. I couldn't help but notice it, and as handsomely made as the movie is, and as confidently as Audiard directs, this is an issue I had minor trouble getting past.

I do not want to make it sound like the movie isn't worthwhile because of this imbalance. It is, amazingly so, and much of the core story involving Ali and Stéphanie speaks with a beautiful eloquence that nearly broke my heart. There is a sequence somewhat early on where our kickboxing security guard takes his new friend to the beach, using all sorts of subterfuge to convince her to return to the ocean for the first time since her accident. This scene, this crystalline series of events, brought subtle tears to my eyes, and in an instant it gives their blossoming relationship a weighty majesty it never would have had otherwise.

SHADES OF GREY
I love how Audiard isn't afraid to mix light and dark, allow pain to resonate, the way he paints so profoundly within the grey areas. At the same time, unlike A Prophet or The Beat My Heart Skipped, there are contrivances and coincidences within this story that aren't exactly authentic. Some of the twists the narrative takes, admittedly presented with electrifying exactitude, almost seem like one step too far, and while everything is connected and the script does a grand job foreshadowing these sidesteps, some of them still felt contrived.

Yet Cotillard is magnetic, while Schoenaerts holds his own. Audiard has constructed a story of weight and power, one that connects on the very first frame and doesn't let go until the screen fades to black. Structurally, the movie does feel out of balance, the secondary character the more fascinating while the primary one's story is the one containing the majority of the plot holes. But on the whole Rust and Bone works -it enlivens the spirit and stirs the soul just as it was designed to, and even with more than a handful of misgivings this is one dramatic whirlwind I'd happily experience again in the proverbial heartbeat.




Force of nature - Meet Jinkx Monsoon, the busiest little showgirl in Seattle
------------------------------
Serious fun. - Guitarist Jack Antonoff on LGBT activism, the band's Ally Coalition, and his 'Lesbian chemicals'
------------------------------
Madness, set to music - Contemporary Classics' Brandon Ivie directs Next to Normal
------------------------------
Celebration! - Kool & the Gang bring the party to Snoqualmie
------------------------------
Mice en scene - Rossini's charm finally emerges in SO's Cenerentola
------------------------------
Born again - Lady Gaga delivers a monster of a show in Tacoma
------------------------------
Buck 98: He's a bargain at twice the price
------------------------------
Gypsy Rose Lee Awards nominees announced
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Real theater - only faster
------------------------------
And the nominees are ...
------------------------------
Macho Gangster Squad sports an ill-fitting fedora
------------------------------
Street fighting man - Schoenaerts stars but Cotillard dominates in Rust and Bone
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson to perform at Obama's inauguration
------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------
Letters
------------------------------
She's got balls! - Miss Coco Peru visits Seattle's 'really friendly urinal'
------------------------------
Haunting Mama an emotionally ethereal thriller
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2012

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News