Table of Contents 4 Natalie Portman 7 Tina Fey
10 Best Picture
12 Best Actress 26 In 2011 You Should Watch...
14 Best Actor 16 Best Supporting
18 Best Supporting
29 Movie Trends: Boxing, Comics, & English Films Cinemann 2
20 Oscar Trends 22 The Remembrance 24 Interview with Oscar Nominee
Cinemann: Volume VI, Issue 6
Editors in Chief
Andrew Demas Maggie Reinfeld Senior Editors
Matt Taub Alexandra Saali Faculty Advisor
Katie Cacouris, Tucker Caploe, Jessica Chi, Zoe Kestan, Staff Writers Alice Taranto, Sam Torres, Charles Sherr, Emma Specter
Rachel Buissereth, Anise Charles, David Feuerstein, Jacob Frackman, Abigail Greenbaum, Bennett Heller, Noah Margulis, Jay Palekar, Savannah Smith, Rachel Simerka-Smith, Henry Warder
Letter From the Editors Dear Reader, After a spectacular year of films, the time has finally come to see which movies and actors will remain in critical history by grabbing an Academy Award. We hope you sifts through the pages of Cinemann as the awards are unveiled Sunday night. Our writers have meditated over their predications, and we hope you are convinced by their thorough reviews. As your read through this issue we hope you soak up all things “Oscar” and especially enjoy Matt Taub’s personal interview with Oscar nominee Luke Matheny. Reuben Dizengoff also provides a look ahead at 2011’s most promising films. Follow our magazine at issuu.com/cinemann. If you would like to write for Cinemann please contact us! See you at the movies, Andrew Demas and Maggie Reinfeld
e i l a t a N
by hannah jun With two movies released in 2010 and three more slated for 2011, the theaters have seen a lot of Natalie Portman as of late. From a psychotic professional ballerina, to the other woman, an archer, and a scientist, Natalie Portman has not only starred in a string of movies, she has starred in a string of greatly nuanced and multifarious movies. The collision of similar release dates may or may not be a coincidence, however, her finesse and the impeccability of her performances definitely is not. This year, Portman has shown not only her flexibility, but also shown her commitment to the art of acting. Natalie Portman has had both critical (Closer) and commercial (Star Wars) success since she first starred in the French
movie Leon back in 1994. However, Black Swan has been her first perfect combination of both. Its financial success speaks for itself with a gross revenue value of $171 million dollars for a film budget of $13 million. Praised for her complete artistic and physical commitment to the art of ballet and her riveting theatrical performance, Natalie Portman shows the world in Black Swan that she can let loose and portray the meltdown of a human being. Black Swan is in a sense a rite of passage for Ms. Portman. Her previous movies have all had a sort of containment and distance with respect to the audience, even in the hardcore V for Vendetta. But in Black Swan, Portman reveals explicitly and intimately the intricate peeling of a personâ€™s sanity. The audi-
ence feels the chill of the price of perfection when Nina cracks. Black Swan is not a movie watched, but felt. Natalie Portman has won a Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA and has been nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Black Swan. Two popular films to look out for in 2011 are Thor and Your Highness. Both movies are period pieces (one is a Marvel comic adaptation, the other a spoof of the medieval period, respectively) and big budget movies, compared to Black Swan. Still, Natalie Portman shows off her diverse skills with these two films. Both trailers look promising, Your Highness being flat out hilarious and Thor exciting. But what looks more cinematically hopeful for Portman in 2011 is the release of The Other Woman. While completed in 2009, the movie was shelved until 2011, most likely due to the popularity of Black Swan. The movie examines the story of a second wife after the death of her infant and wobbly family dynamics. Also featuring Lisa Kudrow and Scott Cohen, The Other Woman looks as precious and promising as the illuminating success of Black Swan. With her teenage years and Harvard behind her, Natalie Portman seems to have making movies and as her top priority. With No Strings Attached and The Other Woman, Portman has branched out in the film industry as a producer. She has not only proved her strength as an actress this year, but also her interest in a role behind the camera. In 2010 and 2011, Natalie Portman has accomplished a ton: she’s shown she is bankable as a Hollywood actress, and more importantly, her full growth and development into a mature adult. I don’t think this is just the Year of the Portman. I think we should expect to see more great things from her in many years to come. But then again, we won’t know for sure, since one of her greatest qualities, her unpredictability, never fails to surprise us. Perhaps why we should relish her performances all the more.
a n i T
by emma garcia As a young adult, Tina Fey knew she wanted to be in the media industry and in college she studied playwriting. However, it wasn’t until she made it to the improvisation group Second City, based in Chicago, that she found her passion in the industry. Improvisation made acting exciting for Tina because it was more interesting then merely putting pen to paper; it meant a partnership. In this joint effort, she was totally dependent on her partner’s reaction and had to be spontaneous in order to retain her audience’s attention. Then, if her viewers deemed the skit entertaining, it might be revised and turned into a real script. Second City served as Tina’s foundation in comedy. From its training, she, as well as many others, was able to land a job as a writer for Saturday Night Live. SNL turned out to be Tina’s big break. After spending a few years as a writer, Tina yearned for the stage and attention once again and was allotted a spot during the mock news portion of the one and a half hour show in addition to her previous position. While mocking current events and bringing touches of humor to sometimes dim realities, Tina caught viewers’ attention with her comedic abilities, making them want more. NBC knew Tina was talented and decided to capitalize on her talent and gave her a show. 30 Rock explores the life of a hard working, unorganized woman whose ridiculous situations exaggerate what a real career for such a woman might be like. In an attempt to draw a sort of parallel, Tina has been able to distract people’s attention from similar, upsetting moments in their own lives and focus it on her character’s. In this scenario, the saying “You’d find it funny if it happened to someone else,” is key. By the creation of her own TV series, Tina had progressed from an unknown actress, to a meager writer, rapidly promoted to a head writer for NBC, and then the center of
attention on two very popular shows. And still she continued to expand her horizons. During her climb to fame, Tina wrote and produced Mean Girls, a movie that peeks into the lives of high schoolers, particularly focusing on the lengths that girls may go to in order to “destroy” one another through deceit and defamation. Mean Girls attempted to show, beneath all of its humor, the value of being considerate while at the same time demonstrating the consequence of being a “mean girl.” In addition, Tina turned to voice acting, yet another check on her list of talents. Voice acting is particularly difficult because it means portraying all of a character’s thoughts and emotions through exclusively the voice. Her only works in this field are Ponyo and Megamind, both of which are spectacular movies because of their performances as well as productions and scripts. While Ponyo was not very popular, Megamind was a successful children’s comedy with underlying morals of overcoming stereotypes to find one’s desires, real personality, and the consequences of actions, particularly those surrounding the abuse of power. I can’t help noticing one theme running through all of Tina’s work. Fey constantly makes herself the hard working woman who has put all of her energy into making her career as successful as possible, letting her personal life crumble. Her on-screen character seems to be a portrayal of the modern woman, or a less than perfect reality: people must choose between a personal life and a profession. It’s a somewhat depressing message to give an audience. However, Tina always manages to turn things around by exaggerating her character’s ridiculously awful situations and always slips a silver lining somewhere in the script that makes the character advance one step as a human being and betters her life just a little bit.
s r a c s O e Th collage photos:imdb
Best Picture ... by charles sherr
This year’s Oscar nominees for Best Picture are particularly strong, each contender an innovative, original, and captivating film. They include: The King’s Speech, The Social Network, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, True Grit, The Kids are Alright, 127 Hours, Toy Story 3, and Winter’s Bone. There are many interesting aspects to consider about these films, and why they will or won’t win this year’s Best Picture. To start, Natalie Portman’s dark, yet cunning Black Swan is a horrific thriller. However, its Oscar hopes go way down, as the Academy does not have a good relationship with horror films. Black Swan is only the third horror film to ever be
nominated, after 1973’s The Exorcist and 1992’s The Silence of the Lambs. While Natalie Portman is the heavy favorite for Best Actress, the chances for this horror blockbuster are too low. A great Oscar movie, and one that filled seven nomination slots, The Fighter has caught the eye of critics and fans alike. It’s a great movie, but under the shadow of Raging Bull and Rocky, it probably won’t take home Best Picture. Inception, a fan-favorite by many, accounts for being the best cinematographic experience. However, it is burdened on Oscar night by one big issue: the movie has no directing, acting, or editing nominations, which are nor-
mally indications that the film has a chance of walking away with the award. The only reason the Academy switched to ten nominations is so a fan-favorite like Inception could be nominated for Best Picture, which indirectly translates to better ratings (think Avatar last year). True Grit, nominated for ten Oscars and a huge hit at the box office, was nominated only out of respect for producers/directors Joel and Ethan Coen. The Academy loves these two, and this could be the reason for True Grit having the second most nominations only to The King’s Speech. As nice as the statistics may seem, True Grit doesn’t quite fit in among the better movies nominated.
The tear-jerker and summer hit Toy Story 3 must be proud of its nomination for Best Picture, as it can stand among the best live action films for the year. However, the animation industry sort of stands on its own now, ever since the Academy brought in the Best Animated Film Oscar in 2001. So, while the feelgood Toy Story 3 can be recognized for Best Picture, it will be very hard for this underdog to win over the favorites. Much like The Fighter, 127 Hours is here out of having Oscar-type characteristics more than anything else, but it doesn’t have much of a chance at winning. The low budget (only four million dollars) The Kids are Alright may have
peaked too early, and Winter’s Bone has the smallest chance of all to win. Its nomination may only be a nod to independent films, and was largely considered the last film to be nominated. There is a clear contrast that differentiates The King’s Speech and The Social Network from the eight other nominees. The cutting edge Facebook movie was an absolute hit, beautifully directed and acted, and can be considered one of the generation’s most defining films. Yet, the average member of the Academy probably isn’t on the social networking site, and may feel the movie is too hip and modern for their liking. For them, it would be much easier to hand the award
over to the more traditional Oscar winning film. So while The Social Network should walk away with the statue, I believe The King’s Speech will take home this year’s Best Picture crown. Already declared best picture by the Producers Guild of America, this movie has all the nominations in all the right categories to take home Best Picture. Harvey Weinstein concocted the perfect Oscar movie in The King’s Speech, but, like everything, only time will tell.
by hannah davidoff
Nicole Kidman plays a compelling Becca, a mother grieving over her son’s death, in play-adapted-for-the-screen, Rabbit Hole. She does a masterful job in showing both sorrow for her child and jealousy for her sister who is pregnant. The immense anguish and anger shown by Kidman is truly gut-wrenching. Her desperation penetrates the viewer in an unforgettable manner. It would be no surprise if she got the Oscar for this beautiful performance.
Annette Bening is nominated for her exceptional role as a lesbian mother in The Kids Are All Right, a comedy about two gay moms raising children who search out to find their anonymous sperm donor. Annette Bening does a fabulous job at playing the strict parent and obstetrician. Her performance is powerful in its simplicity, and heart warming in its tender portrayal of a mother desperate to keep her family together. As an audience member, one is captivated by her expression and passion as she tries to revivify her family life.
Jennifer Lawrence wonderfully acted the role of Ree Dolly in Winter’s Bone, making the movie the success it is. Winter’s Bone is the story of a daughter, Ree Dolly, who goes looking for her missing meth-making father to keep her family together. Jennifer Lawrence does amazingly at playing the concerned, responsible daughter whose main goal is to take care of her family. It is suprising that at such a young age Lawrence was able to present such a powerful and real performance.
Natalie Portman’s role as Nina Sayers was brilliantly creepy and made the overrated Black Swan better. Black Swan is about a prima ballerina fighting for her role as the best ballerina in the company. Natalie Portman does a great job at playing the hardworking ballerina who has devoted her whole life to the business, and for it is slowly going mad. She is sure to win the Oscar, as her performance perfectly epitomized the intricate relationship between grace, passion, and torment.
Michelle Williams Michelle Williams accurately portrays her character, Cindy, in Blue Valentine, which tells the story of a couple who married because Cindy became pregnant with a baby from another marriage, though Dean Ryan Gosling raises the child as his. Michelle William does a brilliant job as the torn mother whose marriage is falling apart in front of her eyes. Her ability to evoke such tremendous emotional heartache is exceptional, and her performance is everlasting.
In aptly titled Biutiful, actor Javier Bardem gives a complex, conflicted and multilayered performance as Uxbal, a man on a tragic journey to reconcile the love for his children with the criminal underworld in which he has gotten caught. Bardem’s performance, which anchors the many plot strands, conveys Uxbal’s profound love for his children as well as his terror of what will happen to them when he dies. Even if we extremely disagree and dread the choices he makes to protect them, Bardem gets us to understand him.
That old-time American religion of vengeance runs like a river through True Grit, a comedic drama about some nasty, brutish times. From the western novel by Charles Portis, it centers on a 14-year-old Arkansas girl who hires a “one-eyed fat man” to hunt down her father’s killer. Jeff Bridges, hot off of an Oscar for Crazy Heart and blockbuster/visual effects extravaganza Tron: Legacy, delivers another fine performance, one that’s as comedic as much as it is real. This is a whole different Rooster Cogburn, as Bridges makes the droll character his own.
by victoria mckaba
Colin Firth: should win
In The King’s Speech, Colin Firth pulls off a difficult task: balancing the sense of dignity inherent in someone of his character’s status with making real the sense of humiliation and dread his character feels whenever he’s called upon to speak at a social function. Playing King George VI presents the challenge of adopting a stuttering speech and making it seem natural rather than overly pronounced and showy. Firth does not hit a false note at any point during the film.
Timely and modern, The Social Network is a film that’s not to be missed. Even if you are not a Facebook user, this story about the creation of the famed social networking website and the subsequent lawsuits that followed is compelling, fascinating and riveting. Anchoring the film is Jesse Eisenberg, who delivers a careermaking performance as Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Eisenberg portrays him as an arrogant young man, a brilliant visionary and a wounded little boy all at once, spurred by the rejection of a girl that propels him forward.
James Franco Based on the true story of Aron Ralston, a mountaineer who must amputate his own arm in order to survive a hiking accident in a remote Utah canyon, 127 Hours makes audiences throughout America shriek. With this Oscar-worthy performance, Franco taps into a dramatic range only hinted at in his previous roles. Mr. Franco’s energy connects the viewer to the character almost instantly. To say that this movie gets under your skin is barely just a figure of speech. It pins you down, shakes you up, and leaves you glad to be alive.
Amy Adams is nominated for her role as the gritty “MTV” girlfriend of Micky Ward in The Fighter. Adams truly departs from her typical ditzy and naïve roles in previous films. This is her third nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards, and she is due for a win after perfectly portraying her roles of Ashley in Junebug and Sister James in Doubt. In The Fighter, Adams plays Charlene Fleming, who supports Mickey both tenderly and aggressively. The character is strong, and she wants Mickey’s family out of the picture so he can finally win a match. Adams offers a powerful and solid performance, but is it enough to win?
Helena Bonham Carter
In The King’s Speech, Carter proves that she doesn’t have to play a crazy lady to be good. Most know Carter for her roles in Tim Burton films and for playing Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter series. In The King’s Speech, she plays Queen Elizabeth, consort to King George VI, who comforts the king as he struggles to overcome his stutter in order to give a radio speech concerning World War I. Her performance is heart-warming, playing the role of the supportive wife extremely well. It is definitely a fantastic departure from her past characters.
Best Supporting Actress
by noah margulis
Melissa Leo: should win
This is Leo’s second Academy Award nomination. Also in The Fighter, Leo plays Alice Ward, the mother of the two wrestling brothers. Her performance as a passive-aggressive and manipulative “soccer mom” is phenomenal. In the film, Leo runs around in high heels and denim mini-skirts attempting to hold her family together, whether it be tracking down her older son in a crack house or pulling apart a fight between her seven daughters and her younger son’s new girlfriend. The role is intense, and the character’s struggle is easily and beautifully seen in Leo’s performance.
Making her film debut in True Grit, Steinfeld hogs the screen from elder costars Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, and not because she’s cute – because she’s good. Portraying the role of Mattie Ross, this spunky 14-year-old drives this modern “Old Western” movie. She accompanies the two U.S. Marshalls in search of the man who killed her father. Steinfeld gives the character a real human quality, as she is very mature in some scenes, yet innocent and scared like the child she is, in others. Steinfeld has proven that she’s a star worth watching, making us wonder what she do next.
Jacki Weaver Jaki Weaver’s performance in Animal Kingdom is immensely captivating, as she brilliantly portrays grandma “Smurf,” who takes in her grandchildren, raising them in the absence of their mother. She epitomizes the definition of a quality actor in this role. As the plot progresses, she reveals herself as a criminal mastermind able to hoodwink the legal system, and as a woman “who shows no qualms about sacrificing one of her young cubs.” Her natural passion and ability to capture such catastrophic tension make her an excellent candidate for this category.
Best Supporting Actor
by victoria mckaba
The biggest draw to see the The Fighter is not the boxing, but Christian Bale’s career-topping performance. Here it’s essential to separate Bale the actor from Bale the movie star, as his transformation is stark and thorough. He’s both repulsive to watch and hard to look away from. Bale embodies the character he portrays with an allure that is mind-boggling. Dicky is no good; anyone who pays attention is forced to see this, yet the character, and Bale’s methodological drive guiding it, is fascinating.
Best known for his character work on Deadwood, John Hawkes earned raves for his quietly menacing performance as the volatile, meth-addicted Teardrop in Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone. Embodying the danger, mistrust, sadness, hopelessness, provincial territoriality, and concern with kin found amongst all of the criminal colluders, Hawkes not only imbues his character with a wider range of emotions, but also breathes life into his character and makes us cringe upon our first meeting with him.
Jeremy Renner Jem, one quarter of The Town’s bank robbing gang, is the film’s wild card, the character whose behavior is most likely to tip the situation one way or the other. He’s got a quick temper and he doesn’t always think things all the way through. Renner plays Jem as a twitchy, angry creature who is capable of anything. He’s compelling precisely because we don’t know how far he’ll go or how much he’s willing to sacrifice. He’s determined not to end up behind bars but, at the same time, his demeanor doesn’t denote desperation.
The performance that everyone seems to be overlooking is one that could make a serious run for Best Supporting Actor. This is easily his best performance to date. He deftly combines his signature laid-back style with a megaton of emotion. As Bening and Moore’s sperm donor in The Kids are Alright, he is a boy stuck in a man’s body. He is a rebellious, alternative person who, upon discovering his kids, must man up and decide if he wants to be a father. His character is a lovable rogue; we love him, we hate him, and we feel his pain even though we know he deserves it.
Geoffrey Rush Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech as controversial speech therapist Lionel Logue was more emotional than mechanical. Rush is fantastic as a gentle and dedicated, yet slightly off-key, personality who doesn’t let on that he knows or cares he is a commoner treating a king. Rush, in arguably his best performance, brilliantly leads his pupil through the arduous process of taming his tongue. Rush easily matches Colin Firth beat-for-beat in all of their scenes, and arguably subtly outdoes his co-star’s performance.
collage photos: imdb
Why do the Oscars Continually Choose Movies Filled with Brutality? by alexandra saali What will be the best picture of 2010? I predict an R rated movie with lots of violence. It’s undeniable that movies are more violent then ever. Even PG-13 movies tend to push the violent envelope. And based on the recent best picture wins, the academy obviously rewards graphic violence. Perhaps in our society where people are more physically restrained then ever, fighting with lawyers rather than fists, the public needs an outlet for its inner rage. Do we let off our steam just watching Mark Wahlberg beat his competitors to a pulp? An analysis of top grossing movies in the past decade shows the increasing affinity of production houses to “play it safe.” Sex, violence and drugs sell (thus they are incorporated in more movies than ever), but nothing is a safer bet than investing in sagas or remakes. Since 2000, at least a fifth of the top grossing films were part of a series or a modern take on an old hit. The success of movies this year like Toy Story 3, Iron Man 2, Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Karate Kid, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Shrek Forever After, Tron, True Grit, Tangled, Alice in Wonderland, Clash of the Titans, Little Fockers, etc. reiterate the sure financial success of movies featuring characters and plot lines in which audiences are already interested. The past is a good indication of the future, yet big stars and popular characters that guarantee big returns make movies more formulaic. Perhaps as a result of Hollywood investors only backing these safe movies, the academy has been forced to search for excellence in low budget films. Slumdog Millionaire and The Hurt Locker did not have massive production companies behind them, yet each took home the gold the last two years. I wonder if are we limiting the scope of movies by making major budget films so formulaic, or if we are giving low-budget films with new directors, casts and crews a chance to make a name for themselves.
The Remembrance The actors who all touched our hearts and will be missed dearly.
With the year 2010 come and gone, we must look back and remember the stars that graced us with their presence in so many movies and shows. We lost a lot of wonderful actors and actresses this year, and it is our duty to remember them and celebrate their lives. Leslie Nielsen: b. 1926 -“Surely you can’t be serious.” -“I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.” This is probably one of the funniest and most influential lines ever said in a movie. Airplane was a smash hit, and audiences everywhere loved it. This witty actor was also in the wildly successful Naked Gun movies. He died at age 84, having led a long and fulfilling life.
Tom Bosley: b. 1927 Tom Bosley started out in the movie Yours, Mine, and Ours, then began to do guest appearances on popular TV shows like Get Smart, Bonanza, The Bill Cosby Show, and others. He is most noted for his role in the hit show Happy Days. Even late in his life, he continued to do guest appearances on more recent shows like, That 70’s Show and Family
Guy. Gary Coleman: b. 1968 “Whatchu talkin’ bout, Willis?” Gary Coleman was a well-known actor, most famous for his role in Diff ’rent Strokes. After this show went big, he starred in movies like The Kid with the 200 I.Q. and On the Right Track. Tony Curtis: b. 1925 Tony Curtis has to be one of my favorite actors of all time. He is known for his hilarious role in Some Like It Hot as well as parts in movies The Defiant Ones, The Great Race, and Sweet Smell of Success. He is a very talented actor who worked even in old age. Corey Haim: b. 1971 Many know this actor for his teen roles in Lucas and License to Drive. His most influential role, however, was his in the knockout show, The Lost Boys. He died at only 38. John Forsythe: b.1918 We all know Charlie’s Angels as both movies and a TV show. It is a pity that the actor playing Charlie Townsend just died. He is also prominent for his
by valerie bodurtha
role in Dynasty and Bachelor Father. He was a very gifted actor and his angels won’t be the only ones to mourn him. Peter Graves: b. 1926 It is bad enough that we lose one actor from the hysterical movie Airplane, but the loss of Peter Graves, who played the pilot, is a loss to the acting community. He and Leslie Nielsen both knew how to make my sides split. He was additionally in the TV series of Mission: Impossible. Rue McClanahan (1934–2010) Starting out as a Broadway star in the 50’s, Rue McClanahan has shown herself to be a veteran actress. She also worked with Betty White in the hit TV show The Golden Girls. She was a great character on the show, and we will miss her. All of these actors deserve to be mentioned in history. Though you may have never heard of some of them, they are idols to other people. We are at a loss without their acting skills and will miss them dearly.
Last summer, I took a filmmaking course taught by Luke Matheny. Word quickly got out that Matheny’s film God of Love was fresh from taking home top prize at the Student Academy Awards. And shortly after my class saw it, we all understood why. But no one saw a full-blown Oscar nomination for the film school project coming. On January 25, however, it received an Oscar nomination for Best Live Action Short, and Matheny was kind enough to answer some questions about the film and its nomination.
Matthew Taub: What was the inspiration behind God Of Love? Luke Matheny: I guess the movie is finally about the value of friendship and the unpredictability of love. I’ve had plenty of personal experience with those ideas, and I imagine just about everyone in the audience has, too. MT: While making it, did you ever imagine that it would be shown outside of your class (it was a grad. school project, no?)? LM: Well, I certainly hoped that the film would get into some bigger film festivals. That’s a goal of most student filmmakers. And it did get into Telluride, AspenShorts, Woodstock, St. Louis and many others. But the scale of recognition that the movie went on to achieve – as in, an Oscar nomination – was certainly beyond anything I had envisioned. MT: What was involved in getting the film recognized by the
Interview with Oscar Nominee: Luke Matheny Matt Taub sits down with the man behind the brilliant God Of Love.
Student Academy Awards? Did you have to submit it? Did it need to meet any specific qualifications? LM: You just go to the website, fill out the application, and submit the film. It needs to be made by a student in a degreegranting college or university program, and it needs to be no longer than 40 minutes. MT: How was the film even seen by Oscar voters? Did it require any specific marketing, connections, etc.? In other words, how did you get the film into the Oscar race? LM: By winning the Student Academy Award, my film qualified to be submitted to the Academy Awards. So I submitted it. I believe there about 75 qualifying films that also submitted. MT: When did that process start and how long did it take? LM: I think I submitted in fall of last year. Then, a few months ago, I found out that my film made it to the “shortlist” – that’s a list of 10 finalists that eventually gets cut down to five nominees. So I was walking around every day, mad with anticipation over whether or not I would get nominated. I became superstitious. If I went bowling, I would say things to myself like “Okay. If I get a strike, I will definitely not get nominated.” MT: What was your reaction when you learned of your nomination? LM: Relief. Excitement. Humility. MT: What opportunities/experiences has the Academy offered you since the nomination?
LM: I guess the coolest thing so far has been the Nominees Luncheon. My girlfriend and I got to fly to L.A. for a luncheon where all the nominees were invited. Mark Wahlberg was at the table behind me and Jeff Bridges was at the table in front of me. It was nuts: Natalie Portman, James Franco, Amy Adams, Annette Bening, Colin Firth, Aaron Sorkin – they were all there. The writer of Toy Story 3 came up to me and said he’d seen my movie and that he was a big fan. That was the highlight of the event. MT: Can you already feel the pace of your career begin to change? LM: Sure. My agents are excited for me to finish my feature screenplay so we can start capitalizing on the attention from the nomination and hopefully get my first feature made sooner than later. MT: Finally, if you could choose the best picture winner yourself, which of the ten movies would you choose and why? LM: I still haven’t seen Winter’s Bone, but as for the other nominees, I loved The Kids Are All Right and Toy Story 3 and liked The King’s Speech very much. But my favorite is True Grit. The Coen Bros. are probably my favorite working directors and I was already a huge fan of the novel, so I was excited to see it. I loved each of the characters, the comically ornate dialogue and I liked the unusual tone – funny, moral, solemn, unpredictable.
Captain America:The First Avenger ... Chris Evans portrays our favorite World War II hero: Steve Rogers, or Captain America. Joe Johnston directs what is sure to be a great set-up to the highly anticipated film. Johnston brings along a strong supporting cast with Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull and Tommy Lee Jones as Col. Chester Phillips. Marvel Studios is sure to leave you with a huge cliffhanger you won’t want to miss, as Captain America: The First Avenger is the last installment before the Avengers hit the big screen together. blogspot
In 2011 You Sh by reuben dizengoff
Super 8 ...
Everyone’s favorite muppets are hitting the big screen for their own feature film. Muppet nerd Jason Segel wrote the script for what is to be the greatest show the world has ever seen. This movie has the voice of just about every famous person in Hollywood, so you will miss nothing. A must see in my book.
Steven Spielberg produces and JJ Abrams directs. With its tempting teaser trailer, JJ Abrams is keeping this one a secret. But that’s all I need. I’ll be buying tickets very quickly for a seat in this one.
Sports fans, this is going to be the sports movie of our generation. An all-star cast tells an all-star baseball story. The film is based off Billy Beane’s book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, which tells of Beane’s stint as the Oakland A’s General Manager. Brad Pitt, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Jonah Hill team up with illustrious screenwriter Aaron Sorkin for what is sure to be a grand slam.
Soderbergh puts together a jaw-dropping cast including Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard, Lawrence Fishbourne and Bryan Cranston. I have no doubt that Soderbergh, though notorious for taking risks with the camera, will come through with a film of epic proportions. Sadly, according to Matt Damon, this could be Soderberghâ€™s last film. Four words: Steven Soderberghâ€™s final masterpiece.
Should Watch... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II ...
The Smurfs ... I can hear the theme song in my head already. The Smurfs are back and are hitting the big screen. Sony Pictures is keeping this one in hiding for now, but rest assured, everyone loves The Smurfs.
This will mark the end to one of the greatest film franchises and book series our generation has ever seen. With the guidelines of Part 1, this film is sure to follow the book, which means we will all have to be caught up on our reading. I, with the rest of the world, wait for the ending to the story of our beloved Harry Potter.
The Hangover: Part II ...
One hangover is good. Two hangovers? Even better. Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) are back. But this time, Stu is getting married. The crew travels to Bangkok to celebrate, and I am sure Todd Phillips, back to direct again, is looking for a bigger and crazier party than the last. Look out for raunchy hysterical comedy just like the first movie. You will be quoting this one for a while.
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn ...
Hugo Cabret ...
You’re going to love Christmas 2011 with the release of Steven Spielberg’s representation of our beloved Tintin. Spielberg uses 3D motion-capture to create his first animated feature. Telling the story of Tintin’s first encounter with Captain Haddock, Spielberg is sure to set up the Tintin chronicles for many years to come.
Hugo Cabret tells the story of a French boy who lives in the walls of a train station. This movie represents two firsts for director Martin Scorsese: this is not only his first time shooting in 3D, but it is also his first kid-friendly movie. But no matter what Scorsese does, it is sure to be good.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ...
Cowboys & Aliens ...
He’s back. Captain Jack Sparrow returns on his conquest for the fountain of youth. Minus Will and Elizabeth Turner, the Pirates franchise doesn’t disappoint with the addition of Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and a girl from Jack’s past (Penelope Cruz). Captain Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush) is sure to be yet again on Jack’s side as the Pirates adventures continue. Look out for this film to kick the summer season into high gear.
Pirates and Ninjas better watch out, because one hot rivalry is coming to the big screen. Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford will keep the summer screen hot with this action-packed western sci-fi thriller that’s taking us on another wild ride of writer Damon Lindelof (Lost).
Boxing in Movies In a sense, all boxing movies are the same. There’s always an intense montage of working out (pump-up music provided), a win or loss, and an interpretative meaning of the whole journey. David O. Russell definitely follows this stereotype with his new movie, The Fighter. “Irish” Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) goes through his early years of boxing with the help of his older half-brother, Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), who was once a professional wrestler. Ward falls in love Charlene Fleming (Amy Adams), who helps him break through his family troubles and obstacles blocking him from reaching the welterweight championship. The plot seemed simple and truth be told, I was not excited to see this movie. I was worried that the constant repetition shown in boxing movies would become bothersome in this one. Growing up in a family that loves watching Rocky and Cinderella Man, two of the best boxing movies of all time, The Fighter didn’t seem like it would measure up. But by the end of the movie, I couldn’t find any words to describe it other than “incredible”. The plot was simple, but that was the beauty of it. Rather than being put together like a Hollywood movie, the simplicity keeps it as close to reality as possible. Dicky has had some troubles himself. The “once” a crack addict tries to push Micky towards professional wrestling for redemption rather than boxing. Rather than putting the spotlight on Micky Ward, the main interest of the film is the evolution of the brothers’ relationship and where it takes them in life. The Fighter is a break-through in boxing movies because it shows how their relationship paved Micky’s way. The title of the movie is almost misleading because the film shows so much more than just fighting.’
The F i g ht e r still had the stereotypical boxing storylines, but the film is unique in its focus and intention. It was nominated for 6 Golden Globes and deserved most of them. The entire cast did an amazing acting job, especially Christian Bale. He not only portrayed his character brilliantly, he also left the whole audience in awe. This movie played a twist on regular boxing movies while keeping everything viewers might anticipate and want, making it truly a great film.
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by josh arnon
Comic book movies have become more common in recent years. There different types, including those loosely inspired by comics with a very different plot and feel, ones that stay true to their origin, and movies that are similar to the comics, but are much more lighthearted, rely a lot on the main character’s charisma, and have a much thinner plot. 2010 was not a great year for comic book movies. Iron Man 2 was a huge box office success with a whopping $128,122,480 opening weekend, however, the movie itself was a mere shadow of its predecessor. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Kick-Ass were both original, innovative, funny, and well received. However, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’s first weekend yielded a mere $10.5 million, and Kick-Ass took in $19.8 million in its opening weekend, an underperformance and a disappointment. And that’s nothing compared to Jonah Hex, which received overwhelmingly negative reviews (it was named “Worst Picture” by the Houston Film Critics society) and made a horrendous $5,379,365 during its debut weekend. In 2010, there
were no comic book movies that were simultaneously critically acclaimed and lucrative. However, 2008 was an amazing year for comic book movies, with Iron Man, The Dark Knight, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, and Wanted. And 2011 looks pretty good with new releases such as Captain America: The First Avenger, Cowboys and Aliens, Green Lantern, Thor, and X-Men: First Class. And this isn’t even mentioning the animated, straight-to-DVD releases. The future may look bright, but how many people who aren’t comic book geeks will line up for Thor? Are comic book movies that don’t involve Batman or Robert Downey Jr. still cool, or are they only for the hardcore fans who started reading comics when they were ten? Only time will tell how well a comic book movie that doesn’t have a handsome, famous actor (Downey) or a badass character (we’re looking at you, Joker) will sell. Because we all know that the day these movies stop being appealing to the masses, they will fall.
by charlotte frankel
Over the past decade, the American movie scene has become infatuated with the concept of British historical films. Most recently, The King’s Speech has enthralled audiences across the nation with Colin Firth winning the Golden Globe for Best Actor. What people seem to forget is that before this, there were Young Victoria, Becoming Jane, and most notably, The Queen. Audiences fall in love with the deep historical significance these movies carry for Britain. Because the United States has never had a monarchy nor a very long history, we become fascinated with the drama of British royals and writers. We may be a democracy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some monarchical personal drama.
Another appealing aspect of these movies is their potential to uncover secrets to the audience. The British people (royalty as well as writers) are known for always looking proper in the public eye. These films answer the question of what happens behind closed doors. Another appealing aspect of these films is the performances. The people who portray these characters never fail to impress viewers with their raw talent for acting. Many of these movies are critically acclaimed and studded with nominations and awards. Helen Mirren’s Academy Award for Best Actress and Colin Firth’s Golden Globe show how much the American public values these people for their skill.
The consistent trend of British movies in America has brought many great actors to our country such as Colin Firth, Helen Mirren, Emily Blunt, and more. The British movies have some of the greatest actors in the world performing in them, and to the American Public, these films are somewhat foreign. It’s nice to get out of our comfort zone and to go into the past and explore a culture that isn’t our own. These British-themed movies have appealed to audiences all around the world, and I believe they will keep being made, acclaimed, and loved by the public for a long time.