More great work from Melissa Leo, who still isn't getting the big trailer
She won an Oscar for her hard-driving mama in The Fighter, but in her new movie Francine, Melissa Leo takes a total U-turn and rocks all over again. My new column describes how Leo plays an introverted, traumatized ex-con taking baby steps towards adjustment in this arty, carefully done work.
At four, the festival grows into a grand celebration
From Gale Sondergaard to Octavia Spencer. And he does them brilliantly, starting at about 39 seconds in. He does Fay Bainter, Shelley Winters, Shirley Jones, Rita Moreno, Patty Duke, Ruth Gordon, Estelle Parsons, Jennifer Hudson, Melissa Leo, Monique... He does them all.
An article by Sheila Marikar on ABC.com points out that Billy Crystal has returned to Oscar-hosting amidst a whole new cultural landscape. Says the piece, there is now "a general sense that movie stars can't be covered in a wholesome, fun for the whole family sort of way." Enter Billy Crystal.
Superheroes, sequels, and TWO Conans! Summer has arrived.
Joan Crawford must be rolling because Todd Haynes has apparently done a solid job in adapting Mildred Pierce into a five-hour HBO miniseries that will premiere on March 27. Cultural critic Brendan Lemon liked Kate Winslet in the part--she's right for it, and has the time to flesh it out--and ... More >>
During a Q&A after a Radio City showing of Kevin Smith's Red State the other night, cable goddess Robin Byrd's right-hand man Shelly raised his hand and asked if Kevin will next do The Robin Byrd Show--The Movie. Writers were supposed to have shown Smith the script for this proposed exerci ... More >>
I don't want to be rude, but I don't know, something about it seems a little bit rote, a teensy bit impersonal, and WAY off base!! See if you agree? I mean, am I up for some Oscar I'm not aware of? And if so, should I quickly prepare glam campaign ads a la Melissa Leo, then get ready to screech o ... More >>
And here are some saucy samplings of what I said. About Melissa Leo's F word: "It was in keeping with her character in The Fighter. And it was the only sign of life all night. It's just sad that it was the highlight of the whole telecast and you couldn't hear it! You had to read her lips! ... More >>
Courtesy ABCAnd now for the awards portion of the evening! Full disclosure: the three of us have seen only five of the Best Picture nominees. Not that it matters. So:
MelissaLeo.com Melissa Leo has won every award in tarnation for The Fighter and she was the frontrunner for the Oscar too, until some whoop-to-doo happened over ads she took out in Variety. They showed her being all glammed up and lovely, a far cry from the spunky, ragtag, cigarette chompin ... More >>
Is there any living being alive -- even a slug -- who doesn't know by now that the same four people who've won every acting award in tarnation are going to win the Oscars too? Yes, as sure as silk, Colin Firth will be stoic, Natalie Portman will cry, Christian Bale will have bulging eyes, an ... More >>
In: Portman and Franco. Out: Moore and Wahlberg.
The talented Melissa Leo is winning lots of awards for playing the big-haired, manipulative, and often destructive mother in The Fighter. The real-life woman she plays had a heart attack a few days ago, but she's rallying because she's that kind of survivor.
David Simon's new HBO series uses fiction to honor New Orleans' surreal, heart-breaking fact
The 2009 Tribeca Film Festival just announced its juries, and although they've included almost everyone you've ever heard of (Andre Leon Talley! Mary-Kate Olsen! Rachel Maddow!) from every corner of the entertainment industry (daytime television WHAT UP!), founder Robert De Niro has made a possibly ... More >>
Welcome to the Village Voice's not-really-annual Oscar liveblog! Feel the electricity. Not sure if you've heard, but: This year's Academy Awards will be UNLIKE ANY YOU'VE EVER SEEN BEFORE! First of all: They've hired an architect to design the set. Money well spent. Next: Taking a page from The Mic ... More >>
Additional, excellent live-blogging here with Allison Benedikt at Sound of the City. The King of All Oscar Predictors walks among you in Part III. Will this hubris bring us low? Watch and judge! Oh no, Ben Stiller, you are not. Natalie Portman, good straight woman. Stiller probably thinks he's Ch ... More >>
The Best Picture Oscar nominees are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader, and Slumdog Millionaire. The other top nominations are: Best Actor: Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon), Sean Penn (Milk), Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), ... More >>
Here it is, folks--the list of lucky and talented people who will compete for the final glory on the Gay Olympics on February 22. My predictions were 80% correct (four out of five in each category), which is not embarassing, but hardly worthy of a trophy either. I underestimated the Academy a bit, a ... More >>
As per usual, the Globes went for any movie personality who's famous (Brangelina, Tom Cruise, etc.) and with only a few exceptions dissed actual actors who aren't enormous stars. Uninvited from the buffet table were such underpublicized critical darlings as:
It's only four months to the Oscar nominations (sorry, I'm a sick queen), so it's time to start separating the frontrunners from the back-of-the buses. Here come my never-too-early choices for the definite-probable-maybe nominees. And not to brag, but I'm usually about 80% right with this shit.
Melissa Leo nails her role as a struggling mom.
Familiar themes still flood the festival zone, but a couple of gems manage to shine through
Western tale of reburial knee deep in grimy detail, marred by Jones's simplistic persona
A badly mismatched couple squabbles to the grinding end
American aliens (at home and abroad) drive two new plays