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Archive for February, 2011

“Natalie Portman Cries A Lot”

February 16, 2011 1 comment

A friend of mine, Mike Eisenberg over at Screen Rant, created this tickling montage. Natalie Portman is a great actress, maybe one of the best of her generation, and in “Black Swan,” she displays perhaps the finest work of her career. However, some people may not realize (though after seeing this, it’s impossible to deny) that she cries in probably about ninety percent of her screen appearances. I mean, wow. Those who know here movies will see clips from “Leon: The Professional,” “Where the Heart Is,” Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium,” “Closer,” “Goya’s Ghosts,” “The Other Boleyn Girl,” “Brothers,” “Revenge of the Sith,” “V for Vendetta,” “Heat” and “Cold Mountain.” All Natalie Portman. All crying. All day.

Crying on screen is fantastic talent, but one has to wonder if that line on her resume is bolded, italicized and underlined. I only spent the montage waiting for the line in “Garden State”: “I look forward to a good cry. It feels pretty good.”

Let’s all shed a tear with Natalie Portman and hope that she continues to deliver great work, post-Oscar.

My Top Ten List – 2010

February 15, 2011 1 comment

Last year, I can remember the huge uproar against the AMPAS extending the amount of Best Picture nominees to ten. I can also remember, that through it all, I was one of this notion’s strongest supporters. I recognize the faults in the logic. It allows for lesser films that have no business being considered one of the year’s best to fight their way in due to endless campaigning and the votes of stupid people. This flaw took shape last year in the form of “The Blind Side” getting nominated for Best Picture.

However, the upsides of the expansion are far greater. It gives the field a more diverse look, for one. It’s nice to see films from a wide range of directors and collaborators. If allows also a mix of both intelligent box office hits and scrappy indy favorites. More than anything else, however, is that five films is just two few to sum up a year in cinema. Had the Academy enacted this ruling ten years ago, one would look back on certain films and think it a crime had they not been nominated, which they haven’t. Imagine a world if films like “The Wrestler,” “The Dark Knight,” “WALL-E,” “Into the Wild,” “Once,” “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” “United 93,” “Little Children,” “Children of Men” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” could have been Best Picture nominees, and that’s only the last five years.

It must be for that reason that critics, for over fifty years, have been issuing top ten lists of their favorite films, rather than top five lists. It’s about that time, therefore, for The Edge of the Frame to release its own list for the 2010 year. I have now seen sixty films from 2010, which is low for me and not quite an respectable amount. Over the years, I’m sure that this list will change a spot or two as I see more, but for now, I believe that I’ve seen an acceptable sum to create an adequate list.

This has been a good year for film, but not really a great one. Out of sixty films, I gave only two films “A” grades. The year has had its high points and low points. For instance, it has been a great year for lead acting performances, but a rotten year for cinematography. For sure, I will always remember 2010 as the year that the Oscars snubbed its nose at great film and went home to their comfort zones. More than anything else, however, 2010 has been the year of the documentary. Never have I seen a year in cinema in which so many documentaries have captured my interest, let alone made it into my top ten.

As always there are a few stragglers that, even though they don’t qualify for my top ten, they still deserve an honorable mention. Therefore, this next selection of films are all very good, but just not good enough. They may be packed with amazing moments, but there’s also one too many flaws that have kept them down. So without further adieu, here are the films that just didn’t quite make it:

THE RUNNERS-UP


“127 Hours”

Directed by Danny Boyle
Written by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy

Click HERE to see the rest of the list

Read more…

“King’s Speech” and “Social Network” Win at BAFTAs

February 14, 2011 Leave a comment

It kind of went without saying that “The King’s Speech” was destined to rape the living hell out of these awards since September when the film debuted at the Venice Film Festival. Apparently, it’s the most widely popular and acclaimed British film since, I don’t know….”Lawrence of Arabia,” though I surely don’t understand it. This is a big moment for our English brethren across the Atlantic to pat themselves on the back. A pretty strong example of this is how the British Academy Awards actually have two awards for Best Picture: Best Film and Best British Film. For years they have made it so that no film wins both awards, but rather spread the wealth. Guess what’s the first film ever to take home every Best Picture award on the market?

“The King’s Speech” ended up taking home seven awards, total. Aside from being the first film to achieve the accolade above, the film also became the first film in BAFTA history to take home three awards for acting. Colin Firth, of course, nailed the Best Actor win (not even the real King George risen from the dead could stop Firth from sweeping straight to Oscar glory). However, the film also won supporting awards for both Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. While Geoffrey Rush is definitely picking up a bit of steam, don’t expect a repeat in the American Academy Awards. If anyone can unseat Melissa Leo, it will be Hailee Steinfeld (sadly).

Despite all of the above, “The King’s Speech” was not the only big winner of the night. Many believed that “The Social Network” was TKOed, not just for these awards, but for year, as well. Some of this ideology was attributed to the film only garnering six nominations (compared to “The King’s Speech”‘s fourteen) or perhaps the heavy American sentiment laden in the work. However, all of this was rendered false, last night, when “The Social Network” won three very substantial awards: Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director for David Fincher. If the Brits won’t even give their award to newcomer Tom Hooper, I can’t see any reason why the American awards circuit would stoop that low.

Check out the full list of winners, below:

BEST FILM: “The King’s Speech”
BEST DIRECTOR: David Fincher – “The Social Network”
BEST LEADING ACTOR: Colin Firth – “The King’s Speech”
BEST LEADING ACTRESS: Natalie Portman – “Black Swan”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Geoffrey Rush – “The King’s Speech”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Helena Bonham Carter – “The King’s Speech”
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: “The Social Network”
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: “The King’s Speech”
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: “True Grit”
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM: “The King’s Speech”
OUTSTANDING BRITISH DEBUT: “Four Lions”
BEST EDITING: “The Social Network”
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: “The King’s Speech”
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: “Inception”
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: “Alice in Wonderland”
BEST SOUND: “Inception”
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: “Inception”
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIR: “Alice in Wonderland”
BEST SHORT FILM: “Until the River Runs Red”
BEST SHORT FILM, ANIMATION: “The Eagleman Stag”
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
BEST ANIMATED FILM: “Toy Story 3”
RISING STAR AWARD: Tom Hardy

Wally Pfister Wins the ASC for “Inception”

February 14, 2011 Leave a comment

One of the two major guilds left to announce their winners has made their decision. The American Society of Cinematographers awarded Wally Pfister last night for his outstanding work on “Inception.” Pfister is a longtime (and by longtime you could say career) collaborator with writer/director Christopher Nolan. The pair have worked together as director and DP for six films thus far. Out of those, Pfister has netted three ASC nods, as well as four Oscar nominations, and now his first ASC victory. Not a terrible track record.

While Roger Deakins is much more overdue for an Oscar victory, and despite this win, I am still predicting him, I do not feel about this victory in the least. Pfister is one incredibly talented gentleman. It’s hard to imagine Christopher Nolan being considered anywhere near the visual genius that he is without the help of his brilliant cinematographer. And with “Inception,” he produces some of the most imagery of his career.

In terms of the Oscar race, I don’t think that this changes much. While Pfister still remains the biggest competition, I believe that the statue is still Roger Deakins’ to lose. While both are talented DPs, Pfister hasn’t half the gorgeous career that Deakins has. With nine nominations under his belt and no victories yet, it’s hard to imagine this not being his year. And while he has yet to win an Oscar, Deakins has already taken two ASC awards for “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” as well as being awarded the lifetime achievement, last night.  It’s hard to imagine them giving him both awards in the same night.

Next up, the American Cinema Editors which should announce by this weekend.

 

Arcade Fire and Muse Win at The Grammys!

February 14, 2011 1 comment

Okay, I know that this is a film site, and normally, I could give a flying crap about the Grammy Awards. Not exactly my cup of tea. However, I just had to post this in congratulations. I’d say that I have about a three-way tie for what I would call my favorite band, and tonight two of those bands took home big awards. Muse won Best Rock Album and The Arcade Fire somehow managed to take down BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR, beating out much more popular (and dare I say unimpressive) artists Lady Antebellum, Eminem, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. What a hell of a great night.

Muse fans aren’t that hard to come by anymore, but if you haven’t heard any of Arcade Fire’s three CDs, then you should do yourself a favor and listen to them, now. I’ve provided a couple of videos to make the job easier.

This is one of my personal favorites from their 2nd CD, “Neon Bible”:

And here is a song off of their now Grammy Award-winning album “The Suburbs”:

All right. Now back to movies.

NEW – X-Men: First Class Trailer

February 10, 2011 2 comments

Okay, I know it feels like this site is simply turning into a website for trailers, but what can I say? They pump me up. Now while the last two X-Men installments left a terrible taste in my mouth, I am excited for this one for a simple reason: Michael Fassbender. This dude is perhaps one of the most exciting up-and-comers in the industry. I simply cannot get enough of him, from his scene-stealing performance as the undercover British major in “Inglourious Basterds” to his award-winning turn as an Irish hunger striker in “Hunger.” He is a sight to behold on the screen, and how he gets to chew it up as a young Magneto. It’s also worth noting that the highly talented, and even more highly gorgeous Jennifer Lawrence will have a role in this, as well.

We’ll see if this film will pull its weight as well as the first two films did. View the new trailer, below:

NEW “Trust” Trailer

February 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Little do people know that David Schwimmer, best known for his role as Ross on TV’s “Friends, is more than just a geeky/charming actor in sitcoms. He spends a lot of time acting and directing for the Chicago theater district, and most recently, adding his creative touch behind the camera as well. His new film, “Trust,” has been working the festival circuit for months now and is getting ready for its release to the general public. This is following yet another ratings battle with the MPAA. Schwimmer fought as hard as he could for a PG-13 rating, but could not get anything below an R. Considering the film’s subject matter, it’s hard to imagine anything less.

The plot revolves around a teenage girl who is tricked via the internet and then seduced, photographed and raped by a middle-aged man. Sounds very PG-13esque, no? The parents of the girl then must face the consequences and aftermath and try to pick up the pieces of their shattered family. The film does not look like one for the faint of heart, seeing that Schwimmer does not seem to sugarcoat the realities of the film. However, I’m more than a little intrigued to see how this movie plays out/ Having Clive Owen and Catherine Keener in the lead, with supporting performances by Viola Davis, Noah Emmerich and Tom McCarthy, doesn’t hurt. I believe that Clive Owen is one of the most exciting actors working in cinema today. When he picks up the right role, he can be absolutely brilliant and electrifying to watch. And after seeing this, I believe that this might be his meatiest role since “Children of Men.” Can’t wait to find out.

Check out the new trailer, below: