Monthly Archives: January 2012

Live webchat with The Avengers tonight!

Comic geeks of the world, unite! The Avengers are assembling – to save the world, obviously, but also for a live webchat, happening tonight!

It’s been confirmed that director of S.H.I.E.L.D Nick Fury – also known as Samuel L. Jackson, donncha know – will be joining Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg and Joss Whedon in a global fan chat this evening to talk about the highly-anticipated The Avengers movie, coming out here on April 27!

Assemble at 7pm – you can get involved and follow all the action here on the UK & Ireland facebook Page here.

The Oscar nominations are in…& they’re a joke.

So main Oscar nominations have been announced, & can we all just take this chance to say…what a load of BOLLOCKS. Not only did Michael Fassbender or Carey Mulligan get no nominations for Shame, Nicolas Winding Refn’s incredible Drive – named practically everywhere as Film of the Year – only got one nomination. For bloody sound editing. I don’t know what the hell they were thinking, but take solace in the fact that that’s the only nomination Fight Club got back in the day too, so hopefully Drive will enjoy the enduring cult classic status of that film – though it deserves a hell of a lot more. And just to really piss me off, Spielberg’s goddawful, sentimental, orchestrated piece of TRIPE Warhorse got a best picture nomination? Are you f*cking KIDDING me? Reviews everywhere (bar one Irish paper, who bizarrely seem to have been drinking the Disney Kool-Aid) gave it bad to mediocre reviews -but hey, we’re not all friends with Spielberg, unlike, ooh, I dunno, the Academy?
Literally the two saving graces of the nominations were the nod to Nick Nolte’s amazing turn in Warrior, that had me (& everyone else in the cinema) sobbing like a little girl the three times I went to see it, & the nom for the gorgeous jazz love story Chico & Rita – it was out here over a year ago, but hey, better late than never.

Oh, & finally – if Jonah Hill gets an Oscar I’m going to bite each & every member of the Academy. I just watched The Sitter, so I may be biased, but seriously. I’ll bite. Hard.

BEST PICTURE
The Artist
War Horse
Moneyball
The Descendants
The Tree of Life
Midnight in Paris
The Help
Hugo
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

BEST DIRECTOR
Martin Scorsese, Hugo (pictured)
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

BEST ACTOR
George Clooney, The Descendants
Demian Bachir, A Better Life
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

BEST ACTRESS
Meryl Streep, Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Viola Davis, The Help

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Nick Nolte, Warrior

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Jonah Hill, Moneyball

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
oneyball, Aaron Sorkin & Steve Zaillian
The Descendants, by Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne, and Jim Rash
Hugo, by John Logan
The Ides of March, by George Clooney and Grant Heslov
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, by Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Artist, by Michel Hazanavicius
Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen
Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumolo
Margin Call, J.C. Chandor
A Separation, Asghar Farhadi

BEST ANIMATED FILM
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Rango

Margin Call: Wall Street Jr.

MARGIN CALL
Directed by J.C. Chandor. Starring Paul Bettany, Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, Zachary Quinto, Simon Baker, Penn Badgley. 106 mins.
Rating: Four/Five
In cinemas January 13
SUPERB CHARACTER-DRIVEN BOARDROOM THRILLER IS THE WALL STREET MOVIE OF A GENERATION

Ladies and gentlemen, please gather your pitchforks and form a disorderly mob outside – the sophisticated, stylish boardroom thriller Margin Call is the best Wall Street movie in years – and it’s going to make you very angry.

A taut, tense, character-driven fictionalization of the collapse of the Lehman Brothers, J.C. Chandor’s stunning debut is what Inside Job would have been if adapted by Aaron Sorkin. As dark offices are lit by Manhattan’s skyline and the neon glow of countless computer screens, Chandor’s theatrical sets are the perfect backdrop for the series of shady deals and self-serving decisions that allowed one firm to bring the economy to its knees, putting not only faces but (believe it or not) souls to those individuals whose actions reverberated around the globe. Though the huge amounts and high stakes would on their own make for an enthralling, infuriating drama, the sharp, charged interactions between the fully rounded characters add a level of human interest that’s unexpected, and quite brilliant.

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Shame: Shame & sex but not a priest in sight…

SHAME
Directed by Steve McQueen. Starring Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan. 99 mins.
Rating: Four/Five
In cinemas January 13
FASSBENDER IS REMARKABLE IN RAW AND HARROWING DEPICTION OF SEXUAL ADDICTION

Trust Steve McQueen, the King of Uncomfortable, to transform the punchline that is sex addiction – more commonly known as “what rich people call cheating”, or “Russell’s Brand’s specialist Mastermind topic” – into a one of the most fascinating, intense and harrowing addiction tales ever committed to film. Neither a rounded exploration nor cathartic explanation, the largely plot-free Shame isn’t really even a character study, more a deeply unnerving snapshot of a person whose addiction has reduced them to a lifeless shell.

Shame’s Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender) is not dissimilar to American Pyscho’s Patrick Bateman. The owner of an expensive minimalist apartment in Manhattan, the handsome professional is aware of his not inconsiderable charm – a skill demonstrated when he reduces a fellow train commuter to a squirming mess purely by eyeballing her, in an act of pure, unabashed eroticism.

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IFTA nominations announced

So the IFTA nominations are out, with plenty of appearances from those lucky actors & filmmakers who appear on our Ones To Watch in 2012 list, which you can see in the next issue. Among them, Terry McMahon & Antonia Campbell-Hughes got noms but I imagine The Guard, Drive & Shame are going to sweep the boards at the awards, which will be held on February 11 & hosted by Simon Delany.

Fun, vaguely-creepy fact: I once auditioned for Seacht, the Irish drama that’s nominated for a Special Irish Language Award. The role was for a kind of rock chick rebel girl, & I was sure that I was a shoo-in because my big brother was already starring in the show. After two auditions I got a call telling me that I was really good, looked perfect for the part…but they’d just got the finalized scripts back & my character had to try seduce my brother’s character, what that a problem?

So yeah, good luck to that show I was never in.

BEST FILM

Albert Nobbs- Alan Moloney, Bonnie Curtis, Julie Lynn and Glen Close (Parallel Film & TV Productions)
Charlie Casanova- Terry McMahon (Source Productions)
Stella Days- Jackie Larkin& Leslie McKimm (Newgrange Pictures)
The Guard- Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Chris Larke, Flore Fernandez Marengo(Element Pictures)

DIRECTOR FILM

Rebecca Daly – The Other Side of Sleep (Fastnet Films)
John Michael McDonagh – The Guard (Element Pictures)
Terry McMahon – Charlie Casanova (Source Productions)
Thaddeus O’Sullivan – Stella Days (Newgrange Pictures)

SCRIPT FILM

John Banville & Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs (Parallel Film & Television Productions)
John Michael McDonagh – The Guard (Element Pictures)
Terry McMahon – Charlie Casanova (Source Productions)
Antoine O’Flaherta – Stella Days (Newgrange Pictures)

ACTOR IN A LEAD ROLE IN A FEATURE FILM

Michael Fassbender – Shame (Momentum Pictures)
Brendan Gleeson – The Guard (Element pictures)
Ciarán Hinds – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Focus Features)
Martin Sheen – Stella Days (Newgrange Pictures)

ACTRESS IN A LEAD ROLE IN A FEATURE FILM

Aoife Duffin – Behold The Lamb (Dumbworld Productions)
Antonia Campbell Hughes – The Other Side of Sleep (Fastnet Films)
Marcella Plunkett – Stella Days (Newgrange Pictures)
Saoirse Ronan -Hanna (Focus Features) Continue reading

The Artist: Cynics and naysayers, prepare to be silenced

THE ARTIST
Directed by Michael Hazanavicus. Starring Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell. 100 mins.
Rating: Five/Five
In cinemas now
DELIGHTFUL, JOYFUL AND INFECTIOUS, THE ARTIST CELEBRATES THE SOUND OF SILENCE

In a world where we Tweet, text and tell every irrelevant, random thought, it took a silent film to remind us of the unadulterated joy to be found in music, body language and shutting the hell up.

As the charming, egotistic silent star of the times, George Valentine (Jean Dujardin, superb) oozes a charisma that’s a blend of Cary Grant and George Clooney, with the nimble toes of Fred Astaire. But when talking movies are introduced, he’s usurped by the aptly named Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo, infectious), an irresistible young actress who woos cinema goers with the twinkle in her eye and beauty spot on her lip. And despite sharing a flirtatious energy, George’s dwindling career leaves him feeling depressed and disposable, and this potential love affair is put on hold as Peppy experiences the dizzying heights of fame.

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Goon: Pucking hell, who knew Seann William Scott could act?

GOON
Directed by Michael Dowse. Starring Seann William Scott, Alison Pill, Liev Schreiber. 92 mins
Rating: Four/Five
In cinemas now
SEAN WILLIAM SCOTT SCORES BIG IN THIS FUNNY, FOUL-MOUTHED AND FEEL-GOOD ICE-HOCKEY FLICK

In a month where Streep ticks all the Oscar boxes embodying Thatcher and Michael Fassbender’s raw, naked performance in Shame may earn him two nominations – Best Actor and Best Boy Grip – who would have thought that January’s most surprising performance would come from American Pie’s Stifler? In a subtle, irresistible performance, Seann William Scott plays Doug, a good-hearted and dim-witted Forrest Gump character who doesn’t like fighting – but just happens to be damn good at it. So much so that an ice-hockey scout recruits him to be the Halifax Highlander’s enforcer – a checking machine who protects their star player from attack and exterminates the competition.

Written by Knocked Up’s Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg, Goon’s brash and foul-mouthed humour is a hilarious blend of Superbad and Slap Shot, with a lovely little romantic subplot between Scott and Midnight in Paris’ adorable Alison Pill.

Oh, and fights. Lots and lots of fights.

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