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punker, mysterious skin is about two boys who were molested by their baseball coach as children. one grows up as a prostitute and the other who came to believe that he was abducted by aliens. they eventually cross paths.. jgl is astonishing, and this sounds stupid, but i'm proud he was able to break out of the 3rd rock hell and turn into a truly gifted actor.
My Oscar picks.

Best Film: Little Miss Sunshine
Best Actor: Ryan Gosling, second choice is Forest Whitaker
Best Actress: Kate Winslet
Best Supporting Actor: Jackie Earle Haley, second choice Alan Arkin
Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett
Best adapted screenplay: Little Children
Best original screenplay: Little Miss Sunshine
Director: No suprise a female was not nominated. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Totally ditto on your Best Film and Best original screenplay pick, designermedusa. Little Miss Sunshine was FANTASTIC.

Mouse - just saw dreamgirls this weekend and was surprised that I liked it. Jennifer Hudson did an outstanding job. I couldn't believe what a natural actress she is. And I actually didn't mind Eddie Murphy - he must have done a very good job for me to not be annoyed!!

The only oscar nominated film I saw was Little Miss Sunshine and I barely liked it. I was down for the last 10 minutes but that was about it.
I am soooo psyched that Ryan Gosling and Adriana Barraza got Oscar nods. Unfortunately, I don't think they have a chance in hell of winning, but they both kicked serious ass.

I'm really annoyed that Leo got nominated for Blood Diamond. I haven't seen it (I intend to), but as much as I love the guy, his accent sounds really crappy in the trailers. I think he'd have had more of a shot with The Departed, where I think his acting was impeccable and very un-Leo like.

And I really hope Cate wins over Jennifer Hudson. I'm sure she was fabulous in Dreamgirls (which I suppose I'll also see), but between Cate and Adriana, there's really no comparison.
me too, designer medusa...I am thrilled for Ryan Gosling, I think Half Nelson was really well done. AND, I am happy that Jackie Earle Haley is nominated. He was really good in Little Children.

Can I just say how happy I am that Borat wasn't nominated for anything? I did not think it would be, but after the Golden Globes I had to wonder.

I thought Leo was fantastic in Blood Diamond.

Now that the noms are announced, I've got to get watching some movies! I need to see
Letters from Iwo Jima
The Departed (is that on DVD now? or back in theaters?)
Volver (not out here yet)
Notes on a Scandal
Dreamgirls (I suppose dry.gif )
The Last King of Scotland
United 93
Borat was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Sorry.

I posted on my LJ about how shocked I was to see Jackie Earle Haley's name on the nominations list. Don't know where he's been for 20+ years, but it's nice to see his career getting a boost like this.
shit! well, that is not so bad.

I'm with you, I don't know where JEH has been either, but he played that part brilliantly.
I hope Pan's Labyrinth wins something. I thought it was beautiful, a true fairytale (by "fairytale" I mean in the traditional sense where the story weeps blood and not in the fluffy, happy Disney sense. Although I did love, and still do, The Lion King. Just no-one starts singing "Hakuna Matata" in Pan's... and it is all the better film for it).

I like my movies dark, I think. I agree that Mysterious Skin is really good. (Sorry if someone has brought this up before) Who here has seen Irreversible? Really, really good also. One doesn't sit there going, "Gee, I'm enjoying this film," but afterwards after you've watched you feel a little dirty and sad and maybe wished you didn't watch it but think you'd probably have to watch it again to understand it fully and, you realise, "That was really good."

Well, I did anyway.
Saw Notes from a Scandal. Very good. Deviates from the book but almost always in good ways; in fact, the film articulates why Sheba does what she does and fleshes out family background better than the book IMO.

It's good to see Judi Dench in a role she can actually do something with, after repeat turns as M and as Elizabeth I. She's scary here, canny and gimlet-eyed.
I love Vincent Cassell and Monica Belucci, but I don't think I could handle Irreversible.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing Notes on a Scandal but I think I might skip Babel. Maybe I'll watch it if Martini has a screener, for the performances at least. I was so happy Ryan Gosling got nominated, as he was just great in Half Nelson. I wish the girl from that film had been nominated, too.

You know, I liked Little Miss Sunshine, but I thought it was just a nice, funny movie—nothing super special. I laughed a lot, but probably about as much as I laughed at Talladega Nights (and certainly not as much as Borat). I would've rather seen Children of Men get its spot in the nominations. I have no illusions about how the Academy works (Brick was never going to get an Oscar nomination) but taking aside all the emotional depth and the great performances, I'm not sure I've seen a more technically brilliant film this year. /dead horse beating and step off soapbox.

I haven't seen Blood Diamond, but I thought Leo was great in The Departed, just a gut-wrenching performance. I kinda wondered if he gave himself an ulcer in real life to achieve it. I was happy to see Mark Wahlberg nominated for his role in it. Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson were great, but Wahlberg had this small role that could've been a throwaway and he really did something with it.
Deepah Mehta's Water is nominated as the best foreign language film, and it's the last of her trilogy (Earth and Fire being her first two films). Most people aren't even talking about it now, but it is such a gorgeous film and so moving, even if it's seen apart from the earlier 2 films in her trilogy.

There are so many great films in that tiny category, but I'd love to see her work honoured.
I just got back from seeing The Queen. It was really good, and Helen Mirren certainly did a fantastic job, but I still feel that Judi Dench should get the Oscar (even though it's all but certainly Helen's). The stark differences in what the roles demanded probably has something to do with that (Judi had to play a psycho and Helen had to be uber-reserved), but I can't get over Judi's performance. There was so much going on in her eyes alone!

Now I just need to see Letters from Iwo Jima and I'll have the Best Picture category covered.
anna k
I love Vincent Cassell and Monica Belucci, but I don't think I could handle Irreversible.

Neither could I. I'm not into backwards-storytelling, and the famous rape scene doesn't have to be that freakin' long. I was creeped out by a rape scene in Baise-Moi, and I don't want to watch another one.
Yeah, it's the rape scene. I mean ... to be honest, I had a hard time with the rape scene in Showgirls.
aaaah! you saw showgirls!

I'm new to netflix and am overdosing on all kinds of movies -- next on my small screen, touch of evil and suture.
Oh, I've seen Showgirls approximately 87 times. Paul Verhoeven directed a brilliant satire of show business, but forgot to tell anyone else in the movie. John Waters called it the Citizen Kane of good-bad movies, and he's right. I can usually fast-forward through the rape scene now.
Oh, gawd...Showgirls. I visited some friends in Texas last summer and we went to a comedy act/screening of Showgirls at the Alamo Drafthouse. We were dying. We'd never seen it, and I couldn't even breathe during the swimming pool scene, I was laughing so hard. The word for the drinking game was "Crystal," so everytime we heard it, the audience had to yell "Meth" and take a swig. Good times.

I think the only rape scene that's every really traumatized me was the one in A Clockwork Orange. *shudder*

ETA: oh, no. i take it back. Caligula had a really screwed up rape scene where Malcolm McDowell rapes a bride and a groom on the day they get married. it was fucked up. and a horrible, porn-filled movie.

Last Tango in Paris also kind of freaked me out. I can't think of Marlon Brando without thinking of butter ever again.
OOOOOO! love touch of evil... great movie. can i recommend 'gilda' and 'mildred pierce' 'in a lonely place' and 'naked kiss'? and if it's baroque film, you love, try 'the night of the hunter.'

i'm not a fan of the movie, but why suture?
my friend has a drinking game for Showgirls, although I can't remember the rules ... maybe every time you see someone topless? very disturbing rape scene although the most traumatising for me is in Boys Don't Cry sad.gif .
aviatrix, I have night of the hunter queued up! gotta jot down your other recs...

suture was listed on pajiba as one of the greatest films you've probably never seen, so I'm checkin' it out. I trust those folks.
anna k
I'm gonna go see Blood and Chocolate tonight. It sounds like a good werewolf story, and the director did the German film Bandits, about a group of female convicts who form a rock band and escape from prison.

I could do a drink every time Nomi Malone storms out of the room in a huff. Or that "Caesar sings" is said about 7 times in one scene.
I've had a hard time with Showgirls as a concept, and Joe Esterhasz as a concept, in general. I cannot bring myself to watch that, no matter how desperate things become. Now that I know there's a rape scene in it, well, I can't really say I'm surprised. Just that much more repulsed.

I think Malcolm McDowell's got a collection of disturbing rape scenes to his "credit". He's everyone's ideal of the terrifyingly malicious, and he's been typecast.
Never saw Showgirls, it just didn't appeal to me. I hated Clockwork Orange!!! So many people raved about what an amazing classic it was over the years, I had to check it out. But it was just awful, hated the enitre thing.

Just saw Happy Endings, which I really enjoyed. What a great, movie.
I didn't watch Showgirls either but I had thought about buying the soundtrack.
Saw Breaking and Entering last night, newish flick with Jude Law playing an architect (scoff), Juliette Binoche playing a Bosnian refugee (oookay) and Robin Wright playing a Swedish-American ice princess (alright, possible). I don't think it was meant to be a comedy, but it was pretty funny, especially the end. I love films about relationships, but really, are yuppies in nice apartments the only people that have relationships? Other than people in war-torn or cross-cultural situations?

That quibble aside, Jude is very nice to look at, and Juliette even better. I just can't take Jude seriously as a grown up. He exists in some netherworld between youth and experience, otherwise known as prettyboy.
In Hollywood relationships are wholly dependent on yuppie occupations and spacious, perfectly accessorized and decorated apartments and lavish homes. Except if you're war torn, or crossing cultures--but you still can't just "be people". You have to be pretty people who are war torn or cross-cultural. I think it's a code. Nope: I know it's a code.
I saw Volver, and really enjoyed it. I thought Penelope Cruz palyed her character vey well, and she deserves her Oscar nomination.
Oh I loved Volver, the ultimate chick flick. Penelope was so sexy.

Yes ChaChaheels, Hollywood especially loves yuppies, cross cultural encounters and war-ravaged refugees all at once. The worst thing about Breaking and Entering was it is British - when they try to do Hollywood slickness, it is that much worse.
my friend and i are torn between seeing volver and little children this week. i read the perrotta's novel, and i love kate w, so i'm leaning toward lc, but volver looks more visually interesting, but penelope is usually so boring. but after seeing your reviews maybe i'll choose it. or just go again next week!

Nickclick, she's totally different when she's acting in her native tongue. You begin to understand why she's such a huge star in Spain - she just owns the screen.
i agree--- i avoid pc movies unless they are in spanish. speaking of which, if you haven't seen 'open your eyes' or Abre los Ojos, do yourself a favor and see it. it has pc in it, and she and it -- are brillant.

it's the movie that vanilla sky was made from, and where vs is flat, hands you everything on a platter, and simplistic, ojos is complex, giving several possibilities. it's such a shame that they remade it, but comparing the two it's amazing to see what happens when hollywood turns a very cerebral thought provoking movie into a vehicle for a brainless director and his equally vapid star.
Abre los Ojos was a good film, so much better than the U.S. version.
I saw This Film Is Not Yet Rated and Quinceanera this weekend. This Film was really fantastic. I'm so pissed off and disgusted at the MPAA now. I already knew they were wretched, but I had no idea they were that screwed up. I thought the movie brought up some really great points about censorship and artistic vision, and it does such a great job of explaining how female pleasure is censored, too.

Quinceanera was good. I'm trying to decide if I liked it or not, but I'm leaning toward yes. I don't know what I was expecting from it, but I think it was worth the watch either way.
I just got back from seeing Screamers. Whoa, talk about powerful stuff. It was really sad (and upsetting on the political level). It really sucks that it's only NY/LA/DC release, because people need to see it.
Christ almighty, I just saw Children of Men.

Gah, that Clive Owen drives me crazy! If I had that smiley with the drool I'd be using it now. My roomie asked me to see it with him, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to see it, but I was like, "well, even if I dont like it I can at feast my eyes on Clivey." But, hey, it was a good movie, and a Mexican director?! woot!

Oh, and when I was at the theater I guess a premiere was going on for another move (with Diane Keaton I think?) and I saw Lauren Graham! She looked HOTTT triple T.
anyone else here a Studio Ghibli fan?
i finally got to see Howl's Moving Castle with my kid and we were mesmerized. i think that's just how it is with us and Miyazaki.
Last weekend we saw The Last King of Scotland . Wow, Forrest W was amazing. The character is totally unpredicatable, he was charming but also very frightening.
volver was a great story, especially for women, and i didn't hate penelope.
anna k
I watched The Ballad of Jack and Rose yesterday. I liked it, even though the relationship between the father and daughter squicked me out a little (father as lover-brother-God like The Tempest).

True Stories was a David Byrne-directed movie about ordinary people who seemed unusual as well in a small texas town. It was sweet and short.

I liked The Last Waltz. I was surprised that I knew three songs by The Band (my dad spent the 70's as a pot-smoking hippie, and has played a lot of 70's rock in our house), and I liked the interview segments about life on the road, plus the guest performances.
re saw gonin this weekend. it got me into asian movies and it's definately 'asian extreme' cinema, but the thing i don't recall was that this was very much a queer movie-- it starts out with one gay charecter, and kind of morphs into a love story. the basic plot is that it's about 5 guys (gonin means 5) who decide to rob some yakuza, and then watching the fate of each of them. it's basically the same idea as the noir classic "the killing" but without the time shifting elements.
This weekend, I watched The President's Analyst, this sorta insane, trippy '60s movie that I love this weekend. I loooooved it in college, and it's not quite the hilarious masterpiece that it had become in my head in the decade between viewings, but I sure enjoyed it. They don't make teeth like James Coburn's anymore.

I also saw Stranger than Fiction, which I liked a lot. Emma Thompson is so talented, and such a funny comedienne, which few people realize. I think she got robbed in the Best Supporting Actress category. I'd put her in over the little kid from Little Miss Sunshine -- the latter was cute, but Emma was really so good.
Oh, I killed the thread! Well, I will try to revive it. I saw a preview of Music and Lyrics tonight. I don't really care for cutesy romantic comedies, but this one was very charming and actually funny. Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant had good chemistry, and the songs from Hugh Grant's character's band (who were kind of like Wham!; he would be Andrew Ridgely) were very funny and also very catchy.

If you're looking for something sweet and romantic and fluffy, I'd definitely recommend it.
sidecar-- i love the president's analyst. you should check out 'in like flint' and it's sequel. they both star james coburn, and are james bond parodies. and if you like jb parodies there are also the 'matt helm' movies (starring dean martin) like 'the silencers.'

if there are any nyc busties, there is an upcoming retrospective of joon bong-ho. who is my favorite director right now. he's korean and makes amazing movies. his film 'the host' has been getting rave reviews (and a great write up in last month's art forum), (i am waiting to see the host!) but his first two features are some of the most brilliant films of the last 10 years.

i've posted about memories of murder the serial killer movie that is just as much about police abuse as it is about korea's first serial killer, and that unsolved case. it's ugly, smart and terrifyingly funny.

and then there is barking dog's never bite yes, there are some scenes that border on animal abuse (hey i love dogs more than the next person, but this movie is great), but if you want to see why bong-ho was my favorite with one single movie. the two girls in this movie are as good a comedy team as has ever been filmed. but bdnb is a soap-opera ghost story-comedy, and more. sad, deep, funny, loopy and harrowing, this movie is all that a movie can and should be.

if you see only one movie in this series see barking dogs, you will thank me for it. it's not available on dvd in the states, and it is a movie that smart movie lovers will love.

should you like those movies, then do me a personal favor: the ifc is also showing rare bong-ho shorts that are supposed to be every bit as good as his features. see 'em and tell me what you think.

here is how good i think bong-ho is: right now i am debating buying a plane ticket to nyc just to see these movies and shorts again on the big screen.
another great movie that is going to be showing at the ifc is 'killer of sheep' which is by most accounts one of the best black films ever made. it was directed by charles burnett, who is best known for the 80's film to sleep with anger-- another great movie starring danny glover. killer of sheep to me felt kind of like a bittersweet live action fat albert in feel. it's about the life of a black family in 70's LA. i'll post more about both movies in the busties of color thread, later.
anna k
I was reading about the movie Hounddog in Premiere, and some thoughts came to my mind:

- the storyline is like a Dorothy Allison novel with more coloring (poor 1950s white Southern background, sexual abuse, deviant kids, white kids listening to gospel or blues music, adult language in kids' mouths).

- the hype about the rape scene (Dakota Fanning's character gets raped by a teenage boy) reminds me of the film version of Bastard out of Carolina, where Jena Malone's character is raped by her stepfather. It was a graphic scene, but the camera angles and choreography made it look worse than it was. Same with the Hounddog hype, though I would think Dakota is a very mature actress and film people know how to shoot and edit to make it look worse than it is. It's just ridiculous that it's getting so much attention for something than was done ten years earlier, except that Jena was an unknown at the time and Dakota is a big star.
It is amazing the "thing" that will sweep into the nation's odd collective sense of outrage, isn't it? Does anyone remember the rape scene from "A Time to Kill?" It's since been mentioned that a body double was used, but does it make the scene any less shocking than Dakota Fanning's?
I forgot about that scene from A Time To Kill. I was kind of young when it first came out so I don't remember if there was a big outrage over it. I've heard that the rape scene from Hounddog isn't nearly as bad as everyone's making it out to be. I also wonder if it's getting more press because Dakota Fanning is already very popular and notable for being so successful at a young age.

Anyhoo, I finally went out and saw The Queen tonight. I thought it was pretty well done. I liked Helen Mirren's portrayal, I think she deserves the Oscar but I don't know if I'd say that it was the best movie of the year.
I thought Mirren was fantastic in The Queen, but I agree that it's probably not best picture material. I only saw the film because my aunt wanted to see it (before all this Oscar buzz), and I didn't think I would enjoy it. But it really was very well done. It makes me wonder how much like the queen the portrayal really was. So much of it had to be creative conjecture.
saw the devil wears prada.
meryl was amazing.

but that movie didn't leave a feel-good sugary taste in my mouth that i thought it was supposed to do. you know, normal-girl-conforms-only-to-see-true-inner-beauty-and-strength-and-character kind of movie. it was more like girl-at-center-of-fat-jokes-who-isn't-fat-becomes-a-size-4-and-her-size-is-one-manifestation-of-her-success.

it actually kind of made me feel shitty.

does that make sense?
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