Tag Archives: Anne Hathaway

My Lingering Thoughts on the Oscars

26 Feb

So, the Oscars happened last night. And I have thoughts! So let’s just dive in, shall we?

-First of all, did anyone else feel like they didn’t have a horse in this race at all? I saw a bunch of the nominated movies, more than I usually do, and my feeling on almost each and every category was ‘yeah, whichever is fine.’ Not because there weren’t great performances or great movies, but I just didn’t feel personally attached to any of them this year. Honestly, I think my favorite performance of the year was Hadley Fraser in Les Mis, because he managed to make the guy who sings “you at the barricades listen to this” into a character with a rich full inner life and history, and I didn’t think that was even possible.

-Renee Zellweger, what the hell?! I spend a good chunk of my life saying that we squinty-eyed folk actually do have functional eyeballs, and then you go and stumble around oddly and seemingly can’t read anything. Get it together, Zellweger!! We need you! The large-eyed Tarsier people are winning!!

-One of my favorite things about this Oscars was the fact that Quentin Tarantino’s date was a woman named Lianne Spiderbaby:

This is awesome for a number of reasons. First of all, because I adore that dress and always support messy sidebraiding. Secondly, because if you google image her a lot of photos of her with knives and blood come up, which leads me to believe that they are one of those ‘inevitable’ couples, like Bjork and Matthew Barney and Tim Burton and Helena Bonham-Carter. I mean, who else would they date? “So, what are you into?” “Oh, graphic violence. Blood spatter. You know.” “Oh my god, me too!!” See what I mean? And lastly, and most obviously, because her name is Lianne SPIDERBABY. I would like to imagine that many generations ago in a little village somewhere, a town elder said “John who mills we shall call John Miller. And Robert the barrel-maker shall be Robert Cooper. But whatever shall we call Sven, who midwives the arachnids?”

-How amazingly charming were Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron dancing? Who knew?!?! And Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe?! I mean, come on now. I think they should host the Oscars next year as a saucy song-and-dance team, and Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum can just glide on in whenever there’s a transition or a joke that doesn’t go well.

-What is with these otherwise fashionable girls choosing wan ill-fitting pink prom-y dresses to actually win an Oscar in? Between Gwyneth Paltrow in this:

And Anne Hathaway in this:

It’s like there’s something about the promise of an Oscar that makes ladies think that they must find some pink satin stat, but not invite any boob support to the party. And then pair the look with a necklace that doesn’t suit the neckline (Anne Hathaway’s necklace drove me nuts. No necklace with that neckline – long simple earrings! Arm full of bracelets! Rookie mistake!!)
Come on, ladies. If you want to do a pink dress that says THAT’S RIGHT, BITCHES, I AM WINNING A FUCKING OSCAR TONIGHT, take a look at Fan Bingbing:

Fan Bingbing is one of my favorites always, because she is a woman who knows how to wear a dress. Probably very few on the red carpet knew who she was, but I bet when she passed, every single head turned. Take notes, ladies – that’s how you win the evening, whether or not you win the Oscar.

-I feel like Kristen Stewart on the red carpet is the equivalent of those toddlers you see responding to having to go somewhere they don’t want to go by throwing a tantrum and then becoming dead weight that their parents have to drag; they’ll go, but they’ll make it as hard as possible and let you know that they are miserable the whole time. I always think when I see Kristen Stewart that she probably HAS to go to some events, but I doubt she HAS to go to the Oscars. And if she does HAVE to, please remember that your profession is being an actor, K-Stew. You could at least act like having to put on a dress and comb your hair isn’t the most miserable boring thing that has ever happened to you.

-For real, is Nicole Kidman wearing the Batman logo over her navel?

I loved this dress on camera (it’s so shiny she looks like a seal just coming out of water in the red carpet photos), but I honestly can’t figure out that belt. Is she signalling her willingness to take over the franchise when Christian Bale leaves? Is she telling us with the very Klimt-ian gold swirls at the bottom (which match the design on the floor of the stage) that she wants to be a new villain called ‘The Kisser’? Inquiring minds want to know.

-Speaking of those swirls on the stage, those are EXACTLY the doodles I used to draw all over the stage in high school. I even drew them on a lampshade when I was in my DIY phase in college.

-I love that they did a tribute to musicals, then did three musicals. You know, only those three musicals that they’ve made movies of. Good thing they could think of those three, because there certainly aren’t any other possible choices to include. I mean, really, if they were going to pay tribute to something, they really should have picked an industry with a rich full selection of options, not puny musical theater. And there’s definitely no other musicals on film. That must have been hard for them.

-Hey, remember when the Tonys had Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tommy Kail write a rap about the show for Neil Patrick Harris to do at the end of the evening? Remember how funny and perfect and awesome that was? Then remember last night when Kristen Chenoweth came out, and dueted on what was Seth MacFarlane’s maybe fifth unfunny song of the evening? Yeah.

-How adorable was it when Hugh Jackman came to Jennifer Lawrence’s rescue when she tripped on the stairs? Can we just declare Hugh Jackman to be officially the best human being ever? I mean seriously, I feel like if an alien race ever attacks, we should present Hugh Jackman as proof of what humans can be, and then I’m sure the aliens would be like “oh, good point, you guys have potential. Okay guys, back to the home planet.”

-Also in the running for best person ever is George Clooney, who is the only person who has ever called to mind both a beautiful Roman statue and a sexy young Santa Claus at the same time.

-And speaking of impressive hair, how about all the long blond-haired guys winning? It must have been a party in Lothlorien last night, is all I’m sayin’.

-Okay, if I don’t end now, I’ll go on forever. So until I remember the big huge thing I forgot to say tomorrow, I’ll say au revoir until next year!

Mes Réflexions Sur ‘Les Miserables’

31 Dec

As you may have heard, the movie version of ‘Les Miserables’ opened. And people have opinions! So many opinions. But you know who else has opinions? Why that’s right! Yours truly. And so I thought I’d share some of them. But you might want to buckle up, because I’ve been listening to and watching Les Mis for years, and as a natural-born overanalyzer, I’ve thought a lot about how the show works. So some of my movie thoughts are going to be a little more musical theater wonk. But don’t worry, I’ll also talk about fun stuff like OH MY GOD HOW MUCH POOP ARE THEY COVERED WITH WHEN THEY GET OUT OF THE SEWERS. So, in no particular order, mes reflexions:

-On the whole, I loved it. It’s a beautiful movie that captures the soul of the show, which captures the soul of the book. And I love that it is unabashedly a musical – I’m so glad they stuck with it being through-sung and recorded live.

-Russell Crowe. Oh, Russell Crowe. You see, I adore Russell Crowe, ever since I saw him as Bud White in ‘L.A. Confidential’, which is an incredible performance and if you haven’t seen that truly excellent movie you should stop reading this right now and go rent it. There is no one I can think of who captures better the combination of true dangerous violence with a vulnerable pain visible right at its heart. I was super psyched when I heard he would be Javert, because I thought that this combination would be great for Javert, a character who must shed his righteous, protected facade to reveal the panic at having his entire worldview shattered. But it just didn’t work, did it? I realized that Russell Crowe, as good as he is, just doesn’t read well as a law-keeper; he is best as a law-breaker, as in ‘L.A. Confidential’ and ‘Gladiator’. And of all the characters, Javert is the one whose voice should be most in control: he is a man who is literally all about being rigidly in line, within boundaries, maintaining the law. Russell Crowe’s rocky sliding all over the place weakened Javert in a way that made the character never quite make sense. Hold on to your butts for a moment, because I’m about to get all dramaturgical up in here: Javert and Jean Valjean are doppelganger characters. Both are men who believe 100% in doing the right thing, but their versions of this are completely opposed; Valjean believes in doing good for others, no matter how that is best achieved (breaking parole), Javert believes in following and maintaining the law. Thus, when they have their final confrontation and Javert realizes that Valjean might be a good man AND a criminal, two things that are mutually exclusive in his head, he has to choose whether to change his entire worldview (as Valjean did after being given the candlesticks, singing THE SAME MUSICAL PHRASE OH MY GOD THIS SHOW IS SO SMART), or end the life that has now proven false. He cannot change, so he dies. But without a rigid Javert to contrast with fluid Valjean, and without confrontations that make you realize their similarities, you lose a big part of the piece. And I hated Javert walking on the edge; he’s the opposite of a daredevil, he follows rules obsessively.

-Yay Colm Wilkinson! I loved that he came back at the end for Valjean, too – it’s always struck me as strange that a character who has such a huge effect on Valjean is never seen again. And I’m so glad they didn’t have Eponine come back with Fantine for Valjean – as previously discussed on this here blog, I always thought that was weird.

-I did sort of miss the candlestick moment that the show has, in which Valjean takes the candlesticks out at the end and you realize for the first time that he’s kept them all along. The movie does a nice job of tracking the candlesticks, though, and I guess it’s harder to reveal stuff like that in a movie, when he has to be somewhere that makes sense in the last scene and not just in ‘undefined theater space’. But why was the Bishop in black? That seemed sort of morbid.

-Since I’m on a Bishop kick, I thought it was super interesting that they changed the Bishop’s lyric “I have bought your soul for God” to “I have saved your soul for God”. I would love to know why – did ‘bought’ seem a little mercenary? I always liked the idea that he’s talking to this rough convict in his own language – not, you are now saved, but, now you owe me. But saved works too.

-Okay, let’s talk about that poop. My sister, who saw the movie before me, said there was a lot of poop post-sewers. But then in the movie, OH MY GOD I HAD NO IDEA, THERE WAS SO MUCH POOP!!! My sister leaned over to me and whispered “it’s like he’s in poop blackface!!” which pretty much made me miss the rest of the scene in a fit of snorting giggles. But she was right – all you can see is the whites of Valjean’s eyes! Wouldn’t Valjean just wipe his face off? Nobody is so virtuous not to be like, hold on a second, I just have to get this HUMAN FECES OFF MY FACE. I mean, even Javert I’m sure would have been like, dude, I’ll just wait here for a minute, you do you, that is gross. And did they have crew members with buckets off camera? Was it a hose? Realistically, how would Marius ever have survived getting THE WASTE OF MULTIPLE PEOPLE in an open wound? That’s sepsis for sure.

-Wow, that was some sound that Javert made when he hit the water. I got a little distracted wondering what the foley editors used – corncob broken in half by hitting it with a steak? Stomp on skin bag full of cornflakes? Hammer onto a full chicken? It was like a real meaty crunch.

-In ancient Greece, when they performed tragic plays, they would put shorter funny plays in between to balance out all the sad, and probably to make everyone not want to kill themselves immediately (because oh my god, can you imagine a day of all Greek tragedies?!) Anyhoo, this proves the vital concept that tragedy is best when balanced by comedy. That’s what ‘Master of the House’ is really there for – a fantastic number of some comic relief in an otherwise glum show. But oh man, one thing the movie ‘Master of the House’ definitely isn’t is fun. Yikes! I was actually hoping we could go back to watching some poor people starve for a while. And without a little levity break, it’s a long glum story indeed. And how could they not have a big fun number on that cool set? That was a bummer.

-How incredibly adorable was it that Marius got truly flustered on “I’m doing everything all wrong?” I ‘awwed’ audibly.

-All the prizes for Grantaire!! How great was that guy? For the first time Grantaire felt like a major part of the story, and they even cut his big song! George Blagden, you are a star.

-Also all the prizes for the army guy who sings “you at the barricade listen to this” etc. You could see and hear his hope that they would surrender and not make him have to kill anyone, and that was a beautiful and unexpected addition. I think that was Hadley Fraser, who apparently has played many roles in Les Mis over the years, so he was probably like “bitches please, I could do this whole movie as a one man show.” And I would watch that show.

-Also all the prizes for Gavroche, who was awesome and could also probably do the entire movie as a one man show. It did bother me a lot, though, that they changed one detail in his getting the ammo from the other side of the barricade; in the show, Gavroche is increasingly scared in this moment, which is heartbreaking (in the movie he’s more brave the whole time), but, more importantly, he throws the ammo over the barricade before getting shot – he’s actually doing a vitally important thing for the uprising. In the movie, he doesn’t get the ammo to them, and then someone comes out and gets him, which made the whole thing seem less important; I feel like it’s really important that Gavroche dies helping the cause in a way only he could, not by failing at his attempted task.

-I loved Javert giving the medal to Gavroche, though. A lovely touch: Javert doesn’t like lawbreakers but he’s not a monster.

-The other change that I missed was having Eponine deliver the letter to Valjean, then get shot rejoining Marius on the barricade. I guess it tightens it up the movie way (although my sister pointed out that there’s a little weirdness in that it looks like she gives Marius the letter after ‘On My Own’, which makes him run to the house, but then gives it to him again on the barricade), but I miss having her try to complete her task for him then be unable to stand. Also, I always want people to do that scene like Lea Salonga does in the anniversary concert – she gasps with pain at one point, which causes Marius to truly have to comfort her with “hush now, dear Eponine”, and over the course of the rest of the song gradually weakens, until by the end she can’t finish the phrase and dies. It’s incredibly moving, and you are always aware of her fading, but I feel like the movie kept Eponine pretty robust until she died. It’s just not as great that way, methinks.

-Okay, another little nitpicky thing, courtesy of my sister, who apparently is even more plot-detail-tracking than I am. What are these empty chairs and empty tables that Marius is singing about? Because I’m pretty sure we saw all the furniture around being thrown onto the barricade. Did they just put some stuff back after they picked off the dead bodies?

-Fantine doesn’t get her hair back in the afterlife? Come on now, heaven, that was some great hair. I hope at least she gets her tooth.

-You know what would really suck? To die in a failed uprising and then have the afterlife be A GIANT PERPETUAL BARRICADE. Don’t you think that all those guys would be like, oh great! You know that thing that we did that totally didn’t work and then we all died? We get to relive this forever, yippee. This’ll be super fun.

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Makes an Excellent Choice, Again

5 Aug

Christopher Nolan and his reboot of the Batman series has made some pretty excellent choices so far, as I’ve noted in previous posts. And the newest in the series, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, seems to be going right along with that – casting legitimately excellent actors (who also happen to be gorgeous) Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway to play Bane and Catwoman, respectively, and revealing their teaser with a truly cool ad campaign.

And finally, they’ve released the first official image of Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, or Catwoman, and I am most pleased.

 
 
Not because I loves me some Annie Hathaway, which I do. Not because she just looks badass here, which she does. But because they have avoided one of the great Pet Peeves of Anika Chapin; ass-kicking heroines who, defying all logic, wear giant high heels.
 
Take a gander at the footwear Catwoman is wearing here – a sensible leather boot, roughly shaped like a human foot at the front, and with a moderate wedge at the back – here’s another, unauthorized, shot from the set that shows it better:
 

via cinemablend.com

 Excellent choice! That looks both attractive and functional, and just right for all your ass-kicking needs.

You see, I love a good high heel. I have plenty myself, sky-high and low, open-toed and closed, which sometimes I open my closet just to gaze at. I have been known to stop cold in front of the Louboutin boutique, transfixed by a particularly sparkly variety, for longer than I’d care to admit. But when I’m getting ready in the morning, I will think to myself  ‘hmm, what will I face today?’ And if the answer is something like ‘running after aliens’ or ‘chasing down criminals’ or ‘general ass-kicking’, I will probably reach for the flats.

However, this does not seem to be a reality faced by many a lady of film and television. All too often, a tough female character will be smart and fierce and ready to beat any foe, but be costumed in heels that would mean instant defeat in an encounter with a subway grate. And I’m well aware that heels look great, and there’s a fantasy element to many a heel-wearing fierce lady character, but unless this fantasy world really involves an alternate reality in which what looks like a pump really does feel like a sneaker, it bugs the hell out of me. Because if a character really would choose to go into a fight hampered by altered balance or a chase running essentially on her toes, then I start to wonder about that character’s intelligence and reasoning abilities.

Anyhoo, it’s a pet peeve of mine, as you can probably tell. And I take notice of which shows and movies will costume their practical female leads in crazy impractical shoes (Castle, Charlie’s Angels), and which don’t (SVU, with extra points to ‘Fringe’, which not only puts Olivia in flats, but also a drab wardrobe and very little makeup). I’ve even noticed when a show put a fighting female character in a dress (it was at an event) and character shoes, which both pleased the practical side of me (comfortable! Sturdy!) and displeased the aesthetic side of me (ugh, so ugly. Ballet flats are better.)

Nolan’s Batman movies have maintained an excellent grasp on the reality of Batman’s world – dark and gritty are hallmarks of his version, where cartoonish goth was Burton’s and plastic nipples was Schumacher’s. In Nolan’s vision, you could believe that the joker was a psychopath who, though he wore creepy makeup for effect, probably didn’t hire a professional makeup artist to apply it.

A primer would really help with that.

 His movies have been scary because you can believe that it might just be possible for it to happen in our world, with ordinary people becoming frightening villains, or inspiring heroes. And in this new shot of a Catwoman who knows that red lipstick is an excellent solution when you want to look both glamorous and fierce but not risk a snapped ankle, it looks like they are keeping right in line with their general awesomeness.

 

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Rises with Teaser, Lippage.

25 May

The newest in the Batman movie series, called ‘The Dark Knight Rises’,  is currently filming (around New York! And I know what it’s secret code title is! But I’m not telling). But already the first image from the movie has been released, by the studio sending a standard publicity shot with a good view of the sexy star to various newspapers, magazines, and media outlets.

I kid, of course!! This is the Batman movie series reboot we’re talking about, after all – the reboot that managed to heal the world’s collective pain from seeing George Clooney’s black plastic nipples with one shot of Heath Ledger in cracked-out white face makeup. So the image they have released from the newest film is this one, of the pillowy-lipped Brit Tom Hardy, as villain Bane:

via movieline.com

And how did they reveal this image? Why, they simply launched the new film’s website went online with a weird, chant-like audio file. Then, and I quote slate.com, “someone posting to the forums on SuperHeroHype had run the sound through a computer program and gotten a visual representation of the audio spectrum—which spelled out the phrase TheFireRises. People recognized that as a Twitter hashtag, which led them to discover the new Twitter account @thefirerises.” People submitted photos to the twitter account, which were then compiled into a giant collage that became this Tom Hardy shot.

Slow clap, The Dark Knight Rises team. Because if you really think that a slow teaser involving a weirdo audio file, a reliance on your legion of nerd fans to possess the ingenuity, inclination, and technology to turn that audio file into a visual, then find the twitter tag it hints at, then send photos in, only after which you reveal a shot that barely shows anything but a shoulder muscle, is going to make me want to see this movie even more, you are… absolutely correct.

I tip my hypothetical hat to you guys. This is A. awesome – how cool to know your fans well enough to trust that they’ll fall on such a twisty clue, and to tease with a first image that’s a dark, sinister, artfully composed shot that barely shows the face of the actor? And B. Totally in line with the series’ reboot so far, which has consistently chosen the more interesting choice instead of the more commercial one (well, except for Katie Holmes, but they fixed that with the far more interesting Maggie Gyllenhaal).

So, that being said, here are my two thoughts:

1. Woah there, Tom Hardy! Is that really you?! Because the last time I saw you, you were sleek in a suit in ‘Inception’, and skinny and scruffy in the BBC’s ‘Oliver Twist’. If that is all your mass now, then clearly you have done nothing since then but pump some serious iron and eat some serious protein. On a side note, since I’m sure Christian Bale probably did the same thing given his fondness for cinematic body mortification, do you guys have a special person on set who just stands by with chicken breasts at the ready to feed you between takes? Because I would apply for that job, I’m just sayin’.

Tom Hardy, pre-ginormity. via exposay.com

2. So let me get this straight. The two major villains in this movie are Tom Hardy as Bane, and Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, AKA Catwoman. So let’s just tally that up. We have the actor who possesses perhaps the most ridiculously oversized pillowy lips in the world, and the actress who possesses perhaps the most ridiculously oversized pillowy lips in the world, both as villains. I can only hope that there’s a scene in which Batman confronts them both, and is overwhelmed by their collective kissers. Or maybe they have an unstoppable move, the Pucker Punch (sorry)? Or are revealed to both be working for the same criminal overlord, played by Angelina Jolie in a cameo? I don’t know, I’ll leave it to the writers, but for real, these people have some serious lips.

Holy Lippage, Batman!!

I can think of not a single cat-related lip pun. Sorry.

3. Wait, is analyzing audio files using advanced software to seek hidden messages/meanings what I’m supposed to do when I putter around the internet for many hours at a time? Because I pretty much look at red carpet photos and check to see if Gawker or thehairpin.com have updated themselves in the past 30 seconds.

4. Also, can we talk about how this:

“They simply launched the new film’s website went online with a weird, chant-like audio file. Then, and I quote slate.com, “someone posting to the forums on SuperHeroHype had run the sound through a computer program and gotten a visual representation of the audio spectrum—which spelled out the phrase TheFireRises. People recognized that as a Twitter hashtag, which led them to discover the new Twitter account @thefirerises.” People submitted photos to the twitter account, which were then compiled into a giant collage that became this Tom Hardy shot.”

is more interesting than anything that happened during the entire run of AMC’s ‘Rubicon’. I only wish I were joking.