LIVE BLOGGING the 2014 Golden Globes!

11 01 2015

10:03 P.M.  3 for “Boyhood,” 2 for “The Theory of Everything” and “Birdman.”

10:01 P.M.  I love Meryl’s excited squeals for “Boyhood.”  Ethan Hawke and Ellar Coltrane just shared a beautiful hug behind everyone.

More Boyhood

10:0o P.M.  BEST PICTURE (DRAMA): “BOYHOOD

9:59 P.M.  This show needed more Tina and Amy.  Sigh.

9:55 P.M.  Glad to see Redmayne is not above fawning over all the incredible actors.  Sweet speech, charming guy.

Theory of Everything

9:53 P.M.  BEST ACTOR (DRAMA): EDDIE REDMAYNE, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

9:52 P.M.  Why is McConaughey speaking in that strange accent?!

Still Alice

9:51 P.M.  BEST ACTRESS (DRAMA): JULIANNE MOORE, “STILL ALICE”

9:46 P.M.  Wes Anderson naming off the names of HFPA members seems a little … um, awkward?  Maybe slightly culturally insensitive?

The Grand Budapest Hotel

9:45 P.M.  BEST PICTURE (MUSICAL/COMEDY): “THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

9:43 P.M.  Channing Tatum’s fake tan seems a little overdone tonight.

9:39 P.M.  Michael Keaton’s son that he referenced in the speech, Sean Douglas, is a songwriter whose credits include Jason DeRulo’s “Talk Dirty.”  Umm … well, that’s probably paying the bills.

9:34 P.M.  Keaton thanks the HFPA for having a “comedy” category, but how much does it really celebrate comedies?!  Anyways, nice to see someone as articulate and underrated as Keaton get some recognition.

Keaton in Birdman

9:33 P.M.  BEST ACTOR (MUSICAL/COMEDY): MICHAEL KEATON, “BIRDMAN

9:25 P.M.  Richard Linklater: “We’re all flawed in this world, no one’s perfect.”

Linklater

9:24 P.M.  BEST DIRECTOR: RICHARD LINKLATER, “BOYHOOD

9:15 P.M.  Pretty sure McConaughey is sweating through his shirt.  His jacket was definitely off.

9:14 P.M.  George Clooney: “Thanks for keeping small films alive.”

9:12 P.M.  Props to Disney for getting a clip from “Tomorrowland” into the Clooney montage.

9:08 P.M.  Julianna Marguiles: “Has George ever asked you to tour a disaster area with him?” / Don Cheadle: “Yes, he invited me to the set of ‘The Monuments Men!'”

9:00 P.M.  Hard to believe that two-time Oscar winning actor Kevin Spacey is only just now winning his first Golden Globe.

8:55 P.M.  The backstage/hall cam is pretty awkward…

8:54 P.M.  “House of Cards” snubbed once again.  “The Affair” was horribly derivative in the one episode I watched.

8:46 P.M.  Well, maybe Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Honorable Woman” will have to go on my Netflix queue.  Here’s the link for anyone who wants to add it as well.  I enjoy the sibling love with her and Jake, and I especially love her shoutout to the “actual women.”  Basically, here’s my takeaway from tonight’s show:

Who Run the World

8:44 P.M.  Ok, is that how “Leviathan” is pronounced, all French like Lupita Nyong’o said it?  I assumed it was “Luh-vie-uh-than.”

Leviathan

8:43 P.M.  BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: “LEVIATHAN

8:37 P.M.  But is there still money in the banana stand, Jeffrey Tambor?

8:35 P.M.  Don Cheadle is not in “House of Cards,” presenters.  But, I will say, I would love to see him guest star.

8:33 P.M.  Glad to see Jack Black giving love to the underappreciated Linklater.  I totally want to see “Bernie 2,” Jack, I stand with you.

8:32 P.M.  Didn’t hear any of the speech because my parents were talking…

Birdman

8:30 P.M.  BEST SCREENPLAY: “BIRDMAN

8:28 P.M.  Anyone else noting how much the people on stage are sweating?  The AC has to be broken or something…

Bill Hader in The Skeleton Twins

8:27 P.M.  No proclaiming that Hader and Wiig were the stars of “The Skeleton Twins?”  Come on…

8:26 P.M.  Ok, the North Korean jokes are getting old.  It’s just kind of insensitive and monotonous at this point.

8:22 P.M.  Full text of the George Clooney feminist joke, thanks to BuzzFeed.

“George Clooney married Amal Alamuddin this year. Amal is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an adviser to Kofi Annan regarding Syria, and was selected to a three-person U.N. commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza Strip. So tonight, her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award.”

8:21 P.M.  Patricia Arquette: “Meryl, thank you for giving me a hug, I hope your DNA transferred.”  Also, glad to see the winning women standing up for women of all varieties.

Arquette

8:19 P.M.  BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: PATRICIA ARQUETTE, “BOYHOOD

8:16 P.M.  When they said Channing Tatum was in three nominated films tonight, I thought it must have been a flubbed line.  But two of those were animated – “The Book of Life” and “The Lego Movie.”

8:14 P.M.  BEST ANIMATED MOVIE: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

8:13 P.M.  Kevin Hart: “I’m here for this, it’s not about ‘The Wedding Ringer.'”  Yeah, sure…

8:07 P.M.  Nice feminist moment for Amy Adams as she racks up back-to-back Golden Globe wins.  Not her best role or film, but she’s just so sweet and likable, darn it!

Amy Adams Big EYes

8:05 P.M.  BEST ACTRESS (MUSICAL/COMEDY): AMY ADAMS, BIG EYES

8:03 P.M.  Where are Tina and Amy?  MIA…

7:55 P.M.  That could not possibly have been more awkward cutting between the shot of John Legend’s wife and the cutaway to Prince.  “Selma is now,” said Common.  Glad to see he also expressed solidarity with the two NYPD officers slain in the line of duty.

Selma

7:52 P.M.  BEST ORIGINAL SONG: GLORY, “SELMA

7:50 P.M.  OMG – Prince!  What a look!

Theory

7:48 P.M.  BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: “THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

7:43 P.M.  Too bad for Eddie Redmayne that the bomb that will be “Jupiter Ascending” drops on theaters as he’s trying to win an Oscar … Focus should ask WB to pull these trailers from awards broadcasts.

Jupiter

7:37 P.M.  Bummer to see Julia Louis-Dreyfus go down.  “Veep” is my favorite show … shameless plug.

7:35 P.M.  Great to see artists stand up and cheer for freedom of expression.

7:33 P.M.  Pretty shameless attempt to recreate the Ellen selfie…

Meryl

Needed more people to top Ellen…

Ellen

7:30 P.M.  I just realized that I totally forgot a category…

Best Animated Film:The Lego Movie” (alt. “How To Train Your Dragon 2“)

7:26 P.M.  Potentially the best speech ever from Billy Bob Thornton.  “You get in trouble for anything you say these days, so I’m just gonna say thank you.”

7:25 P.M.  Ouch for the “True Detective” shutout.  Have to say, I agree (even though I have not watched “Fargo”).  The show was overrated.

7:22 P.M.  Ok, these rapid-fire show descriptions are not helpful.

7:22 P.M.  Jennifer Lopez looking like she might have a wardrobe malfunction/nip slip.

7:17 P.M.  Glad Joanne Froggat is shedding light on the plight of sexual assault survivors.  This is such a great platform to spread awareness to important causes.  Bonus points for doing it without ranting or preaching.

7:14 P.M.  Miles Teller getting some nice notice in front of the entire industry.  And gotta love all the Jason Reitman love!

JK Simmons Miles Teller Whiplash

7:12 P.M.  BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: J.K. SIMMONS, “WHIPLASH

7:12 P.M.  So did they actually flub the teleprompter?  Was it actually spontaneous?

7:11 P.M.  Hello, Jennifer Aniston’s leg.

7:09 P.M.  Aaaand there’s the Bill Cosby joke.

7:07 P.M.  Would you rather, Linklater or Iñarritu?  “Once, five minutes per year” vs. “One take, two hours, no stopping.”  Brilliant.

7:06 P.M.  Tina Fey just dropped the mic for working women everywhere.  Bravo.

7:04 P.M.  A joke I could not type in real time – “Boyhood proves there’s still good roles for women over 40 when you get hired in your 20’s.”

7:03 P.M. Hi, Joaquin Phoenix!  You da man!

7:03 P.M. Back off Emma Stone, she’s gorgeous!

7:01 P.M. Starting off with jokes on the Sony hack and the leaked emails – great, I guess, since Angelina Jolie isn’t there.

6:55 P.M. Since I’m running short on time, I’ll just post projected winners with alternates – and save my should win/be nominated picks for the Oscars live blog!  Classic cliffhanger…

Best Picture (Drama): “Boyhood” (alt. “The Imitation Game“)

Best Picture (Musical/Comedy):Birdman” (alt. “Into the Woods“)

Best Actor (Drama): Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything” (alt. Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game“)

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy): Michael Keaton, “Birdman” (alt. Joaquin Phoenix, “Inherent Vice“)

Best Actress (Drama): Julianne Moore, “Still Alice” (alt. Reese Witherspoon, “Wild“)

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy): Emily Blunt, “Into the Woods” (alt. Amy Adams, “Big Eyes“)

Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash” (alt. Edward Norton, “Birdman“)

Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood” (alt. Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods“)

Best Director: Richard Linklater, “Boyhood” (alt. Ava DuVernay, “Selma“)

Best Screenplay:Boyhood” (alt. “Gone Girl”)

Best Foreign Language Film: Ida” (alt. “Leviathan“)

Best Score:Interstellar” (alt. “Gone Girl“)

Best Song: Big Eyes from “Big Eyes” (alt. Glory from “Selma“)

Boyhood (2)

6:20 P.M. Well, running a little late due to packing, but I’m ready to start the constant glueing of my eyes to the TV and computer screen.  I’m looking forward to a hilarious ceremony that hopefully features some deserving winners!  I’m not necessarily pulling strongly for a single movie, so I guess I’m Team Boyhood.

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TELLURIDE TALKS: Morten Tyldum, director of “The Imitation Game”

27 11 2014

Morten TyldumEarlier this year, I had the distinct pleasure to attend the Student Symposium at the Telluride Film Festival.  As a part of this program, I had the privilege to partake in small group discussions with filmmakers at the festival.  The “Telluride Talks” series is a way for me to share their thoughts, ideas, and insights with everyone.  First up, Morten Tyldum, director of “The Imitation Game.”

There was a Friday evening screening of “The Imitation Game” on our schedule.  This meant that, so long as we arrived in a timely manner, there should have been tickets blocked off for us.  Yet as I hopped off the gondola – required to get to the theater on the other side of the mountain – all I saw were my fellow students walking the other way.  We somehow got boxed out.

It is standard operating procedure that when talent is to talk to anyone about their film, those people need to have actually seen that film.  So, needless to say, it was suitably awkward when Morten Tyldum walked in the next day for a rousing discussion of his movie … and no one in the group had seen it.

All things considered, however, the conversation was still quite lively and informative.  Tyldum remained in good spirits and obliged our requests not to say too much about the content of “The Imitation Game.”  Most of the conversation centered around his filmmaking philosophy and career – an interesting topic given that he is now making the jump to American cinema.

Tyldum, 47, began making films in his native Norway about a decade ago.  He came to most people’s attention with the 2011 action-thriller “Headhunters,” which is available to stream through Netflix and definitely worth a watch.  The film garnered a BAFTA nomination for Tyldum, but it more importantly opened the door for him to make movies on a grander scale.

_TIG2664.NEFThere are many people who romanticize the European model of making films, and Tyldum is not one of them.  He admitted to favoring the honesty of Hollywood filmmaking over the pretentiousness of the Scandinavian system.  Tyldum also lamented the way it was suspicious to make a commercially successful film in his home country, so no wonder he wanted to get out – “Headhunters” is the highest grossing Norwegian film to date.

He was initially set to hop across the pond for his English language debut with “Bastille Day.”  At the time, Ben Affleck was attached, but the film fell through when “Argo” became such a smashing success.  (“Bastille Day” is now filming with Idris Elba as the lead and British director James Watkins at the helm.)  Tyldum quickly landed on his feet, though, by scoring the gig to direct “The Imitation Game.”

The project was a hotly coveted property from the Black List, a registry of the best unproduced screenplays, ranking #1 in their 2011.  “The Imitation Game” initially attracted attention from Warner Bros. to set up as a star vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio, who wanted to play the leading role of brilliant yet troubled mathematician Alan Turing.  Ultimately, it fell to Tyldum and Internet sensation Benedict Cumberbatch.  (Which is quite an ironic role for him to play, considering that Turing essentially invented the computer.)

Turing’s tale is one of incredible highs, such as when he cracked the German cipher in World War II, as well as extreme lows, namely a chemical castration as a result of his homosexuality.  He definitely lived an eventful life, that much is for certain.  But like Bennett Miller and Jon Stewart, two other with films at Telluride about real-life subjects, Tyldum said it was more important to honor the spirit of the story than to get every factual detail correct.

Cumberbatch Turing Imitation GameAnd critics of “The Imitation Game” have been quick to take the filmmakers to task for whitewashing or downplaying Turing’s sexuality.  Seemingly in response to these criticisms, Tyldum highlighted the richness of the story and just how many distinct angles and interpretations that different filmmakers could extrapolate from it.  While some might see it as an opportunity for a LGBTQ message or a lesson on science and math, Tyldum stated that he saw the movie as “about how important it is to listen to people who are different.”

“I like shaded, flawed characters more,” as he put it, and Tyldum certainly dwells in the ambiguities of Turing’s character.  I can say so because, on the final day of the festival, I darted across Telluride on my bike to catch the final screening after a required event.  I was panting to catch my breath for the first thirty minutes, but at least I had the chance to see that “The Imitation Game” lived up to Tyldum’s expressed vision.

“The Imitation Game” opens in limited release on November 28 and will gradually expand throughout the month of December.





REVIEW: The Imitation Game

8 09 2014

Telluride Film Festival

As if the subject of “The Imitation Game” – a tender British soul misunderstood as an incompetent and bumbling fool – weren’t enough to draw comparisons to “The King’s Speech,” the film seemingly invites the parallel in its opening credits.  It’s only faintly discernible, but audio from none other than King George’s climactic speech at the dawn of World War II plays diegetically in the background.

To those who might recognize the snippet, it serves as a perfect barometer for the ambitions of “The Imitation Game.”  With maybe a dash of brash mathematical genius of “A Beautiful Mind,” Morten Tyldum’s film is very much this year’s “The King’s Speech.”  For those unaware of the construed meaning of 2010’s Academy Award winner for Best Picture, that means the film is an engaging and entertaining biopic made with high production values all around yet does not aspire to anything groundbreaking.

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game

Maybe I can only give such an unabashed endorsement of the film from my privileged subject position of being one of the first audiences to see the film or because I saw it before the glut of prestige films later in the fall.  Indeed, I can already see myself holding truly great movies against “The Imitation Game” and wondering how on earth anyone could think so highly of it.  At least for the moment, however, I choose to see the film as it is: a quality piece of cinema that is not trying to reinvent the wheel.  It’s simply trying to turn some wheels in my head, and I thoroughly enjoyed it on those terms.

Certainly a film has some merit if it can collapse a two-hour act of viewing into feeling like an experience lasting half that duration.  “The Imitation Game” flew by, largely because of how engrossed in the story and the characters I became.  Benedict Cumberbatch turns in inspired work bringing the film’s subject, Alan Turing, to life.  His performance alone is worth the price of admission.

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Telluride Film Festival Diary, Day 2

30 08 2014

9:15 A.M.  Good morning from Telluride!  Looks like today is going to be an action-packed day of moviegoing and talking with filmmakers.  I had to be up for a discussion at the ripe hour of 7:15 A.M. today, which was just as much fun as a barrel of monkeys!

This morning’s festivities kick off with a screening of Mike Leigh’s “Mr. Turner,” which won the Best Actor prize at Cannes this year.  While you wait for my reaction, perhaps you’d like to see some of my pictures that I’ve been taking?!

12:15 P.M.: I’m at a panel right now that includes…

Mike Leigh
Wim Wenders
Werner Herzog
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Francis Ford Coppola
Ethan Hawke
Walter Murch

HOLY CRAP.

Also, “Mr. Turner” was quite good, too.

3:27 P.M.: So, where to begin on the past three hours. Getting to be in conversation with Francis Ford Coppola for an hour was insane. Hearing from the insanely normal and approachable Xavier Dolan was neat, too. Although it’s pretty hard to top getting to meet Leonard Maltin, whose movie guides were always on my bookshelf growing up. I told him how much those meant to me, and he was clearly very humbled to hear those words. Then we got to talk about film criticism for a few minutes … simply incredible.

3:45 P.M.: Not going to lie, I’m not the most excited for our next selection, some 40 year old German film called “Baal.” I should go in with more of an open mind, but knowing that I’m in here and “Foxcatcher” is out there…

9:45 P.M.: So “Baal” was awful and basically a waste of my time, as predicted. Then essentially none of my student group got into “The Imitation Game,” despite the fact that we were supposedly guaranteed seats more or less. Guess I’ll have to catch this flick that’s being hotly tipped for Oscars on Monday … add it to the list with “Foxcatcher.”

Bennett Miller, Channing Tatum, and Steve Carell

Bennett Miller, Channing Tatum, and Steve Carell

So now I’m in line for Ramin Bahrani’s “99 Homes,” a film starring Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon that premiered to acclaim in Venice this week. Of course, there was a free outdoor screening of “Foxcatcher” that just had to overlap with this screening by 15 minutes. But no, I guess I’ll just have to keep hanging…

P.S. – Celebrity sightings today include Laura Linney (just chilling solo outside a theater) as well as Steve Carell and Channing Tatum outside the “Foxcatcher” screening.

10:28 P.M.: Laura Dern spotted at “99 Homes.”

1:13 A.M.:  Back in bed still reflecting on and reeling from “99 Homes.”  Not that I don’t want to immediately post a review (because I could probably cobble my thoughts together now), but I desperately need some sleep and have a rare chance to get two full cycles.  Good evening (though it’s doubtful anyone is reading this live)!