Film

Hollywood & The Argo-nuts

Near the end of Argo, there is an extended moment of tension that puts you side by side with the 6 American hostages caught in Iran. Even though you know how it’ll end, Ben Affleck’s direction on Chris Terrio’s screenplay is a great exercise in well-executed drama and anxiety. The moment is held in a brief light when a few Iranian revolutionary guard are bewildered and amazed by a fake film’s storyboard about alien spaceships. It is a small, but telling moment, a rather fantastic homage to an older time in film making and the sometimes ridiculous nature of Hollywood as a product.

The film has historical inaccuracies so glaring that former President Jimmy Carter had to make a point about it, and there seems to be some sort of stigma to Affleck directing (everyone knows he didn’t DIRECT Daredevil right?), but if I had a vote for Best Picture, I’d give it to Argo.

The film’s competition are your checklist award winners and it may come down to what you’re feeling this year. You could pick the foreign film (Amour), a spiritually charged epic about an Indian Boy (Life Of Pi), a grand ol’ musical (Les Miserables), a Steven Spielberg flick (Lincoln), an unconventional romantic comedy (Silver Linings Playbook), the racially charged (Django Unchained) and the complete mind-evisceration (Beasts Of The Southern Wild). This leaves the two war-themed movies Argo and Zero Dark Thirty.

Hollywood frontrunners have been undecided these past few weeks on just which of these films will inevitably win. Some have said it’ll come down to Lincoln or Zero Dark Thirty, which is fair given both of the films merits. But you could really make an argument for all of them.

So why Argo? Because it is a well-crafted statement about a politically important time in history as well as a humorous self-flagellating stab at the ridiculousness of Hollywood itself.

We are to assume that $45,000 gift bags for nominees at an an awards ceremony congratulating themselves is a worthy cause. And it is always a joy to know that somewhere in LA, there is a cast of people whose sole purpose is to make ridiculously rich people even more ridiculously rich. But it is this ridiculousness that has captivated us for so many years. Dialogue in Argo said it best; “So you want to come to Hollywood to become a big shot without doing anything? You’ll fit right in”. Why do you think the film’s events transpired as they did? Because among a myriad of spy-related action and tomfoolery, the Iranian captors were captivated by the nutty premise of a Space-alien saga being filmed in the country.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Hollywood actually does see the ridiculousness of what they all do, have fun with it, reap the rewards and still endear themselves to the public? I know Argo is a serious film, but it still takes a moment to make fun of itself and it’s competition.

Perhaps the Oscar voters aren’t that meta, and Argo probably won’t win. But it should. Why? Because Argo fuck yourself.

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Film

Anne Hathaway and James Franco to host Oscars

The Oscars have lined up two in-demand actors to take on hosting duties for the next telecast. Anne Hathaway and James Franco have been confirmed as co-hosts for the upcoming 2011 broadcast of the Oscars, set to take place February 27th at Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center.

The official word came from producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer in a statement providing the reasons why the hosts were chosen;

“James Franco and Anne Hathaway personify the next generation of Hollywood icons— fresh, exciting and multi-talented. We hope to create an Oscar broadcast that will both showcase their incredible talents and entertain the world on February 27. We are completely thrilled that James and Anne will be joining forces with our brilliant creative team to do just that”.

Strangely enough, Franco could possibly be up for an Academy Award that very evening. Insider word is buzzing about Franco’s performance in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours and has tipped him for a possible ‘Best Actor’ nomination.

“And the Oscar goes to … ME!”

The choice of co-hosts is certainly one that leaves a lot of questions (they couldn’t go classic? Billy Crystal? Steve Martin?), but not surprisingly, the choice of Hathaway and Franco are not the weirdest the Oscars have ever picked.

NYMag.com have an interesting story about some of the most ridiculous hosts of Academy Awards history, including Paul “Crocodile Dundee” Hogan, Donald Duck, years where there were no hosts, and one year where they decided to have six! (1959).

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Film, Film News

Oscar winners announced; Daniel Day-Lewis, No Country For Old Men win big

OscarsGlitz and glam made a return to Hollywood as the 80th edition of the Academy Awards returned with full flair. The post-strike event was a “back to business” affair with all the red carpet pageantry and celebrity returning to show after worries the strike would drastically alter the program.

Worries were cast aside as big names rolled in and picked up a few shiny gold statuettes- with the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis, The Coen Brothers, Marion Cotillard, and Tilda Swinton winning in their respective categories. Day-Lewis, already a Best Actor winner for his role in 1989’s My Left Foot, scooped up the Best Actor Oscar for this role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s much talked-about film, There Will Be Blood.

The Coen Brothers also won big on the night, pulling in the Best Director(s) statue for Continue reading

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