Posts Tagged ‘Christian Bale’
It’s that time of year again – time to predict who will win the ultimate Hollywood prize at the grandest award show in the world. The 85th Academy Awards are going to be a place where young careers get made, long careers get rewarded, and viewers get incensed that their favorites didn’t win. We’ll get ready to hear, “I’ve never even heard of that movie,” “How could she win, she didn’t even deserve to be nominated,” and of course the old favorite, “Of course that would win. The Academy doesn’t know what people actually like.”
We must keep in mind two very important things: 1) “The Academy” is not some shadowy panel of a dozen or so anonymous judges, but hundreds of well-known industry participants. 2) The winners are not meant to represent what American culutre’s favorites are. If only box office favorites were ever nominated, we’d have The Avengers going up against The Dark Knight Rises and The Hunger Games – none of which objectively deserve to be called Best Picture.
Figuring out who will win for which category takes a special sense of reasoning. So special, in fact, that all three of our writers – Dan Supanik, Marisa Carpico, and Cliff Bugle – claim to be the only one to have that sense. And yet, they disagree about who will in the six most important categories. Read on to see what the chances are of your favorites winning, and which of them will be left sitting in their seats giving disappointed claps of congratulations.
After watching The Dark Knight in 2008, I was sure of one thing: Catwoman would be in the next film. From the moment Lucius Fox responded to Bruce Wayne’s question of whether his new suit would protect from dogs by saying, “should do fine against cats,” I knew the character would make an appearance. As Christopher Nolan and his writing partner/brother Jonathan had left Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman, it seemed the logical next step. The Joker had destroyed our hero’s hopes in every way. He corrupted Harvey Dent, who Bruce believed was the only hope of eliminating the need for Batman’s vigilantism by legitimately prosecuting Gotham’s criminals. He had murdered Bruce’s childhood sweetheart, Rachel Dawes, who Bruce believed was his “one chance at a normal life.” He had even forced Batman to become a villain and take the blame for Dent’s actions as Two-Face in order to keep the city from losing all hope. So Nolan’s next entry would need to lighten the mood in contrast to the anarchic sense of play of Heath Ledger’s Joker. The villain needed to engage Batman in a different way that still challenged Bruce’s perception of himself as both villain and hero, man and Bat. Moreover, Bruce needed someone to help him move on from Rachel and be reminded that life could still be fun. To me, using Catwoman was the perfect way to do it.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Screenwriters: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan
Length: 2h 44m
Synopsis: It has been eight years since the death of Harvey Dent, and as no one has seen him no one has likewise seen Batman or Bruce Wayne (Bale). Dent’s false reputation had allowed Gotham’s law enforcement to crack down harder on crime than ever before, and the city came to enjoy all of its long overdue good fortune. However, a masked radical named Bane (Hardy) once trained by the League of Shadows has recently laid camp in Gotham’s underground, with an entire army of hardened criminals at his disposal. His plans are to seize the city and finish what Ra’s Al Ghul started by destroying it and its people. Bruce dons the cape and cowl again despite his many lasting injuries and the hatred of the police, but after everything he has done it is Bane’s physical and mental fortitude that may finally be his undoing. The frightening organization of Bane’s forces checkmates the city, and Batman falls to his hand in one-on-one combat, afterwards taken to an inescapable prison halfway round the world. Without its greatest hero Gotham now faces its most trying of times, and Bruce is made to suffer knowing that he’s helpless to save the city he loves. Will this finally be the end of both Batman and Gotham?
Here are our assessments on this year’s nominees for the 83rd Academy Award category of Best Actor in a supporting role.
Bale altered his physical appearance and mannerisms and became nearly unrecognizable in order to play drug addict former boxer Dicky Eklund. The frenetic intensity with which he plays Eklund is positively fascinating to watch. Though Bale plays Dicky as a man too wrapped up in his former glory to realize he is spiraling out of control, he also endows him with an unwavering devotion to his family. Dicky may be unreliable, but he more than makes up for it through his commitment to seeing his brother succeed. Bale likely gives the most extravagant performance of his fellow nominees, and since the Academy tends to prefer bigger performances, coupled with his wins at the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild and Critics Choice Awards, he has a very good chance of winning his first Oscar.
Odds of Winning: Likely
Director: David O. Russell
Length: 1h 56m
Synopsis: Amateur welterweight boxer Micky Ward (Wahlberg), who is managed by his mother (Leo) and trained by his ex-boxer older brother Dicky (Bale), is trying to work his way out of obscurity and towards the status of professional. In his 30s, “Irish” Micky isn’t getting any younger, so when he suffers his fourth consecutive defeat he begins to seriously question the routine he has found himself in. Love struck by a beautiful local bartender named Charlene (Adams), Micky decides it’s now or never to prove his worth as a fighter and as a man and chooses to seek a new manager and trainer. His mother and brother believe he is making a big mistake and that loyalty to his family is more important. The crisis Micky faces involves not just the desire to change, but determining if the costs of that are too great.
We here at Movie-Thoughts try to find interesting views on anything movie-related, scouting magazines, web pages, newspapers, et al, to get judgments and attitudes from varying corners of our culture. Today in the latest (June) edition of The Catholic World Report we came across an article written by Steven D. Greydanus that, in the spirit of Father’s Day (which as a reminder is June 20th), documents the image of American fathers as depicted in Hollywood films over the past 60 years or so.
Mentioning roles from Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in 1962′s To Kill a Mockingbird, to Christopher Plummer as Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music (1965), to Steve Martin in the remake of Father of the Bride (1991), to Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happiness (2006), to Christian Bale in the remake of 3:10 to Yuma (2007), he covers the various depictions of fatherhood as ideal patriarch, pivotal familial figure, impotent supporter, and so on. He even goes on to include in the conversation the depictions of father figures like Mr. Fredrickson in Pixar’s Up (2009).
Depictions of the American father were perhaps never better than with Peck playing Atticus Finch – a widower who despite any possible reservations or grievances about living without a spouse exemplifies the ideal patriarchal figure by being intelligent, morally grounded like no other, nonthreatening by default but firm and steadfast when needed, and self-sacrificing. Conversely, in Father of the Bride (both original and remake) the father is seen as insecure and lacking control of himself as well as others in his family. In 3:10 to Yuma (both original and remake) the father is portrayed as being impotent – meaning he’s unable to provide for his family or sufficiently defend its honor (at the beginning of the films, that is). What all of these depictions do, Greydanus argues – with as various as they’ve become and as unflattering as they can be – is demonstrate not the competence or imperativeness of individual fathers but the importance of the father figure. Whether the father is Atticus Finch, George Banks, Darth Vader, or completely absent, the depicted family dynamic and its accompanying story typically make a case for how influential the paternal role is.
Personally, we found this article to be extremely refreshing. Not just because it didn’t revel in the Father Knows Best personas of yesteryear but because an article like this explicitly stands against the modern-day depictions of the everyday father that you can find on The Simpsons, Family Guy, and yogurt commercials without even having to mention them. With however many sitcoms and commercials that show how overweight, impotent (in all definitions of the word), lazy, and simple-minded fathers supposedly are (which arguably make the case that fathers are by and large ineffectual), it’s nice to be reminded that the real importance of the father figure can always be found in the movies our culture generates. Fathers don’t always know best, but their role helps shape the social fabric of our patriarchal country (for better or worse, depending on your attitude towards the patriarchal arrangement).
Send us your thoughts and opinions on this topic via the comments section of this post or our contact page. We’d love to hear from you!
For those of you itching to see Iron Man 2, which opens this Friday, we suggest you take a look at a video available at movies.IGN.com that shows multiple snippets from interviews taken with the film’s various stars. Director Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlet Johansson, and Don Cheadle each share interesting nuggets of information about the film and the direction its story decided to take. For those trying to avoid spoilers, have no fear. No major plot points are given. Instead you learn things like Favreau’s intentions, such as that he tried his hardest to avoid what he called “villainitus,” which he claims is the overabundance of bad guys. After Spider-Man 3 received heavy criticism for this, it’s nice to see that Favreau and Paramount can learn from the past.
In other news…
A release date for the next Batman movie has been announced, which will reportedly be July 20th, 2012. The working title is simply Batman 3, which is expected to change once production begins. Chris Nolan is reportedly not officially signed on to direct the project, but is currently working on writing the film’s script with the help of his brother Jonah and writer David Goyer. Stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and Gary Oldman are expected to return.
In a Hollywood era that seems to favor making the remake as opposed to gambling on fresher projects, I would not put it past several production studios to consider remaking – yet again – the tale of Dracula. The popular Twilight series will get another financial boost once New Moon is released on November 20th, and HBO’s True Blood series has so far been very successful in finding a fairly large audience as well. Vampires are “in” right now it seems, however they don’t appear to be anywhere near as frightening or evil as they once were in the Bella Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Max Schreck, or even Frank Langella days. They have turned from being classic movie monsters epitomizing depravity to hopeless romantics who fall in love with humans and are more concerned with coven politics than feeding their animalistic hunger. Read the rest of this entry »
The Dark Knight: Batman Becomes a Westerner
The character of Batman as presented in director Christopher Nolan’s 2008 film The Dark Knight represents many of the iconographic elements that comprise what is known as the Westerner. The caped crusader can more accurately be distinguished as being more medieval (that is, consisting of character traits more attuned to medieval literature) in most of his filmic representations, such as Tim Burton’s Batman (1989), and such a connection does not completely stop with Nolan’s most recent feature as even the film’s title outright labels its hero a “knight.” But despite this, Nolan has introduced the character of Batman to the world of cinema in a new way that displays him more as a western idol reminiscent of the days of John Wayne. American audiences gorged themselves on this newest version of the classic superhero, amassing a domestic box office revenue of over $530 million (second only to Titanic‘s $600 million+), and the reason for this may be found in the social structure of its viewers. Read the rest of this entry »