Posts Tagged ‘Helena Bonham Carter’
Dear Anne Hathaway,
You might remember me from a little article I wrote last year about your surprising turn as Catwoman in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. At the time, I wanted to officially apologize for doubting you. And now, after seeing your work in Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables, I must apologize again.
You see, when I first heard you were cast as Fantine—one of the great tragic figures of Broadway musicals—TDKR hadn’t premiered, so I was struck with the same fury as when I first heard you were cast as Catwoman. Read the rest of this entry »
Director: Tim Burton
Length: 1h 53m
Synopsis: Barnabas Collins (Depp) grew up an aristocrat in 19th century New England, heir to a fishing enterprise and loved by the community that benefitted from it. In love with a gentle beauty named Josette (Heathcote), and hounded by the lustful Angelique (Green), Barnabas attempted to let down his physical admirer in order to marry his true desire. Unbeknownst to him, however, Angelique was a witch, and she would cause Josette’s mysterious death and give Barnabas an eternity of suffering by cursing him to be a vampire and burying him until the end of days. But on one day in 1972, he would be freed by excavators and able to return to his home. There he meets his descendants, Roger (Miller), Carolyn (Moretz), David (McGrath), new head of the household Elizabeth (Pfeiffer), and shrink in residence Dr. Hoffman (Carter). Low and behold, Angelique has survived the last two-hundred years better than the Collins’ name, becoming the town’s newest idol. As best he can as a vampire, and without inciting the townspeople as such, Barnabas must restore luster to his family name whilst also evading the frustrated assaults of Angelique. In his efforts he may also come to finally discover how the witch robbed him of his once true love.
Director: David Yates
Length: 2h 10m
Synopsis: We begin right where we left off from Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – Harry (Radcliffe), Hermione (Watson), and Ron (Grint) have three more horcruxes to find in order to render Voldemort (Fiennes) vulnerable. The Dark Lord, meanwhile, is organizing his forces to find Harry and repress his following, looking to ultimately kill the boy as he is all that stands in the way of everlasting rule. The Sword of Gryffindor has disappeared again and must be found in order to battle Voldemort’s final attacks and destroy the last horcruxes, but while the young wizards search Harry begins to discover all of the past events and relationships that have led him to this point. He eventually recognizes what his fate must be, and accepts it for the cause of ridding the world of its ultimate evil. In the end, the two wizard legends face off in an epic battle that will decide the fate of the wizarding world forever.
Let us not waste time by going over all ten nominees for Best Picture. In all seriousness, not each film has an equal chance of winning this coveted Oscar. In any given year one can usually narrow the competition down to about three, and the fact that the Academy has expanded the number of nominees to ten has not changed this. This year we have narrowed the number of truly possible winners down to two. Both are equally likely to win for reasons you can read below. Because of this adequation we refrained from picking a likely winner, but regardless of our indecision whichever film does win will most surely deserve to.
The Social Network
Directed by David Fincher
When the film was released in October it earned a lot of buzz for being the “frontrunner to win Best Picture.” That its director, leading actor, writer, cinematographer, and sound editors have been nominated for Academy Awards for their respective categories we can see there is palpable substantiation for such hype. Based on the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, the film boldly places a critical gaze upon what I shall reluctantly call the Facebook generation. The character of Mark Zuckerberg appears to create Facebook as an effort to produce cyber relationships and validate them by equating them with interpersonal ones, and in the process he destroys what real interpersonal relationships he has. In the end, Zuckerberg has all the power and influence he could want except for the kind that would allow him to rebuild meaningful relationships with the people who grew to hate him, who are the same people he most wishes to be close to. Such a story could potentially be successfully told in a variety of ways, but David Fincher’s patient and astute direction, the exceptional acting, and Jeff Cronenweth’s effectual cinematography, which often oscillates between delusive warmth and numb, cold sterility, make The Social Network a film that will be studied for years and watched for generations. It is not a film that will be swiftly forgotten.
The King’s Speech
Directed by Tom Hooper
The King’s Speech is the critical darling of the year. Released only two months ago on Christmas Eve its Oscar buzz didn’t have much time to gain momentum, however nearly every critic worth listening to has had it in his or her top five list of best films of the year. Its reputation soared quickly and has been able to stay high thanks in no small part to enthusiastic acclaim from audiences. Director Tom Hooper’s visual style for the film is admittedly not very impressive – that is, in comparison to the other nominees – but his management of the film’s performances by its actors, which include Oscar nominees Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter, certainly is. Hooper’s command of detail and judgment of timing is impeccable in areas outside of the actors’ performances, but such mastery obviously translates to that arena as well. Unlike The Social Network, this film is unquestionably more uplifting. Both are based on true stories, but while the former is about a young man falling victim to his own flaws the other is about a man overcoming them. Critics are sometimes called ineffectual, but just over the past several years we can see that the Academy voters’ consensus is usually in alignment with theirs. Best Picture winners Million Dollar Baby, Crash, Slumdog Millionaire, No Country for Old Men, and The Hurt Locker can all justifiably be labeled the “critical darlings” of their years, which should strongly encourage those pulling for The King’s Speech.
Here are our assessments on this year’s nominees for the 83rd Academy Award category of Best Actress in a supporting role.
This is Adams’ third Academy Award nomination, with prior ones being for her performances in Junebug and 2008’s Doubt. She has yet to win the award but when nominated she has always had a strong chance of winning. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for her nomination this year. With recent ventures into romantic comedy (Leap Year), children’s films (Night at the Museum 2), and vehicles which present a stage more for her voice than her acting abilities (Moonlight Serenade), her nomination for The Fighter is most likely just an endorsement from the Academy and her peers to stay within the realm that seems to showcase her talents best: i.e. drama. Her role in The Fighter was not all that difficult for her nor was it exemplary of her true talent, which can’t be said about some of the other nominees.
Odds of Winning: Unlikely
Director: Tom Hooper
Screenwriter: David Seidler
Cast: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon
Length: 1h 58m
Synopsis: Beginning with his uncomfortable speech during the closing of the 1925 Commonwealth Exhibition, the film details the efforts of Prince Albert of York (Firth) in correcting a horrible stutter that he’d been living with since childhood. Before his older brother, Edward VIII (Pearce), ascended to the throne in 1936 due to the passing of their father King George V (Gambon) he began seeking the therapy of a man named Lionel Logue (Rush) who helped him make real progress in fixing his speech impediment. Later, after his brother abdicated the throne, Prince Albert became King George VI, and he and Lionel continued to work on his hindrance, making slow but steady progress. The culmination of their efforts took the form of a nationally broadcasted radio address in 1939 whereat which point Britain officially declared war on Nazi Germany. The address was considered a great success, and his majesty spoke it with zero complications. Read the rest of this entry »
Director: Tim Burton (Big Fish, Charley and the Chocolate Factory)
Screenwriter: Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Homeward Bound); based from characters by Lewis Carroll
Cast: Mia Wasikowska (Amelia), Johnny Depp (The Pirates of the Caribbean), Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeny Todd), Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married), Crispin Glover (Charlie’s Angels)
Length: 1h 48m
Synopsis: The same Alice that we’ve come to know from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass is back, only this time she’s 19. As a young lady of moderate social status and peaking beauty she is expected by her family and peers to wed a Lord and secure her financial future. However before she offers an answer of “yes” or “no” she becomes lost down a familiar rabbit hole all over again, and finds that those in Wonderland have been waiting for her to fulfill a different destiny. Read the rest of this entry »