Competing for this year’s Foreign Language Oscar, the Belgian entry Bullhead is pretty much what experience has taught me is a characteristic example of filmmaking from Belgium—a dark, gruesome, sickening but extremely original work that is both repellent and fascinating. It’s about a vicious, bullying cattle farmer named Jacky who swings a shady deal with a Mafia meat trader that results in the murder of a federal cop investigating the use of illegal hormones in meat-packing plants. Jacky is played with ferocious power by coarse, craggy newcomer Matthias Schoenaerts, whose brawny, menacing swagger masks a sad, desperate emptiness that reminds me of the first time the screen unveiled the terrifying impact of Ralph Fiennes’s Nazi camp commander in Schindler’s List.
If you’re feeling withdrawal symptoms from reduced doses of Occupy Wall Street rabble-rousing (we hear they’re just hibernating), the success of last week’s SOPA blackout ought to cheer you up.
Gossip columnist Liz Smith made her way through the dining room of the Monkey Bar on Monday afternoon, where Harvey Weinstein, Diane von Furstenberg and George Stevens, Jr. were hosting a promotional lunch on behalf of The Artist—the black-and-white silent movie that Mr. Weinstein is gently, persuasively shepherding toward an Academy Award for Best Picture—and surveyed the scene, perched side-saddle in a red leather booth. Ms. Smith, who is supposedly in her eighties, looked a few decades younger in a black leather jacket with white stitching from Carlisle.
Adding to the already long list of confusing and nonsensical plans for handing out the little statues from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, it was announced today that documentaries would be considered for Oscar nomination only if they had been reviewed in The New York Times or The LA Times beforehand.
This may not be as terribly insane as it seems. (Though it does seem pretty random, not to mention biased: giving an outside organization the power to wield a nomination verdict conclusively is actually unheard of.) Despite the rise of DIY film making and festival showcases, it’s true that both Times do an admirable job reviewing most documentaries of note–one could make an argument that The New York Times actually skews towards the more esoteric form of film-making because traditionally documentaries have been considered “high-brow” films.
So this shouldn’t be a problem, right?
Red was the dominant color at the 83rd Academy Awards, and by the end of three hours and 45 minutes, I was seeing plenty of it. If this was the year when some brain-dead jerk who never heard of the term “moving pictures” decided to move into the age of cyberspace, all I can say Read More
The producers of the 83rd Academy Awards broke from tradition when they chose two fresh-faced actors as hosts, breaking the tradition of hiring over-the-hill comedians.
So how will James Franco and Anne Hathaway fare? ABC gives us the first glimpse in a TV spot that shows the duo “rigorously preparing for every possible Oscar Read More
Religious extremists Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes may not be gracing the Kodak Theater’s red carpet come Oscar night.
And it’s not the lack of nominations keeping them away (that’s always the case!) Rather, it seems like the First Couple of Scientology are entangled in a bit of a tiff with the non-Franco half Read More
Meet your hosts for the 2011 Academy Awards: James Franco and Anne Hathaway. Ever heard of these young upstarts?
James Franco is a Yale graduate student who moonlights in film. He can currently be seen in “127 Hours” cutting his own arm off with a tiny knife, and enjoys Denis Johnson stories. Read More
In August, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced it would be bestowing an honorary award upon Jean-Luc Godard. On the surface this makes perfect sense: more than anyone else, Godard is responsible for the French New Wave movement, one of the 20th century’s most enduring artistic movements — in film or Read More
Despite evidence pointing to his complete non-existence Jean-Luc Godard is in fact still alive, his extremely brief interview with The Australian proves. What’s more, the legend of cinema is actually aware that he will be awarded an honorary Oscar.
On Aug. 26, the Academy assigned flacks to the impossible task of convincing the notoriously private Read More