Last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards shook up the Oscar race insofar as it was able to be shaken up. Sure bets in the supporting categories Octavia Spencer (The Help) and Christopher Plummer (Beginners) cleaned up again, while frontrunning lead actors George Clooney (The Descendants) and Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) were dethroned.
The beneficiaries Read More
This morning, thousands upon tens of New Yorkers are realizing they have to go see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, as that film was announced as one of nine Oscar Best Picture nominees.
Big surprises of the morning included that film’s nomination for Best Picture, the inclusion of Best Actor nominees Demian Bichir and Gary Read More
Newsweek‘s current issue features its annual pre-nominations “Oscar roundtable”–and either it’ll look dated when nominations are announced tomorrow, or we need to adjust our predictions! The panelists are likely nominees George Clooney and Viola Davis (the working-it pair both recently appeared together on an Entertainment Weekly cover, too), as Read More
Tomorrow morning will bring that early-morning announcement of this year’s Oscar nominees–with the attention-desperate wrinkle that no one knows how many nominees there will be. Herewith, our predictions, for last-minute entries into your office pool (if yours is the sort of office at which Oscar nominations are the subject of a pool. Ours is not, Read More
The most likely, of last night’s awards, to an awards-show junkie in 2002 imagining the hazy future:
1. Meryl Streep. Sure! Bet the speech was great.
2. Christopher Plummer. Glad he’s still around!
3. Martin Scorsese. He deserves some recognition!
4. George Clooney. Did he win for playing Cary Grant?
Middling likelihood–not impossible to imagine, Read More
Last night’s Golden Globes—which we covered live!—were notable for yet more star worship than even the perpetually star-worshipping Globes usually get up to, and most of the stars were of a somewhat aging vintage. Awards went to practically anyone who might have been on People’s Most Intriguing People of 1998 list: Steven Spielberg for Read More
Welcome to New York Observer‘s Golden Globe coverage of the 2012, where you’ll be able to read (and participate!) in real time as Drew Grant and Dan D’Addario take bets on which acclaimed actor will be the first to slap that lopsided grin right off Ricky Gervais‘ face. Let the fun begin!
The Descendants is a soap opera with Hawaiian shirts. It’s worth seeing for the sharp but uneven human observations in the script and direction by Alexander Payne (Sideways), and sometimes it’s fun (but mostly exasperating) watching George Clooney trying to act as he struggles through the role of a man trying to raise two needy daughters while grieving over the loss of his wife in a boating accident. Clichés ensue. Clooney fans may be pleased to see their hero in a sentimental tearjerker, but the fawning and gushing of so many astute critics who have greeted this plodding melodrama with raves on the film-festival circuit mystifies me. The Descendants has moments, and I give it high marks for making literal sense at a time when few movies do, but it isn’t original or revealing enough to merit a running time of just under two hours. To me, it doesn’t come close to this year’s other George Clooney potboiler, The Ides of March.
If the flaws in the American character are reflected in the politicians Americans vote for, then The Ides of March provides not only food for thought, but the analytical raw material for election-year nightmares as well. This behind-the-scenes political blowtorch hits the screen like the fire from a high-tech Uzi and forces both the right and left sides of a polarized country to rethink the electoral process. A cynical, polished and deeply disturbing look at the kind of camera-ready liberal dreamboy who gets elected in 60-second sound bites, it is one of the most important films of the year.
George Clooney is the director, co-writer and star of this biting back-room exposé of twisted ambition, betrayal and ideological disillusionment in the tradition of The Candidate and The Best Man, set during a Democratic primary debate in Ohio.