Awards Season Gets Underway
The red carpet was aglow with the incandescent twinkle of Hollywood’s stars on Monday night at the 22nd annual Independent Film Project Gotham Awards. With Oscar winners Matt Damon and Marion Cotillard amongst the evening’s honorees and the likes of Jack Black, Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski and so many more blazing a trail through the double doors of Wall St.’s Cipriani’s, it was no wonder that the less glamorous side of the velvet rope was a veritable press feeding frenzy. Lucky for us, then, that we had sharpened our claws.
As the guests took their seats for the ceremony, The Observer was whisked upstairs to a private viewing room, lest we cavort too rambunctiously with the delicate A-List crowd. There we watched over the evening’s events like demi-gods looking down from the heavens upon the cherubs pecking away at their meals, with eight year old nominee Quvenzhané Williams and 13 year old Jared Gilman leading the underage coterie.
The awards soon got underway, much to the delight of the recipients. Honoring their intentions as champions of independent cinema, the jury not only rewarded the biggest Hollywood names but the industry’s up-and-comers for their contribution to film. Beasts of the Southern Wild writer and director Benh Zeitlin was undoubtedly the big winner of the night, scooping statuettes – well, glass cuboids – for Breakthrough Director alongside the Bingham Ray Award, dedicated to the late film executive.
One of the many delights of Bernie, the offbeat new comedy by Richard Linklater, is that it is fresh, surprising and funny without going for sitcom punch lines or ridiculous, contrived situations inserted for guffaws. It’s not hilarious. It’s just warm and real enough to keep you smiling and awed at the same time. It is also the only movie I have ever liked Jack Black in, one of the few times Matthew McConaughey, a terrible actor, has ever come anywhere close to giving a tolerable performance, and features Shirley MacLaine’s best role in years. A lot to like here, and I liked it all.
The Big Year is arguably the best movie ever made about … bird watching? Yes, you heard me right. Now there’s a subject that should have them lined up around the block, fighting to get in. Maybe I’m wrong. A lot of people pay dues to join the Audubon Society. I am not one of them.
Welcome back, Sandra Bullock! The Proposal accepted $34.1 million in ticket sales, giving America’s Sweetheart the No. 1 movie at the box office, and simultaneously knocking The Hangover into second place. The celebration wasn’t as joyous for Year One though, as the prehistoric comedy landed in a disappointing fourth with a Read More
Since the weekend’s weather forecast is looking all The Day After Tomorrow-y, you’d be forgiven for not realizing that Sunday marks the official start of summer. (It’s also Father’s Day; go buy a card already!) Three movies hit theaters today all bent on making you laugh. As we do every Friday, here’s a handy Read More
Have you been waiting for a comedic take on The Bourne Identity starring Jack Black and written by the geniuses who brought you Kung-Fu Panda? No? Too bad, because apparently Universal thinks you have! The studio announced that they have picked up a live-action comedy based on that very pitch for close to Read More
It’s a touch ironic that the one weekend when everyone is thinking and talking about movies, no one is actually seeing them. The Academy Awards hoopla has come and gone leaving in its wake a depressed box office with only one true stand out. Vantage Point (No. 1), the Rashomon-like action movie starring Dennis Quaid, Read More
When we first heard tell of Be Kind Rewind, the latest movie from Michel Gondry – the innovative director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (mmmm, if only!) and countless music videos– we were kind of excited. Then we watched the trailers, which seemed to feature Jack Black being Jack Black (again), running around Read More
MARGOT AT THE WEDDING
Running time 91 minutes
Written and directed by Noah Baumbach
Starring Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jack Black
Noah Baumbach’s Margot at the Wedding, from his own screenplay, turns out to be more ambitious but less clearly focused than was his much acclaimed debut film, The Squid Read More
The current cover of Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood Issue—the biggest wet smackeroo possible from media land—features members of what’s commonly referred to as the film industry’s comedy mafia: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Jack Black, all striking faux-serious poses in white-tie tuxes, as chubby penguins (another major Hollywood crush) wobble off to the side. But Read More