CANNES, France — It’s official: Steven Spielberg just watched a man set someone’s genitals on fire. The Cannes International Film Festival, which kicked off its 66th edition Wednesday night with the rain-drenched international premiere of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, is notorious for art-house auteurs pushing cinema to its extremes. But Amat Escalante’s ham-fisted Read More
The 85th Academy Awards
Update: Well, now we have an extra hour and a half of the red carpet! Talk amongst yourselves!
What is it about the Academy Awards? Intellectually, it’s hard to muster up that much enthusiasm about who “wore it best” (Ang Lee) or how modest Katniss will be in her acceptance speech, hopefully avoiding a First Wives’ Club reference that sounded like she was hating on Meryl Streep this time. And yet … we still feel compelled to watch. Maybe it’s because secretly, deep down, we still find it fascinating that the guy who does the voice of Stewie looks like the host of a reality game show about finding true love by having a dance-off on a stripper pole.
Or maybe it’s because we’re just suckers, who deep down believe that Beasts of the Southern Wild might still possibly have a chance against Argo or Lincoln.
Come join us, will you, on this the most magical of evenings for producers, people who are married to movie stars, and dress designers? We’ll be hosting a live chat below. Just click the big countdown button and you’re all set. Got it?
Tonight is the 85th Academy Awards, and for all intents and purposes it should be a good one. Look at all those serious films, and the one movie by Quentin Tarantino! And with big snubs for Best Director for both Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, does that mean one of them will be be sweeping up the Best Picture Award as a consolation prize? And most importantly, is it too late to write in a ballot for Javier Bardem in Skyfall? Because he was great.
Okay. So Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s bloated $50-million history lesson about Abraham Lincoln’s final days in office as he attempted, by hook or crook, to abolish slavery, is noble, civic-minded, exhaustingly researched, immaculately detailed, crowded with a parade of cameos by good actors who look like Smith Brothers cough drop models, and noteworthy for another critic-proof performance by Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role. It is all of those things. But Lincoln is also a colossal bore. It is so pedantic, slow-moving, sanitized and sentimental that I kept pinching myself to stay awake—which, like the film itself, didn’t always work.
The Civil War is in its fourth year. Lincoln has already signed his famous Emancipation Proclamation, a year before his re-election to a second term. Now he wants an anti-slavery amendment to guarantee that the slaves he freed will stay that way forever, protected by law. He needs votes from a hostile, divided Congress to pass it. That means getting the support of Democrats—rabid right-wing conservatives in those days—as well as liberal, left-wing Republicans. (How times have changed!) And that’s what Lincoln is about.
Vanity Fair examines the risks inherent in taking on a “baby agent”–that is, one in the early twenties. They’re better, though, than “in utero agents” in their teens; those little jerks just roll your eyes when you try to get them to do anything!
Scott Rudin has won the so-called “EGOT,” a 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
Steven Spielberg at the top of his powers as one of the most successful and creative film directors of the past century is the best reason I can think of to get off your duff and head for the cinema on Christmas Day. You will not believe the epic splendor, sweeping drama and heart-stopping passion he brings to War Horse. It’s a rare and genuine movie masterpiece that deserves the label in a thousand ways.
Turning a beloved play into a movie is a job for either a fool or a daredevil. Mr. Spielberg is neither, but he is a visionary with unflinching faith in his own instincts.
The summer vacation doldrums are here, providing I.Q. challenges to moviegoers of all ages, but for adolescents with a lot of free time on their hands, Super 8 promises something extra.
Last year, Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks invited a group of banks and investors to hear the studio’s pitch for money. The meeting, which was held in a movie theater inside his Amblin Entertainment compound, came amid the global credit crisis. So, despite being hosted by the greatest filmmaker in Hollywood, an insider recounted to Read More
The most striking thing about this year’s Oscars, other than that a female director finally won? The guys’ hair. There was George Clooney, whose longish (for him) do had a distinctly feathered quality in the front. Then there was James Cameron, whose soft, elongated bowl cut channeled ABBA, and was possibly blow-dried. But Mark Boal, Read More