1. “Oscar Nominations 2014.” American Hustle, Gravity lead with 10 nominations.
“American Hustle and Gravity stole the show this morning as both blockbuster films were nominated for 10 Oscars with 12 Years a Slave right behind at nine nominations. The surprise of the day came from Nebraska, a film that nabbed six Oscar nods. Dallas Buyers Club and Captain Phillips also got six.”
2. “Meryl Streep: Anatomy of an Actor.” How the most respected actress in Hollywood learned to stop worrying and love being laughed at.
“At the age of 64, Meryl Streep has become one of the biggest box-office draws in Hollywood, leading bubbly comedies like It’s Complicated and Mamma Mia! While continuing her unprecedented streak of Oscar nominations. But that lighter side wasn’t always easy for the actress, who has been called the greatest of her generation for more than three decades. In the new book Meryl Streep: Anatomy of an Actor, former LA Weekly film critic Karina Longworth revisits one of Streep’s early attempts at broad comedy with 1992’s Death Becomes Her, and contrasts that film’s harsh reception to her more recent enormous hits, starting with 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada. Below we talk to Longworth about how Streep transitioned from a too-serious actress with plenty of accolades but inconsistent box-office clout to an outspoken megastar; we also excerpt from Longworth’s book, which can be purchased now from Amazon or Phaidon.”
3. “And the award for worst movie awards group goes to: The Razzies!” The Oscars can always be counted on to miss or even snub great films, filmmakers and actors. But one can always predict the Razzies.
“So guess what? The Worst Picture nominees include The Lone Ranger, because of course they do. The film tanked and garnered terrible reviews, therefore it’s on there. Ditto After Earth, because that bombed, too. Lindsay Lohan got nominated for The Canyons, because she’s Lindsay Lohan and isn’t she crazy? Lady Gaga got a supporting actress nom for the roughly three minutes she spent in Machete Kills because a) she’s a musician acting and b) her latest album didn’t do so hot, so backlash time.”
4. “Emails Raising Questions About the Polanski Case” Internal court emails have raised new questions about the conduct of the judges in the statutory rape case against the film director Roman Polanski.
“In the newly disclosed emails, one judge on the Los Angeles County Superior Court indicated that if Mr. Polanski, a fugitive, returned to the United States for a hearing, the judge might be compelled to free him because of the conduct of Laurence A. Rittenband, the judge who handled the case in the 1970s and who died in 1993. The judge expressing concern, Larry P. Fidler, also said he feared a public backlash if he ruled in Mr. Polanski’s favor.”
5. ”American Hustle Has Nothing To Say (And That’s Okay).” David O. Russell is more about entertainment than statement, but his films still matter.
“There’s not a lot of takeaway from American Hustle, but that’s Russell’s personality—he’s got a great appetite for verve and foolhardy spectacle, rather than reverb and real-life substance. His best film, Three Kings (1999), managed in a similar fashion to construct a cross-purposes farce in the center of the first Gulf War. While it managed to factor Kuwaiti and Iraqi citizens into its plot equations, the anti-imperialist messaging felt tacked on and nowhere as convincing as the rest of the film’s neo-Voltairean view of mankind. Flirting with Disaster (1996), an overlooked screwball miracle, beautifully involved multiple layers of American society, but did it gingerly, without any force.”
Video of the Day: Richard Brody on This Is Not a Film:
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