Saturday, October 29, 2011

LAMB Acting School 101: Kate Winslet

Each month, The LAMB has a series where bloggers get together to write reviews of a particular actor’s work. Here at Never Too Early Movie Predictions, I look forward instead of backward, so I thought it might be fun to look ahead at what the actor of the month has coming up on her calendar for the next several years.

This month’s actor is Kate Winslet. She has won one Oscar for The Reader, and been nominated an additional five times for Sense And Sensibility, Titanic, Iris, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and Little Children. She also recently won an Emmy for Mildred Pierce. So obviously an Oscar predictor like me is well advised to pay attention to new projects on Winslet’s horizon:

Earlier this year, Kate portrayed a CDC doctor for Steven Soderbergh’s film Contagion. (Read my review here.)

In Roman Polanski’s Carnage, Winslet stars alongside Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly as two sets of parents who meet after their sons get in a fight. Based upon the play by Rasmina Reza, the characters spiral downward as their cordial veneers fall away, revealing each character's flaws and prejudices.

Titanic, James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster which thrust Winslet into international superstar status, will be re-released in 3D in April 2012. The film, which co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio and won 11 Oscars (including Best Visual Effects, even in its 2-D rendering), portrays a love story set upon the famous ship which (SPOILER ALERT) sank.

Movie 43 is a series of short, independently directed films strung together by the conceit of being the internet search results of three teenagers searching for the banned “Movie 43.” The 17 comedic shorts are each being done by different directors, including Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, and Brett Ratner. Winslet’s short is being directed by Peter Farrelly and will send her on a date with Hugh Jackman, although as you might expect from Farrelly, there is a raunchy twist.

Labor Day, based upon the novel by Joyce Maynard, is a coming of age story involving a 13 year old boy, his depressed single mother, and an escaped convict who teaches them about life and love. Winslet will star alongside Josh Brolin in this Jason Reitman directed film. Given the set up and the talent attached, expect this one to show up in my future Oscar predictions.

Americana is a film about an 1860’s confederate slave owner who flees to Brazil to escape the the Civil War. He finds love in a mutli-racial environment, and is then faced with the repercussions of his former life. Paolo Morelli will direct and the screenplay is being written by Garrett Knight. While casting still seems to be underway, it has been rumored that Winslet, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stellan Skarsgard and Jack Nicholson have all been considered for parts.

So readers, do you think that any of these films have what it takes to make it into future Oscar races? Let me know in the comments!

You can keep track of Kate Winslet’s Oscar chances for each of these projects on my Lead And Supporting Actress page.
Read what my fellow LAMBS have written about Kate Winslet HERE.
Search for other actors featured in LAMB Acting School 101 HERE.
You can now follow the LAMB in multiple ways:
The LAMB Homepage:
The LAMB On Twitter @LambThe
A List Of Twittering Lambs:  @LambThe/lammies
The LAMB On Facebook:
The Lambcast On Facebook:
Ready to JOIN the LAMB? Here’s How.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Poll: What Should I See Next?

Last week I saw No Other Woman, which currently holds the honor of being the highest grossing Filipino film ever. (Read my review HERE.)

This week we have a clear Oscar contender in the mix: Martha Marcy May Marlene, which I am currently predicting will receive a Lead Actress nomination for Elizabeth Olsen, and which is also listed in my top 20 for Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Best Director, and Best Picture. In addition to receiving high praise at Sundance, it was recently nominated for Gotham awards for breakthrough director, breakthrough actress and ensemble performance.

Unless John Hawkes personally shows up at my door and forces me to join a weird cult, I’m pretty sure that this will be the film I see this weekend. But if you somehow think that I’ve got it all wrong (or are worried that Oscar-chasing is a cult of its own), let me know in the comments!

Anonymous; Blackthorn; Detective Dee And The Mystery Of The Phantom Flame (Di Renjie); Finding Joe; Footloose;

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (Gainsbourg: Vie Heroique); Hell And Back Again; In Time; Johnny English Reborn; Margin Call;

Martha Marcy May Marlene; Mozart’s Sister; My Afternoons With Margueritte; Oka!; Oranges And Sunshine;

Paranormal Activity 3; Point Blank; Puss In Boots; Real Steel; The Skin I Live In (La Piel Que Habito);

The Rum Diary; The Thing; The Three Musketeers; The Way; Weekend;

If your favorite movie isn’t here, feel free to recommend it anyway. It’s possible that it is not showing in my area, or that I have already seen it, but it’s also possible that you’ll become my new best friend for having recommended something new.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What I Saw: No Other Woman

What I Saw: No Other Woman

A husband, a wife and a mistress. We’ve seen it before and we’ll see it again. But what made No Other Woman stand out for me is the recognition that we’ve seen it before and will see it again.

Most American films of this genre rely not so much upon the simple premise that all men are pigs, but rather upon a less realistic premise: the woman believes that her man is different, and is then crushed to find out that he’s not. This leads to a strange cultural circularity: each extra-marital affair is treated as a strange anomaly, common enough to brand an entire gender as pigs, yet rare enough to believe that one’s own relationship will be spared. We may have seen it before, but we don’t really believe that it could happen to us.

No Other Woman portrays a different cultural reality. Rather than some strange failure of monogamy, extra-marital affairs are recognized as generational challenges. Which means both that you can ask your mother for advice on handling the situation, and that each generation of women has the opportunity to respond to the challenge in new ways.

Anne Curtis plays the other woman who refuses to fall into the stereotypical mistress role (thus the title “No Other Woman”). She is independent (indeed, it turns out that hunk Derek Ramsay is dependent upon her for his employment), and goes into the no strings attached relationship with eyes open, only to fall in love. Cristine Reyes plays the wife who isn’t going to simply leave her husband or sit back while the affair happens right under her nose. Instead she fights for her husband with cunning, wit and force. The movie portrays each character realistically, refusing to demonize any of them, and the scenes where the two women confront each other are the best of the film.

A note to viewers who don’t speak Tagalog: the version of the film that I saw did not include subtitles, which meant that I missed out on some of the witty dialogue, particularly during the high-stakes dinner and pool scenes. However, the plot is a simple one and the film lapses into English often enough that I was able to follow along rather nicely.

Oscar Chances:

While No Other Woman has the honor of currently being the highest grossing Filipino film of all time, it was not submitted to the Oscars. That honor will go instead to Marlon Rivera’s Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank (The Woman In The Septic Tank.)

My Lamb Score: 2 1/2 out of 5 Lambs
What is a lamb score? Click HERE to learn more.
Read more of my reviews HERE.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

84th Oscar Best Director Updates (2011-2012 Awards Season) (10/25/11)

Here are today’s rankings for the 84th Oscar Best Director race (2011-2012 awards season), with previous ranking shown in parenthesis after each entry.

1. Steven Spielberg for War Horse (Predicted Winner) (previous rank 3)
2. Alexander Payne for The Descendants (previous rank 10)
3. Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist (previous rank 30)
4. Terrence Malick for The Tree Of Life (previous rank 5)
5. Stephen Daldry for Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close (previous rank 4)

6. Clint Eastwood for J. Edgar (previous rank 7)
7. David Fincher for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (previous rank 8)
8. George Clooney for The Ides Of March (previous rank 2)
9. Woody Allen for Midnight In Paris (previous rank 27)
10. Bennett Miller for Moneyball (previous rank 44)
11. Tomas Alfredson for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (previous rank 37)
12. Tate Taylor for The Help (previous rank 41)
13. Steve McQueen for Shame (previous rank 48)
14. Martin Scorsese for Hugo (previous rank 9)
15. David Cronenberg for A Dangerous Method (previous rank 1)
16. Jason Reitman for Young Adult (previous rank 14)
17. Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive (previous rank 39)
18. Angelina Jolie for In The Land Of Blood And Honey (previous rank 35)
19. Sean Durkin for Martha Marcy May Marlene (previously listed as rank 47)
20. Phyllida Lloyd for The Iron Lady (previous rank 6)
21. Roman Polanski for Carnage (previous rank 12)
22. Simon Curtis for My Week With Marilyn (previous rank 33)
23. Cameron Crowe for We Bought A Zoo (previous rank 15)
24. Steven Soderbergh for Contagion (previous rank 11)
25. Rodrigo Garcia for Albert Nobbs (previous rank 17)

26. Lynne Ramsay for We Need To Talk About Kevin (previous rank 20)
27. Dee Rees for Pariah (previous rank 23)
28. Ralph Feinnes for Coriolanus (previous rank 32)
29. Steven Spielberg for The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn (previous rank 21)
30. Pedro Almodovar for La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I Live In) (previous rank 18)
31. Jeff Nichols for Take Shelter (New)
32. Drake Doremus for Like Crazy (previous rank 28)
33. Lars Von Trier for Melancholia (previous rank 31)
34. David Yates for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (previous rank 13)
35. Luc Besson for The Lady (New)
36. Cary Fukunaga for Jane Eyre (previous rank 24)
37. J.J. Abrams for Super 8 (previous rank 22)
38. Oren Moverman for Rampart (previous rank 49)
39. Gavin O’Connor for Warrior (New)
40. Mike Mills for Beginners (New)
41. Jonathan Levine for 50/50 (New)
42. Vera Farmiga for Higher Ground (New)
43. Lone Scherfig for One Day (previous rank 26)
44. Kelly Reichardt for Meek’s Cutoff (previous rank 19)
45. Bruce Robinson for The Rum Diary (previous rank 40)
46. Andrew Niccol for In Time (New)
47. Jean-Jacques Annaud for Black Gold (New)
48. Wayne Wang for Snow Flower And The Secret Fan (previous rank 50)
49. Rashaad Ernesto Green for Gun Hill Road (previous rank 47)
50. Justin Chadwick for The First Grader (New)

As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!
See Best Director predictions for other years HERE.
See predictions for other categories at the 84th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 84th,  85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th