You haven't been able to explain why, but for some reason the past few months have felt... nicer. Friendlier. More humane. Like the world's cynical edge has faded into a general aura of good intentions and widespread compassion. Well, hopefully you haven't gotten to used to it, because the mean streak you used to know is back — Veep has returned for its third season on HBO, coming back in full force with the very best insult comedy on contemporary television. This season, we're going to hone in on which of the series' characters is leading the pack in general misanthropy by ranking the best barbs of every episode.
We start off with the season premiere, which sees Vice President Selena Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) on a book tour through Iowa as the rest of her staff is back home in D.C. for Mike's (Matt Walsh) wedding to a reporter named Wendy. Due to Mike's unprecedented giddiness, he sat the week out in the insults game, but his colleagues were on point in terms of disses, put-downs, hostile barbs, biting reproaches, and your run of the mill bullying. Who won the race with the coldest zingers?
6. Abhor-ney General: JONAH
"I'm leaving here with my head held high and my nuts hanging low on your mom's chin, Martin."Jonah's unimpressive, infantile sign-off after he's been fired from the White House for running a gossiptainment blog.
5. Secretary of Offense: AMY
"Look at you, Dan. You have more nervous tics than a shoe bomber."There's something about Amy's subdued, even-tempered jabs that feel even more hurtful than her cohorts' heated ones.
"Jonah, what's the point? You don't show up in photographs."Said, again calmly, when Jonah is trying to worm his way into a group photo at Mike's wedding. Good for a chuckle, but this episode isn't Amy's best.
4. Secretary of Treachery: SUE
"Would you like me to mold the cake into a pair of testicles for you, Gary?"To be perfectly honest, neither of Sue's jokes this week (her only two lines in the episode, I might add) are Veep-caliber insults. But Sufe Bradshaw's delivery is impeccable.
"I hate how he learned English from pornography."Markedly better; said in response to Jonah's excessive use of phrases like "money shot" in non-sexual context.
3. Secretary of Hate: BEN
"Get out of the way or I'll f**king inhale you."Ben yells this at Selena's obscenely incompetent Iowa right-hand man. The believability of the threat makes it so funny.
[On the title of Selena's book, New Beginnings: The Next American Dream] "You’re so full of s**t, there’s a colon right smack dab in the middle."Now that's just terrific wordplay.
2. Viscious Vice-President: DAN
"I would hate the be the local Iowa guy that’s got to take care of [Selena]. Trying to source Gazpacho in a city that thinks soup is for f**s."An insult to Iowa, Selena, the gay community, and, somehow, Gazpacho. Points for versatility.
"What the f**k are you doing here? You weren't invited. Unless you're the Worst Man."This clumsy and obvious clunker docks the usually clever Dan a few points.
"Hey, Hepatitis J."Classy, elegant, hilarious.
Jonah: "What's Google's number?"Dan: "I don't know, ask Jeeves."Not so much an insult as it is just taunting and aggressively unhelpful. But one of the biggest laughs of the night regardless.
1. The President of Put-Downs: SELENA
"Hey, Richard. No offense... you're a catastrophe."Julia Louis-Dreyfus is one of the few comedians who can deliver a line as blunt and unimaginative as this and make it feel sharp.
[To Ben] "Good to see your friendly-ish face-ish."In sharp contrast to the former, the beauty of this excellent jab at her friend's personality and appearance is its majestic subtlety.
"That bag of wrist-slits got the nomination? With that face and personality?"Boom. Easily the meanest thing said all episode. And she delivers it with that demonic smile. Oh, woe is the world in which she occupies the Oval Office.
And since we love Gary so much, we'll also be running this little addition to our weekly insult-off:
NICE THINGS GARY SAID
"[To Wendy] You look gorgeous! Is that lipstick coral blush? Nicely applied!"Oh, Gary. You sweet soul.
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Father and son Brendan Gleeson and Domhnall Gleeson are set to go head-to-head for the Best Actor prize at this year's (14) Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs). Gleeson senior has been nominated for his role as a troubled priest in Calvary, while his 30-year-old son is up for the same prize for his turn in Richard Curtis' romance About Time. They face competition from Ciaran Hinds (The Sea) and Andrew Scott (The Stag).
Calvary is also up for the Best Film trophy, alongside Byzantium, The Stag, Run & Jump and The Sea, while Saoirse Ronan (Byzantium), Antonia Campbell-Hughes (3096 Days), Jane McGrath (Black Ice) and Kelly Thornton (Life's A Breeze) will battle it out for Best Actress.
Big names make up the Best Supporting Actor category. Colin Farrell and Michael Fassbender are nominated for their respective roles in Saving Mr. Banks and 12 Years A Slave, alongside Edward MacLiam (Run & Jump) and Peter McDonald (The Stag).
Sinead Cusack (The Sea), Fionnula Flanagan (Life's A Breeze), Amy Huberman (The Stag) and Orla O'Rourke (Calvary) will compete for the Best Supporting Actress prize.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Dublin, Ireland on 5 April (14).
The film and television nominations for the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards have been released, recognizing achievements in both individual performances and the strengths of ensemble casts. This year's television award nominations are listed below, including many worthy recipients, but there are also a few surprising absences. Among the hard-hitters listed below are dramas like HBO's Mildred Pierce and Boardwalk Empire, AMC's Breaking Bad and comedies such as ABC's Modern Family (which swept the Emmys this year) and NBC's 30 Rock. However, some might be surprised not to find the new Showtime drama Homeland or NBC's secret weapon Parks and Recreation.
The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will air live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Jan. 29, 2012 on TNT and TBS.
Click here to read the list of this year's film nominees.
18th ANNUAL SAG AWARDS NOMINATIONS: PRIMETIME TELEVISION
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Laurence Fishburne - Thurgood (HBO)
Paul Giamatti - Too Big to Fail (HBO)
Greg Kinnear - The Kennedy (Reelz Channel)
Guy Pearce - Mildred Pierce (HBO)
James Woods - Too Big to Fail (HBO
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Diane Lane - Cinema Verite (HBO)
Maggie Smith - Downton Abbey (PBS)
Emily Watson - Appropriate Adult (Sundance Channel)
Betty White - Hallmark Hall of Fame: The Lost Valentine (CBS)
Kate Winslet - Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Patrick J. Adams - Suits (USA)
Steve Buscemi - Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Kyle Chandler - Friday Night Lights (DirecTV)
Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad (AMC)
Michael C. Hall - Dexter (Showtime)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Kathy Bates - Harry's Law (NBC)
Glenn Close - Damages (DirecTV)
Jessica Lange - American Horror Story (FX)
Julianna Margulies - The Good Wife (CBS)
Kyra Sedgwick - The Closer (TNT)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock (NBC)
Ty Burrell - Modern Family (ABC)
Steve Carell - The Office (NBC)
Jon Cryer - Two and a Half Men (CBS)
Eric Stonestreet - Modern Family (ABC)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Julia Bowen - Modern Family (ABC)
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
Tina Fey - 30 Rock (NBC)
Sofia Vergara - Modern Family (ABC)
Betty White - Hot in Cleveland (TV Land)
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire (HBO) - Steve Buscemi, Dominic Chianese, Robert Clohessy, Dabney Coleman, Charlie Cox, Jose & Lucy Gallina, Stephen Graham, Jack Huston, Anthony Laciura, Heather Lind, Kelly Macdonald, Rory & Declan McTigue, Gretchen Mol, Brady & Connor Noon, Kevin O'Rourke, Aleksa Palladino, Jacqueline Pennewill, Vincent Piazza, Michael Pitt, Michael Shannon, Paul Sparks, Michael Stuhlbarg, Peter Van Wagner, Shea Whigham, Michael Kenneth Williams, Anatol Yusef
Breaking Bad (AMC) - Jonathan Banks, Betsy Brandt, Ray Campbell, Bryan Cranston, Giancarlo Esposito, Anna Gunn, RJ Mitte, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk, Aaron Paul
Dexter (Showtime) - Billy Brown, Jennifer Carpenter, Josh Cooke, Aimee Garcia, Michael C. Hall, Colin Hanks, Desmond Harrington, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Rya Kihlstedt, C.S. Lee, Edward James Olmos, James Remar, Lauren Velez, Peter Weller, David Zayas
Game of Thrones (HBO) - Amrita Acharia, Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Josef Altin, Sean Bean, Susan Brown, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Ron Donachie, Michelle Farley, Jerome Flynn, Elyes Gabel, Aiden Gillen, Jack Gleeson Iain Glen, Julian Glover, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Conleth Hill, Richard Madden, Jason Mamoa, Rory McCann, Ian McElhinney, Luke McEwan, Roxanne McKee, Dar Salim, Mark Stanley, Donald Sumpter, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams
The Good Wife (CBS) - Christine Baranski, Josh Charles, Alan Cumming, Matt Czuchry, Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Archie Panjabi, Graham Phillips, Makenzie Vega
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
30 Rock (NBC) - Scott Adsit, Alec Baldwin, Katrina Bowden, Kevin Brown, Grizz Chapman, Tina Fey, Judah Friedlander, Jane Krakowski, John Lutz, Jack McBrayer, Tracy Morgan, Maulik Pancholy, Keith Powell
The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - Mayim Bialik, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Jim Parsons, Melissa Rauch
Glee (Fox) - Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Ashley Fink, Dot Marie Jones, Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Heather Morris, Matthew Morrison, Mike O'Malley, Chord Overstreet, Lauren Potter, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Mark Salling, Harry Shum Jr., Iqbal Theba, Jenna Ushkowitz
Modern Family (ABC) - Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Julia Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Nolan Gould, Sarah Hyland, Ed O'Neill, Rico Rodriguez, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara, Ariel Winter
The Office (NBC) - Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Creed Bratton, Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, Kate Flannery, Ed Helms, Mindy Kaling, Ellie Kemper, Angela Kinsey, John Krasinski, Paul Lieberstein, B.J. Novak, Oscar Nunez, Craig Robinson, James Spader, Phyllis Smith, Rainn Wilson, Zach Woods
Paul Greengrass' harrowing 9/11 drama United 93 was named film of the year by British critics last night.
The film picked up the top prize at the annual London Film Critics' Circle Awards, beating rivals The Queen, Volver and Little Miss Sunshine.
Judge Marianne Gray praised the film, saying, "It's an incredibly good film. It's perfectly directed by Paul Greengrass and it's a ripping story."
But the main winner overall was awards favorite The Queen--which won Best Director for Stephen Frears, Best Screenplay for Peter Morgan and Best British Actress for Helen Mirren.
However, Mirren, who is the hot favorite to win Best Actress at this month's Oscars, lost out on the actress of the year prize--which went to Meryl Streep for The Devil Wears Prada.
Forest Whitaker continued his fine run of form this awards season--he won Best Actor, bringing the number of awards for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland to 22.
Other winners included Toby Jones for Best British Actor for Infamous, The Devil Wears Prada's Emily Blunt for Best British Supporting Actress and Michael Caine for Best British Supporting Actor for his performance in The Prestige.
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Bobby Garfield (David Morse) returns to his small hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood friend and remembers the fateful summer in 1960 when his whole world changed. The story flashes back to when 11-year-old Bobby (Anton Yelchin) and his best friends Carol (Mika Boorem) and Sully-John (Will Rothhaar) capture the pure joy of youthfulness. When a mysterious stranger named Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) moves upstairs and starts to pay attention to Bobby the boy suddenly realizes what's truly missing from his life--the love of a parent. Bobby's mother Liz (Hope Davis) is embittered by the death of Bobby's father and shows little compassion for her son's growing needs. Ted fills a void with the boy opening his eyes to the world around him and helps Bobby come to terms with his real feelings for Carol--and his mother. But Ted also has some deep dark secrets of his own and Bobby tries hard to stop danger from reaching the old man.
The performances make the film especially in the genuine camaraderie of the kids. Yelchin Boorem and Rothhaar never deliver a false move with an easiness that makes us believe we are simply watching three 11-year-old children grow up together. Yelchin in particular is able to get right to the heart of this young boy who misses his father and clings to the only adult who will listen. And his scenes with Boorem simply break your heart. (Davis) does an admirable job playing a part none too sympathetic. She manages to show a woman whose been beaten down but who does truly love her son in her own way. Morse too is one of those character actors you can plug in any movie and get a performance worth noting. In Hearts you want to see more of him. Of course the film shines brightest when Hopkins is on the screen. It may not be an Oscar-caliber performance but the actor is unparalleled in bringing a character to life--showing the subtleties of an old man looking for some peace in his life.
If you are expecting the Stephen King novel you may be disappointed. Screenwriter William Goldman and director Scott Hicks (Shine) deftly extracted the King formula of telling a story through a child's eye and explaining how the relationships formed as a child shaped the adult later. Hicks did an amazing job with his young actors especially Yelchin and Boorem. But where the novel continued into a supernatural theme explaining Brautigan's fear of being captured by "low men in yellow coats" (a reference to King's The Dark Tower series) the movie downplayed the mystical elements instead giving real explanations for Brautigan's man-on-the-run. That was the one problem with Hearts--we needed more danger. Introducing men from another dimension may not have been the way to go but had there been more tension the film would have resonated more especially when Bobby risked his own safety to save Ted.