The Oscars are supposed to be a barometer for greatness in the movie industry, but sometimes the Academy just misses the mark. Think about it: Three Six Mafia has an Oscar, but Leonardo DiCaprio does not. Snubs inevitably happen every year and some are more egregious than others. As we prepare for the next batch of nominations, let us reflect on some of the biggest snubs that still have us scratching our heads.
1. Leonardo DiCaptio in The Departed
Leo has been nominated a lot, we know this, but he was at his best in this Martin Scorsese flick. It still pains us that this wasn’t his year.
2. Leonardo DiCaprio in Revolutionary Road
We thought Leo/Kate Winslet reunion would equal Oscar magic. But alas, it was not to be.
3. Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can
We still love this movie and think he was fantastic as con man Frank Abagnale Jr. Technically he played more than character, as Frank faked his way into becoming an airline pilot, a doctor and a lawyer.
4. Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator
Last Leo one, we promise. But man did he do a good job playing Howard Hughes’ descent into madness.
5. Brokeback Mountain
With the exception of Ang Lee winning for Best Director, Brokeback Mountain got completely shut out of the Oscars. Crash beat it for Best Picture in an upset, and Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams all inexplicably lost in their categories despite delivering amazing performances.
6. Alfred Hitchcock
Can you believe the Master of Suspense never won an Oscar for directing? Despite all of his directing techniques that are now famous, poor Hitch never got Oscar recognition. Couldn’t they have at least given him the Best Cameos in All His Films award?
7. James Dean
We expect that if James Dean had lived longer than his young 24 years, he would have taken home Oscar gold. But the impressive trifecta of films he made during his much-too-short career (A Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden and Giant) are enough to make us sad he never won.
8. Saving Private Ryan
This Steven Spielberg wartime epic starring Tom Hanks was beat out for Best Picture by Shakespeare in Love. Rumblings have indicated power producer Harvey Weinstein’s purse strings – rather than the film’s merit - are what actually got Shakespeare the gold.
9. Marilyn Monroe
The iconic bombshell never got to make a breathy Oscar acceptance speech. She was probably most deserving for her part in Some Like It Hot, but it just wasn't in the cards.
10. Amy Adams
Doesn’t it seem like she gets nominated every year? She’s like the female Leonardo DiCaprio at this point. She was great in The Fighter and she was our favorite part of American Hustle last year. Such a shame.
11. Robert Redford
Redford, aka the Brad Pitt before Brad Pitt, has never won an Oscar for acting. He nabbed one in 1981 for directing Ordinary People and got a Lifetime Achievement award in 2002, but the founder of the Sundance Film Festival was never acknowledged for the talent that made him famous.
12. Paul Newman for The Hustler
It took Paul Newman way too long to claim his Oscar glory. He was notoriously snubbed all throughout his prime years – most notably for The Hustler in 1962. The Academy finally gave him an honorary award in 1986 and then a Best Actor Oscar in 1987 for his role in the subpar sequel to The Hustler - The Color of Money.
13. Citizen Kane
This film has been number one on so many AFI Greatest Movies of All Time lists that we kind of just assumed it had won the Oscar for Best Picture. Not so. The Orson Welles masterpiece was beat out by How Green Was My Valley, a movie about a Welsh mining village.
14. Michael Fassbender in Shame
When you put aside the jokes about "best performance by a penis in a movie," you’ll realize that Fassbender actually turns in an Oscar-worthy performance in Shame (clothed or unclothed). We’ll give him time though – we think a statuette is in his future.
15. Ewan McGregor
Ewan (or as we like to call him: every straight man’s mancrush) has turned in some brilliant work over the years – like his roles in Beginners and The Impossible. But sadly it seems it wasn’t enough to catch the Academy’s attention.
16. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp does not have an Oscar. We repeat: Johnny Depp does not have an Oscar. How can the guy who played iconic characters in Edward Scissorhands, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Finding Neverland be lacking a trophy, you ask? It’s a mystery for the ages.
17. Jessica Chastain
Remember when Jessica Chastain had like a million movies come out in 2011? In luckier years, we think at least ONE of those would have gotten her a win. Maybe 2015 will be her year.
18. Keira Knightley in Pride & Prejudice
Reese Witherspoon beat her out that year for Walk the Line, but Keira would have had our vote for her pitch perfect portrayal of Jane Austen heroine Elizabeth Bennett.
Talk about a beautifully made film. It even won the Golden Globe for Best Drama that year, which is usually a sign that an Oscar imminent. Nope. No Country for Old Men took it instead. Guess nothing beats a Coen Brothers film with an ambiguous ending.
20. Short Term 12
If you've seen this gem of an indie movie starring a riveting Brie Larson, you'll understand why this was a major snub. It was one of the best movies of 2013, but presumably because it was so small, it didn't get any awards love. Travesty.
21. Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Smashed
Another small movie, but a huge Oscar-worthy performance by Winstead as a young wife coming to terms with sobriety. Or at least worthy of a nomination. Pay better attention, Academy!
Who do YOU think has been snubbed? Tell us on Twitter by following the links below!
Jersey Boys is a big glitzy musical full of show-stopping, finely tuned musical numbers, and that signature layered sound that originally shuttled Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to the top of the music charts in the '60s. Now, Clint Eastwood is looking to shrink the live theater experience into a film adaptation.
The first trailer for the Jersey Boys film has been released, and the upcoming flick looks to stick pretty closely to the source material. The original musical tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Season, a couple of rough and tumble kids from Jersey that defied the odds and became pop music sensations. John Lloyd Young, the original Tony winning star of the show, is reprising his role as Valli for the film. The Jersey Boys film looks to carry over stage show's beguiling narration where each member of the Four Seasons tells a different, skewed version of the group's collective story. Breaking the fourth wall is a device used by many television shows and films, and while it remains to be seen whether Jersey Boys uses the device well, some works have used it better than others.
Warner Bros. UK Trailers/YouTube
Wolf of Wall Street Does it work: Yes. Scorsese's ode to excess uses the fourth wall device sparingly, having the crass Jordan Belfort unload his unholy sermons on the almighty dollar in only a few doses. It only happens a handful of times throughout the film so the technique never overstays it's welcome.
House of CardsDoes it work: It's a mixed bag. While it's sometimes fun to hear Frank Underwood deliver a vicious tongue lashing in that deep-throated southern drawl, many of the fourth wall breaking asides in House of Cards only serve as the delivery mechanism for mind numbing exposition. It's almost as if the show doesn't trust us to follow along with its political punches without Frank directly telling us what is happening.
Fight ClubDoes it work: Yes. Fight Club is often a call to action as much as it is a riotously loopy thriller. Both Brad Pitt and Edward Norton speak right to the audience while denouncing the shackling nature of our consumerist, image-obsessed culture.
Malcolm in the MiddleDoes it work: Yes, the episodes near-constant shattering of the narrative/audience barrier is in deeply coded into the DNA of the show. Malcolm in the Middle simply wouldn't be Malcolm in the Middle without Frankie Muniz's exacerbated asides to the camera. If you had a family like that, you'd probably start talking to an imaginary audience as well.
Ferris Bueller's Day OffDoes it work: An emphatic yes. Ferris' one day sabbatical from high school isn't just a solo adventure. You and everyone else in the audience is along for the ride. Part of the reason Ferris Bueller has endured over the years is because of Bueller's ability to seemingly warp and shape reality around him and ensure that everyone is having a good time. It's the ultimate teenage power fantasy, and you have you're own personal demigod tour guide.
An online fundraising campaign has been set up in memory of tragic actor Philip Seymour Hoffman to raise money for his New York theatre company. The Capote actor joined the Labyrinth Theater Company in 1995 and served as its artistic director for several years while also directing and starring in several of its productions. His estranged girlfriend Mimi O'Donnell is the company's current artistic director.
A Crowdrise.com page has now been launched for Labyrinth, with the support of actor Edward Norton, asking for donations to help the company Hoffman loved.
A statement posted on the page reads, "Alongside his celebrated work as an actor, Phil helped build NY's (New York) Labyrinth Theater Company from its inception into one of the top theatre groups in America. Some of the brightest and most original new talents of the last 20 years found their own success because of Phil's steadfast effort and deep commitment to this non-profit theatre. All donations made here by admirers or friends will go to support the Labyrinth in celebration of Phil's great talent, his enormous contributions and his spirit."
As of Thursday (06Feb14), the campaign had raised more than $15,000 (£9,375).
Members of the company gathered outside the theatre on Wednesday night (05Feb14) to hold a candlelight vigil for the actor and Broadway venues dimmed their lights for a minute later in the evening as a mark of respect for Hoffman.
Among the crowd of roughly 200 at the vigil was actor, playwright and Labyrinth member Eric Bogosian, who said, "I think it is important to note not only Phil's power as a great, great talent but as a person as well."
Hoffman was found dead at his New York apartment on Sunday (02Feb14) following a suspected drug overdose. An autopsy proved inconclusive and further toxicology tests are to be carried out.
Latin actors Edward James Olmos and Gina Rodriguez have remembered their late Filly Brown co-star Jenni Rivera on the first anniversary of her death. The singer/actress passed away on 9 December, 2012, after the Learjet she was travelling in crashed in Mexico, killing four members of her entourage and the plane's two pilots.
Monday (09Dec13) marked the anniversary of the tragedy and the co-stars of her debut film, independent drama Filly Brown, have shared their thoughts and feelings.
Recalling Rivera's generosity on the set of the movie, which screened at Utah's Sundance Film Festival last year (12), Olmos tells People.com, "We were working with a very tight budget and no one was getting paid. Jenni found out that our still photographer was working with no pay and asked that her pay cheque go to him. She was always trying to help others. I miss her so much!"
Meanwhile, Rodriguez reveals she has been keeping Rivera's memory alive every day for the past 12 months, saying, "I remember everything about Jenni. I've spent the past year doing everything in my power to not forget a thing. She was a powerhouse. From her soft-spoken voice, when you first met her, to her informal, tender, love and care when she takes you in.
"Jenni was everything her fans believed she was - she was everything they wanted her to be: open, honest, loving, real, humble, talented, a down a** chick and, most importantly, a voice for those that didn't have a voice. I pray I can one day be a fragment of what she was and what she still remains. Her heart never left and it's with the utmost honour that I get to share these words of a heart I truly admired and adored."
Mexican authorities investigating the crash declared last week (ends06Dec13) that technical problems and possible pilot error were to blame for the accident.
Some movies focus so much on machismo that they inadvertently end up dripping with homoerotic tension. There are tons of movies that are just one make-out scene away from being a bromantic love story. It's ironic when mainstream movies aimed at gay audiences have leads with no romantic connection, when some movies about straight characters have sexual tension simply oozing off the screen. These "gay straight movies" provide an outlet for gay men looking for characters that resonate with them, a subtext of romantic relationships, and pure, unadulterated man candy.
Writer/director Michael Serrato created this viral video hit, “Rambo, But Gay” which is a musical retelling of the popular Sylvester Stallone classic Rambo. It’s an interesting take on the thin line between the overtly masculine and homoerotic. After all, Rambo spends most of the 1980s films half-naked and oiled up, so they are ripe for parody.
Here are my nominations for the 10 gayest straight movies of all time.
10. Fight Club
Edward Norton deals with his ennui by staring at a super cut-up Brad Pitt and forming a club where men fight shirtless in underground rooms. Helena Bonham Carter gives a great performance of a woman as a drag queen. Last but not least, a bleach-blond cherubic Jared Leto follows around Pitt and Norton.
9. The Covenant
Why not remake The Craft with boys in Speedos? A pre-Friday Night Lights Taylor Kitsch stars in a movie about the descendants of The Salem Witch Trials that happen to all be men. There’s a ton of time spent in the locker room and arguing about power.
Abs, briefs and awesome gold facial piercings pervade this cinematic comic book. From the looks of it, the war between Sparta and the Persian Empire would have ended if both kings just made out.
7. School Ties
Brendan Fraser gets into an exclusive prep school but he has a secret that he can’t let anyone know. It’s because he’s Jewish, but it does mirror what coming out would be like. It’s chock full of 1990s heartthrobs including Chris O’Donnell, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Cole Hauser. And thank you, filmmakers, for the gratuitous nude fight scene between Fraser and Damon.
6. Dude, Where’s My Car?
Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott have tons of bromantic chemistry. They spend the entire movie being chased by Nordic men in leather. The film also includes gratuitous Speedo and shirtless shots, Queer as Folk star Hal Sparks and an intense make-out scene.
5. Magic Mike
Channing Tatum attempts to make this a heartfelt biopic. Instead, it feels more like a campy romp. Matthew McConaughey spends most of the time shirtless and in short shorts, Cody Horn is the female lead with a boyish body and everyone wears a man-thong. Let's also not ignore the gratuitous use of The Weather Girls' "It's Raining Men."
5. Staying Alive
A waxed and oiled up John Travolta channels Pat Benatar in this sequel to Saturday Night Fever. He looks like a member of The Village People in his costume and ends the movie with one of the more boyish of his love interests, Jamie Lee Curtis. (Note: we have never believed that rumor about the lovely Ms. Curtis.)
4. The Outsiders
Based on S.E. Hinton’s book about rival gangs, this movie features all the heartthrobs of its time. Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, and Matt Dillon all star in the film. C. Thomas Howell and Ralph Macchio play best friends with a little too many sensitive and longing looks.
3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The palpable chemistry between Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin), plus elves with hair extensions. What more is there to say?
Cruise as a money-hungry gigolo making cocktails. 'Nuff said.
1. Top Gun
This movie invented the genre. Tons of close talking about "riding your tail," a very butch Kelly McGillis, and three simple words - shirtless volleyball game.
Are there any you think should have made the list?
The Twilight trilogy has lovingly left its sparkle in Hollywood, leaving behind a trail of movies to proceed in its dust, sometimes shining bright and sometimes burning out. Achieving that sparkle, or promising to, is known as the Twilight Effect. Studios can’t seem to buy scripts fast enough hoping to cast the next Bella, taking young female leads to new heights.
Gone are the days of the popular football jock discovering the hot bod of the nerd under her big sweaters.
Now the adolescent girls roar their battle cry, “Give us blood! Give us guts! Give us the soulless creatures only we can save! Give us this or give us nothing at all!”
The hero, young Bella, gave grunge girls everywhere hope that they too might score an older, wise, charming, virtuous and strong, blood sucker that looked torn from the pages of a GQ magazine...admittedly, a lot to live up to.
Enter Katniss Everdeen. With her girl-next-door looks and badass attitude, she has come the closest to touching Bella’s allure. She isn’t just saving her sister when she volunteers for the annual Hunger Games, she is uniting her society that was previously hopeless.
Julie Grigio isn’t afraid to get her hands a little dirty. She doesn’t merely ignite a beating heart in the once lifeless body of R in Warm Bodies, she saves an entire race of people from being massacred by the ever disgusting-have-been-zombies-too-long Boneys.
Beautiful Creatures perhaps missed the beat on providing the strong female role Twihards have come to need. But the beautifully-woven story about a girl entering into puberty and facing the choice of good or evil can’t be completely dismissed, especially after seeing the lovely Emmy Rossum due her evil thing.
It isn’t just teenage girls being swooned by the sensational Twilight Effect. Studio executives are seeing the power behind the angst-ridden females. They are listening. “We just want to be loved...loved by dead, pale day-walking blood-sucking vampires who will carry us to the top of trees and beyond.”
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It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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Before The Butler, few people knew anything about Eugene Allen, the fascinating inspiration behind the film's Cecil Gaines, played by Forest Whitaker. Though we've seen plenty of Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela and MLK, there are tons of similar lesser-known historical figures out there who have lived exciting, influential lives. It might just take a well-scored, sumptuously costumed biopic to bring one of these historical unknowns into the spotlight.
Elisha KaneKane was a U.S. naval officer who journeyed into the Arctic twice, trekking across the ice for 83 days and saving many lives through his bravery and medical skill.
Adele AstaireThis story has serious romantic and musical potential; Adele Astaire was considered a far more talented performer than her famous brother Fred, but chose to give up show biz when she fell in love with a British lord.
Empress MyeongseongKnown as Queen Min, which is also what I would call the biopic, this 19th century Korean feminist used her position as the emperor's wife to wield diplomatic power, form alliances, and encourage the modernization of Korea.
Edward BernaysThough there has already been an excellent documentary made about Bernays, the advertiser who shaped modern consumerism deserves a lavish dramatization, perhaps starring Martin Freeman.
Amos Bronson AlcottThe father of better-known Louisa May, Amos was far ahead of his time; he was a vegan, a women's rights activist, an abolitionist, and a teaching reformer who attempted to create an Eden-like utopia for himself and was revered by Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
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Actor Benedict Cumberbatch stunned onlookers on the set of Sherlock on Wednesday (21Aug13) by staging a bizarre one-man protest against government measures to silence whistleblowers in the wake of the WikiLeaks scandal. The issue of free speech erupted in the U.K. this week (beg19Aug13) after it emerged cops used anti-terror laws to detain and question the partner of a journalist at an airport.
Officials quizzed David Miranda because his partner was involved in exposing mass surveillance by the U.S. and U.K. governments revealed by former CIA computer specialist Edward Snowden.
Now Cumberbatch has waded in to the issue by staging the odd protest, during which he held up a series of handwritten messages for photographers on the set of the TV detective drama.
Wearing dark glasses and a smart suit, he held aloft the notes which made reference to Schedule 7 of the U.K.'s Terrorism Act - which gives police the power to stop and search passengers at airports - and allegations government officials supervised the destruction of a computer hard drive containing Snowden's allegations.
Cumberbatch's notes stated, "Hard drive smashed, journalists detained at airports... Democracy? Schedule 7 prior restraint. Is this erosion of civil liberties winning the war on terror? What do they not want you to know? And how did they get to know it? Does the exposure of their techniques cause a threat to our security or does it just cause them embarrassment?"
Snowden, who exposed mass surveillance of U.S. and U.K. citizens by their own governments, is currently in hiding in Russia. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who Cumberbatch portrays in a new movie biopic, is living at the Ecuadorian embassy in London as he fights extradition to the U.S. after publishing thousands of leaked confidential military documents on the website.
Actor Matt Damon fears U.S. President Barack Obama has been bullied into making unpopular decisions and struggles to fight back because of his lack of military background. The American leader swept to power on a wave of hope and goodwill in 2008, but the shine has since come off his presidency amid disagreements over a national healthcare plan and the 'spying' scandal exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
However, Damon, who has been a vocal supporter of the Democrat politician for years, insists Obama is not to blame for the controversies and is trying to prove his "manhood" by taking tough action.
The Good WIll Hunting star tells the Guardian Weekend magazine, "It just seems to have taken this weird, Orwellian turn. It's surreal. I don't know where we are now... I think it's tough for guys who weren't in the military. One, their manhood is kind of challenged on some level, I imagine, and they allow themselves to get bullied. And two, they're just politically afraid of either looking soft or looking incompetent, so they overcompensate."