Captain America: The Winter Soldier is filled — and I mean jam-packed — with genre-bending, action-heavy, sportily tense and relentlessly sinuous, sky-high-concept and maniacally bonkers stuff. Polygonal mayhem that aims, and impressively so, to top the Marvel lot in ideas, deconstructing every thriller staple from government corruption to talking computers to odd couple agents gone rogue. But oddly enough, the moment in the Cap sequel that I find most arresting several weeks after seeing the film is our peaceful reunion with Steve Rogers, trotting merrily around the Washington Monument as the sun rises on our nation's capital.
The scene is shot from far overhead, a low pulse/high spirits Chris Evans reduced to a shapeless blur as he repeatedly (but politely!) laps fellow jogger and veteran Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie)... and yet it might be the closest we feel to Cap throughout the movie.
The Winter Soldier has a lot to worry about in the delivery of its content. Managing a plot as ambitious and multifaceted as its own, with themes as grand as the scope of the American mentality — as represented by Steve Rogers, raised in the good old days of gee-golly-jingoism — it doesn't always have the faculties to devote to humanizing its central troupe. Cap isn't left hollow, but his battles with the dark cloud of contemporary skepticism play more like an intriguing Socratic discussion than an emotional arc. Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, a character who ran circles around her Avengers co-players in flavor, feels a bit shortchanged in that department here (in her closest thing to a starring role yet, no less).
Mackie's Falcon, a regular joe who is roped into the calamity thanks largely to his willingness to chat with a fellow runner — a rare skill, honestly — is less of a problem. He doesn't have much to do, but he does it all well enough. Dynamic though he may be, Mackie keeps things bridled as Cap's ad-hoc sidekick, playing up the along-for-the-ride shtick rather than going full (or even half) superhero. We might want more from him, knowing just how fun he can be, but it's a sating dose. The real hunger is for more in the way of Black Widow, Cap, and — perhaps most of all — the titular villain.
Still, these palpable holes pierce through a film that gets plenty right. As elegantly as Joe Johnston did the Spielberg thing back in 2011, Joe and Anthony Russo take on the ballots of post-innocence. They aren't afraid to get wild and weird, taking The Winter Soldier through valleys that feel unprecedented in superhero cinema. We're grateful for the invention here — for Robert Redford's buttoned-up Tom Clancy villain, for the directors' aggressive tunneling through a wide underworld of subterranean corruption, and especially for one scene in an army bunker that amounts to the most charmingly bats**t crazy reveal in any Marvel movie yet. We might be most grateful, though, for a new take on Nick Fury; here, the franchise gives Samuel L. Jackson his best material by a mile.
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But in the absence of definitive work done in our heroing couple, a pair rich in fibers but relegated to broad strokes and easy quips in this turn, most of it amounts to a fairly good spy thriller, not an ace-in-the-whole neo-superhero masterpiece... which, justly or otherwise, is what we've come to expect and demand from these things.
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There are only a few days left until the 2014 Academy Awards, so most of our predictions are solidified by now. But even though Cate Blanchett appears to be a lock for Best Actress and Alfonso Cuaron has the highest odds of winning Best Director, there's still one race that's impossible to guess: Best Supporting Actress. The two candidates who could snag the trophy are Lupita Nyong'o for her work in 12 Years a Slave and Jennifer Lawrence for her performance in American Hustle.
Normally, we could just rely on the previous awards shows to help influence our predictions. Blanchett and Cuaron have both swept their categories, as have Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto (who we think will take Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively). But Lawrence and Nyong'o have split the opinions of the various awards organizations, which means the Oscar is still anyone's game. In an attempt to solve this problem once and for all and help you solidify your Oscar pool, we've taken a look back at all of the women who have won Best Supporting Actress in order to see if we could use the winners of yesteryear to determine who will walk home with the trophy on Oscar night.
Major Precursor Awards Won: 2 (for each)Lawrence won both the Golden Globe and the BAFTA for her role as Rosalyn Rosenfeld, while Nyong'o picked up the Critic's Choice Award and the Screen Actor's Guild Award for playing the slave girl Patsey.
Actresses 25 and Under Who Won Best Supporting Actress: 8If Lawrence, who at 23 is the youngest actress to earn 3 Oscar nominations, were to take home the award on Sunday, she would join a list of young winners that includes Tatum O’Neal, Patty Duke, Goldie Hawn, Anna Paquin, Jennifer Hudson, Angelina Jolie, Teresa Wright, and Anne Baxter.
Actresses Between 25 and 30 Who Won Best Supporting Actress: 13At 30, Nyong'o would be in good company as a Best Supporting Actress winner, as Shirley Jones, Mary Steenburgen, Marisa Tomei, Mira Sorvino, Miyoshi Umecki, Gloria Grahame, Kim Hunter, Sandy Dennis, Rita Moreno, Eva Marie Saint, Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep and Celeste Holm also took home an Oscar around the same age.
Best Supporting Actress Winners Who Won for Their First Performance: 9It's hard to believe that 12 Years a Slave is Nyong'o's first feature film, but she's not the only actress to impress the Academy with her debut perfomance: Katina Paxinou, Mercedes McCambridge, Eva Marie Saint, Jo Van Fleet, Tatum O’Neal, Goldie Hawn, Miyoshi Umecki, Anna Paquin, and Jennifer Hudson all stunned on their first try.
Actresses Who Won Best Supporting Actress After Winning Best Actress: 3 After winning for Silver Lining's Playbook at last year's awards, Lawrence would join an elite club of women who topped their Best Actress win with a Best Supporting Actress trophy. : Helen Hayes, who won Best Actress for her work in The Sin of Madelon Claudet in 1931 and Best Supporting Actress for Airport in 1970, Ingrid Bergman, who took home Best Actress for Gaslight in 1944 and Anastasia in 1956 then won Best Supporting Actress in 1974 for Murder on the Orient Express, and Maggie Smith, who was awarded Best Actress for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 1969 and followed it up with Best Supporting Actress for California Suite 1978.
Best Supporting Actress Winners Who Won on Their First Nomination: 51The Best Supporting Actress category has been particularly kind to newcomers, with 51 actresses who have taken home gold on their first nomination (a fact that bodes well for Nyong'o). If she wins, she would be added to the long list that includes Gale Sondergaard, Hattie McDaniel, Jane Darwell, Mary Astor, Katina Paxinou, Ethel Barrymore, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm, Mercedes McCambridge, Josephine Hull, Kim Hunter, Donna Reed, Eva Marie Saint, Jo Van Fleet, Dorothy Malone, Miyoshi Umecki, Shirley Jones, Rita Moreno, Patty Duke, Margaret Rutherford, Lila Kedrova, Sandy Dennis, Estelle Parsons, Goldie Hawn, Cloris Leachmann, Tatum O’Neal, Beatrice Straight, Mary Steenburgen, Jessica Lange, Linda Hunt, Peggy Ashcroft, Anjelica Huston, Dianne Wiest, Olympia Dukakis, Geena Davis, Brenda Fricker, Mercedes Ruehl, Marisa Tomei, Anna Paquin, Mira Sorvino, Juliette Binoche, Kim Basinger, Angelina Jolie, Marcia Gay Harden, Jennifer Connolly, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rachel Weisz, Jennifer Hudson, Tilda Swinton, Mo’Nique, and Octavia Spencer.
Actresses Who Have Won Best Supporting Actress for a Comedic Role: 7Although the Academy tends to favor dramatic performances, the Supporting Actor and Actress categories often reward more comedic roles, like Lawrence's. If she wins, she would join the seven other women who laughed their way to an Oscar: Josephine Hull for Harvey, Goldie Hawn for Cactus Flower, Maggie Smith for California Suite, Olympia Dukakis for Moonstruck, Marisa Tomei for My Cousin Vinny, Mira Sorvino for Mighty Aphrodite, and Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Actresses Who Have Won Best Supporting Actress Winners For Playing Servants: 3Although Nyong'o would be the first Best Supporting Actress winner to win for portraying a slave, three women have previously won for playing servants: Gale Sondergaard, Hattie McDaniel, and Octavia Spencer.
Actresses Who Have Won Best Supporting Actress for Playing the Wife of the Lead: 7Before Rosalyn Rosenfeld came along to "inspire" her husband Iriving, there were countless other wives who played a key role in their husband's stories, and seven actresses won an Oscar for playing them: Mary Astor, Kim Hunter, Gloria Grahame, Jennifer Connolly, Rachel Weisz, Meryl Streep, and Mary Steenburgen.
Black Women Who Have Won Best Supporting Actress: 4If Nyong'o takes home the Oscar on Sunday, she will become only the fifth black woman to win Best Supporting Actress, and just the sixth black woman to win an acting Oscar overall. The previous Best Supporting Actress winners are Hattie McDaniel, Whoopi Goldberg, Mo’Nique, and Octavia Spencer, while Halle Berry is the lone black Best Actress winner.
Actresses Who Have Won Best Supporting Actress for Playing a Character with a New York Accent: 2Whether you love Lawrence's accent in American Hustle or it makes you want to stab yourself in the ears, there's no denying that the New York accent is a tricky one to pull off. Only two women have done it well enough to earn an Oscar: Marisa Tomei as the wise-cracking fianceè of the title character in My Cousin Vinny and Olympia Dukakis as Cher's mother in Moonstruck.
Our Prediction: Lupita Nyong'o Despite being evenly matched, we think that the combination of 12 Years a Slave being Nyong'o's film debut, as well as her first nomination will help swing the votes in her favor, as the Academy has proven that there's nothing it loves more than an impressive breakthrough performance. Plus, she deserves it, and we have to believe that there is some semblance of justice left in this world.
As we reported earlier today, all six of the adult lead cast members on ABC's Modern Family, including Ty Burrell, Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen and Ed O'Neill have filed a suit today to void their contracts with 20th Century Fox Television. And while this came as a surprise to some (co-executive producer Danny Zuker tweeted after the story broke: "So, anything interesting happen at YOUR office today...?"), it is not an entirely unsurprising move. In the history of television, there are many instances of cast members banding together in order to receive the pay they feel justly entitled to, and oftentimes, it works. Don't believe us? Check out some highly-publicized contract disputes from television's past below!
Complaint: The stars (Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox, and Matthew Perry) knew that Warner Brothers (who bragged about it publicly) were making tons of money off the show--at the time it was one of the most profitable television shows ever--and decided to do a joint holdout (much like the cast of Modern Family did) in order to bargain for more money. They were originally bringing in $40,000 per episode.
Amount Requested: About $100,000 per episode, though Warner Brothers was trying to negotiate down to $75,000.
Amount Earned: They got their $100,000 and went on to reportedly bring home an astounding $1,000,000 an episode by the end of the series' run. Yowza! Those guys really took that Rembrandt's song to heart. Looks like it paid off!
Show: The Simpsons
Complaint: The longest-running show on television almost ended early when contract negotiations began during the 23rd season. Twentieth Century Fox claimed that unless voice actors--namely principals Harry Shearer, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria--took a 45% pay cut, the should would be unable to continue.
Amount Requested: The actors fought back, with several alleged deals being volleyed around. Shearer claimed that he would take a 70% pay cut if he could have access to a portion of the marketing, consumer product, and syndication money (which made the company an estimated $8 billion per year at the time).
Amount Earned: In the end, Twentieth Century Fox wouldn't budge on the money participation, but the actors did accept a 30% pay cut to keep the show on the air, and the fans rejoiced!
Show: Jersey Shore
Complaint: The cast of Jersey Shore aren't as dumb as they look when it comes to contract negotiations. They, similarly to the cast of Friends also did a joint holdout on signing onto season three of the hit show in order to ensure everyone received the same amount. It is reported that the cast originally made $10,000 an episode for season two and $30,000 an episode for season three.
Amount Requested: It is unknown how much the cast officially requested, but it was alleged that Snooki, The Situation, Pauly D, JWOWW, Ronnie, Vinny, Sammi, and Deena requested somewhere in the $150,000 range.
Amount Earned: In the end, the cast signed into season three of the show making a handsome $100,000 per episode. Remember: never fall in love at the Jersey Shore, it's all about business!
Show: West Wing
Complaint: In 2001, the cast of the Aaron Sorkin show had a very public dispute about contract negotiations as it was uncovered how much more some stars were making than others. Because of this, stars Allison Janney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford and John Spencer banded together to renegotiate what they were bringing home.
Amount Requested: The four actors requested that their salaries be tripled.
Amount Earned: In the end, Warner Brothers agreed to double their salaries, bringing them each $70,000 per episode (they were originally making $30,000 per episode). However star Rob Lowe wasn't so lucky: he reportedly was making between $75,000 - $100,000 an episode, but the company refused to consider a pay raise for the actor, so he left the show.
Show: The Real Housewives of New York
Complaint: Heading into season three, the original gals (minus Kelly Bensimon) bandied together to request a six-figure salary per episode. Bensimon, who was still new to the series, signed onto a smaller contract without hesitation.
Amount Requested: It was rumored that the girls requested somewhere in the low $100,000 per episode.
Amount Earned: While details are scarce as to exact numbers, the girls did end up with something in the low six-figures to continue onto the next season. It wouldn't last though, as several of the ladies contracts (including Jill Zarin, Kelly Bensimon, and Alex McCord) were later fired before season five.
Show: The Big Bang Theory
Complaint: The show, it can be argued, has a very similar level of notoriety, success, and critical acclaim to the first one on our list, Friends. And it's also run by the Warner Brothers folks. So it's no surprise that the three lead castmembers (Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki) initially tried to negotiable in their footsteps, by negotiating as a unit. However, that strategy (for whatever reason) quickly crumbled as Emmy-winning Parsons made an about-face and negotiated on his own.
Amount Requested: It is currently unknown what the request was, but there is speculation it was in the $300,000 - $400,000 range
Amount Earned: In the end, Parsons' strategy didn't work, so he, Cuoco and Galecki ended up earning roughly $200,000 per episode last season, which was still a huge increase from $60,000 the season prior. They also managed to secure $50,000 bumps each year over the next three years, AND syndication profits. Oh those brainiac nerds! So good with the numbers.
What do you think about the contract negotiations going on with the Modern Family cast? Do you think their raises are warranted? Let us know what you think below in the comments.
[Image Credit: ABC]
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'Modern Family' Cast Sues to Void Contracts During Salary Negotiations
Casting Roundup: 'Modern Family' Brings in an Apatow Favorite
Will 'The Simpsons' Call It Quits At The End of This Season?
The My Cousin Vinny star passed away on Monday (11Jun12) at his home in Los Angeles, his wife Debbie Benedict Smith tells the Associated Press.
Smith, who studied at the famed Actors Studio in New York with Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino, is best known for playing U.S. President Richard Nixon in TV movie The Final Days, a role which earned him a Golden Globe award nomination.
He also racked up a credit playing newspaper editor Perry White in TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, as well as roles in films including The Legend of Bagger Vance and The Mighty Ducks.
Emily Blunt Rosemary DeWitt and Mark Duplass carry this intimate indie with aplomb. Your Sister's Sister starts with a strange premise that could be the basis of a manic romcom but is kept grounded by an excellent cast and script.
Jack (Duplass) has spent a year mourning his dead brother. He's a total mess but his best friend Iris (Blunt) also the ex-girlfriend of Jack's dead brother steps in with some tough love and directs him to take a sabbatical at her family's home on an island off the coast of Seattle. Unfortunately her older sister Hannah (DeWitt) is also there in search of solace after breaking up with her long-term girlfriend. Hannah and Jack mourn their lost loves over a large bottle of tequila and wake up with monster hangovers…and a surprise visit from Iris.
Your Sister's Sister a messy funny and sometimes sad love story about family. Who do you choose to be in your family? What exactly can you forgive when people you love go too far? Writer/director Lynn Shelton starts with an odd farcical proposition similar to her debut Humpday wherein two buddies decide they have to prove their friendship their open-mindedness and their heterosexuality by making a porn movie together. Shelton takes similar risks with ideas about the fluidity of sexuality and love but pushes it forward in Your Sister's Sister. Its emotional risks are more real. The bond between Iris and Hannah is tangible and complicated. Iris worships her older sister she climbs into bed with her and whispers secrets to her in the dark but she is also a grown woman who is abruptly forced to face Hannah's all-too-human flaws. Jack is he weakest character but Duplass plays him as the likeable but screwed-up shaggy dog type he's known for in the indie world. DeWitt and Blunt are perfectly matched although one would be hard-pressed to otherwise cast them as siblings albeit half-sisters. They play off each other perfectly and the best example of this is a joke Hannah lobs at Iris during dinner that DeWitt ad-libbed.
Like its characters and writing the cinematography feels wider in scope and more breathable in Your Sister's Sister. Cinematographer Benjamin Kasulke captures both the intimacy of three people trying to keep secrets from each other in a small house as well as sweeping views of the woods and water surrounding them. The direction is more sure-footed and less dependent on the intense close-ups that dominated Humpday. The end result is a fleshy delicious love story. It's savory and joyous and leaves the viewer with some hope for love — all types of love.
S2:E8 Jersey Shore last night was a repeat of the episode that aired last Sunday, before MTV’s Chertacular VMA’s. We were introduced to a new character, Uncle Nino, who everyone referred to as “OG,” which stands for “original guido,” just as he should be because when someone asked him to borrow his lighter to light their cigarette, he said, “Yeah sure, but it’s like a broad: you can use it but you gotta bring it back.” COME ON BABY LIGHT MY FIRE!
But the episode started with us learning Vinny slept with Angelina, which meant Angelina is Snooki’s sloppy seconds. This caused a piece of 101-layered lasagna to develop and come between Angelina and Snooki, and she barely had any time to cut into it before Vinny’s family arrived with broccoli rabe, loaves of bread, and bottled water. She’s the Jeff Probst of Jersey Shore!
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The Situation learned Angelina slept with Vinny, even after she spent all her time telling everyone how ugly he is and how she’s going to wrap him in a rug and tape him in and roll him off into a garbage dump like Richard Gere did to Oliver Martinez in Unfaithful. He asked if Angelina had told José (the guy who keeps giving Angelina Fossil watches and who she keeps not sleeping with) about her exploits with Vinny, and as prescribed, she had not! But it wasn’t because she didn’t want to! It was because whenever she did want to, she put pillows in front of her face and all her opportunities were ruined!
So Vinny’s mom safely established herself as the caterer for the next Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert rallies, because last night she proved that job would be about as difficult as putting together a midnight sandwich for her son’s girlfriend who’s having trouble sleeping. The feast started with pasta, and then everyone went to their corners and digested it. Then, they went back to the table to eat meat, roasted peppers, vegetables, then went back to their lounge chairs and beds and slept and did things they would have done if they had more bathrooms in the house. Finally, they went back to the table and had some Yodels. It was like Kevin Smith sent them a gift because he couldn’t be there.
After those lessons in family and feeding, our education continued when everyone went to the club and Pauly D. talked about his and The Situation’s efforts to get laid. They had two girls they knew were DTF, so they were put “on the backburner.” They also scouted out two other girls, BLONDE GIRLS, who weren’t as sure a DTF, but were prettier. Never before has a greater conflict existed outside of developing the Spider-Man musical. They decided to bring the prettier ones back to the house, and Angelina brought home ANOTHER guy, Alex, who wasn’t going to get any more excitement out of Angelina than he did when he pointed out how she stepped on a caterpillar on her way home.
So. Pauly explained The Situation’s tactic is to come on strong and aggressive, which in turn, makes Pauly’s girl happy she’s not with him. All of a sudden, The Situation’s girl got up and told her friend they were leaving because they both had boyfriends. After they left, they decided to call all the girls they knew, in hopes of getting laid at 6:30 in the morning. Finally, Pauly D. called one of his friends and asked her to come over with one of her hot friends. She DID in fact come over, but she DID not in fact bring a friend, because she explained all her friends were grenades. At least she was thoughtful enough to not set him up
Back at the club, The Situation went up to José and asked if Angelina had “told him” yet. Naturally, she hadn’t and naturally, José started pestering her to tell him. When she couldn’t take it anymore, she took him to a pizza place, put on her sunglasses at night, and told him she slept with Vinny. He was not pleased, but he didn’t seem like he was running to get away from her, either.
The episode ended quite tragically, actually. Vinny and Pauly D met their dream girls and decided to ask them out on a real date, which has never happened in the history of Jersey Shore.
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After both of them agreed to meet up with the guys, Pauly D and Vinny went to get some clothes, some flowers, their hair cut and picked up their laundry in anticipation of wining and dining these women. But a few hours before the date, Vinny’s lady called him and said she didn’t want to go. SHE JUST SAID SHE DIDN’T WANT TO GO! LIKE IT WAS AN APPOINTMENT WITH A SHRINK! Vinny was quite heartbroken.
Thankfully, next week's episode looks like it has more Snooki and less of "the sweet guy with the mom and the family gets heartbroken by a dancer."
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