Tribeca Film via Everett Collection
Unfortunately saddled with one of those titles that leaves itself open to pun-filled reviews , there's not much truth to be found in The Truth About Emanuel, a film that's sadly unaware with how utterly ridiculous it comes across to the viewer.
The story follows Emanuel (Katia Scodelario), a surly teenager who's closing in on 18, but still feels pangs of guilt due to the fact that her mother died while giving birth to her. She takes out her anger on her new stepmom (Frances O'Connor), and her doting father (Alfred Molina) struggles to understand the fire burning inside his daughter. Emanuel begins to connect with her mysterious new neighbor Linda (Jessica Biel), who Emanuel agrees to babysit for.
The film's twist, which is revealed within the first act of the movie, is that Linda's daughter isn't a real baby, but a doll that Linda thinks is real and is using as a coping mechanism. Not wanting to break the spell that Linda has cast on herself, Emanuel goes along with Linda's psychosis, and what follows is a ridiculous game of "keep away" (or, better put, "pretend the baby is alive") like some twisted, direct-to-DVD sequel of Weekend at Bernie's. Emanuel bends over backwards to prevent anyone to get a glimpse at the plastic baby, and the last hour of the movie feels like a rejected C-plot of the worst mid-'80s sitcom never created.
The film's two protagonists are flip sides of the same grief stricken coin. Emanuel is a daughter riddled with the guilt over killing her mother, while Linda's very being is swallowed up by the loss of her child. The film wants to say some very poignant things about loss and grief, but even without the fake baby plotline flinging the story down into the bowels of unintentional farce, the film's writing is still too blunt and sloppy to express its ideas well. The characters ring false and the script clunks and clatters its whole way through with groan inducing lines. Adding the baby plotline on top of all that ensures that almost nothing in this film that comes off as "true."
There is a film in here somewhere that could have carried the story about the coping mechanisms we build to escape our grief, but The Truth About Emanuel just isn’t self aware enough to know how ridiculous it comes across, and the cast just isn't up to task to sell a dramatic story that could have just as easily worked as the main gag in a backburner SNL skit.
From the Philippine Congress to the California Hamster Association (yep), people the world over are mad at Justin Bieber.
On Wednesday, law-makers in the Philippines filed a resolution demanding Bieber apologize for insulting photos he posted of boxer and congressman Manny Pacquiao on his Instagram account, following Pacquiao's defeat at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez in their Dec. 9 fight, The Telegraph reports. The Philippine government tells The Telegraph, "Mr Bieber should have known that the Hon. Pacquiao has reached his stature as such as a result of sheer hard work, determination and firm belief in God, and despite such stature best exemplifies humility and grace even in defeat." And, the coup de grace, if Bieber does not apologize for his "distasteful comments" he will "be declared persona non grata." Yikes!
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Surely photographs that elicited such a strong reaction from the government itself are truly heinous. Well, let's take a look. Bieber posted the below photo along with the Lion King quote, "Wake up, Dad."
Huh. Well that doesn't seem so bad. Okay, okay, we get that the Philippines probably didn't love that Bieber inadvertently (I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt) implied that Pacquiao, like Mufasa, was dead. But we know that he is alive and (mostly) well, so it's clear that Bieber's post was all in good fun.
In addition to the photo at left, Bieber posted a photo where he transposed the fallen Pacquiao into Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" music video.
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In other strange Justin Bieber news, the California Hamster Association (which is totally a real thing) admonished the teenaged pop star for giving a super fan his pet hamster. According to TMZ, the CHA was not happy when Bieber gave a fan at the Atlanta Jingle Ball his hamster and told her to "take good care of him." The CHA says hamsters "often succumb quickly to illness and death" when "sudden environmental change." They continue, "The moment that hamster was handed off to a screaming girl in a harsh, frenzied environment was likely the moment it gazed at the short path to its doom." In our opinion, hamsters — who have a lifespan of approximately two to three years and are generally owned by children under the age of 10 — are put on a "short path to doom" the moment they are born.
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: Jlnphotography/Wenn]
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After much are-they-aren't-they speculation, a photo of Katy Perry and John Mayer leaving L.A.'s Chateau Marmont on Wednesday has finally hit the Internet. With no canoodling caught on film (yet) and no statement from Perry and Mayer's reps, we can't confirm that the two are officially an item — but it looks pretty dang close. Just close enough to make us nervous…
If ex-husband Russell Brand is any indication, Perry has a penchant for guys who are a bit, let's say, edgy. Unfortunately, bad things often happen to girls who date bad boys — heartbreak, for one. And yet, here Perry is, on to bad boy numero dos. Notorious ladies man Mayer doesn't seem like the ideal choice of boyfriend for someone healing from a divorce.
We are confident that in some dusty, repressed corner of her mind, Perry knows this. Heck, her songs are filled with girl power mantras and I-am-woman-hear-me-roar refrains. This is our plea: Perry needs to take her own advice before it's too late!
"Hot N Cold"
Perry's second single is all about finding the moxie to leave a game-playing dude and about getting out of a relationship that's filled with more drama than an episode of The Hills. "I should know / that you're no good for me," Perry sings. Yeah, you should.
"Thinking of You"
You know how they say that those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it? Yeah, this is kind of like that. "Now the lesson's learned / I touched it, I was burned," Perry sings. I don't know about you, but when I get burned I back away from the flame (even thought it's hot).
"Firework" is Perry's call to arms of all the disenfranchised little people of the world. "You is kind. You is smart. You is important," she says. Also, "You gotta ignite the light and let is shine / just own the night like the 4th of July." Here, here! A woman with that much confidence knows better than to get involved with a guitar-playing Don Juan.
We all know that "Wide Awake" is Perry's most direct response to her divorce from Brand. It's about how she has risen from the rubble of her marriage as a stronger, wiser, and more in control of her life than ever before. Perry sings, "I wish I knew then / what I know now / I wouldn't dive in / wouldn't bow down." She knows a thing or two now, let's hope she's smart enough to notice warning signs should they rear their ugly, heart-breaking heads.
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: SPW/Splash News]
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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has released its list of nominees for the annual BAFTA Awards, also known as the British Oscars or the only big awards show with a category just for British only. Surprise, surprise, the Brits have come out on top; the historical drama, The King’s Speech swept the noms with 14 in total. Close behind is Darren Aronofsky’s surprising thriller, Black Swan with 12 total nominations. The British Film category that comes in addition to the BAFTA’s “Best Film” category gives a second chance to 127 Hours, which doesn’t make the top five in the overall category but has the chance to take the top Brits-only honor. Also of note, 14 year old Hailee Steinfeld, who’s blowing audiences away in December’s True Grit, merits the grownup honor of a nomination for best lead actress for her role in the film (mini fist pump!).
While the awards will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One, sorry America, it’s still worth knowing which films made the cut.
And the nominees are:
• Black Swan - Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver, Scott Franklin
• Inception - Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan
• The King’s Speech - Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin
• The Social Network - Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Céan Chaffin
• True Grit - Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Outstanding British Film
• 127 Hours - Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, Christian Colson, John Smithson
• Another Year - Mike Leigh, Georgina Lowe
• Four Lions - Chris Morris, Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Mark Herbert, Derrin Schlesinger
• The King’s Speech - Tom Hooper, David Seidler, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin
• Made in Dagenham - Nigel Cole, William Ivory, Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
• The Arbor - Director, Producer - Clio Barnard, Tracy O’Riordan
• Exit Through The Gift Shop - Director, Producer – Banksy, Jaimie D’Cruz
• Four Lions - Director/Writer - Chris Morris
• Monsters - Director/Writer – Gareth Edwards
• Skeletons - Director/Writer – Nick Whitfield
• 127 Hours - Danny Boyle
• Black Swan - Darren Aronofsky
• Inception - Christopher Nolan
• The King’s Speech - Tom Hooper
• The Social Network - David Fincher
• Black Swan - Mark Heyman, Andrés Heinz, John McLaughlin
• The Fighter - Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson
• Inception - Christopher Nolan
• The Kids Are All Right - Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg
• The King’s Speech - David Seidler
• 127 Hours - Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy
• The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Rasmus Heisterberg, Nikolaj Arcel
• The Social Network - Aaron Sorkin
• Toy Story 3 - Michael Arndt
• True Grit - Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Film Not In the English Language
• Biutiful - Alejandro González Iñárritu, Jon Kilik, Fernando Bovaira
• The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Søren Stærmose, Niels Arden Oplev
• I Am Love - Luca Guadagnino, Francesco Melzi D’Eril, Marco Morabito, Massimiliano Violante
• Of Gods And Men - Xavier Beauvois
• The Secrets In Their Eyes - Mariela Besuievsky, Juan José Campanella
• Despicable Me - Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
• How To Train Your Dragon - Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois
• Toy Story 3 - Lee Unkrich
• Javier Bardem – Biutiful
• Jeff Bridges - True Grit
• Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network
• Colin Firth - The King’s Speech
• James Franco - 127 Hours
• Annette Benning - The Kids Are All Right
• Julianne Moore - The Kids Are All Right
• Natalie Portman - Black Swan
• Noomi Rapace - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
• Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
• Christian Bale - The Fighter
• Andrew Garfield - The Social Network
• Pete Postlethwaite - The Town
• Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right
• Geoffrey Rush - The King’s Speech
• Amy Adams - The Fighter
• Helena Bonham Carter - The King’s Speech
• Barbara Hershey - Black Swan
• Lesley Manville - Another Year
• Miranda Richardson - Made in Dagenham
• 127 Hours - AR Rahman
• Alice In Wonderland - Danny Elfman
• How to Train Your Dragon - John Powell
• Inception - Hans Zimmer
• The King’s Speech - Alexandre Desplat
• 127 Hours - Anthony Dod Mantle, Enrique Chediak
• Black Swan - Matthew Libatique
• Inception - Wally Pfister
• The King’s Speech - Danny Cohen
• True Grit - Roger Deakins
For the full list of nominees, visit the BAFTA site, here.