Actress Jane Baxter spent most of her career in British films and on-stage. Born Feodora Forde in Bremen, Germany, she was raised in London, England, from a young age. At age 15, Baxter launched a suc...
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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.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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A decade-long gap between sequels could leave a franchise stale but in the case of Men in Black 3 it's the launch pad for an unexpectedly great blockbuster. The kooky antics of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) don't stray far from their 1997 and 2002 adventures but without a bombardment of follow-ups to keep the series in mind the wonderfully weird sensibilities of Men in Black feel fresh Smith's natural charisma once again on full display. Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the threequel another space alien romp with a time travel twist — which turns out to be Pandora's Box for the director's deranged imagination.
As time passed in the real world so did it for the timeline in the world of Men in Black. Picking up ten years after MIB 2 J and K are continuing to protect the Earth from alien threats and enforce the law on those who live incognito. While dealing with their own personal issues — K is at his all-time crabbiest for seemingly no reason — the suited duo encounter an old enemy Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) a prickly assassin seeking revenge on K who blew his arm off back in the '60s. Their street fight is more of a warning; Boris' real plan is to head back in time to save his arm and kill off K. He's successful prompting J to take his own leap through the time-space continuum — and team up with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to put an end to Boris plans for world domination.
Men in Black 3 is the Will Smith show. Splitting his time between the brick personalities of Jones and Brolin's K Smith struts his stuff with all the fast-talking comedic style that made him a star in yesteryears. In present day he's still the laid back normal guy in a world of oddities — J raises an eyebrow as new head honcho O (Emma Thompson) delivers a eulogy in a screeching alien tongue but coming up with real world explanations for flying saucer crashes comes a little easier. But back in 1969 he's an even bigger fish out water. Surprisingly director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Etan Cohen dabble in the inherent issues that would spring up if a black gentlemen decked out in a slick suit paraded around New York in the late '60s. A star of Smith's caliber may stray away from that type of racy humor but the hook of Men in Black 3 is the actor's readiness for anything. He turns J's jokey anachronisms into genuine laughs and doesn't mind letting the special effect artists stretch him into an unrecognizable Twizzler for the movie's epic time jump sequence.
Unlike other summer blockbusters Men in Black 3 is light on the action Sonnenfeld utilizing his effects budget and dazzling creature work (by the legendary Rick Baker) to push the comedy forward. J's fight with an oversized extraterrestrial fish won't keep you on the edge of your seat but his slapstick escape and the marine animal's eventual demise are genuinely amusing. Sonnenfeld carries over the twisted sensibilities he displayed in small screen work like Pushing Daisies favoring bizarre banter and elaborating on the kookiness of the alien underworld than battle scenes. MIB3's chase scene is passable but the movie in its prime when Smith is sparring with Brolin and newcomer Michael Stuhlbarg who steals the show as a being capable of seeing the future. His twitchy character keeps Smith and the audience on their toes.
Men in Black 3 digs up nostalgia I wasn't aware I had. Smith's the golden boy of summer and even with modern ingenuity keeping it fresh — Sonnenfeld uses the mandatory 3D to full and fun effect — there's an element to the film that feels plucked from another era. The movie is economical and slight with plenty of lapses in logic that will provoke head scratching on the walk out of the theater but it's also perfectly executed. After ten years of cinematic neutralizing the folks behind Men in Black haven't forgotten what made the first movie work so well. After al these years Smith continues to make the goofy plot wild spectacle and crazed alien antics look good.
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
7:30 (SM) - Best accessories seen so far: Amy Adams giant flower, Justin Bieber's purple glasses, and January Jones's cleavage.
7:32 (SM) - I've never seen someone try to get away from Robert Pattinson like that.
7:34 (HL) - WHY ARE THESE BITCHES SO SKINNY. And Sam, did you hear that Mila Kunis prepared for this ceremony by getting a diamond facial that was worth $7,000?
7:35 (SM) - No, I didn't. Sofia Vergara was on television explaining her boyfriend's proposed policy changes. Or something.
7:39 (SM) - And the Jets win! They won by several home runs apparently.
7:40 (HL) - SAM. WHO THE FUCK CARES ABOUT THE JETS. THIS IS THE GOLDEN GLOBES. Football players always have their penises out nowadays. Nobody cares. Have you been watching Ryan Seacrest's coverage of this? It's stellar.
7:43 (SM) - I was just taking care of the other half of the demographic! Russ wouldn't let me change it to Seacrest's coverage. He started barking. Jennifer Love Hewitt's dress looks like its made to collect water on her chest.
7:45 (HL) - Yeah, but have you seen Scarlett Johansson? She always does that thing with her hair that makes her look like she came out of a wind tunnel and it's so unnecessary, because it's not like she's fucking Ryan Reynolds in limos anymore.
7:48 (SM) - Of course I have seen Scarlett JoHansson. And you think she's not going crazy after getting divorced? She's like the ultimate cougar in training. Ooh, old guy getting in the way of Anne Hathaway's interview. Classic.
7:52 (HL) - Yeah, I saw that. I also saw how it led to Carson Daly and I was disappointed. I'm supposed to ask you what you think of Michelle Williams' boycut.
7:54 (SM) - It's fine. I mean, of course I'd rather have her back in The Baxter haircut, but whatever. Though I do prefer Emma Watson's, but that's obvious. I'm just enjoying how this British lady does NOT handle live TV well AT ALL.
7:56 (HL) - Have you figured out yet that we'll be doing this for three hours?
7:57 (SM) - I'll come to grips with it at the bottom of this bottle.
7:58 (HL) - SAM. WE ARE SO SIMILAR. That's how I got through the Emmys, and IT'S STARTING. NOW! IN 4 SECONDS!
8:00 (SM) - RICKY GERVAAAAAAAAAAAIS!
8:01 (HL) - I do a really great Ricky Gervais impression, I learned this weekend. I just woke up one morning and I just became him. DID YOU HEAR THAT TOURIST DIG??!?!? HE'S SO MONEY HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW IT.
8:02 (SM) - I want to play checkers on his jacket. So you woke up this morning looking like a pug? Congrats.
8:03 (HL) - I must be too drunk to see how you could play checkers on his jacket. Did you hear that scientology joke? Is that capitalized? Great, more about LOST. You know Danny's squealing all the way out in Queens.
8:06 (SM) - I heard Danny. Or that was him playing with his cat. Russ just said he had a chance with Scarlett Johansson. I didn't have the heart to have the talk with him. And Christian Bale wins for looking like Kermit.
8:07 (HL) - Was he better than Renner though? Little Renner? I'm not sure. Bale just enjoys the benefits of forgoing food.
8:08 (SM) - I really wish Bale would do an acceptance speech as Batman. Glad to see LL Cool J is still relevant.
8:10 (HL) - Who is Katie Sagal? At least she said her husband's name. Bale didn't even say his wife's name! It's so important. And first commercial break. What are you going to do?
8:14 (SM) - THAT WAS PEGGY BUNDY! I'm trying to develop an algorithm to figure out how they organize these awards. Supporting drama actor to supporting drama actress on tv? Well, I guess that makes kind of sense. What're you doing?
8:17 (HL) Oh. Well. I was going to spend some time thinking about how most of Natalie Portman's movies that are about to be out were made, like, a while ago. Also, I took a moment to learn who Ms. Golden Globe was. You KNOW they consciously made it "Ms. Golden Globe" and not "Ms. Golden Globes."
8:21 (SM) - Cause Sofia Vergara woulda won that one! Heyo joke from 3 years ago! What song would you rather them play over long going speeches? I'm gonna go for some Ludacris.
8:22 (HL) - Nah man. I'd play this.
8:25 (SM) - DAMMIT WHY DID KURT WIN????? SCOTT CAAN WAS ROBBED!!!!!
8:25 (HL) - Wow, you are wrong. Caan is shorter than Guliana Rancic, which means he doesn't even deserve the peanut shells that elephants step on to get the peanuts out.
8: 29 (SM) - Oh whatever. You're could use a peanut shell as a lofted apartment if you wanted to. SELF PROMO TIME - even more hilarious commentary on twitter @samroebuck. Hannah doesn't have one. If she says otherwise, she is lying.
8:30 (HL) - You are a whore. I do have a twitter, and it's @hjoneslawrence. Everyone, follow Sam if you're interested in learning how to carbonate water and use poisonous mushrooms as parachutes.
8:33 (SM) - Follow Hannah for all your Doctor Who news lovers out there. Wow, the HFPA president sounds like a guy about to get one of those throat cancer robot voicer things. Wow, I really need google.
8:34 (HL) - Steve Buscemi for Boardwalk Empire. I guess Hamm will always get to wake up Hamm, so they're always going to keep snubbing him.
8:37 (SM) - I was told to say that was Horseshit with Buscemi winning for another beer, so there we go.
8:39 (HL) - Commercial! Are we going to get another glimpse of Portman's belly, do you think?
8:42 (SM) - I'd imagine so. Fingers crossed for an Alien bursting out during her acceptance speech!
8:43 (HL) - How can that not happen? I really hope The Social Network wins. Like, I really hope so. Even though nobody talks like that and Jesse Eisenberg is currently growing a goatee.
8:47 (SM) - Nope. Burlesque is going to win.
8:47 (HL) - NICE CALL, SAM? Did you see Bill Hader's impression of Cher last night on SNL?
8:49 (SM) - And in my Nikki Finke impression - "TOLDJA!" Wow, Trent Reznor is just up there with Three Six Mafia.
8:50 (HL) - What do you think it's like to be married to Robert Downey Jr.? Like, do you dream about being married to someone else?
8:52 (SM) - I think it would be like being married to ScarJo. You just wake up and giggle. But RDJ's wife is a big time producer. I'd imagine they're on the same level of badassness.
8:55 (HL) - Yeah, I suppose. All I know is he threw his drugs into the ocean after she told him to. I really hope Toy Story 3 wins so the three days I spent in the hospital for dehydration weren't a waste.
8:57 (SM) - I'm just going to go ahead and say it - I enjoyed Dragons and little more than Toys 3. And you know they sell drinks at the movies right? You can buy drinks there. You don't have to starve yourself. Oh, I see, from crying. Wuss. I didn't cray. At all. I mean, maybe. Whatever. Oooh RDJ you handsome man.
9:01 (HL) - Oh man. I got so scared. RDJ said "An" and I thought it meant Angelina Jolie won for The Tourist. But she didn't! Annette Benning did! Praise Hanukkah gelt. And what's with her hair though? Why does she look like Tim Burton?
9:06 (SM) - I just want to know how RDJ can make asking 5 different people to have sex with him charming and I can only make it look desperate. HOW DOES HE DO IT?
9:07 (HL) - He doesn't reward them with slave money.
9:09 (SM) - HEARSAY!
9:09 (HL) - Yeah, Sylvester Stallone saying The Fighter is an extraordinary movie is QUITE the endorsement.
9:12 (SM) - TILDA SWINTON!!! AHHHHHH! MAKE IT STOP! Sylvester Stallone endorsing The Fighter is like Jodi Sweetin endorsing meth.
9:14 (HL) - You know, Al Pacino is great. I'm glad he won for You Don't Know Jack. He's very talented but I get the feeling no matter how many times you tell him, he'll never learn or remember how to make oatmeal. WAIT. J LOVE HEWITT WAS NOMINATED FOR A LIFETIME MOVIE? THE ONE WHERE SHE PLAYED A "MASSEUSE" AND SNORTED COKE OFF OF OLD MAN BALLS?
9:18 (SM) - You actually watched that? Good for you, your tolerance for pain is incredible. And the Full Retard effect is in full swing with Claire Danes' win. Ben Stiller is a prophet.
9:21 (HL) - I watch all Lifetime movies so I know the proper window treatments to buy so men with telescopes can't peer into my apartment.
9:23 (SM) - Russ just sighed in defeat. Ugh, everything I hate about the movies - Zac Efron and The Kids Are Alright. Thanks Ricky Gervais for clearing it up and really bringing up the elephant in the room about Steve Carell leaving. I hope he walks out of the office for the last time with a huge TWSS.
9:26 (HL) - Aaron Sorkin for the win! I think this was pretty obvious. But why is he standing up there and talking about being elite? AS IF WE DIDN'T KNOW THAT HE'S ELITE ALREADY. HE WROTE A MOVIE ABOUT HARVARD STUDENTS BEING SO SMART THEIR BRAINS ARE TOO BUSY COMPUTING ALGORITHMS TO PROCESS THE PAIN OF WEARING ADDIDAS SANDALS IN SNOW.
9:29 (SM) - I was going to say something about the marvel universe imploding but then Sofia Vergara's massive cleavage came onscreen. Ooh Jane Lynch! Thanks ADD!
9:35 (HL) - I love Olivia Munn's dress. Do you like the way Robert Pattinson looks?
9:37 (SM) - I'll be honest, RPatz looks pretty good in the slim suit and oh snap! You mean Olivia Wilde. BOOM - roasted. And again you should be following me on twitter at @samroebuck. I like to imagine Helen Mirren as she is walking out, looks at all these younger women in the audience and goes "man, I really have to fart."
9:47 (HL) OH man I did get the wrong Olivia! But who cares. Not me! I don't care. Jane Fonda? Jane Fonda's back? I was actually in someone's apartment this weekend and they had a huge picture of her mugshot in their living room. Do you think she really supports Cher? I don't.
9:48 (SM) - I have no idea who these presenters are and OH MY FUCKING GOD ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? BIG BANG THEORY AGAIN??! FUCK THIS SHIT! YOU DON'T GIVE IT STEVE CARELL IN HIS LAST YEAR???
9:49 (HL) - Yeah, this is ridiculous. I have no words. I ALSO HAVE NO WORDS FOR MELISSA LEO WINNING FOR THE FIGHTER. I walked out of that movie and hated her so much that I wished I don't even know what but I just hate her because she's like really religious, right?
9:52 (SM) - She must not be that religious to spend a few hours in a hotel room for a part, if you know what I mean bada bing! Ooooh, new .gif! Helena Bonham Carter's look of "What the fuck is this lady talking about?"
9:54 (HL) - Also, Amy Adams made a face that was like, "I really wouldn't have worked so hard to nail the ugliest accent in the universe if I thought I would lose to you."
9:56 (SM) - I guess this is the time to admit that I still haven't seen The Fighter. Whoops. God, I'm still upset about Jim Parsons winning. Well, not so much him winning. But Eric's gloats Tuesday in the office. "Ohhh, Big Bang Theory, blah blah blah Golden Globes." And the only response I have for him is to show him better shows.
9:58 (HL) - While Robert De Niro is winning the lifetime achievement award, let's plan out how we're going to finally get Eric to shut up about The Big Bang Theory. How should we proceed?
10:01 (SM) - We make him an offer he can't refuse. Or duct tape. Or we let him grow up and realize, ITS NOT A GOOD SHOW. Like a baby losing interest in the shiny new toy he got. Where is De Niro's role in Little Fockers? What Just Happened? They missed so many!
10:04 (HL) - YES! I agree! Shark Tale, Stone, Hide and Seek -- all snubbed! ALSO, WHAT IS HE DOING UP THERE TALKING ABOUT HOMELAND SECURITY AND MEGAN FOX? Is he doing stand-up? Is he really doing stand-up? Why? He just won an award! Why is he suddenly all chatty! If I close my eyes it's like Jay Leno's up there!
10:07 (SM) - Just let him talk. He came all the way out there for this and lets just humor him. Wow, Harry's Law? Really? Oh wait, Parks and Rec returns. That's all I care about. YOU HEAR THAT ERIC? GOOD COMEDY RETURNS THIS WEEK.
10:11 (HL) - Megan Fox introducing The Tourist was the greatest thing. OKAY BITCH HERE WE GO: BEST DIRECTOR is....DAVID FINCHER.
10:16 (SM) - I mean, did we really think it would be anyone else? I'm still upset that Edgar Wright wasn't even nominated. That was some serious directing right there. And holy hell January Jones is back! TV Comedy? Ok, this better be good!
10:18 (SM) - ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME GLEE?!?!?!?!
10:19 (HL) - GLEE! AWESOME! Not really. Their success is setting us back almost as much as Palin would if she were elected president.
10:21 (SM) - Aaaaand here come the angry comments! Thanks Hannah! I'm just saying that ham sandwich is funnier than Glee. How does Community get snubbed? HOW????
10:22 (HL) - I'm going to go ahead and say I wasn't obsessed with Black Swan. It wasn't incredible. It was actually really fucked up...kind of like a student film, actually.
10:25 (SM) - If beavers could talk I think they would sound like Paul Giamatti.
10:27 (HL) - Did you hear him go off on how great the chocolates on the table were? What a fatty! Also, where's Ricky Gervais? Do you think his comments about the HFPA's head honcho got him escorted out of the building? And also, do you think that since he's British, he's wearing those things under his pants that hold up socks?
10:29 (SM) - I know you don't care about stuff like this, but watching Rex Ryan run is hilarious. Funnier than Glee anyway. Gervais is probably saving his best stuff for later. And if you watched Doctor Who you would know what those things are called! Learn your British stuff! And what the hell? This Green Hornet trailer is awesome. Why did they not show this earlier?
10:32 (HL) - I do not watch Doctor Who because I am proud to be an American, and, unlike you, I do not live in America to give secrets to the British because that is treason and unacceptable and punishable by anything and everything. I have no clue why you enjoy betraying your own country so much with a show where alien creatures have their brains outside their heads.
10:35 (SM) - Blah, blah, blah, I don't like culture. And why didn't people MOVE OUT OF THE WAY FOR THE PREGNANT WINNER?!?!
10:36 (HL) - UGH, DOES THIS MEAN SHE'S NOT GOING AWAY NOW? SO WHAT, seriously. She stopped eating and danced a lot. The entire upper east side does that.
10:38 (SM) - And the other is Tim Allen. Now for the biggest joke award! Way to go Golden Globes for making a comedy award a joke.
10:39 (SM) - Apparently lesbian struggles are comedic! Thanks HFPA!
10:41 (HL) - No sir, that movie was great. But I see what you mean. Just so I know you're on the same page as me, do you realize how much more you're going to have to write about Portman now?
10:44 (SM) - Eh, I'd rather write about her than New Year's Eve or Zookeeper or anything involving someone 'optioning' something.
10:46 (HL) - Please Colin Firth! Please Colin Firth! COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLIN FIRRRRTH!
10:49 (SM) - The only way he would be more charming is if he delivered this speech in broken Portuguese.
10:50 (HL) - You are so right. NOW. We agree The Social Network should win best picture, yes?
10:51 (SM) - Oh, without a doubt. It was either that or Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World for me. Also, I saw Tiny Furniture last night. It was weird. Its such an NYC movie that these douches behind me kept laughing like it was THE FUNNIEST THING IN THE WORLD. It was funny, don't get me wrong, but these idiots were like "we're so hip we understand all these references!"
10:54 (HL) - That's a nice standing ovation for Michael Douglas. And TSN wins! Thank God. I would not have been happy with anyone else. Why is Scott Rudin thanking Zuckerberg? It's not like he created Facebook for him.
10:57 (SM) - I mean, who is he going to thank? Tom from Myspace? Oh Ricky Gervais, nice little atheist gag right at the end. How I love that little man.
10:59 (HL) - Well that's the show! I hope you've enjoyed these three hours as much as I've enjoyed pointing a telescope at Portman's belly. Thanks to Sam for joining me this evening and for only once referencing Doctor Who because he knows I don't give a shit about that show.
11:01 (SM) - Oh whatever, I'm gonna go watch it now. Don't listen to Hannah. She watches cat videos.
11:02 (HL) - Yeah.
There is something more than a feast of love being force-fed to us in this movie; it’s closer to all-you-can-eat buffet o’ syrup but that is admittedly not an inviting title. Either way the entangled melodrama in Feast of Love is too much to digest. The movie centers on several love stories or perhaps more specifically the Oregon coffeehouse that serves as the de facto hub of said stories. The café’s owner Bradley (Greg Kinnear) is responsible for most of the tales since women leave him left and right. In fact the movie opens with Bradley’s wife (Selma Blair) ditching him for a woman. Then there’s Harry (Morgan Freeman) the Yoda of love who advises Harry—and everybody else—in the school of relationships. Finally there’s Oscar (Toby Hemingway) a young barista in the café whose lust for his new coworker (Alexa Davalos) goes requited. The carousel continues with Bradley’s misfires Harry’s philosophizing about them and Oscar’s blossoming relationship until the movie exploits our lack of attention to detail at the end. That’s when the big “intersecting” storyline is meant to swoop in and leave us in awe over the many splendors of love or the Feast thereof. It says something when even a classic Morgan Freeman performance can’t bring Feast of Love a smidge closer to realism. In other words he can’t be blamed for headlining an untenable movie. Feast greatly simplifies what a longtime vet like Freeman—or his screen wife Jane Alexander—understands and the rest of the cast doesn’t: less is more. He refuses to buy into the melodrama under which this movie wants to operate and that refusal is what makes his relationship the only palpable one. Elsewhere a “more is less” mode of thinking seems to take over. Kinnear further pigeonholing himself as the embodiment of blissful ignorance (i.e. Little Miss Sunshine The Matador) can score laughs with ease but can’t evoke anything subtler especially pity. Meanwhile Radha Mitchell (Melinda and Melinda) as Bradley’s second wife (following a barely there Selma Blair) displays some promise before her role spirals out of control and into Overacting 101 which she passes with flying colors. But nobody exaggerates like the cast’s youngest members Hemingway (The Covenant) and Davalos (The Chronicles of Riddick). Of course the screenplay is responsible to a certain extent for their hamming it up but simply put their couple seems much more Shakespearean than contemporary American. Case in point: When Davalos deadpans “I think my intensity scares guys off ” it can’t be anything but eye-roll worthy. By now it’s hard to fathom that Feast of Love director Robert Benton is the Robert Benton of Bonnie and Clyde and Kramer vs. Kramer fame. His movies have been on an extremely steep decline ever since those landmark achievements and his latest brings that decline one step closer to a crash landing. Feast is not unlike many romantic comedies in its inability to replicate real life—only...it’s supposed to be a dramedy! But while the humor aspect is there and connects drama to Benton and writer Allison Burnett (Resurrecting the Champ)—who adapted Charles Baxter’s undoubtedly more entertaining book—seems to mean nudity aplenty and/or soap-opera dialogue peppered with F-bombs. It’s as though the director in sculpting his characters has never met a real-life couple because two of the three couples are caricatures with Freeman and Alexander narrowly saving theirs from being so. That might’ve worked if the movie were a romantic comedy in earnest and didn’t try to wax poetic with a tidy wrap-up ending. But it’s all so unrealistic almost supernatural in its conclusion that Feast is the sort of movie that arouses the love cynic in you not the believer.
Actress Jane Baxter spent most of her career in British films and on-stage. Born Feodora Forde in Bremen, Germany, she was raised in London, England, from a young age. At age 15, Baxter launched a successful theatrical career in the musical Love's Prisoner. She made her premiere film appearance in Bed and Breakfast (1930). After finding similar success in cinema, Baxter headed for Hollywood in the mid-'30s. She made two films there, We Live Again (1934) and Enchanted April (1935). Though she was romantically entangled with Ronald Colman, Baxter hated American life and so went back to London to resume her film career. From the '50s onward, Baxter would make periodic forays into television. During the 1970s, Baxter was a semi-regular on the acclaimed Upstairs/Downstairs.