Pete Postlethwaite Tribute (1946-2011)

I was very saddened and shocked to hear of such a great actor’s demise, having not even known he was ill, he apparently kept it from a lot of people. He was an excellent Shakespearian and character  actor (and with such a memorable unusual face how could you forget his roles), able to really own his large variety of characters, imbuing his roles with pathos, humour and intelligence. I really have to see more of his films now but here of some of my fave performances out of the ones I have seen. RIP Pete:

1. The Usual Suspects (1994)

2. Romeo + Juliet  (1996)

3. Brassed Off  (1996)

4. The Constant Gardener (2005)

5. Criminal Justice (TV) (2008)

6. Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)

7. Amistad (1997)

Films I must see of his:

1. In The Name of the Father (1993)

2. Last of the Mohicans (1992)

3. The Town (2010)

4. Killing Bono (2011)



BAFTAs 2010

Bigelow and Cameron ex-partners and now film rivals, Bigelow was the deserved victor.

So Bigelow won out to her ex, self-proclaimed ‘king-of-the-world’ (and ergo bit of an arrogant  twat but then there’s hardly a director who isn’t arrogant it seems) James Cameron, favourite to win and I say good for her. She deserved it, her film The Hurt Locker, though I haven’t seen it yet-I definitely intend to- seems an intelligent and thought-provoking exploration of the chaos of war and it’s blurred moral boundaries. And although Avatar certainly was entertaining in its own way and certainly looked spectacular (I loved the way the forest lit up) -the fact that it won for special effects is as it should be-the story was as clichéd and unsubtle as they come. Which is frankly what I was expecting from a Cameron movie, all gloss and not much in the way of substance. Or character development. Or interesting dialogue. 

If anyone has seen Avatar or even read about it they will know that it is basically Dances With Wolves set in the future and in 3D. The movie was also filled with cringe-worthy moments such as when Na’vi say respectful phrases to each-other like ‘I see you.’  Or moments that are just a bit off such as when we seem them putting their hair   into these pterodactyl-like creatures tentacle/attenae things which followed by a close-up of the creature’s enlarged pupil suggested bestiality more than a ‘connection with nature’ that the Na’vi are meant to have.

And the characters featured a gung-ho macho callous colonel (original) and a ruthless corporate villain (played by otherwise good actor Giovanni Ribisi).The film also expected us to believe that a unintelligant man like central character Jake Sully could not only speak the Na’vi language but could also ride all Pandora’s (the world it is set) creatures and navigate himself around Pandora all in a matter of months (or less). Or that a Na’vi can be fiercely resentful of Sully’s presence, who also incidentally stole his soul-mate,  and then just accept him like that in the name of uniting against the enemy.

Anyway enough of that. Other wins I thought were worthy were The Prophet for best foreign film (Tahar Rahim should have also surely won best newcomer but then that award was voted by for the public and the general public likes things like Harry Potter and Dan Brown).

Colin Firth for A Single Man was also well-deserved despite what some critics have said. His performance as a grieving closeted gay English professor living in the early sixties was surely a career best he can finally stop being remembered as Mr. Darcy in a wet shirt. He managed to convey the frustrations of being a ‘invisible minority’ and subtly and movingly contrasted a sense of vulnerability with a sense of righteous indignation. His speech was also probably the best as well to think if it hadn’t been for that fridge repair man…

Carey Mulligan also deserved her win in what was one of the best films of the year, in what that really resonated with me, relating very much to Carey’s cultured and intelligent but naive schoolgirl. And Mulligan’s performance astute captured a sense of youthful optimism and excitement. I also rather liked her haircut. But pretending to have no idea she was going to win this, c’mon Carey.

Here’s hoping that Bigelow can win at the upcoming Oscars then, perhaps the fact that she would be the first female director to do so would open the floodgates and correct a ridiculously long-held imbalance in the industry. One can only hope.

Jim Jarmusch’s new film: The Limits Of Control

I am very excited about the prospect of a new Jarmusch film even if I am a bit baffled as to what’s actually going on it, which is probably the point. Sounds and looks good though, Bernal solemnly reciting some very poetic dialogue about a reflection sometmes being more than what it’s actually reflecting. And I do like a good mystery thriller.

The basic plot anyway according to IMDB is that a mysterious man (Isaach De Bankole seen in previous Jarmusch films Coffee and Cigarettes and Ghost Dog), perhaps like a modern day ‘man with no name’ in the Leone films, wanders contemporary Spain to complete a job that may not be legal. The cast is also to die for alongside De Bankole are: Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Gael Garcia Bernal and Jarmusch regular and legend Bill Murray.

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It’s official Joaquin Phoenix has gone slightly mad

Hollywood Reporter announced today that Casey Affleck was directing a doc on Joaquin Phoenix’s burgeoning rap career.  Honestly you couldn’t have made this up. He will be produced by Sean Combs aka Puff Daddy. And with him on board I’m sure he will be rapping some rivet tales of the streets over first-class beats. Tales of the difficulties of having to choose which director to work for, which restaurant he should eat in tonight, you know hard-hitting stuff. I mean really who the hell’s gonna take him seriously. At least when Daniel Day-Lewis decided to become a shoe-cobbler there was less room for absolute public humiliation. I guess he just likes to walk the line.

Isabelle Adjani’s new classroom drama

Reuters have reported that  the beautiful and talented Adjani is starring in classroom drama that will be showing in the Berlin film festival, here’s what they say about it:

“La journee de la jupe” (Skirt Day) deals with the tensions over immigration, education and race that have haunted France since the 2005 riots that blew up in the shadow of the grim tower blocks that ring many French cities.

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