Tag Archives: Black Swan movie

Creature feature

I have a home office, and often keep the TV on for a little background noise in the apartment.

This afternoon I am working on the couch in front of the TV.  The sound is down low, so it’s more of a pleasant hum than a distraction.

But then this image filled the screen during a commercial break —

natalie portman black swan

Geez oh pete, HBO…don’t throw around the Black Swan willy-nilly.

That’s some seriously scary shit.

Hit the mats

On my birthday Monday, I played hooky and went to see Win Win, Paul Giamatti’s latest movie.

It’s a wrestling film.

Now, what I know about wrestling — well, I don’t know anything about wrestling.  We didn’t have the sport at my tiny high school, and I never attended a match during college.

(I’m not even sure my college had a wrestling team.)

I went to see Win Win based solely on the cast.  Paul Giamatti.  Bobby Carnavale.  Amy Ryan.

And like many of the men who no doubt were coerced into seeing Black Swan even though they had no interest in ballet, I just hoped there wasn’t too much wrestling in Win Win.

Well, there was.  Lots of it.  And while at first I was distracted by the whack uniforms and unusual moves, the wrestling matches were kinda fascinating…and reinforced the movie’s message about what winning and losing are all about.

The performances are really special, too.  I didn’t feel like I was watching a movie as much as being a bit of a voyeur in a family’s life and personal problems.

And they do have a few problems, this family.  But seeing how they resolve them?

That’s the win-win.

Bricks and movies

When we were kids, my sister Lou and I spent a lot of time playing with Legos….not that we ever really built anything.  No mega skyscrapers or castles.  No construction sites or villages with train depots.

We made dogs.

Yep — simple little dogs who lived in small, one-level Lego houses. No roofs. No windows even.  Just your basic foundation with low walls, so the dogs could move from kitchen to living room to bedroom as they went about their daily lives.

Hey, it worked for us.

I was reminded of our little doggie dramas when I happened upon the amazingly detailed movie scenes that artist Alex Eylar created with Legos to celebrate the 2011 Academy Award Best Picture nominees.

These things are brilliant!  Using only Legos, Alex was able to communicate each movie’s storyline and emotional essence.   It’s difficult to select a favorite — they are all amazing in their own way — but I have included three below.

Enjoy the full gallery here.  Then, grab some Legos and build your own drama (or dog house).

 

 

 

127 Hours

 

 

 

The King’s Speech

 

 

 

Black Swan

2011 Golden Eggs

The Golden Globes are here!  The Golden Globes are here!

Before the ceremony sloshes drunkenly into your living room, The Egg is making its annual sticky predictions.

Who will be clutching their awards and tearfully thanking God (and their agents and managers)? The Egg has all kinds of predictions.

But no promises.  We’re just making these up like the rest of the critics.

BEST MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA

* Black Swan
* The Fighter
* Inception
* The King’s Speech
* The Social Network

Although “The Black Swan” was an amazing psychological thriller, I have to give the edge to “The Social Network” — thanks to Aaron Sorkin’s beautifully crafted script and the amazing ensemble cast.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA

* Halle Berry, Frankie and Alice
* Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
* Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
* Natalie Portman, Black Swan
* Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Her performance was a career maker (and freaky scary!).

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA

* Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
* Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
* James Franco, 127 Hours
* Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
* Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter

Second nomination’s a charm!   You’ve got this one, Colin.

BEST MOTION PICTURE, COMEDY OR MUSICAL

* Alice in Wonderland
* Burlesque
* The Kids are All Right
* Red
* The Tourist

If there is any justice, quality will win this category.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE, COMEDY OR MUSICAL

* Annette Bening, The Kids are All Right
* Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs
* Angelina Jolie, The Tourist
* Julianne Moore, The Kids are All Right
* Emma Stone, Easy A

Although I loved the ever funny Emma Stone in “Easy A,” Annette’s turn in “Kids” will win the Globe.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE, COMEDY OR MUSICAL

* Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland
* Johnny Depp, The Tourist
* Paul Giamatti, Barney’s Version
* Jake Gyllenhaal, Love and Other Drugs
* Kevin Spacey, Casino Jack

I doubt anyone can beat a double Johnny.  Hopefully his turn in “Alice” will beat his bloated “Tourist.”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

* Despicable Me
* How to Train Your Dragon
* The Illusionist
* Tangled
* Toy Story 3

The most competitive category at the Globes…but I have to give the edge to “Dragon” — loved it!

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

* Biutiful
* The Concert
* The Edge
* I am Love
* In a Better World

Truth?  Haven’t seen any of them, so I’m going purely on here say.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

* Amy Adams, The Fighter
* Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
* Mila Kunis, Black Swan
* Melissa Leo, The Fighter
* Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

I went back and forth between Mila and Helena, but Helena’s quiet strength won me over.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

* Christian Bale, The Fighter
* Michael Douglas, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
* Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
* Jeremy Renner, The Town
* Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

I haven’t seen “The Fighter” yet, so I’m going on industry buzz and Bale’s reputation.  (Would love to see Andrew Garfield pull an upset, though.)

BEST DIRECTOR

* Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
* David Fincher, The Social Network
* Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
* Christopher Nolan, Inception
* David O. Russell, The Fighter

I don’t normally like to split the movie/director wins, but I think Aronofsky deserves a nod for directing this amazing thriller.

BEST SCREENPLAY

* Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy, 127 Hours
* Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, The Kids are All Right
* Christopher Nolan, Inception
* David Seidler, The King’s Speech
* Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

A celebration of writing as a craft.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

* Alexandre Desplat, The King’s Speech
* Danny Elfman, Alice in Wonderland
* A.R. Rahmann, 127 Hours
* Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Social Network
* Hans Zimmer, Inception

They’ve been winning all the awards so far….

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

* “Bound to You” from Burlesque
* “Coming Home” from Country Strong
* “I See the Light” from Tangled
* “There’s a Place for Us” from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
* “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” from Burlesque

Would love to see “Tangled” bring something home.

BEST TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA

* “Boardwalk Empire”
* “Dexter”
* “The Good Wife”
* “Mad Men”
* “The Walking Dead”

The Hollywood Foreign Press usually likes new and freaky.  This one fits the bill.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA

* Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
* Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men”
* Piper Perabo, “Covert Affairs”
* Katey Sagal, “Sons of Anarchy”
* Kyra Sedgwick, “The Closer”

Julia will nab another award.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA

* Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire”
* Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
* Michael C. Hall, “Dexter”
* Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
* Hugh Laurie, “House”

Bryan will nab another one as well.

BEST TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL

* “30 Rock”
* “The Big Bang Theory”
* “The Big C”
* “Glee”
* “Modern Family”
* “Nurse Jackie”

Continue your domination, oh wondrous sitcom.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL

* Toni Collette, “United States of Tara”
* Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
* Tina Fey, “30 Rock”
* Laura Linney, “The Big C”
* Lea Michele, “Glee”

Edie’s back.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL

* Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”
* Steve Carell, “The Office”
* Thomas Jane, “Hung”
* Matthew Morrison, “Glee”
* Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”

Continue your domination, Sheldon.

BEST MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

* “Carlos”
* “The Pacific”
* “Pillars of the Earth”
* “Temple Grandin”
* “You Don’t Know Jack”

It’s won everything else — why not a Globe?

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

* Hayley Atwell, “Pillars of the Earth”
* Claire Danes, “Temple Grandin”
* Judi Dench, “Return to Cranford”
* Romola Garai, “Emma”
* Jennifer Love Hewitt, “The Client List”

She’s won everything else — why not a Globe?

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

* Idris Elba, “Luther”
* Ian McShane, “Pillars of the Earth”
* Al Pacino, “You Don’t Know Jack”
* Dennis Quaid, “The Special Relationship”
* Edgar Ramirez, “Carlos”

He’s won everything else — sorry, it just seems to work here.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

* Hope Davis, “The Special Relationship”
* Jane Lynch, “Glee”
* Kelly MacDonald, “Boardwalk Empire”
* Julia Stiles, “Dexter”
* Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family”

The HFP is bound to like Sofia a lot.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

* Scott Caan, “Hawaii Five-O”
* Chris Colfer, “Glee”
* Chris Noth, “The Good Wife”
* Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family”
* David Strathairn, “Temple Grandin”

What a crazy category.  I hope Eric takes it home.

Enjoy the Globes everyone!

Scary feet

I have never attended a live ballet performance.

Living steps from Lincoln Center, I am particularly ashamed to admit that.

But the truth is, what goes on behind the scenes in professional ballet has always been far more interesting to me than watching the actual dance.

That’s why I was one of the first to attend the movie Black Swan at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas yesterday.  The psychological thriller starring Natalie Portman goes back stage at a New York City ballet company as it launches its new season with a performance of “Swan Lake.”

Natalie plays a young soloist tapped to play the lead after the prima ballerina retires.  The movie follows her struggles to play the duel roles — the innocent White Swan and the sensual Black Swan —  that the part requires.

Now, obviously I enjoy movies about dance.  I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them all, good and bad.  But if you typically don’t do dance films and hadn’t considered seeing Black Swan, I encourage you to change your mind.

This movie is a thriller, first and foremost, and a fascinating glimpse into the world of professional ballet.  Natalie Portman’s performance — both on and off the dance floor — is not to be missed.  You’ve probably read about her weight loss and her year of ballet training.  She backs up both with a powerful emotional performance.

Any Oscar talk is completely justified.

I left the theater a little creeped out, but the lights of Lincoln Center provided the perfect beacon for my walk home.