Tag Archives: movie credits

Call back

If you’ve auditioned for anything in New York City — and I have — you’ve met your fair share of casting directors. Their personalities and policies vary, but their power is undeniable.

Or it is today.

casting byThe 2012 HBO documentary Casting By, which I caught OnDemand earlier this week, was an eye-opener on the history of the director/casting director relationship in Hollywood.

The credits for casting directors that you have probably grown used to seeing on movies were extremely hard earned, and were greatly debated on films past.

And have you noticed there is no Oscar for Best Casting…although the Academy gives awards for other director-approved elements like Editing and Cinematography?

Whichever side you land on in the debate, the film will get you thinking…and no doubt respect even more the work casting directors do.

What a character

I saw two movies today.  It was a double feature Saturday —

My favorite kind.

The films were The Perks of Being a Wallflower starring Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, and Trouble with the Curve starring Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams.

Obviously the latter had the big name stars.  But I would argue the former featured more interesting acting choices.

Clint Eastwood harumphed his way through Curve, playing an ol’ curmudgeon that appears to be the extent of his repertoire.  It’s just an older version of Dirty Harry.  Or the Outlaw Josey Wales.  Or any role he’s ever played.

‘Cause he’s only got the one.

In Perks, Ezra Miller plays a lovable, gay, sometimes cross-dressing stepbrother to Harry Potter’s Emma Watson.  It took me to the end credits to realize that he was the same actor who played the title character in last year’s award-winning We Need to Talk about Kevin,  a sinister teenager who used a bow-and-arrow to orchestrate a massacre at his high school.

He was unrecognizable in Perks.  And it’s not like he had dyed his hair or changed his physique.  He simply committed to a different character choice so completely, it almost changed the contours of his face.

Something tells me Clint could never lose the squint.

Worthy candidate

I laughed and laughed at The Campaign this afternoon…which is really no surprise.

What made me laugh was.

I  expected Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis to be funny.  Their take on two candidates for a US Senate seat in North Carolina was over-the-top and out-of-control.  No issue was off-limits. No person, place or thing (translation: animal) was safe if their misuse provided a potential positive bump in the polls.

But for me, the surprises kept this movie from being your standard comedy.  Things the trailer didn’t reveal.  Cameos it didn’t spoil (and I won’t either).  The promos even used some alternative footage so that the real punch lines weren’t given away before you sat down in the theatre.

What a novel idea.

Probably my biggest ‘aha’ in The Campaign is how much I enjoyed the performance of Dylan McDermott as Galifianakis’ evil campaign manager.  I don’t think of him as a comedic actor, but McDermott stole every frame he appeared in.

The ending was also unexpected.  And I will surprise you now by not giving it away, except to say —

Watch the credits.

Prince charming

Colin Firth has been called a prince on several occasions.

Last night, he got a chance to showcase his skills.

As last year’s BAFTRA Best Actor Award winner for The King’s Speech, he was called upon to present the 2012 Best Actress BAFTRA Award at last night’s ceremony.  (I watched the festivities on DVR this morning during breakfast.)

Meryl Streep won for The Iron Lady, but the events that followed prove that winning ain’t always easy.

As Streep started walking toward the stage, she realized she had brought her purse, so she quickly shoved it into the hands of a woman on the aisle.  Then — in a Cinderella moment that couldn’t have been scripted — Streep left a shoe on the stage steps.

Thinking on his feet, Firth rescued her pump, knelt before the newly crowned Best Actress, and put it back on.

He was rewarded with a kiss.

Streep was thoughtful and gracious in her remarks, but I wasn’t really paying attention. We had just witnessed this spontaneous, movie-like moment.

Her speech was simply the credits.

Ah, dating

I saw “Date Night” last night starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey.

Ignore any mediocre reviews you’ve read.  Trust your instincts about these two and go see it.  It’s really, really funny. (And stay for the credits — there are outtakes.)

Then sit back and be thankful that your worst date doesn’t even compare.

My worst date actually turned out to be one of my favorite stories.

I was in college and met a guy at a good friend’s house.  He came to see me at school one weekend and took me out to dinner at Red Lobster — a big night out.

When we ordered, he asked the waitress if there were nuts in any of his dishes, but she assured him there were not.  (He had a nut allergy.)

Our first course arrived — his rice pilaf, my coleslaw — and we were chatting about whatever.  Suddenly, his eyes got very large and he projectile spit his entire mouthful of rice pilaf all over my face.

Before I could react — get mad or laugh or shake the rice out of my eyebrows — he started yelling,

“Call 9-1-1!  Call 9-1-1!  Call 9-1-1!”

…each more muffled and unintelligible as his throat closed up.

Turns out there were almonds in the rice pilaf.

So, I spent that date in the emergency room, making sure a guy I had only met once before didn’t die.

And I didn’t even get to eat my cheesy bread.