Movies: Conviction, Jackass 3D, Cleopatra, Oscar’s Foreign Film List and More

That's Cindy Scrash and Jenny Larrue, two queens from Portugal. They're starring as rival transsexual cabaret stars in the Portuguese Oscar submission TO DIE LIKE A MAN. While Oscar has handed statues to some trans-related films like All About My Mother and Boys Don't Cry in the past, it's not usually their kind of thing. Here are Cindy and Jenny doing the classic duet "I Know Him So Well". (This is not a clip from the movie.)

To Die Like a Man is directed by João Pedro Rodrigues who previously brought you the explicitly gay and rather disturbing O Fantasma (2000). To Die… didn't get much attention earlier this year at Cannes but at least one critic thought it was one of the very best of the venerated fest.

 road If you want to see the whole Foreign Film Oscar Submission List, click here for extensive information charts designed by yours truly. Each year sees around 65 films competing for the 5 coveted "Nominee" slots.

Undertow I've been covering this race in depth for ten years and generally among the sixty-plus films there will be one to three that are gay-themed or…uh… gay adjacent. This year, besides Portugal's transsexual drama, there's a Slovenian film called 9:06 about a cop who becomes obsessed with the life of a bisexual man who committed suicide and I assume there are gay characters sprinkled in a few others though info is still coming in. Gay festival favorite, UNDERTOW (previously reviewed here at Towleroad), from Peru was also submitted. Peru won their first nomination ever in this category just last year, so maybe they'll experience leftover goodwill from the voters?

The two most famous faces in this year's competition are Gael García Bernal who stars in Spain's EVEN THE RAIN and Javier Bardem in Mexico's BIUTIFUL which comes out in December this year… but even if you don't recognize the other names, there's a ton of beautiful actors in the submission list if you'd just like to gawk (Alexander Skarsgård's little brother is among them.)

Picture 4  road James Cameron (Avatar) is considering a Cleopatra biopic to star Angelina Jolie. It doesn't really sound like a Cameron project given his taste for boundary pushing f/x and genre films in general. But then… one can always dream. Here's mine for challenge-junkie Cameron: Dump Angelina. Convince Elizabeth Taylor to come out of retirement to recreate her signature role and develop a new technology that will make La Liz look exactly as she did back in the early 60s when she and that Cleopatra were bankrupting the studio.

 road Paul Verhoeven, infamous Dutch director of Showgirls and Basic Instinct, who recently had a critical hit with Black Book (well worth a rental), is coming back to Hollywood for Eternal, a sexy ghost story.

 roadDo you think Tom Cruise will really do this Top Gun 2 thing?

 road Amy Adams is joining the new Muppets movie. Please let her have a duet with Miss Piggy. Or Gonzo.

 road Let's end with a new image from BURLESQUE. Is Xtina is trying to bring the hand bra back?


Will Cher be pleased or is that too much of a Barbra thing?


  1. encantospeed says

    I am sad to say that the Portuguese movie, To die like a man, has a very very very slim chance of being selected as one of the 5 foreign films. I saw the movie last year at the Vancouver Film Festival and this is not Academy style material. The movie has some really magic moments, but it is definitely too artsy (short for pretentious) for Hollywood. But being a gay Portuguese I will be keeping my thumbs way up!

  2. veg says

    The clips of “Burlesque” look like awful, dated clichés–garish and poorly lit too. The songs that I’ve heard parts of (and even the song titles) sound dated and hackneyed too.

    In an era of the garish, leg-contorting Pussycat Dolls girl groups (and their other Robin Antin-created inmitations)…

    …at a time when the masterful burlesque-oriented musicals “Sweet Charity” and “Cabaret” are rarely revived today…

    …in an era when the innovations of the pale, 40s-revival burlesque beauty Dita Von Teese have come to typify the re-imagining of burlesque as avant garde high art…

    …at a time when gay male burlesque has become a hell of a lot more sophisticated than the old Gaiety theater and the Show Palace in midtown NYC, and the seedy-by-the-day Nob Hill in SF…

    …in a time when the Dr. Sketchy’s Movement organizes burlesque dancers to pose for come-as-you-are artists at local bars during happy hour (even my own town of Baltimore has a Dr. Sketchy’s:…

    …at a time when BOTH of the burlesque-oriented films that I saw on opening night in my life still live on in infamy: the 1995 Paul Verhoeven-directed movie “Showgirls” (starring Elizabeth Berkley from the TV show “Saved by the Bell” and the 1996 film “Striptease” starring Demi Moore with bazooka breast implants…

    …in light of all these things I would have hoped that Xtina and Cher’s film would do something fresh and new with the many-avenued burlesque tradition.

    Maybe it will be different when I see it in its entirety.

    But I doubt it.

    The only film that ever handled burlesque beautifully was the Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim/Arthur Laurents musical production of “Gypsy” (based on the memoirs of the stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and the play of the same name). Now THAT was entertainment! Curtain up!

  3. TANK says

    Knoxville proved he was good people after the ringer. If you don’t have someone who’s cognitively or physically handicapped in your life, you’re missing out on good times and good people.

    Cleopatra wasn’t a pretty woman, actually. That’s a big misconception about her. She is considered one of history’s great beauties because of the power of her personality. She used to a eat a lot of pickles, too…no, actual pickles, because she believed that they would preserve her youth.

    Anyway, this month is about horror, and I really don’t care to read much about anything else. GORE AND JUMP OUT OF YOUR SEAT FRIGHTS.

  4. rovex says

    The Lizzy version of Cleopatra was terrible. The acting was bad, the story boring and it looked more ‘costly’ than than expensive (in that it cost a lot but looked horribly cheap). It only won Oscars because so much money was riding on it.
    I dont want Cameron wasting time on a remake, i want the rumoured Battle Angel!

  5. LostBoy68 says

    And the name of the “Slovenian film” is …? The editing here at Towleroad can be so sloppy.