Film | Nathaniel Rogers | News | Oscars

Movies: Blue Valentine, Rabbit Hole, Pixar Goes Postal and Andrew Tears Up

  "You Always Hurt the Ones You Love" -Gosling serenades/warns Williams



...lives for the the tail end of each year. That's when Oscar buzz wags the film dog. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.


You have your pick of Oscar hopefuls this holiday weekend. Black Swan (previously discussed), True Grit and The King's Speech have all recently gone wide. If you're on one of the coasts, you must check out Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in BLUE VALENTINE now in limited release. The drama has a fully earned reputation for being brutally depressing but there's so much electricity in their duet that it's not remotely a tough sit. The film juxtaposes Ryan and Michelle's initial courtship with their breakup, allowing you an insightful look at all the seeds that will grow into marital weeds. It's vaguely reminiscent of the great stage musical The Last Five Years albeit without all the singing. That said, former boyband hopeful Ryan Gosling does do a mean rendition of "You Always Hurt the Ones You Love" with a ukelele in hand.

Picture 36 A less depressing option is - surprise! - the grief drama RABBIT HOLE. It's based on the award-winning Broadway play with Nicole Kidman taking over Cynthia Nixon's role for the screen. Though it's a story of a couple who recently lost their only child, it's much more about healing than wallowing in grief. Out director John Cameron Mitchell, having already proven himself a thrilling filmmaker (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus), does an artistic about face and let's the actors shine while he works invisibly this time. Kidman gives her best performance since Birth, which, come to think of it, was also suffused with the mysteries of grief. She has a real gift for it, never playing just one note.

Both films will be expanding further in January. How widely they do so will probably depend on Oscar nominations.


 road If Andrew Garfield gets Oscar nominated for his sympathetic turn as Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network, you know he'll be bombarded by Spider-Man questions on every red carpet. He'll be forced into giving a million superhumanly vague answers to protect blockbuster secrets. He's already quite an expert at being charming and articulate without actually saying anything, like in this new BBC interview.



In eight minutes we learn only that he loved Spider-Man as a 5 year-old and that Tobey Maguire gave his blessing for him to take over (though they've never met). He also didn't write an acceptance speech for the upcoming Golden Globes. But that's okay because he's not going to win (see the next bullet point).

Andrew is a little more effusive in this interview with Capital FM where he talks about wearing the Spider-Man suit.

"I shed a tear when I first wore the spandex. I didn't think that the spandex would make me so emotional, but it did."

 road Christian Bale will be hogging all the gold statues for his totally brilliant performance as a retired boxer/crack addict. Have you seen The Fighter yet?

Pixar_stamps  road This coming summer Pixar gets postage stamps celebrating their beloved characters from WALL•E, Cars, Ratatouille, Up and Toy Story. I thought you had to be more aged to receive your own stamps? Perhaps that only applies to flesh and blood characters and not pixellated ones.

 road Clint Eastwood has cast more stars for his upcoming J Edgar Hoover biopic including, probably, Charlize Theron and Dame Judi Dench. (I almost typed Dame Edna. What's wrong with me? One doesn't suspect Clint would go for Dame Edna even though Hoover was a rumored crossdresser.) There's no word yet on which role Dench would play but the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the famously closeted FBI director and Armie Hammer (The Social Network's Winklevoss twins) as his lover and star employee. It's now retitled J. Edgar.

 roadPicture 32 Here's an amusing bit about Oscar hopeful The King's Speech: Is it really just another Karate Kid remake?

  road Do you ever listen to soundtracks? The Academy has already declared a few major Oscar hopefuls like True Grit and Black Swan ineligible for their Original Score honor and now we know that Toy Story 3 won't be nominated either. The full list of 77 eligible scores is a thinner field than usual which might prepare the way for Oscar to get a little more experimental in what they choose; Could rock god Trent Reznor actually become an Oscar nominee for his thumping Social Network score? Or Perhaps it'll just clear the way for an Alexandre Desplat win? He's a likely nominee for The King's Speech (though his work on The Ghost Writer is even better) so if he can get around Hans Zimmer's big Edith Piaf flavored Inception score, he may be golden. Desplat is the movie's busiest composer now but I recently had a chat with him and he even let me know how he picks which scores go on his Oscar ballot.


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  1. Rabbit Hole was amazing. Kidman was a revelation. Eckhart's damn good. Wiest provides strong support. I balled my eyes out. Don't go see this without tissue. But, it's not as dreary as you might think.

    Posted by: Vince in WeHo | Dec 30, 2010 10:31:12 PM

  2. Was Michelle referencing her relationship w Heath for this role? Pity none of the interviewers asked her that begging question

    Posted by: vonLmo | Dec 30, 2010 11:25:52 PM

  3. I'm seeing Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams interviewed January 9th - so excited! And I saw THE FIGHTER today! So incredibly moving.

    Posted by: Michael | Dec 30, 2010 11:46:29 PM

  4. I loved The Fighter too. Amy Adams was great. Marky Mark was good. Melissa Leo kicked ass. Bale sewed up the Oscar. I did find his scenes difficult to watch, but the film makes up for it in the end.

    Posted by: Vince in WeHo | Dec 31, 2010 12:26:55 AM

  5. There have always been gays in the black community, that is no secret. The issue is how the community has dealt with gay individuals. As a young boy I can recall a couple of friends from elementary school who we all suspected of being gay but never said anything. One of them has since died from AIDS ten years ago.

    Full story:

    Posted by: Recovered | Dec 31, 2010 1:19:05 AM

  6. I have no desire to see Blue Valentine. It isn't gay-friendly in the slightest.

    Posted by: bruce | Dec 31, 2010 4:16:15 AM

  7. "I have no desire to see Blue Valentine. It isn't gay-friendly in the slightest"

    Can you explain why without giving out a bunch of spoilers? I hadn't heard that about it.

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Dec 31, 2010 11:55:39 AM

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