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Tilda's Paycheck, Christian's Oscar, Helen's Tempest, Ryan's Meme

Tilda Swinton reaches for another Narnia paycheck



...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.

If the last Narnia film is any indication, The White Witch's appearance in THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER will be the sum total of her screentime in the movie. We see Tilda Swinton floating in the sky like the goddess she is, hand lifted and opened. Waiting for her paycheck perhaps?  Someone has to foot the bill for her film festival globe trotting, avant garde fashions, wondrous cinephile activism and her preference for brilliant but uncommercial cinema last year's Julia and this year's I Am Love (now on DVD - don't miss it). For this reason, and this reason alone, we salute the utterly bland Narnia films. Keep Tilda in the black.

Also Opening: Crackhead Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale) trains half brother Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) in THE FIGHTER. Wahlberg's Micky may be the champ within the movie but Bale's Dicky is the one going home with a certain naked gold man next February.



Barring a Bale-focused scandal (possible, right?), it's hard to imagine the Academy's acting branch passing up this opportunity to award the sometimes prickly thespian for his rich body of work and insane commitment to craft; let this be the last time he risks his health to cut a skeletal figure onscreen. Who knew that an addict loser would become his most likeable character since maybe his flyboy in Spielberg's Empire of the Sun. He even sings a bar or two which should make Newsies fans happy. Bale doesn't normally make the type of films the Academy generally goes for but he finally has. What's more, The Fighter, is hugely enjoyable - your mileage may vary but I'm generally allergic to both inspirational sports movies and biopics and I loved it anyway. Apart from Wahlberg whose character is a bit of a cypher, the movie has great performances and a funky sense of humor. (I can't wait to hear people quoting Melissa Leo's takedown of Amy Adams "I heard you're an MTV girl!".)

Mirren_tempest Elsewhere in movie theaters Julie Taymor (Across the Universe) brings her visionary genius (or visual tourettes depending on your point of view) to Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST with Helen Mirren in the Prospero role, now renamed Prospera. Taymor's Tempest is such an inconsistent tonal mess that you may have more fun reading the continual media coverage of her seeemingly doomed Broadway venture SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK, which is still in preview performances.

Finally, Angelina Jolie leads Johnny Depp into danger in THE TOURIST. Haven't people learned by now that Angelina is trouble? If she's coming on to you in a movie, you're already a human target.


Picture 19 Road With Peter Jackson prepping the two part film based on The Hobbit, he's bringing the Rings characters back... even if they didn't appear in the original book. Cate Blanchett will reprise Galadriel and now there's talk that Orlando Bloom will return as blonde, pointy-eared Legolas. Do you have any desire to return to Middle Earth?

Road Have you seen The New York Times 1 minute silent movie series with today's stars playing cinematic types? It's quite amusing and mercifully brief. You've already seen James Franco making out with himself but doesn't Tilda Swinton do a great Falconetti? Strange mystery of this project: Best Actress hopeful Annette Bening has a great photo in the accompanying slide slow, but she does not appear in the 1 minute films. Curious.

Road Ryan Gosling addresses the "F*** Yeah, Ryan Gosling" internet meme for MTV. So adorable. So meta.

Road In other Gosling news, he's both cross-dressing and stripping to his skivvies [NSFW] in the bizarre sort-of-true mystery All Good Things, now in select theaters. Kirsten Dunst is excellent as his abused wife but the film is not up to her level. Meanwhile, the popular actor is working the campaign trail for an Oscar nomination of his own for Blue Valentine, which opens soon. Hey girl, he deserves it. The latter film, a superb marital drama co-starring Michelle Williams, recently won its appeal with the MPAA which lifted the box office poison NC-17 rating for a simple R.


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  1. Bale is hot, Wahlberg I like too, in the same movie...

    Posted by: Matt26 | Dec 10, 2010 6:14:35 PM

  2. I saw "The Fighter" last night. So far, it's the best domestic film I've seen all year. But the actor who carried that movie was not Christian Bale. While he looked like a meth addict thanks to makeup and weight loss, I didn't believe for a second that he was actually hitting the pipe. Most people have never witnessed in real life the train wreck that is a meth addict. Those folks are going to laud his performance. But those of us who have actually witnessed the horror up close and personal will realize he wasn't nearly tweaky enough that during the scenes where he's supposed to be high. The actor who does carry the movie, however, is the matriarch of the family, played by Melissa Leo. She's brilliant as a narcissistic, self-absorbed, boxing version of a controlling stage mother. I highly recommend the movie to anyone who appreciates character development and the portrayal of extreme family dysfunction. And no, you don't have to be a boxing fan to enjoy it.

    Posted by: peterparker | Dec 10, 2010 6:35:26 PM

  3. @PeterParker - thank you.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Dec 10, 2010 6:37:44 PM


    Posted by: Uluwehi | Dec 10, 2010 6:41:41 PM

  5. Maybe it's bias from being from Boston but have been a huge fan of Wahlberg for some time now. Was shocked to see him go from silly "rapper" to an actual great actor.


    Posted by: | Dec 10, 2010 6:42:23 PM

  6. Umm, Narnia is a religious film produced by Walden Media who promtoe anti-gay and ex-gay movements. Why Tilda would support these people is beyond me, and I refuse to watch anything with her in it.

    Posted by: Lou | Dec 10, 2010 6:57:47 PM

  7. Isn't Mark Wahlberg a racist and a homophobe? But gays support (and drool over) him anyway? I don't understand.

    Posted by: RW | Dec 10, 2010 7:02:13 PM

  8. Fantasy isn't normally my thing, but I'm watching the 'Rings' trilogy again right now. And I def. would go see "The Hobbit".

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Dec 10, 2010 7:34:11 PM

  9. For someone who claims to love movies and actors and directors, etc., your continuing to work the trite meme suggesting that anyone wanting to be recognized with an Oscar for their accomplishment is to be flamed or that's their primary motivation demeans you and them.

    With respect, could you write a few of your interesting reviews without inserting it like boiler plate? Thank you.

    Posted by: | Dec 10, 2010 7:35:25 PM

  10. Tilda's twelve-second cameo in "Prince Caspian" was the only redeeming factor of that film, and I will gladly hand Tilda her check for her eleven seconds in Dawn Treader!

    Posted by: StFrancisFolly | Dec 10, 2010 7:39:27 PM

  11. Can we shift the conversation to talking about how ridiculously adorable and sexy Ryan Gosling is?

    Posted by: E. | Dec 10, 2010 7:57:05 PM

  12. Mark Whalberg is such a bad actor. Its too bad that all these other great actors are in the same film with him. I won't be going to see his obvious play to get an Oscar nod. This role is not a stretch by any means for the street thug from Boston. On the other hand, as a producer I'm impressed with his work and surprized given his lack of talent as an actor-Entourage? In Treatment? Both brilliant shows. Stick to producing, get out from in front of the camera, please. You suck as an actor Whalberg!

    Posted by: tooboot | Dec 10, 2010 10:48:00 PM

  13. Tilda doesn't ahve to worry about getting a paycheck. Her family virtually OWNS Scotland.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 10, 2010 11:57:57 PM

  14. Jim Carrey should win for I Love You Phillip Morris!!!! Most daring role of the year!!!

    Posted by: alan brickman | Dec 11, 2010 10:30:32 AM

  15. I'm with you, E.: young Mr. Gosling is so effen hot to gaze upon, and he's a good actor too. I'd like to gently bite his entire body... numnumnum.

    Posted by: lewpy | Dec 11, 2010 2:22:43 PM

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