The capper to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy drew mixed reviews during its theatrical run, so if the bad ones kept you away, now's your chance to form an opinion before its inevitable nomination for several technical Oscars and probably none for writing or acting.
Bane's (Tom Hardy) plot: too complicated? Bane's voice: too silly? Anne Hathaway's Catwoman: superior to Michelle Pfeiffer's? Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) using his Batman voice, when he's suited up, with Morgan Freeman's Fox, even though Fox totally knows who he is: still?! You'll be able to answer all these questions and more — and, best of all, you can pause it for bathroom breaks, and you will need to, because this thing is LONG.
The Oscars, as I hope we’ve established by now, are not simply a beauty contest. But when it comes to the half-dozen categories that reward visuals, that can be hard to remember. Here’s this year’s rundown:
Best Art Direction
The Artist Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Hugo Midnight in Paris War Horse
Welcome to December, RazzieWatchers! We’re in the home stretch. We have to say, this is the most exciting Razzie season in years — every time we think a movie’s a shoo-in, something elsecomes along that’s even worse! Last week saw the bloody, violent birth of Razzie heavyweight Breaking Dawn, Part 1 — seemingly a lock with a 26% Tomatometer, but possibly hampered by a sort-of rave by mysterious New York Times soothsayer Manohla Dargis.
Daniel Silver: If it weren’t for the presence of the 33-year-old Malin Akerman (sorry, Malin. You’re awesome and I love you) I would have assumed Catch .44 was a cheap Tarantino knock off from 17 years ago. Malin would have been a teen back then, so there’s no way she could have been in this. But if this wasn’t made in the mid nineties, why would Academy Award winner Forrest Whitaker be throwing on such a ridiculous accent? Bruce Willis’ look today vs. 1995 is a push, so him being around doesn’t help. I have no idea what to make of this one. Rembert…for the love of all things 2 Days in the Valley can you please shed some light?
Rembert Browne: Here's what happened. They told Bruce will to rent The Departed and The Dark Knight to study how Jack and Heath transform into manipulative leaders Frank Costello and the Joker. But when Bruce got to Blockbuster, those movies were gone, so he rented all five Die Hard movies, bought a pint of Breyers' heath bar ice cream, picked up 3 handles of Jack at the neighboring liquor store, and practiced for this role in Demi's back yard. It's sad, really.
In covering the Oscar race so far, I’ve tried to focus on movies that have already opened. But this week, I’m tossing that approach, because effective immediately, the attention of the Oscar-punditry universe swivels decisively forward. The last eight weekends of 2011 will bring more than two dozen movies with aspirations as modest as a single acting nomination and as grandiose as sweeping the slate from Best Picture to Best Makeup.
So from now until year’s end, the goal of every contender that opened before November 1 is simply survival. Think of the next two months as a tidal wave, and of early hopefuls like Midnight in Paris, The Help, and Moneyball as trees along the shore line. Some of those trees will topple — and a couple of months from now, those still standing may look that much taller. Same goes for the movies in the big wave; some will arrive with obliterating force while others will weaken the closer they get. (Please take the above tortured analogy as my tribute to Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter.) With that in mind, this Oscarmetrics installment is a cheat sheet — a map of the parallel tracks of reality and hype along which the race will now proceed.
Ladies, start your accents! It may be summer, but today marks the beginning of the Hollywood award season with the first glimpse of The Iron Lady, a stirring drama about a respected but counted-out woman’s triumphant quest to dominate the opposition and win another Oscar. Of course, it’s also about Meryl Streep donning her best Academy-pleasing British-isms in order to portray Margaret Thatcher, the United Kingdom’s first female Prime Minister, in a film from the director responsible for Mamma Mia!. We’re sure there will be a stirring rise to power, some sexism, a soupçon of conflict and (hopefully) a terrible Ronald Regan impression (we know someone who’s available!). But this trailer is cut more like an action film, as two stentorian sorts quibble over their future leader’s ladylike appearance leading to the big, crowd-pleasing (or crowd-infuriating!) reveal. Though given only a few winking moments of screen time, Streep seems well-cast and comfortably at ease in her trademark pearls — though her coquettish smile seems a bit much for a woman blamed for effectively crushing the UK’s proud tradition of trade unions. Still, Thatcher was undeniably successful in her single-minded pursuit of victory — something we’ll no doubt be saying about Streep, as well, come next February. And if the potential lionization of such a polarizing figure sticks in your craw, we recommend counterbalancing it with a little light music.