Showing posts with label Frances McDormand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frances McDormand. Show all posts

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Review: Riveting "WOMEN TALKING" is a Film That Speaks Directly, Even to Us

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 19 of 2023 (No. 1908) by Leroy Douresseaux

Women Talking (2022)
Running time:  104 minutes (1 hour, 44 minutes)
MPA – PG-13 for mature thematic content including sexual assault, bloody images, and some strong language
DIRECTOR:  Sarah Polley
WRITER:  Sarah Polley (based upon the book by Miriam Toews)
PRODUCERS:  Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Frances McDormand
EDITORS:  Christopher Donaldson and Roslyn Kalloo
COMPOSER:  Hildur Guðnadottir
Academy Award winner


Starring:  Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, France McDormand, Judith Ivey, Emily Mitchell, Kate Hallet, Liv McNeil, Shelia McCarthy, Michelle McLeod, Kira Guloien, Shayla Brown, Vivien Endicott-Douglas, August Winter, and Ben Whishaw

Women Talking is a 2022 drama film from writer-director Sarah Polley. The film is based on Miriam Towes' 2018 Canadian novel, Women Talking.  Both the film and the novel are inspired by real-life events.  Women Talking the film focuses on a group of women who must decide if they should do nothing, stay and fight, or leave their isolated religious community where sexual abuse of girls and women is common.

Women Talking opens in the year 2010 in an unnamed, isolated Mennonite colony.  The colony's women and girls have discovered that some of the men in the colony have been using livestock tranquilizer to subdue them in order to rape them.  Although other men in the colony have had these attackers arrested and imprisoned in a nearby city, they are also seeking bail for the attackers.

The men have left the women by themselves for two days in order for the women to determine what they will do going forward.  However, the men expect the women to forgive their attackers or be expelled from the colony.  The women gather in a barn to discuss and to vote.  They have a young man named August (Ben Whishaw) sit in the meeting in order to take the minutes.  When he was a boy, Ben's mother was expelled from the colony.  Ben returned to become the colony's sole teacher, but he only teaches the boys because women are not allowed to attend school.

Elders like Agata (Judith Ivey) and Greta (Sheila McCarthy) lead the discussion, but young women like Ona (Rooney Mara), Salome (Claire Foy), Mariche (Jessie Buckley), and Mejal (Michelle McLeod) have strong opinions.  Should the women do nothing... forgive... stay and fight... or leave the colony?  As they grapple with the brutal reality of their faith, the time to decide is running out.

Almost four days out from watching Women Talking, and I find myself still thinking about it, dear readers.  In the wake of the of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, it feels like a supernaturally timely film.  The “Dobbs decision” held that the Constitution of the United States did not confer a right to abortion.  It is just the latest in a more than three-decade assault on women's rights to reproductive freedom and choice.

Women Talking effectively delivers a valuable message.  The women of the Mennonite colony that this film depicts must confront not only the violence against them, but also a religion designed down to its bones to give men all the power over women.  Their faith essentially renders women and girls indentured servants and non-citizens.

I quibble that writer-director Sarah Polley's direction and Oscar-winning screenplay bury the actresses of Women Talking beneath the scenario and story.  There is a lot of genuine talent here, and I wanted to see more of them, in a broader sense, although no one can really keep Rooney Mara from shining.  In a way, however, that is good thing.  The way Polley presents this makes Women Talking as timeless as it is timely.

Women Talking is truly an exceptional and spectacular film because the women at the heart of its story are talking.  What they say crosses over into our real world.  Because what is depicted in this film is real, it matters.  Women Talking is based on something that happened not that long ago, in this century, so women struggling for equality and human rights must keep talking.  And this movie, Women Talking, is entertainment, educational, and hopefully, inspiration for future generations.

9 of 10
★★★★+ out of 4 stars

Thursday, May 4, 2023

2023 Academy Awards, USA:  1 win: “Best Adapted Screenplay” (Sarah Polley) and 1 nomination: “Best Motion Picture of the Year” (Jeremy Kleiner, Dede Gardner, and Frances McDormand – producers)

2023 Golden Globes, USA:  2 nominations: “Best Original Score - Motion Picture” (Hildur Guðnadóttir) and “Best Screenplay-Motion Picture” (Sarah Polley)

The text is copyright © 2023 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.



Thursday, March 17, 2022

Review: "THE FRENCH DISPATCH" is Ultimate Wes Anderson

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 14 of 2022 (No. 1826) by Leroy Douresseaux

The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun (2021)
Running time:  107 minutes (1 hour, 47 minutes)
MPA – R for graphic nudity, some sexual references and language
DIRECTOR:  Wes Anderson
WRITERS:  Wes Anderson; from a story by Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, and Hugo Guinness
PRODUCERS:  Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, and Steven Rales
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Robert Yeoman (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Andrew Weisblum
COMPOSER:  Alexandre Desplat

COMEDY/DRAMA/ANTHOLOGY with elements of fantasy

Starring:  Jeffrey Wright, Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Liev Schreiber, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, Winston Ait Hellal, and Owen Wilson and Anjelica Huston

The French Dispatch (full title: The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun) is a 2021 comedy-drama and anthology film from writer-director Wes Anderson.  The film focuses on the French foreign bureau of a Kansas newspaper and the features magazine it produces.

The French Dispatch introduces Arthur Howitzer Jr. (Bill Murray).  When he was a college freshman, he convinces his father, the owner of the newspaper, the “Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun,” to fund his transatlantic trip.  Junior would in turn produce a series of travelogue columns, which would be published for local readers in the Evening Sun's magazine supplement “Sunday Picnic.”  Arthur, Jr. sets up shop in the (fictional) French town of Ennui-sur-Blasé.  Over the next decade, young Arthur assembles a team of the best expatriate journalists of the time.  In 1925, he transforms the Sunday Picnic into the weekly magazine, “The French Dispatch” (something like The New Yorker).

In 1975, fifty years after he left Kansas, Arthur Howitzer, Jr. dies suddenly of a heart attack.  Although it has half a million subscribers in 50 countries, as per his will, The French Dispatch will immediately cease publication following the release of a farewell issue that will feature Arthur's obituary and four articles by magazine's best writers:

In “The Cycling Reporter,” Herbsaint Sazerac (Owen Wilson) gives a sight-seeing tour.  It is “a day in Ennui over the course of 250 years” and demonstrates how much and yet how little has changed in Ennui over time.

In “The Concrete Masterpiece,” J.K.L. Berensen (Tilda Swinton) delivers a lecture at an art gallery.  She details the career of Moses Rosenthaler (Benicio del Toro), a mentally disturbed artist serving a sentence in the Ennui Prison-Asylum for murder and the two most important people in his lives.  The first is Simone (Lea Seydoux), a prison officer who becomes Moses' lover and his muse.  Moses paints a portrait of Simone, and that second important person, Julien Cadazio, an art dealer also serving a sentence for tax evasion, is immediately taken by the painting.  After buying the painting, Cadazio uses it to turn Moses into an international sensation.  However, Moses struggles with inspiration, and his relationship with Simone becomes complicated.

In “Revisions to a Manifesto,” Lucinda Krementz (Frances McDormand) reports on a student protest breaking out in the streets of Ennui, one that soon boils over into the “Chessboard Revolution.”  Krementz fails to maintain “journalistic neutrality” when she falls in love with Zeffirelli (Timothée Chalamet), a college boy who is the self-styled leader of the revolt.  She secretly helps him write his manifesto, but Juliette (Lyna Khoudri), a fellow revolutionary who has some feelings for Zeffirelli, is unimpressed with his manifesto – thus, creating a love triangle.

In “The Private Dining Room of the Police Commissioner,” Roebuck Wright (Jeffrey Wright) is the guest of a television talk show host (Liev Schreiber).  Wright recounts the story of his attending a private dinner with The Commissaire (Mathieu Amalric) of the Ennui police force.  The meal is prepared by the legendary police officer and chef, Lt. Nescaffier (Stephen Park).  Nescaffier is the creator of a kind of “haute cuisine” specifically designed to be eaten by police officers while they are working.  The dinner is disrupted when the Commissaire's inquisitive and bright son, Gigi (Winston Ait Hellal), is kidnapped and held for ransom by a large gang of criminals, led by a failed musician known as “The Chauffeur” (Edward Norton).

They mourn his death.  Now, the staff of The French Dispatch must put together a final issue with these four stories that Arthur Howitzer Jr. touched in some way?

The French Dispatch has been described as a film that is “a love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional twentieth century French city.”  The film presents four of the magazine's stories of the city.  Director Wes Anderson has apparently stated that this film is inspired by his love of the venerable weekly magazine, The New Yorker, and that some of the film's characters and events are based on real-life equivalents from that magazine.  During The French Dispatch's closing credits, there is a dedication to several writers and editors, many of whom wrote for The New Yorker.

To that end, The French Dispatch is a movie that celebrates magazine writers, illustrators, and editors and the stories they tell.  This film is a love letter to stories of local color and of locales written for magazines.  The film demands patience and attention on the part of the audience.  The French Dispatch is a hybrid.  It is an anthology of four main stories and of a few small chapters, although everything connects in the end.  The audience has to follow each of the main stories, paying attention from beginning to the end.  That is where the pay off comes.

In fact, each of the main stories seems like one thing in the beginning, but fully develops over the course of the narrative in something different.  At the end of each, I realized that the story was about wonderful characters living lives both ordinary and extraordinary.  In the extraordinary, Anderson gives us a reason to love what is so ordinary and human about them.

This is brilliant character writing on Anderson's part.  His gift is to make not only the lead and supporting characters fascinating, but he also makes even the characters who say little and the extras seem worth knowing – even when the narrative passes them by.  To that end, I think Roebuck Wright is the character that ties all the characters and stories together.  He is the narrator/writer of “The Private Dining Room of the Police Commissioner,” the final story.  Both his first meeting and final conversation with Bill Murray's Arthur coalesces the film's theme of expatriate writers, and he begins Arthur's obituary, which also brings together the film's shifts in time.  It would have been nice to see Wright receive a best supporting actor Oscar nomination for his work here, but The French Dispatch did not receive any Oscar nominations.

The film's production values:  art direction and production design, costumes, and cinematography all meet the wonderfully inventive and incredibly imaginative standards that audiences have come to expect from Wes Anderson's films.  The French Dispatch looks like no film I have ever seen.  Even Alexandre Desplat's score sounds like something entirely new in film music.  I described Anderson's 2014 film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, as Wes Anderson art for Wes Anderson's art sake.  The French Dispatch is Wes Anderson high art.

9 of 10

Thursday, March 17, 2022

2022 BAFTA Awards:  3 nominations: “Best Costume Design” (Milena Canonero); “Original Score” (Alexandre Desplat), and “Best Production Design” (Adam Stockhausen and Rena DeAngelo)

2022 Black Reel Awards:  1 nomination: “Outstanding Supporting Actor” (Jeffrey Wright)

2021 Cannes Film Festival:  1 nomination: “Palme d'Or” (Wes Anderson)

2022 Golden Globes, USA:  1 nomination: “Best Original Score - Motion Picture” (Alexandre Desplat)

The text is copyright © 2022 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.



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Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Review: "Nomadland" is Frances McDormand's Land

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 64 of 2021 (No. 1802) by Leroy Douresseaux

Nomadland (2020)
Running time:  104 minutes (1 hour, 44 minutes)
MPAA – R for some full nudity.
DIRECTOR:  Chloé Zhao
WRITER:  Chloé Zhao (based on the non-fiction book by Jessica Bruder)
PRODUCERS:  Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, and Chloé Zhao
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Joshua James Richards (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Chloé Zhao
COMPOSER:  Ludovico Einaudi
Academy Award winner including “Best Picture”


Starring:  Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May, Charlene Swankie, and Bob Wells

Nomadland is a 2020 drama film directed by Chloé Zhao.  The film is an adaptation of the 2017 nonfiction book, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, by author Jessica Bruder.  Nomadland the film depicts the real-world phenom of “nomads” people who live as transients, traveling around the United States and living in motor vehicles (“vandwelling”).  The film portrays this through the eyes of a woman who leaves her hometown to live as a vandwelling working nomad.

Nomadland opens sometime in 2011.  Sixty-something Fern (Frances McDormand) recently lost her job after the “US Gypsum Corporation” plant in Empire, Nevada shut down.  Fern had worked there for years along with her husband, who recently died.  Empire, a company town of US Gypsum, basically becomes a ghost town as almost everyone leaves after the jobs disappear.

Fern decides to sell most of her belongings and purchases a van, which she names “Vanguard.”  It becomes her new home.  Fran travel the country searching for work, sometimes working at an Amazon fulfillment center.  When she isn't at Amazon, Fern embarks on a journey through the American West, a modern-day nomad, living in her van.  Is this her new life or is it just a temporary state?

It has been noted that a number of real-life nomads and vandwellers appear as themselves in Nomadland, especially of note, Bob Wells, one of the best known proponents of vandwelling.  However, Nomadland, despite its title, is not so much about nomads and vandwelling as it is about Fern's journey.  The film's writer-director Chloe Zhao chronicles Fern's evolution from someone who becomes a vandweller out of necessity into someone who seems to fully embrace the life of a nomad.

In that, I can see why McDormand would go on to win the Academy Award for “Best Actress” for her performance as Fern.  McDormand creates in Fern a character that seems so real that I found myself believing that Fern was a real person.  This certainly helps to sell the docudrama mode Zhao sometimes adopts to tell particular chapters of this film.  In a career filled with virtuoso performances, Nomadland presents one of McDormand's very best.  Although the film does have another professional actor, David Strathairn, playing a character named “Dave,” a nomad who falls in love with Fern.  However, Strathairn and his character seem like a sapling trying to stay rooted in the hurricane that is McDormand's performance.

Nomadland is poetic and poignant; sometimes, it is poignant to the point of being too sorrowful to watch.  The film captures the restlessness in Fern, and its director captures the precariousness of Fern's new lifestyle.  Nomadland is about Fern's journey and life in Nomadland.  The “nomadland” and its nomads, are there to serve the purpose of her story.  If the film's title were more honest, it would be entitled “Fern” or “Fern in Nomadland.”  Nomadland is like a series of vignettes about Fern more than it is an actual story about something.

Still, Nomadland is a powerful character study that is successful because it is in the hands of both a powerful actress, Frances McDormand, and highly-skilled film director, Chloe Zhao, who can create multiple layers within the story of a character.  Nomadland reminds me of director Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980).  People see it as a great film, while I see it as a good, but meandering film that has built a great reputation largely on a truly great, generational performance by by its leading man, Robert DeNiro (who also won the “Best Actor” Oscar for this role).  Nomadland is a really good, but meandering film that has built a great reputation on...

As a character study, Nomadland is an exceptional film, but it has no larger meaning beyond being an exceptionally well-made film.  Nomadland is one of those film's that will make some people ask, “What's the point of this?”  Art for art's sake? Oscar bait? – I couldn't really answer that question.  However, I will give Nomadland a higher grade than I gave Raging Bull.

8 of 10

Sunday, October 31, 2021

2021 Academy Awards, USA:  3 wins: “Best Motion Picture of the Year” (Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, and Chloé Zhao), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role” (Frances McDormand), and “Best Achievement in Directing” (Chloé Zhao); 3 nominations: “Best Adapted Screenplay” (Chloé Zhao), “Best Achievement in Film Editing” (Chloé Zhao), and “Best Achievement in Cinematography” (Joshua James Richards)

2021 BAFTA Awards:  4 wins: “Best Film” (Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, and Chloé Zhao), “Best Leading Actress” (Frances McDormand), “Best Director” (Chloé Zhao), and “Best Cinematography” (Joshua James Richards); 3 nominations: “Best Screenplay-Adapted” (Chloé Zhao), “Best Sound” (Sergio Diaz, Zach Seivers, and Mike Wolf Snyder), and “Best Editing” Chloé Zhao)

2021 Golden Globes, USA:  2 wins: “Best Motion Picture – Drama” and “Best Director - Motion Picture” (Chloé Zhao); 2 nominations: “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (Chloé Zhao) and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama” (Frances McDormand)

The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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Thursday, September 30, 2021

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from September 26th to 30th, 2021 - Update #16

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


DISNEY - From Deadline:   Tim Federle will direct and Madhuri Shekar will write "Sister Act 3" for Disney+. Whoopi Goldberg will reprise her role as "Deloris," the nightclub singer turned nun.  Goldberg will also produce the film along with Tyler Perry and Tom Leonardis.

SCANDAL - From VanityFair:  Film, TV, and Broadway titan, Aaron Sorkin, says that scandal-ridden bully and super-producer (and Sorkin's collaborator), Scott Rudin, got what he deserved.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:   OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network has signed a deal for a 20-episode third season of "All Rise," the legal drama that CBS cancelled in this past May.  The Warner Bros TV-produced series will air on OWN beginning in 2022.  Star Simone Missick and most of the cast will return.

TELEVISION - From EOnline:  Ellen Pompeo remembers that time she called Denzel Washington a "m*therf*cker."

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Eleven years after dumping it, NBC is reviving its beloved crime drama, "Law & Order," for a 21st season.  No premiere date has yet been announced.

TELEVISION - From Variety:  J. Michael Straczynski is set to write and executive a reboot of his 1990s science fiction syndicated TV series, "Babylon 5," for The CW.  The series ran for fives seasons (1994-99), including a pilot film (1993) and five other television movies.  The pilot TV movie and the series' first four seasons were syndicated via the "Prime Time Entertainment Network."  Season 5 aired on cable network TNT.

SCANDAL - From Deadline:   Grammy-winning recording artist, R. Kelly, has been found guilty on all nine counts in his federal sex trafficking and racketeering trial in Brooklyn. Sentencing is set for May 4th, 2022.

CELEBRITY - From GQ:  Oscar-nominated, box office champion, Will Smith, is the cover feature in November 2021 issue of "GQ." "Introducing the Real Will Smith" is the title of the article.

TELEVISION - From TheHill:  "Saturday Night Live" is adding a comedian, James Austin Johnson, to its cast who's been dubbed the world's greatest impersonator of former President Trump.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 9/25 to 9/27/2021 weekend box office is "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" with an estimated 13.3 million dollars.

From Negromancer:  My review of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings."

CELEBRITY - From YahooEntertainment:  Former child star, Dante Baco (who played "Rufio" in Steven Spielberg's 1991 film, "Hook") talks about his career and transition from child to adult actor.

MARVEL - From THR:   On Friday, Sept. 24, Marvel Entertainement filed a series of lawsuits against the estates of a group of comic book creators who created many of their most popular characters.  Those creators, all deceased, include Stan Lee, Gene Colan, and Steve Ditko.  The dispute is over something called "copyright termination," but you can read more at the article.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Director Joel Coen and actor Frances McDormand answer questions about their new film, "The Tragedy of Macbeth," which also stars Denzel Washington and opened the 2021 New York Film Festival.

POLITICS - From YahooNews:  Kidnapping, assassination and a London shoot-out: Inside the CIA's secret war plans against WikiLeaks qne Julian Assange.


From THR:  Actor and former Disney child star, Tommy Kirk, has died at the age of 79, found dead on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.  Kirk was best known for the films he made for Walt Disney Studios from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s.  These include "Old Yeller" (1957), "The Shaggy Dog" (1959), "Swiss Family Robinson" (1960), and "Son of Flubber" (1963), to name a few.  He also played boy detective, "Joe Hardy," of "The Hardy Boys" on "The Mickey Mouse Club" in 1956.  The late Walt Disney reportedly personally fired Kirk from the studio in 1963 when he learned that the 21-year-old was involved in a gay relationship.  Kirk was elected as a "Disney Legend" in 2006.

From Deadline:  British film editor, Jon Gregory, has died at the age of 77, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.  Gregory was nominated for a "Best Film Editing" Oscar nomination for his work on "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" (2017).  He was a four-time BAFTA nominee, including for his work on films like "Four Wedding and a Funeral" (1994) and "In Bruges" (2008).  Gregory is also known for his work with director Mike Leigh, including on films "Naked" (1993) and "Secrets & Lies" (1996).

Monday, April 26, 2021

Winners at the 93rd Academy Awards Are Announced; "Nomadland" Wins "Best Picture

The 93rd Oscars® nominations were announced Monday, March 15, 2021, recognizing nominees in 23 categories.  Academy members from each of the 17 branches vote to determine the nominees in their respective categories – actors nominate actors, film editors nominate film editors, etc. In the Animated Feature Film and International Feature Film categories, nominees are selected by a vote of multi-branch screening committees. All voting members are eligible to select the Best Picture nominees.

Active members of the Academy were eligible to vote for the winners in all 23 categories beginning Thursday, April 15, through Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

The 93rd Oscars were held on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station Los Angeles and the Dolby® Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and was televised live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Winners for the 2021 / 93rd Academy Awards:

Best motion picture of the year:
"Nomadland" Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey and Chloé Zhao, Producers - WINNER
"The Father" David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi and Philippe Carcassonne, Producers
"Judas and the Black Messiah" Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler, Producers
"Mank" Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth and Douglas Urbanski, Producers
"Minari" Christina Oh, Producer
"Promising Young Woman" Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Emerald Fennell and Josey McNamara, Producers
"Sound of Metal" Bert Hamelinck and Sacha Ben Harroche, Producers
"The Trial of the Chicago 7" Marc Platt and Stuart Besser, Producers

Performance by an actor in a leading role:
Anthony Hopkins in "The Father" - WINNER
Riz Ahmed in "Sound of Metal"
Chadwick Boseman in "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom"
Gary Oldman in "Mank"
Steven Yeun in "Minari"

Performance by an actor in a supporting role:
Daniel Kaluuya in "Judas and the Black Messiah" - WINNER
Sacha Baron Cohen in "The Trial of the Chicago 7"
Leslie Odom, Jr. in "One Night in Miami..."
Paul Raci in "Sound of Metal"
Lakeith Stanfield in "Judas and the Black Messiah"

Performance by an actress in a leading role:
Frances McDormand in "Nomadland"- WINNER
Viola Davis in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"
Andra Day in "The United States vs. Billie Holiday"
Vanessa Kirby in "Pieces of a Woman"
Carey Mulligan in "Promising Young Woman"

Performance by an actress in a supporting role:
Yuh-Jung Youn in "Minari" - WINNER
Maria Bakalova in "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan"
Glenn Close in "Hillbilly Elegy"
Olivia Colman in "The Father"
Amanda Seyfried in "Mank"

Best animated feature film of the year:
"Soul" Pete Docter and Dana Murray- WINNER
"Onward" Dan Scanlon and Kori Rae
"Over the Moon" Glen Keane, Gennie Rim and Peilin Chou
"A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon" Richard Phelan, Will Becher and Paul Kewley
"Wolfwalkers" Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young and Stéphan Roelants

Achievement in cinematography:
"Mank" Erik Messerschmidt - WINNER
"Judas and the Black Messiah" Sean Bobbitt
"News of the World" Dariusz Wolski
"Nomadland" Joshua James Richards
"The Trial of the Chicago 7" Phedon Papamichael

Achievement in costume design:
"Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom" Ann Roth - WINNER
"Emma" Alexandra Byrne
"Mank" Trish Summerville
"Mulan" Bina Daigeler
"Pinocchio" Massimo Cantini Parrini

Achievement in directing:
"Nomadland" Chloé Zhao - WINNER
"Another Round" Thomas Vinterberg
"Mank" David Fincher
"Minari" Lee Isaac Chung
"Promising Young Woman" Emerald Fennell

Best documentary feature:
"My Octopus Teacher" Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed and Craig Foster - WINNER
"Collective" Alexander Nanau and Bianca Oana
"Crip Camp" Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht and Sara Bolder
"The Mole Agent" Maite Alberdi and Marcela Santibáñez
"Time" Garrett Bradley, Lauren Domino and Kellen Quinn

Best documentary short subject:
"Colette" Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard - WINNER
"A Concerto Is a Conversation" Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers
"Do Not Split" Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook
"Hunger Ward" Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman
"A Love Song for Latasha" Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan

Achievement in film editing:
"Sound of Metal" Mikkel E. G. Nielsen - WINNER
"The Father" Yorgos Lamprinos
"Nomadland" Chloé Zhao
"Promising Young Woman" Frédéric Thoraval
"The Trial of the Chicago 7" Alan Baumgarten

Best international feature film of the year:
"Another Round" Denmark - WINNER
"Better Days" Hong Kong
"Collective" Romania
"The Man Who Sold His Skin" Tunisia
"Quo Vadis, Aida?" Bosnia and Herzegovina

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling:
"Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom" Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson - WINNER
"Emma" Marese Langan, Laura Allen and Claudia Stolze
"Hillbilly Elegy" Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle and Patricia Dehaney
"Mank" Gigi Williams, Kimberley Spiteri and Colleen LaBaff
"Pinocchio" Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli and Francesco Pegoretti

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score):
"Soul" Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste - WINNER
"Da 5 Bloods" Terence Blanchard
"Mank" Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
"Minari" Emile Mosseri
"News of the World" James Newton Howard

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song):
"Fight For You" from "Judas and the Black Messiah" Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas - WINNER

  • "Hear My Voice" from "The Trial of the Chicago 7" Music by Daniel Pemberton; Lyric by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste Waite
  • "Husavik" from "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga" Music and Lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus and Rickard Göransson
  • "Io Sì (Seen)" from "The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)" Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini
  • "Speak Now" from "One Night in Miami..." Music and Lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth

Achievement in production design:
"Mank" Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale - WINNER
"The Father" Production Design: Peter Francis; Set Decoration: Cathy Featherstone
"Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom" Production Design: Mark Ricker; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton
"News of the World" Production Design: David Crank; Set Decoration: Elizabeth Keenan
"Tenet" Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas

Best animated short film:
"If Anything Happens I Love You" Will McCormack and Michael Govier - WINNER
"Burrow" Madeline Sharafian and Michael Capbarat
"Genius Loci" Adrien Mérigeau and Amaury Ovise
"Opera" Erick Oh
"Yes-People" Gísli Darri Halldórsson and Arnar Gunnarsson

Best live action short film:
"Two Distant Strangers" Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe - WINNER
"Feeling Through" Doug Roland and Susan Ruzenski
"The Letter Room" Elvira Lind and Sofia Sondervan
"The Present" Farah Nabulsi
"White Eye" Tomer Shushan and Shira Hochman

Achievement in sound:
"Sound of Metal" Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh - WINNER
"Greyhound" Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders and David Wyman
"Mank" Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance and Drew Kunin
"News of the World" Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller and John Pritchett
"Soul" Ren Klyce, Coya Elliott and David Parker

Achievement in visual effects:
"Tenet" Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher - WINNER
"Love and Monsters" Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt and Brian Cox
"The Midnight Sky" Matthew Kasmir, Christopher Lawrence, Max Solomon and David Watkins
"Mulan" Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury and Steve Ingram
"The One and Only Ivan" Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones and Santiago Colomo Martinez

Adapted screenplay:
"The Father" Screenplay by Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller - WINNER
"Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Peter Baynham & Erica Rivinoja & Dan Mazer & Jena Friedman & Lee Kern; Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Nina Pedrad
"Nomadland" Written for the screen by Chloé Zhao
"One Night in Miami..." Screenplay by Kemp Powers
"The White Tigers" Written for the screen by Ramin Bahrani

Original screenplay:
"Promising Young Woman" Written by Emerald Fennell - WINNER
"Judas and the Black Messiah" Screenplay by Will Berson & Shaka King; Story by Will Berson & Shaka King and Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas
"Minari" Written by Lee Isaac Chung
"Sound of Metal" Screenplay by Darius Marder & Abraham Marder; Story by Darius Marder & Derek Cianfrance
"The Trial of the Chicago 7" Written by Aaron Sorkin


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from March 1st to 10th, 2018 - Update #30

Support Leroy on Patreon:

COMICS-FILM - From JoBlo:  "New Mutants" actress Anya Taylor-Joy confirms that the reshoots for the film "The New Mutants" are being done to add a new character and to reportedly make the film scarier.

COMICS-FILM - From  Vin Diesel confirmed for R-rated comic book movie, "Bloodshot."

MOVIES - From SlashFilm:  The Oscar-winning film, "Call Me By Your Name," will have a sequel, according to the director.

MOVIES - From BET:  Ava DuVernay & Oprah On How “Wrinkle In Time” Amplifies The Voices of Today’s Young “Warriors”

SCANDAL - From TheDailyBeast:  The NYPD claims that it is ready to arrest film mogul, Harvey Weinstein, for felony sexual assault...

MOVIES - From Variety:  Michael B. Jordan to adopt an inclusion rider on all future projects.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Michael Bay has set his next two films, "6 Underground" and "Robopocalypse."

POLITICS - From TheDailyBeast:  Ron Reagan says, "The Problem Isn’t Just Trump. It’s Our Ignorant Electorate."

MOVIES - From Collider:  Martin Scorsese has announced that he has finished filming his next film, "The Irishman."  Now, begins the post-production for the film which may appear in the second half of 2019.

MOVIES - From Reuters:  Lawsuit seeks White House, Justice Department records on Fox-Disney deal.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Hot comedienne and actress Tiffany Haddish joins Tyler Perry's "The List."

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 3/2 to 3/4/2018 weekend box office is Marvel Studios' "Black Panther" with an estimated total $65.7 million.

OSCARS - From Variety:  "The Shape of Water" wins the Academy Award (Oscar) as "Best Picture of 2017."  Guillermo del Toro wins "Best Director" for directing "The Shape of Water."

From DeadlineTV:  The viewership for the Oscar telecast was down an all-time low for the 2018 Oscars, $26.5 million.

From ETCanada:  Despite the "Time's Up" and #MeToo movements, the 2018 Academy Awards saw the fewest women winners since the 2012 Oscars.  This year, 6 women claiming Oscars compared to 33 men.  Only four women won Oscars in 2012.

From YahooEntertainment:  5 things you didn't see at the 2018 Oscars

From Deadline:  Frances McDormand And #InclusionRider Go Viral After Oscar Speech – Reactions

From ShadowandAct:  For Jordan Peele, This Is Bigger Than An Oscar

From Variety:  Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway are going to present the "Best Picture" Oscar again this year.  The pair presented last year's "Best Picture" Oscar mistakenly to "La La Land," after they received the wrong envelope.  "Moonlight" was the winner.

From GoldDerby:  ‘Moonlight’ team turns down invitation for an Oscars do-over

SCANDAL - From Variety:  A statue of Harvey Weinstein entitled "Casting Couch" has appeared on Hollywood Boulevard.  It was created by two artists Plastic Jesus and Joshua “Ginger” Monroe.  Monroe is responsible for the nude Donald Trump statue that appeared in numerous cities.

COMICS-FILM - From Variety:  Sony's remake of "The Crow," starring Jason Momoa and directed by Corin Hardy will arrive in theaters October 11, 2019.

COMICS-FILM - From BleedingCool:  The tone of Marvel Studio's upcoming film, "Captain Marvel" (2019), might be action-comedy.

STREAMING - From Variety:  Anna Kendrick's Santa Claus movie, the fantasy comedy "Noelle," has been pulled from Disney's theatrical release and will appear on Disney's still-unnamed streaming service.

MOVIES - From ShadowsandAct:  Oscar winners Viola David and Lupita N'yongo will play mother and daughter in the film "The Woman King," based on the real-life "Dahomey Amazon Warriors."

COMICS-FILM - From Deadline:  Disney/Marvel moves up the release date for "Avengers: Infinity War" from May 4th to April 27, 2018.

CELEBRITY - From YahooEntertainment:  Jennifer Lawrence reveals movie roles she coveted by did not get.

DISNEY - From BleedingCool:  Walt Disney is doing a live-action remake of its classic animated film, "Peter Pan" [My all time favorite animated film. - Editor].  Here is an update on its progress.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Brad Pitt will join Leonardo DiCaprio in Quentin Tarantino's ninth film, the so-called "Manson murders film."  It now has a title, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," and is scheduled for release August 9, 2019.

From CinemaBlend:   One Way The New Halloween Movie Is Like The Original, According To Nick Castle


From Billboard:  Businessman Russ Solomon has died at the age of 92, Sunday, March 4, 2018.  Solomon founded Tower Records.  He began selling records in his father's drug store, calling his business "Tower Record Mart."  He opened his first stand alone store in 1960.

From Variety:   The actor David Ogden Stiers has died at the age of 75, Saturday, March 3, 2018.  He was best known for his role in the venerable TV series, "M.A.S.H.," as the character Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, for which he received two Emmy nominations.  He was also noted for doing voice performances for numerous animated films, including Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," "Pocahontas," and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

Monday, March 5, 2018

2018 / 90th Academy Awards Announced - Complete Winners List

The Academy Awards is an American film accolade.  It is best known as the “Oscars,” and is an annual awards ceremony honoring cinematic achievements primarily in the American film industry. The various category winners are awarded a copy of a statuette that is officially called the “Academy Award of Merit,” but has become commonly known by its nickname, the “Oscar.”   The awards were first presented in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.  The Academy Awards are overseen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

The 90th Oscars nominations in 24 categories were announced on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.  Oscars for outstanding film achievements of 2017 were presented on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and was televised live on the ABC Television Network at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.  The Oscars ceremony was also televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.  Jimmy Kimmel acted as host for the ceremony.

2018 / 90th Academy Award winners (for film achievements in 2017):

Best Picture
The Shape of Water - Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale, Producers

The Shape of Water - Guillermo del Toro

Actor in a Leading Role:
Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour

Actor in a Supporting Role
Sam Rockwell - Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Actress in a Leading Role
Frances McDormand - Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Actress in a Supporting Role
Allison Janney - I, Tonya

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Call Me by Your Name - Screenplay by James Ivory

Writing (Original Screenplay)
Get Out - Written by Jordan Peele

Animated Feature Film
Coco - Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson

Blade Runner 2049 - Roger A. Deakins

Costume Design
Phantom Thread - Mark Bridges

Documentary (Feature)
Icarus - Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan

Documentary (Short Subject)
Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405 - Frank Stiefel

Film Editing
Dunkirk - Lee Smith

Foreign Language Film
A Fantastic Woman - Chile

Makeup and Hairstyling:
Darkest Hour - Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick

Music (Original Score)
The Shape of Water - Alexandre Desplat

Music (Original Song)
Remember Me from Coco; Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

Production Design
The Shape of Water - Production Design: Paul Denham Austerberry; Set Decoration: Shane Vieau and Jeffrey A. Melvin

Short Film (Animated)
Dear Basketball - Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant

Short Film (Live Action)
The Silent Child - Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton

Sound Editing
Dunkirk - Richard King and Alex Gibson

Sound Mixing
Dunkirk - Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo and Mark Weingarten

Visual Effects
Blade Runner 2049 - John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert and Richard R. Hoover


Sunday, March 4, 2018

2018 Oscars "Best Actress" - Frances McDormand

Actress in a Leading Role

Frances McDormand - Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri - WINNER

Sally Hawkins - The Shape of Water
Margot Robbie - I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan - Lady Bird
Meryl Streep - The Post


Monday, September 21, 2015

2015 Primetime Emmy Award Winners; "Game of Thrones" Rules

The Emmy Award (or simply “Emmy”) recognizes excellence in the television industry.  It corresponds to the Academy Award (for film), the Grammy Award (for music), and the Tony Award (for theatre).  The best known Emmy Awards are the Primetime Emmys and Daytime Emmys.  However, Emmys are awarded for sports programming, for national news and documentaries, and for regional and international television, among others.

The 2015 Primetime Emmy Award winners were announced on Sunday, September 20, 2015.  Andy Samberg hosted the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony that was broadcast FOX, live from the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

2015 / 67th Emmy Award winners:

“Game of Thrones”


Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”

Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder”

Richard Jenkins, “Olive Kitteridge”

Frances McDormand, “Olive Kitteridge”

Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”

“The Voice”

“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”

“Olive Kitteridge”

“Inside Amy Schumer”


Peter Dinklage, “Game Of Thrones”

Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is The New Black”

Reg E. Cathey, “House of Cards”

Margo Martindale, “The Americans”

Tony Hale, “Veep”

Allison Janney, “Mom”

Bradley Whitford, “Transparent”

Joan Cusack, “Shameless”

Bill Murray, “Olive Kitteridge”

Regina King, “American Crime”

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for Game Of Thrones, “Mother’s Mercy” from HBO, HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead, Television 360, Startling Television and Generator Productions

David Nutter for Game Of Thrones, “Mother’s Mercy” from HBO, HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead, Television 360, Startling Television and Generator Productions

Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche for Veep, “Election Night” from HBO, HBO Entertainment in association with Dundee Productions

Jill Soloway for Transparent, “Best New Girl” from Amazon Instant Video and Amazon Studios

Jane Anderson or “Olive Kitteridge” from HBO, HBO Miniseries in association with Playtone

Lisa Cholodenko for “Olive Kitteridge” from HBO, HBO Miniseries in association with Playtone

Jane Lynch, “Hollywood Game Night”

“Shark Tank”

“Deadliest Catch”

“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”

Chuck O’Neil for The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, “Show 20103″ from Comedy Central, Central Productions

“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street”

“Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief”

“The Jinx: The Life And Deaths Of Robert Durst”

“Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown”


A 2015 Creative Arts Emmy Award winners list is here.


Monday, January 26, 2015

"Birdman" Leads 2015 Screen Actors Guild Awards - Complete List of Winners

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is an American labor union that represents film and television performers worldwide.  Most people probably know SAG for the various actors’ strikes or for the Screen Actors Guild Award, which SAG uses to honor outstanding performances by its members.  The first SAG Awards ceremony was held in February 1995 (for films released in 1994).

The 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards were revealed during the Sunday, January 25, 2015 awards ceremony that was simultaneously telecast on TBS and TNT.

The “Ensemble” categories are SAG's equivalent of a “Best Picture” or “Best Television Series” award.

2015/21st Screen Actors Guild Awards winners:


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
EDDIE REDMAYNE / Stephen Hawking – "THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING" (Focus Features)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
JULIANNE MOORE / Alice Howland – "STILL ALICE" (Sony Pictures Classics)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
J.K. SIMMONS / Fletcher – "WHIPLASH" (Sony Pictures Classics)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture:

BIRDMAN (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
AMY RYAN / Sylvia


Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“UNBROKEN” (Universal Pictures)


Screen Actors Guild 51st Annual Life Achievement Award


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
KEVIN SPACEY / Francis Underwood – “HOUSE OF CARDS” (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series [There were 6 nominees in this category.]

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
WILLIAM H. MACY / Frank Gallagher – "SHAMELESS" (Showtime)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
UZO ADUBA / Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren – "ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK" (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series:

HUGH BONNEVILLE / Robert, Earl of Grantham
LAURA CARMICHAEL / Lady Edith Crawley
JIM CARTER / Mr. Carson
MICHELLE DOCKERY / Lady Mary Crawley
KEVIN DOYLE /  Mr. Molesley
LILY JAMES / Lady Rose
ALLEN LEECH / Tom Branson
ELIZABETH McGOVERN / Cora, Countess of Grantham
LESLEY NICOL / Mrs. Patmore
DAVID ROBB / Dr. Clarkson
MAGGIE SMITH / Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham
ED SPELEERS / Jimmy Kent
PENELOPE WILTON / Isobel Crawley

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series:

UZO ADUBA / Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren
JASON BIGGS / Larry Bloom
DANIELLE BROOKS / Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson
LAVERNE COX / Sophia Burset
LEA DELARIA / Carrie "Big Boo" Black
BETH FOWLER / Sister Ingalls
ANNIE GOLDEN / Norma Romano
DIANE GUERRERO / Maritza Ramos
MICHAEL J. HARNEY / Ofc. Sam Healy
VICKY JEUDY / Janae Watson
JULIE LAKE / Angie Rice
LAUREN LAPKUS / Susan Fischer
SELENIS LEYVA / Gloria Mendoza
NATASHA LYONNE / Nicky Nichols
TARYN MANNING / Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett
MATT McGORRY / Ofc. John Bennett
KATE MULGREW /  Galina "Red" Reznikov
EMMA MYLES / Leanne Taylor
DASCHA POLANCO / Dayanara Diaz
ALYSIA REINER / Natalie "Fig" Figueroa
NICK SANDOW / Joe Caputo
YAEL STONE / Lorna Morello
LORRAINE TOUSSAINT / Yvonne "Vee" Parker
LIN TUCCI / Anita DeMarco
SAMIRA WILEY / Poussey Washington

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series (6 nominees)


Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: Wes Anderson's "MOONRISE KINGDOM" is Simply Fantastic

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 90 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Running time: 94 minutes (1 hour, 34 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sexuality content and smoking
DIRECTOR: Wes Anderson
WRITERS: Roman Coppola and Wes Anderson
PRODUCERS: Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven M. Rales and Scott Rudin
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert D. Yeoman (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Andrew Weisblum
COMPOSER: Alexandre Desplat


Starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Marianna Bassham, Charlie Kilgore, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, and Bob Balaban

Moonrise Kingdom is a 2011 romance film from director Wes Anderson. Co-written by Anderson and Roman Coppola, the film follows a pair of young lovers on the run from the local search parties out to find them.

Moonrise Kingdom opens in the late summer of 1965 and is set on the idyllic New England locale of New Penzance Island. Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) is a 12-year-old orphan attending a “Khaki Scout” summer camp. Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) is a local girl who lives with her parents, Walt (Bill Murray) and Laura Bishop (Frances McDormand), and her three younger brothers. After meeting during a local church play, Sam and Suzy run away together.

Captain Duffy Sharp (Bruce Willis) of the Island Police and Khaki Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) launch a search for the missing children. However, adult dysfunction and the approaching Hurricane Mabeline constantly hamper the various search efforts. Meanwhile, young love remains storm-proof.

When I reviewed the Coen Bros. remake of True Grit about two years ago, I said (more or less) that the film, while quite good, seemed like an exercise of the filmmaking brothers’ directorial trademarks and flourishes. I pretty much think the same of Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. This movie is the quirky style and visual eccentricities of Anderson distilled into a fragrant essence that will entice his admirers, both old and new, for ages.

It’s all here. The primary colors have never been this primary, and the deliberate, methodical cinematography captures the intensity of those colors with such clarity that it could leave the viewer in a stupor (which it did to me early on in the movie). Anderson gets good performances that take the screenplay’s flat, one-dimensional characters and transforms them into poignant humans – flawed, but graceful.

Regardless of how quirky it all seems, Moonrise Kingdom is a love story like no other. Rarely do films capture stubborn youth in love as well as this film does. Jared Gilman as Sam and Kara Hayward as Suzy give inimitable performances, and without them, this movie would be nothing but an oddity that was shot in vivid color. Instead, Moonrise Kingdom is a rare romance in which the romantic comedy and drama elements cannot hide the fact that this is a pure love story.

8 of 10

Monday, November 26, 2012


Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: "Madagascar 3" is DreamWorks Animation's Best to Date

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 79 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)
Running time: 93 minutes (1 hour, 43 minutes)
MPAA – PG for mild crude humor
DIRECTORS: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, and Conrad Vernon
WRITERS: Eric Darnell and Noah Baumbach
PRODUCERS: Mireille Soria and Mark Swift
EDITOR: Nick Fletcher
COMPOSER: Hans Zimmer


Starring: (voices) Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter, Tom McGrath, Frances McDormand, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Martin Short, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, John DiMaggio, Paz Vega, Frank Welker and Vinnie Jones

The subject of this movie review is Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, a 2012 3D computer-animated film from DreamWorks Animation. It is the third movie in the Madagascar film series, following Madagascar (2005) and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008). Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted finds Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman on the run in Europe and hiding with a traveling circus, which needs their help.

Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller) was the king of New York City’s Central Park Zoo. A series of bizarre incidents found Alex and his friends: Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer), and Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith), as well as four crafty Penguins: Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Private (Christopher Knights), and Rico (John DiMaggio), stranded on the exotic island of Madagascar. They make new friends, the Madagascar lemurs: King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen), Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer), and Mort (Andy Richter).

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted finds Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman headed to Monaco, Monte Carlo in search of the penguins and their two chimpanzee companions, Mason and Phil. What they find is trouble in the form of Captain Chantal DuBois (Frances McDormand) of Monaco Animal Control. On the run from DuBois and her cohorts, Alex and company find a safe haven with Zaragoza Circus. The circus, which has seen better days, needs some help, but its animal denizens are suspicious of the newcomers. Alex sets out to reinvent the circus, a miracle that just may get him and his friends home – finally!

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is the best film in the Madagascar franchise. I’d planned on seeing it in a theatre, but I wasn’t really that enthused about it. I rented Madagascar 3 on DVD, and gave the copy to my mother. After watching it, she wanted to know if she could keep the disc to watch it a second time. She rarely watches films a second time, so I knew something was up. After watching the first few minutes of the film, I knew that it was going to be good. By the time the action explodes in the Hotel De Paris sequence, I knew that this movie was going to be something special, and it is. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is the best film DreamWorks Animation has produced to date – even better than the exceptional Kung Fu Panda movies. What’s the difference between Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and the earlier Madagascar films and most other DreamWorks’ cartoons? The difference is the writing/storytelling.

I’ve come across commentary that describes DreamWorks as the tech guys of computer animation and Pixar Animation Studios as the art of storytelling guys. There is some truth to that. DreamWorks is producing computer-animated films in which the quality of the animation in terms of movement of characters and objects is improving by sky-high leaps and bounds. The stories in Pixar’s films have heart and the characters almost seem like real people, as seen in the Toy Story films, Wall-E, and Up. These films captivate adults as much as they capture the imagination of children.

Europe’s Most Wanted has heart. The earlier Madagascar films relied on the personality quirks and the motivation and conflicts of the characters, but the plots and action weren’t as interesting or as funny as the characters. In fact, whenever the characters fell flat in the first two films, the plots could not rise to the level where the characters had been. The first film was interesting, and the second was not quite as good, but had its moments.

Europe’s Most Wanted has one great moment after another; the narrative is entrancing, and the action is exhilarating. This allows the characters, main and supporting, to shine, as excellent performers usually do when they have top-notch material. Of course, the animation is great, some of the best ever; it’s DreamWorks Animation, after all.

This movie also adds three fine new characters: Gia the Italian jaguar (Jessica Chastain), Vitaly the Russian tiger (Bryan Cranston), and Stefano the Italian sea lion (Martin Short). All three of the actors playing these characters give superb voice-acting performances. They help make Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted better than the earlier films – a lavish spectacle of animation brilliance. This story about the meaning of home and friendship is one of the great animated films in recent memory. I want to watch it again.

9 of 10

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Review: Norton is the Star in "PRIMAL FEAR" (Happy B'day, Edward Norton)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 06 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

Primal Fear (1996)
Running time: 129 minutes (2 hours, 9 minutes)
MPAA – R for brief grisly violence, pervasive strong language and a sex scene
DIRECTOR: Gregory Hoblit
WRITERS: Steve Shagan and Ann Biderman (based upon the novel by William Diehl)
PRODUCER: Gary Lucchesi
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Michael Chapman (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: David Rosenbloom
COMPOSER: James Newton Howard
Academy Award nominee


Starring: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Edward Norton, John Mahoney, Frances McDormand, Alfre Woodard, Terry O’Quinn, Andre Braugher, Steven Bauer, Joe Spano, Stanley Anderson, Maura Tierney, and Jon Seda

The subject of this movie review is Primal Fear, a 1996 courtroom drama and legal thriller starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney. The film is based on William Diehl’s 1993 novel, Primal Fear. This movie was also actor Edward Norton’s feature film debut, for which he earned a best supporting actor Oscar nomination.

I’ll begin with a minor spoiler warning, so skip to the second paragraph if you don’t want to know how the movie ends. I was thoroughly and completely happy that the murderer beats the system in the end; he was my hero throughout the movie. I enjoyed that he trumped the skuzzy and dishonest State’s Attorney John Shaughnessy (John Mahoney of TV’s “Fraiser”), who uses murder, intimidation, and lies to get his way like so many dirty people in district attorney and state’s attorney’s offices. Hooray to chaos! Damn the corrupt system! Now, on to the movie.

Richard Gere has spent the better part of three decades shining his lovely face in numerous films, although his skills as a thespian are usually in question, there is no doubt that he is a good movie star. He has an obvious, almost forced, charm, but he is also a charming rogue. He doesn’t bury himself in method acting; he simply plays the character as himself. It can be argued that no actress of similar skill and of similar shaky box office pedigree would continue to get choice projects, but then there’s Madonna.

In Primal Fear, Gere is the arrogant defense attorney Martin “Marty” Vail, and he just taken on the case of Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton) who has been arrested for the savagely murdering a popular bishop (Stanley Anderson). State’s Attorney Shaughnessy wants the death penalty, and he sends one of Marty’s former girlfriends and co-workers, Janet Venable (Laura Linney) to prosecute the case. Yes, Marty also has a history with the Shaughnessy, who was his boss not so long ago.

Gere is himself, and I can’t see any indication that this performance would standout amongst any others unless they were really bad. Laura Linney can certainly play the tough “cookie,” who roles with punches, taking anything life or ex-lovers have to throw her way. It’s always good to see the under utilized Alfre Woodard (as Judge Miriam Shoat) and John Mahoney is fun in practically anything.

Good performances by most of the cast aside, the scene stealing, showstopper is Edward Norton in this, his first film role. The fact of the matter is that Primal Fear is average potboiler without him. He so embodies his roles (he has more than one part, sort of) that you can’t help but be drawn into him. No matter what happens, you’re rooting for the boyish and obviously innocent and naïve country kid who was taken in and abused by the mean old city. He uses his entire body to become his character: gestures, facial expressions, hair, the way her wears his clothes, etc.

Director Gregory Hoblit, a director of episodic television, was lucky to have him. Norton transforms Hoblit’s film from a minor studio legal thriller that would have wound up in home video hell into something worth recommending to friends over and over again.

6 of 10

1997 Academy Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Actor in a Supporting Role” (Edward Norton)

1997 BAFTA Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Edward Norton)

1997 Golden Globes, USA: 1 win: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Edward Norton)


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review: Aniston is Money in "Friends with Money: (Happy B'day, Jennifer Aniston)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 196 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

Friends with Money (2006)
Running time: 88 minutes (1 hour, 28 minutes)
MPAA – R for language, some sexual content, and brief drug use
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Nicole Holofcener
PRODUCER: Anthony Bregman
EDITOR: Robert Frazen


Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack, Catherine Keener, Greg Germann, Simon McBurney, Jason Isaacs, Scott Caan, Ty Burrell, and Bob Stephenson

Set in present day Los Angeles, writer/director Nicole Holofcener’s bittersweet movie, Friends with Money follows the lives of four women in their late 30’s and early 40’s. Jane (Frances McDormand) is a financially secure designer of a popular clothing line, but she’s emotionally insecure and a bit shaky mentally. Her husband, Aaron (Simon McBurney), has little tolerance for her antics. Franny (Joan Cusack) is rich, and she and her husband, Matt (Greg Germann), spend lavishly on gifts and give generously to charity. Christine (Catherine Keener) and her husband, David (Jason Isaacs), are a husband and wife screenwriting team whose marriage and creative partnership is on the rocks. Olivia (Jennifer Aniston) is their single friend who is still struggling to find herself, while Jane, Franny, and Christine struggle with the complexities and annoyances of married life.

For many moviegoers, Friends with Money must be a shock to the system, being that it is a well-cast drama with skilled actors portraying adults in real life situations. Holofcener mines the film’s humor from that generous vein we know as human foibles. Not all of the characters are interesting (Franny and Matt are dullsville.), and some of the characters come across as standard oddballs added just to be oddballs (Scott Caan’s Mike, for instance). Overall, the film works, although even at 88 minutes, it tends to meander.

Jennifer Aniston makes this movie. Whenever she’s onscreen, Friends with Money springs to life like a J.V. football player who just learned he’s made the varsity squad. There’s something in Aniston’s performance as Olivia and in Holofcener’s writing for that character that makes both the story appealing and the rest of the characters relevant mainly in the context of Olivia’s struggles. I’m not ready to call her a great actress, but Aniston is pretty darn good. See this flick for her.

7 of 10

Wednesday, September 13, 2006



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is a Shiny Empty Thing

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 86 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Running time: 154 minutes (2 hours, 34 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense prolonged sequences of sci-fi action violence, mayhem and destruction, and for language, some sexuality and innuendo
DIRECTOR: Michael Bay
WRITERS: Ehren Kruger (based on Hasbro’s Transformers Action Figures)
PRODUCERS: Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, and Ian Bryce
EDITOR: Roger Barton, William Goldenberg, and Joel Negron


Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Rose Huntington-Whiteley, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Alan Tudyk, Ken Jeong, Lester Speight, Glenn Morshower, and Buzz Aldrin; (voices) Peter Cullen, Leonard Nimoy, Hugo Weaving, Frank Welker, Charlie Adler, Reno Wilson, and Keith Szarabajka

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a 2011 science fiction war and action film. It is the third movie in the live-action film series starring Hasbro’s popular toy line, the Transformers. The two other movies were Transformers (2007) and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009). Once again, the human hero from the first two films is caught in a war between two factions of alien robots, the Autobots and the Decepticons, but this time the war involves a new technology that could enslave humanity and forever change Earth.

Dark of the Moon takes place three years after the events of the second film. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is frustrated on two fronts. U.S. government officials will no longer allow him to work with the Autobots, and Director of National Intelligence Charlotte Mearing (Frances McDormand) tells Sam that he is not a hero, but was merely a messenger bringing the Autobots to the world’s attention. Sam also cannot find post-college employment that satisfies him professionally and financially. He is also irritated that his new girlfriend, Carly Spencer (Rose Huntington-Whiteley), supports them both with her high-paying job.

Meanwhile, the Autobots are helping the U.S. military prevent conflicts around the globe. Bigger things are about to happen for the Autobots, however, and it involves a mystery that began 42 years earlier with the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Autobot leader, Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), travels to the moon where he finds an Autobot thought to be dead, Sentinel Prime (Leonard Nimoy), Optimus’ predecessor as leader of the Autobots. Optimus revives Sentinel, and that begins a series of events which allow Megatron (Hugo Weaving), leader of the Decepticons, to commence a diabolical plot to revive Cybertron, the ruined home planet of the Transformers. Soon, the Decepticons launch an all-out war against humanity with Chicago as the epicenter.

USAF Chief Robert Epps (Tyrese Gibson) and “Team Epps” join Sam on a mission to slip into Chicago to save Carly. Meanwhile, U.S. Army Lt. Colonel William Lennox (Josh Duhamel) leads the classified strike team, NEST, into Chicago to help them. But time is running out for them to save Carly and the world.

Like Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon got some bad reviews, although maybe not as many as Revenge. I like this as much as I did Revenge of the Fallen, but both films are too long. Dark of the Moon is probably a half hour longer than it needs to be, but it’s almost worth it to get just about any of the action scenes that include the Transformers. Many of the Transformers here are more complex and have more moving parts, in addition to the fact that this film is shot in 3D. The special visual effects wizards who worked on Dark of the Moon were up to the task and turned in the best visual and special effects of the three films.

Visually, this is an undeniably impressive science fiction action film. Sadly, the rest of the film is either barely coherent or simply incoherent. The acting is often lost in all the noise and visual splendor, and in many cases, that is for the better. There is some hysterically bad acting and embarrassing overacting. This film is also over-the-top and overwrought, and sometimes, it’s just too much. It took me three sittings over three days to watch this movie, and I’m glad I chose not to see it in a theatre.

The special effects and the robots transforming were superb, but as much as that blew my mind, something is really wrong with this movie as a story. This is director Michael Bay at his most mind-numbing, and it is now clear that he has perfected film as sound and fury signifying absolutely nothing. Transformers: Dark of the Moon shows how far the science and technology of cinema have come, but the storytelling is positively Stone Age.

5 of 10

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


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Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" Reaches $1 Billion in Worldwide Box Office


HOLLYWOOD, CA (August 3, 2011) – Worldwide box office receipts for TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, have hit $1 billion, Paramount Pictures announced today. To date, the third installment of the hit Transformers franchise, and the first shot in 3-D, has grossed $338 million in U.S. (through Monday) and $663 million internationally (through Tuesday).

“TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is the first billion dollar grossing movie in the history of Paramount Pictures, marking a substantial milestone in the 99 year life of this legendary studio," said Brad Grey, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Paramount Pictures. “We are grateful for the extraordinary work of Michael Bay and his film-making team, executive producer Steven Spielberg, and everyone at Paramount around the globe who played a part in helping make this latest TRANSFORMERS one of the 10 highest grossing films worldwide of all time".

Earlier this summer, Paramount was the first studio to reach $1 billion in domestic grosses, aided by the $180.7 million opening of TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON over the July 4th holiday. This is the fifth year in a row that Paramount has reached the milestone before any other studio. Paramount Pictures International crossed the $2 billion mark on July 30th, making it the first for any studio this year to reach the benchmark. The studio has had six consecutive movies earning over $100 million at the domestic box office in 2011.

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is directed by Michael Bay, written by Ehren Kruger and produced by Don Murphy & Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce. The executive producers are Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. When a mysterious event from Earth’s past erupts into the present day it threatens to bring a war to Earth so big that the Transformers alone will not be able to save us. The movie stars Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Dunn, Julie White with John Malkovich and Frances McDormand. © 2011 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

HASBRO, TRANSFORMERS and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. © 2011 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

For more information, go to

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. The company's labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studio Group and Paramount Television & Digital Distribution.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Follow "Transformers Dark of the Moon" Red Carpet Via Yahoo!


Fans Across the Globe Can Experience the Red Carpet Firsthand by Tuning In Online

Movie Opens Exclusively in 3D at 9PM on June 28th and Worldwide on June 29th

HOLLYWOOD, CA (June 27, 2011) – Paramount Pictures has teamed with Yahoo! Movies (, the leading website for movie trailers, news and information, to present the TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON movie premiere live from New York City. The live red carpet event will begin airing online, June 28, at 5:30 p.m. EST. Fans can watch together and share across their social networks, as the red carpet event is streamed free at Fans can get the chance to see some of their favorite celebrities, including the film’s director Michael Bay and stars Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, Frances McDormand and Ken Jeong. After watching the live red carpet, fans can head to theaters as the movie opens exclusively in 3D at 9 p.m. on June 28th and everywhere beginning at midnight on June 29th.

Fans tuning in from different time zones around the globe will also have an opportunity to experience the event highlights throughout the following day, subsequent to the U.S. premiere on

To share this exclusive Transformers event with your friends, see the attached embed code or visit for more options.

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is directed by Michael Bay, written by Ehren Kruger and produced by Don Murphy & Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce. The executive producers are Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. When a mysterious event from Earth’s past erupts into the present day it threatens to bring a war to Earth so big that the Transformers alone will not be able to save us. The movie stars Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Dunn, Julie White with John Malkovich and Frances McDormand. It will be released by Paramount Pictures worldwide on June 29th. © 2011 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

HASBRO, TRANSFORMERS and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. © 2011 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

For more information, go to


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Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. The company's labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studio Group and Paramount Television & Digital Distribution.