Like many closeted fanboys, my veneer of normality crumbles when exposed to anything by Terry Gilliam. From 12 Monkeys to Brazil to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas—hell, even the heartbreaking documentary Lost in La Mancha—my fawning admiration just grows. I do like to pretend that The Fisher King doesn’t exist, but I doubt I’ll have that reaction to The Zero Theorem, his latest.
Yesterday, we showed you the first installment of Zach Galifianakis’s Funny or Die faux talk show, Between Two Ferns: Oscar Buzz Edition. We got to see him call Jennifer Lawrence ugly, talk about feces with Naomi Watts, and have Christoph Waltz be a total weird babe as usual. And now the second part of his Oscar special has arrived. Featuring Jessica Chastain, Sally Field, Bradley Cooper, and a special guest in lieu of Daniel Day-Lewis, check out his awkward brand of comedy below.
While you were watching the Grammys, the BAFTAs, the U.K. version of the Oscars, was aired on BBC America. And hoo boy, what a mess of an awards show. I didn’t watch it, so I can only imagine the British humour happening all over the place, but I can tell you that I’ve got a pretty stiff upper lip this morning as I look at the list of winners. Argo won Best Picture and Best Director. Ben Affleck. The best director. Of the year! Ben Affleck is a better director than Quentin Tarantino, Kathryn Bigelow, et al. None of those chumps can possibly live up to the magnificent director Ben Affleck. Also, both Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain lost out to Emmanuelle Riva for Amour. Christolph Waltz won for Django Unchained, and Daniel Day-Lewis surprised no one when he won another award for Lincoln. And, of course, little Annie Hathaway likely annoyed people in England, too, with her insincerity upon winning Best Supporting Actress.
The full list of winners below, via EW.
Best Film: Argo
Best Director: Ben Affleck, Argo
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Best Original Screenplay: Django Unchained
Best Adapted Screenplay: Silver Linings Playbook
Best British Film: Skyfall
Best Film Not in the English Language: Amour
Best Animated Film: Brave
Best Documentary: Searching for Sugar Man
Best Editing: William Goldenberg, Argo
Best Costume Design: Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
Best Cinematography: Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
Best Original Music: Thomas Newman, Skyfall
Best Make-Up & Hair: Lisa Wescott, Les Misérables
Best Visual Effects: Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer, Donald R. Elliott, Life of Pi
Best Production Design: Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson, Les Misérables
Best Sound: Simon Hayes, Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, Jonathan Allen, Lee Walpole, John Warhurst, Les Misérables
Best British Debut: Bart Layton and Dimitri Doganis, The Imposter
Orange Rising Star Award: Juno Temple
Best Animated Short: The Making of Longbird
Best Live-Action Short: Swimmer
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For the myriad points of conversation discussed at this weekend’s press conference for Quentin Tarantino’s latest epic undertaking, Django Unchained, one of the best parts of the film remained to be uncovered: the soundtrack. Whether Tarantino’s films always tickle your fancy or not, there’s no doubt they can always be sure to perk up the ear drums with tunes that add an extra kick to his bitingly witty and visceral scenes. And Django is no exception. Although the film won’t hit theaters until Christmas next week, you can now feast yourself on the music from the film in its entirety. From the spaghetti Western classic sounds of Ennio Morricone to new tracks from John Legend and voice tracks featuring the Christoph Waltz as Dr. Schultz (who I could personally listen to speak on loop forever) and Jamie Foxx as Django—the soundtrack is a fantastic mix that harken’s back to Tarantino’s own musical affinities for sounds of past. In addition to the this cornucopia of soulful and twangy songs, you can also check out a full 12-minutes of B-roll footage of behind the scenes action. Enjoy.
With the holidays comes the time-honored end-of-the-year influx of crazy-hyped movies, and while many will choose to spend their Christmas Day ugly-crying for three hours to Les Misérables (no judgment!), there are other options. One of these is Django Unchained, the all-star Sergio Corbucci-inspired Spaghetti-Western-meets-Deep-South feature from Quentin Tarantino. Today the final trailer was released for the film, which stars Jamie Foxx as the title character, a former slave who joins forces with a bounty hunter (Tarantino favorite Christoph Waltz) to take out a gang and rescue his wife (Kerry Washington) from her brutal master, played by Leonardo DiCaprio with a sinister-looking facial hair arrangement.
Not only does the new trailer give us a lot more gunfire and whole lot more of Leo DiCaprio looking particularly sinister (and drinking out of a coconut, which I did not know was fashionable in the early-to-mid 19th century) and a new track from rapper Rick Ross, "100 Black Coffins," from which we get much of the refrain (which is, as one might suggest, "I need 100 black coffins."). The rest of the Django Unchained soundtrack includes some gems new and old, including selections from Ennio Morricone, Jim Croce, James Brown, and 2Pac, and the catchy theme tune from Luis Bacalov and Rocky Roberts. Watch.
It’s been nearly three years since Quentin Tarantino’s bloody World War II epic Inglourious Basterds, but luckily the violence connoisseur returns with another piece of revisionist history. In Django Unchained, Tarantino takes a stab at pre-Civil War America. Django, played by Jaime Foxx, is rescued by a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz, who played Inglourious Basterds‘ terrifying Nazi) who offers him his freedom and the chance to save his wife from slavery. Her captor is a brutal plantation owner played by Leonardo DiCaprio, making a surprise villainous turn. Will there be blood? Surely. Will be there be vengeance? Certainly? Will there be sweet soul music? It appears so!
There is a chain in the official poster for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, his first new movie since 2009’s Inglourious Basterds. There may also be the guy named Django, the ex-slave on a revenge mission against his former master, though it isn’t quite clear from the silhouettes which one he’d be. The man on the right with the period appropriate hat? The dual pistol-wielding guy on the left? Many questions to be answered!
Filled with can’t-miss actors like Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Kerry Washington and Sacha Baron Cohen, there probably won’t be a more anticipated Christmastime movie, unless another Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel gets made. Even though Joseph Gordon-Levitt recently dropped out of filming, it seems like everything else is going fine. For better or worse, this looks to be another inescapable Tarantino blood fest, so you’d better steel yourself for the eventual effusive outpouring of public adoration. There’s only eight months and a half months left before Django drops on Christmas morning.
Every year the Oscars try their damnedest to tap the pulse of American moviegoers and every year they cock it up. Some years ago, Crash won Best Picture and we head-desked until the only thing left on our necks was bloody pulp. Renée Zellweger won one of those gold statuettes for talking in a southern drawl in Cold Mountain and we asked the universe what we had done to have such mediocrity rewarded. Sometimes the Oscars do nice things do, too. Like tossing a win to David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive for Best Director or giving a nod to Babel‘s Rinko Kikuchi. If the Grammys’ fault lies in trying too hard to appeal to Joe Plumber, the Oscars’ fault may lie in trying too hard to appeal to Joe Plumber’s gender-queer niece who’s hopping beds around Vassar. So it’s a cause for celebration that this morning, when the 2010 Oscar nominees were announced, more than snubs, there were some real gems on the list. Nine of the very best, after the break
● Jeremy Renner as Best Actor. It seems like this is Jeff Bridges’ year to take home the statue, but Renner’s performance in The Hurt Locker was the best thing about an incredible, gut-churning movie, and that’s saying quite a bit. The actor wasn’t a sure thing for a nod, and it’s nice to see him get what he deserves.
● All Nominees for Best Art Direction. Art direction is one of those technical categories that everyone pretends to know all about (“Why yes, the color contrast between Beyoncé’s hair and her dress in Obsessed–why wasn’t that nominated?”) but few actually do. Alternately, it provides a look into films that the Academy wanted to give the big prizes to, but couldn’t on good faith–even Penélope Cruz’s nomination for Nine in Best Supporting Actress seems like a mercy give by a panel that probably forgot to watch Broken Embraces. Also, Avatar won’t win Best Picture, but it could win this particular award! Besides those two, other contenders include Sherlock Holmes, The Young Victoria, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
● Mo’Nique as Best Supporting Actress. This highlight and the next were all but guaranteed. Regardless, this particular nomination marks a revolutionary breakthrough–because it means a generation of us who grew up watching Ms. Parker sexually harass Professor Oglevee on The Parkers can now revel in our icon making it into the mainstream–and because she did it on her own terms, too. Well done, Mo’Nique. You rock.
● Christophe Waltz as Best Supporting Actor. This nomination was a sure-bet for Waltz. But it’s worth reiterating as no one else turned in a more engrossing performance this year. And if the Oscars follow the precedent set by most awards previously, both Waltz and Mo’Nique will have the Supporting categories sewn up.
● Gabourey Sidibe as Best Actress. Yes, yes, yes. Despite being snubbed from Vanity Fair‘s ill-conceived Hollywood issue, Sidibe is one of the brightest new talents to emerge. And the stark contrast between Sidibe’s own bubbliness and the down-trodden nature of Precious Jones prove that Sidibe has a long, promising career ahead of her. Even better, this nomination answers a question that Jezebel asked back in December with a resounding, “Yes, there’s definitely a place in Hollywood for Sidibe after Precious.” Although it’d be for the best if she lost this Oscar to one of the vets nominated in her category, like Meryl Streep or Sandra Bullock. If only because the last time such promising young talent was rewarded, we barely heard a word from her in the years after.
● Coraline for Best Animated Feature. Y’all remember the Golden Globes and how Amanda Palmer made it fun again as Neil Gaiman’s plus-one? Well, they’re getting married. So in addition to a solid entry making this category’s shortlist, this also holds the promise of more red carpet amusement.
● Avatar for Best Motion Picture. Oh, come on. Don’t be a curmudgeon. This almost word-for-word rip-off of eco-fantasy polemics like this, this, and this made stony cynics the world over weep. Also, should it win, it still won’t be the most manipulative film to have ensnared an Oscar–that honor will always go to Crash.
● Inglourious Basterds for Best Motion Picture. Truth be told, this film should pick up the Best Picture prize if only because for the flood of trend pieces that will be issued in the weeks following along the lines of “Has the War on Terror Desensitized America?” This will also make good on the Diane Kruger oversight in the Best Supporting Actress category.
● Up for Best Motion Picture. In 1992, Disney’s Beauty & the Beast scored a nomination for Best Picture and this infuriated many sore losers among Hollywood. So the following year, the ghetto of Best Animated Feature was created, to safely prevent animated films from overtaking non-animated features. Which makes Up‘s nomination in the big category a pleasant surprise. And well-deserved, too, as few films this year were as heartfelt or airtight with storytelling.
Oh, look. Awards! Bestowed by a tight-knit coterie of L.A.-based film critics! And, lo! More awards! This time, conferred by some folks in Boston. A common thread among the breakout winners? A dastardly streak that makes Heath Ledger’s Joker seem warm and cuddly. This awards season, it pays to be a ruthless villain. A few obvious and unlikely picks after the break.
• Mo’Nique. Originally, there was some speculation about whether the comedienne was being too precious about where she chose to hawk Precious. But her searing, hairy armpit performance as mortifying matriarch Mary was enough to silence such concerns, and she’s already started racking up honors.
• Alan Rickman. Probably afflicted with the same kind of curse that plagued Lord of the Rings until its last installment scooped up a healthy lot of major awards, Harry Potter may finally be an Oscar candidate. The latest film’s overwhelmingly positive reviews, for Rickman as the cruel Severus Snape in particular, and the fact that Oscar viewership spikes whenever blockbuster movies end up nominated, makes a nod for Rickman more likely than ever before.
• The Manhattan Media Complex. Sure, the implosion of print media means that not many New York based magazines are taking awards home, but that doesn’t mean R.J. Cutler’s The September Issue can’t. Issue, about the making of one installment of Vogue, is an excellent documentary, though its 2009 release date made it work best as a cruel anachronism, or unintentional dark comedy, reminding us of insanely flush times of a not-so-distant-era before the meltdown. Putting Anna Wintour at the heart of the film is an excellent way to win Oscar sympathies–voters are suckers for morally complex protagonists.
• Christoph Waltz. Waltz’s Colonel Landa from Inglourious Basterds was the exact opposite of Mo’Nique’s Mary. He was slow-burning to start, but when he pulled the trigger, he proved to be just as explosive. Even more dastardly, he’s a Nazi. Hollywood reverse-likes those.