Entries tagged with “True Grit”.
Sun 27 Feb 2011
Fri 25 Feb 2011
1. Aaron Sorkin wrote the 164-page screenplay for The Social Network in a Starbucks on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica in the time it took him to drink a Venti Caramel Macchiatto. What makes this fact even more amazing is that he actually resisted the siren call of the raspberry scones.
2. That scene in Inception where the street rolls up and everything gets all kaflooey–– done with bulldozers. And very skilled magicians.
3. While Natalie Portman did a magnificent job learning to dance ballet in Black Swan, she almost killed herself with a misstep while dancing the hokey-pokey at a cast party. “Natalie is a natural athlete,” said a choreographer on the picture. “While she’s quite gifted and graceful putting her left foot in and putting her left foot out, she is a total klutz in the shaking it all about department. Please don’t tell her I said that– I can’t survive another one of her beatings!”
4. The original title for The Kids Are All Right was Baba O’Reily.
5. Being a dedicated method actor, Jeff Bridges gouged his left eye out of his skull and had it replaced with a glass eyeball for the filming of True Grit. But before shooting began, directors Joel and Ethan Coen decided they preferred Rooster Cogburn’s right eye to be covered with the eyepatch. Bridges went to his trailer and stumbled back to the set wearing the eyepatch over his right eye.
6. James Franco did not really saw his arm off in 127 Hours, but his stunt double, now called Lefty, is pretty bitter about the entire filming experience.
7. Colin Firth not only faked his stammer in The King’s Speech, he also sewed all the costumes for the wardrobe department. “I’m quite good with a needle and thread,” said the handsome actor. “It helps to calm my nerves. I have a collection of thimbles that is quite modestly second to none. I say, would you like some cuffs on your trousers, guvnor?”
8. All the actors in Winter’s Bone had distinguished British accents and performed on horseback. The horses were removed in post production.
9. In Toy Story 3, Woody and Buzz got into a huge fight at the craft services table. Woody was hospitalized for two days and Buzz required six stitches and heavy make-up to cover his bruises. The two did not speak off camera at all after the incident.
10. The entire film The Fighter–– done in one take. All the sweat? Fake.
Now you know…
Wed 26 Jan 2011
N6CVGCYED2JQI think you went overboard in the your Oscar nomination love for The King’s Speech and True Grit.
Yes, both films were well made, acted, and directed, but 22 nominations between them is a bit much.
You should have slathered much more love on The Social Network, far and away the best film that I saw last year.
But, you went and did what you usually do: bow down and curtsey for the period movie with British accents, and toss rose petals at the feet of talented filmmakers who are being recognized more for their past work that you ignored than their film being honored.
Oh, Hollywood, you are so predictable you deserve to give yourself an award for consistency.
Mon 24 Jan 2011
The Social Network, Winter’s Bone, The King’s Speech, True Grit and The Other Guys were some of my favorites. I recently caught two surefire Oscar favorites– The Fighter and Black Swan. Both are must-sees for any serious film lover.
In The Fighter, we see a tale that’s been told many times: the palooka beating the odds, trusting in himself and succeeding. But, this film based on true events throws in some interesting twists– a family that loves and manipulates so hard it’s crushing, and the perils of being trained by a crackhead.
Christian Bale is phenomenal as the washed-up older brother/trainer to Mark Wahlberg’s battling boxer “Irish” Mickey Ward.
Bale’s “Dickey” lives in his past glory days and deludes himself with dreams of rising again to be a serious fighter and contender. Until then, he has the crack pipe and his little brother to keep him occupied. The boys have an overbearing mother played by Melissa Leo, in a performance sure to get an Oscar nod. Mom is not only the matriarch of the family, she schedules upcoming bouts and manages her brood of fighting boys and doting daughters. Leo and Bale are a potent one-two punch (witness the scene in the car with the two singing).
Throw in killer performances by Amy Adams and Mark Wahlberg, and you have a film best described by our firstborn son as “it’s hard to imagine a better sports movie.” Yes, yes it is.
Director David O. Russell really delivers the goods here; the pacing, camerawork, cinematography and performances are all terrific. That said, I cannot forgive Russell for the wreck that was I Heart Huckabees .The other move that should not be missed is Black Swan, a film just under two hours that will haunt you for a long time to come.
While we’ve all seen many boxing tales, we probably can’t name many gripping ballet flicks. Enter Black Swan, a movie that’s part beauty, part beast, and has the creepy edginess of Psycho throughout.
Oscar, meet Natalie Portman, shake hands and get to know each other. She’s a lock.
Portman shed 20 of her unslightly pounds for the role of Nina Sayers, and she delivers a heavyweight performance as a dedicated-innocent-living-at-home-with-mommie-pursuing-perfection- ballet dancer. Her performance as an actor and dancer are believable, beautiful and incredibly disturbing. Director Darren Aronofsky never lets up with the tension and intrigue of this compelling thiller. No matter how much you think you don’t like ballet, I defy you not to be interested in this film. Of course, some hot sex scenes can spice up any story.
The supporting cast is superb. Barbara Hershey as Nina’s long suffering artistic mom, Mila Kunis as Lily, the back-tatted beauty in the company who is either Nina’s friend, enemy or a frienemy, Winona Ryder as Beth Macintyre, the fading ballerina star and Vincent Cassel as Thomas Leroy, the driven and manipulative ballet company artistic director.
I can say no more about the movie aside from this: Swan Lake scares me. See this film. Here’s a ballet film that keeps you on your toes. (Could I get a rimshot, here? A rimshot, please! Rimshot?!)
The Fighter and Black Swan are two great stories of finding strength from within in decidedly different ways. Between the two films, they’ll easily garner a dozen to a dozen and a half well-deserved Oscar nominations.
See them and see why.
Mon 27 Dec 2010
In golf, players groove their swings at driving ranges. They can practice different stances, grips, swings and curse words.
And in movies, I feel like Joel and Ethan Coen have grooved their craft by making True Grit, a pretty terrific film that would be a masterpiece if done by just about anyone else, but given that it’s a Coen Brothers’ project, it feels a bit light. There’s nothing wrong with the film, it’s just I have great expectations with any Coen film.
Since 1984, the Coens have reliably delivered some of the freshest films in cinema. Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou, No Country For Old Men and on and on, the Coen world is one that made sitting in the dark enriching and memorable. Their gift for dialogue, their eye for casting, framing a shot, getting quirky but believable performances have distinguished their career.
True Grit has the Coen elements, worth the price of admission just to see the faces of the extras and supporting cast, and I’ve heard the dialogue is fairly representative of the book (which I need to read), but I wish the brothers had done an original story, a true Coen take on the west– not a remake of a great film.
I’m doing something here I hate, inflicting my will on the artists, but I have to say it: I have a Coen crush. I want their originality. Dance, monkeys, dance!
All right, I’ve exposed my prejudice, not let me discuss the film. See it. I don’t recall much about the original True Grit except that Kim Darby was great, John Wayne had the performance of a lifetime, and Glen Campbell was terrific.
The story is a feast. Mattie Ross, a 14-year old girl wants to avenge the murder of her father by an evil man, so she hires the meanest marshall bounty hunter she can find (Rooster Cogburn). But get a load of this: the evil man is also being hunted by a pompous Texas Ranger (LaBoeuf). The movie is their adventure of seeking justice in a harsh land.
In this version, newcomer Hailee Steinfeld plays Mattie and is wonderful. Jeff Bridges fills Rooster’s boots quite well as the drunken ornery man of justice at a price– whatever he can get in addition to reward. Matt Damon is great as the braggard LaBoeuf and Josh Brolin delivers the goods as the dad-killing evil Tom Chaney. Spice it up with some dastardly Lucky Ned Pepper (Barry Pepper), and you’ve got a fine stew of conflict.
Director of Photography, Roger Deakins, shoots it on a canvas of muted colors and dusty yellows. There’s nothing flashy here, just great story telling told with little infliction of style or point of view. And I guess that’s my overriding critique, I wish it were more Coen.
That said, I want to see it again. And again and again (we are talking Coen Brothers here).