Director: Sarah Polley
Cast: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby, Sarah Silverman
Full disclosure: any film that starts with Michelle Williams baking is automatically good in my book. No one can make a cake, slap it in the oven and stand waiting by a warm stove, full of ennui, like Miss Williams. Oh yes, for me, Michelle’s muffins are the best. They’re even yummier than Kristen Wiig’s cupcakes.
But despite this nom-tastic opening, Take This Waltz stumbles as the music continues. The mixture ends up lumpy. The raw dough can’t dance, if you want to mix metaphors. And that full disclosure I was talking about? I meant it in more ways than one.
As you already know, I have an unhealthy obsession with Jean Dujardin's eyebrows. So rather than rant and blather on about the 2012 Oscar nominations, I'll let The Artist's facial hair do the talking for me. Until I get home from work this evening when I'll probably start blathering on anyway - because that, apparently, is what the internet is for.
Mostly, the Oscar nominations this year are as we all expected. But not quite. To begin with, Hugo is leading the pack. Yes, Martin Scorsese's Hugo has 11 nominations compared to Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist, which has 10. Add to that Melissa McCarthy's Best Supporting Actress nod for Bridesmaids...
"So, where was I?" And so Ricky Gervais returned to the 69th Golden Globes to joke about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Helen Mirren and Kim Kardashian. "You get Britain's biggest comedian hosting the world's second biggest awards show on America's third biggest network," he grinned, before going to give one of the gentler speeches of his career. He didn't mention Mel Gibson once (apart from when reading out the rules give to him by the HFPA) - and even had to turn to Jodie Foster's beaver for gags.
It was a pretty tame monologue for a fairly predictable awards ceremony, with the Golden Globes giving out gongs to George Clooney - and George Clooney - in their usual fashion. But The Artist emerged as the frontrunner, taking home three prizes: Best Actor for Jean Dujardin (and his amazing eyebrows), Best Score for Ludovic Bource and Best Motion Picture: Comedy or Musical. The Descendants dominated the dramatic awards, with Clooney nabbing Best Actor and Alexander Payne's film also awarded Best Motion Picture: Drama.
The rest of the evening was largely as expected, with Meryl Streep winning Best Actress for The Iron Lady and Michelle Williams crowned Best Comedy Actress for My Week with Marilyn (if ever there were a reason to have that drama/comedy divide, Williams' performance is it).
Surprises came in the form of Best Animated Film, with Speilberg's Tintin topping Rango to take home the Globe, and Best Director, which went to Martin Scorsese for Hugo. A Separation was correctly hailed as Best Foreign Film and the delightful Midnight in Paris won Best Screenplay - two awards the Oscars will undoubtedly repeat - but will the Academy Awards follow suit and give Hugo's helmer the prize?
More importantly for Jessica Chastain fans (i.e. everyone), can Octavia Spencer beat her to Best Supporting Actress next time round? I hope not, although it'd be nice to see Christopher Plummer repeat his Supporting Actor victory - I still don't get this fuss over Albert Brooks in Drive.
As always, the correlation between the two ceremonies is pretty haphazard. But one thing we know for sure? Johnny Depp hasn't seen The Tourist. Because Ricky Gervais asked him, right at the end of his speech.
Read on for the full list of winners - and to watch Ricky's opening.
Everything's coming up golden for Michel Hazanavicius' black-and-white gem, with The Artist leading the Golden Globes 2012 nominations list with a solid six. That's not bad for a silent film. In fact, it's flipping fantastic, earning nods for Best Director, Actor, Screenplay, Music, Supporting Actress and Best Picture - expect all those Musical or Comedy appendices to fully convert to straight nods at the Oscars - after its wins from the Boston and New York Critics, The Artist is now definitely an awards front-runner. Even more so than War Horse, which galloped into the Best Picture, Drama category as expected.
The only thing more predictable for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was its undying love for George Clooney, with both The Ides of March and The Descendants getting their fair share of nominations.
Surprises came in the form of Bridesmaids getting a Best Picture nod alongside My Week with Marilyn in the Musical or Comedy category - let's be honest, these subdivisions make even less sense now than they ever did before. Other nods, like Leonardo DiCaprio for J Edgar (reportedly a bit of a dud), are bizarre, especially when Ryan Gosling gets a nod for Crazy, Stupid, Love and not for Drive. (Apparently that bit with the hammer wasn't hilarious enough for Best Actor, Musical or Comedy.)
More exciting than that is Kristen Wiig's Best Actress nomination. It's always nice to see my future wife doing well. Even better news is Brendan Gleeson's nod for The Guard - the kind of thing that I was relying on BAFTA to support, alongside Tyrannosaur. Could it be the start of some serious Gleeson awards momentum? Not that it matters, because Michael Fassbender is looking increasingly like the acting alpha male.
Otherwise, it's nice to see The Help get some attention and Rango easily deserves its animated nom (no Kung Fu Panda 2?), while The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's soundtrack nod is a promising sign that Fincher's superb adaptation of Stieg Larsson's novel isn't completely out of the awards circuit.
But there are worse snubs. Take Shelter, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Tree of Life and Coriolanus all got left out, and you wonder why exactly th-- hey look, it's a tap dancing dog!
It's lovely to see that The Artist is top dog (sadly there's no Golden Globe award for Best Dog) in a competition that, along with Hugo's raft of HFPA adoration, is celebrating the old-school magic of cinema. But if period brilliance is the trendy thing right now, where are the nominations for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy?
And don't even get me started on why The Muppets haven't been nominated for Best Song.
Read on for the full list of 2012 Golden Globes nominations.
After a couple of reviews, an interview and some videos of old men playing the ukelele, My Week with My Week with Marilyn concludes with a look at Marilyn Monroe's legacy in modern society. Statues, tattoos, dogs - is there anything that woman's face hasn't appeared on?
(Stolen from: Tattoo Stars)
(Stolen from: John Picken)
(Stolen from: Forever Amber)
Now go see the flipping film - or I'll set that strangely arousing dog on you. (If you're still not convinced, read our My Week with Marilyn review.)
Whether you're Sir Laurence Olivier or a small boy blagging a job as third assistant director on a film set, the chances are that you have, at some point, been hopelessly in love with Marilyn Monroe. Even if you've never met her.
But not so for Simon Curtis. The BAFTA and Emmy-nominated director of Cranford, Pride and David Copperfield was never a die-hard Monroe fan. So why did he direct My Week with Marilyn, a film about the iconic sex symbol's attempts to act seriously in Olivier's conflict-filled production of The Prince and the Showgirl?
He rang me up yesterday morning to explain himself, and contribute to My Week with My Week with Marilyn by discussing Michelle Williams, Colin Clark's memoirs and the Oscar buzz surrounding his charming film.
In 1957, Laurence Olivier conspired to bring together two Hollywood legends onto one screen: himself and Marilyn Monroe. His aim? To make a movie that people would talk about for years to come. Fast forward to 2011, and people are still talking about it. But mainly because it's in My Week with Marilyn, Simon Curtis' drama set during the troubled production of Olivier's romantic comedy.
The Prince and the Showgirl is now considered a minor work in both Monroe and Olivier's careers - stand it next to Henry V and Some Like It Hot and it pales in comparison. But is it an overlooked gem? My Week with My Week with Marilyn continues with a look back at a cute near-classic:
"Gee! This is alright, isn't it?"
That's the reaction of showgirl Elsie Marina (Marilyn Monroe) when she winds up in the Carpathian Embassy in London for a quite supper with the Prince Regent (Laurence Olivier). He's in London for coronation of a new king in 1911, and has one night free to relax. So he dashes off to Coconut Avenue to sample the local delights - and as he meets the grubby cast backstage, out pops Elsie. And so does one of her breasts. Impressed by Elsie's clumsy sensuality (and her breast), he promptly invites her round for tea. And sex. Of course, nothing goes to plan.
“I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.”
It's not easy trying to get all of that across on screen, and that's before you factor in the jaw-dropping looks, natural charisma and flair for physical comedy that defined Marilyn Monroe.
But Michelle Williams has one hell of a crack at it in My Week with Marilyn - and she's not the first. Actresses have been trying for years to capture Marilyn's iconic charm in a string of biopics, some fictional, some factual and some downright pants.
And so My Week with My Week with Marilyn continues with some of the women who tried to be Marilyn:
Ryan Gosling. The Gosling. Old Gozzles. Whatever you call him, it's undeniable that at the moment, he's the sexiest guy on the big screen (and that doesn't depend on the big screen).
Yeah, that Ryan Gosling is so hot right now. But he's been hot for some time. Since The Notebook, he's been a heartthrob for girls (and boys) around the world, but with The Ides of March out this year and Drive and Crazy, Stupid, Love making a glorious Gosling sandwich this week, he's getting everyone's love juices flowing more than ever.
So what's his secret? Allow us to introduce the Ryan Gosling acting masterclass. After careful detailed analysis of Old Gozzle's performances, we have distilled his entire acting technique into a few easy-to-follow tips. Here are seven simple steps to make you as cool as Ryan Gosling.
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams
Release Date: Friday 14th January
Blue Valentine is a story of love found and love lost told in past and present moments in time. Flooded with romantic memories of their courtship, Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) use one night to try and save their failing marriage.