Tag Archives: No Country for Old Men

Burn After Reading

Written and directed by the Coen brothers – you know, the guys that directed Fargo, The Big Lebowski, andNo Country for Old Men. In fact, the Coen brothers placed for something like five Owl Pellets in our first annual film awards (for No Country for Old Men).

In any case, I had a free evening a couple nights back and decided to go see Burn After Reading. Let’s just say I’m glad that I only had to drop $3 to see it.

Burn After Reading is essentially a series of wacky misunderstandings (think Friends.. yeah, the TV show) which lead to lack-luster punchlines. It’s half ass humor.

You might think that the cast of this movie would save it, but even the cast disappointed. Brad Pitt and John Malkovich where easily the most enjoyable characters, but, just like every other character, there was never enough space in the film to feel invested in them.

There are a few enjoyable moments in Burn After Reading, but not enough to redeem this disappointment.

At least the Coen brothers have something like four films coming out next year. I support, in their case, prolific film making.

C-

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Top 10 of ’07

So yeah, we did have our own awards, or a “master list,” but here are my personal top 10 favorites from 2007:

10) Grindhouse/Hot Fuzz/Knocked Up

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The trifecta. Complete nerdom. Just for clarification, when I list Grindhouse I’m listing the double feature with fake trailers, missing reels, and all. That’s the Grindhouse I know and love. Knocked Up is the movie that got me to jump on the Judd Apatow/Seth Rogen bandwagon, and Hot Fuzz completely lived up to my post-Shaun of the Dead expectations. Some of the most fun I had at the movies this year was watching these three. They all lived up to the hype.

9) Eastern Promises

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The 2nd film from the Cronenberg/Viggo duo. Some of the year’s most memorable scenes and my favorite Viggo performance yet. Cronenberg’s films are always strangely unique to him. It’s a shame he tends to be overlooked.

8 ) Persepolis

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The story and characters fully transcend the “simple” animation style. Not to bash the animation though, it’s probably one of the most creatively animated films I’ve seen. Reminiscent of Fantastic Planet and The Tripletts of Belleville. It gave Ratatouille a run for its money in my book.

7) Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

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Possibly the most overlooked film of 2007. No Oscar nominations, earned practically nothing at the box office, and completely disappeared in the midst of award season despite its great director and cast. I wouldn’t throw this one in the ranks of 12 Angry Men or Network, but director Sidney Lumet definitely proved he’s still got it, even at age 82.

6) Ratatouille

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It’s honestly my favorite pixar film yet. Also, according to rotten tomatoes, it was the best reviewed film of 2007.

5) Sweeney Todd

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The umpteenth collaboration between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp is my favorite so far, which says quite a bit considering how much I love Ed Wood. The one and only thing that kept me from falling head over heels for Sweeney was the cut of my favorite song from the original play due to vocal restrictions. Otherwise, I’d say it’s just about perfect.

4) No Country for Old Men

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I’ve always been a huge fan of the Coen brothers and No Country might just be my favorite film of theirs behind The Big Lebowski, which will probably be my favorite Coen brothers film forever and ever.

3) Once

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Totally beautiful. One of my all-time favorite musicals. The songs are great, the story is touching, and it’s a musical that doesn’t go completely over-the-top with sets and costumes, for once. It’s so nice to see a low-budget musical blow away blockbusters like Dreamgirls and, in my opinion, the overrated Chicago.

2) The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

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My favorite foreign film of ’07. If I was in charge of the Oscars, I would’ve given Julian Schnabel the award for Best Director. He truly deserved it.

1) There Will Be Blood

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Easily my pick for #1, it might be my favorite film of the past decade. It’s hard to think of any I like more. It’s worth mentioning that, like last year, my favorite film is hated by quite a lot of people, but I guess that’s what happens with something so unique. There is however, a consensus that Daniel Day-Lewis gives one of the greatest, most obsessive performances out there. “I drink your milkshake!” gets my vote for the best line of 2007.

 

Honorable Mentions (In no order):

La Vie En Rose, Zodiac, The Darjeeling Limited, Superbad, 3:10 to Yuma, Lust-Caution, Paris Je-Taime, Into the Wild, Atonement, & Stardust.

 


Oscar Predictions

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Here are my predictions for Sunday’s Oscars, along with a few alternates in each category plus some general thoughts. I’ve refrained from posting any predictions for the Best Foreign Film category because of how wildly unpredictable it is. Amelie lost, Pan’s Labyrinth lost, and the 3 frontrunners this year weren’t even nominated. Everyone, even the academy, is confused about it. But without further ado, here are my Oscar predictions:

Best Picture:

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1) No Country for Old Men

2) There Will Be Blood

3) Juno

No Country’s definitely the frontrunner, but still, something doesn’t feel right. I hope Blood will make an upset, but it’s pretty unlikely, especially considering it took in the smallest amount at the box office. Juno and Michael Clayton also have a shot, but Atonement is completely out of the running.

Best Director:

1) Joel & Ethan Coen – No Country for Old Men

2) Julian Schnabel – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

3) Paul Thomas Anderson – There Will Be Blood

Here I’d love to see Julian Schnabel win. He won the Golden Globe and he’s got a decent chance at the Oscar, but the Coens are still my pick. PTA has a shot, but I highly doubt he wins it. The other nominees, Jason Reitman for Juno and Tony Gilroy for Michael Clayton, don’t have a chance.

Best Female Actor:

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1) Julie Christie – Away From Her

2) Marion Cotillard – La Vie En Rose

3) Ellen Page – Juno

Though I’m rooting for Marion Cotillard, I’m fairly certain this is Christie’s year. She’s the clear frontrunner (she’s won most of the major awards, including the Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild Award). Ellen Page is in the race, but Cate Blanchett and Laura Linney are out.

Best Male Actor:

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1) Daniel Day-Lewis – There Will Be Blood

-If anybody else wins something’s seriously fucked up. All the other nominees are telling the academy to vote for him, he’s won every possible award up to this point, he’s been very humble during his acceptance speeches and his few interviews, and of course his performance was freaking incredible.

Best Original Screenplay:

1) Diablo Cody – Juno

2) Tony Gilroy – Michael Clayton

-This should easily go to Diablo Cody. The other nominated films (except for Michael Clayton)- Ratatouille, The Savages, and Lars and the Real Girl– have little to no chance.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

1) Joel & Ethan Coen – No Country for Old Men

2) Paul Thomas Anderson – There Will Be Blood

3) Ronald Harwood – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

-This will be a battle between PTA and the Coens. I’m predicting the Coens to win, but I really think it should go to PTA for There Will Be Blood. We’ll see.

Best Female Supporting Actor:

-This one’s wide open. All 5 nominees have a good chance. Blanchett won the Globe, Rudy Dee won the SAG, Tilda Swinton won the BAFTA, and Amy Ryan won most of the the critics awards. It’s basically a toss-up, but here are my guesses:

1) Cate Blanchett – I’m Not There

2) Tilda Swinton – Michael Clayton

3) Amy Ryan/Ruby Dee/Saoirse Ronan

Best Male Supporting Actor:

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1) Javier Bardem – No Country for Old Men

-I’d put all my money on Bardem.

Best Original Score:

1) Dario Marianelli – Atonement

-The scores for Ratatouille, The Kite Runner, and Yuma could win, but I think this rightfully goes to Atonement. It was an incredible score and I’d be pretty surprised to see it not win.

Best Animated Feature:

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1) Ratatouille

2) Persepolis

-Ratatouille’s all over this one. Persepolis could upset, but it’s not likely. 3rd nominee Surf’s Up is lucky it was even nominated.

Best Cinematography:

1) Robert Elswit – There Will Be Blood

2) Roger Deakins – The Assassination of Jesse James/No Country for Old Men

There Will Be Blood will most likely take this one due to double nominee Roger Deakins splitting the vote. Otherwise, I’d say Jesse James, which probably deserves the award more. It was a pretty incredible year for cinematography, so anything could upset.

Best Documentary:

1) Sicko

-Michael Moore won for Bowling for Columbine and would’ve won for Fahrenheit 9/11 had it been eligible, and since Sicko is just as praised and popular but slightly less controversial, I’d say it’s a lock.

And there we are, predictions in the 12 major categories. I’m actually hoping that my predictions turn out to be almost completely wrong other than the male acting awards, since I’m rooting for an underdog in almost every category.

Remember, the Oscars are this Sunday, the 22nd.


What’s Next for the Coen Brothers?

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Flying high after the huge success of No Country for Old Men, the Coen brothers, who have also written and directed films such as Fargo, Raising Arizona, and The Big Lebowski, have 4, yes FOUR, new films on the way.

First we’ll get Burn After Reading, which the duo has already completed. It’ll be released this September and stars Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and John Malkovich. In Burn After Reading, Malkovich will play an ousted CIA official whose memoirs accidentally fall into the hands of two unwise D.C. gym employees (Pitt & Clooney) who intend to exploit their find.

In 2009, the Coens will release A Serious Man, which is said to be a dark comedy about a Jewish college professor. A Serious Man will be set in 1960’s Minnesota.

In 2010, the literary adaptation The Yiddish Policeman’s Union will be released. This will be the 4th film adaptation of a Michael Chabon novel. The premise is as follows:

“Set in an alternate America where Jews have taken refuge in an Alaskan district after the collapse of Israel in 1948, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is a noir which follows detective Meyer Landsman as he attempts solving a murder, untangling a conspiracy, and generally reassembling his shambled life.”

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THEN, after all that, we’ll get yet another Coen brothers film in 2011, assuming all goes to plan. This one’s untitled as of now, but the Coens have released this statement regarding the project:

“We’ve written a western with a lot of violence in it. There’s scalping and hanging … it’s good. Indians torturing people with ants, cutting their eyelids off. It’s a proper western, a real western, set in the 1870s. It’s got a scene that no one will ever forget because of one particular chicken.”

Some sources are reporting the project to be a “spaghetti western,” however this is of course false, as a true spaghetti western must be produced by an Italian studio.

In addition to the 4 films listed above, the Coen brothers also have two projects “on the backburner.” They are Hail Caesar, which is a comedy about a 1920’s theatrical troupe’s attempt to stage Julius Caesar, and an adaptation of James Dickey’s novel To the White Sea. No word on when, or if, these films will ever be completed, but here’s hoping for releases in 2012 and 2013, just after the Coen’s western.

The Coen brothers have always been prolific, but this is pretty extaordinary, especially considering the Coens write all their screenplays. Personally, I’m most excited for the upcoming western, but all 4 projects sound pretty wonderful.


The First Annual Owl Pellets Film Awards

THE FIRST ANNUAL OWL PELLETS FILM AWARDS

And the winners are…

BEST MALE ACTOR (SUPPORTING)

Third Place: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s war)

Second Place: Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR (SUPPORTING)

Third Place: Kelly MacDonald (No Country for Old Men)

Second Place: Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: Marketa Irglova (Once)

BEST USE OF MUSIC

Third Place: Sweeney Todd (Stephen Sondheim)

Second Place: Once (Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: There Will Be Blood (Jonny Greenwood)

BEST WRITER

Third Place: Wes Anderson (The Darjeeling Limited)

Second Place: Joel & Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)

BEST MALE ACTOR

Third Place: Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd)

Second Place: Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR

Third Place: Zoe Bell (Death Proof)

Second Place: Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: Helena Bonham-Carter (Sweeney Todd)

BEST ENSEMBLE

Third Place: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, Marisa Tomei)

Second Place: Superbad (Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Seth Rogen, Bill Hader)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Sacha Baren Cohen, Ed Sanders)

BEST DIRECTOR

Third Place: Joel & Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)

Second Place: Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)

BEST FILM

Third Place: Sweeney Todd

Second Place: No Country for Old Men

And The Owl Pellet goes to: There Will Be Blood

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The First Annual Owl Pellets Film Awards: Nominees

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Sorry about the two day delay on this post. The nominees are…

BEST FILM:

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

Charlie Wilson’s War

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Eastern Promises

No Country for Old Men

Once

Persepolis

Ratatouille

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

There Will Be Blood

BEST DIRECTOR:

Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)

Danny Boyle (Sunshine)

Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd)

Joel & Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)

David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises)

David Fincher (Zodiac)

Ang Lee (Lust, Caution)

Sidney Lumet (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)

Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

Quentin Tarantino (Death Proof)

BEST ENSEMBLE:

Atonement (James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai)

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, Marisa Tomei)

Charlie Wilson’s War (Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Amy Adams)

Eastern Promises (Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassell, Armin Mueller-Stahl)

Hairspray (Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, James Marsden, etc.)

I’m Not There (Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, David Cross)

No Country for Old Men (Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Kelly Macdonald, Woody Harrelson)

Stardust (Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Robert DeNiro, Michelle Pfeiffer)

Superbad (Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Seth Rogen, Bill Hader)

Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Sacha Baren Cohen, Ed Sanders)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR:

Amy Adams (Enchanted)

Zoe Bell (Death Proof)

Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age)

Helena Bonham-Carter (Sweeney Todd)

Julie Christie (Away From Her)

Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose)

Keira Knightley (Atonement)

Laura Linney (The Savages)

Ellen Page (Juno)

Tang Wei (Lust, Caution)

BEST MALE ACTOR:

George Clooney (Michael Clayton)

Russell Crowe (3:10 to Yuma)

Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)

Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd)

Ryan Gosling (Lars and the Real Girl)

Glen Hansard (Once)

Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild)

Philip Seymour Hoffman (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)

James McAvoy (Atonement)

Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)

BEST WRITER:

Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)

Wes Anderson (The Darjeeling Limited)

Judd Apatow (Knocked Up)

Diablo Cody (Juno)

Joel & Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)

Ronald Harwood (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

Tamara Jenkins (The Savages)

Kelly Masterson (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)

Quentin Tarantino (Death Proof)

Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz)

BEST USE OF MUSIC:

Atonement (Dario Marianelli)

The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson)

Eastern Promises (Howard Shore)

Into the Wild (Eddie Vedder, Michael Brook, Kaki King)

Lust, Caution (Alexandre Desplat)

Once (Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova)

Persepolis (Olivier Bernet)

Sunshine (Underworld)

Sweeney Todd (Stephen Sondheim)

There Will Be Blood (Jonny Greenwood)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR (SUPPORTING):

Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There)

Helena Bonham-Carter (Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix)

Marketa Irglova (Once)

Catherine Keener (Into the Wild)

Evanna Lynch (Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix)

Kelly MacDonald (No Country for Old Men)

Saoirse Ronan (Atonement)

Amy Ryan (Gone, Baby Gone)

Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)

Marisa Tomei (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)

BEST MALE ACTOR (SUPPORTING):

Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford)

Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)

Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood)

Robert DeNiro (Stardust)

Robert Downey Jr. (Zodiac)

Albert Finney (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)

Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma)

Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War)

Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild)

Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad)

And remember, the awards will be announced this coming Monday, seriously.