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Woody’s winning streak…

While several of the key categories are still up in the air, there is one sure bet at the Academy Awards this Sunday, and that is that Woody Allen — the most nominated writer in Oscar history with a whopping 15 writing nominations alone! — will collect his fourth career Oscar for writing Midnight in Paris. That’s right, amigos, the Woodman is back!

And if there was any doubt about it, I’d say Allen’s Best Original Screenplay win at Sunday night’s WGA Awards pretty much sealed the deal. Beating out such worth contenders as Diablo Cody’s wicked-good script for Young Adult and Tom McCarthy and Joe Tiboni’s amazing work on Win Win, Allen took home his fifth WGA Award for Midnight this past weekend.

As you know, I’m a HUGE Woody Allen fan, so, I’m very excited for him, even though Midnight was not my favorite of his movies (I voted for Young Adult), it was cute and fun and fluffy, but, at the end of the day, he’s done magical realism better in The Purple Rose of Cairo, Alice and even Broadway Danny Rose. That said, as a lifelong fan, it is really cool to see a Woody Allen movie nominated for writing, directing, and best picture again.

So, good on you, Woody. I look forward to seeing who picks up your Oscar for you this year! Kudos also to Alexander Payne and his co-writers Nat Faxon and Jim Nash for winning the WGA’s Best Adapted Screenplay award for their stellar work on The Descendants. That one I did vote for!

To see a list of all this year’s WGA Award Winners, click here.

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2012 Screen Actor’s Guild Award Nominees

I don’t normally stay up to watch the live broadcast of the SAG Award Nominations, but, was up anyway wrapping Christmas presents and dealing with a sick baby, so…I watched. And, well, it was kind of a snooze. No real big surprises. No gasping from the audience (or me, for that matter), just kind of the usual suspects at this point.

I’m not saying the nominees aren’t deserving, because they totally are — especially the cast nominations for “The Descendents”, “Bridesmaids” and “Midnight In Paris” — but I was a bit disappointed to see Charlize Theron overlooked for her stellar work in “Young Adult” and the same goes for Maria Bello’s incendiary performance on NBC’s recently-shelved “Prime Suspect”. Those are two of the best performances of the year in my book, and I was bummed to see them both overlooked by SAG.

But, hey, there’s always the Golden Globe nominations on Thursday. And you know those crazy foreign press guys love hot blonde chicks, so…I’m betting they both get a lot more love then. At least they’d better!

To see the full list of SAG Award Nominees, click here.

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2011 Golden Globes wrap-up

OK, after reading several, far better and far more in-depth accounts of all that went down at the Golden Globe Awards last night, I just have two things to add.

One, I thought host Ricky Gervais, though a bit crass at times, was even better as a host this time than he was last year. Yes, he pushed some buttons, but, man alive, some of his shit was hilarious. The bottom line is that he kept the crowd on their toes and I haven’t heard any of the Gervais-haters say they were bored by the show. So, kudos to you for keeping it real, Ricky!

The second thing is that I was really pleased, if not entirely surprised, by most of the winners. Everyone who won seemed really excited and honored to be there and that always makes for a good show.

And though I cheered out loud for several of the winners, I gotta say, seeing a dyed-in-the-flannel, 90′s alt-rocker like Trent Reznor collect a Golden Globe for his brilliant work on “The Social Network” soundtrack…wow…that was the highlight of the night as far as I’m concerned.

I downloaded Reznor and Atticus Ross’ soundtrack last week on Amazon and have been listening to it non-stop. The movie itself is collecting a little too many awards for my taste — if I have to see that smug-ass Aaron Sorkin pick up another award for his hugely-overrated screenplay, I might puke. Urgh! — but “The Social Network” soundtrack deserves every award it wins. So, rock on, guys!

And finally, if there was any doubt about who will not only be nominated, but also win Oscars this year in the major acting categories, it was wiped away last night. With the exception of a surprise Best Supporting Actress nod for the amazing Hailee Steinfeld for “True Grit” — which might give Melissa “The Fighter” Leo a real run for her money — I think everyone pictured here will repeat at the Oscars.

Yeah, Annette Bening is overdue for some Oscar gold, but her ham-fisted work in “The Kids Are All Right” is so not her finest hour on film. She’ll get another shot someday and if it makes her feel any better, she won’t lose an Oscar to Hilary Swank this time out. So, there’s always that!

Which means, we’ll have two royals in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories at this year’s Academy Awards: The extremely-deserving Colin Firth for “The Kings Speech” and Queen Amidala of Naboo herself for “Black Swan”. Yee-haw!

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WGA Screenplay Nominees (2011)

Most years, I have a hell of a time narrowing the nominated films on my awards ballot down to ten, but, this year…well…let’s just say it was a struggle to find ten worthy films to nominate.

That’s not to say that there weren’t some really great movies released in 2010, but, the good ones (“The Social Network”, “Inception”, “The Fighter”, “Black Swan”) were so good that the rest of the nominees felt like total filler.

And when you couple that with the fact that several of the biggest Oscar-bait flicks this year (“The King’s Speech”, “Winter’s Bone”, “Toy Story 3″) were considered ineligible for WGA nominations, well, the list of nominatable films was pretty damn slim this year.

That said, this was the first year since I can remember that almost every single movie I voted for got nominated (rock on, “I Love You, Phillip Morris”!!) so, that’s kinda fun for a change.

In any case, congrats to all the nominated writers and here is this year’s freshly-minted list of WGA nominated films. Enjoy!

Original Screenplay

Black Swan (Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, John McLaughlin)

The Fighter (Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, Keith Dorrington)

Inception (Christopher Nolan)

The Kids Are All Right (Stuart Blumberg & Lisa Cholodenko)

Please Give (Nicole Holofcener)

Adapted Screenplay

127 Hours (Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy)

I Love You Phillip Morris (John Requa & Glenn Ficarra)

The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin)

The Town (Ben Affleck, Peter Craig, Aaron Stockard)

True Grit (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen)

Documentary Screenplay

Enemies of the People (Rob Lemkin & Thet Sambath)

Freedom Riders (Stanley Nelson)

Gasland (Josh Fox)

Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, Chad Beck, Adam Bolt)

The Two Escobars (Michael Zimbalist, Jeff Zimbalist)

Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? (John Scheinfeld)

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2011 Golden Globe Nominations

Whoa, talk about an eclectic bunch of nominees. I mean, three nods for “The Tourist” would be shocking enough, but the fact that they came in the Comedy/Musical category? Crazy!

And Johnny Depp is cool and all, but, two nods for totally lame movies in the same category? Yikes, if the Hollywood Foreign Press wanted him to show up that badly they shoulda just cut out the middle man and  given him an honorary award already. Jeez! But other than that bit of typical Golden Globe-cheesiness, it was sort of business-as-usual this year at the HFPA.

After dominating the LA and NY Film Critics awards this season, David Fincher’s rocking “The Social Network” is looking like the one to beat with a very well-deserved six nominations. I know it came out a while ago, but “Social” is still one of the best things we’ve seen, and I’m happy to say that after taking a detour into straight-up Robert Zemekis hokumville with his last effort, the vastly-overrated “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, David Fincher is back with a vengeance, baby!

Also was thrilled to see “Inception” score several major nominations yesterday. Like I said before, this movie seriously rocked our world, so, here’s hoping it does the same with the Globe voters!

We haven’t seen “The King’s Speech” yet, but, it looks amazing and we love everyone involved with it, so, kudos to them as well. If there’s any justice in this world, two of our favorite actors of all time, Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter will finally win awards this year for their work. Go, Brits!

I was also glad to see David O. Russell finally score a nomination (for directing “The Fighter”) of any kind after years of creating crazy-cool, fantastically-quirky movies. I know a lot of people hate it, but, I still “Heart Huckabees” to death. So, even if you are a big old a-hole in real life, congrats on joining the ranks of the nominated, Mr. Russell!

The TV side of things was pretty cool too, with many of last year’s nominees returning for a second chance at the gold. My favorite nomination though has got to be “The Walking Dead” for best TV Drama. That show is insanely-good, so, really glad to see it represented here.

Oh, and finally, how cool is it that NIN’s Trent Reznor scored a Best Original Score nomination for his dreamy “Social Network” soundtrack? Reznor’s thumping, trance-like music made the movie, man. So cool!

To see the full list of this year’s Golden Globe nominees, click here. And don’t forget to watch the big show on Sunday, January 16th, 2011. Ricky Gervais is back as host, so, you know it’s gonna be fun!

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Cannes Nerd 2010

Judging from the lack of comments the last time I blogged about the Cannes Film Festival, I’m guessing nobody cares about the Festival de Cannes like I do. And that’s cool, I’ll geek out over every last little detail of the fest on my own…but, seeing as it starts today in Cannes, I did want to at least show you guys the poster for this year’s festival.

Featuring the ageless Juliette Binoche, this year’s poster isn’t nearly as cinematic as the David-Lynch-designed poster for the 2008 fest, but, it’s still kinda cool in its simplicity. And hello, it’s still Juliette Binoche!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Ridley Scott’s out of competition “Robin Hood” is opening the festival tonight followed by what I’m sure will be a pretty rocking party. And speaking of rocking, Tim Burton is heading the jury this year, so, hopefully that will yield some cool winners down the line.

Of course Kate Beckinsale (huh?) is also on the jury this year, so, who knows. I’m not saying she isn’t pretty and everything, but, really? Kate Beckinsale is judging serious films now? Hmmm…not sure what I think about that one yet. Hopefully her fellow actor/jury mate Benicio Del Toro will help balance the scales a bit…

In any case…whoo hoo, Cannes is up and running, amigos! Vive le cinema! Vive le Festival de Cannes!

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Oscar Nominees 2010

I know I am totally behind on my analysis of this year’s Oscar Nominations — my friend James calls me the king of day old new lately — but Greta is about midway through her first winter cold, and, wow, what an all-consuming adventure that has been. Seriously, I’ve never seen so much snot…

And, ironically enough, that kinda describes how I feel about this year’s crop of nominees. I mean, there were a few cool surprises (Maggie Gyllenhaal earning her first nod for “Crazy Heart” and the always-deserving Jeremy Renner pulling an upset Best Actor nod for “The Hurt Locker”) but overall, most of the big award-magnet movies this year left me pretty cold.

“Up in the Air” was a total snooze, I really dug the ladies in that movie — both of whom scored well-deserved Supporting Actress nods — but I kinda hated George Clooney’s character and the too-cool glibness of the script sealed my hatred of the film. Same thing with “Precious”. Mo’Nique and Gabourey Sidibe were fantastic and deserve every award that comes their way, but the movie itself was a glorified (if R-rated) after-school special. Snooze…

The Coen Brother’s latest outing “A Serious Man” was another one of their crazy, impenetrable disappointments. Seriously, does anyone know what the hell that movie is about? I sure don’t, and I’ve watched parts of it twice! The fact that this shiny turd of a movie scored a Best Screenplay nod and a Best Picture nomination makes me think the Academy sees the brother’s names on the ballot every year and just checks them off out of habit. I mean, come on, guys, you don’t  have to nominate EVERY movie they make! Urgh…

Now, with my least favorite nominess out of the way, let me get to the movies I did love. “Inglorious Basterds” was freaking amazing. Not only did it look great, but the cast rocked — the insanely-good Christoph Waltz is a lock to win Best Supporting Actor and he totally deserves it! — and the script was incredible. Tense, dramatic and funny as hell, “Basterds” is probably Tarantino’s best movie so far, and being a QT fan from way back, that is really saying something.

Also loved Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side” and was thrilled to see the movie recognized in the Best Picture category as well. I told Christine after we saw it that if there was any justice in the world, “The Blind Side” would be nominated for Best Picture, and, well, I guess justice ruled supreme on Tuesday. I kid you not, amigos, this is one the best Hollywood movies in years, so, congrats to everyone involved.

Also very glad to see Jeff Bridges in the race again for “Crazy Heart”. Bridges has served his time, and unless Renner pulls a major Adrien Brody-style upset, he is totally gonna win Best Actor this year. Bridges didn’t just play that character, he WAS that character. Awesome, awesome work!

Scoring her 16th nomination this year, Meryl Streep positively soared as Julia Child in “Julie & Julia”, and is probably the only genuine competition Sandra Bullock has in the Best Actress race. I’m hoping for another tie, but, barring that…it’s gonna be a squeaker.

Glad to see the Academy finally giving sci-fi some respect this year as well. I haven’t seen “District 9″ yet, but the fact that a little indie geekfest like that scored so many nods — including those for Best Picture and Screenplay! — is very exciting for a sci-fi geek like me! Go, aliens!

And speaking of sci-fi, I gotta hand it to nutty old James Cameron, man, “Avatar” was incredible. Unlike the rest of the world, I hadn’t seen the movie until last night, and I was completely blown away.

I was so prepared to hate those freaky, blue bastards, but, wow, was I wrong. “Avatar” has more heart and soul in it’s weakest parts than several of the other nominees combined. And the effects? Gorgeous! Trust me, you have never seen anything like this movie before, and though it will face some stiff competition from “The Hurt Locker” in most of the major categories, I have a feeling “Avatar” will break the sci-fi curse by winning Best Picture. Yep, it’s that good.

Ooo…also very excited to see Stanley Tucci finally joining the Oscar Nominee club with his creepy turn as a murderous pedophile in “The Lovely Bones”. I really loved the movie and even though it was pretty much shut out everywhere else, was very glad to hear Tucci’s named called on Tuesday morning. Same thing with Tucci’s fellow first-time nominee, Christopher Plummer.

Yes, you read that correctly…Captain Von Trapp himself has never been nominated for an Oscar. Shocking, huh? And, even though I hear “The Last Station” is a total snoozefest, I gotta say, rock on Mr. Edelweiss!

And finally, though I have yet to see it, I was very pleased to see “An Education” score not only a Best Picture nomination, but also a Screenplay nod for Nick Hornby! Hornby is one of my favorite novelist, so, I’m guessing the script rocks. But either way, kudos to you, Señor Hornby!

To see the complete printable list of this year’s Oscar Nominees, click here. And, as always, dying to hear what you guys think of the nominated movies and such, so, fire away!

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2010 Golden Globe Nominees

With Greta teething like crazy, no one in our household has been getting much sleep lately. So, since I was still awake at 4:30AM this morning, I figured I may as well stay up to watch the Golden Globe Nominations at 5:00AM. I mean, what’s another half hour at that point, huh?

Well, apparently the Hollywood Foreign Press is as punctual as I am, because, even though their website said the nominations would begin at 5:00AM PST, they didn’t actually get to the good stuff till 5:37AM!! And trust me, trying to stay awake for those last 37 minutes sucked ass. Jesus, get it together, HFPA!

Anyway, there weren’t a whole lot of surprises this year on the movie side, except for the near total snubs of “The Lovely Bones”, “The Road” and “Where The Wild Things Are” — but it was cool to see three of our favorite actors (Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep and Matt Damon) score double nominations and, seriously, anytime Julianne Moore is nominated for an award is a happy day in my book. Now if she could actually win something sometime I’d be even happier!

Also glad to see Tarantino back in the thick of things with “Inglourious Basterds” raking up all kinds of Globes love, and though we haven’t watched our screener of “Up In The Air” yet, I am already in love with the movie from the trailers, so, kudos to Clooney and company on that front too. It was also very cool to see “Avatar” do so well and a smaller movie like “District 9″ score a coveted screenplay nomination. Wow…who knew the HFPA dug Sci Fi? Awesome!

But the big news of the day was on the TV front where Fox’s “Glee” very-deservedly cleaned freaking house with three acting nominations and a nod for Best Television Series Musical or Comedy. Hooray! After years of kicking ass in everything she does, Jane Lynch is finally nominated for an award! Coolness! Go-to character actresses like Alison Janney better watch their backs in the years to come, because the white-hot Lynch is on a roll, baby!

Also very happy to see “Big Love” score a few well-deserved nominations (go, Chloë Sevigny!) and we were very excited to see two of our favorite new shows, “Modern Family” and “The Good Wife” score some nods. Rock on, newbies!

My only complaint today are the three nominations for Lifetime’s God-awful “Georgia O’Keefe” biopic. That movie really, really sucked. Not only did it totally squander the considerable talents of it’s two lead actors, Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons, but it was so damn boring that it made Lifetime’s epic 2008 train wreck, “Coco Chanel” look interesting. And yes, I actually Tivo-ed (and watched!!) both of those lame-ass movies. Yikes…

But at the end of the day, the big story at this year’s Globes — which air on NBC on January 17th — isn’t gonna be about the nominees at all. I mean, with Ricky Gervais hosting and the booze flowing freely, who really cares who wins?

To see a full list of this year’s nominees, click here.

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“The Wrestler”

Just watched Mickey Rourke and Bruce Springsteen pick up their well-deserved Golden Globes for “The Wrestler” and all I can say is…wow. These guys totally deserve any gold that comes their way this season, and if you haven’t seen “The Wrestler” yet, then get thee to a multiplex, amigos. This movie rocks!

Beautifully directed by Darren Aronofsky from a sweet, heartfelt script by Robert Siegel this movie truly soars. And while “Slumdog”, “Milk” and “Frost/Nixon” are still my top three, “The Wrestler” has made it a four-way race for our favorite movie of the year.

THE WRESTLER #1

This movie has more heart, humor and soul in it’s first ten minutes than “Benjamin Button” does in it’s entirety. Sorry, Benjamin, but it’s true. If you’re looking for a deeply-felt story about genuine love, loss and redemption, skip the bloated Brad Pitt-fest and see this instead!

Playing a battered and bruised pro-wrestler well past his prime, Mickey Rourke gives the performance of his life as Randy “The Ram” Robinson. Several critics have pointed out how Rourke’s real-life struggles and appearance give the movie an added heft, and that may be true, but I think that totally sells Rourke short.

I mean, sure, he looks like hell, but Rourke is not playing himself here, this is acting. And acting of the caliber I haven’t seen onscreen since, well, shit…I can’t even remember it’s been so long. Seriously, Rourke is so vital and alive in this movie that you’ll swear you’re watching a documentary.

THE WRESTLER #2

THE WRESTLER #3

And the story…wow…I won’t ruin it for those of you who haven’t seen it, but this movie takes off in directions I never saw coming and never looks back. And lest you think “The Wrestler” is all about Rourke, the supporting women in this film kick some serious ass!

Marissa Tomei has never looked hotter — literally, she has some full-blown stripping scenes that are beyond realistic! — and her performance as a damaged stripper is so naturalistic that you’ll swear she’s been pole dancing her entire life. I know a lot of people still give her shit for winning the Oscar for “My Cousin Vinny”, but if there were any doubts about Tomei being a real actress, this movie will put them to rest forever.

Beneath all the sweat and the shimmery body paint, Tomei’s character not only gives Rourke something truly powerful to play off, but also steals your heart in every scene she’s in. Seriously, she’s incredible.

THE WRESTLER #4

THE WRESTLER #5

And Evan Rachel Wood — who we adored on the vastly underrated “Once and Again” — delivers her most mature, nuanced performance to date as Rourke’s estranged daughter. Her scenes with Rourke will rip your heart out. Man alive, I was weeping like a baby a couple of times…beautiful stuff!

And when that Bruce Springsteen song kicks in at the end, holy crap, you just wanna die. This ain’t no tacked-on end credits song, this is a sad-ass rock ballad for the ages…and like the movie itself, it will stay with you for days. Amazing…

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“Batman” for Best Picture?

Don’t laugh, amigos…if there was ever a year a comic book movie could (and should) be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, this was it! And seeing how “The Dark Knight” just scored a Producer’s Guild of America nomination for Best Picture of 2008 — always a good omen going into Oscar season — the odds just got a little bit better for Bruce Wayne and company.

"The Dark Knight" poster

That’s right, despite a surprising snub by the Hollywood Foreign Press a couple of weeks back, “The Dark Knight” just became a front-runner in the very heated contest for an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. The late, great Heath Ledger was already kind of a given for a Supporting Actor nomination, but a big summer movie scoring a nod in a major category is pretty, well…major.

So, kudos to Christopher Nolan and the rest of the “Dark Knight” cast and crew for making things very interesting this award season. And in case you were wondering, the other films the PGA nominated for Best Picture were the very deserving: “Milk”, “Slumdog Millionaire”, “Frost/Nixon”, and for some reason, the God-awful “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”.

Yikes…I still don’t get why people love that movie so much. But Christine has already forseen “Button” picking up a Best Picture nomination from the Academy and she is rarely wrong about these things, so…who knows.

“Button” aside though, I am thrilled with the rest of the nominations — which represent almost all of our favorite movies this past year — and the TV and Documentary Feature nominations are just as worthy. To see a full list of the PGA nominees in every category, click here.

And as we near the award season home stretch…go, “Batman”!

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“Last Chance Harvey”

As I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, Christine and I see lots of movies this time of year — at last count we’ve seen 16 since Halloween, crazy! — and though most of them are awesome and totally award-worthy, they are also almost uniformly serious. So, when we see a funny, well-made romantic comedy this time of year, they usually stand out…big time.

One such movie from year’s past was “Miss Congeniality” — which we still love, despite the constant heckling from our friend’s Matt and Wan — and this year’s stand-out is the sparkling romantic comedy, “Last Chance Harvey”.

"Last Chance Harvey" #1

Starring Dustin Hoffman and a luminous Emma Thompson — seriously, beneath her frumpy, every-woman costumes, Thompson has star power to burn in this flick! — the bulk of “Last Chance Harvey” takes place over a 24-hour period in a beautifully-shot London, England.

I know it’s kind of cliche to say that “the city itself is a character” in a movie, but, I swear to God, London has never looked more vibrant and sunny than it does here. Even if you’re not big old UK geeks like us, this movie will make you want to visit London like never before. All burnished orange sunsets and crisp, yellow foliage, merry old England looks absolutely gorgeous here!

And the performances in “Harvey” are just as lovely and delicate as the setting. Playing two of the saddest, loneliest characters ever put to screen, Hoffman and Thompson are pitch-perfect as the star-crossed couple who “meet cute” and then spend the rest of the movie literally walking and talking around London.

I know, could be a total snoozefest, right? Well, trust me, it’s not. Working at the top of their game from a touching, often-hilarious script by director Joel Hopkins, the stars imbue every word they say with a depth and longing that is positively heartbreaking.

"Last Chance Harvey" #2

"Last Chance Harvey" #3

And that music…wow…the score, by composer Dickon Hinchcliffe, calls to mind the gloriously giddy work of Badly Drawn Boy’s killer “About a Boy” soundtrack. If you haven’t heard that score, or seen that movie, stop reading now and rent them both. Amazing!

But, back to “Harvey”. While on the surface it may sound like your classic boy-meets-girl romantic comedy, in reality what the filmmaker’s have crafted here is a wistful, Baby Boomer “Before Sunrise”. And if you knew how much Christine and I loved “Sunrise” and it’s arguably-better sequel “Before Sunset”, you know that is high praise indeed, amigos. Those movies were all about character and dialog and they made you laugh as much as they sometimes tore your heart out. Well, same thing goes for “Harvey”…this movie rocks!

So, if you’re looking for some holiday cheer this season, skip the bloated “Benjamin Button” and see “Last Chance Harvey” instead. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and, hand to God, you’ll walk out of that theatre smiling…

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“Frost/Nixon”

Saw this bad-ass movie over the long weekend and all I can say is…wow, Ron Howard rocks, baby! As a director I have loathed (“The Da Vinci Code”) just as many of his movies as I have loved (“Cinderella Man”) over the years, but with “Frost/Nixon” it’s like Opie has finally found his voice as a serious director. And man, what a thrill!

FROST/NIXON #1

I have to admit, as much as I was looking forward to seeing this movie, I was also a little skeptical that a film based on a Tony-winning play about a legendary television interview between David Frost and Richard Nixon would be, I dunno, kind of stagy and plodding. But, man alive, was I wrong!

In opening up his play for the movie, writer Peter Morgan, as he did so beautifully with “The Queen” and “The Last King of Scotland” has made politics absolutely riveting. And when you couple his crackerjack script with Howard’s whiz-bang directing and the towering performances of Frank Langella as Nixon and Michael Sheen as Frost, well…how can you lose?

Seriously, in lesser hands, “Frost/Nixon” could have been a tedious series of close-ups and cramped interiors, but this movie could not be more cinematic. Big, open, sweeping, the camera is everywhere all at once and with Hans Zimmer’s incredible, slow-build score leading the way, the film has a sense of drama that is just breathtaking.

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And the fact that the production filmed in many of the real-life locales only ads to the gravitas. I can only imagine how much that helped the actors bury themselves in their roles, because bury they do, amigos!

Reprising his Tony-winning performance, Langella doesn’t exactly look like Nixon, but man, he has the strange tics and sad sack mannerisms down pat. And Tony-nominee Sheen — who, if you ask me, was robbed of a Supporting Oscar nod for his stellar turn as Tony Blaire in “The Queen” — more than holds his own as a man finding his voice as a journalist during the course of the interviews.

But perhaps even more exciting than the leads are the amazing supporting performances by Kevin Bacon as Nixon loyalist Jack Brennan, and Sam Rockwell and Oliver Platt as Frost’s hard-working researchers, James Reston Jr. and Bob Zelnick, respectively.

All working at the top of their game, the three workhorse actors lend “Frost/Nixon” a boxing movie element that is entirely unexpected. And watching them quickly move in to clean up the figuriative blood when Frost and Nixon have finished a “round” before the camera is beyond awesome.

FROST/NIXON #3

FROST/NIXON #4

In fact, Howard structures the entire movie like one big showdown, and though it might sound a bit heavy-handed, it works like gangbusters. Yes, I said gangbusters…sorry, but it really is that good.

“Frost/Nixon” opens nationwide this weekend, so, check it out! And if you’re interested in seeing the real life “Frost/Nixon: Watergate Interviews” for yourself, they have just been re-released on DVD as well. Cool, huh? I can’t wait to see how they compare to the movie!

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