“Argo to win it all.” This has been the Oscar pundit thesis statement ever since Ben Affleck was left off the Best Director list and promptly blew over the Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe Awards in a whirlwind weekend of Oscar analysis. Every award Argo has gathered since that weekend last month has added to the confirmation bias. Affleck and his film established themselves as the storyline of the 2012 Academy Awards. more »
The Oscar season enters its last weekend, but one suspects it is far from over. Even if Academy members ultimately hewed to tradition and voted Lincoln and Steven Spielberg Best Picture and Director, respectively — as is the customary coronation for films with the most Oscar nominations — this outlier season will be studied and debated. For at least days to come.
Here’s a shout-out for Naomi Watts, and I am afraid she'll need it. She's the sole Oscar nominee from director J.A. Bayona’s The Impossible, and that means she has a real uphill climb for a win. Watts is up against four other nominees in the Best Actress category — Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) and 9-year old Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts Of The Southern Wild) — whose movies have the additional momentum of a Best Picture nomination. It's a huge disadvantage now that the Academy at large is voting, not just the actors branch. more »
Naomi Watts and Robin Wright star in what has likely been the most divisive film to screen at the Sundance Film Festival so far. Two Mothers is the story of two close friends (played by Watts and Wright) who have secretive affairs with each other's sons. The weekend premiere in Park City sparked a mix of laughter and polarized reaction that took the feature's stars and director, Anne Fontaine, by some surprise.
Golden Globe nominees Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor turned out for a special screening of their epic tearjerker The Impossible and talked to me about how they summoned the emotional wherewithal to play a couple whose family is torn apart by a tsunami. more »
There's a question that The Impossible, the new film from Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), demands be asked, and that is — is it easier for audiences to relate to tragedy when it's filtered through white characters? This is not a new issue. The movies have a long tradition of approaching stories about people of color, both at home and abroad, through the experiences of Caucasian protagonists, a habit that speaks to both (probably not unfounded) ideas about audience preferences and prejudices and the linked reality of what most of our movie stars still look like. The Impossible is set during the 2004 tsunami that hit South East Asia the day after Christmas, killing over 230,000 people and devastating Indonesia, India, Thailand and other countries, but it's about how one expat family on holiday weathers the tragedy, an uplifting tale of survival and endurance amidst the ruin.
Real talk, y'all: The first domestic trailer for Juan Antonio Bayona's disaster drama The Impossible made me a little misty-eyed. Get ready to get your hearts touched by Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts as parents on vacay with their children who get separated by the devastating 2004 tsunami and attempt to find their way back to each other amid the destruction and chaos. Sniff.
File under "Too Soon," perhaps: Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor star in The Impossible as a couple on holiday with their two young children in Thailand when the 2004 tsunami tragedy sweeps the region, leaving hundreds of thousands dead in 14 countries. Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), the disaster drama is based on one family's experience and makes use of realistic CG and sets to recreate the event. And judging from the newly unveiled (and kind of terrifying) Spanish teaser poster, expect an intense treatment of the tragedy as seen through the eyes of the victims on the ground.
Having replaced one-time star Jessica Chastain in the Princess Diana biopic Caught in Flight, Naomi Watts was photographed on the set of the now-filming project, and the resemblance is... uncanny. Maybe it's just the layered period blonde perm or the boxy sensible suit 'n' tights, but Watts looks to have slid quite fittingly into the skin of the late Princess of Wales, who embarks on a torrid love affair with Pakistani-born heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan (played by LOST's Naveen Andrews) in the '90s-set drama.
Also in Thursday afternoon's Biz Break: Gavin O'Connor (Warrior) is set to direct a post-tsunami Japan crime thriller, Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon's Sunlight Jr. will preview at Cannes, Nigel Lythgoe teams with BAFTA L.A., and Venice winners are spotlighted in NYC Italian film series.
As Lily Tomlin's Ernestine once said, "There's nothing like a Hoover when you're dealing with dirt." Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar could use more dirt: This is a sensitive, sympathetic portrait of a scummy little man, an earnest attempt to map the contours and contradictions of a complicated son-of-a-bitch. But it's all too earnest, to the point of serving, unwittingly or otherwise, as an apologia. Even Eastwood's attempt at a poignant Hoover death scene fails to hit the mark: I for one would want to stick the guy with a pin to make sure he was really dead.
At the press conference for J. Edgar, which premiered last night at AFI Fest to mixed, often hilarious reviews, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer and Naomi Watts joined director Clint Eastwood, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and producer Brian Grazer fielded questions about the very issues that make the biopic seem difficult to make: the ambiguity surrounding both Hoover and his confidants' personal lives. Movieline culled the best five quotes from the panel, one of which involves 81-year-old Eastwood's on-set brawling.