Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Looking Forward To... March Madness

No, I'm not talking about anything sports related. Please. I'm talking about the slew of mid-midseason premieres (or comebacks) that's about to come at us during the third month of the year. Here are a few I'm most looking forward to...

Awake (March 1st, NBC 10pm) - SERIES PREMIERE. The pilot has been widely available online and it's pretty glorious, definitely my favorite pilot in ages. A man, played by Jason Isaacs, lives in two worlds where either his wife or his son died after a crash. The concept is the selling point, but the emotions, the acting, and everything else makes me ache for a second episode. So everyone go watch it tomorrow!

GCB (March 4th, ABC 10pm) - SERIES PREMIERE. Looks to be a mash-up of Suburgatory, Hart of Dixie and Desperate Housewives. I'll check out the first couple of episodes because I love Kristin Chenoweth, but I'm actually not THAT excited for this.

Community (March 15th, NBC 8pm) - It was a dark day when this show went on its 3-month hiatus. Most of it was because its fan had NO IDEA when, if ever, it was going to come back. Ratings are low, but here's hoping NBC's still sad numbers and Jim Rash's recent Oscar prove advantageous for this.

Touch (March 22nd, FOX 9pm) - SERIES PREMIERE. Already reviewed its pilot episode when it had a special preview a couple months back. It's not great, but it has potential. Plus I do miss Kiefer Sutherland back on my TV.

Fringe (March 23rd, FOX 9pm) - Okay, its "hiatus" is only a month long, but the simple fact that this is one of my favorites shows and its ratings almost guarantees its cancellation, I'm looking forward to any time it comes back and everyone should know the date.

Mad Men (March 25th, AMC) - SEASON PREMIERE. 17 months. 17 months! That would be how long this show has been off the air with new episodes until it returns at the end of March. God knows if I even remember how last season ended, but I'm certainly glad to welcome back Don, Peggy, and the rest of the gang back to my TV.

Finally, even though these two shows return in March, I'd be remiss to not mention The Killing and Game of Thrones coming back April 1st for both of their sophomore seasons. TV|Line has a more complete list at March's various season/series premieres and finales.

Happy Leap Day!

Ah, leap day, an extra day we get every four years to re-align the calendars and more importantly, to use as we see fit. I think a quote from last week's 30 Rock sums it best: "It's Leap Day. Real life is for March."

So of course for the occasion, has compiled a few classic photographs of people leaping. The two I picked out about are Fred Astaire in the 1946 film Blue Skies and former no. 1 American tennis player Alice Marble back in 1938. See more pictures here.

Are you planning on doing anything special on this special Hump Day Leap Day?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Navratilova Will Dance

This should prove interesting. And by "this" I mean Martina Navratilova, who turned 55 just four months ago, joining the cast of this year's Dancing with the Stars. I guess the early exits other tennis pros like Monica Seles (four years ago in DWTS) and Martina Hingis (three years ago in Strictly Come Dancing) experienced in these types of shows didn't scare her off. But then again this is a woman who defected from Czechoslovakia in her teens, publicly came out as gay at the peak of her sports career, and beat breast cancer just a couple years ago. Getting judged at some silly dance competition should be a piece of cake. Now, I can't say I'll be watching since I'm just not interested in the show, but I'm rooting for her regardless.

Other notable famous people in this year's line-up include Gladys Knight, Jaleel White, Gavin DeGraw, and Sherri Shepard.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Trailer - Movie: The Movie

Last night after the Academy Awards, Jimmy Kimmel premiered the best movie trailer in the history of movie trailers featuring a cast that would have a guaranteed an ensemble win at this year's SAG Awards. And while the trailer itself, with its impressive mash-up of movie cliches and its increasingly absurdist situations, the cast really do make this a must-watch. See it below:

Seriously, I'd watch this in a heartbeat. Surely, it'd be much better than New Year's Eve. What do you think of this epic trailer?

Just added after the jump is the equally hilarious behind-the-scenes look: Making the Movie: The Making of Movie: The Movie...

The Artist Triumphs At the Academy Awards

Only three films managed to get more than one win. Two of those films, The Artist and Hugo, were expected and actually tied with 5 wins each. The other film, The Iron Lady, gave us perhaps the most shocking result of the evening as Meryl Streep won the Best Actress award over friend and presumed front-runner Viola Davis. The full list of winners is below:

Best Picture: The Artist
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Best Lead Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Lead Actress: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Best Animated Film: Rango
Best Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants
Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation
Best Original Score: The Artist
Best Original Song: "Man or Muppet," The Muppets
Best Editing: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Best Art Direction: Hugo
Best Cinematography: Hugo
Best Costume Design: The Artist
Best Makeup: The Iron Lady
Best Documentary: Undefeated
Best Documentary Short: Saving Face
Best Animated Short: The Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Best Live Action Short: The Shore
Best Sound Editing: Hugo
Best Sound Mixing: Hugo
Best Visual Effects: Hugo

5 - The Artist, Hugo
2 - The Iron Lady
1 - Beginners, The Help, Midnight in Paris, The Descendants, Rango, A Separation, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Muppets, Undefeated, Saving Face, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, and The Shore

The biggest winner of the night was France especially with The Artist, Hugo, and Midnight in Paris coming out on top. Hugo was the night's early winner picking up most of the tech awards it was nominated for, but The Artist took the biggest awards later on with wins for Picture, Director, and Actor as well as Score and Costume Design. The BAFTA acting winners repeated here with Streep, Jean Dujardin, Octavia Spencer, and Christopher Plummer winning. While this is the third Oscar win for Streep (out of 17 nominations), it's the first for the others with Dujardin becoming the first Frenchman to win and Plummer becoming the oldest actor, male or female, to win.

The ceremony itself is a bit difficult to judge. I actually thought the pacing was pretty good as well as the general structure of when each of the awards were given. Yes, there were a few awkward presenters, but for the most part most didn't screw up. The stage looked wonderful, designed as the outside of a old-school movie house. The entire night was actually about the love of seeing films with many skits and interviews reflecting this. The talking heads of the numerous famous celebrities were just lovely and while shoddily shot, the Cirque Du Soleil performance was fun. The host, Billy Crystal, like the show itself, relied on the past. A few of his schticks worked, but for the most part they felt a bit dated. Throughout the night I just kept seeing presenter after presenter who I wished were chosen to be hosts instead--Emma Stone, the Bridesmaids cast, Robert Downey Jr., Tina Fey. Even some of the winners would have been great like Jim Rash and Bret McKenzie.

My predictions were par for the course with me getting 16/24 (66.67%) and like last year the short categories messed me up even though I actually saw all of the live-action nominees this year! I did like that I correctly predicted Documentary and the two Sound categories. Oh well, upwards and onwards! See you next year and good night, Harvey Weinstein.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Final Thoughts Before the Oscars

The red carpet has slowly been getting more crowded by the minute and very soon the first few stars should be making their way telling us who they are wearing and such. They will then enter the Kodak Hollywood & Highland Theater where the Academy Awards will be given out. Let's take a look back at the awards season that was...

This year the film to beat was a surprising one. Who ever thought a black & white French silent film would dominate the awards season these past few months? And yet that is exactly what The Artist has done picking up numerous awards from critic groups, the BFCA, the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, the Spirit Awards, and even the all-important love from the guilds namely the producers and the directors. Of course it's important to point out two things about the film and its run. First, all of this attention hasn't really translated to box office with the film netting just over $30 million. Should it win Best Picture, it'd be the second lowest-grossing Best Picture winner (The Hurt Locker is the lowest). Second, Harvey Weinstein. Need I say more?

Weinstein is actually having a pretty good year on top of his great comeback year last year when he managed to put The King's Speech and Colin Firth into the winner's circle. This year, not only does he have The Artist, but he also has campaigned for Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams. It turns out that the Best Actress race this year is probably the most exciting with Viola Davis' The Help looking good to win her first Oscar considering she won the SAG Awards and her film is the highest-grossing Best Picture nominee. It also doesn't hurt that her greatest rival is one of her best friends with Streep campaigning for Davis almost as hard as she has been campaigning for herself. Streep of course is gunning for her first Oscar since she won in 1986! For her efforts, she won a few important critic awards, the Globes, and BAFTA. Williams looked to have the advantage early on being the right age, having the right industry respectability, and especially playing such an iconic Hollywood legend. She won most of the critic awards, but then gave the stage away to Streep and Davis. She did win the Globes and more recently the Spirit Awards. Glenn Close was in the conversation early as well especially as she is even more due than Streep, but the reviews weren't good and the nomination became its own award.

Compared to Best Actress, the other acting categories look to be a bit more straightforward especially the supporting categories where Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer have dominated all season long. His biggest threat early on, Albert Brooks, was never nominated and her biggest threat, co-star Jessica Chastain, hasn't coalesced the fans she has garnered from the dozen of films she worked on this year. Lead actor looks to be a battle between Hollywood A-lister George Cloooney and French A-lister Jean Dujardin. Early on, Brad Pitt was the odds on favorite until Clooney stole his thunder. More recently it's the Frenchman doing the stealing beating Clooney at the SAGs and at the BAFTAs.

Speaking of Clooney, his film The Descendants is one of two films that can play spoiler to the grande soirée, but it'll probably just walk away with a screenplay award since it has won the WGA. The other film is of course Martin Scorsese's Hugo which is the closer rivalry to The Artist. One is a Hollywood film set in France while the other is a French film set in Hollywood and both films tackling the world of filmmaking. Hugo actually leads with 11 Oscar nominations and started off the awards season with a bang, winning Picture and Director at the National Board of Review. Since then, however, it has play second to the little silent film that could.

While all of this was being played out, there were the obvious shocks and twists of awards season. Buzzed about films such as The Ides of March, Drive, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Take Shelter, Melancholia and many more faltered to get Oscar nominations. While praised performers such as Ryan Gosling, Elisabeth Olsen, Tilda Swinton, Albert Brooks, Michael Fassbender, and Kirsten Dunst didn't make the shortlist. Certainly actors like Demian Bichir, Melissa McCarthy, Jonah Hill, and Rooney Mara were astounded when they heard their names Oscar nomination morning as well as the producers of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Loud when they heard their critically-panned film get that ninth and final spot for Best Picture. Wait, nine spots? Ah yes, in all of their wisdom AMPAS has decided to change the voting process yet again putting more emphasis on #1 votes and opening the possibility of having a total tally of Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10.

While that created the requisite number crunching and head scratching from the blogosphere, it was the least of AMPAS' problems as it had to deal with the whole Brett Ratner fiasco that led to Ratner resigning as producer and Eddie Murphy quitting as host. They were both soon replaced by Brian Grazer and Billy Crystal (hosting for the 9th time) although many people had more than a few suggestions on who should host. My top choice was the Muppets, but even when they didn't get the job, at least they'd perform at the Oscars. Except, nope that's not happening either.

In any case, that's neither here nor there. Even though most of the films this year evoked the recurring theme of nostalgia and the past, let's all try to look forward and get excited for the Academy Awards. The Artist is my fourth favorite film of the year so it having a big night would be just fine by me. My favorite film of the year, Midnight in Paris, has a chance to walk away with the screenplay award, but even if it doesn't win it's still Woody Allen's biggest hit in years. But I'll end this post by giving some love to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. It's not only one of the best reviewed films of the year, but also the highest grossing film both domestically and internationally. After eight films, it has yet to win an Academy Award and this year it's nominated for three (Art Direction, Make-Up, Visual Effects). It can win any of those, but chances aren't that great. I'm personally hoping it does win at least one award (I predicted vfx), but it could easily go away empty handed.

Related links:
Click here to see my official predictions.
Click here to see my own personal ballot.
Click here to see my initial thoughts on the Oscar nominations.
Click here to see all my posts on "Awards Season."

TV Report: Week of 2/19

Happy Oscar Day everyone! But before we all get caught up on who's wearing who and which silent French films are winning what, just a few thoughts on some of the TV I saw this past week.

For the Love of New York City

Both The Good Wife and Smash are shot in New York City though the first show uses NYC as a stand-in for Chicago. In any case, both clearly love to take advantage of this. With Smash it's all about featuring locale haunts such as Cloister Cafe or just walking near Broadway's famed Shubert Alley. With The Good Wife, it's the casting. Just this week alone the guest stars included Jonathan Groff, John Benjamin Hickey, Rita Wilson, Parker Posey, Edward Hermann, Denis O'Hare, Teal Wicks, and Amy Sedaris. Whew! You'd think all of those guest stars would suffocate an episode, but not The Good Wife where the bulk of the story dealt with Will's last case before his forced six-month suspension. I'm intrigued what this means for Will now.

As for Smash, it had its weakest episode yet perhaps due to unremarkable songs (though I think I liked the original "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" duet in the end) or perhaps due to some tired plot developments. The episode started well enough with Jaffrey and Davenport having a bit of macho Brit-off and Huston throwing drinks at her ex-husband's face never got tired, but then we got into Iowa and I fell asleep only to be awakened by Kat McPhee doing cringe-worthy country. More sleepy developments... Julia of course had a thing with the new DiMaggio (who is dreamy I give her that) and Ellis is channeling his inner All About Eve. Which brings me back to The Good Wife. Is Caitlin also up to no good? Team Ivy! Team Alicia!

A Very, Very, Very, Special Episode of Glee

Teen suicide. Check. Teen marriage. Check. Texting and driving. Check. Since Regionals was apparently not big enough to devote an entire episode to, Glee's writers decided to just throw the kitchen sink of PSAs into this episode. Spoiler Alert: It didn't turn out well. I have nothing but praise for Max Adler's heartbreaking portrayal of a depressed teen forced into committing suicide, but Glee's inconsistency (see their handling of Santana's coming out for example) and inappropriate reactions (Kurt's reaction toward Quinn) made it all frustrating. The Rachel/Finn marriage is something I never cared about and that ridiculous cliffhanger with Quinn getting hit by a truck was sensationalistic at its worst. Most of the songs were damn forgettable with the exception of the Troubletones fantastic rendition of Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger." Oh and Sue's pregnant. Sigh.

Sitcom Lightning Round...

Most of the sitcoms this week ranged from good to great with my least favorite episode coming from a show that's almost always my favorite. How I Met Your Mother handled the Robin/Ted (and Barney) thing quite nicely, though I was worried that Marshall and Lily were cast in a bit of a negative light here with their long-term bets. Cougar Town was pretty great if only for the sad zipline and staged murders, but I just continue to love the relationship between every character. New Girl, which is now a much better show than it was early in the season, delivers another good one with Jess becoming tougher (as a teacher) and Schmidt/Cece blooming slowly (while Nick/Julia wilts).

Suburgatory showcased two of my favorite supporting players this TV season, Allie Grant and Carly Chaikin, with the latter making me LOL at her detailed plan for revenge against Tessa. Modern Family was a bit mixed since the Cam and Mitch/Jay stuff didn't really work for me, but everything else was great especially Manny and Luke "driving" and the whole doll/virgin metaphor. Not the best episode of Happy Endings even though Elisha Cuthbert continues to surprise me at how funny she is and Max's bear stunt was inexplicably hilarious to me. 30 Rock had a great concept (Leap Year Holiday) and some fantastic acting throughout and yet something still didn't click for me. Parks and Rec probably had it's weakest episode in years as the Tom/Ann relationship is pretty dull, Jerry's party kind of blew, and Leslie realizing she needs to take a break was a bit shrug-worthy.

Fringe Giveth and Taketh Away

This was a huge episode for Fringe (which to be honest is in the brink of cancellation based on its ratings). Not only did we get A LOT of information regarding the Observers, but because things seem to be reaching a climax in terms of realizing the absolute tragedy that Peter's erasure and comeback to the timeline has done. All of them are dealing with their lives being rewritten, erased, etc. and that is wreaking havoc on all of them emotionally. Joshua Jackson again is doing his best work on the show right now and his final scene with Anna Torv was one of the most heartbreaking scenes of the series. Torv for her part was fantastic here as well as in all of her scenes with alternate!Nina. Of course we still don't know Jones' endgame and EXACTLY what is going on re: Peter and the "normal" timeline, but I still got chills during the scene with Peter and September in that room. Poor Henry. Poor Peter. Poor Olivia. Poor us!

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Really great capper for the two-part episode of Castle since I kept being shocked at all of the twists and turns it took... Anyone else starting to think Prince Charming in Once Upon A Time is kind of a goober for being so damn cowardly... It was fantastic seeing Misha Collins in Ringer in an episode where we finally find out what drove the sisters apart... The Amazing Race had its season premiere, but I didn't have much to say other than being happy it's back... And finally congratulations to The Simpsons for a solid episode last week which also happened to be their milestone 500th episode.

The Artist Has Spirit, Yes It Does

There's less than a day left until the Academy Awards! I often wonder what the nominees do with themselves the night before. Are they partying with friends and family? Are they going to bed early? Are they still figuring out what to wear? I do know that those involved in presumed Best Picture champ The Artist are probably on a plane or just arrived from France after sweeping the César Awards, aka the French Oscars, a day ago. Winning is what that film keeps doing and it continued its awards season domination at this year's Spirit Awards...

Best Feature: The Artist
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Best Lead Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Lead Actress: Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Best Screenplay: The Descendants
Best First Feature: Margin Call
Best First Screenplay: 50/50
Best International Film: A Separation
Best Documentary: The Interrupters
Best Cinematography: The Artist
John Cassavetes Award: Pariah
Robert Altman Award: Margin Call
Piaget Producers Award: Take Shelter
Someone to Watch Award: Mark Jackson, Without
Truer Than Fiction Award: Where Soldiers Come From

It was certainly a big night for The Artist winning 4 of its 5 nominations losing only to The Descendants for Screenplay. The latter film also picked up a win in Supporting Actress for Shailene Woodley beating out Oscar-nominees Jessica Chastain and Janet McTeer. The only other film to win more than one award is Margin Call which picked up First Feature and the Robert Altman Award. Christopher Plummer continued his Artist-like run through awards season winning Supporting Actor, while Michelle Williams picked up her second major award for Best Actress (the other coming at the Golden Globes). It's worth it to note, however, that both didn't have to face any of their fellow Oscar nominees. Finally, Oscar-snubbed 50/50 took home a deserved First Screenplay award while Take Shelter and Drive walked away nearly empty-handed.

In terms of what all of this means in regards to the Oscars tomorrow... well we'll probably be seeing a lot of the same (French) names. While it's true that in the entire history of the Spirit Awards, only one film (Platoon in 1986) has won both this and the Oscars, the domination The Artist has shown throughout the season is hard to ignore. It's becoming less a question of Will it win Best Picture? and more How many trophies will be sweep up? Plummer has been the front-runner since Albert Brooks was snubbed by SAG and the win here was icing while The Descendants look to repeat its screenplay win here as well. And finally, while I still believe it's Meryl vs. Viola for Actress, Williams winning here plus getting a Golden Globe and receiving the majority of critic awards makes you wonder. Yes, wonder.

Related: Spirit Award Nominations

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Oscar Predictions

It's only two days until the Academy Awards! Are you getting psyched? Are you ready for awards season to just be over already? Well either way, the big day is almost here and so it's time to finally go on record with my predictions. Now, I never claim to be the Oscar Whisperer. I read most of the same articles and hear the same buzz that many film bloggers and Oscar pundits do and even then my prediction rate usually hovers around 60-70%, which is fine, but not great.

For the most part, I'm pretty much going with the consensus picks. It'd be great if there's a surprise or two at the actual ceremony, but seeing as I actually like most of these winners, even if they don't match up with my personal ballot at all, I'd rather not get a surprise that I'd get angry about. With that said, my predictions...

Best Picture: The Artist
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Best Lead Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Lead Actress: Viola Davis, The Help
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Best Animated Film: Rango
Best Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants
Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation
Best Original Score: The Artist
Best Original Song: "Man or Muppet," The Muppets
Best Editing: The Artist
Best Art Direction: Hugo
Best Cinematography: Tree of Life
Best Costume Design: Jane Eyre
Best Makeup: The Iron Lady
Best Documentary: Undefeated
Best Documentary Short: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
Best Animated Short: La Luna
Best Live Action Short: Tuba Atlantic
Best Sound Editing: Hugo
Best Sound Mixing: Hugo
Best Visual Effects: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II

Tally: 5 - The Artist; 3 - Hugo; 2 - The Help; 1 - Beginners, Rango, Midnight in Paris, The Descendants, A Separation, The Muppets, Tree of Life, Jane Eyre, The Iron Lady, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II, Undefeated, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, La Luna, Tuba Atlantic

Looks like I'm predicting a "share-the-wealth" kind of year even with The Artist getting five wins. A lot of those tech categories are really difficult to nail down. It was tempting to predict a sweep for The Artist, but for many categories it had steep competition and more often than not I went with that competition. The shorts, as per usual, are rolls of the dice. And yes, for some reason, I'm predicting that Harry Potter will have its first and only Oscar win for its entire series run. Yup, I am crazy.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Birthday Girl: Dakota Fanning

Everyone knows that Dakota Fanning has been working in the business since she was extremely young, but did you know she worked on a film that came out six years before she was even born? Well that's one of the things I found out as I perused her credits over at IMDb today. That film, by the way, was Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro which did come out in 1988, but was only released by Disney with American voice actors in 2005. So unfortunately no weird time traveling for the young Fanning who celebrates her 18th birthday today.

It's pretty insane that she's only 18, right? The first time I saw her was in an episode of Ally McBeal when she was just 6 years old. Then she appeared in films like I Am Sam and Sweet Home Alabama. Many other film roles followed as she became the go-to young actress of her generation... until she wasn't. Saoirse Ronan, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, and even little sister Elle Fanning are challenging her for the same types of roles now. The first three have even received Academy Award nominations.

To her immense credit though, she seems to have navigated through the pitfalls of being a child actor relatively unscathed and seems to be transitioning well into more grown-up fare. For example, she was pretty great in 2010's The Runaways as Cherie Currie and she has a handful of films coming out this year. She also very recently appeared on the cover of W Magazine with her sister with the magazine interviewing both.

Link Roundup: Oscar Edition

Everyone's talking about the Oscars, which is not too shocking since the big day is just three days away. If you're excited as I am, here are a few links that might interest you...

15 Minutes of Focus Artist Hunter Langston creates beautiful and creative posters for all of this year's Best Picture nominees.

In Contention Guy Lodge writes a must-read essay on the Academy Awards and awards season in general asking for cooler heads to prevail.

Awards Daily is attempting to compile a close-to-comprehensive list of Oscar predictions. What are yours?

Encore Speaking of predictions, have you all been reading Andrew's "incoherent" Oscar predictions on his blog?

Film Experience Jose views and shares his thoughts on the films nominated for Best Animated Film so you don't have to.

Vulture features an impressive set of infographics by Jesse David Fox of all of the Best Picture nominees. LOL, oh shit indeed.

IndieWire has a nifty and updated list of the announced presenters for this year's ceremony.

New Yorker Michael Shulman takes a look back at some of Meryl Streep's best acceptance speeches through the years.

Salon Andrew O'Hehir in the meantime lays out the almost too friendly rivalry between Meryl Streep and Viola Davis at this year's awards circuit.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Sitcoms Featuring Boys Who Like Other Boys

Just as Cam & Mitchell from Modern Family were getting used to sharing the Gay Parents spotlight on TV with Leroy and Hiram from Glee, both might have some company next season with a few guys playing boyfriends in a couple of sitcoms.

First, Ryan Murphy is working in bringing a sitcom to NBC about a gay couple trying to make a baby with a surrogate. The gay couple will be played by Broadway hotties Andrew Rannells (Book of Mormon) and Justin Bartha (Lend Me A Tenor) though the latter is probably more well-known for his roles in popular film series such as National Treasure and Hangover. Currently titled The New Normal, it'll also star Ellen Barkin and Georgia King.

The other show, this time slated for CBS, is from the creators of Will & Grace called Partners and will look similar to their earlier show in that it'll follow the lives of longtime friends, one straight and one gay. This time though they are both men and are business partners. Michael Urie, who was Mark in Ugly Betty, will play the gay half of this friendship and his boyfriend will be played by Brandon Routh who everyone knows as Superman, but who I fondly think of as Ramona Flowers' third ex with super vegan powers. The straight half of the partnership is still not cast, but Sophia Bush and Lucy Davis are also set to star.

I think at this point it's not 100% sure yet if the respective networks will pick these shows up though with the names behind the camera and everyone loving The Sitcom again, chances are we'll probably see these shows premiere sooner rather than never. Of course cast changes can still happen between now and the shows' season premieres, but I have to admit I'm already looking forward to these. And I swear it's not just because of the obvious eye-candy.

Commander Helena Bonham Carter

Here's Helena Bonham Carter, looking positively smashing, posing with her Commander of the British Empire (CBE) medal which she received from Queen Elizabeth herself today. I love how she looked perfect for the occasion and still very much looked like the HBC we all know and love.

One more picture with her paramour Tim Burton after the jump...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Personal Oscar Ballot

Less than a week away from the Academy Awards and today at 5:00PM PST, the ballots are due from all voters. The myriad campaigns will halt (or at least be diminished greatly) giving way to the process of tabulating the results and stuffing those envelopes with the winners' names. So what better time to let you all know what *I* would've done if I had the honor to fill in one of these ballots.

Note: For Best Picture, Academy voters are asked to rank their choices from 1 to 9. For the other categories, they are only asked to pick their choice of winner. These are NOT my predictions, but rather my picks if I was an Academy member voting in the privacy of my own home.

Best Picture
1 - Midnight in Paris
2 - The Artist
3 - The Help
4 - Moneyball
5 - Hugo
6 - Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
7 - The Descendants
8 - Tree of Life
9 - War Horse

Best Director: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Best Lead Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Lead Actress: Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
Best Supporting Actor: Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain, The Help
Best Animated Film: Rango
Best Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Ides of March
Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation
Best Original Score: The Artist
Best Original Song: "Man or Muppet," The Muppets
Best Editing: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Best Art Direction: The Artist
Best Cinematography: Tree of Life
Best Costume Design: The Artist
Best Makeup: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II
Best Documentary: Undefeated
Best Documentary Short: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
Best Animated Short: La Luna
Best Live Action Short: Tuba Atlantic
Best Sound Editing: Drive
Best Sound Mixing: The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo
Best Visual Effects: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II

The headline here is that I really liked Midnight in Paris giving it Picture, Director, and Screenplay, but that's not too surprising considering it's my favorite film of the year. The likelier behemoth as this year's race, The Artist, however, has to live with just getting the most wins from me (4) including one for its leading actor. My love for My Week with Marilyn translated to two acting wins with Dragon Tattoo and Harry Potter also getting a pair of wins albeit in technical categories. Finally, two Ryan Gosling films (Ides of March and Drive) which also cracked my top five films of the year, expectantly won their lone nominations. What would your ballot look like? Extra points if you're actually an Academy member!

Mardi Gras & the Frog

I've never been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but after seeing The Princess and the Frog, I'm thinking it's probably not that clean or family-friendly as it's presented in that film. Though the real thing is probably just as fun, just as colorful, and just full of music.

Happy Mardi Gras everyone! Two more after the jump...

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Descendants, Breaking Bad, & Homeland Receive Industry Awards

Oscar ballots are due tomorrow and the Academy Awards are next Sunday. But while we all wait, there were plenty of other awards being given out this weekend and it was The Descendants that got most of the love in the film side of things perhaps signaling the possibility of the tides turning in its favor.

First, the ACE Eddie Awards which honors editing both in film and television. The winners are:

Feature Dramatic Film: The Descendants
Feature Comedic or Musical Film: The Artist
Animated Feature Film: Rango
Half-Hour TV Series: Curb Your Enthusiasm
One-Hour Commercial TV Series: Breaking Bad
One-Hour Non-Commercial TV Series: Homeland

Yes, Oscar front-runner The Artist won as well, but more often than not the drama winner repeats at the Academy Awards and Editing-Best Picture are also quite closely related. As for TV, I'm glad two of my top ten TV shows of last year were awarded here. For the rest of the ACE Eddie Awards winners, click here.

It was more of the same at the Writers Guild Awards which of course honors screenwriters. The winners are:

Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants
Documentary Screenplay: Better This World
Drama Series: Breaking Bad
Comedy Series: Modern Family
New Series: Homeland

Breaking Bad and Homeland rule again here as they did with the Eddies. They even tied in the Episodic Drama category. For film, the two films most everyone expected to win, won. They both could very well repeat at the Oscars, but there were too many films ruled ineligible by the WGA that were nominated by the Academy that things could still shift. The Descendants has a better chance than Midnight in Paris especially since the latter faces greater competition in The Artist or even A Separation. The Descendants might still be worried for Hugo or Moneyball, but it has momentum those two other films don't, at least in this particular category. To note, this film also won this year's USC Scripter prize going it 2 for 2 in adapted screenplay honors this weekend. It's not one of my favorite films of the year and I'm in fact confused as why everyone seems to love this film, but I'm happy that Descendants co-writer Jim Rash of Community fame is getting his share of the spotlight. For the complete list of WGA winners, click here.

Finally, just a few more notable awards results from this very busy weekend:
- War Horse, Super 8, Hugo, and The Adventures of Tintin picked up top honors at the MPSE Golden Reel Awards
- Hugo and Boardwalk Empire won at the Cinema Audio Society Awards
- The Help and Jumping the Broom swept the film categorizes over at the NAACP Image Awards including wins for Oscar-nominated Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Oscars 2012 Highlights In Advance!

A week from now the 84th Academy Awards will be history. We'll know if Billy Crystal brought his mojo back. We'll know if The Artist ruled. We'll know if Streep or Davis or Williams won. We'll know if Miss Piggy did something scandalous. But why wait that long? See the highlights below...

I like this yearly tradition. Kind of puts the circus act that is awards season in perspective a bit. Last year's video was better, but this was was fun. Plus its last 45 seconds were pretty inspired.

TV Report Catching Up

Internet troubles and other reasons conspired in me skipping my usual TV Report last week which means I now have 14 days of TV to try and talk about. And knowing my TV habits, that's a lot aka 30+ TV episodes. So in a effort to just catch up, just a few quick thoughts in alphabetical order:

2 Broke Girls - I'm still not sure what I think about Jennifer Coolidge's Sophie added into the ensemble, but any character not diner-related is potentially great. Last recent episode with Earl going to the hospital was good to show Max's softer side.

30 Rock - Jane Krakowski is dependably best in show, but Tina Fey has been stepping up her game. Her old lady Joker in the latest episode (to complement Jack's Dark Knight) was inspired. The one-hour episode the week before though dragged. Would've made a better half hour installment methinks.

Big Bang Theory - There are seven main characters on this show. So why does only one, the newest addition, Amy brings the laughs? Oh sure Sheldon and others will get a joke here and there, but the writers are doing most of them a disservice with dull plots such as Bernadette and Howard's prenup or the lame contest between Sheldon and Kripke.

Castle - This show brought out the big guns. First having an episode enabling the characters dressed up in 40s outfit in a flashback then having the first part of their February sweeps thriller event that involves the CIA. Both were very strong episodes and I can't wait to see the second part.

Cougar Town - It's finally back and still called Cougar Town! And I loved it. From the cold open showing us these people are still the alcoholics we know and love to that heart-clutchingly beautiful proposal in the end, it was a great premiere. The latter scene was made even more effective by showing us momentarily Bobby's heartfelt and sincere mixed reaction to the proposal. Didn't even mention the other gags like Evil Stan, the green screen, and Jules predictability.

Fringe - The ratings are super depressing, even more so since these last two episodes have been this season's best (and right up there in terms of the whole series). It helped that we're finally getting closer and closer to the resolution of the Amberverse as Olivia's memories are starting to come back. I constantly praise Anna Torv, right so, but Joshua Jackson reacting to this has been a wonder these past couple of episodes. It also helped that the Cases of the Week were strong on their own.

Glee - The less said about the Ricky Martin episode the better (though Martin was completely fine and predictably charming and Naya Rivera killed in all of her scenes). I actually found myself liking the Valentine's Day episode. The Karofksy twist was pretty unexpected, Mercedes' glorious "I Will Always Loved You" hit all the right notes, and Rachel's dad were fabulous.

Happy Endings - Two words: James Wolk. I think other things, potentially gut-bustingly hilarious things, happened in these past couple of episodes, but really JAMES WOLK. His Valentine's Day kiss with Max then his subsequent shirtless scene the episode after... yes, please.

How I Met Your Mother - A bit of a mixed review for this show. The housewarming party episode was great in terms of concept, but the content was uninteresting. This week's episode was better in no small part to Cobie Smulders' heartbreaking performance YET AGAIN. The end with her and Ted is a curious development. Finally, I've been on the "drunk train" once. Completely accurate.

Modern Family - I actually think the past couple of episodes were above average with some really fun storylines. Cam and Gloria competing, Phil's obliviousness to Claire getting hit on, and the whole fuckery that was the Aunt Mommy deal. Good stuff.

New Girl - Can this show be hitting its stride? I think so since I've unironically liked more episodes lately than not. The Lanlord episode was HIGHlarious especially when Jess and Nick got this close to getting into a threesome with their landlord. The Valentine's Day episode was a bit of a hit-and-miss but Ryan Kwanten is pretty and we finally get the Schmidt-Cece pairing that was pretty inevitable.

Once Upon A Time - My friends have a problem with the show taking its methodical time actually progressing the plot, but I'm sort of okay with that as long as they keep telling interesting retelling of fairy tale stories which I thought they did with Beauty & the Beast. Emilie de Ravin and Robert Carlyle really made it all work.

Parks and Recreation - I thought they handled the most anticipated reunion of Leslie and Dave well especially coupled with Ben's uneasiness with cops. It gave both Louis C.K. and Adam Scott an opportunity to really go crazy in this episode playing off their feelings towards Leslie. Andy writing Leslie's campaign song was also good though mostly for Ron's Duke Silver reappearance. After this episode, I'm undecided about Tom/Ann.

Revenge - I could and SHOULD probably write a whole separate entry on this show, because since Daniel and Emily got engaged it's been nothing but an insane ride for everyone. We are introduced to the truly harsh Grandfather Grayson making Conrad/Victoria's divorce a bit trickier. Jack gets super frustrated and crashes a dinner party whereby Charlotte finds out about her real father. Tyler (!!!) comes back and makes Emily's life that much worst. We go back to the first scenes of the pilot and finally find out that... Tyler gets shot and Daniel may be the one to have done it. And I'm not even conveying all of the other twists and turns and the unspoken acting showcase Stowe and VanCamp engage in whenever they have a scene together. Love this show.

Ringer - Like Revenge, these past two weeks brought a lot of plot developments to a head mostly thanks to Siobhan finally being in New York and interacting with others. Her letting Henry find out about Bridgette was something the show probably needed to do sooner, but glad it's happened. I appreciate the twist on the whole Julia/teacher/rape thing, but I still think that storyline is too much.

Smash - Thankfully I managed to put my thoughts on the pilot down already so I don't have to do it. As far as the second episode goes, I'm still pretty much in like with the show. Megan Hilty is so great and so it's actually making it difficult to connect with Kat McPhee's character since I'm rooting for Ivy so much more. Like the pilot, the adoption story is shrugworthy for me even more so after those cringe-inducing scenes in this second episode. The singing/dancing performances were aces and I still find Jack Davenport (and Anjelica Huston) so much fun to watch.

Suburgatory - The latest episode "The Body" was okay, but not one of my favorites. It at least gave the Shay siblings interesting storylines which is welcome. I much preferred the week's prior episode dealing with sex. Tessa navigating her tricky relationship with Scott Strauss and George finally getting some were great, but really Cheryl Hines dancing to Kelly Clarkson's Stronger was my scene of the week.

Whew! Now on to a new week of television. The Good Wife returns! Season premiere of The Amazing Race! 500th episode of The Simpsons! Downton Abbey season finale Christmas special!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

White Collar's Matt Bomer Comes Out

I know this news is a few days old, which in internet time is an eternity, but I just wanted to say a quick congratulations to the impossibly beautiful Matt Bomer who officially came out publicly while accepting an award for his charity work. Of course, it wasn't one of those "Hey everyone! I'm G-A-Y!" announcement. In fact he simply thanked his family listing off the names of his partner Simon and their kids. To those not in the know, they'd be none the wiser, but it was nonetheless greeted by many as a shattering of the glass closet they believed Bomer was in.

Still, others maintain that Bomer's speech changed nothing at all, but that's their cross to bear. Bomer in the meantime will continue to live his life with his loving family and working in Hollywood. And I do mean working. Apart from starring on his hit TV show White Collar, he's also set to participate in a limited-engagement reading of Dustin Lance Black's play 8 as well as do a quick stint on Glee. He'll also appear in the film Magic Mike as one of a few male strippers and the film version of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart taking over the part played by John Benjamin Hickey in Broadway that won him a Tony Award. Read my thoughts on that play here.

And to think, it seemed as if it was just yesterday when I first mentioned Bomer on this blog. Pretty crazy ride.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Birthday Boy: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, or JGL for short, turned 31 today and yet even at such a relatively youthful age, he has done so much. From breaking out in television to headlining films to managing an online collaborative production company, he really has done it all.

Here's a fun fact: JGL starred in the first American film I saw in theaters. He was the main character. It was a fantastical film. It was also a sports movie. Any guesses? If you said Angels in the Outfield, well then yay for you (I posted about this film before). Of course I didn't really know JGL as I know him now, but I became quite familiar with him on his long stint on 3rd Rock from the Sun. But it wasn't until 10 Things I Hate About You, which came out in 1999, that I started to notice him (as well as his co-stars Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles).

After that it was one great performance after another in some of my favorite films films: Latter Days, Mysterious Skin, Brick. He just kept working and working and finally he was noticed by the industry giving him Golden Globe nominations for (500) Days of Summer and this past year's 50/50. For 2012, he's taking a much needed break... from sleeping. He has no less than five films coming out including films where he works with directors such as Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, and Quentin Tarantino. Whew, just writing this post is making me tired.

So he's not going anywhere any time soon and that is just good news for all of us. Happy Birthday JGL!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

End-Of-Year: Top 15 Films of 2011

Last Thursday, I said I would post my top 15 films of 2011 "tomorrow or the day after that." Fast forward a week full of internet troubles and here we are. So without further a due, I present to you the films...

15. The Muppets - I wasn't really a Muppet-head growing up. I saw a movie here and there and knew the famous songs and characters, but I wasn't a hardcore fan. So I can't really explain the feeling of absolute joy that overwhelmed me from the very first scene to last of this completely adorable film. From the get go, it felt as if I was a kid again watching my favorite characters similar to what the protagonist must have felt like when he met his felt idols. I didn't know Jason Segel had this in him, but he really pulled this off with some wonderful assists from famous friends. Now if you'll excuse me I'll go listen to "Pictures in My Head" for the 100th time. Join me won't you?

14. Incendies - To say this film was shocking would be an understatement, because the end really does leave the viewer speechless by what just transpired. I don't mean shocking in that visceral sense a horror film may evoke, but in that more subtle way an epic story such as the one being told in this film naturally brings forth. It's a film after all about two adult twins learning about the extraordinary story of their mother before she had them and the secrets discovered in that journey. Strong acting throughout, but especially for Lubna Azabal for her impressive work portraying the battle-tested mother through the years.

13. Attack the Block - I barely heard of the film before I saw it, which probably contributed to the giddiness I felt while watching this fantastical sci-fi thrill romp unfold before me. The plot is the usual alien invasion story, but this time the setting in condensed to a street block in London and the saviors of humanity a bunch of young British hooligans. Led by Moses, charismatically played by unknown John Boyega, these kids take it upon themselves to protect their turf and the end result was just too enjoyable for words. Great movie to see with friends. Plus this got the seal of approval from Edgar Wright. 'Nuf said.

12. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Never read the super popular nor watched the Swedish miniseries so I pretty much went into this movie knowing as little as possible. Suffice it to say, I found it pretty damn fantastic from that scintillating opening title sequence to that quiet end leaving you wanting for some more. David Fincher is a master of his craft and he proved it once again with this film, but it's Rooney Mara playing the titular character who really showed why she is a force to be reckoned with by really owning all of the sides of the complicated character that is Lisbeth Salander. The film also featured Daniel Craig in various states of undress, which was much appreciated.

11. Thor - If you asked me last year if this film would be ranked this high, I would've laughed. Not because it's a comic book superhero film, but because it's frickin' Thor. And yet here it is just outside my top 10 and beating fellow Marvel films X-Men: First Class and Captain America. For me, what pushed this above the others is how much it exceeded my expectations. The trailer made Asgard look cartoonish and overblown, but on screen it was just absolutely grand. It also helped that the relationship of Thor and Loki as played by Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston felt real and sincere. At least more sincere than it had any right to be.

And now the top ten...

10. My Week with Marilyn - My knowledge of Marilyn Monroe is actually pretty lacking. I've probably seen only two of her films ever and I never really looked into her life, knowing her only as the iconic woman she is famous for. So this measure of ignorance on my part heightened the mystique surrounding Monroe that made me more willing to wholeheartedly embrace Michelle Williams' heartbreaking and eye-opening performance. She was electric, funny, sad, charming, vulnerable all at once and it never once felt like she was stretching to be any of those. But a grand performance such as this would falter without strong support and I personally think she got that from Kenneth Branagh and Eddie Redmayne.

9. Warrior - Brotherly drama always gets to me (see Thor) so on the one hand I wasn't too shocked that this film, pardon the pun, knocked me out. The tale of two brothers' futures hanging in the balance on a series of matches was told as recently as last year's The Fighter and yet as much as I really liked that film, I much preferred this most recent one a bit more. It's probably unfair to compare the two, but on the surface at least the fights were certainly more exciting especially since mixed martial arts is a bit showier than boxing. But going deeper, I just fell hard for Joel Edgerton's quietly strong performance making me invested pretty quickly on every outcome. I cheered and I cried. What more could I have really asked for?

8. A Separation - Why this film wasn't included in my initial list of ten is easy to explain. I only saw the film a week ago and so of course now that I have seen it, I just knew it would be ridiculous to not give this a top ten spot. First of all, it was just plain gripping throughout with the films full commitment to show just how messy a dissolution of a relationship can be not only to the two people getting separated by to those around them. The complex morality at play throughout the film was also one of my favorites making me constantly question my loyalties and beliefs. The whole Iranian cast was superb, but Leila Hatami and Peyman Maadi are the undisputed pillars of the film. That final shot with the two of them was exquisite.

7. Meek's Cutoff - Director Kelly Reichardt is known for stark and contemplative films and so it's only natural that Michelle Williams would gravitate towards her projects (see also their previous collaboration with Wendy and Lucy). It won't be for everyone, that's for sure, as the camera lingers at the breathtaking, but also bleak desert landscape that surrounds the characters with extended dialogue or action few and far between. But when they happen, and they do, the experience becomes heightened somehow, the dangers they face becomes all the more real. Williams is unsurprisingly perfect for the role, determined and calm in the face of everything that threatens her compatriots. Bruce Greenwood, who I didn't recognized until I saw his name in the credits, was also a standout.

6. The Help - The politics at play is definitely awkward at points, but that didn't really stop me from laughing, crying, laughing from crying, crying from laughing every other scene of this film. Most of the praise goes to its stellar ensemble headlined by the incredible performances by Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer as maids who find the courage to stand up for their rights. There's also Jessica Chastain who may have played my favorite character of the year as the saucy and vulnerable Celia Foote. In the end, it was a tricky film to pull off, but the cast managed to do just that all the while evoking plenty of real emotions from me.

5. Drive - This neo-noir crime drama film just refuses to get out of my head which is probably why it's ranked so high considering I wasn't completely head over heels in love with the film immediately after seeing it. But the more I got to thinking about the film--about its wonderfully stylistic images and arresting synth-pop score, about its laconic anti-hero, about its impeccable direction and wonderfully minimalistic screenplay--the more I grew to love it. It was such a great blending of art-house fare and action thriller which also lent itself to the iconic portrayal of the nameless Driver by Ryan Gosling, perfectly cast here able to give off sexy, dangerous, vulnerable, tough, sweet, and psychotic vibes all at once with very little effort (or dialogue).

4. The Artist - Pure joy. That's pretty much what I think about when I think of this film, which is actually pretty odd to say since this movie is actually quite dark for most of its compacted run-time. Yes, it's a black and white mostly silent film and for about the first 15 minutes I was enamored by the novelty of it all, but if you left the movie focusing on those aspects of the film, you missed a great chunk of what makes this film great. There are of course the incredibly charismatic performances from Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, and yes, Uggie, which made me smile throughout the whole film. No, it's not a strict silent film and I don't think it ever really wanted to be. But the courage it took to do this in this day and age where every Tom, Dick, and Harry only seem to want the latest 3D remake sequel, is an achievement by itself that deserves plenty of praise.

3. The Ides of March - This political thriller was perfectly pace, perfectly cast, and perfectly written. I have no idea why it didn't get more love than it did this year from audiences and from the various awards bodies, but I have a feeling it'll be a film more people will discover later on, even perhaps as early as this year when the ugly tradition of presidential campaigns take over all of our lives once again. What made this movie work for me was its topicality considering how so many people have become so jaded by the government. Ryan Gosling, as per usual for him this year, was great and showed that even surrounded by a crazy talented ensemble, he can rise above and deliver a true leading man performance. Seeing his character's idealism tested under the immense pressure and cynicism in politics was really quite something to behold.

2. Weekend - This tale of two British men having a chance meeting at a club then proceeding to spend an intimate weekend with each other knocked me off my feet. Chris New and Tom Cullen's chemistry was so sincere that I sometimes forgot I was watching a film, but that's also a testament to the confident direction from newcomer Andrew Haigh and his elegantly naturalistic script. It's a sexy film between two guys who engages in sex, but it goes deeper into the emotional lives of these two guys who are different, but no so different. Through this prism, the film explores the relationship between men and the identities they juggle with every day. In the end, I have to admit that I probably fell in love with this shockingly romantic film because it reminded me of Before Sunrise. And while the ending was done perfectly, poignantly so, I'm pretty much wishing for this film to have its own Before Sunset.

1. Midnight in Paris - A few months back, I wondered if my favorite summer film would once again be my favorite film of the year and it turns out that is the case again this year. Now, it may be corny to admit, but I was just taken aback by how magical this film was. I wouldn't go as far as to say that Woody Allen got his groove back since who knows if it ever really left, but this really was one of his best films in a long while. As a Francophile, my love for this film was akin to the main character's great love of Paris in the rain and with its highly original concept, inventive screenplay, and a cast stacked with talent, it's no wonder this became Allen's highest grossing film. Prominently featuring the theme of nostalgia and looking into the past that seemed to have pervaded many buzzed about films this year, it afforded a fun glimpse to such characters as Ernest Hemingway, Dali, the Fitzgeralds among others giving us all a lesson that the key to living is to live in the present.

And now it's time to live those lessons learned from my top film of the year and end this look back to the year that was. It was great talking about my favorite films, especially my top 15 above, but I'm also looking forward to seeing new films this year! Happy viewing all!

More year-end film posts:
- Favorite Films #16-35
- 2011 Film Winners
- 2011 Film Nominations
- Favorite Posters of 2011