The 82nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will honor the best films of 2009 and will take place March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California and will be televised in the United States on ABC. Actors Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin will serve as co-hosts for the show.
44-D’rs will be live chatting the ceremony as well. Please visit www.chatroll.com to set up your chat account (this only takes about 10 seconds), and then come back here to join us in all the fun!
If you didn’t already download/print your Oscars ballot, please click here.
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Wishing him the best birthday ever!!
Our fellow founder and friend, GeoT!
Please have a virtual slice 🙂
Jason Reitman (Director/Screenplay/Producer)
He is an Oscar®-nominated director who has established himself as an original, smart and funny storyteller known for his pitch-perfect commentaries on society. Reitman recently produced the horror comedy Jennifers Body for Fox. The Diablo Cody-scripted film was directed by Karyn Kusama and stars Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox. In addition, Reitman executive-produced Atom Egoyan’s Chloe starring Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore, which debuted at this year’s Toronto Film Festival and has been picked up for release by Sony and is set for release in 2010. Reitman is also set to executive-produce Max Winkler’s directing debut Ceremony and is currently at work on an adaptation of Joyce Maynard’s novel Labor Day.
Through his company, Right of Way Films, Reitman is developing new scripts by Jenny Lumet and the Duplass brothers. He is also developing a feature film based on the cult children’s television show Yo Gabba Gabba.
He made his feature film directing debut with the 2006 hit Thank You for Smoking, based on the acclaimed novel by Christopher Buckley, which Reitman adapted for the screen. The film had its world premiere at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival, where it was acquired by Fox Searchlight. Thank You for Smoking went on to earn a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture, an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay and a WGA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. In 2006, Reitman was named Best Debut Director by the National Board of Review.
In December 2007, Fox Searchlight released Reitmans second feature, Juno, which follows the story of a pregnant teenager. Juno has earned widespread praise since its debut at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival, and has grossed over $230 million worldwide.
Reitman was nominated for an Academy Award® for directing Juno. The film earned one win for Diablo Cody’s screenplay and additional nominations for Best Picture and Best Actress (Ellen Page). Juno won three Independent Spirit Awards and a Grammy Award. Reitman was born in Montreal on October 19, 1977. At age 19, his first short film, Operation, premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. Reitman’s short films have played in over a hundred film festivals worldwide.
Reitman is half of the mash-up turntable band “Bad Meaning Bad.”
Sheldon Turner (Screenplay)
A screenwriter and producer, he graduated from Cornell University before enrolling in NYU Law School. Turner passed the bar in New York City and Los Angeles, but decided not to practice law and instead pursued screenwriting.
Turner wrote Paramount’s remake of The Longest Yard starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. This was followed by his second produced screenplay The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. He currently has a number of projects in development in both film and television at several studios, including Enron: Conspiracy of Fools at Warner Bros. with Leonardo DiCaprio attached to star and Robert Schwentke directing; Down River, an actionadventure film, at New Regency; Orbit at Fox 2000 with Tom Bezucha directing; the XMen spinoff, Magneto, at Fox with David Goyer attached to direct; The Nice Guy at Universal with Ed Zwick attached to direct; The Arizona Project at Miramax with Ben Affleck set to direct; and he has recently set up Paths of Glory, based on the book by Jeffrey Archer, and the video game adaptation of Infamous, both at Sony. He is also writing Broken for F/X, a drama set in postKatrina New Orleans.
In addition to being a prolific screenwriter, Turner is also producing several projects that he is not writing: Man Camp at Sony, Split at ABC, Kiss & Tell with Isla Fisher attached, and the rock & roll vampire tale Nightlife.
Click here for complete coverage of Up in the Air, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Jesse Armstrong (Screenplay)
He is a writer on Armando Iannucci’s THE THICK OF IT and IN THE LOOP. He is also co-creator and writer of 5 series of Channel 4’s award-winning PEEP SHOW. Jesse was born and educated in Oswestry, Shropshire and attended Manchester University. He now lives in Brixton with his family. After University, Jesse worked for a Labour MP and member of the Home Affairs team before beginning to write comedy full-time in 1997. Since then he has written for SMACK THE PONY, THAT MITCHELL & WEBB LOOK and many other TV shows. He is also an associate editor of the New Statesman magazine, for whom he writes the weekly ‘Tactical Briefing’ column. Jesse also co-wrote the film MAGICIANS for Universal Films, released in 2007 and is currently working on a feature film with Chris Morris, and a sitcom for BBC1.
Simon Blackwell (Screenplay)
He started his career with BBC radio, writing for a wide variety of shows, including DEAD RINGERS and THE SUNDAY FORMAT, which won the Sony Radio Academy Gold and Silver awards respectively in the comedy category. His TV work has involved BAFTA-winning programmes like HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU, THE SKETCH SHOW (later remade for U.S. TV with Kelsey Grammer) and ALISTAIR McGOWAN’S BIG IMPRESSION, sitcoms (MOVING WALLPAPER, MUMBAI CALLING). He writes the street-talking WWII RAF pilots for BBC1’s ARMSTRONG & MILLER SHOW, as well as their overly frank, divorced dad. Simon has co-written (with Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche and Jesse Armstrong) THE THICK OF IT since its first series in 2005. The show won the BAFTA for Best Situation Comedy that year, as well as being voted Best New Comedy in the British Comedy Awards and winning awards from the Royal Television Society, Broadcast Magazine and The Writers’ Guild. Other work with Armando has included Channel 4’s GASH, and 2004: THE STUPID VERSION and TIME TRUMPET for the BBC. Simon wrote an episode of the most recent series of the multi-award winning PEEP SHOW, and THE OLD GUYS, the studio sitcom he has written with PEEP SHOW creators Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, will air on BBC1 in February 2009.
Armando Iannucci (Screenplay)
He is acclaimed as one of the most influential comedy writers and show runners in Britain. He wrote and directed the BAFTA-winning shows I’M ALAN PARTRIDGE (starring Steve Coogan) and the political comedy THE THICK OF IT as well as fronting his own satirical shows THE FRIDAY NIGHT ARMISTICE for BBC 2 and THE ARMANDO IANNUCCI SHOWS for Channel 4. His spoof news show THE DAY TODAY (with Chris Morris) led to him winning a unique Special Jury British Comedy Award, in recognition of his distinctive contribution to radio and television comedy.
Armando started his career in radio, as a music and comedy presenter on Radio Scotland, before moving in 1989 to national radio as a Comedy Producer for BBC Radio. His hit shows THE MARY WHITEHOUSE EXPERIENCE and ON THE HOUR transferred to television. In particular, ON THE HOUR became THE DAY TODAY on BBC 2 in 1994, and brought Chris Morris to TV, as well as introducing the world to Steve Coogan’s terrible TV personality Alan Partridge. THE DAY TODAY has been widely acclaimed as one of the most influential shows in British TV comedy.
The Alan Partridge character soon got his own chat show, KNOWING ME, KNOWING YOU…WITH ALAN PARTRIDGE and a sit-com I’M ALAN PARTRIDGE, both of which Armando show-ran and co-wrote.
Armando has also fronted his own satirical shows, including THE FRIDAY NIGHT ARMISTICE on BBC Two, which climaxed in a three-hour live Election Night edition on election night, 1997. It was the longest live comedy show ever on British Television, and matched the same ratings are the serious election coverage on the opposing channel ITV. Among the highlights of the TV series was a feature in which Armando tricked O J Simpson into signing a piece of paper that said “I did it”.
THE THICK OF IT, winner of the Best New TV Comedy at the 2005 British Comedy Awards about a beleaguered Minister trying to cope with the pressure imposed by his army of spin doctors, and the spoof clip show TIME TRUMPET, were both written/directed and co-produced by Armando.
THE THICK OF IT has received numerous awards and was recently criticised by the British Government for portraying politicians as terrible people. THE THICK OF IT’s plotlines are regularly inspired by anonymous contributions from former members of the British Government.
Armando has his radio show, ARMANDO IANNUCCI’S CHARM OFFENSIVE on BBC Radio 4, and has been a regular columnist for The Observer. A book of his earlier newspaper work for the Telegraph and the Guardian was published in a 1997 collection, FACTS AND FANCIES which was also adapted for a Radio 4 series.
He is also heavily involved in classical music, and writes a monthly column for Gramophone magazine. His opera SKIN DEEP for which he wrote the libretto, to music by David Sawer, premieres with Opera North and Royal Danish Opera in 2009.
He has just completed filming IN THE LOOP, a feature film comedy set in the world of Whitehall and Washington, and starring Peter Capaldi, Tom Hollander, Gina McKee and James Gandolfini. Location filming included unprecedented filming at 10 Downing Street.
Tony Roche (Screenplay)
He began his writing career in BBC radio working for Alan Davies (star of JONATHAN CREEK) and Bill Bailey (SPACED, HOT FUZZ). Since then he’s written for numerous shows including THE SUNDAY FORMAT (British Comedy Award winner) DEAD RINGERS (Sony Gold Award winner) and ARMANDO IANNUCCI’S CHARM OFFENSIVE (another Sony award winner). He wrote his own sitcom, WORLD OF PUB, which transferred from radio to TV where it starred (among others) Peter Serafinowicz, Phil Cornwell, Kevin Eldon, Martin Freeman, Tamsin Greig and David Walliams. He then co-created and co-wrote BROKEN NEWS with John Morton (PEOPLE LIKE US) for BBC 2; and 7 DAYS WITH ANDREW MARLATT (the man behind the US website satirewire) for BBC 3. Other TV credits include writing for ALISTAIR McGOWAN’S BIG IMPRESSION and THE ALL NEW HARRY HILL SHOW (winner, Silver Rose of Montreux). As well as Dom Joly and David Frost. Tony has written and directed his own short film, the multi-award winning HOW TO TELL WHEN A RELATIONSHIP IS OVER starring Julian Barratt (THE MIGHTY BOOSH) and Susan Earl (HARDWARE). IN THE LOOP is Tony’s first feature film. Forthcoming projects include a romantic comedy drama series for Kudos productions and the BBC developed with Andy Tenant and Wink Mordaunt (HITCH).
Click here for complete coverage of In The Loop, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Neill Blomkamp (Director/Screenplay)
A South African-born director, Blomkamp moved to Canada at the age of 18, beginning his career as a visual effects artist in the world of film and television. Garnering much recognition as one of the brightest young talents in the industry, Blomkamp was nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding visual effects at the age of 21. Shortly afterwards, he made the move into directing, serving first as a music video director and then transitioning into the world of commercials. Blomkamp quickly drew attention as a director with a unique talent for seamlessly blending computer generated imagery with live action, while infusing elements of emotion, humor, and mood.
Helming million-dollar commercials for Nike, Citroen, Gatorade, Panasonic, and Namco, Blomkamp also directed many celebrated short films, including the Wieden and Kennedy-financed short, Tempbot, which garnered the coveted No Spot Short Film Festival Best Overall Film.
In 2004, Blomkamp was recognized as one of the Top 5 Directors to Watch at the First Boards Awards, featured in the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase at Cannes, and short-listed at the Shark Awards. In 2005, Blomkamp received the award for Outstanding VFX in a commercial for Citroen – Alive with Technology at the VES Awards in California. He has since been featured in Shots, Shoot, Campaign, and Creativity magazines, and won three awards in London, England at the BTAA award show.
Most recently, Blomkamp directed three Halo live action commercials for Microsoft.
Terri Tatchell (Screenplay)
District 9 is the first produced feature-length screenplay from the Canadian writer TERRI TATCHELL (Screenplay by). Writing partner to Neill Blomkamp, she has co-written much of his past work. Tatchell’s other writing credits span the mediums including a 90-minute one-act multimedia stage play, news and magazine print, commercials and short films.
Click here for complete coverage of District 9, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Nick Hornby (Writer/Screenplay)
He is the award-winning author of five international best-selling books that have served as a rich seam of inspiration for film-makers: Fever Pitch (two adaptations; the first from a screenplay by Hornby starring Colin Firth, the second directed by the Farrelly brothers and starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon), High Fidelity (directed by Stephen Frears with John Cusack and Jack Black), About A Boy (directed by the Weitz brothers, starring Hugh Grant, Rachel Weisz and Toni Collette), How to Be Good (in development at Miramax, produced by Laura Ziskin) and A Long Way Down (in development with An Education’s producers Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey). In 2007 Slam was published, his first novel for teenagers, and his latest novel Juliet, Naked was published in September this year.
Click here for complete coverage of An Education, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Geoffrey Fletcher (Writer/Screenplay)
He is a writer-director who has penned numerous screenplays and directed many short films. Initially working with a video camera and cast of toys and action figures, he began making films as a child. Those films in part led to his acceptance to NYU’s Tisch Graduate Film Program, which he attended after his graduation from Harvard University. He has also apprenticed under Martin Scorsese and studied with Spike Lee. Magic Markers, a short film Geoffrey wrote, directed, shot and edited, received accolades from numerous organizations including the Directors Guild of America and the Sundance Film Festival. The film has since been instituted as part of New York University’s curriculum for its Graduate and Undergraduate Film Programs.
His latest work is the new feature film Precious: Based on the Novel ‘PUSH’ By Sapphire, for which he wrote the screenplay. The film was presented by executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry and released by Lionsgate in November of 2009. Precious won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Awards at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. It is only the third film to do so in the Festival’s twenty-five-year history. Precious also won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, making it the only film to win the top prizes at both Sundance and Toronto.
Geoffrey was recently heralded by Variety as one of its “10 Screenwriters to Watch.” He has since been nominated for a WGA Award, a USC Libraries Scripter Award, a BAFTA Award, a Critic’s Choice Award, an NAACP Image Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay. He is the recipient of the Best Adapted Screenplay award from the AAFCA and the Satellite Awards.
Geoffrey is also an adjunct professor of film at Columbia University and New York University. He is currently at work on his feature directorial debut from an original script.
Click here for complete coverage of Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy
In the film, the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom are looking to launch a war in the Middle East. The plot follows government officials and advisers in their behind-the-scenes efforts either to promote the war or prevent it.
In America and the United Kingdom, each official, with his/her entourage of staff, some of whom do not agree with their political master, will do whatever he or she needs to achieve the desired end goal. This includes having fake meetings, fake committees, spinning information, leaking information and documents, and doctoring documents. These actions are most important in the lead up to the UN vote on the issue.
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The cast includes: Peter Capaldi, Tom Hollander, Gina McKee, James Gandolfini, Chris Addison, Anna Chlumsky, Enzo Cilenti, Paul Higgins, Mimi Kennedy, and Alex Macqueen
IMDB member “Political comedy is a hard stunt to pull off. Ever since 1964, it seemed like nothing could top Dr. Strangelove. A lot of movies have tried and a lot have failed, although there were the lucky few that passed the bar (Election, Thank You for Smoking) but the brilliant thing about In The Loop is that it’s so stupidly funny that it’s one of the best comedies of the 21st Century! Armando Iannucci, most known for his The Thick of It series in the UK, directs a movie with the a the familiar theme of The Office. That documentary-style of film-making can be hit-or-miss (most recently, Public Enemies, a miss) and Iannucci hits it right on. Every scene he graces with a camera comes out picture perfect; nobody could’ve pegged this movie any better. Iannucci, Jesse Armstrong, Tony Roche and Simon Blackwell’s script is something out of picture show heaven and sounds like it must’ve taken forever to finish, edit, revise, etc. Although these guys, these geniuses, apparently know what they’re doing and don’t care what anybody else says. That is the heart and soul of movie-making, readers. In The Loop is about a corrupt British government that accidentally gets the country thrown into the middle of a war. Loop stars Peter Capaldi, Gina McKee, James Gandolfini, Chris Addison and there’s even a whimsical cameo by Steve Coogan. Capaldi is the absolute best at what he did, spewing swears as coarse as they are a riot (“f*ck you, you lubricated horse c*ck!”) and freaking out. I can’t even put into words just how funny this guy was; he made the movie! But don’t forget Addison as Toby. Addison is the British Napoleon Dynamite, that incredibly awkward guy that makes even the audience members turn red. James Gandolfini and Gina McKee round out the rest of the cast greatly, filling In The Loop with the type of sexual tension that you don’t want to think about. It’s like when a sex scene pops up on a DVD you’re watching with your parents. Yeah, that bad.In The Loop is one of the most laugh out loud comedies I’ve seen in the past decade, that sadly nobody will get a chance to watch. In a world of Transformers and G.I Joe, In The Loop will sadly be ignored. But on an optimistic note, we may have found this summer’s sleeper, America.”
Did You Know?
Many scenes set at 10 Downing Street (the Prime Minister of the United Kingdoms’s office) were actually filmed at the real 10 Downing Street. The production gained access to the location largely because the staff were extremely excited to meet the actors who were playing their fictional counterparts.
Director Armando Iannucci provides the voice over for when the UN resolution passes.
The shooting script after thirty days of filming was 237 pages long. The first cut of the film was 4.5 hours long. The final edit took four months to complete.
Posted by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy
It’s 1961 and attractive, bright 16-year-old schoolgirl, Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is poised on the brink of womanhood, dreaming of a rarefied, Gauloise-scented existence as she sings along to Juliette Greco in her Twickenham bedroom. Stifled by the tedium of adolescent routine, Jenny can’t wait for adult life to begin. Meanwhile, she’s a diligent student, excelling in every subject except the Latin that her father is convinced will land her the place she dreams of at Oxford University.
One rainy day, her suburban life is upended by the arrival of an unsuitable suitor, 30-ish David (Peter Sarsgaard). Urbane and witty, David instantly unseats Jenny’s stammering schoolboy admirer, Graham (Matthew Beard). To her frank amazement, he even manages to charm her conservative parents Jack (Alfred Molina) and Marjorie (Cara Seymour), and effortlessly overcomes any instinctive objections to their daughter’s older, Jewish suitor.
Very quickly, David introduces Jenny to a glittering new world of classical concerts and late-night suppers with his attractive friend and business partner, Danny (Dominic Cooper) and Danny’s girlfriend, the beautiful but vacuous Helen (Rosamund Pike). David replaces Jenny’s traditional education with his own version, picking her up from school in his Bristol roadster and whisking her off to art auctions and smoky clubs.
Just as the family’s long-held dream of getting their brilliant daughter into Oxford seems within reach, Jenny is tempted by another kind of life.
Will David be the making of Jenny or her undoing?
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The cast includes: Peter Sarsgaard, Carey Mulligan, Alfred Molina, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike, Olivia Williams, Emma Thompson, Cara Seymour, Matthew Beard, and Sally Hawkins
IMDB member from Canada “Overall, well done. The talented Carey Mulligan is definitely someone to watch as her career develops. She plays her role as mature, smart and savvy — almost a bit more than was believable, considering the circumstances of the character. Her suave and worldly love interest is well played by Peter Sarsgaard, and the knot in your gut tightens as the story unfolds and you sense where it’s heading. I loved the way Rosamund Pike played the girlfriend of Sarsgaard’s business partner. Both she and the mother seemed to illustrate the razor’s edge walked by women of the time who had to smile and pretend everything was fine even when it wasn’t. So much of this movie shows women’s struggle at many levels to claim choices for themselves that didn’t involve sacrificing their intelligence, dignity, dreams or humanity. I think the story’s initially smooth momentum becomes a bit choppy in the latter part of the film, which seemed not quite sure how to wrap up the story to a conclusion. Despite some shortcomings, the film is still definitely worth seeing.”
Did You Know?
Director Lone Scherfig says she experimented with giving the actors options during scenes. For instance, she told Peter Sarsgaard that if he felt like it he could start a conversation with an extra playing a doorman in one scene despite there not being any written dialogue.
Carey Mulligan mentioned in an interview at the Sundance Film Festival that some of the most enjoyable moments of filming where when there were actors who only came in for a day or so, like Sally Hawkins and Emma Thompson, and she particularly enjoyed the four scenes she shot with the latter, whom she described as being “amazing“, and called her acting “brilliant“.
Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy
Twenty-two years old at the time of shooting An Education, Carey Mulligan had previously appeared in two feature films: And When Did You Last See Your Father? directed by Anand Tucker and Pride & Prejudice, directed by Joe Wright. She will soon be seen in Jim Sheridan’s Brothers, and also The Greatest, directed by Shana Feste and co-starring Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan.
Her television credits include “My Boy Jack,” directed by Brian Kirk (Ecosse Films); “Doctor Who: Blink” (BBC Television); “Northanger Abbey” (Granada Television) and “The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard” (Kudos Productions).
Carey Mulligan in An Education
On stage, Mulligan most recently appeared as the ingénue Nina in the Broadway transfer of Ian Rickson’s production of The Seagull, opposite her An Education costar Peter Sarsgaard. She had already won glowing notices for her performance in the show’s original London production, co-starring Kristin Scott-Thomas and Chiwetel Ejiofor at the Royal Court. She has also appeared in The Hypochondriac at the Almeida; Forty Winks at the Royal Court and Tower Block Dreams at the Riverside.
Posted by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, The LCster and Buellboy
Over twenty years ago, aliens made first contact with Earth. Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came. Instead, the aliens were refugees from their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa’s District 9 as the world’s nations argued over what to do with them.
Now, patience over the alien situation has run out. Control over the aliens has been contracted out to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company uninterested in the aliens’ welfare. MNU will receive tremendous profits if they can make the aliens’ powerful weaponry work. So far, they have failed; activation of the weaponry requires alien DNA.
The tension between the aliens and the humans comes to a head when MNU begins evicting the non-humans from District 9, with MNU field agents responsible for moving them to a new camp. One of the MNU field operatives, Wikus van der Merwe, contracts an alien virus that begins changing his DNA. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, as well as the most valuable – he is the key to unlocking the secrets of alien technology. Ostracized and friendless, there is only one place left for him to hide: District 9.
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The cast includes: Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope, and Vanessa Haywood
TheLCster I loved this futuristic look at a society’s reaction to new comers who may need aid. This movie can be seen in two ways in my opinion: a sci-fi movie about aliens or a sci-fi satire about our own society’s reaction to those different from “us.” Take your pick!
Audiegrl “I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It starts a little slow, but after the first 35 minutes, you’ll be rooting for the aliens. 🙂 The thing that really impressed me, was the filmmaker’s ability to combine documentary style and cinematic style, in a way that looks seamless. Other directors have tried to do it before, but this one really made it work and look real.
There is also a subtle political statement through-out the film, although the director and writers don’t admit that on the DVD extras. But to have it set in post-apartheid Johannesburg, can’t be just a coincidence.”
Did You Know?
All the shacks in District 9 were actual shacks that exists in a section of Johannesburg which were to be evacuated and the residents moved to better government housing, paralleling the events in the film. Also paralleling, the residents had not actually been moved out before filming began. The only shack that was created solely for filming was Christopher Johnson’s shack.
The film was inspired by director Neill Blomkamp’s childhood in South Africa during apartheid.
Star Sharlto Copley had not acted before and had no intention of pursuing an acting career. He stumbled into the leading role as Neill Blomkamp placed him on-camera during the short film.
Sharlto Copley ad-libbed all his lines during the “documentary” sequences.
Many real tribal languages of Southern Africa employ clicking sounds (much like the ones the filmmakers included in the alien language) in their vocabularies, including Zulu (the most widely spoken indigenous language of South Africa) and Xhosa, another frequently spoken South African language (even the name “Xhosa” has a click in it).
The language used by the aliens (clicking sounds) was created by rubbing a pumpkin.
Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, BuellBoy and Ogenec
From Jason Reitman, the Oscar®-nominated director of Juno, comes Up in the Air, the timely odyssey of Ryan Bingham (Oscar® winner George Clooney), a corporate downsizer and consummate modern business traveler who, after years of staying happily airborne, suddenly finds himself ready to make a real connection.
Ryan has long been contented with his unencumbered lifestyle lived out across America in airports, hotels and rental cars. He can carry all he needs in one wheel‐away case; he’s a pampered, elite member of every travel loyalty program in existence; and he’s close to attaining his lifetime goal of 10 million frequent flier miles – and yet … Ryan has nothing real to hold onto.
When he falls for a simpatico fellow traveler (Vera Farmiga), Ryan’s boss (Jason Bateman), inspired by a young, upstart efficiency expert (Anna Kendrick), threatens to permanently call him in from the road. Faced with the prospect, at once terrifying and exhilarating, of being grounded, Ryan begins to contemplate what it might actually mean to have a home.
The cast includes: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Danny McBride, Jason Bateman, Melanie Lynskey, Amy Morton, Sam Elliott, J.K. Simmons, Zach Galifianakis, and Chris Lowell
Ogenec “Up In the Air is cool, old school film-making at its very best. Yes, I love watching mindless action movies as much as the rest of the gang. But I also appreciate movies with layers and layers of dialogue. Unfortunately, unless you subscribe to TCM, such movies are hard to come by. Especially in major studio releases. So I don’t know how Jason Reitman got this movie made, but bless his soul, he did. (A little movie called Juno probably had something to do with it.)
It’s hard to come up with a short list of the things I loved about this movie, but I’ll try. I’ve already mentioned the dialogue. But calling it dialogue is a huge disservice; more accurately, it’s repartee. And executed by two of the finest actors in Hollywood — George Clooney and Vera Farmiga. George is a man of many talents, but he is never more impressive than when he is channeling his inner Spencer Tracy. (See Out of Sight for another stellar example.) But I think he met his match in Vera Farmiga, who, as far as I am concerned, is the Meryl Streep of her generation. Except sexier. 🙂 Man, you have got to check out the scene in the airport lounge. The banter, the sexual tension, the double entendres… I was ready to light a cigarette right there in the theater. We need to see more of these two together, stat!
I’m running out of space, so I’ll briefly mention other highlights of the movie for me. It deals in a very deft way with the conundrum that, even as the world gets more interconnected, many of us feel so alienated and alone. It is very timely in its depiction of the horrible state of the economy, and how no industry — even one dependent on an economic downturn — is immune. And finally, it deals with the importance of love, and of family as an anchor in turbulent times. In so doing, the movie perfectly illustrates this saying by my favorite poet, Robert Frost: “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Wonderful movie, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”
Did You Know?
With the exception of the famous actors, every person we see fired in the film is not an actor but a real life recently laid off person. The filmmakers put out ads in St. Louis and Detroit posing as a documentary crew looking to document the effect of the recession. When people showed up, they were instructed to treat the camera like the person who fired them and respond as they did or use the opportunity to say what they wished they had.
While at Lambert Field in St Louis, Ryan tries to make an impassioned speech to Natalie about Charles Lindbergh’s plane The Spirit of St Louis. Officially, Lindbergh’s plane was a Ryan NYP (New York to Paris) so the two share the same name.
When the character Bob, played by J.K. Simmons, shows Ryan a photo of his two children, it is a photo of Simmons’ real children.
Posted by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy
Lee Daniels’ Precious is a vibrant, honest and resoundingly hopeful film about the human capacity to grow and overcome.
Set in Harlem in 1987, it is the story of Claireece “Precious” Jones (Gabourey Sidibe), a sixteen-year-old African-American girl born into a life no one would want. She’s pregnant for the second time by her absent father; at home, she must wait hand and foot on her mother (Mo’Nique), a poisonously angry woman who abuses her emotionally and physically. School is a place of chaos, and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and an awful secret: she can neither read nor write.
Precious may sometimes be down, but she is never out. Beneath her impassive expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate but unshakeable sense that other possibilities exist for her. Threatened with expulsion, Precious is offered the chance to transfer to an alternative school, Each One/Teach One. Precious doesn’t know the meaning of “alternative,” but her instincts tell her this is the chance she has been waiting for. In the literacy workshop taught by the patient yet firm Ms. Rain (Paula Patton), Precious begins a journey that will lead her from darkness, pain and powerlessness to light, love and self-determination.
The cast includes: Mo’Nique, Gabourey Sidibe, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, and Lenny Kravitz, Stephanie Andujar, Chyna Lane, Amina Robinson, Xosha Roquemore, Angelic Zambrana, Aunt Dot, Nealla Gordon, Grace Hightower, Barret Isaiah Mindell, Kimberly Russell, Bill Sage, and Susan Taylor
“First let me say, this was not an easy movie to watch. It’s a very intense film that deals with poverty, child abuse (mental, physical and sexual), and a broken education system. It hits you at a gut level and it becomes painfully obvious that the system has failed Claireece Precious Jones. From that point on, you can’t stop watching it, and rooting for her to overcome all of these obstacles. The performance by Gabourey Sidibe was incredibly powerful for a virtual unknown, and it’s easy to understand why she has decided to pursue a acting career. As for Mo’Nique’s performance as the abusive mother, lets just say she kept it so real…she scared me. In my book, both of these ladies deserve the awards they’ve been given so far, and the nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress from the Academy.“
Did You Know?
Over 400 girls were interviewed from across the country for the part of Precious. Gabourey Sidibe was cast a mere six weeks before the start of shooting after being forced to the audition by friends.
Helen Mirren was originally cast as Mrs. Weiss, but dropped out. Mariah Carey was chosen as a replacement by director Lee Daniels only two days before the film went into production. Daniels has stated that he chose Carey based on her performance in Tennessee (2008), which he produced.
Oprah Winfrey said that when she saw the movie, it “split [her] open“, and that she immediately called Tyler Perry who gave her Lee Daniels’ number, so that she could call him and tell him she would do anything to promote the film. When she called him, he was onstage getting an award at the Sundance Film Festival. Oprah later stated that this film was why “we make movies“, and that she thought people might not “enjoy“, but would “appreciate this experience“.
This movie holds the record for averaging US$100,000 per screen in fewer than 50 US theaters.