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Academy Award® Nominated: An Education

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

Reviews

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“.

Three Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Actress ~ Carey Mulligan
Best in Adapted Screenplay

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Actress, Best Adap Screenplay, Best Picture, Books, Culture, Education, England, Entertainment, Hollywood, Pop Culture, Students, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, Women's Issues, World, Young Women

Nominated for Best Actress ~ Carey Mulligan ~An Education

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy

Carey MulliganTwenty-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

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.

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Academy Award® Nominated: The Lovely Bones

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, BuellBoy and TheLCster


Based on the best selling book by Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones is the story of a 14-year-old girl from suburban Pennsylvania who is murdered by her neighbor. She tells the story from Heaven, showing the lives of the people around her and how they have changed all while attempting to get someone to find her lost body.

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The cast includes: Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci, Jake Abel, Susan Sarandon, Michael Imperioli, Reece Ritchie, and Rose McIver

44D’s Reviews

TheLCster
I read the book as soon as I started to see the commercials for the movie and was presently surprised that it wasn’t a book about “some poor little murdered girl who looks down on her family from heaven.” Insensitive? Yes, I know but I’m a Steven King and Chuck Palahniuk fan what can I say? I did like the book however, and found the movie to be a true representation (although they watered down some of the more adult oriented character connections from the book). In the same sense that if you loved S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders you would love Coppola’s “The Outsiders,” if you loved Alice Seabold’s The Lovely Bones you will love to see the characters come to life in the movie!

Did You Know?

The school that Susie attends is based on General Wayne Middle School in Malvern, Pennsylvania (now known as General Wayne Elementary School), which Alice Sebold attended in the 1970s.

Cameo: [Billy Jackson] Peter Jackson’s son, can be seen shopping at the record store in the mall.

Cameo: [Peter Jackson] man with movie camera in pharmacy when Jack Salmon picks up the prints from the first roll of Susie’s film.

For his role as George Harvey, ‘Stanley Tucci’ had his skin lightened, his chest and arm hair dyed to match his blondish-brown comb-over wig, and wore false teeth to alter his jaw line. He also wore blue contact lenses and a lentil-filled fat suit to widened his girth. All topped off with square-frame eyeglasses, a fake mustache and sideburns.

One Nomination

Best Supporting Actor~Stanley Tucci

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Academy Award® Nomination: District 9

Posted by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, The LCster and Buellboy

District 9
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

44D’s Reviews

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.

Four Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best in Adapted Screenplay
Best Visual Effects
Best in Film Editing

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Is Glenn Beck the Reincarnation of Cleon from Ancient Greece?

Posted by Audiegrl

Perfecting the Paranoid Style in 500 BC and 2009 by Peter Struck

Socrates

Socrates

From Buckley to Beck

by Peter Struck Back in 1996, I had a correspondence with William F. Buckley, Jr., who, like many of those on the Right at the time, had a habit of claiming ownership over the ideas and spirit of the classical past. So it wasn’t altogether surprising to see him on television aligning himself with Socrates and pressing for the triumph of absolutes over relativism. What did catch my ear was that Buckley was arguing in favor of the death penalty, and was using Socrates to make his case. I couldn’t resist writing the man about the cruel irony of holding up as a poster boy for the death penalty the Western Tradition’s most famous victim of it. Buckley responded promptly, but never really engaged the most challenging issue: that Socrates, the paragon of classical rationalism, was deeply suspicious of that other signature legacy of his countrymen, democracy. He saw it as a system of government whose weakness was precisely that it rewarded those who could most artfully whip up a bunch of hot-headed boobs with the power to kill whoever displeased them. At its worst, it was rule by mob.

It Was Cleon Who Shouted the Loudest

The 2,400-year-old temple of Ifestos, which sits in the ancient Agora of Athens, where ancient Athenian statesman Cleon placed shields captured in a victory over Sparta

The 2,400-year-old temple of Ifestos, which sits in the ancient Agora of Athens, where ancient Athenian statesman Cleon placed shields captured in a victory over Sparta

The archetype for Glenn Beck is a fifth century B.C. Athenian figure named Cleon, our first well-documented populist. Cleon represented a new class, made possible for the first time in democratic Athens. The notion that the whole people of Athens should participate in decisions collectively allowed for the rise of figures who presumed to speak for them. Cleon became wildly famous and successful not by coming from a powerful family, or by serving in regular office, but by delivering fiery speeches to thousands of Athenians in public. The Greek sources leave behind an unsparing portrait of an impulsive, histrionic bully. Aristotle tells us that “he was the first to use unseemly shouting and abusive language in the public assembly; and while it was customary to speak politely, he addressed the assembly with his cloak lifted up.” In Thucydides’ version, Cleon’s own lack of a pedigree provided him a plentiful source of resentment against those that had one, and he cast every self-aggrandizing gesture as a motivated by a love of the people over the aristocrats. He flattered his audience as being more capable of governing than the supposed experts in power. He personalized politics and under his influence those who disagreed with the state were referred to, for the first time in ancient Greece, as “haters of the people.” The comic playwright Aristophanes vividly portrayed him on stage as a man in a constant state of anger, his voice resembling the squeal of a scalded pig.

From Beck to Buckley
William F. Buckley, Jr. and Glenn Beck

William F. Buckley, Jr. and Glenn Beck

In the line from Cleon to Beck there is hardly a wiggle. Less obvious but telling is the connection between both these figures and Buckley. Driven by an unyielding sense of their own correctness, all three are experts in the trade of absolutes, always pressing toward a higher-contrast world of black and white. While it has become utterly common to see people in the public sphere assume such a posture, it does not stand to reason that they must. Among Republicans, for example, one used to see a strain based on intellectual modesty, of resistance to grand theories and attempts to explain everything. Eisenhower built a coalition around such principles that held up for decades. Obama may well be up to doing the same. In order to get on with fixing what it was possible to fix, they recognized the usefulness of an ability to live with a degree of uncertainty, a quality that Goldwater, and later George Bush and Karl Rove, vanquished from the Republican Party.

gallery-bachmannteaparty8

Tea Party Protesters in Washington,DC

This Republicanism of certainty has had a good run, but it has likely reached the end of its appeal. David Brooks, whose sympathies attune with refinement to Eisenhower Republicanism, sounded its death knell in a recent column in the New York Times. If Beck’s days as the center of attention are numbered, as Brooks claims they are, it will not be because of his coarseness or his rejectionism, but because of his imperviousness to doubt. Intellectual hubris is tiresome in any case, but it is an especially odd standard to use to rally people who understand themselves as conservatives. Certainties are what one needs to upend things, and at a some point conservatives grow uncomfortable with that sort of thing. Cleon, that ancient voice of certainty, was not among the conservative lot at all, but a radical through-and-through.

While Buckley was of course right to point to Socrates as someone who endorsed the idea that there are absolutes, he missed the most important part of the story. The Greek philosopher was equally convinced that only a fool and a demagogue would claim to know them. If only Buckley were around to teach this lesson too.

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coinsFounded and edited by Lewis H. Lapham, Lapham’s Quarterly is a New York-based journal of history that seeks to revitalize both our excitement and familiarity with the past. History, as Mark Twain supposedly said, may not repeat itself—but it does rhyme.

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Mocking Politicians Has An Ancient History

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The History of Werewolves


werewolfsAlthough most people know werewolves as simply creatures of nightmares and horror movies, they were once viewed as real beasts who killed savagely. The creatures are less feared in today’s society but the sheer terror can still be inflicted; fear of wolves and things that go bump in the night is almost natural.

The history of the werewolf can be traced back to Greek mythology, when the god Lykaon was turned into a wolf after serving Zues human flesh. This myth helped fuel a cult in Arcadia which involved human sacrifice and the thought of transformation into wolves. Although lycanthropy is usually associated with the metamorphosis into a wolf-human hybrid, different legends include the mutation into bears, cats and birds of prey.

The word werewolf comes to us from the Old-Saxon – by combining “were” meaning man with wolf, we get manwolf. You hear the work lycanthrope associated with werewolves, and this term has come to mean someone who suffers from a mental condition whereby they actually believe they change into a wolf.

peterstubb

Execution of Peter Stubb in 1589

During the medieval times, the fear of werewolves took grip of Europe. Wolves were known to attack man, as wolves during those times had no reason to fear man; guns were unheard of. In most of Europe, the fear of werewolves included wolfmen (“berserkers“) who wore wolves skin and killed savagely. Germans, however, viewed the wolf with honor. Names such as Wolfgang and Wolfhard were common. As Christianity slowly gained prominence, such beliefs were condemned as Satanic.

In most cases those who believe they can change into werewolves are considered mentally ill. In 1589 a German man named Peter Stubb was put on trial for the murder of twenty five adults and children, including his own son. Peter said he had not only killed the victims but also ate their flesh. Peter also claimed to have made a pact with Satan.

Philosophers and religious thinkers of the time contemplated the theory that perhaps the person did not physically change into a wolf but had been tricked by Satan into acting like the creatures. Generally, though, most believed that only God has the ability to change the body or mind of man.

werewolf-ridinghood2

Little Red Ridinghood

In the dark Middle Ages, the church stigmatized the wolf as the personification of evil and a servant of Satan. Many of our children’s stories reflect this attitude and wolves share the villain’s role with the witch. In 1270, it was considered heretical NOT to believe in werewolves. The church forced confessions from the mentally ill to prove its convictions. Ultimately, they quit charging people of being werewolves in the 17th century, but only for a lack of evidence. The belief in the beasts, however, did not cease in the absence of indictments.

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Werewolves in the Movies

werewolfoflondonlargeThe first feature film to use an anthropomorphic werewolf was Werewolf of London in 1935. The main werewolf of this film is a dapper London scientist who retains some of his style and most of his human features after his transformation, as lead actor Henry Hull was unwilling to spend long hours being made up by makeup artist Jack Pierce. Universal Studios drew on a Balkan tale of a plant associated with lycanthropy as there was no literary work to draw upon, unlike the case with vampires. There is no reference to silver nor other aspects of werewolf lore such as cannibalism.

However, he lacks warmth, and it is left to the tragic character Talbot played by Lon Chaney Jr. in 1941’s The Wolf Man to capture the public imagination. With Pierce’s makeup more elaborate this time, this catapulted the werewolf into public consciousness. Sympathetic portrayals are few but notable; the comedic but tortured protagonist David Naughton in An American Werewolf In London, and a less anguished and more confident and charismatic Jack Nicholson in the 1994 film Wolf. Other werewolves are decidedly more willful and malevolent, such as those in the novel The Howling and its subsequent sequels and film adaptations.

wolfman2010The Wolfman (coming in February 2010)
Nobleman Lawrence Talbot returns to his ancestral homeland, where his brother has gone missing and villagers are being killed by a nightmarish beast. The search reunites him with his estranged father and draws him near to his brother’s fiancée, however, Talbot’s lager concern is the discovery of a side to himself which he never could have imagined existed …

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Rachel Maddow: The Truth About ACORN Series (Part Four)

Posted by Audiegrl

The Rachel Maddow Show

This is the fourth segment of a series that The Rachel Maddow Show will be telling the truth about the lies about ACORN and the right-wing political machine that took them down.

Continuing a TRMS Investigates series, Rachel Maddow is joined by Occidental College political professor Peter Dreier to explore how right-wing activists are turning their sights on the Service employees International Union following their smear of ACORN.

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Manipulating the Public Agenda: Why ACORN Was In the News, and What the News Got Wrong
Study authors: Peter Dreier, Ph.D. and Christopher R. Martin, Ph.D.
Click here to read the study

Click here for Part One

Click here for Part Two

Click here for Part Three

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