Zero Dark Thirty

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Re: Zero Dark Thirty - Reviews

Postby Sabin » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:57 pm

flipp525 wrote
You should've seen her on stage on Broadway. She was actively awful. No Meryl.

I'm holding onto the initial promise she displayed in The Help and Take Shelter, both of which featured great performances of hers'.

I can imagine that she would be a collection of tics on-stage.

Usually when an actress breaks through in some terrific indie role or something, Hollywood just plugs her into a bunch of stuff that may or may not be beneath her. Like Amy Adams after Junebug sure did look like one of Oscar history's most forgettable nominees, and now look at her! Jessica Chastain has soft and yet hard features and a voice that doesn't lend itself to range. I have no doubt that she's a talented actor but yes, these Meryl Streep comparisons are quite advanced. I would suggest she follow suit and learn as many accents as she can until she grows into her limitations a bit more.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Zero Dark Thirty - Reviews

Postby Sabin » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:48 pm

No, Greg, and you know why it's different. Although, it might have.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Zero Dark Thirty - Reviews

Postby Greg » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:40 pm

Sabin wrote:. . . and Bigelow & Boal (who must be fucking by this point)


That is like assuming that Marlon Brando and Elia Kazan were gay lovers.
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Re: Zero Dark Thirty - Reviews

Postby flipp525 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:38 pm

Sabin wrote:Jessica Chastain is a good actor for sure, but comparisons as being the New Meryl Streep only draw attention to what used to be considered so off-putting and fraudulent about Meryl Streep back in the day.

You should've seen her on stage on Broadway. She was actively awful. No Meryl.

I'm holding onto the initial promise she displayed in The Help and Take Shelter, both of which featured great performances of hers'.
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Re: Zero Dark Thirty - Reviews

Postby Sabin » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:08 pm

Saw ZDT for a second time last night, and I don't like it. I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt on a first viewing because Bigelow is attempting something pretty terrific, but here's what it all comes down to:

1) I believe that so much was cut from this film that it's difficult to approach this film as any kind of success. ZDT was written and ready to go before Bin Laden was killed. That version of the script was going to be about how torture leads into a spiral of no answers. Then Bin Laden was killed, and Bigelow & Boal (who must be fucking by this point) were forced to change anywhere between none of it, some of it, or all of it, thus compressing the narrative to make time for the Bin Laden compound raid. They basically had to take the ENTIRE NARRATIVE (the hunt) and compress it into the second act. The problem is, it's not the second act. It's the whole fucking thing! The second act is they whole movie. And it zips along so quickly without emotional attachment that it doesn't feel like anything.

2) The movie doesn't know what to do with the BIn Laden compound raid. It's an awesome feat of filmmaking for sure, but ideologically this film is a mess. Much can be said about what it's trying to do, but one thing is clear: no Americans are really likable in this film, except for torturer Jason Clarke and Jennifer Ehle. The most striking line of dialogue is still "They'll kill you!" Again: this probably comes from how they film was "compressed" or "streamlined", but whatever nuance could be found in these character/cyphers/archetypes is lost and they're all...kinda...shitty Americans. The attempts to make Chris Pratt (Worst Supporting Actor of 2012) into a likable character is ruinous, and Seal Team looks somewhere between Call of Duty and inhuman alien invaders. This is interesting and it doesn't make me like the film less, but Zero Dark Thirty does not make you feel proud to be an American at all. I felt awful about ourselves as a country, and honestly I'm not even sure if Bigelow was trying for that! I think it's something that accidentally happened.

3) Jessica Chastain is not good. She's not good in a different way that Kate Winslet or Sandra Bullock were not good. You can mistake their performances for good. You cannot mistake Jessica Chastain's performance for effective, and her acclaim is one of the most mystifying things of this moviegoing year. Yes, she looks in moments of the film like she's giving a good performance, but it doesn't hang together to create a persona we can identify with or at least identify as a credible person. Her voice is pitched and soft, the film is not a character study but it acts like it is, and when it's wrapped around this performance...wow! Every moment she was on-screen I was pulled out of the film. It's not her fault. It's possible that she's either miscast or the editing kills what she's doing. Jessica Chastain is a good actor for sure, but comparisons as being the New Meryl Streep only draw attention to what used to be considered so off-putting and fraudulent about Meryl Streep back in the day. The Oscar will not go to Jessica Chastain. It will go to Jennifer Lawrence or Emmanuel Riva.

4) I'm a little surprised it even got nominated for Best Picture. This has a Dragon Tattoo coldness to it that makes me surprised Academy voters even went for it enough to get it past Moonrise Kingdom or The Master. I think it will end up winning for Best Film Editing and Best Sound Effects. I'm fine with the latter winning. I think the Film Editing is in the service of contractual/bring this movie in at "2 1/2 hours" demands and constitutes some of the worst editing of the year. Most Editing = Oscar.

5) I didn't see The Blind Side. Now everything is known.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Zero Dark Thirty - Reviews

Postby bizarre » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:25 pm

I think Jessica Chastain is Jessica Chastain.

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Re: Zero Dark Thirty - Reviews

Postby Okri » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:18 pm

Mister Tee wrote:If we had this field four years ago, would anyone but bloggers have given much of a damn about The Dark Knight? And would the best picture expansion to ten have ever happened?


Wait, isn't The Dark Knight Rises gonna get Nolan his long overdue nod? Won't they make-up for The Social Network snub by giving Andrew Garfield a nomination now? Aren't comic books the new best pictures?

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Re: Zero Dark Thirty - Reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:08 pm

Sabin wrote:The preview audience may consist of the same people more or less, but their initial proclamations of quality must be taken as inherently fan-boyish. Hold a screening of the same people for The Departed and Dreamgirls, and the reception for Dreamgirls might end up seeming like the surer bet for Best Picture. Same with The English Patient and Evita. None of these people constitute the director's branch or serious critics, and what I take this as is a signal that Zero Dark Thirty (for many reasons) might just take a moment longer to digest than some of the people give it time for.

This is a nice, specific way of saying what I was driving at. Les Miz may well turn out to be the majority (or plurality) choice of the Academy, but it will not be a universal choice -- an impression you could get from those initial screening comments.

And, by the way, it took me all day -- even past my going to Poland's site -- to realize you meant Poland was raving about Zero Dark Thirty, not Les Miz, which makes my comment about his loving Phantom considerably less germane. Forgive my mental fog.

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Re: Zero Dark Thirty - Reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:47 pm

I think Chastain is the new Meryl Streep.

As for an actess with "countless nominations and no Oscars" - I think of Deborah Kerr, not Julianne Moore, who like Geraldine Page, could yet win on her umpteenth nod seeing as she's still alive and making movies.
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Re: Zero Dark Thirty - Reviews

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:30 pm

Am I the only one who thinks Jessica Chastain could be the new Julianne Moore. Was there a more respected actress working non-stop that got countless Oscar nominations, but never an Oscar? Chastin seems like a perfect fit to that type of profile.

As to Les Mis, I never read the novel. I saw the musical more than a decade ago and remember almost nothing about it, so once I'm able to see it, I'll let you know what I think. of course, it may all come streaming back to me as I watch it, but struggling to remember much about the show is leading me to believe I won't be as familiar with it as most others going in.
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Re: Zero Dark Thirty - Reviews

Postby bizarre » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:55 pm

Big Magilla wrote:Most of those in the preview audiences for Les Miz are said to be "over the moon" about it. Zero Dark Thirty is getting mostly respectful reviews, but Jessica Chastain seems now to have leapfrogged over Jennifer Lawrence in the Best Actress race.


I don't think so - reviews are reservedly enthusiastic. The part seems pretty insular, more of a female Bernstein/Woodward than anything else. I think that'll be enough to get her traction in a bizarre year for lead actress, but Lawrence is the only contender so far (and probably the only one forthcoming) with the hoopla necessary to win.

I'm predicting Chastain/Lawrence/Mirren/Riva/Wallis which seems plausible, and I think the only others seriously in the conversation will be Cotillard, Knightley and perhaps Streep with Watts, Smith and Winstead trailing.

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Re: Zero Dark Thirty - Reviews

Postby Sabin » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:58 pm

I should say that I am reasonably sure that Les Miserables will end up as the nominations leader and ultimately the winner, but it doesn't change the fact that because preview audiences are seeing two entirely different kinds of films that their raves must be taken differently. People going into the long-gestating feature adaptation of Les Miserables are going in with a different set of expectations as those going into Kathryn Bigelow's follow-up to The Hurt Locker, i.e. the difference between wanting something to be as good as you hope and going into something brand new. The preview audience may consist of the same people more or less, but their initial proclamations of quality must be taken as inherently fan-boyish. Hold a screening of the same people for The Departed and Dreamgirls, and the reception for Dreamgirls might end up seeming like the surer bet for Best Picture. Same with The English Patient and Evita. None of these people constitute the director's branch or serious critics, and what I take this as is a signal that Zero Dark Thirty (for many reasons) might just take a moment longer to digest than some of the people give it time for.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Zero Dark Thirty - Reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:41 pm

The preview audiences for these two films consisted of members of the HFPA, the SAG nominating committee and others who dole out awards. I don't personally know anyone who has not read the Hugo novel, seen at least one of the numerous non-musical versions and/or seen at least one production of the musical. I don't know anything about this nincompoop from the Huffington Post, but a cursory look at his recent columns at Huff Post suggest he is someone who basically sits in front of a TV all day. I have no idea how he got his job of "senior entertainment editor". The pickings must have been slim.
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Re: Zero Dark Thirty - Reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:06 pm

Again: most in the preview audience came in knowing every character's name and what numbers he or she sang. This MAY turn out to be all that, but I want to hear some civilian responses first.

And Dave Poland -- put aside the fact I generally find him a reverse barometer...he predicted both Dreamgirls and Phantom of the Opera to win best picture (including after he saw the latter).

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Re: Zero Dark Thirty - Reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:57 pm

Most of those in the preview audiences for Les Miz are said to be "over the moon" about it. Zero Dark Thirty is getting mostly respectful reviews, but Jessica Chastain seems now to have leapfrogged over Jennifer Lawrence in the Best Actress race.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire


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