For a while, it looked like No Country For Old Men might have been the perfect crime, one where everybody made out as a winner: Javier Bardem, Scott Rudin and the Coens with their Oscars; Josh Brolin with leading-man creds; and Miramax and Paramount Vantage splitting the $160 million worldwide gross. Did we forget anyone? Oh. Right:
The heartiest of Defamer congratulations go out today to the marketers behind The Dark Knight and Iron Man, whose savvy trailers have now captivated legions of inhaler-clutching fanboys and the highly discriminating eyes of those judging the Golden Trailer Awards. The films claimed the top prizes in the Action and Summer Blockbuster categories respectively at last night's ceremony at the Orpheum; other notable winners included Tropic Thunder (Comedy), No Country For Old Men (Drama), Atonement (Romance) and, in a miracle of better-late-than-never recognition, The Assassination of Jesse James took home the evening's Best Voice-Over hardware. Even the Weinsteins didn't go home empty-handed, as their teaser for Awake won the Golden Fleece prize for best false advertsing. Way to go, Harvey; we hope you can remember where you put the key to the trophy case. [Golden Trailers via Spout Blog]
· Let's play "What If?" What if...Javier Bardem went a different way with Anton Chigurh, and chose to go the Felicity Huffman-in-Transamerica route? Click play to find out! [Fourth Grade Gladiators]
· Corey Haim is back! And he looks like a lesbian dogwalker. [TMZ]
· Here's the first seven minutes of Speed Racer. As Idolator Maura put it, "Watching this is like watching them set a giant pile of money on fire in slow motion." To which we add: But the flames and sparks are so colorful! [movies.yahoo.com]
· Yeah, we're with Nick Malis: We plan on staying home, and hitting Rainbow Road instead. [Malis In Wonderland]
· After a few hits from the corpse bong! [chron.com]
· And then we're hitting this: [ThingsIDidLastNight.com]
The closest we ever came to God while watching a Coen brothers film was the time we thanked Him when The Ladykillers was over, but that's not to say we wouldn't give a fair shake to Cathleen Falsani's new book: The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers. Follow the jump for a few key dots Falsani apparently plans to connect — some a little more plausible than others — and then reach into your own filmgoing soul for the ones she sure as Hell better not leave out:
Some people's underwear cinches at the mere thought of foreign-language film snubs, "In Memoriam" montage omissions and other Oscar-night transgressions, but one eagle-eyed blogger appears to have found the sure-to-be-controversial Achilles' heel that could have — nay, should have — stopped the No Country For Old Men juggernaut in its laconic Texas tracks:
If you've not yet heard the tale of the Buffalo news crew Oscar night gaffe, it goes something like this: Shortly after Best Director was announced, a technical mess-up caused the audio of a conversation between a local ABC news team to be broadcast to the general public. It's the content of that exchange, warranting a statement of apology from the network, that is truly hilarious. But we'll allow you to discover that on your own, in the footage above. Once you're done watching, we invite you to provide your own dismissive, nine-word synopses of any of this year's nominees.
Last night, at the Regal Union Square's 7:35 showing of Best Picture No Country for Old Men, the audience catching up on the Oscar winner they had missed was left underwhelmed and confused. "Is you serious? asked a teenage girl, addressing the screen as the credits rolled after the final monologue. "Best picture, my ass," added another youth. Half the theater started to laugh.
If you weren't on Mars, you'll know that the Coen brothers' bleak thriller, starring Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin, won Best Picture at the Oscars last night. In the rush to post up the news of the award for No Country for Old Men, the New York Times made a little mistake. (Click for the screenshot.) This real-time web publishing is hard.
As a shepherd of great literary works from page to screen, assistant-gobbling producer/Kraken Scott Rudin is arguably without equal: He produced both of the dark, uncompromising visions currently vying for Oscar greatness, No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood. In an LAT profile, Rudin is credited with scooping up rich source material before it even hits bookstore shelves, pairing it with the right director, making casting suggestion, and even tweaking crucial moments in the script. (Recent legend has it that he quietly pulled P.T. Anderson aside between Blood takes to question if "maybe some other beverage besides Ovaltine might work better in that one line," before staring down at a half-finished Wendy's Frostee for the creative epiphany of a lifetime.) Still, no Rudin profile is complete without the requisite paragraph on his notoriously mercurial temper:
Post gossip great-aunt Cindy Adams got the fresh dirt from Hollywood mega-producer Scott Rudin as to how, exactly, that crazy Oscar-nommed "No Country For Old Men" came to be. "Look, you never know when something great's going to come through the transom. I do movies, plays. I'm always looking. My office covers lots of material. I have people who read books and manuscripts all the time. There was no great aha! moment. This didn't come by wrapped in a big pink ribbon and ushered through with great fanfare from some superimportant VIP with a 'must read' sticker on it. The thing came to us simply. As an unpublished manuscript." Yes. A real Hollywood fairytale, optioning novels by world famous, award-winning, ICM-managed authors is. Then Rudin took a chance on a couple of complete unknowns from far away Minnesota named Joel and Ethan Coen, and the rest is history. (After the jump, for kicks, the Hollywood Reporter story announcing the NCFOM deal.) [NYP]
· Variety floated the days-old AICN rumors about The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus this morning. Namely, they re-report that Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell have all signed on to play the role in which Heath Ledger was originally cast. Reps for Cate Blanchett, meanwhile, have yet to confirm her involvement, but it's widely assumed she'll also throw her interpretation into the ring, and walk away with the picture. [Variety]
· The ACE EDDIE Awards give top editing honors to The Bourne Ultimatum and Sweeney Todd. The best reality show editing went to an episode of Cops (for real!), though the winner's acceptance speech was tragically cut short when he triumphantly waved his Golden Scissors trophy above his head and lost his grip. [Variety]
One of our favorite Oscar traditions is the menu of original cocktails inspired by the five Best Picture nominees, as devised by the clever bartending staff of The Polo Lounge. We gave them a call to see what they came up with this year (yes, these are all real):
· To honor No Country for Old Men, they have Blood and Sand: Johnny Walker Red, cherry brandy, sweet vermout, and a splash of OJ served strained in martini glass. Enough of those should give you a hangover that feels like a bolt-stunner to the melon.
· The Juno drink is a Blue Slushee, named for the frozen treat our hero upchucks into her stepmother's urn: Stoli raspberry, blue curacao, and lemonade, blended with ice.
And The George "Fat Clooney" Clooney Memorial Oscar For Suffering In The Name of Award-Winning Art goes to No Country for Old Men's Javier Bardem, whose willingness to be saddled with Anton Chigurh's instantly iconic bowl-cut had serious psychological repercussions for the actor. Says co-star Josh Brolin: "He was depressed during the process...He felt like he wouldn't have sex for three months. Full-blown depression. I mean, bad. (He) didn't like the way he looked. He'd stay home for hours on end. He wouldn't go out."
Award season is, as Sean Penn says, truly a season in hell — if, that is, one attempts to follow every twist and turn and nomination. Avoid the stress with this handy scorecard, which we'll adjust, periodically. For Golden Globe wins and Oscar nominations, we're only counting the big nine categories. No points for best soundtrack. Sorry.
· With the 65th Golden Globes Awards having succumbed to the strike plague, all eyes turn to its far wealthier and more powerful cousin Oscar, whose coughing up of blood into a lace handkerchief doesn't strike us as a good omen. [Variety]
· The loss of the Globes was the first real sting felt by the film industry since the start of the strike, resulting in studio executives demanding of a supposedly merciful God how He could have allowed them to go about all that For You Consideration campaigning in vain. [Variety]
Rejoice, for year-end accolades season is upon us: Like the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle awarded No Country For Old Men their best picture honors, with Daniel Day-Lewis and Javier Bardem both taking Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor Who Virtually Disappeared Into the Part of an Inscrutable Psychopath Whom You Have to Admit Was Pretty Damn Good At His Job, respectively.
Pow! That's the sound of a pneumatic cattle bolt flying into our awards-crazy melons, officially marking the start of Oscar Season: The National Board of Review has named No Country for Old Men their best film of 2007. Other big wins: George Clooney for best actor in Michael Clayton, Tim Burton for best director for Sweeney Todd, and Emile Hirsch and Ellen Page won breakthrough performances for Into the Wild and Juno, respectively. [Reuters]
· Hollywood, always more than happy to turn the multiplex into a refuge from your bickering, turkey-stuffed, dysfunctional family, is putting seven movies into wide release this Thanksgiving weekend. Send the bratty kids to Enchanted while you watch Javier Bardem dispassionately slaughter everyone unlucky enough to cross his death-dealing path in No Country for Old Men. [Variety]
· In what may be the most brilliant (or deranged?) voiceover casting in the history of animated film, the following trio are on board for Disney's G-Force, the story of some fuzzy animals who try to thwart a crazy billionaire's dreams of world domination: "[Nic] Cage will play Speckles, a mole; [Steve] Buscemi will portray Bucky, a hamster; and [Tracy] Morgan will voice Blaster, a guinea pig." [THR]