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Thursday
Mar 31 2011

Gotta Rant!Men (and Women) in Tights.

Gotta Sing....
A few days ago I read over atA Socialite's Lifethat Hugh Jackman is talking to Bollywood producers about work.You know...I like Bollywood just fine,sometimes quite a lot more than that,and I don't mean this as a slight but Hollywood is a crappy crappy please if one of its biggest stars has to actually leave our movie industry for another to show off his skillset.Grrrr.And,also:grrrl.(I'm fuming).I guess Hollywood only wants him to Wolverine but he has so much more in him.

Where is his big screen musical?If ever a modern male star could be a big deal singing and dancing on the screen it's him.He was amazement inThe Boy From Ozon Broadway and he wasthisbig.I saw him from the last row of the house with my head touching the wall in the far left corner (truth),the worst seat I've ever had for a show,and I was totally mesmerized.I think seeing him blown up on the big screen doing that same thing might kill me.But I'd die happy.

Amy Adams is another huge bankable star whose musical talent is in danger of being wasted.Lois Lane?Really?A role that any feisty actress could do in her sleep and also another "girlfriend"part to the true star.You'd think after hit movies and multiple Oscar nominations,she could get another good leading role.

The only way I want to see Amy Adams,who is so dynamite in comedy (Enchanted) and dramedy (Junebug) and in the right dramatic role (The Fighter),in a superhero movie isif she's the superhero.

The rest of the negativity must be confined to the jump.Click ahead for moreon superheroes,Batman's eventual reboot and that weary-limbedNatalie Portman dancing controversy.

...as much as I love superheroes I AM SO BORED WITH SUPER-POWERED MEN RIGHT NOW.Either give the women a chance to throw down with super-powered baddies or try new heroes out (Captain AmericaandThor,no matter the upcoming quality,are at least non-reboots/remakes.So: points for that.)

Zombie Batman by "endpoint76"Gotta Rant!
I would be more excited about Amy as Lois if I weren't gagging from the news thatWarner Bros isalreadyannouncing plans to reboot Batmanas soon as Christopher Nolan is done with is trilogy.My god.Are we really just drooling zombies,just ticket-purchasing drones?Are superheroes really our version of"BRRrrraaAiiiIiiinnns"?When will the madness end?Even if you consider the superhero genre the be all and end all,the thingGeorge Mélièsand D.W.Griffith and Charlie Chaplin and all the rest were hoping for a century ago,maybe JUST MAYBE,it would be more healthy on just about every level -- not just as a moviegoer but as a human being -- to stayonlyone year in the future and not worry about what's going to happen five years now with the Bat when we're already (collectively) obessed with what's going on with the 2012 version,which you know there will be a hundred thousand more articles about by the time we have so much as an official teaser.

JESUS CHRIST!How much of the collective internet brain must be lobotomized to make room for the Bat symbol?

(And my Jesus Christ I mean Bruce Wayne.Obvs.)

P.S.I like Batman,I really do and always have,but this is ridiculous.He'll already have had 8 movies and 2 television series by 2012.How do people have so much patience for the same thing over and over again?

Gotta Dance!
Alternate Film Guide
andInside Moviesand virtually every other site on the internet has been covering the controvery about Natalie Portman doing very little of her own dancing inBlack Swan.The juicy part being that supposedly the dancing double was shushed-up during the Oscar campaign.And you may have wondered why I haven't said a word.Sasha at Award Daily asked"this is supposed to be important...why?"and I guess the reason I haven't said anything and the reason I am finally saying something is that I think the obvious problem with the story is being neglected.The problem isnotthat the studio hushed up the dancer.The problem is not that Natalie's head was grafted on to someone else's body.Movies are illusion,after all.

The problem,and it's not a movie-specific problem but definitely an awards problem,is that people vote on Oscars for stupid reasons and therefore studios feel the need to stress the wrong things and campaign in arguably dishonest ways;亚博主页no actor should win an Oscar because of physical sacrifice or years of training to do something that isnotacting.Just like they shouldn't win acting Oscars for pretending to be uglier than they are (the dread 'de-glam' trick).亚博主页All of these are gilded tricks.

Dancing is only acting when the dancer is skilled enough that their physicality becomes super expressive;the very best dancers can act with their bodies.Neither is singing acting exactly unless the vocal technique and the acting are strong enough to be super expressive;the very best singer/actors can act through song (I'm not going to gripe about Liza Minnelli'sCabaretOscar or Barbra Streisand'sFunny GirlOscar for example).But when an actor is dubbed (singing) or digitally replaced or doubled (dancing) they are not even doing the parts of those things that are arguably acting (the emotional/ psychological expressiveness).

This story wouldn't matter at all but for the fact that it's quite obvious that people do vote based on things like "she trained to become a prima ballerina in one year!"when really the only thing anybody with a voting ballot should have been concerned with is how well Portman acted the part.That's why it matters.I personally think she was terrific in the movie.But do I think she won the Oscar because she was terrific?Guess.

If you're not tired of the topic (I just thought I'd go there since I was already venting) you can sound off in the comments.

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Reader Comments (24)

I can't adequately express how much I'm fuming now after reading this,Nat.Adding fuel to the flames,you are!I'm mostly frustrated by this whole Natalie Portman shenanigans,because even though the dancing moments in the film are fantastic,it's really the other moments that develop the character and show Natalie Portman's talent as an actress.I thought that's what won her the Oscar,but apparently people think differently.

And superhero films must die.We all need a break.A long one.

March 31,2011 | Unregistered CommenterMattyD.

Boy,I love when you rant!

March 31,2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Oh you're dead on about Amy Adams and Hugh Jackman...At the very least: WHERE IS THEIR 'WALK THE LINE'?Can't we make,I don't know,a musical version of a famous duo film,like 'Bonnie & Clyde',just to get them to sing on the big screen?

Hugh would be such a perfect fit for a 'Gene Kelly type'.If only Hollywood would pay attention...And Amy,like Anne I think,has everything to give us a terrific performance in a musical film made just for her.

I hope the Judy Garland biopic shows Hollywood that musicals can be amazing.(Although I'm seriously doubting it'll be good).

Hollywood,stop wasting your huge stars' talent.

And Batman...That's some serious overkill.And where on Earth will Warner Bros.gain a considerable revenue from a Batman movie NOT made by Tim Burton or Christopher Nolan almost right after the 2012 one?Are they crazy?Oy.When will the superhero craze stop?When will the musical craze begin?

March 31,2011 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

You should rant more.It's fun.Totally agree about Jackman and Adams.Why aren't these people being asked to do more musicals?I'd also lump birthday boy Ewan McGregor in that shortlist.COME ON.WE ALL WANT IT.

Also,so a second there I thought you were going to rant about the Mad Men delays.Or is there another fun entry on the way?

March 31,2011 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

I don't even want to go into Natalie Portman and her considerable physical efforts.I've had enough of her ranting while in the press tour for 'BLACK SWAN'.I kept hearing EVERYWHERE how many hours per day she exercised,how many hours per day she trained for the part...Geez.

First it was the Rodarte/Amy Westcott deal.Now this.

What next?Next we're gonna hear from Andrés Heinz that he wrote 10% more of the script than Mark Heyman and John MacLoughlin.

Enough with the BLACK SWAN.It's SO 2010.

March 31,2011 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

Superheroes aren't really a "craze";they've been consistently big in comics and animation for 50+ years.It's simply a matter now that Hollywood has the technology to do them on screen convincingly;they're a type of action movie;they're not going anywhere.

March 31,2011 | Unregistered CommenterSC

JORGE -- good point.even a walk that line would use their vocal ability.I know people are down on Reese wining hte Oscar for that but her voice was really lovely i thought.and i liked the music in that movie so much even if it was mostly just your standard musician biopic.

MATTY -- as for Natalie.I don't doubt that she did all the training and exercize they've suggested she did.I don't doubt that at all.But that's not acting.If we could focus on the performances we'd all be better off.And she might've even still won -- she's fantastic in that movie -- but all they seemed to want to talk about is her dancing and physical training.so this controversy is really just that campaign coming back to haunt them.it's their own fault in other words.

RYAN T -- i'm not sure i have a Mad Men post in me.I did like the facebook group that Basket of Kisses made to show AMC how mad the fans were.it had 2000 people signed up in the first 24 hours.Hopefully it will only get larger.It's really deplorable that they view it only as a profit situation when it's the show that so clearly made their bigger hits possible in the first place.Television networks really need to understand that that you can have cash cows and you can have flagship resume pieces but one show does not need to do all of those things...especially when it's already totally profitable despite it's high budget.

March 31,2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

You are perfectly right Nathaniel.Since all this dancing controversy started,I had hoped that somebody will nail it.And of course it had to be you .A lot of voters voted for her because of the dancing/training thing.This doesn't mean that she didn't deserve to win,I'm jjust stating the facts.Sorry MattyD,but there were other great performances this year and any of them could have won the Oscar if it was just for the acting abilities.They didn't winjust because of that: the dancing.
So it does matter.

March 31,2011 | Unregistered Commenteradelutza

Thanks Nat.Your ranting is actually quite reasonable,and I appreciate you being one of the most reasonable voices in the blogosphere.

Hollywood is just beyond hope.They have this magical word that they think will solve all their problems: "reboot"It's the get out of jail card when a franchise flops (just wait if any of the big new superhero movies this year do so,it won't be a month before someone starts talking reboot) or when a successful franchise meets its natural end...because egad it can't really end!But they don't realize that while the public might want to see the same thing over and over they don't really want it that specifically.Is anyone looking forward to another origin story of Spider Man and Superman?

Does anyone else get the feeling that with the Thor/Captain America/Green Lantern/X-Men: Please stop ruining my childhood obsession business this summer that the super hero business is at a breaking point?Maybe its just wishful thinking.

As for Jackman - maybe The Wolverine could be retooled into a musical.Hollywood might go for it."I could have slashed all night,I could have slashed all night,and still have asked for more!"

March 31,2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

@adelutza: Oh,I understand that most saw the dancing as the focal point of the performance,and with good reason since as Nat said 'it's their own fault' for focusing on that above all else.I don't think Portman's performance was the best of the year,but I do think that with those moments of dancing taken out it still stands among the best if not very near the top of the list.

March 31,2011 | Unregistered CommenterMattyD.

@Robert: LOVE that retuning of that 'My Fair Lady' classic."I could have slashed all night":D

March 31,2011 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

I keep thinking that one day the multiplex is going to become so saturated with superheroes,remakes,sequels,and multiple "re-imaginings"of the same fairy tale that the American public is going to revolt and run to the arthouses where they'll discover the breath-of-fresh-air originality of Abbas Kiarostami and Olivier Assayas.A guy can dream,right?

But seriously: I share your frustration.A musical,an original movie musical to up the ante,starring Hugh Jackman AND Amy Adams would be the cinematic equivalent of perfection.Yet I know that'll never happen because there can only be superheroes,remakes,sequels,etc.

As for this Portman brouhaha,you're right in how it highlights the ridiculous way Oscars are voted on.亚博主页But perhaps this will become a cautionary tale and voters will begin paying attention to the performances alone?
.....

I've been dreaming too much lately...

March 31,2011 | Unregistered CommenterJason H.

Can we get Diane Keaton to sing on screen again as well?

March 31,2011 | Unregistered CommenterSoSueMe

Hey Nat - my work has been so f______ ridiculous the last few weeks I've not had time to enjoy the Readers of the Day like I was in the beginning.

But when I read this I just HAD TO sent a post.

Remember my rave about Hrithik Roshan the other week?Well I'd been thinking for a while how Hugh Jackman is sort of like an Australian/American (I consider him half ours!) Hrithik and now you tell me he's over there looking for work.He is PERFECT for a Bollywood movie - Hugh could do the dancing,singing (although they usually dub their actors),the soulful looks and the sexy ROUGH stuff too!He's perfect.

But they don't pay as much over there,do they?And Hrithik is a better dancer but oh boy...those 2 together?!?!Oh boy!!

March 31,2011 | Unregistered Commenterbillybil

A musical remake of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with Hathaway,Adams and Witherspoon?I'd go to see that.A musical reboot of Batman with Jackman as Batman and McGregor as Robin?Wait,musical wasn't the word I was looking for...but I'd see that,too.

I liked Black Swan an 83%,so I'm ok with the 85% of Portman dancing.

March 31,2011 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

I thought she still did a lot of the dancing herself and well we've all seen the bones sticking out of her body,so she must have been working her ass of.Takes a lot of discipline.And I think that had a lot of influence on the oscar voters,because based on acting Nicole or Michelle should've won.

March 31,2011 | Unregistered CommenterNina

Yes,I'd love to see Jackman and Adams together in a musical!
as for Bollywood,the last movie I saw with a Hollywood-type actor in a Bollywood film was Ali Larter in "Marigold",which was actually pretty amusing,but you could really see the limitations of the format,and the movie didn't make any money.

March 31,2011 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Amy Adams singing and dancing madeMrs.Pettigrew Lives for a Daysilly but highly enjoyable instead of just silly.She'd be fabulous in a movie version ofCompany-- Hugh Jackman could be Bobby!In fact,why hasn't that been done already?Are we only allowed to have Sondheim movie musicals when Tim Burton gets involved?

March 31,2011 | Unregistered Commenterester

ester -- sadly i think that's the case and Burton has said that he hates musicals!oy.

COMPANY would make a great movie i think.But it would take a really brave director/cast because it's not a "flashy"musical.it just requires that you get intrested in the characters and love the songs.so i'd say it's never going to happen.(sigh).

I think in a few years myabe Ryan Gosling would be ideal for BOBBY.He can sing too.

JASON -- i share those dreams.The thing is i like superheroes.if they weren't the only subect of conversation on teh internet and if they weren't all so similar in movie form and there being so many of them...well,my love is dying because it's too generic and too much.i much prefer a variety of genres but there's what,8 or 9 superhero movies coming out between now and next summer?it's something like that.

pretty soon they'll be as regular as slasher movies.

March 31,2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

It really does startle me how unimaginative Hollywood is.And not in a "lets do only the things that make money"way,but in a way that they rather freak out when things that shoudn't make money DO (The Social NEtwork and Black Swan are two remarkable surprise successes from last year;Inception did far better than Warner Bros expected) but refuse to follow that line of thought.But when something shitty that should make money but doesn't,they just assume the next shit they throw at the wall will stick.

Example w/ two films I haven't seen: Mamma Mia!not only outgrossed GI Joe worldwide,it's budget to gross ratio was phenomenal.For every dollar they spent on the Streep musical,it earned twelve!For every dollar spent on GI Joe,it got $1.73.Which would you say "deserves"a sequel?Hint: it's not GI Joe.

And it sucks even more because Hollywood,for many of us,is a key aspect of our cinemania.It was the dream factory.It was MGM that had more stars than in the sky.Instead of dreams,we get reruns;instead of stars,we get pixels.It's rather depressing if I choose to think about it.

March 31,2011 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

What about Amy Adams as Wonder Woman in a singing/dancing big screen Wonder Woman?Oh shit,i think David E.Kelly has ruined that possiblity for us all.

Actually all-singing all-dancing Wonder Woman film starring Amy Adams sounds kind of rubbish too.*Sigh*

March 31,2011 | Unregistered Commenterchoog

Agreed with everything.

March 31,2011 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

I do believe Hugh was considered for the role of Christian (when I type that I hear Satine saying it) and there has been talk of him doing Carousel.I don't know if you get them in the states but he does those Lipton ice tea ads where he breaks out into dance routine's.I love when they do "The Safety Dance".The really world needs a big screen musical starring Hugh Jackman.

April 1,2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne

I will see your rant about Hugh Jackman having to leave "our"movie industry and raise you with the point that he had to leave "our"movie industry (ie Australia's) many years ago to get good work.Our movie industry sucks in part because every really great actor and really great director heads to the States to make more money and get better work.

Fortunately we still get Cate Blanchett on-stage once a year here in Sydney where she is co-director of the Sydney Theatre Company with her husband.And I'm way too happy that Jacki Weaver has found the love overseas now,but it will probably mean that we lose her too!Have seen her on-stage many times over the years.My favourite was in Six Degrees of Separation (the role that Stockard Channing played in the movie).Speaking of which,anyone seen Stockard Channing lately?

Totally agree about Amy Adams though.Lois Lane.Sigh.

April 1,2011 | Unregistered CommenterJD
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