Oscar History

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Entries in Strangerland (6)

Jun 13 2015

Sydney Film Festival: A Second Take on 'Strangerland'

Glennhere offering some thoughts on films at the Sydney Film Festival including this second take on Strangerland afterNathaniel's initial negative reviewfrom Sundance.

Kim Farrant'sStrangerlandis deeply,uncomfortably Australian.In many ways,it goes right to the heart of the country as a family infiltrate a place that is unfamiliar and even hostile to their arrival.A family,all of whom hold secrets and potentially criminal pasts.They could have been dressed up in Colonial costumes and set 150 years ago without much of a narrative alteration,which is probably much the point of Farrant's debut feature.How our convict pasts have manifested as a society that turns on its own as much as the other.

Strangerlandhas a fairly simple premise,but one that allows for some fairly wide-ranging readings.After having left their last post due to an ambiguously alluded to crime,Matthew (Joseph Fiennes) and Catherine Parker (Nicole Kidman) find themselves in the remote outback town of Nathgari.He's a pharmacist and she's a housewife,neither of whom are able to handle their 15-year-old daughter,Lily (Maddison Brown).When Lily and young son Tommy vanish in the middle of the night,the town deals them with suspicion while Catherine becomes more and more emotionally unhinged at the thought their children may have deliberately abandoned her.

Peter Weir,Kidman and more after the jump...

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Jun 01 2015

Podcast: Two Transatlantic Conversations

This new unconventional episode of the podcast features two guests and two conversations.First Nathaniel calls Australia to check in withGlenn Dunksto see what he's been up to cinematically since leaving NYC.And then a conversation withGuy Lodgein London about his experience at this year's Cannes Film Festival.


  • 00:01 - 02:30 Intro: Nathaniel (feat.Annie Lennox)
  • 02:26 - 19:15  Glenn From Australia:Mad Max Fury Road,The English Patient,Nicole Kidman inStrangerland,54 The Director's Cut,Film Preservation
  • 19:16 - Guy from London: LovingArabian Nights,The Lobsterand Todd Haynes'Carol,Cannes Jury Prizes,The Assassin,Son of Sauland the Foreign Film race,Maryland,and hating Paolo Sorrentino'sYouth

Please to enjoy and continue the conversation in the comments.You can listen at the bottom of this post ordownload from iTunes tomorrow.

Cannes,London,and Australia

Jan 28 2015

Sundance: Strangerland,an Incoherent Sexual Mirage

Nathaniel reporting from Park City

Weaving,Fiennes,and Kidman on the set of "Strangerland"There are a lot of things that are unclear inStrangerland,secrets covered as they are in beautifully dangerous sandstorms,the warped image shimmer brought on by desert heat,and the nightmare visions of Catherine Parker (Nicole Kidman) a bored sexless wife and mother who can't sleep well since her new home lacks air conditioning.Soon her lack of sleep and her indifferent husband Matthew (Joseph Fiennes) will be the least of her worries as her children vanish into the night in the unfamiliar desert town her family's just moved to due to ____  [insert withholding of family secrets here].

What's also unclear is the poetic narration that begins the film and repeats throughout it.

Touch me in the night.No one can see"

Is it the daughter's voice?And why does it keep repeating throughout the film?And what kind of sexual touch are we talking about?That's actually important given the specifics of this narrative.[More...]

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Jan 24 2015

Sundance Begins: The Bronze,Dark Horse & Nicole Kidman

Sebastian Stanfrom his InstagramNathaniel,reporting from the snowy mountains of Park City Utah for the annual Sundance Film Festival.Michael,currently en route,will also be covering though we both missed opening night (I was still visiting family in Utah).

From what I gather the opening night talk mostly revolved around Sebastian Stan's muscular performance in a raunchy sex scene inThe Bronze.While that event was happening (unbeknownst to me) I was still visiting my mom and brother and they made me* watch muscular Sebastian Stan and his robot arm terrorizing Captain America and The Black Widow.

So,it wasunofficiallySebastian Stan Day.Perhaps this is a good omen for the actor's 2015,which he already seems rather happy about (see photo evidence,left).Variety interviewed himat the premiere and he said the script forThe Bronzewas so funny that before he even got the role he was quoting his own character to friends.It's a supporting role but a showy one,as a former gold medalist Olympic gymnast

Dark Horse
After picking up my badge,I raced off to my first movie,the only thing I could squeeze in before a Nicole Kidman party I had no intention of missing.[More...]

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Nov 24 2014

I didn't link it,but if i'd linked it,how could you tell me that i was wrong?

The New YorkerAnthony Lane on Mike Nichols
Playbillcongratulations toChicagowhich became the 2nd longest running Broadway show of all time tonight surpassing Cats
Screen Crushbitches about the long uneventful Part 1s of modern franchise culture as I've been bitching about forever.But as long as audiences keep buying tickets,why should Hollywood stop?They make double the money this way.
YouTubefirst TV spot forJurassic World.It's mostly Chris Pratt & Bryce Dallas Howard's faces and you know what they look like.But a brief flash of dinosaurs,too.

Critic Wirethe terrifying children's book inThe Babadook(opening Friday!) is now a real book you can buy
Vanity Fairsince I officially stopped watchingHow To Get Away With MurderI said goodbye by reading / enjoying / giggling through this post on the "who killed Sam"episode
Empiremore new projects for Channing Tatum and his creative partner Reid Carolin (who you'll remember as the sister's date inMagic Mike)
Varietywhy didMockingjay Part 1perform belowHunger Gamesexpectations (which were sky high)
InterviewMichael Shannon interviews Amy Ryan (currently onscreen inBirdman)
THRis excited about those Lana Del Rey songs inBig Eyesbut I only remember the title song (which is played somewhat inside the movie but not enough of it to have a firm opinion of it) I remember the lines being something like "Big Eyes....and your Big Lies..."
Film School Rejectslooks at connections between the documentary and best picture category this year
LA TimesJennifer Aniston on 'drunk singing' forCake
In ContentionThe Fault in Our Starsfinally does some campaigning for Shailene Woodley
Samuel L JacksonThe Hateful Eightcast have met
Deadlinechecks out the numerous very dark horses in the Best Actress race: shout-out to Sally Kirkland and Gena Rowlands from the veterans.An interviews with the former and possibly the latter coming up.Stay tuned...

Pic of the Moment
Jake Gyllenhaal submerged.I wish it were in Oscar buzz![src] (I was horrified to get blank faces from Oscar voters when I brought up this movie at a recent luncheon.They weren't in the actor's branch but still.How had they not heard of his remarkable performance?)

Chart Updates?
Best Actress&Supporting Actormade minor adjustments followingInto the Woods&Big Eyesscreenings.Unbrokenscreenings just after Thanksgiving as we enter the final month of the film year.So exciting.

Whither Nicole Kidman?
I missedBefore I Go To Sleepin theaters (it left town instantly) and despite wrapping her roles on five more films we don't have firm release dates on any of them!If you're keeping track they are:Queen of the Desert,StrangerlandandGrace of Monaco(lead roles) andPaddingtonandGenius(supporting roles).Here's a teaser forStrangerland.

It's an Australian drama with Hugo Weaving and Joseph Fiennes in which a couple's daughter goes missing.They freak out,naturally.Looks intense.Might it actually be good?I have high hopes forQueen of the Desert,too,given that Werner Herzog is behind the camera but she probably needs one of these films to be at least a minor hit.

May 05 2014

Say What: Nicole Who Never Sleeps

This might sound strange to y'all given the common knowledge that I am a Kidmaniac but I have real trouble keeping up with her career.Lately it seems as if the Aussie/Nashville goddess lives,eat,drinks,breathes acting and exists not outside of film sets.In addition to the potentially high profile releases like the troubledGrace of Monaco,the children's filmPaddington,and the biopicQueen of the Desert(which I wholly suspect will find a distributor since Werner Herzog movies are good and it has three famous men in support: Robert Pattinson,James Franco,and Damian Lewis) and thejust announcedGeniusandFamily Fang,there are two more obscure titles on the way which both released stills this past week.One of them I hadn't even heard of and I pay attention!So here are two images for your "say what"amusement.Add dialogue or caption in the commentsfor a chance to win a walk-on part in Nicole's eighth 2015 release*

Joseph Fiennes & Nicole in "Strangerland"

Nicole in "Before I Go To Sleep"

After the jump,the winners from the last Say What contest!

* this is not a real prize.

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