So even just after the one screening, P.T.A's "There Will Be Blood" seems to ave hit a grand slam from the get-go. And really, was there ever any doubt? Not in my mind, and certainly not after reading such a brilliant script like that.
I'm not saying it's going to win Best Picture -- it might not even get the nom -- but it's nice to hear one of the year's most anticipated movies not get destroyed upon sight, don't ya think?
It's the headline that lept to mind after tonight's wholly unsatisfying screening. The review will have to follow at another time...
A big round of applause tonight for the unquestionably well-made "American Gangster." I have problems with it, mostly with its final act and notions it tosses about a bit too casually (he turned in cops...so it's all good). But the film absolutely kills in most every respect, solid acting, greatly honed and paced editing from a true master, Pietro Scalia, and a soundtrack that would make Martin Scorsese tap his foot.
More later, though I'm sure opinions will be hitting the net with a fury tonight and tomorrow. But for now, though it isn't the slam I thought it would be, I still think we have another Best Picture contender to keep "Atonement" company.
Yet another phenomenal film that will have to wait a bit longer for a review of substance, but I wanted to get some thoughts out after this morning's screening. It's the sort of film that could have just been a throwaway without the two central - and pitch-perfect - performances from Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke. I have no doubt their game was amped up a number of levels due to the presence of a living legend behind the camera.
More later. So many screenings this week you can likely expect a barrage of reviews in the coming days. LA has become Toronto-lite.
Cate Blanchett should come as no surprise but Brad Pitt and "Lust, Caution"? I highly doubt this means anything stateside but it sures shows that Venice is its own beast. And I'll admit it makes me look forward a tad more to both efforts.
I also must say that I can't wait to see how Rodrigo Prieto has filmed Lee's latest.
It very well may be the case. Every one I talk to is excited for this film, even PTA detractors. EVERYONE. It just seems to be the film that pops up more often than any other film when discussing the season ahead, and with the release of materials this week (a stellar poster and an amazing new trailer), the excitement is just building and building.
You know where I stand. I can't wait.
Arriving in the mail today were screeners of "The Namesake," "Once" and "Waitress," fit with For Your Consideration copy on the inner sleaves and all in one nice, neat package. It's SEPTEMBER, folks, and barely, at that. Talk about getting the word out early. And there's still the wave of "The Savages," "Sunshine" and "The Darjeeling Limited" to come, later in the season.
This also says something about programming your year in a smart fashion. Searchlight is the only studio that comes to mind which has had a steady flow of potential awards product throughout 2007, rather than backloading the year in the fall glut.
It's still not 100% complete, but Jason Reitman's latest, "Juno," has been hitting the latter year festival circuit out of the blue and is leaving smiling faces in its wake. Among other things, perhaps an original screenplay contender has been born. The script was penned by first timer (and former stripper) Diablo Cody. According to IMDb, she has a cat named "Douchepacker." I love her already.