Quote of the Day

This time it is a quote from a weird film called "This Must Be the Place", directed by Paolo Sorrentino. Sean Penn played here a part of a retired rock star, who is depressed and decides to find his father's prosecutor, who is an ex-Nazi.

I like those particular lines, said by the main character, because it is a reference to Paul McCartney, a former Beatle, and his daughter, Stella McCartney, who is a successful designer nowadays. Or it may be about Ozzy Osbourne and Kelly Osbourne. There is something ironic about it.

"Rock stars shouldn't have kids. Otherwise you run the risk that your daughter becomes a wacky stylist."


Cannes Film Festival 2012 - Anniversary poster with Marilyn Monroe

The official website presented the anniversary poster for the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival. You've seen young Faye Dunaway on the previous one, and this year pays a tribute to Marilyn Monroe. The photographer of this picture was Otto L. Bettmann.

Classy and beautiful, I like that they did it black-and-white again.

The Festival will take place on 16-27 May.

Check out my entries about the 64th CANNES FILM FESTIVAL.


Oscar 2012 - WINNERS

The ceremony was wonderful. I haven't slept all night watching it and I was very exited about it.

Billy Crystal was the perfect host. I liked how Emma Stone, Chris Rock, Angelina Jolie, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis presented the nominees. And Robert Downey Jr. did great, when he said, "I'm filming a documentary called 'The Presenter'..."

It was a triumph of "The Artist". Three main awards now are coming to France. Yay! "Hugo", which had 11 nominations, won 5 Oscars in technical nominations.

I hate that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" was gracefully ignored. One of the highest rated films of the year, which kids and adults loved, didn't get any Oscar.

Christopher Plummer asked his Oscar, "you are only two years older than me, where have you been all my life?" And he became the oldest person who won the Oscar ever. Octavia Spencer got her statuette and was very emotional accepting it, which made me think about how I would act, if I won one myself. I just faint on the stage and that would be all. I liked Alexander Payne's speech, but why didn't Woody Allen show up? Michel Hazanavicius thanked even the dog Uggie. And  Meryl Streep didn't forget to joke about her being nominated for so many years.

Sacha Baron Cohen said, "I wanted to make something I'd like to watch. Happens that I like watch sick stuff." He disappointed me, when he dispelled 'ashes' over the red carpet. It was sick.

James Earl Jones, Oprah Winfrey and makeup artist Dick Smith got their honorary Oscars for working so hard for us. A tribute to those who passed away was very touching. I broke, when I saw Whitney Houston. So many talented people are gone, but I hope many talented people were born this year.

Many of the winners were predicted by me (and many people around the world), but I think it is a good thing. We knew who was great and the Academy Awards just confirmed it.

Best Picture
"The Artist"

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius ("The Artist")

Best Actor
Jean Dujardin in "The Artist"

Best Actress
Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady"

Best Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer in "Beginners"

Best Supporting Actress
Octavia Spencer in "The Help"

Best Adapted Screenplay
"The Descendants" Screenplay by Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash

Best Original Screenplay
"Midnight in Paris" Written by Woody Allen

Best Animated Film
"Rango" by Gore Verbinski

Best Foreign Language Film
"A Separation" Iran

Art Direction
"Hugo" Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo

"Hugo" Robert Richardson

Best Costume Design
"The Artist" Mark Bridges

Best Documentary (Feature)
"Undefeated" TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

Best Documentary (Short Subject)
"Saving Face" Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Best Film Editing
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

Best Make-up
"The Iron Lady" Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Best Original Score
"The Artist" Ludovic Bource

Best Original Song
"Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets" Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie

Best Short Film (Animated)
"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg

Best Short Film (Live Action)
"The Shore" Terry George and Oorlagh George

Best Sound Editing
"Hugo" Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty

Best Sound Mixing
"Hugo" Tom Fleischman and John Midgley

Best Visual Effects
"Hugo" Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning

Oscar 2012 - Red Carpet Live Coverage

I'm watching Red Carpet live here.

Stars are arriving. I will post pictures of my favourite people of the evening.

Check out the list of all nominees and my predictions.

Milla Jovovich looks stunning in this Elie Saab gown. She is a presenter of technical Oscars this evening. It is her first appearance at the Academy Awards.

"The Artist" couple: Bérénice Bejo and Michel Hazanavicius

More and more nominees arrive.

Christopher Plummer

Melissa McCarthy

Jessica Chastain

George Clooney flashes a smile while his girlfriend is chatting with journalists.

Kenneth Branagh

Michelle Williams

Rooney Mara

Glenn Close and Octavia Spencer

Viola Davis liked to be 'the voice of the film'.

Jonah Hill

Jean Dujardin is charming as always.

Colin Firth

Penélope Cruz

Gorgeous Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

That's all for red carpet!

Oscar 2012 - Last thoughts and new promo

It is left less than a day till we know all the winners of the 84th Annual Academy Awards. I will watch it live as I do it for 5 years now! Yes, my first ceremony was the one, where "The Departed" won an Oscar for Best Picture and Helen Mirren was named the Best Actress. I don't think I can ever forget it.

Many people, film fans, don't like Oscar awards for many reasons, but in my opinion, these awards go to talented people and films. And I like guessing who the winner will be. Someday I'm going to watch every ceremony since the 1st one, but I have no idea where I can find those videos.

This time I hope "The Artist" takes three main statuettes - for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. Sorry, Bérénice Bejo, I enjoyed your performance so much, but I doubt you will win this year. Congratulations for winning the Cesar Award for Best Actress.

I will write about where you can watch the 84th Annual Academy Awards live later, and I'm going to make a real-time coverage again. Stay tuned and follow @ElenaStrBlogger on Twitter.

Watch this funny sketch about the Oscar etiquette.


"Anna Karenina" (2012) - First pictures

First pictures were released from upcoming period drama "Anna Karenina", based on the novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy.

Keira Knightley looks gorgeous, but very miserable, as Anna. And she should be, because her character's fate is very unfortunate. It is not the first time she works with a talented director Joe Wright, and every time they end up making a great film.

Other parts are played by Aaron Johnson and Jude Law. We can see that Anna is very happy dancing with Johnson's character and looks nervous near Jude Law, who plays her husband. If you read the novel, you know how this love triangle will end.

This film is going to be in cinemas this fall.

Pictures - Focus Features


"Frankenweenie" (2012) - First poster

Yes! "Frankenweenie" team reveals its first poster. It is the second time, when a poster turns out to be something more than just a 2D picture. There is no music, unlike "The Hunger Games" teaser poster has, but I really like that lightning strike. Spooky.

To watch it in motion, you have to like the official Facebook page of this animated film.

More about "Frankenweenie" (2012)!


"Struck By Lightning" (2012) - First Trailer

"You can inspire others to write while writing yourself."

Before today I have never heard about Chris Colfer (I don't watch "Glee"), but it turns out he is a talented young man and his new film is going to be interesting. He wrote the script himself and he is producing it.

"Struck By Lightning" looks like an ordinary high school story, but it isn't. One guy wants to make a newspaper and to achieve this goal he needs a good team. But the problem is everyone is extremely lazy and indifferent in his school. Plus everybody hates him, because of his workaholism and exactingness.

The trailer is smart and funny, so I hope the film will be as unusual and engaging.

Directed by Brian Dannelly, who has worked on different TV series, "Pushing Daisies", "Weeds", "United States of Tara".


"Артист"/"The Artist" (2011) - Рецензия

Была сегодня в кино. И Вам советую сходить на "Артиста". Надеюсь, еще не одну награду возьмет этот замечательный фильм.

Отголоски прошлого

Раньше люди радовались, как дети, даже самым скромным кинофильмам. Со временем они очень полюбили эти черно-белые картинки, где вместо диалогов были титры, ведь они видели эмоции актеров, и этого было достаточно. А потом кинематографистам захотелось пойти дальше. Но никто не подумал о тех, для которых немое кино было делом всей их жизни и они не видели ее продолжения в мире, где экранные персонажи открывают рот и оттуда вылетают настоящие слова.

Французский режиссер Мишель Хазанавичус здорово рисковал, возвращаясь на много десятилетий назад. Оказалось, что не зря. И современному зрителю, разбалованному высокими технологиями и постоянно ожидающему чего-то невероятного и нового, было достаточно для счастья показать драму о любви без цвета и звука. Эта история не нова — например, великий режиссер Билли Уайлдер давно снял один душераздирающий фильм о трагедии забытой актрисы. Но данная кинокартина захватывает с самых первых минут и отправляет нас в шикарный мир Голливуда, где любовь была одним из основных ингредиентов для создания кинофильмов.

Главный герой — звезда большого экрана Джордж Валентин — привык блистать перед камерами и сражать наповал молоденьких поклонниц. И тут на съемочной площадке появляется она. Красавица Пеппи Миллер сразу очаровывает актера, хотя еще больше сама подпадает под его чары. Но их пути быстро расходятся — ее карьера идет вверх к богатству и славе, а он стремительно скатывается в пропасть, ведь никому больше не интересно лишь смотреть на актеров, зрителю хочется слушать. Жан Дюжарден и Беренис Бежо превосходно перевоплотились в актеров из прошлого века. Есть в них что-то такое, что не позволяет оторваться от экрана ни на миг. Без слов, зато с какими чувствами они воплотили своих персонажей.

В ролях более скромных, но все равно важных, сыграли талантливые голливудские актеры Джон Гудмен и Джеймс Кромуэлл. Из первого получился убедительный алчный режиссер, который пойдет на все лишь бы угодить зрителю. Это конечно хорошо, ведь его работа и заключается в этом, но выбрасывать на помойку актера, который много лет делал его фильмы знаменитыми, уж слишком черство и эгоистично. А без верного слуги Клифтона главному герою и вовсе пришлось бы туго, ведь он оставался с мистером Валентином даже тогда, когда тот опустился на самое дно и не смог ему платить. Порадовало и минутное появление на экране Малкольма МакДауэлла в очень смешном эпизоде.

Нельзя не отметить и блестящую игру пса по имени Угги, который уже успел собрать в Европе и Америке множество поклонников. С трудом верится, что он просто выполняет команды. Угги то дурачится, то играет со всей серьезностью, вызывая своим героическим поведением бурю эмоций. Заметно, как сильно успел пес привязаться к Жану Дюжардену, ведь когда они появляются в кадре вместе, то все остальное перестает существовать.

Прекрасно, когда кинематографисты не забывают, откуда все начиналось. Создатели очень постарались над тем, чтобы сделать этот фильм более похожим на те, что выходили в 20х годах. Но все равно это лишь симуляция, далекие отголоски очаровательного прошлого. Тем не менее, спасибо им за возможность вырваться хотя бы на несколько часов из 21го века, но в то же время и остаться в нем. Спасибо также композитору Людовику Бурсе за столь многогранную музыку, постоянно меняющуюся, как и характер происходящих событий. Особенно запоминается и поднимает настроение задорная мелодия в финале.

К сожалению, или к счастью, эра немого кино давно прошла, уступив место звуковому кино. Эти фильмы стали историей, которую уже не вернуть. Но ее никогда не следует забывать, о чем и напоминает данный кинофильм.

Фото - Кинопоиск


Top-5 movies of the week - 17.02 - 23.02

Woody Harrelson plays a cop, who hates everyone. He likes his power and beating people. And nobody can stop him, because there will be a huge corruption scandal. Also starring Cynthia Nixon, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Ben Foster and Steve Buscemi.

2."Thin Ice"
Two men want to earn some money by selling a very valuable violin, which is no use for its present owner. But everything goes wrong, when they end up killing an innocent man. One of these accidental criminals starts blackmailing his associate, who is played by Greg Kinnear. Yes, since that night he is walking on the very thin ice, which can melt very fast under him. Crazy criminal comedy, which has to have an unexpected ending. But I doubt it will be a happy ending.

3."The Secret World of Arrietty"
Tiny people live in one huge house with normal family. They don't want to be discovered, so secretly borrow different things and food. It is dangerous for young girl Arrietty to join her father in such night campaigns, but she is brave. So everything is good, until a boy sees her... and they become good friends. Its creators are the people, who made "Spirited Away" and "Ponyo", it promises many adventures, plus critics love this story.

4."The Vow"
I like Rachel McAdams very much, but I dislike Channing Tatum even more. It was hard to figure out will she save the film, or will he make it bad, and turns out that she wasn't enough. The story is about a newlywed couple, who survives a serious car accident. He is fine, but she lost her memory. She doesn't remember not the whole past, but just him. Low critics rating can frighten the big film-addicts, but the audience says it is ok romantic comedy.

5."Dorothy and the Witches of Oz"
An old fairytale is back thanks to the director Leigh Scott ("Frankenstein Reborn", "King of the Lost World", "Exorcism: The Possession of Gail Bowers"). It is the first not-so-creepy film for him, which kids can actually watch. This time Dorothy is a young writer, who moves to New York. But once she discovers that all her stories aren't a fiction, but memories, she has to go figure out how to fight the evil witch to save the both worlds. It reminds a bit Burton's "Alice In Wonderland". The special effects look good, and the cast includes Christopher Lloyd, Billy Boyd and Sean Astin, who are great actors. So it has to be a nice family film.

Posters - iTunes movie trailers


Why I'm interested in "Lovelace" (2012)

One very risky film hit the theatres in 1972. It was directed by Gerard Damiano, and called "Deep Throat". This film started a revolution in the cinematography. It gained many fans and haters, who did what they could to destroy lives of actors, director and producers. Many puritan politics were pissed off by this "masterpiece". Yes, it was a pornographic flick, but it also was something more, something new and crazy. It was a different kind of art.

Linda Lovelace portrayed the main character. She was just a woman with her big dream, she wanted to love and be loved. There is nothing criminal in it. Linda showed her body to the whole world, but we will never know the truth behind her risky fame and short-termed success. Later she became an activist of the anti-pornography movement, but no one can tell why she wanted to forget her past.

"Lovelace" is a biopic about her. Amanda Seyfried plays Linda and, due to the set pictures and stills, she really resembles this porn star. I hope this film will make clear all dark spots in her biography, showing not only consequences, but also the reasons why she changed so much before that fatal accident. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman are in charge of this story, which is very promising, because they've made before a few unusual and provocative films together.

If you are going to watch "Lovelace", please watch at least a documentary "Inside Deep Throat". You will be shocked of the stories, which the creators of that porn film tell. It is unbelievable how many secrets they kept, how hard it was to screen this film and how little money they made, despite "Deep Throat" profit was very high.



BAFTA Awards 2012 - Winners list

Yesterday's night was very exciting, because it was time for British Academy of Film and Television Arts to name its favourite films, directors and performances of 2011. I didn't write my predictions, but I wasn't surprised when discovered the winners of the main nominations. It was the Golden Globe awards all over again, and I don't mind it.

I'm very glad that "The Artist" won over "The Descendants", because I heart the silent films era. It also won in a few leading categories - Michel Hazanavicius and Jean Dujardin accepted awards for Best Director and Best Leading Actor. In total, this film got 7 awards that night. Not bad, huh?

Losing a shoe for Meryl Streep was a lucky moment, because she won again. Christopher Plummer was amazing in "Beginners" and now he is the oldest actor, who ever got a BAFTA award.

"Rango" is the Best Animated Film, and I like it, because two other nominees didn't impress me in a good way. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" isn't all about special effects, but it is a bit weird, how every award keeps ignoring it, though it is one of the best films of the past year.

Now I'm hoping that Oscar ceremony will award the same people and the same films, because they truly deserve it. You can't find my Oscar predictions here.

Also John Hurt and Martin Scorsese were honored for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema and Academy Fellowship. British actor Adam Deacon was named the Rising Star of the year.

Best Film
"The Artist"

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius ("The Artist")

Outstanding British Film
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"

Best Leading Actor
Jean Dujardin ("The Artist")

Best Leading Actress
Meryl Streep ("The Iron Lady")

Best Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer ("Beginners")

Best Supporting Actress
Octavia Spencer ("The Help")

Outstanding Debut
Paddy Considine, Diarmid Scrimshaw ("Tyrannosaur")

Best Documentary

Best Film Not in the English Language
"The Skin I Live In" by Pedro Almodóvar

Best Animated Film

Best Original Screenplay
Michel Hazanavicius ("The Artist")

Best Adapted Screenplay
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"

Best Original Music
Ludovic Bource ("The Artist")

Best Cinematography
Guillaume Schiffman ("The Artist")

Best Editing
Gregers Sall, Chris King ("Senna")

Best Production Design

Best Costume Design
Mark Bridges ("The Artist")

Best Sound

Best Make Up and Hair
Marese Langan ("The Iron Lady")

Best Special Visual Effects
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"

Best Short Animation
"A Morning Stroll" by Grant Orchard

Best Short Film
"Pitch Black Heist" by John Maclean

Pictures - Official BAFTA website