December 10, 2007

December 10, 2007

Women Dominate the Weekend Box Office
I'm going to put a positive spin on the supposed flop of The Golden Compass at the box office. I did see the film yesterday and enjoyed it very much. Dakota Blue Richards is fantastic as Lyra, a girl destined for greatness, which we hardly ever see at the movies. I think that kids will like it, all the political stuff will go over their heads and they will enjoy the polar bear fights. Hopefully it will be given some chance over the next couple of weeks to get an audience. Film made $26.1 million domestically and did quite well overseas raking in $55 million.

While no one can say if the church boycott made any difference in the grosses (I think people really wanted this movie to fail for some sick and bizarre reason- is it hatred for Michael Lynne after he kicked ass for several years with Lord of the Rings which no other studio would do?)

One of the things about this whole issue that makes me crazy is the wanting to have it both ways about movies. Do films make an impact in people's lives, or are they just movies designed for escapism and entertainment? I believe that some films are made to put forward a certain message. Those movies are usually smaller. I don't believe that a studio investing upwards of $180 million is stupid enough to make an anti-church movie. They were looking to make a broad based movie based on a very popular book. People need to get over themselves and take the movie for what it is - a fantasy. I mean a girl saving the world? Got to be a fantasy cause it sure ain't any reality I've seen.

Enchanted held on to the number 2 slot with $10.7 million for a total of $83.9 million in three weeks. Juno also kicked butt with an average of $60,000 per screen in limited release at seven locations. The theatre where I was yesterday was packed with people wanting to see Juno. Atonement also did very well with a $25,000 per screen average.

Are manly men back in vogue? (Did they ever go away?)
The LA Times ran a piece yesterday attempting to analyze the return of the manly men - like Indiana Jones, Rambo, John McLaine (Die Hard) to the big screen.

Writer Peter Rainer pushes a political connection between Reagan and George W. Bush

I don't want to overplay the parallels between the Reagan and George W. Bush years, but might the backwash of a colossally unpopular war have something to do with the fact that so many of our movies are -- how can I say this politely? -- atavistic?
Gee Peter, you think? Maybe one should pick up Susan Faludi's new book which discusses the return to masculinity since the towers came down. Rainer also goes on and talks about slasher films and modern masculinity but he never mentions once is women and how this retro machoness and acceptable and exulted warrior behavior effects women.
Screen test(osterone) (LA Times)

More Awards
New York Film Critics Online
Actress - Julie Christie, "Away from Her"
Supporting Actress - Cate Blanchett," I'm Not There"
Breakthrough Performer - Ellen Page, "Juno"
Debut Director - Sarah Polley, "Away from Her"
Foreign Language - (tie) "Persepolis"
Animated - Persepolis"

LA Film Critics Association

Actress - Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose"
Supporting Actress- Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"
Foreign Film- "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,"

Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Assn.
Actress- Julie Christie, "Away from Her"
Supporting Actress- Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"
Breakthrough performance- Ellen Page, "Juno"
Screenplay- Diablo Cody, "Juno"

Boston Critics
Actress- Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose"
Supporting Actress- Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"

Debra Winger will be honored at the Texas Film Hall of Fame awards to be held March 7 in Austin, TX. Winger will accept the Tiffany & Co. Star of Texas Award on behalf of the cast and crew of "Urban Cowboy," which was set and shot in Texas. (Indiewire)

Mary Olive Smith's "A Walk to Beautiful" won the top prize at the International Documentary Association (IDA) Distinguished Documentary Achievement Awards on Friday night in Los Angeles. It is described as the story of "five courageous women in Ethiopia who have suffered from devastating childbirth injuries and have been shunned by their family and villages." (Indiewire)