I summarized "Death of a Nation" and "Fahrenheit 11/9" earn four Razzie nominations each, including two shared ones for Donald Trump by correcting the record.
"Death of A Nation" earned four (not six) nominations, Donald J. Trump (As Himself) for Worst Actor, Donald J, Trump & His Self Perpetuating Pettiness for Worst Screen Combo, Worst Remake, Rip-off, or Sequel, and Worst Screenplay. "Fahrenheit 11/9" also earned four nominations, "Death of A Nation" earned four (not six) nominations, Donald J. Trump (As Himself) for Worst Actor, Donald J, Trump & His Self Perpetuating Pettiness for Worst Screen Combo, and Kellyanne Conway and Melania Trump as themselves for Worst Supporting Actress.As I mentioned in Gymboree closing 805 stores and selling off Janie and Jack, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse earlier today, it's time to follow through with the winners. Take it away, Razzie Awards with the 39TH Razzie Awards Announcement!
The Results Are In. The Mystery Is Solved. The Perpetrators Will Be Awarded!HAHAHAHA! I'll get to the non-political "winners" over the jump. Right now, I'm skipping to the political recipients.
In 2018, Hollywood couldn’t stop itself from making bad choices. From trashing literary classics, sewing potty-mouths onto once beloved puppets, to taking true-life legends and turning them into trivial tripe. And that only covers the Worst Picture nominees for this year’s 39th Annual Razzie® Awards, dis-honoring the year's Worst Achievements in Film.
Also taking two trophies was 1991 Worst Supporting Actor “winner" (and now a Razzie Repeat Offender) Donald J. Trump, impaled for Worst Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his archival appearances in both Death of a Nation and Fahrenheit 11/9. Trump, combined with "His Self-Perpetuating Pettiness" were selected as Worst Screen Combo, and Trump’s White House spin-meister Kellyanne Conway was named Worst Supporting Actress for “playing herself” in Fahrenheit 11/9.Congratulations, I suppose, to both Trump and Conway! As for the three Razzies for "Fahrenheit 11/9," I stand by my opinion that "I'm taking his and other nominations for 'Fahrenheit 11/9' as a comment on Trump, not the movie." After all, "Fahrenheit 11/9" has nominations at the Critics' Choice Documentary Awards, Cinema Audio Society, and Writers Guild of America in addition to its Razzie nominations for worst actor and supporting actress. Also, my wife and I watched the movie and found it both enjoyable and informative. On the other hand, "Death of a Nation" has only its four Razzie nominations, two of which are now wins, but for Trump, not Dinesh D'Souza. Too bad D'Souza can't put them on the shelf next to the three out of four he won personally for "Hillary's America," although he might. I doubt either Trump or Putin will actually accept them.
Follow over the jump for the rest of the awards announcement and the "winners."
The big “winners" include the clueless “parody" of Arthur Conan Doyle’s brilliant detective, Holmes & Watson, which took four gold spray-painted trophies, among them Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel and Worst Supporting Actor (for John C. Reilly playing a woefully witless Doctor Watson).While "Fahrenheit 11/9" and "Death of a Nation" were the worst in documentaries that people actually watched in theaters, the worst in speculative fiction films went to "The Happytime Murders" with one half of an award shared with "Life of the Party." Between Melissa McCarthy's award and the four Razzies for "Holmes & Watson," it just goes to show that nothing is less funny than a bad comedy.
Melissa McCarthy pulled off the unprecedented feat of being deemed both Worst Actress and the winner of the Razzie Redeemer Award (for following up her worn-out slapstick projects with a much more redeemable role) in the same year. McCarthy’s Happytime Murders and Life of the Party were Razzed, while her highly acclaimed Can You Ever Forgive Me? took the Razzie Redeemer trophy...Worst Screenplay was the only “win” for the final installment of the perpetually Razzie-nominated franchise, Fifty Shades Freed. A complete list of “winners” is included below....
WORST PICTURE Holmes & Watson
WORST ACTRESS Melissa McCarthy / Happytime Murders and Life of the Party
RAZZIE REDEEMER AWARD Melissa McCarthy for following up her dual Razzie winning appearances with her more complex role in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
WORST ACTOR Donald J. Trump (As Himself) Death of a Nation and Fahrenheit 11/ 9
WORST SCREEN COMBO Donald J, Trump & His Self-Perpetuating Pettiness, Death of a Nation and Fahrenheit 11/9
WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Kellyanne Conway (As Herself) Fahrenheit 11/9
WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR John C. Reilly / Holmes & Watson
WORST REMAKE, RIP-OFF or SEQUEL Holmes & Watson
WORST DIRECTOR Etan Cohen / Holmes & Watson
WORST SCREENPLAY Fifty Shades Freed, Written by Niall Leonard, from the Novel by E.L. James
“WINS” PER PICTURE Holmes & Watson = 4 / Fahrenheit 11/9 = 3 / Death of a Nation = 2 Fifty Shades Freed = 1 / Happytime Murders = 1 / Life of the Party = 1
That's it for the worst in big-budget movies and top-grossing documentaries from 2018. Stay tuned for a revisiting of last year's dramatic films about government and politics, particularly "BlacKkKlansman" in preparation for the Academy Awards.
Stanley Donen, the prolific director behind "Singin’ in the Rain" and "Damn Yankees," among many other iconic movie musicals and comedies, died Thursday of a heart attack, his son reported early today. He was 94. First as a choreographer and then a director, Donen imaginatively liberated the musical from its stagebound roots, taking it outside to city streets ("On the Town," 1950), urban parks ("The Pajama Game," 1957), and even the Eiffel Tower ("Funny Face," 1957). Martin Scorsese perfectly summed up Donen's career while presenting the filmmaker with a lifetime achievement Oscar at the 1997 Academy Awards: “During the golden age of movies, he set the gold standard."
If Donen (pronounced DONN-en) transformed the movie musicals, it may have been because musicals had long ago transformed him. Born in Columbia, South Carolina in 1924, Donen discovered movies as a way of escaping the taunts of anti-Semitic classmates. At the age of 9, he watched Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in "Flying Down to Rio" and would recall later, “It was as if something exploded inside me.” “When Astaire danced, everything in this world was perfect.” Donen would later go on to direct his idol in "Royal Wedding" (1951) and "Funny Face" (1957).
Throughout his childhood, Donen took tap lessons and experimented with the family’s home-movie camera. By the time he completed high school at 16, he was prepared to take on duties both behind and in front of the lens. Because Broadway was closer to South Carolina than Hollywood, he launched his movie career by way of New York City.
Within weeks of arriving there, the self-described “green hick” landed a part in the chorus of Rodgers’ and Hart’s Pal Joey. The title role belonged to a Pittsburgh hoofer named Gene Kelly, who would become, in the words of Donen biographer Stephen Silverman, the filmmaker’s “mentor and tormentor.” The producer/director was Broadway legend George Abbott, who also hired both Kelly and Donen for his next Broadway musical, "Best Foot Forward," giving them extra creative responsibilities. Kelly starred in and choreographed the military-school musical comedy, while Donen assisted.
In 1942, at the ripe old age of 18, Donen followed Kelly to Hollywood where both found work at MGM: Kelly, in a leading role opposite Judy Garland in "For Me and My Gal," and Donen in another choreographic assistantship and a dancing role in the movie version of "Best Foot Forward." Donen assisted Kelly with choreography for "Cover Girl" (1944) and then "Anchors Aweigh" (1945), for which Donen spent nearly a year blocking, shooting and editing a sequence with Kelly and an animated Jerry the Mouse.
MGM executives took notice. In 1949, they hired Kelly and Donen to co-direct "On the Town" (1950), the boisterous musical about three sailors on shore leave in New York. The studio permitted the filmmakers to shoot a week on location. The open air invigorated the songs and dances, inching the Hollywood musical toward realism.
It wasn't Donen’s idea to have Astaire dance on the ceiling in "Royal Wedding" (1951). Yet in the director’s first solo stint behind the camera, he made lyricist Alan Jay Lerner’s dream a reality. Inside a 20-foot steel cylinder, carpenters constructed Astaire’s hotel room, nailing all the furniture down. Donen’s camera was fixed to the bottom of the cylinder, which revolved and enabled his idol to appear to glide up a wall, across the ceiling and down another wall for the film’s most magical sequence.
At 28, Donen was assigned to co-direct "Singin’ in the Rain" (1952) with Kelly. Though the musical comedy about Hollywood’s bumpy transition from silent to sound films was well-liked at the time of its release (Charlie Chaplin and Francois Truffaut were fans), it was 30 years after its release that Cahiers du Cinema ranked it the second greatest film of all time. When AFI ranked the greateat movie musicals, it was number one. At Donen’s death it had been elevated to Hollywood pantheon.
“What’s so unusual about it,” Donen told his biographer Stephen Silverman, “….is that more of its screen time is taken up by singing and dancing numbers than by the dialogue.” That may be the reason that 60 years later, it remains a work of buoyant and impudent fun.
Over his next decade, he directed five more classic musicals and virtually created a new movie genre, the sophisticated adult comedy. The musicals included the romping, stomping "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1954), the underappreciated "It’s Always Fair Weather" (1955) about three war buddies who grow apart (his last collaboration with Kelly) and the sublime "Funny Face" (1957) with Fred Astaire as the Pygmalion who transforms dowdy intellectual Audrey Hepburn into a glamorous fashion model.
With George Abbott producing, Donen brought two well-received Broadway adaptations to the screen: "The Pajama Game" (1957), a lovely John Raitt-Doris Day film about a wage dispute in a pajama factory, and "Damn Yankees" (1958), starring Tab Hunter as the modern Faust who sells his soul to the devil in order to become a baseball hero.
In "Indiscreet" (1958), which Donen produced with star Cary Grant, the director introduced the comedy of adultery. In this one, Grant pretends to be married so he doesn’t have to get serious with amour Ingrid Bergman. In "The Grass is Greener" (1961), married couple Grant and Deborah Kerr are attracted to singletons Jean Simmons and Robert Mitchum, respectively. "Charade" (1963), Donen’s next, with Grant and Audrey Hepburn, was the most fully realized: The stylish thriller about a suddenly widowed woman and a mystery man earned the biggest box office of Donen’s career. His follow-up "Arabesque" (1966), with Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren, was a chase-romance in a similar vein.
He embraced new narrative styles as the Hollywood director most influenced by the French New Wave. The director’s third film with Hepburn, "Two for the Road" (1967), was the best of his career. This bittersweet mosaic of marriage jump-cuts back and forth among four time periods. Hepburn and co-star Albert Finney play the marrieds: She's content, while he's chafing at the bit. The movie wasn't a financial success, but its non-chronological narrative, surprising editing and vulnerable performances still make it a standout in his incredible filmography.
Donen knew something of marriage himself. He was married five times, to dancer Jeanne Coyne, actress Marion Marshall, onetime restaurant hostess Lady Adelle Beatty, actress Yvette Mimieux and boutique saleswoman Pam Braden. Embroidered on a pillow in Donen’s living room was the affirmation, “Eat, drink, and remarry.”
The women he didn’t wed were equally significant. Early in his career, he dated Elizabeth Taylor, widely acknowledged to be one of the most beautiful woman in the movies. From 1999 until his death he co-habitated with screenwriter-director Elaine May, widely acknowledged to be one of the smartest and funniest woman in movies.
He claimed that he asked May to marry him “about 172 times.” Instead of putting his ring on her finger, she gave him an upscale dog tag he wore around his neck. It was inscribed: “Stanley Donen. If found, please return to Elaine May."
Donen made films in genres rarely nominated for Oscars. Nevertheless, in 1997 Martin Scorsese presented him with an honorary statuette and the musicals director stopped the show by dancing with his statuette while crooning, “Cheek to Cheek.”
Mr. Donen is survived by Ms. May, two of his three sons, and 27 films, more than a handful of them immortal.
1. Trustworthy Junior Agent by burglebezzlement. Hilarious fic for "The Spy Who Dumped Me" that really captures the tone of the movie.
2. Ninfox by Rhea. A fanvid for the Machineries of Empire series by Yoon Ha Lee (which I am partway through and loving, btw). I don't think this is the sort of vid that would convert a nonfan to the books, but if you have read them, it's remarkable how much this vid manages to captures.
3. it’s all been done by Lilith. Excellent fanart for Good Omens.
4. Thunderdome by glorious_spoon. Really, really fantastic Leverage fic set in the Mad Max universe. Just wow.
5. A long-ago fandom friend of mine is trying to raise money for a service dog. If you have any spare cash to donate, check it out here.
The Word of Flesh and Soul, Ruthanna Emrys. Grad school, now with extra bonus life-distorting properties! This is really good. NOVELETTE
The Kite Maker, Brenda Peynado. Maybe it's weird that we're trying to tell and read stories about the atrocity while we're in the middle of the atrocity. But, anyways, this is about refugees, and is very painful and real.
The Need for Air, Lettie Prell. Transhumanist parenting troubles.
Recoveries, Susan Palwick. An alcoholic woman considering relapsing, and her friend with an eating disorder. Really sharply-drawn character stuff here. NOVELETTE
Meat And Salt And Sparks, Rich Larson. Chimpanzee detective and a murder case.
The Guile, Ian McDonald. I'm not so much into stage-magician stories (or anything about performers) but this was pretty good.
Good costume enhances characters and storylines. A super easy example is Darth Vader and Princess Leia who are introduced in black and white and you really don’t have to spend any time at all in wondering who is good and bad. When it comes to historical costumes the bit about historical accuracy is added. No movie ever is 100% historically accurate, and I don’t think that is what should be aimed at either. But I do feel it’s important to have respect for the source period and not just throw things together to look history-ish. You have to understand the period you are aiming for, and then add and subtract to please the storyline, directors, and producers. Hats, for example, are often discarded if the fashion was for wide brims because it limits the angles you can film in. Or, very common, women go bareheaded because the producers are afraid it will diminish the sex appeal.
I could go on and on, but I will limit myself to go on about Mrs. Masiel. The costumes are very 50s in cut and colours, but they are not necessarily the exact fashions of the year 1958 and 59 and they don’t need to be to set the tone. The same goes for hair and make-up. Midge, for example, favours a hairstyle that is more early 50s than late.
( VERY picture heavy )