Take a stab in the dark, poke out an eye, and it’s truly the blind leading the blind:
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Michael Fassbender – Shame
George Clooney – The Descendants
Christopher Plummer – Barrymore
Jean Dujarden – The Artist
Leonardo Dicaprio – J. Edgar
ACTRESS (I picked 6. I tried to reduce it to 5 but I couldn’t.)
Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton – We Need To Talk About Kevin
Kirsten Dunst – Melancholia
Charlize Theron – Young Adult
Rooney Mara – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Armie Hammer – J. Edgar
Ezra Miller – We Need To Talk About Kevin
Christoph Waltz – Carnage
Daniel Craig – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Thomas Horn - Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Shaileen Woodley – The Descendants
Keira Knightley – A Dangerous Method
Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
Jessica Chastain – Everything
Vanessa Redgrave – Coriolanus
As the Toronto International Film Festival prepares to unleash scores of movies onto the general public, critics and industry folk alike, reviews are starting to come in for Moneyball. Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jonah Hill, has been touted as a strong contender for awards come Oscar season. But has it lived up to its promise? So far, it looks like it.
Jeff Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere writes, “Bennett Miller’s Moneyball (Sony, 9.23) is my idea of a triumph. A triumph of surprise and deception, I should add. It’s an emotionally low-key, thinking man’s Field of Dreams — a smart, true-to-life, business-of-baseball movie with a touch of the mystical and the sublime, and propelled along by a highly pleasurable lead performance by Brad Pitt. It’s not just the emotional and spiritual currents that makes it great, but the subtlety of them.” He also adds that Hill is “perfect” and Hoffman is “tight and testy and spot-on”.
The Hollywood Reporter calls it “a strong, rewarding effort to pull unusual personalities and a timeless story from a welter of Inside Baseball” and praises the chemistry between Pitt and Hill, describing them as a “a great comedy act” and “delights”.
Moviefone writes, “Much better is the brief moment where Brand shows Beane a tape of a young prospect hitting a home run without even realizing it. “It’s a metaphor,” Brand says, and Beane speaks for the audience when he snaps back, “I know it’s a metaphor.” Still, it applies to more than just Beane; audience members, too, may look back on this deceptively quiet, even plodding film and realize that, like a pitcher’s duel on a long summer day, it meant more than they realized — and maybe more than anyone had a right to expect.”
Alex Billington of FirstShowing.net awarded the film 7.5/10 and wrote, “Moneyball isn’t a home run, but at least a double, and if the player is really good, a triple.”
Sean O’Connell of HollywoodNews.com writes that Pitt’s performance is the highlight of the film. ” It’s a great performance in a solid movie. If “Moneyball” hits a triple, Pitt smacks a home run over the left field wall.”
More reviews as they come in.
Venice is not the only town hosting a film festival this weekend - Telluride just got underway with a screening of Alexander Payne’s The Descendants and early word is incredibly positive, with critics calling George Clooney’s performance one of his all-time best. After a week of enduring middling reviews for films like A Dangerous Method, The Ides of March and Carnage, it is refreshing to see a film hit a home-run with the critics.
Peter Sciretta of /Film tweeted, “Loved Alexander Payne’s The Descendants. Worn out from emotion. Great performances from George Clooney.”
Sasha Stone of Awards Daily communicated, “The descendants is emotionally charged, funny, brilliant ensemble. Clooney great” and in a follow-up message, “Shailene Woodley is very good in The Descendants - absolutely nomination-worthy. But others too. Payne is great with actors.”
Anne Thompson wrote “The Descendants is another win for Alexander Payne and Fox Searchlight—and a possible Oscar grab for George Clooney as a father with 2…”
Scott Feinberg wrote in his analysis of The Descendants’ Oscar chances, “my gut feeling is that The Descendants will face an uphill climb for a best picture nod. I do, however, think that Clooney’s chances for a best actor nod are much stronger; he gives one of his best performances to date (probably his most vulnerable, too, which never hurts with voters).” Additionally, he noted that the film’s writers Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon will likely bag another screenplay nod.
Kris Tapley of InContention bemoaned the lack of density exhibited in some of Payne’s previous efforts, but nevertheless praised the film as “a complete piece of thematic work” and “a great vehicle for George Clooney to stretch”.
Jeff Wells of Hollywood Elswhere tweeted, “Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants”, a Hawaiian family drama about death and letting go and waking up, is deep and real and true to life.”/”George Clooney’s performance as a beleagured, soon-to-be-widowed dad is touching, real, honest. He’s immediately in Best Actor contention.”/”I for one love the abrupt, subtle tonal shifts between straight drama and whaddaya-gonna-do, throw-up-your-hands, low-key comedy. Perfect.”
Yaaaay! Love Alexander Payne. So relieved to hear The Descendants is ace.