Darren Aronofsky releases a statement defending Portman's dancing in 'Black Swan'
That's been the controversy surrounding Natalie Portman's Oscar winning performance in "Black Swan" -- a controversy I find a bit silly given that she's an actress. Was James Franco supposed to cut off his arm too?
Nevertheless, there are those, including her dance double Sarah Lane, who are ticked that Portman and all of the brass behind her, claimed to train hard for the role, performing many of the moves herself.
After EW published the dancer's claim that Portman did very little of her on-screen dancing, director Darren Aronofsky released a statement through studio Fox Searchlight:
Here from EW:
“Here is the reality. I had my editor count shots. There are 139 dance shots in the film. 111 are Natalie Portman untouched. 28 are her dance double Sarah Lane. If you do the math that’s 80% Natalie Portman. What about duration? The shots that feature the double are wide shots and rarely play for longer than one second. There are two complicated longer dance sequences that we used face replacement. Even so, if we were judging by time over 90% would be Natalie Portman.
"And to be clear Natalie did dance on pointe in pointe shoes. If you look at the final shot of the opening prologue, which lasts 85 seconds, and was danced completely by Natalie, she exits the scene on pointe. That is completely her without any digital magic. I am responding to this to put this to rest and to defend my actor. Natalie sweated long and hard to deliver a great physical and emotional performance. And I don’t want anyone to think that’s not her they are watching. It is.”
'Superman' gets his gal
First off, I couldn't get through a day on the internet without hearing someone carp about the sexism and nutty-but-not-in-a-good-way problem with "Sucker Punch." And then comes the news of "Superman" casting. Amy Adams will play Lois Lane.
"A cougar!" claimed many, probably many who deemed "Sucker Punch" sexist.
Here's a way to describe the (gasp!) 8 year age difference via The Playlist:
"After a brief departure in 'Superman Returns,' where Kate Bosworth was 23 to Brandon Routh‘s 26 years old, they are returning to the popular dynamic of Lane being a smidgen older (and, likely, more professional) than Clark Kent, as Adams, 36, is paired with an actor, Henry Cavill, nearly a decade younger. Rowr. Adams follows in the footsteps of actresses like Bosworth, Margot Kidder, Erica Durance, Teri Hatcher and, apparently, Uma Thurman, who plays a “Lois Lane” in the star-studded upcoming comedy anthology 'Movie 43.'"
Who will reign supreme over the weekend?
That's Zack Snyder's "Sucker Punch" vs. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules."
"Sucker Punch" is getting the split treatment from critics -- hailing it messy, artistic fun or simply, messy, shallow fun. I have yet to see the film, but as a fan of Snyder and a fan of movies in which the lead character is named Baby Doll (well in the Elia Kazan movie anyway), I will opt for "Sucker Punch." Though the title sounds like it should be a bit more grindhouse than the trailer appears.
Here's some discussion regarding how these two movies are tracking. THR thinks "Sucker Punch" will beat out "Wimpy Kid" but, then, with family friendly fare, you never know:
"The number of wide releases opening this weekend at the domestic box office slows down to two titles: 20th Century Fox’s sequel 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules' and Zack Snyder's action-fantasy 'Sucker Punch' from Warner Bros.
"Tracking suggests 'Sucker Punch' will open north of $20 million, while the 'Rodrick Rules' is projected to gross in the mid teens. However, family friendly films often overperform.
With the idea of Michael Shannon ...
If this is indeed true, Zack Snyder's reboot of "Superman" is becoming a lot more interesting: Especially regarding the newest generation's Brad Dourif/Christopher Walken/but completely his own wonderful beast, to possibly be cast.
Here's the word from The Playlist:
"Well, here's the best idea we've heard all day. This morning the rumor mill started around Zack Snyder's "Superman" again with word that Edgar Ramirez ('Carlos') was being considered for a villain role in the upcoming film. Well, another actor has now emerged--someone who is perhaps one of the finest character actors working right now.
"Deadline reports that Michael Shannon--probably best known to mainstream auds for his turn in "Revolutionary Road"--is being eyed for a baddie role as well in 'Superman.' Of course, details are thin to non-existent."
Liz is late ...
Like the last of a kind, and in her case, one of a kind, old school movie star that she was, she knew the power of being fashionably late. Even to her own funeral.
From the AP:
"Elizabeth Taylor's funeral started late - just the way the screen legend wanted it.
"Her family held a brief private service Thursday at a Southern California cemetery famous for being the final resting place of Hollywood celebrities, including her good friend Michael Jackson.
But the funeral began 15 minutes after its announced start time in observance of the actress' parting wish, according to her publicist, Sally Morrison.
"She left instructions asking for the tardy start and had requested that someone announce, 'She even wanted to be late for her own funeral,' Morrison said."
She can act too ...
But regardless, enough people have called her on the who is dancing through most of the movie question, that her dance choreographer/on screen partner/real life fiancee (Benjamin Millepied) has made a point of addressing it.
His answer: Calm down and get off her case. Portman did a lot of the dancing.
Here's more from the Huffington Post:
"Millepied is featured in a new Los Angeles Times article that focuses on both his career in dance and his relationship with Portman. The French-born former dance prodigy personally instructed Portman in her film dancing and even wrote her routine. The accusations are baseless, he says.
"'It was so believable, it was fantastic, that beautiful movement quality," he told the paper. "There are articles now talking about her dance double that are making it sound like [Sarah Lane, her body double] did a lot of the work, but really, she just did the footwork, and the fouettés, and one diagonal [phrase] in the studio. Honestly, 85% of that movie is Natalie.'"
The making of 'Cleopatra'
For a fun dose of film history, this is a juicy page turner (or mouse clicker) that's as entertaining as it is educational.
As the intro states (and to add and update, should also include the Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt achievement, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith"):
"Forget 'Titanic': the most expensive movie ever made opened 35 years ago. It took $44 million (about $300 million today), two directors, two separate casts, and two and a half years of on-and-off filming in England, Italy, Egypt, and Spain to bring 'Cleopatra,' Twentieth Century Fox’s lavish, eyeball-popping spectacle, to the screen. David Kamp relives an epic folly that was eclipsed only by the international furor over the scandalous romance of its stars, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton."
The Clean Speech ...
Here's more details from Coming Soon:
"The Weinstein Company has announced that the studio will release a PG-13 version of 'The King's Speech' on April 1st:
"The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that 'The King's Speech,' the family-friendly version of its Academy Award-winning historical drama about King George VI, will open on 1,000 screens nationwide on April 1, and will be the only version available in theatres.
"One of the year's most celebrated, successful and beloved films, THE KING'S SPEECH was honored at the 83rd Academy Awards with Oscars for Best Picture, to producers Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin; Best Director, to helmer Tom Hooper; Best Actor, to star Colin Firth; and Best Original Screenplay, to screenwriter David Seidler. The announcement was made by TWC's President of Theatrical Distribution and Home Entertainment Eric Lomis.
"Said Lomis, 'We are thankful to the MPAA for their wisdom and swift action in approving the release of THE KING'S SPEECH PG-13 release. The action enables those to whom it speaks most directly - young people who are troubled by stuttering, bullying and similar trials -- to see it.'