In this morning’s roundup of movie news ‘n’ notes from around the web, two directors say too much, and another just can’t finish his movie.
I think we’ve got a neck-and-neck battle going on between directors who don’t know when to stop talking. In one corner: James Cameron, who keeps finding new reasons why “The Hurt Locker” beat “Avatar” at the Oscars, instead of being gracious and refusing to position the choice as an injustice. In the other corner, M. Night Shyamalan (below), who’s adding to his reputation for hubris this week in an interview with the Independent Television News, the thrust of which is that U.S. critics just don’t get him because of the “European sensibility” in his movies. (If someone would like to show me the European sensibility in “The Last Airbender,” I’m eager to be enlightened.) In Japan, he adds, they think he’s a genius. Hmm … James Cameron may need to pick up his game. (ITN)
Todd McCarthy, after spending two weeks watching 70 films as part of the selection committee for the New York Film Festival, writes about his “two weeks in the dark." Mostly, he teases: he says the festival has “at least four authentically great films” on its schedule, but only reveals the names of two, and “three or four entries I’m not wild about,” but only admits to not liking Godard’s “Film Socialisme.” But the big news is that the committee’s experience of waiting for Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” has left McCarthy convinced that the film won’t be ready until the 2011 Cannes Film Festival at the earliest. And if that’s true, I guess we can kiss off Malick going into production on that Ben Affleck/Rachel Weisz/Javier Bardem movie in October. (Todd McCarthy’s Deep Focus)
Anne Thompson reads a recent report of Academy Awards buzz for actress Noomi Rapace, star of the Swedish “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” movies, and concludes (rightly, I’d say) that that her Oscar chances are considerably slimmer than some gushy stories from (apparently) Rapace’s agents would have us believe. As Thompson points out, campaigns are expensive, the Best Actress competition is formidable already, and the movie is hardly typical Oscar fare. But, she adds, it’s certainly good business to be spreading stories like this when Rapace is in town … (Thompson on Hollywood)
On the other hand, Erik Childress surveys the Best Actress race and decides that Rapace has a shot, at least among actresses whose films have already been shown. If the nominations came out next week, he thinks she could be among the top five (along with Julianne Moore, Jennifer Lawrence, Greta Gerwig and Katie Jarvis, at least two of whom are severe longshots). Of course, that's a mighty big if, considering that about 80 percent of the year's Oscar-bait movies have yet to be released. And Childress sees some heavy-hitters lurking: Anne Hathaway, Diane Lane, Hilary Swank, Reese Witherspoon … (Cinematical)