Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Emma Thompson 2014 Golden Globes

Another Golden Globes is behind us, and what have we learned? The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is full of surprises. Do they really think Jon Voight is great in Ray Donovan, or will they simply always love him for making Angelina Jolie? Speaking of whom, she and husband Brad Pitt were very much missed this year, even with Pitt getting the last shoutout of the night in appreciation for all he did for getting 12 Years a Slave produced — didn’t the show basically end like the awards ceremony equivalent of that controversial Italian poster for the movie? I may have done really embarrassingly awful with my predictions this year — 11 out of 15 total, 6 out of 14 for movies and 5 out 11 for television — so we’ll see if I’m allowed to do that again next year. Hopefully my live-tweeting was more successful. Give me some feedback, positive or scathing. And also see if you agree with my picks for the best parts of this year’s ceremony and telecast below.

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Cate Blanchett NY Times clip (Screengrab)

The experiment seems healthy enough. Take 10 incredible performers from 2013, get random lines of dialogue from 10 other creatives, snag some shoot time with Janusz Kaminski and deliver something poetic for the end of the year. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the results of The New York Times Magazine “Making a Scene” project are an eyebrow-stretching blend of unintentional hilariousness and forced high art importance. Make no mistake, Kaminski knows how to shoot. We’ve known that since (at least) Schindler’s List, and a reminder is always welcomed, but it’s disheartening to see so much talent utilized in the pursuit of whatever is going on here. In one scene Cate Blanchett sits down to a delicious fish in a pristine setting, utters a line provided by mumblecore maven Andrew Bujalski, then throws herself back against the bench with Norma Desmond-esque gusto. In another, Bradley Cooper rage dances in a puddle. Thanks to Greta Gerwig and Adele Exarchopoulos there are two (two!) shorts where women act manically before saying something idiosyncratic and losing control. Bonus points go to Gerwig for saying her dialogue to a taxidermied bear.

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Chances are there are quite a few things that James Gandolfini is going to be remembered for as an actor. But if there’s one big thing that really defines the bulk of his performances, it’s how he was always able to let little bits of vulnerability and sensitivity shine through, even as he was mostly being defined as a hulking, physically intimidating presence. Well, one of the last films Gandolfini made before he passed away, Enough Said, seems to take those smaller aspects of his personality and bring them completely to the forefront in order to make him a romantic lead. Gone completely is that element of danger that often comes from a Gandolfini performance, and in its place is a guy who comes off as a huggable sad sack. I mean, really, just try to get through the scenes here where Julia Louis-Dreyfus is picking on him for his eating habits without wanting to pat his head and give him a balloon. It’s impossible.

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enough_said_header

It’s barely been a month since James Gandolfini died very suddenly of a heart attack, and though the world continues to mourn, the star had shot two films before he passed away, both of which await release. Today, Fox Searchlight Pictures has provided both a poster and a release date for Gandolfini’s second to last film, Enough Said. The film will hit theaters on September 20, 2013, and the poster is here.

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Channel Guide - Large

Ah, Elaine Benes. The spastic dancing, the contraceptive sponge hoarding, the big wall o’ hair. She’s the Seinfeld character nearest to my heart, which speaks both to the deep admiration I have for uncouth women with practical, somewhat masculine taste in footwear and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ endearingly brassy performance. Though there was never any reason to doubt her talent during the ‘90s, in my eyes, no TV character that Louis-Dreyfus tackled post-Seinfeld was going to come close to matching iconic Elaine. At first, this stubborn assessment (originally made when I was a very self-possessed 17-year-old) seemed on point, but then the trailer for her new HBO series Veep was released last week. Even though the comedy isn’t set to premiere until April, it already looks like we have another classic Louis-Dreyfus character on our hands. In other words, if TV shows were potential lovers, Veep would be looking pretty sponge-worthy right about now.

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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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