Archive for December, 2011

Patton Oswalt: Serious Oscar Contender

December 15th, 2011 by under News. No Comments.

Of all the wacky stories in this year’s Oscar race, perhaps none is more unlikely than the fact that America’s bard of nerddom, comedian Patton Oswalt, finds himself a very serious contender to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor—one of this year’s most competitive categories—for his role in Young Adult, the new film from the Juno duo, director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody. But after years of mocking Hollywood’s foibles as a stand-up, and leading a band of ill-shapen misfits from the sidelines, Oswalt, the cherub-faced comic, may very well have earned himself a seat at the Oscars ceremony against other possible contenders no less notable than Christopher Plummer, Max Von Sydow, Nick Nolte, Ben Kingsley, and Kenneth Branagh.

Before an audience of his friends, fellow comedians, and family in a screening room on the Paramount lot for a first peek at Young Adult, a humbled Oswalt stood in front of the assembled to introduce this major leap into the world of Serious Acting. Addressing the crowd, he said, “Young Adult will open nationwide on Dec. 9. Tonight sit back and enjoy Human Centipede.” Pause. “I need you to see the film the way I saw it.”

The character in question may go down as the most nuanced and heartbreaking portrayal of the nerd dilemma ever committed to film. Oswalt plays Matt Freehauf, a man festering in the literal and psychic wounds of high school, an experience that ended with his being beaten by a group of jocks, leaving him permanently disabled. Wallowing in his resentments while living within sight of his tragedy, Oswalt slams into Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron), his high school’s former prom queen and doyen of his tormentors. As obsessed by her youth, in her way, as Matt is, Mavis has returned home to reclaim her now happily married high school boyfriend.

Read the rest at The Daily Beast


The Rough Post-Friends Path for its Once Mighty Writers Room Alums

December 15th, 2011 by under News. No Comments.

ext month, a new sitcom called “Work It,” about two out-of-work salesmen who dress up as women to get jobs, will make its debut on ABC. There’s nothing new about the premise — Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari covered the same ground on the early-80s sitcom “Bosom Buddies” — and the tone isn’t exactly novel either. The stars of the show, Ben Koldyke and Amaury Nolasco, are operating in the prevailing frat-boy mode perfected by Bradley Cooper and Seann William Scott.

In May, an 84-second trailer of “Work It” hit the Internet, instantly attracting more blogger rage than most shows accumulate over the course of several seasons. Gobsmacked by the very fact that “This got made! And is going to series!”, The Futon Critic lambasted the show’s “limp attempts at misogyny,” “groan worthy madcappery” and “Mrs. Doubtfire hijinx.”

The Best Week Ever blog took special umbrage at the network’s attempt to position the series as “high concept”: “Holy moly, ABC. If you’re going to put a terrible show on the air, the least you could do is not try to make two bumbling fools dressed up like women for cheap laughs a ‘high concept’ in which the guys become moral compasses. It’s not the iconic Louie poker scene, for heavens sake.” The Dallas Transgender Activists Alliance launched a petition to keep “Work It” off the air, and a blogger for the Gay Voices section of The Huffington Post predicted that the series would face summary cancelation, “not because the content is offensive to queers, but because the show itself is just bad.” (ABC did not respond to requests for comment.)

(Read the rest at Huffington Post entertainment)