Before Midnight is director Richard Linklater’s latest installment in his Before series starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. If you’ve already seen Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, then you already know and love these characters. In fact, you’ve probably been counting down the days till you get to see the next snapshot of their lives. And if you’re part of the Lara and the Reel Boy, you’re excited to see what Ethan Hawke’s facial hair looks like too. And if you’re one particular part of Lara and the Reel Boy, you got to see that up close and personal.
Today is my birthday. That means that I can talk about whatever I want in Facial Hair Friday. I mean, I can always talk about whatever I want. But I usually try to keep it with something that is happening in movie news. Or something.
But not today. As it is my birthday, I want to talk about my favorite bearded actor. Sir Sean Connery.
I have been eagerly awaiting every tiny piece of news that comes out of Marvel Studios about the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film. For those not in the know, Guardians is going to be the followup to The Avengers and it will lead into The Avengers 2. It will also more than likely feature Thanos as the villian. He’s the big purple space dude that you see after the credits in The Avengers.
Sidenote – The fact that they are tying all of these movies together like they are a series of Saturday morning cartoons is the most thrilling thing in the world to the twelve year old that I still secretly am.
Anyway, the big piece of news this week was that they had cast the leader of the team. The Guardians are made of several different aliens (including a giant tree and a hyper intelligent raccoon who loves explosives) and one human astronaut who ends up on the other side of the galaxy. This astronaut is Peter Quill, who goes by the name Star-Lord. I was a little bit worried about who they were going to cast because Star-Lord is the perfect combination of badass and funny. And that’s hard to find. But Marvel Studios knocked it out of the park with this one. Your next Marvel Super-Hero is none other than Mr. Chris Pratt (and his fabulous beard).
One of the movies that we are most excited about debuting at SXSW Film Festival is Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. A little film starring girls from the Disney channel who go crazy over spring break, rob a bank, and start hanging out with a corn-rowed drug dealer played by James Franco. And it just so happens that Mr. Franco has some pretty disgusting facial hair to go along with his corn rows.
Oscar nominations are out! And while I could use this platform to complain about who I really wanted in the race and how outrageous it is that the score for Cloud Atlas was snubbed, I’m going to just look at one aspect of yesterday’s announcements. The thing that most took me off guard: this year’s contenders for Best Director.
Over the past decade or so, (with the exception of the controversial Ang Lee / Traffic year, as well as Roman Polanski / Chicago) the Best Picture winner has been completely synonymous with the Best Director. This has really hindered the excitement and surprise of the final, most coveted award, “Ok, Tom Hooper won, so The King’s Speech is gonna take Best Picture over The Social Network. Yay.” It’s been pretty formulaic and disappointing, because they DON’T ALWAYS have to go hand in hand. And this year it doesn’t look like they will.
This year the films that have been most talked about for Best Picture winner: Argo, Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty don’t even have their head honchos in the running! And those aren’t just first-time filmmakers– each has been nominated or won in the past. For these 85th Academy Awards we have two fresh faces: Benh Zeitlin, who at only 30 years old is up for his first feature film, The Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Michael Haneke, a 70 year old, Austrian veteran who is just getting the Oscars’ attention for Amour. There is also David O. Russell, who is brought back for the second time after The Fighter two years ago, and our wonderful veterans, Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg. And let’s face it. Steven has done so much for film, he should be nominated yearly. Whether or not he’s made a new movie. But I digress… Though I’m a bit miffed that Quentin Tarantino and Ben Affleck didn’t get nods, I still think it’s pretty rad that there’s such an amalgamation of Directors contending this year, and that they aren’t positively going to be taking home the Best Film Oscar.
And here I was going to make a collage of all the competitors, assuming they would be have beards, as all good directors do (with the exception of the lady ones, of course*). But instead only TWO of the fellows are scruffy, and so they are the ones who get to feature on this week’s Facial Hair Friday.
Ang Lee, David O. Russell, Benh Zeitlin – GET ON IT.
Glad for something different,
*I must say, as happy as I was to have a female director finally take home the Oscar a few years ago, I’m quite relieved that Kathryn Bigelow isn’t even competing this year. Zero Dark Thirty looks almost exactly the same as The Hurt Locker! I mean, to have someone win for two consecutive modern war films– I couldn’t take it.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: when cocoa and conifers perfume the air and our lives become occupied by gifts and Jesus and love. And Christmas movies. A yearly essential in the holiday season, of course, is Home Alone as well as its : Lost in New York follow-up. And no matter how many times I watch them (1 or 2 X every December for 20 years= 1,000 viewings) the second movie doesn’t get any less ridiculous. Strike that: the more I see them the more ridiculous Home Alone 2 becomes. The first half is much like the original film, filled with mischief and magic and Kevin judging a scary-looking person and taking it back in the safest lesson for kids ever– but then something happens in the second hour. Kevin, who in the first film was merely trying to protect himself and his house, crosses the line to the dark side. Though he could just call the cops on the Sticky Bandits, he instead lures them to a booby-trap riddled, abandoned mansion of torture. The violence starts off with a bang, as Kevin HURLS bricks at Marv’s face from three stories up– and it only gets worse from there. The ability to withstand such life-threatening torment has lead me to believe that Marv–who really gets it worse than Harry, let’s admit it–is superhuman. The reason (most definitely probably): his facial hair.
Such glorious chops, such a velvety mustache and beard. This, and the power of Chanukah, I believe are the reasons why Harry has stamina even Superman would envy. I mean, he survives sucking brick, falling down a giant hole repeatedly, drinking paint, plummeting from three stories up, a giant medal rod to the face, and, let’s not forget, electrocution. That, truly, is the high/low point of all the hijinx. This gangly doof gets electrocuted to the point of TURNING INTO A SKELETON AND SINGING OPERA and lives to tell the tale! Remarkable.
Happy Chanukah, Marv,
Several very impressive looking trailers debuted this week. And all of them had at least a little bit of facial hair in them. Around here, that’s enough of an excuse to post almost anything.
So, here’s Morgan Freeman, and he has a beard. This is from the trailer to the new film Oblivion. It stars Freeman and Tom Cruise, and its directed by Joseph Kosinski (Tron Legacy).
He looks pretty awesome there. And the movie looks pretty awesome as well. Its been a long time since I was excited about a Tom Cruise movie, but a cool looking sci-fi movie that’s not a remake or a reboot or a sequel definitely grabs my attention. Here’s the trailer: