CARNAGE – News/reviews

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  • Scottferguson
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    #40149

    This had its US premiere Friday night at the NYFF. Manohla Dargis in the NYTimes and the Village Voice were both very favorable in their festival articles (not full reviews yet). I talked to a critic friend who went to the formal press screening, and said the film there had at best a mixed response, and he had the sense from the opening night party that the same was true for the premiere screenings (little buzz for the film, unlike last year when the rapturous response for The Social Network was evident).

    My guess is that this is going to be an iffy Oscar contender, maybe still possible in one or more acting categories, but ultimately, this will do much better outside the US. We’ll see.

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    DD
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    #40151

    CARNAGE (2011) – director: Roman Polanski

    Stage to screen adaptations are sometimes problematic. Fortunately, Polanksi avoids many of the issues that plague Broadway play adaptations. Polanski’s choice of shots and Alexandre Desplat’s tasteful music highlight this adaptation about two married couples who bicker over their children’s behavior.
    At 80 mins, the film is brisk, funny and entertaining. For the most part, all of the actors—Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz—are solid. Occassionally, Foster, Winslet and Reilly veer into shouty, over-the-top acting, but Waltz is easily the standout here. His character’s dry humor and Waltz’s stoic expressions serve the actor well. Unlike some of his co-stars, his drunk scenes are well played. Besides an occassional over the top moment and a weak climax, this is a fun way to spend an hour and a half.
    I don’t think this one will be a huge Oscar player. I’d be surprised if American audiences embraced this film. At best, the film will receive an adapted screenplay nod and an acting nod or two. Waltz and Winslet give the strongest performances here. Also, all four of these actors should be campaigned in the lead categories.

    MY GRADE: B

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    Scottferguson
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    #40152

    The reaction to the performances is all over the place. Manohla Dargis in the NYT said Foster was far and away the best.
    This will only serve to complicate things, although I suspect Foster – not having been nominated in a while – might be better positioned.

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    DD
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    #40153

    The reaction to the performances is all over the place. Manohla Dargis in the NYT said Foster was far and away the best.
    This will only serve to complicate things, although I suspect Foster – not having been nominated in a while – might be better positioned.

    Foster does have some fantastic moments, but she also has a few that ring false.

    With that said, I agree with you. There may be some Winslet fatigue since she has been nominated four times in the past decade. Waltz just won, too, so that could possibly hurt him in earning a follow up nomination for a film that will quickly come and go.

    I think Reilly will only factor in if he is, inexplicably, pushed for supporting. I’d be shocked if he managed to get a lead nod for this film. The lead race is overcrowded with marquee names and bigger performances.

    The lead actress race is pretty competitive, too, but a strong campaign and veteran status could equal a comeback nod for Foster.

    Btw – I forgot to mention; Foster has, by far, the most unlikable character here. That could possibly hurt her.

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    Brilliance inmorbid
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    #40154

    Most reviews say Foster is the weakest link, and Waltz and Winslet are the bright spots.

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    Tye-Grr
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    #40155

    Most reviews say Foster is the weakest link, and Waltz and Winslet are the bright spots.

    I’ve been reading as much as well, particularly Waltz. But I doubt any of them will get in at this point unless they pull category fraud and throw Winslet and Waltz in supporting. 

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    dannyboy.
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    #40156

    Why on Earth was Marcia Gay Harden not reprising her Tony-winning role? Is an Academy Award not enough to establish herself as a film actress? Ridiculous!

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    Scottferguson
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    #40157

    It’s enough to establish herself as an actress, but not enough to make her a financial draw, particularly when most of the business for this French film will be in Europe, where she is basically unknown.

    And in any event, she did not originate the role. It was first performed in Zurich in 2006. When it first became a big deal, in Paris, Isabelle Huppert played the role. Why not decry that she isn’t in it either?

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    Tye-Grr
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    #40158

    It’s enough to establish herself as an actress, but not enough to make her a financial draw, particularly when most of the business for this French film will be in Europe, where she is basically unknown.

    And in any event, she did not originate the role. It was first performed in Zurich in 2006. When it first became a big deal, in Paris, Isabelle Huppert played the role. Why not decry that she isn’t in it either?

    Maybe he didn’t know. You think of that?  

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    Scottferguson
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    #40159

    I didn’t know either. But most people know that the NY production came after several others. It’s not like Harden created the role. Several actresses preceded her.

    Harden has kept busy since her Oscar, including recent years, with a lot of TV appearances as well as movies. But she hasn’t appeared in a big deal movie since Into the Wild. She might be most familiar (assuming it showed over there) in Europe for her role in the recent Amanda Knox cable film. That doesn’t put her in the same league as the four actors cast (including Reilly, although of course he doesn’t have the same draw/stature as the other three).

    Also, at 52, he might have been seen as a bit on the old side for the role on film.

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    Tye-Grr
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    #40160

    I didn’t know either. But most people know that the NY production came after several others. It’s not like Harden created the role. Several actresses preceded her.

    Perhaps not everyone knows. I myself didn’t know that either. So maybe you shouldn’t just assume that everyone’s knowledge is so vast as yours, as hard as that might be for you to believe.  

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    Scottferguson
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    #40161

    I didn’t assume that at all. My guess is that anyone who knows theatre well enough to be aware of Harden’s having done the role on Broadway does know that. And as I said, whatever you say about my supposed vast knowledge, I didn’t know who played the role before myself until I check it out.

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    Tye-Grr
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    #40162

    my supposed vast knowledge

    I’m just glad you said it.  

    It was more about the way you said it, as if he should’ve known, despite the fact that you yourself just learned that. Anyways, I’m not going to highjack this thread any longer. 

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    Scottferguson
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    #40163

    Tye-Grr, I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, one of the delights of this site is how much I learn from other people. I’m happy to give back in return.

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    babypook
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    #40164
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