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Going Straight: Comedic Actors in Dramatic Roles…

New pictures from I, Alex Cross were introduced over the weekend. If you aren’t familiar with it, don’t worry – it’s an upcoming adaptation of an Alex Cross novel, the same series that gave us Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. While Along Came Spider wasn’t anything special, Kiss the Girls was a fairly decent nineties serial killer film, if not quite on the level of it obvious influences in The Silence of the Lambs and se7en. There were two surprises in these shots. The first was how incredibly freaky Matthew Fox looked – he looks pretty damn scary, so respect to Fox for pulling off that transformation. The second surprise was just how convincing Tyler Perry looked in the lead role. Perry is the latest in a long line of comedic actors looking to expand their range, and I can’t help but wonder why so many comedic performers tend to branch out so far.

Not a man you want to Cross…

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Can an Indie be too popular for the Oscars?

We are well and truly in Oscar season, in case you didn’t pick up on the Toronto International Film Festival as the kick-off of events (in fairness, it’s been going on longer than that – Oscar season is like Christmas advertising, it gets earlier every year. It’s fun the way that (even at this stage) every minor bump in the road for any picture is seen as potentially the end of its run. I’m not an Oscar-ologist, so I will concede I’m outside my field of expertise. It’s stunning that the perceived snubbing of perceived Oscar-lock Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (heck of a title, there) at the Gotham Awards. It’s got a lot of film critics and Oscar-watchers pondering if the mainstream support that stars like new Academy member Tyler Perry and Oscar-nominee Oprah Winfrey may have actually harmed it. Are AMPAS such snobs that a showing of support from Oprah can ground a film’s chances?

Cruising for a bruising at Oscar season?

Cruising for a bruising at Oscar season?

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Welcome to the Academy!

Wow.

The Academy might actually be serious about changing things. I was indifferent about the expansion of the Best Picture category, and a bit miffed about the demotion of the Honorary Awards to an event outside the regular show, but today’s list of new members of the Academy gives me a little cause for hope. These are the people who will vote on the nominees in coming years and I’m actually surprised: I recognise most of the names. Don’t get me wrong, these are only 134 new members in an organisation of 5000. This announcement by itself won’t move the Oscars back to the centre of popular culture where they belong, but – if the Academy can stick to its guns on this one – it may prove a better way of incorporating mainstream tastes than simply doubling the size of the Academy’s net.

Marlon Brando with his trophy... and his Oscar...

Marlon Brando with his trophy... and his Oscar...

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