OWF's FILMOETER # 1 - Natalie Portman's BLACK SWAN

A regular look at what€™s hot and what€™s not in the wild, weird and ever changing world of Hollywood.



At the 2011 Palms Springs Festival "talk of the town" actress Natalie Portman picked up the Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award for her critically acclaimed lead turn as a ballerina in Darren Aronofsky€™s Black Swan. Portman has been generating strong Oscar buzz ever since the film first premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September and both herself and four time Oscar nominee Annette Benning (The Kids Are alright) are seen as certainties for the lead actress nominees at the Academy Awards which are to be announced later this month on Tuesday, January 25th. A win at the Palms Springs Festival is certainly a good start for Natalie Portman, (one of the few child star success stories) as the pregnant actress begins her Oscar campaign. €”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€“


COEN BROTHERS ON CRITICAL AND COMMERCIAL FIRE Despite a surprising Golden Globes snub the Coen Brothers have seen their latest Western Offering True Grit achieve resounding critical and commercial success with the film achieving a 95% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and coming within just $200,000 dollars (at time of press) of the $100 million dollar mark at the US Box Office. The Coens have also been nominated for an adapted screenplay at the Writer€™s Guild of America Award where they face stiff competition from 127 Hours, The Social Network and The Town. €”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€“


OUT OF FORM LEGEND DE NIRO ANNOUNCED AS PRESIDENT FOR CANNES It has been confirmed that Robert De Niro will be acting as president of the Cannes Film Festival for the third time in his illustrious career. Though undoubtedly a cinematic icon, it is somewhat ironic that an actor currently seen tarnishing his legacy in the film Little Fockers will be responsible for helping to choose between some of the world€™s best films in Cannes. Here€™s hoping that having to sit down and watch a string of great films will remind Robert De Niro of what quality actually is. For a man who once said that "the talent is in the choices" he hasn't listened to his own advice very well over the past decade. €”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€“


NICOLAS CAGE ADDS ANOTHER STINKER TO HIS HALL OF SHAME Although audiences seem to have generally approved of recent kids flick Season of the Witch with a 6.2 average rating on the IMDB and a 60% audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes the latter website has also seen the film rewarded with a mind-numbingly awful 4% percent fresh reviews from the voice of the critics. This means that lead star and Academy Award Winner Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas - 1996) adds yet another low rating to his diabolical RT Curriculum Vitae which includes such classics as Trapped in Paradise (10%), The Wicker Man (15%), Next (28%), Bangkok Dangerous (9%) and the film Deadfall, which couldn€™t even yield a single positive review. Cage when at the top of his game and working with a creative minded director Cage can pull out a cracking performance but it has to be asked as to whether there is any other male actor out there who also contributes as much dross to the cinematic medium. €”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€“


THE TOURIST IS A BOX OFFICE FLOP Sony / Columbia have seen their extravagant, $100 million budget picture The Tourist perform very meakly at the Box Office in spite of the hot attraction of popular lead superstars Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie (whose paycheques were probably responsible for at least half the film€™s financing). The film has limped close to the $60 million mark domestically and has only made a profit thanks to overseas ticket sales which have landed the studio $122.8 million dollars in total worldwide. It seems people weren€™t too thrilled at the prospect of watching glamorous actors take a paid holiday in Venice as they contributed little to an uninspiring, lazy and formulaic Hollywood remake. Sony / Columbia must be annoyed although luckily for them they can rely on the revamped Spiderman franchise to raise their fortunes in the coming years. €”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€”€“


LINDSAY LOHAN IN ALL KINDS OF TROUBLE Lindsay Lohan has been released from rehab but could very well return to jail for her assault of a fired employee of the Betty Ford Centre. As if things couldn€™t get worse for the once promising performer she was also recently fired from the picture Inferno in which she portrayed infamous porn star Linda Lovelace. It seems unlikely that too many film productions are going to want to take a chance on an actress who is so unhinged and unreliable and whose future looks both psychologically and physically uncertain. Owing tons of money to friends and more than 350 grand on credit cards Lohan has resorted to making a deal with clothes brands and beauty manufacturers to advertise their company on twitter where the actress has close to one and a half million followers. That's all for now but check back for more from The Filmometer soon.
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