The acclaimed auteur discusses the making of his wacky, delightful comedy-caper, from his detailed filmmaking process—storyboarding the whole film through animatics—to grand feasts with his A-list cast in Görlitz.
Wes Anderson is alert. We’re seated across from one another in the bowels of a hotel in Downtown Manhattan, and the twee Texan is delicately balancing an espresso. He’s fresh off a plane from Paris—the self-admitted Francophile divides his time between the City of Lights and the Big Apple—and is talking a mile a minute, like an excitable kid bursting with ideas.
He has reason to be jazzed. Anderson’s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is his most intoxicating confection to date; a gleeful meld of his sardonic wit, pastel-infused palette, and polite brand of anarchy. Set in the fictional Republic of Zubrowska, an eastern European nation torn apart by war and oppression, the story-within-a-story-within-a-story begins in 1932, and follows the gonzo travails of Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), dashing concierge of the titular hotel. He’s a dandy—a cross between Peter O’Toole and Zsa Zsa Gabor—who, in addition to being “the most liberally-perfumed” man ever, has a penchant for bedding octogenarians.
Wesley Wales "Wes" Anderson is an American film director, screenwriter, actor, and producer of features, short films and commercials. (Gareth McConnell/eyevine/Redux)
When one of his elderly squeezes, Madame D (Tilda Swinton, in heavy aging makeup), croaks, it sets off a series of crazy events involving his new lobby boy, Zero (newcomer Tony Revolori), a priceless stolen painting called “Boy with Apple,” prison breaks, an SS-like squadron, shoot-outs, murderous henchman, and more. Or, in the words of SNL’s Stefon: “This film has everything.”
Could getting fired from ‘SNL’ boost an actress’s career? That seems to be the case for the Trophy Wife star who’s quickly become Hollywood’s most in-demand scene-stealer.
“I do like to play people I wouldn’t want to spend five minutes in a room with,” says Trophy Wife star Michaela Watkins.
It’s a good thing, too, considering the treasure trove of hilarious scene-stealing—and wacky blunt, and sometimes maddeningly annoying—characters the actress has unleashed on us since breaking out in 2008 during her infamously (and unjustly) short year on Saturday Night Live. (Remember those “Bitch, pleeeze” sketches?)
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In a bi-partisan effort to bring Oscar-winning attention to patients who require additional treatment, Dems and GOPs lobby to pass a possible life-saving legislation.
In the much-acclaimed movie Dallas Buyers Club, a man dying of AIDS smuggles illegal drugs from Mexico, defies the Federal Drug Administration and its jackbooted agents, and succeeds in prolonging his life, and the lives of others. The Hollywood screenplay is based on the true story of an AIDS patient who created and carried out the audacious scheme in the 1980’s, when the virus was ravaging the gay community and people were desperate for access to life-saving drugs.
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Thirty years later, medication to treat AIDS is legal and widely available, but there are many other drugs that people suffering from all kinds of terminal illnesses would like to gain access to but are being denied by an FDA bound to federal guidelines about health and safety. Enter the Goldwater Institute, a think tank devoted to the free market and libertarian principles of its namesake, the GOP’s 1964 presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater, and its “Right to Try” bill.
Within 30 seconds of locking eyes on each other, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love were tussling on the floor.
Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love first locked eyes on each other at eleven in the evening on Friday, January 12, 1990, and within 30 seconds they were tussling on the floor. The setting was the Satyricon, a small, dimly lit nightclub in Portland, Oregon. Kurt was there for a Nirvana gig; Courtney had come with a friend who was dating a member of the opening band, the wonderfully named Oily Bloodmen. Already infamous in Portland, Love was holding court in a booth when she saw Kurt walk by a few minutes before his band was set to appear onstage. Courtney was wearing a red polka-dot dress. “You look like Dave Pirner,” she said to him, meaning the remark to sound like a small insult, but also a flirt. Kurt did look a bit like Pirner, the lead singer of Soul Asylum, as his hair had grown long and tangled—he washed it just once a week, and then only with bar soap. Kurt responded with a flirt of his own: He grabbed Courtney and wrestled her to the ground. “It was in front of the jukebox,” Courtney remembered, “which was playing my favorite song by Living Color. There was beer on the floor.” She was glad her comment had gotten attention, but she hadn’t expected to be pinned to the floor by this little waif of a boy. For his part, Kurt hadn’t counted on his opponent being so tough: She was three inches taller than he was, and stronger. Without his high-school wrestling experience, she might have won the tussle. But the roll on the floor was all in jest, and he pulled her up with his arms and gave her a peace offering—a sticker of Chim Chim, the “Speed Racer” monkey he had made his mascot.
Kurt Cobain of rock band Nirvana, wife Courtney Love holding daughter Frances Bean Cobain at "MTV-Video Music Awards". (Marcel Noecker/dpa/Corbis)
Kurt later would say he was immediately attracted to Love: “I probably wanted to fuck her that night, but she left.” But the day he met Courtney, he still had a girlfriend, and she was with him. But the connection between Kurt and Courtney was sexual: Wrestling was a fetish of Kurt’s, and an opponent as worthy as Courtney was a major turn-on.
Hollywood gives the son of god chiseled cheekbones and buns of steel. But what if—based on anthropological study of first-century Galilean males—Jesus had the build of a teenage girl?
How many new and different versions of the Jesus story can the medium of film accommodate? Judging by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s new film Son of God, not too many: this is the traditional, predictable, stripped-down niceness taught in Sunday schools and nativity plays. But for a bare-bones presentation of Jesus, there sure seems to be a lot of flesh on screen—and what attractive flesh it is. With carefully styled hair, omnipresent smile, and sparkly eyes that say, “I see into your soul,” Diogo Morgado’s Jesus really puts the carnal in incarnate.
It’s not just me, I assure you: the Portuguese actor playing the Son of God has inspired the twitter hashtag #HotJesus. CNN anchor Carol Costello confessed to “gawking” at the actor. When CNN is getting hot and bothered for Jesus, that in itself is newsworthy.
Cumberbatch photobombs! Leto photobombs! And many, many selfies.
‘Adele Dazim?’ Yeah…not even close, John. From Elizabeth Taylor to James Franco, see more award show fails.
John Travolta butchered the Frozen singer’s name so badly. “Adele Dazim?” Yeah…not even close, John. He was actually going for Idina Menzel. Don’t they have teleprompters?!
This, of course, isn’t the first time a presenter has flubbed. Zac Efron fumbled through the words “inspiring” and “aspirational” when introducing “The Moon Song,” and Kim Novak had a bit of a, err, odd presentation with Matthew McConaughey. We all can’t be perfect.
When Matthew McConaughey thanked God above family and loved ones at the Oscars last night, he delighted Conservatives and made the Hollywood liberal glitterati shift uncomfortably in their seats. But he may well be Divinely on trend.
There was one person who Matthew McConaughey wanted to thank after collecting his Best Actor Oscar last night, above wife, children, parents—and, most shockingly for a Hollywood star—his agent.
“First off,” said McConaughey, who won the award for his role in Dallas Buyers Club, “I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or of any other human hand. He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates … When you’ve got God, you’ve got a friend, and that friend is you.”
We all watched the ceremony. And we all have questions.
Was that pizza they ate at the Oscars any good?
Apparently it’s just OK. Slate (quite geniusly) looked up Yelp reviews for the Hollywood location of Big Mama’s and Papa’s pizza that Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, and company were chowing down on. It’s got a three-and-a-half star rating on Yelp, and reviews that range, in the Yelp-ian way, from “literally the worst pizza ever” to “always the best pizza ever.” So the answer to whether it was any good is absolutely no and also yes very much so.
Pharrell is suddenly a 40-year-old in a baffling hat who dances with Meryl at the Oscars and has ostensibly replaced ambition and experimentation with contentedness and confidence.
Pharrell Williams has been a consistently recognizable presence in pop music and culture for the past two decades. He might have only skirted the periphery of your mind but he’s been around throughout it all, straddling cultures (skate, rap, #menswear, pop) and mediums (music, art, fashion). His influence on music, especially alongside Chad Hugo as one half of the aughts-defining Neptunes, is noted, as is his tastemaker-level involvement in various design endeavors.
But his is an unprecedented kind of star, in that he is a standout red carpet and front row staple who has improbably managed to evade the polarizing effect that so often comes along with celebrity. There are no scandals, and the only conspiracy theory about him attempts to explain how the 40-year-old manages to look so damn young (Cetaphil and cold water, in case you were wondering). Here’s the thing: Pharrell Williams is so pleasant that everyone likes him; at worst, they are indifferent.
History was made with Steve McQueen and Alfonso Cuarón becoming the first ever black and Latino directors to win Oscars.
The lineage of black and ethnic minority award winners in the leading Oscar categories was bolstered significantly at this year's awards. Steve McQueen became the first black director to win an Oscar when 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture. In his speech he said he hoped the film would stand as a statement against the slavery which persists today. “Everyone deserves not just to survive but to live," he said. "This is the legacy of Solomon Northup.” Then McQueen, who can come across as quite intense and dour, magnificently, jumped up and down.
John Ridley, for the adapted screenplay of 12 Years, became the second black person to win in the category, after Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious. “All the praise goes to Solomon Northup,” Ridley said when he collected the Oscar in a speech noted for its brevity and bracing earnestness and feeling. “Those are his words. His life.”
ABC placed comically harsh restrictions on the inaugural Academy Awards livestream. Yeah, it was a bit of a disaster.
ABC doesn't need Ellen DeGeneres and a selfie-full of celebs to have a full-on tech crisis. The 2014 Academy Awards was all set to be the first Oscars broadcast available for livestreaming. ABC, which is famous for being behind the times (like Sidney Poitier, Bette Midler-singing-"Wind Beneath My Wings" levels of behind the times), placed comically harsh restrictions on this inaugural stream. In order to access the stream, viewers had to prove that they were pay-cable subscribers in one of only eight designated markets. Because if you're not a Comcast customer living in San Francisco, you don't deserve to celebrate the year in cinema.
Unfortunately, even after severely limiting its number of potential streaming viewers, ABC online was unable to deliver. Livestreams were “down nationwide due to a traffic overload/greater than expected,” the network told Variety in an email. (ABC says that by 10:45 Eastern everything was restored, meaning those who spent two hours and fifteen minutes clicking refresh were vindicated.)
The Oscars were pretty good, right? From Jared Leto's emotional speech to Pharrell dancing with Meryl Streep, here's our picks for the night's most memorable moments.
Ellen's monologue was so very Ellen in the best (or the worst) way.
Ellen's opening monologue was superb. Ellen's opening monologue was dreadful. Whichever one of those sentences you agree with most depends on your feelings about Ellen DeGeneres, because that monologue was soooo Ellen. As in, soooo shticky. There was the warm, congenial wryness, like her opening line, "It's been a tough couple of days for us here. It's been raining." There was even some unexpected sass, like when she totally dissed Liza Minnelli. But the highlights—or the lowlights, depending on your taste for Ellen-ness—were when Ellen launched those trademark stuttering bits of faux-awkwardness, building in mischievousness and wiliness leading up to the punchline.
From some fun audience banter to a wacky Pharrell number featuring a shimmying Meryl Streep and a rug-cutting Lupita Nyong’o, the 2014 Academy Awards was—gasp!—pretty damn fun.
Ladies and gentlemen: I’m shocked—shocked!—to inform you that the ’14 Oscars were actually quite good. In fact, they were better than good. They were excellent, and the best they’ve been in a decade, since the last time (a chipper) Billy Crystal served as master of ceremonies.
Now, I hated the 2013 Oscars.
No matter what critics say about it or how many viewers watched it, Ellen DeGeneres's Oscar hosting stint is already one for the record books.
In a positively inspired bit, the Oscar host took what was instantly the best selfie of all time (or at least the most star-studded one). Less than 40 minutes later, the photo broke the record for the most retweeted selfie ever.
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