Box Office: ‘Our Brand is Crisis’ Bombs in Career Low for Sandra Bullock

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Our Brand Is Crisis’ star Sandra Bullock: ‘Politics have always been a comedy/tragedy’.

Bradley Cooper cooking dramedy ‘Burnt’ is also getting scalded as Halloween weekend brings more bad news at the North American box office, where ‘The Martian’ will stay at No. 1 in its fifth outing. Given Sandra Bullock’s impressive record at the box office, you might have thought people would be falling over themselves to write plum parts for the Oscar-winning actress.

Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock plays a political spin doctor in satirical comedy “Our Brand is Crisis,” taking a look at the tactics of election campaigns. The Hollywood actress portrays political strategist Jane Bodine, who is coaxed out of a self-imposed retirement to help boost the campaign of a Bolivian presidential candidate struggling in the election polls. “Politics have always been a comedy/tragedy,” Bullock said at the film’s premiere in Los Angeles. “I think now the curtain has just been pulled back and everyone gets to see it. You do realise that I’m pitching this for me?'” recalled Bullock in a recent interview. “He goes, ‘Yeah, but I want to know, like, what is she going to wear?'” Things have gotten a little better since then. Are there any male roles out there that they don’t mind switching to female, as long as it works?’” says the actress. “You put that out to the powers-that-be, and they went to George and said, ‘What about this?

Sandra Bullock stars as Bodine, a one-time master campaign strategist, now six years retired from a life of skullduggery, rehab stints and an unflattering nickname – Calamity Jane – and content to sculpt mediocre pottery in solitude. “I’m calm,” she says in the kitchen of her cabin, located deep in a snowy mountainside nowhere, the type of statement that can come back and bite a person in the ass. Of course, she’s lured back into the fray, because otherwise there would be no movie, no external conflict to prompt her next step in self-evaluation.

This is based on absolute reality.” Spurring Bodine’s decision is the opportunity to beat her rival, Pat Candy – played by fellow Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton – who is with the opposition. “The (film’s) message – yes, politics as a backdrop, but it is more about consequences, big business, how far is too far? Bullock’s conversation with the studio executive remains an all too familiar scene for actresses in Hollywood, where sexist presumptions are engrained in the culture.

Yet the film is a mildly frustrating endeavor, because we never get a substantive grip on what makes Jane tick, who she really is or why she does what she does. When you start harming others for power and extreme wealth, eventually you have to get off the carousel,” Bullock said. “Who is going to grow a conscience and who is going to say enough money is enough money? She’s a fistful of eccentric traits in need of some focus: she compulsively munches on potato chips, she prefers flood pants and sensible shoes, she has no qualms about dropping trou and mooning the opposition. Bullock can’t remember how many times she’s had to listen to a writer try to explain how the “the wife” is really the heart of the movie. “I know what that means.

But politics made a fun backdrop because it is so real and in your face.” Bullock won an Oscar for her role in the 2009 movie “The Blind Side,” which tells the story of a family who takes in a teenage football player. Via Rotten Tomatoes: “‘Burnt’ offers a few spoonfuls of compelling culinary drama, but they’re lost in a watery goulash dominated by an unsavory main character and overdone clichés.” Recent box office performance: Cooper shot to film stardom in 2009 thanks to “The Hangover” franchise, and over the past few years he has had some big hits: “Silver Linings Playbook,” “American Hustle” and “American Sniper,” all three of which earned him Oscar nominations. So, very tricky territory, but a good way to tell the story through the voice of a woman, and I’m just glad that they did.” SANDRA BULLOCK: Well, I actually am an amalgamation of a few characters from the documentary.

Jane is lured to Bolivia to re-animate presidential candidate Castillo’s (Joaquim de Almeida) moribund campaign not by a greater ideal or even money, but for a chance to take down her longtime arch-rival Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton), who manages the opposition, and nurses a 28-point lead in the polls. Scouts — starring Tye Sheridan, David Koechner, Cloris Leachman and Halston Sage — is being released by Paramount in the same way Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension was, going out in a limited number of theaters after many cinema owners refused to carry both movies because of Paramount’s deal with AMC and Cineplex to make the pair of genre titles available earlier than usual on VOD.

The promise of withering exchanges between Bullock and Thornton – both capable of stripping paint with a well-timed bon mot – goes unfulfilled, thanks to a pedestrian script more interested in the come-from-behind mundanities of the competitive race than exploiting the strengths of its cast. Potential impact of a flop: One one hand, Cooper has had a rough year, he’s also the kind of actor who has too many projects lined up to truly be affected by this one.

The failure of the three new offerings to rally sizeable business means that holdovers The Martian and Goosebumps will continue to top the box-office chart. The film flirts with fleshing out Jane – she impulsively indulges in her wild side when she spends an evening bonding with Eddie (Reynaldo Pacheco), a young, idealistic Castillo staffer, and his brothers, imbibing heavily and sleeping it off overnight in jail.

But she’s just brilliant at the devious side of politics, of press, of PR, of what-have-you. [She knows] how to convince the people they need something and then give it to them. She landed an Oscar win for “Blind Side” and nomination for “Gravity.” “Sandra Bullock found herself in an odd situation where she was basically a bigger star in 2013 than she was back in 1993/1994 when she first broke out,” Forbes wrote. It’s about how lost in the win we may have gotten, even to the detriment of our own soul and to the detriment of, in this case, an entire body of people.

Even though it still stings given that it’s a film that, as Post movie critic Stephanie Merry points out, had all the ingredients for an awards-season favorite, from big names to an all-star producing team. And who would be willing to step off that carousel and sacrifice your own creature comforts for the greater good?” said Bullock. “That had been on my mind for a couple of years and then this story came along.

Still, Bullock is considered enough of a draw (and has built up enough goodwill over the years) that her star status can be forgiven for a critical failure. Up next: While nothing is official, Bullock is reportedly set to star in a film about Brownie Wise, the Tupperware executive who became famous when she invented the idea for Tupperware parties, but then had a falling out with the company. She’s also attached to a movie with “Proposal” director Anne Fletcher, which Variety reports is “said to combine elements of ‘An Unmarried Woman’ and ‘Saturday Night Fever.’”

While the producers knew they wanted to release it during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, they couldn’t have imagined how prescient the gender swapping choice would have been to the ongoing conversation about equal opportunities for women — from roles to wages. “Hopefully, while I’m still alive, we get to see women just treated better. But the bigger picture to me is why are we thought of as less than in general,” said Bullock. “I don’t know where my roads are going, but all I can say is it’s my responsibility to make it easier for someone else because so many women made it easier for me,” said Bullock, one of the highest-paid actresses in the industry. “As a group, a unified group, I hope the change is coming.

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