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Where My Girls At? Chastain, Farmiga, Kidman, Bening

And now another edition of "Where My Girls At?" which occurs whenever Nathaniel is longing for actresses who have temporarily gone missing. I'm focusing this one on the beauties we won't even be seeing at the Oscars this year. 

Did you see this photo Jessica Chastain posted to her Facebook account?

She wrote:

That's a wrap for me on A Most Violent Year. Working with talent like JC Chandor and Oscar Isaac are the reason I love my job. I'm a very lucky girl. xxjes

Somehow I hadn't clocked this new project but it's an 1980s NY set thriller (so that explains the look) about an immigrant (one presumes that's Isaac, who seems to symbolize any "foreign" element these days to Hollywood) trying to capitalize on business opportunities but beware of Violence! Decay! Corruption! I miss Jes, don't you? I know that's insane since I saw her live in September at TIFF and because before she disappeared from movie screens after Mama she was everywhere for over a year. But Mama opened in January 2013 and almost 14 months is a lot of time without her given how we were introduced, you know? 14 months is a long time for her to be absent from screens but she'll be back soon since she's already completed three more pictures (Miss Julie, Interstellar, and this one) with another, Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak moving right along for 2015.

The other day I was staring at pictures of my last multiple Oscargasm (when was yours?) and since it was 33% Farmiga, I was like "hey, where she be?" I know I know. You can watch her on television weekly if you so choose but I guess my despair at great actresses going the TV route is that if you don't like the show they're on (or the character they play) that's the main thing they'll be doing for years so you lose them. With an off movie you can just move on and wait for the next one. But in addition to The Bates Motel she has movies on the way. Her latest, a Romanian set crime comedy Closer to the Moon with Mark Strong just started screening at festivals in December. In October we'll see her in the large and Oscar friendly supporting cast of The Judge which stars Robert Downey Jr (in his first big dramatic role outside of franchise culture in five years) as a man who returns home for his mom's funeral to find that his dad is accused of her murder. She might costar in a Bronx set comedy called The Locals with Shirley Maclaine and Alan Arkin (but that's two years away and who knows if it'll actually happen). And finally, she'll star in the sequel to The Conjuring for an October 2015 release. That film was such a smash hit last year that it's basically spawned two sequels. There's one coming up this October, sans Farmiga, focused on Annabelle the doll - I guess Chucky's absence created a vacuum? 


pics from the Queen of the Desert set

She's working herself into the ground which is just how we like it: more more more. 2013 was a quiet year with only Stoker offered (for which she was Saturn-nominated) but the next two years are full plates. She has two films with Colin Firth hitting soon, the thriller Before I Go To Sleep and the period drama The Railway Man (which I've already seen - unfortunately it doesn't give her very much to do as the supportive wife to a man struggling with his prisoner of war past). Paddington Bear, in which she plays the comic villain (a change of pace for her) and Grace of Monaco, in which she plays uh Grace of Monaco are also emerging in 2014, the latter at the Cannes film festival. Four movies means the return of Kidmania!  But the upcoming project that's most exciting, given the upgrade in the director's chair, is Queen of the Desert from the always interesting Werner Herzog. She's playing Gertrude Bell and since that's a biographical part, we can hope it's another opportunity for endless red carpet walks. Our #1 Aussie auteur-collecting goddess has posted a couple of pictures to her facebook account including an amusing "Meet Barbie" featuring her camel co-star (which seems to have disappeared from her page? weird or I'd link). Two more films have been announced, one is even an Australian picture, but a lot can happen before movies get before the cameras so we'll wait to anticipate those. 


Berenice Bejo on the set of The Search

Yes, that's a picture of Berenice Bejo above. I shall explain. I was hoping the success of The Kids Are All Right (2010) would keep her in leading roles into this decade but so far she's only had small supporting roles in indies that barely anyone saw. The Face of Love is a lead but unfortunately will suffer the same fate. So we look further ahead. Her next film Imagine is a comedy starring Al Pacino from the very successful screenwriter Dan Fogelman (who is sitting in the director's chair for the first time) but the ensemble cast is peppered with name actors like Jennifer Garner, Christopher Plummer and Bening herself. The Bening is also making her third film with Warren Beatty this year. After 20 some years of development (no one will ever claim Beatty as the Hare in a race) it's suddenly filming but I believe Bening's role is minor since the focus is on two young actors. I love Warren Beatty (both as a director and as an actor) and I've been waiting for him to reemerge for 13 years now (Bulworth was so underappreciated) but since I am not fond of either of the film's lead actors (Lily Collins and Alden Ehrenreich) I will safely be able to keep my expectations way down and just look forward to it as a chance to spot more (presumable) star cameos than a movie has had since The Player. One potentially very interesting project, also currently filming, is The Search from the Oscar winning director of The Artist Michel Hazanaviciuz. It's a reworking of the Montgomery Clift classic but with a gender swap in the leading role (his wife Bejo) as the adult who forms a bond with a child in a war torn country. Since Bening is the biggest name in it, I assume she's got a large supporting role. 

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Reader Comments (30)

Speaking of Werner Herzog, isn't he directing a drama with Pamela Anderson? Yes, it's true.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCris

That picture of Farmiga reminds me of her baby sister. And instantaneously like that she doesn't belong in this group that I love so much.

Kidman will have her reclusive fourth nomination. Hopefully she can have a perfect record like Keaton, Christie, and Woodward with all four career nominations for actress in a leading role.

Will they or won't they for Annette and just give her the bloody win?

Chastain deserves an Oscar over a threat to win next year Amy Adams.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Chastain is not a threat to Amy Adams. She's going supporting for A Most Violent Year. If anyone will be a threat to Amy, it's Michelle Williams.

I used to love Nicole Kidman until botox completely taken over her beautiful face. I know she's popular on awards message boards but she's been the butt of jokes in general public due to her excessive use to botox. She's now the poster child for Hollywood actresses using botox. It's sad but it's true.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterhehee

I'm always excited for anything Kidman, so this many movies coming our way makes me super super happy.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

I can't wait for A Most Violent Year! I love Chandor, Isaac, and of course Chastain. Chandor signed with A24 to distribute this and they all seemed very excited about the partnership.

Being a big fan of Ed Harris and the Bening, I hope The Face of Love has some distribution.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

The Search looks really interesting.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

La Bening was in Imogene (which became Girl Most Likely) and now Imagine. What's next? Im a genie in a bottle? Hey, you think of a better joke.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Love Beatty so much and am happy he is returning. But can i just say how it would be such a dream if they turned Bulworth into a broadway musical. I feel like it is perfect for that medium.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

hehee: Really? Michelle Williams is a serious threat to beat Amy Adams? Titanic, occupied France version, is a serious threat to beat a biographical courtroom drama(edy)...in an acting category? Never mind that Oscar hasn't really fallen for that kind of thing SINCE Titanic, I'd place that Adams' biggest threat is probably Chastain in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Miss these four! Aside from Kidman (I think she's only getting one, and with a phenomenal career like hers, who cares), I hope one of these ladies can nail down a win next year. The field may be a little more open since there were so many big hitters this year.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

eurocheese -- If Lawrence pulls off the consecutive win, second Oscars in supporting is the new black. And certainly Kidman could gain traction for a second win there without prejudice. That goes for Bates and Huston who are just behind Julia Roberts in career nomination count from their Best Actress module.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Chastain, Isaac, Chandor--All Is Won

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I hate all the Kidman bashing...look at the high-res images! The woman is aging but uses La Mer cream and hires some very talented make-up artists to help her look so great on film.

Career wise especially at her age, she's unmatched by her choice of daring and different films!

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGraham

But only Stoker was offered but before the next two.

What did Nat mean with this narrative on Nicoe?

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Don't get your hopes up on The Judge (even if the Golden Globes wanted to hype it). David Dobkin is in the chair and the cast is so much "prestige cliche" that I can't look forward to it.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Why does everyone think Amy will win next year? Seriously, HOW often do Tim Burton films get Oscar noms for acting? Outside of Martin Landau and Johnny Depp...almost NEVER

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Aaron: Um, Big Eyes is a biographical courtroom drama(edy) with easy on the ballots talent. That would be at least something of an Oscar eye-raiser with ANYONE at the helm. Burton's name and pop-cultural cache only serve to push it further over the top to on paper win threat status.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Can people please stop bringing the botox issue every time Kidman is mentioned or discussed. Whenever they do that, they say "oh, look how frozen her face looks, blah, blah, blah". I say that's bullshit and piss off. Maybe you need to rewatch Rabbit Hole, her face contorted and wrinkled in ways beyond possibility. You need to be discussing her exceptional record of delivering fearless performance after another. Speaking of her, to be honest, I don't care if she's never nominated again or win another Oscar (which she should, both), because I think she's already a legendary actress that will stand the times much better than Hillary Swank or Paltrow. Kidman is a winner already, all thanks to her intelligence, courage and talent. We love Oscars, I know, but in the end, it's the quality of output that performers give that count. The same goes for Tilda Swinton, who by now should have 5 or 6 nominations.

I love Chastain and I will see every single movie she makes. Another career developing very attractively. And I think Harvey will find a way to get her a nom in TDER.

Somebody needs to give Farmiga a movie worth of her caliber.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJones

Check out the trailer for THIS movie!


February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Initiaitve

jones - yes with the kidman botox comments. it's tiring, and next time someone 'notices' her face doesn't move, just assume the character is supposed to be a woman who had a lot of work done (they do exist in real life and have a right to be represented on film, no?) and appreciate the other parts of her acting that don't involve "forehead moving".

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

I'm always up for more Nicole Kidman. I like all of these ladies but she's in a league all her own.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

everyone -- as a way of trying to be kind to everyone's opinion i will say that there is one Nicole Kidman performance that seems to be greatly restricted by SOMETHING... and maybe it is that because there isn't enough going on in her face to explore the character fully (I really don't think she's very good in "Fur") But somehow once this complaint took hold it never went away even though Kidman has proved her worth dozens of times over and frankly there's no "cosmetic enhancement" noticeable that is more prominent than any other actress her age, you know? Jessica Lange used to get tons of "her surgery is terrible!" complains and all it took for people to shut up about it was renewed pop culture cache via Grey Gardens and AHS. Maybe the problem with Kidman is that the mainstream audiences just aren't that keen on her since she makes risky films. Because i'm not sure how people can watch her and NOT think this is an actress using everything she has for each performance without any vanity obstructing her. How can people watch The Paperboy for example and be like "nicole kidman isn't expressive enough!"... it defies all reason.

I think part of the problem is that people just aren't comfortable with aging in general. Their own aging or the aging of their idols. So people freak out whether people have work done or not. so it's damned if you do damned if you don't problem.

volvagia & aaron -- well, you're both right. This film could really go either way. it's definitely not a "perfect oscar grab" on paper but it's not *not* that either. the elements are there IF burton can get some of the mojo he left behind 10 years ago back.

Me -- that was a typo. fixing now.

February 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

My need to see Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett in the same movie is growing by the day. I think it may never happen but i feel likenwe deserve it. It would be a huge risk. They both tend to be the focus of attention when they're on screen and they have very very different screen personas. One delicate and the other very forceful. In the hand of a genius director and I m saying only really genius ( no David O Russell or Ron Howard or anyone like that. I m saying paul thomas anderson or martin scorcese) they could make wonders. I mean we know they love each other. Nicole has stated multiple times her admiration for Cate. There s a picture of them together a few years ago in some article about oscar role models or smth and they look like lovers and it s the best movie star photo of all time maybe. The world may end if that collaboration ever happens. But I 'm willing to take the risk.

February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTony T

tony t -- hey, better that the world end with a bang then with a whimper

February 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Tony T: Scorsese only made a primarily female focused picture ONCE. PT Anderson, also, only once. You know what I'd actually love: Feature length Batman prologue with Kidman and Blanchett as Mrs. Wayne and Cobblepot, respectively. The alley is the denouement. Director? Well, bitter, dialogue driven piece of bickering high society types. I'd say Desplechin, Von Trier or, yes, PT Anderson could do something interesting within that framework.

February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Nathaniel -- Goddamn you. I love her performance in Fur and the restrictiveness you see as facial is her natural internalized style. I know I'm not the only Fur fan in the world. But for it to be such a casual whipping boy of Nicole Kidman vehicles is preposterous.

Volvagia -- Anderson's never made a female-centered movie. He used Julianne Moore twice. After, he didn't seem to have use for them except ornamentally.

February 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

3rtful: Yeah, don't know what I was thinking. Still, it would probably be cool to see him actually DO ONE. I don't know if my idea of a framework would be interesting to most people (or anyone), but it's one option for a Kidman-Blanchett focused movie.

February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I miss Jessica Chastain, too! Fortunately, I was able to see her in 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.' She's superb in the film, which I highly recommend. I'm very excited for her other projects as well.

February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

I'm so sick of these ignorant botox/Kidman comments, Kidman has had delicate porcelain feautres since the start of her career. Look at her face in To Die For, Batman Forever, Practical Magic, Eyes Wide shut, Moulin Rouge, Birth, Fur and Portrait of a Lady etc. She doesn’t rely on strategically placed wrinkles or furrowing to get the message across, she doesn’t have to go “see here are some wrinkles that I’ve forced onto my face to show you how hysterically upset I am. “

For gods sake Glazer had the camera fixed on her face for three minutes in Birth and she said so much without a single wrinkle on her face.

March 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLittle MY

I think most of the people is ever jeoulous kidman. she wears botox as she likes. using botox is her personal doesn't make to damage for anyone skin. i like her character and her great movie.

March 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterchan nyein

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