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Sunday
Nov202016

Podcast: 'Nocturnal Elle's Halftime Walk'

We're back to weekly podcasts! This week Nick, Joe, and Nathaniel discuss the latest films from Tom Ford, Ang Lee, and Paul Verhoeven, only one of which we can recommend.

Index (42 minutes)
00:01-17:22 Ang Lee's awkward Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk starring Joe Alwyn and Garret Hedlund

17:23-29:45 Tom Ford's revolting Nocturnal Animals. We don't understand the initial acclaim at all

29:46-42:00 Paul Verhoeven and Isabelle Huppert's provocative collaboration Elle, France's Oscar submission (mild spoilers)

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments.

Nocturnal Elle's Halftime Walk

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Reader Comments (11)

Can't wait for part 2. ELLE is one of my absolute favorite movies of the year (and what a year it's been!). Between this and THINGS TO COME, Huppert has outdone herself. The work speaks for itself but I'm pulling for her this awards season.

Looking forward to Nick publishing his Fifties honorees! The supporting actress project has been a complete and utter delight.

November 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

YES! Thank you for mentioning the marketing materials for Nocturnal Animals. Fucking hell. The cover for the soundtrack is outrageous.

November 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEz

Oh my. Well, I didn't love Nocturnal Animals but I'll throw out a few things.

The women at the beginning of the film - I felt like there was more going on than just showing a lack of taste. The film is constantly looking at external beauty (or the appearance of a beautiful life) and questioning its purpose, which makes sense to me coming from a fashion designer. The women at the beginning are meant to shock us with their appearances, but they are celebrating. It's presented as degrading but it's also questioning what we value, to an extent. It's not kind, it's not tasteful (which is true of a lot of the film), but that was my takeaway.

Ford commented himself that Amy's character is most freed and most herself when her make up comes off, and I saw a comment from him that ***SPOILERS*** just as she hurt her ex and, yes, spawned him towards his path (though I agree his novel is a trashy mess, but that's yet another comment on how he saw their relationship), he was sending her a painful reminder to help her move forward to her next step in life. Of course there's no way his character would know that, but it was meant as a way to reopen the wounds, which I thought was more about closure than straight punishment.

I'm not saying it's great, or that it even pulls off everything it's trying. But I did think those points were worth mentioning. It is revenge porn, so the message is easy to question. Anyway, love the podcast and excited to hear the rest of the Elle conversation - I had a much harder time with that film than this one.

November 21, 2016 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

I am stunned by the way Elle is being acclaimed. I saw it months ago in France and I could never have anticipated this reception. I saw it with a mostly-female audience and I could hear a pin drop.

And the character of Michele is so damn unlikable and abrasive and kind of impossible to pull off that I could never see this best actress campaign coming.

Yes, there's humor, but I couldn't really laugh at it because I was so nervous about where the movie was going to? It reminds me a lot of the movies Huppert made with Chabrol, in which she was always an uber-bitch, but I never felt THIS uncomfortable.

I love the movie, but this award talk is really surprising. And Huppert is just fantastic in the role, one of her top 5 performances, maybe top 3.

Ok, I can't not do it.

1 - Story of Women
2 - The Piano Teacher
3 - Elle
4 - Violette Noziere
5 - Comedy of Power
6 - White Material
7 - La Ceremonie
8 - Gabrielle
9 - Merci pour le Chocolat
10 - In Another Country

November 21, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Cal - interesting perspective to read about the reception. How were the actual reviews in France? I assume good since it was their Oscar submission.

November 21, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I was there on holiday and didn't read the reviews, actually, but I've just searched and found out that they loved it (but they always love Verhoeven).

November 21, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I am sad you guys detested Nocturnal Animals. I personally thought it was excellent. I think the film is very well-acted, particularly Shannon and Taylor-Johnson who deliver knock out performances. Especially loved the Laura Linney exercise. I think the film's style is the substance, and I like the obsessive way Ford has designed the film as an exploration of the artifice, which is what I interpreted the film was about. How do we present ourselves? How do we remember things? The vulgarity and kitschness really contributed to this. I am really keen to see what Ford does next. Whilst I don't think the film was perfect, I found it to be really fascinating and there is some brilliant direction in there. The 'road' sequence, in particular, is expertly directed. As for the opening credits, they may not serve the film, but far out, you have to hand it to Ford for having the balls to go there.

November 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

@ cal roth

Bottom line: have you changed your mind yet? You've been adamant that the nomination is out of the question. I'm not convinced yet myself (Adams-Negga-Portman-Stone-Bening-Streep-Henson-Lawrence), but Miss Thing delivers the goods and she is seriously CAMPAIGNING. And there is a narrative.

November 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

(Adams-Negga-Portman-Stone-Bening-Streep-Henson-Lawrence)

...DAVIS.

November 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Nat, the reviews of ELLE in France are rapturous: see the webpage ALLOCINE. Cahiers du Cinema, the ultimate elitists when it comes to films, gave it its full 5 stars. I think it's a 4 1/2. I have problems with the whodunit resolution, which lacks shock value and surprise (in a film full of left-turns) But since the whodunit isn't even the point of the film, I felt awestruck with the last 20 minutus, which absolutely rounded the character of Michéle and those around her.
Bonus piont for Verhoeven's warming to women's bond at the end: That was so Almodovarian it was really a shock to me (in a good way). Speaking of which: Huppert demands to be awarded, whether you have problems with the agenda of the film or not. She makes it work like a runaway train. Amazing performance! See my blurb here: https://letterboxd.com/moviegoergeek/film/elle/

November 21, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

Yes, I've changed my mind. But I am still stunned.

November 21, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

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