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Sunday
Sep042016

Podcast: Smackdown Reflections and Film Critics on Acting

Nathaniel talks to Sheila O'Malley, one of the best film critics on acting, as they reflect on recent Smackdown adventures, the chaos of acting careers, and the problems with "best" designations.

Index (43 minutes)
00:01 Acting training, Geraldine Page, and critics who "get" acting
06:45 Glenn Close and Robert Redford Reveries in The Natural
14:00 The quality of acting fields & self-selecting "Oscar movies"
20:45 Romancing the Stone and the "realm of fantasy" versus the "gritty" farm wife movies. Why do some movies hold up so well over time?
27:00 Peggy Ashcroft and Lindsay Crouse. Plus: making out with Ed Harris.
33:00 The rumors about Swing Shift and Jonathan Demme's original cut. Did we lose a masterpiece?
40:18 Sheila's connection to Gena Rowland's Honorary Oscar.

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you?  

P.S. Read more about Sheila's Gena Rowlands tribute here.

a conversation with Sheila O'Malley

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Reader Comments (10)

This was great fun and also an insightful conversation. Best part is the Ed Harris/chocolate cake bit!

September 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Sandiego

So glad you enjoyed. I figured I had to illustrate the post with the Ed Harris bit

September 5, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Very enjoyable chat between you two. Great insights about the films and performances. I so want to see the director's cut of Swing Shift, while watching I could sense Goldie's heavy hand in the process and it would be great to see the original intent.

September 5, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I know it's an especially hectic time for film critics and bloggers, so thanks so much for squeezing this podcast into your schedule.
As a longtime fan of Sheila O'Malley's writing & her blog, it was a treat to have her on board for the smackdown & podcast.
What a treat to hear the two of you get a chance to talk.

As for 1984 - the only thing I can say in Glenn Close's defense is - Robert Redford. Getting offered a chance to star along side Robert Redford at that time was as HUGE.
Huge visibility, possibly huge box office, plus he was a legend.
So the part was not much but Close looked good. Let's not be too hard on that choice.

Loved the fact that you stuck up for comedies - thank you for that.
Finally on the topic of "Swing Shift", on the IMDB page there was a link to an interview with Demme for The Guardian where he discussed the re-writes & re-shoots.
I'm summarizing, but he says that the first choice for re-writes was Elaine May. She looked at the first cut, and turned him down, saying any re-writes would wreck the film.
That's enough for me, clearly that first cut was the best. Shame it's never been released.

September 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

Swing Shift Drama or Comedy at the Globes.

September 5, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordon

I would have added 30 minutes to Swing Shift and to this great podcast.

I agree with LadyEdith. Glenn wanted to be "the girl" in a Redford movie. I won't judge her. Even the super-picky Debra Winger said yes to that silliness named Legal Eagles.

Where can we read the Gena speech?

September 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Peggy Sue - here's the link to the Gena Rowland's tribute by Sheila:
http://www.sheilaomalley.com/?p=114438

September 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

I just rewatched Romancing The Stone,sorry Nat I do not get your devotion to her performance.

September 5, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordon

LadyEdith -- Thanks!

September 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Nathaniel - I love that you got the screen grab to the infamous cake moment. Ha!!

I totally agree that Glenn would be like, "Robert Redford's leading lady? Where do I sign??"

Unfortunately, the "Gena speech" read by Angelina Jolie - which played at the Governors Awards - will never be released on Youtube because there are just too many damn clips. It's too bad. It's a wonderful 6-minute tribute with some amazing footage of Gena on Peyton Place, on Bonanza - great stuff, stuff I've never seen!

The Oscar people sent me a private link where I could see it so at least I got to hear Angelina Jolie say my words.

Thanks again, Nathaniel - this was hilariously fun!!

Interesting follow-up thoughts too on Swing Shift, Elaine May, Demme, etc.

September 6, 2016 | Unregistered Commentersheila

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