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This & That: Silkwood, Stewart, and other things we forgot to talk about

Herewith a random collection of things that have been clogging up The Film Experience pipeline (i.e. my desktop and emails) which I never got around to writing about and no team maker volunteered to cover. In some cases I saved a photo I don't remember from what and for what!

Once you're done reading the post please imitate that "empty trash" desktop noise and feel as uncluttered as I will once I've hit publish.

We'll start with Meryl because that always gets you going...

• Did you know that Silkwood finally get the Blu-Ray treatment? The Blu-ray supposedly has next to no extras but who cares. The movie is enough when it's as great as Silkwood. Sometimes I think it's my all time favorite Mike Nichols movie... but he also made Postcards from the Edge and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? so I'm not committed. And Mike Nichols was, by leaps and bounds the all time greatest Director o' Streep. That's why I was so sad when he didn't do August: Osage County as was the original notion (if I recall correctly). He directed a full 75% of my top four Best Streep Performances (Postcards, Silkwood, Angels in America ... with the lone non-Nichols being The Devil Wears Prada). He was her match in ways you just can't duplicate when it comes to actor/director collaborations. Some combos are magic, period. We should probably discuss Silkwood at length so stay tuned...

• How cute was this? I dont remember where I saved that photo from but it was all over the internet for a hot second. I meant to at least tip my hat in the direction of Liev & Naomi's parenting skills (even though it's sad that they split up - really thought those two were going to make it). It's awesome when little boys idolize female characters because gender is a construct and it's STUPID that society expects little girls to root for boy heroes and gets all fussy in the other direction "well, will little boys like [list female character's movie here] with no hero to relate to in it?" Argh! Double standards must die. (Not that Harley Quinn is a "hero" but that's not the point.)

P.S. I dont' know if this is Sasha or Samuel but they're only one year apart in age so it could be either one of them.

• Cannes came and went months ago and I don't think we ever discussed Kristen Stewart's new look which was definitely worth discussing. Isn't it weird and maybe a little wonderful that she was a) once the headliner of a major franchise and b) looks like she would kick ass in an action franchise (like her Atomic Blonde let's say) despite never really doing so in her own and yet  c) that is not what she's interested in doing if Personal Shopper and the like are any indication. Cinephiles and critics have come to embrace her but I'm dying to know what mainstream Hollywood thinks about her these days, aren't you?

• I saw a few movies at Tribeca I never managed to write up that I keep seeing photos for on my desktop to fill me with guilt. Two of the gay ones Tom of Finland and Saturday Church were well worth discussing so I hope they come out or go to streaming or something so we have an excuse. There was also a documentary on screen siren Hedy Lamarr called Bombshell that was so interesting I was alarmed all over again that that 40s star doesn't have a biopic yet. I assume it's because she's no longer a household name and Hollywood likes brand name recognition but lets just say that almost every biopic made in the past ten years WISHES it had a central character as surprising / fascinating. And last but not least I really liked this Czech movie called Ice Mother (pictured above). It was about a grandmother with an absolutely shitty family that disrespects her but who she bends over backwards for. Suddenly she finds her own life with a neighboring group of seniors who enjoy ice swimming in winter. That awful family suddenly feels abandoned now that she's pursuing her own thing. Character studies of old ladies? We're in! 

• Canada's boy genius (who we won't be able to call that much longer since he'll be 30 in two years) Xavier Dolan makes movies so quickly that it's weird there's a whole year without one, right? Next up in 2018 is The Death and Life of John F Donovan, his first English language picture. Months ago I was going to do a post on it when images and the synopsis came out but it all felt so spoilery that I tried to forget everything I'd just seen. Anyway, we have two character posters  at least. Above we have Jessica Chastain, who is the antagonist as a gossipy blogger or some such who outs the title character, an actor, and his young superfan played by Jacob Tremblay.  

• Somehow we skipped mentioning the passing of John Heard. He was such a fine actor and, for a brief time like most very successful character actors, ubiquitous. I was annoyed that the online obits were all "Home Alone!" because there was so much more to his gifts. I particularly loved him as the theater director / ex-boyfriend of Bette Midler in Beaches and of course there was the acclaimed titular role in Cutter's Way (1981) with Jeff Bridges. Did you have a favorite John Heard performance?

• I don't remember why I saved this new portrait of French star Jérémie Renier but who needs a reason? I'm so eager to see François Ozon's latest, the crazy-sounding sexually risque Double Lover but haven't heard a peep about it since Cannes. Hoping it shows up at TIFF or NYFF or, better yet, in actual movie theaters here in NYC.

• Look! It's a magazine named after our feelings for Nicole Kidman. Nicole's nipples are as excited as we are about seeing her all the time lately.

• I loved this photo of Carrie Fisher with her daughter Billie Lourde, both in Star Wars: The Last Jedi costumes when it first came out but didn't share it. Methinks it's this weird resistance to talking about Star Wars 24/7 like the rest of the internet which causes us to just not talk about it at all even when we'd like to. I've been noticing a ton of online info about her last appearance in the franchise and how special her send-off in it and blah-blah-blah but I really don't want to know anything before seeing it! Some topics are so tender that they can only be addressed in the dark (of a movie theater).

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Reader Comments (21)

Silkwood is such a great film, and may also be my favourite Meryl performance. Speaking of her work with Mike Nichols, shoutout to her work in Heartburn- an undervalued film and performance.

I really love Kristen Stewart. This reminds me of how good she and Jeannie Berlin were in Café Society, a better film than I expected.

That still of Jeremie and the Nicole cover are fabulous, and the photo of Carrie and Billie makes my heart hurt. I am eager to see The Last Jedi. I don't know if you've talked about it here before, but what do you make of the Finn/Poe pairing? Personally, I ship them HARD, but unfortunately, I doubt they'll end up being paired as a couple.

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAditya

Interesting Streep list Nathaniel.

Mine would be:

1. Julie and Juila
2. A Cry in the Dark
3. The older lady scenes in THE IRON LADY/The end car sequence in BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY/The hairdresser scene in HEARTBURN

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Lewis

Edward L. to Mrs. Mulwray: Did John Heard really get an Oscar nomination for Cutter's Way?
Mrs. Mulwray to Edward L.: I think I would have remembered.

Not that he wouldn't have been worthy - it's a terrific performance.

Gotta give a shout-out to Kristen Stewart - I'm loving the work she's doing. Yes, it would be interesting to know what mainstream hollywood thinks. I hope her career doesn't have to choose between mainstream and 'indie'/'arthouse' and that she gets a great range of things to be in.

And it's great that Silkwood is out on Blu-ray. I'm with the general view: an excellent film, and a great performance from its leading lady (and its supporting one, while we're at it).

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Edward L --- yeah i dont know what happened to me but in my defense i think i typed this at 2 am or something. now i have slept!

August 4, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nathaniel: Understandable! I figured it was something like that - just a momentary blip in the Nathaniel genius machine!

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

On Silkwood: I think this might be my third or fifth favorite Streep performance, give or take how I feel about Julie & Julia and Adaptation that day. Also, Goddamn, do I love Cher in this!

On Stewart: Mainstream media don't give a shit about her being great after Twilight. They simultaneously have the attention span of a 7-year-old in a toy store, AND the memory of an elephant when it comes to stuff they hate.

On the new Dolan: Chastain looks like she has dirty blonde roots, and I am SO here for it!

And on a final note: Kidman's nipples could in fact stop a bullet they're that hard.

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCal

This Kristen hairdo: she could star in a Jean Seberg biopic.

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

GENDER IS A CONSTRUCT! I have been obsessed with RPDR for the last few weeks since watching Sasha Velour's win and I know that I am a really late fan but god this show needs to win the Emmy this year.
I gasped when I see Nicole's nipples YAS girl
They have also released Natalie Portman's poster for John F. Donovan!
I really want to see Tom of Finland for reasons you all know lol
I MISS Carrie Fisher..

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

Re Streep I adore her and think she can fall into 4 main sections:
Everyday Joes
- marvins room , one true thing , river wild, silk wood
Icy humanity
- Iron Lady, devil wears prada ,Manchurian , adaptation and Kramer
Unshackled and funny
- Florence , Julie and Julia , mamma Mia , death becomes her, postcards
Dire emotional darkness
-August Osage, doubt , a cry in the dark, ironweed , Sophie's choice

However not entirely sure which section represents best meets but maybes that's her genius!

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGizmo

Not only is that picture adorable, that's also the woof-iest Liev has looked...maybe ever? He normally never does it for me

I also wonder about Hollywood's perception of Stewart because how many of them have actually seen her last few movies? From what I gather, a lot of Hollywood - and even cinephiles in general - don't see movies like Personal Shopper and Clouds of Sils Maria.

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

I also liked John Heard in Beaches and likewise found it sad that a performer with upwards of 180 credits and probably stage ones on top of that is encapsulated by his brief appearance in a series of silly films.

Beaches aside others where I found him memorable: Chilly Scenes of Winter, Deceived, Between the Lines, The Trip to Bountiful and Cutter's Way. He was a very good antagonist to Tom Hanks in Big there are surely more that I'm forgetting he was a busy guy.

I'm so anxious to see the Hedy Lamarr doc. She was a fascinating woman.

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

John Heard was also very good in a seldom-mentioned, rarely-seen Robert Redford film, The Milagro Beanfield War (one of my favs from the 1980s). Which also starred Redford's then ladyfriend, Sonia Braga.

Silkwood is still my favorite Streep performance, and the original Streep rankings is what first drew me to this site several years ago. (yay, Nathaniel!)

Love love love that VF photo. Makes me sad though.

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Please do a full post on Jeremie Renier sometime. He's been turning in great performances and looks for years!

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJames from Ames

Agreed on SILKWOOD!
A Streep/Cher/Russell commentary would have been to die for, but just to have the movie on BLU-RAY is enough to suffice!
Now let's see about getting Nichols' & Streep's ANGELS IN AMERICA on Blu-Ray along with Cher's MASK!
And Streep's THE HOURS!
(Too many great films are stuck in the eternal realm of DVD!)

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Oberg

Heartburn is so misunderstood. Love that film and her in it.

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I'm still not sold on Kristen Stewart. I really appreciate her efforts and she's been in some great movies but her performances never work completely.

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNorman

I really enjoyed Tom of Finland (saw at SIFF), and I hope it gets released. Favorite biopic since Selma. Could land as the Finnish Oscar submission, if it's eligible

Though limited extras, I'm very glad Silkwood was released. So glad They Shoot Horses Don't They and Maurice are to be released on 9/5. Lacking copies of all these great movies.

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChris K

Nicole's nipples are hot. Yumm.

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHuh

It's true about the Streep - Nichols pairing. What a great collaboration. And why isn't Silkwood or Out of Africa in the National Film Registry? Seems like a weird oversight since these were interesting films about independent women.

The Harley Quinn dress up is A+.

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJono

Looks like Streep and Nichols were somehow circulating multiple projects before his death-
Originally Hope Springs was to be directed by him with Jeff Bridges and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the psychiatrist.
Then there was the rumor of Nichols on board for August:Osage County
And then they were teaming up for Master Class on HBO

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

"Sometimes I think it's my all time favorite Mike Nichols movie... but he also made Postcards from the Edge and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? so I'm not committed."

the. graduate.

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterpar

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