Oscar History

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Entries in Actors on Actors (33)


Beauty Break: Michelle Pfeiffer's Cover Girl Comeback

by Nathaniel R

Hollywood's greatest blonde is back after a way-too-long hiatus and she's the covergirl for both Variety for their Women in Hollywood issue and in the "Edit" insert of Net-a-Porter for their "white" issue (the clothing trend not the race!). And with these fine profiles / interviews come photos. So let's share beautiful portraiture and the best quotes after the jump...

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"I am an actor"

The best tradition of the Screen Actor Guild Awards each year, beyond their decision to keep the lifetime achievement award on air (are you listening Oscar?), is their opening bit wherein a random collection of thespians give little weird speeches that end with "I am an actor." Sometimes they're funny. Sometimes they're serious. Sometimes they're headscratching. Regardless, it's always something to look forward to each year. Here are the five actors they chose this year in ascending order of how well they pulled it off.

05 Ashton Kutcher
Kutcher read from a teleprompter. Noooooo.

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TIFF: That time Glen Powell told me to "Google 'Tyler Hoechlin's Superman ass'"

Nathaniel R reporting from TIFF

Glen suggested doing a "serious" pose for fun - it's very prom!

Hidden Figures Brunch Pt 1
This morning began with a brunch for Hidden Figures, the female mathematicians at NASA picture, opening on December 25th, attended by stars Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae and co-star Glen Powell (who plays astronaught John Glenn in the picture) as well as Pharrell who wrote two original songs for the movie...

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Candid Charlotte Rampling

Rampling for NYTimes Magazine

Murtada here. Charlotte Rampling’s performance in 45 Years is a quiet storm of volatile emotions, holding attention with understated intimations that hint much more than show. Inexplicably left off both the Golden Globe and SAG nominations list, she might become this year’s Marion Cotillard, missing the early nominations and getting in at the Oscars. She’s already won the LA Film Critics Association best actress award and here’s hoping more regional critics notice her in the coming weeks. We will talk about the movie and performance once the movie is released.

One glorious result from being in the awards conversation is that Rampling was in Hollywood and New York recently giving good quote. And unlike her 45 Years character, Rampling is not holding back and is quite candid in these interviews.


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Cotillard + Fassbender = Scorching Hot

Murtada here. Are you ready for some sexy stuff at the movies? Now playing in limited release is the latest big screen version of Macbeth from director Justin Kurzel. Reviews have been mixed but there’s no denying the heat created by the performances of Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in the titular parts. The screen almost combusts whenever they are together; they make Shakespeare sexy. And not just because of their considerable beauty, but rather because of what they bring out in each other. Fassbender raises Cotillard’s intensity and she is so tenderly natural that he can’t help but match her.

Sometimes one wonders how actors arrive at on-screen chemistry? Maybe it’s about surprising each other. That’s what Fassbender told the National Board of review about one of their scenes together:

 I don’t like to talk too much, with either director or actor, before doing the scene. [ ] She just picks up the ball and she runs with it, like that scene—the scorpion scene. I put my hand underneath her dress; I didn’t tell her I was going to do that, and she took it and she went with it and then she kisses me and then pulls away. She’s got this sort of repulsion, and then she reengages, and she’s like, “I love this man, I feel him, he’s sick.” All these things are happening on her face. That’s when you realize you’re in the presence of somebody great.

Here’s part of that scene, however for the exact part Fassbender is talking about you'll have to go to the movies.

It looks like Cotillard, Fassbender and Kurzel had a good time creatively; they are reuniting for Assassin’s Creed which is currently shooting.


In Praise of Carey Mulligan in Suffragette

Murtada here, with a lot of love and respect for Carey Mulligan.

There's a scene late in Suffragette when Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) realizes the devastating enormity of the separation from her son. Mulligan’s face, in a second, flickers many emotions, all so overwhelming that you feel this woman’s pain in your gut. Yet she doesn’t overplay or milk the moment for maximum effect. She remains understated.

This is just one of many moments in the film in which Mulligan transcends her movie and reaches her audience with clarity and without exaggeration. Set in London in 1912, Suffragette tells the story of Watts, her education and indoctrination into the suffrage movement. When the film starts, she is working in a laundry, trying to survive a hard existence alongside her husband and young son. A chance encounter introduces her to the suffragettes and she becomes a member of their embattled movement. 

It is through Mulligan that we enter this world. Her character is a composite of many working women who were part of the movement and is built to be the audience surrogate. Her performance is so strong that the plight of these women is not only depicted effectively, but comes alive. I could not control my emotions or my tears. Mulligan’s performance is an emotional marvel and delivered with technical mastery. Her working class English accent is impeccable, her weariness and defeat is visible in her hunched back and heavy walk, her defiance rises to crescendo and is delivered with skillful control of her voice. This is why there are awards for acting.

The film is dividing critics and its reception is unfortunately lukewarm. Some accuse it of being well intentioned but conventional. "Earnest", "formulaic" and "schematic" are words used to describe Suffragette.

But the film derives most of its power from the performance at its center. Mulligan is riding on a wave of acclaim, with co-star Meryl Streep recently praising her:

"I’m in awe of your talent . . . I really am. I’m also in awe of your voice, which is like warm caramel poured over the English language. I applaud your taste in material and how you hold out for stuff. Even when you were young and didn’t have any money, you just did things that mattered. I can’t wait to see what Carey Mulligan will give us next, what new woman she’ll give birth to”.

In her earlier 2015 release Far From the Madding Crowd, Mulligan as Bathsheba Everdeen says "It's my intention to astonish you all". And you do Carey. Always.

Do you think Carey Mulligan in on her way to a second Oscar nomination?


Celebrity and Chill

Groggy this morning. MORE COFFEE. Please to enjoy these celebrities doing their casual things as we get our act together for the week. An exciting new week. One in which your host is not sick. What could it possibly hold? Any requests.

Let's begin with Jessica Chastain reading about Diane Keaton (as one does should)... "bookworm" 

A photo posted by Jessica Chastain (@chastainiac) on Oct 11, 2015 at 11:34am PDT

 Amanda Seyfried, Hugh Jackman, Jared Leto and more after the jump...

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Matt's Mouth Tastes Like Foot. And Other Truths & Lies

For those who aren't on Twitter where I got kind of worked up about Matt Damon's latest foot-in-mouth disease, a quick recap what went down is in order. Before we begin I think it's important to note that I have liked Matt Damon as an actor since School Ties (1992). I still like him as an actor and movie star and The Martian is a lot of fun. Go see it next weekend! What follows is in no way bitching about his work, his fame or even his character (I do not believe he's a homophobe, just that he doesn't quite "get" what he found himself talking about and should probably stop).

Why people (including me) got worked up about what he said after the jump... 

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