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RIP Gene Wilder

"He was everything and his Wonka is such a formative performance for me. RIP." -Ryan T

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"A gifted but never overly-showy comedian. I love that he knew just when to exit before he was compartmentalized by Hollywood into a specific type of role. " - Sawyer

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Entries in Actressexuality (68)

Friday
Jul292016

Cast This!: A Bosom Buddy for Tilda's Auntie Mame

Chris here. It's been so long since we first heard about Tilda Swinton's plans to remake Auntie Mame that we'd assumed the project had died. But, as it turns out, Annie Mumolo and Tilda Swinton are giving us a banquet because we poor suckers are starving to death.

While being interviewed by Vanity Fair, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Annie Mumolo let slip that she's working on the screenplay for Auntie Mame, with Tilda Swinton taking over Rosalind Russell's fur coat. No, it won't be a musical version, because Tilda Swinton in a musical would be too much for our tender hearts.

This would be a huge star vehicle for the actress, putting her at the forefront of a big cast rather than her usual spot on the periphery of comedic ensembles. One thing Swinton doesn't get enough credit for is her incredible chemistry with a wide range of different kinds of performers, so the possibilities to pair her with a great cast is all too exciting. From her nephew Patrick, goofy Gooch, and dreamy Beau, there are a lot of great parts to bounce of Swinton's eccentric socialite.

Vera (Coral Browne) and Mame (Rosalind Russell) in the 1958 classic

But the role we should all be most intrigued to see cast opposite Swinton's Mame is her bosom buddy Vera. More after the jump...

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Wednesday
Jul202016

Beauty Break: Natalie Wood Forever

My first true actress love as a wee boy watching her movies on TV whenever they'd pop up. She would have been 78 today. Happy Birthday in the Cosmic Cinema Pantheon, Natalie. Here are 12 glorious photos of her and a few listicles...

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Tuesday
Jul122016

Q&A: Oscar-Free Dames, Supporting Shortlists, Disney Renaissance

Just answering six reader questions this afternoon for time constraints so we'll do another handful later in the week. Thanks for all the great Qs, readers! Here we go.

GSHAQ: Do you feel the gap is widening between the stories told in mainstream movies and contemporary issues? Oops, that might be an essay. 

NATHANIEL: This question hurts my brain but I'll try. I do fear for the health of cinema which directly addresses contemporary issues. For a long time the movies have preferred past-tense filters for social and political issues, once it's safer since history has sorted out consensus. The best of those past-tense films also address the here and now through their resonant power (see: Selma). And there's something to be said for the facility that good genre films have in addressing the way we live via metaphor (The Babadook, Bridesmaids, and Melancholia are MUCH better films about depression than some earnest dramas that directly take it on) Even superhero films can be reflective of the here and now in spite of (or maybe because of) all their mixed messages and contradictory 'have it both ways' politics. I don't think it's an accident that Batman v Superman and Captain America: Civil War, whatever their disparate qualities, are asking the same questions about Might Equalling Right and whether we have the right checks and balances in place for those in power. These are issues that we're facing in very real ways all over the world. But, that said, we do need a reenergized contemporary cinema. If we can only think about tough issues through metaphor or by dwelling on the past, we have some maturation to do as a society!

It's true that movies made in the right-now about the right-now can age quickly (see movies we've recently discussed like Working Girl)  but if they're any good -- and sometimes even when they aren't -- they make great time capsules about the way we were, the things we valued, and the issues that laid claim to our collective mental real estate.  

BVR: Rank the animated movies from the Disney Renaissance (1989-1999). Extra: which is the most underrated?

NATHANIEL: This is cheating and asking for a top ten list but here's a NON commital answer after the jump...

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Tuesday
Jul122016

Three Women

Julie Christie, Ursula Andress, and Catherine Deneuve in 1966

Saturday
Jun182016

Tweetweek: Skarsgård, Fences, and... yes... Politics 

Time for a quick diversion - tweets that amused or edified this week, somewhat randomly selected.

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Thursday
Jun162016

Patricia Clarkson and Kristin Scott Thomas will be in a movie together

Murtada here. Iconoclastic British filmmaker Sally Potter (Orlando, The Man Who Cried, Ginger & Rosa) started shooting her new movie The Party, this week. The film, which unfolds in real time, revolves around a drinks party held by a London couple to celebrate the wife’s promotion to minister in the Shadow Cabinet. It is described by its producers like so:

a comedy wrapped around a tragedy. It starts as a celebration and ends with blood on the floor.”

Intriguing.

The cast includes Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Timothy Spall, Bruno Ganz, Cherry Jones and two TFE favorites Kristin Scott Thomas and Patricia Clarkson. One of whom might be playing the lead role of the celebrated minister. Since the movie is set in London we are guessing Scott Thomas. Not that we don't think Clarkson can rock an English accent...

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Tuesday
May312016

Dietrich, you little so and so!

For this week's Best Shot Episode: Marlene Dietrich. I asked participants to choose either Morocco (1930) or Blonde Venus (1932).

Her most fascinating scene in Blonde Venus: the confession.

Is Marlene Dietrich a good actress? This question haunted me while watching Blonde Venus, the fascinating Pre-Code movie in which Dietrich plays dozens of archetypes within a brisk 93 minutes: loving mother, drunk floozy, hot temptress, frigid lover, forest nymph, martyred saint, gold digger, confident androgyne, isolated immigrant, jaded bitch, dazzling entertainer. It's enough to give you whiplash if you're trying to get a bead on Helen Jones, her cabaret singer / struggling mother in Blonde Venus (1932).

On the one hand she does everything "wrong." She rarely modulates her voice. Her characterizations aren't especially cohesive -- an impression she gives you in one moment she might take back with force in the very next...

Click to read more ...