Manuel here still recovering for a wonderful Pride weekend which I'm greedily extending for two more days with Bette Midler tonight and Fun Home tomorrow. Needless to say, movies and musicals, and movie musicals are on my mind. Thankfully, Amy Heckerling is here to tide me over, stoking Clueless fandom by letting us know she's finished writing the book for a stage musical adaptation of her 1995 film (though dampening the excitement a bit by confessing it's a jukebox musical to be directed by ??, of Rock of Ages fame). And so, since she acknowledged casting would be a big hurdle before we see "As if!" being uttered on stage, I thought we could help her out brainstorming names for the central three performances.
Entries in Adaptations (130)
You've read the new Supporting Actress Smackdown. Now here is it's companion podcast. This month there wasn't an obvious theme as in 1979's gender politics, but we had fun discussing the films and genres presented from noir to Shakespeare to soggy memoirs.
- 00:01 Introductions and how 1948 is new to us
- 04:20 I Remember Mama is a George Stevens film? And how about those accents in Mama and Johnny Belinda
- 18:00 Why did Key Largo only get one nomination -was it the noir thing?
- 21:00 Stage & Cinema - they're all play adaptations but Key Largo and Hamlet both have an Ophelia! Shakespeare archetypes and Orson Welles
- 33:00 Claire Trevor in Raw Deal (1948)
- 36:00 Alternate nominees plus other 1948 films we like: Easter Parade, Cry of the City and Red River.
- 40:00 Goodbyes and remake/recasting pitches from 1948
You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Please continue the conversation in the comments. Who would you have nominated in 1948 for the big categories -- particularly in supporting? Which of the four main films we discussed is your favorite?
And how about that Ann Miller in Easter Parade?
P.S. Further reading. During our 1948 month we looked at five additional films ICYMI: The Red Shoes, Letter From an Unknown Woman,the animated shorts of the year, Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Sorry Wrong Number
P.P.S. The next smackdown at the end of July is 1995 so make sure to watch Sense & Sensibility, Mighty Aphrodite, Georgia, Apollo 13, and Nixon this month for a refresher.
Before we get to the link roundup a bit of Oscar Housekeeping. There are no significant changes to the rules this year so we're stuck with "somewhere between 5 and 10 nominees" in terms of Best Picture (I'd been hoping for a set number, no matter what that set number was, as I like the awards to have proper comparative pleasures in the grand scheme of history). Wisely though in minor changes, the visual effects category gets an expanded finalist list before nominations (smart), and the shorts category get longer finalists lists to choose from and the number of nominations per category is set at a concrete five (it's usually five but sometimes it's less depending on how voting goes, currently). I do like the consistency but I wonder why they're still holding out on Makeup and Hair -- EVERY FILM USES IT which is more than you can say for a lot of categories. The makeup branch should get 5 nominated slots like every other Oscar branch category. Sucks to be them.
MNPP Flaunt and Jason try to convince us to love Aaron Johnson. Hey, no one else will.
A Fistful of Films reviews Inside Out from a parental perspective and cries all the way through it
Dissolve David Tennant takes over a Robin Williams voice role in the animation adaptation of Chew. I didn't actually know they were making this but that comic, which a friend of Anne Marie's turned me on to, is SO good and weird. So I'm excited for this
Towleroad somehow I missed this Magic Mike XXL clip of Matt Bomer singing. When perfect gets more perfect it's just so not fair, you know?
Kenneth in the (212) RIP Dick Van Patten. Remember "Eight is Enough"?
Mike's Movie Projector looks back at Dirk Bogarde in 1960
Movie Mezzanine looks back at The Blues Brothers (1980) -- I knew so many people who loved this movie growing up but I never "got" its appeal
The Hot Blog David Poland talks Inside Out's "Bing Bong"
Screen to... Other
Theater Mania 45 years after Love Story (1970) Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal are working together again -- they'll tour with the play "Love Letters" which had a short run on Broadway recently with rotating older celebrities
AV Club Fight Club (1999)... for kids?
Playbill Michael C Hall (Dexter) will star in a new Off Broadway David Bowie musical based on The Man Who Fell To Earth this fall. It's called "Lazarus"
Deadline Emmy winning Laurie Metcalf, so brilliant currently on the underseen sitcom Getting On has replaced Elizabeth Marvel in the upcoming Broadway adaptation of Misery (1990). So she does the Bruce Willis hobbling honors now
Showtune to Go...
The first photo of Taye Diggs as Hedwig has been released to excite you for his theatrical run in one of the great roles! So naturally our Showtune to Go this time is a Hedwig toon.
Given that not everyone can live in or even visit New York regularly and even those of us who do, can't see all the Tony nominees given our budgets, here's a list of ten plus smart movie choices if you'd like to feel tangentially invested in the upcoming Tony Awards (Sunday night! - should we live blog?) without actually having seen any of the shows! If you only have time for one movie make it an Ann Miller, Leslie Caron, or Gene Kelly movie as they're the unofficial mascots of this Tony season each having starred in two of the movies related to current Broadway hits.
If you can't make it to Broadway
Congratulations! You've already won. You don't have to watch the super dull Finding Neverland (2004) again because it's Broadway adaptation didn't earn a single nomination! On a sadder note if you want to play along at home and you love good movies, the Doctor Zhivago (1965) adaptation has already shuttered since the Tony voters shunned it (yeah, it wasn't good) so you don't get to watch that classic again at home ...at least for this project.
10 Saved! (2004) + Meet the Feebles (1989)
If you can't make it to NYC to see the blasphemous/hilarious Hand To God about a confused young man living with his religious mother who believes his hand puppet is possessed by the devil, try a religious satire and a filthy puppet movie instead. For maximum effect play these movies simultaneously side by side. (You may substitute any preferred religious comedy in place of Saved but dirty puppet movies are hard to come by)
Nine more movies (and Tony thoughts) after the jump...
In Far From the Madding Crowd, a new film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel, every eligible man wants Carey Mulligan’s winsome Bathsheba. But she cannot be tamed! (Funny how commitment phobia reads as strength in a female protagonist and weakness in a male protagonist). Or at least she won’t “settle” for less than what she’s already planned for herself. Nevertheless the wanting continues and the camera, observes her, often at a distance as with a memorable shot of Bathsheba laying back from her saddle, as if enjoying the tactile and visual sensations of the powerful creature beneath her and the vibrant foliage and sky above her.
(This review contains a general trajectory ending spoiler but it is based on a 151 year-old classic novel.)
Never ever under any circumstances take another 8 year break from the cinema. The reviews for Carol (2015) read at times like an ecstatic mirage, dehydrated desert critics stumbling upon a Haynes-flavored pool. Its weird ½ an actress prize at Cannes, for the unexpected ½ at that, feels somehow fitting given the prismatic way you like to view identity (Velvet Goldmine, I'm Not There, etc).
I can't tell you the joy I felt this morning waking up to the news that you've added a third project (!!!) to your upcoming slate after so much hibernation. Of the two we already knew about a TV series set in a 1970s commune sounds the most promising; it's an underexplored rich topic in terms of time period and political content -- you're counter culture enough to do it justice. The other project, the Untitled Peggy Lee Biopic is a swell idea, too. You're the one filmmaker who is creatively incapable of making a dully traditional biopic (Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story / I'm Not There) and Miss Peggy Lee lived through all your favorite eras. We already know that its star Reese Witherspoon can sing thanks to her Oscar winning role as June Carter Cash and though we can't quite picture her as one of your muses a la Moore (Far From Heaven / [safe]) or recently Blanchett, we can picture her as a Barbie doll and we know you like those. At any rate, the part is a good fit for her. Peggy has so many classic songs, she was indominatable enough to serve as one of the original inspirations for Miss Piggy and that six decade career / four failed marriages surely contain plentiful dramatic fodder.
But the happiest news may well be the newest. You're planning to adapt Brian Selznick's children's book Wonderstruck for Killer Films??? How wonderful. That bifurcated tale featuring a boy in the Seventies pining for his father and a girl in the Twenties dreaming of an actress should provide ample spark for your formidable creativity.
You're 54 now, Todd. There are only so many years in a life. I'm not telling you to rush through these next projects but please never ever under any circumstances whatsoever take an eight year break from the cinema again in which we only get a remake of something that was already more than wonderful enough to begin with (Mildred Pierce). It was a painful drought.
Your forever fan, xoxo