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Entries in Adaptations (212)

Wednesday
Jun072017

Revisiting "Crimes of the Heart"

In honor of Diane Keaton’s AFI Lifetime Achievement Award tomorrow, here’s Eric Blume with a look back at Crimes of the Heart (1986)

Beth Henley won a Pulitzer Prize in 1981 for her play Crimes of the Heart, and five years later it was retooled by Henley herself in a film version directed by Bruce Beresford.  The film teamed three of the biggest actresses of the 80’s:  Diane Keaton as the oldest spinster sister Lenny, Jessica Lange as saucy middle child Meg, and Sissy Spacek as spacey youngest Babe.   

Keaton is forced to carry the film for the first ten minutes out of the gate, and she’s strapped with some clunky exposition.  She feels tentative, which is partly aligned with her character, but in a way where she feels not fully assured, like she’s finding her way into the role.  Her Southern accent doesn’t come easily to her, and it takes her a while to learn how to make the accent soar to funny dimensions. 

But then ten minutes in, she has her first scene with Lange, and the film starts to find its groove...

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Thursday
May182017

Stage Door: "Six Degrees of Separation" Revived

Stage Door bringing you intermittent theater reviews when we manage to get there. Here's Nathaniel R

It's so basic to binge plays during Tony season as opposed to a more sensible and committed once-a-month diet of live theater. Alas, just as the more familiar mainstream obsession of the Oscar circus encourages studios to backload their releases to the last quarter of the year, most of the "big" theater shows open as late as they can for Tony consideration. This makes April and May a madhouse of theater-going for those who care about such things. Because most of the musicals are too expensive, I've been catching up with the plays. We've already covered The Little Foxes (a must see) and the Pulitzer-winning economic tragedy Sweat. So let's talk Six Degrees of Separation nominated for 2 Tonys: Best Revival of a Play and Best Leading Actor (Corey Hawkins).

"Chaos, control. Chaos, control. You like, you like?"

That's Stockard Channing's most sweetly funny line reading (among thousands of exquisite ones) in the 1993 movie adaptation of this stage classic. That was also, roughly, my reaction to the Broadway revival with Allison Janney, John Benjamin Hickey, and Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton), taking over the roles Channing, Donald Sutherland, and Will Smith played onscreen...

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Friday
Apr282017

Cate Blanchett will be Margo Channing

by Murtada

Fasten your seat belts, 2018 is gonna be a glorious year. At least for London theatergoers. Cate Blanchett will star as Margo Channing in a stage adaption of All About Eve (1950). Eve, which originally starred Bette Davis as Margois the ultimate backstage rivalry story. Margo is the big star fighting her huge ego as well as ageism as she tries to survive being upstaged by the young ingenue Eve, who starts as her biggest fan and assistant. Blanchett playing Margo is very meta. Forget that she already played Katharine Hepburn and now gets a chance to play her similarly lauded contemporary's most famous part...

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Sunday
Apr162017

Picture, Director, Screenplays ~ April Foolish Oscar Predix

by Nathaniel R

I've been rubbing my crystal ball vigorously backstage to bring you the new Oscar charts. Everything is up but the acting now Let's discuss our way too early April guesswork in these categories: PICTURE and DIRECTOR and SCREENPLAYS. Thoughts? Objections? Applause?

Which 2017 releases will Oscar voters fall hard for?

Perfect on paper
Looks right on paper for major Oscar love doesn't always translate to the real thing but I've fallen for the chances of this year's World War II dramas from Chris Nolan (Dunkirk) and Joe Wright (Darkest Hour). Curiously, though both men have helmed Best Picture nominees in the past, neither have been nominated for Best Director yet. So strange but I'm predicting both of them to get in. I'm also predicting Get Out to score a Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Film Editing nods. That might sound crazy but I don't think it is. As I've often said genre pictures need time with awards bodies to cement their worth. Jump in your time machine and I'll bet you people are still talking in glowing terms about Get Out in December and everyone starts rooting for its Oscar nomination because they've accepted that it's special...

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Wednesday
Apr122017

There's Something on Spike TV: "The Mist"

Robert here! It looks like the poor citizens of Maine are once again at the mercy of supernatural horrors as Stephen King's The Mist is being adapted into a miniseries for Spike TV. The new trailer dropped yesterday and it looks like this adaptation has it all: creepy priests, commentary on the decline of western consumerism, Frances Conroy, and even a same-sex kiss (that doesn't turn out so well :/).

All of that being said, as much as The Mist is perfect fodder for the miniseries treatment, I'm left feeling a little apprehensive by the current prospects of this one...

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Friday
Mar242017

Cate Blanchett gets a new sparring partner, Kristen Wiig

by Murtada

Cate Blanchett always manages to get sizzling chemistry with her female co-stars, whether the story they are in is sapphic or not. She had it with Judi Dench playing the architect of her destruction in Notes on a Scandal (2007). And with Sally Hawkins as her curtseying worse gened adoptive sister in Blue Jasmine (2013). Most famously, she had it with Rooney Mara as the girl flung out of space in Carol (2015). In the same movie she etched a believable and palpable friendship with Sarah Paulson. We assume she’ll do it again with Paulson next year in Ocean’s Eight (and with Sandra Bullock, Rihanna et al).Those set pictures don’t lie. And now we can add Kristen Wiig to the list.

They already make each other laugh

In the adaptation of Maria Semple’s bestselling novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette, to be directed by Richard Linklater, Cate and Kristen will be at odds with each other. Cate is Bernadette, a once world renowned architect turned recluse who is overwhelmed by her fellow private-school mothers in Seattle. Kristen is Audrey, one of those intense mothers who annoy Bernadette. Shades of Renata and Madeleine in Big Little Lies? If you've read the novel, you know that the Bernadette-Audrey relationship goes into some unexpected but very funny places. Can’t wait to see Blanchett and Wiig sparring.

There are two other great roles in the novel. Bee, Bernadette's 15 year old daughter who puts the pieces together of her mother’s elusive previous life. And Elgin, the husband and father, a genius computer scientist who leads a design team at a very famous tech company. Linklater was seen catching Cate’s final Broadway performance in The Present, just a few days ago. He brought along a friend, Ethan Hawke. Hmmmm. This could mean nothing but it could be a sign. No matter, let's play casting director. Who would you cast as Bee and Elgin?