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"They're saying this is for Adam Driver what Kramer vs Kramer was for Dustin Hoffman. More about him than about her.  Scarlett, to me, is the open question. By now it's Driver vs Phoenix for best actor." - Melchiades - Andrew

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Entries in Amy Ryan (5)


Yes No Maybe So: Beautiful Boy

by Ben Miller

After a seemingly endless tease, we finally got the trailer for one of the most anticipated films of the year: Amazon Studio's Beautiful Boy.  Based on the memoirs of journalist David Sheff and his son Nic, the film follows David struggling through years of his son's addiction. Oscar-nominated Steve Carell steps into the role of David, while freshly Oscar-nominated Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) plays his son Nic. Let’s dive right in with another addition of Yes, No, Maybe So...


  • Love trailers that start out of nowhere!  My guess is that this diner scene is at least two-thirds of the way through the film

  • Carell looks to be in a quieter grief-stricken dramatic role, like he had in Last Flag Flying last year.  If that performance is any indication of what to expect, I am in.

  • Chalamet has really turned into a Hollywood wunderkind...

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Tribeca 2017: "Abundant Acreage Available"

Nathaniel R reporting from the Tribeca Film Festival

It's been 10 years since Amy Ryan broke through to "prestigious character actress" fame, whilst nabbing herself an Oscar nomination and critical hosannas for Gone Baby Gone (2017). In the years intervening, it's been fairly obvious that Hollywood didn't know what to do with her thereafter, often casting her in less than challenging roles as sympathetic wives (think Win Win or Bridge of Spies) or ex-wives (think Birdman). But she's finally no one's wife in the humble drama Abundant Acreage Available, and that lack of 'belonging to' is both writer/director Angus Maclachlan's (best known for the screenplay to the wonderful Junebug, 2005) and Ryan's own secret weapon, giving the movie its most appealing frictions...

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Review: The Infiltrator

Manuel here with a review of The Infiltrator which opened yesterday nationwide.

Fact: Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic is one of the most influential films of the 21st century. That’s not a qualitative assessment but an increasingly common thought that’s rankled in my brain. Can you believe Soderbergh actually struggled to get his film financed because Hollywood execs didn’t think audiences would want to watch an entire film about the drug trade?

Fast-forward to summer 2016 when USA is premiering Queen of the South, Netflix will bring us season 2 of Narcos, two competing El Chapo TV series are in development, and Bryan Cranston’s The Infiltrator joins an ever-growing list of films about the war on drugs that range from the sublime (Sicario) to the pedestrian (Blow) with everything in between (Savages, anyone?).

In Brad Furman’s The Infiltrator, the Breaking Bad actor plays U.S. Customs Service special agent Robert Mazur who, as is par for the course in certain genres, decides to take on one last job to go undercover as “Bob Musella.”...

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Scene Work: 'JBJ' in "Win Win"

We kicked off this new informal mini-series about key scenes we love in this year's movies chatting with Demián Bichir from A Better Life. Let's move on to another early release that is fighting for year end "remember us?" honors as precursor season begins. If Thomas McCarthy's well liked Win Win will compete anywhere it's likely to be in Original Screenplay category which still appears to be a free-for-all. Precursor prizes will undoubtedly narrow Oscar's focus but right now several combinations of the year's well received originals seem possible there.  

I was stunned to hear directly from Amy Ryan at a party that my favorite scene in the movie, wasn't even in the first version of the script. McCarthy added it later knowing something was missing and his instincts were spot on. So when I received the screenplay in the mail this weekend (swag pictured to your left) I opened immediately  to see that it was there in the "official" screenplay.

Up until this point in the movie Jackie, the plain spoken wife of Mike (Paul Giamatti as a lawyer/high school wrestling coach) has been trying and failing to make a connection to the young wrestler (Alex Shaffer) who is staying in her basement. They finally bond over tattoos after she sees several of his at the wrestling match. The dialogue in the scene (which I'd already transcribed) is mostly the same as in the official screenplay though the actors were obviously encouraged to play it as naturally as they could so there are a couple of different beats on screen.

Jackie: Okay so I gotta ask. Those tattoos must have hurt, right?
Kyle: Not really.
Jackie: Don't lie to me. Look.

Jackie lifts her pant leg. She has a small tattoo on her ankle.

Jackie: I got it on Spring Break. Hurt like hell.
Kyle: What does it say?
Jackie: "JBJ". Jon Bon Jovi. I'm a fan.
Kyle: Really?
Jackie: Yes, really. I'm a Jersey girl. You got a problem with that?
Kyle: No. I do not.

Jackie: That was fun today. You're good. I'm glad you started wrestling, again.
Kyle: Yeah, me too.
Jackie: No quitting this time, got that?

(The actors must have added the endearingly sarcastic "Really. Yes, really" exchange since it's not in the screenplay.)

At this point in the scene Kyle explains that he didn't quit his old wrestling team but was kicked off after stealing a teacher's car.  After telling him how stupid that was Jackie registers that Kyle already knows this. She softens and you can see in Amy Ryan's terrific performance (ordinary people portrayed with this much verve is all too rare at the movies) that she knows that he's basically a decent kid and feels pride in finally connecting with him.  

Jackie: Hey, we all do stupid things. The good news is you got another chance. And you're kicking butt. That's the way to do it.
Kyle: Yeah, I guess.
Jackie: Oh it totally is. You know who would agree with me? 
Kyle: Mike?
Jackie: No. JBJ. 

That scene sure is a winner. The next cut is to a wrestling meet, and we see Jackie newly enthused about the team and cheering Kyle on (to the tune of Jon Bon Jovi's "Have a Nice Day"). It's a perfect coda that plays way less sappy than it sounds; you want to pump your fist right along with her and JBJ.


Parties: Kneel Before Michael Shannon, Compare Tattoos with Amy Ryan

Party Reporting! It sounds like the cushiest job ever except that the pay is in free drinks and bite sized foods and you can't make rent with that. You can however find them delicious, which I do. So... I hit two movie parties last week and though neither were as decadent or as exciting as that Michael Fassbender / Shame party -- it's hard to beat the Top of the Standard for decadent opulence -- both were for good causes:  Michael Shannon and Woody Harrelson's Oscar Campaigns for Best Actor. Now, these technically weren't Oscar parties. There are strict limitations and quotas surrounding those. But all movie events for critically acclaimed films or performances have the same endgame in mind, don'cha know, so they're all virtual awards parties.

The winner is... [opening virtual envelope] .... ohmigod it's a tie! The first winner is "Whoever Networks Well" and the other winner is "the Actual Honoree of Whichever Event You're At". 

Rampart After-Party
I spoke briefly with Michael Shannon, who at 6'3" made me feel much shorter than I am (5'10"). He's far more handsome in real life than one expects given the often twitchy uncomfortable / confrontrational characters he's known for. A movie reporter friend of mine had already engaged him in conversation was talking with him about William Friedkin so I blurted out that I loved Bug on stage and on screen. The look on Shannon's face suggested to me that this is perhaps not usually the first thing out of a stranger's mouth. I also asked him if he was feeling intimidated at all about walking in Terence Stamp's iconic boots... for in the new Superman film. He was on a break from Man of Steel (2013) but indicated no fear at the prospect. He did say that when people ask him about the movie they almost always say or ask if he'll be saying the classic line "Kneel Before Zod!"

He did not gift me with the answer to this constant question... though to my credit I did not directly ask. This isn't a Superhero Movie News Blog.

I also thanked Oren Moverman (Rampart's writer/director) for giving so many great actresses parts, however tiny, that were worthy of them for a change. I'm talking bout Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver, Audra McDonald, Cynthia Nixon, Robin Wright and even Harriet S Harris who I had run into the week before accidentally outside of a screening.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP: Moments with Courtney Love, Amy Ryan, Celia Weston and Jake Gyllenhaal.

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