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Entries in Anjelica Huston (20)

Monday
Dec212015

Beauty vs Beast: Red & Green & Tangerine

Jason from MNPP here, wishing you and yours a Ha Ha Happy Holidays with a Ho Ho Ho in your heart -- since it's Christmas Week I figured what better way to celebrate the festive mood than with the hilarious and heartfelt brand new Christmas classic, right up there with Batman Returns and Eyes Wide Shut, that is Sean Baker's Tangerine. Like Keiran argued recently my favorite character in the film is also Alexandra (played by a lovely Mya Taylor), but for "Beauty vs Beast" purposes its gotta be Sin-dee (the very funny Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) versus her pimp-snatching rival and "real fish girl" Dinah (Mickey O'Hagan's hilarious performance should be getting more attention too)...

PREVIOUSLY Two weeks ago we looked back at the 25th anniversary of The Grifters and set two of TFE's fave actresses against each other in a con-woman cage-match -- well repeating history it was tough mama Lilly (played by a maybe never better Anjelica Huston) who shoved her way to the front with over 70% of your vote! Said kermit_the_frog:

"I choose Huston here - Tthe Grifters is a far more sinister and unpleasant film than I first thought it was. That Huston makes you actively root for the character is achievement in itself. By the way, I nominate Huston twice in Best Actress 1990 - this and The Witches (I've never understood the annoying 'one nomination per category' rule!"

Monday
Dec072015

Beauty vs Beast: Everything's Coming Up Con

Jason from MNPP here with our weekly battle of the good-to-bad guys called "Beauty vs Beast" -- today I'm taking us deep inside all of the shades of gray in between. This past weekend marked the 25th anniversary of Stephen Frears' first US film, the electric noir The Grifters, which came out in limited release on December 5th, 1990. It is a very good movie! If you haven't seen it in awhile, you should. It was nominated for four Oscars -- Frears was nominated for Director, writer Donald Westlake got a Best Adapted nod, and the final two nominations went to the two lovely, too awful ladies making muck out of John Cusack's poor-sap-life...

PREVIOUSLY We're really loving on the year 1990 this month - last week it was Misery's turn, and with a swing of the sledgehammer Annie Wilkes took Paul Sheldon down for the count again, walking off with just over 3/4s of the vote. James Caan had his cheerleaders though (besides myself, even) - here's what brookesboy says:

"Kathy is so entertaining in this, but Annie is torturing some poor dude who does not deserve it one lil bit. And I don't know anyone who isn't fully delighted when Paul cracks her skull with that brass pig. Annie gets the bronze--where it counts; Paul gets the gold."

Wednesday
Aug052015

Beauty Break: John Huston & The Huston Dynasty

Today is the 109th birthday of the famed director John Huston. Of course he died long ago, just a few weeks after this picture with his daughters Allegra and Anjelica was taken in fact, at the age of 81. But what a filmography! And what a showbiz family.

The Hustons are one of the rare families with multiple Oscar-winning generations. They're also ridiculously photogenic, with faces that march straight past traditional pretty with strong noses held high as if they can't be bothered with generic beauty standards. Their faces fascinate. They have character. They're ideal for storytelling. More...

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Friday
Mar132015

A Twist On a Classic With "Ever After" (1998) 

Cinderella Week continues with abstew ...

The Barrymores and the Hustons. Two dynasties that over decades and generations left their legacy on stage and screen, taking their place as acting royalty. It's fitting that the classic tale of the young cinder girl that manages to actually become royalty would finally bring these two families together on film. Other than a 1939 documentary about the history of America called Land of Liberty which contained footage of John and Lionel Barrymore and Walter Huston (and if you look at the cast list from IMDB, apparently every star in Hollywood at the time...), it was 1998's Ever After that marked the first time a member of the Barrymore family acted alongside a member of the Huston family. And for Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston, representing their respective families, the pairing proved to be as enchanting as the timeless tale. 

Unlike the other magical, musical versions of Cinderella that we've been discussing, in this version, made during the height of late '90s "Girl Power" our main character is far from passive and pet mice aren't trying to help win her the love of a prince. Renamed Danielle de Barbarac, you are more likely to find her reading a tattered copy of Sir Thomas More's Utopia and debating the worth of all human beings than you are to see her harmonizing with songbirds. Tough, determined, and able to fend for herself, thank you very much (punches, daggers, and apple throwing employed when need be), at one point in the film she even rescues the prince (Dougray Scott) by throwing him over her back and carrying him away. Screenwriter Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) created a modern woman (that just happens to be living in the 16th century) for modern audiences perfectly embodied by modern-day Drew Barrymore. [More...]

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Wednesday
Sep032014

Podcast Pt 1: Smackdown Companions & Left Feet: A Love Story

As a companion piece to the Supporting Actress Smackdown, we recorded a companion podcast. In the first half we talk misleading movie posters, Oscar campaigns, the outcome of the smackdown, Jim Sheridan's My Left Foot and Paul Mazursky's Enemies A Love Story and directorial,  acting choices, sexism, and point-of-view storytelling.

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments. We'd love to hear your comments on either film, and what your big takeaway from this month's Smackdown was. 

Smackdown Pt 1: My Left Foot Love Story

Sunday
Aug312014

Smackdown 1989: Anjelica, Brenda, Dianne, Lena, and Julia Roberts

Presenting the Nominated Supporting Actresses of 1989. Motherhood was the loose theme of the shortlist with a determined mom (Brenda Fricker) facing off against a determined-to-be-a-mom bride (Julia Roberts). Add in 1986's Oscar winner in this category (Dianne Wiest) as a mom so exasperated maybe she wished she hadn't become one in one of 89's top ten box office hits. Rounding out the list was a late breaking pair of women with claims on the same married man. Only one of them is married to him but... well, let's just say it's complicated. It's complicated for all five of these women.

THE NOMINEES

 

Then-unknown Irish character actress Brenda Fricker, gifted with a screen partner who would go on to become Oscar's most-winning Best Actor, took the gold. But the other four were in-demand hot commodities. Lena Olin who had emerged the year before (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) as a memorably erotic screen presence made good on that breakthrough. Anjelica Huston and Dianne Wiest, both recent Oscar winners, had yet more memorable turns in beloved films around the corner. But it was Julia Roberts who was the true breakout of the season... she went super nova literally three days before the actual ceremony with the release of her follow up Pretty Woman. Had the Oscars been a month later she might've won on in-the-moment global mania; the film was a hit everywhere grossing nearly ½ a billion dollars worldwide in 1990.

THIS MONTH'S PANELISTS

You've already heard 'what 1989 means to them' and now here to talk about these five performances are critics Nick Davis (Nicks Flick Picks), Kevin B Lee (Fandor Keyframe), Tim Robey (The Telegraph), Tasha Robinson (The Dissolve), Todd VanDerWerff (Vox) and your host Nathaniel R (The Film Experience). With a shoutout to StinkyLulu for the original Smackdown inspiration in which we revisit Oscar shortlists of the past without all the campaigning and heat-of-the-moment politics that infect each awards race.

Without further ado, the Smackdown...

1989
SUPPORTING ACTRESS SMACKDOWN 

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Wednesday
Aug272014

Introducing... The Supporting Actress Nominees of 1989

It's just a few days until the Smackdown of 1989. Have you voted yet? You've met our panel, now let's meet the Supporting Actress nominees we'll be discussing as they're introduced in their movies. If you hadn't yet seen the movie would you be expecting an Oscar nomination from their first scene? What do the scenes telegraph to the audience?

1 minute in Meet "Mrs Brown" (Brenda Fricker in My Left Foot)
We see Christy Brown's mother before we see Christy Brown (Daniel Day Lewis)... unless you count his eponymous appendage. But it's merely during the credit sequence so we only glean that she's the mum and that they're going somewhere special since she checks herself in the mirror. It doesn't take long to understand her importance. At the end of the first full scene we see a painting Christy made of her with a slow zoom that dissolves into flashback in a maternity ward - a mighty clue that she's absolutely central to the movie. 

A pink-loving bride and three more real characters after the jump

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