Oscar History

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Entries in Ann Dowd (21)


Emmy Review: Drama Supporting Actress 

We've been reviewing various Emmy categories as the Academy completes their voting (ballots due Monday). Here's Spencer Coile...

It is an exciting change of pace to see the Drama categories actually become competitive this year. No race demonstrates this better than the Drama Supporting Actress category. After last year's batch of mostly Game of Thrones ladies (with Maggie Smith still sleepwalking her way to another victory), the six ladies this year feel fresh, new, and all worthy of discussion. Uzo Aduba is the only returning nominee (after missing the year before), so all six of the contenders in this category feel viable for the statue. Only one can be victorious...

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Emmy Review: Drama Guest Actress 

By Spencer Coile 

Historically announced with the Creative Arts Emmy Awards Show, Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series is a category often filled to the brim with brilliant performances -- making it no less memorable than the main stage categories. Won in the past by the likes of Allison Janney, Margo Martindale, Carrie Preston, and other incredible actresses of strage and screen, the soon-to-be winner will be joining prestigious company. 

Fortunately, the nominees for the category this year are (for the most part) equal parts memorable and thoughtful -- leaving a lasting impact on their series. Let's dive into this year's nominees and determine who will and should win...

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Beauty vs Beast: Children of the Night

Jason from MNPP here with this week's brand new edition of "Beauty vs Beast." Isn't it weird that Marvel says they have no current plans to reboot the Blade series? I know, I know, we're supposed to be against reboots. But Blade is a great character with great name recognition, and he's a great character with great name recognition of color on top of that, so maybe we should set aside our prejudices in this instance. It has been thirteen years since the last film, after all. I really like the original Blade trilogy though, and so here on Wesley Snipes' 55th birthday let's give some love to the original 1998 film, which I've always in particular had a soft spot for... especially with regards to its bad guy played by a sleazily charismatic Stephen Dorff.

PREVIOUSLY Last week we wandered into the land of Gilead and faced off the Emmy nominated ladies of The Handmaid's Tale - sure enough voting for a bitter pill like Ann Dowd's villainous Aunt proved difficult in our current political situation and Elisabeth Moss took a whopping 80% of your vote. Said Duncan Dykes:

"Such great scene partners - feeding off of each other and selling the dystopian world better than any production design or visual effects could.... Points to Ann Dowd for consistently unexpected characterization - her apparently genuine care for some of the girls (Janine in particular, striking considering her initial torture of her) adds shades of humanity to her in most unnerving ways. She speaks more like a preacher or particularly disapproving parent than a general or warden, which makes the character all the more intriguing.

Ultimately however you have to go with Elisabeth Moss for a spellbinding symphony of a performance - deeply felt humanity, her drained voice and face, the precision of her furtive glances of longing or fear or paranoia or anger. She spends such stretches of the show with everything on the inside that when she gets to let loose and expose traces of the fury she feels regarding her situation, it leaves you shaking. Brava."


Beauty vs Beast: The Gilead Girls

Happy Monday, Jason from MNPP here with our weekly "Beauty vs Beast" fun-time experience. While you were all enjoying Elisabeth Moss' charm offensive on the Emmy Actress Roundtable this past weekend what you should have been doing is baking a birthday cake for her, because she turns 35 today.

Did we all watch The Handmaid's Tale? I'm thinking enough of us did (there was actressing from every angle, after all) that we can go ahead and have this week's contest be between Moss as Offred and her fellow Emmy nominee (not to mention honorary member of Team Film Experience!) the great Ann Dowd. Does Aunt Lydia's religious fervor strike too close to home, or is Dowd's take on the role just too delicious to ignore? You tell me.

PREVIOUSLY To be honest I am shocked that Charlton Heston won any votes in our Planet of the Apes off last week, but he was still soundly beat - Kim Hunter's Dr. Zira took over 81% of the vote. I guess his hands really are cold and dead now. Said Tom:

"Team Zira because empathetic scientists crying out the truth to an unbelieving world seems so important now."



Two Must Reads @ Vulture
In this moment I really must bow down. Vulture just slayed all this week. I'm sure it helps to have a huge budget and access to hundreds of talented writers but still. I am regularly in awe. Particularly of these two pieces:

Lots more good linkage after the jump...

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"Praised Be": Or, The Handmaid's Tale 

By Spencer Coile

Mad Men ended almost two years ago. For many fans, it was the end of an era as we watched Don Draper spiral out of control, while Peggy Olson climbed the ladder to success. It was a story many of us cherished for its seven year run. Importantly, though, it was the series that catapulted Elisabeth Moss to stardom. Sure, she had stints on The West Wing and later found success in film and on Broadway, but it was Mad Men that helped pave the way for Moss to be where she is now. For many fans (myself included), we found ourselves wondering when Moss would claim another role that used her incredible, chameleon-esque acting abilities the same way Mad Men did. 

And then Hulu ordered a straight-to-series 10 episode adaptation of Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel, A Handmaid's Tale. After its premiere (today), it is safe to say that Elisabeth Moss is back. And better than ever. Of course, she is not the only stellar quality to the series. After the jump, a review of the first two episodes of The Handmaid's Tale. And boy, are they doozies... 

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Review: Captain Fantastic

Here's Murtada with thoughts on an essential hero for these particular times, Viggo Mortensen as Captain Fantasic  (opening this weekend).

Captain Fantastic opens by immediately throwing the viewer into its physical world. Forests, mountains, people hunting and gathering. If I didn’t know the synopsis beforehand I’d have thought I was watching a update of Lord of the Flies. Instead the film is about a fiercely independent patriarch (Viggo Mortensen) raising his six children in forests of the Pacific Northwest, teaching them how to thrive while turning his back on a conventional contemporary life and what it means and may offer.

This particular fantasy felt extremely appealing in a post-Brexit, Trump world...

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The Many Faces of Ann Dowd ~ 25 Years in Film & TV

As this new week begins, I need to take a moment to express gratitude for what made last week special. Ann Dowd was gracious with her time and thoughts for a special guest blog day. In case any of you missed it, it was neat to get an insight into her work on The Leftovers, hear about her teenage reaction to Romeo & Juliet, and more. I particularly enjoyed her comments on falling in love with acting and advice for young actors. Regarding the latter, I'm not an actor but it resonated with me strongly and I think it's great advice for any career that requires risk, heart, soul, and the ability to handle considerable peaks and valleys.

Which is quite a few careers if you stop to think about it.

Ann Dowd's film and television career began in earnest 25 years ago in 1990 with a role in the Golden Globe Comedy winner Green Card and guest appearances on two different TV series The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd and The Baby-Sitter's Club.

this is just scratching the surface

Her gallery of characters has been growing ever since but with critical raves and a few prizes for her riveting film-carrying work as a duped fast food manager in Compliance (2012) audiences finally starting putting a name to the face. Ever since we've been blessed with more and more of her. The Leftovers was arguably her greatest showcase yet. If Emmy voters don't notice what casting directors already have, it'll be their loss. 

What's your favorite Ann Dowd character and did her Guest Blog Day make you long for more peeks into your favorite character actors? (I'll take suggestions)