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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Anna Kendrick (14)

Thursday
Mar062014

Links & Ink

Awards Circuit is hosting a March Madness tournament featuring all the Best Actress winners ever - the games started yesterday
Rope of Silicon a special remix of "Hero": Mariah Carey feat. Matthew McConaughey
Daily News Cate Blanchett & Amy Adams went to a tattoo parlor together with their men in tow after the Oscars! I would never have predicted that for a double date between them, would you? The bandages indicate that at least Cate and Amy's man got tattooed.

D-Listed The gowns from the Vanity Fair party (I'm so far behind I'm still reading about Post-Oscar partying)
PopBytes sneak peak at Lindsay Lohan series on Oprah's channel (I forgot all about this!)
Hollywood Elsewhere blurry snapshots from the set of Warren Beatty's Hughes film 

<--- Variety Alfonso Cuarón on life post-Oscar. Um... it's been 72 hours! LOL. But we'll excuse it because isn't that cover image great?
The Cut Lupita Nyong'o breaking the mold of the "ingenue 'it' girl" as a dark skinned 31 year-old
Twitter... but apparently Christian Bale is not impressed?
EW why Vivienne Jolie-Pitt is in Maleficent
Pajiba on Anna Kendrick's Oscar weekend diary
Self Styled Siren interviews Mark Harris on his new book "Five Came Back" 
Defamer how much booze was consumed at Vanity Fair's Oscar party? Celebrate the excess. Hey, it's only once a year and it's all over. *sniffle*

Wednesday
Feb262014

"Knowing Jack, it might be some pretend place"

Intelligent Life effortless performances. Oscar don't like 'em
TV Line Looking gets a second season. The great supporting cast (save Scott Bakula. Hmmm) promoted to "series regular" - this is terrific news. The show isn't necessarily great but it's good and a lot of great shows only finally harness their true potential in Season 2. 
Cinema Blend Netflix & Marvel's Daredevil series is starting production this summer. I've always felt that superheroes belong more on the small screen (it's more episodic like comic books) so I'm totally excited for this. And also because the movie was so dreadful. The only way is up.

In Contention Martin Scorsese and shifts in Oscar for the past decades
krupyeahstephensondheim this hilariously titled tumblr has a surely bootlegged snippet of Meryl Streep singing in Into the Woods
Playbill first look at Disney's Aladdin on Broadway
Hollywood Reporter Sandra Bullock's pay day for Gravity now over $70 million... probably heading towards $100 when all is said and done. Wow.
Yahoo Movies Anna Kendrick says musicals "are f***king hard" and needs a break from them. She's got three of them coming out in the next 12 months or so (a career pivot we've discussed before). 

me me me
Deadline Ava Duvernay of the great Middle of Nowhere will be directing the new Martin Luther King bio Selma starring David Oyelowo. This is all kinds of great news for two talents TFE has been rooting for for the past couple of years. (You may remember I talked to David Oyelow briefly at the Critics Choice Awards and he loves that movie. As well he should)
Multimedia Composition This is one of the nicest compliments I've ever been paid. College students are learning to be better critical thinkers about the movies with my Hit Me With Your Best Shot series as inspiration. Please to note. Details on Season 5 of "Hit Me" are coming this weekend! Any suggestions?
VF Hollywood & Awards Daily Oscar bloggers talk about predicting the big race. Wish I'd been invited but it sounds like they had an interesting conversation even without my genius

finally...
if you haven't yet read about this conversation Anne Hathaway had about Brokeback Mountain you must. She credits that telephone call scene with her entire career. Yes!  That movie is so perfect. Across the board perfect. 

Sunday
Feb162014

The Last Link Years

Inside Movies Anna Kendrick talks the making of The Last Five Years
imgur Best Picture nominees as Legos
David Kawena has added Prince Hans from Frozen to his NSFW 'Disney Heroes' series
TFE ...and speaking of Frozen, I've updated that best "Let it Go" covers post with new entries 

 

Movie Morlocks Montgomery Clift in The Young Lions and the second chance that never was
Gothamist John Henson, puppeteer and son of Jim Henson, dies at 48
Sad and Useless "famous women with Steve Buscemi eyes" 
Variety reports on the Sci-Tech Awards. Goodbye to film, hello all digital 
THR The LEGO Movie blooper reel 

And Happy Birthday to Me! Netflix will release the second season of Orange is the New Black on my birthday June 6th.

Such a thoughtful gift!

Sunday
Feb022014

Links

Vidiocy Karina Longworth on the great Pauline Kael vs Meryl Streep wars
In Contention London Film Critics choose Cate Blanchett and Barkhad Abdi for honors (among others)
The Guardian on the Australian Oscars basically being one long party for The Great Gatsby (which won nearly every award it was up for)
Tom & Lorenzo what Cate Blanchett was wearing to that same event


Thompson on Hollywood TIFF is laying down the law with studios/filmmakers -- no more sloppy seconds due to Telluride "surprises"
Vulture how hot is Anna Kendrick? Improv class hot 

More on Philip Seymour Hoffman
TFE Amir already honored him here in case you missed it.
Kenneth in the (212) covering every major newspaper
Punch Drunk Critics told us that Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal for depression era creepy drama Ezekiel Moss...but this was the day before P.S. Hoffman died so who knows what will happen now. Sounds like a good project though
E Online tells that he hadn't yet finished filming his scenes for the two Hunger Games: Mockingjay films.


Slate strong piece positing that one particular scene in Boogie Nights made the actor a star
The Atlantic has a piece on PSH's talent that fascinated me. It's very well written but its thesis is EXACTLY the opposite about how I always felt about him as an actor, claiming that his greatest gift was understatement. I think he almost never understated anything... which is why he thrills people so much in big moments but also why I did not like his performance in Doubt at all (way too bold when that role needs exceptional restraint to cloud the issues, hence the title) and why my three favorite performances of his I consider very atypical because they have these lovely quiet non red-faced & screaming layers and subtle details. But it's a really good read. 

Thursday
Jan302014

Sundance: 'Lilting' and 'Happy Christmas'

Our last two Sundance movies! But for the roundup/index post in the morning, this is our final bit of coverage from Sundance 2014. Let's end with two movies featuring faces and topics I'm willing to bet you'll love: Ben Whishaw in a gay culture-barrier drama and Melanie Lynskey and Anna Kendrick in a dramedy about sister-in-laws.

Chang Pei Pei & Ben Whishaw in "Lilting"

LILTING
Remember Chang Pei Pei as Jade Fox in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon? She's just as pissed off in Lilting, but with good reason. Her only son Kai (Andrew Leung) has abandoned her by way of sudden death. This is not a Spoiler Alert: We see him in flashbacks but he's dead as the story begins. She's left grieving and alone... but for unexplained visits from her son's "best friend" (Ben Whishaw) though she can't fathom why he keeps dropping in since a) she hates him though she can't exactly say why and b) she doesn't technically know that her son was gay. Props to Pei Pei's performance that those two details are so willfully and obtusely fused together. She knows. By the very nature of its plot, particularly if you've lost someone you deeply loved way too early in life, Lilting is hugely moving; I was a wet-faced wreck. But while the film gets much thematic resonance from Chang's inability to adapt or communicate in her new homeland (she never learned the language and leaned on her son heavily), I did grow frustrated with the constant withholding. Ben keeps refusing to tell her the truth, even though he has every reason and backstory desire to do so. Lilting won the World Cinema Cinematography prize and, though its simple images have a kind of crystalline beauty, I can only assume this prize is for all the dreamy shots memorializing the peak beauty of Andrew Leung & Ben Whishaw lolling about shirtless and snug in bed. That peaceful aesthetic beauty amplifies the furiously unfathomable irreversible loss of love.

Grade: B
Distribution: Not at this point but LGBT films usually find their way eventually. It was much easier for LGBT to get traditional distribution years ago when gay people were loyal to the arthouses. (But that hasn't been the case in some time.)

The Cast of Happy Christmas © Larry Busacca/Getty Images

HAPPY CHRISTMAS
IMPORTANT NOTE: Chicago readers can see this later today at the Music Box Theater with Joe Swanberg in attendance doing a Q&A!
Happy Christmas is an intimate highly enjoyable and tighly focused dramedy about a husband and wife (Swanberg with Melanie Lynskey) with a newish baby (Jude Swanberg - too hilarious!) who are lending their basement to the husband's sister (Anna Kendrick) after her latest breakup. Leaving the theater afterwards I wondered how much better Swanberg's films might be with a little more time for second drafts or rehearsal. He keeps cranking them out and though they're all quality (I highly recommend All the Light in the Sky if you can find it) they don't quite crossover. But then I realized how uncharitable that was. Though Happy Christmas is perhaps too modest for greatness I must also quickly emphasize that it is wholly satisfying. Swanberg describes his impetus for making the movie as wanting to dramatize the process by which in-laws become siblings. That's a beautiful goal and a rare topic, too. Also rare: the opportunity to see great supporting actors like Lynskey dig into a large role and mix it up in zesty character-based comic scenes with Lena Dunham & Anna Kendrick. (Swanberg writes outlines but the actors fill in the details)

Lena Dunham & Anna Kendrick babysit Jude Swanberg in "Happy Christmas"

On a related in-house note, I wanted to give a shout out to a reader 'TB' who, in our recent post about Anna Kendrick and the Movie Musical, provocatively suggested the following:

that Anna Kendrick is emerging as the face of musicals is a fundamental sign that modern Hollywood doesn't understand what makes musicals work. She constantly positions herself as an actress above and outside her films, happily pointing to all of the places where it's not real. She's skittish around her own emotions. She has two feet FIRMLY planted in reality at all times. She's staunchly contemporary. It's not just that these are flaws, it's that these...directly work against what a musical needs to survive.

I thought that was an astute point even if I don't wholly agree that a very contemporary persona can't work within the movie musical, a more flexible genre than most will concede. But I am happy to report that there is a pretty great moment in a funny-touching scene in Happy Christmas with Lynskey wherein Kendrick totally embraces and uses this very quality described FOR her characterization, both playing it out and commenting on her own skittishness. I think she's really talented. And, as it turns out, self aware. 

Grade: B+
Distribution: Yes. It's Magnolia so a very limited release will happen eventually. No word yet on when. But if you're in Chicago,  GO SEE IT TODAY. It's fun and sweet and the ensemble is great.