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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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in Annette Bening (32)


The Bening to the Rescue!

Murtada here. 2015 is a banner year for actresexuals. From Clouds of Sils Maria in the spring, to the summer of prickly older ladies (Lily, Blythe and Meryl) and through to this month’s Brooklyn and Carol, we were spoiled. Looking forward to 2016 though, it is looking barren. It might just be early days as the release calendar hasn’t taken full shape yet.

But fear not actressexuals, Annette Bening’s coming to rescue us all from more stories about men and the obsession with their legacy and position in the world (ahem Steve Jobs!). Here she is, in glorious ratty overalls on the set of 20th Century Women. Mike Mills' long awaited follow-up to Beginners is a casting dream with lead roles for The Bening, Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning. Bening is Dorothea Fields, a mother raising her teenage son, Jamie, in Southern California in the summer of 1979. Also in Jamie’s life are a sophisticated photographer (Gerwig) and his teenage friend (Fanning). Mills based the characters on women he knew growing up.

And what’s with those blue overalls? And she’s not looking too happy. Hopefully that means there’s lots of drama to deal with. Mills after all made a poignant and beautiful story in Beginners, another movie he based on his personal experiences. That led to Christopher Plummer winning an Oscar. Could he work his magic for The Bening as well?

Are you excited for 20th Century Women? What other 2016 releases do you think can continue the actressexuals bliss we are having now?


Annette Bening, the Romantic Comedienne

Andrew here. I could not let the celebration of 1995, which ends with tomorrow's Smackdown, pass without singling out one of the most important performances of the year from my favourite actress.

The American President represents a key moment in my Bening love affair because this – her tenth film after seven years in the business – represents my first meeting with her, and it was obsession at first sight. But enough about me. This mostly forgotten gem allows Annette to perform in a cadence that she's been rarely allowed to show her abilities - Annette Bening, at 37 years old, the best romantic comedy heroine of the 90s...

Click to read more ...


The Bening Returns

My loyal subjects!

You may trumpet the glorious news, loudly. I am soon returned to you. As you prepare to indulge in Mad Max: Fury Road this weekend, please understand that I had no choice but to turn down the role of "Imperator Furiosa," a fierce military commander. For who would believe me as anything less than "Empress" or "Immortan". The help? Please. 

My man-servant Beatty has yet to title his next picture but I deigned to offer my support for his loyalty since 1991. The first still features the film's biggest draw, pictured below with Lily Collins. After that epic, sure to sweep the Oscars, I have agreed to star in three more films. Why should Mary Louise have all the roles/fun? I am to play Catherine, the eponymous character in "The Great" though we only have a script right now so you must be patient. Before that I will headline the film adaptation of the classic play "The Seagull" (with some upstart named Saoirse Ronan).

After that tour de force, I will lead ladies-in-waiting Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning through Mike Mill's film "20th Century Women."  Forgive the title for I bridge centuries.

Your Queen,

- The Bening


A Year with Kate: Love Affair (1994)

Episode 51 of 52: In which In which Katharine Hepburn gives her blessing to Annette Bening and my inner actressexual weeps with joy.

A man and a woman bump into each other on a transatlantic flight. He’s charmed. She’s unimpressed. They both wear impeccably tailored suits. She banters. He flirts. A freak accident lands them on a Russian cruise ship. Their banter gives way to conversation. Their flirtation leads to longing looks and rose-tinted kisses. They both fall in love. But they’re engaged to other people.

If the opening to Love Affair sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It’s not a Tracy/Hepburn comedy, nor a Bogie/Bacall noir. In fact, it’s a remake of a remake, told first in 1939 (Love Affair starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer), then in 1957 (An Affair to Remember starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr), and later canonized in Nora Ephron’s 1989 film Sleepless in Seattle. The third version of Love Affair keeps the story intact: Terry McKay (Annette Bening) and Mike Gambril (Warren Beatty) start an affair on a cruise and promise to meet in three months at the top of the Empire State Building.

Surprisingly, the 1994 film is an even more old fashioned than its progenitors. The first two movies hold the whiff of scandal, but in his remake, Warren Beatty set out to make a simple romantic film with his new wife, Annette Bening. He even cast Katharine Hepburn, Hollywood legend, as the wisdom-spouting aunt. And while Kate only has one scene, her influence is felt throughout the film, because this is a film that is all about its stars.

Click to read more ...


And in Other Actressexual News...

Manuel here to share some news about TFE’s favorite ladies.

Did you catch Nicole Kidman at the premiere of Paddington this past week? She looks so excited! Maybe it’s because she knew they’d be releasing news about her upcoming David E. Kelley limited TV series adaptation of Liane Moriarty's book Big Little Lies alongside sure-to-be-Oscar-nominated Reese Witherspoon? [Side-note, if you feel like you’re experiencing deja-vu, it’s because we had just been discussing other casting news about that property here at TFE a couple of months ago!]

I can’t be the only one who’s already picturing the red carpet and party pictures that’ll bring together Nicole and Michelle Pfeiffer (otherwise known as Mrs E. Kelley) and while I’d love to be able to share some Pfeifferrific news, the next best thing: share some news on Annette Bening and thus manage a TFE actressexual trifecta post.

La Bening’s newest film, The Face of Love will be in cinemas and available digitally from December 12 (though it'd apparently already come out back in March? Has anyone caught it?) The film follows Nikki, a recent widow who embarks on a relationship with a man (Ed Harris) who bears more than a passing resemblance to her husband. The film also features one of Robin Williams’ last performances. I also wanted to take this opportunity to share this Elle magazine cover, because, c'mon, she looks great:

Catch the trailer for the film below:

Will you pay your respects to La Bening? Are you excited about this Reese-Nicole collaboration? Julianne Moore and Amy Adams over at THR roundtable were just discussing the very rare opportunities actresses have to work with one another, so are there any actresses you could see working together?


Beauty vs Beast: There Will Be Beasts

JA from MNPP here welcoming you to another week's "Beauty vs Beast" showdown - this time around we're going good and bad and ugly and everything in between, heading out West to the oil fields of California at the turn of the previous century.

Over the weekend Paul Thomas Anderson's 2007 film There Will Be Blood screened at the immense and ornate United Palace Theater here in New York with Jonny Greenwood's masterful (and criminally Oscar-ignored) score performed live by an orchestra, including Mr. Greenwood himself. I was there and it was, to put it mildly, as if somebody liquified all of Heaven itself into drug-form and shot it full-blast into my veins. That is to say -- I enjoyed it. So to keep my happy buzz thrumming just a little longer, let's head back to The Church of the Third Revelation and see where our loyalties lie - with Daniel Day-Lewis' boy-abandoning oil-man or with Paul Dano's oily-man of god who keeps crawling under his skin.


We should try to keep ourselves character-minded as we cast our votes (keeping in mind that Eli might be a squirmy little fraud but Daniel Plainview does some, um, very bad stuff), but on the actor side of the equation I do want to say that while Oscar was very clearly definitive about where its hosannas fell (and I'm not about to knock DDL's for-the-ages work) I do think Dano's performance has been under-valued. The film wouldn't work nearly as well as it does if he wasn't purposefully driving us into Daniel Plainview's long, cold, scary arms. But really they're all a bunch of bastards (in baskets).

PREVIOUSLY Last week we revisited the raining rose petals of the insular suburban world in Sam Mendes' American Beauty on the ocassion of its 15th anniversary, and faced the angry patriarch and angrier matriarch of the Burnham clan off - coming out ahead by one fashionable gardening clog, Carolyn (Annette Bening) marched off with just over 60% of the vote. Said Mike In Canada:

"I feel like a major turning point in the road to true grownup-hood is realizing that Carolyn is the true hero of American Beauty and that Lester is a thoughtless prick and the movie's attitudes toward them are a major flaw."


Beauty vs Beast: American Beauty vs American Beast

JA from MNPP here - it's that "Beauty vs Beast" time again! Over the past few months a lot's been written about the wonderful movie year that was 1999 now that we're a solid fifteen years away from it (Nathaniel touched upon this back in July) but seeing as how today, September 15th, marks the exact anniversary of the release of the film that would roll on to win that's years Best Picture, I figure it's time to pit some angry suburbanites against each other.

Yup, American Beauty turns 15 today. The dust on everybody's Oscars - Kevin's, Sam's, Annet... oh wait, nevermind (sorry Hilary Swank made me do it) - is fifteen years thick. (Of course if Annette had won that Oscar she'd have never let the dust get that thick - she'd strip down to her slip and scrub scrub scrub that sucker.) And all that built-up time, well it hasn't been too kind to the movie, if you ask me. But why ask me? Go read this piece at Decider on the film from just a week ago, it kind of says it for me. But now that I'm a little older the film (and Lester's) relentless villainization of Carolyn's character does indeed stick in my craw. But what about you?


Per usual you've got one week, seven days, to let the world know where you stand. Try not to get lost staring at plastic bags while stoned out of your mind, if at all possible.

PREVIOUSLY Speaking of being high, I'm still coming down from my John Waters high thanks to last week's retrospective at The Film Society of Lincoln Center here in New York (I saw him introduce Final Destination over the weekend! Shoot me now, it's all down-hill from that), but we can close the door on our Female Trouble themed poll at least... and nobody beats Divine. As Henry put it:

"Divine........there is only one Divine.......Christmas Trees beware the spurned Santa wish for Cha Cha Heels."