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Entries in Annette Bening (40)

Thursday
Jul282016

New York Film Festival Selects Mike Mills' 20th Century Women for Centerpiece Film

Sound the alarms: there's a fresh new reason to celebrate Annette Bening. Following in the footsteps of last year's selection of Steve Jobs, the New York Film Festival has chosen Mike Mills' 20th Century Women as its 2016 Centerpiece, which stars The Bening as a single mother raising her son in 1979 Santa Barbara, co-habiting with a Bowie-cut Greta Gerwig, nomadic carpenter Billy Crudup, and frequent house guest Elle Fanning. We've been anxiously awaiting Mills' follow up to the intimate, structurally adventurous tone poem that is Beginners for a few years now, and NYFF's programming pick (and description of the film as a vibrantly alive time capsule, plus taste-maker A24's acquisition) signals a strong indication that it's been worth the wait. Imagining The Bening caught at the crux of cultural, decade-splitting identities, and strapped into denim overalls to boot, would be enough reason to anticipate the film, but the thought of another story stripped from the personal headlines of Mills' own life and translated into pure cinema has us downright salivating. I can smell the burnt sage from here.

Sunday
Jul172016

Q&A: Magnani, Cameos, Oscar Ties, and Homoeroticism

I promised a second round of Q&A this week so here we go. Seven more reader questions answered...

Mr W: Do you have any thoughts on Anna Magnani? She's one of my Top 10 Actresses of all time, but I don't think I've ever read anything on her from you.

I do not. Embarrassing to admit but I've only seen her in The Rose Tattoo (1955) which she was wonderful in. Any suggestions as to where to start?

/3rtful: Is there one unsung veteran actress you would like to see get an award season career boost through Ryan Murphy?

There's very few veterans I wouldn't want to see good a career boost. But i'll just name a dozen (and anyone reading should know I could list another 5 dozen with ease -- I shoulda been a casting director). Given that Murphy usually pulls from the 80s and 90s actressing packs (which, one assumes, reflects his formative fandoms) I wish he would throw a bone to Shelley Duvall (though maybe given her rumored mental health this isn't a good idea), Ally Sheedy, Daryl Hannah, Holly Hunter, or Lesley Ann Warren any of whom might be brilliant within his unusually creepy heightened worlds...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul072016

Links

Guardian the kids of the controversial Oscar nominated documentary Jesus Camp 10 years later - how are they doing and how do they remember their evangelical childhoods?
ESPN's Bodies issue is out. Check out the gallery. The human body is really so beautiful. But I realize we're not supposed to acknowledge that because people are so angry about the profile at...
Vanity Fair on Margot Robbie. Which is... Honestly I can't see anything wrong with it. Almost every good celebrity profile talks about what the star looks like, and what their big screen appeal is. It's not especially salacious as these things go. I'm stunned that it offended so many people. But me...
Nathaniel... I don't want to live in a world where we cant celebrate movie star beauty
Playbill Kristin Chenoweth doing a reading of proposed Best Little Whorehouse in Texas for the stage? Oh god oh god let this Broadway musical happen. Amen.
Dear Cast & Crew Dear Harry Nilsson -- (great letter re: A Bigger Splash)
EW Five Nights in Maine poster and trailer. Apparently this premiered at TIFF last year. I don't remember reading about it but Dianne Wiest, Rosie Perez, and David Oyelowo are all in it!
Vanity Fair Hive A.I. isn't just all the rage in movies and on television. It's an investor obsession, too.
Twitter Apparently some dumb people launched a petition to have Jesse Williams fired from Grey's Anatomy due to his BET Humanitarian Awards speech 

Look at This!

Production has begun on Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool which stars Annette Bening as Oscar winner Gloria Grahame in her final days. Jamie Bell is The Bening's leading man. We hope The Bening is making one last sustained run at winning that Best Actress trophy that's eluded her. Momentum counts for a lot in Oscar races so if it doesn't happen this year for 20th Century Women, maybe it'll happen next year for this biopic of sorts? Though actors win Oscars all the time for playing real life people, the only star who has won an Oscar for playing an Oscar winner is Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator (2004).

Random Emmy Thought
By now you've probably heard that the 7th/8th Game of Thrones season will start shooting later than usual due to weather issues. Different websites have different wording on this news. Sometimes it sounds like just the slightest delay and not worth reporting but for the clickbait traffic. Other articles suggest that this will delay the premiere until late Summer instead of GoT's traditional late spring early summer airing. If the latter take is true that means we'll actually have an Emmy free year of Game of Thrones in 2017. That would be a welcome relief for those of us who hate to see the same shows dominating year after year. Unfortunately they're also splitting GoT into two more super short seasons with only 13 or so more episodes left before the series finale. It worked for Breaking Bad and Mad Men in terms of Emmy statuettes though it was bad for interrupting the natural flow of storytelling arcs (at least with Mad Men - I can't speak to how it affected Breaking Bad). At any rate I stand by my proclamation that these split final seasons are anti-audience and nothing more than a cynical cash grab for advertising dollars, extended media attention, and double the awards that a show should be eligible to receive. It's gross. I wish Emmys would rule against 6 or 7 episodes counting as a full season. There really ought to be some standards and "season" by its very name suggests a few months of time. Six episodes is not a few months of story -- it's barely more than one!

Wednesday
Jun082016

Thoughts I had while looking at the first "20th Century Women" Image

Readers. I do not know where this image originated but I was so excited when I saw it I stopped breathing for a second. Thoughts that came to me while staring at it without editing them...

I already want to inject this movie directly into my veins. 

The Bening is front and center as it should be. Movies that put her off to the side. They're doing it wrong.

Sometimes it disturbs me when Elle Fanning looks directly into the camera. Like, quite possibly, she's not real. Or maybe an alien (I think she is playing one in How To Talk to Girls At Parties but that's just a clever way to throw us off the scent and hide in plain sight)

Remember when Billy Crudup turned down playing the Hulk in the early Aughts? Remember when Billy Crudup left Mary Louise Parker for Claire Danes when MLP was pregnant and everyone hated him? Remember when Billy Crudup was so great in various things throughout his career?

He looks kind of McConaughey Dallas Buyer's ragged in this image and that worries me. Unless it's for the character.

I didn't even recognize Greta Gerwig. WHOA. That's what a change of hair color and cut will do to a person.

When will this movie be in my eyeballs? WHEN? WHEN?!? I have the impatience.

Confrontational hippie boss realness.

I think the boy on the far right is this dude but I'm not sure. (Sometimes I feel like I'm cheating when I click over to IMDb while writing posts. LOL) The movie has something to do with The Bening's relationship to mothering her boy via her other relationships? 

Mike Mills last movie Beginners was so original and amazing and personal and resonant and all of the things movies should aspire to be and if this one is that good I will die of happiness while watching it only not all the way dead because it will also give me life and there will be more movies to see after it and I don't want to die.

Greta Gerwig looking like someone else is weird because even though she's Indie Queen, she's actually old fashioned movie star in that she always plays herself. Superbly.

Will it finally be Annette Bening's year at the Oscars? It wasn't in 1990. Or 1999. Or 2004. Or 2010. Who, me? Bitter? What's that woman got to do to win an Oscar?

Saturday
May072016

Where My Girls At? New Roles for Jess, Charlize, and The Bening

Four new projects for three favorites, two of whom are in theaters right now in a bad movie called Winter's War.

Charlize Theron
Her Gorgeousness will star in a new comedy called Tully which is not to be confused with that new drama called Sully starring Tom Hanks. Theron will play a woman who has difficulty dealing her child's new nanny (who happens to be the title character). But here's the best part: It's reuniting the core Young Adult team with Jason Reitman behind the camera and Diablo Cody scripting and since Young Adult is all three of them in peak powers, we can be very grateful/hopeful about it. If lightning strikes twice we'll know the three of them all bring out the best in each other creatively.

In related news that's the first set picture of Charlize on Fast & Furious 8 (gee, they didn't waste any time getting another film going) in which we think she's playing the villain. They've apparently gone meta with her 'Angelina Jolie Gone in 60 Seconds' look -- Drag racing car fetish movies have to stick together!

Jessica Chastain
Jess will headline Molly's Game with Idris Elba as her co-star. Since this is Jess we're talking about there's already a cutesy photo to illustrate.

 

 

Molly's Game is  based on the memoir by skier Molly Bloom which chronicles her arrest by the FBI for a high stakes poker game. Sounds like a string of words that don't make much sense together right but apparently it was a true enough story to write a book about and get a movie deal. Famed screenwriter Aaron Sorkin will write (duh) & direct (wha?!?).

And the best news for last...

Annette Bening
After headlining 20th Century Women and a supporting role of some sort in her husband's still Untitled Howard Hughes film, The Bening will be back in a bio: She'll be playing Academy Award winning actress Gloria Grahame in a drama about the star's final days battling cancer when she was 57. The casting is totally brilliant visually. Our collective images of Grahame are all from her youthful heyday in noirs but if you imagine her growing older offscreen it's easy to imagine her looking exactly like the 57 year-old Annette Bening of right now. The project is called Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (I can't imagine they won't change the name) and Jamie Bell will play the male lead of Peter Turner who wrote the memoir it's based on and who cared for Grahame in her last days. Sherlock director Paul McGuigan is on board and the screenplay is from the writer of Control & Nowhere Boy

In related news: Annette Bening is still aiming for that Oscar so this may well be her backup plan if she doesn't win it this year...

Sunday
May012016

Best Actress: An "Overdue" Narrative or Fresh Blood?

The next Best Actress race hasn't remotely started so we're at the "anything goes" stage. Sally Field is the only player thus far who feels like a distinct if long shot possibility. With a Golden Globe Comedy nod highly likely for Hello My Name is Doris she'll be discussed again at year's end reminding people of her endearing star turn in the sleeper hit. But what to make of the Best Actress race. Most or all of the contenders are yet to come and there are no sure things. 

Sure, Viola Davis looks good on paper to repeat her Tony win in 2010 for Fences as the long suffering wife of a trash collector who was once a promising ball player. But there are some "what ifs" involved. Denzel Washington hasn't yet proved he's special as a director and when the revival in which they starred on Broadway hit not everyone agreed on her category placement with some theater awards deeming her "featured" (the stage's term for "supporting") rather than lead like the Tonys. And then there's the not small matter of whether the Fences will be ready in time for a release and a big Oscar push. If Viola doesn't dominate, will we have an Overdue Narrative this year or a Fresh Blood moment in Best Actress?

Consider: La Pfeiffer (3 nominations... deserved many more. Waiting to win since 1988); The Bening (4 nominations... waiting to win since 1990); Amy Adams (5 generous nominations. Waiting to win since 2005); Viola Davis (2 nominations... waiting to win since 2008). With Jessica Tandy, Hilary Swank, Rachel Weisz, and Meryl Streep winning their rightful Oscars there's ample opportunity for a "make up" year in Best Actress. 

But then again not every leading race sees a "career win" like Julianne Moore's or Leonardo DiCaprio's recently. Do you think 2016 will be an old guard year like that or a new blood situation (Negga? Pike?)? Or will it be somewhere inbetween (Emily Blunt...waiting so long for a first nomination? Jessica Chastain, twice nominated thus far?). Check the Best Actress chart and make a call in the comments. 

Thursday
Mar312016

Where My Girls At? The Maybe Cannes Bound Edition

Here's Murtada speculating about which lovely ladies might appear at the Cannes Film Festival.

There is one thing that is certain to happen at Cannes every May. Marion Cotillard appears on the famous steps, resplendent in Dior couture, to represent a film in competition. She knocks everyone's socks off with her performance, then invariably fails to win best actress from the jury. It happened with Rust and Bone (2012), The Immigrant (2013), Two Days One Night (2014) and Macbeth (2015). Is there a Cotillard/Cannes awards curse?

This year she will have two more chances to lose, and cement the legend of the curse...

Click to read more ...