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Entries in Anthony Hopkins (12)

Wednesday
Sep102014

Robert Wise Centenary: Audrey Rose (1977)

We've been celebrating 100 years of director Robert Wise all week by looking at some of his lesser known efforts. Previously: Tim on "Curse of the Cat People", Nathaniel on "Somebody Up There...", David on "I Want To Live!", and Manuel on "Star!" -- now here's Jason wrapping it up with "Audrey Rose"

It says a lot about the breadth of Robert Wise's filmography that the team of writers that tackled his Centennial this week here at The Film Experience have had such a gigantic stage to play upon. I mean here I am an avowed musical-agnostic taking on the director of two of the biggest movie musicals of all time, and even with the tossing aside The Sound of Music and West Side Story (although strangely I did write that movie up at TFE back in the day) I had multiple films which I could've tackled with glee. His early pair with producer Val Lewton, Curse of the Cat People (which Tim beautifully wrote up) and The Body Snatcher, are amongst the finest horror films of the 1940s; The Day the Earth Stood Still is one of the most memorable expressions of the 50s sci-fi landscape; and well 1963's The Haunting is probably in my top five horror movies of ever -- to watch sad Nell lose herself amongst the shadows of Hill House is to feel your own edges fading away, bit by bit.

But my confidence in Wise convinced me that tackling an unknown was the way to go - had I really never seen 1977's Audrey Rose? I really hadn't. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun022014

Beauty Vs Beast: Two Girls, One Nut

JA from MNPP here with this week's round of "Beauty Vs Beast" fun - it's only the start of the week here but I think it's pretty clear that we've already got to cede ownership of the whole seven days to the biggest female movie star in the world. Not only did Angelina Jolie have her biggest box office opening ever with the Sleeping Beauty re-write Maleficent (which, well, I feel so very alone among my online-critic friends having really enjoyed the movie) but she's turning 39 on Wednesday to boot. You got this one, Angie.

This fall marks the 15th anniversary of the Winona Ryder vehicle Girl, Interrupted, meaning we're coming up on 15 years since Angelina's Oscar win and adjacent meteoric rise to top of the heap. So let's look back there for this week's cinematic tête-à-tête...

 

Light a candle for Angie or Winona in the comments - you've got one week to grab one of them by the hand and make your break for it.

PREVIOUSLY And speaking of mental patients, last week we came in like a lion to leave with the Silence of the Lambs, facing down the two serial killers at the black heart of Jonathan Demme's 1991 Oscar horror - I don't think anybody was too srurpised to see Dr. Lecter walk free on this one. As Sonja put it...

"I mean.... he's literally "eating" all the other psycho killer wannabes for breakfast."

Tuesday
May272014

Beauty Vs Beast: Lions Vs Lambs

JA from MNPP here - last night I learned that one way to know a specific horror movie has left a deep mark on your brain is if you can identify it down to a scene just by hearing the screams of the actor(s) in said horror movie. It's like Name That Tune, but the nightmare version. I was minding my own business last night watching TV when what should erupt from the other room but horrible, blood-curdling shrieks. Thankfully I immediately knew the shrieks and felt no need to call 911 - my boyfriend was watching The Silence of the Lambs and those were the cries of Catherine Martin (Brooke Smith) as she first gets a good look at the walls of the hole she's been tossed in by her captor Buffalo Bill.

A terrifying moment, to be sure, in a movie filled to the brink with them. And that alone might've been enough to inspire this week's edition of "Beauty Vs. Beast," but if you add on the second season finale of NBC's series Hannibal just aired this past week (please tell me we've got some fans up in here - it's blowing everything else on TV out of the water right now) along with the fact that last week was Brooke Smith's birthday (love her) and it's Ted "Buffalo Bill" Levine's birthday in two days, and we've smack-dab in a cannibal maelstrom. What a delicious place to be!

Instead of having her face off against one of the killers it seemed best to leave Clarice Starling out of this competition - partially because she'd clearly be the easy winner, but moreso because the film itself uses the over-the-top grotesquerie of Bill as a mask to deflect us from Hannibal's true face. Are we fooled? Do Hannibal's manners trump Bill's, uh, dancing skills? Let it be known!

 

You've got until Monday to vote, and to spill some love and chianti out for your picks in the comments.

PREVIOUSLY Last week we pit the difficult-to-love ladies of Notes on a Scandal against each other, and y'all told Sheba to find herself another park-bench to sit on, the spot next to Baraba (Judi Dench) was taken. Armondo summed up the thought process it seems like most of us went through in the choosing...

"Sheba is hot and all, but apart from being immoral, she is so superficial and selfish that you cannot help but find her grating. It is like she has never matured and still thinks she is a young girl without nothing to worry about. And she is guilty of her own downfall (though she still thinks herself blameless). Barbara in the other hand is just a sociopath and a weirdo, but she's still aware of the effects of her actions (for better or for worse). So there's that at least."

Monday
Nov262012

Review: "Hitchcock" 

This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad

The first thing HITCHCOCK gets right about Hitchcock is the humor. Director Sacha Gervasi's serio-comic adaptation of the book "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho" starts with a playful dodge, beginning not with a shot of that infamous house on the hill or the Bates Motel or even a Hollywood soundstage but in the rather humble yard of a Wisconsin farm. It's home to Ed Gein, the gruesome 1950s killer who inspired Psycho. The camera pans away from Gein's (fictional) murder to reveal the iconic plump suited figure of The Master of Suspense cooly observing him (Sir Anthony Hopkins in Sir Alfred Hitchcock drag).

Hopkins addresses the camera directly as if he's welcoming you to a very special edition of television's "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" or recording a promo for his latest cinematic thrill ride. He'll break the fourth wall again to bookend this film with an even better visual joke that's absurdly hokey.

More...

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Monday
Nov192012

The Linking Daylights

Variety's "The Vote" looks at all time great film scores
NYT remembers voice actress Lucille Bliss (RIP) the voice of Smurfette and Anastasia in Cinderella
Art of the Title Sequence has a cup of fresh coffee with Cabin in the Woods
EW watch Anthony Hopkins become Hitchcock in under a minute (though in real life it took an hour and a half each day 
In Contention Angelina Jolie campaigning for Ewan McGregor's work in The Impossible. Whoa

Unreality Marvel superheroines as Bond Girls
Salon uh oh Activists claim that 27 animals have died making The Hobbit films 
Pajiba shows us Val Kilmer and Joann Whaley's kids all grown up. Think they'll be actors? I always wished that Whaley had had a better career. Loved her in Scandal and Willow.
Movie|Line Ryan Gosling's beat up face on the Only God Forgives poster 
IndieWire first Joaquin and now Anthony Hopkins calling Oscar campaigns "disgusting" 
French Premiere the semi-finalist list for the Best Newcomer prizes at the Césars in France. Expect a nomination at least for Matthias Schoenaerts for his awesome double attention-grabber Bullhead and Rust & Bone  
The Playlist fun gallery of behind the scenes shots from Kill Bill
Awards Daily James Franco made a music video. Lindsay Lohan is in it 

And finally here's Jeremy Renner making fun of Hawkeye on SNL...

It'd definitely been the year or archery what with Brave, The Avengers and The Hunger Games among the top blockbusters. And now we have gifted archers on two television series: Revolution and Arrow... which is also about a guy who shoots arrows. That's kind of his thing. Before this trend dies a swift death from ubiquity, can someone please give actual archer and awesome actress Geena Davis a good role and combine the two?

Thursday
Oct112012

Yes, No, Maybe So: Hitchcock

After a seemingly abrupt transition from 2013's slate to November 2012, Fox Searchlight isn't wasting any time with their Alfred Hitchcock bio. The official site is up, a new poster (to your left) arrives so shortly after the teaser poster, it wasn't much of a tease at all. And, now, the trailer.

It feels like a long time since a Yes No Maybe So breakdown, right? We course correct now to parse Hitchcock --  the trailer for the film about the man, not the man himself or his films! We'd be here for years for the latter. Based on the two minute evidence do we want to investigate the whole two hours? Why and why not? 

You know how this works by now so let's join Alfred & Alma during the making of Psycho...

YES

  • 'The Making of Psycho'... we wouldn't have such predictable allergic reactions to biopics if more of them would stay tightly focused on one chapter in someone's life. Cradle-to-grave is just so frought with cliff notes inelegance.
  • Psycho is my favorite Hitchcock film, so I'm happy to watch a "making of". Psycho wasn't always my favorite Hitchcock but it just kept climbing the charts over the years until there was no film left to hurdle. But honestly I'd be just as happy to watch "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Torn Curtain" -- pick a film any film -- because behind the scene and screen is a place I love to spend time.
  • This Shot!

 

More 'yes,' the trailer and some 'no's and 'maybe so's after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct062012

Best Actor Bait. The Key Word Being Bait.

The Oscar Prediction Chart Updates continue with the leading and supporting men. Best Actor seems especially confusing this year what with so many major stars or past Oscar nominees arriving with generally infallible bait right there in the roles. Let's do a quick chart. Here are, arguably, the five most infallible types of Oscar Bait and who is serving them up. (Obviously many of these men are still awaiting critical consensus on their performances or the fourth column would be larger.)

BEST ACTOR
In that chart right there I've only visually (and alphabetically) included  the top ten ranked men from my prediction chart. Now I'm even less enthused about Matt Damon's Oscar chances for Promised Land since he doesn't figure into these five columns at all. One might call him overdue if he didn't have that early writing Oscar (Good Will Hunting) but as it stands now he has no surefire hook for his Oscar campaign. This is not to say that "crisis of conscience" isn't a form of bait for leading men. That's a fairly common hook in leading roles but it's hardly the iconic carrot to dangled in front of voters like, say, debilatating suffering, addiction or ol' fashioned biographical dress up are.

If Anthony Hopkins is terrific as Hitchcock it's going to come down to the wire as to which of the top six men are given the boot on nomination morning since they're all packing serious bait as they fish for votes.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
The supporting categories are the last to lock down since so much what happens there depends on coattails from leading players and Best Picture nominations. Though you can safely lock up Philip Seymour Hoffman who is already a default Oscar player before you account for his enormous amount of screen time or the kind of reviews he won for The Master. Beyond Hoffman it's still anyone's game though reactions to Lincoln, which premieres Monday at the New York Film Festival, will certainly tell us whether David Strathairn is in the hunt for his second nomination. He's currently my only predicted Supporting Actor nominee who hasn't yet won the Oscar so if he's strong and the field really turns out that way, a win wouldn't be out of the question.

As for the men who have never been nominated, I'm particularly frustrated that Michael Fassbender who was so sublime in Prometheus is fading from the conversation but I expected as much since Oscar don't do sci-fi. I'm also frustrated that Matthew McConaughey who is inarguably having the best year of his career, isn't winning traction. Frustrated by not surprised. Though Oscar himself is famously nude and male and popular with the gays, He isn't generally turned on by the sexualization of male actors. That shiny Global icon is famously resistant to the matinee idol type ignoring them altogether or making them wait until they're gray and less sexually potent for their Oscar glory. Oscar just doesn't like leading men who trade on their own eroticism. Witness the Oscar fate of Michael Fassbender in Shame last year. McConaughey's selfploitation in Magic Mike (and to a lesser but more compromising degree in The Paperboy) is probably working against him no matter how much he's stepped up his game this year. 

Which actors are you banking on at this point? Where would you flipflop contenders on our charts?