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Entries in Beauty vs Beast (192)

Monday
Feb192018

Beauty vs Beast: They Call Him Mr. Poitier

Jason from MNPP here - Sidney Poitier is turning 91 years old tomorrow, and so let's devote this week's episode of "Beauty vs Beast" to Norman Jewison's 1967 classic police drama In the Heat of the Night, which won five Oscars including ones for Best Picture, for Rod Steiger as Best Actor, and for Hal Ashby for Editing. Shockingly Poitier wasn't even nominated for the film, but he did already have his 1963 statue for Lilies in the Field at that point.

ITHOTN is nominally a film about a murder in a small town, but it's the tension between the Mississippian police chief Gillespie (Steiger) and the usurping fancy-man Philadelphian detective Virgil Tibbs (Poitier) that gives the film its drama, as we watch their animosity give way to something like respect. Still it's very much of its time, up to and including those Oscar nominations - imagine Steiger winning the statue while Poitier's not even nominated today...

PREVIOUSLY To borrow a turn of phrase from Denzel Washington, last week's Creed contest wasn't close and the winner, by an arm, was Michael B. Jordan as Adonis. He took just under 70%. Said Emma:

"I cried like a baby in the final act of CREED. My crying was so audible that someone in front of me turned around and said to my friend, 'let's hope she never sees SCHINDLER'S LIST!'.   Oh, and Michael B. Jordan's guns, obviously."

Monday
Feb122018

Beauty vs Beast: Boxing Buddies

Jason from MNPP here - while we're all sitting patiently on our hands waiting for Black Panther to hit theaters this weekend let us use the occasion of today's "Beauty vs Beast" to gaze backwards in Ryan Cooglar's filmography to the flick that no doubt gauranteed him this Marvel gig, 2015's great big crowdpleaser Creed. Coming nine years after Rocky Balboa, Sylvester Stallone's original "goodbye" to the character that gave him his career, Cooglar's Creed opened the franchise up and breathed new life into the Philadelphian boxing saga via Michael B Jordan's Adonis, son of Rocky's deceased opponant and friend Apollo, and with Adonis' attempt to find selfhood in the shadow of his legendary father. The relationship between Rocky & Adonis formed the core of the film, it was one fraught with tension, which brings us to...

 

PREVIOUSLY Nobody was going to beat The Lovely Laura Linney on her birthday, not even Mark Ruffalo's probable finest performance opposite her in You Can Count On Me - she scored a sizeable 70% of your vote in the end, proving you can indeed count on her. Said RV:

"One of the all time great screen pairs -- both so flawed, both so connected to each other. Lonergan's uncomfortable (for me, maybe not for him) commitment to Casey Affleck aside, he deserves enormous credit for providing such rich writing and understated directing to two amazingly talented performers. "

Monday
Feb052018

Beauty vs Beast: Sibling Rivalry

Jason from MNPP here wishing us all the happiest Lovely Laura Linney Day! Today Linney is celebrating her 54th birthday, which means we're celebrating as well because she's a national treasure that one. But that happiness and celebration might not last long, I ruin everything, because I'm about to force a horrible choice on you with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" contest and ask you to consider choosing between the siblings of Kenneth Lonergan's 2000 sibling masterpiece You Can Count On Me -- Linney's hometown mama and boss-schtupper Sammy versus Mark Ruffalo's home-crashing money-grubbing seatbealt-wearing Terry. Vote and then tell us why you voted how you voted down below in the comments!

PREVIOUSLY Last week's Best Actor contest handed Timothee Chalamet a win as sound (to the tune of 87% of the vote!) as his trounced competitor Gary Oldman's eventual win at the Oscars next month is assured, so let's just enjoy us getting it right anyway. Said hepwa (and this is a fine list that I'd love to hear if anybody has any of their own to add to this list, too):

"There are five great young male performances in the past forty years, in chronological order: Dennis Christopher in "Breaking Away", Michael O'Keefe in "The Great Santini", Timothy Hutton in "Ordinary People", River Phoenix in "Running On Empty" and now Timothee Chalamet in "Call Me by Your Name"."

Monday
Jan292018

Beauty vs Beast: The Darkest Elio

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" contest - we've been more or less working our way through the year's big awards contenders over the past few weeks, with a Three Billboards here and a Phantom Thread there, and knowing what you know about my oft-expressed personal... predilections... you'd be forgiven for expecting a proper Call Me By Your Name showdown at some point. But I can't do it! I can't pit (haha like a peach) Elio against Oliver. I refuse!

Thankfully the awards season has offered me an alternative. (For once the awards season doing me a favor!) While Timothee Chalamet's been racking up the critics prizes for his performance it's been widely assumed that the Oscar already has Gary Oldman's name engraved on it and has since the very first photograph of him in Churchill drag was revealed. But where would your vote go, I wonder...

PREVIOUSLY Last week was the aforementioned Phantom-Thread-off, and finally some much deserved attention for Vicky Krieps, whose Alma plucked up about 70% of your mushrooms I mean votes. Said Claran:

"I thot Krieps is a discovered gem!! She matches DDL every step of the way n emerges the winner, well sorta... Its no an easy feat acting opp such icons like DDL or Manville n she holds up pretty well!! I'm surprised tt she din land a best newcomer mention w the BAFTA or NBR or any other critics group. She's the find o 2017, if u asked me."

Monday
Jan222018

Beauty vs Beast: All Sewn Up

Jason from MNPP here for our weekly "Beauty vs Beast" party - I'd been holding off on fêteing Paul Thomas Anderson's latest and most recently greatest Phantom Thread until it got its proper wide release, and now that it has, hitting over 800 theaters across the US this weekend, let us intrude ourselves upon the very strange (and strangely satisfying) union of Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), master designer, and his flung-from-space muse Alma (Vicky Krieps). Anderson muddies the waters great deal on what we think we know about this kind of power dynamic going in - Alma's nobody's pawn or pushover. And in Reynolds' sparkle-eyed acquiescence we see what she sees as worth all the fuss, too...

PREVIOUSLY I kept hearing how last week's Hitchcock contest was tough for everybody and the numbers bear it out because this might've been the closest race we've yet had - Cary Grant topped Jimmy Stewart by just 3 votes out of over 300 cast! I'd say we're fairly torn on which man got the most from the Hitch treatment. Commenter Claran was decisively Team Cary though:

"Take that, Jimmy! Lest we forgot who stole the Oscar that should've gone to Grant, who wasn't even nom for The Philadelphia Story!! Tsk tsk....Shame on you, Oscars!!"

Monday
Jan152018

Beauty vs Beast: To Catch a Hitch

Jason from MNPP here with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- this Thursday will mark the birth of one of the greatest movie stars of all time, Mr. Cary Grant. His filmography of course reads like a dream with classics of all stripes under his belt, but it's his four collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock (Notorious, North By Northwest, Suspicion and To Catch a Thief) that I want to focus in on today because I want to force a question upon us, an unnecessary frivolous question that nevertheless nags at my frivolous brain - know who else starred in multiple masterpieces for Alfred Hitchcock? Jimmy Stewart, who made The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rear Window, Rope, and Vertigo. And I think you know where I am going with this now... Which is the better Hitchcock Star? Choose!

PREVIOUSLY As with all things Three Billboards related last week's poll devoted to its two shitty cops played by Woody Harrelson & Sam Rockwell brought out some strong opinions, but only in the comments - the contest itself was won handily by Woody, who took 3/4s of the vote. Said Michael R, summing up my own feelings about Three Billboards:

"Write in vote : Lucas Hedges for Lady Bird. I love that performance so much!"