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Entries in Beauty vs Beast (213)

Monday
Aug132018

Beauty vs Beast: Fashion, Disasters

Jason from MNPP here with another edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- the year 1972 is the "Year of the Month" at TFE for August and coincidentally I'd just listed my favorite films of 1972 over on my own site recently. There I chose five fave films but it's not hard for me to narrow it down further and choose my absolute favorite from that bunch - Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant is my favorite Fassbinder (which is saying quite a bit given my love for Fassbinder) and it stars my favorite Fassbinder actress (I'm Team Margit from way back) in a lesbian bed death match with Everybody Else's Favorite Fassbinder Actress (Hanna Schygulla as the beautiful user Karin)... which makes it perfect for one of these polls!

 

PREVIOUSLY We wish The Fugitive a happy 25 last week and y'all tossed your lot in with the man accused, unlike the Oscars, giving Harrison Ford's Dr. Kimble a 63 to 37 percent edge over Tommy Lee Jones and his Oscar statue. Said Suzanne:

"Only one of these men has Ralph Fiennes's Oscar for Schindler's List, and it isn't Harrison Ford!"

Monday
Aug062018

Beauty vs Beast: Running Mates

Jason Adams from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" query -- when I saw it written in my calendar that today is the 25th anniversary of The Fugitive my first thought is I must have done that movie for this series before, but a quick skim tells me I hadn't, and so here we are! I vividly remember The Fugitive coming out in the summer of 1993, a banner year for this movie-lover - I had gone to see Jurassic Park a dozen times by then and I needed something fresh and new to feed this newly awoken beast inside me; Harrison Ford leaping out of a train-crash did the trick.

I went to see the film several times after that, but save a few minutes here and there on TV I don't think I have seen it since? Still it's an easy enough film to remember, especially after we spent that entire year's awards season getting the clip of Tommy Lee Jones saying "gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse" hammered into our heads over and over and over, until he got his Oscar for it the next spring.

 

PREVIOUSLY Two weeks back we had you tackling PTA's The Master - turns out that Joaquin Pheonix holds that title, taking a precise 2/3rds of your vote. Said Devin D:

 

"This performance truly cemented Joaquin Phoenix as one of the irrefutable greats, and it was very nice that Philip Seymour Hoffman got to work yet again before his untimely passing with Paul Thomas Anderson in a role so sizable."

Monday
Jul232018

Beauty vs Beast: Live Without Masters

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" for you people to vote yourselves silly with -- did you know that today would have been the 51st birthday of the great Philip Seymour Hoffman? He's been gone over four years now and I ache to think of all the performances we've missed out on. No I wouldn't have given him that Oscar over Heath Ledger either, but he wasn't even nominated for the greatest film of the past two decades (that would be Synecdoche New York) so the injustices, they pile up.

But we're here to talk about another film, one I have come hard around on since its release - I was cool to Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master in 2012 but my affection for it has grown with time; I'm pretty keen on it now, with its medicinal greens and hard elbows. It's only right, it taking some time - it's not the sort of film that hugs you, at least not without wanting something back, making it much like its leading men...

 

PREVIOUSLY Naturally the actress prevailed and then some with last week's Double Indemnity poll - crossing Barabra Stanwyck was never a good idea, not when she's got that silver pistol in her pocketbook. Said cal roth:

"That was so easy... I love Stanwyck and MacMurray reunion in There's Always Tomorrow. I love Stanwyck, the most versatile movie goddess of all time. She could go from a Hawks screwball to two masterful perfomances in Sirk melodramas to westerns by Samuel Fuller and Anthony Mann (the director who got her best best performance ever, in The Furies)."

Monday
Jul162018

Beauty vs Beast: Never Trust A Dame In Sunglasses

Jason Adams from MNPP here on the 111th anniversary of my favorite lower-case dame's birthday - Barbara Stanwyck was born Ruby Stevens in Brooklyn NY on this day in 1908 and a rough-and-tumble 19 years later found herself making movies. Cut to 1944 she was one of the biggest stars there was or ever will be when she got what's probably her most famous role and the one that carved the Femme Fatale Archetype in stone - the unhappy wife with murder on her mind Phyllis Dietrichson, who wrangles the wranglable insurance salesman Walter Neff (a gloriously against-type Fred MacMurray) into doing her dirty work. And Billy Wilder's Noir classic Double Indeminity was born.

PREVIOUSLY Forrest Gump couldn't run fast enough last week to outrun his Jenny Girl - Robin Wright took 65% of your vote on the now controversial Oscar winner. Said Doctor Strange:

"I have hated Forrest Gump since it premiered, so I'm hardly a johnnie-come-lately hater. I find it manipulative, simplistic, and just plain unbelievable from beginning to end. It's got some very good performances that almost save it... but it's mostly a succession of cheap shots. I'm a boomer myself, but I was never blind to its self-aggrandizing convservatism and retrograde sexual politics."

Monday
Jul092018

Beauty vs Beast: The Gump Generation

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" fun-time poll extravaganza - it feels, in the legendary words of Stephanie Tanner, HOW RUDE, to wish Tom Hanks a birthday today with what's come to be seen as his most divisive role, that of the lead character in Robert Zemeckis' 1994 Oscar-magnet Forrest Gump. "We hate that movie now," screams the internet echo chamber.

Except... I kind of don't? I've always been plenty privy to its gross conservative streak - I went to film school in the late 90s, we talked about it a whole bunch, don't worry. I get that it takes a feather-lite tickle to nostalgic Boomer bullshit when a hand grenade might've been more helpful. I was always rooting for Jenny (Robin Wright) and have always found the film's liberal ladling of degradation onto its independently-minded female character, in the words of here and now, hella probelmatic.

And yet despite all that if I stumble upon the film on TV I'll always get sucked in. Zemeckis spins his fable of Straight White Americana with soda-pop commercial zeal, and everybody's so good, iconic really, in their roles. Perhaps we can one day find a middle-ground, watching the movie as an under-amber representation of a vacuum-sealed culture's last gasp; this is the way America saw itself once, lucky and dumb, constantly blundering forward into the next morass without thinking and then making a pretty story out of the good parts.

PREVIOUSLY Speaking of curdled American Dreams last week's I Tonya contest gave Tonya her gold medal at last - Margot Robbie kneecapped statue-hog Allison Janney with 68% of your vote. Said Suzanne, echoing most of your comments since y'all still mad about last year's Oscars:

 

"Laurie Metcalf should have won. (And if anyone were going to beat her, it should have been Lesley Manville.) It's Tonya for me."

Monday
Jul022018

Beauty vs Beast: Gold Medal Mamas

Jason Adams from MNPP here trying to think cold on a 95 degree day in New York City - let's step back in time then to the cool months of this past winter, known around these parts as Awards Season, and onto the ice, for it is Margot Robbie's birthday today and we never did a "Beauty vs Beast" for I Tonya if you can believe it. I'm a little shocked myself that we never had 'em duke it out. So here, in one corner we have Tonya Harding (Robbie), who fits this boxing talk like a glove, and in the other corner her mother LaVona (a statue-snatching parrot-wearing Allison Janney), who... is also perfectly comfortable existing inside this metaphor of the boxing ring. 

PREVIOUSLY Last week's contest also tackled an antagonistic mother-daughter duo with Dolores Clairborne, and it was Dolores herself came up on top with a whopping 80% of your vote. Said W.J.:

"That film is a flat-out masterpiece, no joke. Awe-inspiring, fully realized performances all the way around, stirring cinematography and visual effects that stand the test of time. Glad to see it get some love."