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Entries in Beauty vs Beast (98)

Monday
Feb082016

Beauty vs Beast: It's A Walk Off!

Jason from MNPP here, flashing my signature look your way as we mount this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- it's fifteen years later and we're set to return to the Derek Zoolander School Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too this Friday with Zoolander 2, the 2001 film's slow-cooked sequel. The film reunites most of the original cast while bringing in a few new (stretched, preening) faces - I can't even tell you how many times I've watched Kristen Wiig's "Youth Milk" commercial; she's the entire reason I will be returning. I do have good feelings towards the original film though, so let's make our best right turns and flash a Blue Steel backwards in time...

PREVIOUSLY We wished Jennifer Jason Leigh happy birthday with a glance back at 1992's Single White Female, and this time out it was her crazy crazy Hedra that came out on top, sticking a single high heel (and sixty percent of the vote) into poor innocent Bridget Fonda's fashion hopes and dreams. Said DJDeeJay:

"Yes, she kills a puppy, but she also gives a guy a BJ AGAINST HIS WISHES. Totally subversive, haven't seen anything like it before or since."

Monday
Feb012016

Beauty vs Beast: Crazy Comes Classified

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" for your consideration -- Jennifer Jason Leigh will be celebrating her 54th birthday this upcoming Friday February 5th, after finally earning a long overdue Oscar nomination this year with her joyously profane work as "Daisy Dahmer-goo" (sorry I can only type it like Kurt Russell says it) in Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight.

But Daisy's hardly my favorite villainous turn from the actress - she's always been willing to tap into the crazy, and that was a willingness that reaped righteously trashy rewards with 1992's psycho-roomate-thriller Single White Female, one of my favorites from the "psycho [fill in the blank] genre" that dominated in the early 90s. And meeting her all the way was a terrifically sweet and dazed Bridget Fonda (good god I miss Bridget Fonda), slinking around foolishly in that silver coat that haunts my dreams.

PREVIOUSLY Last week's actressy showdown didn't incolve Steven Weber getting a high heel to the forehead (much to Clouds of Sils Maria's detriment, obviously) but it did involve an incredibly close race from start to finish, and just ekeing it out in the end was (drumroll please) Kristen Stewart, with literally half of a percentage point lead over The Binoche! Talk about a photo finish. Said AndPeggy:

"This result is just testament to how great these two actresses are together. Their interplay and chemistry is what makes the film so memorable."

Monday
Jan252016

Beauty vs Beast: Cloud Actress

Jason from MNPP here with your weekly dose of "Beauty vs Beast" -- it's the 61st birthday of the French director (excuse me, they call them "auteurs" over there) Olivier Assayas, who's just come off one of his greatest successes, the role-playing actressy drama Clouds of Sils Maria. I reviewed Clouds way back at the 2014 New York Film Festival for TFE and I was bowled over by it then and I remain so today; when it continued getting Oscar talk all the way through this season I was happily surprised to see it even remembered. Of course come nomination morning it wasn't, because them's the breaks. I can easily suss out the names I'd boot in both Actress categories to make room for Binoche and Stewart's lively and lovely performances (Bye J-Law! See ya later, McAdams!) but if we were to face the two off against each other, well, then it gets tougher...

PREVIOUSLY The Revenant continues doing boffo box office and everybody seems to think it's Leo's Oscar to lose, but here at TFE y'all shoved him face-first in a snow-bank and ran away laughing -- it was a close contest but by a few points you decided that you prefered a murderer by Tom Hardy better. Said Nick T:

"I'm voting Fitzgerald because yes it's Big but Christ at least Hardy offers us a performance that's interesting because of the performance itself instead of how much he's Suffering, and once Glass is on his own Hardy was only thing that got me through the ordeal of The Revenant."

Monday
Jan182016

Beauty vs Beast: Stabbin' in the Woods

Jason from MNPP here with this week's round of piping hot "Beauty vs Beast" action -- I find myself in a strange position this awards season. Alejandro González Iñárritu, a director whose films have time and time again made my skin crawl thanks to their blowsy self-regard, has gone and made a movie that I don't entirely loathe? I don't know that I can be much more open-hearted towards The Revenant than that, but there are big, short, spot-lit movies gunning for Best Picture that I find oodles more offensive than this silly thing. Heck if the bad taste of Birdman hadn't poisoned the well last year I might, dare I say, be even slightly less ambivilent. (But it did, it did, it did poison the well. Damn you, Birdman.) But which uglied up tough guy carved out a horse carcass in your heart?

PREVIOUSLY Well I guess it's for the best that we did Todd Haynes' Carol last week before the Oscar nominations, because now that it's been snubbed for Best Picture and Director it will never be heard from again. (Kidding, people, put down the pitchforks.) While some of you admitted to slightly less-than-lesbian longings for those sturdy Harge (Kyle Chandler) shoulders, it was Sarah Paulson's performance as Carol's salty best friend Abby that you ultimately locked arms with. Said Paul Outlaw:

"Sorry, Harge. I can't help you with this."

Monday
Jan112016

Beauty vs Beast: In Carol's Orbit

Jason from MNPP here, christening 2016 (yes, the whole darn year) "The Year of Carol" -- a memo the Globes missed. Like Therese Belivet I've just got stars in my eyes (or maybe I just feel bad I didn't manage to do this edition of "Beauty vs Beast" during Carol Week proper here at TFE) but I'm still head over for Todd Haynes' true romance and I have a feeling many of you are too. Point being every week should be Carol week, so let's keep singing! For the briefest of seconds I considered forcing us to choose between our leading ladies of lesbian love (as Oscar voters should have to do in a righteous, Category-Fraud free world) but not, no, it's time for the true Supporting Characters to shine.

PREVIOUSLY It was the 15th anniversary of the great Shadow of the Vampire last week and in between the holidays we asked you guys to choose between its two best bloodsuckers, literal and/or notsomuch, and it was Team Nosferatu for 64% - said Craver:

"Team Schreck. I always thought that Dafoe's work in Spiderman also merits an Oscar nom. It was that great, plus fun to watch."

Monday
Dec282015

Beauty vs Beast: Shadow of the Auteur

JA from MNPP here christening 2015's final episode of "Beauty vs Beast" with one of my favorite movies of ever, which is celebrating it's 15th anniversary this week - E. Elias Merhige's Shadow of the Vampire, which fictionalized the filming of F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu by adding in some actual behind-the-scenes bloodsucking, was released on December 29th, 2000 -- I have strangely fixed memories of seeing this film for the first time, from the dreamy Art Deco opening credits on down; anyway it left a mark, so don't ask me what the hell happened to Merhige after this. He's only made one more feature-length film since, the 2004 serial killer thriller Suspect Zero with Ben Kingsley.

As for Shadow of the Vampire it didn't do great box-office-wise but it did manage to score two Oscar nominations - one for Make-Up and a much-deserved Best Supporting Actor nomination for Willem Dafoe, playing the actor Max Schreck "playing" the creature Nosferatu as a hilarious spin on Method acting. ("Thissss is hardly your peecture any longgger!" is weekly chatter in my house.) But under-sung if you ask me is John Malkovich's twisted take on the director Murnau, meeting Dafoe every inch in their dance towards Hell without the benefit of literal blood-thirst - his hunger is movie-making, the magic on the screen, and he makes it, by god he makes it.

PS if we want to wrap this movie into the now its influence can easily be seen on Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi's hysterical vampire mockumentary What We Do In the Shadows, which unleashes a house-full of Nosferatus (Nosferati?) on some unprepared filmmakers.

PREVIOUSLY I hope everybody celebrated the past week the new cool way to do it - by storming around downtown Los Angeles dragging prostitutes and pimps around like sacks of flour, cackling all the way - speaking of, in last week's Tangerine duel Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) grabbed a clump full of our collective hair and wouldn't let go, taking a full 3/4s of the vote! Said BD:

"Oh my gosh, that whole door-busting, hair-pulling sequence was so bad-ass."