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Entries in Beauty vs Beast (83)


Beauty vs Beast: Marriage Among the Ruins

Jason here, taking a little break between New York Film Festival screenings to give you this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- this past weekend Danny Boyle's film Steve Jobs screened at NYFF to sold-out crowds and from what I gathered very good notices (stay tuned for TFE's take soon; I took that picture to the left myself at the press conference), and I heard that on Saturday night Danny Boyle led the crowd in a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" to birthday girl, beloved actress, Oscar winner, and icon Kate Winslet.

Kate turns 40 today! We have been worshipping Kate ever since she helped bash in her girlfriend's mother's head with a brick in Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures, and we've never wavered... well okay we had no idea what anybody was thinking with Labor Day either, but other than that, not ever. Here on her 40th birthday let's give love to one of her best recent performances, one that just happened to coincide with a reunion with the Bogie to her Bacall, Leonardo DiCaprio, who was doing very fine work right across from her.

PREVIOUSLY Last week in anticipation of Ridley Scott's The Martian's looming box office boom we faced off our favorite pair of Red Planet invaders -- well it was Tim Burton's little green men that zapped their way into our hearts, to the tune of nearly 80% of your vote. Sorry Tripods, better luck next invasion. Said Denny:

"ACKACKACKACKLOLOLOLOL The martians from Mars Attacks win for their Frankenstein-ian experiments ALONE. "


Beauty vs Beast: Fourth Rock From the Sun

Hi there everybody, Jason from MNPP here with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast," wherein we ask you to choose your poison -- good against bad, hero versus villain. Well... except this week. We're using the occasion of Ridley Scott's film The Martian, which is out in theaters on Friday, to take a look back at two of my favorite movie visitors from Mars...

And as it turns out they're all positively wicked, the lot of 'em. Whatcha gonna do? Man and movie-kind's been almost always terrified of that red dot in the sky since time immemorial. So I guess think of this week's question this way -- who do you think you'd stand a better chance against? The Tripods from War of the Worlds (you're fine with either version) or the Martians from Tim Burton's Mars Attacks? And tell us why in the comments...

PREVIOUSLY Last week we wandered dreamily around a Tokyo hotel with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation - but who'd we end up bringing back to our room? By the narrowest of margins (less than 2%) it was Bill we wanted whispering in our ears. Said STinG:

"I feel like when a movie that is semi-autobiographical to Sofia Coppola still intellectually favors the Bill Murray character for his unspoken existential pains than her still interesting surrogate in Charlotte. Well, it's no contest for me. Bobs all the way!"


Beauty vs Beast: Happy 65, Bill Murray

Jason from MNPP here nursing a slight Emmys hangover - my headache might be real but for once it's not from the terrible choices the Television Academy made; I for one was happy (or at least passably fine) with a lot of their picks! I mean yes Lisa Kudrow gave the best performance on television last year bar none so watching her go home empty-handed stung, but I can't really feel all that bad seeing one of the other best comediennes of all time get a little over-rewarded either.

But the brightest spot was all the love for my second-favorite 2014 Television Event (after The Comeback), the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge, which snatched up six worthy trophies... including one for birthday boy Bill Murray (typically a no-show at the ceremony), who's turning 65 today!

And this was totally the long way around but that brings me to this week's "Beauty vs Beast" which I'm devoting to his best performance (says me) in Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, even though it doesn't entirely make sense for this series -- him & Scarlett are more of a duo that you're rooting for the whole time than much in the way of antagonists. But I'm gonna make you choose anyway because I love this movie more than silly logic.

PREVIOUSLY We headed to Bodega Bay last week where two gals pined for one hunky Momma's Boy amid a rain of seagulls from the sky - but unlike Mitch we tossed the Hitchcock Blonde right into that bay and went with doomed schoolteacher Annie (Suzanne Pleshette) instead. Said brookesboy:

"Pleshette plays my favorite character in this film. With everyone else teetering on the edge of hysteria, she conveys a calm, measured presence that is a consequence of a crushing sadness. Almost as if not even a force of nature--a flurry of birds--can lift away."


Beauty vs Beast: Worth Two In The Bush

Jason from MNPP here swooping down from the sky with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- I am aware that this series has been heavy on the Hitchcock so far (we've previously covered Psycho and Marnie and Vertigo and Rebecca, oh my) but when I heard TFE was celebrating 1963 all month I could hardly let the chance go by to celebrate one of my fave Hitch flicks, The Birds, which has up til now slipped thru the cracks. (Flown the coop?)

The Birds also features one of the hardest choices we've asked of you so far, if you ask me - I can't be the only one who was rooting for Suzanne Pleshette's sad seaside school-teacher Annie, right? In fact I think it's why she had to [spoiler] go [end spoiler], before the "happy couple" of Melanie & Mitch could head off into the sunset. (A sunset covered with murderous birds, natch.) Although, truer truth be told -- we were all just rooting for Melanie & Annie to ditch Mitch and take off together. Admit it! Well unfortunately that's not your choice today...

PREVIOUSLY Last week marked the 30th anniversary of Smooth Talk, with Laura Dern and Treat Williams playing out Joyce Carol Oates' sexual psychodrama, and y'all came down on the side of Dern, Dern, determinedly Dern, with a full 65% of your vote. We'll give today's quote to Nathaniel cuz why not:

"I saw it years and years ago in my first flush of Laura Dern obsession (so it must have been around Wild at Heart time frame. She's soooo good in it."


Beauty vs Beast: Girl, You'll Be A Woman, Now

Jason from MNPP here, bringing us this week's "Beauty vs Beast" a day late thanks to holiday circumstances -- sorry for the delay! Hope those of you who celebrated Labor Day had a nice one. Okay on to the main event: this week marks the 30th anniversary of the film Smooth Talk, which stars Laura Dern (in a very early role - this was a year before Blue Velvet!) and Treat Williams as the teenage girl Connie and the suspicious sexy stranger Arnold Friend (A. Friend -- get it???) who's come to make a woman out of her whether she likes it or not. The film was based on Joyce Carol Oates' short-story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" which means my first introduction to this film was in High School English class. Anybody else? I was really into it at the time, but now I mostly look back at it as my introduction to the Wonder-of-Dern and a time-capsule of Treat-Hotness. Still, I must ask - would you stay in that house with Connie or zoom off for a ride with Arnold?

PREVIOUSLY We looked at this Summer's most boisterous bad girls tragi-comedy Mistress America, and asked you which colorful city gal you prefered - while newcomer Lola Kirke put on a good show it was always gonna be Greta Gerwigbopping in the winner's circle, and sure enough. Said Brian:

"Team Brooke ; She's a dreamer, even if her ideas are beyond her grasp."


Beauty vs Beast: Thoroughly Modern Mistress

Happy Monday, everybody -- Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" poll here for you to ponder. I've been trying to use older films for this series lately since it's more likely you'll participate if you've, you know, seen the movie at hand, but this week it just couldn't be helped; we have to go current. Not only is it director Noah Baumbach's birthday later this week (he's turning 46 on Thursday) but just yesterday Nathaniel admitted (MUCH TO MY HORROR) that he didn't much like Baumbach's new film Mistress America. What what what? I... disagree. (Here's the review I wrote.) While I can't say MA kicked my beloved Frances Ha to the curb or anything quite that psychotic (it would take a miracle or a nuke to come close) I reveled in Mistress' heady mix of madcap silliness and sadness - nothing's made me feel quite so simultaneously goofy and gallant in some time. What a script; what a sharp-edged choreography of words and full-screen wiliness. Anyway hopefully you have seen it by now, and can judge this week's contest for yourselves...

PREVIOUSLY Yesterday the 1954 Supporting Actress Smackdown put that year to bed for this month at TFE, but wait, one last thing -- who successfully won Sabrina, says y'all? It was a shockingly close battle between the brothers, but in the end William Holden's, well, William-Holden-ness, beat out Bogie. Said Leslie19:

"All William Holden, all the time. Who else can sit down on champagne glasses with such aplomb?"


Beauty vs Beast: Audrey in the Middle

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- you're probably vividly aware at this point that this month's Supporting Actress Smackdown is tackling the ladies of 1954, especially since just the other day the Smackdowners listed some of their favorite things about that year. And what a year it was! I was pretty tempted to give this week's contest over to my favorite movie of all-time Rear Window (it's in a lifelong dead heat with Rosemary's Baby for that mantle, actually) but... well that's awfully expected of me. How many of these posts have I already dedicated to Hitchcock movies?

So I looked a smidge deeper and found a perfectly pleasant second pick -- after all, who wouldn't want to put themselves in Audrey Hepburn's designer shoes for a moment? Sabrina it is! Make like you're Billy Wilder's leading lady and choose -- Bogart's puppy-eyed businessman or Holden's suave playboy?

PREVIOUSLY Last week we brought it on with the rival cheerleading squads of Bring It On -- but who brought it bigger in the end? In a reversal of the movie's well-reason donouement we've handed our trophy to the loveable cheaters the Rancho Carne Toros! The curse of the dropped spirit stick is broken! Said Jonn:

"Team Jesse Bradford brushing his teeth isn't an option?!"