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William Holden in Picnic

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Entries in Beauty vs Beast (199)

Monday
Nov062017

Beauty vs Beast: Marriage Among the Prophets

Jason from MNPP here -- the great Mike Nichols would have turned 86 today if he hadn't passed away back in 2014, and yet even with him gone for three years now I've spent a good chunk of the year thinking about him. Specifically I've been thinking a lot about his 2003 adaptation of Angels in America, thanks to the most recent London production with Andrew Garfield & Co grabbing headlines before moving here to the US in a few months. What are your thoughts on Mike Nichols' miniseries now? Have you re-watched it lately? (The whole thing is available to stream on Amazon if you haven't.)

Anyway there are a lot of antagonistic pairings in Angels that I could have used for this week's "Beauty vs Beast" but in every iteration of the show I have seen it's always the fractured marriage of Joe (Patrick Wilson in the film) and Harper (Mary Louise Parker) that I come back to, so that's where we'll land.

PREVIOUSLY Last week we floated down through the storm-drain on a raft of red balloons and took on Stephen King's most recent blockbuster adaptation of It - y'all weren't in the mood for clown-time though, choosing The Losers Club over Pennywise by just a couple of points. Said catbaskets:

"Tie between Beverley and Pennywise. You can keep all the boys. They bring little to the table compared to those drama gals with demons."

Monday
Oct302017

Beauty vs Beast: Float With Me

Jason from MNPP here - as Nathaniel mentioned in yesterday's box office rundown the latest version of Stephen King's It has officially become the highest grossing horror film of all time now. And what with tomorrow being Halloween this week seemed a great chance to face down the story's Good Guys (And Girl) versus its Bad Guy with our "Beauty vs Beast" contest. It has a great legendary Bad Guy, one of the best ever. But can you actually root for him against a bunch of damaged nerds? I mean if we were talking about the 1990 miniseries I would give this question an emphatic "Heck Yes" but it's a little bit tougher with the remake...

PREVIOUSLY Y'all were feeling more Sense than Sensibility last week, giving Emma Thompson a solid 67% of your vote in last week's tribute to Ang Lee's classic film. Said lylee:

"Yay for Emma leading! It helps that I've always found Elinor vastly more compelling than Marianne as a character. They're both wonderful, but this I think is my favorite Emma performance. And yes, bonus for penning the screenplay. I still go back to her screenplay diaries (which *everyone* should read) when I want a pick-me-up."

Monday
Oct232017

Beauty vs Beast: Sisterly Sensibilities

Jason from MNPP here using this week's "Beauty vs Beast" to wish a happy birthday to one of our favorite directors, the great Ang Lee. In a strange coincidence I spent some of this weekend talking Ang on Twitter even though I hadn't realized it was about to be his birthday today, so I'd say Fate chose this week's contest. And because more than anything a battle between actresses livens you folks up, let's face down the Sisters Dashwood of Ang's 1995 classic Sense & Sensibility.

And no before anyone asks I don't think Kate Winslet or Emma Thompson to be beastly in any manner. But seeing as the film itself pits their two ways of existing at odds with one another for the majority of its run-time (only to eventually decide, with fine wisdom, that the sisters could clearly stand to learn a little from one another) it doesn't seem completely far-fetched to pitch them against one another here. They are, for all their adoration of one another, each other's main antagonists once the who's who of romance falls away.

PREVIOUSLY Even though Angela Lansbury's original Manchurian Candidate performance won somewhat decisively over Meryl Streep's in the remake (she took 74% of the vote) it was a real battle in the comments. Said Jono:

"I am surprised this never came up before. I voted for Meryl because Angela will get more votes, and I love both performances. The Demme version is kind of underrated - everyone in it is uniformly great. But the original with Angela is impeccable."

Monday
Oct162017

Beauty vs Beast: Political Animals

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" where we are wishing the grand Dame Angela Lansbury a happy 92nd birthday today! It's difficult to believe we still have an entire year before Rob Marshall's Mary Poppins Returns film comes out (Xmas 2018) but we're still hoping, as we did when she was cast, that Landsbury's got something lovely to work with in the film - we don't get to see her on-screen nearly as often as we'd like to.

But she's such a legend... how could I possibly find someone to compete? Well "somebody" already had the gumption to do it herself - in 2004 a working actress by the name of Meryl Streep tackled Lansbury's still delightfully against-type turn in the remake of The Manchurian Candidate. So let's put these two ladies in a room and see which one walks out...

PREVIOUSLY Did everybody watch Mindhunter over the weekend? I did not so don't say anything if you did. But feel free to share your thoughts on last week's decision on David Fincher's original serial-killer vision Se7en, in which y'all chose Brad Pitt over Kevin Spacey 57 to 42%. That needs explaining! Said Huh:

"Spacey gets a lot of hate nowadays but anyone who thinks Brad’s performance here is better and adds more to the film than Spacey’s is nuts."

Monday
Oct092017

Beauty vs Beast: Original Sinners

Jason from MNPP here. It is October when a young man's fancy will turn to cable-knit cardigans and exquisitely plotted murder schemes, but it's more specific this week than the usual - tomorrow night the New York Film Festival is screening the premiere episode of David Fincher's Mindhunter series (which stars Jonathan Groff as an early FBI profiler) and then on Friday The Snowman (Tomas Alfredson's film starring Michael Fassbender as Detective Harry Hole - yes really - on the trail of a Frosty-fixated killer) comes out. And so what better time to transport "Beauty vs Beast" back to the wet streets of an anonymous city on the brink in Fincher's film Se7en...

PREVIOUSLY I assume some of y'all saw Blade Runner 2049 this weekend (fewer than anticipated though!) and have opinions, but last week you shared your opinion on the original film, and while it bounced back and forth over the course of the week it was Daryl Hannah's Pris who finally squeezed the life out of Deckard with those glorious calves once and for all, taking just under 55% of the vote. Said kermit_the_frog:

"Daryl Hannah showed such promise (I'd argue that she has, unfortunately, never bettered this performance - admittedly, a high bar was set)..."

 

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