Entries in Best Actress (300)
The New Yorker Anthony Lane on Mike Nichols
Playbill congratulations to Chicago which became the 2nd longest running Broadway show of all time tonight surpassing Cats
Screen Crush bitches about the long uneventful Part 1s of modern franchise culture as I've been bitching about forever. But as long as audiences keep buying tickets, why should Hollywood stop? They make double the money this way.
YouTube first TV spot for Jurassic World. It's mostly Chris Pratt & Bryce Dallas Howard's faces and you know what they look like. But a brief flash of dinosaurs, too.
Critic Wire the terrifying children's book in The Babadook (opening Friday!) is now a real book you can buy
Vanity Fair since I officially stopped watching How To Get Away With Murder I said goodbye by reading / enjoying / giggling through this post on the "who killed Sam" episode
Empire more new projects for Channing Tatum and his creative partner Reid Carolin (who you'll remember as the sister's date in Magic Mike)
Variety why did Mockingjay Part 1 perform below Hunger Games expectations (which were sky high)
Interview Michael Shannon interviews Amy Ryan (currently onscreen in Birdman)
THR is excited about those Lana Del Rey songs in Big Eyes but I only remember the title song (which is played somewhat inside the movie but not enough of it to have a firm opinion of it) I remember the lines being something like "Big Eyes.... and your Big Lies..."
Film School Rejects looks at connections between the documentary and best picture category this year
LA Times Jennifer Aniston on 'drunk singing' for Cake
In Contention The Fault in Our Stars finally does some campaigning for Shailene Woodley
Samuel L Jackson The Hateful Eight cast have met
Deadline checks out the numerous very dark horses in the Best Actress race: shout-out to Sally Kirkland and Gena Rowlands from the veterans. An interviews with the former and possibly the latter coming up. Stay tuned...
Pic of the Moment
Jake Gyllenhaal submerged. I wish it were in Oscar buzz! [src] (I was horrified to get blank faces from Oscar voters when I brought up this movie at a recent luncheon. They weren't in the actor's branch but still. How had they not heard of his remarkable performance?)
Best Actress & Supporting Actor made minor adjustments following Into the Woods & Big Eyes screenings. Unbroken screenings just after Thanksgiving as we enter the final month of the film year. So exciting.
Whither Nicole Kidman?
I missed Before I Go To Sleep in theaters (it left town instantly) and despite wrapping her roles on five more films we don't have firm release dates on any of them! If you're keeping track they are: Queen of the Desert, Strangerland and Grace of Monaco (lead roles) and Paddington and Genius (supporting roles). Here's a teaser for Strangerland.
It's an Australian drama with Hugo Weaving and Joseph Fiennes in which a couple's daughter goes missing. They freak out, naturally. Looks intense. Might it actually be good? I have high hopes for Queen of the Desert, too, given that Werner Herzog is behind the camera but she probably needs one of these films to be at least a minor hit.
Yesterday morning, while running out to a screening and party for Al Pacino's awards run with The Humbling (more on that soon), what did I find on my doorstep but the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter, just casually dropped there. "Close call," I thought, imagining greedy scruple-free actressexual neighbors I haven't met, stealing it before I even knew it was there.
I threw it back in the apartment and dashed off and now I return to it, staring at its cover.You know how this works, herewith my immediate thoughts uncensored as they come.
Is it weird that I don't read the article (essentially clips from the roundtable) but just wait for the full video so I can hear it all?
I don't understand the set and art direction of this photo. Why is Reese behind a gold bar? Why isn't God herself reclined on that uncomfortably stiff chaise lounge chair while the other actresses fan and feed her? (Let the coronation begin!)
Is Amy Adams a silent partner in THR? Will she impale me with that crazy stiletto for spreading that rumor.
She's like Terminator Adams here. So severe! "Don't fuck with me fellas" Or rather "I'LL BE BACK" because you know she will next year (sigh)
This is her 4th roundtable in 5 years suggesting that someone at THR is either obsessed with her, has dirt on her, has zero imagination, or is weak-willed when it comes to standing up to Amy's formidable publicists/management.
If you're an Oscar chart junkie, you'll see some key shifts on all four acting charts which are now updated. The biggest switcheroo is Jessica Chastain moving to Supporting Actress (the original prediction back in April) which shakes that field up more than it creates a vacuum with the Best Actress race and both Foxcatcher men dropping out of the predicted lead actor shortlist.
Papa, how can I be too high in rank to dine with the servants and too low to dine with my family?
Best Actress has been hard to suss out beyond two sure things: Julianne Moore as a professor with early on-set Alzheimers and Reese Witherspoon as a woman trying to forgive herself and start anew by hiking the PCT. Both of those films are major star vehicles in that they put their leading actress and her considerable gifts front and center without obstructed views. Gone Girl and The Theory of Everything also look somewhat likely to produce nominees but those are definitely two-lead films which Pike and Jones must share with their screen hubbies. On the podcast this weekend we'll talk more about this race because the field still seems wide open beyond those four names. And, if past years are any indication, one of them could surprisingly drop out. There are a lot of viable women hoping to unseat them, which makes "where are the best actress candidates?" articles in major outlets like THR and The Washington Post absolutely mystifying or ignorant or sexist or something. Something not right is the point. Particular maddening is that THR article which claims two dozen viable Best Actor candidates beyond the presumed frontrunners but will even list the most longshot of longshots like Eller Coltrane (Boyhood) and Al Pacino (The Humbling) and Kevin Costner (Black and White) -- none of which have any heat -- as "credible" contenders but can't think of ANY slightly under the radar women other than Jenny Slate (Obvious Child)? That's wearing some serious blinders to support your thesis. [more...]
Each weekend a profile on a just-opened Oscar contender. Here's abstew on this weekend's new release, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING which has potential to be a very big awards player.
Felicity Jones as Jane Hawking in The Theory of Everything
Born: Felicity Jones was born October 17, 1983 in Bournville on the Southside of Birmingham, England
The Role: The Academy Award-winning director of the documentary Man on Wire, James Marsh, takes the helm of this extraordinary true story based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen by Jane Hawking, the first wife of acclaimed Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. The film follows the over 30 year relationship of the two. Starting with their early days as doctorate students at England's famed University of Cambridge through Stephen's diagnosis with motor neurone disease (now more commonly known as ALS, it was recently in the headlines this year for the foundation's Ice Bucket Challenge used to raise money for research), the film chronicles the ups and downs of their marriage as Jane's goals take a backseat to Stephen's care.
Jones met with the real Jane several times in preparation. She has said that what most impressed her was how the ladylike, petite Jane was able to convey such strength and that's what she wanted to capture the most with her performance. Jones read Jane's book over 6 times as research (always having it close to her on set) and studied with a vocal coach to emulate the real Jane's voice.
This image fills The Film Experience's heart with actressexual joy...
Freeheld, a drama based on adocumentary short, has had a difficult journey to the big screen. There have been cancellations, delays, cast-changes, funding issues, you name it. But Ellen Page stuck with it, came out, and the film powered back to life (coincidence? who knows). But it's delightful to see a still which is proof that it the movie is actually happening. For those who haven't been keeping up Freeheld this is the official "about synopsis" from the Oscar winning documentary:
Detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester spent 25 years investigating tough cases in Ocean County, New Jersey, protecting the rights of victims and putting her life on the line. She had no reason to expect that in the last year of her life, after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, that her final battle for justice would be for the woman she loved.
The documentary film "Freeheld" chronicles Laurel's struggle to transfer her earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree. With less than six months to live, Laurel refuses to back down when her elected officials - the Ocean County Freeholders -deny her request to leave her pension to Stacie, an automatic option for heterosexual married couples. The film is structured chronologically, following both the escalation of Laurel's battle with the Freeholders and the decline of her health as cancer spreads to her brain.
As Laurel's plight intensifies, it spurs a media frenzy and a passionate advocacy campaign. At the same time, "Freeheld" captures a quieter, personal story: that of the deep love between Laurel and Stacie as they face the reality of losing each other. Alternating from packed public demonstrations at the county courthouse to quiet, tender moments of Laurel and Stacie at home, "Freeheld" combines tension-filled political drama with personal detail, creating a nuanced study of a grassroots fight for justice.
If Julianne's much delayed Oscar doesn't happen for Still Alice maybe she can ride Freeheld to a statue? If she does win for Still Alice maybe Ellen Page can take this one all the way? They play Detective Hester and Stacie Andree, respectively and maybe whoever picks up the movie will be brave enough to try a dual Best Actress campaign since there's no way you tell this story and they both aren't leads, you know?
And to think that Julianne Moore once worried in her first cover interview for Out that she'd never get to play gay again after her first gay role - a reinterpretation of Lila Crane in Gus Van Sant's Psycho (1998) remake which hit the year after she became a bonafide star with Boogie Nights and the Oscar nomination.
She needn't have worried since her filmography post-stardom, is so LGBT friendly (Far From Heaven, Chloe, The Kids Are All Right, A Single Man, Savage Grace, The Hours) and she might win her Oscar for Still Alice directed by gay partners in filmmaking and in life (Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland). It's all wonderfully apt since the LGBT community championed her early on.
The Gotham Awards juried nominations have recently surplanted the ancient NBR as the first real awards nomination/wins of the film year. That it happens in October is more than a little crazy, but what'cha gonna do? The New York centric film prizes, think of it as the Spirit Awards's East Coast Cousin albeit with far fewer prizes will be held on December 1st. Since they only have six categories and four separate juries (composed of critics and programmers), multiple nods aren't as easy to come by as they are at other shows but a handful of films managed it: Boyhood, Birdman, Dear White People, Nightcrawler, and Under the Skin.
- GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
- LOVE IS STRANGE
- UNDER THE SKIN
Very happy to see the intensely moving Love is Strange, in constant danger of being undervalued, show up. Especially since it didn't show up anywhere else. 199 films were eligible for these honors.
BEST ACTRESS (they don't have lead or supporting designations)
- PATRICIA ARQUETTE, Boyhood
- SCARLETT JOHANSSON, Under the Skin
- GUGU MBATHA-RAW, Beyond the Lights
- JULIANNE MOORE, Still Alice
- MIA WASIKOWSKA, Tracks
Given that Still Alice is only getting a qualifying Oscar run and there's no proof that it will even play in NYC by the end of the year (LA is the only required theatrical run) I think it's weird to nominate Julianne Moore at the Gothams, however excellent she is in the picture. I wonder what criteria they use for eligibility?
BEST ACTOR (they don't have lead or supporting designations)
- BILL HADER, The Skeleton Twins
- ETHAN HAWKE, Boyhood
- OSCAR ISAAC, A Most Violent Year
- MICHAEL KEATON, Birdman
- MILES TELLER, Whiplash
Interesting to see Oscar Isaac show up but not Jessica Chastain when the same nominating committee chose for both categories.
BREAKTHROUGH ACTOR OR ACTRESS
- RIZ AHMED, Nightcrawler
- MACON BLAIR, Blue Ruin
- ELLAR COLTRANE, Boyhood
- JOEY KING, Wish I Was Here
- JENNY SLATE, Obvious Child
- TESSA THOMPSON, Dear White People
Slightly odd choices by the breakthrough committee. I love Boyhood and Nightcrawler but it seems weird to single out Coltrane or Ahmed from either, not only because they aren't the MVPs but because their performances just aren't at the same accomplished level as their co-stars.
- ANA LILY AMIRPOUR, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
- JAMES WARD BYRKIT, Coherence
- DAN GILROY, Nightcrawler
- ELIZA HITTMAN, It Felt Like Love
- JUSTIN SIMIEN, Dear White People
- LIFE ITSELF
- POINT AND SHOOT
I haven't yet seen Life Itself (I know I know) but I increasingly suspect, based on everything I've read about it, that hero worship is really getting in the way. It's not that I don't appreciate Ebert's work or that I don't understand the need to honor him for a special life in this very specialized field. But as with Oscars view of documentary, sometimes subject matter trumps execution in terms of awardage. Critics complain when that happens. Except when it happens to a movie about a film critic ;) I reserve the right to change my mind and consider it very worthy if I see it but I just wanted to point out that this is always a real danger in awardage for all groups, not just Oscar, the effect of subject matter trumping execution.