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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Entries in Best Actress (292)

Wednesday
Jul152015

Poor Joe. This Spotlight is For Norma Desmond

When I issued the challenge of Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Sunset Blvd (1950), with the caveat that you couldn't use that final close up for Mr DeMille, I knew it would make for a great episode. What a stone cold classic it is, filled with potent images in every scene that are too often taken for granted given the combined impact of its haunting iconic opening and closing. What I had dumbly not remembered was how intoxicatingly full Sunset Blvd feels on every repeat viewing inbetween. You can go into each screening with one topic in mind ("I shall write about this") and come out with a dozen more topics boiling, your original thoughts crowded out of the mind's frame. So I must painfully set aside the self-deprecating script, the gestural bravado, the timelessness of its time capsule, its shame-trigger economics and sexuality. So much of it distracts from the real purpose of HMWYBS which is to zero in on a particular image from a public piece of art that seizes your individual imagination with its beauty or thematic resonance or what not, and discuss. 

So Joe McGillis will have to wait. Which is a shame. He's worth at least 11 essays of his own according to my easily distracted notes. They're messier than Norma's epic handwritten "Salome" opus which visually buries Joe long before she works up enough actual crazy to really bury him. [More...]

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Tuesday
Jul142015

Yes No Maybe So: Kate Winslet IS The Dressmaker 

This is dedicated to the patient among you, those who don't badger me about things they KNOW are coming. (Like we're not going to cover this trailer, at TFE! It's like you've never been here before). Most importantly this is dedicated to the die-hard Kate Winslet fans who will sit through Labor Day, Divergent, and A Little Chaos to be there her true return to form whenever it happens. By the looks of this trailer for The Dressmaker, the wait may soon be over.

The Yes No Maybe So breakdown, which is crazy overstuffed with screencaps since this diva murderess fashionista Oscar winner demands them, is after the jump with the trailer... 

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jul112015

"Grandma" Poster

And look who got quoted!

It's my first movie poster quote somehow though tbh my dream has never been movie posters but getting quoted on FYC Oscar ads. This is close enough since Lily Tomlin is so super in that movie. When they call a movie a 'star vehicle' they don't usually mean it this literally but Lily could drive that old car straight to an Oscar nomination. We shall see. 

Grandma opens on August 21st from Sony Pictures Classics 

Saturday
Jul042015

Halfway: All Hail Alicia Vikander!

½way mark - part 4 of ?
Here's Lynn Lee on 2015's Most Ubiquitous Actress


In the act(ress)ing world, there are rising stars and then there are rockets – the ones whose careers lift off so high so fast it leaves us all blinking a little.  Think Jessica Chastain in 2011, or Jennifer Lawrence in 2012.  2015 looks to be a rocket year for young Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, who’s attracted favorable notice here at TFE and by critics and directors on both sides of the Atlantic, though she’s yet to achieve mainstream moviegoer recognition.  

If she keeps going as she’s begun, she may soon have that, too.

I first took note of Vikander in 2012, the year of her breakthrough role in the historical drama and Oscar best foreign film nominee A Royal Affair, as a young queen who helps bring the Enlightenment to 18th century Denmark, and a supporting turn in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina.  Nathaniel nominated her for a Film Bitch Award that year and she’s worth watching in both films, especially the former. But it wasn’t until I saw her back to back in this year’s Ex Machina and Testament to Youth that I really got what the fuss was about. 

And what is it about, exactly?...

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Thursday
Jul022015

Halfway: Best Leading Performances of 2015 Thus Far

½way mark - part 2 of ? You can't see everything but you should see as much as possible if you're in the awardage business, or business of watching awardage, or business of watching awardage watchers and... well you get the picture. SEE MORE MOVIES. I know I need to and I see plenty.

Let's take stock of what's come out in theaters thus far (Jan 1st - Jul 1st for our purposes here). Even if conversations suggest otherwise in November through January each year we always pray that Academy members are regular moviegoers and don't just wait until their screeners arrive.

10 best lead performances from the year's first half...

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Wednesday
Jul012015

Halfway: Oscar Chart Updates ~ Acting, Animation, Screenplay

½way mark - part 1 of ?
With the year half over (if not really the film year which is so backloaded) and the trailer to Grandma out -- good news, it doesn't remotely spoil the best jokes or character beats -- we are reminded that it's time to update the Oscar Prediction Charts. Consider this the start of a weeklong "½way mark year in review" 

BEST ACTRESS & SUPPORTING ACTRESS
More and more Carey Mulligan in Suffragette seems the one to watch. It was interesting to read at Deadline how well Far From the Madding Crowd has been performing in international markets, too. That's good news for her momentum for the future relaese. Build your case as a worthy star and not just for one movie since Oscars are almost never decided on performance alone; Career timing and momentum is nearly always at least as important. That's the chief reason I'm still waffling on whether or not Lily Tomlin traction can happen. If she gets an Emmy nod this month, we'll know that "Let's Celebrate Lily's career!" is in the air. She's so good in Grandma so if that's the industry mood, a nomination could well happen.

Meanwhile Carol's Cannes success affects both Actress charts and also dings my faith in Freeheld which will be competing directly with it, however unfair that is and however different the films are, given that they're both lesbian romances with co-leads in which big stars headline and the younger will probably pursue category fraud.

UPDATE 07/02 Serious shake-ups in both of these charts - Supporting Actress chart fix (lost tier)

BEST ACTOR & BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
After Cannes, Paolo Sorrentino's Youth is seemingly like a real possibility in multiple categories. Even its detractors are inadvertently making a case for it. The reasons they hate it seem like "Oscar-will-love-this!" potshots. Plus: there are far worse filmmakers to crib from then Federico Fellini if your aim is Oscar gold. So, this is a long way of saying that I've boosted Michael Caine into the top five. I am weirdly resistant to his particular star charisma (yes, even from his heyday) and take issue with the past Oscar wins but I realize that this isn't true of the vast majority of movie lovers and if the film gets a big Oscar push, he'll be an easy sell.

In the supporting category mea culpa. Readers suggested that I was crazy to leave out stage giant Mark Rylance (an actor I love who rarely makes movies)  for Bridge of Spies. Once the trailer hit, I started losing faith in the movie and gaining faith in him. Funny that. In my defense, these things are anyone's blind pin the tail on the donkey gamesmanship before any footage has been seen (and even to a lesser degree after since so many other factors come into play). But why does the movie look so bland? It's Spielberg/Hanks/Kaminsky and they have 7 Oscars between them. Where were the memorable shots or instant-resonating storytelling beats? And yes you can squeeze those into a trailer.

ANIMATED FEATURESCREENPLAY CATEGORIES
The big news in both of these categories is the stellar debut of Inside Out. While total Best Picture nominee confidence may be a a case of wishful thinking situation with fans (it's possible but the Academy goes through phases and they might have moved since the animated feature category is so firmly established now and Pixar might be deemed well-enough rewarded over the past decade plus). That said, at this halfway mark it seems insane to imagine it losing the Animated Feature Oscar it's already so successful and acclaimed. Which means we could well see it in its screenplay category too where animated films can sometimes compete if they're beloved and clever enough (see: The Incredibles, Toy Story, Up) and this one is on both counts.

I've also added in The Program, Stephen Frears helmed story of Lance Armstrong's scandal now that it has a title and a trailer. We never shared the trailer (oops) but it looks pretty intense and the cast, especially Ben Foster, looks strong.

PREDICTION INDEX
Picture, Director, Sound, Visuals, Foreign are not yet updated but they will be within next couple of days