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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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Silence of the Lambs Retrospective

"Don't help the man with the broken arm! Don't get in his van! Too late... She does it every time. Which is why this is such a good movie: it really makes us care, and even when we know what's going to happen, we hope it won't."- Edward

"Such a great BP winner. I remember seeing it when I was a teenager and even then I noticed the eyelines being so close to the camera, and the way Clarice was framed in a male-dominated world as though she was being watched and judged." - MSD

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Entries in Best Actress (341)

Tuesday
Dec082015

Suffragette on the Campaign Trail. Votes for Carey. Votes for Women!

Carey Mulligan stepped back out onto red carpets this past weekend at the Moet British Independent Film Awards (Suffragette was ironically honored only for its most prominent male actor Brendan Gleeseon) looking as fashionista fine as always. I was strangely surprised to see her. I had been imagining her safely ensconced at home and away from the demands of red carpets and press chatter these past two weeks since she had been out and about so much before the holiday.

I had the opportunity to chat with the Suffragette star very briefly at two separate events in her honor on two separate coasts and very nearly back-to-back before Thanksgiving. This after a busy October in London where Suffragette's opening was quite an event and just before that in September she gave birth to her first child, daughter Evelyn Mumford. And just before that she was treading the boards on Broadway in the play Skylight for which she was Tony nominated.

Whew. In short she's been hard at work for the past year... albeit with lovely A list working conditions. Lovely working conditions would be impossible to imagine for her latest alter ego, Maud Watts, the fictional laundress who reluctantly and then passionately embraces political activism within very real British history.

The most amusing anecdote I can remember from our brief chat is that Carey told me that her time in the makeup chair was the shortest she'd ever experienced on set.  They called them 'rough ups' instead of 'touch ups'... since the actresses always had to be sweaty and exhausted rather than beautifully camera ready.

It's somehow perfectly endearing that Carey accidentally blinked when I took her photo (below) because surely she deserves a little sleep after the tireless promotion of the movie.

At the second event, an afternoon tea in New York, I jokingly asked her if she even knew where she was at this point what with all the travel and events. She played along answering with cheerfully fading confidence.

I'm in New York! ... apparently?"

Suffragette arrived at quite an auspicious time to engage with its depressing modern relevance despite taking place in the early 1900s. While the movie didn't light the box office on fire, her Best Actress bid still appears to be toasty warm albeit within a very competitive field. And if it doesn't happen this time there's always the next time for this tireless star.

Saturday
Nov212015

London Adventures: "Gypsy" & "Photograph 51" 

In the crazed travelling of Oscar rev-up season it occurs to me that I never wrote about my London theater-going in that blessed October weekend. While I was in that great great city, I saw two favorite actresses in plays centered around their gifts: one was a revelation, the other a canny reminder.

Imelda & Nicole triumph after the jump...

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Thursday
Nov192015

Thoughts We Had... THR's Annual Actress Roundtable Cover

We'll have to wait a little while for the full video, which is more fun than the cover but it's always exciting to see THR's roundtable covers nonetheless. Like Vanity Fair's "Hollywood Issue" -- less thrilling than it once was for a myriad of reasons -- it's a tradition that is both great fun for its glamour and personality and highly aggravating for its exclusions and repetitions and limited world view... just like, HEYYYY, the Oscars themselves!

By now you know the drill. First an image. Then the thoughts that come to mind without self-censorhip after the jump...

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Thursday
Nov122015

Spike Lee's Overlooked and Exuberant "Crooklyn"

TFE is celebrating the three Honorary Oscar winners this week. Here's Kieran discussing one of Spike Lee's warmest and most underappreciated films.

For better or worse, you can often feel a larger thesis statement, be it about race and/or American culture at large, running through much of Spike Lee’s work. His films also feel incredibly male in their perspective. Even his few films that foreground women (She’s Gotta Have It and Girl 6) feel enveloped by the male gaze, despite their many other virtues. These are just a couple of reasons why Lee’s semi-autobiographical slice-of-life dramedy Crooklyn feels like a bit of a curio.

Crooklyn is set in the summer of 1973 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, where Lee himself grew up. Nine-year-old Troy Carmichael (Zelda Harris) is the only girl in a brood that includes four rowdy brothers. Though often put-upon and teased, Troy is tough, clever, funny and every bit the daughter of her equally strong-willed mother, Carolyn (a radiant Alfre Woodard). More so than any other film Lee has directed, Crooklyn is wholly interested in the inner-life, motivations and perspective of its female characters. Even Woody (Delroy Lindo), the family patriarch and easily the most fleshed out male character in the joint still feels like an afterthought compared to how focused the narrative is on Troy and Carolyn. How Alfre Woodard's anchoring performance failed to garner any Oscar traction, especially when one looks at the outlet mall fire sale irregulars that were the Best Actress nominees of 1994 is confounding.

More...

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Wednesday
Nov112015

Oscar Scuttlebutt: Hateful Eight, Best Actress, and More

Nathaniel, popping in from a busy AFI schedule to gossip with you!  

One of the best things about this annual trip to Los Angeles, besides meeting West Coast fans and spending time with rarely seen LA friends, is hearing the gossip around the Oscar campaigns and individual opinions on the movie. As I suspected Youth resonates with a lot of people in the industry. I've always thought the Oscar conversations on the internet are sleeping on this one because it's a) not in theaters yet and b) skews older than active rooting interests of typical online communities. Also extremely happy to report that people in town seem more confident in Charlotte Rampling's prospects for a 45 Years nomination than I have previously been. She's getting a tribute at the AFI and Kirsten Dunst is even hosting a party in her honor this weekend.

Now, one must always take every anecdote and opinion with a whole block of salt since one man's treasure is another's junk, some assumptions will always be proven wrong, and depending on who is talking there may be an agenda floating around, visible or well hidden. Here are some tidbits you may be interested in though keep in mind that it's all just hearsay after the jump...

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Tuesday
Nov102015

The Honoraries: Debbie Reynolds in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" (1964)

This week we're celebrating the three Honorary Oscar winners. Here's abstew on Debbie Reynolds' favorite role.

Molly Brown is my favorite of all the roles I've played. I love something about almost every part I've done, but I identified with Molly as soon as I met her. In the sometimes blurry line between art and and real life, Molly is the woman I've become as the years have passed. I'm right there with her when she declares, "I ain't down yet!"

-Debbie Reynolds Unsinkable: A Memoir

In her decades long show business career, amid the watchful eye of media scrutiny, Debbie Reynolds has endured trials and tribulations and come out the other side of it stronger. Caught in a Hollywood scandal, the original jilted girl-next-door (long before Jennifer Aniston was even born), Reynolds stood by while then husband Eddie Fisher left her and her two young children for screen siren Elizabeth Taylor. Her luck with men didn't improve later as second husband Harry Karl spent years gambling away her hard-earned money, leaving her with mounting debts to cover. Even her dream of finding a permanent home to house her legendary collection of movie memorabilia never came to pass and forced her to put them up for auction. So you can see how playing a character like the real life Molly Brown, who survived the sinking of the Titanic, earning her the moniker "Unsinkable", would find a kindred spirit in the guise of feisty spitfire Debbie Reynolds. The actress, like the legendary woman, simply doesn't know what it means to be defeated...

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