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Rosemary's Baby (50th Anniversary Retrospective)

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Blueprints: Moonlight 

"No wonder Moonlight is so beautiful - it's all right there in the Screenplay. The lyricism, the poetry, the deep feeling... " - Dan

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Entries in biopics (195)

Tuesday
Jun122018

Yes No Maybe So: "First Man"

by Nathaniel R

Raise your hand in the comments if you needed this month of enticing trailers. I sure did. There have been too many weeks this spring and early summer where too few interesting options appeared in movie theaters asking for our money. Suddenly June's onslaught of teasing has led us to hope that 2018 will turn itself into a stellar film year... and thus a competitive Oscar season to come. We've already discussed A Star is Born, White Boy Rick, The Children ActSuspiria, Widows, Mowgli, and Christopher Robin. Now we have the latest from Oscar winning young director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land) and it's the historical drama First Man about Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) and the moon landing.

As with A Star is Born before it, this trailer lives up to the movie's 'on paper' promise and will only feed into more pre-release Oscar hype. Let's Yes No and Maybe So™ it after the jump...

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Friday
Jun012018

YNMS x 2: Mowgli and Christopher Robin

by Nathaniel R

grrrr. oink. hsss. squeak. 'oh bother'. oohoohahah. and other animal noises.

The multiplex has a serious animal infestations coming up with Christopher Robin and yet another adaptation of The Jungle Book called Mowgli coming up in the next handful of months. Have you caught their trailers?

Let's break them down with our Yes No Maybe So™ practice after the jump...

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Wednesday
May022018

Jake Gyllenhaal and Steven Spielberg playing with the legacy of Leonard Bernstein

by Nathaniel R

Have you heard the news that there's a Leonard Bernstein biopic coming? There's good news and there's bad news. The good news is that there's a Leonard Bernstein biopic coming at all! I mean... he's only a bonafide genius of the 20th century. Even better Jake Gyllenhaal is attached to star. Even better Cary Joji Fukunaga (Jane Eyre, Beasts of No Nation, True Detective) will be directing! Gyllenhaal gives quote:

Like many people, Leonard Bernstein found his way into my life and heart through West Side Story when I was a kid. But as I got older and started to learn about the scope of his work, I began to understand the extent of his unparalleled contribution and the debt of gratitude modern American culture owes him. As a man, Bernstein was a fascinating figure—full of genius and contradiction—and it will be an incredible honor to tell his story with a talent and friend like Cary.”

More after the jump...

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Thursday
Apr262018

Tribeca: Trine Dyrholm makes a great "Nico 1988"

by Jason Adams

Although I might have been hallucinating by the time, given the sheer length and purposeful boredom of the experience, I'm pretty sure there's a portion of Andy Warhol's four-hour double-projector experimental film Chelsea Girls where the Velvet Underground singer Nico just sits and cuts her bangs for twenty straight minutes on camera. It felt like twenty straight minutes, anyway. And that was my introduction to her. Catherine Deneuve heroin chic - too cool for anybody, herself included.

That's the baggage one drags into a bio-pic about the singer, and that's what Susanna Nicchiarelli's film called Nico, 1988 insists on clipping away like those bangs. It's right there in the title - this is 1988, twenty-two years after Underground, after Andy, and this is a fully fifty-year-old woman with dark brown hair and a debilitating drug habit who does not give a shit...

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Thursday
Apr122018

Months of Meryl: A Cry in the Dark (1988)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

 #15 — Lindy Chamberlain, a New Zealand matriarch wrongfully convicted of her child’s murder.

MATTHEWOne evening in August 1980, Azaria Chamberlain, the two month-old daughter of New Zealander couple Michael and Lindy Chamberlain, was taken while the family was camping near Ayers Rock. She was never found again. Seconds before Azaria disappeared, Lindy claimed to have seen a dingo rummaging through the tent where her daughter lay sleeping, putting forth the soon-to-be-infamous story that a dingo had taken and perhaps eaten her baby. A seedy, sensationalist media frenzy ensued, with the Chamberlains’ faces splashed across the covers of obsessive tabloids and speculative segments of nightly news programs as many, including the Australian high court, viciously questioned the veracity of the family’s explanation.

None of Meryl Streep’s vehicles have entered the cultural lexicon with quite the same measure of gleefully ubiquitous parody that has surrounded and even overshadowed Fred Schepisi’s 1988 docudrama A Cry in the Dark, also titled — and released in Australia and New Zealand as — Evil Angels after the John Bryson true-crime bestseller that first chronicled the Chamberlain family’s legal ordeal. A Cry in the Dark’s devolution into little more than a widely-known (though often misquoted) punchline has proven to be both admittedly hilarious but also fairly odd, especially considering the gruesome events from which this gag originates...

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Wednesday
Apr042018

The Men in the High Castles

Jason Adams reviews Chappaquidick, new in theaters this Friday

"I am a collage of unaccounted for brushstrokes - I am all random." Those are among the last words spoken by Stockard Channing's character in Six Degrees of Separation as she flees another ritzy party, her sense of self in tatters. Who are we, just an assemblage of stories we tell ourselves, and others? Is there something in between the molecules, if you drill down deep enough, or does infinite digging render everything dug? When we get up and look at ourselves in the mirror in the morning, are our eyes showing us Fake News? The post-modern self is an existential crisis in overdrive, but at a certain point don't you have to just stop drilling and take stock of what you actually see? Where does the scrutinizing of facts end and the perversion of them begin? Who writes our histories?

On July 18th, 1969 in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge and a 29-year-old woman named Mary Jo Kopechne died. What happened in the hours following that accident has been the subject of numerous books, not to mention many a feverish speculative daydream of right-leaning politicians and pundits. But it hasn't gotten the movie treatment until now with John Curran's Chappaquiddick, starring Jason Clarke as Kennedy and Kate Mara as Kopechne, out in theaters this Friday. Curran seeks to write that history...

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