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Entries in biopics (159)


Posterized: Tom Hiddleston

Photography by Charlie GrayWelcome to Actors Month. We'll try to concentrate on the men for the next 30 days just for a change of pace. (Though obviously Actresses are never far from our hearts so we won't ignore them entirely).  So let's kick things off with Tom Hiddleston. I Saw the Light, a biopic of Hank Williams expands into over 700 theaters today. While I can't recommend the film which is DOA without any of its own energy or insight and contains every single rise and addictive fall trope from every music biopic ever produced.

BUT at least Tom gets to sing (every note in fact) and he has a fine voice so hopefully we'll hear it again in a future film?

The internet's ex-boyfriend (he's been replaced by Oscar Isaac we hear) has been famous for just five years now having risen to fame very quickly via Thor (2011) and his rendition of lying Loki. 

He has made 14 pictures. How many have you seen?

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Q&A: Artists in Movies and Uninspiring Best Pic Lineups

For this weeks Q&A I asked for an art theme to celebrate the joint birthday of Vincent Van Gogh and Francisco de Goya on this very day! So we'll start with a few art-focused topics before venturing to rando questions.

TOM: Which film about an artist (in any field of the Arts) that you were not particularly knowledgeable about made you want to see/hear the real work by that artist? 

I vastly prefer non-traditional biopics so I'm susceptible to stuff that piques curiosity rather than gives you a greatest hits. So I like bios like Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993). I have some problems with I'm Not There (2007) which is my least favorite Todd Haynes film but I respect the hell out of it conceptually. In terms of movies about painters I definitely became more interested in Francis Bacon after Love is the Devil (1998) and not just because of Daniel Craig in the bathtub! I already cared about Caravaggio before seeing Derek Jarman's Caravaggio but I hope people see that one, too. 

BRIAN: If you had to recommend a budding Cinephile a movie based on an artist, a work of art, or has artistic themes what would it be?

Hmmm. A lot of movies about painting aren't very good (Watching someone paint being only a notch more interesting than watching someone write). So let's do "artistic" theme and the answer there is easily Amadeus (1984). It's such a useful movie to reference in ways both commonplace ("too many notes!") and contemplative (what makes the difference between competent journeyman skill and true genius?). One of my other favorite "art" movies is High Art (1998)...

8 more questions after the jump

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What's Next for the Women of "Carol" (and other lesser beings)?

Murtada here. Now that the Oscars are behind us (and our coverage concluded) our eyes turn to the future. Josh told you about new projects for four winners. But what of the "Best" losers? Let's start with the magnificent Carol ladies and move on to other actresses to see where they're headed next.

10+ future prospects after the jump...

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Review: Eddie the Eagle

Eric here for the new Hugh Jackman. Eddie the Eagle tells the true-life story of Michael “Eddie” Edwards, who became the first skier to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping in 1988.  The comic spin:  Eddie is not really an athlete, or a particularly good skier.  But he’s a dreamer!  And tenacious!

Even if this weren’t a true story, you’d know from the first few scenes where it was headed.  Director Dexter Fletcher doesn’t have any aspiration higher than to make you feel good, but he has a just-pluckier-than-sitcom sensibility that feels predictably right for this genre.  He delivers the kind of film that studio executives love, where nothing is challenging and all the characters fall into their respective stereotypes (including groan-inducing taunting foreign competitors and the horny middle-aged female bar owner.!)

Where the filmmakers got it right, and very very lucky, is with their two leads. Externally, Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) overplays the comedy with a bit too many Zellwegarian face scrunches, but internally he has a surefooted instinct for the joke and knows how to keep things surprising with his captivating capriciousness. For this film the latter goes a long way. Jackman has essentially no character on the page, but he plays it as if nobody told him he’s in a mediocre movie.  One of Jackman’s secret weapons as a movie star is that he always knows exactly what is required of him in any given film.  Here he just needs to loan out his star wattage to add credibility and look great in jeans; he supplies both with sweet aplomb.   

Even though this movie has low ambitions, which it achieves with low success, it’s tough to be mad at it.  There are enough bright lines of dialogue to make you wish there were more, plus a bouncy score that salutes 80s comedies (until it veers towards standard, Feel-This-Way scoring).  The film may be as subversive as a Norman Rockwell painting, but when Egerton and Jackman walk towards each other flapping their wings, there’s a pleasant little high.


Cynthia Nixon's Emily Dickinson Dwells In Possibility of Miranda Hobbes

Daniel Crooke here, new contributor. As daily updates make their way stateside from the Berlinale, certain titles that can’t help but infiltrate and overtake your curiosity. One such film is Terence Davies’ A Quiet Passion. What a time to be alive when the promise of a film starring the soulfully efflorescent Cynthia Nixon as the spiritually untethered Emily Dickinson exists on this planet. While reactions to the poet’s biopic have been highly mixed, the overlapping of these two mustang personas is an undeniable attraction.

Obviously much of Dickinson’s public face continues to be debated – that’ll happen when you like what you like and forget the rest – but there’s still a respected wealth of fascinating, cogent theories about the manner in which Emily lived. And no study needs a peer review about how perfectly Nixon’s signature role encapsulates this iconoclast who ditched polite society for a personal universe of her own reckoning.

The ultimate role research for Emily Dickinson lies in playing the sage and self-determined Miranda Hobbes for six seasons of Sex and the CitySix reasons why after the jump...

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Sweet 16 Links: Colette, Noni, Gaga, and a Lynch Reunion

Variety Keira Knightley in talks to star in the biopic about the French writer Colette. Crossing my fingers about this one. Colette is fascinating (she wrote Cheri!)
Comics Alliance on Marvel, politics, and why corporations are not your friend
Towleroad TitanMen has offered disgraced Congressman Aaron Schock (the one with abs and a Downton Abbey fetish) $1 million to star in a porn film. LOL
Variety Clive Owen, Alba Rohrwacher, and more join Meryl Streep's competition jury at Berlinale

Kenneth in the (212) Shirtless Russell Tovey reportedly causes a Broadway audience member to faint. Ha!
Pajiba checks in w/ the Trainspotting cast, 20 years on 
i09 Naomi Watts reunites with Lynch for Twin Peaks S3
i09 Noomi Rapace not returning for the Prometheus sequel
IndieWire thinks "The Chickening," a short film remix of The Shining is insane and genius. Definitely the first part. As for the second... 
Towleroad a first for ESPN, actor Matthew Wilkas (Gayby, You're Killing Me) labelled "Gus Kenworthy's Boyfriend" during the X Games 
Coming Soon Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford (we  her) has joined the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show the next TV musical (though this one won't be "live") 
Salon "Where are all the women in American Film?" a SAG-AFTRA member reviews her screeners

I had seen four films, 75 percent of which completely leave women out of the story. But maybe women really don’t feature in West African war zones. Or in the history of NWA. Or in finance.

But of course we feature. It just depends what story you want to tell.

Lady Gaga performering her and Diane Warren's Best Original Song nominee "Til It Happens To You" at the PGA Awards


Variety 19 breakthrough performances from the festival
Film School Rejects talks to the cast and filmmaker of the LGBT Korean-American drama Spa Night
The Guardian Oscar buzz from the fest including Manchester by the Sea, Ira Sach's Little Men and Rebecca Hall as Christine 

"Winona Forever" by Soraya Roberts for Hazlitt. It's a great history of the star's youth and her sudden generational iconhood. And how we've trapped her adolescence ever since. 

Winona Ryder arrived at the perfect time. Film scholar Timothy Shary characterizes the teen genre as “cyclical.” Ryder’s first film, Lucas, was released at the end of the hyper-hormonal Porky’s era (AIDS and teen pregnancy ruined it for everyone), five years before the release of Boyz N the Hood. In the period between 1986 and 1990, during her teen career, there were about 250 American films about adolescents, the most memorable being nostalgic thefts of innocence such as Dirty Dancing (1987), Hairspray (1988) and Dead Poets Society (1989). Three of Ryder’s films—Great Balls of Fire, 1969, Mermaids—adhered to this theme. She was in a sweet spot: post sex-crazed, pre-violence crazed—the ideal landing pad for a wide-eyed alien.

“You’d be hard pressed to say who was an average girl in teen movies after the mid-80s,” says Shary. The Brats had moved on, and so had John Hughes (his last teen film, Some Kind of Wonderful, came out in 1987), though no one forgot about them. “[Hughes] showed that you could make sensitive teen films that didn’t have nudity that didn’t pander to the supposed teen sex urge,” Shary says. He thinks this was “a contributing factor in helping set up an actress like Winona Ryder who could come along in the later ‘80s and be taken seriously as a teen actress.” While Hughes muse Molly Ringwald pined for the rich guy, Ryder merely pined for herself...

It's a delicious read and for those of you who didn't live through the Depp/Winona years, a fine encapsulation of the generational fascination with their relationship.


Bye Instant Watch: Terms of Endearment, Tom Cruise, Big Fish...

What's leaving Netflix Instant Watch?

We should probably start covering that. It seems like a boring topic but we jazz up your public service announcements. I'll close my eyes and play with the control bar and wherever I freeze the movie I'll share the image. This weekend is your last chance to watch these films for free for who knows how long. Since there are Oscar titles in the mix, perhaps you can fill some holes in your Oscar lists of Things To See or Rewatch.

Ready? In chronological order of their film year, seven films leaving Netflix on February 1st...


EMMA: I've got some good news. I'm unofficially pregnant. I mean I haven't got the tests back but I'm never late.

AURORA: [Pause] Well... No, I don't understand."

Look how crazy young Jeff Daniels is! Shirley Maclaine is so hilarious and complicated in this movie -- that long pause with cascading rejection of possible responses under frozen 'I don't understand' face. She's going to lose out since she doesn't want to think of herself as a grandmother. A well deserved Best Actress win, with Shirley obviously relieved about it "this show has been as long as my career."

Oscar Note: I know we've asked this before but how long before we get another girlie Best Picture winner it's been FOR-EV-ER. Terms of Endearment was nominated for 11 Oscars (an astounding amount for a contemporary-set film), winning 5. 

six more movies after the jump


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