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Entries in biopics (227)

Thursday
Oct112018

Months of Meryl: Julie & Julia (2009)

The Filmography: Across 52 films, Meryl Streep taught America how to act, and how to accept awards. It’s been 41 years since Ms. Streep’s first film. Today we might think we live in the world Jennifer Lawrence, Brie Larson, and Alicia Vikander made, but beneath it all is Meryl, 69 if she’s a day, and no one can touch her.

The Contenders: Too young to recall The Hours press tour, and much too young for any pre-Devil Wears Prada context, really, Matthew and John  were looking for a challenge. And from Still of the Night to Dark Matter, they found it. Risking their sanity, their jobs, and Ingmar Bergman centennial retrospectives, they have signed on for a deranged assignment.

365 days. 52 films. A dozen-plus accents. Three Oscars. Two boys. One refurbished Blu-Ray player. How far will it go? We can only wait. And wait. And wait...

The Months of Meryl Project. Wrapping up soon on a blog you’re already reading.

#41 — Julia Child, beloved chef and unanticipated television star of singular personality.


MATTHEW: In surveying all 21 of the films that constitute Meryl Streep’s history-making haul of Academy Award nominations, Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia, to my mind, represents an acting challenge that only this stupendous performer could have possibly played and been rewarded for playing...

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Sunday
Oct072018

Catch-Up: A Simple Favor, The Children Act, Colette

by Nathaniel R

So as not to get ANY further behind on reviewing and such -- you wouldn't believe my calendar right now -- here are quick takes on four  movies we barely said anything about, the first of which you should absolutely make time to see.

A Simple Favor (Paul Feig)
Synopsis: Mommy vlogger Stephanie's (Anna Kendrick) new best friend, chic enigmatic Emily (Blake Lively) goes missing then turns up dead... or does she?... in this twisty genre mashup. 
Capsule: Half comic thriller. Half campy mystery. Half bad girl dress-up fantasy. The math doesn't add up, I'm aware, but it's all enjoyable. The leading ladies are deliciously inspired, marrying all the disparate tones with as much ease, flair, and detail as the costumes, chic soundtrack, and aspirational production design. Makes a solid case for itself as the year's most delightful surprise...

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Saturday
Sep292018

Thoughts I Had... while staring at the first photo of Taron Egerton as Elton John in "Rocketman"

by Nathaniel R

click to embiggen

Thoughts as they came without self-censorship:

Since he's wearing winged shoes we expect him to float up into the sky during a musical sequence, like a queer Mercules auditoning for the Griffiths Observatory number in La La Land...

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Wednesday
Sep192018

Soundtracking: "Lady Sings the Blues"

The 1972 Smackdown is coming soon! Here's Chris on that year's Oscar nominated biopic on Billie Holliday...

We complain a lot about stodgy biopics in the “greatest hits” mold, simply relying on the known Wikipedia fenceposts to construct its narrative. Lady Sings The Blues is kind of the poster child for such frustrations - I mean, the original poster literally proclaimed “Diana Ross IS Billie Holiday”.

What we were given is a film mostly bored by subject and performer, or at least unable to capture what made Ross and Holliday such captivating performers. Blues meanders through the singer’s life story, halting for her performances with fly-on-the-wall passivity that’s as indifferent to the magnetism of the music as it is to Ross’ take...

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Friday
Sep142018

Cynthia Erivo will play Harriet Tubman

by Murtada Elfadl

Cynthia Erivo who made waves this week at TIFF as one quarter of Widows has announced her next project. She will play iconic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman in Harriet. The film will follow Tubman on her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free many slaves through the Underground Railroad in pre-Civil War America. More exciting is that Harriet will be directed by Kasi Lemmons of Eve’s Bayou (1997), a film we adore. This will be Lemmons' first film since Black Nativity (2013), in the past few years she’s been directing episodes of TV shows like Luke Cage and Shots Fired.

Joining Erivo in the cast are Leslie Odom Jr.,  Joe Alwyn ( who’s very busy this fall with parts in Boy Erased, The Favourite and Mary Queen of Scots), Clarke Peters (Detective Freamon in The Wire) and surprisingly country music singer Jennifer Nettles.

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Sunday
Sep092018

Queer TIFF: "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"

by Chris Feil

Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? is the rarest of comedies, as lovely as it is scabrous, and able to craft a film cohering as many dualities and tonal contradictions in its construction as its protagonist. The film stars Melissa McCarthy as the shamed Lee Israel, once noted biographer and journalist whose late career stumbles found her forging letters of noted dead writers and famous personalities.

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