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Entries in Carol (24)


Podcast: Carol Aird of Manhattan, Mark Watney of Mars.

Katey, Joe, Nathaniel and Nick, get stranded on Mars with Astronaut Matt Damon. After rescuing each other they fall for shopgirl Rooney Mara with Cate Blanchett. Yes, we're discussing Ridley Scott's The Martian (now playing at a theater near you) and Todd Haynes's Carol (opening November 20th but surely already playing in your head).

Nathaniel is sick -- apologies for the vocal germs! --  so Katey hosts this one. 

43 minutes 
00:01-14:30  The Martian. How often must mankind save Matt Damon? 
14:31-40:00  The miraculous healing powers of Carol. Struggling with/loving on Rooney's remoteness and Blanchett's range and roll. 
40:01-43:00 Oscar fanfare / Sign-offs

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments won't you? Especially those two prompt questions: What did you think of The Martian and when were you most turned on by Cate Blanchett?

Carol and The Martian


NYFF: 10 Best Things About "Carol" (First Impressions)

Todd Haynes' highly anticipated Carol screened a week ago for NYFF press and I immediately began marking time P.C. "POST CAROL". It was that impactful. For something that appears so delicate it breaks with immeasurable force. Carol recounts the relationship between a posh 40something society wife (Cate Blanchett), no stranger to lesbian affairs, and a curious 20something photographer/shopgirl (Rooney Mara) who has never been in love. Haynes's sixth feature is one of his best and thus both a marvel and a relief since he had gone AWOL from movie screens for eight years. The film which began the long drought, I'm Not There, is the only one that this longtime Haynes fanatic doesn't cherish.

Herewith 10 favorite things (in no particular order) about Carol right after meeting her. This infatuation is too potent to think clearly at this point for a traditional review. A word of caution: exciting first dates don't always lead to fullblown rewarding relationships but this one appears to be a (celluloid) romance for the long haul. 

1. Gifts & Gift-Wrapping
We like to think of final quarter movies as "gifts" since so much of awards season is centered around the holidays. This one is beautifully wrapped (the production values are breathtaking on literally every level) and even better once you start tearing the careful packaging apart to see what it's gifted you with. Carol also takes place during Christmas just like Tangerine so in one single cinematic year we've received the best Lesbian Christmas movie and the best Trans Christmas movie. How about that? More...

Click to read more ...


6 Questions. Best Actress / Supporting Actress Races

With the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress (or "Best Actress Pt 2" if the category fraud forces have their way!) charts updated, all Oscar charts are now up to date. Next update is...? Well, we'll see. But October tends to be instructive. Here are question prompts for the comments after you've checked out the charts.

1. Will it help to be the first FYC screeners out?
Blythe Danner (72) who carries I'll See You in My Dreams and Lily Tomlin (76) who drives Grandma already have screeners out. I can't wait to watch both again. I'd hold them in my hands to prove my eagerness for you but then how could I type? As previously expressed in "either/or" paranoia (The Martian vs. Mad Max or Truth vs. Spotlight situations) "either/or" is often a false lose-lose game. But it will be interesting to see how much room the Academy has for stellar older women nonetheless. Speaking of...

2. Older Titans or Fresh Excitements?
For the senior set, there's also Charlotte Rampling (69) in 45 Years but she's risking being the last person out of the gate, as Marion Cotillard tried (successfully) in a much thinner field last year.  Even if Oscar decides it wants all fresh young things this year -- and there are plenty of them with Saoirse Ronan and Alicia Vikander leading that particular pack -- and none of the enduring thespians end up nominated how refreshing is it that we have three senior women in the running this year whose names are not Mirren or Streep or Dench?  Answer: very! 

3. How can we ever stop Category Fraud?
Alicia Vikander is The Danish Girl (but, yes, so is Eddie Redmayne so it's a perfect title) UPDATE: But the studio has confimed to us that she's running in supporting. The same is true for Rooney Mara who is 100% definitively absolutely totally inarguably a lead in Carol (there should be no doubt as to how we feel) no matter what the campaign strategists claim. I firmly believe both Mara & Blanchett could be nominated if pushed as a box set in Carol, a la Thelma & Louise... if Thelma & Louise had been excited about bedding each other on their road trips instead of, say, Brad Pitt.  Romantic dramas, requited or unrequited, usually require two leads... it's the nature of the beast. Pretending Mara is supporting in Carol is like pretending that Kate Winslet supported Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine or Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic (or vice versa) or like pretending Blanchett supported Dench in Notes on a--- oh ah. DAMNIT!

With Mara & Vikander both in high rising star demand and Oscar's history of LOVING to crown young beautiful actresses near the beginning of big careers, Supporting Actress could well be Best Actress 2 with these two leads battling it out for that win. IF Oscar is okay with the fraud that is... which they usually are, yes. (sigh)

4. Among the actual supporting players/characters this year who could win traction? 
Category Fraud tends to be a bigger problem in years when memorable actual supporting characters show up late in the year. And 2015 is definitely having that problem. Usually I have a full list by this point that I'm eager to hold on to but it's been a weak year for female parts in the ensemble. Case in point: It's exciting to think of Elisabeth Moss squaring off with Blanchett in Truth, but she only has a few lines here and there. And Sarah Paulson is as wonderful as everyone has come to expect in Carol but as with 12 Years a Slave, other much more famous or less famous actresses have much larger roles in her movies. When will a filmmaker give her THE key female role, supporting or otherwise, in a movie? She's earned it.

Jane Fonda has just one scene in Youth (and a flash cut from another scene) but boy is it a doozy. Half of the movie points right at this scene.

I'm currently predicting Jane Fonda in Youth, Julie Walters in Brooklyn, and Jennifer Jason Leigh in Hateful Eight for the more traditional type of strong candidates, making big marks in well liked movies either by way of the script blazingly focusing on them or by way of scene stealing or by way of being the key woman in a man's movie. All three of these are risky bets for different reasons (Leigh mostly because people haven't yet seen the film ... and because she has historically proven easy for the Academy to ignore even when she had juicy big roles) but the supporting actress race is looking like the last of the four acting competitions that will come into proper focus.

5. Who do you think we're underestimating and which chart position do you think is spot on?
Sound off. 

6. Remember that New Best Actress Hierarchy we published in February?
Jane Fonda (#6), Cate Blanchett (#11), Maggie Smith (#12) and Kate Winslet (#18) could all move up a rung or two this year if Oscar voters embrace their latest roles.  


This is a rhetorical question, right?

We'll come tonight if you'll be there, Carol. Jeezus.

On a scale of 1-20 how sick are you of waiting for the new Todd Haynes masterwork*? I finally get to see this on Monday... so Cate is just teasing me with this gif (with its "Sunday" nonsense) which I stole from The Tracking Board**

For the record icymi: Carol has an earlier release date than it once had and now arrives in limited release on November 20th. It screens as part of the New York Film Festival in October. 

*presumed, but it's Todd Haynes so such presumptions are historically based.

** The Tracking Board lists Carol as a movie they'll skip in theaters and watch on Netflix later. They are either a) insane or b) have never experienced a Todd Haynes movie on the big screen and either way we feel terribly for them. 


Best Actress Updates, Or: Get Right With God. Stop Category Fraud!

News, or shall we say "scuttlebutt," recently broke in regards to Todd Haynes long-awaited Carol that Cate Blanchett would campaign for Supporting Actress and Rooney Mara for Lead. Speaking at length to someone who has seen the picture they say, and I quote, "...either demotion absolutely insane. Even moreso than Notes on a Scandal." referring of course to the last time that Cate Blanchett pulled out the category fraud stops to get nominated for a lesbian drama. Only this time she's the title character, making it even more ridiculous.

Then Cate's agent denied it.

Which is all along way of saying... that discussions and are still forming. But why should they be when it comes to Supporting/Lead campaigns? why should they be?

If it were to go that way the reasoning is clear: to have Cate avoid competing with herself for Truth, the Rather-Gate movie in which she plays Mary Mapes to Robert Redford's Dan Rather, and defer to Rooney Mara since Rooney took Best Actress at Cannes. If you remove all concerns about ethics, this is just fine and makes sense... but really now. Shouldn't power players within Hollywood have some ethics and set good examples? Cate has two Oscars already. It's time for actors, particularly those of Cate's magnitude, to stop with the greed and start standing up for what's right: let actual character/supporting actors have a shot at Oscar nominations in the category designed to honor them rather than pretend you're not huge star in a leading role just so that you can be feted again. (See also: Julia Roberts in August Osage County recently who also had no excuse for the greed, and whose very stardom ruined the property's ending by insisting on a cutaway closeup that dampened the meaning)

And yes stars do approve their campaigns. They are not blameless though the strategies come from elsewhere.

On the other hand this particular Carol proposition would not likely be the type of Category Fraud that voters would go along peacefully with. Especially not with Cate having top billing, being the title character, and getting 3/5th of the movie poster for her face. Every once in a while they do balk at fraudulent campaigns as when they "promoted" Keisha Castle-Hughes to her true category (Lead for Whale Rider despite a supporting campaign) or when Kate Winslet greedily attempted a double nod by pretending she was supporting in The Reader to clear the way for her lead campaign in Revolutionary Road. Instead AMPAS voters just ignored the latter and "promoted" her for the Holocaust drama to the category she belonged in anyway. For now I'm demoting both Rooney & Cate on both charts until we see further evidence that anyone beyond SAG (who are required to vote by how the studio submits) is going to buy this 'Carol is the supporting player in Carol' business.

Finally, there is no reason to believe that both Rooney and Cate couldn't be nominated in Best Actress if they ran a truthful campaign as it's happened before, and not just once either. One could argue that the only reason it doesn't happen anymore is that its only very rarely attempted it. In supporting where it's frequently attempted it happens frequently. 

Spotlight's ensemble features Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo in the largest roles. But technically they could go any which way with campaigning, even trying "all supporting" like The Departed did

In other strange categorization news I forgot to add Jason Segel (in another two-hander same-gender film) to the Supporting Actor chart last time round for End of the Tour so there he goes. All Acting Category Charts are now updated:

LEAD ACTRESS - lots of strong contenders
LEAD ACTOR - lots of strong contenders
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, - very vague at this point. much will still happen 
SUPPORTING ACTOR - starting to take shape


Location Location Location: Telluride Fest, Hell's Club, White House

Variety Dean Jones, Disney star of the 60s and 70s, dies at 84. RIP
Variety National Medal of Arts recipients this week at the White House include Larry McMurtry, Stephen King and Sally Field! 
This is Not Porn Peter O'Toole playing cricket during The Lion in Winter 
Boston Globe Sienna Miller cut from Black Mass - oh the indignities of how many miniscule roles she gets
Many Rantings of John thinks Game of Thrones will beat Mad Men to the Drama Emmy. Agree? I think I do. I've managed to keep my Mad Men expectations tamped down (but for Jon Hamm who is deserving times a thousand) and four Best Drama trophies for an 8 year series (F*** you F***ing two-part finale TV/movie trend) is nothing to complain about, you know? 
Variety raves Tom McCarthy's Spotlight with the "heftiest roles" belonging to Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo. Move it up your Oscar charts 

AV Club Anne Hathaway on losing roles to early 20somethings-- hey she isn't talking about Silver Linings Playbook is she?
Comics Alliance looks at those unboxed Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys. If you're into that sort of thing 
Pajiba tries to recast Galaxy Quest which is going to become a TV series now. Honestly, in some cases why recast? Missi Pyle needs to be a regular! 
MNPP more new pics from A Bigger Splash with Tilda Swinton. It looks more and more scrumptuous the more we see 
MNPP also believes that Jake Gyllenhaal nudity has been removed from Everest. Boo!
Kenneth in the (212) Henry Cavill apologizes for his boner 
Towleroad Candis Cayne's Curb Your Enthusiasm experience. (I've never told you this but I love Candis Cayne -- since Wigstock in 1995 -- and am so glad she's getting more press via "I Am Cait".) 
Empire I somehow missed the news that Neighbors is getting a sequel (already filming) but maybe I blocked it out since Selena Gomez and Chloe Moretz are the antagonists this time for our hapless marrieds played by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne?
Variety on a new biography "Can I Go Now?" on outrageous superagent Sue Mengers agent to Barbra Streisand who is having quite a posthumous revival of late
Time Out London Joaquin Phoenix on Irrational Man and why he turned down Doctor Strange 

When I was younger I was probably a bit of a snob about [taking on blockbuster roles]. But they’ve gotten better. I’ve flirted with several of those films, having meetings and getting close, but ultimately it never felt like they’d really be fulfilling. There were too many requirements that went against my instincts for character. I’ve been spoiled. I’ve never had to make those compromises. I’ve not met a director yet with one of those films where we go through the script, they say: ‘You know what, fuck this set-piece, let’s focus on the character!’ I understand, but it’s best I don’t do it.

Video of the Day
Check out this incredible mashup of movie characters in "Hell's Club" starring Al Pacino, Tom Cruise, and John Travolta. I especially like the Collateral on Cocktail staredown and unobtrusive Boogie Nights appearances

Telluride Lineup
The high altitude festival kicks off today with the following 27 film lineup. TFE never attends Telluride because it is against our "deeply held religious beliefs" to pay for the privilege of giving a festival free publicity (unlike most A list festivals you have to pay for a press pass). Titles in red are also playing at TIFF some of which have already played Cannes or Berlinale and some of which will also play NYFF. Titles in blue are playing NYFF but not TIFF which is a roundabout way of saying we'll be seeing most of them within a month, just not this very weekend! They'll also be giving awards/holding tributes to director Danny Boyle (Steve Jobs), Rooney Mara (Carol) -- Nick made a funny -- and documentarian Adam Curtis (Bitter Lake) so Oscar Campaign Season has officially begun. Speaking of Rooney, here's the new poster for Carol. Unimaginative but pretty!

  • CAROL (d. Todd Haynes, U.S., 2015)
  • AMAZING GRACE (d. Sydney Pollack, U.S., 1972/2015)
  • ANOMALISA (d. Charlie Kaufman, U.S., 2015)
  • BEAST OF NO NATION (d. Cary Fukunaga, U.S., 2015)
  • HE NAMED ME MALALA (d. Davis Guggenheim, U.S., 2015)
  • STEVE JOBS (d. Danny Boyle, U.S., 2015)
  • IXCANUL(d. Jayro Bustamante, Guatemala, 2015)
  • BITTER LAKE (d. Adam Curtis, U.K., 2015)
  • ROOM (d. Lenny Abrahamson, England, 2015)
  • BLACK MASS (d. Scott Cooper, U.S., 2015)
    Why anyone would be seeing Black Mass at either fest when it opens on 09/18, I cannot say!  
  • SUFFRAGETTE (d. Sarah Gavron, U.K., 2015)
  • SPOTLIGHT (d. Tom McCarthy, U.S., 2015)
  • RAMS (d. Grímur Hákonarson, Iceland, 2015)
  • MOM AND ME (d. Ken Wardrop, Ireland, 2015)
  • VIVA (d. Paddy Breathnach, Ireland, 2015)
  • TAJ MAJAL (d. Nicolas Saada, France-India, 2015)
  • SITI (d. Eddie Cahyono, Indonesia, 2015)
  • HEART OF THE DOG (d. Laurie Anderson, U.S. 2014)
  • 45 YEARS (d. Andrew Haigh, England, 2015)
  • SON OF SAUL (d. Lázló Nemes, Hungary, 2015)
  • ONLY THE DEAD (d. Michael Ware, Bill Guttentag, U.S.- Australia, 2015)
  • TAXI (d. Jafar Panahi, Iran, 2015)
  • HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT (d. Kent Jones, U.S., 2015)
  • TIME TO CHOOSE (d. Charles Ferguson, U.S., 2015)
  • MARGUERITE (d. Xavier Giannoli, France, 2015)
  • TIKKUN (d. Avishai Sivan, Israel, 2015)
  • WINTER ON FIRE: UKRAINE’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM (d. Evgeny Afineevsky, Russia-Ukraine, 2015)

Off Screen
Vulture smart negative review of Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz. I like the album quite a lot more than this but salient points made 
Broadway Buzz Kathleen Turner to costar in "Would You Still Love Me..." Off Broadway. It's about gender reassignment surgery. But not her characters (sorry, Friends fans). Her child is considering it in the play.
NYT a profile of a "fit-model". I include this because I had never heard of this job until I became friends some years ago with a girl who is one! (Hi, Jenn!) People get this job not from magazine-beauty but from having ideal/average proporations/measurements for clothes-sizes. It's always neat to realize that each industry has jobs you've never imagined that people can actually earn livings from.
Gothamist on the best non Broadway theater companies in NYC 
i09 novelist Don DeLillo to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Book Awards this fall 

Showtune to Go
Since we were just talking about Lucille Ball here's a comic number "Jitterbug Bite" from Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)




"Carol" is a tease

Just gorgeous. We'll Yes No Maybe So it with the full trailer but obviously we're all in. It's Todd Haynes. It's actressy. And the cinematography, by Edward Lachman who previously shot Far From Heaven, Mildred Pierce, and I'm Not There for Haynes, is suitably ravishing.

The song, for those who are curious, is Margaret Whiting's rendition of "My Foolish Heart". Add it to your every playlist in anticipation. Whiting was a famous singer in the 40s and 50s and even had her own television series in the 50s with her sister. Margaret provided Susan Hayward's singing voice in Valley of the Dolls (1967) as well.