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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 | letterboxd

 

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Entries in casting (92)

Wednesday
May272015

Review: Far From The Madding Crowd

In Far From the Madding Crowd, a new film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel, every eligible man wants Carey Mulligan’s winsome Bathsheba. But she cannot be tamed! (Funny how commitment phobia reads as strength in a female protagonist and weakness in a male protagonist). Or at least she won’t “settle” for less than what she’s already planned for herself. Nevertheless the wanting continues and the camera, observes her, often at a distance as with a memorable shot of Bathsheba laying back from her saddle, as if enjoying the tactile and visual sensations of the powerful creature beneath her and the vibrant foliage and sky above her.

(This review contains a general trajectory ending spoiler but it is based on a 151 year-old classic novel.)

Three bachelors and Bathsheba's issues after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Monday
May112015

Portman's Career is Revving Up

Manuel here to talk about everyone's favorite black swan and share some casting news. Oh, it’s also Bike to Work Week and so here’s Natalie Portman on a bike to get your Monday started.

She’ll probably need it as she’s clearly gearing (see what I did there?) for a busy 2015. Not only is her directorial debut A Tale of Love and Darkness premiering at Cannes (albeit as a special screening selection) but her much-delayed film Jane Got a Gun will finally be released this coming September, but she’s also in Malick’s Knight of Cups (and presumably in Weightless) though it’s unclear when either of those films will be in front of us regular moviegoers.

And if these latest casting news pan out, she’ll be a busy gal soon (those of us who worries the Marvel Cinematic Universe and/or motherhood would keep Natalie away from us for too long had nothing to worry):

First up, she’s apparently signed on to play Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in On the Basis of Sex, which Marielle Heller is in talks to direct. Those of us who haven’t yet seen Diary of a Teenage Girl (read Michael's review from Sundance) are dying to see it and we’re happy Heller and Portman are in talks to work together. Also, it’s about time RBG gets the big-screen treatment, no?

Portman is also in talks to star in Annihilation, a film adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s twisty sci-fi novel which centers on four female explorers in an unknown place known as Area X. And, true to her career so far, Portman is probably drawn to this film given who’s behind the camera: Ex-Machina’s Alex Garland (which I've yet to see but I am dying to if only so I can listen to the latest TFE podcast!)

Two promising projects with two promising directorial upstarts alongside many directorial and producing gigs. Are you ready for a Portmanful 2015? Have you read Annihilation and do you have any thoughts on who should join the all-female cast in its film adaptation?

 

Saturday
May022015

The Forever Link

Before We Get Started...
Here's the only sane reaction to the news that The Lovely Laura Linney (who has barely been on movie screens these past five years) has joined the cast of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. This comes from Aaron Fullerton on Twitter:

Laura Linney was cast in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 and, for her sake, I hope she simply introduces it like an episode of Downton Abbey.

The Links
NY Times profiles Tom Hardy on the cusp of even wider stardom with Mad Max: Fury Road
The Guardian looks at five great moments from Shirley Maclaine's career
CHUD Director Josh Trank (Chronicle) has left the as yet untitled Star Wars spinoff film
EW interviews Matthias Schoenaerts about Far From the Madding Crowd, being called "the Belgian Brando" and his favorite movies (he loves David Lynch!)
Coming Soon from Shakespeare to a video game adaptation? The MacBeth team (Fassy, Cotillard, and director Justin Kurzel) are doing Assassin's Creed together.
The Dissolve Helen Hunt reuniting with the director of The Sessions for a road trip movie. Dakota Fanning co-stars
The Dissolve Because A24 is the best one of their next projects will have Cary Fukunaga telling the true story of a father who went on a cross-country walk to work through his grief about his gay son's suicide
Deadline Channing Tatum to star in an adaptation of the old sci-fi novel "The Forever War" from the 70s which is about soldiers fighting an endless war with no clear concept of why they're fighting. Apparently the novel has ideas about the future including the eliminating of heterosexuality (?) and the melting pot creating one homogenous race that are hard to imagine in movie form, given Hollywood's timidity about race and alternative sexuality 
MNPP a fun new poster for the horror comedy Cooties 


Superhero Mania
Time Out the first ten Marvel films in 40 gifs -- this would have been so much faster than that Marvel Marathon I attended!
Comics Alliance shares 11 in universe or comics references within the movie
Bryan Singer keeps releasing photos of his new X-Men team from the set including Jean Grey () in acid washed jeans and Jubilee in that familiar yellow jacket
Mark Ruffalo is calling Marvel out on their lack of female action figures
Pajiba collates a list of actors and directors considered for all the Marvel movies - what a difference many of them would have made
Dark Horizons they've narrowed down the new Peter Parker to Asa Butterfield and Tom Holland. Holland is the better actor but immensely less famous so let's hope they realize they don't need pre-movie fame for one of the most globally famous heroes ever created

Showtune to Go!
Remember Robin De Jesús, that awkward drag-loving teenager from Camp (2003)? He recently turned 30 and here he is from his new cabaret show #TheStruggleisReal (May 4th at 54 Below) doing Miley Cyrus ("Wrecking Ball" is totally a standard already) and reminding us that there was more to that movie than Anna Kendrick's breakout. 

Monday
Apr202015

Tribeca: A Second Look at "Grandma"

Lily Tomlin with writer/director Paul Weitz of "About a Boy" fameJoe Reid reporting from the Tribeca Film Festival

After months of feeling left out for not being at Sundance when this little gem debuted (Nathaniel reviewed it), I was at long last able to see Paul Weitz's Grandma, featuring as charming and exciting a central performance by Lily Tomlin as you've heard. Tomlin plays Elle Reid (no relation...though that's not what I'll be telling people), a thorny old lesbian who at times she describes herself both as a misanthrope and as a "terrible person," yet the good heart at her center never gets covered up all that effectively. She's just dumped her lover (Judy Greer) when she's visited by her teen granddaughter, Sage (Julia Garner), who needs money for an abortion. Elle doesn't have it, but she thinks she knows where she can get it, and pretty soon, we've got an old-fashioned road trip on our hands!

Road-trip movies have a natural episodic structure to them, and Grandma keeps some fun casting decisions around each corner. Here's Laverne Cox! Here's Sam Elliott! Here's Elizabeth Peña! (I let out a whimpered "aw" when the late Peña showed up; I found out after the film screened that a friend of mine did the same thing when she saw it.) Here's Marcia Gay Harden! The casting decisions are all quite sharp, which keeps it from feeling like a parade of familiar faces designed to cozy up to an indie audience. In particular, Elliott does some impressive work in his one scene. If Tomlin ends up folded into awards talk for her performance (she should), expect more than a few for-your-consideration pleas on Elliott's behalf.

While Grandma becomes as much of an abortion comedy as Obvious Child was, the focus never leaves Tomlin's Elle. It seems for a while that the movie is going to be a succession of dupes for Elle to mow down. Certainly that's how thing's go for Sage's boyfriend (Nat Wolff, making his requite festival rounds this year). But the film proves to be unexpectedly generous to most of its other characters, including an energetic third-act stomping-through by Marcia Gay Harden, who gets my vote for the movie's funniest line (it's about condoms).

Wednesday
Apr082015

Young Hollywood Casting News Roundup

Manuel here trying to not to make a big deal out of that “Grace of Monaco will be premiering on Lifetime” news. The Emmy campaign begins now, yes, but gosh, there really is no wrath like a Weinstein scorned, is there? And so, rather than try and come up with a witty headline (maybe something like “DisGrace”?), I figured we’d look onward by checking out some casting news about some of our favorite up and coming (read: young) actresses. In other words, imagine we here at TFE brought all of these talented gals together, shot our very own Vanity Fair-style cover, and this is just a helpful guide as to where to see them next:

Mia Wasikowska
She’s been tormented by Nicole Kidman in Stoker, she’s tormented Julianne Moore in Maps to the Stars, and while I wish I could announce she’ll finish collecting all The Hours ladies with an upcoming Meryl Streep film (we know Meryl loved her in Jane Eyre) she’ll actually be tormented and persecuted by her Lawless co-star, Guy Pearce, in the upcoming Western thriller Brimstone.

Mia is building quite the filmography, no?

Brie Larson
After her head-turning lead role in Short Term 12, Larson has been oddly not busy (let’s not speak of The Gambler). Thankfully, 2015 looks busy enough: we’ll be seeing her next in Trainwreck, while two other films (the claustrophobic sounding Room and the India-set Basmati Blues) feel like fall films. She’s just signed on to Ben Wheatley’s Reservoir Dogs-style flick Free Fire, where she’ll co-star against a trio of hunks: Luke Evans, Armie Hammer and Cillian Murphy.

I really hope Larson has some Trainwreck scenes with Tilda (here pictured with Schumer)

Anna Kendrick
The now ubiquitous triple threat (she can sing! she can act! she can social media!) is poised to have a great summer with Pitch Perfect 2 and while her follow-up projects see her taking more serious looking roles (a hit-man film with Sam Rockwell and a forensic accountant film with Ben Affleck), those of us who enjoy her in full comedy mode should greet her newest casting - in a rom-com titled Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates alongside Zac Efron! - with open arms.

Keke Palmer
Akeelah and the Bee was clearly just a beginning. Since, Palmer has been making a name for herself, both on Broadway (where she was the first African-American Cinderella) and on TV (with recurring roles in 90210, Masters of Sex and starring roles in Lifetime’s A Trip to Bountiful and VH1’s CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story). Now she’s joined the merry band of Ryan Murphy players in Scream Queens:

Kristen Stewart
Hot off being the first American actress to win a Cesar Award (for Clouds of Sils Maria which opens this weekend; go see it!) and chastising the “big, big, big green monster of cash” that fuels the current celebrity news industry, Stewart has been lined up to star with Brendan Gleeson in a Scottish historical film titled The Great Getaway.

Stewart really is amazing in this two-hander with Binoche.

Gabourey Sidibe
I can’t be the only one happy to see Gabourey’s post-Precious career continue to flourish. After parts in The Big C, American Horror Story and Empire, it seems she’s found a footing in television and that’s where we’ll see her next in Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner’s Hulu comedy Difficult People.

Sidibe has a recurring role as the manager of the coffee shop where Eicher's character works

Don't you find it refreshing that none of these actress casting notices mention tentpoles, blockbusters or otherwise multiple-film franchise contracts? Which one of these projects are you most excited about? 

 

Sunday
Mar222015

Link Slippers. They're Surprisingly Comfortable

Defamer Jessica Lange throwing shade Lady Gaga's way in an American Horror Story press event
White Noise wonders why Hollywood can't get hackers (and computers in general) right?
Salon Excellent interview with Daniel Franseze (Mean Girls) about his breakout Looking character, a complete rarity for TV, and HIV prevention 
Playbill has an updates on the musical version of Mean Girls that Tina Fey is working on
CHUD Bobby Cannavale says that there's a lot of comic improv in the Ant-Man film this summer 
Pajiba looks at "Jonathan" (aka Danny Strong) and how the Buffy super villain surprisingly became such a success story after the series. 

Comics Alliance Captain America: Civil War wants to start shooting in a couple of while while the various Avengers actors are still deep in promotion duties for Age of Ultron. (Marvel has definitely moved into "rush everything!" mode. It wouldn't seem to impossible if all the Avengers weren't in it but they seem to be.)
PressPlay has a video essay on what it means to be an auteur 
Playbill Liza Minnelli has reentered rehab after a recent back surgery
Black Maria has some recommendations on Warner Archive. I keep wondering if I should join this but I already spend so much $$$ on movies. Have any of you tried them out?
The Dissolve is horrified by forthcoming Robin Hood adaptations from Hollywood. Yes, there are five of them in development and they all sound quite dumb!
Pajiba omg you guys, did you see the Miley Cyrus wax figure? Yikes.
The Film Doctor looks back at Nightcrawler's "atrocity montage"
Women and Hollywood check on these horrifyingly sexist casting ads. Like this one... ugh:

There's something unnerving about her. Maybe she's read too many books?

Oscars are so far away but Oscar talk never is
Gold Standard Glenn Whipp on why the Academy shouldn't go back to 5 Best Picture nominees. Did I share this already? I might have shared this already.
Awards Daily One of our most high profile documentarians, Alex Gibney, has a possible contender this year in Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief which hits HBO at the end of the month. (Seems like wishful thinking, Oscar-wise, to me since Hollywood has a lot of Scientologists that will undoubtedly be offended by it.

Cinderella is still spinning
i09 in our Cinderella retrospective we forgot about this oddity. Fairie Tale Theater's version with Matthew Broderick as Prince Charming!
Guardian attacks the new Cinderella for not being more like Frozen and selling feisty girlpower and for its "pinkification"... whatever that word means in this context. Sigh. This article and line of thought make me angry. Listen, I'm all for feisty girlpower but you know what's even better for men and women alike? diversity in representation. It's not good for boys to only have heroes that are physically intimidating and it's not good for girls to only have heroes that are anachronistic 'you go girl!' athletic types. There's more than one way to be an admirable film character that kids can look up to. I think this adaptation does wonders keeping the princess-to-be true to the material while also transforming her into a better role model. A protagonist that emphasizes fine-tuning your inner moral compass and positively affecting change through compassion and forgiveness is a protagonist that's still mighty heroic and worth emulating if you ask me. Not every "hero" needs to be able to kick ass.