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Entries in Coen Bros (23)

Tuesday
Apr212015

Cannes Jury: Coen Bros to Boss Auteurs & Pretty Things Around

We've long since known that the Cannes jury would be headlined by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, better known as The Coen Bros, the world's most famous sibling auteurs (though not the only of course: see also the Wachowski siblings, the Dardenne Bros, and more). We now know who'll be joining their jury and therefore deciding those incredibly prestigious prizes like the Palme D'Or, the Grand Jury Prize, Best Director, Best Actress and more.

As usual the jury is a mix of directors from multiple countries, one non-actor/non-director, and a beautiful actress or, um, three. In fact the jury is almost half women this year. The jury is, from top left:

  • Joel & Ethan Coen  (US), filmmakers
    How many masterpieces would you say they're up to now?
  • Rossy de Palma (Spain), actress
    You know and love this Picasso-assymetrical godess from Almodóvar's oeuvre
  • Guillermo del Toro (Mexico), writer/director
    Of Pan's Labyrinth & Hellboy fame. Can't wait for Crimson Peak.
  • Xavier Dolan (Canada), writer/director/producer/actor/costumedesigner
    The film world's youngest all-purpose cinematic godsend
  • Jake Gyllenhaal (US), actor/object-of-obsessions
    He's testing his range and still hasn't found his limits. He's only getting better. This is a good get for a super actor whose entire family is in the biz. 
  • Sophie Marceau (France), actress/director
    One time Bond girl and Braveheart co-star, diversified into directing in her home country
  • Sienna Miller (UK), actress
    Her career is on the upswing after starring in two Oscar favorites last year 
  • Rokia Traoré (Mali), composer
    She doesn't have many film credits but you can learn about this African goddess here 

With more actresses than usual and two men (Jake & Xavier) who are every bit as gorgeous as your typical Cannes jury actress this is an unusually easy-on-the-eyes jury. Will their various aesthetics mix well or will the jury awards be a series of compromises?  We shall always wonder... even after the official prizes are handed out late next month since they don't exactly let press into the jury room. 

Friday
Mar132015

We Can't Wait! #8: Bridge of Spies 

Billy Magnussen (Into the Woods) on the set with Tom HanksTeam Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Tim...

Who & What: Steven Spielberg directs Tom Hanks for the first time since 2004, working from a screenplay written by Joel & Ethan Coen (whose solitary collaboration with Hanks, 2004's The Ladykillers, saw one of his best performances stranded in their worst movie). It's a true story about a lawyer negotiating the release of an American pilot from the Soviet Union during one of the tensest stretches of the Cold War.

Why We're Excited About It: To paraphrase one of the writers' most iconic lines, "Spielberg. The Coens. What do you need, a road map?" The collision of two of the most distinct voices in contemporary American cinema, and in a genre (political thriller) that neither of them have ever quite dabbled in before, is absolutely worth being excited for regardless of any other considerations. But of course, those other considerations exist: Hanks working reuniting with filmmakers who have drawn out some excellent work from him in the past, the maddeningly under-used Amy Ryan with a big part, a ripe historical setting that Hollywood has been weirdly uncurious about exploring. In my totally private capacity as the most tedious kind of craft nerd, finding out what costume designer Kasia Walicka-Maimone has lined up after her tremendous work in A Most Violent Year is a pretty big draw, too.

What If It All Goes Wrong? Not only do Spielberg and the Coens have distinct voices, they're diametrically opposed voices, too. The king of audience-friendly sentiment and the court jesters of detached cynicism are perhaps likelier to clash atonally than find some third way that combines their disparate strengths. And so soon after Unbroken, it's hard to get unreservedly excited about the prospect of a Coen script that the brothers aren't also directing.

When:
October 16th in the United States - the same weekend that has recently given us 12 Years a Slave and Birdman, which speaks to Disney's understandable suspicion that they have a major Oscar player on their hands.

Previously...
#9 Taxi
#10 Freeheld
#11 A Bigger Splash
#12 The Dressmaker
#13 The Hateful Eight
#14 Knight of Cups
#15 Arabian Nights
Sidebar 3 Animated Films
Sidebar 2 Tomorrowland
Sidebar 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron
Intro Pick a Blockbuster

Thursday
Jan012015

"They got more'n they can handle!"

Thursday
Aug142014

An Epic Link Roundup

We haven't gathered links in a few days so we're way behind on news and such. Here's a few handfuls for ya...

Must Read
The Wire David Sims measures the cast of Expendables 3 by every conceivable metric
Decider Tyler Coates on Holly Hunter's polka dot dress in Broadcast News 
The Hairpin 'The only Throwback Thursday that matters.' Amen 

Other Goodies
Balder & Dash Teo Bugbee has a massive two part essay on the films of the Coen Bros for your reading pleasure
IndieWire interviews Michael Fassbender and gets him to say "size doesn't matter" -ha!


Comics Alliance "Thanos is really bad at being a supervillain" - I thought I was insane when GotG premiered and everyone was endlessly raving. How do you rave about a heroes movie when the villains suck? I've noticed more and more people are complaining about Marvel's shitty track record with the baddies. Hopefully they can course correct. People won't put up with bad villains forever
The Credits how do you film in torrential downpours and 100 mph winds? The cinematography of Into the Storm had to

Newsy
Empire Tom Hiddleston wanted for Ben-Hur remake
TMZ Reese Witherspoon dances to I Will Survive
Empire apparently Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is back on (here we go again) and trying to cast... Lily James & Jack Huston anyone?
Variety Michael Fassbender and Rachel Weisz will costar in The Light Between Oceans, a period drama from the director of Blue Valentine. Interesting pairing, right?
THR Patti LaBelle joining American Horror Story
E! Online by now you've heard Emma Stone is going to put on Sally Bowles garters on Broadway...
The Film Stage first stills for some hotly anticipated movies in the new Entertainment Weekly. Check out this great grabby alternate cover image...

And Still More...
The Dissolve Marvel is moving forward with The Inhumans. The only one of them I ever cared about was 'Medusa' but since this is Marvel I expect she'll be a minor character... and the only token 'girl' 
Gawker Anna Kendrick is dating Theon Greyjoy! UPDATE: This was a false alarm
THR Aquaman might happen as a standalone movie. Two screenplays are being written 

WTF
Boy Culture did you know that Teen Wolf Tyler Posey was JLo's son in Maid in Manhattan
MNPP I heart "especially random nonsense"
Buzzfeed Jason Statham once appeared in an Erasure video painted silver! Another thing I did not know but should have

Still Mourning
Guardian sassy smart Lauren Bacall's best quotes
Variety Lauren Bacall's greatest role: Herself
Variety The Academy's Robin Williams "Genie, you're free" has come under criticism from suicide prevention groups. I can actually see why. I found it a strange sentiment 
Sheila O'Malley on Robin Williams (RIP)
By Ken Levine remembers Robin Williams 
The Wrap a cast member of Hook remembers Robin Williams 
TV|Line Robin's wife reveals that he was in the early stages of Parkinson's disease which he had not yet disclosed publicly 

Wednesday
Jun112014

Linkenstein Monster

The Wire has a funny report on new Chris Martin / Gwyneth Paltrow rumors
i09 the greatest Bride of Frankenstein poster ever
/Film Andrew Stanton on the John Carter sequels that will never be 
My New Plaid Pants suggests that we all rewatch Alexander because Oliver Stone's new cut vastly improves it

Guardian Sigourney Weaver will appear in all three Avatar sequels continuing her fruitful collaboration with James Cameron 
CHUD on the Dumb and Dumber To poster
Guardian the trailer to the beautifully shot Lilting starring Ben Whishaw and one of the most handsome actors you've never heard of (I reviewed it at Sundance)
Antagony & Ecstasy one of our most loyal Best Shot supporters finally got around to Pocahontas!
The Dissolve sees a statue of Napoleon Dynamite
Vice's summer fiction issue features a short story about Lindsay Lohan by James Franco
Empire Josh Brolin will co-star with George Clooney in Hail Caesar!  a new comedy for the Coen brothers about 1950s Hollywood about scandal coverups of the stars
/Film David Fincher and Rooney Mara may reunite for Red Sparrow, a spy thriller 

Today's Watch
Though perhaps you saw it late last week (what? I can't be everywhere at once). Matt McGorry, the adorable confused soon-to-be father from Orange is the New Black "auditions" for Magic Mike 2

 

Tuesday
Feb182014

"Unbroken" Is it Middlebrow WW II Oscar Bait or Something More? 

Did you catch this preview of Angelina Jolie's Unbroken (2014) during the Olympics. The internet keeps calling it a "trailer" which it really isn't. I wish the internet would understand that words have meanings and the reason we often have multiple words for one type of thing is to illustrate the variations of meanings. Teaser, trailer, preview... these are different things. This paragraph you're reading is a "blog post" not "a blog" and so on) But I digress...

This early look at next year's Christmas movie Unbroken, which has slivers of the future trailer interspersed throughout, is like those very short historical reels meant to inspire you and tune you into some past Olympian story which illustrates the triumph of the human spirit / physical endurance right before you watch new Olympians reenact those ancient motifs again by trying to converts years of discipline, training, injuries, and personal struggles into medals for themselves and their countries.

I'm not really ready to talk 2014 Oscar race yet (geez, let's get through the 2013 festivities first!) but maybe Unbroken will be a biggie? I dunno, though. The Oscars are less susceptible to baldly straightforward 'Inspirational Triumph of the Human Spirit' narratives than they once were, right? Still, a screenplay by the Coen brothers suggests that it's maybe not as middlebrow World War II Oscar bait as it appears to be in this very traditional formula-friendly setting of Olympics coverage. Jolie isn't joking around on the below the line team either with Oscar regulars like Desplat (score), Sqyres (editing) and Deakins (cinematography) on board.

Regardless of whether it's an awards contender, though, it seems likely that this time next year it's relatively unknown stars Jack O'Connell (Skins, Eden Lake) in the lead role and Finn Witrock (the hustler on Masters of Sex) in support will be having some very happy holidays. (Domnhall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, and Jai Courtney are also in it but people already know who they are.)

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2014 Oscar predictions coming in April. Here's the current race.

Thursday
Jan022014

PGA (Barely) Adds Mystery to Best Picture Race

Just when you thought the Best Picture race was solidifying around eight or nine contenders, the Producer's Guild today went and threw a couple of curveballs. Don't get me wrong, their nominees are barely a surprise, but at this stage of the race (with still two months to go!) it's nice to have some mystery evolving in the fringes of the top category.

The nominees are:

  • American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
    Producers: Megan Ellison, Jon Gordon, Charles Roven, Richard Suckle
  • Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum
  • Captain Phillips (Columbia Pictures)
    Producers: Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Scott Rudin
  • Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)
    Producers: Robbie Brenner, Rachel Winter
  • Gravity (Warner Bros. Pictures)
    Producers: Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman
  • Her (Warner Bros. Pictures)
    Producers: Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze, Vincent Landay
  • Nebraska (Paramount Pictures)
    Producers: Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa
  • Saving Mr. Banks (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
    Producers: Ian Collie, Alison Owen, Philip Steuer
  • 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
    Producers:  Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt & Dede Gardner
  • Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)
    Producers: Riza Aziz, Emma Koskoff, Joey McFarland

Several of these were rather obvious, and if we still lived in a world of only five Best Picture nominees I have no doubt those five would be American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Nebraska and 12 Years a Slave. Alas, we don't live in that world anymore, so here are nine thoughts I had in order of Oscar- relevance.

Click to read more ...