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Yes Not Maybe So: Bombshell

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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in Connie Britton (7)


The Furniture: Beatriz at Dinner in a Tacky Muted Mansion

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

Beatriz at Dinner is a film of climaxes, moments of outrage that burst through the veneer of respectability cultivated by the rich and amoral. Beatriz (Salma Hayek), overwhelmed with disgust at a picture of Doug (John Lithgow) and the body of a recently-murdered rhinoceros, throws his phone at him and storms out. Laughing at her principles, he looks at his hosts and asks, “Does she get out much?”

This, of course, is a central irony of Miguel Arteta and Mike White’s tightly-wound send-up of American wealth. Doug is the CEO of Rife Worldwide, an internationally-reviled real estate firm. He’s a Trumpian nightmare of toxic masculinity and unbridled capitalism, breaking laws and displacing communities as a best business practice. And so when he asks this question, we are reminded that his life is spent constructing hideous monuments to tackiness that replicate a precise vision of high-end living no matter the context...

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Sundance: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Michael C here with some thoughts on the newly minted Sundance award winner

Trying to pull off the tone of the disease movie is a tricky proposition. Not only is there the risk of crossing into a bullying sappiness that all but demands the viewer fill a quota of tear-filled buckets, there is also the opposite risk, where the film's insistence that it doesn't want your tears becomes its own kind of pandering, a persistent nudging that we should be moved by the characters' bravery. 

The most impressive thing about Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is how well it walks that line. It isn't afraid of tears, but it makes the journey to the emotional climax count as much as the destination, building towards subtler, wiser epiphanies than the "life can be painful" for which a lesser film would settle. [More...]

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Emmy Nominations This Week. What Are You Betting On?

Every Emmy award discussion really ought to start with that familiar television montage trope "Previously On..." If you think about it the Emmy Awards really are like a longform television series with continuing plotlines... "Will Mad Men lose every acting nomination AGAIN? Will [insert underwatched critical favorite] finally win a Best Series nomination?", new character introductions, resurgent supporting characters, goodbyes to series regulars, and the like.

Homeland defends its title. But a lot of people didn't like Season 2.

So what did happen at least year's Emmys? A refresher: "Mad Men" was defending its Best Drama title in its fifth season and did not break the record (no show has ever won five consecutive drama series titles) losing to terrorist drama "Homeland" but the story was bleak for the SCDP everywhere since "Mad Men" struck out everywhere even MISSING a Best Costume Design nomination (it's never won) despite being the best costumed show in the history of ever; Jon Cryer "Two and a Half Men" won sympathy votes for putting up with Charlie Sheen all these years as Best Actor in a Comedy Series; Julia Louis-Dreyfus "Veep" won her third Emmy but what's more impressive is that she's won the prize for three different series now; Oscar Winners and frequent nominees were all the rage too with Julianne Moore, Kevin Costner, Jessica Lange, and Maggie Smith all picking up prizes; and the Emmys kept right on basically ignoring the beloved "Parks and Recreation" in major categories it's already deserved to win a few times. Seriously how has that show never managed a nomination for ANY of its supporting actors and actresses?

So where are we this year? I don't have my own predictions to share -- I don't claim to be an Emmy Awards expert but here are a few select ballots and a few things I'm curious about after the jump

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Emmy Live Blog 2012: Golden, Winged, Deadly

Refresh your screen for updates

6:25 I thought about calling this Emmy Live Blog: Now With Less Pneumonia! (I think I'm on the mend) or Pneumatic Emmy Live Blog! but they both sound too contagious. 

6:30 I love the Emmy statue but I don't think any golden statues should have deadly points. There's already enough drama without weaponizing the things. 

6: 32 "It involves sex, sharp objects"... actual quote from Lena Dunham just as I was typing that thing about Emmy Statues. I'm not making this up.

6:39 Charlize "J'Adore Dior" commercial. I secretly wish she would introduce all her red carpets outfits that way. A golden aggressive strut to each camera with a breathy whisper ... "Gucci".... "Dior Haute Couture" ... "Valentino"

6:42 Max Greenfield's date would like everyone to know SHE'S WITH MAX GREENFIELD. Clingy! 

I want an Emmys night full of redheads! @_juliannemoore and Christina Hendricks #FTW
-awesome TFE reader @Luiserghio

YES. Ginger looks good holding gold. Speaking of...

The stars of the new "Nashville" Connie Britton & Hayden Panetierre



I watched the pilot of "Nashville" (Not Related to the Altman Classic!) and I dunno. MORE EMMY TALK...

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Small Screen Season

Nathaniel. Home again from a relaxing weekend offline. My last for the next six months as it's all prestige movies and Oscar hoopla from now until March.

I've had a lot of fun writing up True Blood during the summer (finale writeup tomorrow). I have no intention of turning the blog into The TV Experience but a little variety never hurt anyone and I might add a briefer small screen column -- possibly with guest bloggers on occasion-- or maybe just continue with the odd "TV at the Movies" episode. I'm cancelling HBO when True Blood ends. Why? Budget reasons and a clear lack of interest in their slate of original programs. I never thought I'd say the latter but it's too man-centric for me now, as if their entire programming directive is "get me more SopranosEntourages ... literally. put them in period garb or relocate the action. whatever". I miss the Sex & The City / Six Feet Under / Sopranos days when the network felt more equal opportunity thrilling and more original ... as if their goal was to corner every market that was demanding quality television. The point: I have a lot of DVR openings now given cancellations, loss of interest in longrunning shows, delays, etcetera... so I may take a deeper looker (offline) at the new season offerings -- which basically start tomorrow with RINGER -- than I normally do.

Christian Borle, Debra Messing and Anjelica Huston in SMASH (2012)

The new show I'm most interested in is Smash, the first television series (to my knowledge) that's ever used Broadway musicals as its topic. In one of those daydream fantasies where one imagines oneself a tv creator this is always the topic I dreamed up for MY series that I would direct and produce (fantasizing remember... I do neither of those things). I imagined just such a show so many times. I wish they had gone with Broadway musical stars in the major roles (it'll be weird that Glee uses more of them given the respective topics) but Katharine McPhee (from American Idol) has a good voice and I'm intrigued to see how Oscar winner Anjelica Huston will fare in the key supporting role -- can she finally win the Emmy that's eluded her for the past 22 years despite frequent nominations?

But Smash doesn't premiere until 2012 so here are some shows I'm considering sampling -- which usually means just the first episode unless it's very intriguing --  primarily chosen for topics or actresses I like. As I do. 

CLICK AHEAD FOR THE LIST AND READER POLLING -- I'm curious about your watching habits from none to too much.

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Links: Voldemort, Mineo, Britton, Lynch, Cruise

Slate a lovely positive post-mortem of the Harry Potter series with a well reasoned argument for the indispensability of one Alfonso Cuarón and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as the lynchpin of the series's enviable franchise longevity. 
Movie|Line "nine milestones in the evolution of Ralph Fiennes." Damnit. Why no Strange Days (1995)?

Boy Culture first behind the scenes stills from Sal, that James Franco directed Sal Mineo biopic starring Val Lauren
Boy Culture also discovers that the actor Frederick Weller (remember him? I always liked him) has the world's greatest memory.
The Other Paper a fascinating history of that "You and Me" song in Blue Valentine (hat tip
Natasha VC "so much hope" or... (my title) What can happen when the Oscars all go to still-young performers who you think you'll love forever. Oops! 
Awards Daily lists their reader determined first half of the year nominations 
Pajiba is way angry about the film adaptation of the novel One Shot. I don't know the source material but apparently the lead is supposed to be a towering figure, like 6'5" towering; so naturally, 5'7" Tom Cruise is your man! 
Scott Feinberg falls for "blank slate" French girls Melanie Laurent (Beginners) and Marion Cotillard (Midnight in Paris)
The Wrap picks the MVP actors of the summer 

Boing Boing contributor Rob Beschizza decided to reedit and abbreviate David Lynch's much-derided Dune without its problematic script. It's much shorter and the imagery takes over. Interesting. Here's a sample

Finally, in my ongoing tiny and useless campaign to win Connie Britton a Best Actress Emmy for Friday Night Lights, I present Grantland's  fine Oral History of Friday Night Lights. The section on the casting of Connie Britton as Tami Taylor is A-MAZ-ING because it makes clear everything I'm always saying about how lame the "supportive spouse" role always is and how much more capable the nation's actresses are than the lame sleepwalking shit they're always given to do in these roles. Here's a sample.

Berg: [In the original Friday Night Lights movie], Connie Britton's role was sort of Pretty Wife Clapping in the Stands, which is about the shittiest job an actress can have...

Connie Britton (Tami Taylor): ... I was like, "No way!" The only thing worse than playing a nothing part in a movie is [playing it] for years and years on TV.

Berg: She said, "Are you fucking kidding me? You think I'm going to spend 10 years sitting on a hard-wood bleacher getting splinters in my ass and cheering on Kyle Chandler? You're out of your mind." I said, "I promise. We'll create a character. We'll give you a job. We'll give you dimension. We'll give you a real voice."

Britton: It really was a leap of faith, initially, because I only had three scenes in the pilot script. So I remember even going into the pilot and saying, "OK, Pete, just so we're clear: What's here on the page in the pilot, that's not what we're talking about, right?"

Heh. Television needs more Tami Taylors. And so, too, does the cinema.