Asghar Farhadi has another Oscar contender on his hands...

Oscar History

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Oscar Horrors: The Sixth Sense

"I love this movie so much. And to those sad about M. Night's current career, Split with James McAvoy has gotten positive reviews!." -Connor

"Re: "Spoilers" - I can't be the only one who thinks that it's a spoiler to even be warned about a "spoiler" or a twist. It immediately puts you on guard, even if the ultimate spoiler hasn't been revealed." -The Jack

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Entries in Dakota Fanning (18)


Instagram Battles: Dakota, Judy, or Emma?

Would you rather be...

... kissing a cat in Paris with Dakota Fanning?
... refusing to get out of bed or even speak in solidarity with Judy Greer?  
... attending a self defense class with Emma Watson? 


Au revoir Paris! ✌🏻️#cleopatre

A photo posted by Dakota Fanning (@dakotafanning) on Oct 6, 2016 at 12:37am PDT


A photo posted by Judy Greer (@missjudygreer) on Oct 7, 2016 at 7:27am PDT






Actresses We Love & the Festivals They Are Going To

Murtada here. It’s the week of fall film festivals announcements. We just heard that The Bening is going to New York. Lupita Nyong'o and Rosamund Pike are going to both London and Toronto. Let’s check in with a few others who are going to Venice, Toronto and possibly Telluride (Telluride doesn’t announce its program until its first day but if a film is announced as a Canadian Premiere at TIFF, and it hasn’t appeared at Sundance, it’s assumed to be Telluride bound).

Sally, Dakota, Rooney and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...


American Pastoral's Poster & Trailer Are A Beauty

Manuel here. American Pastoral, adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Philip Roth has a trio of leading performers that I find myself often rooting for—despite early buzzy career moves, each have become underrated and/or undervalued players: Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning, and Ewan McGregor who's doing double duty here. American Pastoral marks his directorial debut.

I initially wanted to share the beautiful new poster for it which is haunting and simple; a perfect example of a one sheet that establishes quickly the mood of the piece. Roth's title and the film's tagline "A radically ordinary story" surely help. This is the American Dream engulfed in flames which means the nuclear family at the core of McGregor's film (Connelly playing his wife, Fanning his daughter) will be anything but ordinary.

And then I found the trailer had dropped and 30 seconds in I was already sold (which would've made a YNMS an exercise in nitpicking because even as it uses the emo song montage trailer template I immediately wanted to catch the film). I also didn't want to spoil it since, for those us of unfamiliar with the Roth novel, that initial sequence in the trailer packs a heavier punch. The trailer looks gorgeous—Norman Rockwell filtered through 1960s hazy and backlit paranoia—no doubt because DP Martin Ruhe (of Control and The American fame) is behind the camera. Also, don't be dissuaded by the creepy "VFX de-aged McGregor" greeting you below.

Though perhaps I'm burying the lede: the main reason to watch this trailer other than to hear yet another haunting version of "Mad World," is to see Fanning in full 60s radical rebel girl mode: 

But what does everyone else think? Will Dakota remind us what made her such a powerful screen presence? 


Beauty vs Beast: Break On Through To The Other Mother

JA from MNPP here, with our Oscar Hangover edition of "Beauty vs Beast." I actually intended for this week's edition to have nothing to do with the Oscars at all, but I can't help trace its footsteps back to this year's Awards in a sorta roundabout way... our starting point is Dakota Fanning, who is turning 21 years old today. Yes that preternaturally wise moppet can now legally do tequila shots at her local dive, what a world, what a world. Happy birthday, Dakota!

So five years ago Dakota voiced the lead role in Coraline, Laika's very fine adaptation of Neil Gaiman's terrifying book, about a little girl who wanders through a strange little door in her new home only to find a world funhouse-mirroring her own on the other side. And it's there that she meets...


The connection to this year's Academy Awards is of course the beloved production house Laika - Coraline was its first feature (to lose the Best Animated Feature Oscar), ParaNorman its second (to lose the Best Animated Feature Oscar), and The Boxtrolls its third, which yes, lost the Best Animated Feature Oscar last night to the, in my opinion, desperately inferior Big Hero 6. As indifferent to downright-hostile as I was towards many of the wins last night, this one smacks me as one of the most egregious, and one that the test of time will look upon very poorly. It reeks! Of bad cheese! Justice For Laika!



Tribeca: Eco-Thrills in "Night Moves"

Tribeca coverage with Glenn on the latest from Kelly Reichardt (Meek's Cutoff, Wendy & Lucy)

“Reserved, even by Kelly Reichardt’s standards.” That was the line I used to describe this Portland director’s latest, Night Moves, after its screening at Tribeca. Having premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival, it’s understandable that it didn’t make all that much noise in the intermediate months given it’s such a quiet, guarded film despite its eco-thriller roots and name cast that includes Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard. Like all of Reichardt’s films, however, it is that very low-key ingredient that makes it memorable. While it doesn’t soar to the breathtaking heights of Meek’s Cutoff, which just like Night Moves took a genre prone to testosterone-filled violence and twisted it into a elegant mood piece, her latest is a surprisingly thrilling experience even when its director seems to be actively trying to go against those genre instincts.

Eisenberg and Fanning star as Josh and Dena, young environmental activists with an unclear history. He works at an organic farm while she works at a women’s retreat and spa while attending meetings big on ideas but low on execution. Despite not being terribly friendly to one another they are off purchasing a boat and joining Sarsgaard’s Harmon in a location out of the city. The three plan on blowing up a dam that was built to allow people to “play their iPods non-stop” and killed native species in the process. They are environmentalists, but others will call them terrorists. In fact, one of the very best moments in the film is a lingering shot of an armed police guard at a rural farmer’s market. Society has always looked upon the environmentally conscious with a suspicious unease – consider why green political parties can never truly rise up against their more capitalist competition despite most people agreeing that two party systems are corrupt and terrible either way you cut it. Maybe that’s just me getting carried away, however.

What I found so interesting about Night Moves is the way Reichardt handles the thriller elements. She uses silence and performance to spike tension. An extended scene where Dena purchases fertilizer, using her baby-faced (how does she now look younger than her sister Elle?) to manipulate and disarm the garden store employees, casually throwing in a blunt-forced nudge to the sexism that is still alive and well – “You’d sell it to me if I looked like those guys.”  She allows her actors faces to guide the audience. When the detonation occurs, her camera remains tightly focused on Eisenberg, Fanning and Sarsgaard; their reactions being the audience trigger rather than overbearing orchestral demonstrations and pyrotechnics.

This take on the material is to be expected from, say, a film about a woman and her dog or a desolate Oregon Trail western, but I imagine many audiences will bump heads with the way she handles it here. It reminded me a lot of Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park, choosing to take a somewhat impressionistic approach rather than the sensationalist one that the material could typically result in. I appreciate that and these are always the type of films that tend to stick in my head longer than, say, Zal Batmanglij’s The East from last year. I didn’t too much like the way Fanning’s character devolved, especially given the way the screenplay by Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond had developed the feminine elements of the story, but even then the keen eye of Reichardt and cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt allow for an overcast beauty throughout.

There’s little here that Reichardt non-devotees will find to sway them, but for me she remains a brilliantly talented name in modern film. I would easily rank her alongside the likes of Aaron Katz (whose Land Ho I reviewed at Sundance and is also playing at Tribeca) and Sofia Coppola as one of the most interesting American voices working in today. Night Moves is reserved, but is grounded in a reality that is more thrilling than most of what Hollywood throws our way.


Tribeca: "Every Secret Thing" with Dakota Fanning & Diane Lane

Tribeca coverage continues with your host Nathaniel on a new feminine driven mystery

Twisted women are an easy hook for this movie nerd and Every Secret Thing's premise provides. Ronnie (Dakota Fanning) and Alice (Danielle MacDonald) are just out of juvenile prison for a gruesome crime they committed when they were all of 11. Rivals rather than friends as children, in no small part because of Alice's single alcoholic mom (Diane Lane) who pours affection on both girls, biology be damned, they impulsively kidnapped a baby girl one terrible day. Years later, the two disturbed girls are back in their hometown and the years in lock-up have obviously further scarred them. Ronnie has withdrawn into a vaguely Goth shell and Alice, who has eaten her feelings for years, still protests her innocence.

But then another baby goes missing...

Every Secret Thing is written by the gifted Nicole Holofcener (based on Laura Lippman's novel of the same name) but directing duties this time go to Amy Berg. Berg is an Oscar nominated documentarian making her first narrative feature though she's been in the news lately because of the Bryan Singer allegations and the new documentary she's making about Hollywood sex rings. Holofcener's involvement is both surprising and not. On the one hand the film is largely about interpersonal relationships between women (her specialty) but on the other it lacks the kicky personality and wit of her other films. Just about the only laughs in this sometimes monotonous drama come from the gallows. Alice, memorably if arguably overplayed by MacDonald, has an odd relationship to the truth which sometimes makes for the kind of laughter that you have to swallow half-way through from guilt (Should I be laughing at this?)

Though Every Secret Thing has enough solid actressing to keep you engaged (Lane and MacDonald are trying to push the material to the weirder place that it should live in but the film isn't brave enough to follow) it's usually no more than solid. Fanning's role is disappointingly the slimmest of the four principle women. Elizabeth Banks' straight-laced detective, who investigated the original case and is on the case again, is too one note to maintain interest. In the end Banks's work and the underlit cinematography reflect a kind of dreary punch-pulling in the acting and direction, that make the film far too sedate given its pulpy plot points. Every Secret Thing keeps blanketing the sharper edges of its actually gruesome story, just when it should be exposing you to bracing truth, like it's tucking you in drearily so you won't have nightmares. B-/C+


We Can't Wait Addendum: "The Last of Robin Hood"

In January we did a countdown of 2014 movies we were most looking forward to. With the distribution news that The Last of Robin Hood, an Errol Flynn bio of sorts with Kevin Kline will be released I feel the need to give it a shout out.

Errol Flynn keeps entering my consciousness when I least expect him lately. I was talking to Diana (currently in LA with Anne Marie to report on the TCM Film Festival for y'all right her) the other day over dinner and she brought him up. She loves the swashbuckling movie star and enjoyed the film at TIFF. I was also at a very chic event celebrating the photography of George Hurrell and there was a huge absolutely stunning portrait of Errol Flynn mixed with several perfect Joan Crawfords.

So when I read the news today, I became properly stoked at last. I love the poster's clever arrowhead riff (pictured left top) on that most boring of poster tropes, one visual stripe per star. I was once friendly with the film's directors (though we've lost touch). And, out of curiousity, I looked up a picture of Errol with his inappropriately young girlfriend at the end of his life and my jaw dropped...

Kevin Kline and Dakota Fanning couldn't be better casting, could they? 

The Complete List of "We Can't Wait" Titles in case you missed them.
We'll be following all these titles closely this year! 
01 Carol (TBA)
02 The Grand Budapest Hotel (March)
03 Foxcatcher (TBA)
04 Under the Skin (April)
05 Inherent Vice (TBA)
06 Into the Woods (Christmas)
07 Snowpiercer (TBA)
08 Nymphomaniac (March)
09 Boyhood (July)
10 Big Eyes  (TBA)
11 The Last 5 Years (TBA)
12 Gone Girl (Oct)
13 Begin Again (TBA)
14 Veronica Mars (March)

Runner Up Films