Oscar History

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Loveless (Foreign Film Nominee)

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Blade Runner 2049 (Prod. Design)

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Entries in Douglas Booth (7)


TIFF: Elle Fanning is "Mary Shelley"

Our ongoing adventures at TIFF

In the summer of 1816 legendary Romantic literary figures Mary Shelley (and stepsister Claire Clairmont), Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and Dr John Polidori were holed up in a Swiss estate and challenged each other to write scary ghost stories. From that fateful contest two famous works of horror emerged ("Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus" in 1818 and "The Vampyre" in 1819 -- neither of them actual ghost stories!). Ken Russell attacked this collision of authors with his trademark sexual abandon and visual insanity in Gothic (1986) and his wasn't the first or last film to stare with fascination at that morbid contest 201 years ago. We return to that summer for a good chunk of Haifaa al-Mansour's Mary Shelley but with far different intent.

Haifaa al-Mansour, the first Saudi female film director (she previously directed Wadjda) is more interested in the trailblazing of Mary Shelley (née Godwin) as a female author -- and the unique challenges that came with her gender in the literary world of 1818 -- than in the creation of Frankenstein...

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Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

This review originally appeared in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad...

Lily James, from Cinderella to Zombie Slayer

“Pride and Prejudice,” Jane Austen’s classic novel about the Bennet sisters and their suitors, has one of the most famous opening lines in all of literature.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an adaptation Jane never could have seen coming despite her gifts, twists the opening line so that we’re no longer talking courtship but hunger; zombies in want of brains. So let’s twist the line again. ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that pop culture, possessed by the love of fanfic, must be in want of works in the Public Domain!’


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The Riot Club: or, a brief history of posh British cinema

David takes a look at the British cultural legacy of poshness as The Riot Club now out on DVD...

Before The Riot Club was a movie, it was a West End play called Posh. Laura Wade’s simple, cutting title gets right to the heart of the social crisis at the centre of her work, which presents a fictionalised version of Oxford’s infamous Bullingdon Club, whose members have included both the current British Prime Minister and Mayor of London. While the traumatic events of the play and film are invented, the social privilege they demonstrate is a British legacy that has lingered throughout history. It continues to be a talking point today, with British soap opera actor Danny Dyer memorably taking pot shots at ‘posh boy’ Benedict Cumberbatch and the social elitism of the British cultural industries. (Dyer’s complaints of elitism are perhaps reflected in some of The Riot Club’s casting – Max Irons (son of Jeremy) and Freddie Fox (son of Edward) both come from British acting dynasties.)

Britain’s exports and image abroad have been shaped by the likes of Merchant Ivory, Jane Austen and Downton Abbey as one steeped in this kind of privilege and elitism. Occasionally British films of a different kind will have a big enough cultural impact to surface in the timeline of world cinema, with the kitchen-sink dramas of the late 1950s and ‘60s perhaps the most notable instance. But it is the posh boys that have really dominated British cinema’s worldwide reputation, from Leslie Howard (the first cinematic Henry Higgins) through Hugh Grant to the current crop led by Eddie Redmayne and Cumberbatch. 

But why is this model of Britishness so favoured internationally? [More...]

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The Story of My Link

Regan Writes has a great recap of RuPaul's Drag Race's upsetting episode this week (Trixie Mattel - Nooooooooo) and since I haven't been covering it, read this instead
The Vagenda on why we need to stop asking celebrities "are you a feminist?"
Dissolve EXCITING news. Gillian Flynn, who did such an Oscar nomination worthy job of screenwriting her own novel (stupid Academy!) will be co-writing Steve McQueen's next movie. That's a team with potential.
Pajiba awesome Gillian Anderson is on the market, ready for "the one" (gender irrelevant)

I turned down one of the big young adult franchises. I know the guy who took the part is buying his Hollywood mansion in the hills now, that he has secure work for three years. But you have to work yourself into a place where you’re respected
-Douglas Booth 

The Guardian has a good interview with the full lipped, exquisitely jawed Douglas Booth (who doesn't like that people talking about his looks so much... awww, be grateful for them, man. It's how you get/got in the door) who says he's choosing his films based almost solely on who is in the director's chair. 
CHUD the creative team behind 50 Shades of Grey are dropping like flies for the sequels. And the stars want raises and the producers aren't budging. What the hell is going on? Just pay them. They helped make it a hit. Greed sure can ruin a good thing. Or in this case a dumb thing.
Coming Soon Julia Louis-Dreyfus is considering the American remake of Force Majeure. She'd be great but why is no one considering not remaking it? 
Lainey Gossip I don't normally share (or even pay much attention to) gossip stuff but apparently Jeremy Renner is getting divorced and it's already quite messy
Yahoo! Movies an oral history of Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), now thirty years old (gulp). Great quotes 
Towleroad Tom Ford is looking at Amy Adams, George Clooney, and Jake Gyllenhaal for his new film Nocturnal Animals. Way to be original with your casting he said facetiously

Franchise Madness. The End is Nigh
i09 Transformers is aiming to become a "connected universe" a la Marvel movies. The end is truly nigh. If all movies want to be is ongoing big budget television series, what's the point of having them? Just watch more tv.
AV Club looks at the latest tv spot for Terminator Genisys. Yes, I know this one's got both old and young Ahnuld but without James Cameron & Linda Hamilton who cares? Time to move on.
/Film apparently they're also starting over with The Smurfs for 2017. 

Almodóvar with his new star Emma Suarez, in preproduction of "Silencio"

Spanish Wonders
El Pais talks about the new Pedro Almodóvar movie (called Silencio)
El Pais also profiles the two actresses who star Emma Suárez & Adrian Ugarte neither of whom have worked with Pedro before. I know he said none of his normal women work work for this one (and he has quite a large repertory company now essentially) so I thought we'd be seeing totally different looks or body types but no. So now I'm curious as to why he didn't stick with his regulars. I suppose we shall see.
El Confidencial first images from Penélope Cruz's new film ma ma (about a teacher diagnosed with breast cancer). I miss her so much! She vanished once she had that baby

Today's Long Read
"How One Direction Helped Me Find My Girls" - this article on buzzfeed is about refusing to feel guilty for the things you love. While I've personally never understood boy band obsessions I get obsessive fandom because I relate... only with actresses and film directors. While I can't say I agree with every word therein -- I don't think all fandom is good for people (sometimes it's just about conformity and not seeking you own aesthetic interests) and I was quite disturbed by one drawing that says "Remember nobody's feelings are more important than your own" because that is a straight up terrible thing to teach people (other people's feelings are very much important and we need to respect them and be generous and kind to each other) but the central premise that boy band obsessions are deemed silly because they are also considered feminine is spot on truth. The writer wisely condemns the double standard: adult men are encouraged to go bonkers over everything to do with whatever sports teams they follow as well as superhero movies but women are deemed silly if they partake in more "girlish" fandoms like boy bands or YA novels.


Stage Door: Romeo and Juliet x 3

In the Stage Door series we look at current theatrical productions with our cinematic eye. Here's Jose on Romeo & Juliet

Some time within the last 14 days, I subjected myself to three versions of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet playing in NYC. "Subjected?" you ask, well dear reader, each of them was perhaps more horrifying than the previous, leading me to ask if I wasn't an unwitting participant in some Shakespeare-meets-Halloween project. However in the name of scientific research I've come back with some results.

The versions in question are...

1) a Broadway update (the first in over four decades) starring Condola Rashad and Orlando Bloom as the infamous lovers from Verona.
2) a new film (written by Julian Fellowes) starring Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld as Juliet and Damian Lewis as her dad
3) an off-Broadway version with Elizabeth Olsen and newcomer Julian Cihi as the title characters.

Both theater versions feature anachronisms and are set in unspecified times, the film version inversely has a time-appropriate setting yet somehow it doesn't feel like the most old fashioned of them.

The Best and Worst of each pair after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Bloggy Action: Sea of Linkage

MNPP Gratuitous Douglas Booth, your new Romeo (of the forthcoming Romeo and Juliet)
PopWatch cute comic strips on the making of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
In Contention a new possible awards player this November: The Book Thief, a Holocaust drama with Emily Watson and Geoffrey Rush
Natasha VC likes plus size Twilight art
Comic Book Movie even though I'm sick of the X-Men, I keep posting about the new stills. It's a sickness! I blame Hugh Jackman who looks pretty great in 70s pants. 

Pajiba shares a sweet vid of Idina Menzel & Taye Diggs singing a Wicked tune for fans while trying not to wake the baby. I've never liked Idina more!
/Film on the Orca doc Blackfish and the trouble it's causing the Nemo sequel Finding Dory
Towleroad Laverne Cox speaks out about her life as a transactress on Orange is the New Black 

Weekend Must Read
Film School Rejects "But why can't I urinate in my seat at the movies?" Scott Beggs one-ups the Onion with this hilarious self-righteous bit o' satire about the collapsing social etiquette of moviegoing. Everyone I know was tweeting this the past couple of days and with good reason. If by chance you haven't read it, go now.

Broken Record
Cinema Blend on the cast of Expendables 3. I don't understand big movie site headlines anymore. First "exclusive" lost all its meaning. Now "Confirmed". The title reads that Mel Gibson is confirmed and the text says he is "in talks". These are not the same things.

Anyway, I won't be interested in this franchise until they include more women or start mixing it up director-wise like the James Bond films for some extra flair. Many people are quick to say that there just aren't that many female action stars but these manys are just not paying attention. There are plenty who are in the huge age range these movies employ (anywhere between 23 and 67!!!) and who have fuller or more accomplished action roles than, say, Kellan Lutz (who will be in film 3) or Liam Hemsworth (who was in film 2). We did a Cast This once about this and the possibilities are endless: Pam Grier, Carrie-Anne Moss, Uma Thurman, Sandahl Bergman, Daryl Hannah, Michelle Yeoh, Linda Hamilton, Brigitte Nielsen, Milla Jovovich, Lucy Liu, Rebecca Romijn. You could go on and on. My dream cast would also include statuesque Sandahl Bergman (Conan The Barbarian, All That Jazz, numerous B movies) since I'm betting you she can still high-kick at 62 (dancers' bodies, y'know) and she hasn't acted in a really long time.