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Jessica Lange's Triple Crown 

"This article sums up why Jessica Lange is one of the best actresses ever to grace the screen. " - heikoS

 "Still think her two best performances are Men Don't Leave and Music Box. So disappointed in her Ryan Murphy collaborations." -Charlie G

 "Lange and Streep were born in the same year, won Oscars in the same year, and their immense talent has carried them through" -Jono

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Entries in Dustin Hoffman (12)

Tuesday
Mar292016

Today's Must Read: Streep's "Kramer vs Kramer" Breakthrough

This new book on Meryl's rise will be released at the end of AprilIf you haven't yet chanced upon it or been directed there by multiple excited tweets, make sure to read this excerpt / reworking of a passage from a forthcoming book by Michael Schulman on Meryl Streep's rise to fame via Kramer vs Kramer that's currently gracing Vanity Fair. We've talked about Kramer vs Kramer multiple times here at TFE and it's been heartening to see the critical tide at least slightly turning in the blockbuster drama's favor of late. For a long time cinephiles seemed to despise it, due in no small part to its Oscars. When you beat noticeably ambitious artistic and stylized masterpieces like Apocalypse Now and All That Jazz to the Best Picture crown there's bound to be a backlash if your film is merely human-sized, no matter how resonant and superbly acted it may be. But, a truth, that's always worth noting in movie buff wars: every year has multiple films worthy of praise and just because one gets singled out in the moment, it doesn't mean its worthy of your ire.

But I digress. Read this piece! Here's a bit about the fantasies, realities, and fictions around Meryl Streep's audition --  nobody actually knows which is which since the accounts are different depending on who is interviewed:

Meryl marched into the hotel suite where Hoffman, Benton, and Jaffe sat side by side. She had read Corman’s novel and found Joanna to be “an ogre, a princess, an ass,” as she put it soon after to American Film. When Dustin asked her what she thought of the story, she told him in no uncertain terms. They had the character all wrong, she insisted. Her reasons for leaving Ted are too hazy. We should understand why she comes back for custody. When she gives up Billy in the final scene, it should be for the boy’s sake, not hers. Joanna isn’t a villain; she’s a reflection of a real struggle that women are going through across the country, and the audience should feel some sympathy for her. If they wanted Meryl, they’d need to do re-writes, she later told Ms. magazine.

The trio was taken aback, mostly because they hadn’t called her in for Joanna in the first place. They were thinking of her for the minor role of Phyllis, the one-night stand. Somehow she’d gotten the wrong message. Still, she seemed to understand the character instinctively. Maybe this was their Joanna after all?

That, at least, was Meryl’s version. The story the men told was completely different...

Friday
Jun052015

Q&A Pt. 2: Rain Men, Paperboys, Oscar Greats

We had too many good questions last week to keep it all confined to one post. So now that you're read part one, so here's part two of the week's reader question roundup. I saved all the Oscar questions for this round to motivate me to update those Oscar chart this weekend. Ready? 

SONJA: Why do we mourn/rage about "undeserved" wins so often? In reality it doesn't change anything....

It's as useless as making your bed in the morning but we still make our beds, right? Or in my case throw the comforter haphazardly across the sheets - close enough! Listen, I consider it a sign of good character to mourn poor choices from awards bodies as long as one does so pointedly and briefly and doesn't allow it to become part of one's whole character like hating an actr- OH WAIT OOPS.  

People like to be dismissive about awards and say 'they don't matter!'  but it's simply not true. THEY DO. Awards permanently influence resumes and entire careers by way of their temporary affect on opportunities and, yes, praise (once considered a "great" it takes decades for the petals to fall off that rose... it took decades for people to start getting snippy about Al Pacino & Robert DeNiro's work!

Plus it goes in the history books. Baby cinephiles decades later still look these things up and watch the movies that were awarded to teach themselves movie history. I speak from experience. I know this to be true.

CASH: Dustin Hoffman's win for "Rain Man" baffles me...

more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May182015

Beauty vs Beast: Wicca Wicca What

By the power of three, Jason from MNPP here today to make you see, make you see. If you can believe it Andrew Fleming's 1996 teen witch classic The Craft turned 19 years old two weeks ago, and it celebrated the last year of its teens with the news that greets so many other movies of a certain age -- it's remake time! Leigh Janiak, the female director behind last year's sufficiently creepy film Honeymoon, is gonna find four new girls to make light as a feather, stiff as a board, for a whole new generation. For a subset of 90s kids, this is like blaspheming the great Manon himself - inconceivable! Star Fairuza Balk (who's celebrating her birthday later this week - happy birthday, Fairuza!) weighed in with wise words on it; we have yet to hear from "natural witch" Robin Tunney. But what do you guys think? (Also: WHO WOULD YOU CAST?) And most importantly...

Whose team are you on?
Team Sarah0%
Team Nancy0%

PREVIOUSLY Last week's Kramer vs Kramer poll stayed incredibly close the entire seven days, and in the end it was only seven votes that handed Joanna (Meryl Streep) the win. Obviously y'all were as torn up over choosing as was that little boy's home life. Said Mike:

"I can't even say enough about these two marvelous performances. Both Oscars were well deserved. Still one of my ultimate favorite performances given by Meryl."

Monday
May112015

Beauty vs Beast: Daddy vs Mommy

Jason from MNPP hoping your hangover from partying hard into the wee hours of Mother's Day is not too harsh. I know how it goes - when your Mom demands more shots, ya gotta do more shots. And speaking of Motherhood! As Nathaniel just told you last week this month's Supporting Actress Smackdown belongs to the year 1979, and when they get to that on May 31st a really big piece of that puzzle will be Meryl Streep's performance in Kramer vs Kramer, which brought her her first Oscar. Kramer vs Kramer... Beauty vs Beast... it's a natural fit! Consider this an appetizer to the Smackdown main course...

Whose team are you on?

PREVIOUSLY  Last week we also took on the breaking of familial bonds, albeit in a galaxy a bit further away than our own, when we pitted Luke Skywalker against his helmeted Papa Darth. Well you're all a bunch of evil Empire lovers becauve Vader strutted off (imagine John Williams' marching music here) with just under 70% of the vote Said Steven:

"The Dark Side is strong with this one."

Wednesday
Dec042013

Team Top Ten: Oscar's Greatest Losers (Actor Edition)

Al Pacino won his Oscar on his eighth nomination. He deserved it more the other seven times!Amir here, back with another monthly team poll. Back in May, we had a look at the Best Actress Oscars and picked what we thought were the greatest losers in history. Since we all love symmetry, it’s only fair to give the losing gentlemen their chance to shine. And it's also quite topical in December 2013. This year's Best Actor race has so many worthy choices that the losers are inevitably worth celebrating in advance. 

This was an incredibly arduous task. Though we may all have our regular disagreements with AMPAS, there’s no denying the wealth of talent on display in their record of movie history. These are some of the most iconic performances in film history and to narrow them down to just ten is a fool’s errand. List-making always is! How does one judge Mickey Rourke’s brooding anti-hero Wrestler against Chaplin’s satirical Great Dictator?  Is tortured Joaquin Phoenix in The Master too fresh in the memory to compare to tortured James Mason? Jack Lemmon in The Apartment or Jack Lemmon in Some Like It Hot? It’s heartbreaking to leave anyone out, but now it’s done. Have a look for yourself and let us know who would have made your list. 

THE 10 GREATEST BEST-ACTOR-LOSING PERFORMANCES
after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct162012

Curio: 70s Paranoia Posters by Jay Shaw

Alexa here.  Catching Argo this weekend, with its panic, mustachoied men and analog opening credits has given me a taste for some good 70s paranoid thrillers.  (My current addiction to Homeland's depressive spy world set the table a bit, too.) I'm on the verge of staging a marathon of my favorites: Marathon Man, Three Days of the Condor, The Conversation, All The President's Men.  I was reminded that artist Jay Shaw recently created possibly the best alternative posters for this genre, each in stark black and white, utilizing images from these films seamlessly in his bold designs. They've been printed in editions of 100 and most are still available through Gallery 1988 for $30.  If this niche genre is a favorite for you too, snap these up while they are still available.

 

 

 

Click for... Klute, All The President's Men, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Marathon Man...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct162012

LFF: "Quartet" and Other Misguided Lovers

David here reporting on a diverse selection of films showing at the 56th BFI London Film Festival starting with the Best Actress hopeful Quartet...

Tom Courtenay and Maggie Smith in 'Quartet'

“Like being hugged by your favourite grandparent,” I wryly tweeted just after exciting the press screening of Quartet. Imagine that. It’s an undeniably pleasant experience, even as it might come with a slightly musty smell and a worry that if you let go they’ll lose their balance. (Said grandparent must obviously have reached a certain age, and I’m sure your grandmother smells lovely really.) Quartet is, in the nicest way possible, an elderly person’s movie – gentle, undemanding, exceedingly pleasant and just a little bit bland. Every piece of the easy narrative jigsaw puzzle is placed before you within fifteen minutes – Cissy (Pauline Collins) winsomely forgets where she’s going several times, Reggie (Tom Courtenay) withdraws bitterly at Jean’s (Maggie Smith) arrival, and Dr. Cogan (Sheridan Smith) happens to mention that the nursing home is in danger of closing down. Not to mention that this collective of aging musical greats are already rehearsing for their gala concert in honour of Verdi’s birthday. Continue...

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