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Entries in Elisabeth Moss (21)

Friday
Jun172016

Top of the Lake's Silver Through-Line

As you have undoubtedly heard since it was announced on the internet about 1,000 different times over the course of about six months (as if each meeting was the official official, 'no really official this time!' news, Nicole Kidman will co-star in Top of the Lake season 2 (with Elisabeth Moss returning to her leading role) . It's her first reunion with her Portrait of a Lady director Jane Campion from back before she was fully NICOLE KIDMAN but basically getting there if you know what I mean.

What we didn't know until now is that she will be sporting Jane Campion's favorite hair color just like Holly Hunter did in Season 1 way back in 2013...

Nicole Kidman in Top of the Lake (S2)Jane Campion and Holly Hunter on the set of Top of the Lake (S1)

Can this be a thing for each season? A gorgeous Oscar winning actress suddenly sporting grey hair even though she's only in her mid 40s to mid 50s? Why should men get all the silver fox action? 

Let's pray for Top of the Lake to be renewed in perpetuity (that first season was straight up amazing) and even though they're slow with them -- once every three years? weird, but okay -- might we suggest: 

Season 3 (2019) Juliette Binoche at 55
Season 4 (2022) Gwyneth Paltrow at 49
Season 5 (2025) Cate Blanchett at 56
Season 6 (2028) Anne Hathaway at 46 
Season 7 (2031) Anna Paquin at 49 (Piano reunion!)
Season 8 (2034) Kirsten Dunst at 52 (we'll just assume she's won the Oscar by then, shut up!)
Season 9 (2037) Alicia Vikander at 49
Season 10 (2040) Elle Fanning at 42 (see: Dunst reasoning)

Sorry. I'll stop now! 

Wednesday
Apr272016

Dark Comedy or Sick Nihilism? "The Mother" and "High-Rise"

Tribeca is over and we're almost done catching up with reviews. Here's Nathaniel on a potential Oscar submission from Estonia and a twisted thriller from the UK.

Mother
The festival described this crime comedy as Fargo-like and that's true to a degree. It takes place in a small town where everyone seems to know each other...ish. The local customs are amusing or peculiar to the outsider (namely, us). There's also a noticeable undercurrent of 'and all for a little money' despair about the human condition that tugs at both the red herrings and the true crime. A young ladies-man teacher named Lauri (Siim Maaten), something of a slacker/dreamer as he had big plans but never moved out of his parents home, has been in a coma for months following a shooting. While his long suffering mother attempts to care for him alone (the father is no help), a parade of visitors including friends, lovers and policemen keep bursting in to bear their souls or search his room on the sly. The director Kadri Kousaar (yay for female filmmakers!) keeps the camera as invasive as the guests, and we're often looking where we shouldn't be behind doors or curtains or seeing things from odd angles. One of the best sustained jokes in this deadpan comedy (it's not really a movie for guffaws but heh-heh touches) is that no matter how many times there's a knock at the door, the parents are surprised even though their house has become Grand Central Station.

But who is responsible for the shooting and why is everyone acting so suspicious or guilty about their history with Lauri? While the story revolves around the mystery surrounding the son, the mother is the star of the picture (in case the title didn't clue you in). Despite a difficult character to dramatize with Elsa being barely verbal and moving throughout like a resentful silent martyr to her drudgery, Tiina Mälberg is terrific in the role. And it's her first movie! She makes the character alternately funny and intriguing and, in the odd moment here and there, when her mostly surpressed emotions bubble up Mälberg earns the reveals and keeps the character cohesive. Grade: B/B+

P.S. The Estonian film industry is tiny, producing a couple handfuls of films a year so we have to take any release that makes its way to American festivals seriously as a potential Oscar submission. The country enjoyed its first nomination in the foreign language film category with Tangerines in 2014 (a joint production with Georgia). 

High-Rise
Another film where the laughs land uncomfortably -- because boy is this nihilistic -- is Ben Wheatley's adaptation of J.G. Ballard's "High-Rise". The allegorical satire takes place (almost) entirely within a high-rise apartment building where the 1% (Jeremy Iron as the architect) lives at the tippity top and everyone else is more or less at his mercy and subject to suffer for his follies if things don't work quite right in the building. Doctors like Tom Hiddleston's Laing, a brain surgeon, are somewhere around the floor and so on down to lower floors where families (Elisabeth Moss & Luke Evans) with seemingly endless children struggle to get by. The eventual societal breakdown is revealed from the very first image which is rather an odd choice; it kills what might have been gut-churning momentum. We already know the downward spiral will have the adults going  Lord of the Flies on each other and Laing will be living in shambles  as one of the society's only survivors. 

If you can get past the nihilism and poor treatment of animals, the film has plentiful pleasures including a smart performance from Hiddleston and rich filmmaking from every department. Clint Mansell contributes another intriguing score but the MVP is the eye candy from fascinating production design through to the very attractive cast. A crisp white shirt has never looked so pornographic as it does here on Tom Hiddleston but he's also wearing a lot less, which his fellow resident (Sienna Miller - yes her again) notices and appreciates straightaway immediately spinning the interpersonal web of craziness that will grow and grow from the moment Laing moves in on every floor. Ballard's novel was written in the 1970s but the film never plays it like a period piece really despite the flare of some clothing and hair and prop details, which helps keep it out of time and universal; the film isn't going for realism but allegory anyway. Not all of this works, the pacing is a particular sore point since the film gets mired down on its way to where we know its already going and he doesn't quite stick the landing, but I left convinced that director Ben Wheatley is someday going to make a great film. Grade: B

 

Thursday
Dec032015

On the Set with Nicole and Naomi

Murtada with a bit of news about BFFs Nic and Naomi.

Remember when Nicole Kidman worked with John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) in Rabbit Hole (2010)? Of course you do. It was the last time she put her considerable talent in a movie that completely worked. Yes Oscar noticed but more importantly she won the Film Bitch best actress award.

They're working together again right now. The movie is called How to Talk to Girls at Parties and is about an alien who visits Earth, landing in the London suburb of Croydon during 1970s punk era. And what has excited us most about this picture of Kidman is the costume, of course. Nicole looks like a character from Velvet Goldmine! It's not a coincidence. The costumes are by Haynes favorite Sandy Powell and this marks the first time ever she’s designed for Kidman. Can you believe it?

Also starring are Elle Fanning - obviously an actressexual since she’s just finished working with The Bening - Ruth Wilson, the wonderful Joanna Scanlan and last year Tony’s winner for best actor Alex Sharp in the lead role.

Meanwhile Nicole’s best friend is working with her baby daddy (her term not ours, we assume jokingly) Liev Schreiber on his passion project The Bleeder. This is a biopic of boxer Chuck Wepner who is the real life  inspiration behind Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa. Apparently Schreiber has been trying to get this story to the screen for years, so naturally he enlisted his Oscar nominated partner. 

Watts is playing Wepner’s wife, Linda. Let’s hope it is more than the usual stock female part in sports movies. The director is Philippe Falaradeau (Monsieur Lazhar, The Big Lie) and the cast includes Elisabeth Moss and Ron Perlman. Schreiber has been hiding his hair in recent public appearances --- we suspect an altered hairline. Just google Chuck Wepner and you’ll know why.

Don't you wish Watts & Kidman were working together?  Let's fantasy cast them in the comments!

Sunday
Sep202015

Emmy Watch: Actress in a Drama Series

Andrew here with a final Emmy tribute before the Emmy Awards are announced tonight.

When we tallied our lists of favourite nominees it was Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series which was the most mentioned category and since all Film Experience writers and readers love actresses we devoted a special post to the category. In a few hours the category will see a new winner that will be historic in some way - a win to put Claire Danes among the most feted in this category? A rare win for a sci-fi show? A win for the first Black actress in this category? The first acting win for Mad Men or the first win in a non-guest category for a Netflix show? Although popular vote will eventual coalesce among a single performer, each of these women in their submission reveals something special in their performances worth remembering. And, so, as a tribute to this talented sextet, our writers take a look at each of the nominees.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep112015

3 in One - Pfeiffer, Blanchett , Mara

 Here's Murtada with just released pictures of 3 upcoming projects.

Michelle Pfeiffer as Ruth Madoff
Quick turnaround from the casting announcement, they have already started filming The Wizard of Lies and released the first picture. New cast members have been added to the HBO project including Nathan Darrow (famous for House of Cards' menage a trois with Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey) who will play the Madoff’s younger son Andrew.

Pfeiffer is completely transformed as Ruth Madoff. More...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug172015

'Queen of Earth' and the Films of Alex Ross Perry

Glenn here to discuss Alex Ross Perry whose latest film opens in cinemas and VOD next week. He is a curious one who we haven't discussed much about here at The Film Experience. He's made four films, not one which is alike, yet which all feature obvious hints of the same creator. Impolex, his debut, is made with such a strong and unwavering idea of what it wants to be that it’d be a perfect calling card for a director if it wasn’t so different to the rest of his output. It is both a curious fascination and a frustratingly inert experimental concoction of a film with mumbled dialogue and absurd comedy (there is a talking octopus, if I remember correctly) that doesn’t so much predict Perry’s future career as it does suggest recurring ideas. If all one watched was the expert scene late in the film, dearly acted by Kate Lyn Sheil – unsurprisingly, a common figure in Joe Swanberg’s equally confounding and experimental genre-tripping films Silver Bullets, AutoErotic and The Zone from the same era – as she opens up to our dope of a lead character you might be forgiven for thinking it was something far less esoteric than the full film really it.

As that 2009 film was being released in the most limited of releases two years later, The Color Wheel was causing mayhem on the festival circuit. The much ballyhooed film was an Independent Spirit Award nominee in the blessed John Cassavetes category is the sort of that could bring about illusions of a particularly prickly Brooklyn-born twentysomething version of Woody Allen if it weren’t, you know, for that whole incest thing. It’s use of black and white 16mm filmstock was inspired and it was meticulously scripted with no improvisation and structural hints to classic cinema, highlighting Perry’s very dialogue-focused style that navigates in very specifically modern contexts the way people can change and challenge us emotionally and physically in ways we might not want or expect.

Listen Up Philip, Queen of Earth & Mad Max: Fury Road (!) after the jump

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug032015

Uptown Link You Up

Guardian Amy Schumer taking up active role in fight for more US gun control
Variety in strange news MacBeth will be available to stream shortly after its December release
Empire Channing Tatum has only just now agreed to play Gambit in the upcoming superhero film. This is why i hate internet superhero culture. We've been hearing about this for about ten months. And he's only just made it official so now we get to hear about it again? 
/Film Relativity's bankruptcy has saved us from at least one reboot: The Crow (though as with Terminator the idea of rebooting it makes no damn sense since the very concept enables endless sequels with very little connective tissue to the originals
Playbill at least one cast member (Josh Gad) of Beauty & The Beast is done filming
The Matinee looks back at Her after reading Aziz Ansari's "Modern Romance" 
E! Online WHOA. Kyle Chandler played Coach Taylor (Friday Night Lights) again... albeit for just a few seconds

 

YNMS
We've done so many of these lately that to do them all would be a bit like becoming a trailers only site and no thank you... so a few that we missed are Alex Ross Perry's Queen of Earth starring Elisabeth Moss who was so so excellent in Perry's Listen Up Philip (it also has a great poster!),  the Oscar hopeful Brooklyn (which I loved at Sundance), Nancy Meyer's The Intern which we will obviously see because Anne Hathaway (), the Half Nelson directors returning with Mississippi Grind though they've moved from Gosling to Reynolds in the "Ryan" department, that continuous shot German movie Victoria (which Sebastian already talked about) and the latest trailer for the animated version of The Little Prince

Video To Go
"Uptown Funk" as sung by the movies. 

Cute. (I was wondering what they'd use for "Michelle Pfeiffer" and had no idea that she was referenced in The Bucket List) But wow is that a boy-movie montage. Even the dance breaks are sans-actresses!