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Entries in Elizabeth McGovern (3)

Tuesday
Oct082019

Downton Abbey: Style Ranking

By Cláudio Alves

Since its first season, Downton Abbey has been the delight of every costume drama fan. Starting in 1912 and ending in 1926, the show featured an astounding portrayal of changing styles. We all watched the characters go from Edwardian finery to the glamour of the 20s.

Every actor in the Downton Abbey movie is perfectly dressed by costume designer Anna Robbins. Sometimes the perfection is even a bit too emphatic  --no one ever looks even slightly rumpled! At the end of the day, though, this isn't a realistic view of the past but a romantic dream of a bygone era. For such nostalgic reveries, a bit of fairytale immaculateness isn't out of place. To celebrate such beauty, let's rank the Downton Abbey ladies, from worst to best dressed. For the sake of brevity and fairness, we're only looking at the upstairs crowd. It would be cruel to compare Mrs. Patmore's humble clothes to the literal crown jewels...

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Friday
Feb082019

There are no small parts, '18 Edition

by Nathaniel R

Our annual cinematic jamboree, the Film Bitch Awards, continue with the categories of best actors and actresses in limited roles. This category is reserved for the kind of performances given in one or two scenes where'd you'd be happy to wander outside the camera's purview just to spend more time with them. Or, more accurately, since the characters aren't always pleasant, performances so strong that you wish you could follow them into another scene or five to watch the actor dig in yet deeper.

We're talking about performances like Brian Tyree Henry's in If Beale Street Could Talk, who crystallizes the film's conceits about the systematic oppression of black men as his innocent ex-con monologues through the film's most moving sequence. His eyes drop us into the abyss of his prison memories where his words won't take us. We're talking about performances like Bradley Whitford's glib lawyer, oozing shamelessness with his soul long-since sold, who comes at a bedraggled cop threatening him with such confidence that at first you think he'll win and the movie will be a very short one. That is until you watch the star (Nicole Kidman) up her own already impressive game to spar with an actor that's sparking her inner ensemblist.

We're talking about performances like Jeanne Balibar's in Cold War or Jane Curtin's in Can You Ever Forgive Me? that are played with such precise panache that you can imagine a different type of movie just off to the side of the one you're watching, where they're the leads instead and this moment is but a subplot in their narratives.  Check out the nomination page for more on these fine performances and others from Leticia Brédice, Rebecca Field, Elizabeth McGovern, Simon Russell Beale, Philip Ettinger, and Corey Hawkins and a list of other names we also loved in tiny roles this past cinematic year.

Thursday
Sep142017

TIFF: Glenn Close is "The Wife"

our ongoing adventures at TIFF. An abdriged version of this review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad.

Film festivals nearly always provide curious dialogues between films that you weren't expecting. On the same day on the exact same screen at TIFF I managed to see two films about female writers and the male writers in their lives who take up all the oxygen (and praise) in the room. Who would have thought that a film about the origins of Frankenstein (just discussed) and a star vehicle for Glenn Close in Stockholm would have so much in common? 

THE WIFE (Björn Runge)
Joan Castleman (Glenn Close) is a longsuffering wife who would bristle at that very description. She's married to a famous novelist Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce) and their homophonic names are no coincidence. The silver-haired couple have been together for nearly half a century and are inseparable if not quite interchangeable...

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