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Entries in Ewan McGregor (44)


Instagram Battles: Where and With Whom?

Would you rather

...hang out with Connor Jessup & Apichatpong "Joe" Weerathaskeul in San Fran?
... attend a costume party with Daniel Franzese and his fiancé?
... spot Ewan McGregor just hanging out in NYC where his movie is playing?


When worlds collide! @connorwjessup #sanfrancisco #strandreleasing #connorjessup #apichatpong

A photo posted by @strandreleasing on Oct 17, 2016 at 1:12pm PDT

Here we go!! #americanpastoral

A photo posted by Ewan McGregor (@mcgregor_ewan) on Oct 21, 2016 at 6:14pm PDT






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? 


Top Ten: Current Stars Who Deserve a Great Role & Still Haven't Been Nominated

psssst. you still haven't been nominated for an Oscar.

Charlize is such a bitch! (I kid I kid.) But Emily Blunt has to be frustrated by know, right?

Herewith a quick top ten list for your Tuesday afternoon. Among currently working actors, who do you think would be most completely justified in righteous fury that they're still waiting for that one special role and even a single Oscar nomination? My answer to that question lies below. Please to note that this list could never be comprehensive. This isn't a list of "most snubbed" so much as 'doesn't it seem like time / past time?' and as such is highly subjective with an unwieldly title. 

Here we go.


This list is dedicated to all the greats that Oscar ignored time and again like Donald Sutherland and Mia Farrow who have now aged into "You missed your chance. Give them an Honorary" territory. 


RUNNER UP TIE: Kristen Wiig & Greta Gerwig

Did you hear that?
Yeah, the guy said
"Honey, you're a funny girl."

Comediennes so rarely get Oscar nominations (Melissa McCarthy got lucky!) but when you can work such comic gold from deep pain and surprise regularly with dramatic depth (Kristen Wiig) or when you're a completely singular star who is endlessly watchable (Greta Gerwig) shouldn't you be able to win prizes?

the top ten after the jump

Click to read more ...


Happy Birthday, Ewan McGregor

Kieran, here. Today, we celebrate the birthday of one of the screen’s most magnetic (and gallingly non-Oscar nominated) stars, Ewan McGregor.

Looking at McGregor’s filmography, there are definite peaks and valleys though that's to be expected with any performer who has been active for over two decades. For McGregor, a lot of the valleys occurred in recent years, but man…those peaks are impressive, aren’t they? The best of Ewan McGregor makes us hopeful for what the future holds for the talented Scotsman. He makes his feature-film directorial debut this year with American Pastoral, which he also stars in alongside Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning and “Orange is the New Black” breakout star (and awards magnet) Uzo Aduba. He also has a sequel to Trainspotting, the role that put him on the map, in the works. Rather than speculating about who he should work with, what projects he should choose and what direction he should take, we do what is done far too seldom for actors who have given us indelible screen performances—we simply say 'thank you' and 'more please'. 

His 5 Most Impressive Turns

5. Big Fish (2003) – I gather this will be a polarizing choice but have any of Tim Burton’s recent outings given us a turn as impressive and lived-in as McGregor’s here? McGregor is versatile, but he shines brightest and shows great skill when he's playing bright-eyed optimism as evidenced by Big Fish (and the top choice below.)

4. Trainspotting (1996) – Confession: I’m not as enamored with Trainspotting as most, but his performance is justifiably lauded and definitely worth your time. He renders addiction believably and charismatically in this black comedy. It’s an understandable worthy introduction to McGregor.

3. Beginners (2011) – It was McGregor’s co-star Christopher Plummer who (very deservedly) won an Academy Award for Mike Mills quirky and plaintive romantic drama, but McGregor anchors the piece so skillfully. McGregor imbues Oliver with beautiful specificity and world-weary warmth. Definitely worth a revisit for anyone who hasn’t seen the film since 2011.

2. Velvet Goldmine (1998) – When McGregor’s Curt Wild enters Todd Haynes’ colorful, electric narrative, a powerful shift is clearly felt. The way Brian’s (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) eyes light up with literal heart graphics when first gazing upon Curt Wild is completely appropriate. McGregor’s magnetism is undeniable. You can hardly take your eyes off of him.

1. Moulin Rouge! (2001) – How McGregor starred in a Best Picture nominee yet failed to land a slot on the 2001 Oscar Best Actor roster (which included Sean Penn for I Am Sam!) is still hard to fathom. Nicole Kidman’s sly, exuberant turn as the mysterious Satine wouldn't work half as well if it hadn't been a duet w/ Ewan McGregor’s career best. He certainly deserved to be a Best Actor nominee and I'd argue the winner. 

Happy 45th Birthday, Ewan! 

What’s your favorite Ewan McGregor performance?


Don Cheadle x 4 in "Miles Ahead" 

Nathaniel reporting on the closing night film of the New York Film Festival

Don Cheadle has been an esteemed actor for a full twenty years now. His big reputation began with his breakout turn in The Devil with the Blue Dress (1995) and kept building. Somewhere along the way, despite a Best Actor nomination for Hotel Rwanda (2004) the leading man career didn't materialize (apart from his 4 time Emmy nominated gig on Showtime's House of Lies). The sturdy ensemble player attempts to right that wrong by producing, writing, directing and starring (whew) in a Miles Davis biopic.

Cue the trumpets!

And here we are. Miles Ahead was given the honor of closing this year's New York Film Festival. Sony Pictures Classics will release the film.

It's tough to argue that Cheadle hasn't earned a spotlight as bright as this. [More...

Click to read more ...


"This is not going to work..." 

For The Lusty Month of May, we looked at a few sex scenes. Here's Jose for the finale

Peter Greenaway’s The Pillow Book might be based on a text from the year 1002, but it remains one of the most thrilling, groundbreaking portrayals of sex ever put onscreen. The simple plot has Nagiko (Vivian Wu) fulfill her desire and exorcise her demons through the art of calligraphy, which her lovers write on her body. Being Greenaway, this gives way to some very profound philosophical takes on the relationship between the message and how it’s delivered, but being Greenaway, it also gives path to some exquisitely rendered images, most of which involve beautiful bodies.

In the film’s sexiest scene, Nagiko meets her match in the shape of Jerome (Ewan McGregor), a translator who insists she shows him all about her love of calligraphy...

To test him, she asks him to write on her body in a variety of languages. [More]

Click to read more ...


Question of the Week: Assign Those "Inside Out" Emotions

Tomorrow night the Q&A series in which Nathaniel answers reader questions returns. But here's an appetizer you didn't order, courtesy of the chef, our Question of the Week. What does Carlos, who dreamt it up, win? He wins the choice of the next banner theme (to replace the food one up top). It has to be a theme that can be conveyed in small pics, otherwise it's hard to read in banner form. So let me know, Carlos.

CARLOS: Inside Out opening at Cannes makes me wonder: which performer or specific performance do you think excels at enacting each of the emotions (joy, fear, disgust, anger and sadness) featured in the movie?

NATHANIEL: What a fun question! But before I answer it with gendered actors show of hands -- were you irritated that they gendered these emotions on their computers over at Pixar? They did that with monsters too and why? There's no reason why pure emotions or monsters for that matter should have to read feminine or masculine.

Since the question hangs on pure expression of emotion, these are literally my purest answers in that I didn't censor myself and named the very first actor that came to mind.

My choice for "Joy" is Ewan McGregor because of how pure and transcendent and contagious his giddy romantic open-hearted smile is (in Moulin Rouge! especially). "Fear" I have to give to Drew Barrymore who made one of the most memorable opening scenes and characters out of only that in Scream. "Disgust" is Catherine Keener who always looks put out by everything (but truth be told I'd prefer her to take a year or two off now for some creative rejuvenation so this isn't the only thing she's giving).  

"Anger" is an emotion that's all too well represented in our macho cinema so let me come at this answer sideways with a surprise. Hear me out. I will take Heather Graham as Rollergirl in Boogie Nights from that scene in the back of a limo where they're trying to do an improv porn shoot and years of degradation finally busts some sort of dam in her and *stomp stomp stomp" byebye-prettyboy-face, sorry not sorry. It's still one of those chilling and exhilarating 'pure' emotions I've ever seen smeared across a movie screen. (It's actually my current banner on our Facebook page)

"Sadness"... that one is reserved for Michelle Pfeiffer since I always need her back on the screen and since the movie that made me fall for her was Ladyhawke (1985) where she literally has the line

I am sorrow."

...and I believed everything her face told me from that day forward.