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Entries in Felicity Jones (16)

Saturday
Nov082014

Meet the Contenders: Felicity Jones "The Theory of Everything"

Each weekend a profile on a just-opened Oscar contender. Here's abstew on this weekend's new release, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING which has potential to be a very big awards player.

Felicity Jones as Jane Hawking in The Theory of Everything

Best Actress

Born: Felicity Jones was born October 17, 1983 in Bournville on the Southside of Birmingham, England

The Role: The Academy Award-winning director of the documentary Man on Wire, James Marsh, takes the helm of this extraordinary true story based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen by Jane Hawking, the first wife of acclaimed Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. The film follows the over 30 year relationship of the two. Starting with their early days as doctorate students at England's famed University of Cambridge through Stephen's diagnosis with motor neurone disease (now more commonly known as ALS, it was recently in the headlines this year for the foundation's Ice Bucket Challenge used to raise money for research), the film chronicles the ups and downs of their marriage as Jane's goals take a backseat to Stephen's care. 

Jones met with the real Jane several times in preparation. She has said that what most impressed her was how the ladylike, petite Jane was able to convey such strength and that's what she wanted to capture the most with her performance. Jones read Jane's book over 6 times as research (always having it close to her on set) and studied with a vocal coach to emulate the real Jane's voice.  

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct192014

Podcast Leftover Pt. 2

Here's part two of our long delayed festival wrap in which we discuss favorites, celebrity run-ins and hilarious Q&A anecdotes. Enjoy the conversation with Nick Davis, Nathaniel R, and special guests Angelo Muredda and Amir Soltani and continue it in the comments

Discussion includes but is not limited to:

  • It Follows
  • Felicity Jones, Mike Leigh, and Viggo Mortensen
  • Documentary greats from Silvered Water to The Look of Silence
  • Iran's Oscar Submission
  • Directors: Mike Leigh, Peter Strickland, Lav Diaz, Jessica Hausner, and Damian Chazelle

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download on iTunes tomorrow

Festival Leftovers. Pt 2

Monday
Sep152014

Open Thread. What did I miss?

THE LEFTOVERS just gets better and better. how phenomenal is Ann Dowd any way?It occurred to me yesterday while making an exceedingly poor attempt to fully recuperate from TIFF madness (I should have been resting my strained eyeballs but instead I was emptying the DVR) that I had missed two whole weeks of regular news. I joked about this on twitter but I'm 150% sure that I missed something I'd actually like to have known about!

It's easy to miss things, even if you're fully immersed in the industry. (An example: I was talking to Felicity Jones at that Theory of Everything party about her scenes with Charlie Cox, who is so sweetly crush-worthy in the movie, and she somehow hadn't heard that he was the new Daredevil for Netflix!)

What movie things, besides TIFF and the standard Oscar buzz, have been on your mind these past couple of weeks?

Catch me back up. Fill me in.

Wednesday
Sep102014

TIFF: Benedict vs. Redmayne, Round 1

Nathaniel's adventure in Toronto. Days 4 & 5 

Two bonafide contenders for the Best Actor Oscar screened on two consecutive days so I can't help but pair them here for you. We'll surely say more about these movies when they open, because they're both looking like awards heavyweights. But, for now, reviews and some Oscar betting. 

IMITATION GAME
In the opening voiceover, Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) admonishes someone (us?) to "pay attention. I won't repeat myself" but the story is exciting enough that you're sure to pay attention without the lecture. I mean, it's not every day you get to see a movie about a closeted homosexual genius mathematician secret war hero. Imitation Game has three acts but they play concurrently so we're weaving through Alan's adolescence in boarding school, Alan's top-secret war assignment, and Alan in the 1950s under police investigation. Naturally these three acts are related, not just by having the same protagonist, but by the theme of secrecy. How it informs, shapes, and obscures or destroys the things that matter like character, consequence, and emotional health.

The middle story is the most thrilling as Alan races against the clock to break the Enigma Code during WW II. I think the charge from this section of the film comes from the editing, directing, and its beautifully judged ensemble performance. Turing's obsessive intellectual personality is thrown into vivid relief but also sours when its forced into interaction with others, sliding towards closed off, curt and superior. And Benedict maps all this out with great delicacy...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug042014

New Photos from "Theory of Everything" & "Big Eyes"

Three new stills for movies about complicated marriages among brilliant people. Expect trailers very shortly. First up is Theory of Everything coming November 7th and based on Jane Hawking's autobiography "Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen"

A few thoughts I had... uncensored as they come to me. 

• Felicity Jones always makes me think of Like Crazy & The Tempest. I did not fall. Unless you mean like crazy annoyed with her. Can she suddenly be fascinating in this?
• This might easily fall into the stock "supportive wife" role syndrome (not that Oscar will mind. But we might) even if it is from her perspective?
• Is Eddie Redmayne the best-looking gawky nerdstar ever? There's something about him that shouldn't really work as a leading man onscreen and yet he sure does... work it. You know?
Marius 
• I'm glad this isn't named after the book... people might be expecting a sci-fi time travel flick
• Golden light is shorthand for romantic aura / nostalgia

The other new stills are from Tim Burton's Big Eyes, coming Christmas Day starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz as the Keanes. The wife did the big eye paintings and the husband got credit for them. 

 • Whenever they show actors painting or drawing onscreen I am INSTANTLY looking to see if they're actually doing anything... kind of the way when an actor plays piano I stare intensely at the hands and dread the cut to closeup of their hands when the actor is replaced by a person who can do that thing. It annoys me that I do this, trust, but I can't help it.
• Closeups of actors hands...it's never them! Remember when Robin Bartlett told me she didn't scribble that note to Leo in Shutter Island.
• There's almost nothing I dislike more aesthetically (from disappointment rather than unattractiveness) than when redheads go blonde for movies. I want them ALWAYS ginger.

• Love the red light in this picture. The cinematography is by 4 time Oscar nominee Bruno Delbonnel in case you were wondering.
• I want this to be good so badly. But the odds... I'm just going to whisper Ed Wood over and over to myself and hope for the best
• Big Eyes would also be a good name for a documentary exploring the physiogonomy of actors since so many of them have unnaturally ginormous orbs. All the better to expose the inner humanity of their characters.
• I got a new computer! *

 

 

What does this have to do with Big Eyes, you ask? Well, I'm slightly traumatized because even though it's gorgeously super-sized most of my old programs don't work anymore because it's so new, so I'm trying to come up with solutions so i can manipulate images and the Oscar charts again. IF photoshop was working I would be manipulating this image right now so that it showed them fighting over Christoph Waltz's two Oscars instead of a painting. He only deserved one of them, so surely he should give ONE to Amy who has way more range.

It's only right! 

 

* I know I already said this this morning but the excitement overfloweth. It's been like seven years since I got a new desktop!

Monday
Apr142014

April Showers: Like Crazy

waterworks continue most nights at 11. Here's abstew on Like Crazy

When Like Crazy played at Sundance in 2011, it became an instant hit. It even managed to win both the Grand Jury Prize for Drama and a Special Jury Prize in acting for star Felicity Jones. So it seemed natural that the film would follow in the Oscar-nominated footsteps of fellow Sundance award winners Precious and An Education and translate that success into some Oscar love of its own. If anything, certainly the film would've been the kind of star-is-born breakout for Felicity Jones in the same way Carey Mulligan had experienced 2 years previously. (And discussed recently in another edition of April Showers.) But when it was released in theatres later that year, the love it found in Sundance just never caught on in the same way for audiences or critics. And it seems the only breakout star to come from the film is Jennifer Lawrence in the small part of the other girl. She may not have gotten the man, but I'd said she's doing perfectly fine. [more...]

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Tuesday
Feb182014

Interview: Michael O'Connor on "Fussy" Costumes & Principal Actresses

A curious reversal: I'm discussing Oscar-voting with costume designer Michael O'Connor, an Oscar winner for The Duchess (2008) nominated again for his work on the Dickensian romantic drama The Invisible Woman and he reveals that, though he takes voting seriously, he doesn't really think it's a good thing to know too much about the behind the scenes achievements on movies, beyond what you can see and judge visually. 

Michael O'Connor and one of his Oscar-nominated designs from The Invisible Woman

That’s why I don’t teach or do classes. I don't think it would be a good experience. I want the discussion when I’m doing it because it helps me work but when you watch [a movie] you shouldn’t know the discussions. When you watch a film sometimes and stay for the Q&A it’s changed the experience because now you know some of the secrets. Some of the magic is not knowing. 

And, yet, once you get Michael O'Connor talking about his craft, he doesn't quit (a wonderful problem in an interview) and his passion for Costume Design is always front and center. I'm not at all convinced that he wouldn't make a good teacher but his students would have to be quick, as he leaps from topic to topic, sometimes without warning. 

From our vantage point in 2014 his current status as an Oscar winning costume designer seems inevitable...

Click to read more ...