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Entries in Frances McDormand (19)

Wednesday
Sep202017

Best Actress: The Shape of Sally. The Mouth on Frances.

by Nathaniel R

Sally says "Hi!" (I apologize profusively that my camera cut off her cute wave to all of you via this TIFF photo)It's getting hot up in the Best Actress race. The fall festivals have thrust a dozen or so women toward potential red carpet glory but how will time and general reviews and audience response and campaigning sort them out? It's nail-biting! At least until the first awards are handed out at which point things always narrow down too quickly.

But for now -- and it's early still (our annual refrain) -- it's appearing like it might be a battle between Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water (which has won consistently strong reviews and the Golden Lion in Venice) and Frances McDormand who stars in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, the surprise winner of the Oscar bellwether "audience award" at TIFF. It's fun to think about the performances in tandem since Sally plays a literally mute woman and Frances a foul mouthed woman who will not be silenced...

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Friday
Sep152017

TIFF: McDormand Dominates in "Three Billboards..."

by Chris Feil

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri unfolds in typical fashion for writer/director Martin McDonagh: unspeakable violence provides a backdrop to profanity of everyday people. Here McDonagh provides us one of his most righteous heroes in Mildred Hayes, a mother grieving the brutal murder of her daughter and the local police’s inability to bring justice. Verbal fireworks and bloody consequence is to be expected.

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Monday
Sep112017

'The Shape of Water' wins Venice

 by Murtada

On Saturday night President Annette Bening and her jury, announced their choices at the Venice Film Festival. Guillermo Del Toro’s romantic fantasy The Shape of Water rode its wave of ecstatic reviews all the way to winning the biggest prize, The Golden Lion. More and a complete list of winners after the jump...

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Thursday
Mar232017

Frances McDormand & McDonagh's "Three Billboards..."

Chris here. Provocateur playwright/filmmaker Martin McDonagh has a new movie coming this year, and like some of his plays the title is a mouthful. Get ready for [deep breath] Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, about a woman seeking justice for the local authorities' poor handling of her child's death.

What's most exciting about this round of McDonagh acidity is that the typically male-focused writer-director is giving us a female protagonist. And star Frances McDormand is quite a perfect fit to deliver his tricky balance of dry humor, tragedy, and bitter allegory. Her work looks to be a real showcase. Are you already picturing a bleep-heavy Oscar clip? She's surrounded by a solid ensemble which includes Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, and John Hawkes.

It's strange the film has no release date considering we have a full-length trailer, so maybe this one is Cannes bound before awards season? McDonagh won an Oscar for his short Six Shooter before bringing In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths to the screen. This looks like another step up with some gorgeous, brooding visuals and typically ferocious dialogue. Could this be a potential awards player for more than McDormand? Take a look at the first foulmouthed NSFW trailer...

Wednesday
Aug032016

Frances McDormand: from Blood Simple (1984) to Olive Kitteridge (2014)

1984 is our year of the month for August. Here's Matthew Eng to talk about a treasured actor that made her on camera debut back then...

For the better half of her nearly four-decade film career, Meryl Streep has managed to compel generations of moviegoers to accept a self-styled character actress as not only an acting heroine for the ages but also a bona fide movie star with mass-market appeal and unimpeachable box office credentials. Like no other actress since Bette Davis, Streep has perfected a once-unfeasible practice of playing the sort of idiosyncratic women she has always drifted towards, but within the safe confines of midrange, studio-supported moviemaking that seems to satisfy audience expectations as well as her own.

Sometimes Streep’s projects—and, it must be said, Streep herself—can disappoint. For every quietly graceful gem (like her underrated Hope Springs performance) or skillfully uninhibited turn (as in the best passages of It’s Complicated), there are another two or three within Streep’s latter-day canon that could stand some sharper finesse or at least more dexterous directorial guidance. Whenever I’m let down to by Streep, I can’t help but wonder what one of her less-viable peers might do with the opportunities that are scarce for any actress born before the Kennedy administration and which Streep barely has to put up a fight for.

The Beginning: Blood Simple (1984); The Most Recent Triumph: Olive Kitteridge (2014)

For as long as I can remember, Frances McDormand has served as the purest and most intimidating embodiment of what a character actor should be. “That woman has no vanity,” my mom remarked with clear admiration after watching her in Lisa Cholodenko’s Olive Kitteridge, where McDormand delivers one of the decade’s most masterful star turns, a perfectly prickly meeting of actor and role that might have been a surefire Oscar winner had the project aimed for a bigger screen...

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Thursday
Jun232016

Happy Birthday, Frances McDormand

Kieran, here. There are certain actors whose absence would create a huge void in cinema. It’s not always the movie stars, despite their merits. It’s often the character actors. The beautiful, interesting, wholly human faces that populate our films, only semi-regularly leaping forward to truly headline a vehicle, but still remaining a vital part of the movies we love. Few actors working today embody this more fully than the wondrously versatile, endlessly watchable Frances McDormand whose entry into the world we celebrate today.

What’s your favorite Frances McDormand performance? Okay...that’s a rhetorical question. We all know what it is. But her filmography is diverse and fascinating to explore, who what's your #2?

Frances McDormand’s 5 Best Movie Performances

 5. Burn After Reading (2008)
Broad, but undeniably funny and completely understanding the tone of the vehicle. Mileage varies in terms of McDormand’s many outings with the Coen Brothers, but it’s almost never uninteresting... 

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