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Entries in Glenn Close (47)

Thursday
Nov102016

Swing Tarzan Swing: Disney's 1999 Animated Take 

We've reached the penultimate episode of our Tarzan series. Now sailing into Disney wilds...

by Nathaniel R

For over half a century in film and television storytellers didn't think Tarzan needed an origin plot but when the movies told it (Greystoke, 1984), it was as if everyone had always wanted to. Why not Disney then? Disney hadn't quite run out of classic fairytales to adapt by the mid-nineties but they were shifting their focus to boys. This was arguably due to their gargantuan back-to-back biggest-ever successes of Aladdin (1992) and The Lion King (1994), two animated features that deviated from their princess focus. Enter Hercules and then Tarzan. Neither were girly fairytales but both were still firmly embedded in fantasy and heightened enough for musical numbers.

Sort of.

By the time Tarzan rolled into town, Disney executives had clearly begun to wonder if audiences were done with the musical part of their Animated Musicals because Tarzan is only a musical in the sense that non-diegetic adult contemp ear worms keep popping up. They arrive without warning, with all the subtlety of a slasher movie jump scare.

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Thursday
Oct202016

Glenn Close is "The Wife"

by Murtada

Close at the Tonys in June

Glenn Close is not going to be ignored. Anymore. Six years after Albert Nobbs she has signed on for a new part. It’s not a supporting authority figure (Guardians of the Galaxy) or an uncredited cameo (Warcraft) -she’s playing the title character! The film is The Wife in which Close will play Joan, a woman who gave up her own literary ambitions to support her successful novelist husband. On the eve of him receiving the Nobel Prize for literature she has a crisis of faith in him and in their marriage and starts re-examining her choices.

The film was first announced last February but it seems that whatever kinks they had then, have been smoothed out and shooting stars in a couple of weeks. The film is helmed by Swedish director Björn Runge and adapted by Jane Anderson (Olive Kitteridge) from Meg Wolitzer’s novel. Frances McDormand, Logan Lerman and Brit Marling who were previously attached, have dropped out. Now the supporting cast includes Jonathan Pryce (as the husband), Christian Slater, Elizabeth McGovern, Max Irons (Glenn’s Reversal of Fortune co-star Jeremy’s son), Harry Lloyd (Stephen Hawking’s friend in The Theory of Everything) and Glenn's daughter Annie Starke.

Sounds like a juicy part for Glenn. Hope she goes all Marquise de Merteuil on Pryce, that would be a fun battle of wiles to watch. Are you excited to see Glenn leading a movie again?

Wednesday
Aug312016

Smackdown '84: Glenn Close, Dame Peggy, Lahti, Crouse, and Page

Presenting the Supporting Actress Class of '84. The Academy looked way back in time for this vintage collecting characters from the 1920s through the 1940s: a British senior on an excursion to see "the real" India, a Depression era beautician, the ex-girl of a ballplayer, and a former singer working in a factory during World War II. The sole contemporary character was a chain-smoking furious mother from Greenwich Village...

Glenn Close and Geraldine Page were the regulars... about to lose again!

1984 
SUPPORTING ACTRESS SMACKDOWN  

THE NOMINEES: The 1984 Supporting Actress list skewed more mature than usual. Lindsay Crouse, surely buoyed by the love for Best Picture player Places in the Heart, and the promising new star Christine Lahti who was the least familiar face to moviegoers at the time, were the youngest, both in their mid 30s. Glenn Close, on her third consecutive nomination in the category, and Geraldine Page with a surprise seventh nomination from a long and revered acting career, were the "names" of the category... and they were both about to lose again - this time to the stage actress Dame Peggy Ashcroft who had only rarely made films. 

Shut-Outs: There was very little consensus about supporting actresses beyond Ashcroft & Lahti who fought it out for the critics awards...

BAFTA & Globe nominees that failed to make the Oscar cut were many: Melanie Griffith (Body Double), Drew Barrymore (Irreconciliable Differences), Kim Basinger (The Natural), Lesley Ann Warren (The Songwriter), Tuesday Weld (Once Upon a Time in America) and Jaqueline Bissett (Under the Volcano); Other key women that voters could have chosen that year: Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters), Elizabeth Berridge (Amadeus), Polly Holliday (Gremlins), Sabine Azéma (who won the NBR for A Sunday in the Country), Holland Taylor (Romancing the Stone), Sharon Stone (Irreconciliable Differences), Dianne Wiest (Falling in Love), Amy Madigan (Places in the Heart) and Lonette McKee (The Cotton Club

THIS MONTH'S PANELISTS

Here to talk about the nominees are our panelists: Sheila O'Malley (The Sheila Variations), Noah Tsika (Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Queens College, CUNY and author of "Nollywood Stars"), Joe Reid (Decider.com), Nick Davis (Associate Professor of English and Gender & Sexuality Studies at Northwestern and author of "The Desiring Image") and your host Nathaniel R (The Film Experience).

And now it's time for the main event... 

1984 

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Tuesday
Aug302016

Credit Where It's Due: A Silly Title Card Showdown

by Nathaniel R

An intermittent off center obsession I miraculously don't believe we've discussed after years of blabbering at TFE: title cards, especially as they relate to actors. My personal favorite is when the name in question aligns with the actor's face on screen (quite rare all told since the order is contractual and title card placement feels like that rare piece of cinema construction that no director has ever bothered to worry about - "just put 'em wherever!".

Sometimes they're agonizingly placed (remember when several of the goddess actress names were superimposed over shots of tertiary character John C Reilly at the beginning of The Hours). Just for kicks with the Smackdown but 24 hours away, which Best Supporting Actress nominee wins the battle of 1984 title cards? Let's take them from worst to best after the jump...

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Monday
Aug222016

Swing, Tarzan, Swing! Ch.7: Oscar Loves "Greystoke"

During this summer of the Tarzan reboot we've revisited past films in the long history of Tarzan on film. Four more episodes to go!

Impossible as it may be to move Tarzan away from his ultra-specific origins as a colonial era fantasy, filmmakers have tried over and over again to do exactly that. As we've seen in past installments of our "Swing, Tarzan, Swing!" series, he keeps changing with the times despite his historical baggage. We've seen starkly different depictions of his relationship to Jane from equal partners to Head of the Household suburban conformity. The Lord of the Apes even tried to get bachelor hip with the 1960s at the beginning of the James Bond frenzy. Nearly every Tarzan on television has attempted to place him closer to the actual timeline in which it aired. The new Legend of Tarzan (reviewed) works hard to downplay the racism in the myth, but it's never going completely away given that the story is, at heart, about a white man who becomes king of the jungle and often the savior of Africans in his ongoing adventures.

Tarzan works best when he's allowed to stay in the era to which he belongs. So it was a stroke of inspiration for director Hugh Hudson (fresh off a Best Picture win with Chariots of Fire) to give him the historical epic treatment in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) even though the Ape Man doesn't belong to world history any more than, say, Batman, Superman and Spider-Man who were all also tragically orphaned (it's a superhero thing, okay?). 

The marketing was so committed to this "serious" prestige historical treatment that the poster even has a four paragraph synopsis closer to a novel than a movie tagline...

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Tuesday
Aug092016

Vintage '84: Travel Back in Time...

1984 is our "Year of the Month", as we work towards the Supporting Actress Smackdown on the last Sunday in the month (more on that soon). So let's steep ourselves in that year that was a bit. It was an Olympics year (Los Angeles in summer, Sarajevo in winter), the Ethiopian famine alarmed the world and prompted that "Do They Know It's Christmas" music world response, the first Apple Macintosh went on sale, TV brought us the premiere of the ubiquitous Wendy's commercial "Where's the beef?", several franchises that still won't go away debuted in early forms, for better and worse (The Terminator, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers), the first MTV Video Awards was held, featuring Madonna's historic "Like a Virgin" performance, and there were two sudden confusing celebrity deaths (35 year old comedian Andy Kaufman to cancer -- which later prompted hoax theories -- and 26 year old beefcake superstar Jon-Erik Hexum who died of an accidental gunshot on the set of his TV show).

Indiana Jones becomes a franchise | Madonna, Kathleen Turner, and Daryl Hannah all become superstars, Geraldine Ferraro is first female VP candidate, and Rob Lowe is the hot new boytoy

Marinate in the Juices of 1984 via Movies, Music, Theater, and Television after the jump...

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Sunday
Jul172016

Q&A: Magnani, Cameos, Oscar Ties, and Homoeroticism

I promised a second round of Q&A this week so here we go. Seven more reader questions answered...

Mr W: Do you have any thoughts on Anna Magnani? She's one of my Top 10 Actresses of all time, but I don't think I've ever read anything on her from you.

I do not. Embarrassing to admit but I've only seen her in The Rose Tattoo (1955) which she was wonderful in. Any suggestions as to where to start?

/3rtful: Is there one unsung veteran actress you would like to see get an award season career boost through Ryan Murphy?

There's very few veterans I wouldn't want to see good a career boost. But i'll just name a dozen (and anyone reading should know I could list another 5 dozen with ease -- I shoulda been a casting director). Given that Murphy usually pulls from the 80s and 90s actressing packs (which, one assumes, reflects his formative fandoms) I wish he would throw a bone to Shelley Duvall (though maybe given her rumored mental health this isn't a good idea), Ally Sheedy, Daryl Hannah, Holly Hunter, or Lesley Ann Warren any of whom might be brilliant within his unusually creepy heightened worlds...

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