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Entries in Gloria Grahame (8)

Friday
Jul072017

Annette Bening as Gloria Grahame

by Murtada

We just got the news that Annette Bening will be presiding over the Venice Film festival jury. Now we get two new photos of her as Gloria Grahame in the anticipated biopic Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. And that's not all. The film has a UK release date of November 17. A US distribution and release date news must be imminent. Unfortunately Bening presiding over the Venice jury not only rules the film out of that festival, but also out of Telluride which takes place at the same time, and the first and more important week of buzz building at TIFF. Unless they unspool the film without its star which seems unlikely. And we'd like her to get that festival buzz that is important for awards later on.

Till then enjoy the Bening and Jamie Bell as Grahame and Peter Turner, an actor she befriended late in her life while appearing in a production of The Glass Menagerie in London. The film is based on Turner’s memoir about the time Grahame spent recuperating at his family home in Liverpool when diagnosed with cancer. Directed by Paul McGuigan (Victor Frankenstein), it also stars Julie Walters and Kenneth Cranham as Turner’s parents.

Will Bening follow Blanchett and win an Oscar for playing an Oscar winner? 

Sunday
Aug212016

Ben-Who? Weekend Box Office

The name "Ben-Hur" wasn't enough of a brand on its own to lure moviegoers to theaters this weekend for the remake. My guess: Those who know of Ben-Hur love the 1959 version too much to care about a 2016 version. I have zero desire to see it so if you dared the movie theater this weekend to do so, tell me this: did any of the 1925 sensuality or the 1959 homoeroticism survive in the 2016 version. Or is this just all antiseptic generic blockbuster action mode? 

Ben Hur in 1959, 2016, and 1925If you didn't see Ben-Hur, what did you see? Did you like it? More after the jump including the fate of Kubo and the Two Strings and the best thing I saw this weekend...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul072016

Links

Guardian the kids of the controversial Oscar nominated documentary Jesus Camp 10 years later - how are they doing and how do they remember their evangelical childhoods?
ESPN's Bodies issue is out. Check out the gallery. The human body is really so beautiful. But I realize we're not supposed to acknowledge that because people are so angry about the profile at...
Vanity Fair on Margot Robbie. Which is... Honestly I can't see anything wrong with it. Almost every good celebrity profile talks about what the star looks like, and what their big screen appeal is. It's not especially salacious as these things go. I'm stunned that it offended so many people. But me...
Nathaniel... I don't want to live in a world where we cant celebrate movie star beauty
Playbill Kristin Chenoweth doing a reading of proposed Best Little Whorehouse in Texas for the stage? Oh god oh god let this Broadway musical happen. Amen.
Dear Cast & Crew Dear Harry Nilsson -- (great letter re: A Bigger Splash)
EW Five Nights in Maine poster and trailer. Apparently this premiered at TIFF last year. I don't remember reading about it but Dianne Wiest, Rosie Perez, and David Oyelowo are all in it!
Vanity Fair Hive A.I. isn't just all the rage in movies and on television. It's an investor obsession, too.
Twitter Apparently some dumb people launched a petition to have Jesse Williams fired from Grey's Anatomy due to his BET Humanitarian Awards speech 

Look at This!

Production has begun on Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool which stars Annette Bening as Oscar winner Gloria Grahame in her final days. Jamie Bell is The Bening's leading man. We hope The Bening is making one last sustained run at winning that Best Actress trophy that's eluded her. Momentum counts for a lot in Oscar races so if it doesn't happen this year for 20th Century Women, maybe it'll happen next year for this biopic of sorts? Though actors win Oscars all the time for playing real life people, the only star who has won an Oscar for playing an Oscar winner is Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator (2004).

Random Emmy Thought
By now you've probably heard that the 7th/8th Game of Thrones season will start shooting later than usual due to weather issues. Different websites have different wording on this news. Sometimes it sounds like just the slightest delay and not worth reporting but for the clickbait traffic. Other articles suggest that this will delay the premiere until late Summer instead of GoT's traditional late spring early summer airing. If the latter take is true that means we'll actually have an Emmy free year of Game of Thrones in 2017. That would be a welcome relief for those of us who hate to see the same shows dominating year after year. Unfortunately they're also splitting GoT into two more super short seasons with only 13 or so more episodes left before the series finale. It worked for Breaking Bad and Mad Men in terms of Emmy statuettes though it was bad for interrupting the natural flow of storytelling arcs (at least with Mad Men - I can't speak to how it affected Breaking Bad). At any rate I stand by my proclamation that these split final seasons are anti-audience and nothing more than a cynical cash grab for advertising dollars, extended media attention, and double the awards that a show should be eligible to receive. It's gross. I wish Emmys would rule against 6 or 7 episodes counting as a full season. There really ought to be some standards and "season" by its very name suggests a few months of time. Six episodes is not a few months of story -- it's barely more than one!

Saturday
May072016

Where My Girls At? New Roles for Jess, Charlize, and The Bening

Four new projects for three favorites, two of whom are in theaters right now in a bad movie called Winter's War.

Charlize Theron
Her Gorgeousness will star in a new comedy called Tully which is not to be confused with that new drama called Sully starring Tom Hanks. Theron will play a woman who has difficulty dealing her child's new nanny (who happens to be the title character). But here's the best part: It's reuniting the core Young Adult team with Jason Reitman behind the camera and Diablo Cody scripting and since Young Adult is all three of them in peak powers, we can be very grateful/hopeful about it. If lightning strikes twice we'll know the three of them all bring out the best in each other creatively.

In related news that's the first set picture of Charlize on Fast & Furious 8 (gee, they didn't waste any time getting another film going) in which we think she's playing the villain. They've apparently gone meta with her 'Angelina Jolie Gone in 60 Seconds' look -- Drag racing car fetish movies have to stick together!

Jessica Chastain
Jess will headline Molly's Game with Idris Elba as her co-star. Since this is Jess we're talking about there's already a cutesy photo to illustrate.

 

 

Molly's Game is  based on the memoir by skier Molly Bloom which chronicles her arrest by the FBI for a high stakes poker game. Sounds like a string of words that don't make much sense together right but apparently it was a true enough story to write a book about and get a movie deal. Famed screenwriter Aaron Sorkin will write (duh) & direct (wha?!?).

And the best news for last...

Annette Bening
After headlining 20th Century Women and a supporting role of some sort in her husband's still Untitled Howard Hughes film, The Bening will be back in a bio: She'll be playing Academy Award winning actress Gloria Grahame in a drama about the star's final days battling cancer when she was 57. The casting is totally brilliant visually. Our collective images of Grahame are all from her youthful heyday in noirs but if you imagine her growing older offscreen it's easy to imagine her looking exactly like the 57 year-old Annette Bening of right now. The project is called Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (I can't imagine they won't change the name) and Jamie Bell will play the male lead of Peter Turner who wrote the memoir it's based on and who cared for Grahame in her last days. Sherlock director Paul McGuigan is on board and the screenplay is from the writer of Control & Nowhere Boy

In related news: Annette Bening is still aiming for that Oscar so this may well be her backup plan if she doesn't win it this year...

Saturday
Aug312013

Supporting Actress Smackdown '52: Colette, Jean, Gloria, Terry, and Thelma

Presenting the Return of Stinky Lulu's Supporting Actress Smackdown now in its new home at The Film Experience. The Year is... 1952 and our panelists are allowed 52 words per actress!

THE NOMINEES

Gloria Grahame, Jean Hagen, Colette Marchand, Terry Moore, and the perennial Thelma Ritter!

THE PANELISTS

Matt Mazur (Pop Matters) is a New York-based publicist who works on campaigns for independent, foreign language, and documentary films. His vast archive of actress interviews (including Sissy Spacek and Courtney Love) can be found here. Follow him @Matt_Mazur 

Nathaniel R (The Film Experience) is the founder of The Film Experience, a Gurus of Gold and CNN International Oscar pundit, and the internet's actressexual ringleader. Also loves cats. Follow him @NathanielR

Nick Davis (Nicks Flick Picks) tweets, blogs, and writes reviews and is a professor of film, literature, and gender studies at Northwestern University. His first book "The Desiring Image" was recently published. Follow him @NicksFlickPicks

Brian Herrera (aka StinkyLulu) convened the first Supporting Actress Smackdown and hostessed more than thirty before shuttering the series in 2009. He is a writer, teacher and scholar presently based in New Jersey, but forever rooted in New Mexico. Follow him @stinkylulu

And You! We also factored averages from reader ballots sent by e-mail!

Oh, hurry up!!!"

... get to the smackdown already. Geez. Okay Okay, here we go...

 

 

1952
SUPPORTING ACTRESS SMACKDOWN

GLORIA GRAHAME as "Rosemary" in The Bad and the Beautiful
Synopsis: A southern wife accompanies her writer husband to corrupting Hollywood
Stats: 29 yrs old. 14th film. 2nd nom. 10 Minutes of Screen Time (8.4% of Running Time)

Matt: No disrespect to Grahame, one of this era’s finest actress, but she got the gold for the wrong movie; like many women before and after. This performance is a weird fit. While other directors gave her the space to explode, Minnelli tried to contain her sexual force. It's not Rosemary you remember... ♥♥  

Nathaniel: Grahame underlines the frisson of excitement in this marriage, suggesting that it comes from the playful mix of this woman’s outer propriety and inner friskiness. She even nails a tricky final scene moving from accusatory abandoned wife to complicit partner in failure. Yet the role is slight and the voice too chirpy. ♥♥♥ 

Nick: The first Grahame performance I haven’t loved. Admittedly, the role’s scope and nature constrain it.  I admire her against-type playing, and the character invites stiff attitudes and overdeliberate gestures. Still, however tiny, the part feels underexplored.  Her win feels like recognition of prior feats and her eclectic body of work in 1952 ♥♥ 

Reader Write-In Votes: "A truly bizarre winner, though not undeserving: beautiful, quiet work in shading this restless social butterfly. I wanted much more of her.." - Sean D. (Gloria average ♥♥½) .

StinkyLulu: If I were evaluating The Bad and the Beautiful on "Top Chef" or "Chopped", I might praise Gloria Grahame’s Rosemary for bringing a much needed brightness to the dish. Grahame plays this soon-to-be-sainted flibbertigibbet with easy verve but I fear Grahame’s work here is as glancing as the character:

Gloria wins 10½ ❤s 

JEAN HAGEN as "Lina Lamont" in Singin' in the Rain
Synopsis: A silent star attempts to make it in talkies by stealing another woman's voice
Stats: 29 yrs old. 8th film. 1st nomination. 31 Minutes (30% of Running Time)

Matt: She does it all: vocal work, physical comedy, unlikability, stupidity, scheming, hiliariously failing at everything. Flawlessly.  Bonus points go to any actress playing an actress, let alone the kind of woman who has the cojones to poke fun at not only herself, but really her entire profession. How she did not win this Oscar…? ♥♥♥♥♥ 

Nathaniel: Her vocal comic invention is so thorough you can even hear the diction training sloshing around its agonizing surface but never sinking in. Lina’s silent “ACTING” is delicious, too but Jean’s is even better. Her Lina is always off-tempo, playing catch up, waiting for a line no one has written for her. ♥♥♥♥♥ 

Nick: Pretending to hate Gene Kelly requires three-star acting at least. And Hagen’s vocal ingenuity is obviously beyond.  She’s also a savvy modulator, underplaying annoyance throughout Kelly’s opening interview, deferring her delicious explosions of resentment until character-appropriate moments.  Once she gets going, she steals some of the very best scenes in American movies: ♥♥♥♥♥ 

Reader Write-In Votes: "Lina Lamont was robbed, just as Lina's soul sister Norma Cassady (Lesley Ann Warren) was exactly 30 years later." - Paul Outlaw. (Hagen average ♥♥♥♥♥ ) 

StinkyLulu: In what might have easily been a single (nasal) note of a “dumb” role, Jean Hagen deftly surprises with clever twists to unsuspecting vowels, syllables and studio executives alike. Yet, even with few glimpses into Lina’s heart, Hagen’s skill permits our delight in always knowing exactly who Miss Lina Lamont truly is.  ♥♥♥♥♥

Jean wins 25 ❤s, a perfect score 

 

COLETTE MARCHAND as "Marie Chalet" in Moulin Rouge
Synopsis: a street-walker moves in with the famous artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec but just can't settle down
Stats: Debut Film. 27 yrs old. Debut Film. 1st Nom. 27.5 Minutes (23% of Running Time)

Matt: Too many clichés: hooker with a heart of gold, scheming hooker with weak john, French slut, tragic waif… but Marchand does a decent job of navigating complicated waters and still managing to be memorable in a Moulin Rouge full of oddballs. But she's no Nicole Kidman, let me put it that way. ♥♥ 

Nathaniel: She had me at “monsieur!”, all gangly swinging arms, restless body, and giraffe-with-attitude neck. Marchand’s physicality is so heady it almost doesn’t matter that her scenes are but moodswings on loop. Her pride in poverty and self-consciousness with wealth is insightfully rendered. Like Henri we pine for her when she’s gone: ♥♥♥ 

Nick: To its credit—and not much is—Huston’s film acknowledges an essential garishness in the Moulin Rouge and Toulouse-Lautrec’s depictions. This context somewhat justifies Marchand’s frequently coarse performance; her drunken truth-telling scene with Henri and Babare thrives on that quality.  Too often, though, she’s simply rigid and off-putting.  I prefer Suzanne Flon  ♥♥ 

Reader Write-In Votes: "This film is a little slow in spots, but the best scenes are the ones with Marchand and Jose Ferrer together. You feel for her prostitute character, a common role but Marchand adds her own spin." - Sean T. (Marchand average ♥♥)

StinkyLulu: Feral, frightening and sometimes quite funny. Colette Marchand’s Marie Charlet remains a more presence than a person. (Katherine Kath does much more with much less as La Goulue.) While her palpable emotion does reliably energize this frequently languid film, Marchand’s performance lacks the precision needed to stir and sustain a deepening investment: ♥♥♥

Colette wins 12 ❤s  

 

TERRY MOORE as "Marie" in Come Back Little Sheba
Synopsis: a flirtatious college girl rents a room from an unhappy couple while struggling with fidelity to her longdistance boyfriend
Stats: 23 yrs old. 14th film. 1st nomination. 28 Minutes (28% of Running Time)

Matt: Let’s have a moment of real talk: there is no one on earth paying attention to anyone other than mesmerizing Queen Shirley Booth in ...Little Sheba. Moore does what she is asked: be pretty enough to drive Lancaster into a mad rage. But there’s not much character there so she’s left struggling. ♥ 

Nathaniel: She does engaging work as a cock-tease testing her boundaries with a local stud. She’s smart, too, about how the young switch on and off with adults in a room. I like the way Marie sizes up her strange landlady (less so her landlord). But the character never feels fully explored or resonant. ♥♥ 

Nick: Between Booth’s asphyxiating affectations and Lancaster’s stolidity, Moore’s relaxed effervescence is a welcome mediator. Her richest scene comes when that aplomb gets tested by Richard Jaeckel’s abruptly aggressive advances; her panicked response is clearly to him, not to sex itself.  Nonetheless, this isn’t complicated acting.  Standard for Moore and bordering on generic ♥♥

Reader Write-In Votes: "I can't remember many movies from the 50s that had a young sexually-active character and performed well by Moore. I certainly can't see the negative of the performance" - Travis. (Moore average ♥♥).

StinkyLulu: Marie feels more plot device than character, an inciting incident taken to human form. Yet Terry Moore animates her catalytic presence with startling believability. Her Marie is a simple, smart, capable girl who fully enjoys playing at being bad — and who (unlike those around her) somehow knows when to say when.  ♥♥♥♥ 

Terry wins 11❤s


THELMA RITTER as "Clancy" in With a Song in My Heart
Synopsis: a nurse accompanies a famous singer on a USO Tour in World War II
Stats: 50 yrs old. 9th film. 3rd of 4 Consecutive Noms (2 More Followed). 28 Minutes (24% of Running Time)

Matt: One dynamic performance hidden within a limp noodle film makes it a little more al dente. Her stalwart nurse ("Clancy" -- how perfect is that name?), is not afraid to tell it like it t-i-is. As is Ritter’s custom, she packs in an astounding amount of detail, using the tiniest bits of dialog to reveal something key. ♥♥♥♥ 

Nathaniel: Gold from dross! Though half her role consists of gazing admirably at Hayward’s lipsynching (blech), Ritter seizes every opportunity to make the other half dance, managing heaps of personality while narrating and offering sly subtext like  embarrassment at her friend/ patient’s self-pity. I live for that improv dancing… “I’m more the type!” ♥♥♥♥ 

Nick: Ritter hews to type as a wisecracking helpmeet whose humor and lucid counsel profit the other characters. Still, she’s the Dijon mustard this ham sandwich needs, her candor and tangy delivery tempering all the sanctification.  Ritter presents a prickly, compassionate, occasionally reproachful nurse, not a blandly colorful worshiper in a biopic pew: ♥♥♥ 

Reader Write-In Votes: "Ritter fills the role with emotion, and - more importantly compared to Grahame and Moore - feels like a necessary and irreplaceable role/performance for the film. " -PoliVamp (Thelma average ♥♥♥) 

StinkyLulu: As “Flatbush Florence Nightingale” Clancy, Thelma Ritter gets to do Thelma Ritter. Always cracking wise as the film’s in-house heckler and audience surrogate. Stalwart. Salt-of-the-earth. With just that dash of saltiness. But even with costume changes and a couple of tiny tearful moments, there’s no arc or special insight here. Just Ritter. ♥♥

Thelma wins 16 ❤s  

OSCAR vs. SMACKDOWN


The Academy pied Jean Hagen right in the kisser and handed the coveted Best Supporting Actress statue to Gloria Grahame as "Rosemary" in The Bad and the Beautiful. As Matt notes: 

In 1952, it made all-too-terrible sense for Grahame to win given her solid work in three other films besides this Minnelli classic: The Greatest Show on Earth, Macao, and Sudden Fear. She worked with literally everyone that year. She is fantastic in Fear and Macao, moreso than in Beautiful.

 But our panelists "cannnn'stann'it!" and rewrite Oscar history to hand a landslide win to that 'shimmering star in the foimament' Lina Lamont.

Soak it up, Jean!

Thank you for attending the Smackdown!  Throw pies, shade or applause at your favorites. (If you're new to the Smackdown, here's the old archives at StinkyLulu)

Previous Smackdown Goodies
Stinky's Preliminary Thoughts, Introducing... the 5, and The Oscar Ceremony Itself

NEXT SMACKDOWN SUNDAY, SEPT 29th 
The Supporting Actresses of 1980 
Brennan, Le Galliene, Moriarty, Scarwid, and Steenburgen comin' atcha!
Panelists TBA

Friday
Aug302013

The First Televised Oscar Ceremony!

For today's daily nooner leadup to the Supporting Actress Smackdown of 1952 -- and to get us all pumped up for the burst of Fall Film Oscar Madness,  I thought we'd look at the Oscar ceremony itself and some really fun trivia. Ready?

Shirley Booth in NYC accepts her Oscar while the LA crowd looks on

• Did you know that the 1952 Oscars (held in March 1953) were the first televised Oscar ceremony ever? Now you do!  They were also bi-coastal (!!!) with Bob Hope entertaining in LA and the great Fredric March working the crowd in New York. 

• Shirley Booth, who won for Come Back Little Sheba, fell on the steps to the stage! You can watch it here. Jennifer Lawrence didn't invent that little attention grabbing Best Actress move this past FebruaryMORE AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...