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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in Helen Hunt (19)


Beauty vs Beast: Down & Out In Hollywood

Jason from MNPP here, and I'm ready for my close-up - we're devoting today's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" to the late great director Billy Wilder, who was born on this day 109 years ago. If you had to pick your favorite Wilder picture, what would you go with? It's a query that'll break the brain of many a cinephile, so rich stands his cinematic legacy even all these decades later. I personally am torn between The Apartment (so glad I was able to hang out in the bar that Fran and C.C. frequent before it closed) and today's competitive centerpiece, 1950's Sunset Boulevard (aka still the greatest movie about Hollywood ever made), but cases made for a couple other Wilder films could probably convince me they were his be all everything too. Point being Billy didn't used to be big, he is big, and it's the pictures that got small without him. In that vein...

PREVIOUSLY Last week we wished Helen Hunt a happy birthday with a look back at her and Jack Nicholson's 1997 Oscar wins for As Good As It Gets -- facing them off y'all were decidely Team Carol with her thundering past a full 3/4ths of the vote. Explained Denny:

"Loved this film then and like it now, despite all the shit it gets. Jack is on fire - somehow Melvin doesn't come off like the complete and utter cliche he is on paper, and it's solely due to Nicholson's unique charisma - but it really is all about Helen Hunt and her warm, deeply lived-in performance as Carol. Yes the "fucking HMO pieces of shit" bit is great, but where the character (and the actress) really sings for me is in the quieter, more intimate moments. She somehow ups everyone's game when she's in a scene with them, and that's no small feat. But really, Carol wins just for being able to handle Melvin and all his bullshit."


Beauty vs Beast: Sidewalk Stories

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- the very first movie that I ever saw being filmed in person was on one of my first trips to New York City; I guess it must've been in the spring of 1997? There I was walking down a side-street near NYU, a wide-eyed country bumpkin in the big city, when who should suddenly be standing in front of me but Jack Nicholson. Jack Nicholson! That'll stop you dead in your tracks. Beside him was Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear and you guessed it, it was James L. Brooks' multiple Oscar winner As Good As It Gets.

I watched them film for about half an hour (it was the scene where they were getting into the car to go on their mid-movie road-trip) in awe, and now whenever I think of this movie I think of that experience and how fundamental it was to cementing this city as where I wanted to live my life. There's magic around every corner, wedged terrifyingly in every crack of the sidewalk. Long story short today is Helen Hunt's birthday (and Greg Kinnear's birthday is on Wednesday) so As Good As It Gets it is...

PREVIOUSLY Last time around we anticipated the weekend's great big movie (movie-a-saurus) with a claw-off between the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Velociraptor in Steven Spielberg's 1993 original Jurassic Park - ya'll love your Clever Girls and the Raptor slashed her way to the winning circle with 60% of the vote. Said forever1267:

"Velociraptors are one of the few movie monsters that really scared me while watching the movie. They aren't supposed to be smart! They're not supposed to be able to open doors! They're not supposed to be clever! Chills!"


The Forever Link

Before We Get Started...
Here's the only sane reaction to the news that The Lovely Laura Linney (who has barely been on movie screens these past five years) has joined the cast of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. This comes from Aaron Fullerton on Twitter:

Laura Linney was cast in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 and, for her sake, I hope she simply introduces it like an episode of Downton Abbey.

The Links
NY Times profiles Tom Hardy on the cusp of even wider stardom with Mad Max: Fury Road
The Guardian looks at five great moments from Shirley Maclaine's career
CHUD Director Josh Trank (Chronicle) has left the as yet untitled Star Wars spinoff film
EW interviews Matthias Schoenaerts about Far From the Madding Crowd, being called "the Belgian Brando" and his favorite movies (he loves David Lynch!)
Coming Soon from Shakespeare to a video game adaptation? The MacBeth team (Fassy, Cotillard, and director Justin Kurzel) are doing Assassin's Creed together.
The Dissolve Helen Hunt reuniting with the director of The Sessions for a road trip movie. Dakota Fanning co-stars
The Dissolve Because A24 is the best one of their next projects will have Cary Fukunaga telling the true story of a father who went on a cross-country walk to work through his grief about his gay son's suicide
Deadline Channing Tatum to star in an adaptation of the old sci-fi novel "The Forever War" from the 70s which is about soldiers fighting an endless war with no clear concept of why they're fighting. Apparently the novel has ideas about the future including the eliminating of heterosexuality (?) and the melting pot creating one homogenous race that are hard to imagine in movie form, given Hollywood's timidity about race and alternative sexuality 
MNPP a fun new poster for the horror comedy Cooties 

Superhero Mania
Time Out the first ten Marvel films in 40 gifs -- this would have been so much faster than that Marvel Marathon I attended!
Comics Alliance shares 11 in universe or comics references within the movie
Bryan Singer keeps releasing photos of his new X-Men team from the set including Jean Grey () in acid washed jeans and Jubilee in that familiar yellow jacket
Mark Ruffalo is calling Marvel out on their lack of female action figures
Pajiba collates a list of actors and directors considered for all the Marvel movies - what a difference many of them would have made
Dark Horizons they've narrowed down the new Peter Parker to Asa Butterfield and Tom Holland. Holland is the better actor but immensely less famous so let's hope they realize they don't need pre-movie fame for one of the most globally famous heroes ever created

Showtune to Go!
Remember Robin De Jesús, that awkward drag-loving teenager from Camp (2003)? He recently turned 30 and here he is from his new cabaret show #TheStruggleisReal (May 4th at 54 Below) doing Miley Cyrus ("Wrecking Ball" is totally a standard already) and reminding us that there was more to that movie than Anna Kendrick's breakout. 


Yes, No, Maybe So: "Decoding Annie Parker"

Counter-programming in the summer. Love it! Decoding Annie Parker, a movie about early strides in Breast Cancer Research arrives on May 2nd. Samantha Morton plays the title character, a young mother who is diagnosed with breast cancer. She seeks answers as her husband (Aaron Paul, who sure is working a lot) struggles to understand/deal. A pioneering doctor (Helen Hunt) is also on the case in this true story.

We'll break down the trailer after the jump.

Click to read more ...


Red Carpet Oscar Pt. 1: "Princess. Puppy. Purse."

For this Oscar Nominee edition of the red carpet convos I am pleased to welcome Courtney from Pajiba!

It's Courtney!

NATHANIEL: Welcome to the Film Experience, Courtney. Since you're a brand new to many readers (unless they're smart enough to read Pajiba!) it's confession time. I wore a Les Miz tee to the Oscars last night but before we dive into what the Best Supporting Actresses were wearing, tell us: what were you wearing last night?!

COURTNEY: Hello, sir! I was looking superb - a vision in flannel, baby vomit elegantly adorning my jeans.

NATHANIEL: Beautiful. Do you hate it when they ask the nominees if their child picked their dress for them? I heard it first with Reese Witherspoon last night but you hear it all the time. 

COURTNEY: I hate the question, and I hate the answers. If children ever actually picked out Oscar gowns, however, that is a ceremony I'd watch. Picture it. It would be some sparkly nonsense and I'd love it. 

Maybe Hugh Jackman would have shown up dressed as Batman. SEE? Automatically a better ceremony.

NATHANIEL: Definitely less matchy-matchy and "on trend" I'll give you that. Rainbow would be the new black. Okay....

SUPPORTING ACTRESS. Anne Hathaway's 'darts' were the talk of twitter last night but there's more than just pointy boobs to discuss.


Anne's halter, Helen's wrinkles, and so-phis-ti-cat-ed Best Actresses after the jump... 

Click to read more ...


SAG Carpet Pt 1: Silhouettes and Character Arcs

Red Carpet Line-Up Returns. I don't know if you've missed it but I have. This two-part SAG edition is less quickfire chat and more epistolary but we haven't talked to Kurt Osenlund in way too long since he flew the coop for The House Next Door. 

NATHANIEL: Kurt  I miss you. You have moved to the far off land of Brooklyn and we never see each other. And yet, when I watch the Best Actresses walking the red carpet I know you're out there somewhere gazing at the same visions. So a few questions to kick things off about the Screen Actors Fashionista Guild.

Which of the Best Actresses did it for you? And was this in line with what you think of their performances or the inverse of that? Character arcs aren't cut from runway cloth but sometimes I think people judge the gowns based on how much they're currently loving the woman inside.

"Impossible" Naomi, Dress-Lining Jennifer, "Mama" Jessica, Marion Cotillard



Anyway, tell me your "best", both performance wise and clothing wise. (Don't cheat and say Helen Mirren since she didn't show. Or the cameras just didn't bother searching for her because 'getouttahereHitchcock'!). [More plus Supporting Actresses after the jump]

Click to read more ...


The Twenty: Your Acting Royalty... Until Next Year

I sometimes like to think of each year's Official Oscar Nominees as pageant winners or an ambassadorial relay team representing the Arts. In my imagination they reign for exactly one year until they have to pass on the tiara or the torch. This is probably why the old tradition of having the previous year's winner present the corresponding opposite sex category feels so satisfying on Oscar night and why it's so alarming when they mix it up (I wonder about Best Actor this year. Meryl Streep has supposedly never presented a competitive Oscar category -- can that be true? -- and if so will she finally do so next month?).

This is all a fancy way of saying I've updated the charts and republished. You can pretend you have a ballot and vote on these categories! So check out the charts...

"Anne" & "Hushpuppy" (Emmanuelle & Quvenzhane)BEST ACTRESS
Emmanuelle + Jennifer + Jessica + Naomi + Quvenzhane
We knew the media would eat up the spectacle of the Oldest (Emmanuelle Riva) and Youngest (Quvenzhane Wallis) Best Actress nominee in history sharing a category but I was surprised to see that that factoid got even more screen time than the Beauty Queen Showdown to come in Naomi vs. Jennifer vs. Jessica on these stupid infotainment shows that I watch approximately thrice a year (generally around the oscar noms, golden globes, and sag awards). I'm always interested to see whether the braindead infotainment shows even mention the arthouse nominees each year -- what on earth will they make of Amour? I guess this.

Bradley + Daniel + Denzel + Hugh + Joaquin
Two alcoholics, one crazy person, one poor soul who stole a loaf of bread and never stopped paying for it, and a President of the United States when they weren't so United. Can anyone beat Daniel Day-Lewis? I personally think that's a less worthy topic than this: how on earth did we get a category with this many stupendous performances in it? Even if one of your favorites was left off -- this isn't my exact lineup though it's close -- it would be churlish to complain. It might be my favorite full shortlist since 2003 (Ben + Bill + Johnny + Jude + Sean) without a dud or even an underachieving performance in the bunch. If only certain other categories *cough*thenextone* would have followed suit.

Alan + Bobby + Christoph + Philip + Tommy Lee
Presenting the only acting shortlist ever in the entire 85 year history of the Oscars that is composed entirely of previous winners. Several shortlists have eventually been composed only of Oscar winners as Joe Reid nerdily researched but that was all after the fact. Increasing the sting for those who like fresh blood at the Oscars, these performances aren't the most exciting. It's basically "good job, sir" and everyone moves on. For what it's worth this will be the category least like my own awards (I usually announce before the nominations but Oscar  threw me by announcing so early)

remember THR's actress roundtable? 5 of their 7 invitees were nominated

Amy + Anne + Helen + Jacki + Sally 
Another year, another set of whores, longsuffering wives, and concerned moms. Oh Oscar, you do love your types! In fact, had I stopped to remember Oscar's favorite types in this category (which I've researched and talked about so much in the past that it became common knowledge -- 'longsuffering wife, she's in!' )  I wouldn't have done so poorly in my predictions for this particularly category this year. I somehow forgot everything I knew in the face of the blinding brilliance of Charlotte Bless & such. Now, you might argue that Helen Hunt is a new type and her character makes a point of explaining that she's not a hooker. But that's splitting hairs for Oscar when you're onscreen receiving money for sex.

I bring Helen Hunt up because Thomas Williams on twitter caught an error on the page earlier. I had accidentally copied and pasted and under her photo it read...

Despite an often bizzare and thorny relationship with celebrity, no one can doubt his gift."

Thomas wrote "even though this caption was meant for Joaquin Phoenix, I actually think some of it works here too :-)" Ha! I would agree with that. 

SEE THE CHARTS AND VOTE YOUR VOTES. Unless you have something left to see. The polls will remain up until the Friday before the Oscars so you have some time if you have to catch up on your screenings. (I will be adding to the charts as we go so they're not boring to revisit. Hope you enjoy.)