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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 | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Helen Mirren (16)

Wednesday
Oct222014

Meryl Streep's Set to Sing Off-Key (& Other News)

Manuel here with some Streeptastic news.

Meryl Streep has just signed on to play Florence Foster Jenkins in an upcoming Stephen Frears film. Florence will follow the eponymous protagonist, a New York heiress whose lack of musical talent didn’t stop her from pursuing a career in opera in the early twentieth century. This should be good news for us Streep fans because it means we may get three back-to-back-to-back musically-centered Meryl films in a row. Remember she’s set to play Maria Callas for Mike Nichols’ HBO adaptation of Terence McNally’s Master Class while she’s currently filming Ricky and the Flash, the Diablo Cody-penned Jonathan Demme film about an aging rock-star. More thrillingly, the Frears/Demme/Nichols triple punch is the closest we’ve gotten in a while to Streep committing to working with top-tier directing talent (no offense to David Frankel, Philippa Lloyd and Philip Noyce).

It’s as if she’s been secretly reading TFE where Nat has constantly pointed out Streep’s aversion to working with high calibre directors (give or take a Jonze or an Anderson detour). It’s thrilling stuff even if it’ll continue the “Meryl gets all the roles” narrative that’s both inescapable and inevitable; she is a bankable actress after all.

I didn’t want to just share Meryl’s news (lest we faulted for playing favorites), so let’s play a game of Six Degrees and offer some more news tidbits in the process:

Frears directed Mrs Henderson Presents which is being turned into a musical at the Theatre Royal Bath next summer. That film starred Judi Dench, who is currently filming the Sam Mendes produced The Hollow Crown, a BBC drama that’s been adapting Shakespeare’s history plays. Her co-stars for this concluding entry include Benedict Cumberbatch, Sophie Okonedo (!!) and Sally Hawkins.

Dench starred in another Shakespeare property back in 1968 (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) with the Queen herself, Helen Mirren. It has just been announced that Mirren's Stephen Daldry-directed play The Audience, a sequel of sorts to her Oscar-winning role, is making its way to Broadway next Spring.

Daldry directed not only Streep but Julianne Moore in The Hours; Moore is currently filming Freeheld alongside Ellen Page. The film, focused as it is on a lesbian couple's struggle to apply for domestic partnership, just found itself frozen out of a filming location (a Catholic school), presumably because of its subject matter.

Moore starred with in Crazy, Stupid, Love with Ryan Gosling, whose new 1970s thriller, The Nice Guys, directed by Shane Black, just added Kim Basinger to its cast. Basinger, who we haven’t seen a while, starred in Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-Porter in 1994 with none other than Julia Roberts. Once the reigning queen of romantic comedies, Roberts famously starred in Notting Hill opposite Hugh Grant... who’ll be Meryl’s co-star in Florence.

Phew! That was slightly harder than I thought.

What other renowned film directors would you like to see Streep work with? What other connections between Streep, Mirren, Dench, Moore and Basinger did I miss as I attempted to thread them all together? Are you hoping that in a couple of month’s time we’ll be able to group these women together because they’re all Oscar winners?

Sunday
Aug102014

Green For Green: Weekend Box Office

Amir here, with the weekend’s box office report. Forecasts were uncertain whether Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles still had the appeal to take the multiplex by storm. The turtles are as popular as ever, apparently, crushing Guardians of the Galaxy in its second week. I have no doubt that you’re all sick of me bitch and moan about Michael Bay and Marvel week after week – but see? I have a point; we do have to talk about them every week; there’s no escape. So we’ll skip them for the good news: Boyhood passed 10 million and is still expanding. 

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES $65 *NEW*
02 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY $41.5 (cum. $175.9)  Review
03 INTO THE STORM $18 *NEW*
04 HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY $11.1 *NEW*
05 LUCY $9.3 (cum. $97.3)  
06 STEP UP ALL IN $6.5 *NEW*
07 HERCULES $10.7 (cum. $52.3)
08 GET ON UP $5 (cum. $22.9) Review
09 DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES $6.4 (cum. $47.5) Reviewish & Podcast 
10 PLANES FIRE & RESCUE  $5.5 (cum. $62.9)
11 THE PURGE: ANARCHY $2.2 (cum. $68.5) 
12 A MOST WANTED MAN $2.2 (cum. $10.4) Review
13 BOYHOOD $2 (cum. $10.6) Review

There were other wide releases this weekend. Helen Mirren returned with The Hundred-Foot Journey. One would assume a film that thinks of only a hundred feet as a journey would also be about turtles, but it is not. It’s some sort of inspirational, we-are-the-world, all-races-holding-hands story about a white woman who learns to love Indians without bothering with the whole Maggie Smith/Judi Dench shtick of actually travelling to India. Lasse Hallstrom, purveyor of mushy Euro-pudding directed. Finally, Step Up All In also opened to a top ten spot, but at 26, I feel too old to write about it.

On the limited end of things, What If starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan opened on 20 screens to mild reception. When this film played TIFF last year under the title The F Word, its target demographic seemed pretty happy with what they’d seen, and given the presence of a genuine star, I’m surprised CBS Films opted for such a low key release and the incredibly bland title. Meanwhile, the best film of the week didn’t even register on the charts, presumably because no one saw it, but the tiny little documentary called Fifi Howls From Happiness is funny, outrageous, clever and a beautiful dialogue between two artists, one behind the camera and one in front of it, that deserves a far bigger audience. I hope my review convinces you to see it.

What did you watch this weekend?

Friday
Aug082014

Her Royal Majesty, The Queen of Link

This collection was meant to publish some 24 hours ago. Enjoy these links you might well have seen already!

Decider tracks Channing Tatum's expanding neck 
MNPP Jason calls a Happy Hobbit Ending for Lee Pace within six months. I think this is optimistic. 
Pajiba thoughtfully creates an anti-superhero-movie-diversity Bingo board. Love it!
AV Club Jeff Goldblum participated in a Jurassic Park themed wedding photo. It's great
The Dissolve Epix is airing a color version of Alexander Payne's Nebraska. What the hell?


Arts Beat Helen Mirren to play the Queen again on Broadway. Will the third time be the charm for a first Tony? If she wins she will have won the Oscar, Emmy and Tony all for playing Queen Elizabeths I & II. Quite a specific niche, eh?
The Wire a very bad day for the creator of True Detective Nic Pizzolatto who doesn't handle criticism very well and is now accused of plagiarism as the Emmys approach
The Film Stage shares Akira Kurosawa's 100 favorite films list (originally published in a book from 1999 apparently). Like me his favorite Scorsese is King of Comedy!
The Wrap DC has adjusted its Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice schedule to avoid Captain America 3. That sentence would have unthinkable years ago but Marvel has really made it work.
MNPP "Gratuitous Teddy Sears" I 100% approve and I would like to point out that I raved about him all the way back during his very tiny role on Dollhouse and so glad he got such a plum gig on Masters of Sex 

Ooh look, Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges (Emmy nominated for Masters of Sex) talking about their acting process at an event in LA. (There's also a clip of them talking about The Fabulous Baker Boys but it's not about Michelle Pfeiffer at all - sacrilege - so I lost interest)

There's no point in even linking to a story about this but how terrible is it that they've opted to call the next Terminator film, a needless reboot when time-travel narratives can reboot themselves while also not stupidly pretending that other films didn't exist, Terminator Genisys. That's the actual title, people, purposeful mispelling and all. 

Finally, i09 shares ten lessons we can learn from the surprising success of Guardians of the Galaxy. Even though I think the movie has really pulled off a conjob on critics (it's winning rapturous ignore-the-obvious-flaws praise I think because it gets a couple of important things very right), most of these are bullet points are true. But I have to shake my head and roll my eyes hard at this bit about its cross-gender appeal at the box office:

How can a movie appeal to both of these groups? Because they both want the same thing, more or less — fun adventures in which both the male and female characters are fully realized.

Oy. If Gamora is our new standard for "fully realized female characters" in blockbuster cinema our standards have hit rock bottom and the future is going to be BLEAK. The ongoing gender problems in mainstream cinema have really taken a toll on people's expectations. 

Thursday
Nov142013

Snow Queens who have gone before us

It’s Tim, with a little bit of animation history for y’all. Not that you’d be able to tell from the details dribbled out so far (estranged sisters, talking snowmen, reindeer acting like dogs), but the impending Disney film Frozen began its development as a dramatic musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”, a story first published in 1845. By this point, Frozen has drifted far enough from Andersen’s fairy tale that it’s probably more of an honorary adaptation than anything else, but that’s not all that unusual for Disney animated features. In the meanwhile, anyone looking to get their fix with a more authentic, faithful version of the story can look to a lengthy tradition of Snow Queen animated films, stretching back more than half a century.

From Russia to London with Sigourney-Love after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul162013

Link Runner

Indiewire has a handy guide for filmmakers of great perks you get from filming in various states
Maxim celebrates the influence of Die Hard 25 years after its debut
Vulture has the 25 best action movies since Die Hard
i09 shares a 60 second animated redux of Blade Runner. I normally live for this sort of thing but I don't really like this one. I think maybe it's because if you rob Blade Runner of its grandiose visuals and color and mood, you don't have much! 

Off Cinema Fun
Towleroad "the greatest shirtlesss popsicle ad ever" 
Thought Catalog "5 business lessons I learned on MTV"
Thrillist Twinkies are back! So here are great moments in the snack cake's history 

Helen Mirren © Kagan McLeodDiva Worship!
Saturday Evening Post talks to Her Fabulousity Helen Mirren 

Guardian on the exciting trend of actresses as co-writers. Greta Gerwig love for this:

Understandably, Gerwig has bristled at being described as Baumbach's "muse". "I'm OK with the term muse as long as you acknowledge the muse wrote the script, too," she told a recent interviewer. "I feel like I'm the loudest muse that the world has ever seen."

Love them both!

Monday
Apr152013

Monday Monologue: "The Perfect Servant"

Editor's Note: I am pleased to announce that Andrew Kendall of Encore's World has joined "Team Experience". Here is his first post, looking back on a truly fine performance in Best Picture nominated Gosford Park (2000) - Nathaniel R

 

I would not say that finding a monologue (or monologue adjacent) scenes for Monday Monologues is an impossibility, although it can get somewhat difficult when so many films seems to revel in single sentence conversations and the like. Finding a monologue in an ensemble film, though, is particularly daunting. For with ensemble films, at least in theory, no one character takes precedence and as far as ensembles of the last three decades are concerned I would rank Gosford Park near the top. Maggie Smith, Clive Owen, Emily Watson, Bob Balaban, Kristin Scott Thomas, and even Ryan Philippe all battle for my top honours depending on the scene even as the “resolution” of the film rests on a scene between two of the quieter characters of the film.

More often than not cinematic monologues tend to take on the role of a confessional – the character is bursting over with something, a secret, a regret, a plan – and it needs to be expelled. [more]

Click to read more ...