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Entries in Helen Mirren (38)

Tuesday
Jun072016

Remember Gandhi? Baby Jake? Harlow?

On this day in movie related history...

1893 Mahatma Gandhi committed his first act of civil disobedience refusing to move from a whites only first class section of a train. He had a valid ticket, after all. He was forcibly ejected in South Africa's Pietermaritzburg Railway Station. This event and many others from his nonviolent revolution were reenacted by Ben Kingsley in Gandhi, Oscar's Best Picture of 1982. (You can cover a lot with a running time of 191 minutes.)
1909 Jessica Tandy is born. Steals Michelle Pfeiffer's Oscar 80 years, 9 months, and 19 days later.
1917 Rat Pack royalty Dean Martin is born. Centennial next year.
1928 Perpetually underappreciated and totally awesome director James Ivory is born. Later makes masterpieces like A Room With a View and Howards End. Where's his Honorary Oscar, AMPAS? He's 87 people get on that immediately. 

1937 The original Bombshell, Jean Harlow dies suddenly at the peak of her fame at the age of 26. Where's her biopic?
1952 Liam Neeson is born.
1958 Prince is born. *sniffle*
1966 Tom McCarthy, the director of last year's Best Picture Spotlight (2015) is born
1972 One of the world's most handsome actors, Karl Urban, is born in New Zealand. Later goes to both Middle Earth and Space, the final frontier. Next up: Pete's Dragon and Thor: Ragnarok. Meanwhile in New York Grease opens on Broadway. It becomes a movie phenomenon six years later. It is never leaving us.
1985 Goonies and Perfect both open. "What's so wrong with wanting to be perfect?"
1974 Bear Grylls is born so we might one day see pampered A list actors try to look tough in survival mode in the wild... albeit with a film crew around them so how Wild are they really Running? 
1976 ”The Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night,” by journalist Nik Cohn is published in New York magazine. It becomes a movie very quickly, a classic too, Saturday Night Fever (1977)
1990 Universal Studios Florida opens. Original rides based on Jaws, Earthquake, and King Kong all experience technical problems.

Baby Gyllenhaal

1991 City Slickers opens, turning into a surprise hit. Jack Palance wins the Oscar and little boy Jake Gyllenhaal makes his film debut 
1998 The Lion King, the Broadway sensation based on Disney's mega-hit movie, wins six Tony Awards
2015 Helen Mirren wins her Tony for playing Queen Elizabeth on Broadway, a role that also won her an Oscar (The Queen). She also won an Emmy for playing a different Queen Elizabeth. She's just an audiobook about royalty away from her EGOT.

Sunday
Apr102016

Box Office: Melissa Shows Batman Who is 'Boss' (and Other Female Hit Stories)

To keep ourselves entertained, we like to spin the box office charts so it's not just "copy/paste" from week to week. So let's look at the box office top ten through the lens of current movies with female leads. Melissa McCarthy (in a photo finish for #1 with superheroes) and Helen Mirren keep proving their box office consistency over and over again, don't they? We're also happy to see Sally Field doing so well in what could have been a blink and you'll miss it VOD movie. Field's already outperformed last year's senior female sleeper indie hits Grandma and I'll See You In My Dreams.

But the 10 female names below make up such an odd odd sorority you must admit...

TOP TEN FEMALE LEAD MOVIES THIS WEEKEND
01 The Boss (Melissa McCarthy) $23.4 NEW Melissa McCarthy
03 Zootopia (Ginnifer Goodwin) $14.3 (cum. $296) 
04 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (Nia Vardalos) $6.4 (cum. $46.7)
06 Miracles From Heaven (Jennifer Garner) $4.8 (cum. $53.8)
07 Gods Not Dead 2 (Melissa Joan Hart) $ 4.3(cum. $14.1) 
08 Divergent: Allegiant (Shailene Woodley) $3.6 (cum. $61.8) 
09 10 Cloverfield Lane (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) $3  (cum. $67.9)
10 Eye in the Sky (Helen Mirren) $2.8 (cum. $10.4) 
13 Hello My Name is Doris (Sally Field) $1.6  (cum. $9.3) 
21 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (Tina Fey) $.2 (cum. $22.7) 

As for the films we aren't including in this spun chart, Batman v Superman: Birth of Manic Depressive Anti-Heroes  at #2 is still a ginormous money-devourer even if with $296.6 domestically and $780 globally it's underperforming given it's behemoth budget and its launch pad to dozens of other proposed movies (there's already a huge crack in the foundation? Yikes). Meanwhile the latest stop on Jake Gyllenhaal's 'look what i can do on screen -- anything!' tour flopped coming in 15th for the weekend atnearly 900 screens. While it's true that Jake runs circles around his movie Demolition the fact that his starpower alone couldn't wallop what looks like the most unpleasant movie-watching experience of all time (Hardcore Henry took $5 million finishing at #5 for the week) is just f***in' depressing.

This is why we can't have nice things.

 

 

Anyway -- What did you see this weekend?
I mean, other than WITNESS (1985) on Netflix which you surely watched for Tuesday Night's Best Shot. (Can't wait for this one since that movie is such a beauty.) I personally couldn't take in any movies people have heard of because I'm cramming for my upcoming "New Directors" jury duty at the Nashville International Film Festival which kicks off this weekend.

Wednesday
Feb032016

Links: Secret Talents, Visual Effects, Best Girlfriends

Salon Why Rooney Mara can't win for Carol. Interesting piece on what really matters in Supporting Actress (Hint: Best Actor)
MCN David Poland looks at the writers branch and how the new Academy rules might affect them
Gurus of Gold interesting to see where the volatility is in the new charts: Best Picture and Best Director contain all the (seeming) drama 
Towleroad Jonathan Groff interviewed by Kevin Sessums talks sex scenes in the Looking movie, filming wrapped, and his Sutton Foster obsession 

 

AV Club The Flash will officially crossover with Supergirl despite different networks
Variety on the new warp speed market for television shows 
The Film Stage first clips and new images from Jeff Nichols's Midnight Special. I'm not watching them because I want to be surprised 
Variety Jessica Chastain still looking for her Oscar movie, in talks for Woman Walks Ahead, about a 19th century woman who advised Sioux chieftain Sitting Bull 
The Hairpin a listical "best friends of rom com heroines"  from Judy Greer through Joan Cusack and back to Carrie Fisher
Pajiba praises Helen Mirren's beer commercial 

Today's Watch
Secret Talents of leading ladies and more links after the jump

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan042016

Red Carpet: Palm Springs Film Festival

Jose here with great news. Apparently Cate Blanchett decided to listen to my prayers (yes, I pray to her) and - after a good, but slightly underwhelming fashion run - finally went back to wowing us. She is the epitome of Kate Hepburn-effortless-glamour in a sky-hued Marc Jacobs gown, with a stunning gold applique-Rorschach-test that screams "Awards season Queen is here, biatches" (And screams it right in other celebrities ears. See tweets from Carol's genius screenwriter Phyllis Nagy, Cate's Best Actress competition Brie Larson and images of Rooney Mara, too.)

Cate was benevolent enough to also let Alicia Vikander out of her leathery/earthy Louis Vuitton curse, and allow her to wear a delicious Erdem gown that's the most playful we've seen her yet. My usual quandary with Vikander comes in her usually meh choice of footwear, which always seem to be inspired by Charlotte York. Ooh, interesting game here, which of these ladies whould be which Sex and the City character? Dame Helen is of course the Samantha, in yet another elegantly sexy design by Alberta Ferreti. The lovely Saoirse Ronan in a multicolored/multipattern Duro Olowu is all kinds of perfect and age appropriate.

Less impressive, yawn inducing even, are potential Oscar winners Rooney Mara and Brie Larson, both of whom exist only within the confinements of an "if it ain't broken" universe. They're both beautiful, but I bet I could have found any picture of any other ceremony they've attended, inserted it here, and fooled everyone. Mara is in Lanvin, Larson in Jason Wu. Just a thought, would their styles become slightly more exciting if we Freaky Friday-ed them? It's about time Rooney did some more color, and Larson put her hair in a bun, or anything other than her usual pulled back, wet look

How would you improve these two soon-to-be awards season fixtures? 

Friday
Jan012016

Who's Your Favorite Dame?

Imelda Staunton. Photographed by David Rose. [Source]Here's Murtada on his favorite subject; British ladies of a certain age who delight on screen and stage.

Happy New Year! Some Brits usher in the new year celebrating their newly bestowed knighthoods. This year Queen Elizabeth II honors, among others, Idris Elba and David Oyelowo. There are different designations to the honor. For example Imelda Staunton became a CBE i.e. not yet a Dame but well on her way. It’s obvious The Queen hasn’t ventured out to the theater in 2015 or Staunton would be Dame Squared for her triumphant Mama Rose alone.

This year’s newly minted Dames are British TV stalwart Barbara Windsor (EastEnders, the Carry On movies) and Welsh stage veteran Sian Phillips (Daniel Day Lewis’ mother in The Age of Innocence), who was once Mrs. Peter O’Toole.

But when we talk dames we mostly talk about the holy trinity who still have vibrant movie careers: Judi, Maggie and Helen. No last names necessary if you say Dame first. Oscars and other awards, big successes on the boards on both sides of the Atlantic and long thriving careers for all three.

But who is your favorite? To help you decide let’s dig a bit deeper. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec292015

Oscar Race: How Crazy Are Those SAG Awards, Really? 

Coco here, ready to talk about the current Oscar race and those crazy SAG awards in particular.

As you already know, the Screen Actors Guild decided to honor the best acting of 2015 in the most bizarre way possible; handing the most nominations to blacklist Hollywood drama Trumbo, and nominating a number of performances whose inclusion range from surprising to outright insane. 

Don't worry, I'm not here to defend SAG's ridiculous choices. I'm here to do what The Film Experience best at: speculate about Oscar nominations. See, the other day I saw someone on Twitter say he'd be surprised if any of this year's SAG categories are repeated 5-for-5 at the Oscars. This comment got me thinking...

Although the amount of correlation between SAG and Oscar has gone down a bit in the last couple years, the math still says that at least one of Oscar's acting categories will look identical to SAG's. The question I'm here to answer is: which one?

Lots of awards spaculation after the jump. 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec242015

Holiday Podcast Part 1: The Ballot Rush

Nathaniel, Nick, Katey, and Joe all return for a two part discussion -- something you can listen to while you're travelling for the holidays, a gift from us to you. This was recorded on December 13th (apologies for the delay) so it predates the Critics Choice nominations and subsequent Star Wars kerfuffle which is why we don't discuss those. But we're here to talk precursors and more. (Part Two will be up tonight)

42:30 minutes 
00:01 The Big Short is suddenly a factor. Why?
07:30 Helen Mirren in Trumbo and Woman in Gold
11:00 Sarah Silverman and Best Actress
15:00 Randomness and SAG voters
22:00 Spotlight and the Globes
24:30 Rooney Mara & Alicia Vikander & BFCA
32:00 Best Director & Picture Possibilities
35:00 Original Song Contenders
40:20 Weird Stats plus Hair and Makeup

Further Reading for Context:
SAG Nominations
Globe Nominations
Original Song's 74 Contenders
Oscar Charts

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes

Holiday Podcast Pt 1