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Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
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Entries in I'm Not There (6)


50 Appropriate Ways to Celebrate Cate Blanchett on Her Birthday

by Nathaniel R

Blanchett last week at a Louis Vitton fashion showFuture screen giant and supreme actress Cate Blanchett was born in Ivanhoe Australia a half century ago on this very day. Happy 50th birthday, goddess!

Last year at this time we were enjoying the two time Oscar winner in Cannes every day as she led the most stylish jury ever assembled but this year in May we have no Cate Blanchett to enjoy! It's a weird lull in Blanchett-mania so perhaps she's celebrating her birthday somewhere private today? Or maybe she's in Cannes again? We'll see.

Her next picture, Richard Linklater's Where'd You Go Bernadette arrives in theaters in August but until that time, let's celebrate all the Blanchettian goodness we can. She's given us so much over the years, with her sharp celebrity wit, fashion savvy, and (above all else) her inspired screen performances. So herewith...

50 Appropriate Ways to Celebrate Cate Blanchett This Week
Try them and report back on your success!

01 Kneel before your queen.

02 Channel her by being intimidatingly perfect.

03 Wear something fabulous today but dont let it wear you; you ARE the red carpet. 

04 If you're not in the mood for beautiful dress, consider a stylish suit.

05 Describe someone you're crushing on as "flung out of space" and see how they react...

Click to read more ...


Q&A: I'm Not There. I'm Right Here With My Cat(s)

Your questions a few days back really got me going so you're getting two weeks of Q&As out of them. Here's the first episode with eight questions answered on Hamilton, I'm Not There style biopics, dinner with movie characters and more... 

IBIS: Cast This! The film version of Hamilton

NATHANIEL: Since they'll surely make us wait another 10 years for any movement on the film we'd have to suggest actors we've never heard of who maybe even haven't started acting yet so we can't think on this. I will say though that when everyone was so sad that the original cast was leaving the show I felt like hugging everyone and going "it'll be fine if you see replacements!" because the star of Hamilton is really the musical itself, if you ask me. Yes, the actors were great but it's one of those things that's so perfectly calibrated to be its best self, that the show is really the star. I swear to you. So please enjoy it when it goes on tour somewhere near you.

Plus the wait for a Hamilton movie gives Hollywood time to invest in some actors of color as future stars so that they don't panic when it's time to cast the movie and realize they don't know enough of them to fill this sprawling movie. 

my favorite western RED RIVER (1948)SONJA: What is your least favorite genre?

I try to love all genres since they're all capable of greatness. My answer to this when I was younger would have easily  been "westerns" or "horror" but I've seen enough classics now from each of those genres that I have newfound respect. I guess I will say "war films" in general. Yes, there are great ones... but too often it's just an excuse to indulge in manly violence for manly violence's sake, which is never really a thrill for me.

But if I can extend to television throw out that entire answer and just say "medical procedural". While watching TV the other night I saw a commercial for Chicago Med which I guess is a new show? And I was like REALLY? ANOTHER MEDICAL PROCEDURAL? AND ALSO: ANOTHER MEDICAL PROCEDURAL SET IN CHICAGO WHERE HALF OF THEM HAVE BEEN SET?!?" It actually made me angry. The showbiz community is sometimes just entirely allergic to trying new things... which is strange considering it's a profession which can only exist by harnessing creativity.

RYAN T: Since the Olympics is happening in Rio, do you have a favorite Brazilian film, actor, or filmmaker?

Click to read more ...


In Happier Cannes Times

on this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1941 Bob Dylan is born in Minnesota, splinters into seven people in front of Todd Haynes' eyes.
1949 Jim Broadbent is born so that we might have Harold Zidler in Moulin Rouge! the film he should have won the Oscar for on the night he actually won the Oscar. Funny how that happens sometimes.
1960 Kristin Scott Thomas is born. Years later she can drop a room temperature or bring it to a boil onscreen in about 2 seconds. We miss her soooo much.
1972 Superhero Glut Producer of the CW, Greg Berlanti, is born.
1991 Thelma & Louise drove into theaters. You've been reading our 25th anniversary retrospective right? Part 3 hits today and we're having a blast revisiting.

2009 The White Ribbon finally wins Michael Haneke the Palme d'Or at Cannes. It goes on to two Oscar nominations for Foreign Film and Cinematography and becomes Haneke's most successful film globally, edging out the even greater Caché. It won't stay his most successful pic for long since Amour is just around the corner.
2011 This Sunday's Cannes results had the internet fuming (we won't know if the anger is justified until we see the movies) but five years ago Robert De Niro's jury gave us an astonishing roundup of winners at the 64th Cannes including The Tree of Life (Palme d'Or), Jean Dujardin in The Artist (Best Actor), Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia (Best Actress) and Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive (Best Director)


"Carol" Now Filming

First pics of Cate Blanchett filming Carol based on Patricia Highsmith's "The Price of Salt" (which is sometimes called "Carol" or vice versa). I know everyone thinks I'm this huge Cate Blanchett nerd now that I fell so hard for her in Blue Jasmine but truth: I'm in this for director Todd Haynes. Thank the gods he's returning to the cinema. It's been a long time.

more here

His last feature film was 7 long years ago, the experimental Bob Dylan picture I'm Not There... which was something of a comedown from his successful mainstream (though not really) breakthrough with Far From Heaven (by far his biggest hit). I'm Not There netted Cate Blanchett an Oscar nomination and her second Golden Globe. Will Carol do the same? The film co-stars Sarah Paulson and Rooney Mara.

This will be Cate Blanchett's second sapphic-lust drama after Notes on a Scandal.


More on Carol


Top Ten: Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine"Today is Cate Blanchett's birthday and since we just celebrated her Oscar-winning altar ego Katharine Hepburn, why not extend the love? As longtime readers know I have been notoriously cool on the Aussie star over the years equating her work with the kind of "click click click" technique-first acting that Meryl Streep was sometimes discredited for early on. But since I actually think it's interesting to hear other people talk about their favorite perfromances from actors they don't naturally respond to, I hope it will be interesting to you to hear the things I do love about Cate the to-others Great. Cate was EVERYWHERE throughout the Aughts aggravating me with her ubiquity (I have issues with this in general, I know. It's not just Cate but Hollywood's tendency, especially in the past decade, to put the same actors in every movie and wear me out on them) but after four relatively Blanchett-sparse years (2009-2012) wherein she was only doing cameos or that Robin Hood no one liked, I am actually excited to see her again. Which is a relief because they'll be no escaping her again soon...

She's coming back in a major way over the next 24 months with new pictures on the way from Terrence Malick, Woody Allen, George Clooney, and Peter Jackson. She'll cap off that new flush of activity with a blockbuster-hopeful evil queen showstopper in Kenneth Branagh's production of Cinderella

Here are the ten Blanchett performances of which I am most fond...

Click to read more ...


Unsung Heroes: Jim James and Calexico in 'I'm Not There'

Michael C. from Serious Film here, eager to dive back into a film I’ve been meaning to revisit for ages: Todd Haynes’ whirlwind Dylan collage I’m Not There (2007). All this Mildred Pierce talk has given me Haynes on the brain.

I was the ideal audience member for Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There. I am a devoted Bob Dylan lover, a big admirer of Hayne’s work, and am literate in pop culture to the point that when Haynes paid simultaneous homage to Fellini’s and Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back I had no trouble keeping up. And while I found lots to admire in this hugely ambitious project – and I was grateful Haynes didn’t attempt a traditional linear biopic – the film mostly left me cold. I was too conscious of the intellectual constructs at every turn. Dylan’s music can be pretty cerebral at times too, but I love it because he combines that obliqueness with the ability to absolutely destroy me emotionally on a consistent basis.

And yet –and yet - right at the heart of the Richard Gere section of the film, the section I found most problematic, there is this amazing scene that I haven’t been able to shake since I first viewed it four years ago.

If I’m Not There is a whole movie constructed of tangents then the scenes involving Gere playing a character named Billy the Kid riding a horse around a bizarre Old West town called Riddle may be a tangent too far. I get that it’s supposed to represent Dylan’s self-imposed exile in Woodstock in the late sixties, and that the sequence is wild grab bag of Dylan references, but these scenes still stop the movie cold with their randomness.


Or at least that's the case until all the townsfolk wander to the center of Riddle to hear Jim James of My Morning Jacket sing a hypnotic cover of Dylan’s "Going to Acapulco" backed by the band Calexico. 

Covering Dylan is almost a genre of music onto itself and this incredibly soulful take of a relatively obscure track deserves a place along side the all time greats. For a little over three minutes I don’t care about Haynes’s thesis statement. Nor do I care about making sense of the riot of costuming and set decoration I’m witnessing (love the random giraffe). For those three minutes I don’t care about anything but the fact that James, Calexico, and Haynes have managed to tap into that thing I love about Dylan. All those levels of meaning can take a back seat to the visceral experience of the music.

We all have are our favorites movies, the ones we know scene for scene, line for line. But equally valuable are the individual moments, those stand alone gems from those films that otherwise didn’t reach us. The “Going to Acapulco” scene from I’m Not There is such a moment for me. I doubt I’ll ever unravel the mystery of why it made such an impression on me, not that I have any interest in doing so.


Related posts:
all episodes of "Unsung Heroes. Also check out the new songs-in-movies series "Mix Tape"