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Entries in Iris (4)


Iris, a great subject.

With Oscar's documentary longlist out, we're catching up with a few. Here's Deborah on Iris.

Sometimes all you need is a great subject.

To say this does a disservice to documentarian Albert Maysles, who has created a visual feast with Iris, but the primary delight of the film is Iris herself. Iris Apfel, at 94 years old, has lived a life of visual feast. If your tolerance of eccentric little old ladies is low, you won’t love this film, but phooey on you in that case. This woman is a prize, a person who celebrates her own uniqueness, who takes joy wherever she can, and the film focuses on that joy...

Click to read more ...


Ranking Kate Winslet's Oscar-Nominated Performances

Kieran, here. With this week's wide release of the already heralded Steve Jobs and yesterday's Elizabeth "Lee" Miller biopic casting announcement, it could well be a entering a second era of peak Kate Winslet. Winslet was on a career high with six Oscar nominations, four before her thirtieth birthday. Then things slowed down considerably. Yes, she had that awards run for Mildred Pierce and she was Globe nominated for her turns in Carnage and Labor Day. However, the consensus these past few years is that Winslet has been in a bit of a slump. If her Steve Jobs work does indeed land Winslet a seventh nomination, it'll be thrilling to see her return to the ceremony.

It's been seven years since Winslet last nomination for The Reader (which she won). In honor of one of our favorite actresses/shampoo-bottle-Oscar-speech-rehearsers let's look through her list of nominated performances, and rank them. Heavenly Creatures and Holy Smoke!, two of her best, are missing, but that's another story.


6. Little Children 
(Best Actress, 2006--Lost to Helen Mirren in The Queen)

Her turn in Little Children is an excellent example of how Winslet is rarely uninteresting to watch on-screen, even when she happens to be miscast. Todd Field makes good use of her highly-charged eroticism and her gift for conveying inner turmoil. Unfortunately, the screenplay forces her to tell more than show.

Click to read more ...


11 Questions For You: This Week's DVD/BluRay Releases

Eleven questions about this week's newly released titles.
Q1: Which of these titles are you planning to catch up with or revisit at home?

Aloha (Reviewed) Cameron Crowe directs Bradley Cooper & Emma Stone in Hawaii.
Q2: Are you the type who rubbernecks at car crashes?
Citizen Four (Oscar Discussion / Podcasted) 2014's Oscar winning Documentary on Edward Snowden
Q3: Do you try to see all nominees in the doc category each year and if so do you succeed?
Iris Albert Maysles is no longer with us but before he left us, he made one last documentary about an eccentric old lady (which you might say is a specialty)
Q4: Do you love Grey Gardens (rhetorical question) and if so did you watch "Sandy Passage" on Documentary Now this week?
Lila & Eve Viola Davis & JLo are out to avenge the murder of their sons
Q5: Has Viola moved into her trashy B-phase with this revenge thriller and How to Get Away With Murder and if so are you eager for something classy again?
October Gale Director Ruba Nadda and Goddess Patricia Clarkson reunite post Cairo Time for this drama about a doctor (Patricia Clarkson) and a man who washes up on her shore wounded (Scott Speedman). Is a killer coming to finish the job?
Q6: Do the words "Patricia Clarkson and Scott Speedman" in combination make you suddenly hungry because that sounds delicious to me?
The Runner Nicolas Cage is a politician with a sex scandal problem. With Sarah Paulson and Connie Nielsen and the BP Oil Spill in supporting.
Q7: What did Sarah Paulson ever do to deserve this?

Save him, Patricia!Action Flickers: Tony Jaa & Dolph Lundgren

Skin Trade Giant powerhouse Dolph Lundgren hunts his family's killer down in Southeast Asia with tiny powerhouse Tony Jaa by his side.
Q8: Dolph or Tony?
Two Days One Night Oscar nominated Marion Cotillard tries to save her job in this wrenching smart drama from Belgium's Dardennes brothers.
Q9: On a scale of 10-10, how utterly amazing do you think Cotillard is in this movie?
Where Hope Grows an athlete befriends a man with Down's Syndrome
Q10: Are you even reading this post?
TV Season Releases
Elementary (3rd), Revenge (4th), The Walking Dead (5th), Good Wife (6th), Criminal Minds (10th)
Q11: Do you still buy TV seasons on DVD or did you give that up with the rise of streaming options? 


Only the Actors Like It?

On Oscar nomination morning one of the biggest surprises for me was that The Master won 3 nominations in acting and none elsewhere. That after a disappointing showing with the Screen Actors Guild which had suggested that maybe actors didn't completely warm to it.

So it got me to thinking about Oscar players that only won acting nominations... and three or more no less.

The first and only similar case that came to mind without research was the alzheimers biopic drama Iris (2001) which also won three acting nods (Judi Dench, Kate Winslet, and Jim Broadbent) ...and nothing else. It went on to win Best Supporting Actor for Jim Broadbent who was having a great year having also starred in two other Oscar players that year - Bridget Jones Diary and Moulin Rouge!. This little tidbit is sometimes forgotten now but Iris was actually a quartet (unlike The Master's trio) and the actor playing the young Jim Broadbent in that film ended up as Lord of Downton Abbey! Hugh Bonneville for the win.

Coincidentally (or not) Iris, like The Master, was a Weinstein-backed film.

Can you think of any other multiple nominees that were nominated in the acting categories only(Do you remember Iris? Or did Away From Here steal its thunder entirely as alzheimers dramas go.)