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Podcast - 1996 Cannes Competition Revisit

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Entries in Isabelle Huppert (18)

Wednesday
May252016

Lukewarm Off the Presses: Beyond Ragnarok & Huppert Fever

Reheating some news we never got around to! But perhaps it's news to you...

Cate Blanchett will be playing Thor's next big bad "Hela". We assume she's the antlered one in this concept art so we cautiously look forward to that costume. But confession: I don't trust Blanchett in villainous mode (*dodges tomatoes*) since she overdid it in both Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Hanna and nearly so in Cinderella and I don't mean overdid it in a fun comic-book kind of way but just too much overall. Plus the Thor movies are easily the worst part of Marvel Studio's work to date. Other new players in Thor: Ragnarok will be Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie (a character I loved as a kid so yay, Tessa). And of course Mark Ruffalo as the not jolly green giant and Chris Hemsworth as the guy with the hammer. For some reason they are forcing Sir Anthony Hopkins' Odin back on us (I thought he died in the ssecond movie?) and Tom Hiddleston is back under Loki's horns which is a pity because he deserves to use his time on other things, now, come on. They've wrung that character dry, they've leaned on him so much. 

Apparently the villain in Star Trek Beyond looks like this. It's actually Idris Elba underneath all that makeup. LOUD SIGH. First Oscar Isaac gets buried in ugly latex for Apocalypse and now Idris? Idris Elba is, and I think the internet will back me up on this assertion, one of the most attractive people on the planet. So why won't Hollywood show us his face? It is really pissing me off. This year he's onscreen as a tiger (Jungle Book) a buffalo (Zootopia), a sea lion (Finding Dory), and this alien but not as a human man you can actually look at. As a pasty white boy I am fully aware that there are people who think I shouldn't talk about race... but as a human person stuff like this is really getting to me. I am not one to jump on every perceived racial slight and proclaim racism (As I said much to the internet's displeasure this past season, I think #OscarsSoWhite was oft-misguided because the actor's branch is not the correct target for such things given both Hollywood and Oscar history) but I can't look at Idris Elba's career, and Zoe Saldana's career (note how she's always blue or green in her movies... until she was a black woman doing blackface -yikes!) and Lupita Nyong'o's career post Oscar (a CGI alien and a CGI wolf so far, but not an actress you can gaze at despite her considerable beauty) and not KNOW that Hollywood's race problem is dire and also, I'd wager, subconcious.

This is not complicated, really, if casting directors, directors, agents, executives, managers, and maybe even the actors on occasion would just think decisions through a little more, especially in regards to the optics. FACT: People like to look at beautiful actors. They always have. Stop hiding them from us! 

Isabelle Huppert is having a good year. I missed a lot of articles on Elle and Isabelle Huppert's time in front of the press at Cannes. In a new interview at the Guardian about Elle and her latest stage performance in Phaedra there's a lot of fascinating tidbits including her repetitive unwillingness to talk about other famous actors but her chatterbox response to questions about directors. She also wants to do more comedies...

Viewers do tend to think of her on-screen persona as a full-on neurotic, steeped in psychosexual anguish.

“Yes, but you can be a comic neurotic too.” So does she feel underrated doing comedy? “I certainly do feel…” she hesitates a moment; I take that as a yes. “That’s why I’d love to work with Woody Allen or Noah Baumbach – to do comedy in that New York vein.” But her serious roles, she insists, often contain more humour than is apparent. “Even The Piano Teacher – although I wouldn’t try to persuade anyone that was an out and out comedy…”

Whew. I was worried for a second. That film is not a knee slapper. As for Huppert in comedy. Can you handle that? I liked her in I Heart Huckabees and especially in 8 Women but in both she was working with or riffing on that dramatic neurotic performance so her comedy was stemming from perceptions of her as an actor, just as much if not more than her actual performances.

 

Wednesday
May182016

Red Carpet Lineup: Cannes Best Actress Watch

We'll update the Oscar charts when Cannes wraps up but for now let's talk about the buzziest actresses of the festival. We should note, however, that Cannes juries are notoriously hard to predict and there are still a few competition films left to premiere. What's more, every year people say "this is a shoo in for that!" and it does not come to pass -- especially when it comes to the acting prizes.

But here are five gorgeous and talented actresses at their premieres* who have garnered enough buzz to make us go "hmmmmm"

From left to right...

Sandra Hüller stars in the nearly 3 hour comedy Toni Erdmann about a prank loving father and his overly serious daughter. The film comes from German director Maren Ade who had a critical hit several years back with Everyone Else (2009). Hüller's chief claim to fame is the drama Requiem (2006) for which she won Best Actress in Germany.

Ruth Negga, best known to date for her television work in the UK and in the US, definitely has Oscar buzz for the 50s interracial marriage drama Loving (alongside screen husband Joel Edgerton) but Oscar buzz is only rarely equivalent to Cannes buzz so only the jury knows if this is one of those times. Loving comes to US theaters in November.

Isabelle Huppert stars in Paul Verhoeven's revenge thriller Elle (*which has not yet premiered from my understanding). But ahead of its premiere Sony Pictures Classics picked it up for distribution and word on the performance is hot. That said, until tastemakers truly get a look at it we can't know if that's just PR buzz or something deeper, like another milestone in her legendary career. Huppert has never been Oscar nominated -- she probably frightens the Academy -- but it may surprise you to hear that the equally controversial Verhoeven has, for all intents and purposes. One of his earliest films, Turkish Delight (1973) was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. Yes, yes, technically that nomination belongs to the Netherlands rather than to Verhoeven himself but we think of it as also belonging to the director since generally speaking the directors are the ones that pick up the statue and say their thank yous. Verhoeven hasn't made a full length feature since his terrific uncomfortably sexy World War II thriller Black Book (2006) so we'll await this with eager eyeballs.

Kristen Stewart starred in the opening night film Café Society (reviewed here) but she's also the lead of the polarizing ghost story of some sort (we're trying not to read reviews) called Personal Shopper. It's been both booed and raved. Will the jury love it or hate it? It's worth noting that her last duet with Assayas (Clouds of Sils Maria) nabbed her the best reviews of her career, multiple awards notices, and the French César. 

the ever gorgeous Sonia Braga

Finally, there's the enduring 65 year old star Sonia Braga who headlines the Brazilian picture Aquarius. It's getting the kind of reviews that leave us salivating, both because of a juicy lead role for this fine actress (who Oscar totally stiffed in 1985 for her prismatic fascinating star turn in Kiss of the Spider Woman), and for the possibility that Brazil could make some headway in the Oscar race. Consider this tweet from our friend Tim Robey:

 

 

Brazil hasn't received a foreign language film nomination since Central Station (1998, a category they should have won) and they've yet to win the Oscar. The director of Aquarius, Kleber Medonça Filhou was previously submitted by Brazil for Neighboring Sounds (2013, reviewed).

Do you want to place any bets on the Jury prizes this year?

Wednesday
May112016

On the First Day of Cannes......

It's Murtada reporting about Cannes, but sadly not from Cannes.

The main competition jury at Wednesday's photo call

The first day of Cannes always brings news of intriguing collaborations as projects are announced for the sidebar film market. Like Joaquin Phoenix working with Lynne Ramsay. Or Colin Farrell reteaming with The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos. Errr… Johnny Depp making another movie called The Libertine? With Brett Ratner? About Dominique Strauss-Kahn?? Run away, Marion!

However the two news items that got this reporter most excited are :

Isabelle Huppert in Elle
Sony Classics has acquired main competition entry Elle, directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Isabelle Huppert. You know the same company that got Cate Blanchett and Julianne Moore their best actress Oscars and Michael Haneke and Asghar Farhadi multiple nominations and foreign language wins recently. So our excitement knows no bounds. We are 9 days away from reviews and reactions to Elle - it screens on the last day of the festival - but we can rest easy knowing it will be coming our way this fall.

Captain Dad
If you’ve seen Sebastian Silva’s last outing Nasty Baby (2015), you know that he can provoke his audience and upend expectations. Well now he’s teaming with Will Ferrell and this is the logline (from Deadline):

Rich Peelman (Ferrell) gives his wife Linda (Catherine Keener) the gift of a lifetime for her birthday: a trip through the Caribbean on a sailboat with all six of their kids and their partners. Stubborn, competitive and overly confident in his sailing abilities that are clearly out of sync with reality, Rich is determined that the vacation be run on his terms. But things do not go according to plan. His “father knows best” attitude clashes with the rest of the Peelman clan. And by the end, even the most patient of the bunch are ready to throw Captain Dad overboard, bringing new meaning to the idea of the dysfunctional family.

Michael Cera plays one of Ferrell's antagonists, so color us doubly intrigued. 
                                                       
If you are not at Cannes, which part of it do you follow online? The reviews? The fashion? The film deals? All of it?
Thursday
Mar312016

Where My Girls At? The Maybe Cannes Bound Edition

Here's Murtada speculating about which lovely ladies might appear at the Cannes Film Festival.

There is one thing that is certain to happen at Cannes every May. Marion Cotillard appears on the famous steps, resplendent in Dior couture, to represent a film in competition. She knocks everyone's socks off with her performance, then invariably fails to win best actress from the jury. It happened with Rust and Bone (2012), The Immigrant (2013), Two Days One Night (2014) and Macbeth (2015). Is there a Cotillard/Cannes awards curse?

This year she will have two more chances to lose, and cement the legend of the curse...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb162016

Berlin: The Latest from Mia Hansen-Løve and André Téchiné

 Amir Soltani is covering the Berlin International Film Festival, TFE's first time at Berlinale! Here are the two French films from the festival’s Competition section (the group of film's Meryl Streep & jury are seeing).

L’AVENIR (Mia Hansen-Løve)
Mia Hansen-Løve has established herself as one of world cinema’s most exciting young filmmakers in the past few years. Her latest, L’Avenir (Things to Come) came to Berlinale as one of the festival’s most anticipated films. Starring Isabelle Huppert as Nathalie, a middle-aged philosophy teacher on the verge of significant changes in her personal and professional life, L’Avenir is an intimate, life-affirming character study with a superb star turn from Huppert...

Click to read more ...

Friday
May152015

Meet Isabelle Huppert's New Familiar...

May they cast many subversive spells together.

What's that? It's only a still from her new movie at Cannes? Stop ruining my best daydreams!

Monday
Mar232015

Beauty vs Beast: Beauty & (Malkovich) Brains

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- I wish that we could use this column every week to celebrate actresses on their birthdays, but it doesn't always work out that way time-wise unfortunately... this makes two weeks in a row though. Last week was La Huppert, and this week no less than the great Catherine Keener is celebrating her birthday! Keener's turning 56 today and so we celebrate with her, looking back at maybe our favorite performance of hers (although that's a tough choice) - Maxine in Spike Jonze's and Charlie Kaufman's brilliant existential-comedy Being John Malkovich (1999).

Maxine is in many ways the nasty yin to John Cusack's sad-sack yang... but nobody's rooting for Craig. That would make this question too easy. Craig's wife Lotte (Cameron Diaz) though... the battle for Malkovich Malkovich is in your hands!

Whose team are you on?
Team Lotte0%
Team Maxine0%

PREVIOUSLY As mentioned up top we were all about Huppert last week - specifically her performance in Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher (in a stroke of random continuity today is Michael Haneke's birthday! Happy birthday Mikey boy!) against that of the pretty boy played by Benoit Magimel - Pretty Boy put up a good fight all things considered but when your competition's willing to fill people's pockets with glass to win, it's not really a fair fight. Said Nathaniel:

"...the only way Walter is going to win this is if you post nude photos of Benoit Magimel with it and confuse people as to what they're voting on. That said I voted for Walter because Erika is so fucking depraved. and not in the good way. That ending!"