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Entries in James McAvoy (23)

Tuesday
Apr182017

Interview: Betty Buckley on 'Split', Working with James McAvoy and Why She's Not a Nostalgist

By Jose Solís

Nathaniel recently included Betty Buckley’s work in Split on a list of the best performances of the first quarter of 2017 and with reason, she’s compulsively watchable as the empathetic Dr. Karen Fletcher, who seems devoted to her patients. At least the one patient we see her with; the long suffering Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) whose dissociative identity disorder has left him with almost two dozen personalities which threaten his existence and might lead him to violent behavior. In her scenes with McAvoy, Buckley displays a warmth that’s unlike anything in most modern horror films, her Dr. Fletcher becoming the film’s heroine and a timely reminder of how important it is to care for the wellbeing of those around us.

Of course this isn’t Buckley’s first foray into horror films, the fate of her character in Carrie remains among the most iconic in modern film history, and while her film appearances have been sporadic, she makes an unforgettable impression whenever she’s onscreen. Split is being released on Blu-ray today, so I had the chance to speak with Buckley about playing Dr. Fletcher, working with James McAvoy, and why she’s not a nostalgist. [Read the interview after the jump...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr022017

C O N S I D E R - Favorite Actors of 2017, 1st Qtr

With the year's first quarter over, we're listing our favorites in multiple categories. Why? Well, each month of the year tends to contain good work so why pretend otherwise when Oscar season rolls around and only 3 months worth of releases are considered? (We already listed best technical achievements)

Here are the 17 male performances (divvied up into 3 categories) that I was most taken with in the first quarter of 2017. For your consideration...

7 FAVORITE LEAD PERFORMANCES

Paul Hamy as "Fernando / António" in The Ornithologist
(would also top a "sexiest" list were we doing one) 

16 more talented men after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr052016

Top Ten: Current Stars Who Deserve a Great Role & Still Haven't Been Nominated

psssst. you still haven't been nominated for an Oscar.

Charlize is such a bitch! (I kid I kid.) But Emily Blunt has to be frustrated by know, right?

Herewith a quick top ten list for your Tuesday afternoon. Among currently working actors, who do you think would be most completely justified in righteous fury that they're still waiting for that one special role and even a single Oscar nomination? My answer to that question lies below. Please to note that this list could never be comprehensive. This isn't a list of "most snubbed" so much as 'doesn't it seem like time / past time?' and as such is highly subjective with an unwieldly title. 

Here we go.

10 CURRENTLY WORKING STARS MOST OVERDUE FOR
THAT TRULY GREAT ROLE THAT EARNS THEM THEIR 1ST OSCAR NOMINATION

This list is dedicated to all the greats that Oscar ignored time and again like Donald Sutherland and Mia Farrow who have now aged into "You missed your chance. Give them an Honorary" territory. 

 

RUNNER UP TIE: Kristen Wiig & Greta Gerwig

Funny
Did you hear that?
Funny
Yeah, the guy said
"Honey, you're a funny girl."

Comediennes so rarely get Oscar nominations (Melissa McCarthy got lucky!) but when you can work such comic gold from deep pain and surprise regularly with dramatic depth (Kristen Wiig) or when you're a completely singular star who is endlessly watchable (Greta Gerwig) shouldn't you be able to win prizes?

the top ten after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar152016

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Atonement (2007)

Briony's eyes. Every shot is telling, this one directly, confrontationally to the camera.

Stupendous. It's stupendous, darling."

That's Mother Tallis's review of her precocious daughter Briony's (Saoirse Ronan) very serious new play at the beginning of Atonement (2007). It's also any sensible person's reaction to this amazing motion picture. Seeing it again (I hadn't seen it since 2007) was close to overwhelming. Praise be to Director Joe Wright and Cinematographer Seamus McGarvey because this thing hasn't aged a single day. If anything it's become more beautiful with the passage of time, a neat trick since memory is one of its great subjects. It's superbly acted (particularly by James McAvoy in what is certainly his most moving performance), and features a veritable parade of emblematic, gorgeous, and thrillingly visceral images for this exercize of ours. What to even choose: Cecilia wet and haughty at the fountain; The lovers, already "characters" in future novelists Briony's mind erotically pressed against books in the library (my runner up for Best Shot); that amazing tracking shot at Dunkirk which pulls us out of the story (sort of) just long enough to stingingly remind us that War doesn't care about Individual Characters and Their Arcs -- it's ready to soil everything; any closeup of Briony whether she's imaginatively confused (Saoirse Ronan), guilt-ridden shellshocked (Romola Garai), or, wide-eyed with the fraternal twins of truth and fiction (Vanessa Redgrave); and of course anything and everything involving Keira Knightley in the green dress, the dress that should've won Jacqueline Durran the Oscar in a landslide.

Here are the choices from our Best Shot Club, open to anyone who wants to join after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug202015

YNMS: Victor Frankenstein

Jason from MNPP here with a look at the first trailer for Victor Frankenstein, the tale of... Igor, the hunchbacked assistant. This follows the grand tradition of movies being named after a supporting character that comes to transform the lead (look no further than Carol, which book-wise is really Rooney Mara's story, although I won't be surprised if Todd Haynes gives Cate Blanchett a little more to do and hey look how I turned this into a post about Carol, isn't that funny...)

But back to Igor & Friends (which would've been a far greater title if you ask me) -- the previously ghastly assistant ain't so ghastly this go-round - the hunchback's been swapped out for the big blue eyes and bounteous neck-beard of Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, who is taken under the well-muscled wing of Professor X I mean Dr. Frankenstein, played by Mr. James McAvoy. Let's Yes No Maybe So this sucker.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul132015

Professor XXX

Mmmm, McAvoy

P.S. Tom & Lorenzo reviewed the normcore outfits of male stars at Comic Con - check it out

Monday
May112015

Tra-Link-La

Deadline RIP character actress Elizabeth Wilson from stage, tv, and film (Roz in Nine to Five & Mrs Braddock inThe Graduate!) passed away at 94
Bryan Singer James McAvoy as Professor X finally going bald of X-Men: Apocalypse
Towleroad Natalie Portman as Ruth Baader Ginsburg?! 
CHUD the ongoing drama of Jennifer Lawrence's paycheck for the upcoming Passengers, a sci-fi drama with Chris Pratt. She's not budging on her 20 million,which is double Pratt's salary though he's the lead. Will Sony cave to save face from all those wage disparity complaints after leaked emails?
Boy Culture tells us about a new LGBT movie That's Not Us about three couples on a weekend getaway. Sounds good
Empire Charlize Theron to star as a spy in The Coldest City, based on a graphic novel
Pajiba highlights from the Alex Garland's Ex Machina AMA 
Antagony & Ecstasy another fine take on Ex Machina 

Small Screen
Coming Soon NBC picked up a series based on Steven Spielberg's Minority Report. I know it was probably impossible to top Samantha Morton's precog but the series will focus on a precog only a male precog zzzz. No offense Stark Sands who I've enjoyed in other things!
/Film ... and that's not the only movie becoming a TV series. Next season will also give us serialized versions ofUncle Buck and Limitless 

Cannes News
Cannes Mother of the French New Wave Agnès Varda (Cleo from 5 to 7, Vagabond, The Gleaners and I) to receive an Honorary Palme D'Or. Yaaas.
Film Doctor UK advice for filmmakers attending Cannes -- this is from last year but there are lots of practical thoughts that apply to any year, non filmmakers and other smaller festivals, too
Guardian with Gaspar Noé's Love on the way a look back at the festival's history of erotic cinema
Awards Daily Sasha geers up for Cannes but still seems hung up on last year's awards race dramas

Stage
Playbill looks back at very tight Best Musical races from the past (West Side Story vs. The Music Man, etcetera) with Fun Home, Something Rotten, and An American in Paris battling it out on Tony supremacy this season
Gold Derby Outer Critics Circle Awards. With Fun Home ineligible American in Paris snatches up trophies. Kristin Chenoweth prevails in the very tight Best Actress race (will Tony go for Chita, Cheno or Kelli O'Hara?)

Showtune to Go
With American in Paris celebrating its Tony nominations, why not a little Gene Kelly to brighten your Monday? Here's Kelly doing "Tra La La." Hollywood never had a more cheekily charming male movie star, give or take Cary Grant.

Friday
Sep122014

Is There a Right Way to Watch "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby"?

abstew in the house to ask a Burning Question...

Almost a year ago today, director Ned Benson premiered his film debut, an ambitious two part film about the breakdown of a modern relationship called The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, at the Toronto Film Festival (and Nathaniel was there). The film was not just one, but two films of the same story, each told from the different viewpoint of its two main characters played by Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy. It was an interesting concept and much like this summer's Boyhood, seemed like an amazing opportunity to show something unique and ambitious in the cineplex. 

Today the film finally arrives in select movie theaters. However, 12 months later, the way the film is coming to us is far different from the way it was originally conceived. The version that opens in NY and LA this weekend (and expanding next week) is actually a spliced two-hour combination of the two films now subtitled Them (which made its debut at Cannes this past May) with the original concept of two separate films, now called Him and Her, to be released a month later in October. But with three different versions of essentially the same story...

Is there a right way to see The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby? And perhaps more importantly, can all three films sustain enough interest across so many versions? [more...]

Click to read more ...