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Best Actress in Miniseries

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Entries in Jane Eyre (18)

Monday
Jun122017

Beauty vs Beast: The Men In Rosemary's Life

Jason from MNPP here on another Monday afternoon with another round of our weekly "Beauty vs Beast" series - today happens to be the 49th anniversary of my favorite movie Rosemary's Baby. Roman Polanski's masterpiece (one of his several masterpieces) was dropped from beak of the devil's stork into the world on June 12th 1968, a wailing bundle of joy (with its father's eyes) that became the 8th biggest film of the year, scoring over 33 million at the box office (aka 230 million in 2017 dollars, putting it on par with what Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them made last year) and forever giving pregnant woman something shiny and new to worry themselves about. (All of them witches!)

This being my favorite film we've already devoted one of these columns to it - we faced off the womenfolk with Rosemary (Mia Farrow) taking on Minnie (Ruth Gordon) last fall. Gordon won, same as the Oscars. So this time around let's turn our attentions to their respective partners! There's no time like Right Now for "Sleazy White Men Who Think They Own Women's Reproductive Organs" after all, so I give you Guy Woodhouse (John Cassavetes), star of "Nobody Loves an Albatross" and a world-class creep, and Roman Castavet (Sidney Blackmer), door to door Satan salesman. Choose wisely, your womb will thank you...

PREVIOUSLY We took a quick trip to the Moors last weekend to put poor Jane Eyre through the wringer again but in the end Mia Wasikowska came out on top (and who wouldn't want to come out on top of Michael Fassbender) with 58% of your vote. Said Nick T:

"I'm so happy to cheer for Jane. It's a great performance (yay Mia!), and if Jane won't act as her own hype man then I'll happily do it tor her."

Monday
Jun052017

Beauty vs Beast: Bad Romance

Howdy, everybody - Jason from MNPP here with a brand new round of "Beauty vs Beast" for you on this first Monday of June. Coming up on this first Friday of June a movie called My Cousin Rachel is coming out (you can watch the trailer right here) that stars Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin and is adapted from the 1951 book by Daphne du Maurier (who also wrote The Birds and Rebecca). The book was already turned into a movie once in 1952 with  Richard Burton and Olivia de Havilland (which I have never seen; have you?) - anyway it's one of my favorite genres, the overheated gothic romance, brimming with lace and poisons, and I can't wait.

So in the spirit of such things this week we're tackling one of the greatest of all when it comes to these stories - Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. There are a couple of film adaptations but let's go with the most recent, Cary Fukunaga's 2011 film starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, since I found it a grand adaptation.

PREVIOUSLY We spent last week trapped in that damn cryogenic container so we've got to skip back two weeks to our last competition, which pit the Ellen Ripley of Ridley Scott's Alien against the Ellen Ripley of James Cameron's Aliens. And it was the bigger badder bitchier (her words not mine!) version of the latter who stomped away with 67% of your votes. Said markgordonuk:

"Alien is my favourite movie but the Aliens performance is something else, the looks and glances, the fear, the physicality, the line readings, the no bull attitude, I could go on, such an Iconic performance, everyone knows who Ripley is."

Friday
Feb102017

Mia Wasikowska is "Piercing"

Murtada here. With her duties as Alice over, Mia Wasikowska is turning to smaller indies. Announced this week is Piercing, a psychological thriller from director Nicolas Pesce (The Eyes of My Mother). Wasikowska plays a prostitute who tassles with a family man client intent on murder. That part is played by Girls and James White star, Christopher Abbott. This film is so indie it flew under the radar while it was in production. The announcement mentions that it is already completed. Also complete is her other indie Damsel in which she reunites with her Maps to the Stars co-star Robert Pattinson. Directed by David Zellner (Kumiko the Treasure Hunter), little is known about the plot except that it’s a period western.

When Wasikowska appeared on the cover of the Vanity Fair Hollywood issue 4 years ago, alongside Rooney Mara, Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain, we thought she’d be the one to nab the most Oscar nominations from the quartet. Yet here we are and she has yet to get her first. It’s funny how these things work. We are glad to see her working with up and coming promising directors and in what sounds on paper to be challenging work.

To these eyes, her best performance remains Jane Eyre (2011). We return time and time again to this clip. Watch Jane’s spirit shine as she asserts her strength and her right to love. Mia mesmerizes.

It's Oscar month, so for which performance do you think Wasikowska should've been nominated?
Monday
May052014

Stage Door: Bullets Over Broadway

It's Tony season which means mucho theatergoing. Particularly if you've missed everything this year as I have. My first stop after that Estelle Parsons-free trip to The Velocity of Autumn was Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway and, if you can believe my luck, I got an understudy again. This time, though, it wasn't a big deal. Though the role was major ("Olive", the gangster's moll and terrible actress) I wasn't familiar with the actress playing her to begin with. And though the 1994 film won three deserved acting nominations this musical comedy's only nominated cast member is Nick Cordero who plays Cheech, the mob henchman who shows unexpected flair for dramaturgy.

Memories of the movie and pros & cons of the stage version after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr212014

April Showers: The Piano

The evening waterworks continue. Here's Andrew on a particularly gloomy shower.

The Piano is a moody movie. Moody as in unpredictable and volatile, and moody as in suggesting melancholy and mystery. Even before the story really gets underway the film's atmosphere is one of unease. And it's because it's not just the story that's moody but visually, too. As Stuart Dryburgh's camera observes the rough, muddy ranches of New Zealand the harsh exteremities of the terrain seem to be not just incidental but direct representations of the similarly implacable characters.

This is but one of the numerous ways in which the Gothic influence on The Piano shines through, where landscape informs elements of plot and characters. The Piano checks off a number of the prerequisites for Gothic drama: impulsive, sometimes tyrannical men, women in distress, heightened emotion, a mysterious atmosphere, a somewhat isolated locale, stormy weather and muddy terrains. 

Of the influence of the Gothic in the film, Jane confesses...

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Tuesday
Feb182014

Interview: Michael O'Connor on "Fussy" Costumes & Principal Actresses

A curious reversal: I'm discussing Oscar-voting with costume designer Michael O'Connor, an Oscar winner for The Duchess (2008) nominated again for his work on the Dickensian romantic drama The Invisible Woman and he reveals that, though he takes voting seriously, he doesn't really think it's a good thing to know too much about the behind the scenes achievements on movies, beyond what you can see and judge visually. 

Michael O'Connor and one of his Oscar-nominated designs from The Invisible Woman

That’s why I don’t teach or do classes. I don't think it would be a good experience. I want the discussion when I’m doing it because it helps me work but when you watch [a movie] you shouldn’t know the discussions. When you watch a film sometimes and stay for the Q&A it’s changed the experience because now you know some of the secrets. Some of the magic is not knowing. 

And, yet, once you get Michael O'Connor talking about his craft, he doesn't quit (a wonderful problem in an interview) and his passion for Costume Design is always front and center. I'm not at all convinced that he wouldn't make a good teacher but his students would have to be quick, as he leaps from topic to topic, sometimes without warning. 

From our vantage point in 2014 his current status as an Oscar winning costume designer seems inevitable...

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