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Podcast - 1996 Cannes Competition Revisit

"Never forget Madonna (!!) beating Frances McDormand for the Golden Globe that year" - David

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Entries in Javier Bardem (21)

Thursday
May262016

Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem Join The Asghar Farhadi Avengers

After scooping up Best Screenplay and Best Actor honors for The Salesman at the Cannes Film Festival, Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi has swiftly landed two more international prizes for his next film: Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem. The Oscar-winning couple reuniting onsceen is only the half of it; as previously announced last year, they join producers Pedro and Agustín Almodóvar for Farhadi’s first Spanish-language project. If you place the emphasis on the first word in “cinematic universe,” this is the sort of continent-crossing collaboration of which one dreams. As the superheroes behind A Separation, Volver, No Country for Old MenAll About My Mother, and Wild Tales coalesce and move towards production, we can’t wait to see what kind of direction they take the project.

While Cruz, Bardem, and the brothers Almodóvar have all collaborated with one another in some form before – recently, Broken EmbracesVicky Cristina Barcelona; not so recently, Live Flesh – it should be fascinating to see how these very outwardly expressive films gel against Farhadi’s track record of inwardly simmering yet subtly explosive dramas. It’s no surprise that Cruz and Bardem already contend with some of cinema’s sexiest movie star marriages – contemporarily, I’d give them the gold – and it will be fascinating to see how or if Farhadi bends that image against them. His films tend to combust entrenched socio-cultural strictures rather than manipulate flashy celeb fodder but, then again, Kubrick was never much of an Us Weekly guy and he still warped Cruise and Kidman with fascinatingly transgressive results.

What are some of your favorite movies with IRL married couples thrust into diegesis? Or, on a more directorly note, what do you think of Almodóvar and Farhadi teaming up behind the scenes?

Friday
Apr152016

Pfeiffer + Aronofsky = !!!!!!!!!!!

Pfeiffer in Beat-Up Little SeagullJust so everyone knows, I am indeed still alive. After briefly passing out. I was on a flight when news broke that Michelle Pfeiffer had signed on to the cast of the new untitled Darren Aronofsky film due in 2017 with filming to start this June.

La Pfeiffer has been MIA from the movies in a significant way since White Oleander (2002) her last Oscar worthy performance (she has famously never won despite multiple breathtaking star turns)  and the last onscreen appearance without significant breaks thereafter. She flirted with a comeback in a brief flurry of activity around 2007-2008 (Stardust & Cheri being the highlights) but it's been relatively quiet since then. But no more?...

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Monday
Nov092015

Beauty vs Beast: Take My Spouse, Please

Jason from MNPP here with this week's edition of Beauty vs Beast, pitting cinema's good guys and bad guys against each other in a polling orgasm of gorgeous vicious oneupmanship! And you'll forgive me for getting a wee bit over-passioned there with my adjectives since this week I'm surrounding us with two of the most gorgeous creatures to ever grace the big screen, much less the marital bed -- this Friday the cinematic supernovas Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt are reuniting on-screen in Jolie's most recent directorial effort, the swooning-in-sunglasses drama By the Sea. (You can read what Nathaniel had to say about the film here.) It's been ten full years since the last time the stars combined their movie star wattage onto one fortunate screen, and that's where we look for this week's contest...

PREVIOUSLY Last week we bonded with James & Co. (bonded, get it, ha ha, sigh) in honor of the latest 007 flick (Did you see it this weekend? Thoughts?) -- looking back at Skyfall it was Daniel Craig himself who left us shaken and stirred over Bardem's baddie, taking about 63% of your vote. Said tom:

"In this case, I vote for Bond. the first half of the movie was just building up the character of Silva and when we finally meet him, disappointment. That isn't completely Bardem's fault, but no vote from me."

Monday
Nov022015

Beauty vs Beast: Spy Fall

Double-Oh Jason from MNPP here with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- overseas the latest James Bond adventure (you know, the little thing called Spectre) is already doing bang-up business, breaking records left right and center; we'll see how it does here in the US this weekend but I think The Martian is probably about to end its month-long streak at the top of the box office.

So have you seen the film yet? I'm seeing it tonight and I have to admit I'm going into this one less enthuastically than I have previous ones (mind you I haven't read any reviews) and I don't think it's only the fact that there aren't any shots of Daniel Craig in a bathing suit in the promotional materials. Perhaps it's Craig own clear weariness with the character? Maybe it's the obvious Christoph Waltz casting? Maybe it only seems possible to come downward from the high heights of Skyfall? Well fingers crossed I'm off the mark, and speaking of Skyfall...

PREVIOUSLY I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween! I had a lovely one this year and I'm still nursing the happy hum of a tummy-ache from all the leftover candy I scarfed. We celebrated here at TFE last week with a Frankenstein-Off, and y'all proved there's nothing stiffer, competition-wise, than a great big electric-fried beehive as the Bride stormed off with 72% of your vote. Said Tom:

"Voting for the Bride. The fact that Lancaster was able to create a lasting impression of movie goers with a fraction of the screentime that Korloff had, says it all."

 

Wednesday
Jun262013

Today's Watch: "The Counselor"

We don't do "yes no maybe so"s for teasers (and I realize we're behind on a couple juicy trailers) but here's the new tease going around for a legal drama (? & zzz) with an all star cast (drool) directed by the still unOscared Ridley Scott (yay... sort of). Do you think this'll win Oscar traction this year or just drama for the multiplexes? What'cha think?

A delicious collection of actors at least, right? So let's do an impromptu poll!

 

 

Thursday
May232013

Early Bird Predix: "Best Supporting Actor"

And here we go... the acting categories you've all been very impatiently waiting for in TFE's first wave of Oscar predictions for the year.

Will Previously Honored Movie Stars With Weird Character-Actor Hairdos Rule This Year?

As faithful readers know I like to keep my crystal ball risky with the bouncing and hope it doesn't shatter. In the first wave of predictions "what if" scenarios and "wild cards" are espectially compelling in the Supporting races. I mean why not? So little is yet known about future important matters like Amount of Screen Time, Nature of the Ensemble Roles, Best in Show Scene Stealing and even Post-Production "we'll fix it in post" Switcheroos where a film is rethought to better spotlight its MVPs. This early on there's no point in making boring predictions in which Oscar favorites hog all the categories though sometimes they do -- witness last year's All Previous Winner boredom in this category. Which is why I'm taking a few big risks like imagining an implausible Tim Roth comeback in a Nicole Kidman vehicle or suspecting that stage actor Sean Mahon (so charming recently as an unexplored love interest in Higher Ground) will make the most of a key role in Philomena.

I'm betting on a field of non-winners and (Oscar) newbies. For now... That said sometimes you have to go "default" as I've done by predicting Javier Bardem. From a distance his new role as an Weirdly-Coiffed Embodiment of Evil for an Oscar-friendly Director (sound familiar) seems an awful lot like his roles in No Country For Old Men & Skyfall but considering that he almost got nominated for doing this again - in a Bond film no less ! -- I decided against pretending that his fellow actors don't just worship the ground on which he walks.  

And what of the Ensembles and Potentials For Category Fraud?

Foxcatcher has three major male roles: schizo John duPont (Stave Carell) and two wrestling brothers played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo (not pictured)

The one I'm most curious about in terms of story structure and "best in show" business is Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, it's based on a true bizarre story about a wealthy eccentric (played by Steve Carell) who was also a schizophrenic and the two Olympic wrestling brothers (Channing Tatum & Mark Ruffalo) who he became friends with which did not end well for any of them. It's a three-handed story. Channing Tatum gets top billing but the screenplay is based on that brother's unpublished? memoirs so he might be your narrator/audience proxy (a la Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby) which means that Tatum will be demoted to supporting even if he's the lead. My guess is Carell with the showiest part is lead and the other two are relegated to supporting despite very large roles. Now pedigree-wise a movie starring Mark Ruffalo, Steve Carell and Channing Tatum who have 1 nomination and a lot of obstacles to Oscary respect between them (TV fame, light comedy history, hunkaliciousness) shouldn't scream "Oscar nominations for all!" but Bennett Miller is quality. He's only made two narrative features (Capote & Moneyball) but his favored milieu (true stories about famous or infamous men) is right in Oscar's wheelhouse and both of his previous pictures won a lead and a supporting acting nomination. 

Since Hollywood is always very focused on testosterone heavy stories there are usually multiple options of acting glory for men in any given film. Take these examples: The Counselor is headlined by Michael Fassbender but my guess is the colorful supporting cast (led by Brad Pitt and Javier Bardem) will pull focus; I know nothing (yet) about the breakdown of characters in The Monuments Men but there are A LOT OF THEM so who is to say which Friend o' Clooneys (Damon, Goodman, Balaban, Murray?) was given the best role or the most camera attention?; Wolf of Wall Street is also a sausage fest but it seems more likely to be The Leo Show - Wall Street Edition than anything else; I've noticed quite a lot of "Benedict Cumberbatch for the Oscar!" mania after the August: Osage County trailer premiere and, sure, he does emote more in the context of the trailer than anyone besides Julia Roberts but that role isn't really that big or that great and the men (Dermot Mulroney, Sam Shepard, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper) may find a hard time getting around the female driven narrative for any Oscar attention of their own in such a crowded film.

So take a look at the chart and tell me with your own crystal ball where you think mine is malfunctioning and which prophesies you also deem most likely to occur. (Up next: Best Actor)

Tuesday
Dec112012

Curio: Holiday Gift List

Alexa here. Every year I spot gifts that I can't quite find the right person for (oftentimes I just end up buying then for myself).  This year I've spotted some truly clever film-themed gifts on etsy that simply don't work for anyone on my list. Is there someone in your life who fits these profiles? If so, support these independent sellers!

1. For the fan of creepy Javier Bardem, how about this porcelain bust of Anton Chigurh?  Although I would love for there to be a companion bust of Silva, too. Bookends, maybe?

 

Channing Tatum, Les Miz and more after the jump 

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