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Entries in Jennifer Jason Leigh (24)

Monday
Sep102018

Review: "Atypical" Season 2

by Ben Miller

When Atypical debuted last year, it was not accompanied by widespread critical acclaim or a zeitgeist-catching wave of popularity.  It was seen as more of a niche show with some issues, but with room to grow and a modest budget. Season two didn’t have built-in expectations that a show like Stranger Things or the final season of House of Cards will have. This proves a blessing: with zero expectations, Atypical has now grown into the show we hoped it could be...

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Monday
Jul022018

Beauty vs Beast: Gold Medal Mamas

Jason Adams from MNPP here trying to think cold on a 95 degree day in New York City - let's step back in time then to the cool months of this past winter, known around these parts as Awards Season, and onto the ice, for it is Margot Robbie's birthday today and we never did a "Beauty vs Beast" for I Tonya if you can believe it. I'm a little shocked myself that we never had 'em duke it out. So here, in one corner we have Tonya Harding (Robbie), who fits this boxing talk like a glove, and in the other corner her mother LaVona (a statue-snatching parrot-wearing Allison Janney), who... is also perfectly comfortable existing inside this metaphor of the boxing ring. 

PREVIOUSLY Last week's contest also tackled an antagonistic mother-daughter duo with Dolores Clairborne, and it was Dolores herself came up on top with a whopping 80% of your vote. Said W.J.:

"That film is a flat-out masterpiece, no joke. Awe-inspiring, fully realized performances all the way around, stirring cinematography and visual effects that stand the test of time. Glad to see it get some love."

Wednesday
Jun272018

1994's Unsatisfying Best Actress Race 

1994 was our year of the month for June so before the month closes, a couple of more forays into that year. Here's Nathaniel R responding to a reader request during the Supporting Actress Smackdown to discuss the actual leading nominees.

It's an age old question and the answer is (nearly) always the same. 

Q: What happens when all the best stuff in a film year is within genres Oscar doesn't care for?
A: The Academy sticks to their traditional loves even if it means providing history with a weak shortlist that they'll judge harshly!  

Some recent years have suggested that Oscar is loosening up in this regard. The swell of new members might be helping along with the increased visibility of critical passion (the plethora of precursor awards constantly saying "but this is great! won't you please look at it?" seems to have shifted Oscar voters a bit more towards critical passion and away from "Oscar Bait"). But overall they stick to what they love (dramas, message movies, epics, biopics, etcetera). This is especially true of the Acting branch which rarely met a teary face it didn't fall for and continually sticks up its nose at laughing or screaming or unusual faces given their aversion to comic genius, horror films, and auteur experimental or sci-fi/fantasy work. Which brings us to 1994's BEST ACTRESS LIST...

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Monday
Jun252018

Beauty vs Beast: Total Eclipse of the Drunk

Jason Adams from MNPP here with this week's dose of "Beauty vs Beast" fun. The great Kathy Bates is turning 70 on Thursday, giving you a couple of days to craft your love letters to her on Twitter - until then let's celebrate one of her great roles, the other Stephen King one, 1995's Dolores Claiborne. The film was underrated when it was released and the film remains underrated today if you ask me, but I think it's got a diehard contingent of fans - it's top-shelf King, mainly due to its two leading ladies, Bates as Dolores and Jennifer Jason Leigh as her estranged daughter Selena. And now I am the jerk who makes you choose...


PREVIOUSLY Last week we climbed on the city bus with Keanu Reeves and Sandy Bullock and then we quickly proceeded to run right the hell over Dennis Hopper - Keanu won the Speed poll with 74% of the vote! Those biceps... I totally get it. Said Tom G:

"Jack ends up with Sandra Bullock. He wins."

Tuesday
May152018

Benedict Cumberbatch is "Patrick Melrose" 

By Spencer Coile 

Patrick Melrose is incredibly frustrating. This speaks to both the title character (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the mini-series itself, new on Showtime. The series, based on the semi-autobiographical books by Edward St Aubyn, follows the titular character working to overcome his drug addiction. This is no simple feat, considering the history of abuse that was inflicted upon him by his father, David (Hugo Weaving). 

The opening scene, of the first episode titled” Bad News,” is a single shot of Patrick answering the phone, being told that his father is dead. Patrick goes silent and doubles over onto the floor. What initially appears to be an expression of grief quickly changes, as it soon becomes clear that Patrick is merely reaching down to pick up a syringe he had recently injected into his arm...

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Thursday
Sep282017

YNMS: "Annihilation"

Chris here. It's not too early to start getting excited for what's coming next year, right? Call it optimism to get 2017 over and done with (even if it's providing us with great films). And one of our most anticipated of next year is one that comes early: February's Annihilation.

The film is writer/director Alex Garland's follow-up to the beloved Ex Machina and is another stoic sci-fi endeavor. Based on the first book in Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, Natalie Portman stars as a biologist exploring the mysterious Area X after her husband's expedition of the land ended in disaster. Area X is a geographical anomaly of sorts, and the government may or may not know the full extent of its power. VanderMeer's series is a tricky bit of first-person genre work, so I have long been curious how it could translate to film, particularly with his creepy but evasive details of Area X. Let's take a look at the first trailer and run down the Yes No Maybe So of the results:

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