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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd 

 

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Yes No Maybe So: CREED, SECRET IN THEIR EYES, STEVE JOBS

CREED "I'm so here for Michael B. Jordan becoming a bona fide movie star. It'll just take the right project to put him in the public consciousness. Creed looks like it could be it." - Kate

STEVE JOBS "Isnt it too soon for a Jobs biopic?" - Amanda

SECRET IN THEIR EYES "I loved the original -- without the background of the Argentinian dictatorship a huge element of the plot tension gets lost. I wonder how they'll deal with that." - Felix


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Entries in Jessica Chastain (93)

Saturday
Mar142015

We Can't Wait #6 - Crimson Peak

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Jason...

Who & What: Guillermo Del Toro directs a script he co-wrote with Matthew Robbins (the two have worked together several times but Robbins' most important credit is clearly having directed the seminal-to-me The Legend of Billie Jean - "Fair is fair!"); British playwright Lucinda Coxon (who also wrote the script for the upcoming The Danish Girl) was brought in to add "the proper degree of perversity and intelligence" to the tale.

Mia Wasikowska plays an aspiring novelist named Edith Cushing (I have to share the character names, they're too juicy not to) who gets swept off her feet by the dashing and dark Sir Thomas Sharpe (played by the dashing and dark Tom Hiddleston) and subsequently carried off to his sinister Gothic mansion full all of the requisite spires and shadows with an incestuous-seeming Jessica Chastain as the Lady Lucille Sharpe sneaking amongst them. Charlie Hunnam plays an old friend of Edith's (named "Dr. Alan McMichael" and it doesn't get much more "decent" and "boring" and "doesn't stand a chance in hell" than that) who warns her against the lot of it.

Why We're Excited About it: Del Toro's said that this is his stab at making one of his small Spanish-language movies in English and, while I'll defend the Hellboys and Pacific Rim plenty, there's no denying his greatest works have been the smaller character-based oddities of The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth. The list of influences he cites on Peak - The Haunting, The Innocents, and The Shining - are all the precise titles we want to hear mentioned, while at the same time he says his aim is to deconstruct our genre expectations. Plus the cast is as talented as they are gorgeous (which is to say plenty) and if you've watched the pitch-perfect trailer then you've seen the spectacular costumes (those poofy sleeves!) they're running up and down the haunted staircases in as a storm blows the curtains and the fireplace goes out and man oh man do I love me a good old-fashioned Gothic haunted house movie!    

What if it all Goes Wrong? As small as Del Toro kept saying he wanted this movie to be, the trailer is BIG, full of CG ghosts rising through floors and sets seemingly built all the way up to the thunderstruck heavens -  even if it's contained to mostly the titular house and grounds I do worry that the filmmaker's well-documented giddiness over his subject might've maybe carried him away on a storm-cloud of everything-but-the-haunted-kitchen-sink and we'll lose the characters underneath those gorgeous poofy sleeves.

When: Carve your pumpkins and throw on your best velvet cape and head straight to the theater - the movie hits right when the movie should, just in time for All Hallows. Universal's got it slated for October 16th in the US.

Previously...

#7 45 Years
#8 Bridge of Spies
#9 Taxi
#10 Freeheld
#11 A Bigger Splash
#12 The Dressmaker
#13 The Hateful Eight
#14 Knight of Cups
#15 Arabian Nights
Sidebar 3 Animated Films
Sidebar 2 Tomorrowland
Sidebar 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron
Intro Pick a Blockbuster

Monday
Mar022015

The Witches of Huntsman?

Manuel here with some casting news. I had this fabulous idea of celebrating Leo DiCaprio’s casting in that 24 multiple personality film with a list of the 24 various personalities he’s already played. But once I started listing them alongside one another I realized Leo definitely needs to spice it up; lately, when he’s not playing a grieving wifeless man he’s playing a wealthy soulless man. Why not embrace another full-on comedic role? His turn in Catch me if You Can is still one of his best. Why so dour lately Leo?

They do make quite the beautiful trio, don't they?

Instead, let’s focus on a film that’s become more of an actressexual dream than any of us ever hoped for. Did you hear that The Huntsman film now boasts Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain?

I’m secretly hoping the trio of actresses will make The Huntsman more of a Witches of Eastwick type film, or maybe they can all band together against the eponymous protagonist in a 9 to 5 style workplace comedy? I mean, none of us would complain about a tied-up Hemsworth, now would we? Or perhaps they can work in a fun musical number a la The First Wives Club? The mind boggles imagining this trio of ladies making the film crackle with wit and chemistry; perhaps this is much too optimistic for what is presumably another tentpole blockbuster. I mean, are they even bringing back Colleen Atwood?

What other actress trio would you love these gals to channel in this sure to be pretty (and pretty drab?) spinoff? 

Wednesday
Feb252015

Red Carpet: Supporting Actresses & Stray Beauties

Red Carpet Lineup Time as we struggle to wrap up Oscar night! It's time to say goodbye to the Supporting Actress Class of 2014 and it occurs to me that though I know you favored Arquette to a very wide margin in the race, I have no idea who y'all think was best dressed of this annual rotating quintet? So please do vote!  

 

NATHANIEL: In the meantime please welcome back our LA beauties Margaret and Anne Marie to the fashion panel. In the spirit of the times, when red carpet press have been encouraged to #AskHerMore, let's do that. We've never cared "who" people are wearing anyway... just that they're giving us glamour for our favorite International Holiday, Oscar Night. What questions immediately come to mind when you see this lineup?

MARGARET: What I'm desperate to know is, who are these ladies going to work with next? With perhaps the exception of California-law-mandated nominee Meryl Streep, they all have fresh momentum that should give them their pick of projects..

ANNE MARIE: Maybe they can all work in a movie together. They certainly make a great lineup standing next to each other.

NATHANIEL: Actresses are not allowed to work together! They must choose which man they'd like to mother, inspire or longsuffer for.

MARGARET: In my very vivid head-world where I am a massively wealthy movie producer, I would definitely finance the heck out of some Empire-style movie about which ambitious and capable protege of Meryl's should take up the torch of some high-powered business.

NATHANIEL:  I think it wisest we keep Laura Dern away from big corporations.

more...

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Friday
Jan162015

Up Close at the 20th Annual "Critics Choice" Awards

Goddess with regular person. But at least he's in a brand new expensive suit.Did you want the Critics Choice Movie Awards last night? That accounts for my radio silence. I had the extreme good fortune of sitting at Jessica Chastain's table. No, I couldn't believe it either for which I must thank A24 profusely. It's true The Film Experience has been kinda nuts about their movies here from Spring Breakers to Under the Skin to the already weirdly underappreciated A Most Violent Year (opening in late late December is so hard for movies that are small and aren't directed by Clint Eastwood) but it was still an unbelievably kind gesture.

It turns out though that sitting at a table with some of the honored stars (Jenny Slate, also at the table, took home Best Comedy Actress) that is smack dab in the center (Wild table to the left, Theory of Everything and Unbroken to the right, Selma tables --plural, that's a big cast behind you) is rather terrifying and chaotic. Because I had the back to stage seat, the cameramen were running up to squat or stand hovering over me carrying loads of equipment to point the camera at Jessica and Jenny for reaction shots and for their wins. [More...]

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Thursday
Jan152015

The Five Stages of Grief via Oscar Nominations

Though Oscar nomination morning is my Christmas -- the day I anticipate so heavily each year when all the prezzies are ripped open -- it's not all happiness. Oscar also gives out lumps of coal on this day each year. Let us celebrate five big snubs (or omissions if you hate that word) representing each stage of grief so that we can work through it and move on.

Though SELMA got a Best Picture nod, it was ignored in every other category but Song

DENIAL I'm pretending that American Sniper, a conservative leaning (though not unartful) celebration of war heroism didn't crash the party late and win a ton of nominations (which encourages the studios to do that December/January glutting) while the progressive Selma -- which we actually need unlike a film about someone who's good with a gun! -- couldn't muster up more than two nominations.

 

ANGER Ava DuVernay, who would have been the first woman of color nominated for Best Director, should have been among the five Best Director nominees. She handled a large scale historical film and made it reverberate with danger, grief, inspiration, courage, and immediacy which is more than can be said for most historical epics. And it's only her third film! Can't wait to see what number four is like. As a subset of this stage of grief: anger. The Oscar nominations are just another reminder that Oscar does not value female narratives, not behind the scenes or onscreen. Movies about men trying to find themselves, or redemption or triumph over adversity score. Movies about women or people of color doing the same things do not (see: Wild and Selma, this year and examples in many other years; Oscar is a boys club)

BARGAINING The Lego Movie which I felt would meet more resistance than it initially had because it is basically a 2 hour commercial was nevertheless a surprise omission. I hope this doesn't discourage future filmmakers from going above and beyond because, YES, it was a commercial for toy product but it was like the best long-form commercial ever. So much funnier and more stylish and surprising than it had any right to be really. So next time someone overachieves Oscar, toss them a bone okay?

DEPRESSION All year long we (correctly) heard that it was a super strong year for Best Actor and it was. So why is the actual shortlist so disatisfying? Two answers: you could call Carell (against type / prosthetic nose) without even seeing the picture (and if you see the picture it's a heavily stilted performance and you can label Bradley Cooper a "default" nominee now with three consecutive nominations and though he's definitely under this guy's skin, it's a very unchallenging star turn compared to the snubbed competition.

This year of all years isn't time to lean on gimmicks or default status. Not when you had Ralph Fiennes's gloriously civilized sly performance keeping Grand Budapest Hotel grounded in gravitas and culture and wit when it could theoretically have defaulted to diorama kitsch. Not when Jake Gyllenhaal is doing the best work of his career in Nightcrawler. Not when David Oyelowo is becoming a great Southern orator. Not when... etcetera...

This was very disrespectfulACCEPTANCE Jessica Chastain missed out on a nod for what may well be her best screen performance yet in A Most Violent Year. But the film arrived very late and just didn't catch on quickly enough. And people got hung up on the Pfeiffer/Scarface look and missed the fact that the ubiquitous actress was doing interesting things with a more complicated character than her entrepeneur's wife first appeared to be in clip form.  (For what it's worth Pfeiffer also missed a nomination for Scarface, one of her many awful snubbings.) But we know that Chastain, who makes three movies a year and most of them high profile, will be back so we'll let this one slide. 

Who and what would represent your five stages this morning?

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Sunday
Jan112015

Golden Globe Arrivals

Our favorite movie/tv party night has arrived. Rosamund Pike had a baby five weeks ago and arrives looking like this. I love her but I'm not actually convinced that she's human.

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