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Dreamworks Animation Pt 2: The Fall

"I loved this article. It reads like vintage EW, back when they relished the behind-the-scenes stories of Hollywood and the studios." -John T

"Dreamworks should not have oversaturated the animation market. Home is Dreamworks 31st animated film. Do you know what is Walt Disney Animation's 31st film? Aladdin. It took Disney over 5 decades to get there." -Chinoiserie

Part 1 here if you missed it

 

 

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Entries in Jessica Chastain (87)

Tuesday
Dec302014

Interview: Oscar Isaac on "A Most Violent Year" And His Alien Future

Oscar Isaac was not an overnight success. He made sporadic appearances in movies from the mid 90s onward and the roles and films grew, slowly but surely. Moviegoers have discovered him piece by brilliant piece each time. There wasn't even one particular year that made him a star though Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) is to date "the signature role". In contrast, his new character Abel Morales' rise to power isn't half as slow and steady. It's all compressed into one dramatic make-or-break year in J.C. Chandor's moody gripping 1981-set drama A Most Violent Year

I spoke to Oscar about burrowing inside this guarded businessman, working with his schoolmate Jessica Chastain, what casting directors think of him, and his obsession with the mutant supervillain he'll be playing in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). Our conversation is after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec292014

Lead Actress Chat-a-long

Epix only uploads tiny pieces of this for viewing but someone has uploaded their whole Best Actress roundtable. The Supporting Actress version was up briefly before being pulled so watch it while you can. Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Emily Blunt, Shailene Woodley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Jessica Chastain.

 

They talk for about 10 minutes at the beginning about singing and musicals -- someone needs to cast Gugu in a traditional musical straightaway!  

UPDATE: Though the special presentations are not available in full for embedding, you can see all five of them here at the Epix site.

 

Friday
Dec192014

First Look: Chastain & Winslet, Ladies in Dresses

Manuel here to get your Friday started with some to-die for shots of two of our greatest working actresses. We’ve had behind the scenes looks at Kate Winslet’s The Dressmaker (see more of rugby-playing Liam Hemsworth and Kate in Australia here) and of Jessica Chastain’s Crimson Peak (see more of Chastain and Tom Hiddleston shooting in pseudo Burtonian drag here) but this week we finally got to see some polished official photos from their respective films.

Here is Kate looking ravishing as Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage in The Dressmaker (which just wrapped production). The film follows Tilly’s return to her rural Australian town where she uses her haute couture skills to help exact revenge on those who wronged her (or so the plot description tells me). Sounds gothic and lurid and gorgeous and precisely what I’d get from this pic. Anyone read the novel? Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, the film co-stars Hugo Weaving, Judy Davis and Hemsworth. I love this image, mostly because I love seeing well-coiffed and polished Kate. Also, in my head she’s saying “Gather!” so that helps)

Costumes for the film by Marion Boyce. Costumes for Kate by Margot Wilson

Costumes by Kate Hawley who did "Edge of Tomorrow" this year

Looking just as ravishing in the just-released first look at Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, is Chastain. Details are still scant on the film but here is the plot description: “In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author [Lady Lucille Sharpe] is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers.” The film co-stars Mia Wasikowska, Charlie Hunnam and Tom Hiddleston. Love the look of this; may this be the followup to Pan’s Labyrinth we’re still waiting del Toro to deliver?

Which ensemble is, in RuPaul parlance, giving you life?

 Clearly both actresses have charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to spare, and are giving us great face, but if you had to choose from these two pics, which frocked lady would you say “Shantay you stay” to? Your choice, Sophies!

Monday
Dec152014

Missi's Oscar Night Memoir

We return you to our celebrity guest-host Missi Pyle... at The Film Exp The Missi Experience. Just one more post after this gorgeously fun memoir. Enjoy - Editor


ME N OSCAR

The 84th Academy Awards. An Oscar Night Memoir
- by Missi Pyle

I just want to take a minute to talk about The Artist. Holy shit. What an incredible experience that was.

Tiny back story. I left LA in 2008. I had married this guy from Montana with a grizzly bear sanctuary. I bought a geodome in the woods in Montana and moved in with said Grizzly man. I truly don't know what I was thinking. I had made some decent money in the previous year and I thought I could act from Montana? (Spoiler! Only Michael Keaton and Jeff Bridges can act from Montana - I wrote a show about it) Anyway, the marriage didn't work out and I ran out of money and came crawling back to LA.

I randomly had auditioned for, gotten the part and shot the film The Artist. It was really an incredible experience. But in my wildest dreams I never imagined the ride it would take me on.

[OSCAR NIGHT AFTER THE JUMP...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec082014

It's a Linky Monday

Manuel here to offer you a news link roundup to kick off this week.

ComingSoon Is it really possible all press materials (save this offical photo) for Thomas Vinterberg's adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd starring Carey Mulligan & Matthias Schoenaerts have gone unremarked here at TFE? Let's fix that by staring at this gorgeous poster.
Marvel In case you missed it last week, Marvel offered some more casting news for their ever-expanding universe, including Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones in its upcoming Netflix series and Benedict Cumberbatch (officially!) as Doctor Strange in the eponymous film due November 2016.
SlashFilm In other franchise news, Roberto Orci will no longer be directing Star Trek 3 which I'm sure is good news for some other first time white male director looking to make his big break. I kid! But only sort of.
The Guardian “My whole career is always a roller-coaster. I’m so random and spontaneous and unusual in my choices – I never expect anything.” - Nicole Kidman, Queen of understatements at the Australian Paddington premiere.
Screen Crush writes up a list of The Highest Grossing Actors of 2014 though, as they note they used "an extremely liberal definition of 'actor' and 'appearance'" which explains its rather silly #1 spot.
The Hollywood Reporter Natalie Portman's troubled Jane Got a Gun got a new release date. No longer will the western be released next February; we'll have to wait until September to see it. I can't decide whether that's an improvement or not.
Dwayne Johnson We were just talking about Disney's upcoming Moana and it now seems the erstwhile Rock will lend its voice to the animated film. 

The Season Continues

BIFA It was a great day for TFE favorite Pride over at the BIFAs (the British Independent Film Awards) which nabbed the top prize while Imelda Staunton and Andrew Scott picked up supporting acting prizes for it as well. 
Mother Jones If you caught Jean-Marc Vallée's newest film ths weekend, check out this interview with Cheryl Strayed on having Reese Witherspoon play her in Wild. 
InContention David Oyelowo and the cast of The Imitation Game have been added to the increasingly exhaustive list of names to be feted by the Palm Springs Film Festival.
Time names its Top 10 Best Films (topped by The Grand Budapest Hotel but including some interesting titles like Lucy and Jodorowsky's Dune). 
EW meanwhile singles out Whiplash as the year's best. 

Videos of the Day

Check out A Most Violent Year co-stars Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain chat about acting while looking ridiculously pretty (of course), and below, find a video by yours truly focused on the way gay men are represented on screen, featuring clips from Brokeback Mountain, Angels in America, Skyfall, Rope and over 80 other films/tv shows.

Gay Men on Screen: A Place for Us (Supercut) from Manuel Betancourt on Vimeo.

Friday
Dec052014

Interview: Liv Ullmann on 'Miss Julie', Jessica Chastain ...and Carrie Bradshaw?

Jose here. The first thing I tell Liv Ullmann is that I remember being ten years old and having my father introduce me to the work of Ingmar Bergman. 

That Swedish legend directed her in more than ten films including Persona, Cries and Whispers, and Face to Face for which she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. She offers me a warm smile, touches my shoulder and says “oh, thank you”. During our conversation I realize how much she “talks” with her hands, which she uses to draw figures on a table, to mimic camera moves and also to touch her face in an expression of awe, as she talks about the work of the actors she directed in her adaptation of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie (opening today in NYC).

She hadn’t directed a film in almost fifteen years (since 2000’s Faithless), but was compelled to return behind the cameras when she was given carte blanche by producers who asked her to make a film about a femme fatale. She chose Strindberg’s classic because she felt there was much that still hadn’t been said about the title character. As played by Jessica Chastain Miss Julie is a rebellious soul who pretends to be in control, but has little self awareness. She finds her true self through the way she treats her servants John and Kathleen, played by Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton respectively.

Ullmann moved the story to 1890 Ireland where she felt the socio-economic inequality between the characters made more sense than in Sweden. She unleashes the three characters in a castle straight out of the most existential version of Hamlet and infuses the text with color, both literal and figurative, to make the most compelling version of Miss Julie to be put on screen, a tribute to Bergman, Strindberg and a reminder that Ullmann’s work both behind and in front of the camera is always a pleasure to watch. She talked about her cast with passion, explained her thoughts on conveying physical space on film. And she even talked some Carrie Bradshaw! [after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec022014

National Board of Review's Most Violent Awards

Glenn here with the NBR results as they come to hand. They used to be the first awards of the season to announce their winners, but now the National Board of Review are trumped annually by the Gotham Awards and the NYFCC in the merry-go-round that is award season. I maintain that unless you're a guild, your absence is more or less moot. However, it can definitely help get your name and face out there to be acknowledged early and often. The NBR is where the likes of Moulin Rouge! and Amy Ryan made it known that they would be forces to be reckoned with. What did this 105-year-old group select this year? Let's find out...

NATIONAL BOARD OF REVIEW WINNERS

  • Best Film: A MOST VIOLENT YEAR
  • Best Director: Clint Eastwood, AMERICAN SNIPER
  • Best Actor: (tie!) Oscar Isaac, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR and Michael Keaton, BIRDMAN
  • Best Actress: Julianne Moore, STILL ALICE
  • Best Supporting Actor: Edward Norton, BIRDMAN
  • Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR
  • Best Original Screenplay: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, THE LEGO MOVIE
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson, INHERENT VICE
  • Best Animated Feature: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
  • Special Achievement in Filmmaking: Appears to not exist this year?
  • Breakthrough Performance: Jack O'Connell, STARRED UP and UNBROKEN
  • Best Directorial Debut: Gillian Robespierre, OBVIOUS CHILD
  • Best Foreign Language Film: WILD TALES (Argentina)
  • Best Documentary: LIFE ITSELF
  • William K. Everson Film History Award: Scott Eyman
  • Best Ensemble: FURY
  • Spotlight Award: Chris Rock for writing, directing, producing and starring in TOP FIVE
  • NBR Freedom of Expression Award: SELMA and ROSEWATER

What exactly does Clint Eastwood have on these people that they give him an award for almost every single movie he makes? Best director for American Sniper and a placement on their top ten (below) seems... extravagant.

 

 

Anyway, it was a big day for A Most Violent Year winning three big prizes including best film. Will this film fall alongside the likes of Quills as a NBR best picture winner without a corresponding Oscar nomination in the same category? That super, ultra, very-very late release date still makes me worried. Whatever the case may be, the NBR loved it and good on A24. Ever the wealth-spreader, the mysterious organization liked The Lego Movie enough to give it a rather shocking (although not entirely undeserved) screenplay win and top ten placement, yet Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon 2 took out the animated film prize. They consolidated their breakthrough prizes into one award for handsome Jack O'Connell. Fair enough, I suppose. Meanwhile, after Jennifer Kent's win at the NYFFF and now Gillian Robespierre's win at the NBR, women directors are staking a claim to breakthrough director awards in 2014!

TOP FILMS
(alphabetical)

  • AMERICAN SNIPER
  • BIRDMAN
  • BOYHOOD
  • FURY
  • GONE GIRL
  • THE IMITATION GAME
  • INHERENT VICE
  • THE LEGO MOVIE
  • NIGHTCRAWLER
  • UNBROKEN

Remember, this is basically places 2-11 hence A Most Violent Year's omission. I don't claim to know how that works, but let's just roll with it. Very happy to see Nightcrawler here as now that the flurry of indie nominations have surpassed, citations for the Jake Gyllenhaal movie may be hard to come by. The rest of the list is pretty standard, although the people behind The Theory of Everything, Big Eyes, Foxcatcher, Into the Woods, Grand Budapest Hotel, Wild and Whiplash will all be a bit miffed that they didn't receive a single token nomination anywhere amidst the NBR's field. Selma, too, being stuck with that kiddie-table "Freedom of Expression" award feels like a disappointment for that team, too.

Top 5 Foreign Language Films
(In Alphabetical Order)

  • FORCE MAJEURE (Sweden)
  • GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIAN AMSALAM (Israel)
  • LEVIATHAN (Russia)
  • TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT (Belgium)
  • WE ARE THE BEST! (Sweden)

I think the recognition of Lukas Moodysson's ace teen movie We Are the Best! is my favourite of the NBR's choices. Way to go, NBR! Y'all should go watch it immediately. Three of these films (plus Wild Tales, their actual foreign film winner - again, confusingly) are eligible for Oscar, with the Dardennes' Two Days, One Night now appearing on multiple award lists after the NYFCC yesterday.

Top 5 Documentaries
(In Alphabetical Order)

  • ART AND CRAFT
  • JODOROWSKY'S DUNE
  • KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON
  • THE KILL TEAM
  • LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM

All six documentaries cited - Life Itself won the big prize as noted up top - are on Oscar's 15-wide doc shortlist. That's some good dart-throwing, NBR!

Top 10 Independent Films
(In Alphabetical Order) 

  • BLUE RUIN
  • LOCKE
  • A MOST WANTED MAN
  • MR. TURNER
  • OBVIOUS CHILD
  • THE SKELETON TWINS
  • SNOWPIERCER
  • STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING DOORS
  • STARRED UP
  • STILL ALICE

Ignoring the pure idiocy of a list like this that makes no sense (are independent films not eligible elsewhere?), this is a good batch of flicks. Blue Ruin! I was ecstatic to see Stand Clear of the Closing Doors get an acting nomination at the Indie Spirits the other day, and now this little mention. That film is so good and I suggest y'all check it out if you can. It's small, but beautiful. Beautiful can't be used to describe Starred Up starring Ben Mendelsohn and breakthrough winner Jack O'Connell, but I'm glad it showed up, too. Likewise The Skeleton Twins and Obvious Child, two of the best comedies this year that I'm sure the Globes will ignore almost entirely.

What do you make of this year's NBR awards? I'm sure we'll have more to say about them later when Nathaniel returns from hobnobbing with Angelina Jolie and I am salivating at the thought of another hilarious podcast as they discuss Clint Eastwood's magnetic hold over the NBR, but for now did they get it right? Embarassingly wrong? Let us know!