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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


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

 

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Entries in Jessica Chastain (88)

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!

Sunday
Nov162014

A Multitude of Links

Some of these links (which I collect until I have a moment to share) are a few days old and some are brand new. But it's time to clear out the cache!

We Are Movie Geeks recounts highlights of AFI and the fest winners including Ukraine's The Tribe and the Olympic documentary about Russia's Red Army hockey team which has major Oscar dreams and might achieve them since it's quite entertaining!
Pajiba a fun look at Jessica Chastain's career before she broke out in movies: L&O and E.R. and so on
Vulture interviews Bill Irwin, one of our favorites, on his work as "Tars" in Interstellar 
In Contention moderates a SAG Q & A for The Grand Budapest Hotel. I've been meaning to watch that one again 


Dissolve First look at Bryan Cranston as Trumbo in the 2015 feature. (Sad that there's not much in the way of costume here because I had lunch with the designer Daniel Orlandi when I was in LA. Will this HBO blacklist drama be up for Emmys in 2015? What'cha think?)
Interview Magazine Stanley Tucci interviews his pal Patricia Clarkson, looking better than ever 
In Contention Stephen Hawking weighs in on Eddie Redmayne's performance of him in The Theory of Everything
Speakeasy Finn Wittrock on his breakout year via American Horror Story 

Friends & Collaborators of TFE
The Atlantic Joe thinks the Oscar race for Animated Feature is between Big Hero 6 and The LEGO Movie. I disagree. Has everyone noticed how hard Dragon 2 is pushing? 
Antagony & Ecstacy Tim discovers Gloria (remember how wild I was about that one last year?) 
My New Plaid Pants Jason has a great (mixed) take on A Most Violent Year 

 

Must Reads
LA Times great piece on how social media has affected awards season
Grantland Wesley Morris pays homage to America's Bitter-Sweetheart Reese Witherspoon (Wild).
AV Club An instant classic article on "fake deaths and cheap resurrections" in entertainment. This is a month old piece which maybe I've shared before (?) but if you haven't read it you simply must. I can't get over it. This has long been something I've struggled with in movies and TV and it's beautifully put to words here by William Hughes.
Slate interesting essay about the decline of the serial killer in real life and its 'golden age' (blech!) in film and television  

Today's Watch
Got an hour? Here's Bennett Miller giving a "Master Class" talk on directing to promote Foxcatcher. This is from the NYFF but it's just available now in its full form.

 

Finally...
You may be wondering why I didn't watch, tweet, or blog about The Hollywood Film Awards. 

It isn't a competition so much as a publicity arrangement.

Let's just say I agree with Sasha Stone's quote about it (<--- and look, I finally met her in L.A. after 10+ years of knowing each other online!). Since that is true, and since it's a fake awards show and we already have enough of real ones, why give it any space? If you need further evidence of how disinterested people are read these bitchy quotes from Tim Gray's article in Variety

Friday
Nov142014

Oscar's Acting Categories Take Shape. Or Do They?

If you're an Oscar chart junkie, you'll see some key shifts on all four acting charts which are now updated. The biggest switcheroo is Jessica Chastain moving to Supporting Actress (the original prediction back in April) which shakes that field up more than it creates a vacuum with the Best Actress race and both Foxcatcher men dropping out of the predicted lead actor shortlist.

Papa, how can I be too high in rank to dine with the servants and too low to dine with my family?

Best Actress has been hard to suss out beyond two sure things: Julianne Moore as a professor with early on-set Alzheimers and Reese Witherspoon as a woman trying to forgive herself and start anew by hiking the PCT. Both of those films are major star vehicles in that they put their leading actress and her considerable gifts front and center without obstructed views. Gone Girl and The Theory of Everything also look somewhat likely to produce nominees but those are definitely two-lead films which Pike and Jones must share with their screen hubbies. On the podcast this weekend we'll talk more about this race because the field still seems wide open beyond those four names. And, if past years are any indication, one of them could surprisingly drop out. There are a lot of viable women hoping to unseat them, which makes "where are the best actress candidates?" articles in major outlets like THR and The Washington Post absolutely mystifying or ignorant or sexist or something. Something not right is the point. Particular maddening is that THR article which claims two dozen viable Best Actor candidates beyond the presumed frontrunners but will even list the most longshot of longshots like Eller Coltrane (Boyhood) and Al Pacino (The Humbling) and Kevin Costner (Black and White) -- none of which have any heat -- as "credible" contenders but can't think of ANY slightly under the radar women other than Jenny Slate (Obvious Child)? That's wearing some serious blinders to support your thesis. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov092014

Red Carpet: Governors Award Fashions... Let the Campaigns Begin

Jose here. As Nathaniel noted, the Governors Awards were held last night in Hollywood (yay Maureen O’Hara!). As usual they were pretty much a rehearsal dinner for the Oscars next year. While their red carpet is more subdued than Oscar’s - they’re there to pay tribute to legendary honorees, not to steal their thunder - there were a few exceptions to the rule. After all, if you want people to vote for you, you gotta make sure they remember you.

Let's take a look at what 16 of the Oscar hopefuls wore. What might it mean in the larger scheme of things?

 

Emily Blunt has worn this exact same thing to at least 10 other award ceremonies, color variations aside. Don't get me wrong, she's stunning etc. etc. etc. but will it help The Baker's Wife's Oscar cause, to look so every-year Blunt? The under-nominated actress should start experimenting and leave her go-to silhouette behind - wear a massive ball gown that tells people...

you've changed! you're daring! You're different in the woods!  ♪ ♫

Reese Witherspoon, too, looks the same, except it works to her favor. She's paying homage to Elle Woods, reminding voters how funny and cute she was in Legally Blonde, and how complex and dark she is in Wild by contrast. I rest my case.


Now two Best Actress dark horses, Gugu Mbatha-Raw has been in our minds all year long with her breakthrough performance in the sleeper box office hit Belle, and as she prepares to do the publicity rounds for Beyond the Lights it was delightful to see her attend. Perennial nominations-bridesmaid Marion Cotillard showed up with the Dardennes to remind people how terrific she is in Two Days, One Night, while I'm not particularly in love with her Dior dress (pretty much an altered version of what J.Law wore at the Oscars this year) I hope she talked to everyone at that party (it was 600 people) to convince them to vote for her.

 In a just world, Jenny Slate would be a slam dunk contender for Best Actress because she's incredible in Obvious Child, but an indie about abortion without a heartwarming message or a twee soundtrack is perhaps way too cool for Oscar. She definitely seems to be playing the "newbie" card, which is why she showed up dressed like Lupita Nyong'o at this year's ceremony. I hope that helps her cause! Jessica Chastain was there too, as she always is nowadays and rightfully so, and of course she was campaigning for her three or four scenes in Interstellar because it's November and she has made absolutely no other movies this year. I don't know what you mean about a three-hour-long melodrama with James McAvoy in which she's giving us Meryl Streep in Kramer vs. Kramer brilliance and a 1980s gangster flick...I seriously don't.

In a just world, Jenny Slate would be a slam dunk contender for Best Actress because she's incredible in Obvious Child, but an indie about abortion without a heartwarming message or a twee soundtrack is perhaps way too cool for Oscar. She definitely seems to be playing the "newbie" card, which is why she showed up dressed like Lupita Nyong'o at the Oscars. Will it help her campaign subliminally? Jessica Chastain was there too - where isn't she nowadays? -- and of course she was campaigning for her three or four scenes in Interstellar because it's November and she [ahem] has made absolutely no other movies this year. I don't know what you mean about a three-hour-long melodrama with James McAvoy in which she's giving us Meryl Streep in Kramer vs. Kramer brilliance and a 1980s gangster flick with Oscar Isaac in which she's giving us Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface ...I seriously don't.

 Literally, every single person involved in Boyhood was there. All. Of. Them. Look!

Moving on...

If there was such a thing as prom king and queen of awards season red carpet, this year would continue to be a popularity contest by way of The Imitation Game vs. The Theory of Everything. (Cumberbatch may have won round 1 in Toronto but round 2 on the early campaign trail has gone to Redmayne.) Just look at how cute they all are! Will people who vote for Eddie Redmayne feel like they must vote for Felicity Jones too? Can Benedict Cumberbatch win without Keira Knightley? For now, all I can say is that not since Kate & Leo have I wanted two screen couples to get married like I want these Brits to do.

 All of these handsome men below are potential Best Actor spoilers, and all of them seem to have shown up primarily to remind voters "hey, we clean up nice too!" since none of them play particularly glamorous characters. I'm especially bowled over by Oscar Isaac's bold brown tux with Clark Gable mischievous mustache accessory. Which one is making you swoon?

About that not-stealing-honorary-thunder business...

When does Tilda Swinton not steal everyone else's thunder? At first it seems strange she was even there until you remember "Remember that weird lady in Snowpiercer !" She undoubtedly has to remind people many times that that was her, which makes her instantly praise worthy. From frumpy to avant garde, now that's how you get votes. Similarly David Oyelowo showed up in one of the only tuxes worth talking about. 

Which of these dazzling stars will we be seeing in every red carpet from now until Oscar? What were some of your favorite looks?

Friday
Oct312014

Red Carpet Lineup: Interstellar Premiere

Are these Interstellar premiere ensembles simply Beyond (The Galaxy)? You decide. Hathaway and McConaughey are growing their hair out (yayyyyy/no!). Is Annie's dress representing for sci-fi's requisite AI? Is Matthew's gridlike suit a visual homage to Chris Nolan's regimented dreamscapes on Earth and in outerspace? Is the bottom of Jess's gown supposed to be like that or was this red carpet's surface covered in a thin layer of H20? 

Are these red carpet looks actually film spoilers? AhhhhHAaaaHHAAAu-huhhh?

Wednesday
Oct082014

Beauty Break: Jessica Chastain, Sarah Paulson, and Anne Hathaway

Three of our very favorite talented beauties, two of whom we've had the pleasure to interview right here at The Film Experience (Jessica & Sarah), have new photoshoots out.

This appears to be Jess's fav picture from the Interview photoshoot since she singled it out.

But before we drink in the triple gorgeousity let's look at today's kerfuffle with Jess. This very click-baity headline appeared on Page Six

Jessica Chastain: Give Anybody But Meryl Streep a Chance

It was of course a misquote. Jessica, who we all know is almost insanely positive and warm fuzzy hugs in her public persona, was just saying exactly what we're always saying right here: 'why is it only Streep?' She took to Twitter/WhoSay to clear things up:

That imaginary Jess/Streep throwdown behind us, more Chastain, Paulson, and Hathaway photos after the jump

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep182014

It's New Year's Eve for "A Most Violent Year"

It's the dread December 31st just-barely-Oscar-qualifying release for JC Chandor's curiosity A Most Violent Year. We had seen virtually nothing until today but now the poster, the teaser, a new website newyorkcity1981.com and the release date. We hear the acting is topnotch but then with that cast (Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, Albert Brooks, David Oyelowo,  Catalina Sandino Moreno, Alessandro Nivola, Christopher Abbott, Elizabeth Marvel, etcetera), why wouldn't it be?

Here's the teaser. Let us hope releasing a movie called that on New Year's Eve isn't a horrific omen for the good health of 2015.