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Missi Pyle's Oscar Memoir!


 "Amazing. Missi is freaking hilarious! Keeping it real at the Oscars…love it!" -Lindsay

"I died a little when I saw that Chastain picture... The best of luck to Missi. And, girl, you're fun!" -Fadhil

all of Missi Pyle's guest posts


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Entries in Jessica Chastain (77)


Cannes, Chastain, Critics

More Cannes prizes to discuss. We'll illustrate with Jessica Chastain at Cannes because.... she pretty! Always prizeworthy




FIPRESCI -International Federation of Film Critics
COMPETITION  Blue is the Warmest Colour by Abdellatif Kechiche (France, 2013)
This three hour lesbian coming of age drama stars newcomer Adele Exarchopoulos and the ever more impressive Léa Seydoux (Farewell My Queen, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Midnight in Paris ...and many more recently). It's considered a threat for tomorrow's awards from the competition jury, too. Wouldn't you just love to listen to Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, Christoph Waltz and Nicole Kidman arguing about its graphic 20 minute lesbian sex scene and whether that's just exploitative titillation or artistically justified storytelling?
UN CERTAIN REGARD  Manuscripts Don't Burn by Mohammad Rasoulof (Iran, 2013)
PARALLEL SECTIONS Blue Ruin by Jeremy Saulnier (USA, 2013), a noirish revenge thriller, which played in Directors Fortnight. Radius/The Weinstein Co. picked it up for distribution

CANNES Ecumenical Jury
WINNER The Past by Asghar Farhadi (Iran, 2013)
COMMENDATIONS Miele by actress Valeria Golino (her directorial debut!) and Like Father Like Son by the acclaimed Hirokazu Kore-eda


Burning Questions: Can You Really Separate A Performance From The Film?  

Hey everybody. Michael C. here. Growing up in the dark days before Twitter, back before I could get my Oscar gripe on 24/7, I had to focus all that emotion on Siskel and Ebert’s annual "Memo to the Academy" special. Watching year after year, one of the refrains the duo drilled into my head was that the Academy should expand their idea of what constitutes an Oscar-worthy performance. Don’t lazily jot down the names of those appearing in best picture contenders. Evaluate each performance on its own merits, apart from the film that contains it. They were adamant on the subject. 

Or at least they were, until the 1998/99 episode when Gene found the limits of Roger’s open-mindedness by suggesting James Woods receive a Best Actor nod for John Carpenter’s Vampires. After Gene went on for a bit about Woods’ talent for commanding the screen, Roger demurred, “Yeah, but if you’re gonna nominate someone for Best Actor you kinda want them to be in a little better movie, don’t you think?”

Gene wasn’t having it: “No. I want the performance. I don’t care about the movie.” 

This altercation zeroed in on a question that has always nagged at me. If even a harsh critic of stodgy thinking like Ebert has to draw the line somewhere, is the issue that cut and dry? Is it really possible to separate the performance from the film? [more]

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Say What? Watts & Chastain

You amused us by adding dialogue or a caption to this snapshot of Naomi Watts & Jessica Chastain taken Wednesday in Paris.


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Can you picture Jessica Chastain swinging on vines? Who else?

Though I think it's curious that the internet leaps so feverishly on to each casting wish as if it were reality, I feel we should discuss the latest speculative thing going around.

I made this. My apologies to Vogue Italia for repurposing their gorgeous image of Jessica

Yes, Jessica Chastain is "said to be the first choice for Jane" in that new Tarzan movie that might star Alexandar Skarsgård that I've talked about before to little interest from you. I think maybe you had to grow up with Tarzan movies playing in syndication on the TV to care? I did and come what may, I like Tarzan anything in an instant nostalgia kind of way.

But back to Jessica. Being first choice and being interested are two extremely different things and I'd be willing to bet she's "first choice" for about 70% (am I lowballing it?) of the screenplays out there with a female lead OR supporting role for a woman in her early to mid 30s. I mean think about it. Hollywood producers get VERY fixated on certain people despite there being an abundance of talent from which to choose. She's about to turn 36 but reads more like 30, don't you think? She is a) gorgeous b) a fine actor c) incredibly versatile d) obsessed over as the next big thing that isn't Jennifer Lawrence who she's not really competing for roles with anyway and e) she's probably cheaper to cast still (for maybe 5 more minutes) than the more established stars in her age bracket. The only reason I think this might happen despite it sounding ridiculous is that there is apparently three of her she finds time to do so much.

Chastain probably loves all of these actresses she's so generous of spirit

Can you picture Jessica Chastain swinging on vines in a loincloth? Would you like to? I think she'd be a dynamic visual match with Skarsgård but the Jane part can be such a wash if the screenplay isn't good. And as for her competition, this begs the question

Exactly who is her competition these days (not for "Jane" but in general)?

Headliners in her age bracket (ages 30-36) in alpha order
Blunt, Dunst, Hathaway, Gyllenhaal, McAdams, Portman, Williams... there are a ton of major stars now in their late 30s -- Theron, Adams, and many more -- but I just wanted to limit this or I'd be researching all day
Less famous and/or less prestigious (at the moment) but probably on long lists for the 30-36 age bracket
Atwell, Collins, Cornish, Garai, Green, Hall, Harris, Kruger, Marling, Miller, Munn, Pike, Rapace, Reilly, Sagnier, Saldana, and Riseborough

Chastain can't do every movie... even if there's three of her! Who would you love to see snatching up the opportunities she passes on? Which of her headline competitors would you like to take roles from and give to Jessica?



Red Carpet Oscar Pt. 1: "Princess. Puppy. Purse."

For this Oscar Nominee edition of the red carpet convos I am pleased to welcome Courtney from Pajiba!

It's Courtney!

NATHANIEL: Welcome to the Film Experience, Courtney. Since you're a brand new to many readers (unless they're smart enough to read Pajiba!) it's confession time. I wore a Les Miz tee to the Oscars last night but before we dive into what the Best Supporting Actresses were wearing, tell us: what were you wearing last night?!

COURTNEY: Hello, sir! I was looking superb - a vision in flannel, baby vomit elegantly adorning my jeans.

NATHANIEL: Beautiful. Do you hate it when they ask the nominees if their child picked their dress for them? I heard it first with Reese Witherspoon last night but you hear it all the time. 

COURTNEY: I hate the question, and I hate the answers. If children ever actually picked out Oscar gowns, however, that is a ceremony I'd watch. Picture it. It would be some sparkly nonsense and I'd love it. 

Maybe Hugh Jackman would have shown up dressed as Batman. SEE? Automatically a better ceremony.

NATHANIEL: Definitely less matchy-matchy and "on trend" I'll give you that. Rainbow would be the new black. Okay....

SUPPORTING ACTRESS. Anne Hathaway's 'darts' were the talk of twitter last night but there's more than just pointy boobs to discuss.


Anne's halter, Helen's wrinkles, and so-phis-ti-cat-ed Best Actresses after the jump... 

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Red Carpet Arrivals

I shan't be live-blogging the awards tonight -- I miss too much of the show when I do that but expect some tweets here and there and lots of post-mortem recapping tomorrow ALL DAY. But for now a few arrivals...





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