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Entries in Jessica Lange (39)

Monday
Mar272017

Feud: Bette and Joan "More or Less"

Previously
1 "Pilot"
2 "The Other Woman" 
3 "Mommie Dearest

by Eric Blume

Episode 4, “More, Or Less” marks the halfway point for Feud: Bette and Joan, and this episode focuses on power and limitations, not only for its title characters, but for everyone surrounding them.  

This episode sees both lead actresses confronted by a lack of offers after the completion of shooting Whatever Happed to Baby Jane?.  Susan Sarandon’s reaction to meeting her new young agent is priceless, and Jessica Lange has a “fuck you fellas” scene that feels right out of Mommie Dearest.  

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar202017

Feud: Bette and Joan. "Mommie Dearest"

Previously
Ch. 1 "Pilot"
Ch. 2 "The Other Woman" 

Feud's writing team is nothing if not devoted to playing to a single theme per episode. All but a couple of scenes in chapter 3 of Feud are devoted to the notion of mothering (though Victor Buono's more generous notion of "legacy" might have been a smarter move for retroactive potency). Or at least the show spends this hour playing with our pre-conceptions of the mothering skills of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. That's evident in the way it pulls the episode title from the infamous Christina Crawford memoir that damned Joan forever in the public eye as a psychopath and child abuser. In one of the earliest scenes we even get a potent reminder of this memoir as Joan pretends she's not going to send Christina a card congratulating her on the opening of a play until she reads reviews, but then signs the card "Mommie Dearest," as soon as two of her other children are out of sight.

I know what you think of my mothering...

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Monday
Mar202017

On this day: Vivien's Oscar, Kevin's Bacon, Carter's Write-Down 

On this day in showbiz history

The Story of Miss Lonelyheart from Péter Lichter on Vimeo.

1913/1914 Did you know that Detective Doyle (Wendell Corey) and Miss Lonelyhearts (Judith Evelyn) from Rear Window shared a birthday? Now you do! (Uff, I love Rear Window so much)
1942 Rings on Her Finger, a screwball comedy starring Henry Fonda and Gene Tierney opens in theaters
1948 Gentleman's Agreement wins Best Picture at the 1947 Oscars but the enduring statues from that year are surely Edmund Gwenn's Supporting Actor win as Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street and the Cinematography and Art Direction wins for the astounding Black Narcissus. What a picture! 
1952 Vivien Leigh wins her second Best Actress prize at the 1951 Oscars for A Streetcar Named Desire. Absent from the ceremony, Greer Garson accepts for Vivien...

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Wednesday
Feb152017

Feud - Titles & Trailer

Feud: Bette and Joan is just 18 days away.

We're almost more excited about it than the Oscars despite reservations about the casting and tone. Indie Wire loves what they've seen of it so far. They even love that Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange read more like themselves rather than as mimics of Bette & Joan though I personally worry about this very thing. But we shall see. Anything that reminds contemporary audiences to seek out cultural knowledge of classics is something to be at least a little bit excited about. 

Trailer and opening credit sequence are after the jump...

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Wednesday
Feb152017

11 Days Until Oscar -- Big Double-Honors Trivia!

11 is the magic number today and 11 comes with big and appropriately twinned A list Oscar trivia.

the great Fay Bainter was the first actor double-nominated in a single year

11 is the number of actors who have been double nominated for lead & supporting within the same year! Pretty cool, right? Details and adjacent trivia starring Lange, Bergman, Blanchett, De Niro, SigWeavie, and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb072017

Lange Gets Legendary

NY Magazine's "The Cut" has treated us with a marvelous photo collection of Jessica Lange as eight pioneering women. The Sandro shoot was likely inspired by Lange’s upcoming Joan Crawford role in Feud.  You’ll see Lange in top form (and significant makeup) as ladies like Frida Kahlo, Mae West, and Janis Joplin. The Cut article also includes side-by-side photo comparisons of the original photographs that inspired the portfolio, as well as a one-minute video piece of the shoot itself (which contains a few of Jessica’s patented, glorious hate glares).  

It all feels inspired and particularly timely, hot on the heels of the Womens’ March and tantalizingly close to the hopeful pleasures of watching Lange go toe-to-toe with Susan Sarandon as two other major figures of Hollywood.  It’s also a surprising and curious concept for a shoot, since Lange, while one of our best and certainly most live-wire actresses, isn’t known for transformation …so it has a particular kick. 

Which of the photos is your favorite?  Her Diana Vreeland more resembles Cherry Jones(!), and her Marlene Dietrich conjures good and bad memories from AHS: Freak Show.  But I love the I’m-smarter-than-all-of-you energy she captures in her Gloria Steinem, and her Georgia O’Keeffe captures the inherent intelligence of the original subject but seems to cross over to what is markedly Lange:  a deep well of sadness, fearlessly looking at the journey ahead.

Wednesday
Jan182017

46 Days Until "Feud"

first promotional shot from FEUD

The new Ryan Murphy anthology TV series' first eight-episode season, premieres on Sunday March 5th (yes exactly one week after the Oscars which seems very kind). The season looks at the legendarily bitchy Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) vs Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) wars. Two Oscar winners playing two Oscar winners. We're in!

We don't want to know too much ahead of time as that ruins so many TV shows and movies these days but it would be nice to have a leaked list of films referenced beyond Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) so we could do a little revisiting of some key titles before the premiere, though it seems likely that the series will also cover the production of Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964) given the character list in the credits. Jessica Lange doesn't look or feel much like Joan Crawford in face or persona which could be a problem but Sarandon might well be the perfect choice for Davis. Alfred Molina is playing the director Robert Aldrich and Kiernan Shipka will play Bette Davis daughter B.D. Hyman. Other celebrity mimicry going on will include Sarah Paulson as Oscar-winner Geraldine Page, Catherine Zeta Jones as Oscar-winner Olivia de Havilland, Kathy Bates as Joan Blondell, Judy Davis as the oft-played gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren recently played her in Trumbo and Tilda Swinton played a twinned riff on her in Hail Caesar!), and multiple non-famous actors playing various Oscar winners (Gregory Peck, Eva Marie Saint, Maximillian Schell) in single episode showcases and/or cameos... who knows.

QUICK POLL
The image above most makes you want to...

🔲  Watch Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? again for the umpteenth time
🔲  Give in to the impending T***pocalypse and regress to childhood fantasies with ice cream in hand...
🔲  Find a time machine and skip the next 45 days.
🔲  Other [please describe]