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Entries in Joe Wright (10)

Monday
May142018

Beauty vs Beast: Bad Girls

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" which is tackling the 49th birthday of one of modern cinema's more obscure and under-rewarded actresses, maybe you've heard her name in passing -- a Cate Blanchett? If you have you're one of the lucky few in the know! Okay okay so she's currently swanning around southern France in millions of dollars in fabrics being the grande dame of the movies, so you probably have.

But this week's competition is facing her down with a real buried gem, somebody only the mosy diligent of cineastes has heard of and whose film adaptation of a serious difficult piece of theater just hit theaters this past weekend... a Saoirse Ronan? Rack your brains, maybe that name sounds familiar. Anyway in 2011 these two forces of nature faced down in Joe Wright's (still under-appreciated if you ask me) film Hanna, and here we are...

PREVIOUSLY Last week also tackled a bad mother figure situation with the monsters of the Alien franchise and I think since it was Mother's Day you made the right choice, giving Mama Queen Alien Bitch 70% of the vote. Said AmandaBuffamonteezi:

"No better time to say YAAAASSSS KWEEEENNNN!!!!!"

Wednesday
Sep132017

TIFF: Notes on Oscar hopefuls "Darkest Hour" and "Downsizing"

Detroit may have bombed but the letter "D" could still reign come Oscar time with Dunkirk, Darkest Hour, and Downsizing all potential Best Picture players. Though it can sometimes feel gross to discuss rich movies from an Oscar perspective before they've even been considered as films, it happens to us all this time of year and the films invite it with their slow rollouts from festival reviews that result in months of discussion and speculation before the public can buy tickets. In other words: Look what they made me us do!

DOWNSIZING
After 'miniature masterpiece' style reviews at Venice the critics got considerably chillier with Alexander Payne's latest once it hit Telluride. Now the film is playing in Toronto and the reviews continue to be mixed. This could spell trouble for the film, but be patient. Initial reviews are only part of the Oscar equation...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul142017

It's Time for the "Darkest Hour"

Chris here. Remember a few short years ago when Gary Oldman, after decades of brilliance, was finally an Oscar nominee for Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy? Well, it looks like he could be prepping another go of awards season, but this time it might be for a performance that finds the actor on the unrecognizable side of his chameleonic abilities. The last time he had this level of makeup on we got his delicious and underrated Dracula, but now Oldman is donning some impressive prosthetics to play Winston Churchill in Joe Wright's period piece Darkest Hour.

Though Joe Wright's previous period work like Atonement and Anna Karenina have sparked with some inventive presentation, for the trailer this looks like a little bit more of the familiar. No matter, considering Oldman is firing on all cylinders for some juicy dramatics as the Prime Minister - the actor is definitely the show here. Also a good sign considering some of the not-so-beloved recent performances we've had from great actors take on playing Churchill.

The film also features a strong ensemble around Oldman, including Kristen Scott Thomas, Ben Mendelsohn, Lily James, and Stephen Dillane. Expect to see this pop up on the fall festival circuit before it opens at Thanksgiving.

Friday
May292015

Anne Goes Overboard

Jason from MNPP here with a look at some of the new hot movie news! Okay it's a day old but I feel as if y'all might have THOUGHTS on this: Anne Hathaway's been set to star in The Lifeboat, an adaptation of a 2013 book by Charlotte Rogan, for awhile now. It apparently tells the tale as old as Titanic of a sinking luxury liner and some Sophie's Choices that must be made regarding one's ultimate survival.

Does it make me an old person or just a person with a very nearly unbearable slash extraordinary sense of refinement that I first picture Tallulah Bankhead using diamonds as a fishing lure before I see Kate Winslet hocking a loogie when I read that plot synopsis? Either way it's a fertile playground for a filmmaker and they just went and hired one of the fertile-est around: Joe Wright is going to direct the thing, making it his post-Pan project. He's really into boats right now!

Anne is slowly but surely manuevering her way back in front of the public after The World decided we all - her included! - needed a break after that very loud Oscar win of hers. She's received good notices OffBroadway and she's got that beige-fantasia by Nancy Meyers coming out in September. I'll be skipping that, but the words "Joe" and "Wright" put next to each other are an immediate "yes whatever I'll watch whatever, Rooney Mara as a Colorform Sprite, sure" for me. You?

Saturday
May112013

A Cluster of Links

articles elsewhere
The House Next Door Aaron Tveit on the rise
Salon Jennifer Wright relays the joy and weirdness of tweeting The Great Gatsby line by line
In Contention Warner Bros will distribute Ryan Gosling's directorial debut How to Catch a Monster starring Christina Hendricks. I'm so excited for this one. I guess it takes a great actor to finally give Christina her due as a potential film star
Guardian looks back at Carey Mulligan's career thus far
Empire Is Joe Wright directing 50 Shades of Grey. If so my interest in the project went from minimal to lots.
The New Yorker on Upstream Color. I feel terrible that I haven't yet seen this movie and loved Primer


three things that made me lol this week that i keep clicking back to
My New Plaid Pants Myrtle mowed down in The Great Gatsby (1949)
Des Hommes et des Chatons hot guys and cute cats in mirror poses
Gosloving "Ryan Gosling won't eat his cereal" -- my favorite one is the Lars and the Real Girl. Yours? (Do you think he recoiled at the "date" scene in Silver Linings Playbook)

Something That Bugs Me That Actors Keep Doing...
Typecasting is one thing. It happens to the best of them. But why do some stars willingly dive into roles that are so much like their other roles that you'd be entirely forgiven for thinking they're making a sequel. Why is Timothy Olyphant, for example, who played a Sheriff/ US Marshall on Deadwood and then a US Marshall on  Justified taking up another violent sherrif for The Man on Carrion Road? That's the kind of tiny niche that can just wreck your career for anything else (or did I miss some trend where violent sheriffs are ubiqui-hot like zombies?). Isn't it time he played like, I dont know, a chef or a used car salesman or something?  And why is Tom Cruise starring in yet another espionage franchise based on a TV series. How will they differentiate The Man From U.N.C.L.E. from Mission: Impossible now as film franchises? Why not just make Mission: Impossible 5. Oh, wait, he's doing that too!?! STOP IT!!!

TV Cancellations
Southland is done says TNT. I'd mourn its loss after a stellar fifth season but five seasons is a good run for any show and often shows nose dive in quality after five so quitting while you're ahead is kind of beautiful. Meanwhile Smash is officially axed as is The New Normal. Is this a dark day for gays who love television or a relief given the obnoxious self-loathing of the former and the preachy self-love of the latter?

You decide!

Sunday
Apr282013

April Showers: “Anna Karenina”

 April Showers semi-daily @ 11 

 Andrew here to briefly talk about Anna Karenina, because  I relish any opportunity to talk about one of my favourite 2012 films.

Among the great many things about Anna Karenina I remain grateful for (Keira’s most adult performance, Marianelli’s most inventive score, great work from Durran are a few) Jude Law’s turn as Alexei Karenin is near the top. Prior to Anna Karenina I’d been experiencing something akin to cognitive dissonance with Jude for the last eight years or so. Other than the odd Contagion thrown in I’d been finding it more and more difficult to justify the reasons I kept maintaining that he was my favourite actor under 40. So, naturally, he had much to prove to me with Anna Karenina and luckily I wasn’t disappointed.

The shower in question is brief but comes at a pivotal moment in the film. With a third of the narrative left Karenin, assured of his wife's infidelity, experiences an awkward dinner with her brother's family. He is too scrupulous to excuse or understand Anna’s cheating ways and when he receives a letter plaintive letter he rips it to shreds.

 
 
 

 With that tortured look, alone, I’m willing to forgive less than exciting work in the years preceding. It's not that post-2004 and pre-2012 Jude was slumming it, but he's not been pushing himself either. It’s one of the key reasons I would reach for Wright’s Karenina before any other. Karenin is not a footnote, but a full realised man. Wright and Stoppard are unwaveringly interested in ALL of their characters and the examination of Karenin is as compassionate and warm as that of the eponymous heroine. As the shredded paper morphs into a shower of snow it leads to one of the multiple glorious images of the film.

Seeing steadfast Karenin (and his good ethics) inundated in a shower of white does not seem accidental, to me. The idea of a jilted lover standing in a shower of rain is not unheard of, but of course Karenin - forever suffering in silence - is showered not in loud raindrops but snow which is not only as pure and immaculate as his morals are but silent, too. There is no pitter patter as this shower unfolds but a chilling soundlessness as the snow falls to the stage. Like Karenin himself, a man not out of love with his wife but too emotionlessly silent to show it, there is no sound. Poor cuckolded fool, though; shredded paper and all he’s at her bedside in the next scene.

Was anyone else as moved by Jude's Karenin last year? Did Wright's compassion for the cuckolded husband impress you too?