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


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Entries in Jon Hamm (18)


Jon Hamm is ready to become a movie star

Here's Murtada with news on what's next for Jon Hamm post-Mad Men.

He finally won his much deserved Emmy and now that Mad Men is behind him, it seems Jon Hamm is set on becoming a movie star. This week came the announcement that he’s joining Ansel Elgort, Lily James and Jamie Foxx in Edgar Wright's next movie Baby Driver. He’s reportedly playing “a former Wall Street trader turned cop killer” ie. the big baddie.

Driver is one of a few upcoming Hamm movies. Already in the can is the comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses alongside Zach Galifianakis in which he plays a government spy hiding in the suburbs. Maintaining the espionage angle he’s set to play a US diplomat working with a CIA agent (Rosamund Pike) in 1970s Beirut in High Wire Act which was announced a couple of months ago but who knows if it’s still happening. He’s currently shooting Marjorie Prime in which he plays a holographic recreation of an ailing woman’s (Lois Smith) dead husband as he looked in his 30s.

An intriguing mix of movies, genres and lead/supporting parts. Perhaps chosen to compensate for the failure of his first foray into leading man territory with last year’s box office bomb Million Dollar Arm. He’s got the talent and he’s got the looks. Lines between TV and movie stardom are getting more blurred everyday with more actors and directors straddling both mediums. Still a bonafide movie star has much more clout than even the most successful TV star. Hamm seems to want that as he pointedly has chosen not to work in TV. Understandably, there’s nowhere to go on TV after the huge succes and endurance of an iconic part like Don Draper.

Do you think Hamm has what it takes to become a big crossover star a la George Clooney?


Emmy Cool-Down 

Emmy Post-Mortem
Pajiba all the times Mad Men lost acting Emmys. To this we add Christina Hendricks to Uzo Aduba (2015) and Elisabeth Moss to Viola Davis (2015) so they went 1 for 36 for eight years of an entire cast -- including the day players -- doing totally brilliant work. This is one of the reasons (only one) that the Emmys truly suck.
Slate a superb analysis of why Jon Hamm never won until now.
Glenn Dunks offers a neat solution for a couple of EGOT seekers
Vanity Fair 10 best reaction shots from the ceremony
Awesomely Luvvie on the "Blackest Emmys Ever" - I especially appreciate the shout out to future understandings of diversity because I long for the day when everyone realize that diversity does not mean white + black. But there's some time to go before we get there, you know?
E! Online covers the important stories. WHO WAS ALISON JANNEY'S SUPER HUNKY DATE? 

Six Afterthoughts on the Big Night

1. I really should have posted my predictions because they were spot on this year in regards to Veep and Game of Thrones emerging as the big winners with a nauseating mix of sameness in the acting categories mixed with new winners but only when they had no other choice. The new rules, which no longer require blue ribbon panels or for voters to have watched the nominees, are bound to eventually lead to even more repeat winners if you ask me. If a show is as popular as Game of Thrones it will be awfully tough to beat in a contest where no one voting needs to have watched any shows, even the current season of the one they're voting for.

2. Congratulations to the incredible Frances McDormand, the latest thespian to achieve the coveted Triple Crown (screw the overrated EGOT - Grammys are not an acting competition!). What's even more incredible is she is a) nothing like a typical leading lady  b) won all three awards for leading roles in c) excellent properties: Fargo (1996), Good People (2011), and Olive Kitteridge (2015). 

3. I'm saddened that Matthew Weiner didn't win the writing Emmy for Mad Men's "Person to Person" since ending an iconic TV show is so hard to do superbly. I met him briefly at TIFF at a movie party held shortly after this "In Conversation" event (which I did not attend) and he was super gracious when I told him he nailed the most difficult dismount ever with that episode. He did win three writing Emmys for the show though for "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" (S1.1), "Meditations in an Emergency" (S2.13), and "Shut the Door. Have a Seat" (S3.13) and since I'm always griping about people winning multiple Emmys for the same show perhaps 3 is enough. It's just too bad they weren't a little more spaced out since Mad Men was that rare show that did not depreciate as it went along. Which is why it's officially my favorite show of all time. I never thought anything would replace Buffy! 

4. For those following along at home Nathaniel's all time favorite shows (excluding 1 season wonders and not considering shows still on the air) probably go something like this... 1: Mad Men (2007-2015); 2: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003); 3: Twin Peaks (1990-1991); 4: Sex & the City (1998-2004); 5: Once & Again (1999-2002); 6: Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009); 7: Pushing Daisies (2007-2009); 8: 30 Rock (2006-2013); 9: Roseanne (1988-1997); 10: The Muppet Show (1976-1981). As you can see I'm not really into classic television, largely because laugh tracks make me crazy and the serialized drama has really stepped up its game in the last two decades though the shows just off this list are some combo of Six Feet Under, Friends and 80s dramas like Dynasty and thirtysomething. I suspect we're going to see some levelling off now of the rise in quality since we're already getting clichés that spring mostly from this new golden age. If someone greenlights one more anti-hero show. Ugh. 

5. Can we create a statue that honors Best Speech and the nominees can be culled from all Awards Shows each year? Viola Davis wins this statue basically whenever she wins a statue of any kind in a given year because WOW. Remember her amazing SAG speech about dreaming big? And then last night's tremendous historically minded but forward looking diversity plea. Queen. 

6. We'll do a red carpet lineup soon and be done with the 2015 Emmys and then we'll start the whole process of dumb hope then disillusionment all over again for next year when Emmy stays set in its awful repetitive ways.




Best Emmy Night Tweets

Too exhausted from travel for the typical live blog so we'll just share the best tweets from celebrities, friends and awesome people for the night. So refresh on occasion... 

But first of all here's "Taystee" herself Danielle Brooks. TWIRL, GIRL! 

more after the jump

Click to read more ...


FYC: Jon Hamm for Best Lead Actor in a Drama

Team Experience share their personal Emmy dream picks daily at Noon. Here's Deborah on everyone's favorite ad man...

Emmy voters, you assholes, now is your chance to make it right! 

You have nominated Jon Hamm seven times for his work on Mad Men. Seven times. It’s like you’ve got the hiccups and then, when the actual award-giving comes around, you’re all holding your breath. Stop it!

Okay, so, irritation out of the way, let’s talk about the work this extraordinary actor has done on this show. 

First of all, Mad Men is not an ensemble show. There’s an amazing cast doing supporting work, yes. Kiernan Shipka, January Jones, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, and especially Elisabeth Moss all deserve acknowledgement. Nonetheless, its Hamm’s Don Draper who carries the show, and the nuance of his performance is what delivers the show to greatness, matching the lofty ambitions of its writing with flawless execution. 

There are moments when the writers of Mad Men have simply stripped out the dialogue, and allowed Hamm’s face to do all the heavy lifting—to go from serene to angry to defeated in a few seconds. To break down and then build back up. There are times when no words are spoken, because words are for lesser actors. (That's especially true in the series' finale which should be fresh in your memory.)

Now, listen, Emmys. You’ve denied Hamm the award when he delivered the Season 3's The Gypsy and the Hobo, the complete breakdown of his façade, as Betty Draper confronted her husband with the evidence that he was another man. You’ve denied it to him when he delivered The Suitcase, the season 4 episode widely considered Mad Men’s finest hour, a two-hander in which Don falls apart, bit-by-bit, as he and Peggy Olson (Moss) tear apart their complex relationship in one long, grueling, drunken night. 

But how about now? How about an award for the series finale, Person to Person, when he learns that Betty has cancer, and silently, eloquently, lets her know he loves her? How about an award for Field Trip, as Don waits to hear about getting his job back, starting with absolute confidence, believing he is already hired, and bit-by-bit, hour by hour, becomes more nervous and more humble, all without any dialogue directly addressing the fact. Or just, you know, give it to him for kissing Peggy on top of her head as they dance in Season The Strategy.

There are many great actors on television today. I’m not saying other people aren’t worthy. I’m saying no one can do what Jon Hamm does. No one is more complex, more plastic, more impressive. Maybe someone out there is equally good, but no one is better, and seven years is too damn long to wait.


Mad Men Series Finale "Person to Person"

EDITOR'S NOTE: Abundant intelligent movie references were what first prompted the "Mad Men at the Movies" series. Though this series finale had no movie references, the great series' best episodes, hell even its minor ones, have had the richness of cinema both visually and thematically. That said, I personally enjoyed the unprovoked flashback to Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969) a fitting companion film to see this week, for many reasons: its time period, its troubled romances, self-discovery retreats, and especially its gorgeously sly double-sided satiric/genuine "EPIPHANY!" and hippie-love musical finale. Here's new contributor Lynn Lee to wrap up as we raise our glasses (of Coke naturally) to the greatest TV show of all time - Nathaniel

It’s been less than 24 hours since the series finale of “Mad Men” aired and a vigorous debate is already raging over the last few minutes of it.  What, we wonder, was the meaning of the cut from Don’s closed eyes and beatific smile to the classic 1971 Coke commercial that introduced “I’d like to buy the world a Coke”? 

Is this where Don’s inspiration leads – back to McCann and Coca-Cola’s signature advertising hook?  Or is the juxtaposition an ironic commentary on the enlightenment he thinks he’s found?  Or is it a non-ironic contrast between the enlightenment he truly has found and the ersatz version that Coke would peddle as a substitute for the real thing?


Click to read more ...


Mad Men @ the Movies: "The Milk and Honey Route"

Lynn Lee on the penultimate episode of Mad Men...

As we get closer to the end of “Mad Men,” I’m growing increasingly confident it will stick the final landing.  There’s been a new energy and sense of direction offsetting the sadness of saying goodbye, and the penultimate episode, while packed with even more emotional bombshells, continued to bring what felt like natural closures to several major character arcs.  As with Joan from last week, even if we see Betty and Pete again, it seems unlikely the finale will contain any further major plot turns for them.

The biggest remaining question mark, not surprisingly, is still Don, the wandering soul of the show.  But let me start with the other two, because they are two of my favorites, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that they’ve spent most of the series’ run competing for the title of most-reviled major character on “Mad Men.”  

Click to read more ...


Attending the Mad Men "Black and Red Ball"

Margaret reporting from Los Angeles. On Wednesday night, television phenomenon Mad Men screened its final premiere, and I had the pleasure of attending to represent The Film Experience. This premiere leads off the second half of Mad Men's seventh and final season. While introducing the episode, AMC President Charlie Collier spoke to the legacy of the show, claiming that:

in the history of television, there will be a permanent line of demarcation: Before Mad Men, and After Mad Men.''

It's a strong claim, but it's true. 


Compare the television landscape of today to the television landscape of a decade ago, and the influence of Mad Men's success is evident. Certainly without that show AMC would not have taken off and there would be no Breaking Bad, nor The Walking Dead. The Americans, Downton Abbey, and Netflix's entire original programming arm also owe Mad Men a sizable debt.

The Event
In celebration of their achievement, the cast and crew gathered in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles which housed the Oscars for many year. The Pavilion isn't new to Mad Men either, the foyer having played the lobby of a Rome hotel in season three. 

Margaret and Jordan attending for The Film Experience


Nearly the entire cast was present except for Elisabeth Moss (currently on Broadway) and Jessica Pare. When Robert Morse was called on stage he practically held court, and all but did a soft-shoe. Jon Hamm was, understandably, like the class president, high-fiving everyone and adorably rough-housing with little Bobby Draper when he seemed to get restless. And finally, Kiernan Shipka who we watched grow up on the show, is now unnervingly tall and very poised. 

The mutual respect and love among the team was evident, and the program reserved special (and richly deserved) praise for the visual artists who gave Mad Men so much of its richness: cinematographer Chris Manley, production designer Dan Bishop, art director Christopher Brown, set decorator Claudette Didul, props master Ellen Freund, and the genius costume designer Janie Bryant whose work on the show is so long overdue for an Emmy. Christina Hendricks clearly adores them giving enormous hugs to everyone.

Coming up on seven full seasons, Mad Men has pulled down four Emmys for Best Drama Series, traced the decade of shifting cultural history between 1960 and 1970, and has inspired more spiraling fan theories than its cast has smoked cigarettes.


Keirnan Shipka, Jon Hamm, and January Jones at the event on Wednesday

So how does it end? The first of the final episodes, true to the series spirit, plays it close to the vest. It riffs on the show's established intertwining themes (sex, business, identity) but it's a little looser, a little more relaxed. (As if they knew that the TFE readership would be on the look out for a "Mad Men at the Movies" reference, they toss off an aces Mildred Pierce joke midway through.) The pace is unhurried, as ever, and where the slow burn will flame out is still anyone's guess. TV has changed so much since Mad Men arrived. How will it change once it's gone?

Mad Men returns to AMC for its final episodes on Sunday April 5th, 10/9c