Film Bitch History
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Entries in Judy Greer (22)


Red Carpet SAG: Slinky Angie, Cute Emma, Winning Viola

Red Carpet Conversations continues on the road to Oscar night. The Critics Choice Awards fashions were like something out of easter but the Globes stepped it up with all the colors of the rainbow. Now we've reached the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Pajiba's Joanna has returned!

Joanna:  ‪wooo hoooo fashion‬

Nathaniel:  ‪Welcome back Joanna‬. So how is awards season treating you? You were sick yesterday when we were supposed to talk. Was it red carpet overload?

‬Joanna:  ‪There's only so many ruffles one girl can take.‬ 

Nathaniel:  ‪So we start on a sun-drenched field.

Lane, Wiig, Carpenter, King, and Mol

It was sunny at the SAGs and I'm not just talking about Jean Dujardin's disposition. Look at all the solar rays powering this first group.

 ‬Joanna:  ‪I love love love love love the sparkles on Jennifer Carpenter.  Also, the length.  It's not something you can wear to the Oscars, but is delightfully SAG worthy.‬

Nathaniel: ‪I think the dress is great but maybe not on her. There's something about the lines on the side (gorgeous) that resemble a jutting rib cage. So skinny that one. But I included her as a thank you for being the only good thing about Dexter anymore (done with that show)‬

Joanna:  ‪Oh, yes, our Deb is in need of a sandwich or two.  That's for sure.   Speaking of curves, I'm not usually a fan of frou-frou, but that purple number looks great on Regina King.  She looks very dishy.  Not quite Viola territory, but close.‬ 

Nathaniel:  ‪She is SAG's Social Media Ambassador so I want to click "like" on this‬.

Joanna:  ‪Is she? If I were an ambassador I would demand a sash.  A REALLY fancy sash with Twitter birds on it. ‬

Nathaniel:  ‪That's over capacity fo the red carpet.‬ 

Joanna:  ‪Speaking of accessories. I am not a fan of whatever it is Kristen Wiig has on her neck.‬ A choker? From Wet Seal?  It's competing with the neckline of her dress. 

Nathaniel: I can see that but independently I would digg it. I like that she doesn't try to soften her angularity much on the red carpet. She's got a bit of a dark side, yes?‬ 

Joanna:  ‪Are you saying you think she has handcuffs in that bag?‬ 

Nathaniel:  ‪Shhhhh. ‬No one must know.

 Joanna:  ‪Ugh, her date is so lucky.‬ Can we talk about Gretchen Mol who looks like the fanciest lady on the USS Enterprise? 

Nathaniel:  ‪Hee.‬  ‪I keep wanting not to like it but I totally do. Which is sort of how I have always reacted to Gretchen Mol. No one remembers this but Vanity Fair was trying to make her happen for the longest and I was like "does Conde Nast have stock in her career?" so I was suspicious but i almost always like her in things.‬ 

Whenever I see Diane Lane I think "movie star without the movies"‬

Joanna:  ‪Mol's fancy space collar looks itchy.‬ ‪Oh I remember her and "Vanity Fair"!  I always felt like Weinstein had his sticky fingers all over that situation.‬ But, speaking of Real Genuine Movie Stars, Angelina Jolie was back in her Cruella style. All slinky and drapey and eeeeeevil. 



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SAG Nominations: Surprising, Silly, Shame-less 

Regina King and Judy Greer announced the SAG nominees

Before we begin can I get something off my chest. You've possibly noticed that I always list actresses before actors when I do lists or my own awardage. Beyond my own actressexuality there is another reason for this. It galls me that they're listed second everywhere as if they're just slightly less important than actors. Now, you might say that's just a matter of alphabetics since "Actor" comes before "Actress" in correct alphabetization and that's true enough. But it's not only alphabetics, its our lazily sexist society. Please to note that SAG makes a point of calling all acting professionals "actors" without gender division and yet they do this and then STILL list men first even though "female" comes before "male" in correct alphabetization of category titles.

Grrrrr and also "girl!"

So women first when I list it because that's how we like it! 



  • The Artist
  • Bridesmaids
  • The Descendants
  • The Help
  • Midnight In Paris

These are strong nominees this year but as usual they left great actors out, even when their films were nominated.  Some comments on that problem in a separate post.

One theory of SAG ensemble voting is that actors vote for the movies that they wish they'd been in and that theory definitely holds up this year. All five of these sets must have been a blast when you think of the actors involved, the costumes, the color, the comedy (all five have comedic spirit even the two that are dramas).




It's also worth noting that this list is 80% identical to the BFCA list for ensemble. The only difference is you need to swap out Midnight in Paris for Ides of March. Still... it's clear that voters don't watch the more under the radar movies. I wish A Separation had opened a few months ago and built up to the acclaim it so deserves.

How fun would a win for Bridesmaids be as a ceremony capper? I demand a Wilson Phillips song be played when they take the stage should it occur.


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Interview: Judy Greer on "The Descendants" & "Archer"

It can't be just that we're both from Michigan. Perhaps it's her voice on the other end of the line, which sounds too much like an old high school friend's? There's something about Judy Greer that seems familiar. No, no, I just see a lot of movies is all. It's merely the cumulative effect of her filmography, I tell myself, which often presents her to us as relatable sideshow: friend, sister, neighbor, co-worker, everywoman. Maybe she strikes casting directors this way, too. I can't imagine I'm alone in this feeling, though to our mutual amusement, this girl next door vibe she gives off turns out to be surprisingly literal. As we begin to talk the small talk stretches out and out as the revelations come. We lived 3 miles from one another as children! We went to the same dance clubs as teenagers! We were scared of the same freeways while driving!

"Anyway, hiiiiiiiiiii" she says laughing, as we reboot out conversation. We'd better get to talking about the movies!

After years and years in showbiz how does this sense of familiarity sit with her, strangers feeling like they know her. How uncomfortable must this 'Where do I know you from again?' sensation be?

"It happens to me all the time but I don't consider it a problem," she says, instantly getting the question. There was a time, she offers, that people would always actually think they knew her. At some point in changed. Now they know she's an actress but they can't quite place from where. 

Mr & Mrs Speer (Judy Greer and Matthew Lillard) in "The Descendants"Eventually that signature role will hit and there'll be no mistaking the "who?" and the "were from?" The Descendants is definitely a forward step in that direction. Though it's another brief supporting role, her Mrs. Speer is a lynchpin character in an acclaimed Oscar buzzing film at that. She can already taste the difference and is "flattered" to be included in all the promotion for the movie for such a small role. The cast has already been nominated for Best Ensemble at the BFCA Critics Choice Awards. Judy herself will announce the SAG nominees on Wednesday where The Descendants is also expected to score.

Without spoiling the film, let's just say that George Clooney's Matt King befriends her character with an agenda; he knows something about her husband that she doesn't and he wants to get closer to her in order to get to him. She only has three scenes but all are opposite Clooney himself and all three are crucial to the emotional journey of the film.

Once we got to the movies, The Descendants was the only place to start.

[Judy on Nice George, Naughty Archer, Descendant Enthusiasm and her best roles after the jump]

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NYFF: " The Descendants"

Michael C from Serious Film here with the closing night film of the New York Film Festival.

It is at times like this when I feel a pang of envy for those people out there who are oblivious to the world of obsessive cinephiles like myself.

These are the people who saw and loved Sideways in 2004 and went merrily on with their lives, unaware that there were folks like me waiting through an excruciating seven-year hiatus for Alexander Payne to settle on his next project. Film lovers like myself saw Sideways as the culmination of an incredible eight-year run of movies that positioned him to be this generation's answer to Billy Wilder, and who was basically alone out there making comedies for adults with intelligence, heart and wit in such strong measure.

So it is not exactly fair that The Descendants has to live up to that incredible weight of expectations. Taken on its own it is a fine piece of work. It is flawlessly acted, makes great use of location, and gathers a genuine emotional impact as it reaches its final scenes. But taken as a step in Payne's career this can't help but feel like a minor work. A solid double after a streak of home runs.

"You really don't get it, do you Dad?"The film hits a false note right at the beginning frontloading the story with a cumbersome voiceover narration it doesn't need. We are told Clooney plays Matt King, lifelong Hawaiian, husband, father of two daughters and trustee of twenty-five inherited acres of undeveloped Hawaiian paradise worth untold millions. As the film opens Matt is nearing a deal to finally cash in on all that land when a boating accident lands his wife in a coma from which she is unlikely to wake. Clooney is forced to try to make order of his messy personal life as he spreads the sad news to family and friends.

One thing that made Payne's previous work so memorable is that he creates lead characters so well drawn they have since come to completely define their type. Is it possible to think of ruthless ambition without thinking of Tracy Flick frantically jutting her hand in the air? Is there a more vivid portrait of flailing middle-aged desperation than Jack chasing Miles down the side of a hill, wine bottle in hand? Clooney's Matt King never pops in this way. He mostly seems like a pretty nice guy. Not husband or father of the year, but doing his best. He becomes focused on the revelation of his wife's infidelities, but since we never get a strong sense on their marriage pre-coma this doesn't have a lot of dramatic juice to it. Similarly, after a rocky start with his daughters he settles into being a decent parent. Clooney gives a characteristically strong performance, wringing as much as he can from the part, but the character simply doesn't go to any particularly surprising places. It's a very good performance, but it is exactly the very good performance we are expecting.

Sky-high expectations aside there is a lot to recommend about The Descendants, the great cast first and foremost. Shailene Woodley is every bit Clooney's equal in the role of the eldest, rebellious King daughter. I would not be surprised to hear her name among the year's supporting actresses nominees. And in brief supporting turns Robert Forster and Judy Greer nail their scenes in a big way, creating the film's strongest moments. Memo to Hollywood casting agents who didn't get it the first time Tarantino sent it in 1998: Put Robert Forster in everything.

Clooney & Screen Daughters

Even the great Billy Wilder was capable of following up the back-to-back masterpieces of Some Like it Hot and The Apartment with a turkey like Irma la Douce. The Descendants is not a mistep anywhere near that egregious. It is a good, occasionally very good, drama with some well-earned laughs and emotional payoffs that stick well enough that you forgive the film's shortcomings. Yet, nothing in the film excited me as much as the knowledge that Payne is already working on his next directorial effort, due in 2012.

Previously on NYFF
The Artist finds another mega-fan in Nathaniel.
The Skin I Live In burrows under Michael's.
Goodbye First Love whispers its pain to Kurt.
Party of Shame Nathaniel drops Fassbender's magic name.
Hugo is under construction but Nathaniel likes the blueprint.
My Week With Marilyn entertains Nathaniel only when its On Set With Marilyn. 

...and many more!

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