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Entries in Julianne Nicholson (10)

Thursday
Nov292018

Sundance 2019 Lineup: Lots of Promising Topics and Great Actresses

The Sundance Film Festival runs January 24th through February 3rd next year. Let's look at the five of the key program lineups in brief. Which films are you most excited about. TFE might be going this year, we're not yet sure.

U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Alfred Woodard stars in "Clemency"

16 World Premieres will be competing for the Sundance crown (won last year by The Miseducation of Cameron Post). The new crop is all writer/directors (except where noted) and Sundance has been very careful about diversity, noting in their press release that the US dramatic competition section is 53% female directors, 41% directors of color and 18% LGBTQ directors. But they had a ton to choose from which helps with diversity. There was a record number of submissions for the 2019 festival with 4,018 features hoping to be selected, 1767 if those made from within the US...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov082018

Months of Meryl: August Osage County (2013)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep.  

#45 —Violet Weston, the cancer-stricken, drug-addicted matriarch of an Oklahoma family.

MATTHEW: Tracy Letts’ high-octane, Pulitzer Prize-winning family drama August: Osage County was the toast of the 2007-2008 Broadway season, which made a cinematic adaptation all but inevitable and the star involvement of Meryl Streep an equally foregone conclusion. The vituperative, pill-popping Violet Weston is the crowning achievement of Letts’ play and arguably the meatiest dramatic role to come along for sexagenarian actresses in the past 15 years. The part has been previously interpreted on stage by the Tony-winning Deanna Dunagan (who originated the character in the initial Steppenwolf production), Estelle Parsons, and Phylicia Rashad, any one of whom could have bowled us over in an alternate film, as might have rumored candidates like Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek, and Glenn Close. This isn’t to take away a single merit from Streep’s no-holds-barred work, but rather acknowledge that Streep herself is the rare and defiant exception who proves the rule that actresses over the age of 50 are anathema to Hollywood’s gatekeepers.

Before falling in love with the eye of the camera, Streep was first and foremost a creature of the theater...

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Monday
Oct232017

Middleburg: Maggie Betts' "Novitiate"

Continuing our Middleburg Film Festival adventures. Here's Lynn Lee

Middleburg is the kind of idyllic Virginia town that makes me wish I had enough independent means to spend regular fall weekends there lodging at a cushy spa, riding horses, visiting local wineries, and binging once a year on Oscar-baity films before they get released in theaters.  As it is, I was happy to get a taste of the latter on a press pass to this year’s festival.  On Day 3, I joined Nathaniel in town (albeit at different events) and took in Maggie Betts’ Novitiate, Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck, and Dee Rees’ Mudbound.

Of the three, the one I knew the least about beforehand turned out to be the one I liked best.  Set at a convent in the 1960s around the time of Vatican II, Novitiate centers on the struggles and yearnings of young postulant Cathleen (Margaret Qualley of “The Leftovers” and The Nice Guys) and the fellow nun-aspirants and nuns around her.  That may sound like niche fare at best, but I hope Sony Pictures figures out how to market it because it’s an astoundingly assured, riveting debut feature...

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Saturday
Sep162017

TIFF: "Kings" and "I, Tonya"

TIFF wraps up Sunday and since we'd like the last few pieces to be positive let's get some negativity out of the way. Here are two films which yours truly did not respond well to. One is certain to be trashed by critics and the other, though trashy, is being widely praised. But they're both bad.

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Friday
Dec182015

Link Roundup and a "Trumbo" Shout-out on the Hill

David Poland on why certain films overperform or underperform come Oscar time. Much of this is both true and frustrating. Why couldn't Warner Bros see what they had in Creed for example?  
Comics Alliance on the fan campaign to make Iron Fist an Asian hero in the new tv eries. So far Marvel/Netflix has rejected the idea which is just maddening since the origin story is pretty racist in modern context.
The Envelope interviews Julianne Nicholson who was so so good in Black Mass
Word and Film An interview with actress Ileanna Douglas (we've missed her) about her new memoir "I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories From a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies"

The Guardian Peter Bradshaw picks his favorite films in multiple categories
Variety Guy Lodge's top ten list. It won't surprise you to hear that it's a good read. And Joy and Magic Mike XXL are on it keeping things provocative.
Pajiba John Krasinski is on his way to a Chris Pratt like reinvention. Trying to keep up with wife Emily Blunt perhaps?
Variety Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette reprised their famous roles at Jason Reitman's live reading of True Romance. How fun.
The Playlist says Jennifer Lawrence is going to play Robert De Niro's dad in the next David O. Russell film. Now they're just purposefully antagonizing us now, right? 
Awards Daily Spotlight takes the Las Vegas Film Critics prize for Best Picture
Daily Herald Mad Max Fury Road takes Best Picture from the Chicago Film Critics Association 
AV Club Sean Penn to play Andrew Jackson in an HBO miniseries. Sadly it is not a remake of the Broadway musical "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" but we'd rather see that! ...albeit with its original Jackson, Benjamin Walker in the lead role

Off Cinema
Rolling Stone Readers Poll of the 10 best songs of the year: Adele, Madonna, Drake and more 
Boing Boing Matt Haughey is a genius -- he started photoshopping dildos where guns were in photos of GOP candidates and it's both funny and satirically pointed 
The Daily Beast best TV shows of 2015: UnReal, The Knick, Empire and more...

Star Wars ♫  give me more Star Wars...Nothing but Star Wars ♬  don't let them end...
Thrillist unearths a time capsule of photos from the premiere of The Phantom Menace (1999). Dakota Johnson is just a baby!
Pajiba "a serious discussion of which original trilogy Star Wars character is best in bed" Hilarious. The gif game is strong with this one. (I agree with the rankings pretty much but I'd still do Luke.)
Screen Crush on the diversity of casting in The Force Awakens 

Today's Watch
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) honored Kirk Douglas on the floor for his 99th birthday! It's always shocking when someone in Congress does something cool but apparently this Cohen fellow is a good guy with a strong civil rights record so there you go. But mentioning a screening of Trumbo in DC? That movie's reach has been such a surprise this month.

ICYMI we sang the praises of New Zealand actor Dean O'Gorman who plays Kirk Douglas in the movie here