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Entries in Kristen Stewart (22)

Monday
Oct202014

The Year I Fell In Love with Kristen Stewart

Jose here. A couple of weeks ago, I went to the NYFF press screening of Clouds of Sils Maria. It was my second time seeing the film, and on that occasion I mostly showed up because I wanted to bask in the glory of its MVP ... Kristen Stewart.


As I sat there, observing the lithe actress, taking pictures of her and giggling and blushing at her responses - as if she was answering them just for me - I realized I had a crush. I swooned when Juliette Binoche called her "a genius". If you had told me I’d be feeling this way last month, I would have laughed in your face and explained I wasn’t a TwiFan. Or blind. After all, Stewart has made herself a reputation for being one of the worst young actresses, who does nothing but exploit her expression-less or annoyed looks that are meant to be interpreted as undying devotion to a glow-in-the-day vampire.


Then, in a little two-punch move, my entire perception of her changed forever. 

I went into Clouds of Sils Maria expecting Binoche to swallow K.Stew and Chloë Grace Moretz alive, Margo Channing-style. Instead, perhaps unsurprisingly, the great French actress turns in one of her most generous performances allowing the younger women to steal it.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct092014

NYFF: Maria Dances on the Mountain-tops

Straight from the final week of The New York Film Festival here's Jason on Olivier Assayas' new film Clouds of Sils Maria, starring Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart.

If I was going to make a sort of Cinematic Mad Libs where I filled-in-the-blanks with all my favorite people, places, and things, which then somebody would take that list and turn that into a movie, there's a good chance that Olivier Assayas' Clouds of Sils Maria would be the result. Noun-wise we have my favorite actress Juliette Binoche. Place-wise we have the Swiss Alps, my favorite place in all the world. And Thing-wise we have Rainer Werner Fassbinder's play (and movie) The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. Sils Maria tosses all these ingredients into a pot and cooks up a stew that listen, I was just never not gonna like. It was made for me! And it is delicious.

Maria Enders (Binoche) is a big deal actress and international movie star - she is basically Juliette Binoche. She has flirted with the Hollywood game after rising up in serious roles, and is now trying to swing back to the interesting stuff again. At her side, insistently, is her personal assistant Val (Kristen Stewart), always juggling a couple of cellphones and a thousand appointments at once. Into their life comes a script about the love affair between a woman and her female personal assistant - Maria had played the ingenue role in her youth, but now she's going to tackle that of the older woman. The two women take to the mountains (a gorgeous expanse of Northern Switzerland, misty with metaphor and, uh, mist) to rehearse the two-parter, slipping between their roles and reality, and debating the give-or-take between what makes a movie star and what makes an actress and if they can reconcile the spaces.

It helps, of course, to have that extra level of frisson introduced that here we have a Serious Actress and International Movie Star having this on-screen debate with an International Movie Star who very much would like to be a Serious Actress (and who, by the way, is a Serious Actress - Kristen Stewart's fantastic in this) - in the Q&A following the film Assayas underlined how important it is that we always see it's Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart on screen, that the performative aspect never dissipates; I found the endless reflections of actress and person and character fascinating. And the fact that this is a talky acting piece about making a talky acting piece in between big-budget other-stuff. And the way the big-budget other-stuff swoops in and effects all that talky acting. As the third woman (a well-cast Chloe Grace Moretz) comes in, a mask of whatever-the-moment-calls-for, nothing but a mirror, we watch where the conversations land - the way the theater stage itself is over-produced and overwhelmed, a maze of clear boxes like a re-staging of Chinese Roulette by way of Playtime.

It's very much of a piece with Fassbinder's work though - while Petra von Kant is fogged up and made into this movie's own separate thing it's clear that's what everybody's riffing upon, and as with that film (and most of Fassbinder's work) it is the performance itself that is placed at the forefront. Everyone is playing their roles, hitting their marks, spinning towards their inevitables - the snake will roll in just on time, even if you're not there to see it. "Is it set on Earth?" Binoche asks a director pitching her a science-fiction movie towards the end - after all she's already been up in the clouds, dotting the snow-caps with sacrifices; it's probably time to come down now.

--

Clouds of Sils Maria played last night at NYFF and plays again tonight at 9pm.

Sunday
Sep142014

TIFF: "Still Alice," or Adjust Your Best Actress Charts

The final TIFF feature review. Whew, 25 films screened and written up. And all by closing night! Please give me a round of applause in the comments. I've never been this successful at managing a festival and comments are the only way I know you're appreciating it.

When we first meet Dr Alice Howland in this fine film adapated from the bestseller by Lisa Genova, she is celebrating her 50th birthday. She's happily married to Dr. John Howland (Alec Baldwin) with three grown children whom she adores though she isn't exactly a perfect mother or wife, at least as defined by your typical movie woman, in which case she'd be inordinately obsessed with her husband and children's particulars. In fact, she almost entirely defines herself by her own career and skills (imagine that!) as a respected linguistics professor.  She values articulate communication and higher education and maybe she isn't super imaginative about other forms of expression. In fact, she's downright dismissive about her youngest daughter Lydia's (Kristen Stewart) interest in acting. She gives her a continual hard time about her education and career and is frustratingly absent from all of Lydia's minor triumphs. 

More...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug102014

Linkages

Flavorwire Christina Hendricks tries to function in a modern office
Hollywood.com Why Anna Kendrick would make an awesome girlfriend 
Skullflake Studios "maybe superheroes aren't for girls, mom"
/Film puts together a comprehensive look of superhero films coming in next few years. So many
VF Helen Mirren twerking 
Towleroad first look at James Franco as an ex-gay activist in new Gus Van Sant picture 

 

Vulture Groot should remake a bunch of movies 
Empire Universal bought up the rights to Anne Rice's entire Vampire Chronicles. I swear to god if they dont just deal with the sexuality this time, what will be the point? We've already had True Blood. You can't keep homogenizing everything to make it risk-averse
Coming Soon Michael Fassbender seems to like this Justin Kurzel person a lot. His MacBeth director is also guiding him in the film adaptation of the video game Assassin's Creed
Awards Daily Kristen Stewart in Camp X-Ray trailer. This actress is really trying to change perceptions of herself this year. 
Pajiba the cast of HBO's Westworld remake all announced. I'm sad that Yul Brynner cannot be resurrected. I love me some Yul Brynner
Variety Amazon fighting with Disney over DVD/Blu-Ray sales
Variety Lucy is a huge hit in France. No surprise really since Luc Besson directs and France is basically adopting Scarlett Johansson now that she's soon to birth a French baby. 
LA Times Jennifer Lee, one of the directors of Frozen (I met her this season and she was very sweet) will write the screenplay for the adaptation of the YA novel A Wrinkle in Time. I swear that movie has been in development for my entire lifetime 
Variety Lizzy Caplan will play Joseph Gordon Levitt's love interest in an untitled Christmas movie from his 50/50 director

Oh and I forgot to post this great UK poster for Maps to the Stars.

I love quad posters but we only get the vertical ones here in the US. I'm getting so desperate to see this movie. 

Tweet of the Week!
Satiric truth. Tell it

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jul162014

These Actresses Are Just One of the Guys

abstew here. This year marks the 25th anniversary of one of the my favorite movies growing up, Troop Beverly Hills. (I mistakenly thought the woman with curly red hair on the VHS cover was my beloved Bette Midler, but when I realized it wasn't, I loved the movie too much to care and made my parents rent it at least once a month.) But all those times I watched those Wilderness Girls singing about the virtues of Cookie Time, I never thought that the actress playing Shelley Long's daughter, Hannah Nefler, would grow up to be my absolute favorite singer/songwriter Jenny Lewis. She writes the songs that make me remember that I have feelings. If you opened my chest it would be in the shape of Jenny Lewis.

KStew, singer Jenny Lewis, Brie Larson, and Annie Hathaway

After a brief stint as a child star (even appearing on an episode of The Golden Girls and, more importantly, in the film that introduced the world to Super Mario Brothers 3), she later became the lead singer of the indie band Rilo Kiley. Even though the band broke up in 2011, she hasn't stopped making music and her new album "The Voyager" comes out on July 29th. For the first single, Just One of the Guys, she even enlisted some famous actresses to appear alongside her in the video, which she also directed.

Kristen Stewart, Anne Hathaway, and Brie Larson appear as themselves as her all-in-white back-up band, but then also hilariously take on the personas of some track suit-sporting bros. Annie plays a sensitive, rat-tailed break dancer. Brie actually kinda looks like a cute boy that every girl in middle school would have a crush on because of his non-threatening, vaguely feminine demeanor. And the MVP of the video has to be KStew who seems to be enjoying herself more here than I think I've ever seen her before. I hope some studio executive is watching this video and already casting her as a young rapper in Michigan living on 8 Mile. Or the Justin Beiber story. Cause I've never seen her so free and loose. It's fun to see.

Question #1 These three ladies in drag: Do, Dump, or Marry?

 

 

Lewis probably enlisted Hathaway to appear in the video as she, along with her boyfriend Johnathan Rice (who appeared as Roy Orbison in Walk the Line), composed the music for the indie musical film starring the Oscar-winner, Song Onethat debuted at Sundance earlier in the year. Lewis can also be heard at the movies this summer as she wrote the music for the coming-of-age indie Very Good Girls starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen, available now on VOD and in limited release later this month.

Question #2: Which 3 actresses would you cast in your own music video (cross-dressing optional)? 

Tuesday
May272014

Podcast: Cannes Aftermath with Special Guest Guy Lodge

For this quickie edition of the podcast Nick and Nathaniel speak to Guy Lodge on the last day of the festival about his experience, from favorites to disappointments, festival politics and even a little Oscar buzz. He answers the really important questions like: is Kristen Stewart really that much of a revelation in Clouds of Sils Maria?; is Hitchcock's The Birds is a fair comparison for the Hungarian dog movie White God?; Which movie convinces you that Xavier Dolan is the real deal?

00:01 Winter Sleep and the politics of being "overdue"
05:00 Leviathan & Mommy: late bows and multiple raves
07:45 Acting Prizes: Julianne Moore in Maps and Timothy Spall as Mr Turner
13:00 "Foxcatcher is really terrific!"
18:00 Un Certain Regard: The Tribe and White God
22:00 Competition quality and surprises: Party Girl winning Camera D'Or and the media praise for Channing Tatum and Kristen Stewart
28:00 Last words, movies missed.

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments... and while you're at it listen to the last couple of week's of the podcast which were two of my favorite episodes and weirdly less remarked upon than usual.

Cannes 2014 in Review

Saturday
May242014

Cannes Diary: "Foxcatcher" and Best Actor, "Clouds of Sils Maria" and Actresses

Diana Drumm reporting from Cannes for The Film Experience

With the Palme d’Or announcement looming over the Croisette, critics and casual filmgoers are scattering to catch the festival favorites screening throughout the Palais and/or selecting their bets for the Awards ceremony. Yours truly is in a bizarre, hazy limbo between the two, writing up what’s left of my coverage and running to more screenings. Without further rambling, here are two more competition films (an Oscar favorite and an indie to look out for) along with my personal pick for Best Actor. Will Jane Campion and jury agree? 

Foxcatcher
Bennett Miller’s true story drama looks at the relationship between Olympic wrestlers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) and American old money heir John E. du Pont (Steve Carell), that would lead to a point-blank murder. Opening with black-and-white footage of a foxhunt (horses, hounds, riding gear) on the du Pont Foxcatcher estate, the film then cuts to Mark Schultz in not quite as posh straits, getting paid $20 to give a speech to an elementary school and chowing down on lukewarm ramen. So when he gets the call that John E. du Pont (apparently an avid wrestling enthusiast despite his status and it being a sweaty arm sport) wants to fly him out to meet, Mark leaps at the chance before getting any specifics on du Pont...  

Click to read more ...