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Entries in Kristen Stewart (51)

Monday
Sep052016

Yes No Maybe So: Certain Women

by Laurence Barber

Premiering at Sundance to a wave of critical acclaimCertain Women was later picked up by IFC for distribution and they've recently released the first trailer. Written and directed by Kelly Reichardt, whose patient portraits of the American northwest tend to inspire either passionate love or cool indifference, it stars acting goddesses Laura Dern, Michelle Williams and newly-minted demi-goddess Kristen Stewart. Reichardt's last film, Night Moves, was more on the propulsive side but Certain Women scales things back, adapting three stories from Maile Meloy's collection Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It.

Having seen Certain Women back in June at the Sydney Film Festival, I can tell you that this one of those movies concocted in a laboratory just for your enjoyment. Collating and cross-charting the experiences of four women under different kinds of duress, the film is impressively performed and crafted. On the awards side though it isn't going to gain much traction outside of the Independent Spirit Awards. It's not that it's difficult, but it definitely asks you to fall into its river and let the current take you. 

Le's break down the trailer after the jump...

Yes

Guess we'll just start at the beginning.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep012016

Best Acting. New Oscar Predictions

Having just taken a trip back to 1984 for the Smackdown and memory sufficiently jogged about how dense the acting branch can sometimes be (the discernment skills vary so much annually it can feel like invasion of the AMPAS body snatchers in some calender years) I'm finding myself in the odd position of defending my more extreme hunches from my more cynical side.

Huppert is amazing... and (more importantly) Huppert-esque in ELLEBEST ACTRESS
Whenever you make a call here suggesting that so & so in some non-Oscary film actually has a shot at an acting nomination, people are prone to scoff. But each year's Oscar races have so many intangibles in the acting categories that it's best to keep an open mind. The four acting categories are arguably the categories that are least beholden to the actual movies since a famous actor doesn't need a strong picture to generate buzz nor do they (in some cases) even need for people to actually like their movie they're in or, in fact, see it. And then you have the vaguely opposite case where a particular movie, whether or not people actually warm to it as a whole, can remind the world how fabulous a particular actor or actress always has been...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul152016

Kristen Stewart x 3

1. Film Comment Cover Girl
In case you haven't heard, the summer issue of Film Comment, one of our favorite magazines since forever, is out. You can purchase it here. And guess what? Our friend and podcast mate Nick Davis wrote the cover story "The Age of Kristen Stewart" 

The twenty-six year old actress works non-stop. She'll soon hit 40 movies and she only started 15 years ago. (The first movie that people tend to remember her from is Panic Room as Jodie Foster's daughter.) She has not one but three movies this year, hence the cover story, with two hitting theaters simultaneously today.

2. Cafe Society 
Now Playing Limited Release
Woody Allen's new movie (they tend to expand quickly so if you're not on the coasts you probably only have a week or two to wait) is a melancholy dramedy. Jesse Eisenberg is a young up-and-comer who ditches working for his powerful uncle (Steve Carell) in Hollywood for nightclub hosting fame with his brother (Corey Stoll) in New York City. Kristen Stewart and Blake Lively are his love interests on each coast. Our Review ICYMI.

3. Equals
Now Playing Limited Release
We weren't personally wild about Drake Doremus's breakthrough Like Crazy (2011) though Anton Yelchin (*sniffle*) was great in it, but we appreciate that a young director is committed to romantic narratives. Doremus's new film is a dystopian sci-fi romance starring KStew and Nicholas Hoult. Here's the trailer.

Friday
May202016

Cannes's Latest Booing Victims

It wouldn't be Cannes without the reports of boos from the always feisty crowd. While reviews and early word from the festival's first days were mostly positive, the jeers are just starting to begin. This year's unluckiest victims have been Personal Shopper and The Neon Demon.

If the reported response to The Neon Demon is to be believed, it may be one for future Cannes lore. The most vocal detractors were hurling obscenities at the screen and many responses were repulsed by the film's more twisted, violent elements and shallow veneer. But the question remains: What else did they expect from a Nicolas Winding Refn horror film? Perhaps the boos themselves could have been expected as well, given the reaction to his previous effort Only God Forgives.

Personal Shopper reunites director Olivier Assayas with his Clouds of Sils Maria star Kristen Stewart as an assistant suffering from ghostly visitations. Its many early fans have defended it as misunderstood, ambiguous, and difficult to categorize, and Stewart has garnered some Best Actress buzz for the festival. By my estimation, the film has inspired some of the best writing of the festival, like Richard Lawson's aching take over at Vanity Fair. The first international trailer promises something unique indeed:

Neither film needs to worry: they join the long tradition of films that have been booed at the festival, including Taxi Driver, Marie Antoinette, The Tree of Life, and Inglourious Basterds. Not every film booed at Cannes turns out like Vincent Gallo's The Brown Bunny - so consider our excitement for both Shopper and Demon increased.

Have you ever experienced booing in the cinema?

Wednesday
May182016

Red Carpet Lineup: Cannes Best Actress Watch

We'll update the Oscar charts when Cannes wraps up but for now let's talk about the buzziest actresses of the festival. We should note, however, that Cannes juries are notoriously hard to predict and there are still a few competition films left to premiere. What's more, every year people say "this is a shoo in for that!" and it does not come to pass -- especially when it comes to the acting prizes.

But here are five gorgeous and talented actresses at their premieres* who have garnered enough buzz to make us go "hmmmmm"

From left to right...

Sandra Hüller stars in the nearly 3 hour comedy Toni Erdmann about a prank loving father and his overly serious daughter. The film comes from German director Maren Ade who had a critical hit several years back with Everyone Else (2009). Hüller's chief claim to fame is the drama Requiem (2006) for which she won Best Actress in Germany.

Ruth Negga, best known to date for her television work in the UK and in the US, definitely has Oscar buzz for the 50s interracial marriage drama Loving (alongside screen husband Joel Edgerton) but Oscar buzz is only rarely equivalent to Cannes buzz so only the jury knows if this is one of those times. Loving comes to US theaters in November.

Isabelle Huppert stars in Paul Verhoeven's revenge thriller Elle (*which has not yet premiered from my understanding). But ahead of its premiere Sony Pictures Classics picked it up for distribution and word on the performance is hot. That said, until tastemakers truly get a look at it we can't know if that's just PR buzz or something deeper, like another milestone in her legendary career. Huppert has never been Oscar nominated -- she probably frightens the Academy -- but it may surprise you to hear that the equally controversial Verhoeven has, for all intents and purposes. One of his earliest films, Turkish Delight (1973) was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. Yes, yes, technically that nomination belongs to the Netherlands rather than to Verhoeven himself but we think of it as also belonging to the director since generally speaking the directors are the ones that pick up the statue and say their thank yous. Verhoeven hasn't made a full length feature since his terrific uncomfortably sexy World War II thriller Black Book (2006) so we'll await this with eager eyeballs.

Kristen Stewart starred in the opening night film Café Society (reviewed here) but she's also the lead of the polarizing ghost story of some sort (we're trying not to read reviews) called Personal Shopper. It's been both booed and raved. Will the jury love it or hate it? It's worth noting that her last duet with Assayas (Clouds of Sils Maria) nabbed her the best reviews of her career, multiple awards notices, and the French César. 

the ever gorgeous Sonia Braga

Finally, there's the enduring 65 year old star Sonia Braga who headlines the Brazilian picture Aquarius. It's getting the kind of reviews that leave us salivating, both because of a juicy lead role for this fine actress (who Oscar totally stiffed in 1985 for her prismatic fascinating star turn in Kiss of the Spider Woman), and for the possibility that Brazil could make some headway in the Oscar race. Consider this tweet from our friend Tim Robey:

 

 

Brazil hasn't received a foreign language film nomination since Central Station (1998, a category they should have won) and they've yet to win the Oscar. The director of Aquarius, Kleber Medonça Filhou was previously submitted by Brazil for Neighboring Sounds (2013, reviewed).

Do you want to place any bets on the Jury prizes this year?

Saturday
May142016

Cannes Review: Woody Allen's "Café Society"

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It's reprinted here in a slightly expanded version...

Few things in life are as regular as Woody Allen movies. For the past 40 years or so they arrive exactly once a year. In recent years they generally premiere out of competition at Cannes and predictably reignite the endless cycle of media wars about Woody Allen.

The only thing irregular about the experience is the reviews, box office, and Oscars. For the past 10 years or so it’s been especially hard to predict. In that time he’s delivered critical and commercial Oscar winning hits that the media fawned over (Blue Jasmine, Midnight in Paris), well received films that didn’t quite crossover to that same extent (Match Point, Vicky Cristina Barcelona), critical flops that did surprisingly okay at the box office (To Rome With Love), trifles that people tolerated (Scoop), reanimated abandoned projects that everyone wished had stayed dead (Whatever Works), as well as a critical and commercial flop (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger) and one that didn't actually seem to exist at all (Cassandra’s Dream).

In short (too late!) his films come with a lot of history and even more baggage.

His latest, Café Society, begins with very little literal baggage as a young optimistic man named Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg) leaves New York for Hollywood for reasons that don’t extend much beyond “trying something new.” [More...]

Click to read more ...