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Entries in Laura Dern (82)

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 ...

Sunday
Jul172016

Q&A: Magnani, Cameos, Oscar Ties, and Homoeroticism

I promised a second round of Q&A this week so here we go. Seven more reader questions answered...

Mr W: Do you have any thoughts on Anna Magnani? She's one of my Top 10 Actresses of all time, but I don't think I've ever read anything on her from you.

I do not. Embarrassing to admit but I've only seen her in The Rose Tattoo (1955) which she was wonderful in. Any suggestions as to where to start?

/3rtful: Is there one unsung veteran actress you would like to see get an award season career boost through Ryan Murphy?

There's very few veterans I wouldn't want to see good a career boost. But i'll just name a dozen (and anyone reading should know I could list another 5 dozen with ease -- I shoulda been a casting director). Given that Murphy usually pulls from the 80s and 90s actressing packs (which, one assumes, reflects his formative fandoms) I wish he would throw a bone to Shelley Duvall (though maybe given her rumored mental health this isn't a good idea), Ally Sheedy, Daryl Hannah, Holly Hunter, or Lesley Ann Warren any of whom might be brilliant within his unusually creepy heightened worlds...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar292016

First Bite. Will "The Founder" Serve Tasty Drama?

As iconic logos go, it's impossible to beat those golden arches. Smart teaser work, then, to instantly brand your movie. On the other hand...

Does McDonalds really scream "Major Motion Picture" or will it have people thinking i saw a doc about that once

The presence of the newly dazzling Michael Keaton (quite a comeback these past two years!) should help win the film attention. Keaton is the businessman who wrestled away control of McDonalds in the 1950s and made it into an empire... but not without a lot of behind the scenes drama apparently. The supporting cast includes John Carrol Lynch and Nick Offerman as the actual McDonald brothers, and Laura Dern as Keaton's wife. Patrick Wilson and Linda Cardellini play another couple though we're not sure how they fit into the story. The film opens on August 5th from the Weinstein Co who keep claiming they're determined to make the summer work for Oscar launches (after having helped making the last quarter mandatory over the last 20+ years).

The screenplay is by Robert Seigel (who wrote The Wrestler and Big Fan). Director John Lee Hancock has directed one Best Picture nominee to date (The Blind Side) and one intended Oscar player that didn't get invited to the playground (Saving Mr Banks) but his best film remains The Rookie (2002) don't you think? Part of the one-two punch (with Far From Heaven -- odd bedfellows!) that should have been the great sticky comeback for Dennis Quaid a dozen plus years back. (We're distracted by comeback stories of late thanks to Kyle's Easter post.)

Do you have high hopes for The Founder, Oscar-related or otherwise?

Monday
Feb152016

Blog Wars Episode VIII: Some New Links

• AV Club loves on the dearly departed Bunheads
Guardian Cynthia Nixon, who plays Emily Dickinson in a new film, thinks she'd have loved social media
• E! Online Dakota Johnson wants Jamie Dornan to bare all in Fifty Shades sequel. (I mean, why not? It's not like he's NSFW shy about it.)
EW looks at a handful of AMPAS ballots Supporting Actress and Picture votes are all over the place

Awards Daily on two previous shakeups in Hollywood (the late 1920s) & Academy (the late 1960s) business
Towleroad Gay Iconography: All About Bette Davis 
Film School Rejects Ben Stiller's most iconic characters from best to worst 
Coming Soon Ghostbusters gets a teaser poster. Don't get excited. It's basically just the old logo. Trailer coming on March 3rd
Coming Soon Salt, Angelina Jolie's would be franchise that never became one headed to TV in series form - without Angie of course
/Film Alexander Payne lines up his next next film. It's called My Saga, a road trip movie. He still hasn't shot Downsizing with Reese Witherspoon though.

Today's Watch
Daredevil Season 2 Trailer - Pt 1

 

Elektra and The Punisher get their own trailers, looks like. I'll be disappointed if we don't get a follow up on Madame Gao though, since she was fierce/mysterious. 

• And finally, Star Wars Episode VIII: As Yet Untitled began filming this morning at Pinewood Studios in the UK aiming for the Christmas friendly release date of December 15th, 2017. All the major players, sans Harrison Ford of course, will return. The film is written and directed by Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper) and all the major cast members return (sans Harrison Ford *sniffle*). New cast members will include Benicio Del Toro, newcomer Kelly Marie Tran and 'The Face,' herself Laura Dern! No, wait, that deserves more exclamation points. Laura Dern !!!!!!!!


Monday
Sep142015

Beauty vs Beast: Worth Two In The Bush

Jason from MNPP here swooping down from the sky with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- I am aware that this series has been heavy on the Hitchcock so far (we've previously covered Psycho and Marnie and Vertigo and Rebecca, oh my) but when I heard TFE was celebrating 1963 all month I could hardly let the chance go by to celebrate one of my fave Hitch flicks, The Birds, which has up til now slipped thru the cracks. (Flown the coop?)

The Birds also features one of the hardest choices we've asked of you so far, if you ask me - I can't be the only one who was rooting for Suzanne Pleshette's sad seaside school-teacher Annie, right? In fact I think it's why she had to [spoiler] go [end spoiler], before the "happy couple" of Melanie & Mitch could head off into the sunset. (A sunset covered with murderous birds, natch.) Although, truer truth be told -- we were all just rooting for Melanie & Annie to ditch Mitch and take off together. Admit it! Well unfortunately that's not your choice today...

PREVIOUSLY Last week marked the 30th anniversary of Smooth Talk, with Laura Dern and Treat Williams playing out Joyce Carol Oates' sexual psychodrama, and y'all came down on the side of Dern, Dern, determinedly Dern, with a full 65% of your vote. We'll give today's quote to Nathaniel cuz why not:

"I saw it years and years ago in my first flush of Laura Dern obsession (so it must have been around Wild at Heart time frame. She's soooo good in it."

Tuesday
Sep082015

Beauty vs Beast: Girl, You'll Be A Woman, Now

Jason from MNPP here, bringing us this week's "Beauty vs Beast" a day late thanks to holiday circumstances -- sorry for the delay! Hope those of you who celebrated Labor Day had a nice one. Okay on to the main event: this week marks the 30th anniversary of the film Smooth Talk, which stars Laura Dern (in a very early role - this was a year before Blue Velvet!) and Treat Williams as the teenage girl Connie and the suspicious sexy stranger Arnold Friend (A. Friend -- get it???) who's come to make a woman out of her whether she likes it or not. The film was based on Joyce Carol Oates' short-story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" which means my first introduction to this film was in High School English class. Anybody else? I was really into it at the time, but now I mostly look back at it as my introduction to the Wonder-of-Dern and a time-capsule of Treat-Hotness. Still, I must ask - would you stay in that house with Connie or zoom off for a ride with Arnold?


PREVIOUSLY We looked at this Summer's most boisterous bad girls tragi-comedy Mistress America, and asked you which colorful city gal you prefered - while newcomer Lola Kirke put on a good show it was always gonna be Greta Gerwigbopping in the winner's circle, and sure enough. Said Brian:

"Team Brooke ; She's a dreamer, even if her ideas are beyond her grasp."

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