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Entries in Lord of the Rings (29)

Friday
Dec152017

Ashley Judd might have been Arwen... or Galadriel 

by Nathaniel R

Ashley Judd in her blockbuster breakout "Double Jeopardy" in 1999I keep getting into trouble when I tweet out semantic arguments on the internet as if I'm missing the point of very serious topics. So let me assure you that I'm not missing the point. I am filled with rage when I read these stories about the toxic treatment of actresses in Hollywood but the only way I can cope (I live for actresses, duh) is to nerd out and take deep dives into thinking about their filmographies, or looking at Oscar stats, or other less fraught things to rage less. Lashing out in all directions with rage or feeding my rage by continually sharing it is just not my way and has never helped me cope with pain. So, in other words, I'll save my little semantics quibble until the end of the post. 

Anyway the reveals of what Harvey Weinstein was up to in his most powerful days keep getting worse. To stay within the confines of Weinsten adjacent imagery, let's just say it makes me want to watch an Inglorious Basterds ahistorical style rewrite in which some Ashley Judd gets the Brad Pitt role and her team of merciless female soldiers gives Weinstein what he deserved back then...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov142017

110 days 'til Oscar. More Lord of the Rings?

It's only eleventy days until Hollywood's High Holy Night. If you aren't familiar with "eleventy" think back to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).

That whole Oscar winning trilogy kicks off with the celebration of Bilbo Baggins eleventy-firth birthday or 111th birthday in human years. Eleventy can refer to 110 or numbers much larger; one stops counting after awhile...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov072017

Link Trip

Decider this Tiffany Haddish Oscar nomination could happen. 'Let's do this!'
Guardian when should cinemas turn their house lights on? During credits? After them?
Movie City News Jodie Foster talks at length about The Silence of the Lambs 
NathanielR... you've maybe already seen my anger about this topic when it comes to Call Me By Your Name, which is absolutely not over when the credits begin no matter what the house lights or your fellow moviegoers think. Stay in your seat. Respect the art. 
IndieWire Paul Thomas Anderson explains why there will be no cinematographer credited on his new film Phantom Thread

 

EW interviews Beanie Feldstein who is so wonderful in Lady Bird
GQ Dacre Montgomery on his shirtless dancing audition tape for Stranger Things 2
Guardian a new exhibit on 100 years of Australian film in pictures from the silent pictures through The Babadook
Variety Critics Choice Awards return to the CW. January 11th. 
Boy Culture reviews the new production of Harvey Feirstein's Torch Song
Coming Soon Jessica Chastain for the It sequel. Sure sounds plausible
TFE... in case you missed it: the full awards calendar for the rest of the season
Awards Daily Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit is getting a rerelease with a new FYC trailer to try to generate awards buzz
Tracking Board in the worst idea we heard this week news, there's a discussion about making The Lord of the Rings into a TV series. make it stop make it stop. Not everything needs to go on eternally. Let some things be. 
Variety Swords and Scepters, a historical epic about an 1857 Indian rebellion led by the Queen of Jhansi, is assembling a great cast including Rupert Everett, Devika Bhise, Derek Jacobi, and Jodhi May. There's also a Bollywood picture coming about the same story

Must Watch Video
Uma Thurman on the recent Hollywood flood of sexual harassment stories.

If she can channel this rage (it's so audible despite her careful reflective words) into a performance, she'll be Oscar worthy again. Have always loved her. Hoping for another classic role soon to go with Mia Wallace, The Bride, Mrs H, Cecile de Volanges, and June Miller. 

Thursday
Oct202016

King Aragorn... and Other Luminaries

It's a big day for your Lord of the Rings fans, even if you don't know it. Read on.

On this day in history as it relates to the movies
1882 Bela Lugosi is born in what was then Hungary (and now Romania). He vants to suck your blood as the original big screen Dracula. A century later Martin Landau will win a justly deserved Oscar for playing him in Tim Burton's wonderful Ed Wood (1994).
1895 Rex Ingram, one of the earliest successful black actors in Hollywood was born. Credits include: The Thief of Baghdad (as the genie), Huckleberry Finn (as Jim), and Cabin in the Sky (as Lucifer Jr)... 

1901 Frank Churchill is born in Maine. He wrote songs people still listen to today including "Baby Mine" from Dumbo and "Someday My Prince Will Come" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Tragically he committed suicide at age 40 mere months after his winning his Oscar for Dumbo...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr242016

Viggo Mortensen: Still here, still fantastic

Our celebration of Actors this month continues with Lynn Lee on Viggo

Is Viggo Mortensen the most interesting man in the world?  Based on his peripatetic history and eclectic interests, he’s certainly a contender.  In addition to acting, he’s a prolific painter, photographer, composer, and poet who founded his own publishing house.  A dual American and Danish citizen who spent his early childhood in South America and Denmark before returning to his native New York, he speaks multiple languages, with greatest fluency in English, Spanish, and Danish.  Oh, and his ex-wife is punk singer Exene Cervenko, with whom he has a son. 

As my husband put it, “Viggo Mortensen is who James Franco wishes he was.”

I can’t speak to the artistic merits of Viggo’s off-screen pursuits, but I do see him as a kind of anti-Franco in keeping them largely off the public radar.  And while he’s clearly driven by a need to express himself via many outlets, he still exudes a sense of some private, fundamentally unknowable core self.  It permeates his screen presence, too, and is part of what makes him so intriguing as an actor.  (Well, that plus the rugged Scandinavian good looks and dimpled chin don't hurt, either.)  More...

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Thursday
Jun112015

RIP: Ron Moody & Christopher Lee

Though their careers were dissimilar, their images were not. The cinema lost two of its most deeply enjoyable sharp eyed bearded villains this week: Oscar nominee Ron Moody (Oliver!), died yesterday at 91 years of age; screen legend Christopher Lee's passing was also just announced though he died last week at 93. Both of these British actors, born in the 1920s, were best known for indelible villains and sorcerers and  both were singers, too. From there, of course, the careers significantly diverge.

Ron Moody was always best known as "Fagin," the petty thief with a whole gang of young pickpockets at his disposal in the Best Picture winner Oliver! (1968) for which he received a Best Actor nomination and won the Golden Globe. The role stuck to him as forcefully as the Emcee clung to Joel Grey defining him for decades and decades and audiences of multiple generations. His movie career, though it spanned 33 films, didn't contain many other highlights but he did play the sorcerer Merlin in two Disney films Unidentified Flying Oddball and A Kid in King Arthurs Court. He returned to the stage often including revivals of Oliver! (He didn't seem to resent how much Fagin defined him, calling the musical "magic".)

If you ask people to name Sir Christopher Lee's most famous role, on the other hand, they might well hesitate. There is nothing definitive or, rather, there is too much that is definitive. He was a genuine screen legend and worked what seemed like non-stop from 1948 through 2015 appearing in nearly 200 films before his death. Today it's nothing new for actors to be defined by franchise stardom but Christopher Lee was doing forever. He was best known for decades as the face of "Dracula" for Hammer Horror in several films, "Fu Manchu" in multiple films and "Rochefort" in two Three Musketeer films. The actor's fame rose again late in life through prominent popular roles such as "Count Dooku" in the Star Wars franchise and the wicked sorceror "Saruman" multiple times in Peter Jackson's Tolkien adaptations. 

Please share your favorite screen memories of these two acclaimed Brits.