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Entries in Mackenzie Davis (6)

Sunday
May062018

Review: "Tully"

by Chris Feil

With Juno, screenwritwer Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman made a quippy comedy on teen pregnancy with more subtlety than first meets the eye. Pairing again for Young Adult, they approached the bitter delusion of its alcoholic protagonist with patient and understated compassion. Now arrives their third collaboration Tully, an equally gracious and hilarious look at personal growth and self-awareness, this time with motherhood at the forefront.

It’s a special thing when we get even one great comedy with such a deep well of empathy for its subject, but Cody and Reitman have gifted us with an unimpeachable trilogy on empathy that challenges audience bias. And Tully is their riskiest entry yet.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr212018

Jason Reitman & Diablo Cody, Round Three!

by Murtada

By now you’ve all heard about the post-screening Tribeca Film Festival panel that went around the world. The moderator at a Scarface 35th anniversary screening, asked Michelle Pfeiffer about her weight during filming.

As the father of a daughter, I'm concerned about body image. The preparation for this film — what did you weigh? 

The horror! The audience met the question with groans, and Pfeiffer handled it superbly, focusing on her work for the film.

I was at another Tribeca event happening at the same time. One that was markedly devoid of sexist questions and uncomfortable moments. In fact it was the opposite of that...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan112018

"Tully" Teases

Chris here. Has everyone come around to the comedy masterpiece that is Young Adult yet? If not, allow yourself a revisit in the coming months because we have an enticing reunion between its team. Charlize Theron returns for director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody for Tully, a tale of contemporary suburban motherhood. 

This time around Halt and Catch Fire's Mackenzie Davis joins the collaborators as the titular nanny who helps Theron's mother cope with the demands of parenting, and they begin to establish a bond together as well. While Reitman/Cody are more widely known for their Juno collaboration which landed Cody an Oscar, this film looks to skew closer to Young Adult based on the just released teaser. The almost dialogue free 90 seconds is filled with brisk detail and tough honesty (not to mention a few belly laughs) that reminds immediately Young Adult's painfully precise opening sequence. Will this satiric look at new motherhood be equally spot on? Things are already promising for something special when the film opens April 20!

Thursday
Sep292016

Young Adult Reunion: Now with Pictures

by Murtada

As previously mentioned, the three principals of Young Adult - writer Diablo Cody, director Jason Reitman and star Charlize Theron - are reuniting for a new movie. Now there is evidence it will only be a matter of months before we can see it. Tully started shooting in Vancouver and there are pictures to prove it. This is cause for some excitement around these parts where there are many Young Adult fans, no?

The new comedy tells the story of Marlo (Theron) — a mother of three, including a newborn — who is gifted a night nanny by her brother. Hesitant at the extravagance at first, she comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully (played by Mackenzie Davis). You might know Davis from The Martian (2015) or the AMC TV show Halt and Catch Fire, this though looks to possibly be her big breakout, playing the title character and all. Ron Livingston - who will always be remembered as Carrie's awful boyfriend Jack Berger Post-It Man in Sex and the City- is also in the cast. Let's hope he's not as awful this time, if he's playing Theron's partner.

What do you think of Charlize's new look, padding or pounds?

Tuesday
Jun072016

Halt & Blade Runner

Jason from MNPP here with a quite happy bit of new news - we've been a little on the wary side of the Blade Runner sequel. Even as excellent stuff was announced - Harrison Ford returning is excellent stuff! And we're probably bigger fans of director Denis Villeneuve as of this moment in time than we are of Ridley Scott as of this moment in time (that's our way of saying if we were talking about "Ridley Scott as of the 1980s" it would be a different story). These are all net positives! 

And yet we're wary. We're talking about Blade Runner here! The film that basically built the entire aesthetic of cinematic dystopia on its slick neon-in-the-rain shoulders. You kind of can't look at any movie set in the future that was made in the past 34 years and not see its influence.

Well today we're a smidge less wary, and we might actually be on our way to excited, because the film's just cast one of our very favorite actresses - Mackenzie Davis from Halt and Catch Fire (which is so underrated it pains my insides) as well as the terrific upcoming thriller Always Shine, which I reviewed from the Tribeca Film Festival (and which she won Best Actress at that same festival for). No word on who she's playing (naturally they're keeping everything tight to the vest) but I get a little giddy picturing her done up a la Daryl Hannah's Pris, I have to say.

Friday
Apr222016

Shine On, Beautiful Murder

Team Experience is at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here's Jason on "A Kind of Murder" and "Always Shine"

I know it's blasphemy in these parts to speak ill of Mad Men (cue 90% of you automatically clicking away in disgust) but I could never really get into it because it felt too slavishly obsessed with 60s posturing - I love Mid-Century Design as much as the next Eero Saarinen disciple but I couldn't ever see the forest for the tulip chairs. That said, the new Patricia Highsmith adaptation A Kind of Murder (from the 1954 book The Blunderer, kind of a suburban copycat criss-cross of Strangers on a Train) makes Mad Men seem positively restrained in its period affectations - how you manage to turn a walking talking charm like Patrick Wilson into a walking talking turtleneck I'll never figure.

The turtlenecks! The martini glasses! The heavy salmon drapes and stone fireplaces! There were moments of such monumental airlessness, as if a plastic sofa cover was wrapped over every scene, where I felt it might be purposeful - where I thought of Todd Haynes' [safe] and the way that movie was built to make the audience hyperventilate while watching it... but A Kind of Murder is no [safe]. What it is is is an occasionally jazzy low-key thriller, with Eddie Marsan skulking about effectively making his case as our modern day Peter Lorre or Raymond Burr. But it ends up more of a put on, a face of perfectly applied make-up cast halfway in noirish shadow, than any sort of artful smear. Grade: C

Part of me wishes I had seen Mackenzie Davis and Caitlin FitzGerald in Sophia Takal's Always Shine before having seen Elisabeth Moss and Katherine Waterston in Alex Ross Perry's Queen of Earth last year, because while I'm more inclined towards Takal's smoky and sinister edged film... that's a whole lot of Persona riffing in the space of twelve months.

Always Shine tells the tale of two actresses in one of those friendships so fraught with complications it would have doctors reaching for the defibrillation paddles - the pendulums of success and resentment, professional jealousy and personal affection, flinging through space so close that something's bound to rub off and muck up everything. 

And inevitably, muck. In this case the the muck under the misty cliff-faces and mossy canyons of Big Sur, California, an L.A. getaway close enough that when the sun sets the shadows from the Hollywood sign are yet still the first harbingers of nightfall. Here these ladies make their escape, a weekend coffee klatsch under the guise of nursing emotional distance, their carry-on's stacked with comedy and tragedy masks, plus sundresses. Inevitably, tragically, the two women end up flashing their SAG cards in each other's faces instead of laying bare their hearts, a battle of wiles not wills.

You know, actresses. And who doesn't love a movie about actresses? I think I'm preaching to the choir here. The performative commingling of these two still fresh talents is a blast - Davis I've already fallen head over for on Halt and Catch Fire (please tell me you're all watching that show) and FitzGerald is always fine despite a frustratingly written role on Masters of Sex; here these two fold into and under each other in smart - and, in this movie's true blessing, in unexpectedly funny - ways. Grade: B+