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Entries in Maggie Gyllenhaal (7)

Monday
Jul102017

A First Look at HBO's "Deuce"

Chris here. David Simon is something of an HBO perennial, delivering the likes of The Wire, Treme, and the Oscar Isaac-led mini Show Me A Hero to much acclaim. He's back (along with his frequent collaborator George Pelecanos) this fall for another round of prestige grit with crime series The Deuce, an NYC-set look at the rise of the porn industry and its violent underbelly.

Now before you go calling this HBO's next Vinyl, consider that it also gives us twin James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal in several wigs. There is a lot to take in for a seemingly familiar series: a logo that looks like it belongs in an Atlantic City lounge, campy period detail, dialogue that feels intentionally cheesy. I'm not sure if the tone is supposed to be slightly off-kilter, but there are enough bizarre elements to make The Deuce more intriguing than another severe Goodfellas retread. While the first look below features a lot of the expected plots points for such material, it also hints that we could be getting some peak form Gyllenhaal among its glossy production value. The Deuce debuts September 10.

Friday
Feb102017

What's Next for Gyllenhaalics?

Remember the ol' internet nickname for Gyllenhaal fans circa 2004-2006, "Gyllenhaalics"? We never stopped using the term because it never became irrelevant for us. Both Jake and Maggie have continued to do amazing work well past their initial breakthroughs in the early to mid Aughts. Let's check in with what the wonder siblings are up to after the jump...

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Friday
Sep182015

Team Experience: 2015's Best Emmy Nominees

Andrew here with some more Emmy treats.

In anticipation of Sunday's big night for TV, the television lovers at The Film Experience are bringing to you a special Team Experience top 10 list.Sure, each year a handful of Emmy nominees leave us scratching our head in confusion, but we wanted to celebrate the citations that the voters got right this year and compiled our list of favourite nominees. Unlike usual Team Experience top 10s, though, we're offering you a look at each of our individual top 10s.

Nathaniel always points out how interesting individual ballots in awards tends to be more dynamic than the final tally and to celebrate the wide range of nominees in the prizes still to be handed at Sunday's ceremonies. So, we disregarded the already decided on categories from the Creative Awards ceremonies and from the 26 categories to be decided on Sunday, our twelve person team each submitted their favourite of the nominees.

Unsurprisingly, our individual ballots were full of Actresses. Go below the jump to see them all.

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Tuesday
Jan132015

The Golden Gyllenhaals. And Final Best Actor Predictions

In the cascade of perfect smiles, smh laughter at outre jokes, and general 'oh god the camera is on me now and I don't have a script' that is awards show reaction shows you may have missed the Jake Gyllenhaal and Maggie Gyllenhaal had pride of place at Sunday's Golden Globe ceremony, and received the very first reaction shot as Tina & Amy entered to host, their joke quote, "the 72nd and final Golden Globe Awards". The very first reaction shot. Even Oprah had to settle for second billing. 

It was a good night for the Gyllenhaals. They started the festivities with family nostalgia listening to "Graceland" in the limo (as they said on the red carpet), Maggie won for Best Actress in a Television Movie or Miniseries for The Honourable Woman, Jake was a very proud sibling and a nominee, and Jake's current Broadway co-star Ruth Wilson ("Constellations") was also a winner taking Best Actress in a Drama Series for The Affair.

Maggie's acceptance speech was a beauty

I love that she doesn't even disguise that she's "complicated" which Gone Girl reminds us is a code word for "bitch." Will any of this reminder of her screen power that the industry got in The Honourable Woman transfer back to the big screen in better parts?

Even Frances McDormand vaguely put up with Maggie's speech.. well, half of it anyway. She started fanning herself at one point which looked very dismissive oncamera until we read afterwards that the air conditioning was not working in the building, which explains all of the celebrities looking like they forgot to powder before taking the stage. 

But What About Jake?
He didn't win but with Nightcrawler picking up so much steam at various guilds, it seems reasonable to expect him to show up in the final five for Best Actor. I've decided to bet big and risky on Nightcrawler in my final Oscar predictions, so I'm saying he's in.

My Final Predictions
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton, Birdman
David Oyelowo, Selma
Eddie Redmayne, Theory of Everything 

Now, it is a tight race and anyone could fall out, really, with the exception of Redmayne & Keaton -- either of them missing would be a shocker. If someone does stumble my guess is that it's not Gyllenhaal since his film garnered so much surprising love late in the game, but either Oyelowo (if Selma underperforms) or *gasp* Cumberbatch... in kind of a Leo/Titanic moment. Bradley Cooper may be gaining steam with American Sniper but of the 9 performances left standing at this point (my predictions: plus Carell, Cooper, Fiennes, and Spall) Cooper's is literally the least showy. It's not too often where the least showy triumph, even if he is very good as the blindly patriotic kiling machine. But Just about the only attention-grabbing aspect of his turn is that he gained weight. He has approximately one scene you might call an 'Oscar clip'. Now, that might not stop AMPAS from nominating him if they're in a very Cooper place (Oscar, like the Emmys, does get into ruts where anything will do for certain performers) but are they? His two nominations were for super popular actors-branch obsessions with the whole cast receiving nominations. He'd have to pull this one off on his own.

Finally, my heart wants to predict Ralph Fiennes as the surprise that makes every bit of sense once it happens. But my head tells me that's entirely too much wishful thinking. The Oscars would never give me both Fiennes and Gyllenhaal. That would be too much abundance for this pundit whose taste in male actors is generally not sympatico with Oscar voters. 

Friday
Dec262014

Entertainers of the Year, An Alternate Take

Year in Review. Two yummy lists each day. Here's Matthew Eng on "Entertainers of the Year"

Let’s face it: Jimmy Fallon is an okay if utterly predictable choice for Entertainment Weekly’s annual “Entertainer of the Year” title, which can occasionally become more of an honor for being widely-known and well-liked than, you know, being consistently entertaining. (Have they made a truly interesting choice since that three-year, Oscar-certified run of Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, and Denzel Washington from 2000-02?)

Rather than continue to pat the backs of those like Ben Affleck, Taylor Swift, Robert Downey, Jr., and J.K. Rowling – i.e. prominent pop culture presences and former “Entertainers of the Year” whose dominance over their respective industries is already deep and durable – let’s take a moment to honor some of our favorite hard-working actors and actresses who zig-zagged across mediums this year, making crucial contributions to the entertainment landscape, but who likely won’t be collecting any golden statues for their unique and indispensable achievements in 2014.

 

Alan Cumming, who lent his impish, adventurous energy to two wildly disparate roles this year, reprising his bawdily iconic take as the Emcee in Roundabout’s Cabaretrevival, while continuing to play his most unusual role as the sardonic and perpetually stressed-out campaign manager Eli Gold on The Good Wife, which is still the best thing on television. It’s a testament to Cumming’s versatility that he seems equally at home warbling in an evening gown and defiling chorus boys, as he does striding around an office and barking into a cellphone. In between suiting-up on screen and dressing down on stage, Cumming also penned a moving and well-reviewed memoir about his troubled childhood in Scotland entitled Not My Father’s Son.


Viola Davis, who continues to be better than any of the material she’s given, but still acts the hell out of everything she appears in, all the same. I’ve already written about how gorgeously she improves the standard mother-son arc of Get On Up, but let’s also give Davis her due for surpassing such esteemed company as Jessica Chastain and Isabelle Huppert to present the only credible human being in that weirdly noncommittal triptych The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, in which she plays Chastain’s professor and newfound confidante to weary, seen-it-all perfection. And finally, I still have my fingers crossed that How to Get Away with Murder will work some Scandal-like magic and pick up as it goes, but Davis is unqualifiedly great and effortlessly magnetic even amid mediocrity. We can never stop beating the drum for this gloriously gifted woman.

Lindsay Duncan, who, yes, played an indelible cobra as Birdman’s venomous voice of theatrical critique, but who also single-handedly dispels the lazy claims that 2014 was a weak year for lead actressing. I wish enough “pundits” would take it upon themselves to journey past their Wilds and Gone Girls and take a well-deserved look at Roger Michell’s marital dramedy Le Week-end, in which Duncan and a never-better Jim Broadbent work through the poignantly personal travails of ripened couplehood while celebrating their anniversary in Paris. Proudly reckless, boldly tetchy, and gleefully tongue-in-cheek, Week-end’s Meg is a marvel of deliciously detailed characterization and one of the acting achievements of the year, thanks to Duncan’s slyly sublime sorcery. (I mean, that voice alone!) Duncan’s also currently on the boards as Glenn Close’s acerbic, alcoholic sister in the revival of Albee’s A Delicate Balance and she’s still a staple on British television, having made appearances this year on SherlockBlack Mirror’s jaw-dropper of a first episode “The National Anthem” (only recently made available on Netflix), and The Honorable Woman, providing the latter with a quietly memorable take on the exasperated ex-wife, which leads us to…


Maggie Gyllenhaal, who never really reached the summits of critic-stamped screen stardom that surely seemed attainable during the Secretary and Sherrybaby days, but who has nonetheless continued to offer terrific and thoughtful work across a variety of mediums. New Yorkers have a little more than a week to catch her in the current revival of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing (closing January 4th), in which Gyllenhaal pairs her usual flair for emphatic (if often unstable) eroticism with an intriguingly assured intelligence as an impassioned actress who throws herself heart-first into a relationship with a married playwright. She’s hilariously and cuttingly unhinged as the only reason worth watching Frank, playing the bitter, Bening-ish bandmate/protector of Michael Fassbender’s bobble-headed lead singer. Gyllenhaal’s great in both projects, but she’s downright fantastic in The Honorable Woman, the BBC miniseries that is equal parts timely political thriller and trenchant character study, and which has given Gyllenhaal her juiciest role in years as an unraveling Anglo-Israeli arms heiress urgently trying to bring peace to the Middle East. Gyllenhaal’s elegant and emotionally daring performance is just another compelling reason to keep this weirdly underappreciated actress in play.

Gaby Hoffmann, who is a national treasure. Besides providing such selfless, straight-shooting support to Obvious Child, ensuring that the film remain a warm and witty sketch of a circle of intimates rather than a lopsided vanity project, and giving Girls’ third season a welcome dose of droll derangement as Adam Driver’s loopy sister, Hoffmann is fully deserving of the praise and prizes that Jeffrey Tambor has received for Jill Soloway’s miraculous series Transparent. The entire familial ensemble (to include Jay Duplass, Amy Landecker, and Judith Light) clicks like crazy, with each performer projecting a whole host of complex and authentically-layered affinities, histories, and antipathies around one another, but it’s Hoffmann’s work as impetuous, indecisive baby sister Ali that has somehow lingered the most in my mind. It’s one thing to take the role of the caustic, cash-strapped family fuck-up and make her funny, charming, and inappropriate. It’s another thing entirely to invest so much extra ruefulness, wistfulness, selfishness, self-righteousness, sexiness, continually shifting sensibleness, and totally committed weirdness into a single character that she becomes someone we not only know, but someone we are unable to remember not knowing.

John Lithgow, who has had quite an enviable hot streak this year, the crowning achievement of which is his beautifully loose and lived-in performance as one half of 2014’s most believable onscreen couple, gay or otherwise, in Ira Sachs’ Love is Strange. In addition to his affecting and attentive leading man work, Lithgow also made his mark in two other noteworthy releases, imbuing bit parts in both The Homesman and Interstellar with muted, offhanded conviction. And that’s just on screen! Lithgow also gave good Lear in the Public’s August Shakespeare in the Park production, nailing the punchy imperiousness while adding an ungainliness to the declining King that in its plaintive way was just as tragic as any of the Bard’s plot turns. He’s also currently co-starring with Duncan in that same production of A Delicate Balance, closing out a banner year with yet another reminder that our most abiding and admired talents have endless shades to show us.

Elisabeth Moss, who, on the basis of her sterling work on the Sundance circuit, proves once again that she will be just fine when Don Draper lights up for the last time. She earned raves this year as Jason Schwartzman’s straying, sympathetic girlfriend in Listen Up Philip and rejuvenated some run-of-the-mill themes about marital devotion inThe One I Love with such a persuasive mix of pep and precision that I hardly noticed their familiarity. I’m excited by the prospect of Moss becoming a full-time film presence, but I hope she gets handed at least half as dynamic a role as Peggy Olson, whose professional rise and personal stalling-out Moss continued to chart with instinctive emotionality and endless empathy on the first half of Mad Men’s final season, which began with Peggy collapsing in tears on her apartment floor and ended with her officially taking the reigns from her former boss-turned-humbled colleague. Even if Emmy, SAG, and Golden Globe voters failed to appreciate the magnificence of Moss’ work this year, those of us still watching can take pride in seeing this superbly skillful actress finish off her work as one of TV’s most beloved heroines before heading off into the promising future that awaits her.

Friday
Aug222014

Review: Frank

Michael C. here.  The audience can be forgiven if it assumes that Lenny Abarahamson’s Frank will be another cookie cutter indie quirkfest. The title character certainly seems at first glance like a contrived package of screenwriting conceits. Played by an actor we have to take on faith is Michael Fassbender, Frank is an artist who, despite a recent stay in a mental institution, still wears at all times a beach ball-sized fiberglass head with a smiling Howdy Doody face. Frank is the lead singer of an avant-garde band with an unpronounceable name (the Soronprfbs) and an unlistenable sound. When they perform it looks like five people having a synchronized nervous breakdown. With this shooting gallery of easy targets we sit back and wait for the movie to rain down mockery on its characters, sort of like a Napoleon Dynamite for hipster musicians.

The great surprise of Frank is that it avoids the easy jokes, aiming for something altogether more interesting. Abrahamson accepts these bizarre characters at face value and follows them with thoughtfulness and an open mind, often to funny places, sometimes to bracingly dark ones. It’s a tricky tonal balancing act, but the film rarely steps wrong. In passing up the cheap shots, Frank finds unexpected depth beneath the weirdness. 

We first meet Frank and company through Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) a would-be songwriter who spends his days wandering the streets hoping to find the inspiration to jumpstart his dormant creative engine. [More...]

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