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Entries in Margot Kidder (7)

Monday
Jul292019

Great Moments in Horror Actressing

by Jason Adams

We had intended to use this week's edition of our new "Great Moments in Horror Actressing" series to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Stuart Rosenberg's The Amityville Horror with an ode to Margot Kidder's performance... but then we re-watched The Amityville Horror, and it is so very much worse than we remembered. Not scary, tedious, with cardboard performances; a mere shadow of that decade's many better horror films. I have no idea how it became a hit, and I felt actively bad for Margot while re-watching it.

So in order to make it up to the actress, let's take a look instead at the crown jewel in her horror crown (give or take a Sisters), her hilarious work five years earlier as the deliciously crusty co-ed Barb in Bob Clark's slasher Black Christmas...

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Tuesday
Sep112018

Ladies Love Cool De Palma

by Jason Adams

It's the 78th birthday of the director slash living legend Brian De Palma today. Did everybody watch Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow's 2015 documentary aka an excuse to listen to Brian De Palma tell movie stories for two hours? I've watched it four times now and I'm still nowhere near sick of it - I wish they'd just release the hundreds of hours of raw footage they took so I can just wade in there and never come back again.

Anyway I decided that the best way to celebrate one of my favorite movie-makers today (as he prepares to maybe make a Harvey Weinstein movie next, a real tighrope of a proposition there) is to celebrate a few of the great roles he's given actresses over the years. Here are five favorites (well technically six but you can't make me choose between the first two) -- feel free to add your own in the comments!

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Monday
May142018

Margot Kidder (1948-2018)

by Nathaniel R

My generation lost its Superman, Christopher Reeve, tragically early 14 years ago. And now we've lost our Lois Lane. The Canadian American actress Margot Kidder has passed away at 69. I can still picture the heroes flying together across that Metropolis sky. And I do mean heroes plural. The magic of the first two Superman films was definitely in the fact that they understood Lois's heroism, too. Their faces aren't the only thing burned in memory but their voices, too... 

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Monday
Jan082018

Beauty vs Beast: Ebbing Through Awards Season

Jason from MNPP here with this week's post-Globes edition of "Beauty vs Beast." And let's just get this out of the way right up front: Frances McDormand is, in the wise parlance of Groundhog Day, if not The God, A God. Every second she's on screen at any awards show ever is a gift - for the lovers, the memers, and me. I'm one of the ones who kind of can't with Three Billboards (although I fall more in the middle than most) and I don't even think Franny's doing anything near her best work in it, but trot her out in a stately pilgrim sack and have her scowl at the camera-man and my heart sings. I'll just pretend they're still giving her awards for Olive Kitteredge (while pouring one out for Sally Hawkins).

All of that is to say that if we're going to do Three Billboards for this series we can't possibly use Fran's character of Mildred because any and every one is gum on that woman's shoe. But since the film took over the night let's tackle it anyway, and with a real good fight if you ask me - Woody Harrelson gives in my opinion the film's best performance as the cancer-stricken Chief Willoughby. Sam Rockwell meanwhile is steam-rolling the awards nominations as dancing racist Dixon, giving a performance I truly cannot stand. (Oh am I biased in my introduction here? Whoops.) As problematic as the writing of Dixon is I don't think Rockwell helps it at all, leaning into his worst hammy instincts. But perhaps that is just me! What about y'all?

PREVIOUSLY Our last contest was way back before the holiday break, where we asked you to choose between Bob Clark Holiday Classics, and the "Leg Lamp" of A Christmas Story kicked the "Crystal Unicorn" of Black Christmas' butt, but in the comments kermit_the_frog singled out the latter's owner for some much-deserved love:

"Brian De Palma's "Sisters" and "Black Christmas" in consecutive years cemented Margot Kidder's place in my heart. One of the most underrated actresses of the 70s."

Monday
Dec182017

Beauty vs Beast: A Black Christmas Story

Jason from MNPP here wishing you a Happy Season with this week's ho ho holiday edition of our "Beauty vs Beast" series. If you ask me there is but one undisputed Movie King of Christmas - no it's not Frank Capra with his wingless angels and suicide bridges, nor is it Tim Burton with his antihero cat-people and scissor-handed freaks. No the Lord of Cinematic Hollies Jollies is Mr. Bob Clark, who gave us the ever-festive duo of 1983's A Christmas Story in 1974's Black Christmas. Nostalgia & Homicide - spells Xmas to me.

So this week to celebrate we'll be facing down two representational totems, one from each film - from A Christmas Story we have the infamous Sexy Leg Lamp that Ralphie's Dad buys (and that Ralphie's Mom destroys). And from Black Christmas comes the Crystal Unicorn that is used to murder the film's greatest character, drunken and acid-tongued Barb (a never funnier Margot Kidder).

PREVIOUSLY One of 2017's greatest movies was last week's subject and it was  a blow-out for Get Out's leading man - Daniel Kaluuya took just under 3/4s of the vote. But Allison Williams shouldn't feel bad since she got some lovely notices in the comments... said IanO:

"I expected Team Chris to win so I threw my vote to Rose. Get Out is fantastic, am so happy it’s getting awards attention, but I think Williams is somewhat lost in the critical hosannas for the film. She has to walk a real tight rope and she does so with ease. A second viewing really drove home how nuanced the performance is - it’s why the key scene works so damn well."

Monday
Oct172016

On a Clear Day You Can See Anniversaries Forever

On this day in showbiz history...

1886 Spring Byington is born in Colorado Springs. Goes on to supporting actress glory in Hollywood including Marmee in Little Women (1933, her feature debut) and an Oscar nomination as the eccentric hobbyist mom in You Can't Take It With You (1938). Curiously her screen daughter in that best picture winner Jean Arthur, an even bigger star, shares her same birthday (for the year of 1900)
1888 Thomas Edison files a patent for the Optical Phonograph (an early step in creating the cinema)
1903 Author and screenwriter Nathanael West is born in NYC. Movies adapted from his work include Lonelyhearts (1958) and The Day of the Locust (1975)
1915 One of the world's most celebrated playwrights, Arthur Miller, is born. His classics include Death of a Salesman, The Crucible and A View From the Bridge. After marrying movie star Marilyn Monroe, he wrote The Misfits (1961) for her which would eerily (considering its elegiac tone) be the last film for both her and co-star Clark Gable and one of the very last for Montgomery Clift who was born on this same day in 1920...

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