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Entries in Meryl Streep (169)


"Suffragette" Shoulders into the Oscar Fray

Is “Suffragette” faltering under the weight of overly high expectations?  With its impressive pedigree and unimpeachable subject matter, Sarah Gavron’s historical drama about the militant wing of the British suffragist movement seemed poised to be a strong Oscar contender for this fall.  Now, as we move towards the holidays, its status is looking uncertain: reviews have been mixed, and it’s drawn criticism for everything from its limited narrative focus to the limited screen time of Meryl Streep, who receives top of the line billing for a role that’s essentially no more than a cameo.  

If there’s a common trend to the criticism, it’s that the critics seem mostly preoccupied with what the movie doesn't do rather than what it does.  “Suffragette” is less a historical chronicle of the suffragettes than a snapshot view through the eyes of one (fictional) working class woman who’s accidentally and at first reluctantly drafted into their ranks.  It’s a study of what circumstances would drive such a woman to join a movement that would seem to hold no immediate benefit or attraction for someone in her position.  [more...]

Click to read more ...


In Praise of Carey Mulligan in Suffragette

Murtada here, with a lot of love and respect for Carey Mulligan.

There's a scene late in Suffragette when Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) realizes the devastating enormity of the separation from her son. Mulligan’s face, in a second, flickers many emotions, all so overwhelming that you feel this woman’s pain in your gut. Yet she doesn’t overplay or milk the moment for maximum effect. She remains understated.

This is just one of many moments in the film in which Mulligan transcends her movie and reaches her audience with clarity and without exaggeration. Set in London in 1912, Suffragette tells the story of Watts, her education and indoctrination into the suffrage movement. When the film starts, she is working in a laundry, trying to survive a hard existence alongside her husband and young son. A chance encounter introduces her to the suffragettes and she becomes a member of their embattled movement. 

It is through Mulligan that we enter this world. Her character is a composite of many working women who were part of the movement and is built to be the audience surrogate. Her performance is so strong that the plight of these women is not only depicted effectively, but comes alive. I could not control my emotions or my tears. Mulligan’s performance is an emotional marvel and delivered with technical mastery. Her working class English accent is impeccable, her weariness and defeat is visible in her hunched back and heavy walk, her defiance rises to crescendo and is delivered with skillful control of her voice. This is why there are awards for acting.

The film is dividing critics and its reception is unfortunately lukewarm. Some accuse it of being well intentioned but conventional. "Earnest", "formulaic" and "schematic" are words used to describe Suffragette.

But the film derives most of its power from the performance at its center. Mulligan is riding on a wave of acclaim, with co-star Meryl Streep recently praising her:

"I’m in awe of your talent . . . I really am. I’m also in awe of your voice, which is like warm caramel poured over the English language. I applaud your taste in material and how you hold out for stuff. Even when you were young and didn’t have any money, you just did things that mattered. I can’t wait to see what Carey Mulligan will give us next, what new woman she’ll give birth to”.

In her earlier 2015 release Far From the Madding Crowd, Mulligan as Bathsheba Everdeen says "It's my intention to astonish you all". And you do Carey. Always.

Do you think Carey Mulligan in on her way to a second Oscar nomination?


Jennifer Lawrence & The Race to Break Oscar Records

Nine year-old Jacob Tremblay (Room), fourteen year-old Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation), and 21 year-old Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) are the youngest actors who appear to be in the mix for possible Oscar nominations this year. But none of them will be breaking any records if they are as younger actors have been nominated in their categories. It's actually Jennifer Lawrence, an old lady at 25 (Kidding, but she sure does like playing older women) who is the one to watch for trivia's sake. She is likely to break a record that is currently held by another Jennifer. 

Jennifer in Duel in the Sun (1946) / Jennifer in Joy (2015)


Do you think Jennifer Lawrence will take Jennifer Jones Oscar record?
Duh! JLaw will be gunning for Bette/Katharine/Meryl records
Yes. JLaw will get another Oscar and a few more nods.
We'll see. Enjoy it while it lasts Jennifer.
No. This JLaw obsession must stop!
Poll Maker


Should Lawrence be nominated for Joy (talk about the new trailer here), she will have amassed an incredible four acting nominations by the age of 25. I assumed that record was held by Elizabeth Taylor but the record is actually held by one of the more forgotten superstars of the 1940s, Jennifer Jones.


Click to read more ...


Links: Streep in Berlin, Tarantino in Hot Water, Garber at the Altar

Oscars Cometh
Awards Daily Love and Mercy is pulling out all the stops for their Oscar campaign including Brian Wilson concerts
Twitter everyone is excited that Mad Max Fury Road is getting an Oscar campaign but most hits get this treatment even the ones that have no chance.
Academy Conversations Truth is on the campaign trail, too with this recent conversation in NYC. Pssst. I believe NY's BAFTA chapter also hosted a screening just last night at the theater I was in (though I was there for a different movie)
NYT Style "The Gonzo Vision of Quentin Tarantino" like Matt Damon before him he might do his latest Oscar campaign good by just shutting up. In this new profile he infuriates a lot of people with his anger about his racial criticisms of his work and even has the nerve to be chauvinistically condescending about Kathryn Bigelow's beating him at the Oscars

Look, it was exciting that a woman had made such a good war film..."


General Linkage
Variety WOW. Meryl Streep, who has never really been a film festival queen like some respected actors will be president of the Berlinale jury in 2016. It's her FIRST film festival jury. Naturally she starts at the top as president of an A list fest
AV Club on a fun new instagram movie/tv mocking account "Night Lotion" LOL
EW a roundtable with the creatives behind Aladdin for its Blu-ray release
TFE did you vote on our Aladdin inspired poll?
The Tracking Board collects all the recent Jennifer Lawrence news... which is a lot and frankly we don't have the strength this week. Can we talk about any other actress for a change? She doesn't even have a movie out right now. Can we at least wait for her to be in movie theaters again?
Gothamist Lena Dunham's next HBO series in development is called Max about magazines and second-wave feminism in the 1960s
Guardian Sir John Hurt's given the all-clear from doctors after his chemo for cancer. Yay! 
Guardian in extremely confusing Hollyweird news Paramount is developing a remake of The Ten Commandments (1956). Didnt they notice all the money lost on the last one (Ridley Scott's Exodus)?
Vulture goes to the set of The Knick
NYT Playboy magazine will no longer feature nudity but tone down their pictorials to "suggestive"
EW want to be naked with Miley Cyrus and The Flaming Lips? Everyone gets naked (including the audience) for the video for "The Milky Milky Milk" 
/Film on recent Marvel news - the biggest of which is that Hulk will co-star in Thor: Ragnarok
Playbill interviews the huge stage talent Danny Burstein. He is really remarkable on stage but has a low profile on film and TV. I was pleased to see him pop up recently in The Family Fang and Blackhat albeit in tiny roles. If only they were making great screen musicals and casting appropriately.
Pajiba collects the best tweets from the Democratic Debate last night. Some really funny ones here 
Variety Julianne Moore lead Hollywood committee fighting for gun violence prevention 

*throws rice*
Finally, congratulations to Victor Garber (Alias, Titanic, Argo,The Flash). He married his boyfriend of 16 years, the artist Rainer Andreesen this week. They eloped apparently. Photo via Rainer's instagram

Sing-Along to Go
Here's Victor Garber singing Elton John's "Last Song". Since nearly the entire cast of The Flash has beautiful musical theater voices, can we please get a musical episode?  Pretty pretty please. I don't care if it has to be on an Alternate Earth.



Link It On

Lenny Amy Poehler interviews her teen fan, the Tony nominated Sydney Lucas who was so brilliant in Fun Home: The Musical (she just left the show *cries*)
AV Club in terrifying news: Disney is fast-tracking a Cruella de Vil picture from the 50 Shades screenwriter called simpley Cruella
The Guardian interviews Benicio del Toro on Sicario and music as part of his acting process

Playbill Broadway and music giants are uniting on December 3rd in NYC for a Centennial tribute to Frank Sinatra: slated to appear are Bernadette Peters, Sutton Foster, Sting, and Christina Aguilera. More names TBA
Comics Alliance & Superhero Hype celebrate the best Cosplay at New York Comic Con this weekend - that Marvel Girl is something else. Straight outta the X-Men pages I tell ya.
Boy Culture cuteness - Carol Channing with teddy bear
Pajiba yes, Natalie Dormer is aware that people think Kermit the Frog's new pig girlfriend Denise looks like her
Detroit News my hometown paper interview Tippi Hedren (The Birds, Marnie) for some reason so check that out
Awards Daily Sasha on Aaron Sorkin and the art of the symbol in Steve Jobs 
Variety MTV's adaptation of Terry Brooks "The Shannara Chronicles" is coming in January. I read a couple of those books a million years ago and none of this even sounds/looks vaguely familiar. But maybe I just don't remember it?
Variety ...and BBC is doing "The Last Kingdom" because YA fused with fantasy is hot right now after the cultural dominance of Hunger Games / Game of Thrones the past handful of years.  

The first 10 days of October were so crazy busy: final reports from NYFF, the opening of The Martian and a sneak of Carol, wild acclaim for Steve Jobs and the opposite for Pan on their shared opening weekend, that we're sure you've missed some choice goodies. Be sure to check out the Hail Caesar! teaser, our interview with Victoria star Laia Costa, Photograph 51 with Nicole Kidman hitting the stage, and a list of Ridley Scott's favorite actors.

The biggest news for us here at The Film Experience was the announcement of the 81 movies in competition for Best Foreign Film. We've already interviewed directors from or reviewed 11 of them: Argentina's The Clan, Austria's Goodnight Mommy (now in theaters), Colombia's Embrace of the Serpent, Dominican Republic's Sand Dollars, France's Mustang, Germany's Labyrinth of Lies (now in theaters!), Hungary's Son of Saul, Norway's The Wave, Portugal's Arabian Nights Volume 2, Sweden's A Pigeon Sat on a Branch, and Taiwan's The Assassin with more to come. 

Reboot the World. Bring it On
Remember when Bring It On (2000) made our top ten list of Best High School Movies Ever Made? Don't you wish that they hadn't made all those terrible straight-to-dvd sequels for Bring It On so that the world could demand an actual Bring It On sequel? EW reunited the principle cast for their latest issue.

Eliza Dushku, Gabrielle Union, and Kiki are still sexy. And cute. and popular to boot. Okay maybe less popular (sigh) but still awesome. And to quote our friend Joe Reid:

Congratulations to Jesse Bradford, Nobel Prize winner in the field of Could Get It 

Video Du Jour
I'm sorry but Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman on the same couch being embarrassed about their childhood names? The Graham Norton Show is always a delight for actressexuals. Please someone gif the part w/ Meryl's glasses askew or any of Nicole's dorky grimaces.

And, because, a bonus video: Julianne Moore cracking us up doing Taylor Swift lyrics on "the Late Late Show"

Always the years.
Always the love.
Always The Hours Ladies.


Pictures from a Rebellious Premiere

Here's Murtada on the opening night of the BFI London Film Festival.

The BFI London Film Festival opened Wednesday night with a gala premiere of Suffragette. Alongside stars Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham Carter, protesters made their voices heard. The group Sisters Uncut chose this movie about suffragettes to protest the UK government’s recent cut of funds supporting victims of domestic abuse.

It was an apt choice and led to some interesting pictures. On the same red carpet the latest couture gowns mixing with color bombs and protest signs. Glamour and activism after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Something Link-ed This Way Comes

The Movies
• How does The Intern stack up to previous Nancy Meyers releases at the box office? It's a bit too early to tell but I totally didn't know and was a bit surprised to realize that they were nearly all bigger hits overseas than in the US [Box Office Mojo]
• Sasha Stone comes up with a new sneaky way to define leading roles as supporting. She's calling them "anchors" as in "anchors to the lead," not "the other lead." Hee. Of course she doesn't mean Anchor as Category Fraud but a rose by any other name... [Awards Daily]
• Singing the praises of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and their upcoming slate for cinema-voracious New Yorkers. And really, sing these praises at full volume. [MNPP]
• Not everyone loves the new Macbeth [Shadowplay
• "The people behind [Sicario] understand that what makes a great thriller is not the abundance of shootings, murders or jump scares and plot twists - it's the fear that something horrible can happen at any moment." [Cinematic Corner

Off Screen
• Oh god. File under totally depressing: If even Meryl Streep doesn't understand what feminism is, the earth is doomed. One of the most successful things conservative thinkers ever did is fooling progressives (and women of any political stripe) into thinking it was a bad word [Refinery 29]
• I mean... Keira Knightley is awesome but shouting marriage proposals at her while she's trying to make her Broadway debut last night. Not cool, drunk stalker! [Playbill]
• "Homophobia unites people of different Christian faiths" - Dan Savage, hero, on the Pope/Kim Davis mishegoss [MSNBC]
• I missed this report last week but The Tony Awards might be leaving their regular home - considering different theaters [NYT]
• "The last time I saw Madonna was on September 6th, 1989, during the live telecast of the MTV Video Music Awards. I was in my parents basement with my mother..."  Love these personal essays about stars when people can pull them off. Must Read. [The Hairpin]

Scream Queens
• Is Nick Jonas too into queerbaiting his fans? [Towleroad]
• Are any of you watching? It's such a mess, strains for laughs and (worst of all) revels in its misogyny (Murphy and his writers really need to stop putting words like "gash" into the girls mouths to demean other girls) to the point where you know it's not parody but just actual feeling disguised as parody. I'm only in it for Jamie Lee Curtis (fun but she's been better) and recent Emmy nominee Niecy Nash (making the very very very most of a small role - what a gift she is!). This quote from Towleroad's recap of the third episode made me LOL:

“Chainsaw” ...crammed in so many obvious red herrings, I think it qualifies as an aquarium.

Image of the Day
Michael Fassbender as MacBeth. I will never for the life of me understand what is taking so long with this movie (remember how long ago we saw the first images -- I swear it was 2013 -- or even why they're going to distribute it like a poor stepchild movie. (sigh).

click to embiggen

"Critics Choice" Ch-ch-changes
It's worth noting that the BFCA, of which I am a member -- yes, I'm still bragging about sitting with Jessica Chastain last year --  is making a major change. They're fusing their fairly new TV arm (which currently holds their ceremony in May each year) with their cinema body for one conjoined show starting in January that's 3 hours long. I don't understand what that will mean for current TV shows (two awards for their favorites in just a seven-month span?) but this will obviously make the Critics Choice Awards far more like their sworn enemy* the Golden Globes. Obviously to make this successful the BFCA will have to axe some of their odder categories from their ever-expanding roster but that was okay because things were getting seriously weird there in their attempts to cover everything but NOT officially categorize anything (resulting in weird 'it's an action movie but it's not... it's a comedy but it's not... it's a drama but... no, scratch that we don't say "drama" about anything --that's the default!') 

I have to admit that it seems odd to have two separate organizations do one event together. Just let us vote on both, and not have to be part of two organizations! Just change the name to Broadcast Critics Choice Awards, dropping the pesky film or tv separations. 

* I'm kidding though for all the heat the Golden Globe take from US journalists, it's perpetually hilarious that US journalists always want to be more like them.