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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Entries in Mia Wasikowska (23)

Wednesday
Apr082015

Young Hollywood Casting News Roundup

Manuel here trying to not to make a big deal out of that “Grace of Monaco will be premiering on Lifetime” news. The Emmy campaign begins now, yes, but gosh, there really is no wrath like a Weinstein scorned, is there? And so, rather than try and come up with a witty headline (maybe something like “DisGrace”?), I figured we’d look onward by checking out some casting news about some of our favorite up and coming (read: young) actresses. In other words, imagine we here at TFE brought all of these talented gals together, shot our very own Vanity Fair-style cover, and this is just a helpful guide as to where to see them next:

Mia Wasikowska
She’s been tormented by Nicole Kidman in Stoker, she’s tormented Julianne Moore in Maps to the Stars, and while I wish I could announce she’ll finish collecting all The Hours ladies with an upcoming Meryl Streep film (we know Meryl loved her in Jane Eyre) she’ll actually be tormented and persecuted by her Lawless co-star, Guy Pearce, in the upcoming Western thriller Brimstone.

Mia is building quite the filmography, no?

Brie Larson
After her head-turning lead role in Short Term 12, Larson has been oddly not busy (let’s not speak of The Gambler). Thankfully, 2015 looks busy enough: we’ll be seeing her next in Trainwreck, while two other films (the claustrophobic sounding Room and the India-set Basmati Blues) feel like fall films. She’s just signed on to Ben Wheatley’s Reservoir Dogs-style flick Free Fire, where she’ll co-star against a trio of hunks: Luke Evans, Armie Hammer and Cillian Murphy.

I really hope Larson has some Trainwreck scenes with Tilda (here pictured with Schumer)

Anna Kendrick
The now ubiquitous triple threat (she can sing! she can act! she can social media!) is poised to have a great summer with Pitch Perfect 2 and while her follow-up projects see her taking more serious looking roles (a hit-man film with Sam Rockwell and a forensic accountant film with Ben Affleck), those of us who enjoy her in full comedy mode should greet her newest casting - in a rom-com titled Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates alongside Zac Efron! - with open arms.

Keke Palmer
Akeelah and the Bee was clearly just a beginning. Since, Palmer has been making a name for herself, both on Broadway (where she was the first African-American Cinderella) and on TV (with recurring roles in 90210, Masters of Sex and starring roles in Lifetime’s A Trip to Bountiful and VH1’s CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story). Now she’s joined the merry band of Ryan Murphy players in Scream Queens:

Kristen Stewart
Hot off being the first American actress to win a Cesar Award (for Clouds of Sils Maria which opens this weekend; go see it!) and chastising the “big, big, big green monster of cash” that fuels the current celebrity news industry, Stewart has been lined up to star with Brendan Gleeson in a Scottish historical film titled The Great Getaway.

Stewart really is amazing in this two-hander with Binoche.

Gabourey Sidibe
I can’t be the only one happy to see Gabourey’s post-Precious career continue to flourish. After parts in The Big C, American Horror Story and Empire, it seems she’s found a footing in television and that’s where we’ll see her next in Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner’s Hulu comedy Difficult People.

Sidibe has a recurring role as the manager of the coffee shop where Eicher's character works

Don't you find it refreshing that none of these actress casting notices mention tentpoles, blockbusters or otherwise multiple-film franchise contracts? Which one of these projects are you most excited about? 

 

Tuesday
Apr072015

Masterpieces: 5 Works of Art That Deserve Their Own Movie

Abstew in the gallery to talk artworld films.

This past week saw the release of not one but two true life films set in the art world. Rather than traditional artist biopics, both films focus instead on the life of a particular painting's subject matter or the history of the painting itself. Woman in Gold (which opened in the top ten despite its limited theater count) stars Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, a Holocaust survivor. She fought for over a decade in court with the Austrian government to become the rightful owner of Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. The painting was of her aunt and it was stolen from her family by the Nazis during WWII. The long-delayed Effie Gray revolves around the unhappy wife (Dakota Fanning) of art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise) in Victorian England. Apparently their marriage was never consummated and Effie became involved with the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge) and was the subject of some of his paintings.

Biopics about artists (FridaPollock, Mr. Turner, Lust for Life, the original Moulin Rouge, and many more over the decades) have found favor with the Academy. It will be interesting to see if these new films begin a trend for movies about the backstories of famous paintings, rather than the artist who painted them.

Since Hollywood is always in need of more interesting and diverse source material, here are 5 works of art that would make movies as pretty as a picture... 

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar142015

We Can't Wait #6 - Crimson Peak

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Jason...

Who & What: Guillermo Del Toro directs a script he co-wrote with Matthew Robbins (the two have worked together several times but Robbins' most important credit is clearly having directed the seminal-to-me The Legend of Billie Jean - "Fair is fair!"); British playwright Lucinda Coxon (who also wrote the script for the upcoming The Danish Girl) was brought in to add "the proper degree of perversity and intelligence" to the tale.

Mia Wasikowska plays an aspiring novelist named Edith Cushing (I have to share the character names, they're too juicy not to) who gets swept off her feet by the dashing and dark Sir Thomas Sharpe (played by the dashing and dark Tom Hiddleston) and subsequently carried off to his sinister Gothic mansion full all of the requisite spires and shadows with an incestuous-seeming Jessica Chastain as the Lady Lucille Sharpe sneaking amongst them. Charlie Hunnam plays an old friend of Edith's (named "Dr. Alan McMichael" and it doesn't get much more "decent" and "boring" and "doesn't stand a chance in hell" than that) who warns her against the lot of it.

Why We're Excited About it: Del Toro's said that this is his stab at making one of his small Spanish-language movies in English and, while I'll defend the Hellboys and Pacific Rim plenty, there's no denying his greatest works have been the smaller character-based oddities of The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth. The list of influences he cites on Peak - The Haunting, The Innocents, and The Shining - are all the precise titles we want to hear mentioned, while at the same time he says his aim is to deconstruct our genre expectations. Plus the cast is as talented as they are gorgeous (which is to say plenty) and if you've watched the pitch-perfect trailer then you've seen the spectacular costumes (those poofy sleeves!) they're running up and down the haunted staircases in as a storm blows the curtains and the fireplace goes out and man oh man do I love me a good old-fashioned Gothic haunted house movie!    

What if it all Goes Wrong? As small as Del Toro kept saying he wanted this movie to be, the trailer is BIG, full of CG ghosts rising through floors and sets seemingly built all the way up to the thunderstruck heavens -  even if it's contained to mostly the titular house and grounds I do worry that the filmmaker's well-documented giddiness over his subject might've maybe carried him away on a storm-cloud of everything-but-the-haunted-kitchen-sink and we'll lose the characters underneath those gorgeous poofy sleeves.

When: Carve your pumpkins and throw on your best velvet cape and head straight to the theater - the movie hits right when the movie should, just in time for All Hallows. Universal's got it slated for October 16th in the US.

Previously...

#7 45 Years
#8 Bridge of Spies
#9 Taxi
#10 Freeheld
#11 A Bigger Splash
#12 The Dressmaker
#13 The Hateful Eight
#14 Knight of Cups
#15 Arabian Nights
Sidebar 3 Animated Films
Sidebar 2 Tomorrowland
Sidebar 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron
Intro Pick a Blockbuster

Friday
Sep262014

NYFF: Maps to the Stars, Or: Julianne Moore is God, Again

The New York Film Festival has begun. Here's Nathaniel on the latest from David Cronenberg which won Julianne Moore the Best Actress prize at Cannes earlier this year.

Let's not bury the lede. At a key moment in Maps to the Stars when the actress Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore) gets some bad news that she's more or less been expecting/dreading, she is in a Buddha pose in yoga pants. Her eyes struggle to hold back tears and her body struggles to pretend it's relaxing when she lets out a sudden wail. You think the wail will descend into Julianne Moore's familiar crying jag (You know how she loves to do). Instead the wail abruptly stops. Fans of Julianne Moore won't be able to silence their own screaming so quickly. I, for one, felt euphoric watching her. For those of us whom we have famously dubbed "actressexuals" - the word originated at this blog though it's now escaped our small pfeiff fiefdom and entered the greater internet -- major achievements from our favorite stars can feel, however absurdly, like personal triumphs. Or at least like just rewards for enduring loyalty. Especially if you've worried that the magic has dissipated with familiarity, poor career decisions, lesser roles and/or medicore films.

This year, with Maps to the Stars and Still Alice (previously reviewed), the Julianne Moore I first fell for, the actress who inspired my whole career path (newbies might not know that this site emerged from a zine I started in the 1990s with issue #1 dubbed "Julianne Moore is God," pictured left) came roaring back into full power.

Pity, then, that the movie can't quite keep up with her or harness her brilliant satirical embodiment of all that is self-absorbed, self-loathing, self-medicated, and self-serving in modern Hollywood celebrity. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep202014

Review: Tracks

Michael Cusumano here to talk about a quality title before the similar Wild completely overshadows it. 

When people ask Robyn Davidson why she intends to trek across 1700 miles of punishing Australian desert with only four camels and her dog as company, she dodges the question or falls back on clichés like “Why not?” But even if Davidson is reluctant to spell out her motivation, director John Curran manages to make Robyn’s actions clear by tuning in the camera to her state of mind. In Tracks, the true story of Davidson’ 1977 journey, people are most often framed as mindless, swarming groups which descend on her, shattering her solitude. Journalists, tourists, even friends and family. They are all mobs. The sound design makes little attempt to separate their dialogue into discernable lines, letting them blend into a pack of chattering hyenas. 

Having effectively put the audience on Robyn’s wavelength having her explain herself in words would be redundant. We too are ready to spend some time limited to the company of camels.

The obvious comparison for Tracks is to Into the Wild, the major difference being that where Into the Wild showed Christopher McCandless to be blithely overconfident, even reckless, in the face of nature, Tracks shows Robyn as clear-eyed about the dangers of her expedition. She has done the calculation and simply decided that, for her, it is worth the risk. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr162014

Yes No Maybe So: "Maps to the Stars"

Yesterday two new trailers appeared for David Cronenberg's Maps to the StarsI'm not embedding them specifically because I can't find sharp images (the main one floating around seems like a bad stolen print of a trailer - very underlit) and the international one (NSFW) has too many auto-play ads and works less well as a coherent snapshot of the movie.

I'm hoping Maps skirts the usual trends of public reaction to Cronenberg films. It often follows this pattern:

1. Healthy amount of media coverage and excitement before their films premiere (remember all the A Dangerous Method hoopla?)
2. A curiously muted release (sometimes only limited) with a tiny bit of coverage focused on whichever big star is doing whichever genuinely weird thing they're asked to do in the movie. Think Robert Pattinson getting an enema in the limo in Cosmopolis
3. Almost no follow up conversation online or lines at the box office despite the movies always being genuinely strong conversation pieces...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb182014

Interview: Michael O'Connor on "Fussy" Costumes & Principal Actresses

A curious reversal: I'm discussing Oscar-voting with costume designer Michael O'Connor, an Oscar winner for The Duchess (2008) nominated again for his work on the Dickensian romantic drama The Invisible Woman and he reveals that, though he takes voting seriously, he doesn't really think it's a good thing to know too much about the behind the scenes achievements on movies, beyond what you can see and judge visually. 

Michael O'Connor and one of his Oscar-nominated designs from The Invisible Woman

That’s why I don’t teach or do classes. I don't think it would be a good experience. I want the discussion when I’m doing it because it helps me work but when you watch [a movie] you shouldn’t know the discussions. When you watch a film sometimes and stay for the Q&A it’s changed the experience because now you know some of the secrets. Some of the magic is not knowing. 

And, yet, once you get Michael O'Connor talking about his craft, he doesn't quit (a wonderful problem in an interview) and his passion for Costume Design is always front and center. I'm not at all convinced that he wouldn't make a good teacher but his students would have to be quick, as he leaps from topic to topic, sometimes without warning. 

From our vantage point in 2014 his current status as an Oscar winning costume designer seems inevitable...

Click to read more ...