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Saoirse Ronan as Mary, Queen of Scots

"With only a few scenes at her disposal, Samantha Morton was an amazing, amazing Mary Queen of Scots in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age". Don't expect that portrayal of the lady will ever be topped." -Ken

"Saoirse Ronan is an inspired choice for Mary. But... Who signed off on Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I? What is this madness." - BillyBob

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Entries in Michael Haneke (17)

Wednesday
May032017

Michael Haneke's "Happy End" Gives An Unhappy First Glance

With just about two weeks to go before its seaside premiere at the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival, the first image for Michael Haneke’s Happy End – his latest cold dose of cruel reality – has landed as hard as the realization that one day we will all die, and most likely alone. Of course, Haneke returns to Cannes this year a reigning champ, double-fisting Palmes d’Or after his last films to grace the Competition – The White Ribbon and Amour – emerged victorious. The question on many minds going into this year’s festival is whether he’ll win the top prize for a third time and break the all-time record he holds alongside fellow international auteurs Alf Sjöberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Bille August, Emir Kusturica, Shohei Imamura, the Dardennes brothers, and last year’s surprise winner Ken Loach.

Happy End reunites Haneke with two performers who have arguably given career-best performances under his clinician’s gaze: Isabelle Huppert, The Piano Teacher herself, and Amour’s Jean-Louis Trintignant; familiar faces Toby Jones and Mathieu Kassovitz round out the cast alongside fellow first-timers Franz Rogowski and Fantine Harduin. While little is known of the plot’s particulars, we do know that Happy End focuses on a French bourgeois family living comfortably in the port town of Calais as the European refugee crisis washes ashore in their midst, considerably less comfortably. The image above shows our main cast dining al fresco around a white-on-white-on-white table in the fashionably casual spring wear you’d expect from the seaside privileged, a breeze surely blowing somewhere in the air. Meanwhile, you can tell by their gazes of curious dispassion that you’re unmistakably inside a Michael Haneke film. Of all of his frown-triggering films to debut at Cannes in the main Competition – Funny Games (’97), Code Unknown, The Piano Teacher, Caché, The White Ribbon, and Amour – which sends your soul spiraling the deepest and darkest, and why?

Thursday
Mar232017

every guy here'd love to link you, Gaston

Today's Must Read
BuzzFeed good piece by Allison Willmore on the maddening response to absolutely nothing moments proclaimed to be LGBT "firsts!" in movies. Two parts of the problems she doesn't mention though are 1) the internet demands for constant content incentivize journalists to blow everything out of proportion including super stupid things like "LeFou is gay!" and 2) too many pop culture journalists are operating from a place of zero knowledge about pop culture before they were, like, 12. 

more links after the jump including insightful pieces on Feud and an investigation of Logan's family jewels...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May242016

In Happier Cannes Times

on this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1941 Bob Dylan is born in Minnesota, splinters into seven people in front of Todd Haynes' eyes.
1949 Jim Broadbent is born so that we might have Harold Zidler in Moulin Rouge! the film he should have won the Oscar for on the night he actually won the Oscar. Funny how that happens sometimes.
1960 Kristin Scott Thomas is born. Years later she can drop a room temperature or bring it to a boil onscreen in about 2 seconds. We miss her soooo much.
1972 Superhero Glut Producer of the CW, Greg Berlanti, is born.
1991 Thelma & Louise drove into theaters. You've been reading our 25th anniversary retrospective right? Part 3 hits today and we're having a blast revisiting.

2009 The White Ribbon finally wins Michael Haneke the Palme d'Or at Cannes. It goes on to two Oscar nominations for Foreign Film and Cinematography and becomes Haneke's most successful film globally, edging out the even greater Caché. It won't stay his most successful pic for long since Amour is just around the corner.
2011 This Sunday's Cannes results had the internet fuming (we won't know if the anger is justified until we see the movies) but five years ago Robert De Niro's jury gave us an astonishing roundup of winners at the 64th Cannes including The Tree of Life (Palme d'Or), Jean Dujardin in The Artist (Best Actor), Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia (Best Actress) and Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive (Best Director)

Monday
Mar232015

Beauty vs Beast: Beauty & (Malkovich) Brains

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- I wish that we could use this column every week to celebrate actresses on their birthdays, but it doesn't always work out that way time-wise unfortunately... this makes two weeks in a row though. Last week was La Huppert, and this week no less than the great Catherine Keener is celebrating her birthday! Keener's turning 56 today and so we celebrate with her, looking back at maybe our favorite performance of hers (although that's a tough choice) - Maxine in Spike Jonze's and Charlie Kaufman's brilliant existential-comedy Being John Malkovich (1999).

Maxine is in many ways the nasty yin to John Cusack's sad-sack yang... but nobody's rooting for Craig. That would make this question too easy. Craig's wife Lotte (Cameron Diaz) though... the battle for Malkovich Malkovich is in your hands!

Whose team are you on?
Team Lotte0%
Team Maxine0%

PREVIOUSLY As mentioned up top we were all about Huppert last week - specifically her performance in Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher (in a stroke of random continuity today is Michael Haneke's birthday! Happy birthday Mikey boy!) against that of the pretty boy played by Benoit Magimel - Pretty Boy put up a good fight all things considered but when your competition's willing to fill people's pockets with glass to win, it's not really a fair fight. Said Nathaniel:

"...the only way Walter is going to win this is if you post nude photos of Benoit Magimel with it and confuse people as to what they're voting on. That said I voted for Walter because Erika is so fucking depraved. and not in the good way. That ending!"

Monday
Mar162015

Beauty vs Beast: Making Beastly Music Together

Jason from MNPP here with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast," wherein we ask you to pick a side either side in one of cinema's many morality plays. It's the birthday of one of our greatest living actresses - Isabelle Huppert is turning 62 today! And talk about still going strong. She's pounding out some of her most exciting and dangerous-as-ever work ever these days; last year's Abuse of Weakness from Catherine Breillat made me weak in the knees. And the project she's in the middle of filming right now, a rape-revenge thriller from Danish provocateur Paul Verhoeven... well even just writing those words in that sequence makes me break out in a hot sweat of expectations.

So today in her honor we look back at perhaps her greatest achievement to date, Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher. Which - usefully for this exercise - is also giving us one of the hardest-to-root-for lead characters ever put on screen. Not that Benoit Magimel's aggresively manicured Walter is anybody's idea of a saint... Haneke's not going to make this easy for anybody. (Understatement of the century.)

Whose team are you on?
Team Walter0%
Team Erika0%

PREVIOUSLY We made like Buffy for her 18th anniversary and got our vampire boyfriends on - but who slayed? It was the peroxide punk who saved the day - Spike too about 53% of the vote in what was unsurprisingly a close battle. It's been raging for eighteen years, after all! Said JS:

"Spike still takes every and all cakes."

Monday
Jan052015

Foreign Language Oscar Winners: What Are They Up To?

Manuel here to talk auteurs abroad. Did everyone hear (pun alert) about Pedro Almodóvar’s upcoming film, Silencio? We don’t seem to have much else other than its title (“It’s called Silencio because that’s the principal element that drives the worst things that happen to the main female protagonist”) and that Pedro doesn't think it will star one of his regular muses. But it made me curious as to what other Academy Award foreign auteurs were up to. Below the jump then, find a non-exhaustive list of the future projects of recent Foreign Language Film winners.

Click to read more ...