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Entries in Michelle Williams (42)

Wednesday
Oct122016

The definitely incomplete history of Janis Joplin biopics

by Josh Forward

There have been so many rumoured, green lit and delayed productions of a Janis Joplin biopic, it’s nearly impossible to keep track. But we're here to try! Janis was a 60’s superstar, with an iconic voice and an image that was reflective of the counter culture of the times. She also sadly joined the 27 club by a drug overdose. 

Her incredible life and talent has been promised on the big screen for decades and the latest announcement has Michelle Williams as Joplin under the direction of Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene). This will be based on Laura Joplin’s book "Love, Janis" made up of real letters from Joplin. This is not to be confused with the delayed version starring Amy Adams directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, halted by legal trouble which was tentatively called Get it While You Can.

But these two productions have actually been competing since the 1990’s. And before them there were other failed attempts. Let’s look back...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct112016

NYFF: Certain Women

Here's Jason reporting from the NYFF on Kelly Reichardt's latest.

Think of it as Pulp Fiction's second cousin, a wallflower who stands blushing at the side of the dance-floor - Kelly Reichardt's Certain Women does command swirling depths from its three interconnected stories; you've just got to take the time and have the patience to suss them out. But man, she dances if you do...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct062016

Michelle Williams' Oscar Moment might be in Manchester

by Murtada

Williams this week at NYFF

There was a time - say early 2012 - when Michelle Williams could do no wrong with Oscar. Basking in her third overall nomination for My Week with Marilyn (2011), the second in as many years as she was nominated the year before for Blue Valentine (2010), she had the heat, she had the momentum. She also had the critical and cinephile love with acclaimed performances behind her in Take this Waltz (2011), Meek’s Cutoff (2010) and Wendy and Lucy (2008).

The win was definitely coming and soon. How times change.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep052016

Yes No Maybe So: Certain Women

by Laurence Barber

Premiering at Sundance to a wave of critical acclaimCertain Women was later picked up by IFC for distribution and they've recently released the first trailer. Written and directed by Kelly Reichardt, whose patient portraits of the American northwest tend to inspire either passionate love or cool indifference, it stars acting goddesses Laura Dern, Michelle Williams and newly-minted demi-goddess Kristen Stewart. Reichardt's last film, Night Moves, was more on the propulsive side but Certain Women scales things back, adapting three stories from Maile Meloy's collection Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It.

Having seen Certain Women back in June at the Sydney Film Festival, I can tell you that this one of those movies concocted in a laboratory just for your enjoyment. Collating and cross-charting the experiences of four women under different kinds of duress, the film is impressively performed and crafted. On the awards side though it isn't going to gain much traction outside of the Independent Spirit Awards. It's not that it's difficult, but it definitely asks you to fall into its river and let the current take you. 

Le's break down the trailer after the jump...

Yes

Guess we'll just start at the beginning.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr072016

April Showers: Blue Valentine

In April Showers, Team TFE looks at our favorite waterlogged moments in the movies. Here's Kieran Scarlett on Blue Valentine (2010).

What are you doing?

-What does it look like I'm doing?

Getting all wet and naked.

A shower scene between two clearly beautiful lovers (even with the aging makeup) has rarely felt less erotic and more heartbreaking. This exchange manages to perfectly illustrate the tragic state of Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy’s (Michelle Williams) relationship in Derek Cianfrance’s modern masterpiece, Blue Valentine. Dean is still obliviously playful, too willing to overlook the realities of his disintegrating marriage in favor of ham-handedly ginning up passion and romance. Cindy feels trapped and hopeless, unable to seek refuge from her husband’s obtuse adulation even in the shower. Her voice drips with the weary impatience often heard in response to a child’s incessant questioning, which frankly is not too dissimilar to how Cindy regards Dean at this point. It’s very much an extension of the first time we see Cindy. She’s lying in bed in the early hours of the morning. Her husband and young daughter, very much equals in their oppressive childlike exuberance bound in and snap her from the slumber into the harsh reality that is this life in which she has found herself.

The traditional (and very valid) reading of Blue Valentine’s two-ply structure (the birth of a romance intercut with its slow, painful death) is that Dean and Cindy have lost something. Their love, once ideal and passionate has been suffocated under the stresses of parenthood and a whirlwind courtship turned into a long marriage. However, there are clear indications in the earlier years that bumps in the road litter their future. Dean wants to be whatever Cindy needs him to be, but lacks the motivation or introspection to figure out how to do so. And Cindy, still unsure of herself can’t begin to know exactly what it is she needs from Dean.

As satisfying as it is to watch them fall in love in their earliest interactions, this is clearly the dynamic from the beginning. As deeply enamored with one another as they are, Dean and Cindy enter each other's lives as solutions to a problem. This problem is bigger than her unremarkable relationship with the lug, Bobby Ontario (Mike Vogel), her eventual pregnancy or her desire to leave her abusive father’s house. It's bigger than Dean's aimlessness paired destructively with his need to be a savior. It’s a problem neither of them can identify, which makes the solution frustratingly out of reach.

So, in this moment, Dean and Cindy take a shower that’s anything but romantic. In the “future room” of this kitschy lovers’ motel, it’s the last gasp of a romance that may well have no future at all. Only a past, looked back upon with unreliable rose-colored glasses and a present where these two lovers, once white hot with passion, can hardly seem to look at each other. Even in the confines of a shower.