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Dreamworks Animation Pt 2: The Fall

"I loved this article. It reads like vintage EW, back when they relished the behind-the-scenes stories of Hollywood and the studios." -John T

"Dreamworks should not have oversaturated the animation market. Home is Dreamworks 31st animated film. Do you know what is Walt Disney Animation's 31st film? Aladdin. It took Disney over 5 decades to get there." -Chinoiserie

Part 1 here if you missed it



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Entries in Mildred Pierce (15)


O Canada, we stand on link for thee!

Pajiba celebrates the hottest Canadian celebrities for Canada day. I didn't even know that Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and Helo  (Tamhoh Penikett) were Canadian.
Movie|Line opts for "badass Canadians" like Carrie-Anne Moss and Nathan Fillion. 
unexamined / essentials Lovely review of Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. (I hadn't considered Gil's insomnia before.) Hey maybe when Woody is done with Rome he should continue his world tour in Canada. Maybe Montreal? Winnipeg?
Guardian a new book of private candids of Elizabeth Taylor and famous friends. Fun fact: Liz married Richard Burton (the first time at least) in Canada. The second time they were married in Botswona. Obviously.

Brando & Liz, so candid its almost demystifying.

Rants of a Diva Halfway Report: best rentals, hot boys, best films, and more...
CHUD Why there's no sequel to Spike Lee's Inside Man and what might be next for him. 
Awards Daily They're now calling The Invention of Hugo Cabret, "Hugo" only. Gah, DULL. Audiences are so dumb. Or Hollywood thinks they are. It amounts to the same thing.

Telegraph Whoa. Tim Robey kinda likes Transformers Dark of the Moon. I love this bit especially...

If you wonder why it had to take a spirit-taxing two and a half hours about this, it’s because Bay’s ego clearly considers it logically irrefutable that the longer one of his films is, the better it must be.

You can say the same, unfortunately, for many far greater auteurs. Length -- one might say dick-measuring --almost always comes with the territory of being a respected auteur, whether you're respected for your art or your money-generating craft... the same thing tends to happen.
My New Plaid Pants meanwhile JA fears he'll go see it this very weekend "like some sort of brain-damaged masochist." hee.


Finally, Clothes on Film has a fine piece on Kate Winslet's omnipresent floral housedress in Todd Haynes' remake of Mildred Pierce (which should be cleaning up in the Emmy nominations in a couple of weeks -- I'm most curious to see if/how many supporting actress nods it manages since I suspect Brian F. O'Byrne and Kate Winslet are givens). Ann Roth was the costume designer for that miniseries. You can see an interview with Ann Roth about her designing process (not a Mildred interview) here.


Red Carpet Lineup: Four On Blondes

Nathaniel: hey you!
Jose sir
Nathaniel: Time for a total quickie Red Carpet Convo.

We just have four blondes today starting with LUCY PUNCH at the premiere of Bad Teacher. There's something about this look (is it the seven bracelets?) that makes me think she's taken her gawdy character in You Will Meet A Tall dark Stranger to heart. (I have yet to see Bad Teacher...)

Lucy Punch, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, and Evan Rachel Wood

Jose:  Is it me or does Lucy look like a more wholesome version of Gaga?
Nathaniel:  Wholesome is not what i think of when i think of Punch so maybe it's ME who has taken her comic characters to heart?
Jose:  something about her bone structure...but yes, the bracelets and heels, yikes, very Pretty Woman
Nathaniel:  Pretty Woman before it was Disneyfied... $3000 !
Jose:  lol
Nathaniel:  I don't understand what CAMERON DIAZ is wearing. Like, not just the cut but the material itself. What is it? Apparently there was a black & white & blonde & leggy theme at the Bad Teacher premiere.
Jose:  it looks like her mesh t-shirt got attacked by pins from here, but let's not kid ourselves, everyone's just staring at her legs anyway
Nathaniel: I was actually staring at the bracelet wondering if it could deflect bullets but I am very gay.
Jose: Maybe she's trying to steal the Wonder Woman thunder from our Christina!
Nathaniel: (I think we should all except that there won't be a big screen Wonder Woman.)
Jose: I do wish Cameron would do something different with her hair sometime though. we get it, you're sporty and surfy and whatnot but find a freaking iron sister
Nathaniel: ♪ ♫ She's as free as her hair She's as free as her hair. She is her hair. She is her hair.

Doesn't it seem like a trillion years ago that Cameron Diaz and KATE WINSLET were actually co-stars in a romantic comedy. Ohmygod maybe-it-never-happened-at-all?
Jose:  I'd been trying to forget The Holiday for years, thank you for rekindling that trauma

Oooh is Kate wearing the classy lady version of Cam's dress?

I don't know but I have to say that it's both fierce AND fugly. That midriff detailing is so... is she expecting the postman to deliver bulk mail?
Jose:  LOL Actually I loved it for very odd reasons it's a Victoria Beckham dress. and I remembered when i was 12 how I loved Kate and how the British press was always making her try to be as skinny as Posh Spice, so I see her in this dress as kick-ass cosmic retribution
Nathaniel:  the 12 year old in you rejoices.

Also this dress on Kate… David Cronenberg would salivate. It's very eXistenZ "portal" and... well, I can't look at it for too long. Disturbing.
Jose:  thanks to you now I'm expecting Jude Law to emerge from it (Holiday reunion?)
Nathaniel:  LOL. Speaking of emerging from Kate Winslet (ba dum dum chhhh)... Next we have her evil incarnate spawn from "Mildred Pierce" at the "True Blood" premiere.
Jose:  ...channeling Hayden Panettiere by way of "Express Yourself"
Nathaniel:  When you put it that way I suddenly love the look not.

And I was just about to say that I liked it.
Jose:  EVAN RACHEL WOOD always wears odd things to premieres, last True Blood premiere  she did a librarian sort of thing that everyone hated.
Nathaniel:  I was going to compare this to one of Dazzler's looks from the X-Men comics but I realize that would be like the 4th time I've gone there this summer. There is something very wrong with me. I apologize.
Jose:  uh-oh, she would make an awesome Dazzler though



Nathaniel: Anyway I kind of love it because it makes me think that I don't fully understand Evan Rachel Wood yet and that's always a good feeling when it comes to young actresses. Surprise us or risk replacement! There are a gigajillion young blondes eager for your spot.
Jose:  Totally. When it comes to the freaky, what-will-she-do-now department, Marilyn Manson did good by her. And her smile made me forget how much I hate her as Veda Pierce too
Nathaniel:  her or the character?
Jose:  o Veda, I hate all incarnations of that tramp but Evan's was especially easy to loathe.
Nathaniel:  but that's the point!
Jose:  I know but I was worried I'd hate Evan too afterwards. Hopefully True Blood will make me forget all about her
Nathaniel:  Veda. You know you're trouble when undead soulless bloodsuckers have more soul.


10 Word Reviews (A.K.A. Nathaniel Catches Up)

As per usual, though I maintain a healthy writing clip to fill The Film Experience with new material for vous, I have some sort of mental block about traditional film reviews. So let's just get everything unreviewed that's in theaters (or in one case, HBO) out of the way right this very instant. I got places to be! We haven't talked about most of these so why not?

Deneuve, Viard and Rennier: comic successes in POTICHE

in which a trophy wife exceeds expectations and reforms her husband's business.
10WR: Knowing hilarious riffs on: Deneuve, 70s, sexism; But souffle deflates.  B/B+

in which an abandoned pet lizard becomes a hero in a thirsty desert town

: Surreal weirdness grounded by Western tropes. So ugly it's beautiful. B+

in which Todd Haynes adapts the famous novel for an HBO miniseries in five parts
10WR: Glacial pacing but slow build payoffs. Beautifully costumed, lensed. B/B-
EPILOGUE: I'll just come right out and say it. This was not the "event" I was hoping for, neither in performance or in direction. But I did like it. Needless to say, I'll stick to the Joan Crawford gladly, despite them being two very different things.

in which Jake Gyllenhaal keeps reexperiencing the same 8 minutes to solve a bombing
10WR: Perfectly servicable but stumbles exiting train; Needs more existential terror.  C+

in which a washed up porn star (Kim Cattral) is pursued by a nerdy teenage fan
10WR: Cattral: effortful limited success; Movie: suffers badly from hermetic POV. C-

Finally, I do hope some of you will take in POTICHE if it plays in your town. It's quite funny and one should always support good non-English language films while they're still in theaters so that they keep releasing them; their market share is sadly ever dwindling. Potiche has done well abroad ($21 million) but is struggling in US theaters ($280,000). The cast is just delightful. I almost always like Jérémie Rénier (In Bruges) and the running gag about his lovelife has maybe the best punchline in the movie. It also amuses me that his name is so much like Jeremy Renner's and that they almost share a birthday (January 6th and 7th respectively though Rénier is ten years younger). It goes without saying that Deneuve fills my heart with joy as she always has (she's in my top ten actresses of all time list). Any Karen Viard fans out there? I'd love some recommendations as to other films as she's quite funny but I haven't seen her in many things.


Links: Haynes, Malick, Madonna, Mitchell

direct this
looks at the entire career of Paul Anderson. No, not that one. The other one, the Paul W.S. Anderson one.
The Telegraph Tim Robey awaits the return of Hollywood's poet Terrence Malick with The Tree of Life and investigates his mystique.
Nick's Flick Picks encounters the first Todd Haynes project he's not totally gaga for: Mildred Pierce. I share his trepidations but like him, am definitely enjoying the details and the actressing.
La Daily Musto John Cameron Mitchell (Rabbit Hole) is even using Kickstarter now? It's a whole new world. This is for funding for an animated film.

in less auteur driven news...
Playbill Here's an interesting idea. Andrew Lloyd Webber doesn't think it will ever happen but he wants Madonna, who already played Evita in his world, for the big screen version of his Sunset Boulevard musical.
Movie|Line Remember Josh Pence, who got that SAG nomination for just his body appearing onscreen with Armie Hammer's face on it in The Social Network? Now we get his face: he's got a role in The Dark Knight Rises. Happy endings.
Twitch Film brings you the winners of the Dallas International Film Festival. Congratulates to this one we're hearing about the first time: Jess + Moss.


"Grass Widow" in Mildred Pierce (2011)

It's time for the Monday Monologue. How many of you caught Mildred Pierce (2011) last night on HBO? Todd Hayne's adaptation of the novel, previously adapted in the 40s, is a five hour affair. We can't say much as to quality yet as we're only ⅓ through (or thereabouts). Let it suffice to say for now that the new version is much different which we're immediately grateful for; no one needs a replacement of the terrific 1945 Joan Crawford noir.

Kate Winslet's Mildred Pierce, broke and forlorn.

My two favorite things about the first hours were the supporting players: Mare Winningham was tart perfection as Ida the head waitress at the diner where Mildred finds work and Melissa Leo adding to her noteworthy run as Mildred's know-it-all neighbor Lucy. Both actressses were deliciously in period; you could shove them right into a 30s movie and gobble them up with delight alongside a slice of Pierce pie.

Early in the first hour, Lucy gets a showcase bit where she schools Mildred on the complexities of dating when your marriage has broken up. She tells Mildred, who is looking anything but red hot with floured hands and apron-covered, that men now view her differently.

continue on to the monologue.

Click to read more ...


Post-Crawford, Post-Host, Post-Cotillard

Madame LeFigaro [in French] an article about how many French stars are showing up in English language movies, the Post-Cotillard wave (though this has been going on for decades).
NY Times no word on Mad Men Season 5 and why.
Shiantology Shia Labeouf on the set of John Hillcoat's depression era drama The Wettest Country. Lots of stars in this one actually but I guess they weren't on the call sheet this day?
Kenneth in the (212)
Winslet, Wood, Winningham (and more) at the Mildred Pierce premiere.
<---Stirred Straight Up... has a collection of amusing, curious, vivid quotes about Joan Crawford from other actresses. (God, I should've thought to do some sort of Joan celebration before the revisioning of Mildred Pierce came out). This one from notsilent icon Louise Brooks is fascinating:

To me, Joan Crawford's screen portrayals are all one: a series of transparencies through which she projects her daydream –- herself –- a wonderful abused kid. On the screen, every ladylike effort is stretched by the memory of self-abasement; the salt of every tear is the salt of self-pity.


Retro Movie Review has a flash animated showdown about Ken Russell's The Devils. Although the wrong critic wins here because The Devils is brilliant.
My New Plaid Pants is hosting a very busy "Special People Day" TODAY in honor of Welcome to the Dollhouse's 15th anniversary.
Mister Hipp has a hilarious Admiral Ackbar illustration
The Playlist The low budget 1990 film version of Captain America is going to be available for mass consumption soon.

have you been reading about this online bitch-fight James Franco vs. Bruce Vilanch about the Oscar night performance failure? Vilanch bitches that Franco was not available until Thursday and wasn't committed enough and Franco basically implies that Vilanche's jokes aren't funny -- and even disses Bette Midler in the process (uncalled for. After this and his dissing of The Social Network I'm starting to lose faith that Mr. Franco knows what he's talking about.). Gold Derby weirdly sides with Franco stating that there's no reason he needed to be in town longer than he was  (!!! say what now? a live multi million dollar production and it's OK that he's not in town until three days prior?) but if you ask me everyone is at fault, Vilanch because the jokes aren't particularly strong but especially Franco since everyone and their Aunt Martha understands how difficult the Oscar hosting gig is. If you have 7,001 things going on maybe you shouldn't commit to doing a 7,002nd half assed and for a big stack of money? But maybe that's because I share this flaw (the overbooking not the big stacks of money). But when a huge one night a year historical event is counting on you and paying you, maybe it deserves your full attention? Just a thought. The Wrap says they've since made up.


Beauty Break: Kate Winslet

My friend Matt calls this "Mildred Fierce". I concur. The photoshoot is by Mario Testino for Lancome. Pretty pretty pretty and platinum.

I'm totally missing Kate. Stepping out of the spotlight for two years post Oscar win was a great career move. Now, I've gotta find a friend who'll host a Mildred Pierce party when the miniseries arrives on HBO on March 27th so that I'm not months behind.

I'm a freelance writer. I so can't afford HBO. tiny violins

I keep forgetting what a fine cast that the miniseries has because I get so caught up in the Winslet directed by Todd Haynes thing. It's not just Kate. He's serving up Evan Rachel Wood, Melissa Leo, Mare Winningham, Brian F. O'Byrne and Guy Pearce.

Trivia: This is the second time Winslet's had the surname of Pierce in a movie. She was Sarah Pierce in Little Children (2006). And that's not even accounting for the terrible things she did to Sarah Peirse's character in Heavenly Creatures (1994). The name just haunts her. Maybe she should guest star as Brittany S. Pierce's mom or aunt on Glee?