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Entries in Miranda Richardson (11)

Wednesday
Jun272018

1994's Unsatisfying Best Actress Race 

1994 was our year of the month for June so before the month closes, a couple of more forays into that year. Here's Nathaniel R responding to a reader request during the Supporting Actress Smackdown to discuss the actual leading nominees.

It's an age old question and the answer is (nearly) always the same. 

Q: What happens when all the best stuff in a film year is within genres Oscar doesn't care for?
A: The Academy sticks to their traditional loves even if it means providing history with a weak shortlist that they'll judge harshly!  

Some recent years have suggested that Oscar is loosening up in this regard. The swell of new members might be helping along with the increased visibility of critical passion (the plethora of precursor awards constantly saying "but this is great! won't you please look at it?" seems to have shifted Oscar voters a bit more towards critical passion and away from "Oscar Bait"). But overall they stick to what they love (dramas, message movies, epics, biopics, etcetera). This is especially true of the Acting branch which rarely met a teary face it didn't fall for and continually sticks up its nose at laughing or screaming or unusual faces given their aversion to comic genius, horror films, and auteur experimental or sci-fi/fantasy work. Which brings us to 1994's BEST ACTRESS LIST...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun242018

Smackdown '94 Companion: "Mrs King" and vague 'Women's Troubles' 

Nathaniel R welcomes Erik AndersonNick Davis,  Itamar Moses, and Alfred Soto to talk 1994 movies

The Supporting Actress Smackdown of 1994 has just gone up and the panelists have gathered for a deeper conversation. 

Podcast (42 minutes)
In part one we discuss people we wish had been nominated in the category. We also discuss the comic tone of The Madness of King George, and there are split opinions on Helen Mirren's work and whether she's elevating or bringing down the movie. Surprisingly though she won the Smackdown Dianne Wiest's classic performance in Bullets Over Broadway isn't quite as loved as it once was. The panel also discusses Miramax style filmmaking of the 90s and the troubles with the 'approved' nature of literary biopics like Tom & Viv

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Smackdown 94 Madness of Viv Over Broadway

Monday
Jun042018

List-Mania: Who are your all time favorite character actresses?

by Nathaniel R

With the announcement of the latest panel for the next celebration of actressing at the edges, how about a related list discussion? Who are you favorite character actresses ever? I've listed 21 of my favorites after the jump from throughout film history. This list was off the top of our heads so there's surely some glaring "how did you forget about ________ ???" examples of missing geniuses...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct062017

C O N S I D E R -Fav Actresses of 2017, 3rd Qtr

With less than three months of the year to go - eep! -- it's time to do another tally of favorite performances -- this is how we keep track so we're not like Oscar voters who only vote on the last couple months of the year. Here are the 17 best female turns this past quarter according to your host, Nathaniel. Which movies were considered? Movies released between July and right now (October 6th) as well as unreleased movies (marked by an asterisk*) which were screened in that time frame but have no firm release date in the future. Previous 3rd quarter lists: Filmmaking and Male Acting

Disclaimer: Key actress-focused films I missed this past quarter were Home Again, Ingrid Goes West, and Lady Macbeth. If you've seen them give their MVPs a shout-out.

6 LEADING ACTRESSES

Dame Judi Dench as "Queen Victoria" in Victoria & Abdul
I love the idea of character sequels decades later rather than continuing story sequels (that's what TV is for!). The movie is no great shakes but it's quite fun to see her return to this signature character. 

Regina Hall as "Ryan Pierce" in Girls Trip 
A wonderfully nimble performance. She's got to provide the straight man to the comic bananas but to make that funny, too, while dexterously handling the script's somewhat heavy handed character arc.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep222017

Review: Jake Gyllenhaal gets "Stronger"

by Eric Blume

Have patience watching director David Gordon Green’s film Stronger, which captures real-life Boston native Jeff Bauman (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) as he’s caught in the 2013 Marathon bombing.  After a rickety start, Green relaxes into a nice rhythm and delivers an almost extinct creature: a true adult movie drama.

The first few scenes of Stronger come on a little, ahem, strong.  They’re written to show what a great guy Bauman is (he cuts out from work so he and his lucky beer can help the Red Sox win, he stands up for his gay boss), and Green has all the actors pushing too hard.  The initial scene where we meet Bauman’s family (including mom Miranda Richardson and girlfriend Tatiana Maslany) in a bar reeks of Boston cliché.  It’s a very tricky thing, honestly capturing that lower-middle-class Beantown language and attitude, and Green overplays his hand in this and several other early scenes.  The energy is overly commercial, and the movie gets off to an uneasy start.


But once the big sequence begins, where Bauman loses his legs in the terrible terrorist attack, Green begins observing smaller details, and starts scoring...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun222017

YNMS: "Stronger"

Chris here. Could this finally be Jake Gyllenhaal's Oscar year? Of course it's too early to call (and we won't jinx our adored Jake) but he's got a true life drama coming that's right in the Academy's wheelhouse: David Gordon Green's Stronger.

Gyllenhaal stars as Jeff Bauman, a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing that lost both legs and helped identify the assailants. The film charts his recovery and rehabilitation as he becomes the face of the survivors for the city of Boston and the world at large. True story, disability, big emotion - quite a few of Oscar's favorite pasttimes, and maybe a more mainstream play for Gyllenhaal. But how does the film look? Take a look at the first trailer and we'll run down the Yes No Maybe So after the jump...

Click to read more ...