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Entries in musicals (246)

Monday
Mar092015

Sing-Alongs & Fight Clubs, Divas & Heroes

Awards growing like mushrooms as we race like mad to finish out the film year that just was since we've already started the 2015 celebration.

Musical Sequences
With actual musicals like Muppets Most Wanted, Into the Woods and "performance" musicals like Begin Again, Beyond the Lights, and Get On Up it's a decent time to be a fan of musicals. And since some of the most memorable sequences in non-musicals are musically inclined (think The Lego Movie's boisterous kick-off) and so many non-musical films have the musical spirit via awesome soundtracks (think A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), we have a category for that, too. Musicals for everyone! Sing-along with these ten nominees. 

Action Sequences 
Guardians, Katniss, and a sniper may have reigned supreme at the box office but Captain America: The Winter Soldier housed the year's best action sequences albeit not quite the most beautiful. The most ravishing was, incongruously, the ones starring two nuclear-slurping insect like abominations and that lizard king of monsters, Godzilla.

Divas 
Two of them stop their films cold for self-important monologues. Three more regularly bring the house down. (Okay, sticklers, The Witch technically only brings the bakery door down but it's a figure of speech. Indulge me. And them; divas demand your full attention)

Heroes
2014 had not one, not two, but three moving odes to solidarity and everyman heroism in Pride, Selma, and Two Days One Night. But since this is the cinema there are heroes all over for us to live vicariously through, some of them "super," others historical. And we can't forget the year's most badass warrior, the "Full Metal Bitch" herself (Emily Blunt) in Edge of Tomorrow

"I just thought there would be more," you say? Well there is. Also added: Best Line Reading and Breakthrough of the Year nominees and Best Movie Poster. Which mean only 5 categories are left to announce and then the medals! 

Can you believe I'm actually going to finish the awards this year????? "TO VICTORY!"

Saturday
Mar072015

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1957)

Cinderella Week continues with Manuel on a true event in showbiz history...

How's this for a televised live event: on March 31st 1957, more than 107 million people watched Rodgers & Hammerstein's written-for-television musical Cinderella starring none other than not-yet-household name Julie Andrews. Critics and networks have bemoaned the increasingly fractured TV landscape and when you look at numbers like that (aided, of course by novelty as well as lack of choice) you can't help but marvel at what that must have felt like. Think of the snarky tweets and memes 107 million people could have come up with! This is, of course, what NBC has been trying to accomplish with its musical events (kickstarted not coincidentally with another Julie Andrews vehicle and followed, oddly enough, with the production that gave CBS the idea in the late 50s to produce a new musical for a Sunday night broadcast).

More...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar032015

Visual Index ~ The Sound of Music (1965) "Best Shots"

Each Tuesday night we ask anyone with a pinterest, blog, tumblr or what have you to post their favorite shot from a preselected movie. To kick off Season Six: The Sound of Music (1965) for its 50th Anniversary.

Unlike its obvious counterpart in belovedness, The Wizard of Oz (previously featured in this series) it was wildly popular from the day it opened. If you adjust for inflation it remains the third highest grossing film of all time after Gone With the Wind (1939) and Star Wars (1977). Like GWTW, its production trouble seems to have magically made it a stronger film rather than torpedoing it. Funny how fate works. For example Christopher Plummer's contempt for the project (he turned it down several times and loudly denounced it afterwards) bleeds through but affects the movie in surprisingly perfect ways, balancing the sweet with just enough sour. 

In short, it's one of 'Our Favorite Things'. 

Best Shots from
THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb232015

Lady Gaga Isn't the Only One Who Loves "The Sound of Music"

Be here a week from tomorrow for the season premiere of Hit Me With Your Best Shot when we look at the classic Julie Andrews... or, rather, the classic Julie Andrews in between her other classics. the one where she spins on a mountain top (though hopefully not everyone picks that opening scene)

If you've never played before it's easy. You 1) post your favorite shot from the movie somewhere. 2) Say why you chose it. 3) We link up. Here's the March schedule for the series every Tuesday night!

And dont forget to "like" TFE on facebook and sign up for our weekly newsletter which will start next week. Don't vanish post-Oscar because we do this all year round: lovin on the actresses, investigating the directors, and having fun with cinephilia.

After the jump excerpts from Lady Gaga's performance and fun tweets about it.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb122015

"The Last Five Years" Is Here

My two favorite Off Broadway musicals of all time have both now made the trek to movie screens. Hedwig and the Angry Inch which I saw thrice in 1999 right after moving to NYC became an instant cult classic in film form thanks to its brilliant creator / star / writer John Cameron Mitchell. He just returned to the role on Broadway (though he's out for a bit after an injury so Michael C Hall is back to fill in for him). The second The Last Five Years took much longer. I saw it during the last week of its original run (whew!) in 2002 and 13 years later it's on screens with Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan as the troubled couple Cathy and Jamie who can't quite connect (illustrated narratively by his story moving forward while hers moves backwards through the relationship. It's not the unqualified success that Hedwig was but if you love the movie musical genre you really need to see it because it's a really unique beast.

Radius TWC is distributing which means there aren't many theaters playing it yet beyond Los Angeles, New York and Toronto but it's also available On Demand. On Oscar weekend it expands to several more cities. I'd love to hear from any TFE readers who see it. It's a very unusual musical to adapt since the concept is very theatrical and it's intimate whereas most movie musicals are big glitzy things. Wisely they cast two actors who can sing the hell out of its tremendously satisfying song score.

Two key blog posts in case you missed them...

Anna Kendrick Interview

Nathaniel: "Summer in Ohio"... I LOVE this version.
Anna Kendrick: I'm so glad. It was a ton of work. In the show she's writing a letter but I thought when I'm away from my boyfriend we Skype. And Cathy in that number is not just recounting her day, she's performing for Jamie because even at the beginning of their marriage she’s like “I have to keep him interested. I have to keep him in love with me”... [Read the Rest]

Toronto Film Festival Review

The first thing you see in The Last Five Years is a white brownstone. It looks almost like a ghost in the middle of a New York City block. As the notes begin to play, the camera drifts upwards to peer into windows and search for its movie star within them. No, that's not her.  Not her either. Ah, there she is. Anna Kendrick sings the entirety of "Still Hurting", moping around a dark apartment, crying. The camera moves around her (in strange patterns) and her voice is just beautiful. And then I realize I've forgotten to breathe and am gripping my armrest. [Read the Rest]

 

Thursday
Feb052015

Meryl is a Rock Star

First image of Meryl Streep as a rock star in Jonathan Demme's Ricki & The Flash via People magazine. Very Melissa Etheridge. (Is it just me or is Meryl getting younger?) So excited for this movie. Demme is always at his best when he focuses on actresses (Married to the Mob, Rachel Getting Married, Silence of the Lambs) and who doesn't love to hear La Streep sing?

Uh oh... I feel a list coming on

10 greatest silver screen uses of Meryl's astounding pipes...
01. "You Don't Know Me" - as Suzanne Vale in Postcards from the Edge (1990)
02. "He's Me Pal" - as Helen Archer in Ironweed (1987)
03. "Stay With Me" - as The Witch in Into the Woods (2014)
04. "I See Me" - as Madeleine Ashton in Death Becomes Her (1992)
05. "Amazing Grace" - as Karen Silkwood in Silkwood (1983)
06. "My Minnesota Home" - as Yolanda Johnson in Prairie Home Companion (2006)
07. "I'm Checkin' Out" - as Suzanne Vale in Postcards from the Edge (1990)
08. "The Winner Takes It All" - as Donna in Mamma Mia (2008)
09. "The Last Midnight" - as The Witch in Into the Woods (2014)
10. "Goodbye to My Mama" - as Yolanda Johnson in Prairie Home Companion (2006) 

Meryl was singing before she ever hit the movies... here she is on stage in her Drama Desk nominated Broadway role in 1976's "Secret Service" the year before her first movie came out (Julia).

Heartily agree with Louis Virtel that she should have released an album by now. I mean, come on. I'd be fine with "Meryl's Greatest Hits" so I didn't have to build my own playlist. How reinforced are her shelves at home do you think what with the 3 Oscars, 8 Golden Globes, 8 People's Choice Awards, 2 Emmys, 2 SAGs, 2 BAFTAs, 2 Critics Choice, 1 Cesar, 1 Theater World, and multiple festival and critics prizes (though those are often less statues than scrolls or certificates or whatnot)? Despite being an awards & nominations magnet she hasn't had much luck with theater or music trophies so she hasn't made any progress on her EGOT since her Oscar win for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) which followed her Emmy win for Holocaust (1978). She's received four Grammy nominations (all for Children's records) and 1 Tony nomination (and multiple Drama Desk nominations) but no wins from those.

 

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