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Adapting "Guardians" -a screenwriting interview

I especially like that part about how boundaries can be a good thing. Knowing where the plot points have to hit always stops me from wandering aimlessly in my writing. Some may see those thing as cookie cutter but I've always found them inspiring.❞ -Daniel

 

Beauty vs. Beast

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Entries in Natalie Portman (21)

Monday
Jun162014

Beauty Vs Beast: Him Freud, Her Jane

JA from MNPP here - The Film Experience is taking a look back at 1964 all this month and so it's the perfect time for our "Beauty Vs Beast" series to take a look at a movie that's turning 50 next month (it was released on July 22nd, 1964) and wades so deep into morally murky waters you're never quite sure which end of the screen you're rooting for (if any), making it perfect for this poll - I speak of Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie.

Starring Tippi Hedren as the titular troubled girl turned to theivery and Sean Connery as the businessman alternately turned on and repelled by that rascally blonde's baser instincts, Marnie's awash in dream symbols (so many snapping purses!) and psychiatry talk - too much of the latter by my count; like Hitch's film Spellbound I  always find his movie's at their least interesting when they're explicitly spelling out his psychological obsessions. Give me the fluid illogic of Vertigo over it any day. But like the keys and key-holes that clutter every other frame of Marnie, the film is most interesting as far as the clues it further offers us towards an understanding of Alfred Hitchcock and his never not fascinating psychological profile. It shuffles some not-before-seen puzzle pieces into place.

Hitch was always putting the audience into morally compromising situations, getting us to side with bullies and lunatics - even his most well-intentioned heroes found themselves doing terrible things (think of the scene in the 1956 remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much where Jimmy Stewart drugs Doris Day without telling her so he can calm her down). But Marnie for me is the tipping point in Hitch's filmography where his characters become almost uniformly unlikeable; there's an angriness (or worse, an indfference) to the last decade and a half of his work (yes even in the so-called comedy of The Trouble With Harry) - it reaches its apex with Frenzy, a film I find exceedingly unpleasant to watch with its cast of shrewish women and sweaty men (it works as a horror film, but it makes me extraneously sad all the same), but the seeds are planted with Mark and Marnie, two people just a little too damaged and bizarre for me to ever find myself rooting for them in any way.

So why not force us to pick?!

 

You've got one week to vote and to sell us in the comments on the frigid blonde or the manly man that's come to beat some sanity into her. Choices, oh choices.

PREVIOUSLY And speaking of choices, with last week's poll pitting Natalie Portman's White Swan against Mila Kunis' Black Swan? Y'all couldn't make one! IT'S A TIE, YOU GUYS. 428 votes, split perfectly at 50/50. I can't even tell you how giddy that makes me - the movie about doubling and dopplegangers split us right down the middle. We look in the mirror and we see all of the faces. We are legion. I'll share to two quotes from y'all since we went both ways:

"Nina only cause I don't think Lily would take the loss as hard." -- SVG

"Team Lily because that fierce little Russki NEVER would have fallen flat on her ass on opening night. Get your shit together Nina!" -- TB

Monday
Jun092014

Beauty Vs. Beast: Swan Against Swan

JA from MNPP here - it's time for some "Beauty Vs. Beast" yo! We're getting our Aronofsky on this week - I chose to take us back to 2010 for a Black Swan face-off for the specific reason that today is Natalie Portman's 33rd birthday (Happy birthday, Nat!), and it was only after that I mentally connected it to last week's Girl Interrupted face-off - only now, seeing them side by side like this, do the paralells seem striking - two crazy gals feeding off each other's craziness, Winona Ryder talking about oral sex... it's a real double-feature. And I suppose "double" is the operative word...

 

So pirouette yourself to one side or the other between now and next Monday, folks!

PREVIOUSLY And as for last week's Winona versus Angie showdown, y'all made like the Oscars and gave your love to the big show on the sidelines of Girl Interrupted - Jolie took the title with 62% of your votes. Said David:

"She drove poor, fried-chicken-hording Brittany Murphy to suicide in the first 45 minutes and she was just getting started.... Angelina Jolie wins this by a mile."

Wednesday
Nov062013

Review: Thor: The Dark World

Anne Marie here with a look at Marvel's latest blockbuster.

And so the Great Marvel Experiment continues with the studio's latest film, Thor: The Dark World. Marvel can be credited with doing something virtually unprecedented in Hollywood: creating an extended cinematic universe with many different intersecting films, characters, and plotlines. Unlike a universe built by sequels and trilogies (like Star Wars) or subtle Easter eggs (like Quentin Tarantino's films), the universe created by Marvel built on a decade-long-ish Three Phase plan. The Avengers ended Phase One rather spectacularly.

Phase Two got off to a rocky-if-enjoyable start with Iron Man 3. However, as a Marvel character licensed to a different studio once said, "With great power comes great responsibility." Marvel doesn't get a free pass to make an inferior movie just because they're breaking new ground. Unfortunately, Thor: The Dark World, the second installment in Phase Two, might be just that inferior movie. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul302013

Top Ten Biggest Money-Making Actresses Right Now

For today's Tuesday's Top Ten we're using Forbes numbers for discussion lift-off We recently discussed their list of the top paid actors from the past twelve months and came to the conclusion that they don't challenge themselves much at all. The women are a slightly different story. While it's true that no one would mistake this for a list of 'The Best Actresses Working' or 'The Actresses Who Are Currently Testing The Limits of Their Range,' this list does have slightly more variety in filmography though far less in terms of beauty and age as is always the case with the men and the women of Hollywood

01 Angelina Jolie $33 
Tops the list by way of signing on to Maleficent for Disney. The Sleeping Beauty prequel is a surefire hit, both because it's presold -- branding being everything -- and because it's Jolie who rarely falters at the box office. 

nine more ladies and an actress poll after the jump

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May012013

Something Portman This Way Comes

JA from MNPP here - by now I think most of you have probably heard the news that Michael Fassbender is going to play Macbeth for the director of Snowtown. (Any fans of Snowtown up in here? I found it monstrously, emphasis on monstrously, effective.) Speculation immediately turned to what actress would play the scheming Lady to his doomed King - I saw everybody from Tilda Swinton to Emma Watson mentioned (and no doubt somewhere Sally Kellerman whispered her own name into the wind, too).

Well today we find out his former Jane Got a Gun co-star to be that never was Natalie Portman will be the one whispering deadly somethings in his ear, and... people don't seem happy, from what I can gather? I have to admit I'm kinda skeptical myself. I like Natalie, I thought she deserved her Oscar for Black Swan, but Vincent Cassel wasn't wrong when he told her she can nail the White Swan but she has some trouble with the darker side. Can she summon the wicked gravitas you need for this role?

I mean, we need somebody in this part that can convincingly tell Michael Fassbender that he doesn't have, you know, the sufficient manhood, ahem. So yeah... now that I think about it pretty much anybody's doomed, having to sell that whopper. "The Scottish Play" is a curse after all!