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Entries in Natalie Portman (35)


Yes No Maybe So: A Tale of Love and Darkness 

Manuel here checking in with Natalie Portman. We know her Jane Got A Gun project has been battling some sort of curse of bad luck every since it began shooting (after endless behind-the-scenes kerfuffles, it apparently comes out next February) but her other project from this year is A Tale of Love and Darkness, her directorial debut.

The film premiered at Cannes to muted (one might say mixed?) reactions. And while it has yet to be picked up for distribution, we finally got a first look at the film in the form of a(n English-subtitled) trailer. Yes, the film is entirely in Hebrew, so Portman (née Neta-Lee Hershlag) gets to show off yet another set of skills, ones slightly less contestable than her ballet-dancing ones.

And so, while I know exactly where I lie, I’m going to go ahead and give it the YES/NO/MAYBE SO treatment in full.

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Jane Got A Gun might have a happy ending

Here's Murtada telling the tale of Jane


Say you are Natalie Portman. You just won an Oscar then took some time off to raise your young family. You are ready to come back to work. You decide to take charge of your career and produce a movie. You find a hot script by a young talented writer. It’s a revisionist western, a genre you haven’t tried before. You choose to work with an acclaimed female director because you want to tell more stories about women and employ more women. To co-star you choose one of the most respected actors of your generation. Great intentions all around. Then everything falls apart just as filming is supposed to start.

That’s the saga of Jane Got a Gun. On the first day of shooting director Lynne Ramsay left. Despite a now settled lawsuit no one knows why but differences with producers and financiers are suspected. The leading man, Michael Fassbender, leaves too as Ramsay was the main reason he signed on. He’s replaced by Bradley Cooper. Then Jude Law. Then Joel Edgerton who was supposed to play the “baddie” is promoted to the lead. Ewan McGregor is hired for Edgerton’s part. Producers scramble to find a director while the cast and crew are waiting on set in New Mexico. Finally Gavin O’Connor (Warriors) is hired. He brings with him his writer (Anthony Tambakis ) and they do a major re-write alienating the original writer (Brian Duffield). Somehow everyone gets to work, the movie is shot while PR experts are in damage control mode.

Months later the movie is set for release for February 2015. Then it’s delayed to September 2015. And a month before release the studio behind Jane goes bankrupt. The film is one of many caught in the crosshairs of Relativity’s recent Chapter 11 filing. Others include the Nicholas Hoult- Felicity Jones starrer Collide and Jim Sheridan’s The Secret Scripture with Rooney Mara and Vanessa Redgrave.

But it looks like there’s a happy ending for Jane after all. The Weinstein Company has picked it up for distribution and will release in Europe this November and in the US next February.

And it’s also nice to see Natalie Portman continue creating opportunities for women behind the camera. She directed her first movie A Tale of Love and Darkness based on Amos Oz's autobiographical book. The movie played Cannes and Toronto to mixed reviews. One of her upcoming projects is On the Basis of Sex, a biography of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to be directed by Marielle Heller (Diary of a Teenage Girl).

Are you glad to finally see Jane get a break?


Red Carpet: A Couture Splash at Venice and Meh for TIFF

Diane Kruger wears L-R: Oscar de la Renta, BOSS, Cushnie et Ocs, Prada

Jose here with a very important question: can you imagine deigning to be the film that plays in a theater where Diane Kruger is dressed looking like she always does? Not only does she usually make a case for being the one human being worthy of Best Cinematography awards, she must also distract fellow audience members who can't resist but admire her, rather than see whatever's happening onscreen. The exquisite fashionista has once again been leaving her mark at the Venice Film Festival where she's also serving as a Jury member. First she dazzles in bold Oscar de la Renta, then she's "boss" in BOSS (hardy har-har) and is so confident in the beauty of her dress that she doesn't even bother doing her hair (hats off!), then she lets her hair down in a stunning Cushnie et Ocs jumpsuit, and she finishes off in regal Prada which she wore to the premiere of Everest. Can we now start a campaign to have her be in every Jury for every film festival ever? 

But Diane wasn't the only one giving fashiongasms in Venice! Another Jury member left me speechless. Find out who it is after the jump (and no, it's not Alfonso Cuarón...) 

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Who You Gonna Link? 

Samuel Adams has the only appropriate response to news that Ben Affleck will direct and star in a stand-alone Batman movie
Hayley Atwell (and Emily VanCamp) were flirting awesomely @ Captain America himself on Twitter and he didn't respond! Resulting Conclusive Fact: Chris Evans is bad at social media
THR sad. AMPAS lost their swanky screening room in Manhattan

Film School Rejects on Han Solo and other characters who don't need original stories, backstories or prequels. In my opinion that's roughly "all" characters. I need my mystery. I like my introduction to stay an introduction. Hollywood and lemming-like audiences keep stealing the mysteries away!
Guardian in the absolute grossest news of the week Federico Fellini's estate is licensing La Dolce Vita for a remake. Nothing is sacred.
Conan O Brien Jennifer Lawrence does a growly impression of Cher's "Believe"
Movie Dearest gives an advance take on hot tickets at OutFest in LA. I wanna see some of these
Out interviews a very intimidating RuPaul. It's amazing
Variety Teen Wolf renewed for Season 6. Danger! It gets more incoherent each season and they're about to graduate high school, a clear time to end it! 
JoopaDoops awesome Muppets/Mad Max Mashup. I love Animal so much. Always have.
Harper's Bazaar interviews Natalie Portman who isnt so sure about the #AskHerMore red carpet trend

I get asked so many questions about the Middle East, and I'm like 'Can you please just ask me about my dress? Let's just talk about the dress!'"

Theatah People
Time Out this is sad. Jan Maxwell, super duper talented stage actress -- I've seen her in two shows and she was best in show both times despite sharing the stage with people I was otherwise obsessed by -- is retiring from acting citing lack of interest in the type of work you can make a living doing!  
Gothamist Patti LuPone continues to be a hero destroying badly behaving theatergoers -- she's had it with your cel phones! The Lovely Laura Linney and Bernadette Peters on "Watch What Happens" they talk Downton Abbey, Into the Woods and more 
Playbill John Cameron Mitchell compares each Broadway Hedwig to a Superhero - Fun.

Who You Gonna Call?

Oooh, look. It's the first image of your new Ghostbusters in costume: Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones,Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon. IMDb has no information on who did the costumes yet but Paul Feig has never worked with the same costume designer on a movie twice for some reason so it could be anyone.  

On a scale of 1 to 100 how excited are you to see this movie in 378 days when it opens? Frankly, I'd be a lot more excited about remakes of any kind if they gender-swapped like this. If you're not rethinking, why remake?

Magic Mike XXL x 5
RH Reality Check on why straight men should see Magic Mike XXL 
Variety Guy Lodge argues that its summers "most subversive studio pleasure"
Pajiba on Channing Tatum & Joe Mangianello's reaction to hearing the movie called "feminist"
Same Same and Glenn Dunks loves it too, Jada Pinkett Smith and all

This is all a way of saying that even though my review (icymi) was somewhat south of completely satisfied I did enjoy it and the positive reviews have left me wanting to see it again (since they liked many of the things I didn't) and the negatives have not convinced me to lower my solid grade (B).




The Many Cinematic Lives of Anne Boleyn

479 years ago on May 19th the second and most famous of Henry VIII's six wives, Anne Boleyn, was beheaded. But almost 5 centuries after her death, her life continues to fascinate storytellers. It seems that every couple of years there's a new interpretation of the events that conspired in England all those years ago. The latest version of King Henry and his many wives is Hilary Mantel's award-winning books Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. Both books have already been adapted to a miniseries that just aired on PBS over the past month and is currently playing on Broadway in a production that originally was staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company and played the West End (and recently received 8 Tony nominations including Best New Play). And while Mantel's books and the subsequent adaptations of her work focus on the events from Thomas Cromwell's point of view, there's no doubt that the reason we're still telling this tale is because of that woman that inspired a king to leave his wife and create an entirely new religion just to be with her: Anne Boleyn. (Even the Broadway production's marketing puts Lydia Leonard in her Tony-nominated performance as the one time queen front and center.)   

Inspired by the current influx of entertainment based on Boleyn and her exploits at court, for the anniversary of her infamous death, let's take a look at three famous actresses that have played Boleyn over the years... 

The Private Lives of Henry VIII (1933)

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Red Carpet: Cannes Begins!

A New Season of "Red Carpet Lineup" Begins...

NATHANIEL: Bonjour Jose. You're back on red carpet duty by popular request. I dared to post about the Met Gala without a conversation to go with it and I heard it from the readers.

JOSE: I'm moved but if they saw what I'm wearing now they wouldn't ask for me.

NATHANIEL: Always blame it on Laundry Day.

Before we begin proper can I just say that one thing I find exceptionally annoying about Cannes is when stars don't pose alone but only with groups. This seems to happen most with the Jury who are joined at the hip like they will be judged as a team in this maxi-challenge. And tonight Deneuve, the great lady of French cinema, stuck with her director Emmanuelle Bercot (whose opening night film Standing Tall has received warm notices) and the cast despite a rather becoming two-looks-in-one dress.

JOSE: She wants others to bask in her light, maybe? I do love her double gown. Two Face in a couture Batman

NATHANIEL: Opening Night always brings out the A listers so we have some of Oscar's favorite gown-wearers to discuss after the jump Natalie, Naomi, Lupita, and Our Juli...

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