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Entries in Natalie Portman (50)


NYFF: Jackie, Natalie, Peter and Pablo

Murtada reporting from NYFF.

Thursday night marked the first New York public screening of Jackie. Pablo Larraín’s film about the former first lady in the few days after JFK’s assassination, took Venice and TIFF by storm and now it's NYFF’s turn...

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Review: Pablo Larraín's "Neruda" and "Jackie"

Nathaniel R reporting from the NYFF/TIFF as these films played at both fests... 

Fortieth birthdays don't get much better than this. In August Chile's most celebrated filmmaker Pablo Larraín turned the big 4-0 just after his excellent new film Neruda opened in his home country. One month later Jackie, his first English language picture, joined Neruda on the international festival circuit to even more excitement. Both are likely and deserving Oscar nominees come January. Pretty good year.

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Best Actress - Who will dance with Oscar? 

While Best Actress remains the most impressively competitive category, the buzz has been so deafening on Natalie Portman and Emma Stone's work in Jackie and La La Land respectively, that we have our first acting nomination "locks" of the year. Yes, I hate to use the word so early -- i generally prefer not to use it until after a film has opened -- but in this case it applies.

Short of either of these well loved actresses murdering someone casually or becoming a spokesperson for Trump on his campaign trail their traction for Best Actress is a done deal. Having now seen both pictures it's tough to imagine either of them missing; their movies are probable Best Picture Contenders which hang on their every flickering bit of feeling. And they've both got multiple "clips" galore for award show reels, clips that will look like "of course she won the Oscar!" in retrospect should either of them manage the win.

So spots three through five is where the true competition is. Most people feel that Ruth Negga is a given for Loving -- though how a movie fares in release is often a factor and it's not out yet. One worrying factor is that she's significantly less famous than most of her competition. Everyone is banking on Viola Davis being spectacular in Fences but we must remind everyone (and also ourselves despite our raggedy "Team Viola" t-shirts!) that nobody has seen the picture; history has many examples of stage-to-screen transfers that underwhelmed. Beyond those two we have Oscar regulars like Meryl Streep (always a threat even if she doesn't campaign), Amy Adams (always a threat and always campaigns hard), and Annette Bening (unless the movie is waiting too long to make its move). And then there's "critical darling" possiblities like Isabelle Huppert. I've been harping on this for some time, I know, but I remain convinced that she could happen as a nominee. Natalie & Emma being so far out front actually makes passion votes more important because with both of them sucking up so many votes, other women will need to stick out in the hearts of voters to fight their way in. 

It's also fair to wonder what Globe Comedy/Musical nominations could do to boost profiles of particular actresses. Hmmmm...

the possibilities

Stone - La La Land
Streep - Florence Foster Jenkins
It's easy to imagine them as nominees...
Field -  Hello My Name is Doris
Beckinsale - Love & Friendship
Winslet - the Dressmaker
But the Globes can surprise. What about...
Huppert -Elle
Sarandon - The Meddler
Zellweger - Bridget Jones's Baby 
anyone else? 

New Best Actress Oscar Prediction Chart. What'cha think?


Red Carpet: TIFF Finally Does Couture

Jose here. Color me impressed with all the couture at Toronto this year! Congrats to stylists for bringing it, and when there are so many great looks to discuss, let's get to it. Amy Adams is the epitome of "if it ain't broke", she has rarely looked sexier than she does in this simple Tom Ford design. Her Rita Hayworth-esque locks and the perfect earrings might just make this her best look in years. No one can pull off as many shades of yellow as Emma Stone as proved by this textured Chanel minidress, which sees her at her most playful. Rooney Mara wearing color warms my heart, especially when it's such bold pieces as this Aouadi bolero dress, knowing the unique design was more than enough, her makeup and accessories are minimal, love that the strappy sandals make it look as if she's floating. Lupita Nyong'o in Carolina Herrera is the thing fashion photographers dream about, gotta love her red lipstick too. Can she do any wrong? The answer is no.

More looks after the jump. 

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"Jackie" Sells to Fox Searchlight. December Gets Yet More Crowded

The Oscar Race just got a lot more crowded.

Natalie Portman as "Jackie". Photo by William GrayWhile Natalie Portman may be enjoying the lion's share of buzz for playing the title character in Jackie (her best performance yet) if Fox Searchlight plays their FYC hand correctly the film could be a major player across the Oscar board (Portman and Sarsgard are the only acting possibillities. Greta Gerwig, Max Casella, John Carroll Lynch, John Hurt, and Beth Grant support them well but in extremely limited doses) including especially Costume Design, Director, Screenplay, and Production Design. The Cinematography, Editing, Sound and Original Score are also marvellous but the film is a little out of the box challenging so not everyone is going to respond to it; in its own caged bird way it's as angry as Pablo Larraín's Chilean pictures.

As expected given the festival raves and the film's connections to Darren Aronofsky, Fox Searchlight had first dibs. The deal took longer than expected but they will distribute on December 9th. That puts the film at the end of a flurry of major Oscar contenders opening between October and early December (Fences is the only possibly major player -- that is not a sci-fi/fantasy --  opening after Jackie. It opens Christmas day). 

Pablo Larraín and Natalie Portman in Venice for the premiereThe schedule right now of golden hopefuls:
Oct 7th -Birth of a Nation, The Girl on the Train
Oct 14th -Certain Women, Miss Hokusai (animated feature)
Oct 21st -Moonlight, The Handmaiden (if there were justice in the world but alas, South Korea didn't select it as their Oscar bid)
Oct 28th -Eagle Huntress (documentary)

Nov 4th -Loving, Doctor Strange, Bleed For This 
Nov 11th -Arrival, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Elle
Nov 18th -Manchester by the Sea, Nocturnal Animals, Fantastic Beasts
Nov 23rd (Wed) Allied, Moana (animated feature), Rules Don't Apply
Nov 25th - Lion

Dec 2nd - La La Land
Dec 9th - Jackie, Miss Sloane, The Salesman (Asgar Farhadi) 
Dec 16th - Rogue One, Collateral Beauty, The Founder, and Neruda (also by Pablo Larraín) 
Dec 21st (Wed) - Assassin's Creed, Passengers, Sing! (animated feature)
Dec 23rd - A Monster Calls
Dec 25th (Sun) - Fences, Toni Erdmann (foreign film submission)

Qualifying Releases: Hidden Figures, The Red Turtle, and ???


Red Carpet: Venice, Toronto and Kruger (Oh, My!) 

Jose here. I'm glad to report that as the temperatures come down, slightly, so do the hemlines, which means it's red carpet season! <3 So let's get down to business! First up in Venice we have Eva Herzigova in a sheer, but elegant, Alberta Ferreti. The Italian designer's bold work usually pops up in Venetian red carpets and Herzigova's simple styling make us think she's equally ready for a fancy cocktail party, as she is for lounging poolside. Next up the divine Emma Stone in Atelier Versace, who more and more seems to be paying homage to red carpet goddess Nicole Kidman and you won't hear me complain about that.

European red carpets tend to be more playful which is why it's no surprise to see Chiara Mastroianni in this androgynous suit from Gucci, the smoky makeup and severe hair round up one of my favorite looks of the year. Since Amy Adams is in the new Tom Ford movie, she might as well wear what he designs, right? (Also, talk about multitasking Mr. Ford) She's a vision in this sparkling column that seems to have sprung from a Halston wet dream.  More looks after the jump!

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First Clip for Pablo Larraín's "Jackie" Shows A Woman Under Her Own Influence

Any fears that Pablo Larraín would smooth over the poised spikiness of his Chilean features in order to make a more palatable English language debut were put to rest this week with a rapturous Venice reception for his Jackie, with reviews especially singling out Natalie Portman’s performance as the eponymous First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. For those salivating to see Portman in mid-Atlantic action ahead of the film’s as yet undecided release date, the first clip from the film surfaced quickly thereafter. Jackie follows its heroine through the immediate wake of her husband’s assassination and, in this clip, she slyly pulls the rug out from under LBJ liason Jack Valenti (yes, that Jack Valenti of MPAA fame) in regards to her public role in JFK's funeral arrangements.

One of my favorite aspects of Larraín’s filmmaking is the thick coat of unsaid tension he can paint across a dialogue scene through precisely punctuated edits between polite adversaries – think of the moral ignitions within the living room interviews in The Club – and this scene exhibits that skill in spades. His eye for period detail and hazy texture translate beautifully; there’s a plywood stuffiness to the yesteryear political interiors of No’s production design that appear in this White House, as well. And as for Portman? She reminds us that Jackie’s purr didn’t just belong to a docile house cat but a ferocious lion that knows right when to corner and pounce. Make her my ringtone.

What do you make of this first look at Natalie Portman’s Jackie Kennedy?