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what did you see this weekend?

"Well, I saw MOMMY on Saturday, and it kind of spoiled my Sunday movie-going, it was so good. " - Bill

"THE SKELETON TWINS. Darker than advertised." -Charlie G

"MAPS TO THE STARS at the cinema. It's certainly very "Cronenberg", satyrical and darkly funny...and Julianne Moore is absolute dynamite. It must have been so much fun for her! - Carlos

how about you, dear reader?

Beauty vs. Beast

 

 drink your milkshake and... 
VOTE! 

 

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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!

Thursday
Jan242013

Link-Link

Chris Sanders unused storyboards from the new animated film The Croods 
In Contention which Sundance films have Oscar potential?
CHUD What's next for David Fincher? Gone Girl or 20,000 Leagues or...
John August ooh listen here. A whole podcast on the wonderful Raiders of the Lost Ark
Empire Rosario Dawson nabs another female lead role. This time it's Queen of the Night from Atom Egoyan. To what do we owe this sudden upswing in her career? We want to thank whoever/whatever is responsible.

Awards Daily a trippy poster for Danny Boyle's Trance starring James McAvoy and Rosario Dawson
Studio Briefing 39 minutes of Cloud Atlas cut for its Chinese release. Maybe if it were 39 minutes shorter I might not have... no, never mind. Let's not go there again!
Coming Soon The Marvel Studios tv series "S.H.I.E.L.D." has begun filming
Gothamist wonders if TV's "The Carrie Diaries" (i.e. Sex & The City: the Prequel) is getting 1980s NYC all wrong
Bleeding Cool posters for 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves getting the whitewashed leading Japanese samurai role (fwiw: Keanu has some Asian ancestry so this is kind of like the Johnny Depp as Tonto thing)
MNPP Everyone's favorite moment in Skyfall 

... or maybe you have a different one?


Finally... Have you seen this amazement? 

Wednesday
May162012

Link to the Rescue

First Showing Django Unchained banner on the Croisette in Cannes
Inlander Don Draper isn't Mad Men's main character any more
Filmofilia a full slate for Amy Adams through 2014 at least. Add thriller Dark Places (based on the novel of the same name) to the long list
Cinema Blend Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel gets the Contagion screenwriter Scott Z Burns 

 MZ Yikes. Actor Nick Stahl of Bully, Terminator 3 and Carnivàle fame has been reporting missing since May 9th
Heat Vision Robert Downey Jr's The Avengers payday could reach $50 million. The other actors aren't so lucky
Gold Derby Downton Abbey will be competing in Best Series (where it belongs) for Emmy nods... finally giving up on considering itself a miniseries, bless.
Pajiba "Identifying the Moment in Natalie Portman's Career Timeline In Which It Was OK To Admit a Crush"
Screen Daily Keira Knightley replacing ScarJo in Can a Song Save Your Life 

Indiewire Awesome news for fans of the gay romantic drama Weekend (2011). Criterion will handle the DVD.
Michael Musto interviews Andy Dick, now sober but just as candid.
Coming Soon Orphan star and now Hunger Games victim Isabelle Fuhrman will star in the remake of Suspiria
The Film Stage Terrence Malick's latest, a romantic drama starring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, and Rachel McAdams (at least according to which characters feature in the synopsis) finally gets a title... To the Wonder.  

Not Your Usual Superhero Articles
Filmwell "thou shalt have no other god but Captain America's" on references to the divine in The Avengers
GeekWatch adorable story of a five year old boy meeting Captain America and Loki on the set of The Avengers