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Podcast - 1996 Cannes Competition Revisit

"Never forget Madonna (!!) beating Frances McDormand for the Golden Globe that year" - David

 "Watson/McDormand/Blethyn? I couldn't even choose. All so perfect - my favorite kind of Oscar category." -Mike

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Entries in Nicole Kidman (156)

Thursday
May122016

Lars Von Trier's Bad Girls of Cannes

It's Girls Gone Wild this month at The Film Experience. To coincide with the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, here's Chris on von Trier's wild women from Cannes past.

We miss you, Lars!

It's been five years since reigning Cannes bad boy Lars von Trier debuted a film at the festival - practically eons by the festival's standards for their many favorite auteurs. But he lost their favor for his glib Hitler comments during Melancholia's Croisette visit. The resulting Persona Non Grata Status has left us too long without a Cannes Von Trier (Anti)Heroine. Some call him a misogynist, but the provocateur has consistently given us fully-faceted women fighting against circumstance however they must. Let's take a look at their bad behavior:

Emily Watson as Bess - Breaking the Waves

How Bad?: 7/10 - Lots and lots of self-flagellating sex with strangers. Bess puts herself in increasing dangerous situations even when she knows the dangers of her actions.
But Really She's a Saint, It's All For Love!: She's only acting out at the request of her ailing, brain-damaged husband, to whom she relays her conquests.

Rewarded for Her Efforts: Watson didn't win Best Actress at Cannes (Brenda Blethyn was honored for Secrets & Lies), though this performance is the only Oscar-nominated in Von Trier's filmography.

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Friday
May062016

Tweetweek: Young Han Solo, Met Ball, and Civil War

Apologies for the slim postings the past two days. Boring issues at TFE HQ that will hopefully be remedied shortly for a jampacked next week. But enough of that...

As you may have heard Alden Ehrenreich has been cast as the Young Han Solo. If you are old like me you know he won't be the first actor to have risked Ford comparisons in the role. Way back in 1989, then freshly Oscar- nominated teen star River Phoenix (Running on Empty) played Young Han Solo in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in a flashback scene wherein we learned how Indiana Jones got that scar under his lip. 

Alden Ehrenreich is all the rage at the moment due to his truly awesome work in Hail, Caesar! And the following tweet is most definitely true of actor heat both now and in general. The Coens have a rich history of making people notice how great certain actors are and then other filmmakers capitalize on it. It's not just that galaxy far far away that takes cues from them. 

 

The Coens have a rich history of making people notice how great certain actors are and then other filmmakers capitalize on it. It's not just that galaxy far far away that takes cues from them. 

But before we begin after the jump please note that I'm nominating Scott Beggs for the Pulitzer in criticism

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Thursday
May052016

The Family Fang 

Eric here, covering actor Jason Bateman’s second directorial feature, The Family Fang.  Or, as we lovers of actresses like to better position it, the new Nicole Kidman! Nathaniel covered it in brief from Toronto but now it's in limited release.

The Family Fang is a bit of a reunion picture for Kidman:  it’s written by her Rabbit Hole writer David Lindsay-Abaire and brought together by that film’s same producers.  While Rabbit Hole ranks among the finest in the astonishingly large canon of Great Kidman Performances, she doesn’t get to scale the same heights here, mostly due to the limitations of the story and script.

Kidman plays Annie, a flailing Hollywood actress who returns home to take care of her injured brother Baxter (Bateman), who is recouping with their estranged parents (Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett) after a freak accident.  We learn at the start of the picture that Annie and Baxter were used, from birth, as participants in their parents’ live, staged performance art pieces (Annie was Child A; Baxter, Child B).  The parents caught on in art circles as avant-garde pioneers in the 70s, and the film traces their reunion all these years later...

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Monday
Apr112016

The Family Fang Welcomes You

Manuel here. Nat got a look at The Family Fang in Toronto and ahead of its screening at Tribeca (and its limited release later this month), we finally got a poster and a trailer for Jason Bateman's sophomore effort. The film features the Arrested Development star and TFE fave Nicole Kidman as the Fang siblings (Buster and Annie) who are brought together after their parents mysteriously disappear. In true indie drama mode, though, this is an excuse to unearth all sorts of dysfunctions, mostly stemming from the fact that the senior Fangs are kooky performance artists who scarred their children by incorporating them into their live art pieces (and, you know, by referring to them as child A and child B).

In a feat of perfect casting, the Fang patriarch is played in his later years by Christopher Walken who shares top billing with Kidman and Bateman in the poster below:

So many things to love about this poster but at the top of my list is the inclusion of Kathryn Hahn on the side who is just perfect as the young matriarch, Camille Fang. That said, you could easily mistake this for a Wes Anderson poster, don't you think? The line reminding you that the film was written by "Pulitzer Prize Winner David Lindsay-Abaire" (for, coincidentally, Rabbit Hole which Nicole brought to the screen in 2010) is straight out of Moonrise Kingdom.

I can't really do a Yes/No/Maybe So given I already got to see the finished film last week, but I'm curious to see whether the poster and trailer are making you eager to get to meet the Fang family.

Wednesday
Mar232016

What do you suppose Nicole gave Reese for her birthday?

Awww. Reese Witherspoon celebrated her 40th birthday yesterday with Nicole Kidman. They've been filming the miniseries Big Little Secrets of late. Curious that the photo makes it look like the wine is where the birthday candles go.

Over the weekend she also had a big star studded birthday bash so she was doing 40 right. What do you suppose Nicole gave Reese? What would you give Reese for her birthday? 

Tuesday
Feb162016

Berlin: 'Genius' starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth

 Amir Soltani is covering the Berlin International Film Festival, TFE's first time at Berlinale! Here is his take on Michael Grandage's Genius.

Berlinale is known for inviting one or two Hollywood pictures to the festival every year to add glamour to the sprawling selection of mostly arthouse curios. One of those films in this year’s edition was Michael Grandage’s first feature as a director, Genius. A period piece based on a true story, the film came to the festival with high expectations, given the distribution deal with Lionsgate already in place, and the pedigree of everyone involved, including thrice Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan, and Oscar winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman in the cast. But this was all before the film was screened and faced walkouts and unintentional laughs.

Maxwell Perkins (Firth) was the editor and invisible hand behind some of the biggest American masterpieces of literature in the 1920s, including novels by Ernest Hemingway (Dominic West) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Guy Pierece). Perkins is a family man, living in an expansive estate with his wife Louise (Laura Linney) and five daughters. As one would expect of the editor responsible for taming wild characters such as Hemingway and, eventually, Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law), Perkins is a gentleman of the highest order, calm and gentle, but serious all the same. [More...]

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Friday
Feb122016

Interview: Sandy Powell on Color, Character, Carol, Cinderella, and Cate

Sandy Powell on the set of CinderellaSome people rush to movies if their favorite movie star's face is prominent on the poster. Others swear allegiance to directors. Obsessive cinephiles go for all sorts of reasons. One of ours at The Film Experience is Sandy Powell. If she's the costume designer, we're there, no questions asked. We sat through The Tempest (2010) just for her and trust me that that's devotion.

Meeting her in person earlier this season to talk Carol and Cinderella, which brought her her 11th and 12th Oscar nominations and could well bring her a 4th Oscar, was a personal joy. I had talked to her once before by phone but in person we were able to look at costume stills together and had a great conversation. This cinematic MVP was a fun, lively, and personable interviewee. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did. 

NATHANIEL R:  I intervewed you once a long time ago and I was really taken aback by something you said. You implied that you were surprised and amused by analytical readings of your work.

SANDY POWELL: I was talking about that today with Judy Becker and she said thing "I've learned so much about my work today!". People read things into it that you weren't consciously thinking about. But they're not bad things! You start thinking "maybe subliminally..." You start taking credit for it! 

A lot of the time you work so fast that you make snap decisions and you don't know what it's based on. I do work instinctively and intuitively. I don't sit and analyze. I don't think about the significance and "What shall I consciously put on her or him or her to convey that?"  I do what feels right. And quite often just by doing that you've got it right, you actually have given something so symbolism.

NATHANIEL R: Do you start thinking of full outfits while you're reading a script?

her answer and much more after the jump...

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