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Saoirse Ronan as Mary, Queen of Scots

"With only a few scenes at her disposal, Samantha Morton was an amazing, amazing Mary Queen of Scots in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age". Don't expect that portrayal of the lady will ever be topped." -Ken

"Saoirse Ronan is an inspired choice for Mary. But... Who signed off on Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I? What is this madness." - BillyBob

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Entries in Olivia de Havilland (30)

Friday
Jun302017

Olivia de Havilland Sues "Feud"

Photo by Damon Winter via LA TimesHere's a deliciously fitting coda to the first season of Ryan Murphy's Feud. Olivia de Havilland, who was played by Catherine Zeta-Jones (in a bewilderingly bad performance given CZJ's talent!), is suing Ryan Murphy and FX for the unauthorized use of her identity! She definitely did not like being portrayed on the bitchy side. Her lawyer says:

...the FX series puts words in the mouth of Miss de Havilland which are inaccurate and contrary to the reputation she has built over an 80-year professional life, specifically refusing to engage in gossip mongering about other actors in order to generate media attention for herself."

While Bette Davis's daughter B.D. (played by Kiernan Shipka) and one of Joan Crawford's twin girls Catherine (played by Chelsea Summer) are still alive, Olivia is the only celebrity portrayed in Feud: Bette vs Joan who is still living (aside from a couple of cameos like actors depicting Eva Marie Saint and Rip Torn if you want to get nitpicky). The two time Oscar winner, who we celebrated festively this time last year, turns 101 tomorrrow. Her birthday wish is apparently to stick one to FX. If she really wanted to do damage she might've announced this before Emmy voting closed, though.

Monday
Jun122017

The Furniture: Ghosts of Property in My Cousin Rachel

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

by Daniel Walber 

Location is everything. Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel is so intimately associated with the Cornish landscape that you can go take a “My Cousin Rachel Walk” along the coast. Its cliffs and pastures feature prominently in the new adaptation of the book, starring Rachel Weisz, which was shot close to the novelist's home.

The 1952 version, meanwhile, was shot almost entirely inside an American film studio. The real Cornwall only makes a few brief appearances. But, despite the appeal of literary tourism, authenticity is not necessarily art. The location choice forces much of the plot indoors, taking full advantage of the complex and Oscar-nominated work of art directors Lyle R. Wheeler and John DeCuir and set decorator Walter M. Scott. It's more subtle, more effective.

After all, natural beauty is not really at the heart of the drama. This is a story about wealth, property and suspicion...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May062017

Q&A: The Force is With Reader Questions

by Nathaniel R

I got a little verbosely carried away whilst answering reader questions so you get two Q & A columns from your last batch of questions. Thanks for playing. This week I asked for a few Star Wars Questions but that's just three of the six questions answered here. Ready, let's go! 

TROY: Within the past year Cynthia Erivo has won a Tony, Grammy, and Daytime Emmy for her work in the recent Broadway revival of The Color Purple, making her only one step away from completing the EGOT. Which type of project do you think would giver her her best chance at winning an Oscar?

NATHANIEL: I hate to get nitpicky but technically should Daytime Emmys even count with the EGOT? If you count any old Emmy as towards the EGOT than about 100,000 people you've never heard of who have local Emmies (seriously they give those statues out like candy) are 1/4th of the way to that showbiz goal. It's only Whoopi Goldberg, Robert Lopez, and their fans that would argue that Daytime Emmys count. No shade!

Anyway my dream for Erivo is that they give her either the film version of The Color Purple musical, though I fear they'd just hand it to a bigger less worthy star (like, oh, Jennifer Hudson, who she and Danielle Brooks, the other Tony nominee from that show, both ran circles around onstage) or a film version of Caroline or Change (if they won't rehire the incredible Tonya Pinkins) as those two roles are powerhouse vehicles for a black woman with giant pipes. But any musical role would be dreamy. That voice!

 PEDRO: What is your favorite Star Wars character? And your favorite Star Wars actor?

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr182017

Feud 1.07 - Abandoned!

In the penultimate episode of the series, Bette gains creative control and Joan loses everything, while B.D. and Mamacita get out while they still can. Here's Jorge...

Feud doesn’t play favorites.  The show has done a good job (for the most part) at digging down into why these two screen legends acted the way they did towards each other. And they’ve made a point (over and over and over) that they were not as different as the world saw them; they were actually very similar, acting from the same place of desperation and clinginess to relevance.

In this week’s episode. Joan repeatedly boycotts the production of Hush, Hush… Sweet Charlotte, unable to cope with the creative control that Bette has over her as a producer. This eventually ends with her being fired from the picture, and Olivia de Havilland stepping in; the only actress willing to take her spot and also Bette's dear friend...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr102017

The Furniture: Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte, Your House Is Listening

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in much more magnified detail. Here's Daniel Walber...

 “Hush hush, sweet Charlotte,” Patti Page softly croons, “He’ll love you till he dies.” The title song of Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte may not be as catchy as “Chim Chim Chiree,” which took the Oscar, but it has a much creepier sort of staying power. Here’s the final verse:

“And every night after he shall die
Yes every night when he’s gone
The wind will sing you this lullaby
Sweet Charlotte was loved by John.”

The music haunts Charlotte Hollis (Bette Davis), along with everything else: her house, her family and her memories.

This Southern Gothic vibe is what separates the film from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Well, that and the fact that Joan Crawford walked off the set. But I will leave the offscreen drama to Ryan Murphy...

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Thursday
Mar232017

Joan Crawford, National Puppy Day, Oscar Nights, and More...

Today is both National Puppy Day and the immortal star Joan Crawford's birthday (though the exact date i.e. year is disputed). So here is a photo combining those two wonderful things...

Joan Crawford totally loved dogs. If you do a search for "Joan Crawford puppies" or "Joan Crawford dogs" you will be surprised at how many images come up and from all decades, too, and how relaxed the famously rigid star looks with them in many of the photos...

Click to read more ...