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Saoirse Ronan as Mary, Queen of Scots

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Entries in Pablo Larraín (11)

Friday
Jan132017

Interview: Pablo Larraín on his recent triple - Jackie, Neruda, and The Club

Portman and Pablo at the premiere of JACKIE (2016)by Nathaniel R

Pablo Larraín, currently Chile's most celebrated director, first broke into the festival circuit via his second film, the violent and disturbing Tony Manero (2008). I found it so upsetting that I thought I'd never risk another one of his features. That resolve didn't last long. His international breakthrough No (2012), was a hit with audiences, critics, and the Oscars and surprisingly enjoyable too. But due to the always unpredictable release dates of movies, we didn't see his work again until 2016 and then there were three movies at once, the sex predator priest drama El Club, the playful writer on the lam whatsit Neruda, and of course the outstanding Oscar hopeful Jackie.

You might call this Pablo's Year but for the fact that he doesn't coddle the audience and his films are as likely to unsettle and challenge as they are to reward you with their significant pleasures like fascinating performances, strong themes, unexpected humor, and emotional acuity.

When we found an opportunity to talk I figured I'd jump into the deep end about the unsettling nature of so many of his features. Our interview follows...

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Tuesday
Jan102017

Interview: Gael García Bernal on Neruda, Zorro, and Other Characters

This weekend at the Golden Globes, an unexpected but not all that surprising reunion of the best friends / stars of the Oscar nominated road trip classic Y Tu Mama Tambíen (2001) occured. Both Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna came to international fame together in the early Aughts and they're both still riding high in movies from Hollywood and outside of it.

I had the opportunity to speak with Bernal a month ago about his sturdy career, its auteurist origins, and his current busy playfulness. He's now juggling streaming television stardom (Mozart in the Jungle), occasional directing gigs, frequent producing duties, upcoming starring roles (Zorro?) and still doing what he was doing in his very first years of fame: headlining artistically ambitious Spanish language Oscar submissions. Though neither of his current films (Mexico's Desierto and Chile's Neruda) made Oscar's finalist list, Neruda did receive a well deserved Golden Globe nomination.

Gael full plate is just rewards for his sturdy talent and impressive range but it's also a very happy reminder that some mesmerizing debuts like his own in the Oscar nominated Amores Perros (2000) don't result in flash in the pan quick fades but long and beautiful careers.

NATHANIEL R: Your first movie Amores Perros was an international success and you've been busy ever since. How much of this career did you imagine for yourself back then?

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Sunday
Jan082017

Podcast: Jackie, Hidden Figures, and More

KateyNick, Joe and Nathaniel gab about recent screenings on Golden Globe morning and we find out which actress Charlie (Katey's six month-old) is already a fan of...

Index (42 minutes)
00:01 Bright Lights w/ Carrie Fisher
01:15 Toni Erdmann & Globe Foreign Noms
02:45 Hacksaw Ridge Schizophrenia
05:50 Hidden Figures and Best Actress Movies Losing Oscar Heat
17:30 Joe's Movie Spelling Bee & Podcasting
19:50 Jackie - Nick's not convinced
27:40 Which Oscar movies need second looks?
36:00 Annoyed with Deadpool's Awards
39:00 Random Wrap-Up Chatter

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments. Next week we'll look at the Golden Globe aftermath.

Hidden Figures and Jackie

Friday
Oct142016

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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Friday
Oct072016

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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Thursday
Sep082016

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?