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Entries in Patrick Wilson (20)

Friday
Apr222016

Shine On, Beautiful Murder

Team Experience is at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here's Jason on "A Kind of Murder" and "Always Shine"

I know it's blasphemy in these parts to speak ill of Mad Men (cue 90% of you automatically clicking away in disgust) but I could never really get into it because it felt too slavishly obsessed with 60s posturing - I love Mid-Century Design as much as the next Eero Saarinen disciple but I couldn't ever see the forest for the tulip chairs. That said, the new Patricia Highsmith adaptation A Kind of Murder (from the 1954 book The Blunderer, kind of a suburban copycat criss-cross of Strangers on a Train) makes Mad Men seem positively restrained in its period affectations - how you manage to turn a walking talking charm like Patrick Wilson into a walking talking turtleneck I'll never figure.

The turtlenecks! The martini glasses! The heavy salmon drapes and stone fireplaces! There were moments of such monumental airlessness, as if a plastic sofa cover was wrapped over every scene, where I felt it might be purposeful - where I thought of Todd Haynes' [safe] and the way that movie was built to make the audience hyperventilate while watching it... but A Kind of Murder is no [safe]. What it is is is an occasionally jazzy low-key thriller, with Eddie Marsan skulking about effectively making his case as our modern day Peter Lorre or Raymond Burr. But it ends up more of a put on, a face of perfectly applied make-up cast halfway in noirish shadow, than any sort of artful smear. Grade: C

Part of me wishes I had seen Mackenzie Davis and Caitlin FitzGerald in Sophia Takal's Always Shine before having seen Elisabeth Moss and Katherine Waterston in Alex Ross Perry's Queen of Earth last year, because while I'm more inclined towards Takal's smoky and sinister edged film... that's a whole lot of Persona riffing in the space of twelve months.

Always Shine tells the tale of two actresses in one of those friendships so fraught with complications it would have doctors reaching for the defibrillation paddles - the pendulums of success and resentment, professional jealousy and personal affection, flinging through space so close that something's bound to rub off and muck up everything. 

And inevitably, muck. In this case the the muck under the misty cliff-faces and mossy canyons of Big Sur, California, an L.A. getaway close enough that when the sun sets the shadows from the Hollywood sign are yet still the first harbingers of nightfall. Here these ladies make their escape, a weekend coffee klatsch under the guise of nursing emotional distance, their carry-on's stacked with comedy and tragedy masks, plus sundresses. Inevitably, tragically, the two women end up flashing their SAG cards in each other's faces instead of laying bare their hearts, a battle of wiles not wills.

You know, actresses. And who doesn't love a movie about actresses? I think I'm preaching to the choir here. The performative commingling of these two still fresh talents is a blast - Davis I've already fallen head over for on Halt and Catch Fire (please tell me you're all watching that show) and FitzGerald is always fine despite a frustratingly written role on Masters of Sex; here these two fold into and under each other in smart - and, in this movie's true blessing, in unexpectedly funny - ways. Grade: B+

Tuesday
Mar292016

First Bite. Will "The Founder" Serve Tasty Drama?

As iconic logos go, it's impossible to beat those golden arches. Smart teaser work, then, to instantly brand your movie. On the other hand...

Does McDonalds really scream "Major Motion Picture" or will it have people thinking i saw a doc about that once

The presence of the newly dazzling Michael Keaton (quite a comeback these past two years!) should help win the film attention. Keaton is the businessman who wrestled away control of McDonalds in the 1950s and made it into an empire... but not without a lot of behind the scenes drama apparently. The supporting cast includes John Carrol Lynch and Nick Offerman as the actual McDonald brothers, and Laura Dern as Keaton's wife. Patrick Wilson and Linda Cardellini play another couple though we're not sure how they fit into the story. The film opens on August 5th from the Weinstein Co who keep claiming they're determined to make the summer work for Oscar launches (after having helped making the last quarter mandatory over the last 20+ years).

The screenplay is by Robert Seigel (who wrote The Wrestler and Big Fan). Director John Lee Hancock has directed one Best Picture nominee to date (The Blind Side) and one intended Oscar player that didn't get invited to the playground (Saving Mr Banks) but his best film remains The Rookie (2002) don't you think? Part of the one-two punch (with Far From Heaven -- odd bedfellows!) that should have been the great sticky comeback for Dennis Quaid a dozen plus years back. (We're distracted by comeback stories of late thanks to Kyle's Easter post.)

Do you have high hopes for The Founder, Oscar-related or otherwise?

Wednesday
Jan132016

YNMS: The Conjuring 2

Jason from MNPP taking a brief breather between your pre nomination Oscar jitters with a look at the recently dropped trailer for James Wan's Conjuring sequel, creatively titled The Conjuring 2.

I was less bullish (my review) on the 2013 original than most horror movie fans were and indeed than several contributors here at TFE - I'm more of an Insidious guy myself when it comes to the ghost worlds o' Wan - but I do think that Wan's gotten better as a filmmaker with the years, and he sure knows how to goose a good scare out of an audience.

Anyway let's break down the good the bads and the maybes here after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug192015

HMWYBS: Angels in America (2003)

What follows is a republishing of a piece I'm proud of from our very first season of Hit Me With Your Best Shot (you can see the index of all six seasons here) when I was somehow far more concise with "Best Shot" despite feeling like I was overdoing it. I've added in notes and links for contributions from other Best Shot participants and I'd like to thank Manuel heartily before we begin for his fascinating contextual work on HBO's long history of LGBT films and series this summer and for sharing this week's HBO LGBT episode with us for our redo episode of this Great Work. Read that piece before you read this. Ready? Let's begin...

Tony Kushner's extraordinary two part stage epic Angels in America centers around two overlapping young couples in the mid 80s, struggling married Mormons, pill popping Harper and her closeted husband Joe and the gay couple Louis and Prior they become connected spiritually (Harper befriends Prior... in her dreams) and physically (Joe becomes Louis's other lover). But it's also about politics, immigration, religion, identity, and evolution and encompasses multiple other characters from Louis's outspoken gay friend Belize, to Joe's mother, to the evil lawyer Roy Cohn, the dead Communist Ethel Rosenberg, and a frequently orgasmic Angel who descends on many of the players. This masterpiece was adapted for the screen in 2003 by Oscar winner Mike Nichols. Along its journey it won 7 Tonys, The Pulitzer, and later 5 Golden Globes and 11 Emmys and here's the thing: it deserved every single prize. If you haven't seen it drop everything (seriously everything) because it is unmissable. I've seen it performed on stage three times in three different states with wildly different budgets and casts and seen the miniseries a few times too... and every single time it's a fascinating prismatic living thing, like it will always be teaching you, entertaining you, and provoking you.

Rather than limit myself to one shot I'm picking one from each of its chapter. This I can manage!

Chapter 1 "Bad News"

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug182015

Miscellania: Mad Munn Mortal Minority Musicians

Newsweek Before Straight Outta Compton: race and the black musician biopic
Awards Daily makes a great case for why Mad Men should win the Drama Emmy
MNPP playing lumberjack with Patrick Wilson
Vanity Fair Katey and Richard survey the summer movie season, get nostalgic for Mad Max Fury Road already
The Envelope talks to Lily Tomlin on her great year "If one looks at years that way."
Instagram Olivia Munn wire training for her superheroic antics as the X-Men's Psylocke. Physicality is getting to be so essential in the CG action age that I hope aspiring actors are taking gymnastic and dance courses


Vox why The Chronicles of Prydain is the best literary fantasy series (when do you suppose they'll try to film it after Disney's 80s botch job?) 
Interiors Film Journal looks at the dance scene in Tom at the Farm
THR looks back at unlikely hit Mortal Kombat when videogame movies were ridiculed
Towleroad Trans bodybuilder Aydian Dowling now a top 5 finalist for Men's Health "Ultimate Guy" cover contest
Self Styled Siren on an old book about a possibly violent but definitely tumultous John Barrymore marriage
i09 gets excited for the Minority Report tv show
Film Stage deleted scenes from Mad Max Fury Road
Starf*cker Matthew Rettenmund's (Encylopedia Madonnica, Boy Culture) new book is available for pre-order 

Today's Watch
On baffling uses of CGI... I didn't know this about 50 Shades of Grey or John Wick and definitely blocked out the "pear" from Star Wars. Repressed memory!  

Tuesday
Jul072015

Can't Buy Me Link

The Movie Scene weighs in on the twitter vitriol for Pixar's Lava
NYT on famed movie producer Jerry Weintraub (1937-2015)
Film Stage Penélope Cruz returns (finally) in Spanish drama Ma Ma about a teacher with breast cancer - I'd expect fall festivals
AV Club impressive mashup of Ant-Man trailer as 50s weird science type movie, complete with Vincent Price narration
/Film in very against-type casting news, Michael Fassbender will play The Big Lebowski's "Dude" in one of Jason Reitman's live-read events

Pajiba Your first look at Pedro Pascal in Netflix's new drama Narcos -- will it be Netflix's next big hit?
Kenneth in the (212) Seems that Amanda Peterson of the 80s youth hits Explorers and Can't Buy Me Love has died at only 43. No cause of death yet 
Playbill this sounds like a bad idea: Ian Fleming's James Bond aiming for a stage musical adaptation in 2017 or 2018
i09 every Justic League hero in one montage - yes, Batman v. Superman is trying to boost excitement via Comic Con -- including many so lame they'll surely never make the big screen
Comics Alliance Guardians of the Galaxy promos its new animated series with poster, etcetera 
Playbill have you heard this awful 'what are audiences coming to?' story? Some guy tried to charge his phone in on the stage (in a fake electrical socket) at the hit comedy Hand to God

Magic Mike XXL keeping the interwebs talking...
Peter Labuza on 35mm "whiteness" and filming black blodies in Magic Mike XXL
Pajiba unanswered questions about Mike's furniture career. You know, the important stuff
Salon on XXL's dedication to a thematic taboo: Failure 
Cosmopolitan has Disney princes reimagined as strippers -- hasn't this erotic Disney trend reached its sell by date yet? I mean the craze started, what, 11 years ago or something

Showtune to Go
In addition to Magic Mike being in the pop culture air lately, during channel flipping this week I caught Hugh Jackman's filmed stage show of Oklahoma! again and remembered how much I loved Patrick Wilson in it on Broadway and began wondering why he doesn't do musicals anymore? To be frank, I don't understand his career choices at all but he should definitely do another stage musical. It's a no brainer. So let's combine the two threads with a Tony clip of Patrick Wilson's stripper musical based on the 1997 Best Picture nominee which predated Magic Mike by a lot. (Lots of fun star cameos in this Tony clip including some we've lost -- Anne Bancroft. *sniffle*)

Monday
May182015

That Laundry Room Scene in "Little Children"

For The Lusty Month of May, we're looking at a sex scene each night. Here's Manuel

Why is it that a drenched body is so lust-inducing on screen and yet so horribly oppressive in real life? This question came to me as I began fearing the humid sweat-filled summer we’re bound to have very soon in New York, while pondering one of my favorite on-screen sex scenes...

Click to read more ...