NOW PLAYING

latest reviews  

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) B+/A-
Nymphomaniac (2014) B-
Divergent (2014) C
Enemy (2014) B/B+

review index

HOT TOPICS


Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. "Like it" on facebook!

 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

COMMENT(s) DU JOUR
April Showers...

THE PIANO
Hunter is so expressive, like a firework (intended) exploding again and again.
❞ - Henry

THELMA & LOUISE
I took a "fluff" class senior year of high school called Mass Media, and we were allowed to do a project on anything we wanted. My friend Meaghan and I decided to do our project on Brad Pitt,..I had never seen "Thelma & Louise" and found myself obsessed with it. I think I watched it five times by the time my senior year was over. ❞ -Jakey

 


Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?
Twitter Feed
Subscribe

Entries in Piper Laurie (6)

Tuesday
Oct302012

Oscar Horrors: Margaret White Burns in Hell

Just one more day of Oscar Horrors! On this penultimate day of the series, JA has an incredible take on one of our shared favorites, "Carrie". -Nathaniel

HERE LIES... or rather, HERE BURNS IN HELL... Margaret White, Piper Laurie's Supporting Actress nominated performance in Brian DePalma's 1976 film Carrie.

JA from MNPP here - the only thing more shocking to me than the fact that Piper lost the Oscar for Margaret White is the fact that nobody's covered this performance for this here Oscar Horrors series yet. You could just sit back and quote her lines and be done with it - "I can see you dirty pillows." "Pimples are the Lord's way of chastising you." "I liked it. I liked it!" What a grand time it'd be! It would be like any given evening in my house, really. But give me an excuse to watch Carrie for the 50th time, and I will bite.

Piper lost the Oscar to Beatrice Straight's very brief role in Network; I won't diss Straight because I like her and I like that performance (and I like her a few years later in Poltergiest even more)... but come on. 

Rewatching the film today I was reminded what a note-perfect line Laurie walks. Dances, really. In sensible witch shoes. Her Margaret White should be what you see when you look up "Jesus Freak" in the dictionary.

But while she's often criticized for being over the top (and it's not as if director Brian DePalma backs off that angle -- when Carrie tells her mother she's going to the prom, Piper repeats the word aghast - "Prom?" - which DePalma then gooses with some ever-so-subtle lightning and thunder) what I noticed today is it's Margaret's smallness and fear that reveals themselves between the hysterics, and become disturbingly palpable. She is in a battle with herself, the beleaguered Christian, trying to be all the God Warrior she can be, but her beaten-down daughter, meekness personified (Sissy Spacek giving one of the finest performances ever put on screen, if you ask me), begins to beat her back at every turn and she's entirely befuddled by it. You can sense she's felt this before - when her husband, the one with the stinking roadhouse whiskey on his breath, also driven nuts by her zealousness, up and took off. It must be the Devil! You can see the parts clicking into place in Laurie's performance as her confusion turns into its own sense - this is what she is here for. Calmness washes over her; she has found her life's meaning. And it's a serenity that's terrifying.

And that's the thing with this performance and why it continually rings true to me - in the twenty minutes or so of screen-time that Laurie has, she simultaneously charts not just a broad portrait of religious fervor driven way off the deep end, but the pinpoint center wherein stands a very small very frightened woman, deranged by her own terror of abandonment. Once was enough, twice is too many, and she will drag her daughter straight to Hell before she ever lets go.

 

Monday
May072012

Take Three: Piper Laurie

Craig (from Dark Eye Socket) here with this week's Take Three. Today: Piper Laurie

Take One: Hesher (2010)
Laurie has played the grandmother figure a few times in recent years (Hounddog, Eulogy, The Dead Girl), but she best conveyed matriarchal feeling last year in Hesher. The film uses the familiar narrative coupling of a loveable old person and unruly younger person connecting despite obvious differences. This time it's carried out with keen subtlety because the people involved are Laurie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who make this arrangement work in a delightfully fresh way. Their friendship isn’t the main thrust of the narrative, but a key characterful diversion, and the genuinely heartfelt union elevates the film with tiny moments of tender affection.

Laurie's Grandma is there for her grandson (Devin Brochu) through the mourning of his mother and later when Gordon-Levitt’s stoner/drifter crashes the family home. Her open acceptance of the stranger in their home starts as comically baffling but becomes almost profound. A bedroom scene where the Grandma and Hesher share tales of their lives over a bong contains obvious comedy. But Laurie’s performance – especially her indistinct and sweetly sing-song delivery – creates an odd pathos. She's giving us glimpses of her life before old age took its toll. This scene follows an earlier moment where nobody takes her up on her offer to accompany her on her morning walk. Unfazed, yet with a hint of melancholy barely audible to the others, she utters: “Well, you know you’re always invited.” She arouses a rush of emotion in five small words. "Grandma" couldn't might've been a mere peripheral presence or a parody, but she's more than a token old lady in Laurie's hands. 

Godfearing loons and corporate megabitches after the jump

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr282012

Misleading Headline Of the Week!

Saw this on my google reader feed via Coming Soon yesterday and giggled.


It's technically true but if it were literally true -- Julianne Moore AS Carrie - I'd have to rethink my preemptory distaste for the movie. Dear god (aka Julianne), I'd have to quit scoffing altogether! I'm suddenly picturing a completely different completely unfaithful reimagined Carrie in which a shy 51 year old fire-haired virgin goes telekinetically mental on her town. What would prompt it? And which 70something actress could play Julianne's crazy bible-thumping mother?


Though it seems patently ridiculous to imagine a better Margaret White performance than the one Piper Laurie took to an Oscar nomination in the Seventies, Moore is no slouch when it comes to maternal mania. I am therefore, forced to be intrigued a tiny bit. If Julianne takes the role that is...

Will she or won't she? Should she?

Monday
Jan232012

Extremely Link

Weinstein Co a live chat today with The Artist team (4:30 PM EST)
Gold Derby "Oscar nominations we're rooting for"
Deadline exciting sounding project alert. Gyllehaal mama Naomi Foner, who wrote the brilliant Running on Empty (1988) is making her directorial debut with Very Good Girls. Elizabeth Olsen and Dakota Fanning to star as best friends just out of high school eager to lose their virginity.
Nicks Flick Picks' Best Actress Birthday Parties are getting more and more festive. I died at one particular one-liner in the Piper Laurie Tim review and now I simply must see the movie. 

Slash Film Remember that biopic Big Eyes about artist-marrieds Margaret and Walter Keane which was supposed to star Kate Hudson years and years ago? No? Well, it's back in development only this time with Reese Witherspoon. I don't know how you make a movie called Big Eyes and cast anyone but Our Miss Hathaway though. 
AD Jameson How many movies can you see? An obsessive discussion about what's feasible or worthwhile.
By Ken Levine "guys are not going to want to f*** her" on pursuing a role in TV pilots. A scary read for actors!

Fun videos with Charlize, Fassy & Viola after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec292011

The Oldest Living "Best Actress" Nominees

Let's hear it for ladies of a certain age!

Mary Tyler Moore, television icon and an Oscar nominee for a terrifically icy variation on one of Oscar's favorite archetypes 'the monster mom' in Ordinary People (1980) turns 75 years old today. The last picture I can find of her out and about is the one to your left taken at the premiere of "Follies" starring Bernadette Peters (DO NOT MISS IT IF YOU'RE IN NYC!) which is just about the most appropriate show an aging diva can be seen at since it's all about aging showgirls looking back on their lives. (It's also one of the best musicals ever written but let's not get distracted...)

Mary Tyler Moore got me to thinking about the endurance of our beloved Best Actress nominees. There have been various media Oscar mash notes over the years that have claimed that winning an Oscar helps you live longer and while I can't possibly aim to verify that it does give one pause to realize that Mary Tyler Moore and Vanessa Redgrave just barely made this list. Jane Fonda &  Liv Ullman didn't even qualify.

25 OLDEST LIVING "BEST ACTRESS" NOMINEES

01 Luise Methusaleh Rainer (nearly 102 years old)
This two time Oscar winner, the first back-to-back competitive Oscar winner (The Great Ziegfeld and The Good Earth) is the oldest living Oscar winner or nominee from any category. She turns 102 on January 12th.
Still working? Nope... though she still holds court on occasion. She left the movies behind pretty quickly after her prime.

02 Olivia de Havilland (95 years old)
03 Joan Fontaine (94 years old)
Still working? Nope. The famously estranged Oscar-winning sisters were born to British parents in Japan and became Hollywood stars in short succession in the late 30s. Though Joan beat her older sister to the first family Oscar, Olivia triumphed by winning twice. They're both retired and rarely seen in the media. Fontaine supposedly still lives in California. De Havilland, who has lived in France for decades, did show up at the latest Cesar Awards (the French Oscars) where she received a well deserved standing ovation.

Eleanor Parker was a member of one of the most famous Best Actress shortlists of all time in 1950. The year of Bette vs. Gloria when Judy Holliday snuck in and won.

04 Eleanor Parker (89 years old)
The star of Caged (1950) won the Venice Volpi Cup but Oscar always eluded her despite three nominations. If Oscar would ever think to give actresses honorary Oscars, rather than vaguely film-related female celebrities and men from any film profession, she would certainly be worth considering. She's most famous nowadways for her Baroness role in The Sound of Music for which she was not nominated.
Still working? No. Extremely low profile since that last gasp of TV guest work in the 80s.

05 Doris Day (87 years old)
Speaking of Honorary Oscars... her fans get noisy about that all the time. One of the few people you can say "living legend" about without anyone disputing the title. 
Still working? No. Some people believe that Oscar isn't interested in an honorary because she's not likely to show up.

06 Julie Harris (newly 86 years old)
She was an awards magnet in the 1950s, winning Emmys and Tonys and being Oscar nominated for The Member of the Wedding (1952). She played James Dean's girl in the classic East of Eden. It's on the stage where her legend truly resides though. She's won five competitive Tony Awards, which means she's tied with Angela Lansbury for the most wins ever.
Still working? Every once in a while -- her last film was The Lightkeepers (2010).

06 Fernanda Montenegro (82 years old)
The Brazilian legend won a well deserved Oscar nomination for Central Station (1998) which was also up for Best Foreign Film.
Still working? Yep. Next up is a role for Manoel de Oliviera, Portugal's 103 year old prolific director!

07 Joanne Woodward (81 years old)
Mrs. Paul Newman, one of the most acclaimed actors of her generation, won her gold man for The Three Faces of Eve but have you ever seen her work in her husband's debut directorial film Rachel, Rachel? Wow!
Still working? Very very infrequently. Her last major film year was 1993 when she played Tom Hanks's mother in Philadelphia and provided the narration for Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence.

More powerhouse legends after the jump... Gena, Baby Doll, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and a couple of Dames that are still acting and hugely beloved for multiple generations. 

Click to read more ...