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Entries in Rachel Weisz (25)


Review: Denial

by Eric Blume

It’s kind of surprising how good Denial isn’t.  The new film is about a Holocaust historian (Rachel Weisz) who has libel charges thrown against her by a racist Holocaust denier (Timothy Spall). The basic story is absorbing and filled with potentially interesting ideas but it's executed in the most perfunctory manner. It’s as if the actors, director, and crew showed up every morning and said, “okay we know the scene we need to shoot today -- maybe let’s try cameras here and turn on some of these lights we have sitting around. Let’s do this!”.  

Director Mick Jackson has previously won an Emmy for the lovely Temple Grandin for HBO, and previously made L.A. Story and Live from Baghdad; he's not without talent.  But Denial proves shapeless, not only in the shot construction, but all of the beats, and even in our feelings towards the main character.  We’re kept at a visual and emotional distance from Weisz’s Deborah Lipstadt. This is not unlike what happened with Jack O’Connell’s character and performance in Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken: the protagonist is front and center but doesn't do anything --  things are done to them...

Click to read more ...


Rachel, Rachel. Link, Link.

Rachel Rachel! No not the 1968 Oscar nominated Paul Newman / Joanne Woodward movie. But Weiz and McAdams. They're set to co-star in a Jewish lesbian romantic drama Disobedience. Good luck to whichever lesbian romantic drama with A list actresses has to follow Carol. Is this the next one that'll see release?

Other Clickables
NPR in the wake of Ben Affleck's stupidly titled The Batman, 27 better titles
Theater Mania Mulan will be the next Disney toon to get a live action remake. In 2018
The Guardian Leonardo DiCaprio states the obvious that is weirdly not obvious to many people on earth: climate change deniers should not hold public office 
Variety Laverne Cox, Ava DuVernay, Helen Mirren, and Scarlett Johansson will all be honored at Variety's Power of Women event on Oct 14th
In Contention a look back at The Departed's "non campaign campaign" for Oscar glory
Comics Alliance Iron Fist has a first teaser just as we're reaching oversaturation with Marvel's Universe
The New Yorker an amazing piece on the Nat Turner story and The Birth of a Nation
/Film FX's great animated series Archer will end with Season 10
AV Club Mahershala Ali, having a great year with Luke Cage and Moonlight, may get the prime villain gig in Alita: Battle Angel
MNPP Armie Hammer photos from an army thriller called Mine
Variety Westworld gives HBO great opening numbers
Coming Soon in honor of Westworld, 13 weird westerns
Towleroad another famous gay proves to be a right-winger blinded by his own privilege and idiotically thickheaded about what causes hate crimes. Lucian Piane of RuPaul's Drag Race --oy!
Playbill Wicked stars Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth both released new albums last week. Both hit the Billboard top 40 albums 

Interview Magazine talks to the incomparable Parker Posey on her improvisatory work with Christopher Guest (including the new Netflix film Mascots premiering October 13th)

Parker Posey photographed by Craig Mcdean for Interview

Some of these scenes last, like, 15 minutes. And it's so disappointing when you see the final cut. You bring so much of your life and your story, and then it's just whittled away, you know? Chris likes his movies to really fly, to leave the audience wanting more—which is the rule of comedy. So his movies are kind of short. I like a three-and-a-half-hour documentary. I like Frederick Wiseman, Grey Gardens[1976] ... I'd love these movies to be so much longer than they are. You should see what Jane Lynch and Ed Begley Jr., and Michael Hitchcock and Don Lake come up with, by the minute. 



Reasons Why Rachel Weisz is in "The Light Between Oceans"

by Murtada

Mild Spoilers, proceed with caution.

The Light Between Oceans opened this past weekend to OK reviews (including a positive one from Nathaniel). But as I sat watching Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander fall in love, I was waiting for Rachel Weisz. And I kept waiting. She appears very late in the film and even then her character is still secondary to the main narrative. So I tried to imagine why would Weisz take this part. Why would she play second fiddle to an up-and-comer (Vikander wasn’t well known when this was shot almost 2 years ago).

And actually there a few good reasons: 

• Shooting in gorgeous New Zealand. Besides the knitwear, the locations are the most breathtakingly beautiful thing in Light. Weisz never actually makes it to the lighthouse, but the quaint town where her character is ensconced has beauty to spare.

• Deepening her relationship with Derek Cianfrance. Apparently an early iteration of Blue Valentine (2010) was supposed to star Weisz and Jeremy Renner. It fell through because of financing woes.

• Sharing scenes with Michael Fassbender. What an actor, what a man. Maybe Weisz was shown pictures of him in period undershirts - his best look in the movie - and that's why she signed on. 

Three very good reasons (besides liking the story and the part). Have you seen Light yet? And could you imagine Blue Valentine without Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling? 

Best Acting. New Oscar Predictions

Having just taken a trip back to 1984 for the Smackdown and memory sufficiently jogged about how dense the acting branch can sometimes be (the discernment skills vary so much annually it can feel like invasion of the AMPAS body snatchers in some calender years) I'm finding myself in the odd position of defending my more extreme hunches from my more cynical side.

Huppert is amazing... and (more importantly) Huppert-esque in ELLEBEST ACTRESS
Whenever you make a call here suggesting that so & so in some non-Oscary film actually has a shot at an acting nomination, people are prone to scoff. But each year's Oscar races have so many intangibles in the acting categories that it's best to keep an open mind. The four acting categories are arguably the categories that are least beholden to the actual movies since a famous actor doesn't need a strong picture to generate buzz nor do they (in some cases) even need for people to actually like their movie they're in or, in fact, see it. And then you have the vaguely opposite case where a particular movie, whether or not people actually warm to it as a whole, can remind the world how fabulous a particular actor or actress always has been...

Click to read more ...


Derek Cianfrance: the Now and the Next

by Josh Forward

Derek Cianfrance, the man who made cinema fans everyway sit bolt upright with excitement at his stunning debut Blue Valentine is about to release his third feature The Light Between Oceans. Both films, and his second, the multi-generation epic The Place Beyond the Pines, show his preoccupation with the dark intricacies of doomed romances and families pouring out into gripping cinema. His talent with actors is evident again: Reviews are mixed to positive for the film overall, but leads Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, along with supporting player Rachel Weisz are all solidly praised.

Opening wide and based on a popular novel, this is Cianfrance's first dalliance with what could be considered a "mainstream" film. As much as his cinematic fascination with the mucky and the unflinching darkness in human nature can be mainstream at least. But it does have a more traditional narrative and sweeping landscapes to match. The words "sentimental" and "soap opera" are even being bandied around.

His next project, announced this week, may prove a progression of this trajectory. It's another literary adaptation, this time of S.C. Gwynne’s “Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History". The scale of the story is epic, and it could be his biggest movie yet. Although this is a story without tortured lovers (at least as its driving force), when Cianfrance discusses it, it still sounds firmly in his wheelhouse...

The passing of the torch, passing of pain, and decisions, and the ripple effect of decisions".

The same quote could easily be said about The Place Beyond the Pines.

This film has taken a long journey to screen. A screenplay based on the same book was developed in 2010 by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry, the Oscar winning screenwriters of Brokeback Mountain. This would have been their first film since that masterpiece in 2005, but this adaptation appears to have nothing to do with this development, with the script written by Cianfrance himself with his Pines co-writer Darius Marder over the last three years. It's a shame we won't see another script yet from current one hit wonders McMurty and Ossana, but Cianfrance has certainly earned his auteur stripes and screenwriting chops. 

No actors have been attached yet, but cross all fingers and toes that some great Native American actors find representation on our screens.


YNMS: Denial

Manuel here with yet another sign of the Rachel Weisz renaissance we all so spiritedly discussed a few weeks back. When the trailer for The Light Between Oceans surfaced I was probably not alone in earmarking her supporting role in that Vikander/Fassbender weepie as a chance for the actress to nab her second Oscar nomination (which most of us had vainly hoped she’d net with her beautiful work in The Deep Blue Sea). Well, there may be a clearer path for the actress with Denial which is, after all, squarely focused on that most Oscar-ey of topics: the Holocaust.

Rather than focus on the event itself, the film centers instead on a very public libel suit in the UK in the 1990s between a writer, David Irving (Timothy Spall), and a historian, Deborah E. Lipstadt (Weisz) after she accuses him of denying the Holocaust. Let’s break down the trailer YNMS-style after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Rachel Weisz: A Brewing Renaissance?

Currently on screen in Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster, Rachel Weisz has so many upcoming movies, she got Murtada wondering if a renaissance is brewing...

My Cousin Rachel

The Lobster is doing gangbusters in limited release and with critics. To these eyes it is uneven and Weisz is absent from its best part. In fact her performance is so bland, it weakens the second half of the movie particularly in comparison with the highly entertaining first act where Colin Farrell and particularly Olivia Colman are exultingly funny. Even when Weisz is front and center she seemed lost, not sure of the rhythm of the film. A supporting player like Lea Seydoux, with much less screen time, was more in sync with Lanthimos and the rest of the cast and outshines Weisz in the section they share...

Click to read more ...