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Entries in Rene Russo (9)

Friday
Jul152016

Beauty Break: Vintage 1977 - Magazine Covers

Liz, and Liza and Halston, Oh my!

Reminder. At the end of the month the Smackdown returns with a look at the Supporting Actress Race of 1977 (The Turning Point, Julia, Close Encounters, The Goodbye Girl, and Looking for Mr Goodbar so get to watching so you can vote!).

To get you in the mid to late 1970s mood, if you lived through them, or just to engage your curiousity if you didn't, a collection of magazine covers from the year in question. Naturally we'll start with two Best Actress winners and then hit the general collections of showbiz covers...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul262015

1995 Bonus Podcast !

We're spoiling you with two podcasts this week. We'll talk Ant-Man and Southpaw tomorrow night but here's an extra bonus episode in which Nathaniel, Nick, and Joe each recommend a 1995 film they remember loving that they'd like to revisit or wish that more people would talk about. The conversation wanders, as it does, to the Best Actress race, Scorned 2 ??? "Meryl's third Oscar!" talk (duh), and the films of Michael Mann ???

Contents (45 minutes)
00:01 Mia Kirshner in Atom Egoyan's Exotica 
04:30 Kathy Bates as Stephen King's Delores Claiborne
07:45 Lili Taylor of The Addiction
10:55 Random loved titles: Babe, Nixon, etcetera
14:10 Actresses of 1995 outside the Best Actress nominees: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Toni Collette, Holly Hunter, Parker Posey, Rene Russo, Ashley Judd, and more...
31:11 Get Shorty
34:30 Michael Mann films and Heat

Ashley Judd in "Heat"

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes.  Continue the conversation in the comments...

1995 Bonus Chit Chat

Wednesday
Jan282015

Best Supporting Actress: The Poll & My Ballot.

Think of our newscast as a screaming woman running down the street with her throat cut."

Rene Russo is so hardshell intoxicating in Nightcrawler. I understand the potshot I've heard a couple of times that she's cribbing from Faye Dunaway in Network (one of the all time best performances of any kind) but if you're going to steal, steal from the best. My favorite thing about her work is the way she both recoils from and recalibrates to Jake Gyllenhaal's Lou Bloom constantly. She's repulsed by him (witness that amazing date scene) but recognizes a soul mate... or rather, a mate in soullessness, and the financial worth of that. 

Anyway, I jumped ahead. While the world prepares to celebrate Patty, Emma, Meryl, Laura, and Keira on Oscar night, we take a brief time out to continue the Film Bitch Awards. Though I enjoyed all of those Oscar nominated performance only two made my own correlative list: the steamrolling Patricia Arquette and Keira Knightley. Knightley has really been pushing herself in the last few years and her commitment is showing in more relaxed, more interesting, and more successful performances. While The Imitation Game isn't her most challenging role, there's something to be said for perfection. She nails her every scene and very nearly saves the film from itself on a couple of occasions.

Keira, surprised to see her name again.It's always a difficult thing to extract five performances from the hundreds available in the supporting realm and say "these five. right here" but it must be done. My "was considering" list was about 24 women long but in the end I went with the aforementioned British beauty, two semi-forgotten actresses who vividly reminded us of their gifts, our most versatile new chameleon, and a singular icon who had a rather amazing multi-headed year of memorable new characters. 

Check out my ballot for why I voted this way. And make sure to vote on the Oscar poll in this category, too!

Wednesday
Dec032014

Red Carpet Lineup: Gotham's Revenge of the Nineties

NATHANIEL: Hello dear readers. I'm pleased to announce the return of the Red Carpet Lineup series for awards season kicking off with The Gotham Awards. It's the fashion series for people who don't care who people are wearing so much as who be doing the wearing. This season I'm happy to say that two ladies who could walk the red carpet themselves are joining me: TFE's Los Angeles Branch divas Anne Marie & Margaret.

I'm calling this post "Revenge of the Nineties" because look at all these Nineties A-Listers? or at least B+ Listers (hi Heather Graham!) lighting up the room again.

UMA, ROLLERGIRL, RENE, FAMKE, and KEENER

MARGARET: I love the variety. Whatever else you can say about these outfits, they all should have felt pretty confident they weren't going to see anyone else showing up in the same thing.

NATHANIEL: I have a 100% certainty about which of these outfits Anne Marie would wear (The Russo - ding ding ding) but Margaret? If you were a 90s superstar trying to get your groove back what would we see you in?

ANNE MARIE:  I'm actually wearing Rene Russo's jacket right now. How awkward...

NATHANIEL: ...But Margaret? If you were a 90s superstar trying to get your groove back what would we see you in?

MARGARET: I think I'd go with Ms. Janssen's ensemble. All of these outfits are A Lot of Look, but that kicky little mini-dress looks easiest to pull off without mega-star-wattage, plus it provides a welcome dash of color in a neutral-heavy lineup.

NATHANIEL: Awww, "kicky" is my favorite underused adjective and Famke is one of my favorite underused stars

ANNE MARIE: Speaking of A Lot Of Look, what exactly is going on with Catherine Keener? Is that a dress? A coat? I like it in concept, but in execution it looks like a boxy reject from AHS: Coven

Broken toes, Alien haircuts, and secrets to luscious movie star hair after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov032014

Review: Nightcrawler

This article was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad.

It would be disingenuous to claim that Jake Gyllenhaal is unrecognizable in Nightcrawler. It's hard not to commit Gyllenhaal to memory once you've seen him. But it would be true to say that he is less recognizable in Nightcrawler. The effect is not unlike the rubberneck squinting at the new Renée Zellweger, trying to place the differences that unsettle you.

The actor dropped 30 lbs to play his new character and lived on the night shift to prepare and it wasn't for the strenuously faux-noble reason of biographic fidelity. It must be method madness that led him to burrow into this altogether terrific star turn as Lou Bloom, a gaunt sleepless thief turned "journalist". The big difference with this Gyllenhaal is in the eyes. Those big impossibly romantic orbs have lost all their soft blueness. They're suddenly bulging from their skull, like they want to escape it. Or like they're planning to hypnotize you while the mouth delivers its mechanical sales pitch.

And with Lou Bloom, the sales pitch never stops. The night owl approaches each conversation like it's a job interview, checking off catchphrases and talking points from his mental checklist. This is all well and good for the film's first reel when Lou is trying to find a job. But when he chances upon an accident one night and sees nightcrawling freelancers filming it, the search is over; he makes it his mission to join this profession. It's here where his can-do "I'm a hard worker" salesmanship begins to ferment and spook. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov022014

Podcast: Birdman, Pride and Nightcrawler

In this episode of the podcast, Nathaniel, Nick, Joe and Katey are charmed by Pride's ensemble balancing act and political smarts. Then we're adamantly split on the merits of Birdman and but (mostly) thrilled by its craft wizardry. The acting also impresses with special attention paid to Michael Keaton's closeups, Andrea Riseborough's surprise facility with "fun" and Nick's Edward Norton problem. We wrap up with Nightcrawler's duet between eye-popping Jake Gyllenhaal (who splits opinion) and Rene Russo who deserves more good roles immediately. "Get it bitch!"

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download on iTunes tomorrow (it generally takes 24 hours to show up there). Continue the conversation in the comments! 

Birdman & Nightcrawler