I've been gone for two weeks and festivals are quite a bubble. What did I miss? Besides the impending apocalypse (when I left everyone said Hillary was a done deal and when I returned everyone was acting like Trump has already won).
Entries in Renée Zellweger (23)
Everyone’s favorite contemporary British heroine is back: Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) is now successful, at her ideal weight, and alas still single. In Bridget Jones’s Baby, she has two surprising one-night stands with different men: an American dating guru (Patrick Dempsey) and her former flame Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). Then she’s pregnant: who could the father be? Will we see misunderstandings and shenanigans along the lines of a typical Three’s Company episode? Unfortunately, yes…yes, we do.
The original 2001 Bridget Jones’s Diary remains a mini-classic of its kind: one of the most dignified and intelligent of its genre (romantic comedy), yet it also transcends the genre, truly plumbing some depth (as mainstream movies go) about accepting who you really are, and understanding what love actually is. It went beyond your typical “boy and girl like each other because they’re in a movie together as leads” mentality and went to the heart of the characters’ specifics. With sharp, interesting acting from its three leads (Zellweger, Firth, and Hugh Grant), the film had snap and verve; it felt vital.
Diary’s skilled director, Sharon Maguire, didn’t return for the first sequel (Beyond Reason) but is back in the chair for Baby...
Apartment Therapy Nancy Meyers movie kitchens ranked (somehow The Intern only makes it to 5th. I just saw that and it was surprisingly warm and adorable... and yes still filled with real estate porn)
The New Yorker looks back at the Cassavates classic Faces (1968)
/Film Ghost in the Shell producers are finally responding to whitewashing casting controversies. They promise they've been 'very very careful' with the beloved material even though they cast a white actress (Scarlett Johansson) in the iconic Japanese role. We love Scarlett so so much but this type of thing continues to be a huge problem.
/Film There's going to be an actual Captain America statue in Brooklyn's Prospect Park
Cinematic Corner celebrates Margot Robbie (there will be a lot of that going around soon)
Variety Animation Awards for Europe soon -- their version of the Annies
Screen Crush Thor: Ragnarok officially began production in Australia yesterday
Awards Daily Why not give Roger Deakins the Oscar he has long deserved this year for Hail Caesar!
Theater Mania Lin-Manuel Miranda and JLo are collaborating on a song to benefit the victims of the recent Orlando shooting
EW American Horror Story Season 6 has a new logo (which looks like a devilish 6) a premiere date (9/14) and most of the cast from Hotel will be back though Lady Gaga is rumored to have a supporting role this time around which begs the question of who the lead will be? Let's hope it's Sarah Paulson. Why keep searching for new leads when your MVP is right there all the time.
AV Club CW seasons will now be available just 8 days after their season finale on Netflix
Towleroad new behind the scenes photos from season 2 of Sense8
MNPP on the broken promise of Rick Yune's nude scene in Marco Polo Season 2
Comics Alliance the Harvey Award nominees for comics in 2016. Valiant Entertainment thoroughly dominated the nominations. Here's one category you can investigate if you're interested
- BEST ONLINE COMICS
- Albert the Alien Trevor Mueller & Gabriel Bautista
- Battlepug Mike Norton
- Bloom County 2015 Berkeley Breathed
- Oh Joy Sex Toy *NSFW* Erika Moen & Matthew Nolan
- Zombie Boy Mark Stokes
Two Controversial Pieces on Actresses
Variety's Owen Gleiberman is looking forward to Bridget Jones's baby, sort of, in the piece "Renée Zellweger: If She No Longer Looks Like Herself, Has She Become a Different Actress?." It's prompted lots of calls of sexism but it's an interesting article that wonders what we're supposed to do when actors who play characters we love who no longer look like the characters they created (not from aging... though people who are offended by the article keep saying that. Sorry people but Colin Firth still totally looks like D'Arcy. Just an older D'Arcy). I myself always wish actresses wouldn't mess with their faces (if they must, temporary measures are best since the effects wear off if they don't look right!). Their faces are their brand and actors are famous partially because they're so beautiful just as they are. Why mess with perfection? I don't think it's true -- and I keep reading it -- that if actresses don't mess with their faces they don't get work. From what I've seen actresses who mess with their faces in any noticeable permanent way actually STOP getting much work. It distracts audiences too much. Note how Kate Winslet, Annette Bening, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, and so on keep aging and keep working.
Wesley Morris' piece for the New York Times "How I Learned to Tolerate Blake Lively" is ostensibly about her performance in The Shallows and Hollywood's ever rotating it girls. People are offended by this one too - partially due to the interchangeability notion of blonde actresses. But it's also interesting because it gets at something that I think anyone can relate to: the experience of loving an actor that Hollywood has moved on from. 'Wait, I wasn't done with _____! " that Wesley says this about Kate Hudson is bizarre but to each their own.
Jason from MNPP here with our Tuesday serial "Beauty vs Beast" - one of our most anticipated movies of the year is out this upcoming Friday with A Bigger Splash, director Luca Guadagnino's reunion with his I Am Love star Tilda Swinton. (I saw the two of them talk here in NYC recently and the love is real, people.) Coming along for the ride is the hottest cast this side of sex-dreams - Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson, and my Belgian boyfriend Matthias Schoenaerts. (Back off, people - when you've done over 100 posts about him maybe we can talk.) The sweat's been palpable in every trailer we've seen, and we can't wait.
I imagine most of you know this film is a remake of Jacques Dera's equally perspirant La Piscine from 1969, which starred Alain Delon, Romy Schneider, Maurice Ronet and Jane Birkin as the equally (maybe even more, somehow???) photogenic foursome, and that's where we're taking you for today's challenge. I'm not sure how well-seen this movie is these days so I foresee a lot of votes being cast simply for "Alain Delon in a swimsuit" but I have no problem with that. It deserves recognition! (Plus Ronet's no slouch in the sex department.)
PREVIOUSLY You guys sure were hot for Chicago and those dangerous dames at its black jazzy heart - with just under 600 votes the contest was as tight as Roxie's fringed dress, but she ultimately stomped her way to the title with .34% of the vote. Wowza! Said Nick T:
"The fact that these women are so close to tying is probably the best way to reward two great characters who'd be livid that they're tying with anyone at all, especially each other."
It's Monday and this is Jason from MNPP writing at you, so it must be time for another round of "Beauty vs Beast" -- this week's duo are each individually and together beautiful and beastly all at once, and I don't know which their prouder of, honestly. A little of this, a little of that, some razzle dazzle and a lotta sheba shimmy shake. Indeed we speak of that pair of murderin' funny honeys Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta Jones) & Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger) in Rob Marshall's 2002 Oscar winner Chicago. Today is Renée's 47th birthday and this we do in celebration of her. Now make like Lipschitz and choose.
PREVIOUSLY Last week we took a little ride on the Pineapple Express and y'all decided it was James Franco's Saul that two-thirds of you decided you wanted bringing up your caboose. Seth Rogen had his defenders though -- taking up his cause in the comments forever1267 had this to say:
"Big laugh. Big personality. Big Dorkiness. Big Chest hair. Seth Rogen is my secret crush boyfriend."
Murtada here. Graham Norton always manages to coax stories out of his visiting guests that somehow they never divulge on this side of the Atlantic.This week his guests included Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, selling Florence Foster Jenkins. Norton brings up a recent interview in which Grant claimed all his co-stars hated him. Julianne Moore, Rachel Weisz, Emma Thompson, Sandra Bullock and Drew Barrymore are name checked. Clearly the Music and Lyrics (2007) set was not a happy one as this is what Grant said about Barrymore:
She made the mistake of giving me notes. How would you take that?
Meryl's response is perfect and gets the biggest laugh. Deservedly. She knows how to land a line!
Meryl divulges the one movie in her oeuvre she isn’t happy with. I thought it would be Still of the Night (1982) which she has spoken about before. But it’s actually The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981).
It's a fun talk show moment. And wouldn't we all love to get a glimpse of Renee Zellweger's 48 pages long emails. Do it Hugh, put them on twitter! Is The French Lieutenant's Woman really Meryl's most dubious moment on screen?
Soon, we'll be buried in an avalanche of awards news again so tonight a brief respite from the current Oscar race. It's Q&A time. Here are eight reader questions I chose to answer. I skipped anything on Category Fraud because I feel so exhausted by that fight ("though undeterred in my moral superiority!" he says arms akimbo and chin up, like a superhero with cape billowing behind him, sworn to upheld 'the Awards Way') and I might have to freak out all over again on nomination morning so let's ignore it for now.
MDA: What 2015 release that you were looking forward to watching disappointed you the most?
NATHANIEL: It feels stranger to answer with a film I liked, especially one that's already getting a critical rethink by way of surprise top ten placements but maybe Magic Mike XXL? While I admire its super cajzh vibe and its focus on female pleasure, I'm puzzled as to why they went more demure with the sequel when they kept promising it would be more stripperific i.e. what everyone expected from Soderbergh's first brilliant film (which you'll remember was a Bronze medalist for Best Picture right here.)
Another big disappointment was Sisters. It's totally funny don't get me wrong. But that's all it is. It's strange that we know that Tina Fey can write brilliant comic masterworks (30 Rock, Mean Girls) but keeps wasting her star power and comic gift on propping up other people's wildly underwritten cliché-filled scripts. I'm beginning to wonder is she even wants to make another comedy classic? Perhaps she's fine coasting until retirement. But it's hard to not wonder what could be if she'd only apply herself again.
EZ: I hereby grant you special powers to go back in time and attend an Academy Awards Ceremony of your choosing. Which year do you choose and why?
NATHANIEL: This question sounds nice until you realize the genie has only granted you one wish instead of three. So stingy!
Retro Oscar Races, Domnhall Gleeson, Bridget Jones's Baby, and more after the jump...