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Entries in Rhys Ifans (3)

Tuesday
Jan292019

Sundance: Keira Knightley has "Official Secrets"

Abe Fried-Tanzer reporting from Sundance

As if there wasn’t enough going on in today’s American and international politics, events that happened a decade and a half ago seem to be coming into focus again. The start of the Iraq war and its implications were covered in the Best Picture nominee Vice and are the subject of two new films premiering at SundanceMurtada just shared his thoughts on The Report, which focuses on the investigation into torture practices used by the United States. Official Secrets takes place across the pond, following the fallout of one British intelligence translator’s decision to leak an NSA memo detailing plans to blackmail United Nations security council members into voting to go to war in Iraq...

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Tuesday
Oct132015

Oscar's Foreign Race Pt 4: "Hey, I know that face!"

"everything u ever wanted to know about the foreign film category
*...but were afraid to ask"

Pt 1 All 81 Trailers | Pt 2 Women Directors & Debut Filmmakers | Pt 3 Zoology 

Actors You Know & Possibly Love
Successful actors really rack up the frequent flyer miles. The savvy ones cultivate relationships wherever they go. The very smartest of them pick up a second or third or fourth language and actually use those languages in their careers. Viggo Mortensen doesn't have quite the Hollywood career he deserves but notice that he doesn't settle - he's truly in love with his craft and uses his Spanish, English, Danish, and French in films all over the world. When the Danish Connie Nielsen was starting to look basic after lots of unsatisfying American films, she reminded everyone that she was actually gifted by going international with France's demonlover and returning home for Brothers. Actors who are bilingual and never use that onscreen are a mystery. It would be fun to see Sandra Bullock in a German movie or Hugh Jackman or Bradley Cooper in a French flick... even if it was only cameos since we know none of them are hurting for work. Why did Mira Sorvino not really capitalize on her Mandarin during her long dry spell? It's no accident that Charlotte Rampling and Carmen Maura never stopped working or that Kristin Scott Thomas only quit working when she wanted to; they speak multiple languages and make films outside their home countries often.

Let's look at the actors with a strong international presence that pop up in this year's Oscar submitted foreign-language films after the jump...

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Saturday
Jul072012

The Not So "Amazing" Spider-Man

originally published in my column at Towleroad

Andrew Garfield hanging about on The Amazing Spider-Man set.

Déjà vu  is an unsettling feeling. You can’t quite place the why and whens of it but you know you’ve experienced whatever this is before. Not so with the reboot of Spider-Man which has been optimistically retitled “THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN” for 2012.  The new webslinging film arrives only five years after Spider-Man 3, that final sour note in Sam Raimi’s otherwise sweet trilogy. This déjà vu is easy to place with the “whens” and thus less unsettling if still perplexing on account of the “whys”. We’re back to summer 2002 when Peter Parker first pined for a high school sweetheart, first indirectly contributed to his uncle’s murder, first learned that with great power comes great responsibility, and first swung around a big screen Manhattan in his iconic red and blue spandex.

Franchises are the comfort food of the movies and though there’s nothing wrong with comfort food beyond its lack of nutritional value, so much depends on the delivery when it comes to the familiar pleasure. The Amazing Spider-Man spins its title card with webbing very swiftly which leaves you hoping for a zippy entertainment with key twists on the mythos to keep you engaged. But after a new corporate thriller prologue featuring Peter Parker’s heretofore unseen parents the movie settles into excessively familiar story beats. We’re forced to wait out the entire numbing origin story again and relive many story beats from the 2002 origin story, with the only major exclusions being the absence of Parker's employment at The Daily Bugle (weird) and no James Franco shaped obstacle to his girl’s affections. Other than that only the names of the major characters have changed: Blonde Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) stands in for Redhead Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) as the love interest Peter likes to photograph; Dr Curt Connors/The Lizard (Rhys Ifans) stands in for Norman Osborne/The Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) as the scientist Peter looks up to whose illegal human experimentation (on himself!) wreaks havoc on his mental stability.

Once you start talking to yourself in an out of body "evil" voice, it's just a matter of time until you're a Green Super Villain. More...

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