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Entries in Ridley Scott (19)


Oscar Scuttlebutt: Hateful Eight, Best Actress, and More

Nathaniel, popping in from a busy AFI schedule to gossip with you!  

One of the best things about this annual trip to Los Angeles, besides meeting West Coast fans and spending time with rarely seen LA friends, is hearing the gossip around the Oscar campaigns and individual opinions on the movie. As I suspected Youth resonates with a lot of people in the industry. I've always thought the Oscar conversations on the internet are sleeping on this one because it's a) not in theaters yet and b) skews older than active rooting interests of typical online communities. Also extremely happy to report that people in town seem more confident in Charlotte Rampling's prospects for a 45 Years nomination than I have previously been. She's getting a tribute at the AFI and Kirsten Dunst is even hosting a party in her honor this weekend.

Now, one must always take every anecdote and opinion with a whole block of salt since one man's treasure is another's junk, some assumptions will always be proven wrong, and depending on who is talking there may be an agenda floating around, visible or well hidden. Here are some tidbits you may be interested in though keep in mind that it's all just hearsay after the jump...

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Why Isn't 'Cinderella' an Oscar Contender?

Glenn here.

You will no doubt have read – or least seen the headlines – that people are saying that Ridley Scott’s The Martian should be taken very, very seriously as a Best Picture contender. I’ve even seen people claiming it could win, which seems awfully bullish given its hastily rising status in Oscar circles is due almost entirely to the film’s overwhelming success at the box office in the face of a glut of underperforming Oscar players like Steve Jobs. But amid this new wind of blockbuster excitement and the snickers at (contractually obligated) Oscar campaigns for other big-budget, uber-successful movies, there’s one film that has so far gone under the radar in the conversation and ought to be taken far more seriously than it likely will be.

Yes, I mean Cinderella... more after the jump

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Familiar Faces: The Ridley Scott Players... do any exist?

Ridley & Giannina on the red carpet last yearThe Film Experience recently had the chance to sit down with director Ridley Scott, currently enjoying one of the warmest receptions (great box office and reviews, of his career, for The Martian. We'll share that interview later in the season but here's one detail up for discussion right now that you won't get elsewhere.

We've always been fascinated at The Film Experience by the familiar faces that pop up in the filmographies of famous auteurs. The average moviegoer knows, for example, that De Niro and DiCaprio are Scorsese pets and that Tim Burton has trouble leaving his bed if it doesn't involve putting a camera and weird makeup and Johnny Depp. But do we really think of any particular faces when we think of Ridley Scott? His tightest collaborations are behind the scenes. The editor Pietro Scalia, and the production designer Arthur Max, both of whom he started working with on G.I. Jane (1997) have worked on most if not all of his films since that Demi Moore military pic. Costume Designer Janty Yates won an Oscar for their first collaboration on Gladiator and she's costumed nearly ever picture since. Ridley's cinematographer of choice at present is Darius Wolski who has shot every feature since Prometheus (2012) but he switches DPs from time to time. He switches casting directors even more regularly which could also contribute to the lack of "familiar faces" that we like to point out in this intermittent series of course. 

I asked him about this in our interview and he quickly cited his most well known collaborations (Russell Crowe and Sigourney Weaver) but shrugged the lack of general repetition off, diplomatically, as a matter of timing. If he made smaller pictures, he explained, he'd jump at the chance to work with actors he enjoyed the first time around again. Before we switched topics he name-checked Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender as happy repeats. Perhaps as a result of the scarcity of examples, any repetition of actors in his filmography feels like something of a happy accident to we moviegoers rather than an intentional choice. 

Let's look at Ridley's repeat actors after the jump... who would you like to see him work with again? 

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Yes/No/Maybe So: The Martian

Manuel here to talk space trailers. It’s been a week since the trailer for Ridley Scott’s latest project about Matt Damon getting stranded in Mars dropped, and we have been mum about it here at TFE. Is it because we have no Fassy to look forward to this time around? Or because we prefer our Scott vehicles better when they involve a certain Ms Weaver? The Martian centers on Watney (Damon), an astronau that finds himself stranded in the red planet when a NASA mission is forced to quickly retreat. Alone, unable to contact Earth and armed only with a month's worth of food, he sets out to survive in a planet where, as he says in the trailer, nothing grows. Will his science-know how keep him alive long enough for him to call for help and wait for his team to rescue him from Mars? We'll have to wait until November to find out! 

In the meantime, let's break down the trailer in true TFE-fashion:


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Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings

Michael C here to look at an embattled new wide release. 

Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings is so dead in the water, so consistently baffling in its choices, that it is difficult to know where to begin. How about the simple fact that when one is adapting the Old Testament there is no getting around God? 

Gods and Kings doesn’t go so far as to omit God altogether. The Lord is present (sort of) in the form of a petulant eight-year old child who first appears from behind the burning bush to issue vague marching orders to Moses. What Scott and his quartet of screenwriters do attempt is an end-run around the almighty in the form of an ill-considered attempt to wedge the Book of Exodus into the Batman Begins mold where all the miraculous events are brought down to Earth with realistic explanations, or at least semi-plausible interpretations.

Is God really talking to Moses or is Moses talking to himself because his exile knocked a screw loose? Does God intervene at the Red Sea or did the Jews get lucky with a fortuitous low tide? [more...]

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Linkman & Emmywoman

First Things First: at Movie City News the "Gurus of Gold" have begun (yes, I'm a part of it again) and as David Poland points out there are seven films that made almost every list: Birdman, Gone Girl, Boyhood, and Unbroken tied at 1st place with Foxcatcher, Selma, and Interstellar just behind themMost pundits are feeling these as Best Picture threats. Look at the whole chart though to see how everything fared. The highest ranking films that were not on my list (we were asked to submit 15 films) are Wild and Inherent Vice

Birdman Flies
Early rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival from The TelegraphVariety and THR and a couple positive but not ecstatic reviews from The Guardian and The Film Stage are up and surely bode well for the film.  I'm holding off on reading them as I want the movie fresh when I see it. But others may want to dive right in.

Anger Making
Yahoo talks to Tyler Perry. The Madea franchise star/director claims he didn't know who David Fincher was when he signed on to Gone Girl and he wouldn't have done it if he knew how "mainstream" he was. What the F'in hell? Yes, Tyler Perry a bastion of "edgy" cinema. He's also been a voting member of the Director's branch of the Academy since 2009 which means he's been asked to judge and vote on Fincher's work twice. Way to be a conscientous voter!

Other Linkage
The Playlist 10 overlooked greats from the 1970s. I gladly support the inclusion of Girlfriends (1978) but I haven't seen the others
HitFix Deborah Ann Woll talks about moving on to Daredevil and the difficulty of leaving True Blood's Jessica behind
Pajiba Ridley Scott is 76 years-old but his plate is super full. How many more films is he planning to make exactly? 
Cinematically Insane will layoffs and monetization at Turner Broadcasting affect TCM? 
My New Plaid Pants Superman takes the ice bucket challenge 
The Dissolve Mike D'Angelo looks back at "Best Actress" of 1989 -- we all know that shoulda been Michelle Pfeiffer but others are discussed, too. 
VF Neil Marshall (The Descent) wants to direct a Black Widow movie. Also talks Game of Thrones

Emmy Hangover
The Nib Liza Donnelly's caricatures from the evening 
Pajiba's liveblog with Courtney Enlow icymi
We Recycle Movie's "lateblog" with Anne Marie and Margaret 
Towleroad icymi it on Emmy night, Billy on the Street's Emmy dash was the most hilarious of few hilarious things that night 
Showtracker wonders if Game of Thrones can rise in Emmy estimation with Breaking Bad moving out of the way 
Salon what the Emmys revealed about the broadcast vs cable war on television 

Vulture Mark Harris has a long read on "The Making of Foxcatcher" - so much Mark Harris to read. (I'm reading "Five Came Back" very slowly because I am learning so much about late 30s/early 40s Hollywood on every page.)
Funny Or Die Mark Duplass and Ted Danson go to couples therapy over Prince's Purple Rain suit

Fun Interview
Assignment X talks to one of our favorite British thespians, Olivia Williams about her new series, films (very briefly), makes fun of her own accent work and this, my favorite part, on her stellar role in Joss Whedon's Dollhouse:

Joss legendarily starts to adapt your character as the series goes on to how you really are, and I started off as sort of a calculating bitch and ended up being rather motherly and a bit of an alcoholic, and I can’t think where he got that from.




My Favorite Moment in the "Exodus" Teaser

New Policy. Though The Film Experience invariably prefers teasers to full trailers on account of our spoiler aversion our Yes No Maybe So is one of our most popular features. So herewith we shall always do Yes No Maybe Sos on only the teaser for films we very much want to see and don't want spoiled and we'll just skip the trailers altogether (I am so grateful I did with Snowpiercer). Other films, we'll wait on the full trailer to do our full duty... especially those movies that were spoiled centuries ago like Exodus: Gods and Kings. 

 FYI for those of you who haven't read it, the Bible is full of spoilers. It's practically a reality TV show it's so fond of telling you what's coming up next and then what just happened recapping. [More...]

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