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Entries in Samantha Morton (6)

Friday
Apr112014

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Decoding Annie Parker"

Counter-programming in the summer. Love it! Decoding Annie Parker, a movie about early strides in Breast Cancer Research arrives on May 2nd. Samantha Morton plays the title character, a young mother who is diagnosed with breast cancer. She seeks answers as her husband (Aaron Paul, who sure is working a lot) struggles to understand/deal. A pioneering doctor (Helen Hunt) is also on the case in this true story.

We'll break down the trailer after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun242013

"It won't cost much... just your voice!"

I realize it's only* voicework but I'm bit sad that Samantha Morton's voice has been removed from the upcoming Spike Jonze picture Her. She was to voice the operating system that Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with in lieu of, one supposes, flesh and blood options. I thought Samantha was brilliant in insert anything from her filmography here, and even though it was only* voicework, I was anxious to "see" her again.

Morton has the most terrible ratio of talent-to-role opportunities. I don't quite get what's happened to her career as she's one of the best screen actors alive. Still, since the world has a very short memory I didn't notice much mourning online about her replacement when the news broke. Or maybe that's just because Scarlett Johansson, her replacement, is early Aughts popular again. Scarlett weathered the storm of a lame but lucrative patch in her career in which she seemed more model/spokesperson/celebrity than talent. She seems interested in actually ACTING again (see multiple trips to the stage and a wonderful spin on Black Widow the second time around) so I am free to root for her again, too.

Scarlett's voice is a wonder, it's true. But also quite an expected choice for this type of role since her timbre is so effortlessly sexy. I guess I didn't quite expect the obvious from Spike Jonze which is why I'm still processing this news.

Anyway, do you miss Samantha Morton? If you're asking "who?"... please state your age! She couldn't have faded from collective memory that quickly, could she?

When it comes to singing actresses, I'm as greedy as Ursula! In other Beautiful Voice News, Anna Kendrick has been cast as Cinderella in Rob Marshall's adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's fairytale mashup classic Into the Woods (2014)... a movie we're tracking closely but very worried about.

Since we first fell in love with Kendrick as evil scheming Sondheim-singing Fritzi in Camp (2003) and haven't ever felt quite that proprietary/excited about her again (but loved hearing the voice again in Pitch Perfect), this is potentially very good news. With Into the Woods and The Last Five Years (just discussed) both arriving in (presumably) 2014, and so quickly after Kendrick's first real success as a headliner (Pitch Perfect) will she be the first modern actress to really embrace becoming a star of film musicals?

Can you already here her version of "At the Palace"? (♥ that song!)

He's a very smart Prince,
He's a Prince who prepares.
Knowing this time I'd run from him,
He spread pitch on the stairs.
I was caught unawares.
And I thought: well, he cares-
This is more than just malice.
Better stop and take stock
While you're standing here stuck
On the steps of the palace.
-Cinderella in "Into the Woods" 

Everyone else in Mainstream Hollywood seems to think of musicals as one-off larks, something to do to say that you've done it or to demonstrate how "game" you are to mix things up. (Though Anne Hathaway won an Oscar that way she's built her massive career on diversity of genre so I'd say she's unlikely to stick to the form or even return to it for some time. Sad face. CZJ was obviously born to do them but it took how many years between Chicago and Rock of Ages?) If Kendrick makes a success of both of her plum movie musical gigs next year, I shall build a shrine to her.  

* I realize "only voicework" might enrage some readers and some voice actors! I don't mean it derogatorialy but for whatever reason I've observed that many TFE readers really value voice-only work in movies more than I do. Is this generational and tied to the second golden age of animation? I wonder... I mean I don't want there to be a whole Oscar category (do you?) but I do agree that brilliance is possible within the limitations of acting with one's voice alone. 

Tuesday
Sep042012

Take Three: Samantha Morton

Craig here with the penultimate ‘Take Three’. This week: Samantha Morton...

The Artists are present: Samantha Morton (and Marina Abramovic) doing jury duty in Venice right now

She's currently advising R-Pattz in Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis on screen and serving as a jury member on the 69th Venice Film Festival off screen.

Take One: Under the Skin (1997)
After some acclaimed TV and short film work, Morton made her feature bow in Carine Adler’s Under the Skin. In it she plays Iris, a girl selfdestructing and suffering due to the death of her mother. In this blistering debut Morton flits between girlish abandon and hot-tempered wilfulness. At times the camera has trouble keeping up with her as she weaves through life picking up numerous sexual conquests in retaliation for not being able to confront her grief. Other times, the camera can’t seem to pull away from its close focus on Morton’s expressive face, as in the scene where she enters a church and tearfully gazes at the congregation.

Iris’s spiralling descent into sexual oblivion is every bit as bruising and obsessive as, say, Michael Fassbender’s Shame odyssey – but from a far more adult viewpoint. (Whatever Fassbender’s Brandon did, he never had a guy piss on him for empty thrills – something Iris experiences here.) Iris vainly makes herself over by donning her dead mother’s clothes, wigs and makeup in an attempt to ‘become’ her in order to keep the memory close. Morton subtly alters Iris’ actions by veering between this maternal imitation and the fractured shell of a girl she really is. Authenticity is paramount to Morton and she shrewdly maintains a delicate balance between sexually assertive and introverted that never once feels contrived or tied up in actorly affectation. She's been a risk taker and has kept it real from day one.

Morton putting on a different face in "Under the Skin"

Control and The Messenger after the jump

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug272012

Cosmopolis, or: The Absence of Feeling

Hello Readers!

Beau here, detailing my experiences with David Cronenberg's polarizing new feature, Cosmopolis. 

Let's jump right in.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun142012

Twins: The Poetry of "The Twins"

Are you enjoying the twins series? I can't tell but if not, what do you have against Geminis?

Pre-Cogs

A few days ago my mind flashed violently back to Minority Report (2002). I blame the recent screening of Prometheus (2012) since both films belong to the school of Gah!mazingly Art Directed Sci-Fi Movies that are nonetheless problematic given their collisions of greatness and "really?" moments. The other thing tying them together is one Not Entirely Human performance (Samantha Morton as "Agatha" / Michael Fassbender as "David") that is so damn enjoyable and smart that you can forgive a lot just for the pleasure of watching the actor do his or her best genre thing.

Fact: Samantha Morton and Michael Fassbender are inhumanly great actors.

Twins have always fascinated non-twins and not just from the visual double takes. Their assumed psychic connections suggest all sorts of telepathic supernatural and psycosomatic implications once you let your mind wander.  [The poetry of twins after the jump...]

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