Advertisement
Advertisement
HOT TOPICS



Advertisement
NOW PLAYING

in theaters



review index

new on DVD/BluRay

Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

Powered by Squarespace
What'cha Looking For?
Comment Fun

COMMENT DU JOUR
Love Affair (1994) - as "A Year With Kate" nears its conclusion

A YEAR WITH KATE... 2 episodes left

 "A really beautiful look into the careers of one of my favorite actors, but it's made me consider the careers of so many different actors and how the great ones adapt to eras while still staying true to themselves. This is a special, lovely series. I both cannot wait for and am so sad for the end next week.-John T

 

Beauty vs. Beast

Rhett is all "as if i could lose this poll" - Have you voted?

Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

Subscribe

Entries in Samantha Morton (10)

Friday
Dec052014

Interview: Liv Ullmann on 'Miss Julie', Jessica Chastain ...and Carrie Bradshaw?

Jose here. The first thing I tell Liv Ullmann is that I remember being ten years old and having my father introduce me to the work of Ingmar Bergman. 

That Swedish legend directed her in more than ten films including Persona, Cries and Whispers, and Face to Face for which she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. She offers me a warm smile, touches my shoulder and says “oh, thank you”. During our conversation I realize how much she “talks” with her hands, which she uses to draw figures on a table, to mimic camera moves and also to touch her face in an expression of awe, as she talks about the work of the actors she directed in her adaptation of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie (opening today in NYC).

She hadn’t directed a film in almost fifteen years (since 2000’s Faithless), but was compelled to return behind the cameras when she was given carte blanche by producers who asked her to make a film about a femme fatale. She chose Strindberg’s classic because she felt there was much that still hadn’t been said about the title character. As played by Jessica Chastain Miss Julie is a rebellious soul who pretends to be in control, but has little self awareness. She finds her true self through the way she treats her servants John and Kathleen, played by Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton respectively.

Ullmann moved the story to 1890 Ireland where she felt the socio-economic inequality between the characters made more sense than in Sweden. She unleashes the three characters in a castle straight out of the most existential version of Hamlet and infuses the text with color, both literal and figurative, to make the most compelling version of Miss Julie to be put on screen, a tribute to Bergman, Strindberg and a reminder that Ullmann’s work both behind and in front of the camera is always a pleasure to watch. She talked about her cast with passion, explained her thoughts on conveying physical space on film. And she even talked some Carrie Bradshaw! [after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep142014

TIFF: Miss Julie or, Acting: The Movie! 

The 2014 edition of TIFF ends tonight and so will Nathaniel's review coverage with Still Alice. Wrap-ups and Oscar updates coming shortly thereafter. Now Liv Ullman's Miss Julie... 

"Kiss my shoe!" Colin Farrell reenacts critical reaction to Chastain's debut film year

This review contains 126 year-old spoilers if you’re not familiar with August Strindbergh’s one act play, which has been adapted to film frequently. The play is about the bored, lonely, and loveless daughter of a Baron, Miss Julie (Jessica Chastain) who enjoys toying with the servants, especially with John her father's valet (Colin Farrell). She flirts shamelessly even in front of his fiancé the cook (Samantha Morton) ordering him to perform sometimes demeaning and not very valet-like duties, like kissing her shoe or bringing her flowers. The story takes place in a single night in which the valet and the lady of the house will consummate their extremely uncomfortable and scandalous attraction with incredibly disastrous results... especially for Miss Julie. If 19th century Swedish country estates had been unionized John surely would have told her what wasn't in his job description. 'Not that. Not that. Definitely not that. You're playing with fire, Miss Julie!'

We understand Miss Julie's maddening hypocrisies straightaway as, when the story begins, she's already ordered the cook to feed her dog "Diana" an abortive dinner since the naughty girl has had sex with the gate keeper's mongrel dog. Foreshadowing 101 anyone? Diana is played by an adorable pug so we'll ignore, for Jess's dignity, that the play indicates that the dog ought to resemble Miss Julie! The pug laps down the meal hungrily and then proceeds to whimper through the entire first scene. This too proves foreshadowing, as yours truly began to do the same. If only Samantha Morton could have scooped me up, as she mercifully does with the confused pup, to carry me out of the screening room! 

more...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul252014

Yes No Maybe So, Eros: "Miss Julie" & "50 Shades of Grey"

It's a steamy class-conscious double-feature edition of Yes No Maybe So today with the recent debuts of two adult-oriented "nasty thoughts" dramas. They're both directed by women which is an unexpected plus from the complete rarity of it and oh my god I never want to type that sentence again because it's so infinitely gross that it's being typed in 2014. First we have iconic actress turned director Liv Ullman's adaptation of Strindbergh's classic Miss Julie about a cross-class dalliance between a lady (Jessica Chastain) and a servant (Colin Farrell) and then we have rising director Sam Taylor-Wood turned Sam Taylor-Johnson*'s adaptation of the not-classic best-seller 50 Shades of Grey which is also a cross-class dalliance between a fledgling reporter (Dakota Johnson, spawn of Melanie & Don) and a billionaire  (Jamie Dornan, who has already spawned thank god because those genes must not go to waste!). 

Which of these movies do you most want to have sex with right now?

Don't be shy.

Let's get to the YNMS breakdown starting with Miss Julie. There is so much more after the jump... I'm longwinded today.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun062014

Thoughts I Had... While Looking at the Poster for "Miss Julie"

Presented in the order they appeared without self-censorship...

img src

Audrey Hepburn in Green Mansions (but better dressed which is weird to say about anything Audrey)

That neck purse looks very uncomfortable

Oh how cute, all three stars are Golden Globe winners.

I hate when Cate Blanchett chops Samantha Morton's head off in 'Elizabeth: Full Throttle'

That's a pretty wide stance... is she running? Doesn't the whole play take place in a kitchen? The posters already panicking "open it up. open it up"

Period frizz is the enemy: See also La Pfeiff in that age that was innocent.

 Liv Ullman is flawless in Bergman movies. I did see her last directorial gig Faithless (2000) and I liked it as an actor's showcase but not more than that.

Green is my favorite co-- no, second favorite color. Purple.

I wish this were directed by Jane Campion but then she's always the first choice with ladies in bulky dresses out in the elements

This is the French poster to your left. Which to prefer?

Redheads are so hot right now. If Ariel were alive and still had her legs she'd probably compete for Isla Fisher and Amy Adams's parts. But not for Jess's.

I saw a play with Sienna Miller once called After Miss Julie which is just basically Miss Julie for Brits instead of Swedes with some politics. So I've never understood why there's another one. But then I've never seen Miss Julie performed and am no expert on it. And this has Jessica Chastain so level up. 

I forgot to say anything about Colin Farrell.

 

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.