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Entries in Samantha Morton (9)

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.

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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. 

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 ...