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Entries in Scarface (7)


Curio: Michelle Pfeiffer Turns 56

Alexa here. Like Nathaniel I adore Michelle Pfeiffer and can't pass up the chance to mention that she is turning 56 today. Oh if only she were as ubiquitous a presence during awards season as Meryl Streep, with all the plum non-ingenue roles going her way!  Whether it be a lack of willingness or opportunity, the sightings are far too infrequent.

Here are some curios to wax nostalgic over her heyday; if only we could conjure her a brilliant third act.

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Interview: Patricia Norris on 12 Years a Slave, Scarface, Twin Peaks

Patricia Norris with her lifetime achievement from the Costume Guild in 2007Patty Norris is a national treasure but I believe she'd be the last person to say so. When I spoke to the enduring costume designer over the phone about sixth Oscar nomination for 12 Years a Slave, she shocked me again and again with her modesty and her absolute lack of sentiment about what I've always thought of as a very illustrious Hollywood career. But her honestly was, shall we say, refreshing.

The 82 year old's career, as we know it at least, began over just over 40 years ago with westerns like Rio Lobo (1970) and Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971) but she doesn't get misty-eyed or nostalgic about her filmography. "I think it was just luck. I started as a stock girl at MGM and I've always been comfortable with clothes," she explains. But to hear her tell it, her developing career wasn't born of and ambitious creative drive, but from practicality.  "I was married but I was left with five children and I had to support them! So you start taking almost any work. There are a few I would like not to think about!" 

I instantly worry (aloud) that I'll touch on one of those accidentally but if I do in the ensuing conversation, she doesn't let on.

I assumed her current flurry of work (Killing Them Softly, The Immigrant, 12 Years a Slave) was a sudden return from retirement but she corrects the impression. She's just picky since she's been frugal. "It's one of those things. Save your money and you don't have to do anything. I do just what I want to do. If it doesn't come along I just do housework." 

Happily for fans of costume dramas, The Immigrant and 12 Years a Slave came along. And these she definitely wanted to do. [more...]

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Top Ten: Non-Nominated Best Supporting Actresses, 1980s Division

Whew. That title is a mouthful. I know you already know what I mean though, you golden fiends. This very impromptu post is brought to you by a recent Tribeca revival screening of Martin Scorsese's indelible King of Comedy (1983) and this Movie Line interview with Sandra Bernhard herself -- to whom I'm dedicating the list -- who couldn't make it but definitely helped make the movie what it is. My one and only back and forth conversation with Sandra -- over Twitter, the sometimes leveler -- involved how freaking robbed she was for an Oscar nomination for that movie. I couldn't believe I was talking to her but I was not the least bit in doubt that she'd agree with me.

10 Best Non-Nominated Supporting Actress Performances of the 1980s

Honorable Mentions: I think Rosanna Arquette's "Surrender Dorothy" bit in After Hours was quite memorable though the rest of the movie has long since faded; I cherish Martha Plimpton in just about anything but mostly Shy People (1987) and Running on Empty (1988) back in her vibrant teenage River Phoenix-adjacent days.

I Apologize To: Kathy Baker in Street Smart, Mona Washbourne in Stevie (1981), Vanessa Redgrave in Prick up Your Ears and Jamie Lee Curtis in Trading Places who all won devoted fans for those performances in their respective years (and some awards buzz though not enough for Oscar) but, believe it or not, I haven't seen any of those movies!

10 Bridget Fonda, Scandal (1989)
and nine more divas after the jump...

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Rihanna Wants Elvira

Has anyone yet compiled a list of every 80s film that's been remade? It would be long and exhausting and this decade would already be lousing with them. Scarface (1983), like many of the films already remade, is quintessentially 80s but that won't stop Hollywood from going there. Word is that Rihanna is desperate to play Elvira Hancock (the role which was the first real sign that Michelle Pfeiffer was one for the pantheon) should the remake actually go forward.

Rihanna is a member of Scarface's legion of fans

I shouldn't judge Rihanna's acting ability without seeing Battleship (uh...) but her music video work doesn't give me much faith in her as an actress per se. I've always thought her face was unusually inexpressive actually (Not that I'm a Rihanna expert). The thing that really got me LOLin'g about the gossipy news item which originated in The Sun is this:

”Rihanna loves ‘Scarface...Some of her music videos have been based on Michelle’s character, Elvira. She knows all the words and even has her walk perfected.”

I'm not sure knowing all the words counts as a plus in acting before a screenplay's been written!

But I do agree with Rihanna that Elvira has "ridiculous swagger". Given that superiority complex, I'm reasonally certain that Elvira herself wouldn't take kindly to anyone's desire to recreate her. Quoth Elvira:

Don't toot your own horn, honey. You're not that good."


Links: Fiennes' Shakespeare, Moviegoer's Etiquette, Freddy's Bio?

So EDDIE MURPHY it is for Oscar host. I said a few words about that here but it is now confirmed. The one time nominee (Dreamgirls) and legendary standup star will be your host for the Oscars in February. 

Ralph Fiennes © Alastair MuirYour Movie Buddy Kurt unloads about bad theater etiquette springboarding from a recent incident at the Alamo Drafthouse. Seriously, what is wrong with people these days in movie theaters? Don't come if you don't wanna be there!
Playbill Guess his directorial debut Coriolanus (coming to movie theaters soon) is not enough Shakespeare for star actor Ralph Fiennes this season. He's currently playing Prospero in The Tempest in London (pictured left).
The Lost Boy Michael Fassbender talking about Shame in Venice. 
Alt Screen looks at modern critical takes on the brutal gay film Cruising (1980).  
Kenneth in the (212) 'Correction of the Year' from a scandalous book about Vanessa Redgrave and that acting dynasty.

Cinema Blend Lars von Trier wants his frequent actor Stellan Skarsgård for the male lead of his upcoming pornographic epic. 
IndieWire on the top ten hit box office indies this summer season: Midnight in Paris, The Tree of Life, and Beginners lead the pack. (They'll all fight it out for Oscar nominations, too, obviously.)
Clothes on Film on Patricia Norris's amazing character-exposing and era-milieu-specific work on Scarface (1983). Since it's not even close to being one of my favorite 80s movies you may wonder why I link to every good piece on Scarface. And my answer is...

 Duh! Any excuse, you know.

Screen Rant Hawkeye and The Black Widow in their Avengers costumes. Did Joss Whedon set every sequence in the great outdoors for this movie? I bet the actors miss the privacy of soundstages.
My New Plaid Pants Xavier Dolan seven times 
Nick's Flick Picks Nick's annual check list of fall film anticipation. This one with Mariah Carey as theme.
Awards Daily Sasha on A Dangerous Method's Oscar hopes. 

I kind of loved Knightley in this ultimately, even though she might be off-putting to some.  That is precisely what makes it a Cronenberg-strange movie.  Her facial expressions represent the grotesque. 


 Did you see today's Google Doodle celebrating the late Freddie Mercury's birthday? Here it is below. It begs the eternal question: why does his biopic never get made? Wasn't it supposed to be a Sacha Baron Cohen project at one point. When was the last time we heard any news on this one? The Show Must Go On filmmakers.



I'm Linking As Fast As I Can

The Hairpin has a huge piece on Ava Gardner's career, femme fatale posing, and storied romantic life. I always always forget she was married to Mickey Rooney because it just seems so wrong.
My New Plaid Pants Thursdays Ways Not To Die... Fashion Faux- Pwned (Serial Mom)
The Critical Condition looks at three (unfortunate) differences between "The Help" as a book and The Help as a movie. 


Movie|Line first pics from Bel Ami --not an historical epic about the gay porn studio -- wherein Robert Pattison sexes up various actresses we like: Uma Thurman (pictured below), Christina Ricci and Kristin Scott Thomas
The Wow Report congratulations Carrie Fisher on her new look. Jenny Craig worked wonders! 
Cinema Blend Universal keeps dropping film projects. What's going on? 
Grantland predicts the Worst Supporting Actress for this year's Razzies. Agreed that Blake Lively's got at least a nomination sewn up for Green Lantern.
Socialite Life Michael Ian Black recalls his sex scene with Bradley Cooper in Wet Hot American Summer. (Cooper is the only holdout so far on a sequel.) 
IndieWire Jim Carrey's video love letter to Emma Stone. So random.

Finally, did you hear about the big Scarface reunion party to celebrate a special edition BluRay release? Scarface himself Al Pacino, Oscar winner F Murray Abraham, 80s character actor Robert Loggia and 80s hunk Steven Bauer were on hand. But without Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (what, was she too busy?) and especially without Elvira herself, Michelle Pfeiffer, what is even the point? I'm assuming Pfeiffer wasn't there because she's filming Tim Burton's Dark Shadows in London at the moment. But if The Avengers cast can leave Cleveland for a 10 minute walk on at that Disney convention last week, shouldn't they have flown La Pfeiffer cross the Atlantic to class up that party a little? 



Scouting New York Fun/creepy. Take a retro tour of American Psycho's New York City landmarks. 
Pajiba Speaking of Christian Bale. The web is abuzz with all those Dark Knight Rises on set photos now that filming has commenced. I agree with Iggy on Tom Hardy's lipless "Bane" look, however true to character it may be. Iggy wrote...

Hardy. Better with lips.

it must be a cinematic crime hiring Hardy, the most lusciuous male lips, and make him wear that thing. Could this be considered playing against type?

Geekscape Since Batman is in the air, why not a ranking of all filmed Catwomen? I find it hilarious that Anne Hathaway is included in this six-wide field since she hasn't even purred yet. Who knows how good she will or won't be? The Pfeiffer write up is insightful.
Twitch Superhero fatigue has not yet set in. Commissioned scripts for Ant Man and Doctor Strange have been turned in to Marvel Studios. 
My New Plaid Pants surveys the current wanting cinema crop 
Twitch Forbes Highest Paid Actors list: Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio are up top but the list is soooo 1990s as if nothing ever changes in Hollywood. 

La Daily Musto Hello Gorgeous. Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) will star in the revival of Funny Girl. I'm stunned and happy. Here's a video making the rounds of her doing the famous closing number "My Man"

It's such an interesting choice because it clearly signifies that the producers are NOT trying to duplicate Barbra. Which is, I think most people of sound minds would admit, the only sane way to approach reviving such an iconic connected-to-one-legend piece of theater.

Austin Translation "there's a snape in my boots" 
Regretsy Zombie Golden Girls 
Broadway Blog the original Evita and Che, Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin are reuniting for a limited run concert on Broadway. 

Finally, mark your calendars for August 31st. Gonzo 80s 'classic' Scarface will be showing at 500 screens nationwide to celebrate an epic Blu-Ray release. I'm not wild about the movie which is so widely embraced by gangstas who love its excess unironically and ignore its cautionary tale finale. But if you've never seen it you'd be crazy to miss the chance to see Michelle Pfeiffer's first great performance on the big screen. That year's supporting actress nominees can kiss her skinny pampered ass. Imagine that arguably star-making backless dress / elevator descent entrance on the big screen! Al Pacino's ambitious criminal is hypnotized and so were movie audiences, rescuing La Pfeiffer from her then status as 'Grease 2 girl'. If her entrance isn't enough imagine those 80s dance moves, or the huge-ass sunglasses. Chase those Pfeiffer visuals with mounds and mounds of coke snorting and utter icy contempt for everyone in her field of vision... including herself. She's mesmerizing. Oh and, yeah, some people would describe the movie that way, too.