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Entries in Shailene Woodley (14)

Saturday
Jun072014

Review: "The Fault In Our Stars"

This review originally appeared in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

Shailene Woodley is everywhere. Which... well, I hope you like looking at her face. Not content to be the face of the post-Hunger Games YA dystopia fever (Divergent), she's also continuing that other everygirl thread in her career. She reads more like a girl next door, someone you know, than a STAR!; pretty but not intimidatingly gorgeous, relatable not charismatically mysterious.  She's specalized in earnest portrayals of ordinary teens getting their first taste of the tough stuff in life: death and desertion (The Descendants), disease and disappointment (The Spectacular Now). Hazel Grace Lancaster, her character in The Fault in Our Stars, doubles down and has to deal with all of it. 

Hazel is a 16 year old with thyroid cancer that has spread to her lungs. She needs an oxygen tank to breathe, which she drags behind her like a depressing carry-on she wishes she could check. Though she's outlived the initial prognosis she's acutely aware that she'll never grow old. Inbetween flashes of well earned self-pity and sarcasm, she worries about her parents (the well cast Sam Trammell and Laura Dern, who is reliably excellent) and how they'll survive her death. She attends a cancer support group for teenagers, at her mother's prodding. Mrs Lancaster hopes it will lift Hazel's depression and help her make friends.

Enter the Dreamboat Boyfriend... 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun022014

Link o' the Morning To You

Film Society NYC's annual Asian Film Festival starts at the end of the month and will pay tribute to Jimmy Wong Yu (Taiwanese director), Lee Jung-jae (Korean actor), and Sandra Ng (Hong Kong actress) among others. Lots of interesting sounding films as usual
TMZ a few dozen images from the set of Star Wars Episode VII - mostly it's just charactor actors mulling about Tattooine sets with dark sunglasses in those earth colors heavy robes. Don't get too excited.

MNPP Good morning Jamie Dornan. This new photoshoot seems to be taking over the web (but I am willing to predict that 50 Shades of Gray won't do justice to Dornan's smolder.
LA Times Ann B Davis, "Alice" the housekeeper from The Brady Bunch has passed away. She was already a two-time Emmy winner when she started that show in 1969 but can you believe The Brady Bunch was never nominated for a single Emmy? Of course the awards were much different then with far fewer categories. Out of curiousity I looked up on the nominees that year from The Brady Bunch's first year 69/70 and the winning comedy was "My World and Welcome to It" and the winning 'new series' (a category they don't have anymore) was "Room 222" which was an interracial drama. I've never heard of either.
Towleroad Penny Dreadful [SPOILERS] got a man on man kiss last night between Josh Hartnett and Reeve Carney. I did *not* see that development coming given what we've seen of Hartnett's character
Collider James Cameron on his new projects, Avatar and Terminator franchises, and one old aborted movie involving a webslinger
James Cameron's Spider-Man Treatment  I can't decide whether or not to read this. I love Cameron movies so much that I fear forever wishing this had happened

 

Brie & ShaiToday's Must Read
Lynn Hirschberg invites Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson to dinner for Vulture and she agonizes about how to cook for them (in a kind of gentle mocking tone?) and they talk friendship, staying honest, and fixing Hollywood. Brie Larson reveals that she misses rejection ("it's real and I don't want to lose that") and Shailene talks about her failed Oscar campaign for the Descendants (‘Are you telling me that if I dress a certain way, my chances are better for an Oscar? That makes me want to show up naked.’).

Anyway it's a great read...

They both approved of my soup (thank God!) and did not question my out-of-­season tomatoes imported from some ­faraway, nonlocal place. The girls talked like long-lost sisters, airing their ­frustrations and expectations in equal measure. Woodley, for instance, hates sleeping scenes in movies. “It’s so ridiculous the woman wakes up and she’ll have makeup on! I don’t even look like that after a photo shoot!” And both women worked hard not to be judgmental. “Girls in this industry sabotage one another,” Larson said. “We will never do that.” It was a lovefest with big stakes: Together and apart, they were constantly pondering how to improve the movie business. Or, at least, how to mobilize their army of two.

It's  sad to me that Shailene Woodley spoke out against feminism recently because she clearly doesn't know what it means and would love it if she got educated and understood it.

Tuesday
May062014

In Blog No One Can Hear You Link

MNPP "Do Dump or Marry" with the cast of Neighbors 
Shadowplay "everything that's wrong with Stanley Kramer..." (Judgment at Nuremberg) 
Cooper wishes a happy birthday to silent god Rudolph Valentino with beauteous gifs
Pajiba a righteous rebuttal to Shailene Woodley's ignorant anti-feminist comments
In Contention I should have linked this on my Star Wars day post but Kris did a history of Oscar and George Lucas' galaxy far far away

HuffPo Emma Stone and Gabourey Sidibe on their own body image and ignoring the haters ("too skinny" / "too fat")
Kenneth in the (212) loves Desperately Seeking Susan (as do I). You can visit the locations as they exist now in NYC 

small screen
Variety the rumors were true. Lisa Kudrow's brilliant biting showbiz satire The Comeback is returning to television. Albeit for a tiny six-episode run
Kevin P. O'Keefe terrific retrospective on the brilliant pilot episode of Glee all those long long years ago...

On a whim, I rewatched the pilot episode of Glee – first aired five years ago this month – just to see if it was as good as I remembered it. If anything, it’s better. In fact, it’s great. Yet watching Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and co. fresh-faced, unaffected by the ills that would befall them and the show over the next five years, is strangely heartbreaking. It’s a bit like watching a horror film backward.

I am so confident that show would have a gorgeous place in history if they had only wrapped it up with Season 2. 
AV Club Ancient Egypt is hot right now in Hollywood what with Ridley Scott's Exodus in production and new series from HBO and Fox going there, too. Spike TV joins the parade with a new series Tut
Comics Alliance how did I never hear that cheesy Electro Woman and Dyna Girl from Saturday Mornings in the 70s got its own unaired TV pilot in the Aughts? 

Today's Must Read
The Daily Beast looks back at Battlestar Galactica and charts what ineffable fanservice quality it had at the time that helped reshape pop culture. Really good piece which touches on a lot of genre films and tv that pop culture currently or still worships.

must see
I somehow missed this recent BuzzFeed gallery on movie posters improved with animation. Some are annoying with all the choppy looping reset feel that comes with most gifs. I like the subtler ones like the tense Sigweavie breathing of Alien or the elegant rippling Atonement but my favorite is probably this one for Fight Club. Pointedly cinematic... literally.

 

 

Moving posters for motion pictures are the future. Learn to love them.

 

Sunday
Mar232014

Review: Divergent

This review originally appeared in my column at Towleroad

Erudite. Dauntless. Abnegation. Amity. Candor. Doesn't have quite the same ring as "Charisma. Uniqueness. Nerve and Talent" does it? But it's with the awkwardly titled five factions of DIVERGENT's world that we begin. In some future Utopia young citizens must choose their faction (a fancy word for tribe) on their 18th birthday after taking an aptitude test that reveals where they truly belong. They have the option of any faction but most, we are led to believe, choose either the tribe they grew up in or the tribe of their aptitude and these are often the same. Nature vs. Nurture and all that, you know.

Our heroine Tris (Shailene Woodley) lives with her parents in Abnegation, the "selfless" tribe that runs the government -- your first clue that this is total science fiction! They also feed the homeless (aka the "factionless"), dress like monochromatic fashion-forward Amish and eschew mirrors. Beatrice is played by Shailene Woodley and her parents are Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn (Scandal) - our first clue that this is actually a Dystopia*; how long could any of them survive without mirrors?

Tris is ready to jump and we continue after ours...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar182014

Kate Winslet is FINALLY a Star

Here is abstew on Kate Winslet's star ceremony

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the ground of Los Angeles literally shook in anticipation of Kate Winslet's star today.

Don't worry, that earthquake in LA yesterday morning was all just a PR stunt orchestrated to commemorate the unveiling of the Oscar winner's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! (That Divergent budget must be massive.) But a little ground swell didn't stop people from coming out to celebrate Kate's star at Hollywood and Vine. Kathy Bates, wearing a fabulous black and white mumu, auditioned to appear alongside Carrot Top in his Vegas act as she debuted a prop-heavy comedy routine about Kate having to clean her own star. But so Kate's not embarrassed by doing so, Bates supplied her with an "I'm NOT Kate Winslet" T-shirt. And I immediately went on eBay to buy a knock-off of it. Shailene Woodley (see Divergent this Friday!) spoke off the cuff about how Kate was always prepared and pleasant on set and then got a little choked up as she spoke of what an amazing role model she is. (Kathy Bates was seen gathering her things and mumbling, "sure, go the cheap sentimental route...) 

Kate, who joked that she had a breast-pump in hand as the earthquake rumbled that morning (always boobs with her), gave a short but sweet speech about how honored she was. She also pointed out that Titanic was 18 years ago (well, technically 17, but I'm sure filming it made it feel much longer) mainly just to remind us all that we're old if we remember seeing it in the theatre. But honestly, I'm kinda thrilled that she finally has a star! I mean, Jennifer Lopez, Vin Diesel, and Jennifer Aniston all have them–it was time. Now, she's just got to get working on that Tony in her EGOT to complete her collection...

The video, which really starts at about 1:21, is below. That Kathy Bates bit kinda has to be seen to be believed.

Sunday
Sep012013

Review: The Spectacular Now

Hey everybody. Serious Film's Michael C here to take advantage of the late-Summer doldrums (Getaway, anybody?) as an excuse to draw attention to a terrific movie currently passing through theaters with insufficient critical fanfare.

The genre of high school romance is so moribund by cliché that most savvy film watchers probably feel like they could outline an entire film just from hearing the premise. If, for example, I were to tell you that The Spectacular Now begins with Miles Teller’s Sutter asking out a shy bookworm (Shailene Woodley) in an attempt to make the prettiest girl in school (Brie Larson) regret dumping him, you would probably contend, with understandable certainty, that the film would hold few surprises for you. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun202013

Leo, Lists, Ladies, and Link Love

French Toast Sunday 5 best summer movies? Confession: I have never seen Crooklyn but always wanted to. 
Gawker on Cher's wiggy performance on The Voice 
The Local did you hear this story about how a French teacher an 11 year-old class Saw? WTF? At least pick a classic horror with artistic historical merit.
Guardian the next Star Wars sequels are looking for a teenage female lead? Whoa. I guess Hunger Games and Twilight are even more influential than they appear to be

Variety Miss Saigon is returning to the boards but I'm personally still curious as to why the movie version has never happened?
My New Plaid Pants the three things you need to see from the Anchorman 2 trailer
Los Angeles Times Show Tracker the women of Mad Men speak about the impending end
Film Flare awww, I had totally forgotten about "Elizabeth Taylor" on Sex & the City 
The Cinematic Katzenjammer Shailene Woodley cut from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (ahem, 5). What, no Mary Jane? Seems odd to cut her just as her star is rising
Empire speaking of which. Here's more on her Hunger Games which is called Divergent
Hark, A Vagrant! takes on The Secret Garden 

On Leo...
Awards Daily asks why Leonardo DiCaprio is so often ignored by the Academy (brought on by The Wolf of Wall Street trailer). I know he has many devout fans and I am often criticized for not adoring him wholeheartedly these days but I disagree (and muchly) with the notion that his work has improved with age. I still think he has beautiful moments in several of his recent star turns but as a whole from film to film he is not pushing himself and is deeply repetitive in his acting choices (not just in the surface role similarities I've mocked like his run through The Dead Wives Club).

But I harbor no illusions that the Academy shares my opinion of his gift...

I think it's as simple as this: Leading Men who are considered beautiful always have to fight harder for Oscar love. That's all there is to it (well, that and them preferring five other people each time he's missed out). Paul Newman and Jeff Bridges, two of the best screen actors of all time, didn't win until their 60s and Leo isn't nearly that good! Plus he's only 38 years old. Leo has the same amount of acting nominations as Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp and the similarities are instantly noticeable, aren't they? Good looking marquee value men who are often viewed as STARS first, ACTORS second (whether or not that's an accurate description). I have no doubt Leo will eventually win -- and I think nominations will be much easier to come by in his 40s after whatever hiatus he plans to take -- but I think if it doesn't happen for him with Wolf, he'll have to wait until at least his mid40s and possibly much longer as many desirable leading men have had to in the past. I'm not sure why everyone expects the rules to be different for this one actor. The question of why not yet is as simple as the male dominated Oscar's completely obvious binary gender standards: they usually like to award female actors for being young and hot and, to some extent, new; and they usually like to award male actors for their bodies of work when they have stood the test of time (and are less sexually threatening).

 

 

This Sunday...
Oooh, I totally wanna watch this. Oprah is talking to four black actresses on their unique struggles in Hollywood on her new network. (Do I even get this network? I do not know)

Alfre Woodard (that's enough right there!), Viola Davis (YES), Phyllicia Rashad (makes sense) and Gabrielle Union (Bring it!) which is a classy lineup, don'cha think?

Also
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