Asghar Farhadi has another Oscar contender on his hands...

Oscar History

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Oscar Horrors: The Sixth Sense

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Entries in Shirley Maclaine (23)


Wild Oats Poster & Trailer

by Manuel Betancourt

Shirley MacLaine and Jessica Lange are in a movie together. It's called Wild Oats and it was directed by Andy Tennant of Fools Rush In and Sweet Home Alabama fame. You can see why this news is vexing. We should be thrilled about seeing MacLaine and Lange together (in a comedy no less!) but it might not be a great addition to this growing "Old dames having a ball!" genre that's become a staple of late. 

The film, which follows the two Oscar winning actresses "newly rich" (given a banking error in one's husband's insurance policy), "newly single" (see above), and "forever young" (they're timeless, these glittering movie stars) looks to be a tad more Hello My Name is Doris than I'll See You In My Dreams, with a whiff of The Exotic Marigold Hotel. Oh, and did I mention it co-stars Demi Moore? 

You can check out the trailer for Wild Oats, which I'm still processing, below. Does it look like a film you'd change the channel for? Perhaps. But I admit that the "Have you ever seen The Graduate?" line had me smirking to myself, and few things are as entertaining as seeing actresses you love having a good time on screen.


HMWYBS: "The Turning Point"

Bancroft & Maclaine reminisce in The Turning PointBest Shot 1977 Party. Chapter 2
The Turning Point (1977)
Directed by: Herbert Ross
Cinematography by: Robert Surtees

When The Turning Point is remembered today, on the rare occasion that you hear it name-checked, it is nearly always in connection to its status as Oscar's all time loser (11 nominations without a win). That "achievement" was later shared when Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple (1985) met the same Oscar fate, entering the competition as a very big ticket and coming away empty-handed. It's surely no coincidence that both films are women's pictures. Oscar has grown increasingly wary of films about and for women over their 88 year history; that's not a mark on the films themselves but a stain on film culture and the Oscars. 1977 was in some significant ways, the very last Oscar year to be dominated by women. The sole "boys" movie up for the top prize was Star Wars, which perhaps also not coincidentally became the film which most Hollywood films aspired to be thereafter. Yes, 80% of the Best Picture nominees in 1977 were actually about women. Can you imagine it?!? That's a huge percentage which has, alas, not happened again in the 39 years since. Most Best Picture years since have been the reverse of those numbers, when in a more sane world it'd be about 50/50 since, you know, that's actually how the human race breaks down. 

Bronze. I think this is trying to be the film's signature image, but there are two many climaxes preceding it and following it to quite pull it off.

But now we're straying into Oscar stats when what we really want to talk about is this ballet melodrama and its gauzy prettiness. Worthy of 11 Oscar nominations? Surely not but that's not because of its subject, its genre, or its cast of accomplished women... 

Click to read more ...


Beauty vs Beast: Cillian Time

Howdy and Happy Monday, folks, Jason from MNPP here with your "Beauty vs Beast" for the week - this time around we're wishing the great and still somehow under-rated Cillian Murphy a happy 40th birthday! He hits the milestone on Wednesday, and we couldn't be happier to watch him age - his smooth-skinned preternatural prettiness was kind of too much to look at once upon a time. Time has made him seem more human, less alien and terrifying, which on the one hand is a loss, but I think that he's a great enough actor that it's one he can overcome with ease.

Anyway in his honor we're stepping back to a role that, contrary to everything I just said, showed him at his most human and his most terrifying all at once, with Wes Craven's terrifically entertaining 2005 thriller Red Eye. Cillian Murphy plays Jackson Rippner (yes really!), the viscious cat to Rachel McAdams' determined little mouse Lisa, and they Tom-n-Jerry each other all over an airplane. S'good times!

PREVIOUSLY We put on our best brave face to face off the mother-daughter team of Terms of Endearment, and in the end it was "Big Momma" MacLaine who stuck her head through the sunroof to victory, taking about 64% of the vote. Said Suzanne:

"Aurora is winning because Shirley MacLaine is one of the great screen actresses but somehow doesn't seem to get enough credit. Also because I voted for her on each of my electronic devices."


Beauty vs Beast: Daughter Dearest

Howdy, folks - Jason from MNPP here with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" is which we'll be celebrating the 61st birthday of the great Debra Winger. I assume most of you, being right and proper actressexuals, have seen the terrific documentary bearing her name Searching For Debra Winger, but if not, get on that. I haven't seen it since it came out in 2002 and part of me wonders if it's maybe, hopefully, begun to feel a bit dated? That film feeling dated can only be a good thing because it means roles for actresses are getting better. If nothing else, Winger herself has been working somewhat steadily over the past few years with recent roles on In Treatment and the Netflix series The Ranch.

All that said, we're really here today for Classic Winger...

PREVIOUSLY Two weeks back we celebrated the sexy time that is A Bigger Splash with a glance back at its original (and also sexy) incarnation, 1969's La Piscine - stuffing the ballot box like he did those speedos, Alain Delon carried off about 80% of your votes. Said Steven:

"Alain Delon>>>>>>>every young pretty boy out there in Hollywood."


Beauty Break: Happy National Siblings Day!

Let's hear it for siblings, fictional and otherwise! Today is National Siblings Day so I dedicate this to my sister and brothers even though they're not movie people and won't read this. But let's look at beautiful photos of three of our favorite sets of screen siblings. Starting with the most successful of all...

Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...


The Honoraries: Debbie Reynolds in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" (1964)

This week we're celebrating the three Honorary Oscar winners. Here's abstew on Debbie Reynolds' favorite role.

Molly Brown is my favorite of all the roles I've played. I love something about almost every part I've done, but I identified with Molly as soon as I met her. In the sometimes blurry line between art and and real life, Molly is the woman I've become as the years have passed. I'm right there with her when she declares, "I ain't down yet!"

-Debbie Reynolds Unsinkable: A Memoir

In her decades long show business career, amid the watchful eye of media scrutiny, Debbie Reynolds has endured trials and tribulations and come out the other side of it stronger. Caught in a Hollywood scandal, the original jilted girl-next-door (long before Jennifer Aniston was even born), Reynolds stood by while then husband Eddie Fisher left her and her two young children for screen siren Elizabeth Taylor. Her luck with men didn't improve later as second husband Harry Karl spent years gambling away her hard-earned money, leaving her with mounting debts to cover. Even her dream of finding a permanent home to house her legendary collection of movie memorabilia never came to pass and forced her to put them up for auction. So you can see how playing a character like the real life Molly Brown, who survived the sinking of the Titanic, earning her the moniker "Unsinkable", would find a kindred spirit in the guise of feisty spitfire Debbie Reynolds. The actress, like the legendary woman, simply doesn't know what it means to be defeated...

Click to read more ...


The Forever Link

Before We Get Started...
Here's the only sane reaction to the news that The Lovely Laura Linney (who has barely been on movie screens these past five years) has joined the cast of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. This comes from Aaron Fullerton on Twitter:

Laura Linney was cast in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 and, for her sake, I hope she simply introduces it like an episode of Downton Abbey.

The Links
NY Times profiles Tom Hardy on the cusp of even wider stardom with Mad Max: Fury Road
The Guardian looks at five great moments from Shirley Maclaine's career
CHUD Director Josh Trank (Chronicle) has left the as yet untitled Star Wars spinoff film
EW interviews Matthias Schoenaerts about Far From the Madding Crowd, being called "the Belgian Brando" and his favorite movies (he loves David Lynch!)
Coming Soon from Shakespeare to a video game adaptation? The MacBeth team (Fassy, Cotillard, and director Justin Kurzel) are doing Assassin's Creed together.
The Dissolve Helen Hunt reuniting with the director of The Sessions for a road trip movie. Dakota Fanning co-stars
The Dissolve Because A24 is the best one of their next projects will have Cary Fukunaga telling the true story of a father who went on a cross-country walk to work through his grief about his gay son's suicide
Deadline Channing Tatum to star in an adaptation of the old sci-fi novel "The Forever War" from the 70s which is about soldiers fighting an endless war with no clear concept of why they're fighting. Apparently the novel has ideas about the future including the eliminating of heterosexuality (?) and the melting pot creating one homogenous race that are hard to imagine in movie form, given Hollywood's timidity about race and alternative sexuality 
MNPP a fun new poster for the horror comedy Cooties 

Superhero Mania
Time Out the first ten Marvel films in 40 gifs -- this would have been so much faster than that Marvel Marathon I attended!
Comics Alliance shares 11 in universe or comics references within the movie
Bryan Singer keeps releasing photos of his new X-Men team from the set including Jean Grey () in acid washed jeans and Jubilee in that familiar yellow jacket
Mark Ruffalo is calling Marvel out on their lack of female action figures
Pajiba collates a list of actors and directors considered for all the Marvel movies - what a difference many of them would have made
Dark Horizons they've narrowed down the new Peter Parker to Asa Butterfield and Tom Holland. Holland is the better actor but immensely less famous so let's hope they realize they don't need pre-movie fame for one of the most globally famous heroes ever created

Showtune to Go!
Remember Robin De Jesús, that awkward drag-loving teenager from Camp (2003)? He recently turned 30 and here he is from his new cabaret show #TheStruggleisReal (May 4th at 54 Below) doing Miley Cyrus ("Wrecking Ball" is totally a standard already) and reminding us that there was more to that movie than Anna Kendrick's breakout.