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Entries in Supporting Actor (96)

Thursday
Jul232015

Yes No Maybe So: Freeheld

Manuel here eager to discuss the new trailer for Julianne Moore and Ellen Page's upcoming lesbian drama, Freeheld. Nat is swamped off-blog today so it's up to me to rush in to talk about this (ugh watermarked!!) trailer that premiered last night. We all know where the TFE readership will fall in pre-viewing collective excitement about Peter Sollet's film about the legal fight of a local cop with the Ocean County, New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders over her pension benefits transferring to her domestic partner after she's diagnosed with lung cancer. But that won’t stop us from submitting it to our handy Yes No Maybe So test, and typing YES several times in the next couple of paragraphs.

The breakdown and trailer after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul192015

Titus Andromedon and the "GBF"

Please welcome new contributor Kyle Turner to the team, who has previously Smackdown'ed right here. In the wake of the Emmy nominations, he's here to talk about one very particular film & tv trope - Editor
 

In Tina Fey’s book of autobiographical essays Bossypants, she describes with delight and nostalgia her time growing up working at the Delaware County Summer Showtime program for the arts. And while her experiences about her background in theater are the surface, it’s her relationship to the queer community that serves as, perhaps, the thesis and thematic core of the essay. She writes carefully, balancing emotional reaction of the present juxtaposed against examining the events in hindsight. She talks about the lesbian best friends she had for several years, the way her hometown was like “Gay Wales” (“What Wales is to crooners, my hometown may be to homosexuals – meaning, there seems to be a disproportionate number of them and they are the best in the world!”), and, most important, the role of LGBT people in her personal narrative(s). She writes

I thought I knew everything after that first summer. ‘Being gay is not a choice. Gay people were made that way by God,’ I’d lectured Mr. Garth proudly. But it took me another whole year to figure out the second part: ’Gay people were made that way by God, but not solely for my entertainment.’ ”

In one quote, Fey pinpoints a problem that mainstream media often has when depicting queer (usually male) characters: they’re often asexual, thinly written, or designed with tropes built in as opposed to given the benefit of complexity that their straight counterparts more reflexively are given. They are, in a word, tokenized. [More...]

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Monday
Jul062015

Halfway: Best Supporting Performances of 2015 Thus Far

½way mark - part 6 of ?
While it was a great deal of fun choosing and articulating the Best Leading work of the year (thus far) at the halfway mark, the Supporting fields prove a more difficult task. This is not exactly the norm as movies tend to have more supporting role than leading ones. But -- grossly generalizing now -- a lot of movies underuse their supporting casts, especially the women. This is particular true of summer blockbusters: Jurassic World and Terminator Genisys, for example, don't even have any supporting females. You're either a male character, a leading female love interest, or you don't exist... except perhaps in cameo form (the eternal plight of one Judy Greer). Either that or the character actors are severely underchallenged. It's easy to feel exceptional warmth for Mary Kay Place in I'll See You In My Dreams or Sally Hawkins in Paddington, for example. Both women are welcome onscreen at any time, terrific actresses, but they're not expected to do much at all other than be a warm and welcoming presence. 

Anyway, let's proceed. 

Supporting Actress: Rose Byrne & Kristen Stewart 

But...that's not playing by the rules which is to choose five performances like you're doing an Oscar shortlist (though these lists should never be mistaken for Oscar Predictions which is a different topic altogether). So let's try again.

Here we go with 4 acting categories after the jump

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul012015

Halfway: Oscar Chart Updates ~ Acting, Animation, Screenplay

½way mark - part 1 of ?
With the year half over (if not really the film year which is so backloaded) and the trailer to Grandma out -- good news, it doesn't remotely spoil the best jokes or character beats -- we are reminded that it's time to update the Oscar Prediction Charts. Consider this the start of a weeklong "½way mark year in review" 

BEST ACTRESS & SUPPORTING ACTRESS
More and more Carey Mulligan in Suffragette seems the one to watch. It was interesting to read at Deadline how well Far From the Madding Crowd has been performing in international markets, too. That's good news for her momentum for the future relaese. Build your case as a worthy star and not just for one movie since Oscars are almost never decided on performance alone; Career timing and momentum is nearly always at least as important. That's the chief reason I'm still waffling on whether or not Lily Tomlin traction can happen. If she gets an Emmy nod this month, we'll know that "Let's Celebrate Lily's career!" is in the air. She's so good in Grandma so if that's the industry mood, a nomination could well happen.

Meanwhile Carol's Cannes success affects both Actress charts and also dings my faith in Freeheld which will be competing directly with it, however unfair that is and however different the films are, given that they're both lesbian romances with co-leads in which big stars headline and the younger will probably pursue category fraud.

UPDATE 07/02 Serious shake-ups in both of these charts - Supporting Actress chart fix (lost tier)

BEST ACTOR & BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
After Cannes, Paolo Sorrentino's Youth is seemingly like a real possibility in multiple categories. Even its detractors are inadvertently making a case for it. The reasons they hate it seem like "Oscar-will-love-this!" potshots. Plus: there are far worse filmmakers to crib from then Federico Fellini if your aim is Oscar gold. So, this is a long way of saying that I've boosted Michael Caine into the top five. I am weirdly resistant to his particular star charisma (yes, even from his heyday) and take issue with the past Oscar wins but I realize that this isn't true of the vast majority of movie lovers and if the film gets a big Oscar push, he'll be an easy sell.

In the supporting category mea culpa. Readers suggested that I was crazy to leave out stage giant Mark Rylance (an actor I love who rarely makes movies)  for Bridge of Spies. Once the trailer hit, I started losing faith in the movie and gaining faith in him. Funny that. In my defense, these things are anyone's blind pin the tail on the donkey gamesmanship before any footage has been seen (and even to a lesser degree after since so many other factors come into play). But why does the movie look so bland? It's Spielberg/Hanks/Kaminsky and they have 7 Oscars between them. Where were the memorable shots or instant-resonating storytelling beats? And yes you can squeeze those into a trailer.

ANIMATED FEATURESCREENPLAY CATEGORIES
The big news in both of these categories is the stellar debut of Inside Out. While total Best Picture nominee confidence may be a a case of wishful thinking situation with fans (it's possible but the Academy goes through phases and they might have moved since the animated feature category is so firmly established now and Pixar might be deemed well-enough rewarded over the past decade plus). That said, at this halfway mark it seems insane to imagine it losing the Animated Feature Oscar it's already so successful and acclaimed. Which means we could well see it in its screenplay category too where animated films can sometimes compete if they're beloved and clever enough (see: The Incredibles, Toy Story, Up) and this one is on both counts.

I've also added in The Program, Stephen Frears helmed story of Lance Armstrong's scandal now that it has a title and a trailer. We never shared the trailer (oops) but it looks pretty intense and the cast, especially Ben Foster, looks strong.

PREDICTION INDEX
Picture, Director, Sound, Visuals, Foreign are not yet updated but they will be within next couple of days

Tuesday
May192015

Q&A: Summer Classics, Best 'Action' Acting, and Late 70s Silliness

Yay, reader question time! I did two public appearances, with mic in hand, this weekend which is rare for me. First up was the Q&A with David Dastmalchian for the Animals opening at Village East Cinemas and then on Sunday, a very stressful pre-screening trivia for the Mad Men Finale at The Astor Room restaurant in conjunction with The Museum of the Moving Image. I am always terrified if I'm miked but here at home on TFE, no terror. I type at you, no miking necessary.

Let's take 9 reader questions. I suggested 1979 related questions (our year of the month) but let's do some general questions first on action film acting, summer movies, Oscar sweeps, and classic novels on the screen...

BHURAY: What are your five favorite novels of all time and if they've been translated to film how would you rank the films?

NATHANIEL: I don't feel all that well-read I confess. I spend so much of my time with movies that it's hard to carve out several hours for a book. But when I do read I try to alternate between one for fun and one because-it's-classic when I do read. These are the five best novels I've ever read:

Beloved and lots more questions after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May162015

1979: Revisiting The Black Stallion

In honor of the Year of the Month (1979) and horse racing’s most exciting month – with the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness, being run today – Lynn Lee revisits a childhood favorite movie, The Black Stallion.

As a little girl, I didn’t ride horses but I loved reading about them, from Black Beauty to Misty of Chincoteague to just about every book in the Black Stallion series.  Naturally I loved the Black Stallion movie and watched it multiple times in my pre-teen years.  I recently decided to watch it again and see how I felt about it over two decades later.  Here are the five things that struck me most strongly this time around:

1. How quiet the film is.
There’s barely any dialogue.  That makes sense for the first half, most of which takes place on a desert island where the two shipwrecked protagonists, the boy Alec and the Black Stallion, slowly earn each other’s trust.  But even after they’re rescued and return to society and enter a big honking horse race, the quiet remains.  Most of the human characters have only a handful of lines... [More]

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