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Podcast - 1996 Cannes Competition Revisit

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Entries in Supporting Actress (247)

Thursday
May262016

Rachel Weisz: A Brewing Renaissance?

Currently on screen in Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster, Rachel Weisz has so many upcoming movies, she got Murtada wondering if a renaissance is brewing...

My Cousin Rachel

The Lobster is doing gangbusters in limited release and with critics. To these eyes it is uneven and Weisz is absent from its best part. In fact her performance is so bland, it weakens the second half of the movie particularly in comparison with the highly entertaining first act where Colin Farrell and particularly Olivia Colman are exultingly funny. Even when Weisz is front and center she seemed lost, not sure of the rhythm of the film. A supporting player like Lea Seydoux, with much less screen time, was more in sync with Lanthimos and the rest of the cast and outshines Weisz in the section they share...

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Thursday
May192016

FYC: Kate Dickie and the Raw Emotion of "The Witch"

Out this week on blu-ray/dvd is Robert Eggers's The Witch. Warmly received by critics, but divisive for general audiences, the film is a marvel of craft and inescapable dread. But the film is more than its horror elements and immaculate period detail - at the center is a potent family tragedy as well-developed as any drama you'll seen this year. And the bruised soul of that tragedy is actress Kate Dickie.

Dickie stars as the matriarch of a Puritan family banished from their New England settlement in the 17th century. Her Katherine begins the film essentially wordless during the excommunication, then is defined by her off-screen sobs after the film's first punishments. Once Katherine collects herself, she quickly reveals herself to be a devout believer firmly planted in her role as wife and mother. As things quickly turn from bad to worse, her agony surges with authentic depth until she becomes willingly deluded by her own suffering.

Dickie's portrayal is a prime example of The Witch offering more than its horror contemporaries...

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Saturday
Apr302016

April Foolish Predictions!

It's finally complete - the first predictions of the new film year, affectionally dubbed "April Foolish Predictions" by yours truly, just under the wire before May begins. I've opted to go for a year with a lot of new blood in various categories but the supporting categories have no sure things so it's like throwing darts blindly... possibly not even towards a wall... in those categories.

Enjoy fresh charts on ACTRESS, ACTOR, SUPPORTING ACTRESS, and SUPPORTING ACTOR as well as the General Prediction Chart for a summary.

Report back!  

Friday
Apr292016

Vikander has Tomb Raider Fever

In an unexpected bit of casting, Alicia Vikander was just announced to be taking over as Lara Croft in the reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise. Original whispers of Daisy Ridley accepting the role weren't meant to be and instead the reigning Best Supporting Actress winner will be taking on the bodacious archaelogist.

The delightful happenstance of the casting is that Croft was also the first post-Oscar high-profile role choice Angelina Jolie (who played Croft in 2001 and 2003). For Jolie it was her launch pad into the bonafide box office draw that she still is today, so perhaps this could be a similar vehical for Vikander. Does this mean that the inevitable rereboot will be played by the Best Supporting Actress winner of 2032?

 

 

Croft is a character we remember more for appearance than for any facet of her personality, so the casting choice is an odd fit. Vikander excels when playing with more emotional depth than what a video game adaptation will likely require of her - but her Ex Machina performance did show that she can give intelligent physical precision to roles that require less from her emotionally.

This summer, she'll costar in Jason Bourne, hopefully hinting at her action star potential if she can get in on the asskicking unlike previous Bourne ladies. Also this July, Vikander returns to costume drama territory with Tulip Fever. The film debuted footage at last year's Cannes, but we finally get our eyes on it with the lush and steamy trailer released this week:

What do you think of Alicia as Lara? What other Best Supporting Actress would you put in the role?

Monday
Apr042016

Chus Lampreave (1930-2016)

Almodóvar aficionados, like you and I, have been dreading this day. But every great movie face eventually only still flickers on screens and in our memories. The great Chus Lampreave, so memorable in so many Pedro Almodóvar movies, has died at 85 years of age. She had been home bound recently in Almería.

Her film career began when Pedro was just a pre-teen. She was given her first acting job by the director Jaime de Armiñán. Like many directors after him, he worked with her repeatedly, including in the Oscar nominated film My Dearest Senorita (1972). She came to international fame via her relationship with Pedro Almodóvar though. She joined his troupe early on as one of his subversive nuns in Dark Habits (1983). She was always easy to spot with those coke bottle glasses, that tiny frame and inimitable voice. Dark Habits was the first of eight collaborations with Pedro over the next 26 years in which her comic timing and deliciously matter-of-fact next door neighbor / elderly relative charisma were always put to great use. After Dark Habits she appeared in Labyrinth of Passion, Matador, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, The Flower of My Secret, Talk to Her, Volver and Broken Embraces.

After the jump a bit more plus photos of some of her most memorable roles...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar122016

Mercedes McCambridge: Giant (1956)

Our second chapter of the Centennial Mercedes McCambridge celebration is also the second time Oscar celebrated her. She received her second and final nomination in Best Supporting Actress for Giant, a massive epic about social discrimination affecting a wealthy Texas ranching family. Here she's playing opposite massive stars Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean (his final performance), but McCambridge still lingers over the film after her staunch matriarch Luz Benedict departs. She has perhaps only twenty minutes of screentime at the start of the film's sprawling length, it's a brief performance that the actress makes both broad and oddly complete.

You might call her performance wooden or inexpressive if you've never experienced this kind of woman in real life. The stoic inexpressiveness and static undercurrent of rage is eerily familiar if you're accustomed to this brand of southern woman, one who has been toughened up by a man's world and educated to hate. McCambridge respects the deliberate unknowability with which Luz wants to greet the world - this is a woman who has thrived on not letting anyone in to subvert her authority. She wears Luz's hatred (and self hatred?) like an impenetrable shield of armor, as her eyes offer the only suggestion of more brewing underneath the facade. More...

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Friday
Mar112016

Mercedes McCambridge: All the King's Men (1949)

Manuel here kicking off our centennial celebration of under appreciated (and under discussed!) Oscar winning actress Mercedes McCambridge.

We begin with her film debut which also happens to be her Oscar-winning vehicle, All The King's Men. She'd been doing radio work consistently for over a decade but this was as big a break as they got. The film is a political parable about that most rare of characters, the honest politician (Broderick Crawford as Willie Stark), who succumbs to corruption on his way to the top only to be punished by his deeds. It's Shakespearean in essence and all the more powerful for being based on a real-life politician, Louisiana governor, Huey Long (the inspiration behind Robert Penn Warren novel of the same name).

It's a testosterone-fueled film with only two gals...

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