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Entries in The Invisible Woman (4)

Wednesday
Feb262014

7 Costume Sights to See Before The Oscars

I sent Anne Marie to the FIDM Museum to check out this year's costume design exhibit. Here's her report. (I'm seething with jealousy right now!) -Nathaniel

Michael Wilkinson with some of his Oscar nominated costumes for American Hustle

The advantage to being a cinephile in Los Angeles is that there’s a wealth of Oscars-related activities around this time to check out. Costume lovers, rejoice! The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Museum has launched the 22nd Annual Art Of Motion Picture Costume Design. Here are 7 things you’ll see if you get a chance to go:

1) Sydney’s physics-defying gown from American Hustle - Which is, upon closer inspection, almost see-through. Kudos to Amy Adams and Michael Wilkinson (Oscar-nominated) for pulling off Sydney’s daring looks, which seem all the more daunting to flaunt in person. (There just must have been so much boob-tape.) It's impossible to tell the period pieces from the original creations, which is more than can be said for...

2) Jay Gatsby’s surprisingly striking pink suit - Away from the noisy CGI of Baz Lurhman’s anachronistic adaptation, I was shocked to realize that this suit is dapper as hell. The color is absolutely beautiful, not the alternately washed-out-or-bubblegum pink it had seemed to be in the film. DiCaprio should ask Catherine Martin (nominated for The Great Gatsby) to design his Oscars tux, because otherwise I guarantee he won’t look nearly so good.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb182014

Interview: Michael O'Connor on "Fussy" Costumes & Principal Actresses

A curious reversal: I'm discussing Oscar-voting with costume designer Michael O'Connor, an Oscar winner for The Duchess (2008) nominated again for his work on the Dickensian romantic drama The Invisible Woman and he reveals that, though he takes voting seriously, he doesn't really think it's a good thing to know too much about the behind the scenes achievements on movies, beyond what you can see and judge visually. 

Michael O'Connor and one of his Oscar-nominated designs from The Invisible Woman

That’s why I don’t teach or do classes. I don't think it would be a good experience. I want the discussion when I’m doing it because it helps me work but when you watch [a movie] you shouldn’t know the discussions. When you watch a film sometimes and stay for the Q&A it’s changed the experience because now you know some of the secrets. Some of the magic is not knowing. 

And, yet, once you get Michael O'Connor talking about his craft, he doesn't quit (a wonderful problem in an interview) and his passion for Costume Design is always front and center. I'm not at all convinced that he wouldn't make a good teacher but his students would have to be quick, as he leaps from topic to topic, sometimes without warning. 

From our vantage point in 2014 his current status as an Oscar winning costume designer seems inevitable...

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Monday
Jan272014

Interview: Joanna Scanlan on 'The Invisible Woman' and Working with Icons

Photo via Beige PlusThere's a wonderful little moment in Notes on a Scandal (2006) in which a well meaning but unwelcome teacher by the name of Sue Hodge advises her fellow schoolteachers (played by Dami Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett), who are struggling with their students to "concern yourself with the gems". I'm shamelessly borrowing that line right now to talk about the British actress who utters it, because she is one.

Joanna Scanlan co-wrote and starred in the BBC series Getting On (now enjoying an American remake) and has played witches, nurses, schoolteachers, and more yet she's largely unknown to American audiences. She's got her best cinematic showcase yet in The Invisible Woman as Catherine Dickens, the neglected depressed wife of the famous writer Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes). Her husband may neglect her and the Oscar conversation did, too (despite its ostensible purpose being to, well, concern itself with the gems) so we're picking up their slack.

She's remarkable in the movie and though the title does not literally refer to her character, we like to think it has a double meaning. The movie business is not a meritocracy but it there's any justice Joanna Scanlan won't be an 'invisible woman' much longer but will be popping up in more roles worthy of her. I eagerly telephoned her to discuss her role in this Oscar nominated picture (Best Costume Design) and her nifty habit of acting opposite true icons like Dench, Fiennes, Pfeiffer, and Blanchett. 

Our conversation is after the jump...

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Friday
Nov152013

Links with an Invisible Glass of Moët

Inside Movies Andrew Lincoln looks back at "to me you are perfect" from Love Actually
MNPP wants to watch Only God Forgives again. Are you also experiencing these deviant feelings?
Ultra Culture anatomy of most Blue is the Warmest Color "reviews" 

In Contention wonders if Will Forte can win Best Supporting Actor traction for Nebraska - well the category is amorphous still...
BuzzFeed saw fit to rank every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Such a mammoth project so even if you quibble with the ranking -- and boy do I (love "Beer Bad") --you have to respect 
Gawker weeping through The Best Man Holiday 
Pajiba how to prepare yourself for the release of Nicolas Cage's nude photos 

And while I was in Los Angeles earlier this week the Moët British Independent Film Award nominations were announced. I love little weird awards groups like this (the corporate titling not so much) because you can't tie them to "ooh, they're trying to influence the Oscars" which is just about the most boring thing you can possibly do if you're a group thinking of handing out awards. No matter what your group is, if it has no character, personality or purpose outside of predicting another groups awards, QUIT - the world doesn't need you! But anyway... here's a complete list of nominations in case you missed them as I did. They were big fans of the bleak with the violent Starred Up and Clio Barnard's festival gem The Selfish Giant leading the nominations. They also approved of Metro Manila which is the UK's Oscar submission. But they also found room for more mainstream senior Brit efforts like Philomena with Judi Dench and Le Week-End starring Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan.

What a World: Ralph Fiennes & Kristin Scott Thomas are co-stars again. But this time he's sleeping with her screen daughter. Here's why I spit out my Moët, though. They ignored 12 Years a Slave in "International Film" and had a reaction to Ralph Fiennes' The Invisible Woman that I find not only puzzling but deeply lazy. They nominated it only for Best Actress (Felicity Jones, whose appeal still escapes me like crazy) and Best Supporting Actress (Kristin Scott Thomas). Now y'all know I am an über fan of KST but if you're handing out acting prizes to that movie and you DON'T start with Joanna Scanlan, who plays the unloved wife of Charles Dickens, you're on autopilot with stars in your eyes. To which you might counter if you haven't yet seen the film "But KST is a great actress!!!" Well, yes, dear reader and BIFA voters, she is... but Joanna is this movie's MVP. And by a significant margin, too. 

Of course the movie is marginalizing Scanlan, too. She doesn't appear or barely appears in the ads and none of the film's promotional stills include her; P&A has never been a meritocracy.