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Entries in The Tree of Life (30)

Thursday
Aug252011

Who is Jessica Chastain?

Here's pretty much all that we know about her: She was raised in North Carolina, she just turned 30, she's in every seventh movie opening in 2011, and though we've only seen three of them thus far (The Tree of Life, The Help and Take Shelter) it takes a minute in each to realize that yes, that's her. Even in photoshoots she seems to be more than one person.

Is she a moldable young starlet?
Is she a Swintonesque Off-Hollywood provocateur?
Is she a Lead Star just waiting for her own vehicles?

Further IMDb and Wikipedia grazing reveals that she graduated from Juillard and that her best friend is the actress Jess Weixler (of Teeth fame. How about that?) but the point is this: we like people we can't pin down immediately.

I don't want to play the same character twice. There's something about the feeling of 'I don't think I can do this.' If you have that moment of doubt, you have to rise up and meet it. I learn from my failures more than my successes."
-Chastain to Michael Musto at the premiere of The Debt 

Hitting a Take Shelter screening last night I tweeted "Okay, Jessica Chastain. Show me what else ya got" Of her three summer performances (her fourth The Debt opens soon) it's the least impressive but it's almost the most telling. 'What I got' was the surest indication yet that she's a future Oscar winner as she embraced their favorite role, the long suffering wind-beneath-her-husband's-wings type, with such unfussy naturalistic ease.

Regarding Oscar...
While she's ethereal and lovely in The Tree of Life it seems less an acting feat than a well judged minimalist act to allow Terrence Malick and Emmanuel Lubezki's camera and the rich scoring to fill her Way of Grace with meaning. Auteur vessel performance are rarely nominated. While she's hugely entertaining in The Help she probably has too much internal competition for traction. And her most Oscar-friendly role in Take Shelter is within a film that one suspects will be too under the radar for Oscar. She may have to wait for the Kodak theater but it'll be exciting to watch her work her way there.

Wednesday
Aug242011

Go L*nk Yourself

Gabby Sidibe snapped by Terry Richardson on 08/23/11 at the Our Idiot Brother premiereSome Came Running "The Trouble With Movie Stars" the distraction of stardom in The Tree of Life and other films.
Funny or Die Dave Franco in "Go F*ck Yourself". (I know he's James Franco's brother but he looks to me like the offspring of James Franco f*cking James Marsden.#amiright?)
Awards Daily has some words about Oscar's history with black actresses. This topic is about 200 times as complicated as anyone will ever claim it is but I am horrified to realize that there are still people trying to say that Gabby Sidibe just played herself in Precious. Anyone who has spent more than two seconds watching her on a talk show versus seeing her in Precious would have to be braindead to not notice the difference. Night and day.

Boston Wesley Morris on The Help. I sometimes feel like a fanboy when reading Morris's reviews . He's just great: anecdotal when it benefits the piece, funny without congratulating himself for it, and critical without being mean-spirited; his scalpel is sharp, his hand steady and he never accidentally lops off the joy of movies, while carving a fine point.
New York Times tennis rivalries and Andy Samberg portraying them. Fun!
Form is Void "5 from Dorothy Parker"  
Cineuropa Joachim Trier's Oslo August 31st up for another prize. It seems more and more certain that this will have to be Norway's Oscar submission. 
Film Drunk choice quotes from Ryan Gosling's Esquire profile. 

Look, Helen Mirren arrives at the premiere of The Debt

I'm guessing she makes grown women half her age weep. Look at that bod! She is 66 years old.

Finally... I don't know how I keep missing the big stories but I didn't even know about the eastern Earthquake yesterday until after the fact when people kept asking me if I felt it? Felt what? This is what I tweeted about it.

Speaking of... so then I find it that everyone is talking about Ryan Gosling breaking up a fight here in NYC and I didn't know about that either. I'm in a fog!

Tuesday
Aug232011

Happy 50th Birthday, Alexandre Desplat

Robert G here from Sketchy Details wishing a Happy Birthday to the most in demand film composer of our time.

Can you believe that Alexandre Desplat has scored 128 separate film and television projects since 1985? How about how a year hasn't gone by since 1991 where he didn't score at least three different TV or film productions? He has had quite the successful career in France and has started to work consistently in America in the past eight or so years.

Desplat has been nominated for Best Original Score four times at the Academy Awards: The Queen, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The King's Speech. He's clearly doing something right to get the Music Branch's attention. His work is especially noticeable for not being the super flashy film scoring that demands attention. He does what needs to be done to set the right tone and lets the film be the focus.

Indeed, every year he lost the Oscar, he lost to a film with a far flashier or more pronounced score...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug222011

Links: Martha Momoa Malick Moneyball

In Contention has an important addendum to the misleading 'Sean Penn hates The Tree of Life' stories circulating the net.
The Daily Beast It's recently come to my attention that Drew Droege (of "Chloë Sevigny" drag fame) has written musings about playing Chloë and meeting the real icon. She did not throw a drink in his face but kissed him and laughed. Love that.
Little White Lies has an interview with Conan's Jason Momoa in which the actor offers to scare the shit out of the reporter by doing the Haka.

Serious Film "Bridesmaids stands alone" in 2011's box office charts.
Movie|Line remembers Kristen Wiig's supporting bit in Adventureland 

Cinema Blend is Germany next for world traveller Woody Allen's filmography? P.S. Did you hear that Judy Davis joined the cast of his current Rome picture? (Yay)

 

Oooh... new posters for Martha Marcy May Marlene from EW.
Misterioso!

Do you like? John Hawkes eyes peering out on the one to the left are spooking me! Remember how intense his stare was in Winter's Bone? I haven't tried it but those are actual working QR codes on the movie poster -- should take you right to the trailer if you have a QR scanning app on your phone.

Brad Pitt still has magic hair in his late 40s. The shirt is by Alexander McQueen.Scott Feinberg discovers a funny irony in the Drive press notes.
Today Movies on the funny women breakthrough of this, 'The Summer of Raunch'
Fandor gets the great South Korean film Poetry tomorrow, so make sure to watch it. This is a sampling of reviews. I was quite honored to be named a "standout" review, and keeping such fine company.
Michael Musto predicts the Tony nominees for Best Actress in a musical a year in advance. We'd say that's too early but then we'd be huge hypocrites (hello, Oscar fanaticism
New York Magazine on Brad Pitt's Moneyball pitch. He's comparing his character arc, or lack of one (hmm....interesting) to 70s films, explaining that it's a drama about process and his character challenging the way things have always been done.

I thought of The Conversation: How do you tap a phone? Or Thief, with Jimmy Caan: How do you crack a safe? And I saw in it a guy who had an obsessive quality like Popeye Doyle.

I don’t really like big character-arc epiphanies. What I most loved about those seventies films is that the characters were the same at the end as at the beginning. It was the world around them that had shifted."

Tuesday
Jul052011

Fool For Link

Vogue Vibes on the duel era fashions of Midnight in Paris
Acidemic free ranging piece on the images and scoring of The Tree of Life
Nick's Flick Picks, never one to shy away from a massive project, has decided to recreate Cannes 1986 (25th anniversary) and write all about it. First...
Nick's Flick Picks Robert Altman's Fool For Love. Nick thinks Kim Basinger is sensational in it (so do I).
Guardian on the ever thorny topic of how to "date" a motion picture, production date, release date, initial screening?
Basket of Kisses Mad Men's Aaron Staton (we love him) is the lead in the new video game L.A. Noire
Movie|Line loves Ari Graynor -- they're always trying to claim actresses we also champion damn them -- so must share this clip from the upcoming comedy Lucky.

Stale Popcorn with another halfway mark listicle: the good, the bad and the ugly of 2011
Pajiba advice for screenwriters willing to sell their souls from those who've made billions at the box office with almost no discernible talent whatsoever.
Awards Daily Oscar's blind David Cronenberg spot. Recently I've been thinking that I wanted to do a whole comprehensive review of one director's every film. Maybe it should be him? Although maybe he's made to many. Never mind.


the divas
The Advocate Lady Gaga profile on her connection to the gays and those comparisons to legendary performers like Barbra Streisand, Debbie Harry and Madonna.
Boy Culture EEK. Proof that Madonna is finally back in the recording studio. As of yesterday.
The Broadway Blog honors Marin Mazzie, about to take on the iconic Mrs White role in the revival of Carrie the Musical (yes that musical based on the 1976 pig-blooded classic)

sorry. back to the movies...
ion cinema has a bunch of halfway point top ten lists. Can't get enough of this topic, can you? Or am I just speaking for myself?
PopMatters 10 insane lessons that Transformers Dark of the Moon is trying to teach us
Old Hollywood omg, yesterday was the 90th anniversary of the "Overlook Hotel Ball" (immortalized in The Shining) We MUST remember this in ten years time for the centennial.

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