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Jessica Lange's Triple Crown 

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Entries in Tom Hanks (32)

Friday
Jun172016

"Wicked" is Finally Officially For Real Coming Soon

Musical lovers have finally gotten the long rumored news they've impatiently waited for: Wicked is officially a go! The film will be directed by Stephen Daldry and open on December 20, 2019 - a likely guaranteed holiday hit like Into the Woods and Les Miserables.

While that is still awhile to wait for the big screen adaptation, this announcement comes after more than a decade of crumbs and non-starting rumors for the fanbase. The hope for original stars Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth has long gone out the window, so casting is the next phase to obsess over. While Universal likes to keep their musicals star loaded (think Les Mis and Mamma Mia), my suspicion is that some expected names won't be in the running... sorry, Lea Michele.

Which is all the better for the green leading lady. Daldry has a gift for finding new talent, so why not give us a new talent to make Elphaba's sense of discovery all the more meaningful. Maybe if it's not a completely fresh face this could be where a Broadway star shows up. Also how many times can we hear "Defying Gravity" before those notes aren't as emotionally transporting? Give us someone who can take us to unexpected emotional and musical heights! Recent Tony winner Cynthia Erivo, for example - her Tony's solo should be all the proof you need (starts at 2:48).

For Glinda, I have a bolder recommendation...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May022016

Which actors will Oscar celebrate this year?

We've discussed Best Actress and the overall April Foolish Predictions so let's talk Best Actor & Supporting Actor

First, we have to wonder what it will take to get Tom Hanks back in Oscar's shortlist. His last two acclaimed hits have wound up with Best Supporting Actor & Best Picture nominations but Hanks was passed over in both cases. If the same thing happens with Aaron Eckhart in the co-pilot seat of Sully, the famous story of the pilot who successfully crash landed a plane on the Hudson, we'll have a bonafide trend and not just a coincidence. That's what I'm currently predicting though of course it's all fun and games now before we see the films. And before we even know about several competitors as the year doesn't really get going until the fall according to Oscar voters.

The pressure is off Birth of a Nation... at least a little bit. Several films with actors of color look promising this year, so it needn't be the sole standard bearerIn other acting category predictions, I feel confident in saying that we'll see the end of the dread #OscarsSoWhite controversy. Or, rather, the issue will persist (Hollywood having white male imbalance problems) but it will take a different shape, less focused on the Oscar's acting branch which was an easy but unfortunate scapegoat of a much larger Hollywood problem. The Acting branch has always been the most inclusive and diverse of any Oscar branch but the uproar and embarrassing photo ops of the past two years -- as well as, yes, too-defensive quotes from some famous actors themselves -- have convinced the public otherwise. With more racially diverse dramas being released this year (Fences, Birth of a Nation, A United Kingdom, Loving, Lion and possibly more)  it should be an easy fix; AMPAS members can only vote for films and performances that are eligible. My sincere hope is that we see a few Latino or Asian nominees in the mix soon so we can move past this idea that racial identity and diversity are binaries. But first people will have to start actually casting Latin and Asian actors in movies. Wouldn't that be nice. It's especially rough for Asian actors since they nearly always change their characters to white characters between source material and production.

[Tangent for Hard Core Fans: Despite the difficulty of predicting a full slate of nominees this far in advance I don't actually do a poor job of it. Even in the below the line craft lineups I tend to score two of five before we've seen any films. This sounds easy but I assure you it's not. Try it one year in April and save your list with no changes ever each time you hear news or release date shifts thereafter and see how many remain at the end of the year. Best Actor remains my best category in terms of flying that blind. In 2013 and 2015 I correctly guessed 4 of the 5 nominees this early which is really something. And in 2001 and 2008 the scores would have also been that incredible but for the business of men being nominated the next year instead. - Nathaniel]

Sunday
Apr242016

Review: A Hologram for the King

Eric here, with a review of the new Tom Tykwer film in theaters, A Hologram for the King, an adaptation of the best seller by Dave Eggers. It's the tale of a desperate American businessman near the end of his professional rope, who travels to Saudi Arabia to sell a holographic teleconference system to the king. 

While Tom Hanks isn’t at the peak of his popularity these days, he remains one of the biggest movie stars alive.  So it may feel surprising that this film is being released with very little publicity, dumped rather unceremoniously in “arthouse” cinemas...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb012016

Ranking the Oscar-Nominated Performances in Steven Spielberg's Films

Mark Rylance’s best supporting actor nomination for Bridge of Spies marks the 13th time a performance in a Steven Spielberg movie has been nominated for an Oscar. Which of course calls for a list, so without any further ado here's Murtada's ranking. 

Oscar Nominated Performances in Spielberg Films Ranked

13- Anthony Hopkins - Amistad (1997)
Other Nominees: Robert Forster – Jackie Brown, Greg Kinnear – As Good as It Gets, Burt Reynolds – Boogie Nights, Robin Williams – Good Will Hunting.
Winner: Williams

Did Hopkins have a big righteous courtroom speech? Must be, because why else was this performance nominated. The only thing I remember about it is that Hopkins robbed Rupert Everett of his nomination for My Best Friend’s Wedding.

Twelve more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct302015

Morning Truth Tell: Tom Hanks...

Tom Hanks is giving way better performances recently (Captain Phillips, Bridge of Spies) than the ones he used to win Oscars for. 

Tuesday
Oct062015

NYFF: Spielberg's frosty Bridge of Spies

Manuel reporting from the New York Film Festival on Steven Spielberg's latest Cold War film.

Bridge of Spies opens with a man working on a self-portrait. There’s a weariness to his features that he’s ably translating from his mirrored reflection onto his canvas. There’s a purpose to every brush stroke he takes. He works methodically. Silently.

Spielberg, long admired for large-scale adventures and expertly crafted action sequences, seems to have entered a quieter phase of his career. While War Horse seemed to play to his strengths, while trying John Ford on for size, the talky Lincoln showed that the director could create a kinetic urgency even in what was, for the most part, a chamber piece about laws and votes. Bridge of Spies pushes further still in this direction. Yes, we’re dealing with spies, and fallen aircrafts, government agents and tense phone calls, but at its heart, this is yet another installment of the Cold War-as-bureaucracy genre. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep302015

Ellar Coltrane and the Burden of the Iconic Role

Kieran, here. Ellar Coltrane, the boy at the center of Richard Linklater's much heralded Boyhood has landed his next role, a supporting part in The Circle, an adaptation of Dave Eggers' novel about privacy paranoia in the age of social media. Tom Hanks is already attached to star in the thriller, which will be directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now). Coltrane will reportedly play Emma Watson's boyfriend who wants to go off the grid, out of the grasp of the eponymous Circle (which is not, repeat NOT Google). That's kind of funny, considering Mason's somewhat self-conscious, adolescent arrogance screed against social media and smart phones in Boyhood

The Spectacular Now suggested that Ponsoldt has a gift for pulling great performances from young actors, stretching our imaginations as to what they're capable of. Can he do that again for Ellar Coltrane?

Let me just say that I was an enthusiastic fan of Boyhood and I quite liked Coltrane in it. Er...maybe that's an entirely honest appraisal of my feelings about Coltrane's performance. I thought the movie acquitted itself well while working around a performance with very clear peaks and valleys. Coltrane's doe-eyed befuddlement works really well in certain key moments of the film, as when he witnesses the domestic abuse inflicted on his mother. That same blankness (and the role of Mason does require him to be somewhat blank) tends to fail him in moments when he's expected to communicate a clear persepctive, like the aforementioned scene where he's railing against Facebook. I didn't leave Boyhood with a clear idea of his acting chops in either direction. Boyhood was such a specialized project in conception and execution that it's hard to extrapolate how someone might perform beyond that. (Especially with very little frame of reference. Other than a very brief appearance in Fast Food Nation, Coltrane hasn't appeared in anything else.)

Are you curious to see what we get from Coltrane going forward?

From Quinn Cummings (The Goodbye Girl) and Justin Henry (Kramer vs. Kramer) to more recent examples of Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense) and Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) it's rare that young actors who have their debuts or breakthroughs in heralded projects go on to have careers that match that initial acclaim. One can certainly debate the merits of each (and my opinion ranges from very warm to very cold), but these famous examples all demonstrate that it can be very hard to crawl out from under the weight of a culturally resonant breakthrough performance.