Entries in Toni Collette (8)
[Editor's Note: for the centerpiece of our 10th anniversary celebration of The Hours, I asked Joe Reid and Nick Davis if they'd like to talk about the movie and it turned out they already had. A heretofore unpublished conversation. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did! - Nathaniel ]
JOE REID: Three (!) years ago, I had planned out an end-of-decade feature for my own blog, wherein I would converse about my favorite films of 2000-2009 with a selection of writer friends. The logistics of it got away from me, but I did manage to get started. One such conversation lost to history was with my fellow Film Experience Podcast panelist Nick Davis on the subject of The Hours. With the ten-year anniversary of The Hours upon us, I thought I'd dig up this abandoned reflection and let it see the light of day.
JOE: The Hours is absolutely on the list of movies from the past decade that I truly, unabashedly loved. I suppose there's something chromosomal about a movie starring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and Julianne Moore (and Toni Collette, and Allison Janney, and Miranda Richardson). But it's more than just watching all these fantastic actresses hand off scenes to each other for two hours. It's also the suicides and the repression! Of course, after signing you on to correspond with me on this entry -- and many thanks for that, by the way -- I checked up and found that your feelings on it were decidedly more ambivalent. Is this an "every time I watch it I feel differently about it" kind of thing, or is it always the same kind of mixed bag for you? As for me, while there are a BUNCH of aspects of The Hours I'm hoping we can touch on, for some reason, my most recent screening of the movie made me anxious to mention two things: kitchens and hands. I couldn't stop watching Nicole Kidman's hands, either when Virginia is gripping her pen with a desperately tight claw grip or deep inhaling those cigarettes. And Meryl Streep separating egg yolks as she's unraveling in her kitchen has always been a favorite image.
And that brings me to the whole kitchen thing...
kitchen melodrama and sapphic smooches after the jump...
After a seemingly abrupt transition from 2013's slate to November 2012, Fox Searchlight isn't wasting any time with their Alfred Hitchcock bio. The official site is up, a new poster (to your left) arrives so shortly after the teaser poster, it wasn't much of a tease at all. And, now, the trailer.
It feels like a long time since a Yes No Maybe So breakdown, right? We course correct now to parse Hitchcock -- the trailer for the film about the man, not the man himself or his films! We'd be here for years for the latter. Based on the two minute evidence do we want to investigate the whole two hours? Why and why not?
You know how this works by now so let's join Alfred & Alma during the making of Psycho...
- 'The Making of Psycho'... we wouldn't have such predictable allergic reactions to biopics if more of them would stay tightly focused on one chapter in someone's life. Cradle-to-grave is just so frought with cliff notes inelegance.
- Psycho is my favorite Hitchcock film, so I'm happy to watch a "making of". Psycho wasn't always my favorite Hitchcock but it just kept climbing the charts over the years until there was no film left to hurdle. But honestly I'd be just as happy to watch "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Torn Curtain" -- pick a film any film -- because behind the scene and screen is a place I love to spend time.
- This Shot!
More 'yes,' the trailer and some 'no's and 'maybe so's after the jump...
It's entirely redundant to tell you that Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress are The Film Experience's favorite Oscar categories. This year's field continues to feel slippery, amorphous, unknowable which is... great. It should be hard to pin down the Oscar race before films have been widely seen and release dates have fully settled. The charts this month are quite shuffled so I hope you'll devour them.
ACTRESS Most pundits have assumed since the very beginning that Cotillard and Wallis were locked up done deals but I'm actually still not comfortable inking either of them in. They could happen, sure, but there are so many contenders and no one beyond Jennifer Lawrence (having one of those mega years that's impossible to deny) has cemented a position here. Especially with all the movement. Even one of these smaller films with rising stars (Olsen, Winstead, Fanning) could happen theoretically or at least siphon key votes if audiences and critics are kind and their campaign is strong.
We should note that little Quvenzhané Wallis has a new problem beyond her very young age in that SAG won't be nominating her (declaring the cast ineligible). Cotillard also has a significant problem in that she isn't the only reknowned actress killing it in a subtitled drama. Emmanuelle Riva anyone? The Hiroshima Mon Amour star is a powerhouse in a very difficult role in Amour. I've just seen the movie so perhaps it's wishful thinking but this is very moving work.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS The big new question mark for me is whether biopic mimicry -- Scarlett Johansson doing Janet Leigh's arched brow Psycho tics -- will finally win her Oscar attention after her breakthrough early misses nine years ago (Girl with the Pearl Earring and Lost in Translation... and to a lesser extent her Woody Allen hussy in Match Point). She stopped being an actress for awhile moving straight to über celebrity but after her Tony-winning run on Broadway and renewed vigor in her filmography, this could be the year. Or will various Psycho co-stars steal the spotlight. It's worth noting that Toni Collette can steal spotlights from anyone anywhere... and if her Hitchcock assistant role has a key scene or two that she can wow in, watch out! (That's a mighty big "if" of course in a film with stars this big playing famous Hollywood icons.)
I should also note that though I'm on the record as no fan of Helen Hunt's 90s Oscar win, I found her work in The Sessions to be very strong. To me it's unquestionably a leading role (it wouldn't be if we didn't spend time with her outside of the titular sessions but we do, making this a lopsided duet) and I'm a bit curious as to why Fox Searchlight so adamantly settled on a supporting campaign so early given that a lead Actress nod still doesn't seem unattainable for this previous winner.
Get your hands off ________'s rightful Oscar.
So let's expand that conversation to include TFE readers. If you'll recall had you lived through it or know the year went like so...
Winner: Judi Dench, Shakespeare in Love (also won NSFC & BAFTA)
I'm actually fine with this win (from the nominee pool, I mean) though I'm aware many internet dwellers are very anti-Shakespeare in Love
- Kathy Bates, Primary Colors (Chicago, BFCA & SAG winner)
- Brenda Blethyn, Little Voice
- Rachel Griffiths, Hilary & Jackie
- Lynn Redgrave, Gods and Monsters (Spirit & Globe winner)
So that supporting shortlist was essentially one extended cameo (Judi), three normal size supporting roles (Kathy, Brenda, Lynn) and one co-lead title character (Rachel). My feeling is that it's a dull list even though the performances are relatively good (the only nomination I objected to wholeheartedly was Blethyn's) because it's too closely tied to knee-jerk Bait when there were more inspired more challenging performances available from supporting actresses that year, many of them a bit more off the well trodden period piece prestige path.
But what surprised me more was that nobody agreed on the "wish it'd been...". What a year it was for supporting actresses. Consider these names which came up.
- Patty Clarkson, High Art
- Toni Collette, The Velvet Goldmine
- Imelda Staunton, Shakespeare in Love
- Lisa Kudrow, The Opposite of Sex (NYFCC Winner, Spirit Nominee)
- Kate Beckinsale, The Last Days of Disco
- Julianne Moore, The Big Lebowski
- Joan Allen, Pleasantville (OFCS, Boston, BFCA, LAFCA & Satellite winner)
and still more no one mentioned last night on Twitter...
- Kimberly Elise, Beloved (Satellite winner)
- Thandie Newton, Beloved
- Sharon Stone, The Mighty (Globe nominee)
- Christina Ricci, Buffalo '66, Opposite of Sex, Pecker (Florida winner)
- Anne Heche, Psycho
- The Lovely Laura Linney, The Truman Show
WHAT WOULD YOUR LIST HAVE LOOKED LIKE?
Mine would've gone like so: Winner - Clarkson; Nominees - Dench, Collette, Kudrow and...???