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Entries in Tracy Letts (7)

Monday
Aug292016

The Furniture: Wiener-Dog's Sickly Green Cages

by Daniel Walber

Wiener-Dog is a deceptive movie. It is technically a sequel to Todd Solondz’s cult classic Welcome to the Dollhouse, but only for about a quarter of its running time. It’s actually an anthology, built around the often tragic life of an adorable, stoic dachshund. Each stop is totally separate from the last, each new character a slightly different riff on solitude and bitterness.

Yet even this structural diversity is deceptive. For while the film contains a variety of stories and locations, it is essentially one long expansion of a single set. The opening credits play over an anonymous animal shelter, where Wiener-Dog patiently waits to be adopted. One side has bars, the other a clear panel. The bright light highlights the sickly green walls, like the antiseptic glow of a dystopian hospital.

Wiener-Dog makes it out, but the cage lingers...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug042016

Review: Indignation

Manuel here with a review of Indignation, now in theaters.

Indignation is the type of film that, even if you didn’t know was adapted from a novel (by Philip Roth), you’d describe as “literary.” Part of this has to do with its dialogue which is both highly literate and thematically robust. And the other part comes from the strategically and efficaciously deployed voice overs that all but announce themselves as being cut whole cloth from a novel with a highly sophisticated narrator whose attempts at self-knowledge would be comical if they weren’t so earnestly intense.

The very first pages of Roth’s novel introduces us to Jewish student, Marcus (a wonderful Logan Lerman) as he’s rankled by his father’s sudden mistrust of him ahead of his heading to college. His father is clearly afraid for his boy—he’s seen too many of his relatives head to Korea never to come back. His pestering (and in the film, Danny Burstein gets at Marcus’s father worry as tinged by his own anticipated grief) leads him to constantly keep tabs on him, asking him where he’s been, how he can be trusted, and more pointedly: how does he know Marcus won’t go to places where he’ll get killed...

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Wednesday
Dec102014

Interview: Introducing Carrie Coon, 2014's Most Exciting New Actress

Carrie Coon at the premiere of Gone Girl in NYCActors who can register potently in all three acting mediums are less common than you'd think. Some movie stars are duds on stage (and vice versa) and, though it's becoming less of an issue as mediums shift and even merge, you can sometimes spot noticeable scale shifts in charisma in the actors who jump back and forth between TV and film as if one is the place they were born to live in and the other a nice place to visit. The lines may be blurring as more and more actors make a habit of doing all three but some actors seem right everywhere. It's not the medium but the acting itself that's their true home.

Carrie Coon is not a superstar (yet) -- "I'm not famous," she insists as we settle into our conversation about her breakthrough year -- but whichever medium you first caught her in, chances are you've already fallen. In a shockingly swift and continuous series of firsts over the past year and a half she's logged her first Broadway show (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Tony Nomination 2013) her first series regular TV (The Leftovers, expect nominations any second now) and her first film (Gone Girl, a huge hit, and inarguably one of the most talked about features of the year even if its awards season prospects are still hard to read).

Perhaps it's a case of mutual Midwestern ease but our hastily scheduled phone call feels not unlike meeting a very cool stranger a party who is completely chill and ready to TALK.

Our conversation on Gone Girl & The Leftovers is after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb192014

Contest: See Toni Collette & Marisa Tomei on Broadway!

I have a special surprise for you NYC-area readers whose actressexuality extends beyond the silver screen to the stage. I have one pair of tickets for the March 12th dress rehearsal of the new Broadway play The Realistic Joneses to give away. It stars Toni Collette, Michael C Hall, and Marisa Tomei. I've seen all of them perform live and they're every bit as good on stage as they are onscreen (not something that can be said of all film actors!).

"How well do you know your neighbors?" THE REALISTIC JONESES asks.

...a new play about love and life, friends and neighbors.

Written by Pulitzer Prize finalist WILL ENO and directed by SAM GOLD (Fun HomeSeminar), it's an outrageous, inside look at the people who live next door, the truths we think we know and the secrets we never imagined we all might share. Hailed by The New York Times as "a tender, funny and terrific new play with the spring's most enticing new cast," THE REALISTIC JONESES moves into Broadway's Lyceum Theatre on March 13.

Marisa Tomei at a Golden Globes party recentlyTickets are not on sale for this event. This is an invite only performance so you'd be with the very first audience to see it! The show begins previews the following day. 

The play also stars Tracy Letts, the playwright, of Killer JoeBug, and August: Osage County fame (you've seen him act on Homeland and he won the Tony recently for yet another revival of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf"). I spoke to him at the Critics Choice Awards and he told me that he'd be in rehearsals for this very thing on Oscar night when Meryl & Julia are competing for statues in his August: Osage County

TO ENTER THE CONTEST: Email The Film Experience by Sunday February 23rd with the following information:

 

1. "Joneses" in the subject line
2. Your full name and email
3. And a sentence or two naming your favorite Toni Collette & Marisa Tomei performances or your favorite neighbor-to-neighbor relationship from a movie (so many to choose from)

Good luck! 

 

Friday
May102013

Yes, No, Maybe So: "August: Osage County"

Oscar-teasing trailers are just like Oscar bait movies: they all come out at the same time. Can't there be a little breathing room? After Captain Phillips warned us that Tom Hanks (and Paul Greengrass) are ready to come roaring back... After Gravity teased us with visual effects so terrifying that the prospect of Sandra Bullock acting out existential despair (not something she's known for you must admit) already seems like The Must Event of the Year... After The Butler threw a Handful of Presidents & First Ladies , Oscar Winners, Ten History Lessons, and OpPRRRrraaAAHHHh in one trailer pot and stirred itself into an Oscar Bait Frenzy (or Parody)... came The Weinstein Co's major player: AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY.

The film stars 3 Oscar winners (Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper), 3 nominees (Juliette Lewis, Sam Shepard, Abigail Breslin), 1 underappreciated awesome fellow (Ewan McGregor), 1 recent Emmy winner (Martindale), 1 rising star Benedict Cumberbatch, 1 curiously resurgent Dermot Mulroney and 1 Misty Upham from Frozen River... so you know FYC ads will have to be five page spreads. The Hollywood Reporter's already counting the ad dollars because that's a lot of names to push. [more after the jump]

Click to read more ...