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Entries in Tracy Letts (9)

Thursday
May112017

The Real Link Deal

Today's Must Read
"I am Diane Keaton's Crisp White Shirt" an imagined monologue by Charlotte Barnett. I can't even describe how much I love this, guys. I love it as hard as Diane Keaton's crying jag in Somethings Gotta Give is long.

I am immaculate, woven by gods from fibers of cotton and Nancy Meyers’ discarded screenplays...

Movies
EW talks to Cate Blanchett about Manifesto but works in a Carol bit, too, bless them.
Interview talks to Tracy Letts of The Lovers about his dual career as acclaimed actor and award winning playwright

Go Fug Yourself Elle Fanning on the cover of Vogue
Tracking Board Jeff Goldblum's career is busiers than ever. Now he's signed on for a thriller called Hotel Artemis with Jodie Foster and Sofia Boutella
EW Anya Taylor-Joy and Maise Williams will play Magik and Wolfsbane in the New Mutants movie. (But it's still so diappointing that the rumor is that the movie is leaving out the Asian member of the original comic book group, Karma. Who also happened to be an LGBT character. Hollywood just loooooves gay erasure and whitewashing. They cannot get enough.)
Variety Thom Yorke, of Radiohead fame, hired to score the remake of Suspiria from director Luca Guadagnino
NYT Michael Parks, Tarantino favorite and prolific character ever, dies at 77
THR Kenny Miller, B movie actor of 1950s drive-in classics dies at 85
Variety talks to the costume designer of Snatched, dressing for laughs
The Playlist remember that Michelle Williams movie Suite Francaise that had Oscar buzz but then sat on a shelf for years? It's now going to Lifetime TV

TV
BuzzFeed is thankfully keeping this handy list of cancellations and renewals on TV up to date. I'm so sad about The Real O'Neals . I expected American Crime  but anthology cancellations hurt less since they come to a natural end each year anyway.
Vulture 13 shows that defined dystopian TV before The Handmaid's Tale
VF Hollywood Scandal probably ending next season. But will ABC shift their drama strategy away from wealth porn?

And the teaser FINALLY for Top of the Lake Season 2 starring Elisabeth Moss and Nicole Kidman. We couldn't be more excited about it. If you missed season 1 with Elisabeth Moss investigating the disappearance of a young girl and finding a much larger crime that she wasn't expecting you really must catch up with it. Jane Campion's still got it and she still makes riveting human drama rife with feminist implications.

Stage
WAMC Will Swenson talks about Waitress
Theater Mania Tina Fey on her new Mean Girls musical
Playbill Glenn Close remembers her Broadway debut, going from understudy to star
Playbill Lin-Manuel Miranda to fund O'Neill Theater Center Scholarship for artists of color

Friday
May052017

Debra Winger in "The Lovers"

by Murtada

Allow me to tell you a story about Debra Winger and the ever lasting effect she had on a 9 year old boy. That is how old I was when I rented An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) from my local video store. I was so enthralled that I hid the tape - since I wasn’t allowed to watch R rated flicks - and watched again and again, refusing to return it as the late fees piled on. I didn’t even fully speak or understand English at the time, but I got everything that Winger was conveying. As an impressionable young gay you’d think I’d be more interested in Richard Gere. And sure I found him attractive, but it was Winger I identified with. Something about the mix of pride and anguish she had as Paula, the small town factory girl trying to break free to a better life, enchanted me and I became an eternal admirer.

Imagine my excitement then to see her in a film for the first time in years. Directed by Azazel Jacobs and co-starring Tracy Letts, The Lovers is about a long married couple who are both in serious affairs (with Aiden Gillen and Melora Walters). They find themselves inexplicably once again attracted to each other, re-igniting a passionate physical relationship that has serious ramifications for everyone in their lives. Winger has a prickly but earthy presence that makes one understand why these two guys are so into her. As someone who is involved in two affairs, she has to lie a lot and what a bad liar she is. She forgets the lie the second it leaves her mouth which means everyone knows she is a liar. Winger makes that running joke endearing and funny yet also spikes it with a devil may care shrug that fits the sharp woman she’s playing. It’s a joy of a performance.

Winger is well matched by Letts who amuses as a man who is exasperated by almost everyone in his life. His realization that the wife he doesn’t see anymore might be the one after all, is poignant and full of heart. The relationship and foibles are well realized and take us to surprising places, and the two leads are hard to resist even as their characters hurt themselves and others.

In recent interviews Winger mentioned that the reason for her intermittent work in the last two decades, is that she got interested in other stuff beyond film. She lately started watching more, especially on tv, and that's how she found Jacobs's previous film Terri (2011). She loved it and wrote him a letter saying "If you ever think of me for anything, I'd love to work with you because your touch was pretty sweet." And that is how they came to collaborate on The Lovers.

Debra, please watch more and definately write more letters to the directors you like. We’ve missed you.

The Lovers opened today in limited release in New York and LA.


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...

Click to read more ...

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 ...

Sunday
Dec302012

Did You Gag on "Killer Joe"?

My screenings these past two weeks -- cram session! -- to complete year end business, have been like one wild tonal shift after another swinging as they have from meta rib-nudging (Seven Psycopaths) to the hormonally twee (Take This Waltz), severely depressed (Oslo August 31st) and on through the defiantly stiff and self-medicated (The Deep Blue Sea)... I can't possibly write about them all. But I did feel the night to blurt out (choke out?) a few sentences on William Friedkin's Killer Joe based on the play of the same name by Tracy Letts.

Friedkin and Letts aren't quite joined at the hip as collaborators go despite the Oscar winning filmmaker taking the cinematic reigns on both Bug and Joe. Letts most acclaimed play August: Osage County went to another filmmaker though it's fascinating to think what Friedkin might have done with the material. He is, after all, at least as willing as Letts to attack his material with edgy flair, wicked humor and artistic abandon... for better and worse.

[NC17 madness and two SPOILER images after the jump]

Click to read more ...