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Entries in Tracy Letts (11)

Wednesday
Jul192017

'Lady Bird' Picked Up by A24

By Spencer Coile

After stellar performances in Greenberg, Frances Ha, Mistress America, 20th Century Women, and countless indies in the past decade, it was only a matter of time before Greta Gerwig got behind the directorial seat. Her debut film, Lady Bird, the story of a Sacramento teenager (Saoirse Ronan) who prepares to go to college in New York City has officially been picked up by A24 and is looking at a fall release. Co-written with frequent collaborator Noah Baumbach, Lady Bird also features Laurie Metcalf, Lucas Hedges, and Tracy Letts. 

With any luck, Gerwig's debut will begin generating Oscar buzz already -- A24 has seen some great success in the past few years (one notable example being 20th Century Women and recent Best Picture winner, Moonlight). And although it is too soon to call the film's Oscar chances, one thought remains abdundantly clear: Greta Gerwig's career is at a steady trajectory, and we are just lucky enough to be witnessing it firsthand. 

Wednesday
Jun072017

Everyone Joins "The Papers"

by Ben Miller

Steven Spielberg made news a few months back with word that his next film about the Pentagon Papers would bring together two American treasures in Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep.  The film, originally referred to as The Post and now titled The Papers, chronicles the Washington Post’s Vietnam War expose’ with Hanks and Streep as the Post’s editor and publisher, respectively. 

The big news is who else has been cast in the supporting roles.  Rather, who hasn’t been cast...

Click to read more ...

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 ...