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Entries in Vanessa Redgrave (18)

Monday
Feb102014

Link Shelf

Can we talk about the official Oscar site for a minute? The past few years they've really improved it but some things are questionable. Like their live blog of the nominee luncheon being just a series of photos or this weird article about the biggest Oscar surprises evers that seeks to rewrite history and imagine a world where everyone didn't know that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were winning Screenplay for Good Will Hunting. LMFAO. Everyone knew that. But I have to say that I love their nominee questionnaire. Especially the handwritten responses from various celebrities and filmmakers.

Okay, Links
Pajiba Fox News' hilariously dumb war against the "anti-capitalist" The LEGO Movie. Hahaha. I swear they get dumber every year over there and they were pretty stoopid to begin with
Glenn Dunks Laura Dern's greatest faces
i09 the cast of Frozen, including Idina, did a live concert. Will Disney finally wise up and realize original voice recordings are better than overproduced lame pop versions of the song? 
/Film Weinstein Co drops a lot of money on Imitation Game (2014). We already thought it was an Oscar contender and this confirms it

Oh and have you seen McConaughey on Graham Norton talking about his Wolf of Wall Street chant? For some reason Julianne Moore is there, too, and eager to hear it. (I missed this episode, obviously)


Cinema Blend Anne Hathaway considering taking the lead role in The Intern, vacated by Reese Witherspoon opposite Robert DeNiro (but why are there two recent comedies about middle aged or senior guys doing internships -- is this a business trend I'm unaware of or just Hollywood being dumb?)
Grantland Mark Harris on Oscar season turning ugly
Pillow Tweets [NSFW] W Magazine has compiled a bunch of photos of stars in various states of undress with their white sheets and pillows including current Oscar nominee Pharrell Williams, increasingly naked Miley Cyrus, Joe Manganiello, noted homosexual Luke Evans and many more.

BOOKS!
I wanted to take the time out to congratulate some online writer friends. Manuel Muñoz's first full novel "What You See in the Dark" was inspired by and evolves as kind of an adjacent story to the making of Hitchcock's Psycho (we've discussed it a few times because it's awesome) and it's now been translated into French - here's a review if you're a francophone! Christopher Smith, who once upon a time vouched for me for BFCA membership, left film reviewing to become a best-selling novelist.He just keeps churning them out!  

But the real reason I'm posting this is three more online friends have new books out or arriving soon! Kenneth in the (212) wrote the pop culture saturated memoir "Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful?" which is available now. Dan Callahan, who was delighted when we coined the term 'actressexual' here (and definitely is one) has previously written a book on Barbara Stanwyck. His new book is  "A Life of Vanessa Redgrave" which doesn't arrive until May but I have a delicious looking copy on my coffee table because I am special. And last but not least, the Self Styled Siren (a must read blogger for you fans of classic cinema) also has a book coming out later in 2014 though I don't think we're allowed to share details just yet. Be assured that we'll discuss it when it arrives. I am officially now the only reasonably-somewhat-sort-of-well-known blogger I've ever met who never got a book deal. I am officially also quite happy for all of them. Well done! 

Wednesday
Dec182013

Top Ten: The Best Sister Acts in Hollywood History

Today's top ten list was inspired by the passing of the great Joan Fontaine, half of Hollywood's most embittered AND most successful sibling rivalry, all-female division. Usually when a movie star has a sibling, one is considerably less successful than the other which is why the Fontaine & de Havilland business was so enduringly fascinating. (If we're talking mixed gender siblings only Warren Beatty & Shirley Maclaine are truly comparable in terms of parallel mega-careers). I'm dedicating this list to the Talmadge sisters, silent screen stars (though most of their work did not survive) as well as the one and only Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorleac (her gorgeous elder sister who died way too young)... those Young Girls of Rochefort. But Rochefort is a long way from Hollywood.

HOLLYWOOD'S TOP TEN FOURTEEN (ACTRESS) SISTER ACTS

The Sisters Mara: Kate & Rooney

14 Kate Mara (1983-) & Rooney Mara (1985-)
Rooney, currently playing Joaquin's ex-wife in Her, became a very big deal two years ago with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Kate is currently working the Netflix original House of Cards. If Hollywood futures are kind they'll climb this informal list.

13 more actressy-sibling sets after the jump

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Friday
May172013

Ruth Wilcox’s May Flowers

They’re arriving so late in the day because Mrs. Wilcox is a nymph who travels at night.

As far as evocative film openings go this lush green opening for Howards End ranks among the top for me. Really, though, many films would be vastly improved if they open with a strolling Vanessa Redgrave. more...

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Saturday
Oct202012

LFF: Sightseeing British talent

David here reporting on three homegrown participants in the 56th BFI London Film Festival.

Steve Oram & Alice Lowe in 'Sightseers'A distinctly British melding of comedy and horror grew from the roots of Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, and it’s telling that Wright has an executive producer credit on Sightseers, director Ben Wheatley’s follow-up to his terrifying, schizoid Kill List, which made it to US theatres earlier this year. Sightseers proves similarly unclassifiable, but the black magic horror of Kill List is replaced by a crunching absurdity. Co-writers Steve Oram and Alice Lowe star as Chris and Tina, a young couple who leave behind Tina’s demanding, cruel but dependent mother and set out on a sightseeing tour around England that quickly becomes a killing spree after Chris reverses over a tourist he witnessed littering. Justifications for the killings range from a rambler’s “smug complacency” to Tina’s sexual jealousy, removing any kind of social agenda from Oram and Lowe’s anarchic, cruelly witty script. Instead they parody usual clichés – Tina is still affected by the loss of her dog, who meets an unfortunate end by knitting needle in flashback – and affectionately mock bullshit social rhetoric. There’s a guilty pleasure in our enjoyment of the escalating brutality of the situation and how the pair’s romantic entanglement evolves through this. Despite their obvious issues, Chris and Tina are genuinely entertaining people to spend time with, and the surreal, morbid flourishes of humour combine with dark flares of blood to make for a generic hybrid that has been deftly melded together. Sightseers is worth making tracks to see. (A-)

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Friday
Jun152012

Oscar Snub? Supporting Actress 1987

Witches of Eastwick 25th anniversary week ends this weekend. I intended to do much more but we'll see what little can be conjured still.

Cherries, Oatmeal, Satan and her weak husband just make her sick!

Film Experience Trivia: Veronica Cartwright was the star of the very first episode of Craig's "Take Three" series right here (well, at the old location) in 2010. He spotlighted her work in three genre pieces (Alien in which she was originally cast as Ripley (!!!) , Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Witches of Eastwick) concluding that she is the sci-fi-horror scream queen. On Witches:

Cartwright's skill at creating profoundly memorable characters is none more evident than in Witches: you see the very bile rise up in Felicia's face; she vehemently means every word in her religious rants, summoning up as she does some kind of wicked, wrathful acting goddess. With cherry-scented vomit (or even hospital oatmeal) smeared ungainly across her mouth, and spitting hellfire sermons at everyone who'll listen, Cartwright was unafraid to eschew vanity to maintain supporting performance perfection. If the "Alien" lead was stolen away, a Best Supporting Actress nod was more so here. Remote-control fruit-based possession doesn't get any classier than this.

...she exited the film way too soon. 

There were surely people at the time who thought she over reached but when you're the god-fearing counterpart to Jack Nicholson's Devil, you have to go big.

SO, LET'S TALK OSCAR 1987. Here's how the year shook out for Best Supporting Actresses but did you agree with their choices?  

The Oscar List

I saw Moonstruck for the first time in 2 decades last year. My god it holds up. Dukakis, Cher, the screenplay, Nicolas Cage even? All fantastic.

  • Norma Aleandro, Gaby: A True Story
  • Anne Archer, Fatal Attraction
  • Olympia Dukakis, Moonstruck (WINNER)
  • Anne Ramsey, Throw Momma From the Train
  • Ann Sothern, The Whales of August

 

The Globe List
the same list but for the following

  • Ann Sothern, The Whales of August
  • Vanessa Redgrave, Prick Up Your Ears ( also won the prestigious NYFCC Prize)

 

Vanessa, like Shirley Maclaine, is an oft-nominated Oscar caliber performer who also happens to have a surprisingly large list of snubs (despite the oft-nominated part) suggesting that if they don't love her work in a given year, they don't feel welcoming.

Martha Plimpton in a very unsettling scene in "Shy People". Good movie that's hard to find now.The Indie Spirit List

  • Karen Allen, The Glass Menagerie
  • Kathy Baker, Street Smart (also won the NSFC Prize)
  • Anjelica Huston, The Dead (WINNER)
  • Martha Plimpton, Shy People
  • Ann Sothern, The Whales of August

 

I haven't seen Street Smart or The Whales of August but I remember liking the other three performances quite a lot. Sometimes I think I should watch The Dead again as an adult because I'm pretty sure I didn't fully understand it as a teen. I'm always hoping (in vain) that Martha Plimpton's current fame as a dramatic stage star and Emmy nominated comedic lead on Raising Hope will remind people of what a fresh compelling presence she was on the big screen in the 1980s. So talented that one.

The BAFTA List

  • Maria Aitken, A Fish Called Wanda
  • Anne Archer, Fatal Attraction
  • Judi Dench, A Handful of Dust (WINNER, Oscar eligible the following year but wasn't nominated)
  • Olympia Dukakis, Moonstruck

Though I've seen all of these films I'll admit to trouble recalling Aitken and Dench's work in those films. But I haven't seen them in 20 years so...

 

Other Key But Less Kudo'ed Supporting Actresses in 1987

the scene to end all scenes for foot fetishist everywhere. Maggie Han and Joan Chen in THE LAST EMPEROR (1987)

  • Veronica Cartwright, The Witches of Eastwick (Saturn Nominee)
  • Joan Chen, The Last Emperor
  • Paulina Poriskova, Anna
  • Margaret Whitton, The Secret of My Succe$s
  • Dianne Wiest, The Lost Boys and September 
  • Sean Young, No Way Out 

 

Sean Young's current reputation as a Crazy Person is a bit unfortunate considering that in the '80s (when properly utilized) she was just on fire.

In other retrospective news... I'm never eager to call Oscar "racist" the way so many pundits do. The truth is that they can only choose from what's put in front of them in any given year. Roles for actors of color have never been as juicy nor as abundant as those offered white actors in English language fare and when they get plum opportunities they usually win attention. That said, if there's a "racial" issue with Oscar it's one that doesn't get any attention. For whatever reason, Oscar rarely ever nominates Asian actresses for anything even when they achieve international stardom or headline blockbusters of the arthouse or the multiplex (think Gong Li, Maggie Cheung, Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh) -- both of which are achievements that get European foreign-language actresses nominated on occasion. They don't even notice Asian actress when they're key players in movies that voters can't otherwise get enough of (Joan Chen right here or Ziyi in Crouching Tiger) I'm not saying Chen should have been nominated -- I haven't seen the movie in way too long -- but wouldn't she have been in other circumstances considering that she plays a drug-addled royal in a Best Picture winner?

WHAT WOULD YOUR NOMINEE LIST LOOK LIKE?
Do you like Cartwright in Witches or do you wish she (and Jack) would tone it down? Which performances do you most wish you'd seen from 1987 that won attention?