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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Vera Farmiga (12)

Monday
Jun092014

Tony Award Winners

Did you watch the Tony Awards last night? The evening began with Hugh Jackman proving his physical fitness -- his knees get such a workout -- by hopping through his entire continuous shot production number, basically a tour of the backstage and upcoming performers in costume.

That led to a night of high energy but strange and touristy musical number choices like numbers from ancient top-selling shows (Les Miz and Wicked) rather than new ones that need the sales help and non-Broadway celebrities like Sting and Jennifer Hudson taking up a lot of room to sell shows that aren't even open. It'd be a bit like the Oscars going "how about Interstellar?" while giving prizes to Gravity back in March. 

Hugh Jackman also rapped with LL Cool Jr via the famously chatty opening number of "The Music Man" Hugh Jackman has now spent 14 years of his career playing Wolverine and at this point he's really wasting his life (I mean once you have 100s of millions, what's 20 million more?). He needs to commit and make only movie musicals before he's too old.  

Highlights and winners of the night after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb272014

Where My Girls At? Chastain, Farmiga, Kidman, Bening

And now another edition of "Where My Girls At?" which occurs whenever Nathaniel is longing for actresses who have temporarily gone missing. I'm focusing this one on the beauties we won't even be seeing at the Oscars this year. 

JESSICA CHASTAIN
Did you see this photo Jessica Chastain posted to her Facebook account?

She wrote:

That's a wrap for me on A Most Violent Year. Working with talent like JC Chandor and Oscar Isaac are the reason I love my job. I'm a very lucky girl. xxjes

Somehow I hadn't clocked this new project but it's an 1980s NY set thriller (so that explains the look) about an immigrant (one presumes that's Isaac, who seems to symbolize any "foreign" element these days to Hollywood) trying to capitalize on business opportunities but beware of Violence! Decay! Corruption! I miss Jes, don't you? I know that's insane since I saw her live in September at TIFF and because before she disappeared from movie screens after Mama she was everywhere for over a year. But Mama opened in January 2013 and almost 14 months is a lot of time without her given how we were introduced, you know? 14 months is a long time for her to be absent from screens but she'll be back soon since she's already completed three more pictures (Miss Julie, Interstellar, and this one) with another, Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak moving right along for 2015.

VERA FARMIGA
The other day I was staring at pictures of my last multiple Oscargasm (when was yours?) and since it was 33% Farmiga, I was like "hey, where she be?" I know I know. You can watch her on television weekly if you so choose but I guess my despair at great actresses going the TV route is that if you don't like the show they're on (or the character they play) that's the main thing they'll be doing for years so you lose them. With an off movie you can just move on and wait for the next one. But in addition to The Bates Motel she has movies on the way. Her latest, a Romanian set crime comedy Closer to the Moon with Mark Strong just started screening at festivals in December. In October we'll see her in the large and Oscar friendly supporting cast of The Judge which stars Robert Downey Jr (in his first big dramatic role outside of franchise culture in five years) as a man who returns home for his mom's funeral to find that his dad is accused of her murder. She might costar in a Bronx set comedy called The Locals with Shirley Maclaine and Alan Arkin (but that's two years away and who knows if it'll actually happen). And finally, she'll star in the sequel to The Conjuring for an October 2015 release. That film was such a smash hit last year that it's basically spawned two sequels. There's one coming up this October, sans Farmiga, focused on Annabelle the doll - I guess Chucky's absence created a vacuum? 

 

pics from the Queen of the Desert set

NICOLE KIDMAN
She's working herself into the ground which is just how we like it: more more more. 2013 was a quiet year with only Stoker offered (for which she was Saturn-nominated) but the next two years are full plates. She has two films with Colin Firth hitting soon, the thriller Before I Go To Sleep and the period drama The Railway Man (which I've already seen - unfortunately it doesn't give her very much to do as the supportive wife to a man struggling with his prisoner of war past). Paddington Bear, in which she plays the comic villain (a change of pace for her) and Grace of Monaco, in which she plays uh Grace of Monaco are also emerging in 2014, the latter at the Cannes film festival. Four movies means the return of Kidmania!  But the upcoming project that's most exciting, given the upgrade in the director's chair, is Queen of the Desert from the always interesting Werner Herzog. She's playing Gertrude Bell and since that's a biographical part, we can hope it's another opportunity for endless red carpet walks. Our #1 Aussie auteur-collecting goddess has posted a couple of pictures to her facebook account including an amusing "Meet Barbie" featuring her camel co-star (which seems to have disappeared from her page? weird or I'd link). Two more films have been announced, one is even an Australian picture, but a lot can happen before movies get before the cameras so we'll wait to anticipate those. 

 

Berenice Bejo on the set of The Search

THE BENING
Yes, that's a picture of Berenice Bejo above. I shall explain. I was hoping the success of The Kids Are All Right (2010) would keep her in leading roles into this decade but so far she's only had small supporting roles in indies that barely anyone saw. The Face of Love is a lead but unfortunately will suffer the same fate. So we look further ahead. Her next film Imagine is a comedy starring Al Pacino from the very successful screenwriter Dan Fogelman (who is sitting in the director's chair for the first time) but the ensemble cast is peppered with name actors like Jennifer Garner, Christopher Plummer and Bening herself. The Bening is also making her third film with Warren Beatty this year. After 20 some years of development (no one will ever claim Beatty as the Hare in a race) it's suddenly filming but I believe Bening's role is minor since the focus is on two young actors. I love Warren Beatty (both as a director and as an actor) and I've been waiting for him to reemerge for 13 years now (Bulworth was so underappreciated) but since I am not fond of either of the film's lead actors (Lily Collins and Alden Ehrenreich) I will safely be able to keep my expectations way down and just look forward to it as a chance to spot more (presumable) star cameos than a movie has had since The Player. One potentially very interesting project, also currently filming, is The Search from the Oscar winning director of The Artist Michel Hazanaviciuz. It's a reworking of the Montgomery Clift classic but with a gender swap in the leading role (his wife Bejo) as the adult who forms a bond with a child in a war torn country. Since Bening is the biggest name in it, I assume she's got a large supporting role. 

Tuesday
Aug062013

Beauty Break: It's Vera Farmiga. Fan Yourself!

I met Vera once for an interview, and I can verify that she is a vision in person... the startling eyes. the skin. the hotness. the shoes! (she was rocking a pair of heels she'd literally JUST bought before the interview) so today on her 40th birthday let's wish her all the happiness.

And does anybody look better in fanned collars or gowns? Witness!

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar222013

Two TV Takes: "Southland" & "Bates Motel"

As I wait anxiously for the next great TV series to arrive -- where are you? -- I thought we should talk a little about two very different shows and the axis of Concept and Execution. Mad Men gets "A"s in both but most TV shows have to struggle through by leaning on one or the other. Having a good and/or original concept can win you a lot of leeway if your execution is problematic (see: Smash) but what of the inverse? Enter... Southland now in its 4th season. On the surface and at its core Southland is just another police procedural. You've seen it before and you will see it again.

So why the hell is Southland so damn good?

"How to Be Awesome"
The answer is all in the Execution. more...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov232012

Are You Excited For "Bates Motel" or "Hannibal"?

Alfred Hitchcock is getting as much attention this year as 007, what with Vertigo topping the Sight & Sound poll and the new Hitchcock biopic that references Hitchcockian mythology from 1958 through 1962 but focuses mostly on Psycho (1960). All that plus a new TV show that will look at the life of Young Norman (Freddie Highmore) and the infamous Mrs. Bates (Vera Farmiga) long before she was a dead woman rotting away in the fruit cellar. 

The first official image released inspires hope. It didn't go for something obviously CREEPY. Instead, counterintuitively, it's calm and painterly ...very Wyeth... and if you knew nothing of Psycho you might not even think of blood...blood... oh god mother the blood!

As a general rule I hate Hollywood's fascination with prequels, an obvious example of their creative bankruptcy but also, more dangerously, a key contributor to the dearth of imagination in audiences. It trains people to be passive viewers as if it's anathema to participate in what you're watching and create your own narratives to align with particularly gripping stories you're told. This is a strange dichotomous development considering that the easy access to art and technology these days seems to have actually inspired more participation... so why do people still want inspiration-killing backstories... the worst examples ever being the Star Wars prequels which just robbed the originals of their mythological potency. THIS IS WHAT CAUSED THAT. THIS BECAME THAT. REMEMBER THAT BIT? IT'S BECAUSE OF THIS. LET ME HOLD YOUR HAND AND OVER EXPLAIN EVERYTHING.

So I'm confused that I'm so excited for this. It must be the resilience of Psycho. It's already withstood several sequels, countless ripoffs and parodies and one recreation, and the kind of marrow deep cultural impact that you'd think would make it feel redundant to watch. Nope. It still terrifies and intrigues. The casting of the prequel series is also compelling. Freddie seems ideal, right? And Farmiga is one of the big screen's most compelling actresses, even if Hollywood isn't really helping her deliver on her potential -- even after her Departed / Up in the Air hit Oscar films breakthrough. What gives?

Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) enjoys his meal. Not vegeratian.

Still, with Dexter long overstaying his welcome on Showtime (this season started strong but quickly devolved and last season was just bad bad television... and there's still one more to go!) and Hannibal (yes, The Silence of the Lambs' Hannibal) about to get his own prequel series, doesn't TV already have enough 'life inside the head of a serial killer' drama? Serial killers are to television now what they were to the movies in the mid to late 90s.

Have you had enough or do you still enjoy the genre?