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Entries in Viggo Mortensen (18)

Tuesday
Apr282015

Tribeca: Men in the Desert

Our Tribeca coverage is wrapping up. Here's Abstew on two new features starring Oscar Isaac and Viggo Mortensen respectively...

 

Mojave
You have to admire a film that trusts its audience enough to not spell things out for them. Writer/director William Monahan (who won an Oscar for his screenplay for The Departed) allows his film Mojave to unfold like a crazy fever dream as two opposing men in the desert (Garrett Hedlund and Oscar Isaac) wax on poetically about everything from Jesus' temptation to...god only knows what. As a drifter with a gravelly voice and tendency to call everyone brother, Isaac relishes the opportunity to play his unhinged character, making choices that are anything but safe. But Hedlund's straight man is overshadowed by Isaac's wild-eyed stalker, never making them feel evenly matched. And as the film plays out, it starts to feel like perhaps nothing has been spelled out for us because there's nothing actually happening - populated with indie movie eccentrics (Walter Goggins briefly shows up in his tightey whiteys to spout some random thoughts) and a story that can only be described as convoluted...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec142014

Missi's Obligatory Self-Promotion

Editor's Note: We're thrilled to have Missi Pyle guest-blogging for a day. I made her do this topic!

Kim Dickens & Missi Pyle (GONE GIRL) at the Hollywood Film Awards last month

What I am working on now

-by Missi Pyle

So yes. I sing. 'You sing?' People often ask? Yes. I do. I write (mostly) silly songs and I sing them. For awhile I had a band with Shawnee Smith. We did a pilot together and we got to talking one day and she asked me what I really wanted. And I said. To be in a band. That would be heaven. and she said. "OK. I'll do it with you. But just know. Its not all its cracked up to be. You'll be disappointed."

And we did. We made an album with Chris Goss, another genius human I have been lucky enough to work with. Shawnee and I's band was "Smith and Pyle". The album is It's OK to be Happy and you can get it on Itunes. Since then, I have been writing songs with a few other people and I have been working on an album for 4 years again with Chris Goss and I have about 20 songs. Ranging from titles like "I wanna fuck you up" to "Armageddon Excited" and there are a few simple (hopefully) sweet ones in there, too. I am terrible at self promotion but I WILL get this album out in 2015. I am making a video for "I wanna fuck you up" in January and hopefully someone will watch it.

If you wanna check out some of my stuff, check out my youtube channel. I sometimes get drunk and record myself singing. Hmmm maybe you shouldnt check it out. but if you wanna...

I had a crazy busy year. I have done more movies this year than in the last five combined. It has been wonderful. My agents keep telling me to say no. but I'm scared of another dry spell I guess.

Viggo with this screen kids in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

  • Highly Functional ...is a sweet roadtrip movie about a kid with Autism and I have a couple scenes with Bruce Campbell. He is a trip. And the movie will be great. 
  • Captain Fantastic ...is written and directed by another modern day genius Matt Ross. The script is so fucking good and I get to (almost) make out with Viggo Mortensen.
  • Another Period ...is a new show coming out on Comedy Central starring Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome. It spoofs period dramas. I play the local society queen bee Celery. It is soooo funny and I get to wear super great costumes and be a total bitch. I worked with Tom Lennon who is the greatest master of improv of all time.
  • Bordertown ...is a new animated series on Fox. I think we got pushed so we are airing in the fall now? But it is the story of a fictional town called Mexifornia on the border of California and you know, Mexico. It is HILARIOus. I play a 200 pound 5 year old named Gert who is like honey boo boo on steroids. It stars Hank Azaria and Alex Borstein. It has been super dreamy!

 

previous Missi - advice for actors, gone girl & nancy grace

Sunday
Oct192014

Podcast Leftover Pt. 2

Here's part two of our long delayed festival wrap in which we discuss favorites, celebrity run-ins and hilarious Q&A anecdotes. Enjoy the conversation with Nick Davis, Nathaniel R, and special guests Angelo Muredda and Amir Soltani and continue it in the comments

Discussion includes but is not limited to:

  • It Follows
  • Felicity Jones, Mike Leigh, and Viggo Mortensen
  • Documentary greats from Silvered Water to The Look of Silence
  • Iran's Oscar Submission
  • Directors: Mike Leigh, Peter Strickland, Lav Diaz, Jessica Hausner, and Damian Chazelle

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download on iTunes tomorrow

Festival Leftovers. Pt 2

Saturday
Oct042014

NYFF: 'Jauja' Loses Viggo (And The Audience) In The Wilderness

NYFF continues with Michael C on Jauja starring Viggo Mortensen

Lisandro Alonso’s Jauja does so many things that critics complain films don’t do, I feel obligated to love it. It has a rich sense of atmosphere. It’s thoughtful. Alonso composes his frames beautifully, and he has the patience to hold on them until every last ounce of meaning has been wrung from the image. It does all this and more, so why was it that by the halfway point I was hoping the projector would break down so I could bolt for the exit?

I think it has to do with the fact that Jauja is made with near total disregard for the audience, and I don’t mean its glacial pacing. If a film is going to be this impenetrable, in fairness, it should contain enough ideas to occupy the audience’s mind while the action on screen is making the slower parts of Gus Van Sant’s Gerry look like Jurassic Park. Jauja contains ideas enough to support your average short film. There’s only so much symbolism about colonialism one can extract from Viggo stumbling alone and confused through the Argentinean wilderness, and for me Jauja’s pulse dies about the fifth time he pauses to refill his canteen. Jauja doesn’t illuminate or challenge so much as it gathers a group of potential story elements into a bundle, ties that bundle to a balloon and then watches placidly as the whole thing floats off into the distance. Not even a late film swerve into the surreal is enough to jolt a heartbeat back into the proceedings. 

Most of the film’s ideas (and 90% of the plot) are frontloaded into the film’s opening act. Details are sketchy but we can be sure that Viggo plays a Danish army captain traveling with his beautiful 15-year-old daughter, Ingeborg, to South America in the late 1800’s. He’s a surveyor, there to aid the military’s attempts to carve civilization out of the wilderness, but that mission quickly takes a backseat to the job of shielding his daughter from the swarm of military men who take an immediate and unwholesome interest in her. When Ingeborg runs off with a handsome young soldier Viggo grabs his saber and sets off into the Argentinean wild after them in what appears to be the start of a dark chase movie but is actually a plunge into an existential void.

Jauja must be working for some viewers since it won the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes. It certainly plays with the confidence of a film that turned out exactly as its maker intended. Outside the rarified air of the international festival circuit Jauja would probably be most at home as an installation projected on the wall of a modern art museum where patrons can be free to ponder Viggo speaking Danish and staggering over rocks until they feel they have gotten everything out of it they are going to get. (15 to 20 minutes is sufficient). As a movie, it reminds me of the classic intellectual defense of “You have to listen to the notes he’s not playing.” To find Jauja a rewarding experience you have to appreciate all the movie Alonso did not make.

 

 

 

P.S. It’s pronounced “How-huh” and it refers to the Spanish term for an idyllic utopia. How this relates to the film, like everything else in Jauja, is a bit tough to pinpoint. Jauja screens Tuesday October 7th (9 PM) with Viggo in attendance for a Q&A and Thursday Oct 9th (6 PM)

 

Friday
Sep052014

Review: The Two Faces of January

Michael Cusumano here to review the latest stylistic throwback based on the writing of Patricia Highsmith.

When people gripe “They don’t make ‘em like they used to” films like Hossein Amini’s The Two Faces of January are the kind of movie they mean. It’s adapted from the work of an acclaimed novelist whose books were the source of such beloved films as The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train. It features big stars in sumptuous foreign locales. It is made with a careful attention to detail. It doesn’t dumb things down or clutter the plot up with needless action. It is fair to say I was primed to love this movie, yet it never quite jolts to life. At some point my investment in the story passed from suspense to impatience. It never went so far as indifference, but I was pretty far from the edge of my seat. Rather, I was leaned back in my chair, head in my hand, thinking what a classy job everyone involved was doing and admiring the sumptuous visuals and thinking how this was going to end up being one of those reviews that used the word “sumptuous” a lot.

The key problem is that foreign intrigue of the Hitchcock variety requires storytelling that stays a few steps ahead of the audience, and it's easy to keep leaping ahead of January’s characters. Far too much time is spent with characters sitting in cafés, smoking, drinking, and eyeing each other suspiciously, when they should be trying to have sex with or murder one another, preferably both. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr182013

Moore Maps The Stars For Cronenberg

JA from MNPP here, checking in with some movie news while Nathaniel heads off to fair Nashville - have you been following the progress of David Cronenberg's next film, the one called Map to the Stars? He's been speaking of making this movie, apparently a Hollywood satire of some sort, since way back in 2006. His then-muse Viggo Mortensen was going to star; as time passed it looked like it would be Viggo alongside Cronenberg's now-muse Robert Pattinson, with Rachel Weisz as the female lead. About a month ago Weisz dropped out and we were worried that the movie might not be happening (especially since Cronenberg's trying acting again in Luca Guadagnino's next flick)...

... but fear no more! Deadline's got word that the goddess Julianne Moore and the, uh, not-goddess John Cusack have now joined the film, and that it will be filming in July (in Toronto, of course). Julianne Moore in a David Cronenberg movie just about makes me wanna click my heels together and perform a dance routine down the street, and is plenty to overcome my, uh, apathy, regarding Cusack. And yes, it does seem that Cusack is replacing Viggo in the picture, so it will be Robert Pattinson and John Cusack as the male leads. I'm sure some of you will not take kindly to that; I personally thought Pattinson was fantastic in Cosmopolis, though.

Also on board is Sarah Gadon - if you've seen anything made with the name "Cronenberg" on it in the past three years, you have seen her. She played Michael Fassbender's wife in A Dangerous Method, and Robert Pattinson's wife in Cosmopolis, and she was the virus-stricken celebrity at the center of David's son Brandon Cronenberg's body-horror piece Antiviral (which I just reviewed the other day). These fellas sure do love them some Sarah Gadon, it seems.