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Entries in Viggo Mortensen (39)

Friday
Nov252016

Nathaniel Gives Thanks !

Since it's Thanksgiving weekend and your presumably still digesting all that pie, let's stay reflective about gratitude, cinematic and otherwise. You've already heard from positivity-spreading volunteers among our team (Manuel, Jose, Daniel, Murtada, and Chris) so now it's my turn. I shall try very hard to come up with a few new things for which to be thankful since they stole so many of my items! 

Here are 16 things I am deeply grateful for in defiance of how awful 2016 was trying to be to all of us...

- The way Meryl Streep's eyes dart around desperately for validation during her wobbly notes in Florence Foster Jenkins. Girl, I feel you. Same.

- Brave endings that really land through force of vision and artistry from The Fits to The Witch through The Lobster and La La Land

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov062016

Podcast: The Handmaiden and Other Heavenly Creatures

We're back to weekly podcasts! This week Nick and Nathaniel revisit a summer favorite that's now on DVD and have divergent feelings about The Handmaiden despite their mutual Park Chan-wook history.

Index (41 minutes)
00:01 A Heavenly Creatures revisit
05:10 The Handmaiden and that time Nathaniel and Nick watched a Park Chan-wook together
25:00 Almodóvar's Julieta and Farhadi's The Salesman
34:00 Doctor Strangé & Captain Fantastic briefly to wrap-up

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you?  

Referenced in this conversation:
Nick's Isabelle Huppert e-mail hack | Nathaniel's photo op with Viggo Mortensen | A recent rewatch of WitnessAlama Drafthouse Night Out | 1994 Oscar Races 

The Handmaiden Fantastic

Thursday
Oct202016

King Aragorn... and Other Luminaries

It's a big day for your Lord of the Rings fans, even if you don't know it. Read on.

On this day in history as it relates to the movies
1882 Bela Lugosi is born in what was then Hungary (and now Romania). He vants to suck your blood as the original big screen Dracula. A century later Martin Landau will win a justly deserved Oscar for playing him in Tim Burton's wonderful Ed Wood (1994).
1895 Rex Ingram, one of the earliest successful black actors in Hollywood was born. Credits include: The Thief of Baghdad (as the genie), Huckleberry Finn (as Jim), and Cabin in the Sky (as Lucifer Jr)... 

1901 Frank Churchill is born in Maine. He wrote songs people still listen to today including "Baby Mine" from Dumbo and "Someday My Prince Will Come" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Tragically he committed suicide at age 40 mere months after his winning his Oscar for Dumbo...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep212016

The Best Actor Competition... What is Going On Here? 

Only two men seem to have even remotely locked up their positions in the current Best Actor race and one of those only on reputation / material alone since no one has yet seen Denzel Washington's adaptation of Fences. So is it really Denzel for this third Oscar versus Casey Affleck for his first or is there more going on? There had better be since there are five nomination slots. Ten if you think of it in terms of Golden Globe excitement come year's end.

Since romantic male leads have historically had a tough time finding Oscar nominations from the male-heavy Academy body (romance is for girls. ewwwww, cooties) I know it looks weird to suggest that both Joel Edgerton and Ryan Gosling are looking likely but at this stage the field is what the field is. Gosling in particular, an actor whose work I've always deeply loved don't misunderstand, would seem like a clear miss. Think about it. He's headlining a musical which relies heavily on his effortless dreaminess, vibrant musicality, and physical grace. Not that those aren't award worthy attributes but Oscar is very gender-rigid about which adjectives are award worthy and if you say "dreamy, musical, and graceful" they'll think Best Actress. Which is why Emma Stone is much more locked up as a competitor at this stage, even though, musically speaking, she isn't as natural a dancer or musician. (Please note: Gosling also plays piano like a pro or can fake it better than pretty much any other actor I've ever seen.)

Edgerton & Gosling's chief competition looks like very young men (in terms of Oscar-voter tastes) in the form of Miles Teller (if his movie's a success), Dev Patel (if they don't do something fishy with the campaign), and Joe Alwyn (if he's tremendous in his debut and people love the movie). I know some are banking on Matthew McConaughey in Gold or Andrew Garfield in Silence (both sight unseen) but I'm suspicious in both cases. Just a hunch. 

That's where we'll find the gold.

The lack of heavy competition in this race means that Tom Hanks will finally be back after missing so recently for his arguably best work in Best Picture nominees. We can hope that the lack of excitement in this race (to date at least) will inspire more passion votes, too. If voters aren't feeling the leading men this year they could always look at off center giants like Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic. I'd be shocked if there's five stronger leading male performances than his this year -- not that "deserves" got much to do with it. 

The New Best Actor Chart - Thoughts? 

Saturday
Sep032016

Summer Movie Season Surveyed

This article originally appeared in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It is reprinted here in a revised TFE specific but abridged version...

While summer didn’t technically begin until June 20th and isn’t technically over yet, “Summer Movie Season” is not beholden to the solstice and equinox but to The Blockbuster. Summer has long been the most lucrative season for Hollywood and so they’ve stretched it out to start earlier each year. It now tends to begin sometime in April with the release of the first movie that feels like a Summer Blockbuster proper (this year that would’ve arguably been The Jungle Book on April 15th) and ends on Labor Day, aka Any Second Now. It’s no secret that it’s been a rough summer for the quality of blockbusters. But if you’re lucky enough to live in a big city or smart enough to seek out films without gargantuan ad budgets, there was still plenty of cinema to get excited about. So herewith the Best & Worst of 2016’s Summer movie season…

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul062016

Review: Captain Fantastic

Here's Murtada with thoughts on an essential hero for these particular times, Viggo Mortensen as Captain Fantasic  (opening this weekend).

Captain Fantastic opens by immediately throwing the viewer into its physical world. Forests, mountains, people hunting and gathering. If I didn’t know the synopsis beforehand I’d have thought I was watching a update of Lord of the Flies. Instead the film is about a fiercely independent patriarch (Viggo Mortensen) raising his six children in forests of the Pacific Northwest, teaching them how to thrive while turning his back on a conventional contemporary life and what it means and may offer.

This particular fantasy felt extremely appealing in a post-Brexit, Trump world...

Click to read more ...