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Entries in Viggo Mortensen (39)

Tuesday
Jun212011

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Dangerous Method"

In the series Yes No Maybe So we parse out movie trailers to determine just how excited we are about an upcoming movie. Today... David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method in which two very infamous doctors of psychiatry (Freud and Jung) find a perfect guinea pig in unstable Russian woman Sabina Spielrein;  Psychoanalysis is born, though it hasn't quite worked out its doctor/patient boundaries just yet.

YES
Viggo Mortensen, David Cronenberg's chief muse these days, plays Sigmund Freud and their second reunion after the masterpiece A History of Violence (followed by the compelling Eastern Promises) would be enough for a sober grunted "yes" on its own. Stir the Crazy of Freud/Jung into the mix with justifiably Most-Wanted Michael Fassbender in the lead role of Carl Jung and the yes becomes as hysteric as Jung's patient Sabina played by Keira Knightley (who is obviously out to raise her game as an actress lately).

NO
On the other hand, sexual repression and experimental psychiatry aren't the easiest topics to portray without the possibility of unintentional laughs or hindsight ridicule in these arguably more enlightened times. The trailer does have a weird fallback mode in which someone says something we're to register as Shocking or Telling and... cut to: Fassbender immediately shifting his intense glance to the side.

MAYBE SO..
Though Cronenberg is one of the world's most fascinating auteurs and Viggo and Fassy two of its most genius actors, the trailer gives off the distinct aroma of Keira...

As in... this will all live or die or, rather, doze off with boredom or leap off the psychiatrists couch with abandon if she's up to her central role. I worry that they refer to her as Russian and Keira doesn't sound Russian at all in the trailer? And given that her role is extreme with the theatrics, will she be Oscar beloved or sliced up with the critics knives?

Keira The MadwomanKeira Oscar-Clipping It.Keira the Masochist "PUNISH ME!"

Will this feel like a stage play with the all the talking and observing in offices and bedrooms?
Will the trio of famous faces invest the heady mind games with heart, body and soul?
Will Cronenberg finally have an Oscar hit on his hands what with the true story, biographical figures and period detailing?

So many questions... so much worth analyzing.

Watch the trailer at the film's official site!

Are you a Yes, No or a Maybe So...?

Tuesday
Apr262011

April Showers: Diane & Viggo 'Busy Being Free'

waterworks weeknights at 11 in April

Have you ever wondered why people don't talk more about Tony Goldwyn's A Walk on the Moon (1999)?  It's one of those pictures that contains all sorts of stuff people came to love afterwards in embryonic or transformational stages. It was here that Diane Lane practiced the mesmerizingly guilty adulteress act that she'd be Oscar nominated for in Unfaithful (2002). It was the moment when Viggo Mortensen, so often backgrounded in pictures till then, revealed that he was a Star. It was also the mainstream bridge between Anna Paquin's sexually curious wicked child (The Piano) and sexually wicked curious psychic (True Blood) since she played one of her most ordinary roles as a teenager struggling with all the hormones swirling around inside her and outside of her as her screen mother (Lane) was also experiencing a sexual awakening.


It was even in A Walk On the Moon that Liev Schreiber played the uptight wronged husband and, perhaps learning that Sex-On-A-Stick-Wife-Stealer was the better role, flipped parts for The Painted Veil (2006),  bedding Naomi Watts (onscreen) which he's been doing ever since offscreen. Now, maybe we're reading too much into it. But the point is this: We like A Walk on the Moon.

Mostly it's an enjoyable picture because Diane & Viggo were at the arguable peak of their screen beauty and looked even more sensational paired. Certain star pairings just elevate everything, right? And does any actress do 'aroused but totally conflicted about it' as well as Diane Lane? There are moments in this performance that are just mesmerizing like the one pictured above wherein she shyly lets Viggo give her a necklace, briefly daring to meet his gaze before dropping her head into his chest in submission. Her shyness is fascinatingly mixed in by the actress because the repetitive act of visiting his mobile clothing store is rather brazen; she knows instinctively what awaits her therein. Viggo is such a smooth and hypnotic ladykiller that her legs are over his shoulders before she's realized she's horizontal. Next thing you know, she's let her hair down metaphorically enough to experience sex in the outdoors. Under a waterfall, God's own high pressure shower.


More after the jump [mild nudity] including a question for film historians with a minor in sex scenes.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar162011

linker like me

Did you see last night's Glee "Original Song"? I always feel so melancholy at Regionals episodes because I know that means no Glee for awhile. For a show I often actively dislike on account of lazy writing, wasted opportunities and ridiculously unnecessary pandering (People loved the show before it started pandering to them! Why bend over backwards to worry about what people might like now?), sometimes the show makes it really hard for me to pretend that I don't just love it, warts and all. So many highlights in this one, from Brittany's always dependable split second deadpan "favorite song: my headband" to a rare Mercedes showcase "Hell to the No" to a gay kiss played emphatically and without apology, to the return of undergirding themes (Rachel's future completely obvious stardom versus small town limitations) to that killer joyous finale "Loser Like Me" in which the kids learn the age old oppressed minority trick of turning insults into empowering F-you pride. Anyway, loved it. I still wish that show I loved last year about small town Broadway geeks trying to find their voices would come back but the new now old Glee is still great cathartic fun when it remembers to be.

Gold Derby on Mark Wahlberg's dreams of The Fighter Mickey Ward 2. Some sound-Oscar-reasoning from Wahlberg's Fighter alter ego Mickey Ward.
Awards Daily Natural Selection (feature) and Dragonslayer (documentary) win jury hearts at SXSW
Just Jared Seann William Scott taking care of personal and health matters in treatment. Best wishes. I think he's adorable even if he has way too many consonants in his name.
Movie|Line Ewwwww. They're rebooting Daredevil now?
Playbill Kathleen Turner (nearly back on Broadway in High) will be interviewed in the Times Talk series in May. Tickets available.
Movie|Line bizarre lengthy Tarzan audition tape
Gordon and the Whale Hey, if Alessadro Nivola gets Michael Fassbender's cast offs, maybe Fassbender should say no a little more often? I love them both but Nivola has been way too neglected and I don't want Fassy to burn out.

Beatrice Dalle and Jean-Hugues Anglade in BETTY BLUE

Acidemic "Beatrice Dalle My What Big Teeth You Have." Beatrice is on my mind as I just watched this newish french flick Domain where she is typically vivid and dangerous feeling, even while simply strolling through a park or ordering a glass of wine.  Have you ever seen Betty Blue? Still one of the craziest movies ever to snag a Best Foreign Film Oscar nom.
Towleroad Remember that story about Jake Gyllenhaal being photographed in a men's room at SXSW. It's been animated. (The transformation into Jack Twist is a funny touch.)
Serious Film revisits Viggo Mortensen's Oscar worthy work in A History of Violence.

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