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Ashley Judd, Pulp Queen

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Entries in We Need To Talk About Kevin (10)

Friday
Apr062018

Review: Joaquin Phoenix in "You Were Never Really Here"

by Seán McGovern

As the credits begin to roll on Lynne Ramsey's visceral and intense film, I felt an odd feeling of relief that Joaquin Phoenix did not win an Oscar for playing Johnny Cash. In the years since, Phoenix has eschewed the mainstream and become a full-blown movie-star weirdo. His raw performance in You Were Never Really Here isn't just told his line-readings but also his back muscles, feet, scars and posture. A role for the classical leading man, this is not.

Ramsey's first film since 2011 is a singular assault. It's quite possible that you hated We Need to Talk About Kevin, which took the parental horrors of Lionel Shriver's novel and intellectualised them at a remove. But Ramsey has a knack for distance, creating a particular style of alienation that works perfectly for the story of a traumatized hired-gun...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug172012

Ezra Miller is Queer

Ezra Miller, the devil child that could put Damien in a headlock and kick Rosemary’s Baby off a bridge a la Jack Black in Anchorman, has come out as "queer".

I'm queer. I have a lot of really wonderful friends who are of very different sexes and genders. I am very much in love with no one in particular. I've been trying to figure out relationships, you know? I don't know if it's responsible for kids of my age to be so aggressively pursuing monogamous binds, because I don't think we're ready for them. The romanticism within our culture dictates that that's what you're supposed to be looking for. Then [when] we find what we think is love – even if it is love – we do not yet have the tools. I do feel that it's possible to be at this age unintentionally hurtful, just by being irresponsible – which is fine. I'm super down with being irresponsible. I'm just trying to make sure my lack of responsibility no longer hurts people. That's where I'm at in the boyfriend/girlfriend/zefriend type of question."
-Ezra Miller to Out 

I’m not one for semantics, personally, so if there is a brouhaha abrewin’ regarding the use of the word ‘queer’ rather than ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’ or whatever label we’ve adopted/reclaimed recently, I’m not participating in it.

I will merely say that the young actor, so good in Lynne Ramsey’s We Need To Talk About Kevin (and one of the stars of the upcoming The Perks of Being a Wallflower) has appeared, in several interviews, to be kind, generous, self-possessed and remarkably aware of each action taken and word spoken on his behalf. I’m not going to say it’s brave (redundant/extraneous) or powerful (hyperbole); I’m simply going to say congratulations to a young, talented actor from my generation for taking a step into unknown waters. Beautiful abandon. 

Saturday
Jan142012

Home Alink

Self Styled Siren on Margaret. She has no affinity for mess.
24 Frames talks to Anna Paquin about the resurrected movie.
Roger Ebert's Journal on the Oscar lalapalooza. Very strange piece. What's going on here? Ebert seems suddenly willfully ignorant of various Oscar rules claiming, among other things, that The Artist would be ineligible for Oscars if it were in French. Uh, not so, Ebert, not so.
Towleroad new photos from Magic Mike, Soderbergh's stripper movie.

IndieWire ten shooting stars of European film, Elena Anaya (The Skin I Live in) and Alexander's little brother Bill Skarsgård.
Boy Culture Joan Crawford is not one of Rick's (Santorum) Fans! I love it. 
Deja View pencil tests and the challenge of designing Gaston from Beauty and the Beast.
Stale Popcorn on rejected movie posters. I'd never seen some of these. Love a rejected poster from Bugsy that prominently features Annette Bening. 

We Need To Talk About Kevin McAllister...

The crazy thing is that if they wanted to go blonde for Kevin, couldn't Macaulay have worked? 

Monday
Dec262011

OFCS Nominations: The Drive of Life

The Online Film Critics Society is the latest group to chime in with their nominations for the best of 2011. They'll announce the winners on January 2nd but because they're a big group we deigned to feature their nominees this year. As in most years there are a couple of eyebrow raising choices (I really can't handle Editing and Screenplay nominations for We Need To Talk About Kevin! Shoot me now... with bow and arrow if you must.) but their Best Cinematography list is just... well, we should only pray we get an Oscar field that beautiful, that acclaimed, that challenging, that perfect, that War Horse evading.

The Tree of Life led their field of contenders with seven nominations including two for acting (Brad Pitt was honored there,  not for Moneyball) with Drive in hot pursuit with six. And for what seems like the first time in ages, Martha Marcy May Marlene was not left out in the cold, picking up three nominations including Original Screenplay for Sean Durkin (recently interviewed).

Full list of nominations with a few thoughts after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec212011

Once Upon a Time in the Link

Slate has an amusing piece arguing against the Consider Uggie campaign for that wondrous terrier in The Artist
Academy Awards 265 have qualified for Best Picture. Here is the complete Official list. I can't hear anything from all the LOL'ing since it's alphabetical and starts with... wait for it... ABDUCTION. Teehee

Oscarmetrics Mark Harris makes a case for Brad Pitt in The Tree of Life, which we agree is one of the year's best performances. Oscar is often about "it's time" and given that both of Pitt's performance were A grade this year, isn't it? And I swear I was linking up to this one before I even realized I was name-checked. 

tomatoes - reviews worth reading...
Devine Wrath a lovely review of romantic drama Weekend which is now available on Netflix Instant Watch. What are you waiting for?
Capital New York Sheila O'Malley, one of my favorite critics, is wowed by Rooney Mara in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

O, Hai...

Can I change all my BFCA and Indie Wire poll votes to this one?

top ten o' the day
Ali Arikan, a friend who is always worth a read, throws his top ten at the Chicago Sun Times from far flung Turkey. The Turkish film Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, which sits stubbornly beside my TV waiting to be watched (Oh the guilt-a-thon that is December!), tops his list. But for me I was most curious to read what he thought of two films I had remarkable trouble connecting to: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and We Need To Talk About Kevin (both of which I recently said a very few words on). I definitely appreciate what he has to say about Kevin though I don't like the film any better:

would reading the book help Nathaniel understand the love?A harrowing tragedy is at the centre of Lynne Ramsay's film, one we never quite see, although its repercussions we most certainly feel. The particulars of the event are at first ambiguous, and, paradoxically, it tends to become more so, thematically at least, once we find out the nature of it. Is it a mass killing at a high school? Or is there something deeper? Is the tragedy Kevin, a precocious psycho of a boy whose mother, Eva (Tilda Swinton), never really wanted? Is it, in fact, Eva's selfishness? Or is it, in fact, the apotheosis of motherhood that is the real tragedy? The anachronistic and misogynistic view that the female of the species was launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same?

The film doesn't provide the answers, instead offering a glimpse into Eva's psyche, both before and after the events that sent Kevin to prison. Eva's emotional self-immolation doesn't betray just an "oy vey iz mir" pity-party of one, but also a sort of solipsism: a misappropriation and transmogrification, perhaps, of Henley's "Invictus," with Eva not just as the master of her fate, but also the executioner of her soul.

Finally...
IndieWire has year end critics consensus polling. I participated this year though as usual I'm still screening before I publish my own lists (I have about three more things I'm trying to see and two that need rewatching). The results are interesting but ...odd. Especially the supporting categories. Here's the 25 most well regarded films... the big surprises for me being A Dangerous Method (I guess those who love it, really love it) and Midnight in Paris which I expected critics to have turned against by now in the grand tradition of "if it's too popular, it's no longer cool to like it." Critics have a much higher tolerance for slow contemplative cinema as you can see. It'd be interesting to do a study of the average running time of this batch of films... or perhaps more revealing would be a study of the ratio of cuts per minute of film. After all it's hardly unusual these days for the top grossing mainstream blockbusters to have bloated running times as well. Only one of the top ten grossers of the year is shorter than an hour and 45 (that'd be The Hangover Part II) but do all of them really have 2+ hours worth of story to tell? I'd guess not. 

Are you with consensus or far from it this year???
I tend to vary greatly by year though this year I'm definitely toward the middle of consensus rather than full in or way afield. I've found 2011 to be ridiculously enjoyable on the big screen.