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Entries in Woody Allen (83)

Sunday
May152016

Recommended Elsewhere...

Seven things I quite enjoyed reading this weekend.

"We're still friends, right?"Seventh Row Is Tom Hiddleston's charm getting in the way of greatness as an actor? 
Meta Komik I've recently discovered that "Doubtman" has been my arch enemy all along (3 pages)
Cinesnark lovely piece on the tiny arc of Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier within Captain America: Civil War
The Onion "Aging succubus lowering standards for men ever since she turned 40,000"
Thrillist why Black Widow is Marvel Studio's Best & Worst character 
New York Review of Books a classic from Joan Didion on Woody Allen's new "serious" phase (originally published in the late 1970s but it's most definitely still brilliant.)
Pajiba which of the Avengers would be the best in bed? I support the results, actually, except for the absurd undervaluing of Agent Peggy Carter (it is *very* clear they haven't watched Agent Carter). On the other end of the spectrum now I feel even worse for tragic Bucky.

Saturday
May142016

Cannes Review: Woody Allen's "Café Society"

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It's reprinted here in a slightly expanded version...

Few things in life are as regular as Woody Allen movies. For the past 40 years or so they arrive exactly once a year. In recent years they generally premiere out of competition at Cannes and predictably reignite the endless cycle of media wars about Woody Allen.

The only thing irregular about the experience is the reviews, box office, and Oscars. For the past 10 years or so it’s been especially hard to predict. In that time he’s delivered critical and commercial Oscar winning hits that the media fawned over (Blue Jasmine, Midnight in Paris), well received films that didn’t quite crossover to that same extent (Match Point, Vicky Cristina Barcelona), critical flops that did surprisingly okay at the box office (To Rome With Love), trifles that people tolerated (Scoop), reanimated abandoned projects that everyone wished had stayed dead (Whatever Works), as well as a critical and commercial flop (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger) and one that didn't actually seem to exist at all (Cassandra’s Dream).

In short (too late!) his films come with a lot of history and even more baggage.

His latest, Café Society, begins with very little literal baggage as a young optimistic man named Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg) leaves New York for Hollywood for reasons that don’t extend much beyond “trying something new.” [More...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr212016

Thoughts I Had... The "Cafe Society" Poster

Look at this amazing poster for Woody Allen's Cafe Society (2016). The film will open the Cannes Film Festival and also, a little closer to home, the Seattle Film Festival this May. It will play near you this August as counterprogramming to Suicide Squad and Pete's Dragon.

After the jump, thoughts I had as they came to me unedited. Share yours, too, why don'cha...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr042016

Beauty vs Beast: Heroes Divided

Jason from MNPP here, using this week's "Beauty vs Beast" to enthusiastically fire the starting pistol on this year's Civil War. No, not the Republicans vs the Democrats, they're still too busy with in-fighting for that Battle Royale just yet; I speak of the competition that many many Americans care about (don't judge me for pointing that out, I am simply the messenger) - Superhero vs Superhero. And since we're already attempting to forget that Batman V Superman happened, we're swiveling to the next big cage match, Marvel style - Captain America: Civil War, which is out in about a month, and which faces off several beloved characters but first and foremost Cappy himself and his co-Avenger Tony Stark aka Iron Man.

I figure in about a month when the movie's actually coming out we'll all be sick of it already (that's the way these things work now) and so when I saw that today is Robert Downey Jr.'s birthday I knew - the time is now. And it's not like with three Iron Mans, two Captain Americas, and two Avengers movies we don't already know enough going in to this battle to choose our sides. Have at it!

PREVIOUSLY We made like Mia Farrow last week and considered our Hannah and Her Sisters co-stars, and over 70% decided that the Oscars were on point, giving our golden love to Dianne Wiest. Said mareko:

"Weist really is amazing in Hannah and Her Sisters. I didn't care for her character Holly *at all* in the beginning, but man does she have an impressive, if somewhat unbelievable, character arc. To go from bitter and cynical to warm and luminous, without losing her way (or ours), is to be applauded. A true breakout performance. (Hershey is good, too, if a bit histrionic for my taste.)"

Monday
Mar282016

Beauty vs Beast: Hannah's Sisters

Jason from MNPP here, looking out across this rainy New York City day and thinking of Woody Allen, as I'm wont to do. Today specifically we're thinking about his great 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters, because today is the great Dianne Wiest's birthday, and that film won Wiest her first of two much deserved Oscars. (It doesn't hurt that the movie just celebrated its 30th anniversary on March 14th.) So today's edition of our "Beauty vs Beast" series it is!

We're facing off the "and the Sisters" of the title -- Weist as the recovering actress Holly and Barbara Hershey as the brother-in-law snatching Lee. Granted the awardage (and the general consensus that she totally deserved it too) might immediately tilt this contest in Wiest's direction in your mind, but slow yourself and don't make the mistake of under-valuing Barbara Hershey's fine work in the film; she makes the difficult and confused character of Lee pretty darn sympathetic and funny too. Much to my emotional consternation if they made online quizzes asking us which of the three sisters we are in this film I am sure I'd end up being a Lee.

PREVIOUSLY Last week nathaniel took over and delightfully went Full Tabloid, asking you to choose between the recently y'all to choose between the recently fractured power-couple Bennifer 2.0 -- y'all had the good sense to stand with Jennifer Garner to the tune of just under 70% of the vote. Said John T:

""I mean ehh on both of them but Jen seems like a nice person off screen and Ben like a jackass. As they're both gorgeous I will use that as my tiebreaker"

Saturday
Dec122015

Candid Charlotte Rampling

Rampling for NYTimes Magazine

Murtada here. Charlotte Rampling’s performance in 45 Years is a quiet storm of volatile emotions, holding attention with understated intimations that hint much more than show. Inexplicably left off both the Golden Globe and SAG nominations list, she might become this year’s Marion Cotillard, missing the early nominations and getting in at the Oscars. She’s already won the LA Film Critics Association best actress award and here’s hoping more regional critics notice her in the coming weeks. We will talk about the movie and performance once the movie is released.

One glorious result from being in the awards conversation is that Rampling was in Hollywood and New York recently giving good quote. And unlike her 45 Years character, Rampling is not holding back and is quite candid in these interviews.

More...

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Thursday
Nov122015

Annie Hall is the Funniest!

Murtada here.The Writers Guild of America released their list of the 101 funniest screenplays of all time. The screenplays were voted on by members of both the East and West coast branches of the WGA. The eligible screenplays had to be in English and at least one hour in length.

Woody Allen is by far the most popular name on the list. He has seven titles including the WGA’s top pick Annie Hall (1977) which he co-wrote with Marshall Brickman. Compartively Billy Wilder only has two titles on the list, The Apartment (1960) and Some Like it Hot (1959). Other writers scoring multiple films include Mel Brooks, Preston Sturges, Christopher Guest, Charlie Chaplin, the Coen Brothers and surprisingly Harold Ramis.

Perhaps to ward off criticism about the lack of representation of women and people of color, the WGA acknowledged the list’s heavy “white bro dudeness”:

"Comedy screenwriting has long been a playground that women and writers of color have not had enough time in. The work of Richard Pryor on Blazing Saddles, Tina Fey on Mean Girls, Amy Heckerling on Clueless, and Hagar Wilde, co-writer of Bringing Up Baby, makes you wonder what a list would be if the playground had been more inclusive all along."

That’s all well and good but even when included the stories of women were low on the list. Really The Hangover and Wedding Crashers are funnier than All About Eve and Mean Girls ? Come on !

Surely everybody looking at the list will have their own reservations and “Really!!!” moments. Tell us yours in the comments. 

The list in full after the jump:

Click to read more ...