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Silence of the Lambs Retrospective

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Entries in Woody Allen (78)

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:

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Monday
Nov022015

Q&A: Hotel's Casting, Woody's Men, Oscar's Quartets

It's time for our semi-weekly Q&A session. Let's just jump right in since there was no uniting theme this time. If I didn't answer your question, apologies. I select by a very scientific process of Which Ones I Feel Like Answering. 

Jeff Daniels should've been Oscar nominated for The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)LIZZY: What are your favorite male performances in Woody Allen films?

Hee. So typical that I've never even thought of this before as the ringleader of Actressexuality. Let's see. Towering above them all has got to be Jeff Daniels in The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985). Both Mia and him should have been nominated that year at the Oscars with threats to win. It's such a delicately specific, stylized, and endearing performance in a movie that's aged superbly well. Completing a top five in no particular order I'd go with: Woody himself in anything/everything between 1977-1986, Max von Sydow in Hannah and Her Sisters, Corey Stoll in Midnight in Paris, and Chazz Palminterri in Bullets Over Broadway. But I really had to think on this one... his movies are all about the women, for all his neurosis and intermittent misogyny and/or misanthropy.

It's true. The only man who's ever won an Oscar for acting in a Woody (Michael Caine in Hannah and Her Sisters) is not one I'm particularly fond of. I wouldn't call myself allergic to Michael Caine but he's in the "don't quite get the appeal" column of legendary actors. 

PATRYK: Do you consider Kate Winslet's performance in Steve Jobs annoying? I was surprised how drastically her accent changed. Shame on the Academy if she wins on a tag-a-long nomination instead of someone like our Elizabeth Banks, who might actually be a real contender without tag-a-long Winslet and fraudulent Vikander and Rooney. 

No. I thought Kate was great in the movie. Yes, the accent was dodgy but I've already explained why I'm okay with that. Otherwise she really nailed the most important part: a psychic kind of work wife connection to Fassy's Jobs. I also agree that Banks was fabulous in a potentially dull/underwritten part in Love & Mercy but I'm not so sure she isn't the lead of that movie. I'd like to see it again before determining. 

TYLER: What is your favorite film set in New Orleans?

the answer (not Interview with a Vampire) and enticing Oscary questions after the jump

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Tuesday
Aug252015

No Woody For Bruce

So...21 hours or so ago pics from the set of Woody Allen's latest Untitled  2016) dropped featuring Bruce Willis and Jesse Eisenberg and an unnamed actor (maybe Paul Schackman?) filming a scene. About 10 hours after that word broke that Bruce Willis is no longer with the film . The parties involved are citing schedule conflicts with his upcoming Broadway run in Misery (in the James Caan role of course). 

I'm sorry but I don't believe this for one hot second. Woody Allen's films run on very predetermined schedules since he does the same thing every year like clockwork (whether or not the script is in good shape as we see from his highly uneven work). And Bruce Willis's Broadway commitment was a thing known long ago. What actually happened? Makes you wonder. 

Sunday
Aug162015

Will We Ever Get the Great Emma Stone Movie We Thought Woody Allen Would Give Us?


Jose here. As Emma Stone enters the second phase of her reign as the Woodsman’s current muse, comparisons to Scarlett Johansson are important not for the obvious reasons (both stunningly beautiful young actresses at the peak of their raspy-voice sexiness) but because after making two films with him in consecutive years, she still doesn’t have her signature Woody role. Similarly, Johansson’s streak with Allen, which spanned three non-consecutive films from 2005-2008, was characterized for the “renaissance” quality it brought to his work, more than for containing “essential” Scarlett Johansson performances.

More on Stone and ScarJo after the jump... 

 

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Sunday
Aug092015

Ricki Rendazzo, Reed Richards, and Bubbles Bursting

Meryl Streep? Tom Cruise? Pac-Man? Vacation? It's like the 1980s all over again in movie theaters. It was a weak weekend overall with a ton of miniscule new releases and underperforming wide newbies. Meryl Streep had her worst opening weekend in a film sold on mostly on her presence since Prime (2005) before she regained her box office clout with The Devil Wears Prada. The only true success story this weekend was the word of mouth for Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation which held on to #1 for another weak. It is definitely a fun summer picture but the "best in the series!" reviews feel like a bit of an overstatement. It's not quite as ambitiously staged and exciting as Ghost Protocol, but it's better than the other action films around it which makes it seem that much better. That opera scene with at least four simultaneous agendas in play and all the deadly assassins totally confused by each other sure is a kick, though, don't you think?

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