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Entries in Yorgos Lanthimos (27)

Tuesday
May142019

Cannes Begins: Iñárritu and His Jury Arrive

by Nathaniel R

The 72nd edition of the world's most famous festival has officially begun. We'll try to bring you comprehensive daily coverage by astral projecting ourselves across the ocean (i.e. watching online videos from France and following critics on Twitter). Earlier today the president of this year's main jury Alejandro González Iñárritu arrived with his gender-balanced fellow jurors in tow (or "classmates," as Maimouna N'Diaye so charmingly put it in the preference conference)... 

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Monday
Feb182019

Interview: Screenwriter Deborah Davis on her 20 year passion project "The Favourite" 

by Nathaniel R

Deborah Davis, first time screenwriter, is up for an Oscar this weekendDeborah Davis recently took home the BAFTA for her work on the screenplay to Yorgos Lanthimos's stunning tragicomedy and Best Picture hopeful The Favourite. Though Lanthimos has previously co-written his own features this time was attached to a project already in progress. Davis and cowriter Tony McNamara than retooled the screenplay to match Lanthimos's vision. The results were magic, as has long since become obvious.

Before the hardware started arriving we hopped on a cross Atlantic phone call with Deborah Davis briefly. We couldn't find much info about her at the time and were reeling from the realization that the dearth of info came from the fact that The Favourite was her very first movie. As it turns out she became a screenwriter specifically to tell this story. And what a story it is.

Our interview, edited for length and clarity follows...

NATHANIEL: I'm still gobsmacked that this is a first screenplay!

DEBORAH DAVIS: That’s correct, yes. By training I'm a lawyer, but I’ve done quite a lot of journalism. I started to research The Favourite 20 years ago, and I was actually convinced that this story about women in power and the female triangle would make a wonderful film, so I went and learned how to write a script...

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Thursday
Feb142019

Interview: Rachel Weisz on "The Favourite" and why she hasn't peaked yet.

by Nathaniel R

Rachel with her BAFTAWhen we sat down with Rachel Weisz to discuss The Favourite, she was as intimidating as the Lady Sarah Marlborough. Not, we think, on purpose. Sometimes an actor so slays a role that, if you've never met them before and have a tendency to live for the movies, it's like looking straight into the character's eyes. Weisz, cool and measured, impeccably dressed, offered tea. Remembering Lady Sarah's own downfall, I chose water.

We'd both seen The Favourite just once at the time but were eager for round two. "I'm so glad you liked it," she cooed, if somewhat cooly. All business, and why not, ready for questions but not any question. Taking the hint I steered clear of the past though I couldn't resist a brief question about one early role (The Shape of Things), since it had been a rare chance and my first to ever see an actor do a role on stage and then watch them repeat it on film. She found it, "a bit hard, that particular one" citing the need for freshness and spontanity in filmmaking and "...we'd said the words so many times before."  But we were there to discuss The Favourite, and spontaneity and freshness are in no short supply in that electric movie. She even shared how they managed to get them.

She hadn't yet been nominated when we spoke but the honors would soon, quite obviously, pile up including a BAFTA win for Best Supporting Actress and the Oscar nomination. Our interview, edited for length, follows:

NATHANIEL R: You've had such a strong handful of years now: The Deep Blue Sea, The Lobster, Disobedience, The Favourite. But you won an Oscar 14 years back or so and I wonder if at that point, before these recent peaks, you thought 'well, what now?' 

RACHEL WEISZ: I mean, it’s a thing [The Oscar] that you never think will happen to you. I don’t really feel like I can rest on my laurels and it’s all over now. I just don’t feel like that. There’s so much to explore. Hopefully I get better at my job. I think the more work you do… well, for me, the more I've done, the more I’ve figured out what kind of work I want to do...

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Monday
Jan282019

Beauty vs Beast: Forgiveness Among Friends

Jason from MNPP here, right upfront with an apology for what I'm about to do to you all with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- unfortunately for all of us we've reached the "look at the movies that are being nominated for awards" part of the year which is forcing me, just forcing me, to make us all choose between the bitter besties of the perfect (if you ask me) Can You Ever Forgive Me? from director Marielle Heller.

Both Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. grant happily and deservedly secured Oscar nominations for their performances as the wrter Lee Israel and her partner-in-crime and bourbon Jack Hock, but for all their chumminess they're also often taking adversarial stances in the film, given the cobustiveness of both their characters. So even if we hate to bust up one of the greatest gay duos ever put on screen like this, we're still gonna ask...

 

PREVIOUSLY Speaking of Awards Nominated Duos, last week's The Favourite bout crowned Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) by a pretty substantial margin. (3/4s of the vote, if you're wondering.) Said Roger:

"Team Sarah, no question. While this is Stone best performance to date, for me, it’s a tossup between Weisz and Colman for MVP. A tragic, deeply felt love story between Sarah and Queen Anne hides in plain sight. When it sneaks up on you in their final scene together between the door, it elevates what is already an entirely enjoyable film and recontextualiizes everything. Sarah was and always will be the favourite. Also, there is no doubt that all three are leading roles. I also share the belief that if the Oscar doesn’t go to King as I expect, Weisz wins her second."

Monday
Jan282019

That controversial ending to "The Favourite"

by Mark Brinkerhoff

Happy post-Oscar nominations week! Despite a fair amount of rubbish (*cough* Bohemian Rhapsody), the Academy has blessed The Favourite with a deservedly (co-)leading 10 nominations. Bravo! Well done. On that note, it’s high time we talk about the film’s—shall we say—polarizing ending. Are you ready? Let’s go… (Warning: Spoilers ahead.)

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Thursday
Jan242019

Team Experience: Joyful News and the Best/Worst Oscar Branches

by Nathaniel R

Later today a special edition of the podcast as Murtada, Nathaniel and Nick discuss the Oscar nominations. But, for now, our final group survey on the nominations so we can then move on to the nitty gritty of each category as well as return to new and old movies,  Film Bitch Awards, regularly scheduled programming, and all of that good stuff. We asked the team two more questions about the nominations and they answered like so. Please let your own voice be heard in the comments.

WHAT NOMINATION GAVE YOU THE MOST JOY TUESDAY MORNING?

JORGE MOLINA: I woke up my entire neighborhood when Marina de Tavira's name was called out. I was expecting a surprise Supporting Actress nomination, but not her. Marina's performance is such a striking and beautiful contrast to Yalitza Aparicio's (whose nomination was a lesser but equally great surprise), and one that reflects much deeper things about female and class relationships in the movie. It's not a big performance, but it's so nuanced and raw. I couldn't be happier she's getting the recognition, and that she's only the second supporting actress to be nominated for a foreign film ever! Viva Marina!

CHRIS FEIL: No single craftsperson deserves their nomination (or eventual win) more than costume designer Ruth E. Carter (Black Panther). I don't make the facts, I just relay them...

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