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Entries in You Can Count On Me (5)

Monday
Feb122018

Beauty vs Beast: Boxing Buddies

Jason from MNPP here - while we're all sitting patiently on our hands waiting for Black Panther to hit theaters this weekend let us use the occasion of today's "Beauty vs Beast" to gaze backwards in Ryan Cooglar's filmography to the flick that no doubt gauranteed him this Marvel gig, 2015's great big crowdpleaser Creed. Coming nine years after Rocky Balboa, Sylvester Stallone's original "goodbye" to the character that gave him his career, Cooglar's Creed opened the franchise up and breathed new life into the Philadelphian boxing saga via Michael B Jordan's Adonis, son of Rocky's deceased opponant and friend Apollo, and with Adonis' attempt to find selfhood in the shadow of his legendary father. The relationship between Rocky & Adonis formed the core of the film, it was one fraught with tension, which brings us to...

 

PREVIOUSLY Nobody was going to beat The Lovely Laura Linney on her birthday, not even Mark Ruffalo's probable finest performance opposite her in You Can Count On Me - she scored a sizeable 70% of your vote in the end, proving you can indeed count on her. Said RV:

"One of the all time great screen pairs -- both so flawed, both so connected to each other. Lonergan's uncomfortable (for me, maybe not for him) commitment to Casey Affleck aside, he deserves enormous credit for providing such rich writing and understated directing to two amazingly talented performers. "

Monday
Feb052018

Beauty vs Beast: Sibling Rivalry

Jason from MNPP here wishing us all the happiest Lovely Laura Linney Day! Today Linney is celebrating her 54th birthday, which means we're celebrating as well because she's a national treasure that one. But that happiness and celebration might not last long, I ruin everything, because I'm about to force a horrible choice on you with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" contest and ask you to consider choosing between the siblings of Kenneth Lonergan's 2000 sibling masterpiece You Can Count On Me -- Linney's hometown mama and boss-schtupper Sammy versus Mark Ruffalo's home-crashing money-grubbing seatbealt-wearing Terry. Vote and then tell us why you voted how you voted down below in the comments!

PREVIOUSLY Last week's Best Actor contest handed Timothee Chalamet a win as sound (to the tune of 87% of the vote!) as his trounced competitor Gary Oldman's eventual win at the Oscars next month is assured, so let's just enjoy us getting it right anyway. Said hepwa (and this is a fine list that I'd love to hear if anybody has any of their own to add to this list, too):

"There are five great young male performances in the past forty years, in chronological order: Dennis Christopher in "Breaking Away", Michael O'Keefe in "The Great Santini", Timothy Hutton in "Ordinary People", River Phoenix in "Running On Empty" and now Timothee Chalamet in "Call Me by Your Name"."

Wednesday
Nov222017

Happy 50th Mark Ruffalo !

by Eric Blume

Today marks the 50th birthday of one of our very best actors, three-time Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo. Ruffalo burst onto the scene in 2000 with a remarkable lead performance in Kenneth Lonergan’s You Can Count on Me.  His complex, layered work had critics fairly sprouting comparisons to Brando, and his gorgeous duet with Laura Linney still feels like the standard-bearer for on-screen sibling chemistry.  It’s astonishing to think Ruffalo missed out on an Oscar nomination that year, considering his performance is unquestionably better than several of the eventual nominees -- was it category confusion or lack of name-recognition? Oscar has remained historically slow to coronate good looking young actors, and that recognition remained on hold for him for over another decade...  

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Wednesday
Feb052014

Happy 50th to The Lovely Laura Linney

Laura at the airport in a rare sighting in 2013You guys. I keep an elaborate spreadsheet of important dates for blogging and I somehow missed that today was The Lovely Laura Linney's 50th birthday. How could I? Don't you miss her?

Laura has kept a low profile these past few years (apart from headlining Showtime's The Big C), and an extremely low profile -- like no profile at all -- this past calendar year, largely we assume because of her stealth pregnancy. No one even knew she was pregnant and then she was suddenly giving birth at 49!

So a very happy birthday to a one of a kind actress. And to think I thought she was a little bland when I first saw her on Tales of the City (1993) as Marianne. How wrong I was. I blame the apple-cheeked suburban beauty which threw me. She was the perfect Marianne, really, and she only got better from there. How glad I was to be wrong. One of my favorite Oscar nominations of the past decade, like easy top 5 favorite, was her surprise nod (which I predicted - go me) for Wendy Savage in The Savages (2008) which is my favorite of her performances though the one-two punch of her stealth hatefulness in The House of Mirth (2000) and that indelible sibling warmth in You Can Count On Me (2000) is when the fandom truly hit me. 

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney in "The Savages"

What's your favorite Laura Linney role and when did you first fall for her? Jason gives his answer at My New Plaid Pants. Yours?

Monday
Oct242011

Q&A: Blondes & Brunettes, Silents & Sequels

Each week in the Q & A column I choose a couple handfuls of reader questions to answer. I don't intentionally choose with themes in mind but this week's column, in the requested vacuum of Streep-less questions -- she'd been hogging the column -- tilted straight toward blonde icons and beloved brunettes.

Aaron: If "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and "Lost in Translation" had been released in different years, do you think Scarlett Johansson would be a two-time Academy Award nominee by now?

Fun question. I had to really ponder this. But my answer is no. Oscar fanatics love to debate "vote splitting" whenever someone has two meaty roles in the same category in a given year. The 2003 Oscar race was so weirdly splintered in Best Actress and the precursors just weren't showing herd mentality so right up until nomination morning it felt like virtually any combination of a shortlist that included frontrunners Theron and Keaton was possible. But Scarlett's Lost campaign had more problems than just The Girl With the Pearl Earring. Maybe Samantha Morton, in particular, would've been pushed aside for Scarlett had she only had one film. On the other hand, it was probably the combination of Scarlett's double-breakthrough that put her in the conversation to the degree that she was in it. But I don't believe that she'd have been a two time nominee regardless because the competition in 2004 felt so impenetrable; Moreno, Swank, Bening, Winslet and Staunton were always going to be the top five the following year. 

Scarlett on the Lost in Translation circuit: BAFTA, GLOBES, OSCAR

The most interesting thing about 2003 Best Actress, at least for Trivia Nerds, is how young it skewed historically. Even if you remove the novelty nomination for 13 year old Keisha Castle Hughes (Whale Rider) you might still have had a record breaking year since both Evan Rachel Wood (she was 16 during the Thirteen campaign) and Scarlett Johansson (who had just turned 20) could have also become Youngest Ever had they landed in the shortlist. Both were younger than Jennifer Lawrence from Winter's Bone even who is now the second youngest nominee ever in the category after Keisha. Don't you ♥ trivia!?

MrW: Do you intend to have seen one day all Oscar-winning performances (all four acting categories)? Are there any Oscar winning performances you're embarrassed to admit you haven't seen yet?

I would love to be able to someday claim this but I fear I'll die before that gargantuan task is completed. Naturally, I'm most worried about finishing the actress categories. The three movies I'm most embarrassed I haven't yet seen that sucked up plentiful acting attention / wins are My Left Foot, The Last Picture Show and, yes, The Godfather Part Two. I seriously have no idea why I keep putting the last one off. I even own it! 

Kent: Recently watched GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES for the first time. It was such a fun movie! Got me thinking about Marilyn Monroe and how the Academy shunned her so many times. She's so underrated as an actress. I loved her in BUS STOP and SOME LIKE IT HOT. Would you have rewarded her with nominations, even yet, a win?


True Story: I had this poster above of Marilyn Monroe from Bus Stop on my bedroom wall as a teenager -- yes the actressexuality started very early -- My mother saw it, shook her head  and sighed audibly. "Tell her to put some clothes on!" LOL. Different generations, you know.

Marilyn nominations, War of the Hepburns, and sequelitis after the jump.

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