19 items from 2014
Directed by Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski revealed an exceptional eye for gripping visual design in his earliest films. In those works, like Knife in the Water, Cul-de-sac, Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby and, somewhat later, The Tenant, most of this pictorial construction was derivative of themes, and subsequent depictions of, confinement, claustrophobic paranoia, and severely taut antagonism. In terms of visual and narrative scope, Chinatown opened things up somewhat, but it was with Tess, his 1979 adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the d’Urbervilles,” that Polanski significantly broadened his canvas to encompass the sweeping tale of the Victorian era loves and conflicts of this eponymous peasant girl.
Polanski speaks to this distinction during an interview in the newly released Criterion Collection Blu-ray/DVD of Tess. In discussing the film for the French TV program Cine regards, the director »
- Jeremy Carr
Justin Chang: Scott, I know it will come as little surprise to you that when Peter Debruge and I sat down to discuss this year’s Oscar nominees for best supporting actor and supporting actress, we spent almost as much time talking about the performances that should have been nominated as we did talking about the ones that actually were. This is hardly a new ax for any critic to grind, but it bears repeating: Those who vote on the Academy Awards are largely in the business of making movies — not seeing them, thinking about them and writing about them week in and week out. No wonder this organization’s choices often strike us as so pedestrian and provincial, less engaged by the boundary-expanding possibilities of cinema than beholden to the power of hometown hype.
See Also: Oscars Picks: Variety Critics on Who Should Win Best Supporting Actor »
- Justin Chang and Scott Foundas
American Hustle earned itself a place alongside some great films in Oscar history when it managed to nab four acting nominations in the four acting categories. Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence all find themselves in competition once again, but many are predicting American Hustle to go home empty handed. However, odds are that a film with four acting nominations, never mind the 10 overall nominations including Picture, Director and Screenplay. So what is most likely for American Hustle to pick up acting wise?
In the 86 year history of the Academy Awards, there have been 15 films that have managed the all four acting nominations feat. Below are the films and listed beside are the acting awards each of them won.
1936: My Man Godfrey – 0 wins
1943: For Whom the Bell Tolls »
- Terence Johnson
Maria von Trapp dead at 99: ‘The Sound of Music’ character played by Heather Menzies was last surviving member of the singing von Trapp family (photo: The singing von Trapp family) Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the singing von Trapp family portrayed in The Sound of Music, died in her sleep at her Vermont home on Wednesday, February 19, 2014. Baron Georg von Trapp’s second-eldest daughter, Maria Franziska (born in Zell am See, Salzburg, Austria, in 1914) was 99. Heather Menzies played Baron von Trapp’s second-eldest daughter, renamed Louisa von Trapp, in 20th Century Fox’s 1965 blockbuster directed by Robert Wise, and starring Julie Andrews as singing nun-to-be Maria Kutschera (later Baroness Maria von Trapp) and Christopher Plummer as the Baron. (See Heather Menzies, Charmian Carr, Kym Karath, and Angela Cartwright at 2008 event.) Financially ruined during the Great Depression, Baron von Trapp and his family began performing as a »
- Andre Soares
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Shirley Temple, and Oscar movies: Library of Congress’ March 2014 screenings (photo: Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote in ‘Capote’) Tributes to the recently deceased Shirley Temple and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and several Academy Award-nominated and -winning films are among the March 2014 screenings at the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus Theater and, in collaboration with the Library’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, The State Theatre, both located in Culpeper, Virginia. The 1934 sentimental comedy-drama Little Miss Marker (March 6, Packard) is the movie that turned six-year-old Shirley Temple into a major film star. Temple would become the biggest domestic box-office draw of the mid-1930s, and, Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Sonja Henie, Don Ameche, Loretta Young, and Madeleine Carroll notwithstanding, would remain 20th Century Fox’s top star until later in the decade. Directed by Alexander Hall (Here Comes Mr. Jordan, My Sister Eileen), Little Miss Marker — actually, a Paramount »
- Andre Soares
We’re less than two weeks away from the Oscars, and that means it’s once again time for my favorite activity: griping about the past!
One of my biggest Oscar pet peeves is when actors who portray real-life roles garner more attention — for no good reason — than actors who portray fictional characters. The Academy has long been too pleased with big-named thespians who prove they can imitate recognizable figures. Sometimes the attention is justified (Sean Penn in Milk and Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose come to mind), but often real-life roles become filler nominees in the supporting categories. Here are nine examples of Oscar-nominated performances that caught fire with the academy simply for being based on a known personality.
Melvin and Howard is a movie that teaches you to appreciate its examination of a Utah man’s humdrum lower-middle-class existence, »
- Louis Virtel
Happy 67th birthday to Marisa Berenson. This New York born multilingual beauty, originally a model, has been around forever and in key films, too. Her film career couldn't sustain its major start but few careers could have. Consider that in her first decade acting she made Death in Venice (1971), Cabaret (1972), Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon (1975) and Blake Edwards S.O.B. (1981). Tough acts to follow, no? She was never prolific, opting for the occasional TV guest spot and films here and there in various countries, but that face -- memorable and impossibly beautiful.
According to IMDb she was rumored for a Vivien Leigh biopic in the 1970s (and wouldn't that be both a challenge and a coup for the right actress?) but the film sadly never materialized.
More of the impossible beauty [nsfw] of Marisa Berenson after the jump...
- NATHANIEL R
Here's abstew with a Valentine special!
In the dark of the movie theatre is where we fall in love. Romantic films have influenced our lives and how we love since the dawn of cinema. And as we watch–perhaps on a first date–the actors fall in love on the silver screen, we swoon. More often than not, if you believe location rumors, that passion on-screen finds its way into the real-life relationships of the actors involved. In honor of Valentine's Day, let's celebrate those cinematic couples who's love burned bright on and off the big-screen.
Here are five of Hollywood's most iconic lovers...
The network reportedly wants a mini-series wrap up (ala "The Big C") while the studio would prefer a full final season. Ratings remain solid for the series, but the show is becoming too expensive to produce. [Source: TV guide]
The story deals with the tempestuous relationship and twenty year marriage between Olivier and Leigh. A director has yet to be attached, while Tarquin Olivier will produce. [Source: Screen]
StarVista is set to finally release "The Wonder Years: The Complete Series" on DVD in the second half of 2014. The release has »
- Garth Franklin
Exclusive: Mini-series about famed film couple to be executive produced by Olivier’s son.
London-based production company Ten Cent Adventures is in development on 4 x 60-minute mini-series The Oliviers, about the life and love of the iconic British actors.
According to production a portion of the budget has already been raised through private investors while talks are underway with broadcasters and an A-list cast. A director has yet to be attached.
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
The rock star and actor deserves a best supporting actor Oscar for Rayon, his transgender character in Dallas Buyers Club, another exercise in total immersion
Jared Leto, this year's odds-on favourite for the best supporting actor Oscar for his role as the drastically emaciated transgender Aids activist Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club is recalling the first time he "road-tested" Rayon in public. "You kind of have to register reactions and things, so inevitably the day comes when you take her out for a walk: shaved, waxed, wigged-up, the whole bit. To get a little judgment, some meanness, a little condemnation was a useful thing for the part. I went to Whole Foods Market to, I guess, just stare at the food, because I certainly wasn't eating a whole lot of it. And I got three distinct looks from people. One was, 'What is that?' The second one was, 'Who is that? »
- John Patterson
Yesterday’s announcement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that the The Wizard of Oz will be celebrated at this year’s Oscars was met with widespread enthusiasm. After all, it’s one of Hollywood’s most beloved films, multiple generations have grown up singing its tunes, and it’s celebrating its 75th anniversary.
But The Wizard of Oz wasn’t the only classic movie to come out in 1939. That prolific Hollywood year also boasted Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, John Ford’s Stagecoach, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Ninotchka (“Garbo laughs!”), Gunga Din, William Wyler »
- Jeff Labrecque
As you read this I've just arrived in La. After settling in at the brand new hotel The Line (it's so industrial chic inside), dinner with friends and then surely a fitful night of sleep given what happens in the morning: Christmas Presents (by which I mean "Oscar Nominations!") After that blessed event, I shall strap a tux on for the first time since my high school prom (!!!) for the Critics Choice Awards. Then jet off to meet up with Glenn and Michael at Sundance where I'll try to shift focus a bit from Oscar mania to snowbank-climbing film-festing. All of this while still wrapping 2013 up with my own awards ballots and continuing to process those Oscar nominations. I'm exhausted thinking about all this but I share it with you to lean on your collective strength. Give it to me!
My point is this: it's a good time to take »
- NATHANIEL R
2013 was a stellar year for London’s theatre business. The Book of Mormon transferred from Broadway smashing box office records on its way, Bond director Sam Mendes brought another Roald Dahl classic to the stage in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Jude Law, Adrian Lester, Richard Tennant and Tom Hiddleston all took on Shakespeare and Helen Mirren was the queen of the West End in The Audience. Successful revivals included Passion Play, A Dolls House and The Weir and new writing also shone, particularly in Lucy Kirkwood’s Chimerica at the Almeida. 2014, you should be quaking in your boots. Here’s the Thn picks of the productions to see in 2014.
1) Miss Saigon
It’s been fifteen years since Miss Saigon has been in the West End and such is the anticipation for this new production of Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil’s epic musical that when the box office opened »
- Victoria Bull
As far as we can tell, there are three explanations as to why Scarlett Johansson is wearing this retro get-up. 1. She's stopping by the Late Show with David Letterman en route to a 1940's costume party. 2. She didn't have time to change out of her wardrobe from the WWII film she's secretly shooting. 3. She's well aware that her face and body have a distinctly vintage feel, and she's using that to her advantage. We suspect the Don Jon star is smart enough for the answer to be option #3. She rocks the classic curled bangs perfectly, especially in that bombshell shade of blond. Her trench coat is something Vivien Leigh and Ava Gardner would covet, especially in that »
Steve McQueen's film bravely portrays two oppressed groups – but only one could vent their fury
Whether 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen's deservedly praised film about slavery in 19th century America, will be as gilded with film awards this year as it has already been with critical plaudits is by no means as certain as some have suggested. In July, an African-American woman, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, was elected president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which votes for the Oscar winners, but, as the La Times revealed last year, the academy itself is "mostly" white, and by "mostly" they mean an almost laughable 94%. Just in case anyone out there thought they'd slipped through some kind of time/space continuum, yes, you are in 2014.
Obviously a person does not have to be black to appreciate 12 Years a Slave ("enjoy" is the wrong verb for such a harrowing »
- Hadley Freeman
‘Gone with the Wind’ actress Alicia Rhett dead at 98; was oldest surviving credited Gwtw cast member Gone with the Wind actress Alicia Rhett, the oldest surviving credited cast member of the 1939 Oscar-winning blockbuster, died on January 3, 2014, at the Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community in Charleston, South Carolina, where Rhett had been living since August 2002. Alicia Rhett, born on February 1, 1915, in Savannah, Georgia, was 98. (Photo: Alicia Rhett as India Wilkes in Gone with the Wind.) In Gone with the Wind, the David O. Selznick production made in conjunction with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM head Louis B. Mayer was Selznick’s father-in-law), the stage-trained Alicia Rhett played India Wilkes, the embittered sister of Ashley Wilkes, whom Scarlett O’Hara loves — though Ashley eventually marries Melanie Hamilton (Rhett had auditioned for the role), while Scarlett ends up with Rhett Butler. Based on Margaret Mitchell’s bestseller, Gone with the Wind was (mostly) directed by Victor Fleming »
- Andre Soares
According to Rhett's retirement home - Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community in Charleston, S.C. - the veteran actress died around 5 p.m. on Friday, People Magazine reported.
- Shiva Prakash
One of the oldest surviving cast members of “Gone with the Wind” has died in South Carolina. She was 98.
Kimberly Farfone Borts is spokeswoman for the Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community in Charleston, S.C. She told the Associated Press that Rhett died about 5 p.m. Friday at Gadsden, where she had lived since August 2002.
The news release says Alicia Rhett was born Feb. 1, 1915, in Savannah, Ga.
Farfone said Rhett also was a portrait painter who sketched her fellow actors on the set.
Olivia de Havilland, who played Melanie Wilkes, is one of the last surviving cast members. She lives in France.
- Associated Press
19 items from 2014
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