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When it comes to awards-season stumping, you won’t catch Woody Allen making the rounds of the guild and Academy screening circuit, showing up at cocktail receptions in his honor, or otherwise doing much of anything to remind people that, yes, he made a movie this year they might want to remember when filling out their ballots.
And who can blame him? Even without campaigning for himself — or even showing up for the ceremony when he’s nominated — Allen has racked up a whopping 23 Oscar nominations as actor, writer and director since 1978 (the first year he was honored, for “Annie Hall”), with four wins (most recently for the screenplay of “Midnight in Paris”) to his credit. Which is to say nothing of the 14 actors Allen has directed to Oscar-nominated or –winning performances, including Dianne Wiest, who won supporting actress Oscars for both “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “Bullets Over Broadway. »
- Scott Foundas
‘La Cage aux Folles’ film: Edouard Molinaro international box office hit (photo: Ugo Tognazzi and Michel Serrault in ‘La Cage aux Folles’) (See previous post: “‘La Cage aux Folles’ Director Edouard Molinaro Dead at 85.”) But Edouard Molinaro’s best-known effort — comedy or otherwise — remains La Cage aux Folles (approximate translation: "The Cage of the Queens"), which sold 5.4 million tickets when it came out in France in 1978. Perhaps because many saw it as a letdown when compared to Jean Poiret’s immensely popular 1973 play, Molinaro’s movie ended up nominated for a single César Award — for eventual Best Actor winner Michel Serrault. Somewhat surprisingly, in the next couple of years La Cage aux Folles would become a major hit in the United States and other countries. Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the U.S. in 1979, the film grossed $20.42 million at the North American box office — or about $65 million in 2013 dollars, a remarkable sum for a subtitled release. »
- Andre Soares
Hannah and Her Sisters is the definitive Thanksgiving movie, full stop. Why? Well, there’s a lot of Thanksgiving in it. But also, like your family, the one in this movie doesn’t know it’s unbearable, funny, sad, weird as hell, and perfect. It will fuel you with essential patience through Thursday’s festivities, even when your Uncle Werner begins with his conservative rants about Jennifer Lawrence‘s new haircut. She just likes it that way, Uncle Werner! Don’t be on the wrong side of history!
New viewers of Hannah and Her Sisters will find it’s much different than recent Woody Allen movies, which are streamlined, plot-driven efforts. Midnight in Paris and Blue Jasmine almost feel like elongated short films, but Hannah and Her Sisters dishes plenty of comedy, wordy-ass arguing, despair, and a lot of contemplative moments featuring none of the above. Woody Allen’s character »
- Louis Virtel
In a recent open letter to the Hollywood Reporter, Woody Allen offered support for the notion of Academy Award recognition for casting directors—and upheld as an exemplar of why such recognition is needed Juliet Taylor, who has cast every one of Allen’s films since 1975. “My history shows that my films are full of wonderful performances by actors and actresses I had never heard of and were not only introduced to me by my casting director, Juliet Taylor, but, in any number of cases, pushed on me against my own resistance,” Allen wrote. He went on to identify Jeff Daniels, Mary Beth Hurt, Patricia Clarkson, Mariel Hemingway, Dianne Wiest, and a young Meryl Streep as actors he would never have cast if not for Taylor. “I owe a big part of the success of my films to this scrupulous casting process which I must say if left to my »
Glenn here. Remember when The Film Experience asked what "fictional art you want to experience"? The Broadway show from Woody Allen's 1994 classic Bullets Over Broadway was a definite favourite. The new stage adaptation directed by Susan Stroman will likely be the closest we will ever get, so I guess we should take a look at the new poster (or, at least, new to me).
Hopefully this is a bigger success for Stroman than the recently opened - and now recently closing - stage adaptation of Big Fish. Stroman also directed the immensely popular The Producers so this period is certainly in her wheelhouse. How much do you reckon the budgetary figure for "neon signs" is going to be on this production? I was unaware that Woody Allen himself was in charge of writing the adaptation. It should come as no surprise, however, that the music will not be original. »
- Glenn Dunks
Since the Academy created a casting directors' branch earlier this year, there's been a growing debate over whether or not a new Oscar category should be created for them. One person clearly in the "pro" camp is Woody Allen, who has written an open letter in praise of their work -- and, in particular, that of his longtime collaborator Juliet Taylor, whom he credits with introducing him to the work of such actors as Dianne Wiest, Jeff Daniels and Patricia Clarkson. (Wait, he worked with Clarkson in 2009 - bit slow on the uptake there, Woody!) "Because my films are not »
- Guy Lodge
Director writes open letter in support of his longtime casting director, who he credits as being instrumental in his films' success
• Readers vote: the 10 best Woody Allen films
Woody Allen has weighed into the debate over whether casting directors should have their own Oscar by writing a letter to industry trade magazine the Hollywood Reporter outlining the contribution his own casting director, Juliet Taylor, has made to his films.
Allen writes: "My history shows that my films are full of wonderful performances by actors and actresses I had never heard of and were not only introduced to me by my casting director ... but, in any number of cases, pushed on me against my own resistance."
He continues: "If it were up to me we would use the same half dozen people in all my pictures, whether they fit or not. »
- Andrew Pulver
As awards season gets into full swing The Film Experience will grow more Oscar focused by the week. I'm nowhere near as adept at prognostication as Nathaniel, but I reckoned it was as good a time as any to resuscitate one of our key features, the Monday Monologues. To make up for its absence, you get two quickies.
I was re-watching a few episodes of In Treatment last weekend and remembered how much I love Dianne Wiest. I’m sure you do, too. In a career of illustrious turns (including her duo Oscar wins) I’m turning my attention to one a little less feted, the supporting role of "Nat" in Rabbit Hole.
Rabbit Hole remains one of the most interesting curios in recent Oscar history.
- Andrew Kendall
Star of the stage, Billy Porter, is in talks to join director Barry Levinson’s adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel The Humbling, which centers on an aging stage actor whose empty life is altered by a "counterplot of unusual erotic desire" - he gets involved with a much younger woman, after retiring to his upstate New York farm, and they engage in all kinds of sexual experimentation, until the fun ends. Porter, whose role isn't yet public info, joins a cast that already includes Al Pacino, Greta Gerwig, Diane Wiest and Mandy Patinkin. Todd Gilbert and Avi Lerner are producing. Porter can currently be seen starring »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Everyone loves a romantic movie, right? Here's what the Guardian and Observer's critics think are the 10 most romantic movies of all time. Let us know what you think in the comments below
Peter Bradshaw on romantic movies
Movies such as Gone With the Wind and Doctor Zhivago lent something grand and epic to romantic love, but it was perhaps the much-loved weepie An Affair to Remember that did the most to introduce us to the more domestic idea of the chick flick or the date movie – the romantic film adored by women and tolerated by their husbands and boyfriends.
“One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach, – all the damn vampires!”
The Lost Boys (1987) is screening at 7pm this Thursday, October 3rd at Schlafly Bottleworks – 7260 Southwest Ave St Louis, Mo 63143. Doors open at 6:30pm. It’s a fundraiser for Helping Kids Together.
Been feeling a bit under the weather lately? Too many late nights? Keep missing the daytime or having to wear sunglasses when you do make it up before dusk?…… How do you feel about garlic? Crosses? Stakes?
Yes, it’s vampire time again…
It may not be the scariest horror movie of the ‘80s (heck, the ridiculously over-sized 80s hairstyles and mullets on show are probably more frightening than the fangs), but twenty-five years later it’s easier to appreciate director Joel “Bat Nipples” Schumaker ‘s The Lost Boys as the first teen vampire movie. Boasting not just one but both of those »
- Tom Stockman
We've always had a fascination with monsters. Some are pretty forgettable, while others have found a place in our hearts or struck deep into our psyches. But we've come a long way from the nuclear age of giant ants terrorizing middle America and atomic lizards the size of skyscrapers engaging in battles with gargantuan apes. The modern monster has evolved from the golden age of Bela Lugosi's blood-sucking antics in the depths of Transylvania, or the stop-motion excellence of Ray Harryhausen – designs still vehemently admired to this day thanks to publications like Famous Monsters of Filmland. There's always been a kind of aesthetic beauty to be found in monsters, and the advances in makeup effects are constantly lifting the limits on the imagination; the possibilities of future monsterdom are becoming endless. Some of our filmmaking heroes are so adept at realizing visually dazzling creatures that it's become their professional calling card (Guillermo Del Toro, »
- Aaron Williams
If history is any indication, Cate Blanchett can expect an Oscar nomination for her leading role in Woody Allen's new movie Blue Jasmine - and those four reasons are named Penélope Cruz, Dianne Wiest, Diane Keaton, and Mira Sorvino! We're looking back at Woody's winning habit of getting Oscar gold for his leading ladies. On Allie: Forever 21 top and Bailey 44 blazer. »
- Allie Merriam
Riffing on Terek Puckett’s terrific list of director/actor collaborations, I wanted to look at some of those equally impressive leading ladies who served as muses for their directors. I strived to look for collaborations that may not have been as obviously canonical, but whose effects on cinema were no less compelling. Categorizing a film’s lead is potentially tricky, but one of the criteria I always use is Anthony Hopkins’s performance in Silence of the Lambs, a film in which he is considered a lead but appears only briefly; his character is an integral part of the story.
The criteria for this article is as follows: The director & actor team must have worked together at least 3 times with the actor in a major role in each feature film, resulting in a minimum of 2 must-see films.
One of the primary trends for the frequency of collaboration is the »
- John Oursler
To the long list of actresses who've thrived in Woody Allen films, it's now time to add Cate Blanchett. And in big, capital letters, because her spectacularly wrenching performance in Allen's latest, "Blue Jasmine," lives up to every bit of hype you may have heard.
As his fans well know, Allen, 77, keeps up the incredible pace of about a film a year, and had lately been focusing on frothy comedic fare – the whimsical hit "Midnight in Paris," and the less successful "From Rome with Love."
"Blue Jasmine," surely one of his meatiest films in years, finds him in different territory, both geographically – we're back on U.S. shores – and emotionally, addressing serious issues like the Bernard Madoff financial scandal and its social ramifications.
It's also a fascinating character study of a woman trying to keep her head above water, financially and mentally, »
As the pill-popping, Vodka-swilling title character of "Blue Jasmine," Cate Blanchett joins a long line of actresses who have played crazy in Woody Allen films. No one has created more complex, multi-faceted female roles than the New York maestro, but let's face it: these gals are never more mesmerizing than when they're screaming, shouting, and throwing a major tantrum.
To celebrate this latest wacky inclusion, here's our list of the nine nuttiest female performances in Woody Allen films.
At first glance, Amanda Chase (Christina Ricci) looks like she'd make a really great girlfriend, especially to a nerd like Jerry Falk (Jason Biggs). But looks can be deceiving: once you get to know Amanda in "Anything Else," you start to think that maybe Jerry should stick to dating apple pies. Based on the evidence of this film, the pastry would prove a more stable relationship. »
- Zach Laws
Jenny Slate is living proof of her own philosophy: “There’s not just one way to do comedy.”
Slate has done standup and sketch comedy, viral videos and Web series, including the crazy-popular “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.” She even did a season of “Saturday Night Live.” These days, if you turn on the TV, you might catch her dating Aziz Ansari on “Park and Rec,” belittling Lena Dunham on “Girls” or trying out various characters on “Kroll Show.” Slate has even juicier roles in two upcoming series, Stephen Merchant’s “Hello Ladies” for HBO and Andrew Gurland’s new FX sitcom.
Recently, she got to do some real acting in indie feature »
- Peter Debruge
It's been a slow burn, but with four episodes left, the decision to revive one of pop culture's best known serial killers, Dr Hannibal Lecter, feels like a good one. With its autumnal colour schemes and inventive, over-the-top murders, Hannibal is a show that stands out, and that's saying a lot in this year's crowded serial killer market, overflowing as it is with blood, gore and psychological profiling. We've already had The Fall, The Following, and Ripper Street, with the final series of Dexter back on Sundays, and the Psycho prequel Bates Motel launching on Universal later in the summer. »
- Richard Vine
Don’t speak! Better yet, sing! Which is precisely what Scrubs and Garden State star Zach Braff will be doing as the male lead in Woody Allen’s musical adaptation of his hit 1994 comedy Bullets Over Broadway, marking Mr. Braff’s Broadway debut.
The production, about a young 1920s playwright (Braff) struggling to keep sane amidst a cavalcade of temperamental actors, gangsters and producers all giving their two cents on his first major production, will also feature theater vets Betsy Wolfe (The Last Five Years), Brooks Ashmanskas (Martin Short’s Fame Becomes Me), Lenny Wolpe (The Drowsy Chaperone), Hélene Yorke »
- Jason Clark
Happy Gay Pride Week Everyone!
Dancin' Dan here to wish you all a Happy Gay Pride Month! When I think about the first gay person I ever saw on screen, I usually think of Rupert Everett in My Best Friend's Wedding, a performance I kind of love in a film that actually has a very gay sensibility. But just recently I realized that there was a much gayer mainstream Hollywood hit which came out the year before that Julia Roberts vehicle : The Birdcage.
Yes, in 1996, The Birdcage was a massive hit. It was also, oddly enough, a prestige comedy - based on a popular French play-turned hit crossover film, directed by Oscar winner Mike Nichols, starring Oscar nominee Robin Williams and Oscar winners Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest (the cast, which also starred soon-to-be-Tony winner Nathan Lane, actually won the Best Ensemble SAG Award that year). It grossed over $100 million. »
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