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Legendary writer Tennessee Williams is widely considered the most important American playwright of the post-wwii era, with many of his classic plays, including A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, adapted into classic films. The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond is a rediscovered original screenplay from the 1950s, that has been brought to life by first time director Jodie Markell and actress Bryce Dallas Howard.
The daughter of successful actor-turned-director Ron Howard, Bryce has already developed quite a name for herself, working in some of the biggest film franchises (The Twilight Saga, Terminator, Spider-Man) and with some of the most intriguing filmmakers (Sam Raimi, M. Night Shyamalan, Lars von Trier, Kenneth Branagh, McG and now Clint Eastwood).
- Sara Wayland
There’s retro, and then there’s better left safely in the past. Or perhaps it’s just that the long forgotten and previously unproduced Tennessee Williams play this disjointed and ultimately histrionic drama is based on demanded a more subtle, more nuanced, more historically attentive approach. Bryce Dallas Howard (Terminator Salvation) is assured enough as a 1920s heiress trying to live down her landowner father’s terrible reputation amidst the catty rich folk of her Mississippi-and-Memphis society, but actress turned firsttime filmmaker Jodie Markell is at a loss as to how to properly contextualize her life. It seems like a deliberate joke, for instance, when Howard’s wannabe bohemian latches onto her father’s farmhand (the always appealing Chris Evans: Push) as an appropriate escort to the debutante parties she’s obligated to attend -- it sounds like she’s thumbing her nose at the snobs she’s »
- MaryAnn Johanson
'If I mess it up, it's like literary blasphemy,' she says of originating a Tennessee Williams heroine.
By Amy Wilkinson
Photo: MTV News
"Spider-Man 3" actress Bryce Dallas Howard doesn't usually get nervous before starting a new film. But she isn't usually playing a Tennessee Williams heroine either. Howard recently told MTV News that her role in the independent film "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond," which opens Wednesday (December 30) in New York and Los Angeles, left her a little on edge.
"I don't know what it is, but in the past, I haven't been a part of things that I can get really nervous or intimidated [about]," Howard said. "I just have blinders on and go for it. This was the first time I was a little concerned before doing it, because I was like, 'Oh my goodness. It's originating a Tennessee Williams heroine. If I mess it up, »
Tennessee Williams is arguably one of the greatest American playwrights, and the film adaptations of his plays have become classics in their own right: The Glass Menagerie, Baby Doll, The Rose Tattoo, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and of course, A Streetcar Named Desire. The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond is one of the few, if only, plays Williams wrote specifically for film. Williams discussed the project in an interview with the New York Times in 1957, and Elia Kazan, the director of Baby Doll and A Streetcar Named Desire, was supposedly attached to direct. It's unclear now if Kazan was ever officially involved; the director instead went on to film Wild River and Diamond has gathered dust until now.
Bryce Dallas Howard stars as the eccentric Fisher Willow, a gorgeous young woman who chafes under the strict rules of her aunt Cornelia (Ann-Margaret) but also wants to make sure »
- Jenni Miller
Cate Blanchett's performance in the Sydney Theatre Company's The War of the Roses has paid off, with the production scoring nine nominations for the Sydney Theatre Awards. Blanchett is up for Best Actress in a Leading Role, while the play has also landed nods for Best Mainstage Production, Best Director (Benedict Andrews) and Best Actor in a Leading Role (Ewen Leslie). Pamela Rabe will compete with her co-star Blanchett for Best Actress honours. Blanchett will also be competing against herself when the awards are handed out on January 18 – she's also nominated for her role in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, which also lands a Best Mainstage Production nod. In other leading categories, Avenue Q, »
- Ellie Pratt
Seasoned moviegoers have come to recognize certain visual cues that let them know they're about to witness scenes of unspeakable brutality: A close-up of a pot of boiling liquid in a movie that's not about cooking. The emergence of a straight razor in a scene not set in a barbershop. And the five words: "Ein film von Michael Haneke."
Actually, by Haneke standards, "The White Ribbon" isn't the kind of cinematic waterboarding we've come to expect from the stern Austrian auteur, but while it may not be as viscerally horrifying as, say, "Funny Games," it's still a grim and potent moviegoing experience.
Set entirely in a small farming community on the eve of World War I, "The White Ribbon" feels like a cross between "Le Corbeau" and "Village of the Damned" as directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. The town suddenly finds itself beset with crimes and misdemeanors: The local doctor's horse trips over a wire, »
- Alonso Duralde
It's not every day that an actor gets to originate a character from a Tennessee Williams script, but with the resurrection of the The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, Bryce Dallas Howard gets to do just that. Originally conceived as a movie for Elia Kazan to direct (following A Streetcar Named Desire and Baby Doll), the screenplay was abandoned for some 50 years. Howard talks about playing the part »
Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Evans, Ellen Burstyn, and Ann Margret star in Jodie Markell’s handsome production of a long "lost" Tennessee Williams screenplay, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, which opens tomorrow in New York City at the Quad Theater and in the Los Angeles area at the Laemmle 4 in Santa Monica and the Laemmle 5 in West Hollywood. The story of a young, privileged and willful Southern woman (Howard) in love with a young man (Evans) whose family has seen better days, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond was written directly for the screen sometime in the late ’50s. The film’s title refers to the loss of one diamond earring given to the heroine by her aunt (Ann-Margret), [...] »
- Andre Soares
Blanchett is up for Best Actress in a Leading Role, while the play has also landed nods for Best Mainstage Production, Best Director (Benedict Andrews) and Best Actor in a Leading Role (Ewen Leslie). Pamela Rabe will compete with her co-star Blanchett for Best Actress honours.
Blanchett will also be competing against herself when the awards are handed out on 18 January - she's also nominated for her role in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, which also lands a Best Mainstage Production nod.
In other leading categories, Avenue Q, Chicago, Jerry Springer The Opera and Wicked will battle it out for Best Production of a Musical, while ‘Tegrity: Britney Spears in Cabaret is among the four choices for Best Cabaret Production. »
New Year's week is typically a dry time for new releases, which is likely fine by multiplex employees. After last weekend's record box office, they could use a rest. But we cinephiles are always in need of fresh options, and just because it's the week after Christmas -- a traditional peak time for moviegoing -- doesn't mean there should be a total lack of new offerings. I know I'm not the only person who grew up regularly going to the movies on New Year's Eve.
Fortunately, while there seems to be no studio fare out this week, there are a few new films coming out in limited release. And each appears to be worth checking out if they're available in your area now or later, theatrically or otherwise.
- Christopher Campbell
Actress Bryce Dallas Howard, daughter of director Ron Howard, is best known for her roles in M. Night Shyamalan's The Village and Lady In The Water as well as genre films such as Spider-Man 3, Terminator: Salvation and the upcoming The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Now audiences will get to see a different side of the actress as she speaks the words of the great playwright Tennessee Williams in the adaptation of his long-forgotten screenplay The Loss Of A Teardrop Diamond, opening in theaters on December 30th. In the film, which Howard actually shot after Spider-Man 3 and before last summer's Terminator: Salvation, the actress plays the role of Fisher Willow replacing Lindsay Lohan who had originally been cast in the part. We recently had an opportunity to sit down with Bryce Dallas Howard to discuss her new film, the work of Tennessee Williams, acting with Chris Evans and the difference »
First-time filmmaker Jodie Markell’s “The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond,” is based on a never-produced Tennessee Williams screenplay completed during his late 1950s heyday. Yet, surprisingly, the film’s pedigree and source material isn’t the sole reason to recommend this decades-late cinematic rendering. Far from perfect, “Teardrop” is at its best when it approximates Terence Davies territory: that is to say in those instances when it abandons the forward march of events … »
Legendary playwright Tennessee Williams hit filmmaking gold when he joined forces with director Elia Kazan. Together they made A Streetcar Named Desire and Baby Doll , combined which nabbed twelve Academy Awards nominations and four wins. What do you do with a partnership that successful? Keep it going of course! That's where Williams' screenplay, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond comes in. The plan was for it to be the third collaboration between the duo, but Kazan got involved in other projects and The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond plummeted into the unproduced abyss. It wasn't until that screenplay landed in the hands of actress-turned-director Jodie Markell that Williams' work was long-lost no more. Dusting off the screenplay was easier said than done. During a roundtable »
As we wind down to year's end, we find Michael Haneke's Cannes conqueror fashionably late to the party, while Paramount waited three years to release the Renée Zellweger horror flick "Case 39" and a mere half-century later, audiences will finally see the fruits of an unproduced Tennessee Williams screenplay. Throw in a pair of modern Korean films and you've got yourself an exciting way to start the new year.
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We can only hope it's no reflection of quality that this latest volley from the creepy-kid subgenre sat on the shelf for so long that its director, Christian Alvart, had another project (daffy sci-fi chiller "Pandorum") wrapped, released and mostly ignored before this domestic thriller even made it to our shores. The German helmer's English-language debut (at least chronologically) has Renée Zellweger »
- Neil Pedley
Actress turned director Jodie Markell is passionate about theater and Tennessee Williams writing, which explains why she chose Williams unpublished, unproduced screenplay "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond" for her first feature film.
In this exclusive interview with MakingOf, Markell reveals that actress Bryce Dallas Howard was her first choice to play Fisher Willow after seeing her performances in M Night Shyamalan movies. She explains, "I had never seen an actress of her generation with so much presence, clarity and focus." She goes on to discuss capturing the South's vanishing landscape and the production design that went into creating the story's 1920s atmosphere.
The film opens in select theaters on December 30th. »
by Terry Keefe
The American Cinematheque at the Aero Theater hosted a screening on Wednesday evening of The Loss Of A Teardrop Diamond, which starred Bryce Dallas Howard (Terminator: Salvation, Spider-man 3, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) and was directed by first-timer Jodie Markell, both of whom were in attendance and participated in a Q&A afterwards.
(Bryce Dallas Howard, above.)
There are many films this season competing for Oscar glory which likely have far bigger marketing budgets than Teardrop Diamond, but Howard deserves strong consideration in the Best Actress race for her work as the troubled Fisher Willow, a complex young woman who might turn into Blanche DuBois 20 years down the road if she continues to make the wrong choices. The film's script was actually written by Tennessee Williams directly for the screen, but was only recently rediscovered. The film is »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Trained at the Tisch School of the Arts program at New York University, and with a background working on the New York stage, Bryce Dallas Howard has already amassed an impressive list of film credits. As part of such franchises as Spider-Man, Terminator and now The Twilight Saga, the actress is balancing big-budget blockbusters with smaller independent roles, including her latest in The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, from an original Tennessee Williams screenplay.
During the press day for that film, Bryce Dallas Howard gave some hints about her role in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, her involvement in the Clint Eastwood supernatural thriller Hereafter, and whether she’ll return for Spider-Man 4.
Read what she had to say after the jump:
Question: This is a great time in your career, being in such big franchises as Spider-Man, Terminator and The Twilight Saga, and you got to do this recently re-discovered, »
- Sara Wayland
Fans of director Darren Lynn Bouseman’s Repo! The Genetic Opera – and at this point, the cult is legion – are familiar with the name Terrance Zdunich. The tall, blonde actor/artist co-wrote both the film and the original stage musical on which it was based, starring in both incarnations as the wicked, mysterious, Zydrate peddling Graverobber.
When I interviewed Zdunich for the feature I did on Repo! in Fangoria last year, I of course asked him what was next on his plate, a standard line of questioning. I was surprised to learn that instead of immediately chasing his new cinematic muse, he was going to pursue his first love…comic books.
Well now, the dust has settled, pen has kissed page and the results is the gorgeous, nightmarish, 12 part graphic series The Molting, a self published peek into Zdunich’s fevered psyche that plays like a scorching Tennessee Williams tale re-envisioned as a domestic abattoir. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Chris Alexander)
At least, that's what she told The Dish Rag exclusively on Wednesday (Dec. 16).
Howard is the latest newcomer to the "Twilight Saga," replacing Rachel Lefevre as the vampire Victoria for the third movie, due out in June 2010.
There was a lot of controversy and uproar among Twihards about the recasting amidst rumors of unfairness, contract and timing issues.
Bryce says she doesn't really understand all the whys and wherefores. All she knows is that "Eclipse" is her favorite book of the series and that everyone on the set has been "really really really kind."
"Obviously, it was a really unfortunate circumstance and I'm not even really, honestly, really privy to exactly what happened," Bryce admits. "But everyone, they want the best for the film and because we all care about these characters so much »
Jodie Markell's The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond is a work with a fascinating backstory. It started when Markell, an actress who has made a career of sorts excavating and refurbishing the 'lost' works of a variety of artists (she brought Sophie Treadwell's lost 1928 work Machinal to the New York stage in 1990), found a never-produced screenplay in an anthology by one of the greatest American playwrights, Tennessee Williams. Determined to bring it to the screen, she got the funding and the approval from the Williams estate, and cast Bryce Dallas Howard as Fisher Willow, a classic Williams herione. The set-up is simple: Fisher, an heiress, has returned to 1920s Memphis society, and finds herself trying (and often failing) to fit in. She asks the poor caretaker's son, Jimmy Dobyne (Chris Evans) to escort her to social events, and the clash between the rich girl, the poor boy, and »
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