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19 articles


Stage Door: Christmas With the Crawfords

8 hours ago

 Feeling the holiday spirit yet?

Jose here. It’s Christmas Eve in the Crawford household, and Joan (Joey Arias), and her children Christina (Chris March of Project Runway) and Christopher (Adam Davidson) are getting ready to receive a very special guest: Miss Hedda Hopper (Sherry Vine) who will broadcast a holiday special live from their home. As the perfectionist actress stresses to her children how important it is that they make a good impression - no wire hangers to be seen anywhere! - it becomes obvious that the holidays here are a truly special occasion, as many famous guests show up throughout the night (most of them mistakenly ringing the Crawford bell on their way to a party at Gary Cooper’s house).

Last seen in New York, twelve years ago, Christmas With the Crawfords is a hilarious parody that will certainly appeal to actressexuals who don’t mind their favorite divas being ridiculed. »

- Jose

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Fyc: Josh Brolin in "Inherent Vice" for Best Supporting Actor

11 hours ago

 

And so we come to the end of our individually chosen FYCs. Amir, our team coordinator, and Nathaniel (c'est moi, your immortal host) asked the team to each choose a personal favorite longshot from one specific category (no repeated films allowed). Here's the final entry in the series, a performance I really love in a film I really don't because it's important to remember during awards season when the same films seem to be nominated for everything solely because people like the movie, that individual elements are different than the big picture.

Josh Brolin in Inherent Vice.

It wasn't just the eternal sunshine of California or the vast vistas of desert land and salt water. It wasn't even really the hazy hash-filled air that P.T. Anderson's Pynchonian troupe of criminals were breathing. But I was parched and hungry the whole time I was watching Inherent Vice. I needed a »

- NATHANIEL R

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Quick Impressions: "Younger Ethel Darling" in Freakshow / "Song & Dance Girl" in Magic Mike Xxl

13 hours ago

Kathy DEITCHNew Series! In Quick Impressions we're looking at the working actor in key movie scenes. There are showbiz dreams embedded in nearly every frame of your favorite tv shows and films. Consider this series a celebration of SAG card-holders everywhere and double duty advice column for casting directors and aspiring actors.

 

For today's double-plus-good episode we talked to a young actress of stage and screen who I know you've already spotted on the very popular American Horror Story: Freakshow. Kathy Deitch did flashback duty as "Younger Ethel Darling," for Kathy Bates's doomed Bearded Lady. But all is not misery because get this: next summer Deitch will also be getting more than her fair share of testosterone... albeit in a far more enviable way. She'll be partying with your favorite strippers on the big screen in the eagerly awaited sequel Magic Mike Xxl

She tells us about her career-changing moment, »

- NATHANIEL R

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A Year with Kate: Love Affair (1994)

20 hours ago

Episode 51 of 52: In which In which Katharine Hepburn gives her blessing to Annette Bening and my inner actressexual weeps with joy.

A man and a woman bump into each other on a transatlantic flight. He’s charmed. She’s unimpressed. They both wear impeccably tailored suits. She banters. He flirts. A freak accident lands them on a Russian cruise ship. Their banter gives way to conversation. Their flirtation leads to longing looks and rose-tinted kisses. They both fall in love. But they’re engaged to other people.

If the opening to Love Affair sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It’s not a Tracy/Hepburn comedy, nor a Bogie/Bacall noir. In fact, it’s a remake of a remake, told first in 1939 (Love Affair starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer), then in 1957 (An Affair to Remember starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr), and later canonized in Nora Ephron »

- Anne Marie

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James Bond's Women, Frozen in Time?

22 hours ago

Tfe welcomes back its friend and resident 007 expert Deborah with a statistical investigation brought on that recent "Spectre" press conference. If you love Bond Girls or Bellucci, and who doesn't?, read on - Editor

With the announcement earlier this month that Monica Bellucci had been cast in the forthcoming Bond film, Spectre, the media has recently been replete with headlines like “James Bond finally falls for a woman his own age” It was the oft-repeated “finally” that put me in an analytic mood. Is this really the first time (“finally”) that Bond has been with a woman his own age? How often has there been a really large age disparity?

I decided to analyze each movie so I could derive some statistics. James Bond is almost always with two or more women per film, but we can generally identify the “main” and “secondary” woman. I decided, for the sake of my own sanity, »

- Deborah Lipp

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Female Screenwriter Tops 2014 Black List

17 December 2014 6:25 AM, PST

Manuel here to share some of the best unproduced screenplays written by women (according to industry insiders).

The Black List, now in its tenth iteration, compiles an annual list of the most liked unproduced screenplays. Since 2004, some of the screenplays featured on here have gone on to become Oscar-winning films like Argo, Juno, and The King’s Speech, as well as modest successes like Lars and the Real Girl, Charlie Wilson’s War and 50/50. Even current Oscar-favorite The Imitation Game topped the list in 2011. Other titles like Recount, Things We Lost in the Fire, The Beaver and Snow White and the Huntsman have been featured. That is to say, it’s quite a mixed bag (this year includes a screenplay for Wonka, for example, “a dark, reimagining of the Willy Wonka story beginning in World War II and culminating with his takeover of the chocolate factory,” which… well, to each »

- Manuel Betancourt

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Open Thread & Roundtable Madness

16 December 2014 6:37 PM, PST

I have been comically beset by obstacles this year so even though I'm roughly three weeks behind, I have to laugh a little at the strange stumbles and ouchy falls and just go... okay, well then. This is an interesting view of the floor! (apologiez: Oscar chart editing functions are somewhat on the fritz. trying for workarounds to fix)

Angelina Jolie talking about directing plane crashes and visual effects. Mike Leigh, hilariously also in this shot.

One of the victims of this impossible season for me at least has been THR's roundtables. I literally haven't watched a single one of those sometimes highly enjoyable if aggravating celeb gatherings. Not even the Actress Roundtable! (I'm certain it was its vibe of "The Amy Adams Show: Episode 5"  that killed my will to press play on the only day I had 50 minutes free on weeks ago. Important distinction: Amy Adams the actress is often very exciting to watch. »

- NATHANIEL R

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Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings

16 December 2014 1:00 PM, PST

Michael C here to look at an embattled new wide release. 

Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings is so dead in the water, so consistently baffling in its choices, that it is difficult to know where to begin. How about the simple fact that when one is adapting the Old Testament there is no getting around God? 

Gods and Kings doesn’t go so far as to omit God altogether. The Lord is present (sort of) in the form of a petulant eight-year old child who first appears from behind the burning bush to issue vague marching orders to Moses. What Scott and his quartet of screenwriters do attempt is an end-run around the almighty in the form of an ill-considered attempt to wedge the Book of Exodus into the Batman Begins mold where all the miraculous events are brought down to Earth with realistic explanations, or at least semi-plausible interpretations. »

- Michael C.

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Makeup & Hairstyling: The Elephantine Origin Story (and this year's finalists since we must)

16 December 2014 9:00 AM, PST

It's history time, kids! Gather round. Did you know that The Elephant Man, currently on Broadway with Bradley Cooper, is indirectly responsible for the Academy's makeup Oscar? No, not that kind of make up Oscar ... though the Academy gives those all the time, too (why, hello Ms. Julianne Moore "Ms. February 2015"!) and maybe Bradley Cooper will get one of those someday?

what's that? u think this intro was an excuse to post a photo of shirtless Bra---fine! don't judge.

I digress. In the stage version of The Elephant Man the lead actor traditionally performs while wearing no special makeup; he merely acts deformity. But that stylization hasn't yet been tried on film. When it came time to make the film version in 1980, David Lynch, no stranger to depicting deformity without prosthetics -- deformity of the soul at least -- opted for makeup effects. People bitched about the lack of Oscar »

- NATHANIEL R

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Kendrick Sings and Sings Some More

16 December 2014 7:18 AM, PST

Manuel here to give you two new-ish videos with which to feast on if you’re famished for some Anna Kendrick. It’s probably unnecessary to remind you that Anna Kendrick has become the poster gal for movie musicals. In a stretch of 8 months she’ll have premiered The Last Five Years, Into the Woods and Pitch Perfect 2. We’ve already done a Yes/No/Maybe So for Into the Woods and for Pitch Perfect 2 and while I’d love to write one up for The Last Five Years, I’m afraid I’m too much of a Yes to nitpick about this beautiful trailer. Plus, snap/blind judgements that come from trailers don’t work as well when the film’s already been seen and reviewed. Case in point: Nathaniel already reviewed it back at Toronto. back in Toronto.

Anna sings twice after the jump...

»

- Manuel Betancourt

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Curio: In the Kitchen with Meryl and Barbara

16 December 2014 5:00 AM, PST

Alexa here. This week is cookie week in my house: the kitchen gets covered in flour and sugar in my attempt to craft cookies pretty as Martha's. I thought I'd try some new recipes this year, inspired by the world of film instead of M. Diddy. When I heard about The Dead Celebrity Cookbook Presents Christmas in Tinseltown I thought I'd check it out; I was sold when I saw it included Robert Mitchum's recipe for egg nog and Joan Crawford's recipe for angel food cake. First, though, I decided to try my hand at Barbara Stanwyck's family recipe for Christmas Kipfels during my yearly viewing of Christmas in Connecticut. With a little modification (rolling the dough instead of folding it, similar to rugelach), they were a snap.

With this recipe you won't need help from Felix

And so delicious!  So I was inspired to seek out other celebrity cookie recipes. »

- Alexa

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The "Knight of Cups" Pastiche Tease

15 December 2014 8:49 PM, PST

I understand that people are talking about the Malick teaser today? I feel stymied by this one (shockingly I'm a "no" at first glance so I'm skipping the traditional Ynms) but I shall share a few thoughts. Mostly, though, I feel Cate Blanchett sums it all up for me in her early teaser line-reading. So long as you pretend that she's me and I'm talking to Terrence Malick instead of Wandering Bale Sun-Logged in the Egyptian Desert Hollywood Wilderness...  

You're so different these days. What's going on with you?

Between the club music and what looks like a mash-up of several very familiar -- though I can't quite place them -- films, I just don't get it. Something about this Knight of Cups teaser smells like selling out. By which I mean there's a strong whiff that that is also happening thematically as Christian Bale goes Hollywood and loses himself »

- NATHANIEL R

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Beauty vs Beast: Miss Scarlett Decides

15 December 2014 5:30 PM, PST

Fiddle-dee-dee y'all it's Jason from Mnpp here with today's sweeping Southern epic edition of "Beauty vs Beast." Yes indeedy today is the 75th anniversary of the biggest movie that ever was and probably ever will be - David O. Selznick's Gone With the Wind (if any movie's ownership belongs to its producer, it's this one) premiered in Atlanta on this day in 1939. Three hundred thousand people lined the streets surrounding the Loews Grand Theater, the cap of three days worth of festivities which brought over a million people to the city. Most of the stars attended, save Leslie Howard who'd returned to England because of WWII, as well as Hattie McDaniel and the other black actors in the film who would've been segegrated from the rest of the cast thanks to Jim Crow. (A situation echoed several months later when McDaniel had to make her way from the back »

- JA

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Last Thingz - Missi's Farewell

15 December 2014 1:39 PM, PST

The Missi Pyle Experience is a wrap.

- by Missi Pyle

Before I go, I want to give y'all a sentence or two about eight photos, a few of which Nathaniel asked me about. 

Galaxy Quest (1999)

Tony Shalhoub is a fucking dream boat. This movie was the best experience of my life. Also every day Alan Rickman sat and ate lunch with us like a real human being, not in his trailer. He is like a beacon from heaven. I am so lucky I got to do this movie.

[Gina Gershon and Joan Rivers after the jump... ]

»

- GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

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Missi's Oscar Night Memoir

15 December 2014 10:33 AM, PST

We return you to our celebrity guest-host Missi Pyle... at The Film Exp The Missi Experience. Just one more post after this gorgeously fun memoir. Enjoy - Editor

Me N Oscar

The 84th Academy Awards. An Oscar Night Memoir

- by Missi Pyle

I just want to take a minute to talk about The Artist. Holy shit. What an incredible experience that was.

Tiny back story. I left La in 2008. I had married this guy from Montana with a grizzly bear sanctuary. I bought a geodome in the woods in Montana and moved in with said Grizzly man. I truly don't know what I was thinking. I had made some decent money in the previous year and I thought I could act from Montana? (Spoiler! Only Michael Keaton and Jeff Bridges can act from Montana - I wrote a show about it) Anyway, the marriage didn't work out and I »

- GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

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"Critics Choice" Flies With Keaton, Checks Into the Grand Budapest & Stands with Jolie, Unbroken

15 December 2014 7:47 AM, PST

(We interrupt your Missi experience this morning to bring you more awards news. Missi returns this afternoon for two final posts.) 

If you missed my predictions and would like to mock them, they were here. The Critics Choice which will be broadcast live on A&E this year from the Iconic Hollywood Palladium (a new home and venue) on January 15th at 9 Pm Est / 6 Pm Pst. I shall try and attend again. If I can get a better table. What? Travel expenses must be justified!

Best Picture

Birdman - leading with 13 nominations

Boyhood - 8 nominations

Gone Girl - 6 nominations

Grand Budapest Hotel - second place with 11 nominations. wow

The Imitation Game - 6 nominations

Nightcrawler - 3 nominations

Selma - 5 nominations

Theory of Everything - 5 nominations

Unbroken - 4 nominations

Whiplash - 4 nominations

I suspected (aka predicted) that we'd see Unbroken and Gone Girl resurface in the conversation here. In fact the only »

- NATHANIEL R

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Critical Kudos Continue: Kansas, San Francisco, Dallas, Ofcs

15 December 2014 6:13 AM, PST

(We interrupt your Missi experience this morning to bring you more awards news. Missi returns this afternoon for two final posts.)

The Film Critic (a monolith) floats in his room this month contemplatively, aging rapidly before our eyes. A difficult choice faces him/her: Birdman or Boyhood? After the jump see which cities chose what and which categories they're allowing themselves to have a little fun with »

- NATHANIEL R

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"As You Wisssssssh" - Missi's Favorites

14 December 2014 6:41 PM, PST

Favorite Movie

-by Missi Pyle

I have seen The Princess Bride about 200 times. I remember I saw it in the theater as a Double Feature with my friend Christy Brown in the 8th grade. It was playing with Dirty Dancing randomly. And when both movies were over. My friend Christy was totally floored by Dirty Dancing and I thought she was an idiot. I was like - wait the Princess Bride is the Best Movie ever Made. And she was like - no- Dirty Dancing.

The friendship didn't last.

But I just kept watching that movie over and over. I think it's where I developed most of my sense of humor. I have gotten to meet several people from that movie: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn. I never know what to say. I just can't even handle it.

I know its a lot of people's favorite movie. I don't care. »

- GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

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Missi - Bzzzzzzzzz!

14 December 2014 5:00 PM, PST

-by Missi Pyle

Pushing Daisies "Bzzzzzzzzz! (2008)"

Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Hannibal) is sooooo good. His writing is insanely magical. I keep begging him to make me a regular in one of his shows. We keep trying but I never quite get the job. So he once in awhile lets me play someone fabulous. "Betty Bee"? Come Oooon!!!!

I actually cut the tip of my finger off on camera while snipping roses in a scene on this job.  I held the tip of my finger to stop the blood from coming out until the end of the scene. They were very impressed I didn't stop the scene right after I cut it. But I'm from the theatre -- the show must go on! previously on 'The Missi Experience': gone girl, working actor, upcoming projects

  »

- GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

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