11 items from 2017
The cinema gods broke the mold when they made Michelle Pfeiffer.
In her greatest performances, as say, Susie Diamond or Catwoman, she’s achingly beautiful and unapologetically ballsy. Whether slinking across a grand piano while crooning “Makin’ Whoopee” or fending off Batman with a bullwhip, Pfeiffer conveys an inner strength, but also a flicker of vulnerability. In the late 1980s and ’90s, few stars blazed brighter. But as the aughts dawned, Pfeiffer stepped away from Hollywood to focus on raising her two children.
“It wasn’t a conscious choice to not work for five years,” Pfeiffer says. “It was just as my kids got older it got harder. They were school age, and I couldn’t schlep all around the world and disrupt their routines. I set down so many restrictions about when and where I could be on location that I became kind of unhirable.”
From 2004 to 2007, for instance, she »
- Brent Lang
Luc Besson‘s filmography is fairly impressive for a director that’s never really received support from critics. He directed “Nikita,” “Leon,” and “The Fifth Element” back to back to back from 1990-1997. Fine. Those three films alone have allowed him enough creative freedom to direct whatever he’s wanted to since. The problem is the ensuing films weren’t very good (“The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc,” “Angel-a,” “Arthur and the Invisibles,” “The Family“).
- Jordan Ruimy
Too Hollywood for art houses and too art house for Hollywood, iconoclastic French filmmaker Luc Besson has always had to blaze his own trail. Unwilling — or unable — to compromise from the very start (his debut feature was a dialogue-free post-apocalyptic drama about a waterless future where it occasionally rains fish), Besson continues to offset his pigheadedness with his passion. He eventually got so sick of looking for support that he launched his own production company, EuropaCorp, which has become one of the most profitable in all of Europe by churning out the kind of carnivalesque shlock that made its founder so famous in the first place. Besson may not have directed the likes of “Taken,” “Lock-Out,” and “Colombiana,” but his fingerprints are all over them.
- David Ehrlich
Michelle Pfeiffer is making a super chic return to the limelight.
On Thursday night, the 59-year-old actress turned heads in a sleek, all-black Monse suit and Prada shoes at the premiere of HBO's Wizard of Lies in New York City, and was joined by her writer husband, David E. Kelly.
Pfeiffer stars alongside Robert De Niro in the TV movie, making this her first acting project since The Family in 2013, which also starred De Niro. Wizard of Lies tells the story of Bernie Madoff (De Niro) and his Ponzi scheme, with Pfeiffer taking on the role of Bernie's wife Ruth.
Watch: 8 Actresses Who Were Told They Weren't Pretty Enough to Succeed
"It was kind of daunting," Pfeiffer told Et's Jennifer Peros at the premiere. "I had never played a real person before, and the fact that she was still alive and the fact that she had been through so much ...I felt responsible for telling her part »
In 2013 director Guillermo del Toro brought us Pacific Rim, a fantastic film featuring fighting giant robots and giant monsters called kaiju. With this film he was setting up a universe that one day could grow into future sequels and even a television animated series. It also made over 400 million dollars, no doubt that it was only a matter of time before they got to work on a sequel. But why would Del Toro not direct the second film?
It turns out that the production timeline was the enemy. In an interview for Collider focusing on his hew Netflix series Trollhunters, Del Toro talked about what ultimately lead to him stepping away from the directors chair for the Pacific Rim sequel Pacific Rim: Uprising. Here is a quote from the interview:
“The timing started to suck. I had this little movie that I wanted to do—The Shape of Water—very, »
- Emmanuel Gomez
In a year which will see the release of Justice League, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, among others, you’d be forgiven for not having Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets on your radar. But that’s a mistake you really should rectify.
Despite the mouthful of a name – we’re going with just Valerian, from here on out – this look like another dazzling sci-fi ride from Luc Besson, who’s no stranger to the genre after delivering minor classic The Fifth Element back in the 90s and more recently, the Scarlett Johansson vehicle Lucy, among others. Admittedly, the director doesn’t alway knock it out of the park (we’re still trying to forget The Family), but when he’s on his game, you better make sure you’re paying attention. And with the upcoming Valerian, »
- Michael Briers
Michelle Pfeiffer has not posed for a cover of Interview magazine since 1988 -- but it's as if no time has passed.
The 58-year-old actress slays in the April issue of the publication, and gives a rare interview with director Darren Aronofsky, whose film, Mother!, she stars in alongside Aronofsky's girlfriend, Jennifer Lawrence.
"I was thinking today, 'Why do I hate being interviewed so much? How can I explain this to poor Darren who has to do this dastardly interview with me?'" she quips. "And I think it may be that I have this constant fear that I’m a fraud and that I’m going to be found out. It’s true."
The three-time Oscar nominee explains that despite her flourishing movie career, she doesn't have "any formal training."
Interview MagazineInterview MagazineInterview Magazine
"I didn’t come from Juilliard. I was just »
Where has Michelle Pfeiffer been? It turns out the answer is pretty simple. "I've never lost my love for acting. I feel really at home on the movie set. I'm a more balanced person honestly when I'm working," says Pfeiffer, who last appeared onscreen in 2013's The Family (opposite Robert De Niro). "But I was pretty careful about where I shot, how long I was away, whether or not it worked out with the kids' schedule. And I got so picky that I was unhirable. And then...I don't know, time just went on." "When the student is ready," she adds, "the teacher appears." The actress, who has three movies in post-production, marks her return to Hollywood by »
The Vampire Diaries traveled to the TV graveyard just a few days ago, but did it do so gracefully?
Below, TV Fanatics Mandy Treccia, Justin Carreiro and Paul Dailly, react to Stefan's death, Katherine's snark and what those final scenes meant...
React to Stefan's sacrifice.
Mandy: I loved it. I suspected it would happen, but I still wasn't prepared for the moment. It showed how much both brothers have grown over the series. And it brought them full circle. Stefan forced Damon to become a vampire. Now, he's returned his human life to him. It was a beautiful end to their story.
Justin: He did a noble thing, and I am proud of Stefan. Like Mandy, I expected this would happen to the character. »
- Paul Dailly
So much of so many film festivals — Sundance especially — feel enormously focused on metropolitan life, New York City in particular. In Where Is Kyra?, director Andrew Dosunmu finds fertile ground in this well-worn location. Starring an against-type and utterly fascinating Michelle Pfeiffer as the titular Kyra, the film narrows in on the tragedy of getting old in America.
Written by Darci Picoult and lensed by the great (and recently Oscar-nominated) Bradford Young, this film lives in the shadows, both visually and conversationally. Kyra is an unemployed, middle-aged woman looking after her elderly mother (Suzanne Shepherd). After her mother’s death, she finds herself alone in a big, noisy city with no money and a sufficient lack of job prospects. When her credit card is declined trying to buy a drink at a local bar, a handsome neighbor named Doug (Kiefer Sutherland) enters the picture.
In handling her mother’s affairs, »
- Dan Mecca
There’s an awful lot of ravishing beauty on display in “Where Is Kyra?,” Nigerian-born filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu’s startling new visual ode to life on the New York fringes, and it’s safe to say the characters on screen see none of it. Through the lens of ingenious cinematographer Bradford Young, dingy apartment corridors turn to blazing crimson purgatories, drab Goodwill ensembles turn to iridescent haute couture, and the extraordinary face of Michelle Pfeiffer remains, well, that same extraordinary face — though one senses that Kyra, the near-destitute divorcee she plays to scarring effect in this downward-spiraling economic tragedy, long ago stopped seeing anything in the mirror.
Every bit as formally exciting as Dosunmu’s previous film, 2013’s glorious Yoruba-focused drama “Mother of George,” “Where Is Kyra?” proves a cooler, less emotionally rewarding experience, with Darci Picoult’s ultra-lean script giving Pfeiffer’s fearless performance fewer notes to play as it goes along. »
- Guy Lodge
11 items from 2017
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