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‘Blue Night’ Film Review: Sarah Jessica Parker Loses the Pitch in Lackluster Drama

‘Blue Night’ Film Review: Sarah Jessica Parker Loses the Pitch in Lackluster Drama
Your response to “Blue Night,” a first narrative film from director Fabien Constant (“Mademoiselle C”), will very much depend on your response to Sarah Jessica Parker as a performer, for this is very much a vehicle for Parker, and it plays into some of her strengths and many of her weaknesses.

Blue Night” gets off to a very rocky start in a first sequence set in a hospital where Vivienne Carala (Parker) waits to see a doctor. The first shot is of her agonized eyes in extreme close-up, and the hand-held camera keeps very close to Vivienne. Constant (directing a script by Laura Eason, “House of Cards”) seems to want us to be inside of Vivienne’s head here, but the editing is so jerky that what results is spatially incoherent rather than emotionally involving.

Vivienne is told that she has a brain tumor and only around fourteen months to live if she seeks treatment, and after this diagnosis she wanders the streets of Manhattan in a daze. Vivienne is a singer, like the heroine of Agnès Varda’s French New Wave classic “Cléo from 5 to 7” (1962), but Cléo is a pop singer and Vivienne is supposed to be a respected but struggling jazz vocalist.

Also Read: 'Blue Night' Producer on How to Get a More Gender-Balanced, Diverse Film Set (Guest Blog)

Cléo spends most of Varda’s film waiting to hear a medical diagnosis that might be fatal, and so there is built-in suspense in this set-up. Vivienne knows right from the start of “Blue Night” that her days are numbered, and so all we can do is watch her despair as she totters around on her high-heeled, ankle-strap shoes. This is a far less compelling prospect.

Parker’s Vivienne is playing a gig at Birdland, where she once sang to some acclaim 25 years ago. Her career is not what she had hoped it would be, and this comes across in maybe the best scene in “Blue Night,” when Vivienne has to deal with an interviewer who asks about a “broken engagement” and whether this break-up affected her new album.

The record is titled “Third and A,” an address in the East Village where Vivienne once lived. Now she’s in a nice but modest apartment on 49th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, which is where her domineering and very attractive mother Jeanne (Jacqueline Bisset) is waiting for her.

Also Read: Sarah Jessica Parker Endorses Cynthia Nixon for New York Governor

Parker and Bisset make for a convincing mother and daughter in “Blue Night,” for they both have similar searing blue eyes, and they are both uneasy presences on camera. Vivienne finally escapes her mother’s undermining comments after giving her a desperate embrace. As she wanders around outside some more, she encounters a friend named Tessa, played by Renée Zellweger. Tessa is just as uneasy as Vivienne and Jeanne, and she disappears from the film entirely after a brief conversation with Vivienne about raising her young children.

There are times when “Blue Night” resembles one of those meandering, exploratory Elizabeth Taylor movies from the late 1960s and early 1970s, films where she tried to hold on to her glamorous earlier image while attempting to delve into psychic disturbances. Constant has Vivienne walking around a lot in “Blue Night,” and noticing things about people she sees on the streets, but these scenes don’t ever add up to anything.

If they were going to cast Parker as a jazz singer, they should never have had her perform, as she does at a club in “Blue Night.” She sings a new Rufus Wainwright song called “Unfollow the Rules,” and Parker sings it fairly well, but in a musical style that doesn’t bear even a passing resemblance to jazz. If Parker was going to play an esteemed but somewhat unsuccessful singer, surely this role should have been written as a musical-comedy performer who does shows at 54 Below rather than Birdland. (We see one of Vivienne’s albums on the wall of her apartment, and it is called “Subtlety,” a title that might get an unintentional laugh.)

Also Read: 'Sex and the City 3' Not Happening, Sarah Jessica Parker Says

Parker has image problems now that have to do with her extreme success on the TV show “Sex and the City.” She had been a likable child actress and then a charming ingénue, but her Carrie Bradshaw became increasingly unsympathetic while the show itself presented her as a lovable heroine. This disconnect was matched by Parker’s attempt to take on a very glamorous and grand-lady-like image while still holding on to her most girlish mannerisms from her child-star days: the perpetual tilt of her head in conversation with others, the way she is always nervously pushing her hair behind her ears.

Blue Night” is another miscalculation for Parker because it presents her as an entirely sympathetic heroine and a talented jazz singer, even though Parker is sending us behavioral signals that Vivienne is a flawed and calculating person. (And more likely to belt out “Tomorrow” at Marie’s Crisis rather than trade fours at Birdland.) What Parker really needs to do at this point is to play a spectacularly flawed or even villainous person outright. Only when she stops worrying about being sympathetic will her career get back on track.



Read original story ‘Blue Night’ Film Review: Sarah Jessica Parker Loses the Pitch in Lackluster Drama At TheWrap
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David Frankel to Direct 'Beautiful Ruins' Adaptation for Fox 2000

David Frankel to Direct 'Beautiful Ruins' Adaptation for Fox 2000
David Frankel is in negotiations to direct the adaptation of Beautiful Ruins for Fox 2000.

The story centers on an American actress who travels to Italy in 1962 during the production of Cleopatra, considered the most expensive flop in Hollywood history. In a plotline spanning decades and locations, the actress' narrative intertwines with Elizabeth Taylor, who starred in the real-life version of Cleopatra, and the subsequent love affair between Taylor and Richard Burton.

Sam Mendes will produce the book adaptation via his Neal Street banner, along with Julia Pastor and Karen Rosenfelt. Author Jess Walter will exec produce with Pippa Harris.

Frankel,...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Charlize Theron and Paris Jackson to Be Honored at 25th Anniversary of Vienna's Life Ball

Charlize Theron and Paris Jackson to Be Honored at 25th Anniversary of Vienna's Life Ball
Paris Jackson, Charlize Theron, and Dame Shirley Bassey are the first slate of honorees for this year’s Life Ball charity event in Vienna on June 2.

The 20-year-old daughter of the late icon Michael Jackson will be receiving the Life+ Award on behalf of her godmother Elizabeth Taylor‘s AIDS foundation at the ball which is considered the largest charity event in Europe and aims to raise awareness for AIDS and HIV.

“I’m passionate about ending the stigma and misinformation surrounding HIV/AIDS, and that’s why I have made it a mission of mine to continue this fight for acceptance and a cure,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

General Hospital spoilers for the week of April 16, 2018

ABC’s General Hospital has been treating the audience to the juiciest soapy drama since 1963. Port Charles is where Luke met Laura, Elizabeth Taylor guest starred as Helena Cassadine and today Sonny “The Dimpled Don” Corinthos and his true love Carly rule the upstate NY town with iron fists. Here’s our General Hospital spoilers looking at what’s set to go down the week of April 16, 2018: Will Granny, aka Super Spy Anna Devane (Finola Hughes), find the truth she’s searching for in Switzerland or will her ex-hubby and fellow secret agent Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) end up sabotaging the […]

The post General Hospital spoilers for the week of April 16, 2018 appeared first on Monsters and Critics.
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People Icons

Network: ABCEpisodes: Four (hour)Seasons: OneTV show dates: March 7, 2017 — March 28, 2017Series status: CancelledPerformers include: Lara Spencer (host) and People editor-in-chief Jess Cagle. Subjects include Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan, Beyoncé Knowles and Jay Z, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Whitney Houston, Patrick Swayze, Robin Williams, Prince, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Dwayne Johnson.TV show description:ABC News and People magazine have teamed up to produce the People Icons TV show. The weekly, hourlong series is hosted by Good Morning America co-anchor Lara Spencer, with contributions from People's Jess Cagel. Iconic People magazine covers inspired the TV series.Each episode focuses on a new theme that has captured the public's attention. "Celebrity Love Stories" recounts the
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

Book Review: "Conversations with Classic Films Stars: Interviews From Hollywood’s Golden Era" & "You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet: Interviews with Stars From Hollywood’s Golden Era" by James Bawde

  • CinemaRetro
By Adrian Smith

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James Bawden was a TV columnist for the Toronto Star, and Ron Miller was TV editor at the San Jose Mercury News and is a former president of the Television Critics Association. During their respective careers stretching back some fifty years the list of stars they have interviewed reads like a Who’s Who of Hollywood. These two volumes bring together an incredible assortment of interviews from almost the birth of cinema itself, with Buster Keaton, Jackie Coogan and Gloria Swanson representing the silent era. The great leading men are all here, including James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Kirk Douglas, Victor Mature and Cary Grant, and of course classic leading ladies like Bette Davis, Janet Leigh, Fay Wray and Joan Fontaine. Along the way they also met character actors and horror stars like Ernest Borgnine, Victor Buono, John Carradine, and Lon Chaney Jr.,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Paris Hilton and Her Fiancé Chris Zylka Have Set a Wedding Date (Exclusive)

Here comes the bride! Paris Hilton has kept details of her wedding under wraps. But Life & Style has learned that her fiancé Chris Zylka let some secrets slip during his sister-in-law-to-be Nicky Hilton's Mommy & Me x Tolani fashion collection launch at the Kitson Kitross store in La. A post shared by Paris Hilton (@parishilton) on Mar 21, 2018 at 11:40am Pdt Chris, 32, "told another guest that the wedding is set for Nov. 11 at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills," a source tells Life & Style. That is the chapel where Paris' parents, Rick and Kathy Hilton, were married, and where Paris' great uncle Nicky married Elizabeth Taylor. Paris, 37, "is planning on a big wedding," the source shares. "She's already started shopping for dresses with her sister." More from Life & Style Kim Kardashian Is Right — Paris Hilton Really Is “Forever the Og” Reality TV Queen Paris Hilton’s La
See full article at Life and Style »

George Clooney to Narrate Shimon Peres Documentary (Exclusive)

George Clooney to Narrate Shimon Peres Documentary (Exclusive)
George Clooney has come on board to narrate Moriah Films’ documentary “Never Stop Dreaming: The Life and Legacy of Shimon Peres,” Variety has learned.

It’s the 16th film produced by Moriah, the film division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. The production company generates documentaries focused on the Jewish experience as well as contemporary human rights. Two of its films, “Genocide” and “The Long Way Home,” have won the Academy Award for best documentary feature.

Nine months before he died last year, the 92-year-old Peres asked Moriah Films to create a documentary on his life story. “Never Stop Dreaming” includes interviews with President Clinton, President George W. Bush, President Obama, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Barbra Streisand. The film will be released later this year.

“We deferred production on our documentary about David Ben-Gurion to start working on ‘Never Stop Dreaming,'” director Richard Trank said.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Beatles Singer Ringo Starr Is Knighted by Prince William at Buckingham Palace — See the Pics!

What an honor! Beatles singer Ringo Starr was knighted by Prince William for his services to music at London's Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, March 20. "It means a lot actually. It means recognition for the things we've done musically and in life. So, I was really pleased to accept this award," the 77-year-old music icon told reporters after the special ceremony. When then asked by the BBC what he'll be doing with his new knighthood medal, Ringo — who will now be known as Sir Ringo Starr — jokingly replied, "With this, I'll be wearing it to breakfast." The event interestingly came 21 years after Ringo's Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney was similarly knighted by Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace back in 1977. The Duke of Cambridge knights Sir Ringo Starr for services to music at today’s Investiture ceremony
See full article at Closer Weekly »

‘Three Tall Women’: Glenda Jackson could finally win a Tony to go alongside her Oscars and Emmys

‘Three Tall Women’: Glenda Jackson could finally win a Tony to go alongside her Oscars and Emmys
With a pair of Oscars and a pair of Emmys under her belt, Glenda Jackson is only a Tony Award away from completing the Triple Crown of acting. And that could change this June as Jackson makes her eagerly anticipated return to Broadway in a revival of Edward Albee‘s “Three Tall Women.”

Jackson lost all four of her previous Tony Awards bids: “The Persecution and Assassination of Marat, as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton, Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade” (1966); “Rose” (1981); “Strange Interlude” (1985); and “Macbeth” (1988). She retired from acting in 1992 and served as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons until 2015. Since then, she has dipped her toe back into acting and was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2017 for her work in the title role of “King Lear.”

In “Three Tall Women,” which won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, Jackson
See full article at Gold Derby »

Alexandra Daddario Announces Birthday Fundraiser

Alexandra Daddario dedicated her birthday on March 16 to raise funds for the United Nations Foundation's Nothing But Nets campaign and The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (Etaf).

The Baywatch star traveled to Malawi this past summer to visit programs supported by the two organizations.

“This year, nothing would make me happier than to donate my birthday to support the communities I met while I visited Malawi,” said Daddario. “Etaf and Nothing But Nets have joined forces to help protect families in Malawi from HIV and malaria, two deadly diseases that cause more than 2 million deaths a year and burden communities around the world. I met so many children and mothers who worry they won’t reach their next birthday, simply because they don’t have access to the medicine and treatment they need. But we can help.”

The partnership between Etaf and Nothing But Nets is a strategic approach to
See full article at Look to the Stars »

7 Days In Entebbe – Review

Though the Oscar ceremony is less than two weeks old, the studios are returning to real-life subject matter with a non-fiction flick usually released toward year’s end for awards consideration. Oh, and this true tale from nearly 42 years ago has been dramatized multiple times. It all really depends on this film maker’s take, their perspective. Big battles of WWII have been the source of several films. Just last year the story of Dunkirk was the backdrop for three films: the propaganda romance Their Finest, the acclaimed Churchill profile The Darkest Hour and Christopher Nolan’s same titled multi-story thriller. Now, returning to theatres is the tale of a hijacked airliner and the secret rescue of its passengers back in 1976. Shortly after the incident, the broadcast networks rushed out two dramatizations (later released theatrically overseas), “Raid on Entebbe” and “Victory at Entebbe” were multi-starred TV events that echoed the
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Will ‘7 Days in Entebbe’ bring more awards to this often told story?

The story of how an Air France jet set to fly from Tel-Aviv, Israel to Paris, France was hijacked in 1976 and flown to Uganda has been a surprisingly fertile subject for film and television producers. This week another version of the tale opens in theaters. This work is entitled “7 Days in Entebbe” and stars Rosamund Pike and Daniel Bruhl. Will the new film, which opens March 16, bring more awards to this often told story?

Pike and Bruhl are both familiar to awards voters. Pike received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for “Gone Girl” (2014) and Bruhl competed for a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe and other awards for “Rush” the year before. While early reviews seem somewhat mixed on the quality of this particular version, previous attempts to tell the story have resulted in high awards recognition.

SEEOscar Best Actor Gallery: Every Winner in Academy Award History

In 2006 Forest Whitaker
See full article at Gold Derby »

‘7 Days in Entebbe’ Film Review: Docudrama Revisits a Legendary Israeli Rescue

‘7 Days in Entebbe’ Film Review: Docudrama Revisits a Legendary Israeli Rescue
The 1976 hijacking of an Air France flight full of French and Israeli nationals and the one-shot-in-a-million rescue that then ensued has already inspired a documentary, two made-for-tv movies and one Golan-Globus opus. (I particularly recommend the outrageously cast “Victory at Entebbe” — starring Kirk Douglas, Elizabeth Taylor, Burt Lancaster, Richard Dreyfuss and Anthony Hopkins, among many others — but each telling has its own unique appeal). So with “7 Days in Entebbe,” director José Padilha’s task was simple: Find something new to say about the 1970s most famous air rescue. To that end, he ably succeeds at his goal,...
See full article at The Wrap »

From Kissing Cary Grant to a 65-Year Marriage: Meet 93-Year-Old Oscar Presenter Eva Marie Saint

From Kissing Cary Grant to a 65-Year Marriage: Meet 93-Year-Old Oscar Presenter Eva Marie Saint
Eva Marie Saint might not have been immediately recognizable to younger audiences when she presented at Sunday’s 90th Academy Awards, but the 93-year-old’s 70-year career has had no shortage of memorable moments.

The actress has appeared in more than 161 productions, according to her alma mater, Bowling Green State University, where there is now a theater named after her. Over the decades, she starred alongside legendary actors like Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Cary Grant.

Over the course of her career, she was also able to work with some of Hollywood’s greatest directors,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

2018 Oscars ‘In Memoriam’: Missing honorees include Academy Award-winning actress, Oscar-nominated songwriter, and breakthrough director

2018 Oscars ‘In Memoriam’: Missing honorees include Academy Award-winning actress, Oscar-nominated songwriter, and breakthrough director
The “In Memoriam” segment of the Academy Awards is guaranteed to be two things: moving and frustrating. While we laud the academy for its efforts to be even more expansive at the 2018 Oscars with the number of people to whom it pays tribute (51), it is vexing that certain famous faces were excluded. Above, watch as Eddie Vedder sings the late Tom Petty‘s “Room at the Top” as the three minute video unspools.

Among those missing from this “In Memoriam” video, the most glaring omission is 1956 Best Supporting Actress winner Dorothy Malone (“Written on the Wind”). After more than a decade as a contract player at both Rko and Warner Bros., she changed her good girl image with her searing performance as an alcoholic in Douglas Sirk’s lush drama and took home an Oscar for her efforts. She went on to headline TV’s version of the Oscar-nominated “Peyton Place.
See full article at Gold Derby »

Will ‘The Shape of Water’ be the ninth Best Picture Oscar champ not to win any of its three-plus acting nominations?

Will ‘The Shape of Water’ be the ninth Best Picture Oscar champ not to win any of its three-plus acting nominations?
The Shape of Water” is one of two Best Picture Oscar nominees with three acting nominations — the other being “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” — but star Sally Hawkins and supporting players Octavia Spencer and Richard Jenkins are not predicted to win any of them. If they indeed go 0-3 on Sunday and “The Shape of Water” takes the top prize, the fantasy drama will join eight other Best Picture champs that did not convert any of its three-plus acting nominations into wins.

“Birdman” (2014) was the most recent Best Picture winner not to carry an acting award from at least three nominations, as Michael Keaton, Emma Stone and Edward Norton fell to Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”), Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”) and J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”), respectively. Arquette and Simmons were the supporting frontrunners all season, but Keaton was locked in a tight Best Actor race with Redmayne until the SAG Awards
See full article at Gold Derby »

2018 Oscars: Best Picture presenters should be Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep (even though she stars in a nominee)

2018 Oscars: Best Picture presenters should be Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep (even though she stars in a nominee)
To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Academy Awards, the two all-time nominations champs (and two-time co-stars) Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep should hand out Best Picture on March 4. Yes, Streep stars in one of the nine nominees, “The Post.” But does anyone really think that film will win?

While Nicholson has been the academy’s go-to guy for this award a record eight times, Streep — who has starred in a couple of Best Picture champs (“Kramer versus Kramer” and “Out of Africa”) — has never had a turn. Sure, she has presented other awards, both honorary and competitive, but surely it is time for her to be given this honor, especially in the year in which she reaped her 21st Oscar nomination. And with her headline-making speeches, viewers are sure to stay tuned to the end of the show to see if Streep once again goes after Donald Trump.

Nicholson
See full article at Gold Derby »

Hardly a Sophie’s choice: Meryl Streep is your favorite multiple Best Actress Oscar winner [Poll Results]

Hardly a Sophie’s choice: Meryl Streep is your favorite multiple Best Actress Oscar winner [Poll Results]
Meryl Streep’s twin wins are twice as nice for you. With 36 percent of the vote, Streep beat out her 13 fellow multiple Best Actress Oscar winners in our poll asking for your favorite.

“Meryl Streep is the most versatile, amazing actress of my lifetime,” user John K. commented.

Streep is the most recent multiple Best Actress champ, winning for “The Iron Lady” (2011) 29 years after her first triumph for “Sophie’s Choice” (1982). But she’ll lose that title this weekend if Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) wins as expected.

See 2018 Oscars: Frances McDormand (‘Three Billboards’) would set third longest gap between Best Actress wins

Way back in second place was Vivien Leigh, who earned 15 percent of the vote. “Vivien Leigh is the only one where both victories was my top choice in the years they won,” user Jay DeFelice wrote of her “Gone with the Wind” (1939) and “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951) wins.
See full article at Gold Derby »

Who is your favorite multiple Best Actress Oscar winner? [Poll]

Who is your favorite multiple Best Actress Oscar winner? [Poll]
Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) is a few weeks away from becoming one of 14 women who’ve won more than one Best Actress Oscar. McDormand, who took home the prize for “Fargo” (1996), would join 12 other women as two-time winners, two shy of Katharine Hepburn’s all-time record of four. Before McDormand joins this elite club, which of the first lucky 13 champs is your favorite?

Luise Rainer was the first actress to win two and the first performer to win back-to-back Oscars, triumphing for “The Great Ziegfeld” (1936) and “The Good Earth” (1937). Bette Davis (1935’s “Dangerous” and 1938’s “Jezebel”) joined her the following year. Eleven years later, Davis’ pal Olivia de Havilland won her second Oscar for 1949’s “The Heiress,” three years after her “To Each His Own” victory.

Two years after that, Vivien Leigh, who first took home the award for “Gone with the Wind” (1939), won for “A Streetcar Named Desire
See full article at Gold Derby »
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