Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Most Anticipated : Macbeth

Will cinema screens combust from the heat off the lethal combination of Fassy and Marion coming at each other? That is the question, my friends.

Shakespeare needs no introduction and I can't remember if there was ever a major film adaptation of his Scottish play. Michael Fassbender, coming off his first Oscar nomination for 12 Years A Slave,  and Marion Cotillard, coming off two transcendent performances in Rust and Bone and The Immigrant, are the leads with Snowtown's Justin Kurzel directing. The supporting cast includes David Thewlis, Paddy Considine and The Great Gatsby standout Elizabeth Debicki.

What's It About
You know it. Ambition gone astray. Bravado run amok. And out out damn spot. It's a straight adaptation of the play set in 11th century Scotland with original Shakespearean language. 

Why I'm Excited
Snowtown was such a visceral punch to the gut. A excellent film debut for Kurzel that makes him the perfect choice to bring this to the screen. Fassbender is arguably the most exciting actor working today. Cotillard is at the top of her game with her recent performances - we can all try to forget the Talia al Ghul/Miranda Tate debacle. Plus I'm so excited to see where Debicki's career will go, based on evidence provided so far she has the talent and screen presence to become the next ACTRESS from down under to rule our screens.

Fassbender on set (JustJared)

Apparently Cotillard is keeping her French accent which is a strange choice for "the Scottish play". However if it means that this frees her to create a believable, emotional performance it might be a stroke of genius. 

There has never been an entirely successful straight adaptation of the Bard so I'm trying to temper my expectations. The only recent one that I liked was Baz Luhrman's Romeo and Juliet and that was a whole new interpretation. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Most Anticipated : Far From the Madding Crowd

Mulligan and Schoenaerts

After Blanchett and Chastain, it is time to consider what's next for another actress we admire, Carey Mulligan.

Celebrated Danish director Thomas Vinterberg has assembled a pretty good European cast to surround Mulligan; Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge and Juno Temple. Novelist and screenwriter David Nicholls of One Day fame wrote the adaptation from Thomas Hardy's novel. They shot on location in Dorset, England preserving the novel's original setting.

What's It About
An adaptation of Hardy's novel about an independent young woman Bathsheba Everdene (Mulligan) in 1750s England and the three men courting her. The handsome rascal who's clearly trouble (Sturridge), the older dependable but slightly crazy and depressed guy (Sheen) and her neighbour who becomes her employee, who's always around when needed and clearly the one she should choose (Schoenaerts). The novel is considered by some to be an early example of feminist literature. 

Why I'm Excited
Mulligan appeared in two of my favorite 2013 films The Great Gatsby and Inside Llewyn Davis. She was exceptional and distinctive in both showing a lot of range. And the woman can do wonders with her voice, controlling it to convey a million emotions. If Marion Cotillard's face launches a thousand differing and moving emotions; Mulligan's voice tells our hearts exactly what she's feeling at any time. 

Schoenaerts' sexy alive performance in Rust and Bone finally made me understand what people mean when they say Brando-esque. Plus the man is SEXY and of all his many upcoming movies this promises to be the one where he can at his broodiest, sexiest self. 

Vinterberg with his DP Charlotte Bruus during filming 

I guess I could quibble with Temple's casting since she has never impressed me or say that Sturridge is an unknown factor since I don't remember seeing him in anything. But who am I kidding? The combination of Mulligan, Schoenaerts and Vinterberg is more than enough to get me giddy with excitement. 60s purists might complain Julie Christie already played Bathsheba alongside Alan Bates, Peter Finch and Terrence Stamp but I'm excited for this new adaptation.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Most Anticipated : Miss Julie

Chastain as Julie

Yesterday we talked about Carol, today is Miss Julie's turn. Another woman centered movie that has me so excited with anticipation.

Liv Ullmann directs Jessica Chastain in a Strindberg adaptation. Just wow, a legit screen goddess directing one of the most exciting current actors in a movie adaptation of a classic play. Ullmann needs no introduction; Chastain can go from The Help to Zero Dark Thirty within a year so you know she's the definition of range. And the play is considered a classic. Colin Farrell and  Samantha Morton co-star.

What's It About
A tale fraught with sex, class struggle and power dynamics between the sexes. The titular character (Chastain) is drawn to a well travelled and well read servant (Farrell) in her father's household. That servant's fiance (Morton) is also part of the plot.

Why I'm Excited
Ullmann's collaboration with Cate Blanchett to interpret a classic - A Streetcar Named Desire - was a theatrical marvel. This is on film but still it's a collaboration worth getting excited about. Also Morton, who was so shafted in Her, is in this and it's been a while since we've seen this wonderful actor on screen.

Chastain with Farrell

Collin Farrell's casting gives me pause. He has never excited me on screen. In fact he was recently terrible in Saving Mr Banks. The movie was so much better when I watched a second time and fast forwarded through all his scenes. Still let's hope Chastain excites him and he rises to her level.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

First Pictures of Cate as Carol

My most anticipated film in a long time is Carol; based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, directed by Todd Haynes and starring Cate the Great. It's a gay man's heaven : ACTRESS, queer writer and director, an impossible forbidden love story. It also has a killer supporting cast with Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson and Kyle Chandler. All the ingredients that make me giddy and excited.

Here are the first pictures from the first day of shooting. And we will give the movie the "most anticipated" treatment soon.

Sandy Powell is serving some 50s coat realness
Even her back looks alluring.......
Mara and Paulson

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Final Oscar Predictions

Last predictions.... I'm hoping for a fun night and for a great speech from my favorite Cate. If she somehow doesn't win I'll be accepting condolences starting tomorrow.

Best Picture
12 Years A Slave

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron - Gravity

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine
Also hoping for a few choice moments from her on the red carpet like one below with Jessica Chastain at Golden Globes.

Best Actor
Matthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Actress
Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years A Slave

Best Supporting Actor
Jared Leto - Dallas Buyers Club

Best Original Screenplay
American Hustle

Best Adapted Screenplay
12 Years A Slave

Best Animated Feature

Best Foreign Film
The Great Beauty

Best Documentary
20 Feet From Stardom

Best Production design
The Great Gatsby

Best Costume Design
The Great Gatsby

Best Cinematography

Best Editing

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Dallas Buyers Club

Best Score

Best Song
Let It Go - Frozen

Best Sound Editing

Best Sound Mixing

Best Animated Short
Get a Horse

Best Live Action Short
Aquel No Era Yo

Best Documentary Short
The Lady in Number 6