December 12, 2013 |
British actress Sally Hawkins first broke out as the unsinkable Poppy in Mike Leigh's 2008 feature "Happy-Go-Lucky," for which she won the Golden Globe. As the working-class Ginger in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine" earlier this year, she starts out with some of that optimism, but her sister Jasmine's arrival manages to mess with that. Played by Cate Blanchett with the fragility of cracking porcelain, Jasmine tears apart Ginger's life, apparently not satisfied with simply destroying her own. Ginger responds with her own heart-wrenching mix of adoration and anger.
October 7, 2007 |
THERE are few more iconic figures in some circles than Queen Elizabeth I and Bob Dylan. One was England's famous Virgin Queen, who vigorously guarded her country's independence during the age of Shakespeare and the Spanish Armada; the other America's rumbly voiced bard. Nothing connects them in the popular imagination, but a pair of concurrently released films shows these figures struggling with their phantom alter egos, the mythic selves that live free-form in the culture.
January 30, 2014 |
For many actors, Academy Award-nominated performances are to die for. Or, rather, if you play a character who dies - or who's dealing with illness or disability - your chances of earning a nomination and even the win go up significantly. Of the last 20 lead actor Oscar races, for example, 40% of wins have gone to actors who played characters who died on screen, an additional 25% of wins went to actors playing ill or mentally ill characters. In the last 20 years of lead actress races, 30% of wins were for playing characters who died or were ill. The numbers are inexplicably far higher among supporting actor wins (55%)
January 19, 2014 |
Robert De Niro wasn't technically nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award this year, but leave it to Bobby D. to find a way into the winner's circle regardless. At the SAG Awards ceremony on Saturday night, De Niro was on hand to present the award for best actress, which went to Cate Blanchett for her role in "Blue Jasmine. " After delivering the statuette and a peck on the cheek to Blanchett, De Niro, who last year was nominated for his supporting role in "Silver Linings Playbook" and as part of that film's ensemble, was presumably done for the night.
February 6, 2014 |
Earnest and well-intentioned but ultimately inert, "The Monuments Men" talks a better game than it can deliver. Inspired by true tales of World War II derring-do, it can't decide what kind of a film it wants to be and so ends up failing across a fairly wide spectrum. This is something of a surprise, and not just because the film is directed and co-written by George Clooney, who is also top dog in a high-powered cast that includes Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin and Cate Blanchett.