Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Continuing the Conversations...

Though I had a won-der-ful time on vacation, I do love the movie conversations. Some recent comments I wanted to respond to (for the patient and/or longwinded-like-me among you).

Clint totally approves of the Jodie Foster casting of God of Carnage (I agree that it's interesting and I hope she pulls it off) but I'm sure he'll be relieved to hear that Matt Dillon is no longer with the film. Not me.

Er... okay, I don't know which husband is which.

I was actually just discussing this with friends recently who had all seen the play and were kind of annoyed that John C Reilly will be playing Kate Winslet Jodie Foster's husband. He's not... handsome. Hollywood loves to pair anything from average to ugly men with ridiculously beautiful women, but it's clearly audience pandering to feed male ego fantasies: i.e. I can have / deserve to have a supermodel in my bed, no matter what I look like. It's okay once in awhile of course but all the time? Not realistic. Reilly is a very good actor but it's kind of silly when you stop to think of his screen conquests; he's already had (implied) movie sex with Julianne Moore, Renée Zellweger, Marisa Tomei, Jenna Fischer, Melora Walters, and Jennifer Aniston! Has he ever been paired with a homely woman? He's like a less cocky/noisy version of the Philip Seymour Hoffman phenomenon.

But mostly I'm just annoyed that...




...Matt Dillon never got a prestige gig or a meaty role as reward for that Oscar nomination. Most people do. And I'm also still slightly weirded out that even this play -- that was mounted with name stars -- got a complete cast overhaul. Usually when they replace a stage cast, it's because the stage cast are largely unknown to the public outside of theater fandom. You knew, for example, that Cherry Jones wasn't going to get her Doubt role on the screen or that the August: Osage County originals weren't going to transfer but Marcia Gay Harden (Oscar winner), Hope Davis and Jeff Daniels (longtime film regulars) and James Gandolfini ("Tony Soprano" himself)? These aren't unknowns.

Moving on...

I liked the comment conversation in the Silkwood post (thanks Tim) though I don't remember the bumper stickers that Deborah does from the 70s "Who Killed Karen Silkwood?" -- I was completely unaware of the politics surrounding that movie and first saw it only by way of combined Meryl/Cher fever 'round about '87/88, the next time they were both nominated. (I still find it odd that Silkwood missed a Best Picture nomination in 1983). Another controversy-friendly post from Erich ("Chicks of the Assimilated Animus") also provoked some interesting reaction and I liked Erich's defense of his own amusing/provocative list-making
Even the old and sexist templates of Freud and Jung have value as stepping off points, especially when dealing with the way our love of film icons intersects with unconscious archetypes...  dreams lag notoriously behind reality when it comes to updated social mores..
True that.

Manuel, who must have been searching that Cate Blanchett label, wonders when the great actress will try directing-- has she expressed an interest??? -- and  if we'll ever see a new film adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire which Cate did on stage (I doubt anyone would dare. Oh god, please tell me no one would dare?) and he even free-form rhapsodizes thusly...
intelligent, gorgeous, respected, fashion icon, versatile, risky, husky voice, theater, loyal, quality, chameleon face, humble, dedicated
Though Cate is not really one of my favorites, I appreciate obsessive actressy devotions in all their diverse manifestations. If you love any actress this much, peace be with you!

DJ XRay loved Paprika Steen's performance in Applaus. You may remember I went wild for the Danish film earlier this year. UPDATE: Oscar qualifying run begins December 3rd. [thanks to Kyle for the info]. I hope it's opening in NYC in time to qualify for the Film Bitch Awards but I doubt it. Those Oscar qualifying runs usually only bother with LA. Pity that. But if you don't play in NYC -- the place for American cinephilia-- you are dead to The Film Experience.

Speaking of this site's awards. I'm all over everyone's suggestions (i.e. FYCs) for the forthcoming 11th annual Film Bitch Awards. I consider everything.

27 comments:

Andrew R. said...

REILLY? I didn't hear about this. What's wrong with Dillon, and why John C Reilly?

Anyway, if we have a Virginia Woolf sitation, it'll be Foster and Reilly for Lead, Winslet and Waltz for Supporting.

FYC @ The Bitch Awards: Best Trailer:

Black Swan, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Inception.

joy said...

Just came home from Country Strong... Instead of talking about Gwyneth, everybody at the screening went nuts for Garrett Hedlund. As much as i hate the film, i actually think he deserve to get a GG musical nom...

I feel bad for Gwyneth, so utterly wasted in her silly and borderline supporting part. Even Leighton Meester got more singing time than her.

Alex F said...

Iirc, the film sites I frequent said that Reilly would be playing Foster's husband...not that it makes a difference, she's out of his league too, looks-wise.

I'm actually wondering how much they changed the script. And as a result, how far down the line of actors they had to go before Reilly said yes. I read somewhere that Guillaume Canet said he was offered one of the male leads and he turned it down because the play's essence had been changed in the script.

It'd be easy to think the women's roles had been beefed up more, considering Foster and Winslet are movie stars and Waltz and Reilly are not.

James T said...

Reilly will play Foster's husband.

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/John-C-Reilly-Joins-The-Cast-Of-Roman-Polanski-s-God-Of-Carnage-21277.html

This is actually playingin my city but I'm thinking of skipping it. The reviews are mediocre and I don't know if I want to know more about it than I already do before watching the film version. Am I right? Plus, you know, it's not cheap.

James T said...

Reilly will also play Tilda's husband in We Need to Talk About Kevin and now I can't stop thinking about Tilda and Jodie playing a couple or star in a remake of Thelma and Louise or....

Leo said...

Nathaniel, don't you like Phillip Seymor Hoffman? Surely I misread your reference to him being a showy actor since you're such a big fan of Booggie Nights.

Kyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kyle said...

Applause actually does have a US release. It's coming out in Jan. With an Oscar qualifying run in Dec. in LA.

You can learn more at the US website www.applausemovie.com.

James T said...

Leo - "you're such a big fan of Booggie Nights"...

...except for.... ;)

Kurtis O said...

Amen to the passage about all the "God of Carnage" switcheroos. I'm all for seeing more of Winslet in adult-argument mode ("Revolutionary Road" was delectable), but I, too, was taken aback by the complete cast change-up. In fact, I can remember thinking when first hearing about the play that it had a cast that I could easily see crossing over. And I'm definitely feeling the John C. Reilly objection. I'm not the judge-the-book-by-its-cover type, but I basically skipped "Cyrus" this year because it's just too much ugliness in one place.

NATHANIEL R said...

Leo... i am NOT a PSH fan. He's Boogie Nights' only blemish ;)

Kyle ... what? how did i miss this? actually it's so easy to miss these things now. Theatrical releases ain't what they used to be.

chris na Taraja said...

John C Reilly has been paired up with Philip Seymor Hoffman in BOOGIE NIGHTS, MAGNOLIA, and on broadway in TRUE WEST.

Here's an article on John and Phil...

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2008/07/john_c_reilly_or_philip_seymou.html

NATHANIEL R said...

James T -- i don't think you're in any danger of having a movie spoiled by seeing the play it will be based on. God of Carnage is very theatrical. It's all one set and four actors. I doubt they'll have a movie where there's no editing and only one scene that lasts for an hour and a half :) I'm sure it will be a very different experience.

i wonder why it's getting bad reviews where you are? Maybe the cast is not up to it. It's a very entertaining play... but it's wickedly demanding on the actors both dramatically and comedically so they've got to be A+ types.

James T said...

Thanks :)

One review was critical of the direction, stating that it would be the show of the year if the direction was different. I know the actors and they're usually good though maybe not A+ material.
Hmmm, I might go after all. I'll see.

Manuel said...

John C Reilly seems like a passive-aggressive actor to me, in a spokey way. And he is miscast in this play I think. Ralph Fiennes would have been a much better choice working his magic with his eyes and face while Foster channeling feelings thrue that petite body of hers.

Or if we continue to work out the idea of James T so could the casting of Tilda Swinton as Fosters partner in this play be something REALLY interesting

stjeans said...

I said it before & I'll say it again: J.Foster & K.Winslet are the MOST overrated actress of there GENERATION.

Volvagia said...

The only reason Winslet and Foster netted their rep is that so often you see popular American and British Actresses who are up to appear in ANYTHING if that's what the masses want to see, even though that results in the quick disappearance of fame as opposed to longevity, which is what, say, a Nicole Kidman is shooting for, resulting in being ostrascised by the talking head E! style media that demands you be in "pop" movies, even though I think adults see them, yet don't respect them. And subsequently inform their kids, "Umm...do you really want to see a movie that has that person in the cast?"

Anonymous said...

I find John C. Reilly to be incredibly sexy. Always have since I saw him in Hard Eight. He may not have a pretty face but he's got some charisma about him that I totally respond to! Must just be me, here, I guess.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

After Inside Job, I'm not sure that I approve of Jodie Foster being cast as anything - and the notion of her snatching a role - and specifically this role - from Marcia Gay Harden... it's just offensive.

Kate Winslet I heart of course (though I would have been even more excited about Hope Davis or Lucy Liu when it comes to this role) and I'm curious to see Christoph Waltz in a non-Tarantino movie.

But John C. Reilly! Again, I'm a fan - solid, dependable presence on-screen, and for all I know he might make this role work.

But I totally agree: how does he get to hypothetically sleep with Moore, Zellweger, Foster and - next year - Tilda Swinton!

Having just read Lionel Shriver's harrowing, staggering, compulsive We Need to Talk About Kevin, I also just discovered that Morvern Callar director Lynne Ramsay has already shot the film adaptation. This is a prize role for Tilda and I'm confident we will all be raving about it next year.

But I'm otherwise wary about the movie since Reilly was cast as Tilda's onscreen husband, who in the book is (pointedly, significantly) a square-jawed, classically handsome, muscular, golden-haired yet manly, good-at-every-sport American ideal. You know, the kind that might even sate Tilda.

John C. Reilly?

I don't get it.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

And by the way, if Winslet is gonna be in God of Carnage, I think she'd be a lot more interesting in Foster's role.

/3rtfu11 said...

You’re distain for Blanchett is fascinating but not surprising coming from a disciple of the church of Meryl Streep and latter-day saints. Speaking of Meryl Streep she was ROBBED of her rightful Oscar win in 1987 for Ironweeds – a depressing film experience that contains a shockingly low-key awesome performance from both Streep and Nicholson.
I think my description of her physical appearance in the film would rightfully so ban me here, so unless given permission to, I’ll hold on to it, but my mother thought I was being unreasonably cruel.

Casey said...

I would like to point out that John C. Reilly having implied screen sex with Renee Zellwegger is, in fact, sleeping down. She's gross. I really don't know a lot of people who consider her particularly attractive, especially next to Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago. She certainly doesn't belong in a category with Tomei, Fischer, and Aniston

NATHANIEL R said...

Y Kant -- wow. i didn't know that about that book. And wasn't he like a high school jock hero in The Hours. It's like Hollywood sees him through an entirely different camera than I do. It's like when roles call for the aaron eckharts of the world they think "I know, John C Reilly: sharp jawed handsome!" Again, I think he's a fantastic actor but you also should look the part.

Casey -- well i agree that Renee is strange but that's more in her persona than in her looks. She was a pretty woman for a good long while (at least up until she started continually making odd sour facial expressions and got strangely red faced) but John C Reilly is in no way a pretty man.

Silencio said...

"I basically skipped "Cyrus" this year because it's just too much ugliness in one place. "

are you f***ing kidding me?

Tahj said...

All I have to say is don't underestimate Foster. If you're only going by her work this past decade, well obviously she wasn't applying herself much taking on roles in films like Flightplan. But now that she's actually going for something challenging, watch out. Anyone remember that scene where she goes off on Kelly McGillis in the The Accused? The woman has more intensity and naturalness than Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett. And she's had it since she was like a 10 year old. lol. Can't wait to see her in this.

She's aging really well too, so she might look out of John C. Reilly's league looks-wise, but Reilly is a good actor and it didn't bother me seeing him with Julianne Moore.


Kate Winslet is also fantastic, but I would worry more about her than Foster since sometimes her American accent is great and sometimes not. I don't want it to be distracting like it was in Revolutionary Road. Whatever the case, seeing two acting goddess in the same film will be a treat.

Tahj said...

"After Inside Job, I'm not sure that I approve of Jodie Foster being cast as anything - and the notion of her snatching a role - and specifically this role - from Marcia Gay Harden... it's just offensive."

You're basing it off one supporting performance in a commercial film (Inside Man) out of a lifetime of good work? Not to mention it was better than Marcia Gay Harden's in The Mist, that's for sure. Offensive? I say inspired. Foster is a legend and it's about time she took on a good role again.

Peggy Sue said...

I actually like Reilly, I think Winslet can do almost anything and Waltz is a mystery to me but I'm strongly against Foster. I fear she will turn the character into an obnoxious woman and the play isn't about that. I'm not sure she can swing from comedy to drama. Marcia, Bening, Turner are masters doing that.