Thursday, August 31, 2006

Reason #1,302 To Love Kate Winslet

For fans who love both the cinema and the live theater, there has been more than a little excitement about Julianne Moore's upcoming Broadway stint in The Vertical Hour. The play is from the esteemed writer David Hare (Plenty and the screenplay for The Hours) and will be directed by theater pro and Oscar winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Jarhead). Now we learn that we have Kate Winslet to blame for this upcoming delight. In the new issue of New York Magazine we read this delicious bit...
Moore had already passed on The Vertical Hour—although she found the play “brilliant,” she told Mendes that her filming schedule made it impossible to say yes. “And I thought, I shouldn’t have read it!” Moore groans at the memory. Then she bumped into Mendes’s wife, Kate Winslet, at the preschool the two actresses’ children attend, mentioned how disappointed she was, and Winslet fanned the project back to life.
Oh, the ways in which The Winslet continues to bless us all! We're definitely well into quadruple digits of reasons to love her.

Pedro Watch #3

As promised --more Pedro Almodovar from around the web as the "Viva Pedro!" retrospective marches onward.

The Wit of the Staircase Beautiful! It's a look at Juan Gatti's evocative colorful film titles.
La Dolce Musto Michael Musto on Penelope Cruz' best 'Sophia Loren' in Volver
The Other Andrew He learned five things from Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Certifiably Creative pays tribute to Almodovar as an artistic influence.
Slant Blog Has Pedro lost his subversive edge?

and new Volver reviews from The Nick Shager Film Project and Where Did It All Go Right?

Previously on Pedro Watch Tags: Pedro Almodovar, movies, Spain, Volver, film

P.S. I Hate Her

There was no "Hump Day Hottie" yesterday. As I was casting about for a suitable humpee, my mind wandered to the fine beefcake of Gerard Butler since that pic of him from the upcoming 300, dressed undressed in full warrior drag, has been popping up repeatedly online. I hesitated for a moment (considering the wretchedness of The Phantom of the Opera) and in that moment I was lost. My traitorous mind jumped to my arch enemy, Hilary Swank!

She ruins everything.

My mind made the leap because Ms. Skank had recently signed to star opposite Mr. Butler in a film called P.S. I Love You. It's about a husband (Butler) who dies but leaves his wife (Swank) move-on-with-your-life grieving instructions. The premise sounds terribly sentimental but it is written by Richard Lagravenese. And I gotta tell you, that man can write. What's more, that man can write really memorable female characters (cases in point: The Fisher King, The Ref, The Bridges of Madison County, Living Out Loud). Not only is she starring in P.S.... she's also already finished work on LaGravenese' other new film, Freedom Writers. So now Hilary has herself (possibly) two new great roles for which she can be wildly overpraised when they arrive in theaters.

I'll never be rid of her.

So as I was trying to forget about this ubiquitous she-devil, she starts hitting the gossip circuit again, too. Seems she was cheating on Chad and has since been outed. Her sins continue to pile up: robbing better actresses of Oscars, breaching her husbands anonymity in recovery, and now fornication with her agent (!) --to quote Addams Family Values: "I'll kill myself... the help?" --When will this girl stop? She can run but she can't hide from the fiery pits of hell!

Now, if you'll excuse me. Gerard has just woken up from a sweaty Swank filled nightmare. I really need to be there to comfort him. What? Don't judge.

tags: Gerard Butler, movies, gossip,celebrities, Hilary Swank, Oscars, Academy Awards, 300

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Irresisitible [sic]

This past weekend I was having a very lazy visit with a close friend of mine and we decided to stay in and watch movies. She proceeded to drive me to Blockbuster to make our selection. Now, I don't know about you but it's been ages since I set foot in a video store and it was jarring. I've been Netflixing it full tilt boogie since they 'opened.'

As we wandered good consumer-like through multiple aisles it became clear that I'd seen everything I intended to already. Suddenly I was staring at this movie I'd never heard of called Irresistible.

Right away I'm confused because the box features a woman that's like an ugly mall version of the legendary Susan Sarandon. ohmygod, it is Susan Sarandon. I hope someone was fired for approving that video cover. To add insult to Susan's injury, the packaging/marketing team spelled the films own name wrong on the back of the box "Irresisitible" (the emphasis is mine) --d'oh! I put the movie down quickly and bolted to another aisle, feeling the urge to shower.

As soon as I got back to a computer I had to wipe the fugly Sarandon doppelganger from my mind's eye by staring at this picture.

Ahhhhh. She's still got it. So I repeat: Some nameless person should be fired. And someone else --someone far more famous-- should pick her next project more carefully.

Lunchtime Poll

My friend Kristofer Robin has been sending me lunchtime polls by e-mail these past couple of weeks and I've found myself looking forward to them. So I thought I'd steal it from him, as he stole it from Heathers. It's so 1989.

Answer in the comments -No lurking!
"Which movie character (from any movie) would you have most liked to hang out with in High School?"

FB Awards Retroactive 1991

Yesterday I read that "Sarah Connor", a character near and dear to my heart from the first two excellent Terminator films, would be revived for a television series. Conceptually that might be a good idea for an old fashioned series --rather Incredible Hulkish if you stop to think on it: a violent misunderstood hero who is continually on the run from authorities.

So I thought this was as good a time as any to bring back the periodic retroactive awards. These are works in progress as they don't take place in real time like the annual Film Bitch Awards. Therefore they're fluid and subject to change unlike the traditional present tense awards which are set in stone (even if I wish to change them). You know Oscar sometimes regrets their decisions, too. We've already covered 82, 83, 85, 95, and 99.

So without further ado, some brief musings on the class of 1991. Thelma, Louise ("the one with the tighty hairdo"), Hannibal, Bugsy, Morticia, and the recently (at the time) ex-ed Mrs. Tom Cruise, Mimi Rogers.

Note to Katie Holmes: As soon as you divorce Tom Cruise you'll give an awesome performance. That's just what happens. At least it did for Mimi in 1991 & Nicole in 2001. Maybe you should shoot for 2011?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

While You Were Linking

Whenever I am computerless for more than 24 hours, my internet addiction becomes undeniable. 48 hours without the internet is eery and agitating. I need help. Upon my return from Boston I had e-mails piled up and many blogs to catch up on. Herewith, a wee sampling of posts I enjoyed. Yes, I read too many blogs. Curse you bloglines!

Cinematheque examines the five best performances by an actress ever. Unsurprisingly Falconetti is the goddess on this mountaintop.
No Necked Monsters on the trailer for The Queen
Nick bids a tearful goodbye to six things. I'm ET "ouch" on this.
Brevity is Wit on Greg Kinnear. Not sure I agree but well stated.
Cinematical delivers happy casting news for Sweeney Todd.
And Your Little Blog, Too has a great idea for a gruesome Leopold & Loeb triple feature. I'm almost tempted to take him up on it.
Daily Greencine has a preview of New York Magazine's fall preview.
Fame Tracker also takes aims at the fall lineup. But in a less appetizing way.

Oh, one last thing. I bitch about the Oscars a lot, I do. But thank god I'm a film fanatic rather than a TV aficionado. At least the Oscars aren't the Emmys. If you missed the festivities (I usually do -zzzz) you can read fun recaps at both popbytes (I love how MK totally loses interest when his preferred candidate loses -it's so honest) or EW's popwatch (very thorough). There are probably a gazillian other blogs that offer recaps for you, too. But if the Emmys are a surefire cure for your insomnia, check out these two recaps which are a lot easier to take for those with limited attention spans. First "14" at Gallery of the Absurd finds a way to sum up her interest with one illustration. And Joe Reid at Low Resolution achieves Emmy watching perfection. In ten sentences you'll get just the right blend of disappointment, vitriol and humor.

When Desktop Backgrounds Attack

This is the photo that currently serves as backdrop to my very cluttered desktop. (You can click on it to enlarge the rapture.) The Boyfriend came up to me the other night and said. "Who is that on your desktop?" So I'm all "Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. Duh Velvet Goldmine... Match Point... You know. " And he says "Oh yeah, him."


"Do you think he's prettier than me?"

And, I gotta tell you readers, I think it was a trick question. Because he hasn't spoken to me since.

First Impression

I wanted to say a hearty welcome to any newcomers perusing the site. For a crash course in the particulars of the Film Experience madness, here's some semi-regular features to peruse: * Classic Movie of the Week (which is not weekly. shut up.) * A History Of... (someone or something) * Blogosphere Multiplex... (interviews w/ cool web folk) * Hump Day Hottie (for the carnally minded) * Oscar Chatter (yeah, there's lots of that)

Try a sampling of "greatest hits": Far From Heaven vs. Brokeback Mountain (a side by side showdown) * She's a Bitch (a video mix) * Pfeiffer Forever (a blog-a-thon with 36 participating websites) * Actors of the Aughts (a top 100 countdown)

Or just ignore me and explore. I talk too much.

Monday, August 28, 2006

From Emmy to Oscar: "The Queen(s)"

One major award down. How many more to go? Helen Mirren fulfilled media expectations to win the Emmy Award for her performance as Queen Elizabeth I this past weekend. One month from now (Sept 29th) she arrives in theaters as yet another Queen Elizabeth (II this time) in a Miramax film called The Queen. They're keeping it simple, people.

Can the sexiest sexegenarian on the planet (give or take Charlotte Rampling) pull off a Liza Minelli and win both Emmy & Oscar for the same calendar year's worth of entertainments? She'll certainly have tough competition but Mirren has never been an easily intimidated actor.

The Queen, as you'll see to your left here, is being sold as a one woman show. Its Oscar fate rests entirely on how her performance is received. If she's genius, Oscar voters will undoubtedly give the whole movie a close look.

There is reason to be hopeful. Stephen Frears knows his way around grand actresses. He's previously directed Judi Dench, Annette Bening, Anjelica Huston, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Glenn Close to Oscar nominations in Mrs. Henderson Presents, The Grifters, and Dangerous Liaisons respectively. I love the latter two films in that list. I love them this much. You can't see my arms right now but trust me that they strain and stretch to equal the love. Those two films aside, and however uneven Frears filmography has been, he'll always be close to my heart for bringing My Beautiful Laundrette into the world. So I'm crossing my fingers that he and Mirren have concocted a brilliant duet here. We'll find out soon.

Verhoeven for the Gold ?

If or when one thinks of director Paul Verhoeven one thinks of either lurid sexuality (The 4th Man, Showgirls) or grotesque violence (Robocop, Starship Troopers) or perhaps one thinks of both at once (Basic Instinct). If you're a fan you think the sex and violence is in service (usually) to brilliant satire. But your mind probably doesn't race to Oscar, does it?

Nevertheless, that's where the Dutch provocateur could be headed. Seems that the Netherlands have selected his latest film Zwartboek (Black Book) to compete in Oscar's Foreign Language Film race. The IMDB description begins thusly:
Set during the end of WWII, Black Book is the story of a German Jewish girl who narrowly survives the war in Holland...
Every year in this particular race, Oscar's committee views about 50 films and chooses five as nominees. (see last year's entire competition here) Every year about 1/3rd of the 50something films submitted seem to be about World War II. I'm exaggerating but not by much.

Now, I can't really call myself a "fan" of Verhoeven's work but it'd be a shame (and par for the course) if it took him neutering his distinctly satiric NC-17 voice for a World War II drama for him to get any Oscar recognition.

The Film Experience foreign language Oscar pages for 2006 will be put up piecemeal during the next few weeks. If you have info or opinions on what your country should submit please share your thoughts with me. It's a big job for one person and this one person is highly appreciative of reader input. Speaking of... thanks to Ralph for this info.

Tags: foreign films, , , Paul Verhoeven, Holland, Oscars, Academy Awards, cinema, Film, World War II

Say What? Brave One

I asked you to entertain us by adding dialogue or a caption to this pic of Jodie from her new thriller, The Brave One. Your winners are...


and Rob...

Previously in Jodie Foster:
A History of... Jodie Foster everything you knew + things you never dreamed.
Performances Jan to April a short note on her Inside Man work.
Top 100 Actresses of the Aughts #65. Yeah, you heard me.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

1962 "Smackdown"

It's that time again. Last Sunday in the month: time for a "Supporting Actress Smackdown" with StinkyLulu and the gang. Last month we watched 1961 films. In an odd fit of accidental chronology we went straight into 1962. Watch this clip...

This was an Oscar war between a deaf and blind girl (bait x 2), a classic literary tomboy, a trapped Southern princess, and two Oedipal manipulative moms. Who would you have voted for?

You can here our thoughts on the nominees and discuss over at StinkyLulu's SMACKDOWN. So come on over --it's more fun when you participate.

tags: Oscars, Academy Awards, celebrities, movies, cinema, films, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Manchurian Candidate, The Miracle Worker, Birdman of Alcatraz, Sweet Bird of Youth, Angela Lansbury

Saturday, August 26, 2006


I'm in Boston for the weekend. Perhaps my mathematical genius will be discovered while I'm doing janitorial work. Or maybe my daughter will be murdered. Or I'll be admitted to Harvard due to my bikini-clad video application. Hey, these things happen. Anyway other than the Supporting Actress Smackdown tomorrow, posting will be non-existent until Monday evening. Feel free to continue the conversations further down the page. Enjoy the weekend.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Links, Episode #159

<----Before we get to the links, enjoy this new paparazzi pic of you-know-who snapped in Toronto. Right after a Hairspray meeting apparently (?) Now tell me this: Is that a slammin' body for a 48 year-old or what? And also tell me this: Is that a hair clip in her hand or a half-eaten waffle? (thanks Aileen)

NewNowNext wants Moore, Julianne.
Just Jared pics from the new Kimberly Pierce (Boys Don't Cry) pic w/ Phillipe & Tatum.
Awards Heaven and Low Res' --Emmy Predix.
Burbanked closes out "trailer week" w/ Spidey
ONTD Celebrities with big mouths. Hee.
JA has the Children of Men teasers. Love.
Til The Cows Come Home converts to Battlestar Galactica ism/ology (?) I won't rest until every last one of you is watching.
a film odyssey on politics & movie talk. The referenced piece is depressing but illuminating.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

An Object of My Obsession: Moulin Rouge! (Pt 1 of 4)

This is the first in a four-part obsessively detailed look at one of my favorite films Moulin Rouge!. It's the closest I've ever examined a film for your reading pleasure. My eyes hurt so I really hope you enjoy.

Think of it as watching the DVD with a very chatty friend --namely, me. Or call it a recap, whatever works for you. Yes it's going to be a loooong article.

Bring your own popcorn.

Main Titles
One of my favorite sounds in the real world is curtains opening -- it's no fancy thing, just audible mechanics, a low hum. There's something in it that fills me with hope and makes me sit up straight. So I think all movies should open like Moulin Rouge! does, with those red glittery curtains parting, give or take the dancing conductor. Certainly more movies should begin with the title card "A Bazmark Production." To date there have been only three and that ain't enough.

Baz Luhrmann needs to quit all activities unrelated to movie making. No more Broadway experiments, no more vacations, no talking to friends on the phone. No eating or sleeping until I get another one! I'm dying here. The only other filmmaker who gets as big of a kick from dancing nutjobs and red curtains is David Lynch. And he doesn't make enough movies either.

There Was Boy...

John Leguizamo, playing a sad clown version of Toulouse-Lautrec, sings us into the film. Maybe he's sad because he knows this is the only masterpiece he'll ever be in? "There was a boy..." The boy in question is Ewan McGregor as Christian. Right away I love him because he's a) Ewan b) in Paris c) a writer and d) crying --and I love the sensitive artist types. He takes over the storytelling duties from Toulouse-Lautrec as soon as he's been introduced.

These shifts happen quickly in the film. I remember a lot of people back in 2001 thought Moulin Rouge! was way too busy in its editing and I both agree and disagree. Certainly Jil Bilcock, the cutter in question, is already getting a workout four minutes in. She's cross dissolving sneak peaks of the major characters and the titular dance hall. Shes interweaving them with Christian mopily typing his way through the framing device. Yet somehow this patchwork approach works. I figure most contemporary movies are just as busy in their editing but at least this one has an excuse. Any movie art directed by Catherine Martin (Baz Luhrmann's wife) can be forgiven for being easily distracted.

'Ooh, look at that. No, no here. Wheeee. Wait what's this?' It's all so gorgeous. I figure the cinematographer and the editor are just human --they want to look around, too.

READ THE REST.... There's green fairy hallucinations, detailed thoughts about the genius of Harold Zidler, Nicole Kidman's sky-rocketing fame, and much more.

Tags: Moulin Rouge, , , Nicole Kidman, Paris, Ewan McGregor, Oscars, Academy Awards, Kylie Minogue, cinema, DVD, Review, Film, editing, moviemusicals, absinthe, mashup

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tonight's Must Read

Stale Popcorn has the funniest post up about IMDB recommendations. Go. Laugh. I sure did.

Hump Day Hotties: TV Characters

I was seriously not feeling it today, the selection of some random star to drool over. So: something different. There’s a listing meme sweeping the blogs now occasioned by our master Joss Whedon naming his 25 fav TV characters of all time. My blogbuddies Stinky & JA took up the task as well. Now as I’ve remarked many a time I don’t watch a lot of television (relatively speaking) so today’s Hump Day Hottie is the 25 Hottest TV characters according to moi. Some of which I’m embarrassed about. But lists are always confessionals, aren't they?

25 Rachel from Friends. I know. I know. I'm totally Team Jolie but in the first several years of this show: hot! (My favorite hairdo was the long impossibly sleek version)
24 Dark Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Reg'lar Willow is too pure to be pink. But Dark Willow? Rowwwwrr. Love the gay foreshadowing.
23 Dr. Mark Greene from ER. I'm sorry. In those first few years I just wanted him in the worst way. So adorably bald and soft lipped.
22 Samantha from Bewitched. Wasn't just the nose but that helped.
21 Chachi from Joannie Loves Chachi . I apologize.

20 Sammy Jo from Dynasty. White trash nouveau riche is no longer even remotely hot. Nobody will ever do it better.
19 Alex P Keaton from Family Ties. The only Republican I'd sleep with.
18 Maya from Space: 1999. Shapeshifting sexiness.
17 Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yeah, I got sick of him too. But for a good long while it was pure yum.
16 McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy. He gets so much sexier every decade he will be causing spontaneous multiple orgasms in the entire world populace when he hits 90.
15 Six from Battlestar Galactica. She terrifies me. And apparently with my actressexuality, that's a turn on. I didn't know.
14 Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. *sigh*
13 Claire from Six Feet Under. Why didn't she win 100 Emmys?
12 Laura Holt & Remington Steele from Remington Steele.
11 Kelly Garrett from Charlies Angels. I know this is such a K-Mart Middle America choice. But I'm a midwestern boy and as a little kid I thought she was the prettiest person ever. I knew that Sabrina was cooler and Jill was foxier but it was Kelly all the way for me.

10 Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly
9 Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica. (prev. post)
8 Jordan Catalano from My So Called Life. Like Angela, I'm helpless.
7 Batgirl from Batman.
6 Chris Keller from Oz. I hate this show. But Chris Meloni? Damn.<
5 Agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks. I love every single thing about him --especially the way he disarms everyone around him with nonsequitors and contagious enthusiasm.
4 Carrie Bradshaw from Sex & The City . Some of the credit has to go to Patricia Fields, genius costumer, but SJP is hot stuff. I don't care what anyone says.
3 Rick & Lily from Once & Again. The scene where they sleep together for the first time remains the sexiest thing I've ever seen on my television screen.
2 Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer "five by five" And a "10"
1 Michael from thirtysomething. Ken Olin, Mmmmm. (prev. post)

Bugging Out

My thanks to Andy at Everything Oscar for pointing our way towards this trailer for Bug. The movie stars Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr, and the original male lead of the stage production, Michael Shannon. As you know I've been nervously awaiting this feature since I first saw the Off Broadway hit. There was already movie talk by the time I made it to the theater several months into its hit run. (My previous post about this play)

I'm not sure what I think of this trailer. Make no mistake, this was always going to be a hard picture to market. How exactly do you sell a horror film which has almost no similarities to traditional horror films?

Doesn't look like they've come up with an answer but I hope the movie is great because the source material sure as hell is.

tags: Michael Shannon, Bug, Ashley Judd, theater, theatre, Harry Connick Jr

Get Linked

Reverse Shot f***ed me over (jk) I was going to write something about all the magicians in the movies these days but they beat me to it.

The Pen15 Club has a post re: Stephen Dorff using his hard body to keep his acting career going. What is he, an actress or something? The Dorff ubiquity on the web this week is due to recent paparazzi beach shots and his very naked NSFW turn in the film Shadowboxer. Frankly I'm a little disappointed that that scene is getting all the attention. Shadowboxer doesn't always work but the Dorff penis is one of the least interesting moments in it. The Pen15 Club also has an infuriating post (not them, the topic) up about the upcoming Mysteries of Pittsburgh film. It's one of my favorite novels and I completely agree with their assumptional outrage.

Slant's Ed Gonzalez offers up his Emmy predictions. Methinks he gives the voters too much credit.

Cinematical fills us in on Susan Sarandon's next project. And incidentally. This isn't the only one she's got in the pipeline. Perhaps she noticed the resurgence of Streep and Bening and starting kicking her agent's ass.

Bravo prints an email from funny girl Kathy Najimy (speaking of somebody who needs to work more). She pissed about last week's Project Runway and explains why quite eloquently.

Oh and here's that Little Children trailer we were discussing. So go back to that post and continue the discussion. Thanks, Andy!

David & Jeffrey = Bette & Joan

Have any of you been following this bizarre exchange? Seems that Jeffrey Wells' site Hollywood Elsewhere went without updates and it turned out he was in the hospital (he's OK now). David Poland at The Hot Blog wished him well ...sort of. And then Wells questioned the way in which he was wished well with some pretty hilarious word choices of his own.

They seem uncomfortably close to me --inextricably linked somehow as entertainment writers. They don't like each other but also can't stop talking about the other. At least that's my perception. It's very Bette & Joan. I love this reader comment to Wells.
Was it the great twentieth-century philosopher Cosmo Kramer who suggested that when two people bicker constantly they're really in love but are afraid to admit it?

I'm glad to hear that Jeffrey's well. I think both of them are good reads even if they sometimes infuriate me with their politics (Poland) or sexism (Wells). But these are just my perceptions. I know you can't really know about someone's character by reading them. You just get hints and extrapolate from there.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Blogosphere Multiplex: Martha Fischer of "Cinematical"

OK. I'm a day late with this thing. But here's a new Blogosphere Multiplex Interview. In the interest of shaking things up a bit I've decided I should throw in film bloggers as well from time to time --I originally liked the idea of non-film sites only just to hear things from them you wouldn't otherwise. But it's all about variety.

I've already sung Martha's praises so let's just jump right into this conversation.

10 questions with Martha of Cinematical

Nathaniel: I normally begin by asking my victims how often they go to the movies. Given that you write for Cinematical I expect the answer is "very very frequently" so, what's something more personal you can tell us about your moviegoing habits?

Martha: Well if by "the movies" you mean screenings, then yes, it's pretty often. Jeez, if I start giving details of my viewing habits, people will know I'm a freak from question one. For screenings, I have to sit on the aisle -- left side -- near the back. And I always have to take notes (which, of course, I can only rarely read later) in pencil. No idea why.

Nathaniel: What is most likely to prompt you to scribble something down? Dialogue, tonal shift, an image?

Martha: Well, it depends. I'm a frantic note-taker during documentaries, but I think that's mostly because I was a history major and get obsessed with remembering details of cause and effect, and how everything fits together. Very little of that stuff ever shows up in reviews except as background, but the faux-historian in me can't stop.

For fiction, I take fewer notes. Those tend to be a combination of getting emotions out ("Are you kidding me?" or "I HATE HIM!" or "Oh my god.") and non-narrative things I want to remember -- stylistic touches, trends in the writing, character interactions, etc.

Nathaniel: I know you're a fan of musicals. Which is your favorite?

Martha: Ha! I was just thinking about this. If we're talking straight-up, pure musical, the answer is easy: Guys and Dolls. My dad rented it when I was a kid -- way back in the day when we rented and returned a VCR with our tapes -- and made me fall in love with musicals, Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando in one fell swoop. I know it's too long, and the leads are miscast, but I don't care. The music is wonderful, it's charming, and Brando is sexy as hell. Easily the movie I've watched more than any other.

But if by "musical" you mean "movie to which music is crucial but isn't a musical in the traditional sense," I think I'd have to say All That Jazz. One of my favorite movies of all time, with one of the most jaw-dropping, balls-out-incredible last 30 minutes I've ever seen.

Nathaniel: Plus there's "Air Erotica" to recommend it. 'Take off with us...' Yowza.

Martha: Totally -- everything about that movie makes some part of you tingle, whether it's the naughty bits or the intellectual ones.

Nathaniel: Describe these actresses in three words or less: Scarlett Johansson, Kirsten Dunst, Lindsay Lohan.

Martha: Scarlett Johansson: Lips, boobs, meh.
Kirsten Dunst: A dor able.
La Lohan: Train wreck. Sad.

Nathaniel: Since Hollywood won't leave old properties alone, which movies would you be OK with them remaking and why?

Martha: Oh wow. That's a really hard one because like a lot of people, I'm opposed to remakes on principle (though I confess that sometimes the damn things seduce and win me over -- like Pollack's Sabrina, which I love). Jeez. Hmm. It can't be anything actually good, because horrible damage would inevitably be done. Um ... Well, since they remade Ocean's 11 (HORRIBLY, in my lonely opinion), how about another Rat Pack flick? I get a huge kick out of Robin and the 7 Hoods, and would love to see someone try to make modern audiences like that delicious bit of nonsense. I can see it now: Clooney doing a verse or two of Mr. Booze, Peter Falk (Assuming he's still alive -- he is, isn't he?) coming back to take the Crosby role ... Maybe we can slip a note under Soderbergh's door, assuming he wants to keep making fun crap.

Nathaniel: Michelle Pfeiffer or Julianne Moore?

Martha: Oh god. This is a test, isn't it? If I pick Moore, you're never going to read Cinematical again.

I'll whisper it: Julianne Moore.

Nathaniel: Ha ha. No test. They're both correct answers.

Cinematical is quite a popular place. How did your movie writing career begin --what led you to Cinematical?

Martha: Thanks -- I think we're all really proud of how well things are going right now, but we're also determined to keep building the site, and improving and expanding our content.

Apart from a few reviews here and there on the websites of friends, my movie writing career basically began with Cinematical. I've always loved film, and had been reading the site basically from the moment it launched; a little over a year ago, I answered an open call for writers and, eventually, got hired. I did have some relevant background -- I'd done some other writing, taken a ton of film classes in college (as well as a few in the subsequent years), and also taught a high school film studies class (though whether the kids would tell you I was qualified is something else entirely).

Nathaniel: Which movie do you find yourself quoting most often?

Martha: I think I probably quote When Harry Met Sally more than any other movie, albeit mostly to myself. "Oh, I've been looking for a red suede pump!", "Baby fish mouth!", "Draw something ... resembling anything.", "You're right, you're right. I know you're right." and "Get over yourself!" are constantly featured in my internal monologue, as is the suggestion that anyone who doesn't answer the phone might be trapped under something heavy.

Out of curiosity, what do you think is yours?

Nathaniel: Without a doubt it's a fierce competition between Waiting for Guffman and Sandra Bernhard's Without You I'm Nothing...both of which make me laugh till I hurt.

Martha: While I'm not a big Guffman quoter, it is an undeniable fact that My Dinner With Andre action figures are among the most inspired ideas in the history of cinema.

Nathaniel: OK. Which movie stars do you love most and why? And who would you be happy to never see again?

Martha: List of the stars I love most could on forever, but I'll try to keep it reasonable:

Myrna Loy. A goddess in ever way. Incredibly lovely, and tough and funny (see: Nora Charles) but also nurturing and weary (see: The Best Years of Our Lives). I want to be her.

Alain Delon. In addition to being the prettiest man ever to walk the earth, Delon's also a great actor, when he can be bothered. It's amazing how affecting his almost totally still performance in Le Samourai is.

Joseph Cotten. I don't know if I can explain this one, but I just love the Cotten. I think it stems primarily from the fact that he makes his eyes twinkle at will in The Third Man, but I'll watch him in anything.

Brian Donlevy. Again, not sure why, but I find him incredibly appealing. There's usually something very reassuringly warm in his presence (though, apart from The Great McGinty, he rarely got to star in anything good), when he plays second bananas, and I think he's a better actor than he gets credit for (he's very much NOT reassuring, for example, in The Big Combo).

And, of course, Cary Grant and Steve McQueen. Those guys need no explanation.

Don't want to see ever again? John Cusack -- Yes, I'm insane. I know I'm the only person in the world who can't watch his movies, and I have to say it's not entirely his fault. The problem stems mostly from Say Anything, which was so hugely popular when I was in high school that, gradually, I grew to hate it. Plus, there was a kid in my class who wanted be Lloyd Dobler, and I totally blamed Cusack for his stupid trenchcoat. Then, when he starred in High Fidelity, I knew I could never go back. I love pretty much anything by Nick Hornby, and the fact that they switched the movie's setting to the US just destroyed me (and again, it was Cusack's fault in my head).

I do wish I could see Grosse Point Blank, though.

Nathaniel: Shhhh, I'm not big on Cusack either. He's one of those collective enduring 80s fixations but I wasn't even fixated in the 80s.

OK Last question. They make a movie of your life. Who plays you? What's the title? What's the rating?

Martha: Oh lord There's no way this can end well. You need to understand that my life is seriously incredibly boring from the outside. I watch movies, and then write up them! I spent 10 years teaching and coaching at a private school! Seriously, this stuff can't even pretend to be interesting. That said ...

Ok, director --Werner Herzog, because he's very good at making movies in which nothing happens -- like Aguirre, The Wrath of God (which is one of my favorites of all time) -- completely enthralling. And because I'm obsessed with him.

Star -- Jeez, I have NO idea. If I was older and believed the handful of really misguided people who have told me I look like her, I'd say Jodie Foster. But, since they're all out of their minds (albeit really, really nice), I won't.

Seriously, I've been thinking about this all day and can think of no one who would be remotely appropriate. For that reason, I'm pretending it's the early 1960s, and saying Angie Dickinson. Not because we look anything alike, but because I'd be honored to have anyone that kickass playing me. Plus, she'd make it easier to overlook how boring the movie's plot really is.

Rating PG-13, for copious swearing. Title: It Looks Like a Tablecloth, But It's a Nice Dress (extra points for knowing the quote).

Nathaniel: Thank you. Thank you. This was so much fun.

Film Experience Greatest Hits (for newbies):
"Don't Turn The Projector Off" -Why I love The Purple Rose of Cairo * Far From Heaven vs. Brokeback Mountain -It's The Whitakers Vs. the Del-Mar Twists. Whose side are you on? * She's a Bitch (@ the Movies)

Previously in the Interview Series:
Avi of ultranow * Rich of FOURFOUR * par3182 of six things * "14" of Gallery of the Absurd * Ron of How to Learn Swedish in 1000 Difficult Lessons * Ron of Ron L'Infirmier * Thomas of Thomas & Co.

Tags: movies, cinema, film critics, film, musicals, celebrities

Pedro Watch #2

"Viva Pedro!" is in its second week here in Manhattan and they're still showing Women on the Verge... I'm a little confused about this retrospective. I thought it would be a different movie each week. But I'll keep on rounding up the Pedro Almodovar links of interest for you to enjoy or ignore.

LA Times Kenneth Turan looks back with Almodovar at his brilliant career.
Hindustan Times congratulates Penelope Cruz for Volvering back to Pedro.
Nicks Flick Picks accidentally started a whole Pedro conversation. Go over there right now and tell him why he should love Almodovar like the rest of us. Sic' em!
Amandas MsAdventures This isn't about Almodovar but it does reference him briefly in a fun way. It's a story about insomnia and living in Manhattan.
Tom Fosgard considers Women on the Verge... a favorite and urges newbies to start with All About My Mother

In other Pedro gossip, reader Antonio tells us over at the ongoing Pedro Muse poll that the reason that Carmen Maura and Pedro Almodovar had the falling out in 1989 (Volver is her first movie with him since then) is that Pedro didn't take her to the Oscars that year.

Those damn Oscars. They ruin everything.

tags: Pedro Almodovar, movies, Spain, Volver, film, Academy Awards, Oscars

Tori! Tori! Tori!

Happy Birthday to the inimitable Tori Amos on this fine Tuesday morning. Tori's star has dimmed somewhat but her legion of fans remain passionate. I myself was a late blooming fan. I was caught somewhere in the 90s between loathing her for stealing Kate Bush's faerie princess art song mantle and loving her once I realized how freaking brilliant she was. My favorite Tori Songs of all time:

Best Album: Under the Pink (runner up: Boys for Pele)
Best Song: Today I'd argue for either Caught a Light Sneeze, Precious Things or Playboy Mommy. Ask me tomorrow and I'll list three different ones.
Best Lyric: "I believe in peace bitch" (from The Waitress)

Feel free to celebrate her birthday by declaring your devotion in the comments --what's your favorite Tori song? Have you ever seen her in concert. A-MA-ZING. Even better than on CD.

For reasons that shall remain unclear, even to myself, I felt it neccessary to make a photo collage of 9 actresses starring as Tori Amos in the imaginary biopic Strange Little Girls.

I apologize.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Trust The Man The Maggie

A REVIEW (of sorts)

This weekend I took in Trust the Man which was an awkward movie. It wants to be an adult comedy and a NYC loveletter and is obviously a fun romp for a famous clique (actress Julianne Moore her husband writer/director Bart Freundlich and several of their close friends) Unfortunately the movie looks like it was more enjoyable for them to make than it is for us to watch.

Take for instance this photograph to your left. This is Julianne with her best friend Ellen Barkin on the set of the film, cupping each others breasts for no apparent reason. (They don't share a scene in the film) I love this photo more than anything in the actual movie because it reminds me of actual silly lived-in friendships and not the movie version of the same.

The clubfooted feel of Trust the Man stems, I think, from the mixing of realism and fluff. It tries to combine R rated dialogue and adult oriented marital issues while also observing the standard unreality of your fluffy "Hollywood" romantic comedy. The ending is a particularly atrocious example of the latter mode --something probably only Julia Roberts could sell. And she'd even have to sweat for it. No one in real life behaves like this. So if you’re going for a movie-ish romantic fantasy that asks you to suspend all disbelief at the climax, you probably shouldn't lead up to it by painting such a faux gritty portrait of frustrating sexual incompatibilities and child rearing duties. Just a suggestion.

That said the film wasn't a complete waste of time. I dig all chances to see Julianne show off her freckles and her husband, the director, obviously loves them too. She looks beautiful, modern, and sexy and I hope it frees up interest in her for roles unrelated to her current rut: The Sad Mother! She plays Rebecca Pollack who one assumes is a closer approximation of herself than any character she's created before. Rebecca is a successful talented movie actress and mother of two who lives in Manhattan with her writer husband. She is considerably more famous and successful than he.

Given the fame enjoyed by Julianne and Bart in real life it proved difficult (for me at least) to divorce these characters "Rebecca and Tom" from them. And I didn't enjoy viewing it as an autobiography. I don't like wondering if Bart cheats on the goddess herself and I don't like thinking of Julianne as an actor that would tell her directors to go f*** themselves, as she does in the film dismissing a very one-dimensional side character. Any number of easy changes to the screenplay might've distanced these characters a bit more from the actual couple we know. One less child. One more child. Rebecca could have been a stage star only rather than a film star doing a play. Why is David Duchovny sporting Bart's hairstyle in the epilogue? Etcetera.

As for Julianne's comedic abilities, a continual cause of fan arguments, I should report that she seems a little more comfortable this time out but not quite there yet. But once again --and I had really never hoped to be reminded of Laws of Attraction, damn you Bart!-- she is forced to shove sweets into her mouth in private for a bit of humiliating slapstick. This time rather than using a public restroom she does it in the privacy of her own kitchen. Over on Adam's blog you can read an interesting theory as to why Julianne Moore isn't so good at this sort of light comedy shtick.

Now long time readers of The Film Experience know that Julianne holds a very special place in my heart. I've met her. I love her almost more than anyone (except you know who obviously). I once saw an interview in which the reporter asked her how she feels about critics and she gave a very respectful answer (don't remember it but it wasn't dumb or dismissive) and then she added that the only thing that upsets her about reviews is when they get personal.

When she said that I felt really guilty about one particular thing I said many years ago in a review but this time I feel no guilt. If you're going to make a movie starring you and your group of friends that's about a group of a friends and seems to be about your marriage, you have to expect that people might bring up your personal lives in their review. I'm just sayin'. Play fair now.

Anywayyyyyyy..... We learned from various junket reports that Maggie Gyllenhaal is the only new member of this filmmaking clique (Even Julianne's most frequent co-star James LeGros--five films together now starting with the masterpiece Safe-- shows up for a comic bit as a former fling of Rebecca's.) This is an insular world we're watching. So perhaps unsurprisingly it's the outsider who is most easily accessible to the audience. Maggie Gyllenhaal, unburdened by the comedic shtick that is parcelled out to her co-stars is nearly luminous and you totally root for her character.

Maggie is following her baby brother Jake's big year with one of her very own. She's got two movies already in theaters (this and World Trade Center) and her Oscarbait lead actress bid arrives soon in the form of Sherrybaby. All that plus she'll soon be delivering "Jake Gyllenhaal's friend Peter Sarsgaard's Baby's Momma's baby"

Busy girl. Fine actress.

No Snakes on This Blog

I was trying to be the only blog that never mentioned Snakes on a Plane in any stage of its life but then I realized that would be an achievement that nobody would notice. So I'm giving up since it lets me talk about some other crap that I care more about. At least marginally.

When I first heard the title ages ago I had a little chuckle and thought "cool". It reminded me of that brief and shiny moment back in nineteen-ninety-godiamsoold when that Nicolas Cage / Bridget Fonda movie was not called the generic It Could Happen To You but was referred to as Cop Gives Waitress 2 Million Dollar Tip. Mmmmm, high concepty. I like truth in titling but I had only a marginal interest in the movie. What killed it for me was the huge media dollars push for it which masqueraded as a grassroots fan movement. I was so sick of hearing about it. My opinion: Real cult movies are always accidental.

Now, if the snakes had dialogue or musical numbers and were all voiced by Sterling Holloway I woulda totally been on board. Especially if they resurrected that great Jungle Book sequence "Trust in Me" and made Samuel L Jackson's eyes go all hypnotic spiral. That woulda put my ass in a seat.

I'm not sure that this is as big of a disappointment as people are saying ($15 million for a B movie in late August? Sounds impressive to me) but then again... I'm fully aware that I'm not a numbers guy. I don't really get the box office fascination --or rather I get it but I could never indulge because I'd get too depressed.

Consider the following fact:
John Tucker Must Die, a cheap Mean Girls knock-off made something like 40 times what Heathers made. It also made more than the (completely unrelated) masterpiece Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. So did these fine 2006 releases: Date Movie, Little Man, RV, Scary Movie 4, The Lakehouse, Firewall, and dozens of others.

I'm sorry, here's a tissue. No. No. You can't have this bottle of pills. No! I don't trust you when you get like this.

In happier news, Monster House is holding well (good WOM) and the summer's WOM champ, The Devil Wears Prada is finally in the year's top ten. Go Meryl! This is now officially her biggest hit ever having surpassed even Lemony Snicket. Unless you adjust for inflation in which case I believe Kramer Vs. Kramer is still the champ. Either way, it's more than enough of a success to insure year-end awards play.

It won't stay in the top ten of course. We can't have a movie that good in the top ten, are you crazy? Gotta make room for Talladega Nights any second now... and more Clicks and DaVinci Codes and maybe a few more sequels like M:i:III that people want to see but no one will care about next year this time or even in a few months time.

The Little Children Trailer

UPDATE: Link to Trailer

Yesterday I went to two movies but the highlight of the day was seeing the trailer for Little Children. I just about did a standing ovation.

The trailer is inspired and evocative and showcases (if I'm remembering it correctly) Kate Winslet in a red bathing suit, Patrick Wilson sans shirt, and Jennifer Connelly in bed. They all look positively luscious... and if you've read the book you'll know that all three are cast superbly. I wish that I could link to it but I can't find it on the internet yet. It manages to set up the central adulterous romance between two parents and smartly opts out of much dialogue. Instead it uses Patrick's little boy and his toy train sound cue "chugga-chugga-chug" --this train is headed for a collison --to set up the story's escalating tensions. Love it. If the film delivers on the promise of this trailer, we have a real winner.

This trailer is so sophisticated and smart that I fully expect people to hate it. I remember quite well how brilliant I thought the The Devil Wears Prada trailer gamble was (just that scene of the two main characters meeting, what a setup. YES. I want to see more) but there were a number of people who thought that that was a foolish way to sell your movie. I love unconventional approaches. Most of all I love trailers that give me a feel for what the movie will be like moodwise and leave the rest to my imagination. Please don't bore me with the plot. This is an appetizer not the meal.

Little Children opens on October 6th in NY and LA.

Previous Little Children posts:
Coming Soon (But Not Soon Enough)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

What's Next @ The Film Experience?

Lots of goodies coming up as we transition into the Fall Movie Season. Fall is my favorite season so I'm happy to wave goodbye to the dog days of summer.

Coming up first, there'll be a few new reviews. No, really. They're even partially written. I've decided to step up the traditional reviewing whenever anyone donates any amount of $$ to the site (which you can do here). And since someone just did --Reviews! I'm not greedy just needy. Running a popular website isn't free unfortunately.

Next week, I'm beginning a detailed special retrospective and I think you'll enjoy it a lot, and of course the regular blog features will still happen. And remember, a week from today it's time for the monthly "Supporting Actress Smackdown" with my movie buddies.

This time the video clipreel will star the 1962 lineup of nominees which include the miraculous Helen Keller, "Scout", and the Queen of Diamonds herself, Angela Lansbury. Oh, and speaking of Mrs. Lovett, I'll share further thoughts on the upcoming Sweeney Todd film.

And finally, following Nick's lead... a sneak peak at my choices for the best of the year so far as we head into 'prestige' season. Will any of the choices make it as nominees for the 7th Annual Film Bitch Awards?

Stay Tuned.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

And I Am Linking You...

Film Narrative is givin' me nightmares about Summer 2007
novaslim on 3 childhood faves. Oh, this takes me back. All 3 times.
NowPublic "Half of All Americans Have Below Average IQs". I love their photo montage: Jessica Simpson, hee. But as to the study discovery: Well, duh!

Reel Fanatic on the upcoming Sweeney Todd --I'm noticing a basic rule of thumb in all posts about this adaptation. If the writer knows the classic Sondheim musical already they're terrified of what might happen to it with an unskilled singer in the lead role (this is not an "easy" musical --you need a great voice. Wasn't Depp dubbed for Crybaby?) If they don't know the stage classic, they're excited for Depp & Burton together again for the 16th time. Sweeney Todd begins filming early in 07.

Friday, August 18, 2006

And I Am Telling You... (I Want Credit)

A lot of people on the internet got really excited about Tom O'Neill's posting on The Envelope concerning American Idol reject Jennifer Hudson and her Dreamgirls performance. Jennifer is playing the role that made Jennifer Holliday a star way back when on Broadway.

I'm singing my own tune here. It's called "And I Am Telling You (I Want Credit)". I said loooong ago at least as far back as October that whoever was cast, be they a reality TV show reject or not, they'd be Oscar nominated. And of course I placed Hudson in the #1 position in my year-in-advance Oscar predictions, too.

I'm not trying to say I'm a prognosticating genius. In truth this was an easy call. Not everybody made it but it was easy. And here's why: "And I am Telling You (I'm Not Going)" is a star-maker. It is one of the best musical numbers ever written/performed for the stage. If you have the voice and passion for it (and we trusted Bill Condon to cast someone who did) it's explosive. Whoever played this role was going to be amply rewarded for their trouble.

I'm good at the Oscar game. I don't have as much access as the big guns (Poland, Wells, O'Neill, etc...) and probably about the same as the other midlevel and small fish (too numerous to mention) but I'm as good as anyone and better than some at this whole mad annual circus. Occassionally I get aggravated that I toil away in relative obscurity.

So stroke my needy ego in the comments. Do it!

I'm totally aware that one of the most tiresome things about writers and bloggers (particularly within the hermetic world of Oscar coverage) is their need to take credit for things or shout "FIRST!" But in this case I just had to give myself props. I won't get any credit for it in a big media way but I knew and I shared and now I'm sharing that I knew and shared.

In "Nathaniel, Shut Up!" news
Whenever I start feeling big for my britches and singing my own praises like this I go and read this hysterical classic from "This is What We Do Now." It makes me laugh at myself and at everyone else, too.

In other Oscar-pondering news...
In Oscar's off season (that's roughly 1/2 of the year since Oscar had a serious case of middle-age spread some years back) the greatest sport for awards junkies is dissing past Oscar blunders. It never grows tiresome and sometimes as with this blog entry from Edward Copeland it's almost celebratory.

Enjoy the off-season while you can. In just a few weeks, we're back in Oscar-land.


Earlier Dreamgirls Posts:
Coming Soon (Five Most Awaited Films)
Jennifer Hudson (The Casting Announcement)
Eye Candy (Jennifer Holiday performance)

Tags: , , , Jennifer Hudson, Broadway, American Idol, Oscars, Academy Awards

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Where My Posts At?

Tomorrow marks my last guest-blogging day at Modern Fabulousity but if you've been a naughty child and haven't been reading me in both places here is what I've been up to: Writing reviews of MTV's nominations for "Best Video", singing the praises of both the Gilded Moose and Dan "Flutterman". I was also taking cheap shots at Paul McCartney and stupid Hollywood scribes. I also paused to spread the Project Runway love and wish Madonna a happy 48th birthday and sharing fun drawings of Battlestar Galactica.

I'm kinda exhausted.

Pedro Watch # 1

Since I've been loving Pedro long time (since 1989 --yes, like many Americans, Women on the Verge... was my first taste) and since I'm currently polling you about his actress proclivities I'll periodically round up other Almodovar lovin' on the web as "Viva Pedro!" rolls out. (if you see something, say something)

PW #1
Auteur Lust a Volver review (NEW)
Monster of Mud has a cool quote from Pedro and poses an interesting question.
Pajiba "Un Maricon Brillante" --capsules on the whole filmography. Not just 8 films.
Contact Music Almodovar wants to make a musical.
Queer Beacon can't wait for Volver but makes do with the trailer.
Lone Star Verve on the "Greatest Hits" package. (NEW)
Guardian Unlimited An interview with the man himself.

tags: Pedro Almodovar, movies, Spain, Volver, film

Will I Be Your Mommy? Yes!

Hello Film Experience Readers,

I guess I'm a familiar face at this blog so an introduction isn't necessary. I met Nathaniel once in Los Angeles and he was a sweet boy. His mother should be proud. But I have to say, peaking around this blog, he's a lot more coherent in print than in person. He couldn't even form complete sentences in LA (not that that's required there. lol) Maybe he shouldn't have wished me good luck at the Oscars, though. His fandom is like a bad luck charm!

While I'm here there's two things I wanted to tell you about.

The first is that it looks like Savage Grace is finally going to be made. The IMDB has listed it as "filming" for years now. But they're mistaken. I'd know if I was on set. But I guess you can't blame them for the confusion. Tom and I were thisclose to nicknaming the movie "Savage Flora Plum". Tom's a doll. He's so patient, what with all the false starts this film has gone through not to mention the rotating cast of husbands for me: John Malkovich, Clive Owen, even one of the Baldwin brothers (lol. I'm sorry Alec Billy (?) Stephen --no, no it definitely wasn't him) Have you ever seen Tom's first feature Swoon? That was such a smart gem. I'm so happy to be running with that new queer cinema crowd again from the early 90s. I'm glad that Todd is still their king. He's a genius. So when Todd and I are done with that Bob Dylan piece I'm Not There I'm going to play Barbara Daly Baekeland in Savage Grace. Stephen Dillane is my new screen husband since Clive, John, and the Baldwin moved on. I'm really excited to work with him. He helped Nic win the Oscar for that train station scene in The Hours --oh, you know he did! Think he can do the same for me?

Eddie Redmayne will be playing my nutso son who I sleep with. He is such a sweetie. Plus he once starred as the son in that masterful Edward Albee play The Goat: Or Who is Sylvia so he knows all about inappropriate sexualizations of parental figures. It'll be like my Boogie Nights scenes all over again. And you have to know I'm looking forward to that...I miss my babies from that shoot so much.

Can you believe we're finally going to make this film? I'm pregnant with excitement. I almost can't believe it which would probably explain why I'm so incoherent this morning. Please excuse me. Maybe I should move to LA. lol.

The second thing I wanted to talk about is more of a request. Back when I was first getting famous I said that I read every script I get, even if it's from the plumber or the soccer mom down the street or something ... under the umbrella of "you never know." The unfortunate side effect of this rather public statement was that I get a million. They never stop coming in. So the screenplays just stack up and I thought I'd enlist your help.

Which of these parts should I play next?

There's one that's kind of a satire called To Mother You and I love attempting comedy. It's about a famous actress with an adoption fetish who travels the globe and just smothers her growing brood with love and a new world of opportunity. Then there's a modernization of Medea which could be gruesome (what with all the child killing) but that woman just loved too much. She lost it. There's an adaptation of the TV show Eight is Enough where'd I'd play the old Betty Buckley role and be a stepmom to eight (!) child stars --it's so painful for her to keep that distance because she's the step-parent but she loves them so much. Then there's this really risque drama Mother May I? about twin children who love their mother in really inappropriate ways. There's a biopic of Mother Jones. Did you know that ALL of her young children died of yellow fever prior to her reinvention as a social activist and hellraiser? You know that must have really formed her.

There's also a fictionalized adaptation of several psychological bestsellers She Loved Too Much! which is about a mother without enough boundaries. Then there's a remake of that Sally Field film Not Without My Daughter which would be very topical now, don't you think? She just loved that child so much. A thrilled named Cord Blood about a woman who wakes up in the hospital after delivery and they tell her her baby died, but did it? She goes crazy. She wanted that baby so bad.

I love all of these screenplays. These parts really resonate with me but they're all so different. I'm torn. Maybe I should do them all?

Julie Anne Moore