Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Julianne Moore & Eddie Redmayne

Hump Day Hotties Spotties: Julianne Eddie

God bless Julianne Moore, for her unashamed red hair and freckles. So many redheads disappoint in their inexplicable self-negating desire to look like all the other actresses in Hollywood (Nicole and Lindsay, I'm talking to both of you. whhhhyyyyy?). Julianne's freckles spot that porcelain skin in such a real way, a way you hardly ever see onscreen. I always appreciate it when filmmakers light her so you can see them.

I do love staring at her face and I'm pleased to report that Savage Grace, the story of the scandalous marriage, divorce and demise of socialite Barbara Baekaland, gives fans ample opportunity to do so. Julianne's beauty hasn't been this magnified onscreen since way back in 1999's The End of the Affair. This new film doesn't have the romantic and intellectual force of that earlier novel-to-screen adaptation but it's nice to see Julianne dolled up again. And with a sex drive too! In fact, I think Savage Grace would have been better if they'd pushed Barbara's outre sexuality a little further. A little more of, say, Isabelle Huppert's in-your-face perversion in Ma Mére or The Piano Teacher might've considerably strengthened the film. Anybody who was going to be scared away by the subject matter wouldn't be sitting in the theater anyway.

Julianne with two of her boys, Hugh Dancy & Eddie Redmayne

But back to Julianne's face. She has such a great and improbable mix of both solidity and eery abstraction. It's why she's so effective at playing women who are indisputably there --they make their presence known -- but also far, far away either through internal despair, self delusion, addictions or all of the above. The only character among her handful of most celebrated creations that doesn't fit this mold is Carol White from [safe]. There's no solidity to that one at all. A strong gust of wind could blow the poor creature away.

I'll say more about Savage Grace later... am still turning it over in my head and it doesn't open for another month, but god bless the casting people for finding her an appropriately freckly son in Eddie Redmayne. Eddie is one of those actors that the French might call 'jolie-laide' that is to say that he's somehow off putting and attractive simultaneously, a rather ideal look for the character of her overly adored lost-boy son.

UPDATED. I've included two trailers below. There's unfortunately another clip making the web rounds that is NOT a trailer but being labelled as such on YouTube and elsewhere. It's several scenes strung together for nearly 10 minutes. Probably gives too much of the movie away. Here's two real things, first the international trailer...




and then the US trailer



I think it's fun to suss out the differences in approach and general dramatic temperament. Here's Movie Marketing Madness's take on what they're selling and how well they're selling it.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Glad to see that your Juli IS BACK !

Now you're probably anticipating Blindness even more..

But seriously, based on that 10-minute clip and the trailer alone, she looks great in Savage Graca

Anonymous said...

she's great but she will not be nominated for it will she nat!!! had eddie had his lips done they were v v distracting.

NATHANIEL R said...

no. the academy won't get anywhere near this

Anonymous said...

This film has really stayed with me since the film fest in October. It really grows with you, I think - those colours, the heat of those summer scenes, the relationships, the beauty of its principal actors. And that's taking into account how often I forget/take for granted JM's greatness in this tricky role. Yeah it stumbles sometimes (that opening?) but still, a very worthy addition to the New Queer Cinema canon, if there even is one.

Unknown said...

Will Juli be in FB award contention for this, Nat? Obviously the oscars won't touch it with a 10-foot pole, but it could provide momentum for a Blindness run...

Juli's perf looks way bizarre and possibly a bit "off" here, but I feel like it'll make sense in context. And she is indeed stunningly beautiful. As are her son and his boy toy. Rawr. Eddie Redmayne + Hugh Dancy = "OMG I want to jump inside the screen!"

Glenn said...

The second the credits started to role for this movie I thought to myself "wow. the Academy isn't going anywhere near that" no matter how good Juli is.

Although I thought she looked a bit strange in the movie. Maybe it was just me.

Unknown said...

I saw this a while ago. Bizarre, intriguing, eager for a revisit (I'm still not sure what I think).

But Juli is awesomely bonkers. I hope it holds up to a closer look.

Michael B. said...

Nicole is a natural blonde, so I just wanted to give you the facts. She should be red headed tho.

Beau said...

Hugh Dancy = beauty.

And please tell me you were at least please with her perf.

Beau said...

Pleased, that is.
Dammit, I hate misspelling words on here.

NATHANIEL R said...

like Stephen I'm still mulling it over. I'm leaning towards a B overall and am definitely wanting a second look before deciding about the individual performances.

I feel dirty typing this but it must be said. I want Stephen Dillane. Always have. I was hot for him in the Hours too (all great actresses should be married to him on film) and he gets more naked than the rest of the cast here so: kudos!

NATHANIEL R said...

nicole as a natural blonde? I doubt it. Maybe strawberry blonde or light brown if it aint just red. Even in the earlier pictures (like Flirting and Dead Calm) or those embarrassing before they were stars pics, the hair was always closer to red than blonde.

i know she likes to say that she's a blonde but i personally don't believe it.

Janice said...

The gal formerly known as RedSatinDoll here, I decided to finally use my Google account.

Nat, I have a friend who saw Nicole up close at one of her hubby's concert's recently, and she said that even now Nicole is strawberry blonde (with emphasis on the blond, thanks to the way red hair tends to fade and the grey at her temples). And the more I look at mid-career pics (when her hair wasn't so aggressively dyed or curled) the more I can see the "strawberry blondness" albeit more vivid than nowadays. Actually, Eyes Wide Shut is probably a good example as I think that's one of the few films of the last ten years in which we can see her natural hair as opposed to a wig. (Why she doesn't return to the color that flattered her best is a question only the gods on high can answer.)

Getting back to Savage Grace, I have a question - when you say "the Academy won't go near this", are the goings-on that much more violent or outre than TWWB or NCFOM (what was with the long titles last year, people?), or is it just another case of "it's a WOMAN doing icky/scary/mean stuff therefore we won't touch it"?

NATHANIEL R said...

Janice, the latter. Outre movies do find favor from time to time but they almost always need a lot of critical acclaim (this one won't be wildly praised) and they need that male perspective. sad, but true.

Li Wen said...

I think Stephen Dillane needs to be the next Hump Day Hottie.

As Michael Cunningham says adoringly in "The Hours" commentary:

"Whooph."

Glenn said...

Have the Academy ever embraced an incestuous jetsetting murdererous relationship?

NATHANIEL R said...

i don't think so but what a subgenre that would be if it took off ;)

P.S. i've updated the post to show both the european trailer and the american trailer. It's fun to think about the differences. At least it's fun for me being a Julianne-lover and movie nerd

Anonymous said...

I like so much Julianne Moore, and I'm really looking forward to this film! I'm sure her performance in "Savage Grace" will be spectacular, I hope the Academy will remind of her at Oscar-time (although it seems quite difficult). Anyway, if the film is well-received from critics and audience it could still be possible... this is the tyipical kind of role that could win Julianne her much-deserved Academy Award, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

I thought Savage Grace was an unholy mess, but Julianne really does manage to stand out despite a character that's kind of all over the place. And, as sexy as Stephen Dillane may be, Hugh Dancy gave me the shivers (the good kind). I think it's the neatly trimmed beard.

Janice said...

//Janice, the latter. Outre movies do find favor from time to time but they almost always need a lot of critical acclaim (this one won't be wildly praised) and they need that male perspective. sad, but true.//

Ergh, I thought so.

I've just seen both trailers now - thanks! I love seeing trailers from different countries and trying to figure out what the differences mean to the target audiences - or what the studio assumes about the target audiences. (I noticed that margot at the wedding's spanish trailer is the same as the US one, btw). the US one here is more heavy-handed, emphasis on the horror, and emphasis on the gayness (but condemned - we see images of the men kissing or touching with Barbara's disapproving voiceover. Not having seen the film, I assume her stance has less to do with the filmmakers - that's some pretty gay creds there behind the cameras - and more to do with Barbara finding herself no longer the object of her son's attention, but the "that's sick" message is the one a lot of Americans (the ones who most likely would never see this anyway, right?) would agree with.

And really, since, the average Jane or John Doe is never going to see this anyway, why does the studio bother to market at them? Their need to be pampered and hand-held and this fits into this box and this genre and so forth, and their need to have their narrow-minded opinions about gays reflected back at themselves? Why not design it towards the people who are going to see it?

*slaps forehead* Oh, right, that's what the European trailer is for. (I love the hint of menace in that one.)

What I do wonder though, Nat, is which one is more "true" to the film itself? Neither?

Oh, and the dress she wears at the airport - it's hard not to see that as a white dress with blood smeared all over it. Which I assume was the intention - a bit of visual...(What's the word I'm looking for here?)

NATHANIEL R said...

perhaps "foreshadowing" is the word you want?

I'd say that the European version is more accurate as the film. The American version speeds things up with all those trailer-familiar blackouts and quick cutting, like it's going to be all cataclysmic. The movie, for all its weird behavior, is more sedate.

And Barbara isn't exactly a pro-gay character ;)

Janice said...

//perhaps "foreshadowing" is the word you want?//

*bangs head on keyboard* Yes, THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

IS SHE FINALLY GREAT AGAIN????

Anonymous said...

I think Julianne Moore has two important roles in this year for being nominated... Savage Grace (Yes it's about incest, murder and homosexuality, but all the critics said Julianne is magnificent playing Barabara Barkle) and the high profile film Blindness (meirelles with only two proyects is likely for AMPAS)

Between the Julianne Moore return, the two films from the british rose (Kate Winslet) and the american queen of cinema (Meryl Streep) this is a top year in BEst Actress category... GO JULIANNE!!!

DL said...

I'm just so glad to see Julianne doing something that's juicy and well-suited to her particular brand of awesomeness. Even if it's no Cathy Whitaker, at least it's not another Next/Freedomland/Trust the Man, right?