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Entries in American Hustle (38)

Wednesday
Nov 15 2017

109 days 'til Oscar.And the FBI Agent nominees are...

by Nathaniel R

This year marksthe 109th anniversary of the FBI. They were founded in 1908 during the Roosevelt administration.This anniversary begs the question -- at least for us Oscar freaks -- of how many actors have been nominated or won Oscars for playing FBI agents?亚博主页The only one that pops immediately to mind is Jodie Foster as Agent Clarice Starling inThe Silence of the Lambsa movie we dug deep into here at The Film Experience last year亚博主页.

But one can't be the right number.Working for the FBI is a rarity in real life but on the screen it's a different story;FBI agent is up there with doctors,cops,waitresses,lawyers,actors,serial killers,superheroes,and assassins as ubiquitous career goals...

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Thursday
Mar 03 2016

Link Becomes Her

Anya Taylor-Joy photographed by Gregory HarrisThe Washington Postinteresting visual analysis of Tom McCarthy's Oscar winnerSpotlight
InterviewM Night Shyamalan interview Anya Taylor-Joy fromThe Witch
PajibaAgent Carterin limbo after second season finale.(Is limbo the new code word for cancelled?I've never seen a network burn off that many episodes that quickly if they weren't going to cancel something)
My New Plaid Pants"I would like to talk about...Madeline Ashton."YES.Death Becomes Heris getting a special edition BluRay next month
KotakuGhost in the Shellfinally adds a famous Asian actor to its cast list,Beat Takeshi.
PlaybillThis is cool 15 ambassadors from the UN saw a special performance of Fun Home The Musical.Can we please get a film version?That show is sublime
Film School Rejectslooks back at Oliver Stone'sThe Doors(1991) for its 25th anniversary
NY Timesprofiles Sarah Paulson who talks about her Marcia Clark role,her romance with Holland Taylor,and why she's drawn to older people in her life.
The PlaylistMatthias Schoenarts will star in Kursk,a Russian submarine survival drama
MNPPon Kenneth Lonergan's new playHold on to me,Darlingstarring Timothy Olyphant
MTVbriely,with wit,on Leo's Oscar win
Tracking BoardJoseph Gordon-Levitt developing a movie calledK Troop,about a US Army division assigned to take the Ku Klux Klan down during their rise.

Finally...
By know you've probably read that Amy Adams has confirmed what those  leaked Sony emails suggested that she was quite unhappy on the set of American Hustle.It was her second film with David.O.Russell but I suspect there won't be a third given what she toldBritish GQ.

Photo by Norma Jean Roy

I was really just devastated on set.I mean,not every day,but most.Jennifer [Lawrence] doesn't take any of it on.She's Teflon.And I am not Teflon.But I also don't like to see other people treated badly..It's not ok with me.Life to me is more important than movies.It really taught me how to separate work and home.Because I was like,I cannot bring this experience home with me to my daughter.

Tuesday
Dec 29 2015

Interview: Carol's Production Design Judy Becker

Judy Becker.Photo © Tom Uhlman at New York TimesThis won't have escaped you but we're a little bit obsessed with Todd Haynes'sCarol.We tried to devote a week to it but the love can't be contained by calendars.The romantic drama about a glamorous society wife and a young shopgirl is rolling out slowly --agonizingly slowly-- to more cities each week.It leads the Golden Globe nominations and though the Academy's decisions about the year's "best"are yet to come,there's reason to be hopeful that they'll embrace the filmmaker's triumphant return to the silver screen.

The Oscar-nominated production designerJudy Becker(American Hustle),is responsible for most everything you see onscreen inCarolfrom Therese's humble apartment to Frankenberg's Department Store,the Aird estate,and much more."The props,there are close-ups on them,so I don't know how you can say,that's not important,"she says passionately,underlining the fact that everything we see is part of 'the look'.She describes herself as a very hands-on designer and is sure this drives new members of her staff crazy but she has high praise for her frequent set decoratorHeather Loeffler."She never gets upset if I veto something but,at the same time,she brings a lot to the table and surprises me all the time with great stuff."

Though Becker is best known for her frequent collaborations with  David O.Russell this is not her first Todd Haynes film,having also designed his abstract Bob Dylan biopicI'm Not There(2007).We began our chat marvelling at hisgenius.ThoughI'm Not Therewas a larger scale task,essentially designing multiple worlds,Carolwasn't much easier for different reasons."Every film has its challenges,"she explains.And films as gorgeously realized asCaroldon't happen without a lot of planning,work,and inspiration.

Our interview isafter the jump...

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Thursday
Jun 11 2015

Q&A: May/December Romance?Actressy Titles?Streep Sans Sophie

This week's Ask Nathaniel sessiondidn't get as many questions as usual-- you were intimidated by the request for donations surely which sucks because life ain't free and we work hard here -- but here are 9 questions anyway because I'm such a giver.Let's start with a trip back to 1995 and move on to smackdowns,actressexual directors,Nicole Kidman inPaddington,and Hollywood's love of pairing older men with younger woman...

Golden Globe Comedy Wins Don't Always Lead to Oscar Noms

COCO: I'm in a very 1995 mood.Were you obsessing and predicting twenty years ago?

NATHANIEL: LOL.Yes,I was.I've been obsessed since I first discovered the Oscars 82/83 (my family was mystified since none of them had interest) and started making list of "dream nominations"亚博主页each year when I was a kid even though I didn't see most of the actual nominees since they were rated "R"(VERBOTEN!) so I was madly scribbling things like  "Best Actress: Daryl Hannah forSplash!!!"and such early on.But honestly I can't remember when I started "predicting"in the classic sense but it was definitely before The Film Experience.亚博主页

We'll be discussing 1995 at length in the July Smackdown so I'll save most of my comments for then but my biggest nail-biter and raucous-cheering and breath-holding was for Elisabeth Shue inLeaving Las Vegas(who was my personal choice for the Oscar that year) since there were basically seven women with what seemed like actual traction for five spots.The oddwomen out were,of course,Jennifer Jason Leigh (Georgia) and Golden Globe Actress in a Musical or Comedy winner Nicole Kidman (To Die For).Nothing against Leigh and Kidman but I knew there was only room for 1 of them since Sarandon,Stone,Streep,Thompson were locked up for various reasons some valid some not.That year's Best Actress race was so overstuffed and incredible which is why it comes up so often in Oscar circles as a point of discussion.

On some posters (not this one) the tag line is "Raises screen acting to a new level of sexual knowingness"(!!!)PEDINHRO: What are your favorite movies with a female name in the title?My all time favorite isThe Marriage of Maria Braun!

Well,you took the best one!Wait do you mean Best Title or Best Movie that just happens to have a female name in the title?If you mean best movie obviously I have to have things likeCarrie andAnnie Hall.But if you mean "Best Title"that's more funso let's make it a whole top ten after the jump...

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Saturday
Jan 03 2015

Interview: Michael Wilkinson.Before 'Batman vs Superman',Came 'Noah'

With Oscar voting in progress,let's talk costume design.With Best Picture contenders hogging all the conversation,we remain ever hopeful that the guilds remember to look beyond the films as a whole to the specifics of their particular craft when they scribble down their nominations.One of the most influential costume designers working today isMichael Wilkinsonwho regularly pushes the envelope in terms of costume technology (seeTron Legacy) and I'm not talking about the miraculous cleavage feats ofAmerican Hustlewhich won Wilkinson a well-deserved Oscar nomination last year.This year you can even see the influence of his300costumes in thoseMaze Runnerharnesses (Fun fact: Christine Bieselin Clark,one of the costume designers on that film, was once Wilkinson's assistant!)

Prior toAmerican Hustlehe was best known for the films of Zach Snyder (Watchmen,Man of Steel) and the costume designer and I spoke  between fittings on day 104 of theBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justiceshoot(he'd just finished the final fitting of our new Amazon Princess Gal Gadot).This superhero epic has occupied him for well over a year but he says "happily so"but Noah was no easy task either.He built an entire film's worth of costumes forNoah...from scratch.

No matter what genre or film he's working on,be it prestige dramas likeBabel,indies likeFriends with Moneyor huge superhero fantasies likeWatchmenhe's always look for ways to illuminate character.In his own words

Costume design is a subtle art but immensely satisfying.

We couldn't agree more.Excerpts from our conversation follow

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