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Entries in Elizabeth Olsen (31)

Oct 19 2011

Red Carpet: "Women in Hollywood", The Event

In Red Carpet Convos, a rotating group of panelists looks at what people are wearing to events likeThe Emmys,film festival premieres, and variousrandom events, and use it for an excuse to talk about actresses. Today's guest isGuy LodgefromIn Contention.

Nathaniel:The annual Women in Hollywood even took place this weekend -- or perhaps Monday? all the days be running together lately -- so let's start with the Household Names. You can just say "Pfeiffer", "Aniston", "Witherspoon" and "Heigl" and everyone knows who you're talking about. Even people that don't go to the movies (strange strange people, though they be!)

the über famous

Guy:You know it's the Women in Hollywood event because This Is Serious and Serious Women Do Not Wear Color.
Nathaniel:Michelle has been serious her whole life. If she's feeling unusually frisky she'll throw a red at'cha but it's almost always, 90% of the time, black.
Guy:As if she needs its slimming effect.

Guy:I realize that to say a word against Pfeiffer at the Pfilm Experience is a bit like pissing on the crucifix in a cathedral, but I"m... not crazy abotu this look on her? The mid calf length, combined with the severity of the black, is a bit schoolmarmy.
Nathaniel:Well, you're a good sport about my dissings of Aniston so I can take it.
Guy:It's interesting that her belt resembles a roll of film, though, since she seems to have so little interest in the medium these days.
Nathaniel:[sniffle] I do love that she's gone all out with the detailing though to make up for the absence of color.

Guy:Yes, Pfeiffer's always been good with the details -- the glasp on her purse -- CLASP not glasp-- on her purse looks a bit like the vial from Death Becomes Her.
Nathaniel:You were thinking "[gasp] NOW a warning?!?" which is totally understandable because Michelle is 53 years old so she's clearly been to see Lisle for that age-defying potion.

We have to discuss the psychological profiling of their individualistic choices in cleavage, though. Immediately Reese is confusing me because when i first saw this i swear to god i was thinking "chest hair". it totally threw ‬me.

Guy:I'm glad I'm not the only one puzzled by it. I was wondering if she has a giant sunflower tattoo in progress on her chest -- just the petals haven't been added yet.
Nathaniel:Decolattage as character profile: Pfeiffer: angular, classic; Aniston: freewheeling California golden; Reese: .....; Katharine:" Look at me! No, don't look at me. Ack. What am I doing?"
Guy:Still, I'm grateful for Reese's weird chest-lace. It's the only thing keeping her from looking like she's abotu to sell me a house.
Nathaniel:Tell her the price is too high! Too high!

Nathaniel:Another fun game we could play is "Which of these four women has the worst taste in scripts?"

More on these superstars and nine more actreses after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Oct 08 2011

NYFF: "Martha Marcy May Marlene"

Her name is Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) but we first know her as Marcy when she slips quietly out of a crowded farmhouse where women much like her sleep in huddles, like a happy litter of puppies. Her absence is quickly noted by one of the men on the farm named Watts (Brady Corbett) and Marcy hides in the forest while her once slumbering sisters and their men search for her, continually calling out "Marcy May." Once Marcy has reached a neighboring town, she makes a trembling entirely inarticulate phone call. An unidentified woman answers:

Martha, is that you?"

Marcy Doesn't Live Here Anymore

We know instinctively that she is, though we know little else in these first few minutes of writer/director Sean Durkin's feature debut玛莎马西可能玛琳.

在电话里的那个女人是玛莎siste疏远r Lucy (Sarah Paulson) who whisks the young woman away from the mountains to the even more idyllic river side landscape surrounding the far less crowded summer home Lucy shares with her husband Ted (Hugh Dancy). What's comforting to us in their recognizable domesticity, is obviously alien to Martha. The narrative is all friction between the past (Marcy) and present (Martha) and shifts between them sometimes imperceptibly and other times forcefully. The past scenes become in essence an unlocking of the puzzle of Martha's life on the farm with the father/husband figure and shepherd (John Hawkes,Winter's Bone) and his free love flock (to the movie's credit the word "cult" is never uttered). These revelations about Martha's previous life have the pesky tendency to lead the moviegoer to yet more disturbing questions which will probably not have answers.

Patrick sings an entranced Marcy a song he wrote for her.

Martha... possibly hits a few of its scariest notes too obviously, but mostly it's a model of restraint and cool control. That's particularly true ofElizabeth Olsen's interiority as the title character. She's trusting that her blurry contradictory identity -- an uncomfortable mix of rigid thinking, moral confusion, and open physicality -- will be enough to sell this lost woman. The fine ensemble cast is also a boon: Hawkes brings hisWinter's Bonefriction of menacing stranger and filial protector and Corbett and the other cult members are a believable mix of old phantom selves fading into shadows of Patrick. In the present tense scenes, which could almost read as a satire of stories about obnovious in-laws if it had anything like a sense of humor, Paulson and Dancy sketch in a realistic background marriage that's challenged by the needy relative in the foreground. But it's the writer/director that's the movie's true star. Durkin's screenplay's rich subtext that neither Martha nor Marcy are anything like their own woman, no matter the surroundings, shines. He also makes several smart choices in the filmmaking, often eschewing the comfort of close-ups and traditional scoring, to build a quiet cumulative menace. The cinematography in particular by Jody Lee Lipes is just right with its diffuse earthy warmth as seductive blanketing for a story that's anything but.

Elizabeth Olsen and Sarah Paulson in "Martha Marcy May Marlene""What's in a name?" the doomed Juliet once asked, trying to argue their meaning of Romeo's away. But her efforts were in vain. None of us initially choose the names we're given but as we move through life, plenty of us make small adjustments, concessions, and shifts along the way to shore up our increasing ownership of self.

Before seeing玛莎马西可能玛琳, I liked its "name" a lot. Having now seen the film it's representing, the title vaults over into a thing of pure genius. Film titling is an undersung artform. You could theoretically call this movie about a somewhat nondescript girl haunted by her former life in a cult in New York's Catskills Mountains just about anything. But "Martha Marcy May Marlene" is the perfect, yet far from obvious, choice. It's a riddle, an incantation, a theme. What other name but a series of them could so accurately capture the mystery, simplicity, and loss of self, that's the haunted vacuum center of this stunning debut?A -

Previously on NYFF
The Kid With a Bikeraces into Kurt's hearts.
George Harrison: Living in the Material Worldis music to Michael's ears.
A Separationfloors Nathaniel. A frontrunner for the Oscar?
The Studentmakes Nathaniel cram for quizzes that never come.
Carnageraises its voice at Nathaniel but doesn't quite scream.
Miss Balawins the "must-see crown" from judge Michael.
Tahrirdrops Michael right down in the titular Square.
A Dangerous Methodexcites Kurt... not in that way, perv!
最孤独的星球brushes against Nathaniel's skin.
Melancholiashows Michael the end of von Trier's world.

Oct 05 2011

Interiority vs Exteriority. Olsen vs. Knightley

Anecdote / Conjecture time.I finally caught the Sundance hit玛莎马西可能玛琳(thoughts forthcoming but definitely in the "must-see!" division) which is the star-making, or at least actress-making, debut of 22 year-oldElizabeth Olsenwho is the younger sister of the famous/infamous Olsen Twins.

Critics screenings at the New York Film Festival often end with a mini press-conference and the writer/director Sean Durkin and Olsen (who seems to go by "Lizzy") were on hand today to answer questions. If you've ever been to a Q&A you'll know that most people preface their question with some sort of comment about their own feelings for the movie -- usually ass-kissing praise since the stars are present and stars have wondrous heinies.

One reporter, justifiably thrilled by Olsen's work as Martha says this to Lizzy:

I wanted to compliment you on the interiority of your characterization.You didn't externalize it the way some people do by being "insane" visuallyand that interiority was very engulfing and very convincing in comparison to some of the performances we've was a relief, actually.

LOL. I wonder who on earth she could be dissing...


Click to read more ...

Sep 28 2011

Oscar Submission Curio: "The Silent House"

Chalk this one up in the Most Curious Foreign Film Oscar Submission News column, should you have such a thing. Uruguay has submittedThe Silent Housefor Oscar consideration. "Why that's just boring only regular news!" you say? Oh, but it's not skim-reader, it's not!

The Silent Houseis a horror movie, based on a famous "true" story from Uruguay in the 40s. A father and daughter settle into a cottage for the night where horrible murders once took place and... well, you know how things go down in haunted houses. Here's the teaser.

I've followed this category closely for ten years (this was the first website to make it a total cause/habit... now everyone notes each submission) and horror films are a total rarity, not just in terms of nominations but in terms of the annual 60+ film list, too. But the "my how unusual" feeling doesn't end there. The movie is also filmed in one continuous shot (always good for novelty factor) and there's already an American remake! The American remake starring Elizabeth Olsen (currently Oscar buzzing for玛莎马西可能玛琳) debuted at Sundance. So between May 2010 (when the original debuted at Cannes) and January 2011 (Sundance) it was remade.

Elizabeth Olsen in Silent House (2011)

Is the rapidity of cultural appropriation the true horror tale here?


Sep 25 2011

Olsen ♥ Pfeiffer

Thanks toMarcusto alerting me to this.

奥尔森的s fond memory: meeting Michelle Pfeiffer on the set of "I Am Sam"Seems that Elizabeth Olsen, currently Oscar buzzing for her performance as a cult member in玛莎马西可能玛琳, shares not one but two favorite movie stars with The Film Experience. In this recent interview withTHR's Scott Feinbergshe's asked about favorite films and her idols growing up. Her response:

When it came to the first actors I idolized it wasGene Kellyand Frank Sinatra. The first actress that I really loved when I was probably ten wasMichelle Pfeiffer. I was completely in love with her and I actually got to meet her on the set ofI Am Sam.

She wouldn't have remembered that but I was -- it was my first time I remember being speechless as a kid because always I was speaking. A girlfriend in my class --- her uncle did her hair forI Am Sam. That was exciting.

Ahhh, KellyandPfeiffer? She has good taste, she does. Can't wait to see玛莎马西可能玛琳. Very soon my hungry eyes will gobble it up at the NYFF screening.

Should you care to see the whole interview you can do so after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sep 15 2011

TIFF:方达扮演一个嬉皮士,詹妮弗造型”对接er", Viola Talks "Dark Girls"

Paolohere again to discuss three new films.

Peace Love and Misunderstanding
Bruce Beresford's new film begins with a table full of stuffy bourgeois lawyers taking down Pulitzer-winning playwrights. They seem like the kind of people the audience would like to become when they're older, having real opinions about theatre and the other high arts. This party takes place despite the Reaganite hostess, Diane Hudson (Catherine Keener) considering a divorcing from her husband (Kyle McLachlan). She takes her kids Zoe (Elizabeth Olsen) and 'documentarian' Jake (Nat Wolff) to the legendary Woodstock, New York to see their hippie grandmother (Jane Fonda). Fonda's character's presence thus questions one's notion of adulthood, as she is older yet free as the grandmother we wish we had.

Divorce and the other conflicts pop up one after another only to be resolved, a tricky comic tone to maintain. This light freedom is also evident in one scene when a chicken practically blocks our view of a character adding to the chaotic yet natural energy in this home and town. Every member of the household gets to hook up, Diane with a local musician (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), vegetarian Zoe's surprise match with a butcher named Cole (Chace Crawford) and Jake with a barista.

Fonda was the master of modern American elocution and we still hear that when she fires off the script's great one liners. But even Fonda can't help when her character turns into a Kristen Wiig caricature. Chace Crawford, capably evokes the heavy air that comes with a young man who has grown up in a rural area. And since I might not get to catch玛莎马西可能玛琳at the festival, watching Olsen's supporting work here is a decent consolation prize. She performs Zoe just as intelligent and emotionally sound as the script suggests.

This comedy about the world of butter sculpture competition in Iowa centers around Laura Pickler (Jennifer Garner), a sculptor's wife who takes on her husband Bob's (Ty Burrell) job after he is forced into retirement. Quirk topic with the strangest case of a joke bombing in a movie... (more onButterand the documentaryDark Girlswith Viola Davis after the jump.)

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