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Soundtracking:Southland Tales

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Entries in Hugh Dancy (5)

Wednesday
Jun 19 2019

Today's birthday suit: Hugh Dancy

Happy 44th to Hugh Dancy today.He's currently onscreens as charming lothario trouble inLate Night(2019).Remember when ginger mom & son Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne had a Dancy sandwich,twelve years back?Good times...

Click to read more ...亚博足彩app

Monday
Jul 29 2013

Stage Door: "The Pride"and "The Explorers Club"

In 'Stage Door' we share our live theater adventures...

Hugh Dancy & Ben Whishaw in "The Pride"back in 2011

If you noticed the blog was far from fruitful this past week in the posting it's because I was in Chicago visitingNickandTim.Nick and I took in the play "The Pride"on its closing weekend in the Windy City.His partner had worked on it as dramaturg and Nick thought I'd like it.He was right...

Click to read more ...亚博足彩app

Saturday
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 debutMartha Marcy May Marlene.

The woman on the phone is Martha's estranged sister 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 seeingMartha Marcy May Marlene,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!
The Loneliest Planetbrushes against Nathaniel's skin.
Melancholiashows Michael the end of von Trier's world.

Friday
Aug 26 2011

Our Idiot Brother

If Willie Nelson had ever done a cover of "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?"a simple name change to "Ned"would provide the perfect theme song for Our Idiot Brother.Like Maria,who just wasn't an asset to that abbey,sweet stoner Ned (Paul Rudd) has good intentions but is always in trouble;he's a headache,a flibbertijibbet,a clown.At the beginning of Our Idiot Brotherwe learn that Ned is both gentle enough and dumb enough to take pity on a sad uniformed cop and sell him some weed.See Ned go to prison.
Ned is lamb enough to not put up a fight when his lion-maned hippie girlfriend Janet (Kathryn Hahn) boots him off of their farm.His short prison stint was time enough for her to replace him with another manchild boyfriend (their similarity pays off in a fun sideways ways later on).Ned can deal with being homeless and jobless but is heartbroken about losing custody of his beloved dog "Willie Nelson".When he returns to his family in New York and begins couch-hopping,his only goal in life is to earn enough money to get Willie Nelson back.

...read the rest at Towleroad.

P.S.I hope I didn't give off the impression that I didn't enjoy but that I only wanted to enjoy it more fully.

P.P.S.If you're in a more serious mood this weekend,check out Vera Farmiga'sHigher Groundfor some strong actressing.More on that one this weekend.

Monday
Jan 31 2011

11 SAG Shots.Drink Up.

Since there is so little to parse anymore in terms of awardage,herewith a brief visual survey of SAG moments that lingered -- reaction shots mostly (fashion roundup still to come.)  Duringlive blogsit's hard to discuss all the minutae.Particularly when you need pain killers.Anyone we always wonder what it's like to sit in the room,fully aware that the camera is constantly seeking you out.It must be excruciating madness for the camera hogs and the weirdly shy ones alike.Does anyone even nibble at their food?

Can Anyone Lip Read?

I never want to be able to lip read so much as when I'm watching awards shows.Something inconsequential had just gone on onstage and Andrew Garfield turns and chats with Jesse Eisenberg.Whatever could they have been talking about?If you can lip read,you must transcribe all these awards shows for us.Please and thanks.

Sometimes,particularly with emphatically earnest stars you can tell.After Juliana Margulies thanked her husband effusively,Hilary Swank says...

.

"THAT WASSOSWEET."

You could even make out the emphasis on the "so"...I bet she even sighed audibly after like "Awwww."I couldn't make out who she was saying this too but at another table Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban smiled at each other knowingly.Hmmmm.

Camera Tricks?

Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman wree onstage introducing the clip to Black Swan and when the clip ends they pan the Black Swan table and they're sitting right there.How could a pregnant woman move that fast?Are they still doing those "head replacement"visual fx?

Mila and Natalie are so foxy.Speaking of...

Her Favorite Husband
Hugh Dancy,Hugh Dancy's Tongue,and Friend of Hugh Dancy (this shot is for Darryl)

He was reacting to Claire Danes singling him out as her favorite man and favorite husband as the music drowned her out.

Two Actresses Who Deserve a Good Gig

Since Christopher Guest does not make a movie at even close to the same speed as the Woody Allens and Clint Eastwood's of the world,why doesn't some sharp genius television creator giveCatherine O'Haraher own series?You know she would ace it and make a character as memorable as Nurse Jackie or Valerie Cherish or other sitcom greats.And speaking of underemployed...Robin Wrightwas glowing.She hasn't looked this good since...well,ever.This new Robin Wright puts evenThe Princess Brideto shame.Look at her.What the hell happened?She looks 10 years younger and it sure doesn't look like surgery.

Mad (Wo)Men

It was not a good night forMad MenasBoardwalk Empirebecame the new shiny toy of awards groups.Jon Hamm looked totally defeated when Buscemi won ("am I ever going to win anything for creating one of television's most iconic characters?") and when Christian Bale won for The Fighter we got this strangely frosty frozen shot ofJanuary Jones.After this split second she let her bottom lip drop a little,moving from frozen robot to sultry robot.But either way,she nails the frost inEmma Frost.

Speaking of Frosty...

This moment when barely anyone applauded forThe Social Networkand Andrew Garfield shrugged his shoulders 'you can applaud if you want' stuck a knife in me and twisted it.And not in the happy"omg.i died!"way.Just after that Justin Timberlake said something about the microphone volume so I guess there was a technical snafu in the room and [self delusion] there was actually thunderous applause from the crowd who must surely know thatThe Social Networkis something the industry ought to be very very very very proud of and will SURELY know that it will be embarassing if they don't hand it "Best Picture".[/self delusion]

Now we need to cheer up...

Finally,Three Best Actress Reaction Shots.
Adieu Adieu to you and you and you...

Annette Beninglooked genuinely happy all night -- but how silly is it that they always cut to the Bening-Beattys "Hollywood Royalty"whenever anyone over 60 is talking from the stage?Bening's joy in her own work and her movie is heartening since Her Majesty ain't ever winning an Oscar.Sigh.Nicole Kidmanwas a little embarrassed that they chose her single loudest moment in a quiet performance I think.But she also seemed happy.She never has any luck with "clips".Remember when they used her bizarre Three Stooges ready noisy-boudoir moment inMoulin Rouge!as her Oscar clip?Jennifer Lawrencegiggles at her clip.I've already forgotten what her character Ree Dolly (Winter's Bone) was saying in the clip but it was some specific turn of phrase that was as regionally specific as Luke Skywalker bitching about Toshi Station Power Convertors on Tattoine.And just as alien,too.

Bye!