Oscar History

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Entries in Justin Kurzel (4)

Sep 05 2018

Robbie To Ruin

byJason Adams

Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm not as great as our host Nathaniel at keeping up with every single festival) but with a little digging it doesn't look likeMary,Queen of Scotsis premiering at any of the Fall festivals?Perhaps that is why I've seen some people side-eying its awards chances lately?Personally I'm always down for dramatic wig acting,and with Saoirse & Margot under them wigs I'm hooked already (and that before you evenget to James McArdle's Beard).

Margot is why we're here today though - she's just signed up for a new role and it's one that's got my interest right out of the gate.She is going to star oppositemy beloved Matthias Schoenaerts inRuin,the new film fromSnowtownandMacbeth(and yes okayAssassin's Creed) director Justin Kurtzel.It's a World War II thriller - it actually sounds kind of similar to Paul Verhoeven'sBlack Book,which starred Carice Van Houten (sidenote: a happy birthday to the great Carice today!) and,hey look at that...

...Matthias Schoenaerts in a small role.First place I remember seeing him actually!AnywayRuinis about a Holocaust survivor (Robbie) who teams up with a former SS officer (Schoenaerts) to hunt down the members of his former death squad.Tonally that could go...an awful lot of directions,so we'll have to wait and see how Kurtzel & Co take it.While we're waiting why don't we allhead over to MNPP where I just posted a bunch of Matthias picturesinspired by this news?It'll help pass the time.

Dec 24 2016

Review: Assassin's Creed

by Eric Blume

A movie doesn't necessarily have to make sense to succeed.Many of us are still mystified by the red pill and the blue pill andThe Matrixbut that film has such force and style that subtleties of plot were insignificant.Assassin's Creedmakes less than zero sense,and mere mortals could not possibly explain the plot  It has something to do with the Spanish Inquisition,a descendant of an elite group of assassins,evil scientists,and the acquisition of the Apple of Eden,since the Holy Grail and Ark of the Covenant have been claimed elsewhere in better movies.

The confusing mechanics of this potboiler wouldn't matter much if the film delivered on action sequences,compelling characters,or overall tension.Unfortunately director Justin Kerzel seems overwhelmed by the entire enterprise,and buckles under the seriousness of the effort.This is saying a lot,because last year Kerzel directedMacBeth,and his great lead actors from that film,Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard,are back on this picture...

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Dec 06 2015

Cotillard + Fassbender = Scorching Hot

Murtadahere.Are you ready for some sexy stuff at the movies?Now playing in limited release is the latest big screen version ofMacbethfrom director Justin Kurzel.Reviews have been mixedbut there's no denying the heat created by the performances of Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in the titular parts.The screen almost combusts whenever they are together;they make Shakespeare sexy.And not just because of their considerable beauty,but rather because of what they bring out in each other.Fassbender raises Cotillard's intensity and she is so tenderly natural that he can't help but match her.

Sometimes one wonders how actors arrive at on-screen chemistry?Maybe it's about surprising each other.That's what Fassbendertoldthe National Board of review about one of their scenes together:

I don't like to talk too much,with either director or actor,before doing the scene.[ ] She just picks up the ball and she runs with it,like that scene—the scorpion scene.I put my hand underneath her dress;I didn't tell her I was going to do that,and she took it and she went with it and then she kisses me and then pulls away.She's got this sort of repulsion,and then she reengages,and she's like,"I love this man,I feel him,he's sick."All these things are happening on her face.That's when you realize you're in the presence of somebody great.

Here's part of that scene,however for the exact part Fassbender is talking about you'll have to go to the movies.

It looks like Cotillard,Fassbender and Kurzel had a good time creatively;they are reuniting forAssassin's Creedwhich is currently shooting.

Oct 25 2015

Review: Macbeth

Andrew hereto talk about a Shakespeare adaptation

There's a moment in the recent adaptation ofMacbeththat's legitimately surprising for audience,even those who have read the play.Towards the end of the film Marion Cotillard appears on screen for Lady Macbeth's moment of reckoning – that iconic "Out damned spot!"speech.The scene unfolds,naturally,in a different fashion than it does in the play.The monologue,though,becomes especially striking when the camera draws back to reveal "who"she is speaking to.I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it,but a few of the persons in the row behind me gasped at the cutaway.It's meant to be a jolting moment in the film,and it is,although it's also a baffling one.The moment has stuck with me since I've seen the film as I've tried to make sense of it within the film's framework.And,the more I think on it,the more it emerges as emblematic of this adaptation.

Let it not be said that Justin Kurzel's adaptation of Shakespeare'sMacbethis not without ambition and energy.ThisMacbethis transposed to the cinema in language that's distinctly visual.This is aMacbethabout movement and space and contact,and then the ensuing loss of that same contact.The language of the film is restlessness and mournful agitation from its first shot and the entire fair is slick and confident,but I go back and forth on how effective it is.

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