also no one in the world could do what richard does with this role

Being Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Daughter...
  • Lin would cry the day you were born but he would also brag a lot.
  • He’d shower you with gifts but he was also careful not to overdo it
  • Chances are, (depending on your age and whatever year you’d picture this for) you’d be friends with a lot of the Hamilton cast/ and or their kids
  • There’s no doubt about it you’d be a freestyling genius much like him and musically talented.
  • And Lin would be so proud of this
  • Lin’s heart would melt every time you called him ‘dad’
  • He is probably one of the most caring, sweetest, and involved father out there.
  • And if your mother wasn’t in the picture, Lin would be sure to work to fill in her shoes.
  • He would attend all your school events and extra curriculars too.
  • On mother’s day he would plan a brunch inviting his sister and mother over making sure you knew you weren’t alone when it came to the amount of females in your life.
  • Whenever he goes to Richard Rodgers Theatre or goes to work for whatever project he’s working on he is constantly pulling his phone out to show his fellow coworkers pictures of you
  • He can’t help it
  • But one thing is for sure, Lin would make sure you knew how strong of a woman you were. Being a strong activist for equal rights Lin knew how easy it was for girls in today’s society to feel weak and defeated by the powerful and he never wanted you to experience that. So he would make post-it notes and stick them in your lunchbox, on your mirror, and anywhere he could find with sayings such as…
  • “I am woman hear me roar!”
    “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”
    “A strong woman looks fear in the eye and gives it but a wink.”
    “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”
  • And because your father is one of the most encouraging and inspiring figures in the world, not only in tweets but reality as well, he excels at giving the best, most needed pep talks when you’re down in the dumps.
  • Lin had you speaking Spanish as soon as you said your first word
  • Lin would practically document your entire life. He liked taping you and taking pictures while you were doing casual activities such as coloring, singing, dancing, playing with your dolls, running around the house, etc.
  • Tobillo basically being your best friend
  • That dog follows you wherever you go
  • Lin has thousands of videos from when you were learning to walk, practically waddling around and Tobillo was right on your heel the entire time following you.
  • The whole Hamilton cast would be obsessed with you
  • Especially Phillipa
  • That girl loved you as if you were her own
  • And if you were old enough, you would join the Schuyler Sisters in their inbetween shows closet talk.
  • Sleep overs at Jasmine and Anthony’s while your dad is out of town
  • And they would absolutely LOVE having you over
  • You made them want to have kids that much more and Anthony loved taking you to the movies and Jasmine loved taking you out shopping
  • Speaking of shopping, Renee, Jasmine, and Phillipa are always spoiling you with the newest trends and what nots.
  • The Hamilton cast would be like another family to you
  • Always running around backstage with Groffsauce, who usually was assign babysitting duty.
  • The Schuyler sisters- as well as Leslie teaching you how to harmonize
  • Daveed loved helping you with your freestyling
  • You and him always got in heated battles- in good spirits of course
  • Playing childish games during intermission and between shows with Oak, Daveed, and Anthony.
  • Trying to braid your dad’s hair during his Hamilton days
  • Let’s be real, Lin would dedicate Dear Theodosia to you
  • And during Stay Alive (reprise) and It’s Quiet Uptown he had genuine tears pinching at his eyes as he fathomed the thought of losing you
  • But Lin would always run to you and spin you around every night after shows
  • The two of you would walk hand and hand together home and Lin would sing you to sleep every night
  • He’d love making you breakfast and basking in that domestic life
  • I could see him making some of the best pancakes in the world
  • And one morning when you were little, you convinced him to let you have a sip of his coffee
  • “Daddy, what’s that black stuff in there.”
    “It’s called coffee, bebé.”
    “Can I try some?”
    “Uh, I don’t think so, Y/n. You wouldn’t like it.”
    “Please, papi.”
    “Oh alright.”
  • Like he predicted, you hated it. The liquid burned your throat and young little you cried at the bitterness for at least a minute which broke Lin’s heart.
  • Lin would be the type of parent that would love to show you off to family and friends but when it came to posting pictures of you on social media, he usually made sure your face was covered, just to keep an element of privacy in his life.
  • But he does love tweeting stories about you or cute things that you do
  • Your childhood years would be a little hectic. Lin probably wouldn’t be around as much as he wants with filming, acting, composing and all but he would make an effort of a lifetime to be as involved as possible.
  • By your late teens you had already seen much of the world but that didn’t mean you were bored by any mean. Adventure was in your soul.
  • Lin would spend a lot of time with you during his time working with the film Moana. He liked to come to you to find inspiration.
  • Family trips to Disney World and Land
  • Lin is constantly trying to help you with his homework
  • “You know I was a teacher.”
  • Coming to him when you start learning about the American Revolution
  • “Well I mean you came to right person. I did write an entire musical about this stuff. Just use the album for a reference, it’s mostly accurate.”
  • Walking into your house one day after school infuriated as you set your pop quiz on the Schuyler Sisters in front of him, a large 9/10 circled with red pen.
  • “And I quote, I’m the oldest and the wittiest… My father has no sons… dad you cost me a perfect score! Why did you lie in the lyrics, I thought you said I could trust them!”
    “I’m sorry I forgot they had other siblings!”
  • Similar to your father, you swore like a sailor
  • Which also meant you were constantly getting scolded and death glares from your father who claims “He didn’t raise you to speak like that.” Even though you both know he did.
  • But honestly I could see Lin being into girl drama. Like when he picks you up from school and sees an annoyed look on your face he’d just shake his head and say,
  • “Spill the tea, honey. I’m ready!”
  • And on your bad days after dropping you off at home after school, Lin would drive to the nearest DQ and Chick-Fil-A and movie store returning home with gifts in toll.
  • He was one of the only people in the world you trusted enough to tell everything too
  • Dad jokes, so many dad jokes.
  • “Dad I’m thirsty. Do we have any-“
    “Hi thirsty nice to meet you I’m Lin-Manuel.”
  • Being very close with your grandparents
  • Your grandpa teaching you how to cook
  • Your grandma would spoil you tbh
  • Girl talk with your Aunt Luz
  • Your dad would be really big on making sure you knew and understood the importance of equality and treating others with respect. 
  • Weekly meals at their place where your grandpa is also telling tales
  • “You know pequeño, when your father was your age I couldn’t get him to shut up!”
    “Papi-“
    “He was always doing his rapping, talking fast and never making sense but he had passion just like yourself so don’t you ever give up on yourself carino. If your father did he would not be where he is today- and neither would you.”
    “Thank you abuelo.”
  • And when you finally do make it, doing whatever or being wherever that may be, you’ll have Lin’s as well as the rest of your families support because Lin knows exactly what it feels like to have millions of people doubt you and laugh at you for doing the unexpected so his support will never run out.
  • When Lin finds out you have a passion for writing and composing, he immediately takes you with him for a daddy daughter date to the studio.
  • He pretends to be out of ideas for a song and you play along knowing it would be a lot less painful to take the easy path.
  • “Well there are a few different projects I’ve been working on lately. They aren’t too good… pretty shitty-“
    “Y/n.”
    “Sorry… but uh, you can have a look I suppose.”
  • Becoming a co writer beside your dad on his next project
  • Going on walks and hikes together with Tobillo
  • But for real though Lin would be insanely protective over you
  • Like when it comes to you Lin always needs to know where you are and constantly has eyes on you
  • When you got your first boyfriend/girlfriend Lin would FLIP
  • You’d suddenly become a player in the game ’21 questions’ or more like 101 questions when it came to your dad
  • He demanded meeting your significant other and no matter the gender, he held his strong demeanor and hardly cracked a smile- well until he saw how happy you looked in their presence.
  • But eventually he’d come to term with it. Although he would always see you as his little girl, he knew you had to spread your wings and he was not about to hold you back from doing so.
  • And when you finally land a lead role on an upcoming Broadway show, Lin is ecstatic.
  • Every day he calls you to ask how rehearsals are going partly because he’s interested and excited for you but also because he remembers his restless days and nights where he’d come home so stressed he’d forget to eat for days. He didn’t want to see you go through the hardships he did.
  • Ironically enough the new production is held, opening night, in the same old theater you grew up in, Richard Rodgers. Home sweet home. 
  • And on opening night you can guarantee your father is sitting front row with four bouquets of various flowers surrounded by all your family and friends as well as a handful of the original and new Hamilton cast.
  • And he would cry. A lot.
  • But he would also be that dad that right before the show starts, as the lights are dimming, he stands up and shouts,
  • “Go Y/n!”
  • His proud dad tweets would be never ending that night
  • After the production he was sure to be the first backstage and the first to hug you.
  • “You did it, you did it! I’m so proud of you, mi ángel. Congratulations!”
  • You’d be lying to yourself if you said your dad didn’t have a surprise party planned for after the play because he did.
  • Not to be a downer but there would be days where Lin would cry himself to sleep thinking he hasn’t done enough, or given you the life you deserve. He worked himself far too hard to make sure you had everything you could ever need and knew you were loved, but sometimes he couldn’t help but fear the worst.
  • Although at times he can be overbearing, you wouldn’t want it anyway else.

This was so fun to write oh my lord, hope you enjoyed!

-Daizy xx

New interview with The Telegraph (I posted the entire article for those without access)

‘Edgar Wright could have fired me and got Michael Caine instead’: Kevin Spacey on loss, life and Baby Driver

By Robbie Collin, Film Critic

1 July 2017 • 7:00am

Kevin Spacey is a man who knows when to get on his bike. Take the morning of our interview, a balmy Wednesday in June on which central London is even more than usually snarled with traffic. In transit to our meeting place – a chic West End hotel – he abandons his taxi and leaps on a rental bicycle, or so I’m told by a neatly dressed man with a moustache and clipboard whose job entails keeping abreast of Spacey’s movements, for today at least.

Minutes later, Spacey glides in sweat-free and bang on time, despite having made an iced latte pit stop en route. Smiling hungrily, and dressed in a sharp navy blazer, striped tie and chinos, he looks like a crocodile disguised as a Rotarian. But as he slouches into an armchair and amiably lobs the screwed-up wrapper of his drinking straw towards a wastepaper basket in the corner – a near miss – I start to wonder if my wary first impression was entirely fair.

It was certainly swayed by the fact that Spacey’s career is currently in the sixth fruitful year of its death-dealing control freak phase, a character type at which the 57-year-old actor has proved remarkably adept. First came his three-month stint as Richard III at the Old Vic – a production of the Shakespeare play, directed by Sam Mendes, that was called the crowning glory of his 11-year creative directorship at the London theatre.

Next came six seasons of Netflix’s glossily rancorous political serial House of Cards, in which Spacey plays President Frank Underwood – a character whose original incarnation, in a series of novels by the British author and Conservative peer Michael Dobbs, was partly inspired by Richard III and Macbeth. And this week, we have the first film Spacey shot since leaving the Old Vic in 2015: Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, a car-chase thriller in which he plays Doc, the dark mind and barbed tongue behind a madcap Atlanta bank-robbing crew. It’s a role, like those other two, that turns on the classic Spacey bark/bite conundrum: you think his character can’t possibly be as scary as he sounds, and then he actually gets to work.

There were hints of that in his performance in The Usual Suspects, too: the first in a quartet of towering film roles that made his reputation and won him two Academy Awards in five years flat. (The others were Se7en, L.A. Confidential and American Beauty.)

This kind of actor-audience tension reminds Spacey of Shakespeare – a lot does – and specifically, the way theatre-goers around the world reacted when, as a raging Richard III, he directly addressed members of the audience while pouring out his nefarious schemes. (The theatrical technique was adopted by House of Cards, to similarly chilling ends.)

“In 12 different theatres in 12 different cities around the world, I was looking into the audience’s eyes and seeing the same extraordinary reaction everywhere: ‘This is so awesome, I’m in on it, I’m a co-conspirator!’” he recalls. “And they kept totally supporting him, right up until the moment they find out he murdered the kids. Then when I looked at them it was like, ‘Oh, f—,’” he beams.

Spacey sets about his work with a steely resolve and says his sense of purpose has redoubled following the deaths of a number of close friends, not least the actor Tim Pigott-Smith, in April of this year, and the theatre director Howard Davies last October, both of whom worked with Spacey on the 1999 Broadway revival of The Iceman Cometh.

He says he’s spent the last year-and-a-half “working with a whole series of experts, doctors and others, because I have watched, over the last six years, colleagues and friends of mine drop dead at 52, or 56, or 65. It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get one of the five things that men over 50 are getting, but maybe you can hold it off until your 80s or your 90s. So I’m working on extending my life and not shortening it.”

For one thing, he still has so much to do. He’s written letters asking directors he admires – Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Wong Kar-wai – to bear him in mind for future roles. (“I keep opening the paper and reading that Woody Allen’s doing a film with Alec Baldwin,” he mock-splutters.) He wants to find a new creative director-like role that will “advance [his] love and appreciation of theatre” – another Old Vic gig, essentially – albeit “with the caveat that I don’t want to run a building again.”

Then this tantalising prospect: “I have a gigantic project for television,” he says. “Once House of Cards is finished. This is a very specific project that will be the next big thing I do.” He declines to elaborate, so I ask if it will reunite him with David Fincher, the director who, along with the playwright Beau Willimon, helped bring House of Cards to Netflix. “It is not a Fincher production,” he replies. “It’s mine.”

There is also his ongoing mission to open up theatre to a younger, broader crowd. At the Old Vic he relentlessly raised funds to keep the theatre running without public subsidy, while simultaneously fighting to bring its productions to new audiences – specifically, youngsters who wouldn’t have otherwise wandered through its doors.

In fact, he’s just returned to England from New York, and a restaging of his penultimate Old Vic production – David W. Rintels’ intimate one-man show Clarence Darrow, about the American civil rights lawyer – in a 23,000-seater tennis stadium in Queens, designed to bring in a crowd for whom Broadway is alien turf. Critics didn’t exactly take to the idea, with the New York Times branding the exercise a “folly”. But for Spacey, the bragging rights are in the numbers: 200 student tickets sold every night, and a further 250 given away free to 18 to 25-year-olds. “And yes, my producers don’t like me, but in the end we still make a profit,” he says, lacing the word “like” with pure venom. “We just don’t make as big a profit.”

This nose-thumbing single-mindedness considered, it’s perhaps surprising that Spacey enjoyed working on Baby Driver as much as he did. The film is so tightly choreographed – most scenes unfold in snappy sync with a musical accompaniment – that Spacey had to act out entire scenes with an earpiece keeping time, to ensure his every line and gesture fell on the beat.

“Let me put it this way,” he says. “Every time you work with a director, you have something to lose and something to gain. Some directors, when you’re doing a play, like to get up on their feet on day one and block the first act, and you’re like, ‘I don’t f—ing know who I’m playing yet, let alone why they would walk from here to there.’ And others sit down at a table and you spend a week examining Shakespeare before anyone gets on their feet.”

What did he have to lose on Baby Driver? “I could have been fired and Edgar could have got in Michael Caine instead,” he deadpans. Spacey is an accurate and merciless mimic – see YouTube for details – and says he would sometimes drop into the British actor’s accent on set, “just to make Edgar smile.”

He does this throughout our conversation too: reminiscences of Ian McKellen’s Widow Twankey at the Old Vic’s Christmas pantomime, for example, come with a note-perfect impersonation attached. In fact, interviewing Spacey often feels as if you’re in the front row for a one-man show of his devising. He doesn’t converse so much as monologue, and adjusts his tone and posture with a slinky precision while moving from one point to the next. And when he talks about losing Pigott-Smith and Davies, his words are so tender, and his delivery so wrong-footingly serene, I find myself welling up.

It’s not that you feel that Spacey is being insincere so much as suspect that for him, this might be what sincerity is. Perhaps it’s an up-close-and-personal version of Diderot’s paradox of the actor: you can either convincingly express an emotion or feel it for real, but never both at once.

While hosting the Tony Awards a few weeks ago, Spacey joked about the long-running rumours around his sexuality – but again, at a cautious remove. During the opening skit he dragged up as Norma Desmond, from Sunset Boulevard, and trilled a line from the musical – “I’m coming out!” – before hurriedly backtracking, to laughter from the crowd.

Spacey doesn’t talk publicly about his personal life, perhaps after being burned by a 1997 magazine interview that heavily insinuated he was gay. Given his long-standing decision not to discuss any of this, did he feel odd joking about it on the stage of an awards show?

“I really don’t think that anything isn’t a subject for comedy,” he shrugs. “In many ways, political correctness has made comedy really difficult. We were just trying to have fun, and poking fun at oneself as much as anyone else. I said pretty early on that I was not interested in turning the evening into a political opportunity, and I wanted to do things that would be surprising and different.” He mentions another gag, about the Hillary Clinton email scandal, which many might have thought his long-standing friendship with her husband, might have precluded: again, not so.

If we can’t make fun of ourselves and others, and even people we might agree with versus people we don’t agree with, then I don’t think that’s good for comedy.”

One of his inspirations in life, he says, has been Jack Lemmon. The two met when Spacey was a timid 13-year-old – the youngest of three siblings – at an acting workshop in Los Angeles. Lemmon was “an idol” – someone he’d marveled at on countless cinema trips with his mother Kathleen Ann, who instilled her own love of classic films and theatre in her youngest son.

Spacey recalls the older man laying a hand on his shoulder after the class and telling him: “You’re a born actor, and you should go to New York and study this, because you were meant to do this with your life.” The advice took. At 19, Spacey was accepted by the Juilliard School, and in his mid-20s, he was cast opposite Lemmon in a Broadway production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, as the elder actor’s son. During rehearsals, he told him the story of their first meeting when he was 13. Lemmon remembered every detail.

Spacey describes Lemmon, who died in 2001, as a “father figure” (his actual father Thomas, a technical writer and frustrated novelist, passed away in 1994). He lost his mother to a brain tumour in 2003.

The shy teen who got that vital dose of Lemmon aid more than four decades ago may be long gone, but Spacey remembers him well – along with the precise point, two years later, when he fully understood what acting was.

“Something shifted,” he explains, during a school production of All My Sons, the Arthur Miller play. Before then he’d primarily enjoyed acting because it put him at the centre of attention, but as he stood on stage, the 15-year-old realised the faces in front of him – parents, classmates, strangers – weren’t actually looking at him, Kevin Spacey, at all.

“I realised they were responding to the character I was playing,” he says. “That it wasn’t about me.”

Epic Movie (Re)Watch #127 - Chicago

Originally posted by the-color-of-rain

Spoilers below.

Have I seen it before: Yes

Did I like it then: Yes.

Do I remember it: Yes.

Did I see it in theaters: No.

Format: Blu-ray

1) This film holds a lot of personal significance to me. I first saw it when I was 13 in one of the hardest months of my life. I was sick with pneumonia (diagnosed that day) and my great grandmother had just died, so the whole family was over because the funeral was that week. It was late and someone wanted to put in a movie so my dad pulls out Chicago. My mother was a little bit strangely strict about what PG-13 movies I could and could not see, usually forbidding more sexual stuff than anything else. So this was the most sexual film I had seen at the time and I had felt because of that, and the fact I was watching it with all the adults of my family, that I had been promoted to the adult table in some senses. I was really captivated by the music, the story, the moral ambiguity, it was just so different from anything else I’ve seen. I would not be Just Another Cinemaniac without Chicago. In some ways its as important to my film fan identity as Back to the Future.

2) The film opens with an extreme close up on Roxie’s (Renée Zellweger’s) eye, giving us our first inkling on how this is a musical in Roxie’s mind. But more on that later.

3) Note that we never see Velma Kelly’s (Catherine Zeta Jones’) face until she’s on stage giving a performance. This creates the feeling that Velma is ALWAYS putting on a performance.

4) Catherine Zeta Jones as Velma Kelly.

Originally posted by musemm

This film is pretty much perfectly cast, I think. 4 of its actors were nominated for Oscars, with another being nominated for a Golden Globe. Zeta Jones actually won her first (and to date only) Oscar for her role in this film, and for good reason to. She IS Velma Kelly. Zeta Jones is totally lost in the role, being able present all of Velma’s different qualities. Her showmanship, her rare vulnerability, her killer instinct, and it all just WORKS. You never EVER feel like you’re watching an actress. Zeta Jones IS Velma Kelly and as the first character we get a nice long look at, it is a great performance to start the film off with.

5) Hey, it’s Dominic West!

6) Renée Zellweger as Roxie Hart.

Originally posted by segel-sudeikis

Roxie is really the lead of this film, the character who we follow along and see the world through. The writing is really interesting. It would have been easy to start Roxie off as some innocent girl who made a mistake and goes on this big journey, but Roxie - despite whatever facade she puts up - is hardly some innocent girl. She readily and passionately has an affair even though her husband is a pretty nice guy (and not a “nice guy” where the guy acts nice but is really a jerk, but is actually pretty kind), murderers her lover just for being a jerk (there are better reasons to murderer someone), all while putting up this act like she did nothing wrong and is the victim. And I honestly think she believes it.

Renée Zellweger captures all these conflicting parts of Roxie’s character with true mastery. She also is able to handle Roxie’s transformation into a more cutthroat and determined creature with the same expertise. Like with Zeta Jones, you never feel like you’re watching Zellweger just giving a performance. She is - for all intents and purposes - Roxie. Originally Charlize Theron was cast in the part but after a change in directors there was a change in casting, and Zellweger had to learn signing and dancing for the film. It paid off wonderfully, as she was nominated for an Oscar for what is possibly her best role ever.

7) John C. Reilly as Amos.

Originally posted by mikewazowskis

John C. Reilly was also nominated for an Oscar for his performance in this film, and it is clear why. Amos is the only honestly good character in the film, and even then he is not without his flaws. He is not above losing his temper or being able to say when enough is enough when it comes to Roxie (you know, the woman who cheats on him, tries to have him take the fall for murder, and manipulates him in court just to get off). But - because this is Chicago - he’s the only main(ish) character to come out the other side being totally and utterly screwed over. There are some nice layers to Amos (mainly the loss of temper as mentioned above) and Reilly is just totally sincere in the part. It’s no wonder he was nominated for an Oscar.

8) This film sets itself apart from other movie musicals through the idea that the musical is all in Roxie’s head.

Originally posted by inlovewithaudreyhepburn

This creates a plausible explanation for why character’s burst into song and dance, allows the film to utilize some unique editing and art direction, and finally gives us a nice peek into Roxie’s head. This element allows us to see just how passionate Roxie is not only for the desire to perform but also the desire for fame. It also lets us know how she sees OTHER characters in the film (namely Billy Flynn, but more on that later). I think it is this key element that set the film up for such critical and artistic success, leading to its best picture win at the Oscars.

9) Danny Elfman provides a few nice instrumental pieces of score for the film which feel totally period Chicago. When you are adapting a popular musical such as Chicago adding extra music could be a challenge, but Elfman’s occasional score blends perfectly with the rest of the film.

10) Queen Latifah as Mama.

Originally posted by isabellenightwoods

Latifah rounds out the quartet of Academy Award nominated performances with her portrayal as Matron Mama Morton. I think it’s Latifah’s best performance. She is able to portray Mama as cooperative and a bit soft spoken, but still someone who deals with no bullshit from her inmates. She is as manipulative as any other character in this film, if not as in big a way. You often hear her tell Roxie and Velma EXACTLY what they want to hear knowing that it will lead to a big pay day for her. It is a crafty role which Latifah plays well, and her introductory song “When You’re Good to Mama” shows off not only this characterization but Roxie’s perception of her quite well. It also allows for Latifah to show off her impressive singing chops.

11) The Cell Block Tango.

Originally posted by queen-cii

Where do I even begin with this number? It is by far the most iconic and best part of the entire film. The filmmakers are able to use the idea of “the musical in Roxie’s mind” to create a visually unique and compelling number which is edited together seamlessly with the “real world” of the Cook County jail Roxie finds herself in. Each of the “murderess mistresses” is given enough time to create a unique character and create a sense of the world Roxie (and the audience) finds herself in at this time. I particularly find the use of ribbons to illustrate blood/murder wildly effective, noting that Hunyak’s ribbon (the girl who constantly claims she is not guilty) is white whereas the others are red. This suggest that she is - in fact - innocent.

It is also worth noting that while the first story starts off very much “I’m guilty, here’s what happened”, that by the time we get to the inmate who claims her husband “ran into her knife” ten times the stories have become more and more claiming of legal innocence. This is a trend which continues through Velma’s story, where she claims she blacked out after seeing her husband & sister having sex and came to with blood on her hands. We as the audience have actually seen NOTHING which contradicts this story, further creating a nice sense of showmanship within the film.

Originally posted by mymovieblogx

12) Okay, I am all for good female friendships on film and television, but I would be lying if I said the catty relationship between Velma & Roxie was not entertaining. I think this is a byproduct from good writing (with what we know about these characters, how ELSE could their relationship go?) and the wildly captivating chemistry between Zeta Jones and Zellweger. Their relationship is one of the key sources of conflict throughout the film and with those two actresses it just WORKS.

13) Richard Gere as Billy Flynn.

The number in Roxie’s head which introduces us to Flynn - “All I Care About” - is a pitch perfect example of expectations vs. reality. After what she’s heard about Billy (which isn’t much mind you), Roxie expects him to be this honest to goodness lawyer who only wants to save women from dying in by the noose in Chicago. What we get however is the craftiest, most manipulative skeeze ball in the film. So why is he so damn likable? Who is he comparable to the roguish Han Solo? Why do we root for him? I think that is all in Gere’s performance. It would be easily to play him as a disgusting slime ball but there is a charisma that Gere brings which I think elevates the character and the film. Originally offered to Hugh Jackman & John Travolta at different parts, Gere’s chemistry with the rest of the cast is great and although the film didn’t land him an Oscar nomination he did receive a Golden Globe for his work.

14) I think it’s worth noting that Roxie does not take too long to adapt to prison. Again evidence that she’s not as innocent as she wants people to think.

15) “We Both Reached For The Gun”

Originally posted by darker-than-light

I can never tell if this or “Razzle Dazzle” is my favorite number in the film, but I think for a visual standpoint it HAS to be this. This is once again where the conceit of “the musical in Roxie’s head” benefits the film GREATLY. The imagery of Roxie being a dummy operated by Billy to sell her story not reflects on their relationship in an incredibly clear way (as well as how Billy is literally using people) but also is just visually fascinating. Zellweger is a lot of fun during the number, and if you ever want to know why this film won the Oscar for best editing the year it was nominated just watch this scene.

16) The song “Roxie” when Roxie is at the top of her game is a great character study. It goes even deeper into Roxie’s desire for fame and admiration, a key quality in her character that drives pretty much all her actions throughout the film. It features gorgeous cinematography with its use of mirrors and presents us with Roxie’s ideal self. This ideal self is not a good person (not necessarily), but someone who is adored by her audience. If that doesn’t speak to who Roxie is as a character I don’t know what does.

Originally posted by barbara-stanwyck

17) A film is told in cuts, as in cutting from one moment to the next in as clean and clear a way as possible.

Velma [after Mama suggests she kisses Roxie’s ass to maintain some position]: “Over my dead body.”

[We cut to the mess hall, where Velma is seen smiling at Roxie]

Velma: “Mind if I join you?”

18) “I Can’t Do It Alone”

Originally posted by avengerassemble

Up until this point we have not seen Velma truly vulnerable. We have peeked more into who Roxie is as a character than who Velma is. That all changes with this number, which shows us that Velma is just as desperate for the spotlight as Roxie is. She NEEDS to stay relevant, she NEEDS the fame and the admiration, and only when it was too late did she realize that the murder of her sister took away one of the key things that made her so desirable to the world in the first place. This song is a fun number that adds nice depth to Zeta Jones’ character and shows off just how talented she can be with Velma’s vulnerability.

19) My heart broke a little when I saw Velma’s face after Roxie’s rejection of her.

And in that moment and that moment alone, I think I shipped the two of them together.

20) Lucy Liu’s glorified cameo as Kitty, the newest jazz killer in Chicago and the one who threatens to take away Roxie’s fame, is a perfect example of how easily Roxie can fall. But here’s the thing, Roxie is smarter than she appears. And more manipulative. It is her greatest strength that people underestimate her, so when she “faints” and mentions “the baby” everyone - from Velma to Billy - are all surprised by her.

21) I was a naive 13 year old. I didn’t understand that the doctor who said he’d testify that Roxie was pregnant had very clearly slept with her (hence Billy’s remark about his fly being open).

Originally posted by mulder-scully-gifs

22) “Mister Cellophane”

Originally posted by 80plays

Somehow this song not only shows us how ROXIE perceives her estranged husband as being someone who’s not worth caring about, but also makes Amos into a sympathetic character. He is not particularly whiny about the fact that he’s oft forgotten, he’s just a little sad about it. Reilly’s performance in the song is filled with soft sorrow and vulnerability we don’t always get to see from the actor, an honesty which carries the entire song on its back. It is a truly worthy number to be included with the rest of the film, with its Chaplin like art style and Reilly’s vocals, and I’m glad it made the cut.

23) In a lot of ways Chicago is a noir comedy musical. I say this for two reasons: Amos being kinda screwed over at the end, and the fact that Hunyak - the only innocent girl in the jail - is the only who is hanged. This also reminds Roxie of the fact that she IS on trial for murder and of the fatal consequences she could face.

24) “Razzle Dazzle”

Originally posted by barbara-stanwyck

If “We Both Reached for the Gun” is my favorite number in the film from a stylistic standpoint, then “Razzle Dazzle” is probably my favorite from a thematic one. Gere expresses Flynn’s belief that the courts are just a circus, simply entertainment to be manipulated, in a way which is just that: entertaining. I am always totally taken in by the song through its themes of craftiness, playful melody, and fun visuals. It is just a wonderful number which I love watching again and again.

25) If “Razzle Dazzle” doesn’t tell you how Billy sees the court system than this line will:

Originally posted by stilinska-archive

Hell, the non-musical court room scenes are in a lot of ways more dramatic than the musical ones.

26) This film had a song which was shot but not included in the final cut, one sung between Mama and Velma called “Class”. Still found on the movie’s soundtrack, “Class” had the pair discuss how the world seems to have gone to shit and how no one has any class. It was cut both for pacing issues and - largely - because it did not fit the theme of “the musical in Roxie’s head”. Roxie was at the court house and these two started singing after hearing about what was going on over the radio. It is a wonderful song but I think the film works better without it featured.

27) It took absolutely no time at all for Roxie not to matter. The press didn’t even want her picture after the verdict was read. Another killer, another star.

28) The final number of the film is a dual thing. The first of which is Roxie singing the song “Nowadays” on her own at an audition. The song is sad, somber, and lacks umph. This causes the directors to pass on Roxie. But when Velma and Kelly work together? When they’re able to work with their heat and chemistry and put on a duet of “Nowadays”? The umph is back and it is a wonderful number to end the film on!

Originally posted by damnafricawhathappened


I’m obviously biased through my own personal experience with the film, but I think Chicago is quite possibly the best movie musical of the 21st century (yes, even better than Les Miserables). The acting is incredible across the board, with Catherine Zeta Jones and Renée Zellweger being the obvious standouts. The concept of “the musical in Roxie’s head” allows for a musical which is unique and supports a wonderful art style. The songs are fun, the pacing and editing are great, and it’s a technical spectacle in its subtletly. Just a wonderfully entertaining film I think everyone should watch.

anonymous asked:

Can you tell me your top 5 of Benedict's performances? I know it's hard but I'm curious :)

Hello!

This is the most challenging question to ever receive as a Bc fan. The faves change from day to day, from moment to moment and from gif to gif (thanks to amazing gifers like @elennemigo, @221bcumberb, @anidoorkitty and @whenisayrunrun ) luckily you have caught me on a day where I’ve been making clips for a future post and have come down with a case of CBF! So being in this state of mind, I think it’s a perfect time to do this list so here it is.

 *warning long post*

1. Richard iii

Bc takes us through the rise and fall of Richards thirst for the crown. From the moment we see young Richard cowering in horror while watching his brother being murdered, to the minute he decides to kill the king, not for his family, not for revenge but for his own dream of sovereignty, and to witnessing Henry Tudor stabbing the last breath out of Richard and proclaiming the “the dirty dog is dead”.

Bc delivers Richards devilish, smooth talking and deliciously devious dialogue with such ease that you can’t help but kind of root for Richard at times because he makes you believe that his Machiavellian dealings are for the greater good. His bone chilling cradling of his newborn nephew, his wooing of the widow of the man he killed. Are that of a man who just wants to be respected, loved and seen for his use rather than be mocked for his disability that he carries on his back.

Bc’s talent of tears and rage and downright madness was just PERFECT. I fell in love with his Richard iii. I felt pity, sadness, attraction to his wicked determination (as terrible as his deeds were) and most of all, affection for his deformity that was the catalyst for his anger and need to prove to the people around him that he could be a normal man that was capable of being a king. Bc’s Richard iii was the best possible example of a master class in acting. Proving yet again that Bc is the best actor of his generation.

2. Sherlock 

The greatest disappointment to come out of BBC Sherlock was the reaction of a group of fans who tried to destroy what MG and SM created because of a certain expectation they were invested in. Most people who hated S4 missed out on what the entire point of this version of Sherlock was about and that was to introduce us to Sherlock Holmes before he became known as Sherlock Holmes. Bc became a star in 90 minutes and the ACD canon would never be the same again.

Sherlock starts off as a man with a fortress of coldness who insists he has no need for friends or relationships, armed with a lifetime of brotherly advice that caring was not an advantage. But once Dr. John Watson comes into play we start to see that fortress slowly melt and the addition of the people who would become his Baker Street family, Molly Hooper, Mrs. Hudson, Mary Watson and Lestrade, we begin to see that Sherlock was so full of emotions and the capacity to care, that he wanted to care, he just didn’t know how to care. Bc’s portrayal of the world’s only consulting detective was brilliant and beautiful. Bc help make brainy the new sexy. He also made Sherlock’s drugged out alter ego, Shezza, look sexy too. Of course it helped that the writing and the location of this modern day Sherlock were also brilliant. But looking at those cheekbones and lips carrying a fluffy head of hair that you wish you could run your fingers through, just once! That perfect silhouette of a man dressed in the finest suits. The purple shirt of sexiness, the black suit, the blue shirt of sexiness!! Ok sorry I got CBF for a second there…

What I really meant to say was that Bc’s acting brought new life into this 100 year old literary character and it certainly made me invest my own feelings into these characters that I wouldn’t have any interest in. Bc’s Sherlock was rude, cocky, manipulative, arrogant and flawed, but you loved each of those characteristics because Bc made him lovable even at Sherlock’s worst, he took you through the whole range of emotions and that wasn’t just with one series, it frequently meant each episode! The fact that we got to watch Sherlock grow into a man capable of being a best friend, a kind and caring human being who tried his best to protect his friends, and a man who learned how to forgive and not judge the past mistakes of those around him. Because after all we just might be human. Even Sherlock Holmes. I am forever grateful to the Mofftiss for creating this show and for giving Bc a chance to show the world, what the London stage and various other people in the industry had already saw in him. For me the only Sherlock Holmes is the BBC version that could only have been pulled off by the talents and efforts of Benedict Cumberbatch.

3. Christopher Tietjens

My first thought is always I heart Christopher Tietjens, because I really do. He was the last of a dying breed. He had 2 women who tried to “burst him out of his glass cabinet” the wife who failed because she didn’t deserve him and the woman whom he really loved and waited for, the woman HE deserved. Christopher survived his name being dragged through the mud, a wife who socially embarrassed not only herself but made him look like a cuckold. 

He survived the war, not because he was lucky, but because he wanted to live to come back to the only woman who loved him and accepted him for going along with the parade. Bc’s Christopher Tietjens was a stoic beautiful man when he needed to be, and man enough to cry when the women he loved tugged or threw daggers at his heart.

I know I overuse the word beautiful when it comes to Bc’s acting but Chrissy was so painfully beautiful that all you wanted to do was give him a hug and take him back to Groby so he could live out the rest of his life as an english country gentleman. Another perfect performance from Benedict!

4. Alan Turing

This should have won Bc’s his first Oscar. If you want to truly see what Bc’s talent is capable of you don’t start with Sherlock, you start with this role. Benedict was able to conjure up the spirit of Alan in this performance that even Turing’s own family was blown away by his portrayal. Bc’s ability to display the eccentricities of Alan, the deep emotional bond and love he had for both Christophers and of course Bc’s master class of acting for easily portraying a genius mathematician at work.

The tragic ending that cut Alan’s life short, made us all want to learn more about Turing and his work. It made us angry at how this man was treated as an enemy, instead of a war hero who helped saved millions of lives. Bc reached into our hearts and brains with his charismatic, tragic, beautiful portrayal of Alan Turing.

5. Doctor Strange

IF ever a role was so perfectly cast it probably was Benedict as Dr. Stephen Strange. Not only does he come super close to looking like the comic book hero that was created over 30 yrs ago, he is able to adopt the persona of an arrogant and brilliant doctor who gets into a car accident that cuts his career short and with all hope lost, seeks treatment at a place that not only gives him the cold hard truth about himself, but it teaches him that in order to grow and learn he would have to open his eye to other realities.  

Stephen learned that all is not lost and there are other ways to help people, most of all, to help himself. Bc is so bloody perfect as Doctor Strange that upon first viewing, I just sat there and cried. I was so proud of him because even though I had very limited knowledge about this comic book character, he convinced me that HE was that superhero that the world needed. Benedict made it all look effortlessly. The American accent, the physicality of being Doctor Strange was just AMAZING. Bc has that ability to make himself into anything that is called for. As someone once said, young, old, strong, weak, whatever you call for that character to be, Benedict can play it and play it so well you don’t even know he’s acting. Not only did it convince us his fan base, but he basically won over the entire comic book community as well as the general public. 

Bc made Doctor Strange into a blockbuster that got overall positive reviews. That is the power of Benedict’s talent. You talk about a good script, you can talk about a good director, but that only goes hand in hand with an actor that can pull it all off and by god did Bc pull it off!

Thanks for stopping by!

Surprise!

Characters: Jared x Reader, fans, Jensen

Word Count: 1579

Warnings: implied sex and kinda fluff

Summary: All people ask you about is your past relationships and your relationship status during your panel. They are pleasantly surprised with the end result of their questions.

Authors Note: Honestly, this whole idea came from listening to Intertwined by Dodie. I wanted to have this song as like how they fell in love type thing. This is my first RPF. Also, Jared is single for this. No disrespect to Gen. Hopefully I satisfied your imagination with this! Feedback is always appreciated and enjoy xx

Originally posted by marvelouslyinsane

You slowly woke up in your hotel room with Jared’s arms wrapped around your waist. You lazily look at the time before jumping out of bed, realizing that you were running late for your panel.

Your panel starts in twenty minutes. It takes ten minutes to get there, leaving you with ten minutes to get dressed, and you still have to shower.

You texted Rob that you were going to be running late before taking a quick shower and getting dressed. You were about to rush out the door, then you realized that you hadn’t woken Jared up. You shake him awake and his eyes slowly flutter open.

“Morning sunshine,” you joke as you give him a quick kiss. “I’m running late for my panel, but I’ll see you down there after you get dressed.”

He hums in response, leaning on the headboard, looking at you. “Go on, don’t want to keep the fans waiting.” He smiles at you. “You’ll be great.”

You rush out the hotel room and made it to the panel, even though you were ten minutes late.

Keep reading

He’s… Mercurial. Shear talent. A genius. One of the leading actors in the world. An incredibly formidable presence. A Porsche 911.

Great people about Cumberbatch.

“Hands down, I believe that he’s the most versatile, surprising and charismatic actors of our time.” Christina Bianco, actress


“Benedict transforms, he doesn’t act. He becomes Turing.”, Morten Tyldum, director


"Even as a 13-year old, he was obviously an outstanding actor - a combination of intuition and intellect. It’s probably once in a lifetime that you find a boy actor as magnificent as this. I don’t think I had to speak or work with him in any way when I was directing him. I felt like I was working with a fellow professional rather than a schoolboy.” Mr. Tyrell, Cumberbatch’s acting teacher in Harrow


“Benedict is witty, mercurial… thoughtful and expert. He’s very intelligent but he doesn’t let it show by commenting on the character he is playing.” Richard Eyre, theater director


"He has a sensibility and an oddness to him… and a directness and a fantastic sense of humor (…) So I respect him on a pretty fundamental level (…) He’s an actor who has the ability to play in the outer field of basic acting work (…) He is a very generous, very sensitive, very thoughtful, focused, disciplined actor and, you know, when you work with somebody like that it’s just like playing… like Ronnie Scotts with B.B. King… it’s just a question of when or if… you know when someone’s got it and he’s got it.” Tom Hardy, actor


“He’s a fabulous actor and happens to have the zeitgeist. Sherlock has lifted him into a global star but he manages to combine stardom with utter brilliance which is really rare.” Hay Festival director Peter Florence


“Cumberbatch is a remarkable actor. He can quietly project the inner turmoil that more animated actors can only mimic.” Matthew Gilbert, TV critic


“Benedict Cumberbatch is shear talent. I mean he’s such a fantastically talented actor. He has a marvelous look of course, he has cheekbones you could shave Parmesan of and he’s just a magnificently talented actor. I’ve seen him do so many different things, with such style and he’s also an incredibly nice man and he deserves the enormous acclaim he receives around the world.” Stephen Fry, actor


“He is phenomenal. The amount of work that goes into his roles, he has a great work ethic and a genius mind, he is so inspiring. He really raised the bar for me and he had this integrity and genuineness. I feel really blessed to have worked with him. Plus he is so much fun, he’s become a good friend.” Adelaide Clemens, actress


“Everytime Benedict Cumberbatch opens his mouth it is positively electric… At the time I was getting really into Sherlock series one and I was just totally hypnotized by Benedict and I said to JJ ‘You gotta watch this guy, and one thing let to another and… Thank God! …. All credit goes to Benedict but I was smart enough to realize he is a genius.” Damon Lindelof, screenwriter


"I didn’t really know him as a stage actor. I knew what a fine screen actor he is. But there’s a physicality involved in the theatre. It’s not just about mannerisms or impersonation, which screen often is: it’s about sustaining a narrative with mind and body. When I saw him for Frankenstein, that was the only thing I wanted to know. Did he have that physical capacity? And of course he does. We met and I asked him to do a few things and he was extraordinary in the room. He’s as fit as a boxer, which you have to be for the stage. You have to have an internal fitness that allows you to carry the story so it never sags. He had this combination of the cerebral and the physical which you can see when you look back at his screen work – in Hawking, it’s there. Frankenstein was a great one for using it. That’s why he’s now what he is: one of the leading actors in the world.” Danny Boyle, director


“He’s a genius. There are certain actors who have the ability to take a line of dialogue and add a ring to it that you didn’t even know you put into the dialogue, into the line. And he’s one of those really brilliant actors. Just listening to him talk…you could enjoy him reading the phone book.(…) And he’s an incredibly formidable presence. He’s amazing.” Alex Kurtzman, screenwriter


“We found Benedict Cumberbatch fairly early. We needed a very good actor, someone young enough to be believable as an aristocratic, an almost slightly dislikeable character who is an adolescent in terms of his views of the world, his upbringing. But we also needed someone who could hold the screen for four and half hours, in every scene. We needed someone with experience who was not only a very good actor, but also with terrific comic timing. Benedict was the ideal answer to that.” David Attwood, director (To the ends of the earth)


“Everyone just looked at it and went “Oh. All right.” Meryl looked at me and gave me a big smile, which is Meryl’s way of saying “Well done”. It was not the best quality you’ve ever seen. And his face was very close. But he was wonderful. At first I didn’t realize that he was British because his southern Oklahoma accent was very good. There’s nothing guarded about him. It can be a little daunting because you have the clear impression at all times that he might be more intelligent than you are.” John Wells, director, about Cumberbatch’s iPhone auditioning for August: Osage County


“The difference between stars and just great actors is that stars can make parts into them, rather than themselves into parts; they make those people them. They never quite play it like you expect them to, so it becomes very much Benedict’s Sherlock. Look at how Sean Connery owned James Bond.” Steven Moffat, producer and writer


“He’s a stick shift; he’s changing up and changing down. He’s a Porsche 911.” Gary Oldman, actor


“I would like to officialy declare my love for Benedict Cumberbatch. Yes, that’s right. I’m in love with him.” Paul Feig, director


“He’s an immersive actor; he’s physical. You have to keep feeding him, trying to keep him stimulated. The engine has to be stoked all the time. The joke is that Hollywood thinks it’s investigating him right now to see what he’s made of. The truth is: He’s investigating them.” Danny Boyle, director


“Watching him physically train to play James (He dieted, ran the cliffs and swam in the cold sea), and also delve into the meaning of every line in rehearsals, and then plot the effect of his illness on his body and mind as it would be in each scene (shot in the wrong order), while all the while being a joy to be around was impressive to witness. To see it as one performance in the final cut was remarkable. - He is rare even amongst the acting breed. If the character description says handsome: he is. If it says Nasty: he is. Older: he is… Younger: he is. For this reason I just can’t wait to see what he will become.” Vaughan Sivell, producer and screen writer („Third Star“)


“Being on the set with him… I think everyone was bringing their absolute A-game. I think, frankly, in a way, [his] presence sort of elevated everything. Time and again, every scene, Benedict brought a surprising, unexpected, grounded, real and often terrifying aspect to the role. So we are incredibly grateful, all of us.” JJ Abrams, director


“Benedict Cumberbatch is one of my very favorite — excuse me, favourite — actors today, and he brought his brilliant mixture of confidence and strength to Khan in a way that, with all due respect, Montalban never did. Never once does Cumberbatch make the obvious choice, his performance is always subtle, always controlled, and when he finally goes full-Khan, scary as hell.” Will Wheaton, actor


“I think he’ll be one of the guys who lasts, that’s my take. It’s what George [Clooney] said to me ten years ago: If you can pull off ten years in this business, then you’ve done something, and we both kind of agreed that that was kind of the benchmark. And I think [Cumberbatch] is of the new crop.” Matt Damon, actor


“Benedict Cumberbatch is truly one of the greatest actors I’ve ever seen. And my favorite thing about him in this movie is that instead of his bad guy being adorned and wearing some crazy mask and costume and hair… he is just a simple man standing in a black shirt and black pants, just a common man… and his performance is so powerful in it’s simplicity… and that to me was an incredibly exciting thing to see: how little he needed to be that powerful.” JJ Abrams, director


“When he was at school, parents came to see him in plays their own children weren’t in - THAT is how good he is.” Tatler magazine


“Yes, Benedict has darkness. He has a light, brilliance, wit, sophistication, an imposing presence. He’s threatening; he’s physical. He’s also sympathetic. He does these things and makes it all look so damn easy. And the other actors … it was so funny. Every time we were doing a scene with Benedict, they were standing a little bit taller. He has a presence that is ridiculous and that voice, oh my God. There wasn’t a day working with Benedict that I didn’t think, this is insane. He elevated that moment. He made that thing that I thought was going to be really hard, authentic. He’s not like his character in any way, physically or emotionally, but he transformed himself physically. He was suddenly this wildly intimidating big guy. And he’s not. When you talk to him, he’s sort of slight. But in the movie, I spent a year editing him (Benedict’s footage). So it was like I got to see him every day. I got so used to him as that character. So when I saw him again recently, I thought, God, he’s so small, compared to how he is in the movie—he’s so epic. He is an utter chameleon who I think can do anything. He’s one of the best actors I’ve ever seen, let alone worked with. He was able to bring all of these incredible nuances and attitude to a role that in lesser hands would not have worked remotely that well.” JJ Abrams, director

My Favorite Performances of 2016

These are the 15 movie roles this year I most felt deserved highlighting. Man, there were some great roles this year, introduction, introduction, introduction, how many words does this have to be? You don’t care and I certainly don’t. On to the list!(Note: except for the top two, this list is in no particular order).

Glen Powell (Everybody Wants Some!!)
The entire cast of Richard Linklater’s spiritual follow-up to “Dazed and Confused” is one riotous bundle of joy (and a cure for the usually cliche portrayal of college kids), but Glen Powell’s Finnegan is by far the standout. The scene that makes his character comes at a party for the “artsy fartsy” crowd when, after encouraging a freewheeling spirit of sex, booze, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll throughout the film, he actually gets for real hurt when his proteges crash his chances with a girl he happens to like. Finnegan is on the cusp of adulthood and leadership heading into one of the most tumultuous decades of American history, but he’s not quite there yet…and it’s the leftover, subtle vulnerabilities of the kid during his last days of youth that make him so unbelievably endearing. If there’s any justice in the world, EWS!! will do for him what Dazed and Confused did for…well, most of the cast.

Tilda Swinton (A Bigger Splash)
The (in my opinion, overblown) controversy over Swinton’s Doctor Strange role sadly overshadowed her performance in this Fellini-esque story of beautiful people behaving in decidedly un-beautiful ways. Playing a major, David Bowie-esque popstar who has gone near-mute from the stress of living in public, Swinton has few lines but somehow manages to steal the show from a simmering Matthias Schoenaerts and a manic Ralph Fiennes. Being mostly robbed of the ability to speak, Swinton has to convey a massive range of emotions largely with body language—a task she accomplishes with all the skill you’d expect from one of the world’s greatest actresses.

Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Frail and tough, honest and veiled, open and censoring—Portman’s portrayal of the most famous First Lady in American history is riddled with contradictions that, in her hands, become a coherent character. She can sink to the depths of unbearable anguish at a moment’s notice, and five minutes later it is as if nothing very bad had happened. Yet, there’s always something boiling under the surface…perhaps an understanding that history will forever place “JFK’s wife” next to her name, whatever else she may do with her life. At times, Portman seems to barely hold it all in, yet when we leave the theater she is still a mystery. Maybe that’s how it should be.

Joel Edgerton (Loving)
Rarely does more go unsaid or understood than passes behind the face of Joel Egderton as Richard Loving, one half of the married couple whose simple wish to live in their home state of Virginia dealt a death blow to laws banning interracial marriage in the United States. Edgerton says little, and when he does it is in as few words as possible…every one of which speaks his entire mind. Key to the performance, though, are scenes of him simply sharing intimate moments with wife Mildred. At a time when the stereotype of the traditonal American husband and father of yesteryear is often held up for all the wrong reasons, Edgerton’s performance is crucial.

Emma Stone (La La Land)
Until near the end, the music is the driving force of La La Land. Then someone asks the character of Mia to “tell a story”, and Emma Stone delivers one of the best scenes of her career. The strength of the “Audition” number redefines what has come before for the character, and solidifies her as both someone we can really root for, and the personification of dreamers, however hopeless they might be. The final look she gives Ryan Reynolds in the film speaks more than a page of dialogue ever could.

Viola Davis (Fences)
Before the era of feminism, there was an unspoken agreement between married couples in the U.S.: a wife was to put up with her husband’s shit, even when he was full to bursting with it. It was hard to pick one of the two main performances in “Fences” to single out, but ultimately Davis’s simmering cauldron is the heart of the story, enabling her to both survive and love life with her deeply, deeply flawed husband. Unlike Denzel Washington, who gets to vomit forth an endless stream of anger throughout the film, Davis is tasked with saving her one great outburst for when it is most needed and has the most impact, creating a scene the trailers should not have featured; it should have been allowed to burst on audiences like water from a broken dam, rolling over everything in its path. Five minutes later, she’s calm again, but she’s also a different woman…or maybe just another woman who was hiding behind the first all along.

Sunny Pawar (Lion)
The trailers all emphasize the adult Saroo’s search for his home, but the bulk of the movie is taken up with a young Saroo getting lost in the first place, and Dev Patel is overshadowed by 8-year-old Sunny Pawar…not an easy feat. Like Quvenzhane Wallis and Jacob Tremblay, Pawar takes a role that could easily have been phoned in (since we have natural sympathy for kids) and makes little Saroo into an enormously relatable character, a lost boy whose stomping ground is no Neverland. It isn’t any wonder the filmmakers keep coming back to him in flashbacks after his character is grown. He’s the heart of the film.

Hailee Steinfeld (Edge of Seventeen)
I swear, my generation moons over the era of John Hughes High School comedies so much they seem to forget that being awkward, out-of-place and unable to wait for the day after graduation day isn’t unique to them. Every year we get a handful of largely unheralded comedies about that very topic, and Hailee Steinfeld’s performance as a morbid, confused and, yes, aggressive (bad female! bad!) teen who openly discusses her sex life, alcohol habits and dark, dark, dark humor elevates “Edge of Seventeen” to the top of the pack. With acerbic wit, pinpoint aim, and unflinching pessimism, Nadine Franklin manages to skewer not just every aspect of High School life but many of life in general. The only target she routinely misses? Herself.

Kate Beckinsale (Love & Friendship)
It is exceedingly rare that a woman in the movies can be aggressive and acidic at the same time. Kate Beckinsale’s Lady Susan is such a character. It is impossible for all but the most ardent feminists to actually like her, and you’d never want to be drawn into her poisonous circle of rumor, manipulation, innuendo and life-destroying gossip, but you have to admire her for taking charge of her own life at a time when women were tasked with hosting guests, looking pretty and shutting up. These days, she’d almost certainly be described as a sociopath, wrecking lives for her whim and amusement, yet you can’t look away. She’s the year’s best villain…or is she?

Ben Foster (Hell or High Water)
Chris Pine’s well-meaning father is our anchor to this story of two desperate brothers in hard times, but Ben Foster is the anarchic, destructive force that keeps our eyes glued to the screen. Whereas Pine’s dad doesn’t think of himself as criminal and Jeff Bridges’s sheriff has spent far too much time watching old westerns, Foster knows exactly what he is: a violent criminal whose psycopathy he might be able to turn to his brother’s aid in one last blaze of glory. There’s never really a question of him surviving the story; he’s not a man, he’s a storm, and he’s here to rage harder than he ever has before blowing himself out.

Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Talk about embodying multiple people in one role. Harris plays mother to a young, gay black man at three different stages of his life, but she’s not the kind of perfect mom the movies prefer. She’s a drug addict at a time when the War on Drugs refused to treat such people with any sort of humanity, and she’s got a temper to match the times; when she screams hurtful words at her own son, the decision to remove the audio from the scene makes her come off as near-demonic. Simplicity, though, isn’t really what Moonlight deals in, and there are layers and regrets to her revealed as the film goes on. Her final scene asks a rather important question: should any time be too late to be forgiven?

Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch)
For the most part, horror will forever be considered beneath the notice of those who hand out accolades, which means even if you turn in one of the most startling performances of the year, it doesn’t really count if it’s in this genre. That’s a shame, because unless you count a tiny, uncredited role from 2014, Taylor-Joy makes the most impressive film debut of any actress this year. Called upon to do things involving animal blood and demonic possession that a more image-concerned person might spurn, she handles the role of a teenage girl whose family is being assailed by the forces of hell by taking it all absolutely seriously, which is essential; any hint that she thinks anything she’s doing is silly, and the film falls apart. There’s reason to question whether anything supernatural is really happening in the New England wilderness of the late 1600’s, but no reason to doubt the strength of Taylor-Joy’s performance.

Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Not everything has to be so serious, something Deadpool would probably remind you of right before delivering a kick straight to your kibbles and bits. As the star, producer and driving force behind the hilariously raunchy R-rated superhero flick, Reynolds is the most eminently watchable and entertaining a comic hero has been outside the suit since Robert Downey Jr. swaggered into the Iron Man armor. Mel Brooks once famously described his films as rising below vulgarity, and whether Reynolds is taking time out to break the fourth wall or making incredibly lewd comments at his blind, elderly, female roommate, he’s bringing the spirit of “Blazing Saddles” to a genre that sometimes really needs to get over itself. In a year where “Batman vs. Superman” took itself more seriously than a second heart attack, Reynolds’s Merc with a Mouth is the filthy, over-the-top cure the doctor ordered.

And my top two performances, starting with my choice for Best Actress:

Isabelle Huppert (Elle)

In arguably the most challenging role this year, which comes in certainly the most challenging film, Huppert plays a woman who, after being raped, plays a cat-and-mouse game with the rapist. Whether she is trying to catch him or get caught again is another question. The role was turned down by multiple more well-known actresses, before being taken by Huppert, who deserves to be more well-known outside her native France. Key to her performance is that her character is not altogether very likable, and if she were not a victim of a heinous crime, you’d have a real difficult time feeling empathy for her. That takes far more guts, I think, than playing out brutal scenes of assault, since we tend to demand our heroines be pure as the driven snow.

Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

He’s been turning in the best work he possibly can in every role he’s had, big or small, for two decades, always overshadowed in fame by his older brother, but this year is Casey’s. Angry, violent, adrift and bereft, Lee Chandler is a man with no purpose in a world that demands every man have one, not that he grasps himself on that level: he’s simply a man who has been struck over and over until nothing but armor remains. Forced to deal with the issue of custody for his nephew after his brother dies, he portrays a truth no man wants to face: not all of us are cut out for responsibility. Despite this, Affleck walks a fine line, making Lee simultaneously a jerk and someone you’d really like to see come out on top. Unfortunately, as Lee well knows, the world just isn’t that simple.

Honorable mentions: I limited my list to 15, and even after expanding from ten it was still difficult. There are lots of great roles that didn’t make the cut, and here are the ten that really gave the winners a run for their money, in one big list. If you don’t see your favorite, remember: it doesn’t necessarily mean they weren’t good, just that I can’t possibly list them all.

Kristen Stewart (Cafe Society)
The Cast of Don’t Think Twice
Royalty Hightower (The Fits)
Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)
Lou de Laage (The Innocents)
Ruth Negga (Loving)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane)
Pretty much everybody in Moonlight (Moonlight)
Katie Holmes (Touched With Fire)

We all know Hamlet. Or, certainly, some part of Hamlet: snippets from the seven famous soliloquies, a brooding man holding a skull, Reviving Ophelia. It’s known. I thought I knew it, anyway, as a former theater student who, like many, has read and seen the play several times in various forms. (Does The Lion King count too?)

Honestly, though? I don’t know that I’d ever really gotten the play—its towering drama, the dizzying poetry of its language—before seeing director Sam Gold’s production at the Public Theater, starring Oscar Isaac. (It runs now through September 3.) Ominous and earthy (at times quite literally), Gold’s Hamlet has a simple, tactile charge, one that truly, in the least corny of senses, brings Shakespeare to life. The production is given extra, invaluable electricity by its star, whose crisply legible, fiercely intelligent performance confirms for me what I’ve long suspected: Oscar Isaac is the best dang actor of his generation.

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goldfilm  asked:

Hi! I remember you saying something a while ago about The Secret History, where Camilla was like Persephone, and Henry was like Hades, and whether or not Julian was Dionysus. And I was wondering who the others in the Greek Squad would be, in similar comparisons. Sorry if this doesn't make sense, thanks!

no, not at all dear! it actually makes so much sense, since i think donna purposely built up all the tsh characters as symbolic representations of the greek gods, but really much mixed up with so many other classical figures as well? if you’ve studied those subjects, it’s almost impossible not to notice all the hits the author left all around the novel, you know. and then, obviously there are even your own interpretations, as a classicist and/or as a reader, so it’s almost impossible to discern where donna’s intention ends and our personal opinions might begin? so, consider what i’m about to say as my personal interpretation of the matter, even if it’s clearly supported by some kind of obvious intention of the writer, ok? :)

said that, certain comparisons are explicitly written down in the novel, for example the one you already mentioned, henry being hades and camilla being persephone. that is said as a metaphor in the book with those clear words, no hits or allusions. it’s interesting tho, the fact that on the other hand at the very beginning of the novel bunny compares camilla to diana - in other words, artemis. i find this funny and super interesting not just because obviously to any person not completely unfamiliar with greek mythology camilla and charles would immediately be the exact representation of artemis and apollo, but what really intrigued me about this is, i’m quite a “deeper scholar” of ancient greek deities and their philosophies, i’ve read pretty much everything you can read about those subject by now, i did out of passion, and as anyone who has actually studied those matters digging a little more, i’ve come to realise in many fragments and text and poems, artemis and persephone actually were described as the same deity - at some point of the orphic hymns moreover, persephone is first called “artemis” and then a few lines afterwards, demeter even says something like “oh, my poor daughter! you were destined to bear the glorious offspring of apollo and now you are married to that hideous man!”.. does it ring a bell? camilla is first in some kind of relationship with charles and then she falls for henry? who is compared to hades?
anyways, i’ve already written about this and i absolutely don’t wanna bore you with the all hows and whys, but this superimposition of deities on the same figure is a pretty common phenomenon in ancient mythologies and it’s called “syncretism”. the same god could have many names depending on the function he was summoned for. artemis, persephone, selene, hecate - they were in truth just one goddess whom aspects had several names. so it’s super funny and as much as intriguing to me, that in tsh camilla is actually first called “artemis” and then “persephone”, given the fact that she first is with charles and then with henry, respectively apollo and hades. i don’t know if donna tartt was aware of all this and did it on purpose, or if this is merely a coincidence, but it’s totally something i’m really fascinated by and that makes a huge, cosmical sense in my “classicist eyes”? lmao
and i have to say they are oh so bloody perfect for the role? all three of them? camilla being the fragile forest creature who could actually eat you alive anytime, without even blinking; charles being so much apollo he could even be the god himself as far as we might know: charming, handsome, calming, nice, but at the same time violent, anxious, deeply possessive and jealous, his dark side as deep as his ability to enchant others; and henry, well, am i even to explain what makes him a perfect hades? shady, riflessive, lost in his own world, cold intelligence and a total self-made moral, so close to the one a king could have made up to excuse himself anything? superiority/god complex, great leader, but at the same time hunted by his own demons and his own solitude, so much he wanted to find some way to escape his personal “dark kingdom”, his own mind? and he then falls precisely for the said apparently delicate creature that in truth is so much like him it is almost scary when we do find out? do tell me if all those are coincidences, i really don’t think so.

regarding all the others, it is much more difficult to say, tbh? because we are not told something as explicit, you know?
if you already read my other ask, then you know that i’m really sceptical about considering julian being the novel’s personification of dionysus. i kinda see francis much more fitting for that role if i have to name someone, but honestly i don’t actually think dionysus to be among the characters of the novel - he is indeed in the novel, but being himself. in other words, being at the same time everyone and no one at all. that’s the nature of dionysus, his very purpose and i don’t think i could accept any other interpretation, tbh.
also bunny and richard, i don’t think they are the representation of any deity whatsoever in this book. they are respectively the representation of what we are going to call the “non-believer” and the “believer”, so dear to the ancient tradition of the cult of dionysus. i don’t know if you are already aware of this or not, but it’s really a fundamental theme of dionysus’ painful journey to regain his “godhood”, meeting this two symbolical figures wherever he goes. dionysus is the god who died and was reborn, the one god who become human and had to prove his own divinity once again before being allowed to come back to olympus to claim what was his by birthright. so, every single time, in every single myth, the theme is always the same: someone does not think him a god, they disrespect him and his power, trying to kill or imprison him and they always end up slaughtered in the most amazing ways. that’s bunny. bunny who never takes anything seriously, bunny who wouldn’t understand and so that is not invited to the bacchanal, bunny who realises everything and disrespects the holiness of the act, taking the accidental murder as an atrocious act and nothing more than that, bunny that does not see it as the sacred consequence of an even more sacred experience, bunny who blackmails the actual “maenads” of dionysus (that’s what the clique became that night, kind of, in a representative way) and bunny who has to be killed, not just because of the actual modern danger of what he knew, but even because of the moral ancient one - he doesn’t get the divine importance of what happened that night; dionysus himself would have wanted him dead. this is the non-believer’s doom.
the second recurring figure in all the dionysus’ mythology is a poor, usually misunderstood and underestimated human who, while everyone is making fun of this young lad who calls himself a god and wants to punish him for that, they actually believe in dionysus’ godhood and help him achieving his purposes. this is what i called the “believer” and that’s what richard is in tsh. richard doesn’t really fit in the clique and he kinda always sees things from the outside, even in the very end. he’s a man in a land of gods, no matter how badly he wants to become one, he’s well aware he is not, he himself tells us this at the very beginning of the novel. but unlike bunny, his merit is that he just gets it. he gets the beauty of what happened, he gets the higher purpose, he gets the importance of it. richard respects and is deeply fascinated by the all story, so he’s rewarded for it in the end, just as the “believer” is always eventually rewarded in dionysus’ tales. he cannot aspire to become “that high”, “that important”, “that godly”, but he is the best a human being can aspire to be - mixed up with gods’ business, helper of the gods, touched by the gods, accepted by the gods. and that’s no light thing in the end, if we think better about it.. no light thing at all.

and here we arrive at francis, don’t we? francis is the most difficult to frame, he’d always been to me. he can seem many things, but he’s truly none of them at the end of the day. after accurate consideration, the god to whom i feel more comfortable comparing him is hermes, without any doubt. now, hermes is always seen as the playful god of thieves and mischief, apollo’s best friend, never serious, grand in wit, but not that important, am i right? well, in truth hermes is one of the most important gods of all the greek pantheon and i think he fits francis’ character perfectly as hell. first of all, hermes is playful yet always unreachable on the outside, but really complicated and shady on the inside. he’s not just the god who protects commerce and trades, he’s also one of the few phsycopompos deities of all ancient greek mythology, in other words he has the power to freely come and go as he pleases between the different realms of existence, both the living and the dead one - he’s both light and shadow. also, hermes is one of the freest sexual-oriented gods i know (he fathered hermaphroditus), but he kinda always keeps everything for himself? he doesn’t go around showing off as all the other gods. he loves deeply, but there’s always something holding him back, some shadow following him everywhere he goes. he’s also the messenger of the gods, he has the power to create a bound, a real contact between divinity and humanity. that’s so francis, tbh. francis who seem so unreachable, but at the same time so easy going and comfortable with anyone, francis who is probably the only one who actually really bounded with richard (the humanity i was talking about), francis who is never free to completely be himself out of the fear of letting down his “theoretical role” in the society, but at the same time never shows his sorrows on the outside with anyone? he lives constantly divided between two worlds, never having the courage to be fully “a god”, but scared to death to be left alone in the land of the humankind. that’s precisely hermes in my eyes, even if i don’t actually think this was really donna’s intention? who knows. i’ve certainly always seen him in this particular light.

really hope this will make any sense to you? lol if not, i’m so deeply sorry. i tend to be a little too passionate about those subjects, you know!

anonymous asked:

Hi M! I was wondering if you could tell us a bit more about Meredith's character? (Like you've done with Wren and Alexander). I sometimes feel like I get her, but other times I really don't. Like why did she go through the guys in the group like that? (started with James, then Richard, then Oliver) Did she just want to have sex with all the guys in the group? Did she want to pair up with the best male actor? And what has been people's general response to her as a character? Thanks!

Meredith has spent her entire life being made to think that her personal worth is dependent on her sex appeal. That is a very, very difficult lesson to un-learn, and it is a large part of the reason that she craves romantic attachment; she sees it as a form of validation. She has also spent her entire life starved for the attention and approval of the male figures in her family, so she looks for it from other men. She’s been conditioned to think (partly by the society she’s grown up in, partly by people like Gwendolyn who insist on casting and costuming her the way they do, and partly by her father’s and brothers’ disinterest) that the only reason a man would ever take an interest in her would be sexual, so that’s how she pursues it. That moment James mentions–“Decided she wanted me and assumed I wanted her, because doesn’t everyone?”–isn’t about arrogance. It’s about insecurity. (It’s remarkable how often those two things look the same.) James misrepresents it because he has his own issues with Meredith, is consistently hypercritical of her, and in this instance is actively trying to make her look bad. He’s a good representation of how men (and women) have been treating her all her life: dismissive, superior, and suspicious of her intentions. (His questions are actually not so far off from the ones you’re asking. Does she just want to have sex with everyone? Does she just want to pair up with the best male actor? None of the automatic assumptions are good or even neutral ones. Is it so crazy to think that she actually just liked them all individually at different points in time? Three people in four years is not that many, and it’s not surprising they might come from the pool of people you work most closely with. Yet we tend to leap to the worst conclusions. Food for thought.)

It’s perfectly possible I haven’t written her well enough for all this to come across, but she deserves more credit than James (and many others) give her, and that’s where Oliver comes in. Oliver, unlike James and Richard and most of the other people she’s had occasion to interact with in her life–Alexander and Filippa and even Colborne make suggestive jokes about her–does not see her as just a set of homewrecking curves walking around. And when he does catch himself treating her that way, he recognizes that behavior as (1) learned and (2) not good, and makes a conscious effort to improve that. Is he attracted to her? Absolutely. But he also respects her, and that’s the big difference.

To answer your questions about people’s responses to Meredith, they have definitely been varied, but what I think is most telling is that people who are older (and especially women who are a little bit older) tend to be more forgiving of her, and much more sympathetic. I think that’s partly because they’ve just had more time to see how how badly the world can mess young women up. Meredith has a lot of problems. She is often unpleasant and for a lot of people totally unlikable. But she’s not just a sex-crazed pretty bitch, and part of her story arc is her realizing that she’s not a sex-crazed pretty bitch, which is the role she’s been cast in, in life as onstage, time out of mind. Her life is harder than it looks, and she is more fragile than she seems.  

Hollywood star Jai Courtney on why he couldn’t resist playing Macbeth at MTC

Shakespeare’s troubled villain is ‘the role of a lifetime’.


Sonia Harford

Jun 2, 2017


“It’s great watching Jai do the fight scenes. You believe he is the best warrior in the army, which is what Macbeth is meant to be,” says actor Geraldine Hakewill.

Cast as Lady Macbeth to Jai Courtney’s foul villain, she can appreciate the stage presence of an action hero – whichever century he finds himself in. 


“I haven’t seen many Macbeths where that’s the case, where you believe he could devastate the opposing army,” she says. “It’s in his body, how he can handle himself on stage. He knows his way around a gun,” she concludes, to laughter from Courtney.

He takes the compliment with a good grace, and there’s no doubting his presence on and off stage. A star of several Hollywood blockbusters, Courtney has a powerful build and a mighty voice. Shakespeare’s lines will no doubt boom right to the back row when the Melbourne Theatre Company production opens this month.


In a break from rehearsals, the two share a sofa to explain their contemporary take on Shakespeare’s fierce Scottish play of witches, ghosts and human villainy; Hakewill a dark, lean and focused figure to Courtney’s reflective film star.

At 31, Courtney can count himself a successful member of the Australian pack in Los Angeles. Raised in Sydney, he attended the WAAPA drama school in Perth and soon landed television and film roles in the United States. 


Following his malevolent turn as a very, very bad guy opposite Tom Cruise and  Werner Herzog in Jack Reacher, he appeared in A Good Day to Die Hard, Divergent and its sequel Insurgent and as the faintly perplexing Captain Boomerang in the 2016 DC Comics outing Suicide Squad.

He’s barely revisited the stage since his WAAPA days. So why now, and why Macbeth?


“I didn’t really see an option for myself once I was offered this,” he says with feeling. “It’s the role of a lifetime, and it came along at a time when I was exploring where my interest in film really stood, and the jobs I was chasing versus the jobs I took.”

Shakespeare, of course, requires a bit more than knowing your way around a gun. Courtney and Hakewill both saw Kate Mulvany’s recent electrifying performance as Richard III with Bell Shakespeare. Her Richard, embittered by mockery and physical weakness, was a schemer, a villain with more wit than weaponry.

Courtney described her as “an absolute force. It was one of the most courageous performances I’d seen on stage.”

Yet Macbeth is a very different kind of villain, in his view.

“He’s a man who’s embarked on a tyrannical journey, and he’s always at odds with the things he has to do. It’s an interesting arc to chart as he wrestles with it right up until the end.

"At one point, he does give himself over to it and submits to chaos. It’s the horror of the acts he chooses to commit that sends him mad. Unlike Richard III, which is all about righting the wrongs endured by him, Macbeth is built on ambition. He bites off more than he can chew in that sense. It’s interesting and hard to play the arm wrestle within one’s self.”

What Hakewill saw in Mulvany’s performance was “her great feel for a story”.

“In Macbeth, the characters go to places that aren’t justifiable from an audience’s point of view but you have to take them with you, because it’s your story.

"Lady Macbeth is often seen as a villain because she doesn’t have someone whispering in her ear, so that’s tricky to find the humanity and the empathy but I am searching for that, because I think there are many reasons she acts the way she does.

"Even though we’re setting this in quite a contemporary context, I’m thinking about when it was written. Even today, here and in other parts of the world, there are constraints that you put yourself under, that society puts women under, that prevent them achieving their ambitions.”

The role marks a welcome departure for her, she says. “It’s a woman playing  a villain! I’m usually playing someone sweet and lovely. This role’s frightening and that’s why I wanted to do it.”

Hakewill has mostly based her career in Sydney, but she appeared in Baal at the Malthouse some years ago and in Joanna Murray-Smith's Fury for the Sydney Theatre Company.

“I probably seem younger than I am so I ended up playing a lot of teenage girls for a while – usually the broken ingenue who gets screwed over by men, because that’s what history has often given us in plays.”

An action role finally came her way in the television series Wanted which this year earned her a Logie nomination for outstanding new talent.

“That was a lovely surprise.”

It’s also well worth hunting down a short film called Young Labor. In this concentrated gem of political satire, Hakewill plays a hilariously narcissistic Labor organiser, browbeating volunteers from party room to fundraising cake stall.

Perfect training for Lady Macbeth, perhaps? “Yes, it looks at though it’s in me somewhere,” she says, laughing. “I got cast for a reason!”

Both actors believe director Simon Phillips has the right touch for the heightened theatricality of Macbeth. Says Hakewill: “Simon’s shows are always big shows.”

Big enough, presumably, for the movie star male lead who has left his home in Los Angeles for a few months in downtown Melbourne.

Courtney admits theatre is as big a challenge as any he’s faced. “I just wanted to get on stage all through my teens.

"As you grow and learn more and push yourself, your ambitions grow, of course … I’ve had funny luck working in film on pre-existing franchises and am often asked about the responsibility to serve those – but the movies can change so much at any part of the process. So in a weird way the pressure is so much greater under these circumstances on stage – because it’s on you to rise to it every night." 

Courtney says after Macbeth he’s  "sticking around to do some film work”. He enjoys going back and forth between Australia and the US. He’ll soon be seen in World War II drama The Exception with Christopher Plummer.

In the past, he has worked on Australian films with his friend Joel Edgerton and with Russell Crowe on The Water Diviner. Next up locally is a planned remake of Storm Boy with Courtney playing Hideaway Tom, the boy’s father. 

“I’m really excited to be on board with this retelling of such an iconic Australian story and it’s so wonderful to have the privilege of working with Geoffrey Rush. I was a fan of the book growing up so it’s an honour to be a part of the film

of bridges, horse bits & spaceships

I’ve been watching and analyzing Gilmore Girls for so many years it’s hard to even imagine, but one thing that always struck me is that this show has more in common with SciFi shows I love like Farscape or BSG than it does normal family dramas. Maybe that sounds silly, but the world ASP created has overarching themes that play out over & over again, characters that fit into specific archetypes & roles that serve specific purposes rather than just fumbling through life. ASP uses parallels, circular stories and other devices to tell these stories over and over again, to write herself into messes and then back out again. But while she writes about the same themes over and over again, she never quite tells the same story twice.


What am I trying to say? Well, that the revival story of Rory & Logan fits very nicely into the overarching themes that ASP has been mining since she introduced Logan in 2004. Rory wasn’t ruined, honestly, her hairbrained ideas about things remaining hers long after she should be considering other people’s feelings is a character trait that dates back to s3 & Shane. Once she decides something is hers it always is. Once she realized she still loved Logan she doesn’t care about anyone else’s feelings. It might not be the greatest character trait and might make you scratch your head wondering why she doesn’t just go for it again with Logan when she clearly still loves him…well that ties to something I’ll talk about in a few.


Rory’s story has always been one about leaving Stars Hollow, being a bridge between Lorelai-Richard & Emily, both literally and figuratively. She’s not supposed to be one or the other, but all three, not a carbon copy of Lorelai ever. Which is why the thing I found most disturbing during the revival is not her being pregnant or them cheating on two characters I have zero investment in, but her landing back in the Hollow professionally. It’s where she started, not where she belongs or where she’s supposed to end up. It’s her launching pad.


But I’ve also long said that the way Lorelai brought up Rory made her codependent. Rory needs a partner in life. Someone with a stronger personality - Lorelai/Logan - to push her to be the person she can be. To be her sounding board and cheerleader. Otherwise she tends to flounder. Or if that person is floundering, she does too. Her greatest moments come when linked with a partner - FNAFF which directly leads to her getting the editorship of YDN or the activities of YJIJJ which are related to Logan. Then her getting into Chiton - Lorelai pushes this and it leads to Yale and the opportunities Yale represents. Rory is at her most lost and unhappy when she doesn’t have a partner, look at S4.


That’s not to say Rory’s not a strong person, she is. But she’s got a quieter strength than Lorelai or even Logan, who both are openly stubborn and revel in defying expectations. Rory is more of a pleaser. Also, she learned her lesson the hard way about defying Lorelai’s wishes in S6 - Lorelai cutting her out of her life when Rory was at her lowest & not getting back in her good graces till Rory was back on the Lorelai approved Yale track. My personal feelings have always been that Rory never really fully recovers from that shunning and decisions she makes subsequently and that she’s still making are influenced by what happened then. To anyone that thinks I’m being too hard on Lorelai - she was the parent, the adult and she was not the one that was having the massive crisis of confidence. That was Rory.


Also, while Jess might’ve given her the idea for the book, it’s Logan’s support to defy Lorelai’s not wanting her to write it that ultimately pushes her to begin writing - at Richard & Emily’s home. Lorelai’s prison once again becoming Rory’s refuge. It also ties into the ‘lucky dress’ which comes up again & again. It’s what she was wearing when she meets Logan in Hamburg - for what’s implied is the first time in probably years. Logan is tied to her being ‘lucky.’ He gives her confidence to do things she would otherwise not believe she could do - hasn’t he always?


Logan’s story has always been a good look into the life Lorelai would’ve had had she not left Hartford. Expectation, obligation, and a horrible home life married to someone you don’t love. That’s still his life when we meet him again. If you don’t believe me, rewatch their first phone call in Summer & final convo in Fall. They are him either begging Rory to change things or a redo of their couch convo in Partings - him asking her to not let him go into his predestined life and her not stopping him. In Partings I loved it. Here, I think she’s so self doubtful - perhaps thinking she has nothing to truly offer him - that she can’t make a leap with him again. We’re dealing with a late S5, early s6 self doubting Rory in the revival, IMO.


Finn, Colin & Robert aren’t just irresponsible friends of Logan’s he needs to grow up and leave behind - they’re a physical manifestation of his rebellion to his predestined life. They show the audience that while he might be working for Mitchum & might be planning on marrying the new Fallon - his Huntzberger approved wife - Mitchum’s bit still does not quite fit. Mitchum’s long glance at Rory in his one scene tells me he knows this & he knows as long as Rory’s part of Logan’s life, Mitchum’s not won this game yet. He knows Rory’s a threat - that Logan’s only true out is Rory, who Logan practically begs to push the escape hatch button for him. [This is one area that ASP does need to further explain what she took from S7 & what she didn’t. Because why IS Logan back with HPG to being with? Did he ever even leave?]


Where does Lorelai fit in all this? Well, they’re all named Lorelai for a reason. She may be the Reigning Lorelai, but here she plays the role of Lorelai I disapproving of Richard’s choice of Emily, championing the fiancée he chose to leave behind for the woman he loved and the life he chose. Rory turned Logan down not just because she didn’t want to get married so young. To have a wide open future. She also turned Logan down because she didn’t want to disappoint Lorelai - go back to the schism. Lorelai didn’t have to expressly voice her disapproval of Logan - she’d been doing it for three years already and Rory had heard her many sermons on similar subjects since infancy. Harvard, not Yale, Rory doesn’t make the final decision to go to Yale though it’s obvious that’s what she wants & the blue/grey/white theme has been around since the pilot, till Lorelai lets her know it’s okay, she’s okay with it. At some point Lorelai has to stop telling Rory she’s going to find someone who she’ll be happy with and realize - Rory already has.


Does a baby solve anything? No, not really. What it does is make everyone take another look at what they’ve done & the choices they’ve made. Why is the girl that had a CHOICE poster on her wall in college keeping this baby? Is a 34 year old man going to make the same choices as a 16 year old boy? Does an adult Logan who keeps trying to choose Rory over and over again really have the lack of commitment that a 16 year old Christopher had? What I do know is that ASP has talked about there being more story to tell since she started talking about the revival. Rory’s journey to happiness is that final piece of the puzzle and I have no doubt that it won’t be the same as Lorelai’s. Lorelai’s experience with bringing up Rory as a single mom is where we start, not necessarily where we end.


What this portion of the revival did was fit into themes that tie back to the pilot and weave throughout the show - as Rory and logan’s story always has. It’s about more than two people that have loved one another for 12 years having an affair. It’s even about more than the fact that they clearly adore one another and are one another’s best friends and touchstones - they know EVERYTHING going on in the others lives and he’s the one she can’t quit subconsciously calling when things are starting to get out of sorts with Lorelai. Those are the things that the Sophie since 2004 in me loved, but the fan of the show that’s been analyzing it for 16 years also sees the themes revisited, the through lines of their story that’s been part of them since WITS and especially YJIJJ. This all fits within those stories that have been told before or calls back to them, waiting for their twist and turn to make the outcome uniquely theirs.


To me Gilmore Girls has ultimately been not about Rory being Lorelai or not being Lorelai or Emily approving of or understanding Lorelai’s choices or not. It’s about these people ultimately accepting that they’re not just carbon copies of one another - Trix again - and being okay with the choices they each make for their own happiness. Emily has done that with Lorelai, it’s now Lorelai’s turn to do that for Rory. That’s the true completion of the circle and a story I’m eager to see.

Epic Movie (Re)Watch Analysis - The Bond Actors

Note: designating a film as, “best,” and, “worst,” is born from averaging various critical ratings from sites like Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, and IMDb.

Originally posted by renegadism

Instead of, “ranking,” the Bond actors I think I’m just going to analyze them: talk about their strengths and weaknesses as a whole. Things like that. Because ranking Bonds is purely a matter of opinion and while I may talk about my opinion in this piece I will mainly talk about the 007′s.

Sean Connery (1963-1967, 1971)

Originally posted by esraa1993

Films: Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever

  • Best film: Goldfinger
  • Worst film: Diamonds Are Forever

Designation: The Tough Guy

Connery would define the Bond franchise and every Bond actor to follow, in both a good and bad way. His first four films are classics, with Goldfinger being the Bong film all others aspire to be. While You Only Live Twice hasn’t aged very well (it could quite possibly be the most racist and misogynistic film the series) it’s still not a bad film. Diamonds Are Forever was the beginning of over-the-top Bond with kinda campy elements, a category Connery didn’t fit well in (he also returned to the role because of a paycheck and it shows in his performance).

What makes Connery interesting to watch is that he was able to define who Bond was and so had a sort of free reign with the character. He was the most human of the 007′s until Daniel Craig came along, showing fear and anger often in his films. In those first four films you can tell he seems to be really enjoying the part, and therefore we enjoy watching him in them.

The reason Connery is designated as, “The Tough Guy,” of 007s is because he was very much a man’s man of the era. He hits women to interrogate them, but he’s also very rough with all the other villains and henchmen of the series too. Bond creator Ian Fleming was originally hesitant to see blue-collar Connery as the upper class 007 but was so impressed by his performance he changed Bond’s family tree to reflect Scottish heritage and that’s all because of Connery. 

George Lazenby (1969)

Originally posted by thefilmfatale

Films: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

  • Best film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  • Worst film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Designation: The Romantic

Designation one film as best or worst when it comes to George Lazenby is rather redundant because - unfortunately - he only appeared in one Bond film.

Lazenby gets a bad wrap, as most of the press had decided he would suck as James Bond before even seeing the film (mostly because he wasn’t Sean Connery). But here’s the thing: Lazenby isn’t a bad Bond and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is actually a VERY good movie. Bond has more personal stakes in it than he has in any other film, he is emotionally vulnerable and even cries in the film. He is more tender with women then Sean Connery was, and that is why he gets the designation of, “The Romantic,” Bond.

Roger Moore (1973-1985)

Originally posted by britishsecretservice

Films: Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill

  • Best film: The Spy Who Loved Me
  • Worst film: A View to a Kill

Designation: Gentleman Spy

When it comes to the quality of Roger Moore’s work on the 007s films (and the quality of the films themselves) it’s a bit of a roller coaster. You start off kinda high with Live and Let Die and then you drop down with The Man with the Golden Gun before skyrocketing with The Spy Who Loved Me. And while there’s a bump in the ride with Moonraker you stay on that high with For Your Eyes Only only to come down with Octopussy and A View to a Kill. Unfortunately, Moore’s tenure as Bond did drop because he stuck with the role for too long. He got too comfortable with it, and Bond became too comfortable, whereas Bond should always have a bit of edge to him.

Moore’s Bond was at his best when he wasn’t Sean Connery’s James Bond. This is one of the big reasons The Man with the Golden Gun suffered, as it felt like a better script for Sean Connery than Roger Moore. Moore’s Bond doesn’t hit women, he romances them and he is (to the best of his ability) a gentleman. Whenever anyone looks for, “generic James Bond,” they look to Roger Moore, and I don’t mean that as an insult but as an observation. He played the role longer then anyone else, in more films than anyone else, and he did play it less emotionally vulnerable than Lazenby and even with less fear/anger we sometimes saw Connery have.

At the end of the day all of Moore’s films are worth watching for one reason or another with the exception of Octopussy (you can even skip A View to a Kill but Christopher Walken is pretty good in it). He just overstayed his welcome a little.

Timothy Dalton (1987-1989)

Originally posted by taladarkiejj

Films: The Living Daylights, Licence to Kill

  • Best film: Licence to Kill
  • Worst film: The Living Daylights

Designation: The Rogue

Calling one Timothy Dalton film better than the other is actually kind of a stupid thing to do because they’re both pretty consistent in quality and they’re both very good. Dalton is a very refreshing change of pace from Roger Moore’s more relaxed James Bond as he goes back to a lot of what Sean Connery did well in his films: he shows fear, he gets angry (he’s probably the angriest of the Bonds), you can tell he’s a little vulnerable (although not as much as Lazenby) and all in all he’s VERY interesting to watch. I greatly enjoyed Dalton’s films, and the reason he is designated as, “The Rogue,” is because we see in his films - more than other Bond films - his personal sense of honor and justice actually outweigh his devotion to queen and country. This is best on display in Licence to Kill (I don’t know why they spell Licence that way) which is probably my favorite of his two 007 films.

Pierce Brosnan (1995-2002)

Originally posted by greatspacedustbin

Films: GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day

  • Best film: GoldenEye
  • Worst film: Die Another Day

Designation: The Near-Total Package

It was sorta difficult for me to designate Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond, for although he’s pretty good he doesn’t really bring anything new to the role. He’s like the middle ground between Sean Connery and Roger Moore: he’s smooth, he’s been doing this a while, he’s emotionally steady, BUT he’s still got a bit of those rough edges. It does make him interesting to watch, he’s not a bad Bond by any means, in fact he’s kind of a perfect representation of all the Bonds before him. He’s got Connery’s rough edges, Lazenby’s romanticism, Moore’s gentlemen nature, and even a bit of Dalton’s rogue tendencies.

When it comes to his films most people tend to agree that GoldenEye is the best of the bunch and Die Another Day should really just be avoided (it’s very cartoony but without the fun of a cartoon, and there is a lot of awful CGI). While people are also pretty harsh towards his other two films I actually greatly enjoyed The World is Not Enough despite Denise Richards less-than-desirable performance as the Bond girl. All in all, Brosnan was the perfect Bond to end a 40 year continuity on before rebooting the series with Daniel Craig.

Daniel Craig (2006-Present)

Originally posted by bridgetfrombudapest

Films: Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre

  • Best film: Casino Royale
  • Worst film: Quantum of Solace

Designation: The Raw Bond

I speak at great length in all of my (re)watches of the Daniel Craig Bond films as to why he’s the raw 007, but here’s the gist of it: a lot changed in terms of filmmaking between 2002 and 2006. Jason Bourne was now a lucrative franchise with the third film coming out a year after Casino Royale, and films such as Batman Begins and even 2002′s Spider-Man showed that audiences were interested in origin stories. Not only that, but Batman Begins proved that something which had gotten ridiculously campy and over the top could return to it’s darker roots very well. This film largely inspired producer Barbra Broccoli to reboot the Bond franchise with Casino Royale with a new continuity, and Craig is playing a Bond who has never been on a big ass mission before.

Craig is not the same Bond who has encountered Dr. No or Goldfinger before, everything he’s doing he’s doing for the first time and he’s really learning on the job. Casino Royale is the best example of this, as Bond is exceptionally raw and undisciplined in that film with a massive ego. As the films progress he grows into more a seasoned veteran (to the point of fault in Spectre) but he’s got just a little bit of edgy Jason Bourne type thrown into him to make him relevant. He’s still 007: he’s still slick and cool, but Craig is by far the most human James Bond ever showing fear, love, anger, sadness, all of it. And it makes for excellent character writing. Craig is, by far, my favorite 007.

Originally posted by artoftheautomobile


A little break in my standard Epic Movie (Re)Watch post but I thought it’d be fun to try something new. I don’t think I’ll do a, “rank the Bond films,” or, “rank the Bond girls,” or anything like that. I may write one more Bond analytical post but it might also be outside of my Epic Movie (Re)Watch and deal with, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” also. Anyway, if you guys enjoyed this format let me know!

anonymous asked:

forgive me if this has already been asked- what do you think of judy poovey's role in the secret history? i think that her outside perspective on the situation could have been interesting but it seemed like donna tartt reduced her a bit, to just wanting to sleep with richard

At last something about Judy! Actually, nobody has ever asked about her. 

I love Judy very much and I do think she is underused (or rather, that her role is key but very subtle) in The Secret History. Judy is the human one; the plebeian; the real world, so distasteful, so archaic for Richard that he chose to turn his back on it (despite it being very welcoming toward him) to enter a sheltered microcosmos where he would be doomed to remain a lesser creature; a mortal; an outsider.

Her perspective on the characters and situation is indeed very interesting : she expresses what the outside world thinks about the Greek class, and how people in their right mind should react to them. She’s not perfect herself, don’t get me wrong, but she displays mistrust towards the clique, reacts violently to their elitism, their privilege, and their overall struggle for dominance (over people who don’t care about them or their obsolete view of hierarchy). This is why she has a quarrel with Camilla, and judges Henry from afar. Worlds clashing instead of colliding.

Judy is reduced to a cliché through Richard’s objectifying gaze, but I think she does display more depth than what Richard chooses to see. Most notably, I don’t feel like her behaviour translates as “just wanting to sleep with Richard”. She cares after him, asking about his health, powering through his mood swings, offering him the only solace she is able to provide (drugs, pills, or affection). She has a motherly, loving side that Richard overlooks because it doesn’t fit the label he wants to stick on her forehead - namely, the whore (in comparison to Camilla’s sainthood), the idiot (in comparison to Henry’s genius), the girly girl (again versus Camilla’s lovely nonchalance, never talking about clothes, prettily clad but covered-up, make-up free, the androgynous vision).

What motivates his distate for Judy? Rampant misogyny, for one thing (a girl cannot be clever and serious when she pursues such superficial endeavours,  drama or fashion design; a girl cannot be deep if she is popular and fun-loving in a conventional way), and disgusting elitism : Richard is crippled with an inferiority complex that allows for his constant trying to escape his own condition, notably by trying to elevate himself over others (the plebeians again, the “normal” students in Hampden). Because he is supposedly not “like the others” (i. e., better than the others), because he firmly believes to be the hero of his story, he will not condescend to make friends with those who accept him and seem to care for him, but rather will stick along with those who fit his ideas of perfection and superiority.

Judy’s characterisation is in any case very limited, and very problematic. It may be solely because of Richard’s own stellar characterisation and consequent unreliable narration, which also throws a limiting and toxic light on Camilla’s character, or… or maybe Donna Tartt isn’t very good with female characters. The more I read and think about the girls in Tartt’s books, the more uncomfortable I feel. I don’t want Donna Tartt to suffer from internalised misogyny. I want to believe that her biting insight steers and drives the poisonous gaze of her male characters, and highlights the societal problems hidden underneath. I want to believe that all this is conscious. But the fact is, most of her female characters are under-developed, idealised, objectified, or even hollow —Camilla, Judy, Allison, Pippa, Kitsey, those are all tortured by her male protagonists, and exist only through the lens of the siffling, oppressive men in their lives.

No Separation

Characters- Rob x Reader, Richard, Jared, Jensen, Misha

Words- 4242(opps?)

Request by Anonymous- Can I get a Rob x Reader where the reader is apart of the supernatural cast and during a scene she really hurts her head and loses her memory and so the cast tries to help her remember and its kinda like Rob and the reader fall in love all over again, eventually she gets her memory back and he proposes to her.

Warnings- Memory loss, fluffy?

A/n- I’m sad

Tags- @ashiewesker @totallysupernaturaloneshots @whovianayesha @sammyxorae

Originally posted by painfulblisss

Originally posted by lamthetwickster

You always had fun running around the set with the guys. Jared felt the need to pull pranks on you today, mostly because he was bored. Not that you minded, you would just pull them back. Today you were lucky enough to have your boyfriend on set. Rob was playing Chuck/God. You liked having him on set. You met him when you joined in the show all the way back in season five. Something about him amazed you. From that moment on you two were inseparable, becoming really close friends. You guys did conventions together. But soon things changed and you felt something different for him, you were falling in love with Rob.

Rob felt the same way but neither of you wanted to say something in case it ruined your friendship. It was Richard who got you two together. He couldn’t stand being the one that you both talked to about. So he forced you two to admit your feeling for each other. That was four years ago. You spent all your time together and thanked Richard for doing what he did. He was just happy to finally have a moment of peace. Rob visited you quite often on set but now he was filming with you, which could be good or bad. He was a distraction from the boys who were extra annoying today. You guys were all on set messing with each other.

“You asked for it Y/n,” Jared warns throwing you over his shoulder.

“Put me down Jared!” You fight against him. You turn towards Jensen and Misha to help you but they just shrug. Rob walks on set and glares at Jared.

“What do we have here?” Rob’s voice made you look up at him.

“Tell Jared to put me down,” You pout, Rob smiles as Jared drops you.

“Party killer,” Jared walks away dramatically. Rob helps you up and kisses you.

“Save it for the bedroom kiddo’s,” Jensen shouts playfully at the two of you. Heat rises to your cheeks.

“You’re cute when you blush,” He pulls you into another kiss but you go back to filming.

Keep reading

joannalannister  asked:

Could you please tell me about all of your favorite historical ladies who did all the things that people always say women didn't do "back then"?

Oh yes, yes I can. Sit down and buckle up because you’re in for one hell of a ride.

If there’s one thing that makes me mad as hell, it’s people misunderstanding the role of women in history. It’s an easy assumption to make that in the past “women didn’t have the power to control kingdoms” due to the confines of gender roles. But it doesn’t change the fact that that is an erroneous assumption which is harmful to our contemporary understanding of women in history.

Why am I referencing an interview about a fictional television show set in a fantasy world, you may ask? I’m not here to complain about the various problems I have with Game of Thrones as an adaptation or the fact that it’s still being touted as “feminist” television. But this interview is a prime example of how these assumptions influence us as a society and our interpretations of the past as well as the damage these confined expectations of women can have.

Obviously this isn’t going to cover every woman everywhere at every point in history, that would be impossible. Also specifically this will be about MY faves so if anyone else’s fave isn’t here, it’s just purely due to personal preference, not that they didn’t contribute to history. (Also I only chose a few of my faves because I just got out of hospital and I’m having complications, sorry) For the sake of brevity, let me state that I am specifically dealing with some women from history who achieved a great deal in their respective times by crossing the traditional boundaries imposed upon them by men. This is not to say women who achieved a great deal within traditional gender confines are not important or contribute nothing to modern understanding of women’s history. The focus of this is specifically women who may have done that which was/is seen as specifically male in its domain.

Now that is all said and done, let’s get to the best part aka the ladies.

Keep reading

telegraph.co.uk
Tom Hiddleston on why his Night Manager character could be the next 007

The BBC’s devilishly enjoyable adaptation of John le Carré’s The Night Manager premiered last Sunday and immediately announced itself as event television. Take the credits sequence – all morphing Martini glasses and crashing chandeliers, it was a mere Shirley Bassey solo away from stealing James Bond’s tux and making off with his audience.

Tom Hiddleston, in the title role of soldier-turned-hotelier-turned-spy Jonathan Pine, certainly scrubbed up impeccably, giving us a smoother (and younger) hero than the one who slinked through the pages of Le Carré’s 1993 novel.

It wasn’t just a matter of cutting a dash, though. The 35-year-old Englishman, a Shakespeare veteran best known to global film fans for his role as Loki in the Marvel comics franchise, hasn’t skimped on his homework either. He never does. Every close-up shows him thinking his way carefully into this part, turning the whole enterprise into a cunning chess game.

“The opening paragraph of chapter two of the novel is emblazoned on the inside of my brain,” says Hiddleston, looking supremely dapper as usual in a Berlin hotel bar. “It says, ‘Jonathan Pine, graduate of a rainy archipelago of orphanages, foster homes, half-mothers, cadet units and training camps, sometime army wolf-child with a special unit in Northern Ireland…’ So you get the sense that Pine’s wasn’t an upbringing of enormous privilege, but his service in the Army and hotel management has given him this access to the manners and the milieu of the very wealthy.”

The crucial upshot of this is gaining the trust of arms dealer Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie), “the worst man in the world”, and using this to report back on his nefarious activities to British intelligence. Roper is part Bond villain, part mirror image of Pine – both are interlopers in the English class system drawn to each other’s opportunism and drive. It’s a lot of fun, of course, but Hiddleston takes the role a little more seriously than that – he’s happy to think through the real-world implications of this plot, which has been extensively updated from Le Carré’s book, for instance by moving the timeline to just after the Arab Spring in 2011.

“There must be people like Pine,” he decides. “I remember being fascinated by the debate last November on whether the UK should join air strikes against Islamic State. All we got was that intelligence had come from the 'highest level’. I’ve listened to John le Carré talk about what happens in those meetings. There must be people who are truly hidden from society, gathering intelligence about targets, about numbers of troops, about weapons and so on.”

Early reactions to The Night Manager have found it hard to shake off the James Bond parallels, even going so far as to suggest that it feels like a virtual audition piece for Hiddleston as 007.

“I’ve been getting a lot of that,” he admits. “There are similarities insofar as Pine and Bond are granted a licence above and beyond the law to do bad things for the greater good. Bond has a 00 licence to kill. I don’t know if Pine is a 00 just yet…”

“Nobody would say no to Bond!” interjects Hiddleston’s director, the Oscar-winning Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier, who is making her first inroad into long-form drama with this series. “Even if you ask Olivia Colman, she’s going to want to play Bond. Or any director. It’s part of the air we breathe.”

The glorious Colman, hiding a pregnancy bump under some heavy jumpers, plays Angela Burr, the spymaster who recruits Pine and installs him at the heart of Roper’s operation. In the book, Angela was a Leonard, but Bier leapt at the chance to do a gender switch.

“Part of my worry about a contemporary spy thing,” she says, “was that you’re going to alienate the entire female audience. Because you’re gonna relive that world of men having been to public schools, having more or less got the same education. And I think it’s slightly dusty. The real world is somewhat more diverse, and we have to reflect that.”

You won’t catch her implying that Le Carré’s worldview is sexist, however. “He has a very contemporary mind,” she explains. “I think he was pretty adamant to make it current.”

The process of updating the book while also satisfying Le Carré’s legion of fans was helped by the writer’s own input – Bier says that keeping him happy was a high priority. “Through him we actually got access to a whole network of spies, of people working within the weapons industry. To me as a director, almost the most frightening aspect is that people who deal with weapons might as well be dealing with luxury cars. Can it be this easy not to be found out? Apparently it is.”

Hiddleston does a pretty spot-on impression of Laurie, tilting his head with a “Well, I, erm…” that conjures pure Bertie Wooster. He calls his co-star “an extraordinary mixture of deep seriousness and irreverence” who is “painfully honest” with himself. Bier says that a resolute loathing of hypocrisy unites both men. She’s curious to know if Hiddleston ever contemplated being a spy when he was younger. “I thought about it! But I just thought my personality is too visible, in a way. I’m not disposed to secrecy.”

An actor who doesn’t like camouflage? Here Hiddleston finds himself playing a character who goes by four different aliases, and conceals his true identity from almost everyone.

“That was the challenge and the thrill of it. In every scene I had to hide sufficiently that Roper and Co aren’t smelling a rat, but not hide so much that I’m hiding from the audience. I liked the idea that there is anonymity in uniform. He finds security in the silhouette of someone who is of service. But then you scratch behind that, and what is his centre?”

Especially that, but I should have known

The worst part is, he knows better. (That is not the worst part; Percival, you of all people should know, the worst part is rarely so simple.)

Title from Richard Siken’s “Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out”

The worst part is, he knows better.

(That is not the worst part; the worst part is the flicker of warmth somewhere deep within his ribcage as she steps up next to him, unaware of the danger he will bring upon her.)

He knows better even as he reaches forward, knows better as his hands brush against surprisingly warm leather; he has known better from the moment she joined him looking over this tomb, eyes bright and curious.

(It wanted to be touched, he tells himself afterwards, in the dark of night. It called to him. He could not help himself.)

(That is a lie too. He knows the call of darkness. Here is the worst part: it was nothing but idle curiosity.)

(Curiosity killed the cat, but Percival has always taken after creatures of the air; the crow knows how to slip out of a trap.)

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

So I have noticed that you are very pro-revival. I'm having a hard time getting to that happiness about the revival. I was wondering if you could walk me through a couple things. First and for most, the ending. You keep saying that there was closure... I don't see closure I just see unanswered questions. Second, I really didn't understand emily's change in character. She did a total 180 and I feel like she was kind of cruel to Lorelei. Help?

I think the first thing to understand is; the word closure needs to be taken pretty openly.

I did get a lot of closure. For me there are three people you look to for this; Lorelai, Rory and Emily. There who we all want it in. So one at a time. 

I think, most obviously, we got it for Lorelai. From the very beginning of the series we see Lorelai as this woman who, despite keeping up this veneer of a happy-go-lucky wonder woman, is extremely vulnerable, insecure and flawed. One of her biggest insecurities being the idea of finding the “whole package”. I mean, how many times did we here Emily and Richard complain that she wasn’t married, or the town remark on how she was single. For me the end of the revival did two things; we finally see Lorelai work on embracing these flaws and let down her shield a little bit. I think this can be seen in her allowing Rory to go ahead with the book, opening up to Emily about the day in the mall with Richard and finally confronting Luke about getting married. Seeing Luke and Lorelai finally get married gave me such incredible closure on their arc. I think the scene in the kitchen when Luke lays out how he feels and how he will never ever leave her really gave me a sense of “everything will be okay for them”. They’ll always have issues with communication and they’ll always bitter; but they’ll be okay and they’re happy and thats what counts.

With Emily, again I felt a great sense of closure. I think for Emily its hard to describe. We see her in the beginning floundering to understand how to live her life without Richard. She’s alone in this massive house, her days are empty and nothing brings her joy because she is broken without him. I think what gave me closure in the end for her was this 180. We see her go from such uncertainty, to finally living a life she feels happy and comfortable in. her entire life had been dedicated to being Richard’s wife, without his this crucial part of her identity was removed. She found new focus with her job, she moved out to a smaller space where she wasn’t so alone and she found a little family who, in many ways, took her in as opposed to the other way around. I love that Rose Abdoo played Berta, because it brings that essence of Stars Hollow into Emily’s life. I think her final scene with Lorelai, about the loan, is also very telling. We all know it repeats the dialogue from the pilot. However, it’s Emily speaking and not Richard. This shows us how independent she now is and how she has learned in the past year to take over that role. She isn’t defined by being his wife and has learned to be independent. She’s not putting him behind her by any means, but she’s learning to survive without him. In the end, we see her finally get what she wants with that small portrait of Richard and, most importantly we see her on a journey to being okay, and finally happy. She has a support system and I know that she’ll be okay. Knowing this, gave me closure.

Rory is more tricky. For me, the growth Rory takes in the revival is what gave me closer. She is able to put leaning on Logan as an emotional crutch behind her. She realises she can do it alone. That she doesn’t need his house to write in, or to run to him when things get hard; that she’s stronger than that. This was a journey for her certainly, but I found it so satisfying seeing her come out of that. I also think the direction her career takes gave me a sense of closure. The revival showed a Rory lost and confused with no direction. We see her finally get a sense if where she’s going and once again finds something that she is passionate about; which we don’t see in the revival until this point. Crazy as it sounds, the pregnancy also was okay and not a crazy cliffhanger for me. I am okay leaving Rory with this because; I know she will be okay. I know that baby will be so loved and taken care of by not just her, but Lorelai, Luke, Emily and the entire town. It’s not Lorelai getting pregnant and having to run way at 16. It’s not this tragic thing that all end her life and destroy her potential. It’s the opposite, and I know she’s strong enough to do this, and I think she does too after her discussion with Christopher.  I know she didn’t pick a guy, but she’s 32. She has so much time to find love!! With Rory what I think is key to remember is her age. At 32, will your life be fully resolved and happy ever after? No. Was Lorelai married at, or even near settled in the Pilot at 32? Hello no! Rory still has most of her life ahead of her and I think it would be crazy to see her totally settled. 

At the end of the day this is a show grounded in reality. It’s a show about real people. And, in the real world, sadly we don’t get clear closure. Lorelai says it herself about her dads passing; there was no storybook moment. Life just happens; you can’t plan for it and it never will ever be resolved.

I think it would be bad writing for a show like this to offer a full happy ever after’s worth of closure. But, for me, here is why I think they gave us just enough; because each of them went on a healing journey and in the end we see them all okay. What’s more, we see them all happy, or on the road to happiness. That is what I derive my closure from, because life will never resolve itself and all I could ever hope for them is that they’re happy.

dr strange review...

(warning: very long post. sincere apologies for dash pollution).

so… first of all; this is a marvel origin movie. so from the outset yes; doctor strange follows a certain formula both in terms of narrative and (to a degree) tone. but it is the original origin movie from which so many others borrowed so… that in itself deserves respect.

and in terms of respect – to my favourite marvel character (apart from storm but bryan singer ruined that but… oh sorry anyway); this film is steeped in the greatest fanboying respect on every level. and it fills me with love and gratitude every time i see it.

even though it was set in 2016, i loved the 1970s vibe to reference the era of the comics; “feels so good” by chuck mangione, the sitar and the lead guitar overlay in giacchino’s score, the loving homage to kung fu movies of the same era, the bleached, watercolour palette reminiscent of kodachrome slides and andrei tarkovski films. it was perfect; and yet also updated.

As stephen strange m.d, i loved how he didn’t have his goatee to begin with (unlike the comics). his goatee then becomes a more controlled reminder of his “man in a crisis” wild beard at his lowest, rather than a return to his old self. (goddamn it benedict you even made a beard poignant).

his arrogance as a surgeon was also humanised a great deal (thank god; stephen m.d. in early canon is pretty much a joyless arse). i.e. he is really someone in self-imposed exile. BC still exudes warmth and somehow loss - and if you know the canon and his tragic role in the death of his sister donna, this is what motivated stephen to become a doctor in the first place. his self-protection comes from a burning place of self-hatred and failure. and benedict played that even if we didn’t know why.

he’s totally believable as a neurosurgeon; his arrogance is kind of deserved as he shows incredible focus and self-control. The “doctor west. cover your watch” moment is not only incredibly hot; it sums up his domination perfectly.

And the voice benedict creates for stephen. i mean we think we’ve seen BC’s arsenal and then he does something completely new. how many actors not only transform emotionally and physically but also.. tonally? like streep. day lewis. and… yeah that’s all i can think of. BC forged a NY drawl so deep that when he’s talking to christine and kaecilius, he’s practically subsonic. it’s astonishing actually. 

 and the chemistry between stephen and christine was spiky and electric and full of broken love. i will fight anyone who says that another great actress was lost playing a worried girlfriend. christine is nobody’s girlfriend, plus she saves two lives (as scott has pointed out). and at the end; she’s the one who walks away leaving stephen crying. perfection.

the inevitable car crash scene – at least post-impact - was too short for me. i really really missed the underwater shots we first saw in the teaser; whilst the crash was excruciatingly filmed and was brutal, i kind of felt we didn’t suffer with him as much.and i loved that symbolic shot of his extended hands submerged in the water…

the cinematography was superb; i loved the palette evolution. the glare of NY presbyterian hospital quickly fades to bleak new york winter (but at least we got snugglebatch…). & then moving into a bleached, archival Nepal that almost looked like it was filmed on kodachrome (again a beautiful nostalgic nod alongside giacchino’s score that reminded me of Lawrence of Arabia or anything by john williams). 

so much has been written of the magical mystery tour but… fuck it. it broke down every comic book movie barrier there has been to date. It was escher meets ditko meets kubrick and yet was breathtakingly new. my fave moment in the entire film; my DNA moment was seeing stephen’s stupefied body float across the screen whilst tilda’s serene yet probing, slightly disdainful voice asks who are you mister strange? in this vast multiverse? and stephen is like the embryo in kubrick’s 2001. And also like robinson crusoe on the shores of the cosmos. It’s beautiful and hopeful and terrifying.

 i felt that (but understood why) the time we saw at kamar taj was so short; i wanted to see stephen fail time and time again. and get beaten and cajoled and protected by mordo more. but i did love that wong also become his champion and mentor. 7 the thorn in his side…. even more than mordo. benedict wong is an incredible tour de force and i cannot wait to see more of him – and his Wong – in the sequel…

for me the music in the sanctuary at kamar taj was a definite homage to raiders of the lost ark. my main complaints with the music was that the brilliant main theme was held back until the credits. it should have been echoed more during the film to bleed into our subconscious. 

The “mister doctor” thing, while being one of the film’s better jokes, was actually one of the core themes explored beautifully in the post-astral fight scene. when stephen still identifies himself by his profession as an attempt of seem noble (to himself), mordo and TAO point out it is in fact hitherto one of the least noble things about him. sorry to get heavy here but it made me think about my, and other’s sense of self worth defined by work and work alone…

in terms of the supporting cast, i thought chiwetel, benedict w and mads were somewhat short-changed (but then it is stephen’s story…) but i missed their backstories and therefore clearer motivation.

and in regards to the ancient one; i have said this before but i do think there was capacity for an actor of asian descent to play that role whilst subverting it. but in this film, tilda was titanic in her performance and tbh i’d love to see her nominated. she’s a sage and a provocateur, wise and deeply dangerous. the first scene with BC at K-T i could watch forever; her little impish smile when stephen asks if her treatment is experimental…

now… benedict’s performance. ok i have no qualms anymore about where to place this; this is second most complete and skillful performance after Richard III. as scott has told us endlessly, it takes a great actor to traverse the entire human spectrum of emotional depth and self-discovery in a way that is sympathetic, compelling, shocking and poignant. and he did that. and the amount of times he cries beautifully throughout the film… and the physical prowess he attains was joyous. i remember danny boyle saying that BC is like a racehorse, a machine that needs to keep moving and yep… there it is again. i could watch him vault banisters all day. 

his american accent was almost perfect imv. in fact it was effortless by the end scenes which probably coincided with the fact that scott filmed it in sequence. my only issue (and tbh i found it enormously endearing; BC struggled with the world “powers” repeatedly. paaahwaaarrrrrs… :-)

i loved the (now well-documented) subversion of the marvel “let’s blow up a city and have a portal opened only to close it just in time” trope by reversing the destruction of hong kong; and have stephen go through the portal.  

and he won not through brute force but by intellectual bargaining. which to me was one of the most potent and moving homages to the doctor strange i’ve known since the 1980s. in the comics - esp the early ones - he’s incredibly intense and often wins battles through outwitting his opponent with strategic use of magic; hardly ever through physicality.  

and i may or may not have cried a little as stephen won the battle by failing. over and over again. remember TAO telling him before she died that it was his fear of failure that kept him from greatness. so he endures endless suffering (scott derrickson says stephen died in the dark dimension at least a thousand times…).

someone cleverly noted the smashed pattern of the christine watch matches the seal of vishanti. time was obviously everything and i loved how the infinity stone was introduced right at the very end. and whilst i loved the playful sentience of the cloak of levitation, i mostly loved that moment at the end in kamar taj where it silently chides him for oscillating as to whether return the time stone or not. it became his conscience.

so confession time :-) i have now seen this film…um, more than five times. and i will see it again. the last time I saw something in the theatre so repeatedly would have been when I was 11 (Star Wars episode iv). it’s a perfect love letter, whilst also being a technical and aesthetic marvel (ha). 

and it’s so far beyond what I hoped for, really.