Queen to Play – original title Joueuse – is a little-known French film that is quiet, beautiful and ultimately uplifting. Released in French in 2009, it’s available on Netflix and Amazon Prime. I think you’ll love it. Beware, spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Queen to Play: Small and Beautiful”
I’m hooked on Katniss Everdeen and looking forward to the next film in the trilogy. Here’s something to give you hints about what you can expect.
This IMAX Behind the Frame look the upcoming movie The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It includes comments from Jennifer Lawrence and director Francis Lawrence.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is due out in late November for the Thanksgiving weekend.
Gravity opens today on many screens. It should be a huge hit simply because of the its visual achievements.
Gravity has an IMAX 3D version. If you live in a place where you can view IMAX, you may want to view it that way. This promo includes some NASA astronauts who comment on the reality of the film.
Enough Said met all my expectations. I thought it would be funny – it was. I thought it would be charming – it was. I thought the cast would be superlative – they were. I thought it would be an outstanding example of storytelling from a female writer, a female director, and a female star – it was.
Enough Said, written and directed by Nicole Holofcener (pictured at the top), is about love and family and trusting yourself and about letting people be who they are. There are a number of storylines running through Enough Said. The basic story between Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Eva and James Gandolfini as Albert is a girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy kind of romance. The twists in this timeless plot are provided by the insecurities in Eva and her lack of trust in her own judgment. Subplots abound from the supporting characters, including Albert and Eva’s daughters who are both heading off to college. Catherine Keener plays Albert’s ex-wife, who savors a poisonous penchant for dishing about Albert’s quirks. Toni Collette and Ben Falcone play friends of Eva’s with their own set of quirks.
It’s a simple, quiet story about characters who feel absolutely real and who make you laugh. In this tale about a woman, there are no gun battles and no crazy sci fi plot points. It’s refreshing. Bring me dozens more of these, please.
I completely recommend Enough Said.
Marvel is doing something marvelous for girls who are interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) around the release of Thor: The Dark World. The program is called Ultimate Mentor Adventure. Here’s how it works.
Natalie Portman, who plays Jane Foster, an astrophysicist, in Thor: The Dark World describes the program in a video you can see here.
- Girls from the U.S. in grades 9 – 12 can apply. The minimum age is 14.
- Each girl is connected to a mentor who is working in a field in which the girl is interested.
- The girl interviews the mentor and makes a video.
- The videos are entered in the contest.
- The winner gets to go to the opening of Thor: The Dark World in California and see the video they made shown along with the film. The winner also gets to go behind the scenes at the movie.
A girl really cannot lose by participating in this mentor adventure. Just by participating she gets to meet a woman in a position she wants to know more about. The girls get help finding the mentors and making the videos. Everyone who participates will have a positive experience whether she wins or not.
Kudos to Marvel for this brilliant idea.
The other day Sarah Shahi tweeted a pic of her and Amy Acker working together on Person of Interest.
— Sarah Shahi (@onlysarahshahi) September 12, 2013
Sarah Shahi and Amy Acker: I think that’s an interesting combination of stars. Two people that you might not ever expect to see work together and there they are, working together. Look at some of the combinations we are accustomed to seeing – Samira Wiley and Danielle Brooks, Anna Silk and Ksenia Solo, Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, Ellen Pompeo and Sandra Oh – once we get to know the characters the choices seem inevitable. But up until the moment they were cast and the contracts were signed, all the choices were open.
It made me think about dream actress pairings.
Let’s play casting director!
If you could pair up any two actresses to star in a new movie (or TV show) who would you pick? For our movie let’s say the two are not related but instead are friends or coworkers – or lovers. They are strong, smart, and the lead actors in whatever drama we imagine for them.
I’m picking Ashley Judd and Jennifer Beals. Here are my reasons.
- As far as I know they’ve never appeared together. Teaming up with someone new is the point.
- They are both in their 40s, so the movie doesn’t have to be a “let’s find true love and mate for life” kind of romantic comedy.
- They are both in their 40s, but that doesn’t rule out love stories if the movie needs to include that kind of story. It just shouldn’t be the only thing going on.
- They are both kick ass. Ashley proved she can do the action stuff in her TV series Missing. Jennifer kicked butt in her TV series Chicago Code. So if the movie is about catching bad guys, these two can handle it.
- They are both smart. I’d like to see a story where two leading women characters get to do something smart and clever. If it was a political drama or courtroom drama they could be smart and savvy and make long lines of dialog sound meaningful.
- They are both terrific actors who are under appreciated in the awards department.
- I like them both and will watch anything they do.
I could go on naming combinations of actresses I’d like to see work together as lead characters, but I want to hear your ideas. Who do you think would be an interesting pair-up?
A couple of interesting documentaries caught my eye recently. Even though they are very different, they are both about equality.
The first, CinemAbility, is about equal treatment of the disabled. It’s about a movement to portray disabled people in film and pop culture realistically. If you read my post We Need More Young Geeky Female Role Models on TV, you know that I think media has a huge influence on culture.
Inequality for All is about the American economy and the shrinking of the middle class.
If you have seen either of these films, I’d love to hear your thoughts about them.
Do you have fun at magic shows? Can you react to a trick with a 6-year-old’s sense of delight? If the answer is yes, you are going to really enjoy this magic show of a movie. Now You See Me is a magic act wrapped up in a heist movie and featuring a Robin Hood style plot.
The people who get to play with the magic of misdirection, mystery, and childlike wonderment in Now You See Me are Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Melanie Laurent, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman.
The plot is about
- 4 magicians who steal millions and give it to citizens who have somehow been harmed by big banks, big insurance companies, or fat cats
- an FBI guy and a woman from Interpol who chase the four
- a former magician who makes his living debunking magic by explaining the tricks
- a rich guy who is sponsoring the magicians on a world wide tour
That’s all I’m going to say about the plot, because everything about this movie is unexpected and I don’t want to give you even the simplest of spoilers.
You can get the flavor from these two official trailers.
The second official trailer has some of the same material, but it’s different, too.
This movie isn’t deep. It doesn’t have haunting characters and important themes. But it sure is fun.
Delightful, in fact.
It was just released on DVD, so if you missed the theatrical release you can get it now. Have you seen it? What was your opinion of Now You See Me?