Watch it.

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

“Why can’t people see the good things in front of them?”

“They think they have time for it later.”

List (2011) (via CinemaBravo)

Late Bloomer…

Bill Pullman was 32 years old when he starred in his first film, 1986’s Ruthless People. This is, he notes, at least a decade later than most movie stars get their big break. “The term ‘late bloomer’ sounds awfully like loser, but I guess it’s what I am,” he says. “It sounds to me like a politically correct term for: ‘You’re stupid. Why did you take so long?’” …

Pullman talks in a low, laconic drawl but his eyes are bright and full of mischief. He has the air of a man quietly enjoying a joke that he’s not sharing with the class. When he’s not travelling for work, Pullman and his wife, the dancer Tamara Hurwitz, divide their time between Beachwood Canyon, Los Angeles, and a cattle ranch in Montana that he has co-owned with his brother for 30 years. Nowadays he is mostly in charge of infrastructure – fence mending, irrigation and so on – although when his three children were young they spent long summers there, during which Pullman would roll up his sleeves and muck in. “If you’re having to plug meds up the butt of some beast, a lot of other things seem very manageable,” he says…

The last few years have been mostly taken up with The Sinner, the detective series in which he plays a grizzled cop grappling with past trauma. After the success of the first season, it was recommissioned as an anthology series, with Pullman’s character as the only constant. “I was really scared signing up for it,” he admits. “I admire actors who find joy in doing eight or nine seasons of the same thing, but my mind is too crazy. I thought I’d wither on the vine. But the showrunner Derek Simonds was great and we would talk before every season about where the story would go. So I never did get bored.” …As an actor, he says, “you want it to be lively, you want to hear ideas that you haven’t heard spoken communally in a while. You want to feel that charged energy of simple entrances and exits.”

Pullman adds that he has always enjoyed the fact that when strangers approach him to say “I really like you in … ”, he can never predict what film they will say. “I have no idea whether they’re going to say Casper or Spaceballs or The Sinner. To have that variety in my work makes me feel lucky. I always wanted to be the vessel, where I could get possessed by something.”

—  Louis Wise, from “Interview with Bill Pullman: ‘In acting, you can order the world’” (The Guardian, June 21, 2022)

Watch it.


Great movie. Great cinematography. Great music. Must watch. Thank you Susan.

Watch it. Full stop.

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

Caleb’s stage name is Jamal.  From: Jamal / A Camel(1981) dir. Ibrahim Shaddad


Notes:

Lightly Child, Lightly


Notes:

Sunday Morning. A Minute of Silence.

Tom Hanks as Mr. Fred Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” With an all-star performance by Matthew Rhys.  Movie, Highly Recommended.

Go Scarlett (Oscars 8pm)

Even for the smartest and most talented actors, there are far more ways for a movie to fall short than succeed, so it’s a rare moment when project after project clicks seamlessly into place. Right now, Scarlett Johansson is clearly having such a moment. Earlier in the year, she played a pivotal role in what has become the highest-grossing movie of all time worldwide, Avengers: Endgame, and filming has just wrapped for the standalone movie about her character, Black Widow, scheduled for release in May. Meanwhile, her performances in two recent, smaller-scale movies, the searing relationship drama Marriage Story and the extraordinary, off-kilter Nazi-era comedy Jojo Rabbit, are drawing sustained acclaim; for the former she is widely considered a contender for best actress.

All of which seems to leave Johansson quietly proud, but also uneasy.

“I worked really hard for a really long time…So maybe this is the result of that.” There’s a carefulness about Johansson as she says this, not the kind that implies insecurity or a lack of self-belief, more that she is used to being someone for whom it is almost always too soon to really celebrate. “I definitely am the type of person who’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop,” she reflects. “But I’m learning to change that habit.”

~ Chris Heath, Best-Actress Contender Scarlett Johansson on Movies, Marriages, and Controversies (Vanity Fair, Nov 26, 2019)


Photographs of Scarlett Johannson by Andy Gotts

T.G.I.F.: Shuffle, ball, step. Shuffle, ball, lunge.


Source of Image via alamy.com from original Film Title – Mr. Popper’s Penguins (2011). Star: Jim Carrey.   (via Mennyfox55)

Catholic, Non-Catholic. Believe. Don’t Believe. But Watch.

Of course I have sinned….
As a child, I have failed you first by not having the courage to taste of life itself.
Instead, I hid away in books, and then study.
I know now this left me empty and void of the world.

Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict XVI in The Two Popes (Netflix, 2019)


If you’re going to make a movie about what’s holy, it had better be outstanding — and this drama rises to the occasion.” ~ Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media

De Niro + Pacino + Joe Pesci = Must See TV

We get together and talk, compare notes,” De Niro explained. “Not quite miss each other. We might miss each other.”

Perhaps most surprising of all is that at a moment when they could easily rest on their laurels — and have sometimes been accused of doing just that — Pacino, 79, and De Niro, 76, continue to care immensely about their craft…

But the actors found it a delicate task to explain why this facet of the film appealed to them and for obvious reasons: Who wants to admit that he is nearer to the end of things than to the beginning? As Mann put it, “Does one walk around thinking, oh, I’m an elder statesman now? Or do you still secretly think, who am I going to be when I grow up?”

With some hesitation, De Niro said that he and Pacino had to reckon with the existential questions that “The Irishman” raises.

“We’re at a point where we’re getting closer to seeing” — he made an oscillating, over-the-hill hand gesture as he sought the right words — “I don’t want to say the end, but the horizon,” De Niro said. “The beginning of the tip around and to the other side.”

De Niro and Pacino Have Always Connected. Just Rarely Onscreen. The Irishman is officially only the third time they’ve collaborated, but over the years they often turned to one another. Who else could understand?” (New York Times, October 25, 2019)

Sunday Morning

As Harold took a bite of Bavarian sugar cookie he finally felt as if everything was going to be okay. Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair…in routine and constancy…. in hopelessness and tragedy… we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And fortunately, when there aren’t any cookies… we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin…or a kind and loving gesture… or a subtle encouragement… or a loving embrace… or an offer of comfort.  Not to mention hospital gurneys… and nose plugs…and uneaten Danish… and soft-spoken secrets… and Fender Stratocasters…and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things… the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties…which we assume only accessorize our days… are, in fact, here for a much larger and nobler cause: They are here to save our lives.  I know the idea seems strange. But I also know that it just so happens to be true. And so it was…

~ Emma Thompson, as Karen Eiffel, from the closing lines in Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

Sawsan says: “Watch it.” You watch it. Yes you do.


Green Book” – rent on Amazon Prime.

T.G.I.F.: Let’s Go Bert Box


Watch Bird Box on Netflix. (via Your Eyes Blaze Out)

Incognito

With star turns in last year’s “Lady Bird” and the new period epic “Mary Queen of Scots,” out Dec. 7, the Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, 24, has catapulted into Hollywood’s top ranks. But she prefers to spend her off time out of the limelight: The 24-year-old’s favorite pastimes include knitting, cooking and reading history. “I don’t go to a lot of clubs because I’m busy knitting,” she jokes. “I just knit and read history books.” She laughs and shakes her head, adding, “Now nobody will want to read this interview.” …

She’s read a lot of history books to study for her roles, but she says her script choices are more emotionally than strategically driven. “It’s like a chemistry thing,” she says…She found revisiting her emotions “quite therapeutic,” she says. “It can really help get something out of your system or help you understand why you’re feeling a certain way or just be more in touch with how you’re feeling.”

That self-aware groundedness is part of what keeps her close to home in Ireland when she isn’t working. A self-described homebody, she lives outside Dublin, near where she grew up. Her father is an actor and her mother a homemaker…

She enjoys remaining incognito at the grocery store. Her relaxed attire helps. While she says her style changes all the time, she thinks she tends to dress like a “cool Scandinavian mother.” When I look at her quizzically, she describes loose, high-waisted pants and flowing shirts. “They’re not necessarily Scandinavian, but I just mean mothers who have just had a baby,” she explains. “I look a bit like a mother of one who’s gone mad in Anthropologie.”

Alexandra Wolfe, from “Saoirse Ronan Would Rather Be Knitting” – The ascendant star, now playing ‘Mary Queen of Scots,’ prefers to spend her off-time out of the limelight—and get through the grocery store incognito (wsj.com, Dec 7, 2018)

“Darkest Hour”: Oldman, Wow, the brightest light

The hours of makeup meant Oldman often arrived on set at 3 a.m. His average day, he estimates, was 19 hours long. By the time the rest of the cast and crew arrived, Oldman was already in character. “Joe never saw me as Gary for three months,” says the actor. “If you’re going to do a part like this, you can’t go in kicking and screaming about the makeup. You’ve got to surrender to it,” Oldman says. “Maybe day 45 you come in, you’re sleep deprived and you’re a bit grumpy. But the fruits of it were such that I could put myself in a frame of mind. Once it was all in, I was in it. I had a ball. My thinking was that if at 65, Churchill could take on Hitler, then I could sit in a makeup chair for three hours.”

– CBS News, from “Gary Oldman on becoming Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour

Gary Oldman, 59, won best Actor for his performance on the “Darkest Hour”, in addition to winning the honor at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs and Screen Actors Guild Awards.  If you haven’t seen the flick, it is highly recommended. He (and his make-up) are amazing…


Portraits: Gary Oldman, Winston Churchill and Oldman as Churchill (via National Post)

Lady Bird

Haven’t seen Lady Bird? Watch it.


 

There was an atmosphere that was almost holy…

On Monday night, hours after Daniel Day-Lewis received his eighth Golden Globe nomination, he arrived at the stately Harold Pratt House on Park Avenue to toast the New York premiere of the movie that had earned him the nod, “Phantom Thread,” in which he portrays the renowned British dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock…

He strode onto the red carpet at 10:30 p.m., where dozens of photographers and reporters had camped out. He posed with his co-stars Lesley Manville and Vicky Krieps, and the film’s director, Paul Thomas Anderson. Then he turned around and promptly disappeared, without taking a single question. It appears that Mr. Day-Lewis, the only performer to win three Academy Awards in the best actor category, was not kidding when he announced in June that he would be retiring after this film.

The film has a meditative quality that the actors found deeply moving…“The set was so quiet and almost spiritual in a way. There was an atmosphere that was almost holy” said Vicky Krieps.

Valeriya Safronov, from Daniel Day-Lewis Makes an Appearance at His Own Film Party (The New York Times, Dec. 12, 2017)

Critics’ Consensus: “Engrossing and affecting”

8-part miniseries.

I started and didn’t stop until it was over.

Yes, that good.  

Find it on Netflix or Discovery Channel.

Rotten Tomatoes Review: 95%. Critics Consensus: Engrossing and affecting.

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