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)

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