February 5, 2016
by melissa
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Smart ladies love lists, Pop-culture-a-go-go, February 5, 2016

via GIPHY

Every week, I post what I have been listening to, watching and reading lately.

Listening

I have been spending an inordinate amount of time listening to music lately, mostly for Off Your Radar, a newsletter (via tiny letter), which I am honored to be a part of. Each week, one of the fifteen writers suggests a record that maybe didn’t get as much attention as it should have, writes about their experience with it, and the other writers listens to it and writes their own reactions to it.  The first one was my selection, Standard Fare’s The Noyelle Beat. We only promoted it for about a week and it got over a thousand subscribers, which makes me think that people really want to (re)discover music, and also that they love reading smart criticism.

I’ve been listening to the next selection, Gang Starr’s Moment of Truth, but also the next four that have been selected. We try to be positive, which has already trained me to listen to music differently. I spend more time with music and can’t really make snap judgments, like I often do for this feature (which, don’t worry, that’s coming up next).

When I heard the strong synth sounds of “Quiet Americans,” I knew I would add Jet Plane and Oxbow to my pile of Shearwater LPs.

AHHHH SO GOOD. Plus, from the look of this video, I would like to think Jonathan Meiburg is as obsessed with “Johnny and Mary” as I am.

Also this Beverly song:

The new Frankie Cosmos:

And how AMAZING is this video-game inspired clip from KING??

Watching

I haven’t posted as much about Crazy Ex Girlfriend as perhaps as I have wanted to, although I really want people to watch it; however, the show is moving in a really interesting direction. As Rebecca has more and more distance from her former life in New York, she is becoming sadder as her self-awareness increases, but hasn’t yet hit rock bottom. Even as the cringe factor (and amazing songs, BTW) continues each week, the show’s greater focus is slowing creeping in: Rebecca is becoming a self-actualized woman. It’s so fantastic to see such a feminist story on television.

via GIPHY

Did you see Grease Live on Sunday? I was trying to finish up our SAG fashion recap post, but I kept being drawn in by the presentation, which was so lively and fun and full of direction we hadn’t seen on any of the previous live musicals. Twitter was also a good time–gifs were popping up in our timeline, and everyone from celebrities to TV critics to normal folks were tuning in. Can Vanessa Hudgens be in more stuff now? Kthanx.

via GIPHY

I also watched some movies! During the snowstorm two weeks ago, we watched Mad Max: Fury Road, which was probably the perfect time to revel in a movie that felt so hot and dry (I swear that wasn’t meant to sound dirty but I am not removing it because it is accurate). I enjoyed it, especially the visuals, but because of all the praise that was heaped on it, I expected to feel a deep connection to it that never came. Oh well, they can’t all be Brooklyn, I guess. We also spent some time in the cold with Fresh Dressed, a great doc about hip-hop fashion, which wasn’t all new information, but the graphics and interviews are worth a watch. Jemaine Clements’ dark-ish rom com People Places Things (a terribly bland title that had nothing to do with the story) arrived on Netflix instant, and my husband forgot about it exactly as he said he would. If you are looking for a sweet little movie while you are waiting for the next batch of Sundance indies to hit theaters, give it a try. Lastly, Sicario is a very well done movie with a pleasantly diverse cast where nothing happens the way you think it will. RIYL: The Hurt Locker, Syriana, Traffic.

Reading

Unearthing the Sea Witch. Did you know Ursula from The Little Mermaid was inspired by Divine? Howard Ashman was from Baltimore!

All the Pretty Pandas Bachelor season 20 recaps. My interest in The Bachelor was brought on by two things: my friend E, who is a really smart feminist who loves the show (“Hey, maybe its viewers aren’t all bad…”) and seeing Sharleen on The Amy Schumer Show. She was sarcastic, self-aware, and made fun of the show. If there were other women like that on the show, I wanted to watch them. Then I told E about Sharleen’s interview and she mentioned that Sharleen HAS A BLOG where she recaps the show and points out producer interference and shit that is a little fucked up. SHE IS RECAPPING SEASON 20!! She apparently has some kind of a life (wtf?) so she’s a week or two behind but I love this crap and if you watch the show, you would too. Though if you watch The Bachelor and read this blog you probably already know about Sharleen’s blog, so shame on you for not telling me about it. She does recaps on Flare too, where she also writes about culture. AND she was a guest on last week’s Here to Make Friends.

The Problems with Food Media that No One Wants to Talk About. I have long been a consumer of food media, despite being a rather picky eater. This said so much of what I have thought for years (dismissing ethnic food places serving quality ingredients without haute cuisine markups as “cheap eats,” too many shitty cookbooks and bad recipes online).

Winona, Forever. ANOTHER Hazlitt long read, though this one has footnotes! This beautiful piece discusses the versions of celebrities we hold to our hearts versus the actual truth.

What pop culture have you been getting into this week?

February 4, 2016
by katie
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Smart ladies love movies, the 20 films we would have seen at Sundance 2016

Sundance 2016

This years Sundance Film Festival was the 21st – 31st of January and here are our the 20 films we would have seen at Sundance and are excited about for 2016.

[NOTE: All quoted film descriptions are from the Sundance Program. Movies that are directed by women are denoted with an * after their title. ]

1. As You Are

DIRECTOR: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte

SCREENWRITER: Madison Harrison, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte

CAST: Mary Stuart Masterson, Scott Cohen, John Scurti, Amandla Stenberg, Charlie Heaton, Owen Campbell

AWARDS: U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, As You Are

“Set in the early 1990s, As You Are unfolds as a series of disparate memories. Prompted by a police investigation, we witness alternating perspectives of pivotal moments in the relationship between three teenage friends: Jack, Mark, and Sarah. Bound by their aversion to the culture around them, Jack and Mark explore the limits of friendship and love until Mark’s judgmental father tears them apart…”

This movie sounds interesting and I am always in the market for a “…refreshing take on the coming-of-age tale boasts a plethora of young talent with boundless potential.” This movie also stars one of SLLS faves, Amandla Stenberg who is definitely an actor to watch and I’m glad she is doing more projects because Rue in The Hunger Games and Orlando Jones’ daughter in Sleepy Hollow seem so long ago.

2. The Birth of a Nation

DIRECTOR: Nate Parker

SCREENWRITER: Nate Parker

CAST: Gabrielle Union, Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley, Aja Naomi King, Armie Hammer, Nate Parker

AWARDS: Audience Award and the US Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic

“When a little slave boy, Nathaniel “Nat” Turner, was taken to meet the Elders in the deep woods of 1800s Southampton County, Virginia, it was determined he would be a prophet. It became evident that the unusually intelligent boy would become able to read, so he was encouraged to study the Holy Bible and be a preacher to his fellow slaves. But when Nat’s master decides to profit from his preaching skills by putting him on an inter-county preaching tour, Nat begins to see the full contours of slavery and is moved to become a different kind of leader…”

The Birth of the Nation was written, directed, and stars Nate Parker who was in Beyond the Lights which is a really lovely romantic-drama and the Big Chill-esque movie About Alex. Parker received a standing ovation before the show ever aired. Not only did it sell for a record breaking $17.5 million it also won ALL THE AWARDS. Thanks to the awards and huge price-tag it has a ton of 2017 Oscar buzz which is refreshing to hear after the second consecutive year of #OscarsSoWhite. Due to the buzz, Parker has been making the rounds and giving a lot of really good interviews about the struggle to make this movie. [From what I hear, this is not a typical heartwarming Sundance indie, but it’s more akin to Braveheart, which is awesome, because people will actually go see it. Sorry, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. -M]

Distribution was picked up by Fox Searchlight after a bidding war.

3. Captain Fantastic

DIRECTOR: Matt Ross

SCREENWRITER: Matt Ross

CAST: Ann Dowd, Steve Zahn, Kathryn Hahn, George MacKay, Frank Langella, Viggo Mortensen

“Ben (Viggo Mortensen) lives with his wife and six young children, isolated from society deep in the forest of the Pacific Northwest. A devoted father, Ben dedicates his life to transforming his kids into extraordinary adults. He immerses them in an academically and physically rigorous environment and instills in them a rare and primal connection to the natural world.

When a tragedy strikes, the family is forced to leave their self-created paradise…”

I’m not going to lie, nor am I particularly proud, but this movie had me at Viggo Mortensen with a beard. As for the plot I’m hoping it stays clear of the “CRAZY PATRIARCH who never learns and is abandoned.” It seems via its publicity notes that not only will the outside world effect the children but will cause the father to “reexamine his idea of what it means to be a parent.” [The beard might also be enough for me too. -M]

4. Certain Women*

DIRECTOR: Kelly Reichardt

SCREENWRITER: based on the stories by Maile Meloy, Kelly Reichardt

CAST: Lily Gladstone, Jared Harris, James Le Gros, Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern

“Certain Women drops us into a handful of intersecting lives across Montana. A lawyer (Laura Dern) tries to diffuse a hostage situation and calm her disgruntled client (Jared Harris), who feels slighted by a workers’ compensation settlement. A married couple (Michelle Williams and James Le Gros) breaks ground on a new home but exposes marital fissures when they try to persuade an elderly man to sell his stockpile of sandstone. A ranch hand (Lily Gladstone) forms an attachment to a young lawyer (Kristen Stewart), who inadvertently finds herself teaching a twice-weekly adult education class, four hours from her home…”

This movie is one of those sprawling multi-character intersecting story movies I personally love, this one is even more exciting for centering on women AND for taking place in my dream home of Montana. It also feels like it has been forever since Michelle Williams made a movie, not sure how I feel about her playing someone married to James Le Gros (I think I like him more now but he used to creep me out) but I’m excited to see her in a movie especially with Laura Dern. Kristen Stewart seems an odd choice to play a lawyer but that has more to do with me still thinking of her as a kid. [Fun fact: Malie Meloy is the sister of Katie’s indie rock boyfriend Colin Meloy. She is a lovely writer, and Laura Dern stars, so I definitely want to see this. -M]

5. First Girl I Loved

DIRECTOR: Kerem Sanga

SCREENWRITER: Kerem Sanga

CAST: Pamela Adlon, Tim Heidecker, Jennifer Prediger, Mateo Arias, Brianna Hildebrand, Dylan Gelula

AWARDS: Audience Award: NEXT, Presented by Adobe

“Anne is a 17-year-old headstrong, cool nerd who lives with her single mom. While covering a softball game for the high school yearbook committee, she becomes infatuated with Sasha, the pretty star of the team. The two girls charmingly hit it off and quickly become close. But when Anne excitedly shares her newfound attraction to Sasha with her best friend, Cliff, he reveals his feelings for Anne and lashes out at her in unanticipated ways…”

I really enjoyed star Dylan Gelula in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as surly teenager Xanthippe. She has good comic timing but also a lot of depth so I think she will be great as the lead in a coming-of-age movie. Also it’s so refreshing that this is from the girls point-of-view and not the point-of-view of her BFF Cliff.

6. The Fits*

DIRECTOR: Anna Rose Holmer

SCREENWRITER: Lisa Kjerulff, Saela Davis, Anna Rose Holmer

CAST: Inayah Rodgers, Makyla Burnam, Lauren Gibson, Da’Sean Minor, Alexis Neblett, Royalty Hightower

“Toni, an 11-year-old tomboy, trains as a boxer with her brother at a rec center in Cincinnati’s West End, but becomes fascinated by the dance drill team that also practices there. Drawn to their strength and confidence, Toni eventually joins the group, tirelessly rehearsing the routines, befriending some of the girls, and even piercing her ears to fit in. But when members of the tight-knit group start experiencing mysterious fits of shaking and fainting, Toni’s desire for acceptance becomes complicated…”

One of the things I love about independent film festivals is that there are so many different kinds of stories from differing perspectives it’s so nice to read film plots that don’t all center around men. This movie has an intriguing plot by working in an element of the fantastical into a coming-of-age story.

Distribution was picked up by Oscilloscope Laboratories

7. The Fundamentals of Caring

DIRECTOR: Rob Burnett

SCREENWRITER: Rob Burnett

CAST: Frederick Weller, Megan Ferguson, Jennifer Ehle, Selena Gomez, Craig Roberts, Paul Rudd

“Having suffered a tragedy, Ben becomes a caregiver to earn money. His first client, Trevor, is a hilarious 18-year-old with muscular dystrophy. One paralyzed emotionally, one paralyzed physically, Ben and Trevor hit the road on a trip into the western states. The folks they collect along the way will help them test their skills for surviving outside their calculated existence. Together, they come to understand the importance of hope and the necessity of true friendship…”

Who doesn’t love a road-trip movie where people pick up odd balls along the way, especially if you’re stuck in said road-trip movie with Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez.

8. The Hollars

DIRECTOR: John Krasinski

SCREENWRITER: Jim Strouse

CAST: Charlie Day, Sharlto Copley, Richard Jenkins, Margo Martindale, Anna Kendrick, John Krasinski

“John Krasinski’s big-hearted family comedy takes a touching look at the ties that bind. Krasinski plays John Hollar, a frustrated graphic novelist anxiously awaiting the birth of his baby with girlfriend, Rebecca (Anna Kendrick). When his mother, Sally (Margo Martindale), is diagnosed with a brain tumor, John flies back home, where denial runs deep in the family tree. While his loving but fractured family pulls together to prepare Sally for surgery, John takes a second look at the life he left behind…”

Big-hearted family comedies from Sundance are not always my jam they are either overly weird/quirky or too sentimental but I have faith in John Krasinski, Anna Kendrick, and SLLS fave Margo Martindale (in her first of TWO movies in this post) that this will be good (at least I hope).

Distribution was picked up by Sony Pictures Classic.

9. The Intervention*

DIRECTOR: Clea DuVall

SCREENWRITER: Clea DuVall

CAST: Ben Schwartz, Natasha Lyonne, Clea DuVall, Alia Shawkat, Cobie Smulders, Melanie Lynskey

AWARDS: U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Individual Performance – Melanie Lynskey

“Control freak bride-to-be Annie gathers her group of thirtysomething friends at the picturesque Savannah family summer home of sisters Jessie (writer/director Clea DuVall) and Ruby to convince Ruby and her workaholic husband, Peter, that their relationship has turned irreparably toxic. Joined by Annie’s easygoing fiancé, Jessie’s partner (Sarah), as well as the reluctant Jack and his sprightly 22-year-old girlfriend, the group makes fumbling attempts to jump-start the intervention throughout the booze-fueled weekend, while resolutely avoiding dealing with their own vices and regrets…”

I am having two polar opposite reactions to this movie:

  1. The good, it was directed by a woman whom I really like and I love every member of the cast.
  2. The bad, it is a Big Chill-esque group movie (why are there so fucking many of these lately and why do they all star Jason Ritter) with no people of color. How is this even possible in 2016?

Distribution was picked up by Paramount Home Media.

10. Little Men

DIRECTOR: Ira Sachs

SCREENWRITER: Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias

CAST: Michael Barbieri, Theo Taplitz, Paulina Garcia, Jennifer Ehle, Greg Kinnear

“Jake (Theo Taplitz) is a quiet, sensitive middle schooler with dreams of being an artist. He meets the affably brash Tony (Michael Barbieri) at his grandfather’s funeral, and the unlikely pair soon hit it off. The budding friendship is put at risk, however, when a rent dispute between Jake’s father, Brian (Greg Kinnear), and Tony’s mother, Leonor (Paulina Garcia), threatens to become contentious.

Little Men is a critical yet empathetic look at the dangers of gentrification…”

One thing I love about independent cinema is it’s ability to tell small human stories about really big issues like gentrification. I think people respond better to intimate personal struggles rather than Hollywood dramas that sanitize the issues. I also think they do a better job at showing each side of an issue. [Richard Lawson, formerly of Gawker and now critic for Vanity Fair and participant in the Little Gold Men podcast, LOVES this director, and said this was one of the best things he saw so I am very optimistic. -M]

11. Love & Friendship

DIRECTOR: Whit Stillman

SCREENWRITER: Whit Stillman

CAST: Stephen Fry, Tom Bennett, Emma Greenwell, Xavier Samuel, Chloë Sevigny, Kate Beckinsale

“Set in the opulent drawing rooms of eighteenth-century English society, Love & Friendship focuses on the machinations of a beautiful widow, Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale), who, while waiting for social chatter about a personal indiscretion to pass, takes up temporary residence at her in-laws’ estate. While there, the intelligent, flirtatious, and amusingly egotistical Lady Vernon is determined to be a matchmaker for her daughter Frederica—and herself too, naturally. She enlists the assistance of her old friend Alicia (Chloë Sevigny), but two particularly handsome suitors (Xavier Samuel and Tom Bennett) complicate her orchestrations.

Adapting Jane Austen’s unpublished early novella Lady Susan, Whit Stillman returns to the Sundance Film Festival (where hisMetropolitan premiered in 1990) in top form with his latest comedy of manners…”

Nothing says “I’m there” more than Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco) adapting a Jane Austen novella. I’m also really excited this stars The Last Days of Disco’s Chloë Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale (who has spent the last decade of her career in black vinyl as a vampire) as they had great chemistry and wit in the earlier film. [Agreed. Whit Stillman doesn’t make a lot of movies but I cherish every stinking one of them. -M]

Distribution was picked up by both Amazon and Roadside Attractions and a release day has been set for May 13, 2016.

12. Lovesong*

DIRECTOR: So Yong Kim

SCREENWRITER: Bradley Rust Gray, So Yong Kim

CAST: Rosanna Arquette, Ryan Eggold, Amy Seimetz, Brooklyn Decker, Riley Keough, Jena Malone

“Sarah (Riley Keough), a young mother, raises her precocious daughter in their country home while feeling abandoned by her husband, who perpetually travels for work. When Sarah’s old friend Mindy (Jena Malone) comes to visit, they decide to take a road trip, and after an alcohol-infused heart-to-heart, a long unspoken intimacy emerges between the longtime friends. Later Sarah is unable to articulate her thoughts about her husband or Mindy, and Mindy makes the decision to leave the trip and go home. Three years later, the two women are reunited for Mindy’s wedding, and Sarah is forced to reconcile the reality of her feelings…”

Two types of movies I love, friendship dramas and road trip movies and this is both. It’s also directed by a woman and stars Jena Malone. Here’s hoping the precocious child is “independent precocious” and NOT “Hollywood precocious.” [Jena Malone picks really interesting projects and I have a strong affinity for her. I do not share that affinity for Brooklyn Decker. -M]

13. Manchester By The Sea

DIRECTOR: Kenneth Lonergan

SCREENWRITER: Kenneth Lonergan

CAST: Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges, Michelle Williams, Casey Affleck

“Lee Chandler is a brooding, irritable loner who works as a handyman for a Boston apartment block. One damp winter day he gets a call summoning him to his hometown, north of the city. His brother’s heart has given out suddenly, and he’s been named guardian to his 16-year-old nephew. As if losing his only sibling and doubts about raising a teenager weren’t enough, his return to the past re-opens an unspeakable tragedy.

Casey Affleck’s astonishing performance captures all the substance and crumbling complexity of Lee—a guy frozen in anguish and barely holding it together—who must now step beyond self-imposed isolation to connect with his nephew…”

Kenneth Lonergan wrote and directed You Can Count on Me which is the reason we know who Mark Ruffalo is and think of him as a lovely man. That movie is one of my absolute favorite independent movies. His last film Margaret took forever to get released but is why I think Anna Paquin is actually a really good actress who has a bad habit of picking really bad projects. Manchester by the Sea has a current Metacritic score of 90% and was highly critically praised. Casey Affleck (the better Affleck) has been particularly praised for his performance. [I really thought this was going to be the story of Sundance, and then Birth of a Nation fucked everything up. Poor Casey Affleck, always a bridesmaid (though he will probably get award attention). -M]

Distribution was picked up by Amazon for $10 million and they are trying to find a theatrical distributor as this movie has OSCAR BUZZ.

14. Morris from America

DIRECTOR: Chad Hartigan

SCREENWRITER: Chad Hartigan

CAST: Levin Henning, Jakub Gierszał, Lina Keller, Carla Juri, Craig Robinson, Markees Christmas

AWARDS: Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic and U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Individual Performance: Craig Robinson

Morris from America revolves around a 13-year-old African-American boy named Morris and the relationship he has with his father, Curtis, during the transitional period of adolescence. Complicating matters, they are new residents of Heidelberg, Germany—a city of rich history but little diversity. Morris falls in love with a local German girl named Katrin, and his tumultuous connection with her takes him on a journey that ends in self-discovery and a new dynamic to his relationship with Curtis…”

So many of these Father-Son or person-in-foreign-land movies are from the point of view of white people so I’m so happy this movie explores these issues from the perspective of an adolescent African-American boy. There is so much more drama to be mined from this and it’s perfect for independent film. The Vulture review for this was fantastic so I am super excited for this to come out in 2016. [Hartigan’s last movie, This is Martin Bonner, was also well received and available for Prime subscribers! -M]

Distribution was picked up by A24 (who released Ex Machina and Room)

15. Other People

DIRECTOR: Chris Kelly

SCREENWRITER: Chris Kelly

CAST: June Squibb, Zach Woods, Maude Apatow, Bradley Whitford, Molly Shannon, Jesse Plemons

“David, a struggling comedy writer fresh off from breaking up with his boyfriend, moves from New York City to Sacramento to help his sick mother. Living with his conservative father and much-younger sisters for the first time in ten years, he feels like a stranger in his childhood home. As his mother’s health declines, David frantically tries to extract meaning from this horrible experience and convince everyone (including himself) that he’s “doing okay.”…”

This is the second “dude has to move home because his mother is dying of cancer movie,” I’m not really sure I want this to become a trend in film. However I will watch Landry/Ed (Jesse Plemons) in anything (BATTLESHIP 4EVS) and June Squibb is a treasure so I’m there whenever it comes to Netflix. [Katie, you forgot ZACH WOODS. Dude is a pile of charm and awkward hilarity. I counter with a GABE 4EVS. -M]

16. Sophie and the Rising Sun*

DIRECTOR: Maggie Greenwald

SCREENWRITER: Maggie Greenwald

CAST: Joel Murray, Diane Ladd, Takashi Yamaguchi, Lorraine Toussaint, Margo Martindale, Julianne Nicholson

“…Director Maggie Greenwald returns to the Sundance Film Festival (Songcatcher) with an elegant historical drama and moving love story. Takashi Yamaguchi appealingly plays Ohta, while three strong female characters—and performances—create the driving force of the film: Sophie (Julianne Nicholson), Anne (Margo Martindale), the guarded but kind widow who takes Ohta in, and Salome (Lorraine Toussaint), Anne’s intelligent, all-seeing domestic help. As Southern women unwilling to accept their lot in society, they fight for their beliefs and dignity against an inescapable reality.”

If you have never seen Songcatcher than you should just go and watch the movie right now, it’s wonderful. Because of my love for that film I am ridiculously excited for this follow-up. I was also all in after reading the last line of the description above, who doesn’t love movies where a group of women are “unwilling to accept their lot in society.” This is the second film to feature fave Margo Martindale (just in case you judge all things on her involvement unless it is that terrible TV show with Will Arnett).

17. Southside With You

DIRECTOR: Richard Tanne

SCREENWRITER: Richard Tanne

CAST: Vanessa Bell Calloway, Parker Sawyers, Tika Sumpter

“One Chicago afternoon in 1989, a Harvard Law summer associate named Barack Obama finagled a tête-à-tête with an attorney from the prestigious corporate law firm where they both worked. Her name was Michelle Robinson, and his pretense was a friendly outing to a community organizer meeting. In Michelle’s eyes, it was most certainly not a date. But as ice cream gives way to a stop at the Art Institute, and the community gathering conveniently becomes a chance for Barack to lecture brilliantly on activism, it’s stunningly obvious to Michelle that this cigarette-smoking smooth talker is desperately trying to woo her. As their epic encounter continues into evening and these fiercely bright minds go head-to-head, sparks fly…”

This movie had me at a-day-in-the-life-romance but the fact that it is a historically fictional account of when Michelle Obama fell for Barack makes it all the more exciting. I’m also glad that the story is told mainly from Michelle’s point-of-view and not Barack’s.

18. Swiss Army Man

DIRECTOR: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert

SCREENWRITER: Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan

CAST: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Daniel Radcliffe, Paul Dano

AWARDS: Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic

“Alone on a tiny deserted island, Hank has given up all hope of ever making it home again. But one day everything changes when a dead body washes ashore, and he soon realizes it may be his last opportunity to escape certain death. Armed with his new “friend” and an unusual bag of tricks, the duo go on an epic adventure to bring Hank back to the woman of his dreams…”

Swiss Army Man AKA “The Harry Potter farts movie” directed by “music video gurus “The Daniels,” was probably the most contentious movie at this years festival –not everyone is apparently into magical realism and corpses that break wind. I wouldn’t be either but Daniel Radcliff is the flatulating corpse (I’m having a lot of fun coming up with different ways to say tooting) and Paul Dano as the stranded man he saves has me intrigued. [I can’t believe this was picked up. Also, FARTFARTFARTFARTFARTFART. -M]

Distribution was picked up by A24.

19. Tallulah*

DIRECTOR: Sian Heder

SCREENWRITER: Sian Heder

CAST: Uzo Aduba, Evan Jonigkeit, Tammy Blanchard, Allison Janney, Ellen Page

“Young vagabond Lu lives in a van and is fiercely independent in her hand-to-mouth existence. This daily struggle has become tiresome for her privileged boyfriend, Nico, who unceremoniously leaves her one night. When a chance encounter incites her to impulsively “rescue” a baby from a negligent mother, Lu, at a loss for what to do, turns to the only responsible adult she knows: Nico’s unsmiling academic mother, Margo, who believes she’s the child’s grandmother. Thrown together despite differences in class and worldview, Margo and Lu make a lovable, if tense, odd couple. The two are bound to each other as they tentatively form a haphazard family, though Margo has no idea that the police are hot on Lu’s trail for absconding with a child…”

It seems like forever since I saw Ellen Page in something fun and the idea of her, Allson Janney, and Uzo Aduba hanging out with a baby is AWESOME.

Netflix picked up streaming video on-demand rights but theatrical rights are still unavailable.

20. Wiener-Dog

DIRECTOR: Todd Solondz

SCREENWRITER: Todd Solondz

CAST: Zosia Mamet, Julie Delpy, Ellen Burstyn, Danny DeVito, Kieran Culkin, Greta Gerwig

Wiener-Dog tells several stories featuring people who find their life inspired or changed by one particular dachshund, who seems to be spreading a certain kind of comfort and joy. Man’s best friend starts out teaching a young boy some contorted life lessons before being taken in by a compassionate vet tech named Dawn Wiener. Dawn reunites with someone from her past and sets off on a road trip picking up some depressed mariachis along the way. Wiener-Dog then encounters a floundering film professor, as well as an embittered elderly woman and her needy granddaughter—all longing for something more…”

I’m not the biggest fan of Todd Solondz but I am down with a story of a cute dachshund inspiring people especially if they are played by Greta Gerwig and Ellen Burstyn. [This cast is so cute and indie sweet it gives me a toothache. -M]

Distribution was picked up by Amazon and they are trying to find a theatrical distributor.

 

 

February 1, 2016
by katie
0 comments

Smart ladies love fashion, the best and worst of the 2016 SAG awards

I roll my eys at the media trying to make a big deal about everyone rolling there eyes. http://entertainmenttonight.tumblr.com/

I roll my eyes at the media trying to make a big deal about everyone rolling there eyes.
Via.

The Screen Actors Guild awards were on Saturday night and since it was actors giving awards to actors who mainly marry other actors there is a lot of fashion.

Uzo Aduba

This green dress is so flattering and the color is DIVINE. -K

I was watching the SAGs with my best gals and we all agreed this was probably pretty comfortable. I thought the color was a reference to The Wiz, but no one agreed. :( -M

Sola Bamis

Sola played Shirley on Mad Men and she was always one of the most fashion forward characters here she is definitely making a statement with that giant bow. The color is gorgeous. -K

We were SO OBSESSED with this dress–the marigold color is so stunning and I love the bow–but no one knew who it was.  I hope she continues act in good things (I don’t think Stitchers is going to win any awards) so she can rock all the red carpets. -M

Mayim Bialik

This is a lot better than her Critics Choice dress that I’m willing to give it a pass but the make-up is NOT good. -K

I don’t even know if a lip color could save this look; though give her a crown and she’s appropriately dressed to go to a Ren Faire. -M

Julie Bowen

I love this dress and I really enjoy the deep red clutch. -K

Why is Carol Vesey cringing? ps. Are y’all watching Ed on UP? They bleep out “ass,” but it’s so fun! -M

Carrie Brownstein

I love the length and fit of this dress. I hate the shoes–they are like shoes teenage girls wear to prom. -K

She is so rad but that ombre hair IS NOT. -M

Anna Chlumsky

Anna looks fierce. She is also my favorite character on Veep. -K

This is the first of many dresses that looked better on TV than in photos. -M

Priyanka Chopra

PAGEANT QUEEN! My Nanny would effing love this and therefore I cannot hate it. -K

She is so friggin gorgeous, which makes me so disappointed that she is wearing a costume from Pretty in Pink. -M

Gwendoline Christie

I would wear this and it would be comfy and magical and FANCY! -K

The paperbag waist reminds me of the less creative contestants on Project Runway. And the belt should be silver. -M

Emilia Clarke

HOT PINK BALLGOWN! This is amazing I love it. -K

I appreciate the deep-V but I think she usually dresses better. -M

Laverne Cox

WORK IT LAVERNE! -K

I’m tired of this pose, but this dress looked fantastic on TV. She has really stepped up her fashion. -M

Kaley Cuoco

LIPSTICK! LIPSTICK! LIPSTICK! -K

Her hair is pulled back so tight. Is that to hold back the tears? -M

Claire Danes

Claire Danes kills it in this dress. The color and fit are great and it just looks so natural. -K

This is a high fashion kite. And it’s fucking fabulous. -M

Viola Davis

Viola as usual looked fabulous and gave a great speech when she won. -K

UGH THE WHOLE TIME she was talking, I was going on and on about how this looks overworked, like something Zac Posen would do and GUESS WHAT I was right. -M

Stephanie Drake

Meredith from Mad Men is one of my favorite peripheral characters and she is wearing one of the only types of hi-low dresses I enjoy, the ones that show your shoes. Good job Meredith! -K

And she has great lipstick and bangs! Cheers! -M

Anna Faris

Every time someone shows there leg like this I just want to punch Angelina Jolie in the face while pointing and scream “LOOK WHAT YOU HATH WROUGHT!” Regardless I love this dress. -K

I think I would like it more with long sleeves and in a different color. -M

Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig

Tina’s dress is fit perfectly and Kristen is rocking PANTS! -K

This is one of Tina’s best looks and I’m so pleased Kristen has moved beyond sad dishwater dresses. Pants are definitely her thing. -M

Joanne Froggatt

I got the Downton Abbey final season Blu Ray and watched it Friday night so I am very tender where Downton is concerned. I think Joanne knocked this out of the park. If I wasn’t so tender I might hate her shoes. -K

I stopped watching when Dan Stevens left, so I will be the one to say her shoes suck ass. -M

Diane Guerrero

This color is great but I really hate the mermaid gown. -K

She’s really pretty but this is very dated and fussy. -M

Kathryn Hahn

Is the bottom of this dress fringe or ruffles, WHO CARES this will be so much fun to dance in. -K

Kathryn Hahn is such a cool girl. -M

Christina Hendricks

She reminds me of Scarlett O’Hara and the curtain dress. On the positive the fit is good. -K

I would like her to work with a designer that is NOT Christian Siriano. -M

Gaby Hoffmann

Gaby looks FABULOUS. -L

Again, this was way better on TV. It was custom made for her! I love her giant hair. -M

Carice van Houten

Carice is really pulling off European fashion forwardness and I love it. Also those are perfect lips. -K

I would not like this as much without the jacket. Really rad. -M

Sarah Hyland

Great color, put your leg back in your gown. -K

The lightened hair looks good on her. I am bored already. -M

January Jones

Grecian GODDESS! The color is just so pretty. -K

It looks like fancy teal tissue paper and I adore it. -M

Ellie Kemper

Ellie’s dress is so lovely. The fabric looks like really expensive scarves. -K

This wasn’t very well-reviewed but I love it and the fabric is beautiful. -M

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban

I was kind of blown away by Nicole’s dress it’s just so bright and sparkly. I’m not sure if I like it but it’s definitely different. Keith Urban should be back at Idol HQ cutting more people. -K

KEITH, MAKE MORE CUTS. UGH! Ummmmm Nicole looks like Barbie. I don’t think the green necklace goes with the dress. -M

Diane Lane

I don’t think Diane ages. She is good in Trumbo. She should be in more things. -K

This is very elegant and lovely and perfect but it doesn’t make me feel things, you know? -M

Brie Larson

This dress was more fun on TV because all the cords are super sparkly. It also has this weird bright orange strap on her back. Her shoes are meh. -K

This is the most disappointing for me. I don’t care for her new stylist or look. -M

Eva Longoria

UGH NO. -K

The back is completely see through. I hate this so much. -M

Joe Manganiello and Sofía Vergara

These two are really too hot. I’m super happy Sofia is NOT wearing a mermaid gown. -K

No mermaid gown, let’s all have a party! Seriously this is monumental. -M

Kate and Rooney Mara

Both Mara sisters wore Valentino and Kate admitted to pre-gaming the show with champagne . -K

I preferred Rooney, because Kate’s hair was a little weird. Unlike some, I did not mind the extreme sideboob. But really, both of these are boring. -M

Julianna Margulies

Julianna I feel like you didn’t even try, normally you wear more interesting and fun gowns. -K

She’s so over The Good Wife and you can see it in her clothes. -M

Rachel McAdams

I love this so fucking much. This is definitely one of my favorites. -K

She is killing it this awards season and I cannot WAIT to see her Oscar gown. -M

Helen Mirren

In the thumbnail I thought Helen was Marilyn Monroe and that about sums up just how fabulous Helen is. -K

I would also like to a take a minute to point out her always-perfect hair and makeup. It’s J Lo-level good. -M

Julianne Moore

I love the color of this so much that I don’t care that the fit is weird. -K

I think I strongly dislike this but I give her a pass for all the blah black Lanvin she usually wears. -M

Hannah Murray

This reminds me I need to dye my hair. -K

Stand up straight, your dress is awesome! -M

Jessica Pare

Lovely lip color, rest of face , and hair. The dress is okay. -K

YAWN. I usually like her more. This is the same thing I said about her performance in Brooklyn. Bad-dah-dahhhhh. -M

Molly Parker

Great color Molly and a reminder to everyone that they should watch Deadwood AND that we are getting a new movie at some point. -K

I didn’t know she was on House of Cards until I saw her sitting at the table. She looks great. -M

Sarah Paulson

I told Melissa that Sarah murdered a Muppet for this dress and that I liked it. This is really fucking fantastic. -K

This is a lot of fun! She is also looking wonderful lately. So many good dresses! -M

Amanda Peet

Amanda Peet continues to dress as if she is going to go to bed in her gown. Does she ever wear make-up? -K

I feel like singing a sad ballad about those droopy boobs. The wide stance of the straps does not help. She should hire Olivia Wilde’s stylist. Good news: she’s not wearing black lace! -M

Lori Petty

Never change Lori Petty. I hope you always do you! -K

This is so freaking fug. She was creepy as fuck on OITNB, and I am glad she’s getting more work. -M

Amy Poehler

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ….Oh sorry this post is long and this dress is boring. -K

I’m warming up to her new hair color! -M

Laura Prepon

Melissa can you see her boobs? I think I can see her boobs. This dress is confusing. -K

I don’t notice, because her hair is too dark and it ruins everything. -M

Lily Rabe

This is really fun but I think the dress color makes her hair green. I don’t care I still like it. -K

WOW this is exactly the kind of fun party I wanted to see! -M

Eddie Redmayne and Hannah Bagshawe

Eddie isn’t even trying this year but thankfully even pregnant Hannah is still a wow! -K

She is my favorite red carpet spouse. -M

Christina Ricci

Christina’s eye make-up is WAY too HARSH! -K

I almost like her dress but I’m distracted by the raccoon eyes. -M

Emily Robinson

Emily is on Transparent. Her dress and make-up are great. -K

Why is there a dickie stuck to the front? -M

Saoirse Ronan

A lot of ladies went simple and sophisticated. Saoirse pulls off this pink column with great hair and make-up. Her earrings are also super sparkly. -K

I especially loved her hair and makeup. -M

Kiernan Shipka

PERFECTION! This is my favorite of the night. It’s a purple, patterned, ballgown! -K

I knew Katie would love this as soon as I saw it. -M

Sarah Silverman

Dirty bath water and whoever fit this dress to her is terrible at their job. -K

She was SO PROUD on the red carpet that she was wearing Vivienne Westwood but usually these Westwood dresses fit better. -M

Marisa Tomei

LOVE! This is perfect sophistication. I love her hair color. -K

This is a nice take on those sparkly column gowns that everyone wore for a few years. I love the rich green. -M

Sophie Turner

I love a ballgown and I love this BUT I wish it was a color. I am a picky bitch. -K

I am falling asleep. -M

Alicia Vikander

So sleek, simple, and sparkly! -K

The pattern is fantastic. I kind of wish her hair was pulled back but that’s a minor issue. -M

Naomi Watts

I wish this was better hemmed but I’m not going to harp on a person wearing blue, cap sleeves, and wearing lip color that fantastic. -K

DREAM HAIR. -M

Maisie Williams

I don’t really like the fabric of this dress it makes it look lumpy BUT the color and length are perfect for her age. -K

Her makeup, however, ages her 20 years. -M

Kate Winslet

Kate has this dress in every fucking color. -K

She really does. It works for her, but there has to be other things in this shape/fabric that are not exactly like this… right? -M

Ariel Winter

This is very nice though I wish she had worn something more youthful (See Maisie above). -K

MORE aging makeup. GOD what is wrong with people. -M

Katie’s top five:

  1. Kiernan Shipka
  2. Rachel McAdams
  3. Uzo Aduba
  4. Alicia Vikander
  5. Julianne Moore

Melissa’s top five:

  1. Claire Danes
  2. Laverne Cox
  3. Rachel McAdams
  4. Gaby Hoffman
  5. Kristen Wiig