Tag Archives: Anne Hathaway

SXSW: Colossal

colossal-F71894Other than a major difference in size, Godzilla and a drunk have a lot in common.  They both stumble around erratically, they both have a temper, and they both wreck a lot of stuff.  Though Colossal does not feature Godzilla, presumably due to licencing issues, it does feature a giant monster terrorizing an Asian city (though this time it’s Seoul, Korea instead of Tokyo, Japan).  As you’d expect, the monster’s appearance is big news, so even Gloria (Anne Hathaway) hears about it eventually.  It takes a while for her though because of how drunk she got the night before.

Gloria’s got a lot of problems.  She’s just been kicked out by her longtime boyfriend for drinking too much and she’s been unemployed for way too long.  She’s got no direction and no prospects, so after losing her relationship and place to stay, she heads to her hometown and meets up with her childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis).  Since Oscar owns a bar, Gloria stays there all night drinking, and a giant monster appears in Seoul about the time she’s stumbling home the next morning.

Colossal is different than I expected, which is not a bad thing.  Writer/director Nacho Vigalondo has created something unique, something much different than any kaiju movie I’ve ever seen.  Colossal is slow paced and focuses largely on people, not monsters, and the characters’ personal growth (/lack thereof) is a very important part of the story.  I don’t want to say more about what Colossal is or isn’t, as I think trying to figure out this movie is part of the fun.  There are definitely some surprises along the way, and those were high points for me.  It’s always interesting when a movie takes an unexpected turn and Colossal offers a few of them.

In support of the unique story, Hathaway and Sudeikis both deliver excellent performances, and the quality of those performances is why this movie works so well.  Seeing Gloria and Oscar reconnect after all these years, discovering each other as adults, is something we can all relate to but we soon learn that the stakes are a little higher here, because Seoul is in peril every morning.

Colossal is set to be released in North America on April 7, 2017.  If you’re interested in seeing a different kind of kaiju movie, one that is more character study than city-destroying rampage, then Colossal is worth watching.

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No Small Parts: 20 minutes or less

Fans were shocked when Jared Leto’s Joker had only about 7 minutes of screen time out of Suicide Squad‘s bloated 123, but Hollywood has a long history of assigning big names to small roles – and it’s not always a bad thing.

the-italian-distributor-of-12-years-a-slave-has-pulled-its-posters-highlighting-white-actors-like-brad-pittOkay, sometimes it’s a bad thing. Brad Pitt was in 12 Years a Slave for only a couple of minutes, just long enough to establish himself as the only nice white guy, but some countries (not naming any names, Italy) really ran with the white guy and blew his big white face up on the posters, relegating the star (and the slave), Chiwetel Ejiofor, to a small corner.

Anne Hathaway shaved her head and followed a life-threatening diet in order to play the part of Fantine in Les Miserables. She had only 15 minutes of screen time, but it was enough to win her an Oscar and shape her career.

Know who did more with even less? Darth Vader. He appeared in the original Star Wars for just about 12 minutes, but he was an instant bad guy icon. His presence is so magnetizing he truly doesn’t need much. What’s a little more head-scratching to me is Boba Fett. I still don’t even know who he is, or if that’s the correct pronoun for this person. And yet I hear about him ALL THE TIME. He’s in the top 5 favourite characters despite being a glorified boba-fett_61fdadfdextra; he manages about 18 minutes across the entire trilogy mind you, and only got that much when fans seemed to really respond. Mark Hamill got second billing in Star Wars: The Force Awakens because Hollywood is a sexist machine. He’s in that movie for about 6 seconds – sneeze and you miss him.

Beetlejuice is one of Michael Keaton’s most famous roles, and he plays the title character, but he only gets roughly 17 minutes worth of screen time, all told. How crazy is that? But it’s true: he doesn’t appear til quite late in the movie, but boy does he maximize every crazy moment he’s there.

tumblr_o354mgJCwB1rxmai6o8_400.gifJudi Dench will see your 17 minutes, Michael Keaton, and she’ll raise you: she won a best supporting actress Oscar for only 8 minutes of a role. She played Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love and clearly made quite an impression from her modest 6% of the film. Accepting the award, she joked “I feel for eight minutes on the screen, I should only get a little bit of him.” I’m sure that was some consolation to the likes of Lynn Redgrave and Kathy Bates, who lost to her.

Anthony Hopkins only managed to double that screen time when he took on his (arguably) most famous role: Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. In just 16 minutes he managed to creep out an entire generation, and caused chianti sales to plummet. Sean Connery was originally approached for the role and turned it out down, which means he lost out on an iconic role, an Oscar, a big day, and sequel opportunities.

 

There was a lot about the movie Doubt that got under my skin, but Viola Davis’s 5-8 tumblr_oh5lwdLYg81qa3emao8_400.gifminutes were consistently under there. She plays the mother of a young boy who may or may not have been molested by a priest. She goes toe to toe with Meryl Streep and doesn’t just hold her own – she steals the scene, earning a supporting actress nomination to boot.

5-8 minutes? Bah! Ned Beatty earned his best supporting actor nomination in under 6. He had one riveting scene in Network, which he shot in a single day, but it sure had us glued to our seats.

 

Beatrice Straight shaves about 13 seconds off Beatty’s time with her Oscar win for her work in the same movie. As William Holden’s poor, wretched wife in Network, Straight made quite an impact, stealing away the record for least screen time for an Oscar win from Gloria Grahame, who took a leisurely 9 and a half minutes to earn hers for The Band and the Beautiful.

It seems as thought it might be difficult for anyone to earn an Oscar with a sub – 5 minute role, but who knows: has anyone actually racked up Michelle Williams’ screen time in Manchester By the Sea? It’s not a whole lot more, I’m guessing. But the truth is, someone came close: Hermione Baddeley was nominated for best supporting actress for just 2 minutes and 20 seconds worth of screen time in Room at the Top, in 1960. The bar’s been set: who will be the first to duck under it successfully?

 

 

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What’s your favourite tiny role? Matthew McConaughey in The Wolf of Wall Street? Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder? Daniel Craig in The Force Awakens?

Alice Through The Looking Glass

Did my grandfather write this script, by any chance? The puns scream yes. If someone pulls a Werther’s Original caramel candy out of their pocket, it’s official.

I can see glimmers of goodness in this beleaguered movie, believe it or not. Johnny Depp looks cool, even if he’s playing the same basic cartoon character he whips out for every 0523hathaway02_hitn-734x393movie he’s made this century. And the queens (Helena Bonham-Carter and Anne Hathaway) are resplendently rendered. Somebody spent a lot of money but didn’t care that the story was just too convoluted for its own good. What was this even about? It’s certainly not from any story book I remember. And if you a) hire Bort and b) put him in tights, I have to believe you never intended for me to take this seriously. Not for one minute.

I saw a play of the same name in Stratford (Ontario, known for its Shakespearean efforts but this one was “off-Shakespeare” if that makes sense) starring a young Sarah Polley. And maybe that’s part of my problem: Alice, to me, will always be a little girl. Mia Whatsername is a wonderful actress but not Alice.

I was wholly uninspired by the movie and to be honest, often confused. I did catch one interesting part, where Alice wakes up chained to a bed in an insane asylum. Now, to be Screen-Shot-2016-04-04-at-11.43.25-AM-1024x544.pngsure, a grown woman claiming to know of an alternate universe behind a mirror where she talks to rabbits and time is enough to get her legitimately diagnosed. Her doctor, however, through out the popular female catch-all “hysteria” and it reminded me of a list I’d recently seen of actual reasons why women just like me and you were committed to asylums not so very long ago. Play along, will you, give yourself a point for every “offense” you’ve committed on this list, and leave your score in the comments (if you dare).

-business trouble

-kicked in the head by a horse

-ill treatment by husband

-imaginary “female trouble”

-immoral life

-jealousy & religion

-laziness

-marriage of son

-masturbation

-medicine to prevent conception

-mental excitement

-novel reading

-parents were cousins

-politics

-loss of lawsuit

-asthma

-bad company

-bad habits

-bad whiskey (!)

-egotism

-quackery

-fighting fire

-time of life

-venereal excesses

-superstition

-shooting of daughter

-hard study

-snuff eating for 2 years

-greediness

-grief

-seduction & disappointment

-exposure (to other crazy people? or to women?)

-indigestion

-loss of arm

-social disease

-remorse

-severe labour

-infidelity

-sunstroke

Not to alarm anyone, but I’m suffering from at least 7 of these “symptoms” right now. How about you?

 

The Intern

Ugly truth time: this is the type of movie that I hate, easily. Hate right out of the gate. Hate just at the poster stage, really.

Forgive me. I’m at work on Christmas Eve and it’s slow. I finally finished watching Youth and didn’t feel up to subtitles (Samba), so The Intern it is. And I don’t know if it’s the magic of the season finally melting my cold, dark heart, but: I didn’t hate it.

the intern heroI didn’t exactly love it, but I did almost love Robert De Niro’s performance. He doesn’t need to flex a lot of muscle in this role, but he’s charming and humble and I think he plays the part of retired but still vigorous perfectly. The bigger surprise is Anne Hathaway, who I am on record as disliking a great deal. In this I found her almost likeable. Again, clearly not her most demanding role, but she toed the line between strength and vulnerability in an interesting way.

Nancy Meyer’s direction is straight-forward but effective. The story misses the point a bit: it starts off as The Intern (a 70-year-old man applies to be an intern at a “hip” e-commerce business, whatever that theinternmeans) but then veers off toward something safer and more predictable. The world didn’t need another joke about how old people don’t know Facebook. Have you even been on Facebook lately? It’s been taken over by grandmas!  At any rate, it doesn’t fulfill its promise. But it’s a not bad way to spend an afternoon, grandmas and all.

andrewrannellsCasting high: Andrew Rannells. I first encountered him as part of the original Broadway cast of The Book of Mormon, which I can’t recommend enough. He played opposite Josh Gad who has also become a Big Deal, and the pair were clearly destined to be stars.

Casting low: Rene Russo. Nothing against Rene, it’s more that she’s the requisite “old lady” partnered up with De Niro and is forced to say the renerussotheinternline “at our age,” insinuating that they are the same age. I really struggled with that, considering this movie has a bit of a feminist bent to it, but upon Googling I see that Rene is actually 61 years old and only 11 years younger than De Niro. “Only” 11 years younger, mind you. As you know, age differences can be much more egregious in Hollywood (and she’s actually a year older than De Niro’s real life wife). So instead of a casting low, I’ll just say: Rene – damn, girl.

Sibling Relationships (Biologically Related)

TMP
Time again for Thursday Movie Picks. Sibling week hits just two weeks away from when we leave for sunny California where we will see my own brother who I haven’t seen since Christmas. Let’s hope our reunion goes smoother than they did in these three amazing films.

Rain man

Rain Man (1988)- Tom Cruise has some serious daddy issues to work out finally gets his chance when he discovers that he has an autistic brother (Dustin Hoffman). Their road trip may start out as Charlie’s selfish scheme to get his inheritance back but spending time with his brother soon becomes its own reward in one of Hollywood’s all-time great feel-good movies.

The Savages (2007)- Neither Wendy (Laura Linney) or Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman) are in great shape when their estranged father’s dementia progresses to the point that he needs to be placed in a nursing home. The always-amazing Linney and Hoffman are completely believable as brother and sister both at first when spending time together dealing with this family crisis is completely uncomfortable and finally when they start actually enjoying each other’s company.

Rachel Getting Married

Rachel Getting Married (2008)– Before this movie came out, I never would have thought that I’d like Anne Hathaway in anything. She reinvents herself completely for this though as a tactless drug addict on temporary leave from rehab to attend her sister’bizarre wedding. I could have easily picked this for father-daughter or mother-daughter relationships but it fits this category betterThe sisters have the only relationship in this family that actually may see some healing.