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Ynms: "Stronger"

3 hours ago

Chris here. Could this finally be Jake Gyllenhaal's Oscar year? Of course it's too early to call (and we won't jinx our adored Jake) but he's got a true life drama coming that's right in the Academy's wheelhouse: David Gordon Green's Stronger.

Gyllenhaal stars as Jeff Bauman, a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing that lost both legs and helped identify the assailants. The film charts his recovery and rehabilitation as he becomes the face of the survivors for the city of Boston and the world at large. True story, disability, big emotion - quite a few of Oscar's favorite pasttimes, and maybe a more mainstream play for Gyllenhaal. But how does the film look? Take a look at the first trailer and we'll run down the Yes No Maybe So after the jump »

- Chris Feil

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Beauty Break: Streep Sets

8 hours ago

on Kramer vs Kramer with Dustin Hoffman

Since it's Meryl Streep's 68th birthday today, let's gawk at some behind the scenes photos. It's a good way to pay tribute since the Grand Dame of American Cinema has been working pretty much non-stop (except during the 90s when she spent a lot of time with her little children) since the world first fell for her.

Lots more after the jump including Death Becomes Her, Plenty, It's Complicated, Out of Africa, and more »

- NATHANIEL R

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Fyc: "The Good Place" for Best Comedy

9 hours ago

Team Experience are sharing their Emmy hopeful favorites. Here's Sean Donovan...

The Good Place was one of the quietest critical successes of the 2016/2017 television calendar, amassing a small but loyal band of followers. They attended to every minuscule detail of the show’s terrifically nuanced mythology. Yet, of all the Emmy FYCs The Film Experience has been doling out these past two weeks, this feels like one of the farthest reaches. The Good Place is perfectly in the lane of a future cult classic. But that's the problem. To become a true cult classic, your greatness must somehow allude the powers that be at the time. 

For the uninitiated, The Good Place follows Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) who, following her sudden death in the pilot, finds herself in the afterlife, specifically the carefully non-denominational “Good Place,” presided over by cheerful architect Michael (Ted Danson) »

- Sean Donovan

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Emmy Fyc: Difficult People, Season Two

14 hours ago

By Spencer Coile 

Emmy season is a treacherous time. With so many scrambling to campaign for their favorites, it is incredibly easy to get lost in the mix of all the names and shows being talked about. Difficult People, however, is not  a show that should merely be talked about. Much like its leading characters, it requires heavy shouting. 

Wannabe actor/comedians and best friends Billy and Julie (played by Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner respectively) are two of the most wretched, vile, and selfish people to hit the televisual landscape in recent years. They attempt to cloy and scratch their way to the top. Season two of Difficult People is practically breathtaking in how quickly paced it is, and it should also go without saying that it is utterly hilarious...  »

- Spencer Coile

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Ten Little Linkies

15 hours ago

morning news items, or recommended stories / essays

Boy Culture Comic gold Teri Garr interviewed about her Ms (which sadly ended her career, she's now confined to a wheelchair) and her famous co-stars (still loves Dustin Hoffman, was not a fan of Gene Wilder)  

• Forbes asks that the internet stop trying to make the most powerful woman in the movie world (that'd be Wonder Woman) into a victim with constant outrages. She's a hit, enjoy her.

Eight additional stories after the jump including a Downton Abbey reunion, Emmy hopefuls, Batman Returns and more »

- NATHANIEL R

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Director Joel Edgerton's "Boy Erased" Heads to Focus, While the Author of the Memoir Addresses Concerns

21 June 2017 7:08 PM, PDT

By Daniel Crooke

Give or take a big, broad Black Mass or two, Aussie toughie Joel Edgerton has proven himself to be a craftsman of restraint throughout his most recent crop of work, and continues to surprise audiences by subverting their expectations of how a man of his hulking size and stature should emote on the big screen. His performance in last year’s criminally undervalued Loving buries deep currents of sensitivity beneath the protective creases of his brooding face, and he manages to say more and speak louder through the locked intensity of his body language than the volume of his voice in Trey Edward Shults’s apocalyptic downer It Comes At Night

However, his most compelling work as an artist to date has been behind the camera »

- Daniel Crooke

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Q&A: "Strong Female Characters" and Future AFI Honors

21 June 2017 2:33 PM, PDT

Okay last round of reader questions before we have to ask for a new batch. These are culled from the last "Ask Nathaniel" column as well as the open thread. Let's talk Wonder Woman and Oscar, "Strong Roles for Women," and more.

Marie: Who are the next 3 women that should win the AFI Life Achievement Award?

Nathaniel: A timely question since Diane Keaton just won hers. But I had to look back at who has previously been nominated to come up with an answer. Living female winners number only five: Diane Keaton (2017), Jane Fonda (2014), Shirley Maclaine (2012), Meryl Streep (2004), and Barbra Streisand (2000) with the other twelve winners in this new century being men (both actors and directors have won). It's actually a tough question because they have to be alive and *really* famous to get this honor and also elderly (though Streep was young for this honor taking it when she was 54ish I think). They also have to be American (for the most part) so I looked only at people who are almost 60 or older and this is what I came up with...

I would probably choose from among these five next: »

- NATHANIEL R

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Untitled Han Solo origin story loses its directors

21 June 2017 10:55 AM, PDT

Robert here! The Star Wars franchise has been enjoying a commercial and critically successful third wind with the release of new trilogy starting The Force Awakens and standalone, universe expanding film Rogue One. While the next installment of the main nonilogy of films, The Last Jedi, is slated to be released in December, the next standalone film, an origin story for series favorite character Han Solo, has hit a major snarl as directing team Phil Lord and Chris Miller have just announced that they are departing the project.

More after the jump »

- Robert Balkovich

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Soundtracking: "Big Little Lies"

21 June 2017 7:30 AM, PDT

It's Chris Feil's weekly series on music in the movies, this time on one of this year's television favorites...

Did you know that Emmy added a music supervision category this year? While this may seem a bit nebulous (Emmy sure does have a heck of a lot of categories!), at least we might get some great soundtracks and song choices recognized. Consider my soundtrack column this week an Fyc (among others we've written) for what must be the inaugural front-runner Big Little Lies. Emmy: did you ever want it? Did you want it bad?

The musical landscape of Monterey is packed with soul tunes both new and old, weighted with a kind of timeless, cross-generational longing that ties together the various women of its ensemble. They way these songs ache deepen our understanding of each woman’s unique pain: the angry defiance of Jane running to “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole”, Madeline’s romantic respite in “River”, and a lyrically literal reflection of Celeste’s sexual confusion with “Victim of Love”. For the audience, music helps us draw the connections between their shared pain, what ultimately unites them all. Big Little Lies’s musical identity is as distinct as the series itself. »

- Chris Feil

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Would you rather...?

21 June 2017 6:01 AM, PDT

Would you rather...

... have a sudden Glee reunion with Jonathan Groff & Lea Michele in NYC?

... school Matt McGorry on how to beach?

... read with Kathleen Turner, Rosie, and Broadway's delicious Max von Essen?

... stand for a good cause (Casting Directors Union) with Cheyenne Jackson?

... do a reverse Xanadu and becoming one with murals alongside Harry Shum Jr?

... take a singing road trip with Garrett Dillahunt?

... dream of tapdance lessons with Hillary Swank?

... make babies laugh for no reason with James Wolk?

... or talk to Virginia Madsen on a 16th century contraption. Something called a "landline"? 

Pictures are after the jump to help you make this difficult choice...  »

- NATHANIEL R

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Daniel Day-Links

20 June 2017 8:40 PM, PDT

• Vanity Fair the interrupted erupted into crazed outrage early today over fake news regarding Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman payday. Katey clears up the confusion

• Time has a gorgeously written profile of Sofia Coppola by Stephanie Zacharek as The Beguiled heads to theaters.

• Meanwhile, though, not everyone is happy with the film. Our own Murtada thinks the film lacks tension and should've switched its setting away from the Civil War. Slate details the whitewashing of the source novel that happened in both the 1971 movie and to an even larger degree in the current film. I think a couple of the Slate article complaints are overdoing it particularly when it comes to the dialogue addressing the absence of slaves -- that feels absolutely authentic as to how that particular character (Nicole Kidman's stone-faced self-serving Miss Martha) would dismiss the topic but there are enough valid ones that now I'd love »

- NATHANIEL R

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New to Netflix: Heymann Brothers Double Bill

20 June 2017 5:00 PM, PDT

by Seán McGovern.

Filmmaker brothers Tomer (director) and Barack (producer) Heymann have two documentaries available on Netflix. Mr. Gaga (newly arrived) and (in time for Pride) Who's Gonna Love Me Now?. Though quite different films, Israeli brothers have a distinct knack for getting to the center of their subjects. 

Mr. Gaga details the life and artistry of Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, whose voice is just as deep and intense as the work he creates. Staged reconstructions of his work, interviews and reels of footage from his youth bring him to the screen. (Sidebar: Am I the only one who thinks it's amazingly coincidental when documantary subjects have years of home movies?). Docs about dance can often be high in concept but distancing, but Tomer Heymann captures the otherworldliness of the dancer, as well as issues of cultural censorship and the impact of loss. And there's lots of cute Israeli boys dancing. »

- Seán McGovern

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More Kidman Birthday Wishes

20 June 2017 4:13 PM, PDT

How are you doing on your 50 Celebratory Assignments for Kidman's birthday? You've only got a few hours to complete them all. Chop chop. Let's close out the festivities by revelling in all the Kidman love online today starting with her Bff Naomi Watts.

Happy Birthday to this beautiful woman. A remarkable human who gives so much love and spirit to all those around her. My friend, I am so happy to have shared incredible experiences with you over the last 3 decades. May there be many more to come »

- NATHANIEL R

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Emmy Fyc: Samira Wiley in "Orange is the New Black"

20 June 2017 12:05 PM, PDT

Team Experience is sharing Dream Emmy nominations this week. Here's Deborah Lipp

Reading the list of eligible Emmy performances is an eye-opening survey of how much good and great TV I’ve seen this year—and how much I’ve missed. How can anyone single out an individual, or a few individuals, from this sea of excellence? There is no doubt that Orange is the New Black is a great show, and my favorite show, but even narrowing the list to performances from that one show is daunting.

But then there is Samira Wiley »

- Deborah Lipp

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Pride Month Doc Corner: 'Whitney: Can I Be Me'

20 June 2017 9:30 AM, PDT

This month for Pride Month we're looking at four documentaries that tackle Lgbtiq themes. This week it is Whitney: Can I Be Me, the latest in a long line of musical documentaries.

There is no need to introduce Whitney Houston; we all know her and her songs. I also have no doubt that people reading this know her story of soaring talent and troubled downfall due to drugs. Hers was an arc that is rooted in the blueprint of great cinematic tragedies, a story that we have seen play out plenty of times before (in life as well as in in the movies), that it would be easy to roll our eyes at how cliched it was if it weren’t so painfully true.

If it feels somewhat curious then that director Nick Broomfield has turned his documentary eye to her story then that’s because it is. Unlike his »

- Glenn Dunks

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Beauty Break: Mahershala Ali and the Beach

20 June 2017 7:45 AM, PDT

Chris here, reminding you that recent Oscar winner Mahershala Ali is the gift that keeps on giving. While we haven't been able to enjoy his abilities onscreen since his Best Supporting Actor win for Moonlight, we will soon get a little something special as he costars with Lupita Nyong'o in Jay-z's much-teased (and apparently naughtily Nc-17) visual album that drops on Tidal at the end of the month. After that, he'll have supporting roles in Sundance favorite Roxanne Roxanne and Robert Rodriquez's manga adaptation Alita: Battle Angel next summer.

But speaking of waves, GQ has the actor having some fun in the sun on their newest cover. The actor is as swoonworthy as ever in both the photo spread and interview, though the article doesn't hint at any of those upcoming projects. No matter, just enjoy Ali's breeze in the rest of the spread after the jump...

»

- Chris Feil

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50 Appropriate Ways to Celebrate Nicole Kidman's Birthday

20 June 2017 5:00 AM, PDT

On this very day in Honolulu, Hawaii, 50 years ago, grad student Antony Kidman and his wife Janelle Ann welcomed a baby girl into their lives. Her Hawaiian name was "Hōkūlani" which means "Heavenly Star" and she turned out to be one. Twenty-two years later she was headlining motion pictures. A few years after that she was breaking through and in 2001 she ascended permanently into the canon of great film stars with the one two punch of Moulin Rouge! and The Others. Her name is Nicole Kidman. Perhaps you've heard of her? So happy birthday to the one and only at her half-century mark.

50 Appropriate Ways to Celebrate Nicole Kidman's 50th Birthday

Try them and report back on your success!

01 Have patience with the mere mortals around you who keep expecting you to prove yourself or don't "get" you. Humor them and keep on working because genius comes naturally to you. »

- NATHANIEL R

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Emmy Fyc: Eva Green and Christian Camargo, "Penny Dreadful"

19 June 2017 6:30 PM, PDT

Team Experience shares their dream Emmy nominations. Consider it an Fyc as nomination ballots are out...

by Dancin' Dan

Showtime's now cancelled gothic horror show Penny Dreadful has never been one to receive much awards love, even when it should have been (has there been a better villain on any television show in recent memory than Helen McCrory's Evelyn Poole in the show's second season?). Part of this had to do with timing: Airing always began around June, near the time the Emmy nominations for the previous season were voted on, meaning that by the next nominating period, it was long forgotten. The other part is the nature of the show itself. Emmy has rarely favored genre shows, much less ones as bloody and occasionally over-the-top as this.

Sadly this has meant that the series's leading lady, Eva Green, has been ignored despite giving the most committed, most fearless, »

- Denny

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Beauty vs Beast: All You Need Is Lovers

19 June 2017 3:00 PM, PDT

Jason from Mnpp here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast," which is falling square on Nicole Kidman Eve - the actress, perhaps you know her work, is turning the big Five-Oh tomorrow, and I heard if you put a cube of ice below your pillow tonight she might visit you while you sleep! I kid, don't come as me, Kidmaniacs - I adore her every bit as much as you all do. Which is problematic for this series - where could I possibly find someone to challenge her? I mean there's... no... I couldn't... could I? I am sorry, folks, but this is the only choice. Who else might beat her but the one whose heart beats so big and free...

Previously It appears that none of you learned anything from Rosemary's Baby, and you're all perfectly willing to fall prey to a pretty face covering up a treachorous heart - you gave Guy (John Cassavettes) the win with 56% of your vote over Roman (Sidney Blackmer), and while I'll admit they're both bad choices I really find Guy the most despicable so I can't agree with y'all. He deserves that loogie he gets! Or as Nick T put it:

"I'm sitting by this bag of garbage at work and like. It's less charismatic, sure, but also less morally repugnant, so it's got the edge. Still, I don't think Roman's creepiness is given its due since his wife is way more fun to watch. I'll give him my first born as tribute. It only seems fair." »

- JA

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Emmy Fyc: Judith Light, "Transparent"

19 June 2017 12:00 PM, PDT

by Chris Feil

Most of the awards talk over Transparent’s three seasons has orbited around Jeffrey Tambor’s genius work at its center. This past season was its best acted among the entire ensemble, with emotionally raw complexity from Jay Duplass and Amy Landecker that also deserves Emmy’s attention. But the most rewarding powerhouse performance this time was Judith Light as fraught matriarch Shelly. Many months ago, she became my favorite performance of the TV year and remained so ever since.

The third season brought Shelly closer to the forefront, detailing further the abuse she suffered as a child and her quickly developing romance with the increasingly suspect Buzzy (Richard Masur). When Buzzy’s manipulations come to light and her family continually shrugs off her abrasive attempts at connection, we see not only her mounting disappointments but a growing ability to stand on her own two feet. It »

- Chris Feil

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