2015 Award Season Film List

October 6th, 2015|Categories: Film, Writing|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Award season! Let’s pretend Eddie Redmayne isn’t an Oscar winning actor who keeps getting roles he doesn’t deserve, focus solely on Fassy in Macbeth, and remember, always, eternally, that Sean Penn is still illegally in possession of Mickey Rourke’s Oscar. Hold on, here we go!

Here are my Most Anticipated Movies of the season (so far). Each movie is listed in roughly its release date order. Click the title links to watch trailers, find accurate release dates, and read descriptions and reviews. I will add to this post as more films come to my attention.

The Martian
Starring an impressive cast (though only Sean Bean made Su & I gasp, because we’re NERRRRDS), this movie is the Gravity that I deserve! I hated Gravity. One time, while not sober, I watched Gravity & took notes about why I was hating it. Then I forgot & found the notes like, a year later, and they made TOTAL SENSE. I also love Ridley Scott, despite his misses, his hits still keep him close to my heart. My love for Gladiator alone makes my heart soar every time I see his name. Anyway, the movie is being well reviewed, and, based on the trailer, The Talented Mister Damon has upped his charm-meter to maximum, so YOU WILL BE ENTERTAINED. The Martian is out now. Go see it. Treat yourself!

Starring Julianne Moore and Ellen Page in a based-on-a-true story heartbreaking romance with co-stars Michael Shannon and Steve Carell, this movie is going to break all our hearts, and make up for us having to sit through Still Alice last year just because we needed to see Julianne perform. No one should have to suffer such a dull, uninspired movie, not even for Julianne. I believe this year we’ll get the Julianne we love, along with a truly well-told story.

Crimson Peak
I don’t know if this movie is going to be good, but I do know it’s going to look gholish and gorgeous, and most likely be nominated for many technical awards. From Guillermo del Toro and starring Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain (who I seem to often get into rousing debates with people defending, they’re both great) and Tom Hiddleston, who I used to not like, but now I’m kinda into (still most times I see him I think, “Oh dear, Fassy looks terrible.”), the classic ghost story looks not especially scary, but most definitely beautiful and the performances will be understated and entertaining. If it’s reviewed well I think it will make for a perfect spooky date movie this Halloween season.

Based on the enthralling novel by Emma Donoghue (who also wrote the film’s screenplay), Room stars Brie Larson, Joan Allen, William H Macy, and Jacob Tremblay. The story is told from the 5 year old boy’s point of view as he’s held in captivity with only his young mother for 5 years, then escapes and acclimates to the world outside the room they were trapped inside. It’s an ambitious adaptation and, based on early reviews, sounds like it’s paying off. I’m very excited to weep.

I’ll watch Saoirse Ronan in anything. I watched The Lovely Bones for chrissake. I’m one of only 14 people who watched (and loved) Hanna. This movie probably would have went under my radar, but it popped up and now I’m smitten and want to watch it and swoon at its retro period romance beauty. Plus the screenplay was written by Nick Hornby. That guy’s great!

By the Sea
It was nice of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to let us in on their role play. This film, written and directed by, as well as starring the fiercest of evil queens/earth mothers Angelina Jolie alongside her life partner, soul mate, and beauty match Brad Pitt. This harrowing story of broken marriage, sadness, really beautiful locations, dangerous glares, plump lips, beautifully executed dialogue, and sex dreams is a beautiful gift. It feels like a fever dream, and I’m not sure I’ll believe it’s real until after I’ve seen it 6 times. In 2005 Brad and Angelina starred in a now iconic story for W magazine by Steven Klein. I feel like this movie is that shoot come to life, only without kids. Yay! Without kids! GIMME!

So in this porn/film Tom Hardy plays identical twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray, one of whom is a bespectacled bisexual and THAT IS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW GO SEE THIS MOVIE IMMEDIATELY. IT DOESN’T COME OUT UNTIL THE END OF NOVEMBER. GO WAIT IN LINE.

Todd Haynes is going to BREAK YOUR GAY HEART while you watch this stylish adaptation of the gorgeous Patricia Highsmith novel “The Price of Salt”. Starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in yet another heartbreaking romance, it’s going to be too much. We will, as a collective, weep, and works of art that have been decaying with time will magically return to their original splendour. Truly great things will happen because of this movie. I’m crying just thinking about it.

The Lobster
One of my favourite films of 2009 was the odd and disturbingly beautiful Dogtooth. Years later and it still comes back to visit me from time to time. Director Yorgos Lanthimos and writer Efthymis Filippou return this year with The Lobster, starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C Reilly, and just for sex appeal (I’M NOT JOKING) Ben Whishaw. Jesus fuck I love Ben Whishaw. What was I talking about? Oh yeah. The Lobster’s definition on IMDb is succinct and accurate and I love anything that starts with “In a dystopian near future…” so here it is:
In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.
Farrell plays the lead who, if fails at finding love, chooses to become a lobster. His dog/failure at love brother accompanies him, and he and Rachel Weisz cross paths and have the best dystopian near-future meet-cute. I think I’m going to love it, but will I love it more than Dogtooth? Stay tuned to find out!

I’m not smart enough to comment on a Shakespeare adaptation. I tried to get Ian McKellen or Patrick Stewart to write a blurb for this post, but they kept insisting on writing about Carol instead and I was like, “I’ve got Carol covered, please talk about Fassy and Macbeth!” but they refused, so here I am, making up stories again. I’m wary of Shakespeare adaptations, but excited enough by Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard and the thrilling trailer to put some hope in this being a beautiful work of art. Regardless, it’ll remind us that Fassy is an evil sexy iambic pentameter speaking fuck shark after suffering through that Steve Jobs biopic that I AM NOT WATCHING YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.

Will this movie, starring should-be couple Tina Fey and Amy Poehler win any Oscars? Nah. Will it be nominated for Golden Globes? Probably! An important note: in addition to the hilarious co-stars, the movie was written by the equally hilarious Paula Pell, who is responsible for pretty much anything funny you ever saw on SNL between 1999-2014. She’s a gift. Honour her!

The Revenant
This movie stars eternal Oscar hopeful Leonardo DiCaprio as the grizzly good guy and Tom Hardy (WHAT!) as the grizzly bad guy. It also stars a grizzly bear. And it looks SEXY AS FUCK. I would exclaim my usual GIVE LEO HIS OSCAR, but that’s not going to happen. Let’s just accept this terrible fact and enjoy ourselves when we’re given a scrumptious Leo treat, especially if one of the layers of that treat is a delectable Tom Hardy surprise. GRIZZLY KISS HIM!

The Hateful 8
And finally, on Christmas day, Santa Tarantino gives us the greatest gift of all – his newest film, starring (among many amazing others), two of my favourite fantasies – Walton Goggins and Channing Tatum. I think ChanChan just has a small part, but I don’t care! C-TATES! Walton Goggins is a gift that we should all be lighting candles to and thanking the gods for, so get with the picture people and watch the entire series of Justified while you wait for this movie’s release. That show is like a modern day cowboy outlaw porn, it’s honestly just too many wonderful things. What was I even talking about? Oh! Papa Tarantino! The Hateful 8 looks every bit as perfect and entertaining as his most recent films Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. I’ve kinda gotten to a place with Tarantino where I feel he can do no wrong. Every movie he makes is a delight. Yes, some are better than others, but all are wonderful. This summer I rewatched Death Proof, which he admits is his worst movie, twice in two weeks and I was enthralled both times. If a movie that awesome is the worst you’ve ever made, you’re a special talent. I’m so excited to spend the day of Christ’s birth with my favourite foot fetishist.


October 7th, 2014|Categories: Film, Writing|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Visually stunning and thick with sex/death metaphors, Stoker is a challenging, sumptuous film. Not only does it leave you wondering who the villain of the horror story truly is, but you’re left curious what kind of villain is doing the haunting. The movie is a gothic incestuous tale of deranged familial inheritance, classic vampire and serial killer storytelling weaves its way throughout while dark fetishes turn cruel acts of terror seductive and beautiful. Who is the blood nourishing? Why does the evil exist?

The movie begins with death when a wealthy father, Richard Stoker, dies suddenly, and his mysterious brother, Charlie, returns from travelling abroad to care for the grieving mother and daughter Richard left behind. Matthew Goode is both charming and frightening as the lecherous, deranged Uncle Charlie, and nobody plays a fragile porcelain doll as well as Nicole Kidman, who delivers a chilling monologue in the final act of the film that reminds me why I pledged my eternal devotion to Nicole, way back in 1992. It also proves that first-time writer Wentworth Miller is an outstanding talent. The performance that held me most captive though was Mia Wasikowska as India Stoker, the morbid mourning daughter. I’m hard on Mia. I think she’s been given acting opportunities based on performances that haven’t met her potential. I could see it blooming in her performances in Alice in Wonderland, Jane Eyre, and Lawless, but it never sparked until Stoker. In this film, she proves herself as strong a performer as her contemporaries: Carey Mulligan, Jennifer Lawrence, Rooney Mara. She effortlessly keeps up with Nicole Kidman, looks disturbingly similiar to Claire Danes in 1995, and, as much as I worship at the breathy, damaged altar of Nicole Kidman, Mia is the one who bewitched me.

The story got me thinking about the types of girls who are represented in coming-of-age stories – the whip-smart, strange, unusually beautiful girls. As I ruminated, I split them into categories: The Nymphet (Lolita; Lux Lisbon in The Virgin Suicides; Alicia Silverstone in the mid-90s), The Tiny Bad-ass (Mathilda in Leon; Chloe Moretz in Kick-Ass), The Lusty Awkward Girl (Winona Ryder in Mermaids; Claire Danes in My So Called Life, Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles, Dawn Wiener in Welcome to the Dollhouse), and The Macabre Eccentric (Merricat in Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle; Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice, Cecilia Lisbon in The Virgin Suicides).

India is a classic example of the macabre eccentric. I love these girls so much. They’re disarmingly smart and confident, they’re aware of their beauty, but they don’t use it, instead choosing to button it up and guard it like a sheathed weapon. They love anguish, yet they cannot externalize their own pain. They often have a caretaker, someone who gently inserts light into their shadowed world. India’s caretaker was her father. He recognized her darkness and brightened it with affection and acceptance. When taken from her, India flounders, left in a world of people who constantly ask, “What’s wrong with you?”

Growing up I so desperately wanted to be that girl. I had a piece of her inside me when I was very young, but she was overwhelmed by my awkward lustiness. I couldn’t own my eccentricities, I had no one who affirmed my strange compulsions by allowing me to be myself and never wonder what was wrong with me. Not that I don’t love the girl I became. I traded Wednesday Addams for Tina Belcher, and while I remained death-obsessed, I became incapable of buttoning up or internalizing. Every emotion released itself via aching tears smearing poorly applied cosmetics or enthusiastic guffaws, often shamed silent, but never for long. Shame entered my world sexually as well and I fervently prayed away a lust that only deepened as I matured. I couldn’t methodically button-up my lasciviousness, I needed to be looked at, affirmed, touched.

All these character types mature a different way, and some bleed into other categories, and other categories certainly exist, but many women are represented by these categories in film and literature. Which girl were you? Which girl did you want to be? Which girl still lives inside you?

With still set photography taken by Mary Ellen Mark, and beautiful direction by Oldboy’s Chan-wook Park, Stoker is intoxicating to absorb visually. Below is a collection of images from the film that best display how beautifully colour, costume, and set mingle to contribute important symbols to this quietly disturbing horror story.

Mia Wasikowska for Interview by Craig McDean, August 2014

July 7th, 2014|Categories: Celebrity Editorials & Photo Shoots|Tags: , , , , |

Mia Wasikowska always delivers stunning editorials, and this one, shot stylishly by Craig McDean for the August issue of Interview Magazine does not disappoint. Wasikowska’s features are both bold and elegant: Claire Danes ala Cate Blanchett & she’s an excellent model, showing off both her gorgeous features & chic designs in every shot.


August 10th, 2013|Categories: Film, Writing|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |