Posts Tagged ‘Allison Janney’

Blonde Battleground

Bombshell

Director: Jay Roach

Cast: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, Connie Britton, Malcolm McDowell, Josh Lawson, Ben Lawson, Kate McKinnon, Liv Hewson, Rob Delany, Mark Duplass, Stephen Root, Mark Moses, Amy Landecker

Trumbo director Jay Roach tackles the Fox News sexual harassment scandal of 2016 in his latest film Bombshell when blonde TV anchor woman Gretchen Carlson played by Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (The Hours) sues Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes wonderfully played with a creepy sense of self-denial by Oscar nominee John Lithgow (The World According to Garp, Terms of Endearment) for sexual harassment.

Now for viewers that don’t follow American politics or media scandals then do not see Bombshell, this film has a very limited appeal outside of the United States.

The real revelation of Bombshell is the fantastic transformation of another Oscar winner South Africa’s very own Charlize Theron (Monster) as she plays Fox News primetime anchor woman Megyn Kelly thanks to the brilliant work of prosthetic makeup designer Kazu Hiro who won an Oscar for transforming Oscar winner Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.

Charlize Theron is absolutely brilliant as Megyn Kelly as she navigates her way through a thoroughly conservative and toxic media environment at Fox News as she attempts to cover the controversial presidential campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump who inevitably became the next President of the United States.

Add to the mix of beautiful blondes that work at Fox News, is the newcomer Kayla Prospisil played by Oscar nominee Margot Robbie (I,Tonya) who experiences sexual harassment first hand when she has a private meeting with Roger Ailes in a cringe worthy scene in which the media executive keeps asking Kayla to lift her skirt higher and higher.

At the times of the Roger Ailes scandal, the conservative Television broadcaster Fox News was owned by the Australian media conglomerate Newscorp which comprised of Rupert Murdoch played in Bombshell by A Clockwork Orange star Malcolm McDowell and managed by his two sons Lachlan and James Murdoch played in the film by Australian brothers Ben and Josh Lawson.

Director Jay Roach does not make a brilliant film and Bombshell appears to be extremely confusing for those viewers that are not familiar with this particular conservative American media scandal which occurred in the summer of 2016.

What Bombshell does do is highlight the extent to which women were sexually harassed in the American work place and this happened a year before the Harvey Weinstein scandal shocked Hollywood in 2017 and gave birth to the vociferous and extremely relevant MeToo movement which aims to end sexual harassment in the highly contested American media industry and beyond.

For those interested in American media scandals, Bombshell is recommended viewing and gets a film rating of 7 out of 10.

For a flawed film, Bombshell is saved by two phenomenal performances by Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie.

90th Academy Awards

The 90th Academy Awards / The Oscars

Sunday 4th March 2018

OSCAR WINNERS AT THE 90TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS

Best Picture: The Shape of Water

Best Director: Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water

Best Actor: Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

Best Actress: Frances McDormand – Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Supporting Actress: Allison Janney – I, Tonya

Best Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele – Get Out

Best Adapted Screenplay: James Ivory – Call Me by Your Name

Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins – Blade Runner 2049

Best Costume Design: Mark BridgesPhantom Thread

Best Make up & Hairstyling: David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick and Kazuhiro Tsuji – Darkest Hour

Best Visual Effects: Richard R. Hoover, Paul Lambert, Gerd Nefzer and John Nelson – Blade Runner 2049

Best Film Editing: Lee Smith – Dunkirk

Best Sound Editing: Alex Gibson and Richard King – Dunkirk

Best Sound Mixing: Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo and Mark Weingarten – Dunkirk

Best Production Design: Paul Denham Austerberry, Jeff Melvin and Shane ViseauThe Shape of Water

Best Documentary Feature:  IcarusDan Cogan & Bryan Fogel

Best Original Score: Alexandre DesplatThe Shape of Water

Best Animated Feature Film: Coco

Best Foreign Language Film: A Fantastic Woman directed by Sebastian Lelio (Chile)

71st BAFTA Awards

THE  71st BAFTA AWARDS /

THE BRITISH ACADEMY FILM AWARDS

Took place on Sunday 18th February 2018 in London at the Royal Albert Hall

BAFTA WINNERS IN THE FILM CATEGORY:

Best Film: Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Director: Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water

Outstanding British film: Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri directed by Martin McDonagh

Best Actor: Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

Best Actress: Frances McDormand – Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Supporting Actress: Allison Janney – I, Tonya

Rising Star Award: Daniel Kaluuya

Best Visual EffectsBlade Runner 2049

Best Production Design: The Shape of Water

Best Adapted Screenplay: James Ivory – Call Me by Your Name based upon the novel by Andre Aciman

Best Original Screenplay: Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Editing: Baby Driver

Best Costume Design: Phantom Thread

Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat – The Shape of Water

Best Hair and Makeup: Darkest Hour

 

 

75th Golden Globe Awards

75th GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS

Took place on Sunday 7th  January 2018 hosted by

the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in Beverly Hills, California

GOLDEN GLOBE WINNERS IN THE FILM CATEGORIES:

Best Film Drama: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Film Musical or Comedy: Ladybird

Best Director: Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water

Best Actor Drama: Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

Best Actress Drama: Frances McDormand – Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Actor, Musical or Comedy: James Franco – The Disaster Artist

Best Actress, Musical or Comedy: Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Supporting Actress: Allison Janney – I, Tonya

Best Foreign Language Film: In the Fade directed by Fatih Akin (France/Germany)

Off the Rails

The Girl on the Train

girl_on_the_train_ver2

Director: Tate Taylor

Cast: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Edgar Ramirez, Laura Pepron, Allison Janney, Lisa Kudrow

The Help director Tate Taylor tackles the cinematic adaptation of Paula Hawkins shocking suburban thriller The Girl on the Train which had book clubs the world over guessing what really occurred.

Golden Globe nominee Emily Blunt plays the prying and lonely Rachel, a boozing thirtysomething woman who is recovering from her failed marriage to the malevolent Tom, played by the rakish Justin Theroux (Mulholland Drive).

As Rachel travels the trains between suburban New York and the city, she watches Megan Hipwell, wonderfully played by the gorgeous rising star Haley Bennett (The Magnificent Seven, The Equalizer) as she pouts from her sumptuous home while playing coy with her hunky husband, Scott played by Luke Evans.

The action of the novel takes place in suburban Oxford which is Americanized to suburban upstate New York in the film. Soon the plot begins to unravel as Megan through a series of flashbacks is portrayed as a mixed up bored housewife who appears to be having an affair with her dashing psycho therapist, played by Edgar Ramirez (Point Break, Zero Dark Thirty).

The manipulative Tom has moved on from the sad and pesky Rachel and is now living with the doll-faced Anna, played with an uncharacteristic blandness by Swedish star Rebecca Ferguson who was so brilliant in Florence Foster Jenkins and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.

Then the unthinkable happens in a seemingly ordinary suburb: the beautiful Megan goes missing and Rachel for her desire to get involved in a mystery besides the real reason she is sipping martinis all day, is soon embroiled in a dangerous murder where she can’t quite remember what really happened on that fateful night when Megan Hipwell disappeared.

girl_on_the_train_ver4

The Girl on The Train is a book club novel made into a Book club film, with a brilliant performance by Emily Blunt and suitably adequate performances by all three of the hunky male co-stars. However the best performance is certainly by Haley Bennett as the doomed but utterly sultry Megan Hipwell, who is the victim of a terrible crime.

Audiences should watch out for great supporting roles by Allison Janney as a tough cop and Lisa Kudrow as the woman who unlocks the real reason why Rachel and Tom’s marriage went off the rails.

The Girl on the Train is recommended viewing but audiences should be warned this film is not as gripping as the brilliant David Fincher suburban thriller Gone Girl, which featured an Oscar nominated performance by Rosamund Pike. Nevertheless this is an entertaining and watchable thriller saved by excellent performances by Emily Blunt and Haley Bennett.

 

 

Feminizing Espionage

Spy

spy_ver7

Director: Paul Feig

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Alison Janney, Miranda Hart, Morena Baccarin

There is a confession to be made. I am not a huge Melissa McCarthy fan having missed most of her films which have made her famous including Bridesmaids, The Heat and Tammy. So it was with a mixture of trepidation and curiosity that I went to see director Paul Feig’s comedy thriller Spy mainly because I am a huge Jude Law fan. So I thought it would be interesting to see whether such a diverse cast such as Melissa McCarthy, Oscar Nominee Jude Law (The Talented Mr Ripley, Sherlock Holmes), action star Jason Statham (The Expendibles 3, Transporter Trilogy), Bobby Cannavale (Blue Jasmine, Danny Collins) and Rose Byrne (Annie, Marie Antoinette) could elevate such a film as Spy.

Despite its exotic locations from Varna in Bulgaria, to Paris, Rome and Budapest, Spy is a second rate thriller which attempts with some hilarious if not crude consequences attempts to feminize the espionage genre, and more specifically rip off the ultimate Spy films, The James Bond Franchise.

The 007 franchise have nothing to worry about as Spy is so second rate and middle of the road, even the predictable narrative could not have threatened the Bond films as a serious competitor.

spy

Let’s face it. Spy is really a comedy especially with the likes of Melissa McCarthy, British comedian Miranda Hart and Bridesmaids co-star Rose Byrne thrown in. But Jude Law? Seriously after making appearances in such exceptional films as The Talented Mr Ripley, Hugo, Sherlock Holmes and Anna Karenina, I wondered what he was doing in such a ridiculous film.

Spy is a fun filled and crass comedy which should appeal to all Melissa McCarthy fans however I would have thought that writer and director Paul Feig could have been more inventive when ripping off the James Bond franchise. The storyline is predictable, vaguely funny and even the villains Sergio de Luca and Rayna Boyanov played by Cannavale and Byrne are not seriously menacing but come off as clichés of the more heinous megalomaniacs

Even Alison Janney (The Way Way Back, The Hours) as CIA director Elaine Crocker does not save this film. Although Jason Statham is suitably funny as the rogue spy Rick Ford who is constantly threatened by females in his line of duty. Audiences should watch Spy on a Saturday afternoon as it’s certainly not the most taxing film to watch but enjoyable in its own lazy and crude style. Look out for a cameo by Curtis Jackson also known as 50c

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