Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category
Jessica Chastain on Robert Redford as Our Man in “All Is Lost”
Robert Redford acts without speaking. That is some sort of magic.
Mr. Redford has given many of my favorite performances in his over-50-year career. In “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “All the President’s Men,” “The Way We Were,” and so many others, he has entertained us while always stirring an emotion within us. He has helped shape this industry through his work and mastery, while at the same time supporting new artists. He is a film legend.
And yet, as I sat watching him play the sole character, Our Man in J.C. Chandor’s, “All Is Lost,” I forgot that this is Robert Redford. He is fully the character: a man lost at sea, willing to survive. I was struck by his physical and emotional endurance, but moreover, I was struck by his lack of dialogue. How does an actor bring us a complete character without dialogue? Mr. Redford is absolutely riveting in “All Is Lost.”
He brings us forward with his silence. Having to convey much of the story through body language, he gives himself freedom to express his emotions fully.
There’s a great immediacy in his acting. He’s not confined to the expected boundaries of cinema. He is an actor who exists only in the moment, an actor who is never self-conscious. We feel his character’s secrets, without knowing them completely. He goes straight to the feeling and his story hits you, like music. Like it has for over 50 years. That is magic.
(Chastain was nominated by the Academy for “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Help.”)
In her new column on the Oscar race for Women and Hollywood at Indiewire, Susan Wloszczyna celebrates the longevity of Sandra Bullock’s career arc. When you look at where she started and now, where she’s landed with Gravity you can’t help but marvel at the ways she’s redefining not only her career but the potential trajectory for actresses over 40 in Hollywood.
Last year’s Zero Dark Thirty made $95 million, and eventually took the number one spot at the box office when it opened wide and was headed straight for the Oscar race before it was hit with controversy. But to understand the kind of tiny revolution happening here one must set aside that controversy for the moment and look only at the success of that film. Let’s also forget it was directed by a woman because that, too, is beside the point.
What is to the point with Zero Dark Thirty is that a film with a woman in the lead, making the decisions, having the whole plot turn around her character is the kind of thing Hollywood has to be talked into. Maybe it seemed like a one-off last year. You could say that the subject matter — killing Bin Laden — was enough to drive the box office. But either way, the facts are the facts: a film with a woman in the lead who wasn’t naked, having sex, someone’s mother, wife or girlfriend was kicking ass and taking names.
(…)Jessica Chastain had two number one movies last year — Zero Dark Thirty and Mama. These examples disprove the notion that movies starring women don’t open, don’t make money or aren’t awards bait. They can be. They are. Originally, the studio that had Gravity wanted a man to star in it, not a woman. But Cuaron stuck to the idea that it had to star a woman and look! It was actually successful! Imagine that.
Perhaps we are entering a new era with fresh minds. How can anyone now say Gravity would have been better cast with a man? It’s 2013 – we’re maybe on the brink of having a woman president for the first time ever. How can the films being made still reinforce the notion that only a guy can do it? Just a thought.
It worth reading the whole article, here at Awards Daily
Jessica Chastain, Channing Tatum and various other Hollywood stars have been featured in a new documentary that will commemorate the 50th death anniversary of John F. Kennedy.
Other celebs to star in the documentary ‘Letters to Jackie,’ include Viola Davis, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams, Betty White and Zooey Deschanel, the New York Post reported.
The actors, who will be seen reading 20 letters out of over 800,000 condolence letters sent to his widow, Jackie Onassis, will be joined by filmmaker Bill Couturie at the documentary’s premiere at the Kennedy Presidential Library on September 17 in Boston.
Starring Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy (and subtitled “Her” and “Him”), the two films tell of a young couple that falls in and out of love. Some of the scenes are unique to each film — McAvoy’s character may be seen talking about the relationship with a buddy in “Him”; Chastain’s character could open up to a friend in “Her.”
Many scenes, though, are common to both movies — they’re just shaded differently depending on whose movie you’re watching. So a word, a glance or a detail will look different, coming up as McAvoy might imagine it in “Him” than it would as Chastain sees it in “Her.”
Essentially, he’s taken the scalpel of literary subjectivity to the rich fodder of a relatable couple. By the time you’ve finished watching both movies, Benson hopes, you’ll have a complete if complicated picture of the relationship. Think, perhaps, of the multiple-voices conceit of “Rashomon,” the double-feature expansiveness of “Che” and the shifting narrative details of “Memento.” The films, which have not yet been bought by a U.S. distributor, are designed to be watched in succession, though in either order.
“What I wanted to capture was that feeling of looking across the table at a couple and trying to understand what their relationship is really like, and how they each experienced that relationship differently, ” Benson said in an interview.
Read the whole interview at LA Times
Chastain, 35, has racked up an impressive number of prizes for her portrayal of the humorless, laser-focused CIA operative Maya, representing, to Chastain, “the fanatical behavior to catch a fanatic,” in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. To date, she’s taken home best actress awards from the National Board of Review, the Broadcast Film Critics Association London Film Critics Circle, a Critics Choice award and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. She’s also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award, a BAFTA and an Oscar.
“I think the X factor of the character that she plays in this movie is the drive and dedication and tenacity that was staggeringly effective,” says Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow, who partnered again with screenwriter Mark Boal after their last Oscar-winning film, The Hurt Locker. “It just is a testament to her range as an actor and an artist.”