Cate Blanchett

The Last of Robin Hood

In Maleficent, Angelina Jolie recreates her iconic curse with such perfect charisma that it’s a big letdown when she changes tune about 2.5 seconds later as Disney strives to make her relatable. Our beloved villainess became the reactionary scorned woman, and all of that potential for more evil cackles flies out the window. Thinking about this terribly missed opportunity for excellent evilness, I couldn’t help but think about the many real-life, often larger than life names who have been immortalized in cinematic biographies in ways more bittersweet than satisfying. It’s great to see them and get the rush of their performance, but sad to watch it wasted on an inferior film, or a bit part in someone else’s larger whole.

read more...

How to Train Your Dragon 2

2010’s How to Train Your Dragon threatened to be a rather conventional secret-pet kids’ flick, but for several reasons — the undeniably cute creature at its center, John Powell’s rousing score, genuinely immersive 3D flying sequences and an ending with unexpected emotional heft — it managed to be both a pleasant surprise and a financial success. Shocking as it sounds, DreamWorks Animation went ahead with not just a sequel but the middle chapter in a newly fashioned trilogy, inventively titled How to Train Your Dragon 2. We return to the island of Berk five years after its Viking occupants have learned to tame the local dragon population following decades of mutual destruction. Rather than heeding advice from aging father Stoick (voiced by Gerard Butler) on leading his kingdom when the time comes, 20-year-old inventor and preeminent dragon trainer Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) has left responsibility behind in order to explore the farthest reaches of the horizon aboard his preferred means of transportation, Toothless. However, these expeditions soon lead to encounters with a pair of heretofore unknown dragon masters, Valka (Cate Blanchett) and Drago (Djimon Hounsou), each with their own plans for the creatures. The result is plenty colorful and amusing enough, but in contrast to the film’s admirably simple charms involving a codependent companionship built on fear and trust, writer/director Dean DeBlois ladles on the usual sequel mentality. There are more characters, more beasts, more battles, more gadgets and more family-minded developments, and yet none of those elements carry quite the […]

read more...

Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

read more...

Oscar Predictions 2014: Actress

Call it the innate sexism that exists in Hollywood, but many years, the Best Actress category is less interesting than the Best Actor category. This can easily be blamed on the fewer great roles for women in movies today. However, this year, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Not only is this an incredibly strong field for the films they’ve appeared in, this is an incredibly strong field for the actresses themselves. All five women in this category are previous nominees – some of them many times over. (I’m looking at you, Meryl Streep, with your list of nominations almost as long as your list of hairstyles over the years.) Regardless, the Best Actress crop is a fertile one this year, featuring some fantastic performances in some really excellent films. As predictable as it might appear, it would be no surprise if things took a turn for anyone on this list. Keep reading for a look at all five nominees for Best Actress along with my predicted winner in red…

read more...

monuments_men

George Clooney is an undervalued filmmaker. With Confessions of a Dangerous Mind Clooney showed he was the real deal behind the camera. He followed that, his best film, with the widely acclaimed Goodnight and Good Luck, as well as the overlooked Leatherheads, and one of 2011′s best films, The Ides of March. His films have no shortage of ambition or passion, but his newest movie, The Monuments Men, suffers from perhaps too much of both. Hitler started stealing art during World War II in the hopes of creating a cultural town made up of all these stolen pieces. He was robbing people of their history and culture, and in retaliation FDR commissioned a team to go retrieve the art and find their rightful owners. George Stout (Clooney) led the group and convinced FDR to support the mission and his team of non-traditional soldiers. For the most part, this ensemble features the kind of limited character definition we expect from The Expendables, not Clooney and his writing partner Grant Heslov. Donald Jeffries (Hugh Bonnenville) is the only fully-defined character in the bunch. There’s a segment of the film where he goes off on a mission by himself resulting in a dramatic conflict that could make for its own film, and it’s a far more engaging possibility than the one we get.

read more...

gravity-sandra-bullock-10

Following the announcement of any year’s Oscar nominations, the search for records and other interesting trivia among the contenders is expected. One of this year’s most notable findings has to be that the 86th Academy Awards has broken the record for average age among the best actress nominees: 55. That’s not just interesting, it’s possibly even important. For all that’s said about Hollywood favoring young women and how actresses’ careers are done by the time they reach 40, this could be used as further evidence that older ladies are not unwelcome on the big screen. But is it really relevant to the businesspeople in Hollywood that the leading actresses of prestige pictures are veering older, their average this year being even higher than the best actor contenders (47)? The true measure for whether last year’s movies prove that not older women but women in general deserve more respect in the film industry is instead with the box office. And, well, the grosses of the nominated movies is pretty notable in this case, too. Thanks mostly to Gravity, the average domestic take for the movies nominated in the best actress category is $90M compared to that of the best actor nominees’ $34M. Nearly three times as much.

read more...

extrait_the-curious-case-of-benjamin-button_5

It’s now been five years since The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was released. Maybe I’m alone, but it hasn’t felt like five years. That’s fitting for a movie that deals with the power, or curiosity, of time. Upon its 2008 release David Fincher‘s epic was a modest success. The pricey drama was a hit with audiences, but it wasn’t exactly a universally loved film. Some Fincher fans considered it one of his lesser works and, as they were ever so fond of calling it, “Forrest Gump 2.” If The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is one of his lesser works, which it is not, then this Fincher guy sure is talented. It is also no Forrest Gump 2, because Fincher’s film is far more thoughtful, moving and honest than Gump. That’s not to say the movie isn’t without its problems. Eric Roth‘s script is often a tad on the nose  – “you never know what’s coming for ya”  and the hummingbird — but, more often than not, this F. Scott Fitzgerald adaptation is deceptively dark. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is about living life to the fullest, but this is a movie where death is a constant reminder. Nothing lasts forever, not even New Orleans. With that said, Fincher still shows his softer side, and that sincerity opens itself up to easy criticisms, both fair and unfair. What we can all agree on is it’s an extraordinary vision following an unextraordinary man. Benjamin’s a normal man dealing with even more normal problems, despite his disease, and […]

read more...

cate

It’s no secret that most of the people who make their living in the entertainment industry are an ambitious, unsatisfied lot who often dream of expanding their skill set and becoming famous for more than just the original trade that brought them to the dance. It’s why models become DJs, athletes become rappers, and rock stars become the villain of Freejack. And it’s why creative types who have become famous in the film industry for working in front of the camera eventually always want to take a stab at stepping behind it. Given this trend, it’s no surprise that an actress as accomplished as Cate Blanchett would be looking to try her hand at directing a film. All of the awards and accolades she gets for her performances have to be blending together at this point, after all. And stop for a minute to think about how many great directors she’s closely watched work. Directing a movie is something she can do, for sure. She’s got this. So that’s why Deadline is reporting that she’s all set to follow in the footsteps of the Robert Redfords and the George Clooneys that have come before her by directing her first feature, The Dinner.

read more...

rooneymara

When Carol first got announced to the world, it seemed like the perfect package to make for an important movie. Its script was an adaptation of a novel from famed writer Patricia Highsmith, called “The Price of Salt,” which is considered to be one of the seminal pieces of gay fiction. Its director was Todd Haynes, the interesting voice behind projects like Velvet Goldmine and I’m Not There. And, perhaps most importantly, it cast two of our strongest working actors today, Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska, as the two women who make a connection over the course of the film. That’s what the project used to look like, but today there’s some good news and some bad news about how it’s been coming together. The good news is that every element that made the film look so promising except for one is still in place. The bad new is that Mia Wasikowska can no longer play the younger of our onscreen lovers, Therese. Don’t let that upset you too much though, because along with the news that Wasikowska is no longer in the film comes a little bit of sugar to help the medicine go down. It’s also been announced [via Screen Daily] that a replacement has already been found for her, and wouldn’t you know it, they got another one of the best and most high-profile actresses working today to step in and do the job, Rooney Mara.

read more...

Earlier this summer fans of independent film were generally wowed with the third movie in director Richard Linklater’s walking and talking trilogy, Before Midnight, which was a project that saw him sharing a writing credit with his two stars, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, for a second time. True Delpy-philes know that helping flesh out her character in Before Sunset and Before Midnight isn’t the only writing experience she has though. It’s true that she’s known primarily as an actress, but lately she’s been dipping her toes more and more into the world of writing and directing, which has led to her creating features like Two Days in Paris, its sequel Two Days in New York, and the French comedy Le Skylab. And now Deadline is reporting that Delpy has again been hired to put pen to paper, this time to adapt Marisa Acocella Marchetto’s memoir “Cancer Vixen: A True Story” as a starring vehicle for Cate Blanchett. The deal is in the final stages of being put together by HBO Films, and it will see Blanchett serving as an executive producer as well as the film’s lead.

read more...

THE-MONUMENTS-MEN

When the endless stream of awards-show talk begins its yearly smothering of the movie industry, expect the words The Monuments Men to come up. The film’s got all the necessary pieces: It’s based both on real-life events and on a book (Robert M. Edsel‘s “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History”) and will have George Clooney wearing both his director and lead actor hats. Presumably, if the film’s actually a good one, it’ll be racking up all kinds of neat little statuettes. And thanks to Entertainment Weekly (via Facebook), you can see the first still from The Monuments Men above. You can also read more about the film below.

read more...

Blue Jasmine

The first thing you’re likely to hear from a fan of Woody Allen’s new film, Blue Jasmine, is that star Cate Blanchett is amazing (because she is) and that the perpetually Oscar-worthy actress turns in yet another Oscar-worthy performance in the auteur’s black as night comedy. The second thing you’re likely to hear from that same fan is that co-star Sally Hawkins is also amazing and that she proves herself adept at supporting the work Blanchett does while also imperceptibly straddling the line between comedy and drama with her own performance. Blue Jasmine, on a whole, lives and dies at the hand of its two central female performances – so it’s good news that Blanchett and Hawkins are both more than up to the task at hand, but it’s even better news that the film’s male-dominated supporting cast is also tremendous. A fairy tale about the 1%, Blue Jasmine sees Blanchett as the eponymous Jasmine, disgraced Park Ave. housewife and social gadfly, who decamps from Manhattan after her husband (Alec Baldwin) hits her with the one-two punch of “I’m leaving you for the nanny” (not even their nanny! Someone else’s nanny!) and “Also, I was running a Ponzi scheme and am now going to jail and, oops, now you’re impoverished.” Unskilled, mortified, and slipping into psychosis, Jasmine heads west to the only family she has left, her sister Ginger (Hawkins), who has more than enough problems of her own. The film unfolds thanks to a back-and-forth narrative that flits between […]

read more...

bluejasmine

If a movie was written and directed by Woody Allen, you can pretty much guarantee that its main character is going to be a basket case who’s plagued with neuroses. But while there’s always a dark twinge to the way human beings create compulsions around their past traumas, Allen is famous for being able to look at our foibles from a slanted enough angle to make them funny, even while they’re tearing us apart. His new movie, Blue Jasmine, may see Allen working closer to the dark end of that floating scale that goes from funny to troubling, however, because the work that Cate Blanchett is doing in the new trailer for the film looks to be too raw nerve and edgy to fit alongside much of the patented Woody Allen aloofness that we’ve become familiar with over the course of his career. What happens when a rich and snooty New Yorker loses all of her money and is forced to go stay with her sister in the Earthy, pot smoke-clouded confines of San Francisco? Turns out she breaks down, hard, and though there’s obviously laughs to be had due to her ridiculous behavior, some of her fall can get rough to watch.

read more...

Richard Madden

Briefly: As previously promised, Disney has casually rolled out another tidbit of casting news via unassuming press release. The studio has just sent around word that their once-stalled live-action Cinderella now has a prince to join its recently-cast princess. The announcement reveals that Game of Thrones’ dreamy King of the North Robb Stark, Richard Madden, has just been cast in the film, where he will star alongside Lily James as the eponymous glass slipper-wearing lady love and Cate Blanchett as that evil stepmother, all directed by Kenneth Branagh. We can only assume he’s playing the prince role, because obviously.  Yes, most UK Cinderella ever. (Yes, we know Blanchett is Australian, but we also all know that Australia is a former British colony, so let’s go with it.)

read more...

KennethBranagh

After Disney hired Mark Romanek, a director who makes dark movies, to helm their upcoming live action Cinderella, and then fired him because all of the ideas he was coming up with for the movie were too dark, one had to wonder just exactly why they were making a live-action Cinderella movie in the first place. Did anybody behind the scenes want to revisit the Cinderella story for any particular reason, or was this just a cynical ploy to churn out some product and get one of their merchandise producers back out there in the public eye? And, given such greedy corporate motivations, was it likely they were going to make a movie worth watching in the first place? Turns out they might still make a Cinderella worth watching, and perhaps they do really have a commitment to putting together something that’s good entertainment and not just good corporate synergy. This newfound optimism stems from a Vulture report that the studio is currently negotiating with Kenneth Branagh for him to come in and be Cinderella’s new director. In addition to being a well-respected filmmaker due to his helming of impressive versions of stuffy Shakespeare plays, Branagh proved with Marvel’s Thor that he could take material that had the potential of coming off as cheesy and ridiculous and present it in a manner that made it resonant and entertaining, so his potential signing would have to be seen as a smart move by Disney.

read more...

romanek

I would love to meet the executives at Disney who ever said, “Never Let Me Go and One Hour Photo? This guy Mark Romanek reeks of Disney goodness!” Nobody at the studio probably said that, sadly, but I’m sure more than a few Disney folks were conscious of what they were getting with the director. It looks everyone was just now hit with the realization that he’s not an atypical Disney protégé, as the director has left the high-profile Cinderella project. According to Deadline Hollywood, Romanek’s intentions were a tad too dark for Disney’s taste. This isn’t the first time this situation has gone down with him. If you recall, Romanek also dodged a big silver bullet by dropping The Wolfman right before shooting began. Let’s hope Cinderella isn’t met with the same quality fate as The Wolfman, but thankfully for Disney, they have more time to find a replacement before the possible summer start date than Universal did getting Joe Johnston to take Romanek’s place. The question is who it will be.

read more...

IntroBioPic

Biopics are always praised for their lead actor or actress’ realistic or unique portrayal of the subject, but what of the supporting cast? Sure, we do recognize their efforts, they might even receive an Academy Award, but rarely are they honored with something as prestigious as an online comedy list. It’s time to rectify that. Here are some of the more talented, memorable, or uncanny portrayals of people who were important enough to be featured in a movie, but not important enough for that movie to be about them.

read more...

Cate Blanchett

What is Casting Couch? It’s a round-up of Hollywood casting news, not one of those porn videos where a 19-year-old gets exploited in a grimy-looking office. Move along, perv. Now that we’ve got all of those live action Snow White movies out of the way, it makes sense that we would move down the fairy tale lineup and start seeing a rash of new Cinderella projects popping up. And, if Disney has their way, their Mark Romanek-directed Cinderella script from The Devil Wears Prada scribe Aline Brosh McKenna will be the hit that starts the trend. They’re trying to get casting for the film off on the right foot with the acquisition of a big name, as Deadline reports that the House of Mouse is in serious negotiations with Cate Blanchett to come on board to play a character called Lady Tremaine, known in some circles as the wicked stepmother. Given her experience playing a creepy elf in the Lord of the Rings movies, this seems like something of a perfect fit.

read more...

Director George Clooney

What is Casting Couch? Proof that not everyone’s tracking Hurricane Sandy’s path on Twitter. Some are still out there casting movies. The big casting news over the weekend was all of the big names that were announced for George Clooney’s next project as a director, The Monuments Men. Deadline had the scoop that this period drama about a group of art historians and museum curators trying to recover important and historical works from the clutches of the Nazis is going to star names like Bill Murray, Daniel Craig, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville, and Bob Balaban. As far as I know none of these people can even speak German, but you’ve still got to look at that list and be impressed. You could cast this crew as an office full of telemarketers and everyone would still watch the movie, making them heroes during the dying days of the Nazi regime is just icing on the cake.

read more...

Years before Woody Allen became basically the most prolific filmmaker to ever exist, he was making his way through the entertainment industry as a stand-up comedian, so he knows the art of crafting a joke, and he should have a good idea of how to best utilize the talents of those weird weekend warriors who travel from town to town projecting their neuroses onto random strangers in seedy nightclubs. That’s why it is so exciting that it’s just been announced that two of the most successful stand-up comedians of all time have signed on to be a part of his latest film. Woody’s new project doesn’t have a title yet, but what’s known about it is that it’s being filmed in New York and San Francisco over the summer. Also, we now know the names that make up its cast. In a press release put out earlier today ,it was announced that big names like Alec Baldwin and Cate Blanchett made the list, as well as some solid but lesser-known names like Michael Emerson, Sally Hawkins, and Peter Sarsgaard; but the most interesting part of the casting announcement was the inclusion of comedians Louis C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay.

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3