Jane Fonda


If you read the headline above and didn’t immediately ask out loud, “What about Dolly Parton?” then congratulations to you, because it must be so wonderful to be so young. Except for the part where you’re unfamiliar with one of the most delightful movies ever made, that is. 34 years ago, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Parton were brought together for a cartoonish feminism comedy called 9 to 5, about three women who take revenge on their sleazy chauvinist boss, played by the amazing Dabney Coleman. I’m certain that it was this movie that steered me on the right path as a man, both in terms of respecting the opposite sex and in my appreciation of catchy ’80s country music. If you’ve never seen it, go drop three bucks and stream it right now on Amazon. Then return to this post and get excited with me. Aside from their appearing together again in some comedy specials long ago, a newly announced Netflix series will be the first time Tomlin and Fonda are together since that kitschy classic, which was the top-grossing movie of 1980 after The Empire Strikes Back. They’ll co-star as the title characters of Grace and Frankie, two more women brought together after each has been done wrong by a man. Here it’s their respective husbands, who leave them for each other. Before the gay pairing of their spouses, Grace and Frankie are actually enemies. It’s like The First Wives Club but it’s really just “The Wives Club” […]


The Butler

Now that Warner Bros. and the Weinstein Company have come to a peaceful understanding over the title of Lee Daniels’ The Butler (which is now titled Lee Daniels’ The Butler, for true ease) let the marketing games begin for the Oscar bait. Entertainment Weekly has eight new stills from the presidential drama, which follows the story of one African-American butler, Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), who served in the White House through decades of administration changes to see firsthand how the country itself changed. The film has an all-star roster playing the presidents and their first ladies, and the stills show a few of those actors doing their best party impressions. Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan is pretty uncanny. And the beautiful irony of Jane Fonda playing Nancy Reagan will hopefully not be lost on any audiences. Her ’80s party dress is spectacular; I’m expecting taffeta and jewels for days.


Amy Ryan

What is Casting Couch? All of the day’s casting news, here in one spot. Stick around to find out which screen veteran has become the latest member of Jason Bateman’s dysfunctional family in This is Where I Leave You. Modern Family star Sofía Vergara seems poised to start transitioning over to big screen roles. Not only does she have a featured part in Robert Rodriguez’s upcoming schlock sequel, Machete Kills, but now Variety is reporting that she’s also negotiating to be the female lead in Simon West’s remake of Heat. Of course, every time this remake is brought up, it seems a requirement to bring up the fact that it isn’t a remake of Michael Mann’s Heat but a remake of the Burt Reynolds movie from 1986 about a gambling addict taking on the mob, so let’s take care of that. We just did. If Vergara’s casting becomes official, it will see her acting opposite leading man Jason Statham, which, as far as I’m concerned, is every little girl’s dream.


Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan in The Butler

Lee Daniels is currently waist-deep in White House history, exploring the most visible citizen’s home office through the eyes of The Butler – a forthcoming adaptation of a Wil Haygood newspaper article chronicling a butler (played by Forest Whitaker) who served under 8 presidents. Daniels is taking advantage of the huge swath of famous political faces by having a huge supporting cast to play them. One of the less-famous faces is being played by Oprah Winfrey (who is surprisingly not one of the 30 some odd producers), and she tweeted out (via Cinema Blend) this first look at Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan and Alan Rickman (!) as Ronald Reagan. Once again we get to marvel at the make-up, hair and costuming of a historical flick. The team has done a great job of making both look as close as possible (to the point where Rickman is virtually unrecognizable as himself). Plus, the actor raised taxes 11 times in preparation for the role, so everyone’s dedication levels are high for this one.


PLM3Fonda_Olsen on stone wall

At first glance, Peace, Love & Understanding looks like your typical indie film. The focus is on characters – relationships between parents and their children, budding romances – and the humor mostly comes from a political place, throwing uptight suit-and-tie types in a confined space with characters who are on the extreme left and watching them all chafe against each other. Chances are you could watch its first trailer and feel like it was an advertisement for a film that you’ve seen a hundred times before. That is, if it didn’t have such an appealing cast. They kind of set the project apart. Well-worn material or not, it’s pretty hard to catch wind of a movie that’s cast Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener, and Elizabeth Olsen as three generations of very different women and not get a little bit excited. With Fonda and especially Keener, you have a couple of acting veterans who always bring the goods in anything they do. And with Olsen you have a hot young performer who is going to have the eyes of Hollywood on everything she does, at least for her next few projects. Factor in that the leading ladies are being directed by a solid old hand in Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Mao’s Last Dancer) and Peace, Love & Understanding looks like it’s going to be a safe risk when you’re deciding what to hand your movie money over to.


Jane Fonda Nancy Reagan

“Yes, the same Jane Fonda who has been described as a communist, was part of the “F” the Army too and is an enemy sympathizer.” “Perhaps Fonda will be perfect at mangling history on film, since she’s certainly done that in real life.” “Of all people Hollywood could haven chosen to portray Nancy Reagan in a new film, they come up with Jane Fonda. It’s like they’re trying to offend half of America before the movie is even made. ” “Arch-liberals Fonda and [John] Cusack playing a pair of major figures on the Right? Conservatives should stock up on antacids starting … now.” That’s Townhall.com, News Busters, The Lonely Conservative and Breitbart.com in response to the Variety story that writer/director Lee Daniels (Precious) has hired Jane Fonda to play Nancy Reagan for his new movie The Butler, which follow the story of Eugene Allen, a White House butler who served under eight, count ‘em, eight presidents during his career.



If you’re like me, then you probably don’t pay much attention to what goes on in towns outside your own. As far as I knew, the only thing Toronto had going on was gripes about Maple Leaf hockey and reminiscing about when The Kids in the Hall used to play that tiny theater down the street. But what do I know? I haven’t been there since The Ultimate Warrior pinned Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania 6. Turns out they have a really awesome film festival every year. This year the events go down between September eighth and the eighteenth, and the first fifty or so films announced for the lineup have me wanting to take a trip. There are too many to discuss, but just to give you an idea of what we’re working with, let’s look at a few.



Much of Jean-Luc Godard’s cinematic output is inaccessible to American audiences. His most prolific period, the 1960s (in which he made 18 feature films) is almost entirely available, due in no small part to the Criterion Collection’s well-justified infatuation with the cineaste’s important and influential work. The output of much of his later career, however, isn’t commercially accessible in the US including much-lauded work like Nouvelle Vague (1990) and the Histoire(s) du Cinema entries (1988-98). In fact, Tout va Bien (1972 – his most recent title included in the Collection) is to my knowledge the only film he made in the 1970s that’s available on Region 1 DVD. This is all to say that here in the US, what we know of Godard we know mostly the first decade of his career. While it’s unfortunate that cinephiles have minimal access to his later work, this complaint is not meant to undervalue the importance of the work he did in the 1960s. Godard made an unbelievable amount of brilliant and challenging work in an astoundingly short amount of time, and by 1970 he had emerged as a different kind of filmmaker altogether. Godard’s 1960s work is, in a sense, the only logical starting point in order to approach an understanding of this later work. Godard’s films are an ongoing exercise in personal growth, aesthetic experimentation, and political criticism. Each work builds off of what came before. With this weekend’s US release of Godard’s most recent work, Film Socialisme, the gaps in […]

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published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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