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Showing posts from January, 2015

Week in Review 1.30.15

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Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs Begins Filming
The long-gestating biopic Steve Jobs, written by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, The Newsroom) and which focuses on the Apple innovator, has officially started filming. After many casting, directing and producing changes, the film, told in three long scenes (sounds quite Sorkin-eqsue), now boasts an enviable cast: Michael Fassbender (Hunger, 12 Years a Slave) as the titular Jobs; Seth Rogen (50/50, The Interview) as Steve Wozniak; and The Newsroom star Jeff Daniels, Kate Winslet (The Reader), Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man, Hugo (he also appeared in an couple of episodes of Sorkin's Studio 60)) and Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice). Danny Boyle (127 Hours) directs. Slash Film has more.

New York Pops Season Announced
The 2015-2016 New York Pops concert season has been announced. Concerts will feature the talents of Brian d'Arcy James (Macbeth, Next to Normal) and Stephanie J. Block (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Little Miss Sunshi…

Boyhood

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I didn't see Boyhood in the theaters but as soon as it was released on Netflix, I received my copy. It lay on my floor for a couple of weeks because each time I reached for it, the thought of sitting for a three-hour movie seemed too much for a weeknight.

I was also concerned that I'd heard too much hype, with award nominations (and several wins) and other accolades pouring in before I saw it. I thought that I might find the concept - checking in with this boy for a few days each year over 12 years, and using the same cast - would result in something without soul. Boy, was I wrong.

The cumulative experience of watching a boy grow up, and watching his parents grow and watching everything around him grow and change, is utterly powerful. It crept up on me; I was engaged throughout, and could relate to the struggles of both the boy growing up and the (divorced) parents trying to cope, trying to grow. But I did not expect to burst into tears as the film ended, crumpling onto the f…

SAG Awards Wrap Up

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Winners of the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards were honored on Sunday, January 25. I didn't get to watch the award ceremony (it's broadcast on cable; I'm an antenna gal) so no commentary or fashion coverage this time (go to Buzz Feed for that), just the results. Herein, the full list of winners. (Winners are in bold typeface and appear with an asterisk.)
Movies
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Birdman*BoyhoodThe Grand Budapest HotelThe Imitation GameThe Theory of EverythingOutstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Steve Carell, FoxcatcherBenedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation GameJake Gyllenhaal, NightcrawlerMichael Keaton, BirdmanEddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything*Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Jennifer Aniston, CakeFelicity Jones, The Theory of EverythingJulianne Moore, Still Alice*Rosamund Pike, Gone GirlReese Witherspoon, WildOutstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Robert Duvall, The J…

Week in Review 1.23.15

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She Loves Me Returns
The Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick musical, She Loves Me, will return to Broadway next season, in spring 2016. The revival will be part of Roundabout's 50th anniversary season. (The theatre company held a benefit, one-night-only concert of the show in 2011.) But that's not all: Tony winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) and Josh Radnor (Disgraced, How I Met Your Mother) will star in the production, to be directed by Scott Ellis (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, You Can't Take it With You). In addition to the Bock and Harnick score, She Loves Me features a book by Joe Masteroff (Cabaret); the musical is based on the novel, The Shop Around the Corner, which is also the source material for the Tom Hanks–Meg Ryan flick, You've Got Mail. Specific dates for the production have not been announced, and it is not confirmed whether She Loves Me will play at the American Airlines Theatre or Studio 54. The production is over a year…

I'm Gonna Pray for You So Hard

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Halley Feiffer definitely has something to say about theatre. In her gripping new play, a two-scene two-hander that features a father (Reed Birney) and a daughter (Betty Gilpin), Feiffer deftly waxes poetic about what it means to be an artist while also exploring a complicated family relationship.

The first scene finds David and Ella talking in the family kitchen. It's late at night; they have been drinking and continue to do so. David is a playwright and has lots of stories to tell. Ella (a possible proxy for Feiffer, a writer who is also an actress) is an aspiring actress. It's opening night of Ella's new show, and David is regaling her with stories of how he made it and what Ella has to do in order to succeed. There are wonderfully hilarious moments but Feiffer doesn't take the easy route. There are also biting, vicious moments (even more in the second scene), tender moments, and provocative moments.

Feiffer gives her two actors plenty to work with, which is fine sin…

Week in Review 1.16.15

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Casting News
Film—Variety reports that Brad Pitt (Moneyball, 12 Years a Slave), Christian Bale (American Hustle, The Fighter) and Ryan Gosling (Drive, Blue Valentine) are set to star in an adaptation of Michael Lewis's The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. The non-fiction book chronicles the credit bubble of the early '00s, which led to the financial crash of 2007/8. Nothing is confirmed.

Broadway—Additional casting has been announced for Something Rotten, the original musical comedy coming to Broadway's St James Theatre this spring. [title of show] and Now. Here. This. star Heidi Blickenstaff, Tony nominee Brad Oscar (The Producers, Big Fish), Brooks Ashmanskas, Michael James Scott (The Book of Mormon) and John Cariani, among others, join the previously announced Brian d'Arcy James and Christian Borle. Something Rotten begins previews on March 23, with opening night set for April 22. Broadway.com has the full cast list.

Find Your Significant Other at Roundabout
Rou…

Honeymoon in Vegas

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There's an overture! And an entr'acte! Neither is a mainstay of musicals these days, but composer Jason Robert Brown put them both in his new musical, Honeymoon in Vegas. (The orchestra is on stage throughout the show, though they're often hidden by scenery. For the overture and entr'acte, they are moved to center stage, and the players are dressed according to the setting. Love this.) It is a slick and polished musical comedy. The plot is silly, but that was true of the movie upon which it's based. (Andrew Bergman wrote the screenplay; he adapted his work and wrote the book for this musical.) It's decent splash, the kind of glitzy, superficial musical that isn't generally my taste. Honeymoon in Vegas doesn't change that, but it's well done. Mostly.

The action revolves around Jack (Rob McClure) and Betsy (Brynn O'Malley). They've been together for five years, but Jack can't bring himself to pop the question because of lingering guilt fr…

87th Academy Award Nominees

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The 87th Academy Award nominations were announced today! Without any further ado, here are the nominees:

Best Picture
American SniperBirdmanBoyhoodThe Grand Budapest HotelThe Imitation GameSelmaThe Theory of EverythingWhiplash I'm glad to see The Grand Budapest Hotel on here, even though I think this race comes down to Boyhood and Birdman. (However, Hotel does have several nominations in the design and other technical categories, even though it did not receive any acting nominations. It's not a runaway for Boyhood or Birdman.) With room for ten nominees, though, the Academy only chose eight nominees, leaving off worthy contenders, like Nightcrawler and Into the Woods. Also note that Interstellar is not on this list, either. Making the list is American Sniper. If you scroll through the nominations, it appears the Academy liked this quite a bit.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Steve Carell, FoxcatcherBradley Cooper, American Sniper Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation GameMichael Keato…