Our two headliners today share a first name and currently are both starring in a hit movie.
Emma Thompson is turning 58 today. After winning a BAFTA Award for a pair of British TV miniseries in 1987, she embarked on a distinguished film career. She was a regular for a time with Merchant-Ivory, winning her first Oscar, for Best Actress, in Howard’s End, and then being nominated for a second for The Remains of the Day. She also made several films with Kenneth Branagh, her husband from 1989-1995; she made her big screen debut in his Henry V, starred in Dead Again, and then played Beatrice to his Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing.
The big movie release of this past weekend, if I can believe the hype I’ve seen and the strong crowds I experienced, was the live action adaptation of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast. The 1991 animated musical production is one of the most beloved in the Disney canon, winning Oscars for Best Original Score and Best Original Song, and becoming the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture. The affection and nostalgia still attached to the animated film have made this year’s adaptation perhaps the most hotly anticipated live action Disney film of the past decade.
Join Lebeau and me as we discuss our own histories with the story and our reactions to the new film. There are mild spoilers here, but if you’ve seen the previous Disney film, the general story shouldn’t be much of a surprise.
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With Cinderella in theaters and the Divergent sequel opening today, it seemed like an excellent time to rank our female heroes. What exactly it means to be a movie heroine is open to interpretation. We’ve got some of the action heroines you would expect. But we also have some real world figures and some flawed protagonists. Who’s the best movie heroine? It’s time to find out.
Noah has long been a passion project for auteur Darren Aronofsky. It looked unlikely the big budget spectacle would ever be backed by a studio given the director’s artistic intentions and limited appeal. However, after a $330 million BO take for Black Swan, someone decided that it was worth the risk, especially given the success of more christian-centric films over the last few years. Aronofsky proved ill-suited to the studio system with fights over final cuts, disclaimers, budget issues, and marketing problems plaguing the film before it ever hit theaters.
I’m a big fan of DA, and was of the opinion that he’d never made a bad film. His films are incredibly emotional, singularly shot, and usually marked with a fervor. Black Swan was remarkable as an artist in search of unattainable perfection. The Wrestler was one of the saddest films you will ever see. The Fountain was a work of vision and a testament to what you want to say more than making sure it’s understood. Requiem hurts. Pi is insane. What then is Noah?