Kate Beckinsale:’ Austen’s Lady Susan is like Emma on steroids’

19 days ago

Her second partnerships with Whit Stillman in Love& amp; Friendship has brought her the best reviews of her career

Kate Beckinsale has earned the best its further consideration of her career for Love& Friendship, an adaptation of Lady Susan, the remarkably wry and worldly novella Jane Austen wrote as a teen. The cinema, Beckinsales second collaboration with director Whit Stillman and co-star Chlo Sevigny, 18 years after The Last Days of Disco, is a comedy about a brilliant widow hoping to secure a moneyed future for herself and her daughter. Beckinsale, 43, spoke to the Guardian before picking up the Evening Standard best actress award this month.

Did the cinema change your feelings about people becoming ever more cynical as they get older?

We always think of Austen as so poised and elegant; there is a sort of rage underneath that lives in this character, which I really liked find. Its almost like she had to purge that in order to be able to write everything else. She was such a smart female facing all those social constraints, this is why it felt a bit like her running: Right, this is my darknes having a screaming. And then she went: Oh, I shouldnt do that. And set[ the manuscript] in a drawer. There is something more raw about it, which are likely is to do with being younger.

Lady Susan is said to have an uncanny understanding of mens natures. Is that still the key to social success ?

Yes, except that I believe the advent of constantly available porn, which would have frightened Austen, has changed things instead. Its simply more apparent now: mens natures had to be covered up a little more, just as womens did. I would never be able to go on a dating site, ever. I would just be expecting a murderer and a psychotic rapist. However, I do have friends that are on it, and it does seem like there is a sort of loophole for free prostitution that seems to be beneficial to the bloke. Im kind of aware thats happened.

Do women today still have to do a lot of what Lady Susan calls suffering ridiculous manhood?

No. I mean, one of the things the movie does induce you think is: my God, we have come an awfully long way. Plainly, in the light of certain political events this year, one worries those things are a bit more under threat. But “if thats” transposed to a modern define there would be no story. This is a bright woman who would probably be the CEO of a company with a ton of boyfriends. She has operate in that somewhat machiavellian style because society doesnt give her intelligence enough of an outlet.

Why are audiences so drew attention to bitches and bullies?

When we were building it, Whit referenced Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and its a very similar thing: you dont necessarily want to go on holiday with these people, or have them in your family, but its quite thrilling watching them at work.

Is the key to Lady Susans success her absolute confidence?

I think so. I think shes got an perfectly iron-clad self-belief, which I deeply envy. Her nature is unbelievably practical; theres nothing practical about self-doubt and self-loathing and self-torture. She doesnt waste any time doing anything like that. That would be fiction for me. I think we all spend far too much hour doing that.

Why do we?

Partly because were not working in a potato field and worrying our children are going to die of leprosy. Its the luxury of the middle class to have those kinds of things going on, I suppose. And also, we have so much info arriving at us now. Lady Susan would hear what was happening one county over, perhaps, but were panicking about air crashes all over the world and what kind of mosquito might bite us. Our general level of nervousnes is related to how much is going into our little brains.

Which freaks you out most?

Climate change truly bothers me, and it doesnt seem to be quite as pressing to certain politicians as it think it ought to be its pretty terrifying.

Is the real love the friendship?

I think so. The love in the title, which is not the title of the novella, is between Chlos character and mine. It was a really nice thing to revisit that. I was so rotten to her in our earlier movie, whereas this is girls complicit and battling against everything.

Do you think such bonds can be more enduring than romantic love?

I know that my oldest friends are from primary and secondary school and I dont know if I will have a relationship that has lasted or will last as long as that. Im not pressured to find friends physically attractive over several hundred decades, which is a slightly easier thing to sustain. Female friendship in movies is something that you jump at because its not every day that a director, especially a male director, wants to write a movie about pretty complicated women with the kind of love that Whit has. Ive had two characters with him who you wouldnt want to go on a mini-break with, but its so delicious to insure his real pleasure of a prickly female. And its bear out: people have loved this movie and gone to see it a lot. So, there is a place for not just the prostitute , not just the madonna, but this kind of difficult woman. Shes like Emma on steroids.

Is it rare to have a female leading who is older, cleverer and better-looking than the men shes paired opposite?

Not inevitably. I know that it exists, receiving components harder to come by but it hasnt[ happened] so far to me. Im having a wonderful time being the age I am being an actress. Its partly Whit having had the idea for me to do this when I was 22 and doing Last Disco, and him waiting for me to ripen. I didnt know that until recently and I supposed: God, thats genuinely playing the long game. You dont usually find directors patiently waiting for you to age.

Is he waiting for you to ripen further?

Im hoping. Perhaps hes got Miss Havisham in mind.

Did you find the reviews saying you were a revelation and amazingly funny patronising?

I wouldnt tell patronising. I guess people tend to remember the last couple of movies they were aware of your doing. And it depends on whats more important to you: how youre perceived or your experience of your career. Ive done a lot of films that a lot of people havent considered, coupled with films that are a bit outside my convenience zone, actually, which a lot of people have watched or certainly been aware of. And, for me, the ability to be able to kind of flit between genres that shouldnt go together and generally dont has been an incredible privilege. I dont mind pockets of day where people go: Oh, maybe shes a bimbo, because I know Im not.

It genuinely depends how much meaning exists for you in your own experience of it and what youre doing it for. If you were doing it to hear marvellous things about yourself all the time then you would stop immediately when you had a horrible review likely aged about 19. I think its important as relevant actors to have periods where youre not flavour of the month or rewarded every single period you leave your house, because it actually does build you question if its what you really want to do and how you can get better.

Beckinsale with Chlo Sevigny in The Last day of Disco. Photo: Moviestore/ REX/ Shutterstock

Do you agree with Lady Susan that facts are horrid things?

Sometimes. I generally want to get to them, but Im not inevitably pleased when I do. My favourite thing is transparency and honesty, but that can be a bit of a brutal life, it is feasible to perhaps easier to get in a little bit of a bubble. But its generally better to know what ones dealing with, I suspect.

Particularly in 2016 ?

It is a bit tricky. Both countries that I am part of are so divided, and that is a really scary thing in itself. Thats just a sign of restlessness and trouble, and its a really new and strange position to be in, to be so aware of it. I think everybody found that out twice this year, and those facts were quite horrid things.

How does Britain appear from LA?

Well, I come back eight or nine hours a year and my mums here and my best friends are here. But its weird that a country and a city moves on and grows up independently. You do have it in your intellect as staying the same and youre homesick for something that is different when you come back. That can be a little bit jarring. It seems different. The skyline is completely different. I maintain wondering where the old dames in John Lewis went.

They all had to be killed did you not hear about that ?

Yes, I knew something must have happened. The high street where I grew up seems a bit more fancy and worldly. I recollect when you spent a whole afternoon gluing a 50 p to the pavement and hiding. Children dont do that sort of thing any more. I would still blithely do it. In fact, I might my mum has got a brilliant front gate for that sort of thing.

Love& Friendship is available now on DVD and Blu-ray

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Leslie Jones tells no designers want to dress her, so Christian Siriano steps in

21 days ago

Leslie Jones attends CinemaCon 2016 at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, on April 12.
Image: Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/ WireImage

Christian Siriano is ready to create something fierce.

Leslie Jones called out unnamed decorators Tuesday for declining to help dress her for the upcoming Ghostbusters premiere.

Her remarks sparked outrage and attention, which caught the eyes of Project Runway alum Siriano, who tweeted back with a raised hand emoji, volunteering himself for the gig.

How did Jones respond? With a resounding YAS.

I love Leslie and cant wait to build her something fabulous to wear. I dress and support women of all ages and sizes, Siriano told Time in a statement. He subsequently tweeted that “nothing is confirmed, ” but they are meeting and he’d “love” to garment her.

It’s not the first time a celebrity has struggled to find a decorator. Ghostbusters costar Melissa McCarthy told two Oscars ago, she “couldn’t find anybody to do a dress for me.”

“I asked five or six decorators very high-level ones who make lots of gowns for people and theyall told no, ” she told Redbook in 2014.

In her recent CFDA Fashion Icon acceptance speech, Beyonc said she had similar conflicts when she was starting out in Destiny’s Child.

“High-end labels didnt genuinely want to dress four black country curvy daughters, and we couldnt afford decorator dress and couture, ” she says. “My mother was repudiated from every showroom in New York.”

Siriano spoke up again about the common issue, tweetingon Wednesday that it “shouldn’t be exceptional to work with brilliant people just because they’re not sample size. Congrats aren’t in order, a change is.”

And in the meantime, designers should take note Jones will not forget this moment.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments .

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Paul Dano on acting, love and embarrassing parents: ‘They have way too many pictures of me’

25 days ago

Hes known for playing misfits in There Will Be Blood and Little Miss Sunshine now the actor is turning his back on Hollywood to take on Tolstoy

Paul Dano has the kind of body language that speaks before he does. On screen, he is often twisted, lopsided, stooped, crunched or otherwise cramped in such a way that instantaneously and viscerally communicates vulnerability. Off screen, wandering into a coffeehouse in Manhattan, he is mildly diffident, like someone who might try to read a volume while strolling along. Oh my goodness! he tells vaguely as we settle in, and there is something about Danos politeness and thoughtfulness that attains one want to ring to congratulate his mother.

As an actor, the 31 -year-old brings heft to the thinnest of scripts. Dano hasnt had that many leading proportions, but he is, to a certain kind of movie-goer, instantaneously and appreciably recognisable, as John Tibeats in 12 Years A Slave, Eli in There Will Be Blood and, most famously, his almost silent appearance as Dwayne in Little Miss Sunshine all cinemas in which his performance exerts a greater influence than the size of the role. Next month, he plays Pierre Bezukhov in the BBCs six-part, APS1 0m adaptation of War And Peace, a role that, before accepting, Dano put through his customary process of internal questioning in this case, reading the novel for the first time to see if Andrew Daviess script was up to snuff.

It felt like the responsible thing to do, Dano says. And had the scripts not held up after reading the book, which they did, and Andrew did as good a job as I think you can He tails off.

He would have turned it down? Maybe. I wouldve questioned it.

As Pierre Bezukhov in the new six-part BBC adaptation of War And Peace, with Rebecca Front as Anna Mikhailovna. Photo: Laurie Sparham/ BBC

Dano has travelled to Manhattan on the subway from his home in Brooklyn, where he has lived for eight years with his girlfriend, the actor Zoe Kazan( the couple co-starred in Ruby Sparks, which she wrote ). If you had to guess, youd set Dano down as a Brooklynite rather than a animal of Hollywood; he is pale and unbuffed, and his speech is riven with qualifiers. There is something nearly ecclesiastical about his manner hesitating and a little ached, without being unfriendly a deliberation one recognises from his roles. Dano is the master of the small external indicator of vast internal churn, and his characters tend towards the marginal( later in the interview, I stimulate the mistake of using the word weirdos to describe them, which upsets Dano on the basis that his characters are real people to me ). Even his biggest role to date, as Brian Wilson in Love& Mercy, the Beach Boys biopic for which he received a Golden Globe nomination, turned on the contrast between Wilsons fame and acclaim and the critical country of his mental health.

In the opening episode of War And Peace, which co-stars Gillian Anderson, Adrian Edmondson, Greta Scacchi and the reliably excellent Rebecca Front, Dano strolls into the grand ballroom in St Petersburg with a slight stoop, because, as he points out, Bezukhov is meant to be a bigger person than I am; hunching his shoulders connotes, cleverly, a man who doesnt know what to do with his height. Bezukhov is a tricky character for an actor, developing for the purposes of the narrative from awkward ingenue to a human in possession of a huge, unexpected fortune. In preparing for the role, Dano guessed long about what type of gaucheness he was trying to embody. Im more the kind of person who thinks about the room Im walking into before I do, he says. I think[ Pierre] walks into the room and realises hes there, which is kind of awkward at a high society party. Hes not innocent or childlike, but hes less calculating than the people around him. That openness is what attains him different. Its a beautiful quality.

The physical facet is one of the ways into a role Dano most savors. Its always a super-fun component. The question is: where is the energy in this person? Some characters lead from their chest or their head more, or their dick more, or whatever. It might not be something huge and noticeable.

On the evidence of the first episode, it will be a terrific series, although the filming six months through the worst of the winter in Lithuania and Russia was so penalizing that Dano still appears a little traumatised. During the shoot, Kazan came to visit him twice, but there were no visits home and, as a result, Dano felt their own lives stalling. He had never done such a long shoot before most of his movie roles have wrapped in two months and he was shocked at how everything had to be put on hold. Even if its dealing with a bill, or seeing your family, you have to learn to maintain enough life running while working. Its not fun to be away, and its a strange lifestyle. A full detox was necessary afterwards. Ive definitely tried to forget about it, merely to move on.

He looks instantly mortified at having permitted himself to say something that might be construed as ungrateful, and adds: Its also a great escapade , not only the run, but places I might not have gone to, and friends you make.

Dano grew up in Manhattan, on the East Side, and later in the suburbs. The East Side is shorthand for massive banking wealth and, yes, Dano tells, he was raised in one of those ritzy neighbourhoods, but without much money. His papa was a financial consultant, but not the 1% kind, and his mother raised Dano and his sister. We were in a one-bedroom when we lived in Manhattan, in a really nice neighborhood, but we had bunk beds and my parents were in the same room. It was a nice apartment. But to move into a bigger place would have been too expensive, so we went to the suburbiums, an hour away.

It was when they moved out of township that Dano began are active in a community theater, one of many after-school activities; at the time, he would have said that his aim was to become a professional basketball player. After being invited to appear in a regional play in Stanford, Connecticut, he started to go for auditions in New York, and in 1996, aged 12, attained his Broadway debut in a play called Inherit The Wind, by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee. Im pretty sure I had to save the money, and Im also sure it was not a lot a week. It wasnt like all of a sudden I had a lot of currency.

He did, however, start to get a sense of how a career in acting might run, and how it might go wrong. As Dano began appearing in small roles on TV “hes in” a few episodes of The Sopranos, a single episode of the sitcom Smart Guy and, at persons under the age of 17, won a sizeable part in the movie L.I.E . alongside Brian Cox he started to worry about getting sucked into the celebrity rat race.

The question is: where is the energy in this person? Some leading from their head or chest more, or their dick. Photo: Benedict Evans for the Guardian

He took up a place at the New School, colleges and universities in downtown Manhattan, with the intention of staying away from acting for a few years. When I went to college, I knew I could use it as a buffer. I was very conscious at an early age of that[ celebrity] world, and what it could be. And that was not attractive to me. For some reason, I always thought that the long game was more interesting than the short game.

He majored in English, took a course in Russian literature he didnt read War And Peace, but did read some of the big ones: The Death Of Ivan Ilyich. The Brother Karamazov and Anna Karenina, one of my favourite books. At some point, the need to accrue course credits and knuckle down was beginning to rankle and it occurred to Dano that, I didnt require a certain degree for the things I might want to do. It didnt seem to make sense any more. He fell out, sadly, he says, although he believes that, even for a short time, college served special purposes, dedicating him a breather from a too-fast trajectory into working life.

Although neither of Danos mothers had an acting background the nearest anyone came to it was his papa, who, Dano recently discovered, enrolled in acting class in his early 20 s to try to meet women( I thought that was really funny) they werent overly fazed when their son fell out of college. They did wonder whether he should do something as a backup, like a business or accounting course, but, Dano says, my mum was really important in letting me follow what I was good at. Its an insane profession to advise someone to go into. I dont know that I would, but both of my parents were in the camp of You can do it.

Reading remains important; in ways impossible to measure, he feels that it feeds into his abilities as an actor. One of the reasons he likes to take the metro is that he can get a lot of reading done and now, having forensically analysed War And Peace, he wonders if its time to tackle Proust. When hes at home, he mainly watches Tv, although his choice of present depends on whether or not his girlfriend is there. If hes watching with Kazan, whom he met almost a decade ago while doing an off-Broadway play, they stick to comedy or drama. Its a relationship thing, he tells. Were sharing something and want to have a chuckle together. Mad Men is something we watched together. So it is that, although hes impatient to finish the final season, Dano has had to wait until she has time to join him. Its so inter-tangled with watching with her.

Left to his own devices, however, Dano will sit and watch back-to-back sports; it doesnt matter what: baseball, basketball, ice hockey, the best live sport. He still plays basketball at some courts in Brooklyn Bridge Park, a 20 -minute stroll from his home. In some ways, he admires professional athletes more than actors. Their work ethic is so bananas. Its super-inspiring. It is also a profession, much like Danos, in which physiognomy dictates opportunity.

The actor is uncomfortable talking about the beauty pageant component in his industry; he doesnt want to be negative. On the other hand, he has been annoyed by losing out on a role to someone chosen for the incorrect reasons. If a superficial option is constructed, then its very annoying. But of course, I feel like women have it a lot worse. Its an easy thing to overthink or get upset about, but its kind of a waste of time.

But if he loses out in a fair fighting, then so be it. As long as its a really good actor get a chance, Im super-excited for them just to insure what they do. I think its nice to feed off.( The exception to this is if the person isnt a good human being. Sometimes[ bad behaviour] get romanticised, and I dont understand that .)

Danos breakthrough role was as Dwayne, the elective-mute adolescent in Little Miss Sunshine, person with whom he empathised profoundly. I feel like I knew kids like that, he tells, and he played Dwayne tenderly, with real pathos; when the character eventually breaks his silence at the end of the movie, it is funny but also shocking. Dano says that he and his co-stars, Abigail Breslin, Steve Carell and Alan Arkin, knew when they were filming that the movie might turn out to be good, because of the fun the latter are having. We were all in that van together. And then, at our first screening at Sundance, there were many rounds of applause during the course of its film. It was one of the best screenings Ive been to.

Lots of similar roles arrived his route, roles in which he was asked to play people outside of something. He was still in his early 20 s when he was casting, at the last minute, in There Will Be Blood, opposite Daniel Day-Lewis, and too young to feel the pressure. I just had to throw myself in there and go for it, he says.

While on define, did he look to Day-Lewis for professional advice? I dont think that Ive … He lapses into a confounded stillnes and we regroup around the subject of whether having idols is desirable or necessary when planning for the future. I believe Im more concerned with the present moment , not in terms of getting rich and famous. I dont think you can calculate life. I like it when you watch a person who plainly puts themselves out there, and almost that it expenses them something. You want to feel that people really gave you a piece of themselves. Thats what I think can be really inspiring or moving.

Paul Dano with Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years A Slave. Photograph: Everett/ REX Shutterstock

Then, in 2013, arrived his role as John Tibeats in Steve McQueens 12 Years A Slave. Tibeats is the overseer who taunts the slaves early on in the story, in a scene that, as with so many in the film, is profoundly disturbing. One wonders how it felt to create a character that loathsome, given the amount of empathy relevant actors must feel for any role he is playing. Yes, Dano says. When I read that character, I didnt run, oh, yes, delicious! But I really loved the script, so you ask yourself, is this worth contributing to the tale? I looked at it that way, and I think it was.

How did he go about creating the character? I talked to Steve about it and I think that one way to come at it is to ask, what is he taking out on them? Its not about that person being bad to a slave, its about something else, and what is that something else that drives me to act out in that way towards that person?

Was it emotionally disturbing to play the taunting scene? That scene is one of the only periods Ive ever felt … Normally by that point, youve sufficiently deleted yourself. You prepare, you do your work, rehearse. But because in that scene it was a group of extras who I didnt know, a group of guys who I didnt have a relationship with, which is good for the scene, but as a person it is a little He seems stricken. Then again, everybody knew why we were there.

The difficulties Dano faced during the filming of War And Peace were less burdensome, and revolved around trying to figuring out Tolstoys deeper meaning. Tolstoy was Christian, but it feelings as if theres something almost Buddhist at work, Dano tells, gamely. How to live and how to be happy. The externals, like the wealth I dont know Tolstoy thought this organization is the answers. I think he was looking for something deeper and more meaningful. Its like Pierre gets all the externals and those are the things we think are going to stimulate us happy. And then I dont think they do. And then what? When what you thought would make you happy doesnt?

Since finishing filming, he has been more or less on hiatus, trying to catch up on their own lives. He seems, next month, in a small, striking role in an otherwise pretentious movie called Youth, written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino and starring Michael Caine and Rachel Weisz, in which Dano plays against form; he is often cast as somebody hampered by his own seriousnes, but in this is a jaded movie star in a country retreat, trying to escape the trappings of his fame.

For Danos part, celebrity continues to embarrass him and he sends all his film memorabilia to his mothers house in Pennsylvania. When he first started doing this, he assumed it would all go in a box in a cupboard, but on a trip back home he discovered to his horror that it was all out on display. Theyre super-proud. They have way too many paintings and memorabilia, which I find … there was a moment when … I dont want any of that stuff. It might be nice to have some day He squirms with awkwardness.

His most recent trip home was so sweet, but frustrating. There was more food than you could my mum wants to attain my visit so good, I cannot tell you how much food she made.

Did she send you back with leftovers? Yes. Very nice as well.

Until the next project comes along, Dano will bide his time in Brooklyn, enjoying the moments of separation from acting and, as he assures it, refuelling. Its a question of what you fill up on what you read and learn.

It is also a question of recognizing also that , no matter particularities of a story or idiosyncrasies of a character, the stakes are often the same: love, sex, money, power, all the things it is Danos job to communicate. The words, or the dress, or the history may be different, but the inner life is relatable, he says. Its a beautiful window.

War And Peace starts on 3 January at 9pm on BBC1.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Stars welcome Academy move to expel Weinstein over sexual assault claims

1 month, 1 day ago

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science kickings mogul out over allegations including rape from more than two dozen women

Hollywood superstars have welcomed the expulsion of shamed movie producer Harvey Weinstein from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In an unprecedented move after a special session held in Los Angeles on Saturday morning, the Academy board said:” We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the epoch of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.

” What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in national societies. The committee continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify .”

Among those who supported the decision was actor Mia Farrow, whose son Ronan write a New Yorker article in which three women alleged Weinstein raped them. She tweeted:” Proud of TheAcademy! Harvey Weinstein is out .”

Emmy Rossum, the starring of Shameless, wrote” Amen, the academy !!!” while Hellboy actor Ron Perlman tweeted:” As the states members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science I am proud of their decision to expel Harvey Weinstein .”

Weinstein, 65, faces allegations of sexual misconduct from more than two dozen women and three of rape. He has apologized for having” caused a lot of pain” but has forcefully denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex. It is believed he is currently in Arizona, receiving “treatment” related to his behavior.

In its 90 -year history, the Academy has expelled merely one other member, and merely because 83 -year-old Carmine Caridi, an actor, transgressed specific written regulations about sharing screener copies of cinemas in 2004. No member has been expelled for unethical or potentially criminal behavior, including figures such as Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby and Mel Gibson, who have had high-profile sex or domestic assault accusations made against them.

The academy’s 54 -member board of governors needed a two-thirds referendum to trigger an expulsion, according to its bylaws. It voted” well in excess” of that requirement, according to the Academy statement.

The Academy’s UK counterpart, Bafta, suspended Weinstein on Wednesday morning , calling his alleged behavior” completely unacceptable and incompatible with Bafta’s values “.

In an emotional interview with The Hollywood Reporter published on Saturday, even Weinstein’s fucking brother advocated his suspension.” I have a brother that’s indefensible and crazy ,” told Bob Weinstein, 62 and an executive at The Weinstein Company( TWC ).” I find myself in a waking nightmare. My brother has caused unconscionable suffering. As a father of three daughters I say this with every bone in my body- I am heartbroken for the women that he has harmed .”

Prior to the decision others were less sure, arguing that pushing Weinstein out might define a difficult precedent.

” For the Academy to treat Harvey as if he is the only creep in the business is wrong ,” Mitchell Block, a member of the short cinemas and feature animation branch, told the Hollywood Reporter .” The problem is far larger than just Mr Weinstein. The silence about the other sociopaths is deafening. I think the Academy should not move hurriedly and take action until it fully understands the scope of the problem and devises a clear policy .”

Weinstein has a complicated relationship with the Academy. On the one hand, according to a Quartz analysis, he is the second most-thanked person in Oscar award speeches over the past quarter-century, just behind Steven Spielberg and tied with God. His movies have been nominated for more than 300 Academy Awards. He won an Oscar himself as producer of the 1999 made Shakespeare in Love.

On the other hand, some Hollywood insiders tell Weinstein was more tolerated than loved- he has long been known for a gruff, abrasive demeanor.” He’s never been an insider with them ,” one anonymous member told Daily Variety .” They’ve never really liked him .”

Many of the Academy rules around award-season lobbying were put in place in response to the type of aggressive campaigns Weinstein was famous for mounting.

The New York Times first reported accusations against Weinstein this month. More than 30 women have now accused the mega-producer of inappropriate sexual behavior, including four who have alleged that he raped them. The most recent rape allegation was levied by performer Rose McGowan on Twitter. In a string of tweets directed at Amazon Studios late on Thursday, she wrote:” HW raped me .”

Police forces-out in the US and the UK are investigating. In a statement issued after the New Yorker detailed allegations of rape, the TWC board said it was ” shocked and dismayed” and” committed to assisting with our full energies in all criminal or other investigations of these alleged acts “.

Harvey Weinstein won an Oscar as producer of Shakespeare in Love, from 1999. Photograph: Mike Blake/ Reuters

Sallie Hofmeister, a spokesperson for Harvey Weinstein, told:” Any allegations of non-consensual sexuality are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein. With respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual .”

In his Hollywood Reporter interview, Bob Weinstein said he had barely spoken to two brothers in virtually five years.

” I could not take his cheating, his lying and also his attitude toward everyone ,” he told. While he said he was aware his brother was ” philandering with all the women he could gratify”, he insisted he had little notion about the alleged predatory harassment.

Weinstein insisted TWC could survive, in an interview in which, the Reporter said, he often became emotional. He and two brothers, he told, ran separate companies so many of the people Harvey Weinstein did business with he had never met.” The each member of the[ TWC] board, including myself, did not know the extent of my brother’s actions ,” he said.

Weinstein also said he was a victim of his brother’s abuse, including physical abuse.

” I do not set myself in the category at all of those women that he hurt ,” he told.” But it’s a complicated situation when it’s your brother doing the abusing to you as well. I watched it and I asked him to get help for many years. And that’s the truth. He avoided get the help. We implored him .”

His brother should never be allowed back into the film industry, he said.” He lost his rights. He didn’t lose his rights to be rehabilitated as every human being. But as far as being in this town again? I entail, give me a violate .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Annette Bening:’ Women don’t have to do everything’

1 month, 18 days ago

She is the ultimate 21 st century female both on and off the screen. Eve Barlow fulfils Annette Bening in LA to talk about movies, motherhood and her search for meaning

At 11 am on a Friday morning, Studio City in Los Angeles is full of mums. Mums coming out of fingernail salons, mums falling dogs off at day care, mums picking up fresh bread. Outside one deli, a local mum with cropped hair slides in through the front doorway in a camel-coloured overcoat. She moves towards a back kiosk and, complaining of a slight cold, orders chicken noodle soup. She could be any mum, but shes the mum: Annette Bening.

She seems around the 1950 s diner. I love the booths, I love the ambiance, and she smiles, pointing at portraits of stacks of salt beef and rye, I love the pictures of the sandwiches. Its a surprise, perhaps, that such Hollywood royalty can sit at a booth in an unassuming deli without anyone bothering her.

For nearly 30 years, Bening a four-time Oscar nominee, a Bafta winner for American Beauty and twice a Golden Globe recipient( for Being Julia and The Kids Are All Right ) has been bending the notions of family. At the age of 58, her latest maternal portrait in 20 th Century Women is lauded as her most electric, searching and emotionally expansive yet.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

One for the money: the great actors who slummed it in dumb movies

2 months, 6 days ago

Helen Mirrens appearance in the Fast and Furious franchise is a bit of a astound. But virtually every notable actor from Welles to Brando to Blanchett has cashed in an easy paycheque for a mindless franchise or a duffer

Helen Mirrens appearance in Fast and Furious 8 or Fate of the Furious, or whatever you want to call it is notable for a couple of reasons. First, it proves that not even dames of the British empire are impervious to the breathlessly dumb sight of a big-budget, boneheaded franchise. Second, it elevates her to the highest possible rank of actor: Thespians Who Should Be Above This But Arent.

Almost without exception, every great actor has spent at the least some time slumming it in movies that dont accommodate their talent. In fact, you could probably make a highly enjoyable movie marathon out of these appearances. Heres my suggested operating order 😛 TAGEND

Orson Welles in Transformers.

Orson Welles Unicron
Transformers: The Movie( 1986 )

Well start with perhaps the most infamous. By this phase, Welless career had spiralled down to the extent that he was primarily famous for his angry, drunk, advert outtakes. His final indignity was playing a planet-eating robot called Unicron in a feature-length toy commercial. However, this raises an important point about slumming actors: although the work is beneath them, the films are often loads of fun to watch. Compare this with any of Michael Bays movies, and Welless Transformers looks like a flat-out masterpiece.

Judi Dench Aereon
The Chronicles of Riddick( 2004 )

Dench managed to win an Oscar after is available on a cinema for only eight minutes. That movie was not The Chronicles of Riddick, in which she played Dame Judi Dench Who Can Nearly Fly But Not Quite and Also Has a Drapery Over Her Head. Its long, tedious and far too self-regarding for its own good. But, as Fifty Shades Darker ably demonstrated, at least Christian Grey was a fan of the movie. He has a poster of it hanging on his wall.

Dustin Hoffman Mr Magorium
Mr Magoriums Wonder Emporium( 2007 )

A film so bad it became the punchline to Breaking Bads best gag, Mr Magoriums Wonder Emporium is a prime example of all the bad things that can happen if you hire a renowned actor to star in your stupid movie. Hoffman endows his character with countless infuriating tics and oddities that would have almost definitely been beaten out of him if he wasnt Dustin Hoffman. Future Oscar-winner Natalie Portman didnt do herself any prefers, either. Unbearable.

Marlon Brando as Dr Moreau

Marlon Brando Dr Moreau
The Island of Dr Moreau( 1996 )

The narratives about Marlon Brandos antics on the decide of this doomed HG Wells adaptation are much better than the actual cinema. It is said that, rather than learn the lines, Brando simply recurred whatever was dictated to him via an earpiece; a trick that ran awry when the signal was highjacked by a nearby police scanner. He also insisted that his character should intermittently wear a bucket on his head and, although this was vetoed, that he should ultimately reveal himself to be a dolphin. The film is unwatchable.

Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe Lt Parker Barnes and SID 6.7
Virtuosity( 1995 )

Now its day for a twofer. This is the plot description from Virtuositys IMDb page: When a virtual reality simulation created using the personalities of multiple serial killers manages to escape into the real world, an ex-cop is tasked with stopping its reign of terror. The cinema, if you can believe it, doesnt even live up to this.( NB: the movies two results have three Oscars between them .)

Michael Caine in Jaws: The Revenge

Michael Caine Hoagie
Jaws: The Revenge( 1987 )

Caines one for me, one for them attitude towards filmmaking has resulted in a wildly spotty filmography. But his lowest point was the fourth Jaws movie. Roy Scheiders character has died and his( perhaps psychic) widow keeps getting chased about the place by an angry shark with a personal vendetta. Plus, said animal may or may not be controlled by a witch doctor. The movie is partly redeemed by Caines devil-may-care attitude towards its horrible reception. I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible, he once memorably remarked. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.

Peter OToole Zaltar
Supergirl( 1984 )

Supergirl is filled with weirdly mournful performances by performers who all seem fairly close to demise Peter Cooks role is especially sad. And yet it is OToole who takes the biggest hitting. Playing a Kryptonian trapped in the Phantom Zone( who however seems to have access to Bill Beaumonts A Question of Sport sweater collection ), he exudes the air of a trapped circus monkey who wont get any dinner unless he turns up and goes through the motions. Heartbreaking.

John Hurt Dr Turner
Tender Loving Care( 1998 )

Technically, Tender Loving Care might not count as a movie, as it never had a theatrical release, but it does stand out as a bizarre outlier on Hurts filmography. The movie is an interactive Hand That Rocks the Cradle-style thriller with the thinnest possible erotic undercurrent. You watch a couple of scenes, then answer an on-screen questionnaire about how it constructed “youre feeling”. Your answers dictate where the movie goes next. Hurts role was to guide spectators through these questionnaires, and then pull an interested face as they entered their answers. The role could easily have been taken by a monkey in a hat.

Faye Dunaway Elena Dubrow
Dunston Checks In( 1996 )

On the subject of monkeys, heres a film about a crazy orangutan pearl robber and his kooky adventures in a negligently run hotel. You might remember Dunston Checks In as the cinema where an ape dedicates an erotic massage to a middle-aged lady. Or perhaps youll remember it as the film where the same monkey climbs on to a chandelier and flings himself at Faye Dunaway superstar of Bonnie and Clyde, The Arrangement, Chinatown, The Thomas Crown Affair and Network who then topples into a great big cake. This was likely less slummy for Dunaway than Supergirl( in which she also seemed) but, because she looks like she is having fun in this, its still worth throwing on the bonfire.

Cate Blanchett as Irina Spalko

Cate Blanchett Irina Spalko
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull( 2008 )

No matter how prestigious their stage and screen careers, all actors want to work for Steven Spielberg. Even if they end up working with him on a movie where people get attacked by giant ants. Even if that film has a sequence where the hero is catapulted to safety during a nuclear explosion by hiding in a fridge. Even if, at one point, Shia LaBeouf escapes demise by literally swinging away through the trees like a monkey. This is why Cate Blanchett appeared in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Philip Seymour Hoffman Owen Davian
Mission: Impossible III( 2006 )

At this point in his career, Hoffman was a true cinematic heavyweight. He had acted for Todd Solondz, Spike Lee and the Coen friends. He was a favourite of Paul Thomas Anderson and Anthony Minghella. He had just won an Oscar for Capote. He could pick any role he liked, and he chose to be an anonymous baddie in the second-worst Mission: Impossible cinema. It made a small amount of sense, allowing him to chew scenery at full volume for his largest audience yet. But what a weird selection to play second fiddle to Tom Cruises frenzied operating technique.

Robert Downey Jr Dr Kozak
The Shaggy Dog( 2006 )

You could argue that Robert Downey Jr wasnt slumming it by taking a reduced role in a fifth-rate Tim Allen movie. You could argue that, at this point in their own lives, he had scuppered his career so comprehensively that his appearance in this film counted as a kindness on Allens part. Even so, its jarring to see an actor so widely feted hopping around the interior of a courtroom on all fours with his tongue waggling around. Two years later, he would rehabilitate himself as Iron Man, becoming the worlds highest-paid actor in the process. But this performance remains a advising from history about all the bad things that can happen if you take too many drugs.

The entire casting
Tiptoes( 2003 )

Let us finish our marathon with an undiluted cavalcade of slumming actors. Tiptoes should have benefited from its murderers row of talent. It stars two-time Emmy-winning Peter Dinklage. It stars two-time London Critics Circle award-winner Kate Beckinsale. It stars two-time Bafta-winner Gary Oldman. It stars Oscar, Bafta and Golden Globe-winning Patricia Arquette. It stars Matthew McConaughey, who won 18 awardings in a single year for Dallas Buyers Club. Tiptoes “shouldve been” unstoppable. But it wasnt because it was a weird hybrid of romcom and abortion drama in which Oldman played a dwarf. The whole thing was so offensive that it was never released theatrically in the US.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

The best films of 2016 … that “youre supposed to” didn’t watch

2 months, 7 days ago

Guardian faculty compile a list of overlooked cinemas of the past year, including Isabelle Hupperts overshadowed make, the scariest horror film and a farting corpse

How to Be Single

The post-Sex and the City surge in cinemas and TV displays based around the dating habits of singletons was largely a conveyor belt of deceptively packaged romantic comedies still based around the idea that marriage should remain a womans ultimate aspiration. Attempting to cover up a repetition conservative agenda with cocktails and frank sexuality chat was a temporary solution to actual progress. But even, as noted in How to Be Single, the freedom of Carrie Bradshaw and her cronies was something of a fallacy as they spent the majority of their period talking about humen.

That casual aside hints at a refreshing agenda for a film that, yes, still falls into formula mode at times( prime real estate for characters on average salaries tick !), but makes a somewhat groundbreaking statement for a cinema of its ilk: its OK, and often preferable, to be single. Dakota Johnsons unbelievably nuanced performance anchors an often rambling ensemble piece that offers up a glossy yet surprisingly sharp view of relationships. Like a more multiplex-friendly take over 2014 s underrated drama Wild, we have a cinema that praises the importance of being alone and not falling into a vortex of co-dependency. Its also a warm and funny comedy with a pitched-just-right comic performance from Rebel Wilson and a damn fine genre-defying objective that comes as a breath of fresh air after years of stuffy rom-coms. BL

Kubo and the Two Strings

For sheer movie theater spectacle you only cant beat Kubo and the Two Strings, an unspeakably beautiful stop-motion animated yarn about a one-eyed boy named Kubo( Art Parkinson) who must find his fathers armor with the assistance of a silent knight made out of origami paper, a samurai-beetle with amnesia( Matthew McConaughey ), and an irascible monkey( Charlize Theron ).

The movie vanished without a tracing after its opening but it is well worth remembering. Its various set pieces stand alongside the most inventive in contemporary filmmaking: Theres a battle with a huge red skeleton ogre the skeleton itself being the largest stop-motion marionette ever assembled and theres the duel with Kubos evil aunts on a ship made out of leaves, as well as a stunning climactic sequence in which the evil Moon King is destroyed in the most unexpected, touching way.

Kubo and the Two Strings stuffs its 102 minutes with action and humor, but the movies deep well of sadness induces it memorable beyond the sheer adrenaline of its flamboyant visuals. As Kubo strays through the movies notionally medieval-Japanese put, director Travis Knight and the Laika staff offer up image upon image of ruining, the little boy stark against empty houses and abandoned temples.

The screenplays beats remain refreshingly unpredictable all the way to the movies end, and its open-hearted hero has more to offer the children of the movies intended audience than the unbearable believe in yourself or growing up is hard of its kid-movie challengers. The film-makers carefully build a desolated world with the care of the best stop-motion craftspeople, and within it, they are continuing induce hope plausible.

Swiss Army Man

Seeing a cinema that most people referred to as the farting corpse movie on the final day of a festival after watching more than 30 films at altitude wasnt ever that appealing of future prospects. Ten minutes into Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinerts gay necrophilia movie, there was an nearly irresistible recommend to walk out just after the scene where Daniel Radcliffes corpse had ridden over the waves, propelled by that most eco-friendly of gasolines: flatulence.

You cant really get around the fact that this is a feature about a farting corpse, but the directors know that and reveled in it: What if we took that really stupid idea and poured our hearts into it? was the issues to they asked themselves when stimulating it. Swiss Army Man is the result of that questionable approach. After the initial 10 minutes of head shaking, eye rolling and prudish laughters the plot have started to emerge and what Kwan and Scheinert manage, unbelievably, is to create a movie that is strangely uplifting as it is ridiculous.

Paul Danos hopeless, deluded loner is brilliantly wrought and perhaps a comment on the kind of characters he usually get cast as. While Radcliffe does as well as anyone could expect of an actor whose main motive is post-death bowel movement. It might have been the altitude, it might have been the farts, but by the end the film had gone from perhaps the worst thing Id ever experienced to something that I couldnt stop telling people about.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Zuckerberg denies Facebook News Feed bubble impacted the election

2 months, 8 days ago

In the aftermath of the U.S. Presidential election, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took the stage at Techonomy1 6 to address concerns that the companydidnt do enough to stop the proliferation of fake news on News Feed .

Zuckerberg insisted that more can always be done to improve the quality of the News Feed experience, but that Facebook could not have influenced the outcome of theelection.

Personally, Ithink the idea that fake news on Facebook, of which its a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea, Zuckerberg said.

He continued by saying people are looking for a narrative to explain the election. However, he believes that a narrative that implicitly presumes Trump supporters are dumb enough to be manipulated by Facebook is insulting to those voters. In his view, It was just as likely for News Feed to highlightfake news about Clinton but the media remains steadfast inignoring that Trump advocates ultimately believed their candidate can bring them a better life.

People are smart and they understand whats important to them , notedZuckerberg.

Rather than placing blamed on theaccessibility of facts, he pointed to content involvement as their own problems. Zuckerberg noted that Trumps posts got more engagement than Clintons on Facebook.

Facebook research shows that nearly everyone on the platform isconnected with at-least someonethat hasopposing ideological notion. The real question for Zuckerberg ishow to influence the way people react when they consider a post they disagree. The key is to stop them from brushing it under the rug.

To get there, Facebook is making efforts to involve humans more deeply in thecreation of theranking algorithmsthe companyuses for content.News Feed now has a human quality panel that is usedto hone in rankings. Humans are given tales and is necessary to rank them to get a better idea of what makes a particular story fulfilling for the user.

Zuckerberg had previously only addressed the election in a Facebookpost featuring a photograph of his daughter Max. Henoted at that time that, We are all blessed to have the ability to stimulate the world better, and we have the responsibility to do it, but didnt elaborate on what that meant specifically for him and his company.

Adam Mosseri, VP of Product Management for NewsFeed, echoed much of what Zuckerberg saidearlier today in a statement to TechCrunch, though his brief comments werenotably less skeptical of the importance of removing propaganda.

We understand theres so much more we need to do, and that is why its important that we maintain improving our ability to detect misinformation, Mosseri noted.

Despite all of the global concernabout Trumps win, Zuckerberg did take a moment to makeit clear that he doesnt believe any single person can basically alter the arc of technological innovation.

The following transcription has been edited somewhat for readability. It contains the largest chunk ofZuckerbergs commentary about the role of News Feed in the election. If you want to see the entire talk, you can watch it in its entirety here .~ ATAGEND

So when it comes to News Feed ranking, I actually think we are very transparent. Every period we add a new signal or make a change we publish that, right? We explain why we are doing it and what signal we are adding and we bring people in to talk to them about it. You know that stuff is right there and we will continue to do that and thats a big part of what we do and we take that seriously.

Ive considered some of the tales you are talking about around this election and personally I suppose the idea that fake news on Facebook, of which its a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea.

You know voters make decisions based on their lived experience. We actually believes in people. You dont generally go wrong when you trust that people understand what they care about and whats important to them and you construct systems that reflect that.

Part of what I think is going on there are people are trying to understand the result of the election, but I do think that there is a certain profound absence of empathy in asserting that the only reason someone could have voted the route they did is because they find some fake news. If you believe that then, I dont think you have internalized the message that Trump supporters are trying to send in this election.

The quickest route to refute the fact that this surely had no impact is why would you think there would be fake news but not on the other. We know we study this, we know that its a very small volume of anything. Hoaxes are not new on Facebook. There have been hoaxes on the internet and there have been hoaxes before. We do our best to make it so that people can report that and so that we can as I said before share people the most meaningful content that we can.

Weve examined this a lot because as you can imagine I truly care about this, I want what we do to have a good impact on the world. I want people to have a diversity of information. So this is why we study this stuff to make sure we are having that positive impact. For whatever reason, all the research suggests that this isnt genuinely a problem and I can go into that in a second but for whatever reason we have had a really hard time get that out.

But here is the historical analogy that I think is useful on this. If you go back 20 years and look at the media scenery, there were a few major Tv networks in any devoted local area. There were a few major newspapers that had an editorial opinion and those were the opinions that you got all your news filtered through.

Regardless of what leaning you have on Facebook politically, or what your background is, all the research shows that almost everyone has some friends who are on the other side. Even if youre a Democrat and 90 percentage of your friends are Democrat, 10 percentage of your friends are Republican. Even if you live in some nation or some country, youre going to know some people who live in a different state or a different country.

So what we observed, and you can go through everything, you can go through religion you can go through ethnic background, only all of these different things. In a lot of cases, the majority of someones friends might fit their beliefs, but there are always some outliers. That means that the media diversity and the diversity of information you are getting through a social system like a Facebook is going to be inherently more diverse than what you would have gotten through watching one of the three news stations and sticking with that and having that be your newspaper or your tv station 20 years ago.

The research also presents something, which is a little bit less inspiring, which is that we analyze not only people exposure in News Feed to content from different points of view, but also what people click on and engage with.

By far, the biggest filter in the system is not that the content isnt there, or that you dont have friends who support the other nominee, or who are from another religion, but that you simply tune it out when you see it. So, you have your world view, and you go through and I think we would all be surprised how many things dont conform to our world view that we just tune out. We just dont click on them and you know I dont know what to do about that. We should work on that.

Presenting people with a diversity of information is an important problem in the world, and one I hope we can build more progress on. But right now, the problem isnt that the diverse information isnt there, its actually, by any study, more there than traditional media in the last generation, but we havent gotten people to engage with it in higher proportions.

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Marisa Tomei:’ I only got to be old very recently’

2 months, 13 days ago

A quarter of a century after winning an Oscar for My Cousin Vinny, the actor is causing a stir as Spider-Mans Aunt May. She talks about being allowed to get old and her reputation as a great on-screen kisser

T oo hot, too young, too sexy: these were the sobs of outraged comic-book fans on social media when Marisa Tomei was cast as Spider-Mans Aunt May in July 2015. And the then 50 -year-old Oscar winner agreed with the backlash. I know, right? laughs Tomei down the phone from New York, where shes preparing for the blockbusters premiere this week. Its luck I didnt know much about Aunt May, because I might have been frightened if Id ensure the original image of a grey-haired pensioner. Dont toy with my heart, Marvel. Is that really how you view me?

She disagrees, though, that her casting was an example of Hollywoods negative attitude towards age. She points out that it attains sense in the context of the franchises latest reboot, Spider-Man: Homecoming , starring 21 -year-old Londoner Tom Holland as the wall-crawling web-slinger in his high school days: They aged Peter Parker down too. Hes 15 in this movie. I aimed up picking the brains of my brother Adam, whos been an encyclopaedia of Marvel since we were little, and he has pointed out that Mays not related to Peter by blood shes his aunt by marriage to his uncle Ben. So she could be elderly or pretty young, depending what age she fulfilled her husband. I thought maybe I should lean into it and made a case in order to be allowed to age me up. A lot of young girls are wearing that silver hair now, so it was something we toyed with.

Indeed, Tomei has her own pet theory about Ben and Mays back-story. I decided that maybe he was her prof. I devoted it that sexy, naughty little twist in my intellect. Thats not in the movie, by the way. A young, hot Aunt May isnt actually a character description, so I fleshed out my own mental picture of who she is. Closer in age to the arachnid adolescent, her Aunt May is more of a taunting big sister figure than an apron-clad, cookie-baking granny type. Peters been a super-nerd with his analyses, which is laudable, but my version of Aunt May tries to coax him out of that and broaden his interests, maybe even start dating, says Tomei.

To her intellect, the 2017 Aunt May is also something of a second-wave feminist. I had numerous conversations with the director, Jon Watts, about Peter Parker being a local hero, which seems especially apt for these times. He get those values from Aunt May, who basically raised him. So we are talking about how she might be involved in the community and know everyone in the neighbourhood. We deemed constructing her a pro bono lawyer, but didnt want her to wear suits. Instead we built her a book lover who has her own small publishing firm, like a female collective. Shes got a feminist and humanist edge at least in my head.

Marisa Tomei: Every performer is frustrated, always fretted they wont get the next chore. Photo: Matthew Frost/ trunkarchive.com

For Tomei, Hollywoods sexism is more of an issue than its ageism. Well, I only got to be old very recently, she laughter. The industry has decided Im an aunt-type now. Im like, is this the way it gets violated to me? But in any profession, theres a lot of sexism. That isnt precisely headline news. In our business, the numbers surely dont lie when you see how few speaking roles there are for women[ analyses show that 33% of speaking roles and 22% of protagonists are female ]. Its a numbers game and if you start adding in other factors, including age, the odds diminish of get a great part.

Is that a source of frustration? For sure, but frustration is the name of the game in acting. Every actor is frustrated, always fretted they wont get the next chore. Thats true of any actor, of any gender, at any success level. And Ive heard it from very, very successful actors. Sexism is an example of the culture, thats only a fact, but we can try to change that culture. I like to think things have improved in the century since we got the right to vote. But simply because its 75% better, doesnt mean you should stop caring about the remaining 25%. We need parity, both in accessibility of run and our compensation for that work.

Two years ago, Jennifer Lawrence criticised Hollywoods gender pay gap after the Sony email hackrevealed that she earned considerably less than her male co-stars in American Hustle and Tomei has Lawrences back. Why should we get paid 75 pennies on the dollar and be told were lucky to have that? she says. Its wonderful that someone like Jennifer speaks out. Why should she be pilloried? I dont understand why its even controversial. We should get paid on parity. And by the way, Jennifer was the strongest part in that whole package. She should have got paid more, if anything.

Tomei is speaking from her apartment in Greenwich Village( Not to be confused with Greenwich, London or Greenwich, Connecticut, she helpfully points out ), nine miles from where she grew up in Brooklyn. Shes insured her home patch transform from a sprawling, diverse borough to the hipster haven of today. Brooklyns changed a lot, for sure. You used to say you were from Brooklyn with chagrin. I always wanted to live in the Village but it seemed a million miles way. It was like in Saturday Night Fever , where their whole dream of escape was to get over that bridge. Her parents, both of Italian descent, were a teacher and a lawyer. Crucially, they were also theater devotees who took young Marisa and Adam to Broadway depicts, which so captivated the children, both went into acting.

This year marks the 25 th anniversary of Tomeis breakthrough role: as Joe Pescis brash, drawling fiancee Mona Lisa in wiseguy courtroom comedy My Cousin Vinny , for which Tomei won an Academy Award for best supporting actress. Wow, is it truly 25 years? she says. No wonder you were asking about ageism. I did get old! Its such a funny movie and it really holds up. I was fresh to the business and didnt know how movies run but Joe preferred me for the part, then took me by the hand and guided me vastly, so I get so lucky. I keep my Oscar in my little library here. Perhaps I should throw a Vinny reunion party and bring it out to show everyone? Just kidding.

As Aunt May opposite Tom Hollands teenage web-slinger in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Photo: Columbia Pictures

Tomei has since been twice nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar. Im a resulting actress caught in a supporting actress vortex, she giggles. But what can you do? First came director Todd Fields 2001 family crime drama In the Bedroom , opposite Britains own Tom Wilkinson. Hes a genius, one of my favourite performers, and it was thrilling to watch Tom work, recollects Tomei. I pestered him many times to ask how he did it, and he eventually told me he just reads the script a lot. I was like, Thats it? Thats your big secret?

Her next Oscar nod was for Darren Aronofskys The Wrestler ( 2008 ), in which she played an ageing stripper and single mom who strikes up a romance with Micky Rourkes past-it pro wrestler. I went to high school with Darren, so it was a little dreaming come true for us to work together, says Tomei. The role involved pole-dancing, lap-dancing and nudity and shes glad she awaited until her 40 s to do nude scenes. Early on, I desperately wanted to be a legitimate actress and was concerned I wouldnt be taken seriously. Plus Im not sure I could have handled it, emotionally and psychologically. Im pleased it happened subsequently not only because it forced me to exert a lot but theres also a definite freedom and confidence Ive gained in my body as I got older.

After her Oscar win, Tomei appeared in a string of middling 90 s comedy-dramas the likes of Chaplin , Untamed Heart , Only You , The Paper , Slums of Beverly Hills and What Women Want often with a romantic bent and often opposite her then boyfriend, Robert Downey Jr. The relationship didnt last, but their close friendship did. Indeed, Downey( aka Iron Man) was instrumental in Tomei being cast as Aunt May: He recommended me for the various roles and we had a flirtatious little scene together in Captain America: Civil War [ which introduced Tomei and Hollands characters last year ]. Having a familiar face around certainly attained me more comfortable.

Downey Jr has been taunting fans about a potential romance between their characters, referring to her as Auntie May I? and telling talkshow host Jimmy Kimmel: Spider-Mans got a hot aunt now. My God, imagine the possibilities. Tomei is renowned as a fine on-screen kisser: she snogged her route around Italy with Downey Jr in Only You and won an MTV award for best kiss with Christian Slater in Untamed Heart . Its nice that Im considered a great kisser, she cackles. Its all about the partner, isnt it? And its only on screen. In real life, Im shit.

She has also popped up in two of the biggest Tv comedies of all time. Tomei played herself in two-part Seinfeld tale The Cadillac as love interest for Lord Of The Idiots George Costanza, played by Jason Alexander. My name was the only reason I got cast, remembers Tomei. They just liked the way my name voiced.[ Writer] Larry David told me: When you say your name over and over, it has a really strong rhythm: Marisa Tomei Marisa Tomei But hey, Ill take it. Id love to do a TV prove with Jason Alexander. We run into each other all the time and always talking here it.

Watch a trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming.

She then romanced another unlikely sitcom sex god: The Simpsonss nicey-nicey neighbour Ned Flanders. Tomei guested in a Notting Hill -spoofing storyline about a movie star falling for a storekeeper. You should ask Ned Flanders what various kinds of kisser I am, she chuckles. Although hed probably just say I was okily-dokily. Tomei currently alternates between film and stage roles. In the past year, shes starred in a production of Tennessee Williamss The Rose Tattoo ( One of my castmates was a goat. A total diva but it had a better union than I did) and Sarah Ruhls off-Broadway play about polyamory, How to Transcend a Happy Matrimony . Marriage is being redefined in all kinds of ways right now, so that was interesting, she says. Plus I got to kiss many different people and have a great big orgy scene every evening. It was a real pick-me-up.

Projects in the pipeline include the lead role in Ms , a HBO biopic series about feminist writer and activist Gloria Steinem. The scripts still being written but its definitely happening, says Tomei. Im a huge fan of Gloria and her lifes work. Were all indebted to her. Shes a fascinating figure, as were the women around her. That whole period is under-represented on screen. There are lots of great stories still to tell about the womens revolution.

At the moment, though, Tomei is relishing being part of the Marvel machine. Its so old-fashioned in a way: proper sight, gloriously larger than life. Spider-Man comes with fervent fans and intense scrutiny. They keep the script so secret, you have to give back your pages at the end of the day. But the system runs and they put out really good movies.

Will she be back for the inevitable sequels? Well see. Hopefully the fans will love this new iteration and well do more. Anyway, I think Aunt May should get her own spin-off. Something should go on with Tony Stark, and those two should get into their own capers.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is released on 5 July

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Burn Your Maps review: if the kid from Room wants to be Mongolian, let him

2 months, 18 days ago

Jacob Tremblay and Vera Farmiga( as his understanding mother) are irresistible in this strange narrative, premiering at Toronto, of a young son with goats on the brain its simply a dishonor the film isnt as interested in the locals as they are

Few actors working in Hollywood today have a more expressive face than Vera Farmiga. With a crooked smile or a somewhat tilted head, she has the uncanny ability to convey complex emotions in even the briefest reaction shoot. Lucky we are, then, that this newest movie, Burn Your Maps, offers a rich character, roiled in commotion, and plopped in an extraordinary situate. This isnt to say this movie is a masterpiece, but its one that doesnt only tug on the heartstrings it yanks on them like a streetcar passenger afraid hell miss his stop.

We open in suburban Chicago, where young Wes( Jacob Tremblay) has for some reason become fascinated with everything Mongolian. He watches YouTube videos, is teaching himself the language, listens to throat-singing and takes his older sisters Uggs and builds them into shepherds boots. Its all very cute, and images of him riding around on his bicycle with goats and eagles made from toilet paper are adorable.

Our first glimpse of Wes parents Alise( Vera Farmiga) and Connor( Marton Csokas) is in a brutal couples therapy conference. They are still shellshocked from the loss of their baby daughter, and its here where writer-director Jordan Roberts( screenwriter behind Big Hero 6 and March of the Penguins) makes a gutsy selection. Despite eventual triumphant sequences of a euphoric son riding a horse at magic hour, this isnt an average kids cinema; the first scene of dialogue involves a conversation about oral gratification, but in a non-lascivious route. Im no child psychologist, but I guess the route its done here is perfectly okay.

Wess infatuation with Mongolia reaches the point where he only feels comfortable in traditional nomadic garb.( A subsequently zing comes when we learn most working goat herders on the Steppes actually wear jeans and ballcaps .) He begins referring to Mongolia as home and soon Connor, always in a suit and tie, decides to put an end to this foolishness. Alise, who teaches English as a second language to immigrants, is just happy to see the son excited about something. Soon Wes befriends one of Alises students, Ismail( Suraj Sharma ), who has aspirations to be a documentary film-maker. One videotapeed testimonial afterwards and surreptitious crowdfunding scheme afterwards and Ismail, Alise and Wes are off to Mongolia for a return.


Burn Your Maps, despite the best intents, is as orientalist as it comes. While respectful of Mongolian customs and beliefs, it is undeniable that it exploits everything about the country and uses it to help a group of well-off white people get their groove back. For some, this will stimulate the movie wholly off-putting, and it is hard to argue against that. For a long stretch in Mongolia they dont even fulfill any Mongolians! Their coterie includes a retired nun( Virginia Madsen) and a driver/ guide who is a self-described Puerto Rican from New York( Ramn Rodrguez) who plays salsa music as they ride through the very photogenic locations.

We can debate if Burn Your Maps merely fetishises a different culture or holds it in true reverence, but Id like to give it the benefit of the doubt. If nothing else, the performances are terrific all around. Jacob Tremblay is just the sweetest kid there is and Farmiga is in superior form as a mourning mom who wants nothing more than for her surviving children to be happy. Csokas, ostensibly the villain, is still quite sympathetic, wanting so much to reconnect with the wife who merely wants him to leave her alone. The family attorney sessions( led by a very funny Valerie Planche) are some of the more intriguing Ive seen in quite some time, and, lets be honest, this is usually just a screenwriting crutch to get exposition out.

Mental health jargon bleeds over into every day family life, and the family is upfront about everything except, naturally, the root of their pain. A life-affirming journey to a far off land may be a bit far-fetched, but this is the movies. Well take any kind of mending we can get.

Read more: www.theguardian.com