Kelsey J. Waite Juliette Binoche first captivated me at 14, with the charm and whimsy of her mysterious chocolatier in Chocolat. This film is too saccharine for me now, but it says a lot that she drew me in with one of the dimmer titles in her filmography, opposite Johnny Depp’s ponytail and blues guitar. It was years later that I saw her again, in The Lovers On The Bridge, and it was this devastating performance as the young vagrant Michèle, a painter whose sight is failing her, that set me on this path. I have since followed Binoche into duds like 1,000 Times Good Night and into some of the most obfuscated, if beautiful, European cinema. (Last year’s L’Attesa would’ve been a slog were it not for her at the center, embodying the breathlessness of loss.) And I’ve loved it all because Binoche always delivers. I’ve had this cliché-looking rom-com of hers with Jean Reno (Jet Lag) in my queue for at least two years, and as soon as I can … [Read more...] about Which actor is so good, you’d watch them in anything?
16. Sunrise (1927)Metropolis and Thomas Schadt’s Berlin Symphony envisioned the city as an inexorable machine in which humans played only an incidental role. In F.W. Murnau’s haunting masterpiece, that corruption spreads outward, as a dark-haired temptress identified only as “The Woman From the City” threatens the fragile marriage of George O’Brien and Janet Gaynor, convincing him to drown his wife so they can run off together. But instead, the husband balks, the wife flees to the city, and he follows suit. The city, so heartless in Murnau’s The Last Laugh, is a chaotic mass of speeding cars and hurried mobs, but it’s also the site of a church where the couple find renewed meaning in their marriage vows. Murnau’s expressionist metropolis, constructed via elaborate studio sets, is overwhelming, but not entirely without humanity. … [Read more...] about The urban menace: 17 films about getting in way over your head in the big, bad city
And then that was the week they were renegotiating. No one spoke to me barely until the day I shot the show. They’d say, “Hi,” and then they’d have meetings. And Courtney would go, “Sorry we can’t hang out, but we have these meetings. We’re negotiating.” I thought I was treated pretty badly. They just wouldn’t speak to me. Maybe they were busy negotiating—or maybe they said, “Don’t say anything to him, because if he says anything it will be in the press.” It was a very hush-hush thing. I remember thinking, “What are you talking about? You’re getting a million dollars a week! Ride it out!” I remember saying to some of them, “Once you leave this show, you’re not going to make this much money anywhere else. What are you doing?” They’d go, “We want to go out on top.” I go, “Nobody cares! Listen, I was on a TV show: Saturday Night Live. I’ve been … [Read more...] about Jon Lovitz