A witch and a warlock teach an orphan boy how to becme a magician in The House with a Clock in its Walls, one of Cate Blanchett’s more curious film choices. We discuss her performance, what makes co-star Jack Black special on screen and briefly touch on the response to her two films on release. For this conversation Murtada welcomes filmmaker and podcaster Chels, from Untitled Cinema Gals to the podcast.
Contemporary actresses who played witches include Cher, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer(The Witches of Eastwick)Meryl Streep (Into the Woods), Anjelica Huston (The Witches), Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock (Practical Magic), Tilda Swinton (The Chronicles of Narnia). Who’d win in a battle?
We celebrate the annoucement of Blanchett’s collaboration with Pedro Almodovar for an adaptation of Lucia Berlin’s A Manual for Cleaning Women.
In the second of multiple episodes about Carol (2015), the topic is the cultural impact the film had on queer people. From memes to comedy routines, Carol was adored. For this conversation, Murtada welcomes writer and film programmer Shayna Maci Warner of Critically Queer, to review the film and talk about its queer legacy.
There’s a comet hurtling towards earth and a bunch of movie stars at trying to not look up at it. To discuss Cate Blanchett’s second movie this holiday season -Adam McKay’s climate change satire Don’t Look Up– Murtada welcomes critic Boyd van Hoeij from The Film Verdict to the podcast.
Don’t Look Up is being sold as a cross between Dr Strangelove and Network. Are the similies spot on?
The targets of the satire – incompetent governments, media, tech billionaires, populace believing in politics not science – are obvious. There’s a shorthand that makes each character’s real world avatar easy to get hence the laughs but does that undermine the film’s intelligence?
Huge cast – Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Tyler Perry, Jonah Hill, Ariana Grande, Mark Rylance, Timothée Chalamet… and more? Who’s funny? Who’s annoying? Who’s unmemorable? Who brought the heart and pathos? Who stands out?
Leo’s big Peter Finch-like monologue. Does it work?
In the first of multiple episodes about Carol (2015), the topic is the love story. How Therese and Carol fell in love, how Todd Haynes visualizes falling in love and the scorching chemistry between Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. For this conversation, Murtada welcomes filmmaker Luke Willis, to discuss all the above as well as rank the best line reading uttered by Blanchett.
Cate Blanchett is back in cinemas this holiday season. And the podcast is back for a final season of episodes. We kick things off with the first of the two Cate movies coming out this month, Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley. For this conversation Murtada welcomes film critic Leila Latif, to discuss the film, how it differs from 1947 version, and the performances of Cate as a femme fatale, Rooney Mara, Bradley Cooper and Toni Colette.
Cate Blanchett and Julianne Moore, two actresses linked in our minds as the muses of Todd Haynes, have only shared scenes on screen in 1999’s An Ideal Husband. For this episode Murtada welcomes back Chris Feil, host of This Had Oscar Buzz podcast, to discuss the film, whether it retains the wit of its author Oscar Wilde and the performances of Cate, Julianne, Minnie Driver, Rupert Everett and Jeremy Northam.
Does the film succeed in preserving Oscar Wilde’s wit from the stage play?
Mostly a fun watch because of the actors.
Writer and director Parker re-worked Oscar Wilde’s play by cutting Mrs Chevely’s (Moore) part and beefing up Mabel (Driver).
Cate is an uncompromising good person while Julianne plays the mischievous meddler. They are in direct opposition to each other. Their scene together is a highligh and makes great use of pronouncing the word “detest”.
Similar to The Talented Mr. Ripley, this film cast 5 actors showing lots of promise or just after their big break. Looking back it’s interesting to see what happened to their careers since. First lead for Everett post My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), Driver post Oscar nom for Good Will Hunting (1997), Moore post Boogie Nights (1997), Jeremy Northam post Emma (1996) and Cate post Elizabeth (1998). Which begs the question; where is Jeremy Northam now?
Cate plays someone who is completely and utterly in love with Northam that she made me re-examine my feelings about him. Why was he the only one of the 5 not to make the poster?
Lindsay Duncan’s brief but delicious turn as Lady Markby, Mrs. Chevely’s hype machine.
Could it have been on this set that someone said to Cate, “I’m the star of this film, not you,” an anecdote she shared last year? We speculate with no evidence.
This is a podcast that celebrates actresses so this time we celebrate Julianne Moore; Chris’ favourite actor.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance”
“When one pays a visit, it is for the purpose of wasting other people’s time and not one’s own”
“It is not the perfect, but rather the imperfect who have need of love”
Film within context of Cate’s career:
The first film released post Cate’s first Oscar nomination for Elizabeth(1998).
Film within the context of year it’s been released:
Festivals: Closing film of the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.
Awards: Golden Globe nominee best actor (Rupert Everett) and best actress (Julianne Moore). Bafta nominee for Adapted Screenplay, Costumes and Makeup.
We go way back for this episode, to Cate Blanchett’s early screen performance in the Australian film Thank God He Met Lizzie. We discuss the film, the performance and its link to Katharine Hepburn’s screen persona as well as Blanchett’s long professional partnership with the film’s other star, Richard Roxburgh. Hosted, produced, written and edited by Murtada Elfadl.
This week a double Cate Balnchett. In one of eleven vignettes included in Jim Jarmusch’s anthology film Coffee andCigarettes (2003), Blanchett plays a version of herself as well as her ne’er do well “cousin,” Shelly. We discuss the film and performance and why it stands out in her filmography. For this conversation podcast host Murtada Elfadl welcomes writer and critic Ela Bittencourt of the film site Lyssaria.
What does Blanchett’s as a star actor gain from taking this smaller role besides collaborating with Jarmusch?
The trick and gimmick of playing against or with yourself makes Blanchett’s the standout vignette. There’s in the visual and sonic contrast between the two characters blond vs dark haired, business couture vs. casual punk, thick Australian accent vs a more continental one.
Interlocking themes include disinterest from one of the two parties, almost all the meetings start with eagerness then end in disappointment.
The different acting styles within the film; heightened (Blanchett), natural (Bill Murray), grounded and “real” (Alfred Molina).
This performance reminded me of her performances in Documentary Now; she’s playing an exaggerated version of someone famous but in this case herself. Also Manifestowhere she plays up the costumes and makeup to create distinct characters.
What we enjoy about Jim Jarmusch mentioning some of his other films including Paterson and Only Lovers Left Alive.
We reminisce briefly about watching Blanchett on stage as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.
What reviews said of film / Cate:
“In the two strongest chapters — the one featuring Ms. Blanchett and another in which Steve Coogan and Alfred Molina play a deft game of celebrity one-upmanship — such vague discomforts blossom into one-act dramas of envy and suspicion.[It] has the serendipitous coherence of an old LP. Some of the tracks are stronger than others, but the magic lies in the echoes and unexpected harmonies between the selections. ” – Dana Stevens, NYTimes.
“The scorecard at the end is unimpressive: six outright duds, three passable bits, and only two successes. The irony is that the best sketches also happen to be the most conventional. In “Cousins,” Cate Blanchett plays herself and her resentful cousin, Shelly, meeting for coffee in a posh hotel lobby. Blanchett’s Cate is regal, classy and generous—the way we imagine Blanchett herself to be. The punky Shelly, meanwhile, exudes passive-aggressive envy, her self-deprecation doubling as a sly prick on the self-conscious Cate’s conscience.” – Elbert Ventura, Reverse Shot.
In a snippet from the podcast host Murtada Elfadl and guest Jordan Crucchiola discuss how and why the media compared carey Mulligan to Audrey Hepburn at the time of the release of An Education (2009) and whether that comparison still stands today.
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