Tag Archive: Jessica Chastain


“Interstellar” review

Director Christopher Nolan is back with his first film since “The Dark Knight Rises”. Does “Interstellar” live up to the hype? Or is this 2014’s version of “Prometheus”?

The Good: This film is not for everyone. But when this movie clicks, it absolutely soars. Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Wes Bentley, Jessica Chastain, Matt Damon, and everyone in between is absolutely superb with their performances.

Of course, the special effects are truly spectacular. But the real moments are those moments when the film hits a home run with some emotional moments. You can feel what the characters are going through right along side them. And the film takes a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming.

The film’s scope is epic and ambitious. And there are ideas at play that are at once recognizable and yet new and thrilling at the same time.

The Bad: I wanted badly to say this was a masterpiece. Alas, it was not. The film gets a little … unique near the end. And more than a few people groaned as this film seems to suffer from “Return of the King” syndrome where there’s about three or four spots where the film could have ended.

I’m also not sure the film’s primary driving human relationship is hitting home with audiences. I’d say more than half of the crowd I saw it with were yawning and growing restless midway through the film.

The film reaches high, but it definitely doesn’t reach those heights all the time. And when it doesn’t, the film can feel overly long and tedious.

The Final Word: This is not the next “2001: A Space Odyssey”. What it is, however, is a beautiful, good film. At times, you catch glimpses of an instant classic. At others, a film that slows to a crawl. Yet, I’d say this is a film worth checking out. Because you if you like it, I think you’ll love it.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Christopher Nolan (“The Dark Knight Rises”, “Inception”) is returning to science fiction with “Interstellar”. Now reports are that Casey Affleck (“Gone Baby Gone”) has joined the cast. Great news. Affleck is a great actor. He joins Matthew McConaughey (“Magic Mike”), Anne Hathaway (“Les Miserables”), Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Michael Caine (“Now You See Me”) and Bill Irwin (“Rachel Getting Married”).

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

“Rodham”, the biopic about Hilary Clinton from director James Ponsoldt (“Smashed”) appears to have its titular character. Last week, it was reported that Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon and Amanda Seyfried  were up for the lead role. But now comes news that Carey Mulligan is in the lead to nab the role. Mulligan was last seen in “The Great Gatsby” and has films like “Drive” and “Shame” to her credit, so she’s a solid actress. What do you think about the casting choice?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

A couple of years ago we had “W.” from Oliver Stone. Now we have another film about a current politician coming up, this time about Hillary Clinton with “Rodham”. Reports are that Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon and Amanda Seyfreid are up for the role. All four have had roles playing real life people, probably the most notable ones being Chastain in “Zero Dark Thirty” and Witherspoon in “Walk the Line”. I’m not sure who I’d prefer to see star. What about you?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

After getting an Oscar nomination for “Zero Dark Thirty” and starring in a hit horror film “Mama”, Jessica Chastain is headed back to the horror genre. Not for “Mama 2”, but she is reteaming with Guillermo del Toro for “Crimson Peak”. The film also stars Benedict Cumberbatch (“Star Trek Into Darkness”) and Emma Stone. Here’s what del Toro said about the film: “a very set-oriented, classical but at the same time modern, take on the ghost story. It will allow me to play with the conventions of the genre I know and love, and at the same time subvert the old rules.” Can’t wait.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Tarzan finds its Jane?

Director David Yates’ “Tarzan” has been light on news. Rumors had Alexander Skarsgard (“Battleship”, “True Blood”) as Tarzan and Samuel L. Jackson as a Civil War vet, but that hasn’t been confirmed. Now reports are that Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”, “The Help”) is up for the role of Jane. Stephen Sommers and Stuart Beattie are writing the script based on the novel “Tarzan of the Apes”.

Sommers’ involvement makes me worried, but if this cast pans out, I’d be up for giving this a chance.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

It’s officially over. The Oscars have been given out, the awards season is done and…the results were there was something for a lot of films. “Argo” ended its run with a Best Picture win, Jennifer Lawrence beat Jessica Chastain, Ang Lee surprised in Best Director. Lee’s win totally shocked me. I didn’t give him any real shot of winning. My biggest disappointment was Christoph Waltz winning Best Supporting Actor. Look, I enjoyed his performance, but out of that whole group, I actually thought he was least deserving. I also would have liked to see “Moonrsise Kingdom” get Best Original Screenplay. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a BIG Tarantino fan, but “Django” just wasn’t my favorite film, I enjoyed “Inglourious Basterds” a heck of a lot more and “Moonrise Kingdom” deserved to win something. What did you think of the Oscars? Share your thoughts!

Best Picture
Amour
Argo–WINNER
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Best Actor
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln–WINNER
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook–WINNER
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Best Director
Michael Haneke, Amour
Ang Lee, Life of Pi–WINNER
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Original Screenplay
Amour, Michael Hankie
Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino–WINNER
Flight, John Gatins
Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal

Best Adapted Screenplay
Argo, Chris Terrio–WINNER
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, 
Life of Pi, David Magee
Lincoln, Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell

Best Original Song
“Before My Time” from Chasing Ice, music and lyric by J. Ralph
“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from Ted, music by Walter Murphy; lyric by Seth MacFarlane
“Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi, music by Mychael Danna; lyric by Bombay Jayashri
“Skyfall” from Skyfall, music and lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth–WINNER
“Suddenly” from Les Misérables, music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Best Original Score
Anna Karenina, Dario Marianelli
Argo, Alexandre Desplat
Life of Pi, Mychael Danna–WINNER
Lincoln, John Williams
Skyfall, Thomas Newman

Best Production Design
Anna Karenina, Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright
Les Misérables, Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson
Life of Pi, Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
Lincoln, Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson–WINNER

Best Film Editing
Argo, William Goldenberg–WINNER
Life of Pi, Tim Squyres
Lincoln, Michael Kahn
Silver Linings Playbook, Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
Zero Dark Thirty, Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables–WINNER
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Sound Editing
Argo, Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn
Django Unchained, Wylie Stateman
Life of Pi, Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton
Skyfall, Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers–WINNER
Zero Dark Thirty, Paul N.J. Ottosson–WINNER

Best Sound Mixing
Argo, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia
Les Misérables, Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes–WINNER
Life of Pi, Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin
Lincoln, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins
Skyfall, Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson

Best Foreign Language Film
Amour, Austria–WINNER
Kon-Tiki, Norway
No, Chile
A Royal Affair, Denmark
War Witch, Canada

Best Documentary Feature
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man–WINNER

Best Documentary Short
Kings Point
Mondays at Racine
Open Heart
Redemption
Inocente
–WINNER

Best Live Action Short
Asad
Buzkashi Boys
Curfew–WINNER
Death of a Shadow 
Henry

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained––WINNER

Best Animated Short
Adam and Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head over Heels
Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”
Paperman–WINNER

Best Animated Feature
Brave–WINNER
Frankenweenie
ParaNorman
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

Best Cinematography
Anna Karenina, Seamus McGarvey
Django Unchained, Robert Richardson
Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda–WINNER
Lincoln, Janusz Kaminski
Skyfall, Roger Deakins

Best Visual Effects
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
Life of Pi, Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott–WINNER
The Avengers, Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
Prometheus, Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
Snow White and the Huntsman, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson

Best Costume Design
Anna Karenina, Jacqueline Durran–WINNER
Les Misérables, Paco Delgado
Lincoln, Joanna Johnston
Mirror Mirror, Eiko Ishioka
Snow White and the Huntsman, Colleen Atwood

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Hitchcock, Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
Les Misérables, Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell–WINNER

Oscars 2013: Best Actress

This could be the most difficult category to call at the Oscars this year. The Best Actress nominees are Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty”, Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook”, Emmanuelle Riva for “Amour”, Quvenzahane Wallis for “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and Naomi Watts for “The Impossible”.

This is really a three woman race between Riva, Lawrence and Chastain. Wallis would be a feel good story, but children actors and actresses rarely get the win and Watts has just been overshadowed. Of the three who stand a real shot, Chastain is the least likely to win. Her chances have taken a big hit over the past month because of controversy, then a lack of buzz and increased attendance and buzz for Lawrence. “Zero Dark Thirty” is a great film, but it’s looking like that film as a whole will be on the outside looking in. Lawrence has seen her stock rise greatly. After “The Hunger Games” and “Silver Linings Playbook”, Lawrence took home the Golden Globe for Best Actress. And with SLP finding an increased audience, she has a lot of the momentum. Riva may spoil her run to the Oscar, however. Riva’s performance is fantastic. I mean fantastic. I was surprised by Lawrence’s great performance, shocked by how good Chastain was. Now after having time to think about it, if I was going to give it to who deserves it the most based on performance only, Riva would be my choice. Also, she’s turning 86 on Oscar night! How would that be for a birthday gift? Still, I get the sneaking suspicion that Lawrence will take home the trophy. Lawrence will win, though I wouldn’t be shocked, and probably happy, if Riva takes it home.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”, “Mama”) has signed on for the upcoming film “Miss Julie”. The film is an adaptation of a battle-of-the-sexes stage play and will costar Colin Farell! It sounds more like a comedy, though I’m not familiar with the play. But these are two talented actors so I have high hopes!

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

When the Oscar nominations were announced, there were few snubs more glaring and head scratching than Ben Affleck’s omission from the Best Director category. After all, “Argo” was both a critical and commercial success and a very tense, very funny thriller. Now it seems that “Argo” has all the momentum to win Best Picture at the Oscars, despite a film not winning Best Picture without its director being nominated in more than two decades.

“Argo” won the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards, an award that the film that’s gone on to win Best Picture has also won for the last five years. “Argo” also took home big awards from the Screen Actor Guild Awards.

Is “Argo” now a lock for Best Picture at the Oscars? It appears so. “Zero Dark Thirty” has lost a lot of momentum. What looked like a sure thing a few months ago now seems that, much like “Munich” or “War Horse”, Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” will receive an award for Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance, but nothing else. The same looks to be true for “Les Miserables” with Anne Hathaway as a lock for Best Supporting Actress, but not much more. Indeed it seems Affleck’s snub has given “Argo” a late award season boost, one that looks like will carry it all the way to the Best Picture trophy at the Oscars.

The most interesting race will be Best Actress. Clearly Jennifer Lawrence has to be the favorite after her win at the SAG. But Jessica Chastain is right behind her so don’t be surprised if she ends up winning on Oscar night.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.