Angelina Jolie

Video Essay: “Threequel: Even More Famous Faces in Their Film Debuts”

Well, I’m sorry, but we just couldn’t resist. After our first two “Famous Faces in their Film Debut” video essays took the Internet by storm, we found that with a bit more digging, we could unearth enough new goodies to warrant a third (but final, probably) entry in the series. So check out a squeaky-voiced Tom Cruise, a little tiny Angelina Jolie, an even tinier Robert Downey Jr., and a young (but somehow still old-looking) Tommy Lee Jones, among many other oddities, after the jump. … Read More

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A Brief History of Women Nominated for Cannes’ Palme d’Or

We’ve admired this year’s glamorous Cannes Film Festival poster — featuring an intimate, mythical moment with screen legend Marilyn Monroe — and we’ve been readying ourselves for the latest news streaming from the French Riviera city, but the prestigious film fest is already seeing its share of controversy before the gala kicks off on May 16.

A letter recently published in Le Monde signed by a group of women — including Baise Moi director Virginie Despentes, filmmaker Coline Serreau, and actress Fanny Cottençon — have condemned this year’s Palme d’Or nominations. The shortlist of 22 directors for 2012 are all men, prompting the group to point out that, “Men love their women to have depth, but only when it comes to their cleavages.” … Read More

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2012 Oscars Fashion as Beautiful Watercolors

If analyzing actresses’ sartorial choices is your favorite part of the Academy Awards, then you’ll be as obsessed with this personal project from São Paulo-based illustrator Camila Gray as we are. From Rooney Mara’s fashion-forward Givenchy couture gown to Michelle Williams’ bright orange, strapless Louis Vuitton number to Angelina Jolie’s much-discussed leg-baring Atelier Versace dress, click through to revisit some of the most memorable looks from this year’s red carpet, made all the more lovely when rendered in watercolors. … Read More

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The 10 Best Movies Adapted from Memoirs

We’re not sure why it seems so hard to adapt a memoir to the big screen. Though hundreds of movies made each year are adapted from novels and short stories, relatively few are built from memoir — despite the fact that the form has been at least as popular as novels in the last two decades, and may be more beloved by the general public. So why are there so few memoir-to-movie deals? And why are the ones that do exist often not very good?

After seeing the film adaptation of Nick Flynn’s great memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, slapped with the anesthetized title Being Flynn, Slate‘s David Haglund wonders “if memoirs simply lose too much in the conversion from first-person prose to a medium in which genuinely first-person narration is very difficult to sustain.” It’s true — film is a third-person medium, not perfectly suited to portraying interior life. Plus, while we might slog through a poorly written novel on account of a ripping story, for us at least, a successful memoir has to rely even more on great line-by-line writing — a really beautifully written one can get us to care about the writer’s most petty grievances — and that may be difficult to translate to film. While the reviews of Being Flynn are mixed so far, we got to thinking about the few really great films adapted from memoirs. Click through to see our picks, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your favorites — or why you think the form is so hard to adapt — in the comments. … Read More

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Uncannily Realistic Repainted Celebrity Dolls

Just about every major movie that comes out these days — and not just the family fare — ends up producing some kind of commemorative doll. Same with any platinum-selling pop star. But have you ever noticed how little these Barbie-like creations tend to resemble their subjects? Well, so has Noel Cruz, an artist who repaints the dolls so that they uncannily recreate the faces of celebrities and their characters. See a perfectly preserved mid-’80s Madonna, Angelina Jolie at her steamiest, and even Harry Potter, after the jump. Then, make sure you visit Cruz’s website to check out more of his work. … Read More

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The Fug Report: Highs and Lows from the Week in Fashion

Editor’s note: Welcome to The Fug Report! Each week our fashion blogger friends Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, the sartorial geniuses behind Go Fug Yourself, will feature some of the most memorable looks of the week in this space. We hope you enjoy it!

This week on Go Fug Yourself, it was All Oscars, All… Read More

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The Most Painfully Awkward Moments of Last Night’s Oscars

It’s all part of the ritual. First we spend months predicting the nominations, then we complain about the nominations, then we predict the winners to the point where there are no surprises during the ceremony itself, so we then complain about the show. Yes, folks, Oscar season came to a close last night, with trophies going to The Artist, Hugo, Meryl, Octavia, and Plummer over the course of the 193-minute ceremony hosted by Alan Shemper Billy Crystal.

Were there great moments? Sure: the legitimately emotional acceptance speeches by Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer, the candid charm of Meryl Streep, the terrific byplay of Emma Stone and Ben Stiller, some good old-fashioned slapstick from Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, and a Chris Rock monologue that made us wonder why the hell he wasn’t hosting again. But overall, the night was indisputably awkward — possibly even more awkward than last year’s James Franco art-installation fiasco. After the jump, we’ll run down a few of the evening’s more uncomfortable moments. … Read More

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The Best Made-For-TV Movies of All Time

Folded in among today’s DVD releases, presumably overlooked amid your Twilight sequels and Harold and Kumar 3D yuletides and “Shakespeare didn’t write his plays!” screeds, is one of 2011’s best films: The Sunset Limited, written by Cormac McCarthy, directed by Tommy Lee Jones, starring Jones and Samuel L. Jackson. Wait, you might be thinking. (You might be!) What a fine pedigree! What an excellent cast! I would have gone to see that! Did it not play at my local art house or multiplex? No, hypothetical reader, it did not. It was made for HBO, and since Sunset Limited, based on McCarthy’s play, is primarily a two-handed conversation piece about race, class, mortality, and despair, it’s probably not surprising that it found a home on a pay cable network rather than at a Hollywood studio. But this is nothing new; dialogue and intellect-driven efforts like this migrated to television long ago, as studios lost interest in telling small stories.

Since they started airing in the mid-1960s, TV movies have taken risks — either on subject matter or on rising young talent. The results weren’t always commendable; there’s a reason that the phrase “made-for-TV movie” calls up images of Tori Spelling cowering on Lifetime, or broadcast networks airing simultaneous dramatizations of the lurid Amy Fisher story. But between the networks and cable, we’ve seen an assortment of genuinely beguiling television movies; we’ve gathered ten of our favorites after the jump, with plenty of room for yours in the comments. (And, just to keep it simple, we’ve steered clear of miniseries, documentaries, and films like The Believer that were intended for theatrical release but premiered on television instead). … Read More

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The Fug Report: Highs and Lows from the Week in Fashion

Editor’s note: Welcome to The Fug Report! Each week our fashion blogger friends Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, the sartorial geniuses behind Go Fug Yourself, will feature some of the most memorable looks of the week in this space. We hope you enjoy it!

This week on Go Fug Yourself, we ramped up for awards… Read More

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Hollywood Stars Who Threatened to Quit the Biz

Brad Pitt is the latest Hollywood star to threaten to leave the spotlight and has given a three-year timetable to make his exit. The actor — fresh off some stellar reviews for his role in Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life — wants to adopt more of a producer’s role. “I am really enjoying the producing side and development of stories and putting those pieces together. Getting stories to the plate that might have had a tougher times otherwise,” he recently told Australia’s 60 Minutes. Pitt’s already found his place in the producer’s chair, working behind-the-scenes on Malick’s movie and past efforts like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, as well as the upcoming World War Z and Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave. It’s hard to imagine a Hollywood without the likable actor. If he does follow through on his word, we hope he’ll still make an appearance every so often. History proves, however, that the acting bug is a pesky one and most screen stars renege on their promises to quit for good. Click past the break for a history of other actors that wanted to say goodbye. … Read More

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