Blythe Danner Talks to Susan Wloszczyna About “I’ll See You In My Dreams”

Posted on May 18, 2015 at 3:46 pm

One of my favorite critics interviewed one of my favorite actresses — Susan Wloszczyna spoke to Blythe Danner about her role in the bittersweet romance, “I’ll See You in My Dreams.” Paltrow talks about introducing her daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, to organic foods when she was a child, what she loves about stage acting, why low-budget independent films have more interesting roles, and kissing her co-star in this film, Sam Elliott, her first-ever kiss with a man who has a mustache.

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Actors Interview

Julianne Moore and Patricia Arquette — Why We’re Rooting for them on Oscar Night

Posted on February 18, 2015 at 11:02 pm

No one is smarter about actors and Oscars than Susan Wloszczyna, and I was honored to be included in her latest Big O piece about front-runners Julianne Moore and Patricia Arquette, and why wins for the two of them will be especially satisfying.

But what will make a triumph for Moore even more satisfying is that the 54-year-old actress, who has been nominated four times before with no Oscar to show for her efforts (and probably should have had a fifth nod for 2010’s “The Kids Are All Right”), is considered long overdue. She hasn’t even been in the race since 2002.

Meanwhile, 46-year-old Arquette — a member of a high-profile acting clan who made her film debut in 1987’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3” — has never gotten the recognition she deserves for her standout roles in such films as 1993’s “True Romance,” 1994’s “Ed Wood,” and 1996’s “Flirting With Disaster.” She has been better served as the star of the TV series “Medium,” which aired for seven seasons starting in 2005 and won her an Emmy.

As for Arquette’s role in “Boyhood,” in which she plays a devoted mother determined to better her position in life, it is essentially a lead and probably the most substantial showcase for her talent that she has ever had. That alone practically assures that she will not go away empty handed.

Fingers crossed for both of them Sunday night.

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Actors Awards Critics Understanding Media and Pop Culture

Susan Wloszczyna on Producer Gail Anne Hurd

Posted on January 4, 2015 at 8:00 am

Susan Wloszczyna’s terrific series on women filmmakers for the Alliance of Women Film Journalists continues with a profile of Gail Anne Hurd, producer of films like “The Terminator,” “Aliens,” and television like “The Walking Dead.” Hurd has appeared on some of the most memorable Comic-Con panels I have attended, and I loved her stories about working for Roger Corman, where everyone on the staff was expected to pitch in on every task at hand, especially the interns.

Susan concludes:

If any woman producer in Hollywood deserves to be saluted for her perseverance, continued success and ability to be relevant in an ever-changing world of entertainment, it is Hurd.

Much like the female action figures in her films that remain the standard for big-screen female warriors – namely, Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Conner in the first two Terminator movies and Sigourney Weaver’s galactic bad-ass Ripley in Aliens — she is tough enough to survive the occasional bump in the road such as the critically slammed The Hulk from 2003 and Aeon Flux, a failed try to turn Charlize Theron into an action hero in a dystopian universe that came and went in 2005.

That Hurd has proven to be equally successful and influential in a different medium with The Walking Dead — based on a comic-book series — demonstrates that she still has a knack for being ahead of the curve in popular entertainment. The longtime zombie flick fan, she described to Rolling Stone why the hugely popular series stands out from other tales of the wandering undead: “The title doesn’t refer to the walkers. It refers to the survivors. That’s the key to the whole show right there.”

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Behind the Scenes Critics

Susan Wloszczyna on the Prospects for Women at the Oscars

Posted on November 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

My friend and fellow critic Susan Wloszczyna is covering the run-up to the Oscars for Women and Hollywood, and I particularly appreciated her thoughtful essay on the prospects for women nominees this year. Noting that only one woman has ever won the Best Director Oscar (and only a handful have been nominated), we may see some improvement as both Angelina Jolie (“Unbroken”) and Ava DuVernay (“Selma”) are likely to be nominated. She continues:

here are two other Oscar categories where women are also chronically under-represented, even though they have twice as many chances to appear on the ballot: adapted and original screenplay.

Since 1929, women — both solo and as co-writers — have won Academy Awards for an adapted screenplay just 10 times. Ruth Prawler Jhabvala triumphed twice, for 1985’s A Room With a View and 1992’s Howards End, and Phillipa Boyens and Fran Walsh, with director Peter Jackson, shared the honor for 2003’s Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

As for original screenplay, a category that began in 1940, women have taken the Oscar just seven times — three as co-writers and four solo….This year, sadly, only one script by a woman is seen by Oscar pundits as a likely candidate to make the ballot.

That would be Gone Girl, the psychological thriller based on the literary blockbuster by Gillian Flynn. The best-selling author wisely included a clause in her film-option deal that she would get first dibs on doing the initial draft of the screenplay. Instead of the studio simply placating her wishes, then shoving her aside — as is often the case — director David Fincher (The Social Network, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) used his considerable industry clout to keep her on board through the whole process.

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Gender and Diversity Understanding Media and Pop Culture has All Women Writers This Week

Posted on December 9, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Chaz Ebert has announced that everything posted on this week will be written by a woman.  I’m delighted to kick it off with my tribute to Barbara Stanwyck, inspired by the Pre-Code film series I am co-hosting with Margaret Talbott at Washington DC’s Hill Center (Hurray!  We’ll be doing it again in 2014) and by a new book, the first volume of a new two-volume biography of Stanwyck, A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940, by Victoria Wilson.  Chaz promises that the week will include

memories of women in film and television this year from Alyssa Rosenberg…Susan Wloszczyna, Christy Lemire and Sheila O’Malley will discuss 1980s cult film “Ms. 45.” Anne Elizabeth Moore will discuss lesbians and male directors in connection with “Blue is the Warmest Color.” Joyce Kulhawik will review “Nuclear Nation,” Sheila O’Malley will review “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” Marsha McCreadie will review “Punk Singer,” and there will be eight more reviews from our talented women critics.

You can follow all the new posts here.  Looking forward to reading it all!

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