It’s time for the next category in our annual Charlie Awards. There were a lot of great editorial photos to choose from today. After much hand-wringing, this is what we came up with.
There was a press conference and an official announcement today, the Benjamin is leaving the Paris Ballet in July. Benjamin will be returning to work in L.A. and I presume that means the family will be heading back as well. The hand-wringing when she left L.A. really bemused me so I’m not looking for the same regarding Paris. Personally, I couldn’t care less where she lives.
Speaking of not caring, Benjamin was pretty clear about his reason for leaving. He sounds more than a little frustrated by the experience.
“I want to regain my freedom and I want to create,” he said. “I’ve been honored to be given the opportunity to work at the Opera and with the dancers, but this job, as it exists today, is not something I want.”
Read more at the NY Times. Thanks to Belerofonte.
Well that didn’t last long. Benjamin has only been with the Paris Ballet for a little over a year but that is now coming to an end. A press conference tomorrow will formally announce his departure and one can only wonder if this means that the family might head back to the states. For what it is worth, I’ve heard that it is indeed Ben’s frustration with the slow administrative side of the Paris Ballet than, as has already been suggested, Natalie wanting to return home.
The establishment was recently added, because his name boosted sales. And because Benjamin Millepied like to create for the dancers of the company and provides plenty of do it next season.
It could also remain as resident choreographer after the break, while defending the idea of bringing major dance companies in the twenty-first century. His departure would weaken the turbulent reign of Stéphane Lissner. For the French dancer and choreographer of the New York City Ballet star and husband of actress Natalie Portman, has given to the opera glamor, talent and patrons. Never gala has reported as much as that given for the opening of Ballet in September. Neither has any dance director has managed to allocate this money to ballet. As for the number of creations in the program, we went from two to ten per year.
Now that things are a bit quieter it’s time to jump back into the Charlie Awards. Today we want to know your pick for Natalie’s best public appearance of 2015. Please don’t just rely on the thumbnail – click it and take a good look at the album to jog your memory. Then vote!
Best Public Appearance
Total Voters: 252
Time to catch up with another round of Jane Got A Gun tidbits. Doesn’t seem like this film is going to be in the conversation for too long. Considering the long drawn out production and release, that’s definitely a shame. If you want to catch it in the cinema you better hurry up. Thanks to Belerofonte.
– Let’s kick things off with a nice summary of the troubled production, as I’m sure there are a lot of you who aren’t aware of how it all went down. At one point it was set to be Natalie and Michael Fassbender starring in the next film from the incredibly talented, Lynne Ramsay. So here’s how it all went up in smoke.
– The film pulled in $800k this weekend and the worst opening weekend screen average of Natalie’s career, although not that surprising given the lack of marketing available.
– Forbes covers the wipe-out but offers a positive spin on things.
And the sad irony is that, after all the fuss, it’s pretty good. It has some rough edges and it’s very slow (west), but it’s well acted, and its third act is awfully effective. If I may, Portman in full western gunfighter mode does cast an iconic image. I get why Weinstein didn’t spend much of a fuss on the film, as the financial Straight Up Films handled the marketing and the film has the whiff of damaged goods. But it’s not remotely a calamity and it’s a darn shame that this $25 million western drama is barely going to crack $750,000 for the weekend in 1,210 theaters. It earned $277k yesterday. I’m not saying you need to rush out and see it right now, but it’ll be one of those you stumble upon after theaters and feel a little bad for not giving it the theatrical support it could have used when you had the chance.
I saw Jane Got a Gun this evening. Dazza told me to enjoy the film and asked me to write a review. I responded with “I’ll try,” and I did. I tried to care about the story. I tried to care about the characters. But I just couldn’t. I feel like the last couple of my reviews of Natalie’s films can be summed up as “Well, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good, either,” and Jane Got a Gun is no exception.
Disclaimer: There aren’t any spoilers that you didn’t already see in the trailers. I am not Dazza or Andreas; writing is not my forte. You’ve been warned.
There is tons of Jane Got A Gun related news, which we’ll be trying to catch up with for days, so here is another collection of news items.
– Box Office Mojo indicates that the theatre count plans have essentially doubled for this weekend from 550 theatres to 1,210 offerings.
Weinstein originally estimated it would only be arriving in 550 theaters, but that count rose to 1,210 theaters today making it a little more possible it could find a spot in the top ten, but it has a tough road ahead of it.
Not only did it have a troubled production, but the marketing campaign appears to be almost non-existent. A target figure for the weekend would seem to be $3 million, but the fact this is a Western with little juice behind it doesn’t seem to be working in its favor.
– A positive JGAG review has emerged from Screen Daily, which has an interesting take on the feminism of the film.
Portman’s Jane is strong and self-sufficient with a lucid take on survival — she’s not afraid to help herself and she knows when she requires help from others. Some very bad things have happened to her but she’s nobody’s punching bag. And not unlike Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road, one might be tempted to think that Portman is just too much of a natural beauty for this role, but any such objection quickly subsides.
– That feminist take is completely contradicted by a piece that calls the film “unbelievably sexist”
The past year was a great one for women on the big screen. We had Mad Max: Fury Road, Spy, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens — movies that championed tough, smart, independent female characters.
And now, kicking off 2016 is Jane Got a Gun, a movie that runs screaming in the opposite direction.
Natalie was on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night. We’ll hopefully have the full video and some photos from the appearance later on but for now, here is Natalie, Jimmy, Sia, and The Roots performing Iko Iko because…because why the hell not, I guess. Thanks to Belerofonte and EdenLiao.
And here is a cute clip from the show where Jimmy asks her about it.
The Jane Got a Gun promotion train is running at full speed now, and Natalie is attending the Weinstein Company’s New York premiere this evening. Hit the preview to view her arrival at the gallery; we’re adding them as we get them!
Natalie made an appearance at the 2016 New York Jewish Film Festival closing night screening of A Tale of Love and Darkness at Walter Reade Theater in New York City last night. Hit the preview to view photos from the event in the gallery. Thanks to Belerofonte for the finds.
Natalie made an appearance on Good Morning America today and here is an excerpt below. She confirms that she is half way through filming Jackie and expects that On The Basis Of Sex, the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic, will hopefully be filming soon. Thanks to Belerofonte.
Jane Got A Gun week continues and we’ve got lots of related updates.
– The film is opening on 550 screens this weekend, which is one of those mid-sized releases that isn’t a small platform release where they hope to build and certainly isn’t a wide release. The Weinstein’s aren’t in a good place financially, which could account for not only that but why there has been little to no marketing push. Perhaps a fitting release for a film that has had one of the most troubled releases in years. Thanks to Belerofonte.
– A couple reviews have landed with The Hollywood Reporter giving a mixed review.
Portman certainly commits herself fully to the role, and one can imagine how much the double-duty of starring in and presiding over such a troubled project was no simple turkey shoot. Still, at times, the actress seems almost too graceful to be playing a woman in Jane’s predicament, especially one living under harsh conditions and suffering years of strife across the continent.
The New Yorker is more mixed negative and touches on something that has bothered me in the trailers.
Can a face as famously beautiful as Portman’s ever show the weathering of such peril, or the scars of a hardscrabble life? Well, yes. It certainly did in “Cold Mountain,” where she played a lonely widow in a secluded shack, and which she stole in a few brief scenes—shooting down a fleeing soldier, and weeping at the touch of a hand. Somehow, “Jane Got a Gun” fails to be scuffed by that sense of desperation.
– This is a really nice video interview with Natalie and Joel Edgerton, in which they discuss working on Star Wars together, the troubles on set and Natalie ends by talking about the wage disparity between men and women.
The Charlie Awards are finally here. It’s time to vote on the 2015 year in Natalieland. Normally we’d begin with Best Public Appearance but since Jane Got A Gun is opening this weekend, I thought it best to get this category out of the way first.
Most Anticipated Upcoming Film
Total Voters: 208