Dec31

2016 Year in Review

 
2016 Year in Review

It’s already 2017 in most of the world, but for those of us with a few more hours to go, how many of you are ready to say goodbye to 2016? I know I am. As much of a raging dumpster fire 2016 has been, it’s been pretty decent as far as years go in Natland. It’s time to ring in the new year with our annual year end recap.

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I’ll admit that I was not excited about Jackie when the project was first announced back in 2012 (was it really that long ago?). I was picturing a forgettable, paint by numbers biopic, and didn’t feel like Natalie looked the part of Jacqueline Kennedy. But when it was announced that Darren Aronofsky was involved in the production and Pablo Larraín was directing, I became more hopeful that Jackie could be something special. After the all the glowing reviews started pouring in earlier this year, I was impatient to see the finished film. Now that I have, I don’t feel like there’s much to say that hasn’t already been said. The hype is real, guys.

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Jan29

Rachel Reviews JGAG

 
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.

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Dec31

2015 Year in Review

 
We’re ringing in 2016 with our annual end-of-year recap. Hopefully our next year in review will not be quite as sparse, as we have a few more new Natalie film releases to look forward to. Let’s get started.

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Dec31

2014 Year in Review

 
The clock just struck midnight here in Texas, and it’s time to close out 2014 with the annual end-of-year recap. It was another quiet year for Natalie, and I have to admit that even I kind of zoned out. Without further delay, join me on a trip down memory lane.

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Nov29

Danny

 
Inspired by Nannina’s post in the comments about Jobs director, Danny Boyle, I thought I’d briefly weigh in on my own thoughts.

For me, Danny Boyle is the epitome of a B+ director. He’s an incredibly sure hand, that brings great visual energy and inventiveness to his films. I don’t think there are any Boyle films that I dislike…A Life Less Ordinary was too long ago to recall, but I have a good memory of his other credits and even his most recent and most disappointing film, Trance, had plenty of positives that I could take from it.

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However, I do somewhat get what Nannina is saying. Aside from Trainspotting and maybe Slumdog Millionaire, there aren’t many films that people outright love. At least that’s my perception, and my own personal experience. Actually, I’m talking myself out of this argument because I think 28 Days Later is beloved in that genre and his first film, Shallow Grave, is definitely a cult classic. And 127 Hours was a ridiculous success. And two thirds of Sunshine is brilliant.

Okay, screw it, Danny Boyle is awesome and Jobs will be amazing. Sorry, Nannina.

 

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Nov27

Happy Thanksgiving

 
A happy thanksgiving to Natalie and all of our friends from the United States. I just realized this photo is probably a lot more offensive than it was when shot in the 90’s, but I’m keeping it in because I can’t think of what would be a better fit. Feel free to make a suggestion for next year.

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Nov20

RIP Mike Nichols

 
Mike Nichols, the brilliant director of Closer, has passed away at the age of 83. Our deepest condolences to the Nichols family, his friends, and of course Natalie.

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Nov08

Natalie & Me

 
The “me” in question is Soraya Roberts, a writer and long (loooong) time Natalie fan. I’ve known Soraya for a few years and I think she’s known me for longer than that, having checked in on the site for many years. In recent times it’s been great seeing her career taking off and I’ve long been anticipating a piece relating to her complicated fandom. With Leon’s 20th anniversary upon us, she took the opportunity to finally write about her connection to Natalie.

I don’t agree with everything said, but I think it will resonate with a lot of people, even if the particulars are different from person to person.

I turned back to the band as she approached our corner — I didn’t want to stare. She had a beer in her hand and I felt the booth shudder as she climbed up and sat next to me. Neither my best friend nor my boyfriend was aware of her presence, but it was all I was aware of. I felt my heart flood with adrenalin as I turned to her and touched her shoulder. “Happy birthday, by the way,” I said (“By the way,” like the tail end of a conversation we had already been having). Natalie opened her mouth, equal parts shock and smile. “Thank you!” she said.

I didn’t introduce myself, I didn’t say anything else, I just sat there sharing a piece of upholstery with my proxy as she swigged her beer and listened to the music, the perfect fan, contained despite being anything but. That she didn’t move, that she didn’t try to see me seeing her, suggested a mutual respect (mine based in celebrity, hers in humanity). I was embarrassed when two guys cut across the room to invite her to a gig, like a truck ploughing through a perfectly harmonious countryside. But Natalie was polite. “I’m only in town for tonight,” she said.

 

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Nov03

Halloween

 
A belated happy holiday. I spent it slogging to make a film in 48 hours for the Cape Town leg of the 48 Hours Film Project. Exhausting but a lot of fun.

Just to give a little nod to Halloween, here is Celina’s awesome outfit. If you have any Natalie related Halloween costumes, send them in and if I get 2 or 3 good ones I’ll post them to the site.

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Oct23

While I Was Away

 
I didn’t have a chance to check on the site till just now, and was happy to see a furious debate brewing in the comments section over photos and a video of Natalie and Benjamin at the Arclight. I use the word “happy” because I really do enjoy a spirited debate, and the topic of where the lines should be drawn between fan and celebrity is always very interesting.

Personally, I didn’t find this appearance particularly distasteful. This is because I’ve seen much worse and because I didn’t experience the event. I see a couple racing to catch a movie and some annoyance at being captured by the paparazzi.

If you felt differently when viewing them, that is completely valid. If you wish candid photos had no place on this site, that is also a totally respectful stance. But we run this site for her fans, and every time we have tested the water on this, you guys have made it clear – you want candids. Even Aleph photos, which I personally wouldn’t choose to have on the site, the majority made that call.

Ultimately, I think it’s good that we see sets like this, which make us feel uncomfortable. As fans we SHOULD be reminded that Natalie, and other celebs, are harassed by photographers on a daily basis. As Rachel mentioned, smiling candid shots when she doesn’t know she’s being photographed are, if anything, even more morally questionable.

So please, by all means keep the discussion going. Don’t attack fellow Natalie fans, but feel free to express your feelings on a very important subject.

 

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Sep20

Best Leon Scene/Moments

 
In a few days I want to do a Leon The Professional poll, asking Natalie fans to vote on their favourite scene or moment from the film. Rather than just pick MY favourite moments for you to choose from, I’m opening it up so that you can leave your suggestions in the comments. Selections from the original and extended cut are valid. Go nuts!

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Aug30

CSS Help

 
This has nothing to do with the site, but I am working on something personal and rashly purchased a wordpress theme that is actually not particularly suitable for my needs. Without some changes at least. If you have some skill in that department and wouldn’t mind lending a hand, please drop me a line. My email can be found on the staff page under the “site related” menu.

 

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Aug24

Leon Fan Posters

 
The Leon worship continues with some fan made posters, found by Belerofonte. There are a lot more, including some really striking minimalist pieces, over on this forum thread.

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We continue the Leon content, in celebration of the film’s 20 year anniversary, with some set photos of Natalie posing with cast and crew. I think this classic Gary Oldman pose has been seen by all but these others might be new to some fans. In order, Natalie with director Luc Besson, with Jean Reno and with everyoooooone!

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Aug23

Mathilda Comic

 
A couple weeks back I posted my tongue in cheek Mathilda comic, which was jam packed with every bad idea I could think of for a sequel to Leon: The Professional. While I remain dismissive of a sequel to Natalie’s first film, I also think that a good film COULD be made with the character. My main concern is that I suspect Besson would make it a “cool” rollercoaster ride of violence and action, like the final action set piece from the original minus any kind of emotional investment in the characters.

So a few years back I hatched a comic idea to tell my own follow-up to the film. It’s flawed but I’m quite proud of many aspects, even if I couldn’t ultimately finish it due to cost. If you haven’t seen it yet, click the thumb below to take a look at all 3 chapters.

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Aug13

Bacall

 
Lauren Bacall passed away last night after a full life and an incredible career. The reason I post about this here is because one of her last pieces of film work was for the short film, Eve, which Natalie wrote and directed. Bacall was very much the star of that film and below we have a video showing some scenes from the film, as well as Natalie talking about working with her.

 

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Aug09

Leon 20 Anniversary

 
It’s 20 years since Natalie’s career launching performance as Mathilda in the brilliant, The Professional (aka Leon). The film was outstanding in it’s own rights and has grown a cult following in the years since it’s release, with Natalie citing it as the film fans ask her about the most. Over the next couple weeks I’d like to have occasional updates with some anniversary related content. Maybe a couple polls, some fanart, links to old content about the film etc etc.

If you have any ideas or want to just share your thoughts about what the film means to you, please do so in the comments section.

I’ll leave with two things, the first is THR looking back at the anniversary. Thanks to Adonis and Belerofonte for the find.

Next is a parody comic I wrote for (if my memory isn’t failing me) April Fools Day. It’s basically every bad idea I could think of for a Professional sequel thrown together. Reading it again I still chuckle, so I thought it was worth dusting off. Click the thumb to check out the 8 pages we completed.

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In thinking of possible poll topics, I hit upon one that required a bit of an explanation. I was wondering which directors Natalie would never work with, or work with again. The candidates who, if I saw Natalie was linked to one of their films, I would be shocked. Obviously one could pick from the very bottom of the barrel, but I’ve tried to come up with names that have a solid reason behind them.

This is just my opinion and I look forward to hearing yours in the comments below. A poll will follow with my choices as well as any inspired picks from you guys.

1 – Milos Forman

Natalie worked with the great director on Goya’s Ghosts and, what seemed like a dream collaboration, turned out to be a disaster. The film was hugely unsuccessful, a shock since Milos has several masterpieces on his filmography, but more than that there were clearly some clashes either during or after filming. Natalie did not attend the film’s premiere with Milos confirming that it wasn’t a scheduling issue. Then we began to hear that they had clashed regarding nudity in the film, apparently Milos pushing the boundary beyond what was agreed. Natalie confirms it at the 2:45 mark of this video.

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Mar02

Oscar Night

 
No, it’s very unlikely that Natalie will be seen at the Oscars or the after party, where she is normally a regular. A Tale Of Love And Darkness is supposed to be a short shoot but is surely not wrapped yet.

Hopefully one of Natalie’s upcoming films connects and we can see her back in the award season chatter next year. But whether she gets the recognition or not, I just want to see her being tested and pushed again. Thinking back to Black Swan I felt so damn proud, not just for the win but because the film was also great and the performance was more than worthy. I really need a great Natalie performance. It’s been too long.

Thor, Thor 2, Your Highness, No Strings Attached…I’m not saying they’re all awful and not suggesting they don’t have any redeeming features but they’re all so disposable. I’d take one more scene like this over a dozen shrug worthy performances, no matter how cute and beautiful Natalie may be in them.

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