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Entries in Beauty vs Beast (188)

Monday
Nov272017

Beauty vs Beast: Lady (Bird) You Are Doing Just Fine

Jason from MNPP here, fresh off of standing five feet away from Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach just hanging out at MoMA yesterday (Baumbach had actually just done a Q&A for The Meyerowitz Stories, so "hanging out" might be a stretch I suppose) to take us yonder Sacramento way. I think it's time for Lady Bird to get the "Beauty vs Beast" treatment, you guys.

The film has a perfect score at Rotten Tomatoes and it just crossed 10 million bucks at the box office, which is about what it cost to make. So it's all profit from here on out for Greta & Co, and all signs points towards plenty. It's in around 800 theaters and doing terrific - I can see it playing well all holiday-season. Hooray for good things doing good! Now let's pit the film's complicated mother/daughter core (and eventual Oscar nominees) against one another.

PREVIOUSLY You guys surprised me! When I wrote last week beside our Bigger Splash poll that I figured I knew who you'd vote for I really thought you'd go for Ralph Fiennes. I suppose in retrospect it was silly to underestimate the pull of Matthias Schoenaerts in very small shorts, which drew almost 70% of your vote. Explained Dancin' Dan:

"Yes, Harry is more fun and more interesting than Paul (and Fiennes gives by far the better performance), but he's also INFINITELY more exhausting. I don't think I could stand to be around him more than a few hours. So I'm gonna have to vote for Paul, and the less clothes he wears, the better."

Monday
Nov202017

Beauty vs Beast: The Bigger Boys

Jason from MNPP here, ready to pop some peach champagne for the release of Luca Guadagnino's Call Me By Your Name, which finally hits theaters in New York and LA on Friday. The thing is, although I personally have already seen the film six times (if you've been to MNPP at any point in the past three months you're more than aware of my obsession but if you missed my first take on the movie out of NYFF it's one of the most meaningful pieces of writing I've ever done, says me), it seems that some of you have not seen the film six times yet. Since it's not in theaters yet, and all. So I probably can't devote this week's "Beauty vs Beast" to it then!

So we'll do the next best and look back at Luca's last movie, A Bigger Splash. When ABS came out we polled you about the film it's based on, La Piscine, but I figure enough of you have seen Luca's version by now. I'm pretty certain where you guys will fall when forced into Tilda Swinton's glamourous shoes to choose between the two men in her life, solid wall of Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) and bearded blast of noise Harry (Ralph Fiennes), but I'm asking anyway...

PREVIOUSLY Oscar season is here but we devoted one last moment of silliness to Superhero Season by tackling Thor: Ragnarok's two actresses last week - Tessa Thomspon put up a valiant fight but... well, she was going against Cate Blanchett. Cate took 58% of your vote as bigger-than-Asgard-itself Hela; said chasm301:

"Do you really think that Cate Blanchett would lose a competition on this website? Her most gif-able performance outside of Carol (2015)"

Monday
Nov132017

Beauty vs Beast: Hear Her Roar Ragnarok

Jason from MNPP, championing the second weekend of big-time Thor receipts with some "Beauty vs Beast"  love for its ladies - among all the intergalactic biological diversity that Ragnarok director Taika Waititi brought to the Marvel franchise it shouldn't be discounted the prime roles he gave to several actresses, including the villain Hela (some Australian actress, never heard of her) and the drunk Asgardian runaway Valkyrie (Tessa Thomspon).

As with all the best villains Hela's got a solid claim to righteousness as the throne is hers and her father's a hypocrite... although I do wish Taika had gotten her more mixed into the bulk of the action. And Valkyrie is a fascinating, damaged, complicated character, imperfect in ways Female Heroes don't usually get to be. And even better the two of them have their own antagonistic history so I can easily ask you to choose sides...

PREVIOUSLY From Gods to Angels, last week we tackled the Mormon marriage at the heart of Tony Kushner's play turned HBO movie, and even though Patrick Wilson (and his butt) made a good showing it was Mary Louise Parker's Harper who stole 65% of your hearts. Said row-bin:

"The one thing above all others that I remember from watching this when it first aired was Mary Louise Parker screaming, "MR LIES? MR LIES!" with this gut wrenching need to escape. I still get goosebumps when I think about it. Team Harper, if nothing for that searing memory."

Monday
Nov062017

Beauty vs Beast: Marriage Among the Prophets

Jason from MNPP here -- the great Mike Nichols would have turned 86 today if he hadn't passed away back in 2014, and yet even with him gone for three years now I've spent a good chunk of the year thinking about him. Specifically I've been thinking a lot about his 2003 adaptation of Angels in America, thanks to the most recent London production with Andrew Garfield & Co grabbing headlines before moving here to the US in a few months. What are your thoughts on Mike Nichols' miniseries now? Have you re-watched it lately? (The whole thing is available to stream on Amazon if you haven't.)

Anyway there are a lot of antagonistic pairings in Angels that I could have used for this week's "Beauty vs Beast" but in every iteration of the show I have seen it's always the fractured marriage of Joe (Patrick Wilson in the film) and Harper (Mary Louise Parker) that I come back to, so that's where we'll land.

PREVIOUSLY Last week we floated down through the storm-drain on a raft of red balloons and took on Stephen King's most recent blockbuster adaptation of It - y'all weren't in the mood for clown-time though, choosing The Losers Club over Pennywise by just a couple of points. Said catbaskets:

"Tie between Beverley and Pennywise. You can keep all the boys. They bring little to the table compared to those drama gals with demons."

Monday
Oct302017

Beauty vs Beast: Float With Me

Jason from MNPP here - as Nathaniel mentioned in yesterday's box office rundown the latest version of Stephen King's It has officially become the highest grossing horror film of all time now. And what with tomorrow being Halloween this week seemed a great chance to face down the story's Good Guys (And Girl) versus its Bad Guy with our "Beauty vs Beast" contest. It has a great legendary Bad Guy, one of the best ever. But can you actually root for him against a bunch of damaged nerds? I mean if we were talking about the 1990 miniseries I would give this question an emphatic "Heck Yes" but it's a little bit tougher with the remake...

PREVIOUSLY Y'all were feeling more Sense than Sensibility last week, giving Emma Thompson a solid 67% of your vote in last week's tribute to Ang Lee's classic film. Said lylee:

"Yay for Emma leading! It helps that I've always found Elinor vastly more compelling than Marianne as a character. They're both wonderful, but this I think is my favorite Emma performance. And yes, bonus for penning the screenplay. I still go back to her screenplay diaries (which *everyone* should read) when I want a pick-me-up."

Monday
Oct232017

Beauty vs Beast: Sisterly Sensibilities

Jason from MNPP here using this week's "Beauty vs Beast" to wish a happy birthday to one of our favorite directors, the great Ang Lee. In a strange coincidence I spent some of this weekend talking Ang on Twitter even though I hadn't realized it was about to be his birthday today, so I'd say Fate chose this week's contest. And because more than anything a battle between actresses livens you folks up, let's face down the Sisters Dashwood of Ang's 1995 classic Sense & Sensibility.

And no before anyone asks I don't think Kate Winslet or Emma Thompson to be beastly in any manner. But seeing as the film itself pits their two ways of existing at odds with one another for the majority of its run-time (only to eventually decide, with fine wisdom, that the sisters could clearly stand to learn a little from one another) it doesn't seem completely far-fetched to pitch them against one another here. They are, for all their adoration of one another, each other's main antagonists once the who's who of romance falls away.

PREVIOUSLY Even though Angela Lansbury's original Manchurian Candidate performance won somewhat decisively over Meryl Streep's in the remake (she took 74% of the vote) it was a real battle in the comments. Said Jono:

"I am surprised this never came up before. I voted for Meryl because Angela will get more votes, and I love both performances. The Demme version is kind of underrated - everyone in it is uniformly great. But the original with Angela is impeccable."