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Ashley Judd, Pulp Queen

"Double Jeopardy is my jam!!! I ain't mad at cha, Miss Ashley! " - Dorian

"Ashley reminds me of Ida Lupino, who in the '40s had a lot of talent but was undervalued because of her association with genre potboilers." -Brookesboy

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Entries in Finn Wittrock (16)

Friday
Feb162018

ACS: Gianni Versace: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Jorge Molina continues his review of American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace

Season two of American Crime Story has taken a more thematic approach to its narrative than the heavily plotted season one. Each episode has been a miniature exploration of an issue revolving around the oppression of the gay community, but you could say that the main thesis has been the different ways in which being in the closet can hurt people: by isolating those around you (Lee Miglin), by taking away your way to keep fighting (David Madsen), by threatening your business and public image (as Donatella fears with Gianni). In the latest episode, framed around Jeff Trail (played by Finn Wittrock), it's how the closet prevents you from living the only life you want to be living.

Episode 5: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” 

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Friday
Feb092018

ACS: ...Gianni Versace: "A House by the Lake"

by Jorge Molina

The greatest strength of the second season of American Crime Story has become the amount of care, attention, and empathy devoted to Andrew’s other victims. For the second week in a row, the show steps away from the titular Versace case to tell a self-contained story about the humanity of one of them. This week we focus on David Madson, a boy that Andrew was infatuated with...

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Monday
Mar202017

Feud: Bette and Joan. "Mommie Dearest"

Previously
Ch. 1 "Pilot"
Ch. 2 "The Other Woman" 

Feud's writing team is nothing if not devoted to playing to a single theme per episode. All but a couple of scenes in chapter 3 of Feud are devoted to the notion of mothering (though Victor Buono's more generous notion of "legacy" might have been a smarter move for retroactive potency). Or at least the show spends this hour playing with our pre-conceptions of the mothering skills of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. That's evident in the way it pulls the episode title from the infamous Christina Crawford memoir that damned Joan forever in the public eye as a psychopath and child abuser. In one of the earliest scenes we even get a potent reminder of this memoir as Joan pretends she's not going to send Christina a card congratulating her on the opening of a play until she reads reviews, but then signs the card "Mommie Dearest," as soon as two of her other children are out of sight.

I know what you think of my mothering...

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Friday
Mar172017

Stage Door: Sally Field in The Glass Menagerie

by Dancin' Dan

This is not your parents' Glass Menagerie.

It's not uncommon for theatrical "reinventions" to take place nowadays. Ivo van Howe has made it into a cottage industry of sorts, creating an intimate, visceral A View From the Bridge and a raw, elemental The Crucible in recent years. Sam Gold is of the same cloth. He made his name with an audacious revival of Look Back in Anger at the Roudabout in 2012, won the Tony in 2015 for his sensitive in-the-round staging of the musical Fun Home, and most recently directed a searing Othello with David Oyelowo and Daniel Craig off Broadway at the New York Theater Workshop.

But all those pieces benefit from a stripped back, in-some-cases radical rethinking. Tennessee Williams's memory play is a much more delicate thing, announcing as narrator Tom Wingfield does right at the start that this is a subjective work of art, a piece of memory that may or may not represent what actually happened. Productions of it generally take after the play's quietest character, the "crippled" Laura - they are generally fragile, gossamer things, as light and airy as a thought or memory hanging in the air in front of us...

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Thursday
Aug042016

Born in 1984? Oscar doesn't love you (yet)

Since 1984 is our Year of the Month I was prepping a "vintage" list of the people, places, and things birthed that year and was alarmed to realize that I could find ZERO Oscar nominees born that year. Not a one. And I've spent all too much time scouring the web for it.

Actors born in 1984 are 31 or 32 years of age which is plenty of time to secure an Oscar nomination, at least for women. For comparison sake consider that a very quick glance at 1983, no more than one minute of research, turns up at least 5 nominees one of whom won (Lupita N'yongo). The same speedy glance at 1985 reveals 4 nominees instantly. Even 1986 has one that immediately pops out (Lady Gaga for Original Song) though the more recent years naturally have less as the field of contenders gets younger and younger. Unless I'm missing some fast-rising sound editor or makeup artist or some such, Oscar has yet to love any 1984 babies. Poor Millenial babies. If you were born in 1984 does this make you grumpy?

So who do you think will be first? Some options after the jump as well as the saving grace of Tony, Emmy, and Grammy nominees from that 1984 crop.

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