Five for the Fifth: FEBRUARY 2015 Edition


Welcome to FlixChatter’s primary blog series! As is customary for this monthly feature, I get to post five random news item/observation/poster, etc. and then turn it over to you to share your take on that given topic. You can see the previous five-for-the-fifth posts here.

I don’t know if any of you noticed, but I missed posting Five for the Fifth last month due to all the holiday and year-end recap craziness :\ But now it’s baaack!

1. First off, I want to highlight one of my favorite character actors who’s as constantly prolific as he is proficient: Tom Wilkinson. The English-born actor turns 67 today.


He appeared in three films that end up in my top 10 of the year: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Belle and Selma. I honestly don’t know when I first spotted Mr. Wilkinson, it might’ve been his brief appearance as Mr. Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995) but he’s been churning out excellent performances since, always impressive even in the smallest roles. It’s interesting that he’s played a lot of prominent American historical characters, i.e. Benjamin Franklin in John Adams, Joe Kennedy Sr in The Kennedys— both are TV miniseries — as well as  Lyndon Johnson in Selma. If I had to pick three of my favorite Tom Wilkinson’s performances, I’d say it’s Michael Clayton, The Patriot and Belle.

So what’s your favorite Tom Wilkinson’s role?


2. I just saw this on Twitter Tuesday night as I was working on this post and I had no idea there’s even a Star Wars Spin-off in the works! Well, per THR, this year’s Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Jones is reportedly up for the lead role.


Apparently some actresses were reading/testing for the role last week in LA, including Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany and Rooney Mara. This is a highly secretive project obviously, as nobody even knows what the heck the plot is about or which character the film will focus on. The only known info so far is Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) will be directing & Chris Weitz (About A Boy) penning the script.

Well I’m glad that the main protagonist is a woman and Jones is a solid actress. I saw her for the first time in Like Crazy back at TCFF 2011 when director Drake Doremus talked about her sending a tape for the audition. She was excellent in it as well as in Breathe-In, so I’m sure she deserved her nomination in The Theory of Everything. Those are all dramatic parts so it’s cool that her major big break in mainstream cinema will be a sci-fi movie.

What do you think about this casting news?

3. I think most of you already know how I feel about Ryan Gosling, but I’m always curious whenever actors try their hands at directing. A year ago I posted about Chris Evans’ directorial aspiration but I’m still awaiting its trailer to drop. Well, just this week Gosling’s directorial debut Lost River, which was apparently booed at Cannes last May, just released a trailer and poster:


The critics weren’t exactly kind on this film, you can read some of the reviews here. Variety’s Justin Chang actually summed up my initial thought of the trailer “Had Terrence Malick and David Lynch somehow conceived an artistic love-child together, only to see it get kidnapped, strangled and repeatedly kicked in the face by Nicolas Winding Refn…” Oy!

I kind of think the trailer is bizarre and cryptic, the first thing that came to my mind is it’s a tad pretentious in its artsy ambition. A good story doesn’t need overly-stylized visuals to get across, and no amount of style can camouflage a weak story. I’m quite intrigued by the cast though, esp. Saoirse Ronan and Matt Smith here, with Christina Hendricks in the lead and Gosling’s own girlfriend Eva Mendes in a supporting role.

What do you think of the ‘Lost River’ Trailer? Are you gonna see this one?


4. Ok now I just came across this photo this morning and I had just to include it here. Have you heard about this comedy called Elvis & Nixon? Well, it stars Michael Shannon as the King of Rock ‘n Roll and Kevin Spacey back in the oval office again as Richard Nixon. Check out the first look here courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter:

ElvisNixonMoviePer THR, the film is currently shooting in New Orleans and recreates the infamous, intimate Dec. 21, 1970 meeting between Nixon and Presley where Presley asked to be named a special FBI operative. It’s directed by Liza Johnson (Hateship/Loveship) and the supporting cast includes Colin Hanks, Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Knoxville, and Tracy Letts.

I definitely want to see this just for Shannon & Spacey! It’s not lost on me that they both have played Superman villains (as Zod and Lex Luthor respectively). Shannon looks unrecognizable as Elvis though Spacey pretty much looks like his Frank Underwood persona in House of Cards. The fact that it’s billed as comedy intrigues me even more, the last movie I saw that has Nixon in it was the hilarious Dick w/ Michelle Williams & Kirsten Dunst, and with Knoxville in the cast, we can expect something a bit off the wall here.

What are your thoughts on this project?

5. The first 2015 Five for the Fifth’s guest is Irene from Mysterious Bibliophile blog!


Recently, I’ve been blogging about movies adapted from novels and short stories. I mentioned the movie Ordinary People, which I related to as a teen. “Something about the movie and book spoke to me … That’s one of the things I love most about literature and film. That quiet but powerful voice that says ‘You are not alone.’ “

So, what movie characters do you identify with or have you identified with during crucial periods in your life?

Well, that’s it for the February 2015 edition of Five for the Fifth, folks. Now, please pick a question out of the five above or better yet, do ‘em all! 😀

70 thoughts on “Five for the Fifth: FEBRUARY 2015 Edition

  1. 1. Wilkinson has been an extraordinary and steady performer. Versatile, too. Excellent in drama and comedy — don’t know about his singing voice, though 😉 . My favorite of his is likely the Arthur Edens role in “Michael Clayton”.

    2. Interesting, but I can’t get too excited till Chapter XII arrives late in the year.

    3. Rental.

    4. Good cast, iffy proposition.

    5. Great question! My answer would be the one about friendship as portrayed in “Tequila Sunrise”.

    Great start for the year, Ruth.

    1. Yes I put down Michael Clayton as my fave performance from Wilkinson, too, though recently I really love him in Belle. You’ve seen that one right? If not, I can’t recommend it enough.

      Yeah I’m curious how that Elvis & Nixon premise would work but I’d watch it just for the cast.

      Thanks Michael!

    1. You’re a sucker for British ladies! 😉 Yes she is pretty AND talented!

      Ahah, the British Richard Jenkins! I never thought of that but I think I like Wilkinson more.

  2. I appreciate Tom Wilkinson, as well. He’s solid in everything he does. Like the others, Michael Clayton and The Patriot are fine examples. I was touched with his performance in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Girl with The Girl with The Pearl Earring. He made a fine Ben Franklin, too, in the HBO John Adams series. #5 The special character that resonates with me? Jane Eyre. She gives me courage.

    1. Oh yeah, Wilkinson was great in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel too. I still need to see Girl w/ the Pearl Earring, that’s got Colin Firth in the lead right? LOVE your answer for #5!

        1. Ah ok sounds good! I’ve grown to like her more and more though there’s a time that I was annoyed by her. Firth is always watchable though. I also still need to see The Other Boleyn Girl… Eric Bana, yum! 😉

  3. 1. Tom Wilkinson is one of my favorite character actors too, I think the first film I saw him in was the first Rush Hour. He’s the villain in that film. He’s definitely great in Michael Clayton. Heck I even enjoy his brief appearance in Mission Impossible 4, was bummed that they killed his character off, was hoping he’d show up the coming films as Ethan’s boss, similar to Bond’s boss M.

    2. I’m interest in seeing Episode 7 but don’t really care for these spinoffs. I’m afraid now that Disney is the owner of the franchise, they’re going to saturate the market with Star Wars.

    3. Have zero interest in seeing this movie.

    4. Never heard of this project before but if it’s a comedy then I’ll give it a rent. I don’t care to see another drama film about Nixon’s life.

    5. Good question. I don’t have any character from films that I can identify with but I could relate to the character of Kevin in The Wonder Years TV show.

    1. Wow, I totally forgot he’s in Rush Hour Ted! Well he’d certainly class it up, ahah. Yeah he was good in MI4 and I too wish he had stayed on longer.

      It’s not how they’re milking that franchise! But not surprising given how lucrative it is.

      Ahah, I figure as much considering how much you hated Only God Forgives 😉

      I think the fact that Elvis & Nixon is a comedy intrigues me!

      1. Yeah seems like Ethan’s boss in the Mission: Impossible are either the main villain or gets killed off or simply disappeared. I thought Anthony Hopkins was going to be the regular boss after the second film.

        I didn’t really Only God Forgives, I just thought it needed to be less pretentious and more story line. I think Gosling is trying to make some kind of “important” film here and I just don’t see it. For a first time director, she should’ve tackled something simpler.

  4. Paul S

    The Full Monty will always be the film I associate with Tom Wilkinson, I also enjoyed his small but memorable role in Ang Lee’s Ride With the Devil.

  5. 1. Michael Clayton! But he is always terrific, really. Today is also Michael Sheen’s birthday!

    2. Well it’s SW so I don’t really care 🙂 But she seems cool. Good actress, natural looks. Has charm about her, I don’t think she deserves the nominations for TToE but she was good there.

    3. I’m gonna see this one for Christina Hendricks but it looks like a mess.

    4. Well I’d see anything for Shannon and Spacey and this seems like it could be a good movie.

    5. Nina Seyers. It’s scary how similar I am to her. But Amy Dunne’s outlook is something I share as well, not to murderous lengths but still….:)

    1. Hi Sati!

      Yes I’ve featured Michael Sheen last year in the same month. Love both him & Wilkinson!

      Ahah me neither, but I like Felicity. In fact at one point I was hoping they’d cast her in like half of the roles that went to Keira Knightley. There is something sweet yet mysterious about her.

      Yeah it seems to be the unanimous reaction from those who have seen Lost River, that it has a great cast but the direction is a mess. Maybe Gosling should just stick to acting.

      I still need to see the Nixon movie w/ Michael Sheen! Yeah I’d see this one for Shannon and Spacey, I mean what an intriguing duo!

  6. 1) Tom Wilkinson is an incredible actor, and his performance in In the Bedroom is the best male performance of the aughts, period.

    2) I don’t think we need anymore Star Wars movies…but whatever. I mean…a spinoff?

    3) The trailer and poster and intriguing. The reviews were brutal, but the premise is so bizarre and the cast is so rich that I think I have to see it for myself.

    4) Hmmm…interesting…I think.

    5) So many it’s hard to pin any down, but, like, Ennis Del Mar scarred me at a certain point in my life…for real.

    1. Hi Drew! Man I definitely need to check out In The Bedroom soon then.

      Ahah yeah that’s my sentiment too about SW, but we’re out of luck as that is the most lucrative franchise ever in the history of cinema I think.

      Yeah the reviews of Lost River are soooo bad it made me curious just how bad it is, ahah.

  7. 1. A very solid character actor. He was very memorable in Michael Clayton. “I am Shiva, the God of Death” (still remember that line).
    2. As you know, not a fan of Star Wars but saw Jones in Theory of Everything recently and I think she’s a superb actress. Glad she’s getting more work.
    3. I’m at work so didn’t watch the trailer but I quite loved the poster. LOVED the scathing review. Ouch!
    4. Not excited for this film despite being a big fan of Michael Shannon and an even bigger one of Spacey.
    5. Having trouble coming up with an answer.Will get back to you.

    1. Hi Fernando! Yeah I think Mr Wilkinson deserves more leading roles.

      I didn’t know you’re not a SW fan. Me neither, I only saw them as my two older brothers were so into them. I’m glad Jones is getting more work too!

      The poster and trailer actually looked intriguing but it strikes me as artfully pretentious.

      Not excited even though you’re a fan of both actors? I’m kinda intrigues as it’s billed as a comedy.

  8. 1. There’s so many great performances by Wilkinson that I like. I loved him as Cornwallis in The Patriot as he kind of stole the film from everyone there.

    2. I’m just glad Felicity Jones is getting work. I just hope there’s good things to come. Yet, I’m more excited that Jena Malone will be in the new Nicolas Winding Refn film! YEAH!!!

    3. I don’t care if it’s bad. I wanna see it.

    4. There was a movie about Elvis meeting Nixon back in the late 90s where Bob Gunton played Nixon. Michael Shannon as the King and Kevin Spacey as Nixon is a cool idea. I just hope it’s funny and it has Elvis shoot the TV whenever Robert Goulet is on TV. Goulet was never talented. There was a funny moment in that TV movie from the late 90s where Elvis asked if Nixon had an enemies list. Nixon tried to deny it and Elvis asked if Nixon could put the Beatles in there. Nixon said “OK”. It’s amazing that those 2 guys hated the Beatles.

    5. There’s a bunch of films that said I wasn’t alone. Lost in Translation, obviously because it came out at a time where I was so unsure of what I wanted to do and I felt lost. Secretary was a film that I related to as I was known for being an oddball. I think that is why cinema is so powerful because it can say something and mean something to you no matter what stage you are in your life.

    1. Hi Steven!
      Wilkinson’s great in The Patriot, he’s like the comic relief of the film even though he’s more of a serious actor.

      Oh yeah I just heard about Malone in Refn film, I know how much you love her!

      Ahah, well hopefully it wouldn’t be as terrible as those reviews!

      I had never heard of that 90s movie you’re referring to, they both hated the Beatles eh? That’s interesting.

      1. Yeah, Elvis hated the Beatles over how big they were during that period he was making movies. Nixon hated them too. They also hated the Smothers Brothers and Jane Fonda. So in many ways, the fact that Nixon and Elvis in the same room doesn’t seem so strange at all. It’s a pretty funny TV movie where there’s a lot of exaggerations and all sorts of crazy shit.

  9. Irene McKenna

    Great Five for the Fifth to kick off 2015, Ruth! Thank you again for inviting me to be a featured guest — I am honored. 🙂

    1. Love … LOVE Tom Wilkinson! My favorite role is definitely his performance in In the Bedroom. I loved that movie so much I read and reviewed the short story upon which it was based and all the other short stories in the collection. 🙂 But it was such a devastating film for me I doubt I’ll ever see it again. How’s that for a film recommendation? 😉 Other favorites, in no particular order: Michael Clayton, Normal, and The Full Monty (that moment when he peeks out from behind his newspaper as “Lunchbox” reveals his assets kills me every time).

    2. No opinion. I have never seen Felicity Jones in a film, and I am REALLY over the Star Wars franchise.

    3. “Had Terrence Malick and David Lynch somehow conceived an artistic love-child together, only to see it get kidnapped, strangled and repeatedly kicked in the face by Nicolas Winding Refn…” >>> Egads! I can’t wrap my head around that … I don’t even know where to begin. The trailer makes it look like my cup of tea though, and I love the cast. And I have a slight straight-girl crush on Christina Hendricks because of her role in Firefly. The reviews don’t sound promising though. I’ll wait and Netflix it.

    4. What the heck … it’s Kevin Spacey! ‘Nuff said.

    1. Hi Irene!!
      I’m thrilled to have you participate in FFTF, it’s me who’s honored to have you here.

      Man I really need to see In The Bedroom, great recommendation that’s shared by a number of people here.

      Hi Irene, if you’re curious about Felicity Jones, I’d recommend Like Crazy or Breathe-In, both are romantic dramas. I’m not really into SW either but I’m glad she’s getting work.

      The reviews for Lost River are pretty brutal but I’m still curious enough to rent it.

      Ahah yeah, the casting alone is enough to make me want to see Elvis & Nixon!

      Btw, I haven’t answered your question yet: Well, I didn’t see the film during a crucial period of my life but I really identified w/ the characters of Elinor & Marianne Dashwood from Sense & Sensibility. They both lost a parent when they’re very young and felt abandoned and marginalized because of their situation and I experienced something similar, though to a lesser degree, when I lost my mother at age 16. They also had to suppress their true feelings for one reason or another, esp Elinor, which is something I’ve also dealt with. In fact, somehow I could relate to a few Jane Austen characters despite them being set in a totally different era.

      Great question btw, and thanks again for being the guest of honor!

  10. 1. Love Wilkinson, as well. I’m not the biggest fan of Michael Clayton, but his work from that movie is what sticks with me. Gotta go with that for my fave Wilkinson role.

    2. I approach everything Star Wars with guarded optimism. Glad to see we’ll get a female protagonist. Now only if we could get a director other than Edwards.

    3. Chang’s quote is hilarious. I’ll still see it at some point. Just not in a hurry.

    4. Elvis and Nixon just sounds bizarre. Count me in!

    5. That’s a tough one. Not sure I have one.

    1. Hello Dell!

      I think Wilkinson is always great even if you’re not into the film. I happen to like Michael Clayton a lot though, one of my few fave films w/ Clooney in it.

      Guarded optimism is a good approach Dell. Yes I’m glad to see a female protagonist and Jones is a good actress.

      Elvis and Nixon just sounds bizarre esp w/ Shannon as Elvis, I never saw that coming!

    1. Yeah, though I think some people might see it just to see what a Terrence Malick and David Lynch’s artistic love-child could look like, ha!

  11. 1. I still have to see more of Tom Wilkinson’s work, but I liked him in Belle.

    2. I’m glad for Felicity Jones! She seems to be getting a lot of solid work done, so I think she’ll do well in the role.

    3. I might see Lost River for Saoirse Ronan, but it’s not a priority must-see movie for me.

    4. I like Kevin Spacey, so might watch this one.

    5. Frances (of Frances Ha). I was at a point in my life where I felt that my life was going nowhere, or at least the direction where I wanted it to go. This movie basically gave me a wake up call.

    1. Hi there! Glad to hear you’ve seen Belle, one of the most overlooked films from last year I wish more ppl would see.

      I think Jones is so talented, glad she gets a major role that’d hopefully land her more jobs.

      I’m a big fan of Saoirse too, I didn’t even realize she’s in this film but she always churn in a great performance.

      I think Shannon/Spacey together is the main draw for me, both are such strong actors!

  12. Very, very, very good stuff this month Ruth. Here I go…

    1. Simply put Wilkinson is great. He is a favorite of mine too. I mean the guy NEVER gives a bad performance. You ask about favorite roles – you mention the two that immediately come to mind. I loved him in The Patriot. I was such a perfect fit and he added a subtle bit of humor. But my hands down favorite performance comes from Michael Clayton. He was incredible and that alley conversation he has with Clooney is one of my favorite scenes in recent history.

    2. Felicity Jones – I like the casting. That’s not my bigger concern. As a huge Star Wars fan I am more worried about Star Wars fatigue. I first heard of these spin-offs a while back and I was a bit skeptical then. Sure they could be potentially great, but I don’t want them to flood the market. Time will tell.

    3. High-Five from someone else who doesn’t get the Gosling love. To be perfectly honest I am still waiting on him to show he can be a good and consistent actor. As for Lost River…naaaa.

    4. Wait, wait, wait. So you’re giving me the king of dry wit Kevin Spacey as Nixon and the insanely underrated Michael Shannon as Elvis in a movie together? ABSOLUTELY! There is no way I’m missing this one. Sign me up!

    5. WOW! This one is really difficult. I’ve been stewing on this question trying to find some really good answers. But I just kept realizing that so many films have effected me in so many different ways. There are tons of them where I have related to specific feelings, attitudes, actions, etc. It’s a fabulous question and I am still looking for that perfect answer.

    1. Hi Keith! Always thrilled to have you take part on FFTF!

      Wilkinson is a GREAT actor indeed, he’s so prolific but yet he never phoned it in y’know. Yes on what you said on The Patriot and that scene you speak of in Michael Clayton was definitely one of the film’s highlights.

      Interesting that as a SW fan, even you’re concerned about the franchise fatigue. Yeah I don’t know why they’re doing a spin off when the follow up films aren’t even done yet and who knows how that’ll be received.

      High five! I’m glad I’m not alone about Gosling, seriously I REALLY don’t get what the fuss is about. Plus he seems so smug in person so maybe this non-so-warm reception to his directorial debut is a humbling experience for him.

      Love your enthusiasm for Elvis & Nixon and I’m sooooo with you!

  13. Really glad to see some love for Tom Wilkinson! He’s an amazing actor and a really funny guy in real life from what I’ve seen of his interviews. I love him in everything he’s in.

    1. Hello Sherise! Amen on what you said, and he seems like a laid back person in real life. Have you seen him in BELLE? That might be my fave performance from him of late.

  14. 1) Yeah Wilkinson was great in Michael Clayton…. but I gotta say In The Bedroom is the movie that really got my attention. That movie really put him on the map. Also HBO’s Normal. Considering that this was made back in ’03 way before transgender was a hot topic (see Transparent, also HBO and Orange Is The New Black) Tom really handled the role with grace in what was probably the first serious look at the topic. (See The Christine Jorgensen Story or heaven forbid Ed Wood’s Glen or Glenda for comparison.) LOL.

    2) Kinda have zero interest in all things Star Wars. OK… maybe I’m a little interested in seeing J.J.’s take on it. But just a little.

    3) I’ll give Gosling points for trying something different but this is going to be a wait and see movie for me.

    4) Not real excited for this one. There have been so many so-so portrayals of Nixon… Dan Hedaya (Dick), Anthony Hopkins (Nixon), Philip Baker Hall (Secret Honor)… with Frank Langella’s (Frost/Nixon) being the best of the lot. I like Spacey a lot but it’s now hard not to see him as anyone but Frank Underwood from House of Cards. Shannon seems too made up for that role… but hey Ruth… it couldn’t be worse than this ’97 TV movie Elvis Meets Nixon that ninvoid99 referred to. Bob Gunton who was such a great villain as the warden in Shawshank turned in this gem of a performance. LMAO!

    5) John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything was such a great role. Probably the best portrayal of a teenager in the movies that I was ever able to relate to. I saw it when I was 3 years out of high school but it still resonated. What’s happened to John? He’s not so fun to watch now and has pretty much disowned his 80’s movies. (The classic Better Off Dead and the not so classic but fun One Crazy Summer)

    Ruth your 5 for the 5th is one of my favs of yours. 🙂 Always look forward to it.

    1. Hello Dave! Thanks for taking part man, I’m glad you dug FFTF 😀

      WOW, I didin’t realize Wilkinson did a transgender role, boy there’s no limit to his versatility, eh?

      I hear ya about SW, but I do like seeing Jones getting a major role. Have you seen her in anything btw?

      I feel that actors who’re trying their hands at directing should do something simpler, this one seems overly ambitious to me.

      I REALLY need to see Frost/Nixon soon, Sati’s been telling me to watch it ages ago. Ahah thanks for the clip, I think I’ll stay away from watching Elvis Meets Nixon in its entirety though.

  15. Tom

    Another interesting edition here! 🙂

    1) I do love me some Tom Wilkinson, and I might have to settle with his recent performance in ‘Belle’ as one of my favorites. I’m not sure how I can really separate out all of his roles. he’s always consistent.

    2) This is (I think) the first I’m hearing about the news about Felicity Jones. This could be pretty exciting although I don’t put too much stock into it as I’m not the biggest fan of anything Star Wars-related.

    3) I’m still receptive to ‘Lost River,’ but I have had concerns about it being Gosling’s directorial debut. Often the transition from acting to behind the camera is a rough one, and by what you’ve reported on with the reaction at Cannes (which is news to me also!) it sounds like here is another case. I like him a lot though so I’ll pay to go see that. It can’t be much worse than ‘Only God Forgives,’ lol!

    4) This is the first I’m hearing of the Nixon comedy as well (lots of firsts for me today Ruth, thank you!!!) But I’m kinda skeptical about this casting, I have to admit. Although with its tone apparently being one of comedy maybe this will work. I will have a hard time separating Spacey out from his Frank Underwood persona, I think even with the tonal differences. On the other hand, I do love the casting of Michael Shannon as Elvis. That’s too good. 🙂

    5) Very thoughtful final question. I think I have quite a few that I can strongly identify with. In my post-college haze I think I’m right now more identifying with the kinds who are lost in life, who are really trying to find something that inspires them to either move on from a dark past or to just jump-start their lives because they’re having trouble on their own. I’m failing to name any specific examples, but maybe a rough estimate in recent films would be Reese Witherspoon’s Cheryl Strayed. She was great and her character was definitely in a rut, much like I feel I am right now.

    1. Yay!! Glad to hear you like Belle, Tom, I’m thrilled that you even saw it as I know it’s not your genre.

      I think Jones is talented and being in something as huge as SW would put her in the map in Hollywood so I hope for more good roles for her.

      You love Gosling eh? Well I can’t say he’s my fave, I actually haven’t been impressed in a handful of things I saw him in. But I’m curious to check out Lost River on rental at some point.

      Glad to be the first to break some movie news to you 😛 “…I will have a hard time separating Spacey out from his Frank Underwood persona” Yeah, that seems to be a lot of people’s sentiment, he’s made that character so iconic. But I REALLY want to see Shannon as Elvis!

  16. Hey Ruth!

    1) Probably Michael Clayton. Loved that movie. It’s cool to hear that he played Ben Franklin in John Adams — I’ve been wanting to check that out for some time now.

    2) I’ve kind of tuned out on anything Star Wars-related lately. I’m not terribly familiar with Felicity Jones either. I missed out on Like Crazy, and still haven’t got to The Theory of Everything yet.

    3) Ouch! Harsh words from Mr. Chang. I might give it a watch out of curiosity. It’ll be cool to see Hendricks in a lead role anyway.

    4) I will watch anything with Michael Shannon in it, and a pairing with Kevin Spacey sounds awesome. Will definitely be keeping my eye on this project.

    5) Tough question. I guess the first film to come to mind is The Last Picture Show. I don’t relate so much to any of the characters myself, but I can absolutely relate to the small town environment. I honestly couldn’t stand growing up in a place where you constantly run into someone you know everywhere (part of the reason I moved to Chicago!), but I still find it fascinating to watch/read interpretations of that lifestyle.

    1. Hello Eric! I haven’t seen John Adams either, but I really should as it’s got such a stellar cast!

      Wow, seems that lots of ppl commenting here are tired of SW. I’ve never been a fan but somehow I thought they still have a huge following. Jones is a good actress though, you might like Like Crazy or Breathe-In w/ Guy Pearce.

      Yeah I think it’s good to see Hendricks in a lead role though w/ this kind of reception, not sure that’s a good move for her?

      Yeah I like Shannon and seeing him toe-to-toe w/ Spacey should be fun!

  17. #1: Wilkinson always delivers the goods. Great actor that’s hard to pick a favourite. I’m not saying it’s his best but when I read the question “44 inch Chest” was the first film that popped into my head.

    #2: I had no idea about a Star Wars spinoff either. Interesting news.

    #3: Malick and Lynch’s love child being kicked around by Winding Refn? Count me in! I’m very intrigued by this one.

    #4: Shannon and Spacey as Elvis & Nixon? That’s enough to grab anyone’s interest. I’m in on this one too.

    #5: Very difficult question. I’ll have to ponder on this some more.

    Great post as always, Ruth. 🙂

    1. Hello Mark, glad to see you join FFTF!

      I didn’t even know Wilkinson was in “44 inch Chest,” that’s the one w/ Ray Winstone also right?

      Yeah I didn’t either until I heard Jones was cast, they’re milking that franchise until the very last drop.

      Ahah, I knew you’d have Gosling’s back, I hope he won’t disappoint you, Mark!

      The casting is off to a great start for Elvis & Nixon, let’s hope the writing/directing is as good as the acting.

  18. I’d heard in passing about the Star Wars spin-off but I’m infinitely more intrigued now that Jones has been cast. Her performance in The Theory of Everything is pinpoint, and she’s really good in films such as Like Crazy and Cemetery Junction.

    Lost River has some talented people involved. I guess Cannes is notoriously uncouth so the reaction hasn’t really put me off (granted, it’s not a positive omen).


    1. Hello Adam, glad to have you stop by. I’m not really a SW fan but the casting intrigues me too. Glad you’ve seen her in Like Crazy, that’s the first time I saw her and I was impressed! The reviews seem unanimously negative for Lost River but somehow that made me curious to check it out, but as a rental.

  19. I love to see The Lost River simply because I want to see Matt Smith in other role than the Doctor.

    The last question is quite deep, So, what movie characters do you identify with or have you identified with during crucial periods in your life? … I would say Sachi from Back to School. It’s not a movie, it was a Japanese TV Series/Drama. I watched it when I was in Junior high school and ever since I saw that I wish I had a fun teacher like her…and she is somehow my inspiration of being the teacher I am now.

  20. The flip side of Gosling trying something ambitious is look at what Kevin Costner (Dances With Wolves), Mel Gibson (Braveheart), Robert Redford (Ordinary People), Rob Reiner (This Is Spinal Tap… creating, not the first, but making the defining film of the mockumentary genre) even going back to Orson Welles (Citizen Kane) and Charles Laughton (Night Of The Hunter) were able to do with their first films. That said Gosling is probably no Orson Welles. LOL.

    1. Yeah, even Ben Affleck has churned out three good films in his relatively short career. But Gosling’s debut seems overly ambitious in terms of its themes though, he perhaps should’ve stuck with something a bit simpler.

  21. 1. I’d go with Wilkinson’s performance in In the Bedroom, but I also love him in The Full Monty and Michael Clayton.

    2. I’m fine with this casting. Plus, it’s Star Wars, so I’ll see it no matter which actors they choose. 😉

    3. Lost River looks awesome! I don’t care about the reviews. Can’t wait to see it!

    4. Yeah, I also want to see Elvis & Nixon for the cast, at the very least.

    5. Antonius Block, Max von Sydow’s character from The Seventh Seal, was a character I strongly identified with when I first saw the film years ago.

    1. Hello Josh!

      I REALLY need to check out In the Bedroom, seems that’s everyone’s role from Wilkinson.

      Ahah, wow you love that franchise THAT much eh? I hope they don’t disappoint you Josh!

      I love that you have such a positive attitude about movies 😀

  22. Hey Ruth, late to the party as usual but I had to join in 🙂

    1. Wilkinson is one of those actors whom I never really remember what he’s been in but he crops up a lot and is always reliable. The Full Monty is what springs to mind for me though.

    2. Absolutely fine with this. Will be interesting to see how she’d do with an action-heavy role. Plus, she’s absolutely beautiful and British, which is always a bonus!

  23. I don’t know why I clicked post comment then! Anyway…

    3. Hmmmm, Gosling seems like someone who seems to want to try a little too hard and it’s clear he’s spent a lot of time with Winding Refn. I’ll keep my eye on this but not convinced so far.

    4. I have literally never heard of this! It will either be brilliant or absolutely terrible but it’s certainly got my attention, just because of Shannon and Spacey.

    5. I really identified with McCandless in Into The Wild as I had just come out of university a little down on the whole experience and the thought of running off into the wilderness didn’t seem like such a bad idea, but obviously I’m glad I didn’t as it didn’t end too well for him!

    1. Hi Chris! No such thing as a late comment, glad you joined in!

      1. Wilkinson is such a prolific actor so yeah I don’t remember all he’s been in, but he’s always memorable whenever I see him.

      2. “… beautiful and British” ha..ha.. I like those kind too when it comes to British boys 😉

      3. The trailer made me think of Refn but also Malick and Lynch

      4. Yeah, the casting so far seems brilliant, hopefully the film itself delivers!

  24. Let me give my thoughts one by one.
    1. Wilkinson is indeed a great character actor, I can’t say I disagree one bit. His role in Michael Clayton is unforgettable to me, and I dare say he rivals Tilda Swinton with much less to work from.
    2. Felicity Jones was fantastic in Like Crazy and I, in fact, considered to include her in my top female performances of the last 5 years, but she just missed the cut after much deliberation. I pointed her out when I reviewed the film and I always thought she was a talent to watch for. I can’t wait to see her in The Theory of Everything and I hope the news about her inclusion in the so-called Star Wars spinoff is real.
    3. The trailer looks intriguing even if I did see an overly conscious stylistic attempt at emulating both Winding Refn and Terrence Malick which is, obviously, not a good sign. I still think I’ll give it a chance once it hits theaters or comes out for rent.
    4. The film looks and sounds so ludicrous that it is hard to believe it is real. It’s hard for me to imagine something awful coming out from the brilliant minds of Spacey and Shannon, so I’ll be intrigued to find out more about this project.
    5. The first one that came to mind when I read the question was Max Records in Where the Wild Things Are. There was something deep inside of the character that he played that spoke about alienation or simply being misunderstood that I really connected with. Maybe I was at a weird mental place when I saw that film, but I had a very strong reaction to it and this is why I lauded it as being one of the best pieces of film in the year it was released. Actually, come to think of it, Spike Jonze tends to always do that for me.

  25. Pingback: Five for the Fifth: APRIL 2016 Edition

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