Tag Archives: Patricia Clarkson

A starry lineup for the house.

Edie Falco at the Vanity Fair kickoff part for...

Image via Wikipedia

Deadline Hollywood has just announced that a new revival of John Guare‘s play “The House Of Blue Leaves” will be opening on Broadway in the first quarter of 2011.

Starring in the acclaimed play will be my favorite nurse, Edie Falco and Ben Stiller.

I would so love to see Edie Falco perform on stage.

Guare’s play is set in a Queens household in 1965, on the day that Pope Paul IV is visiting New York. It is a black comedy that features nuns, a political bombing, a soldier heading for Vietnam, a zookeeper with dreams of becoming a songwriter, and his wife Bananas who is a schizophrenic  and headed for a mental institution – the house of blue leaves.

Stiller will play the zookeeper and Falco his mad wife.

The play has previously had productions off- Broadway in 1971 and was revived in 1986 at the Lincoln Centre. It then transfered to a Broadway house where it won the Tony for Best Revival. Ben Stiller made his Broadway debut in the 1986 production playing the part of the zookeeper’s son. Stiller’s mother Anne Meara was in the original 71 off-Broadway cast.

Look at some of the cast members in past productions.

1971 – Frank Converse & Katherine Hellmond (Soap).

1986 – John Mahoney, Swoosie Kurtz, Stockard Channing, Danny Aiello. Replacement casts included Christine Baranski & Patricia Clarkson.

It certainly attracts wonderful performers.

John Guare also wrote “Six Degrees Of Separation” and his new play “A Free Man Of Color” opens in November at the Lincoln Centre with a cast that includes Jeffrey Wright (Angels In America, Basquiat). He was responsible for the superb screenplay to Louis Malle’s film “Atlantic City” which earned him  an Oscar nomination.

Scott Rudin is producing and no director has been announced yet.

This Broadway season is certainly shaping up to be one of the the best in years.

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Love on the Nile

Film Review:

CAIRO TIME.

Cairo Time is a beautiful melancholic film, rich in imagery, with a gentle pace forcing the viewer to slow down, to great reward.

Patricia Clarkson plays Juliette a successful magazine editor who has come to Cairo to join her husband on a well deserved break. He works for the UN and upon arrival she learns that he is delayed due to trouble at a refugee camp on the Gaza strip. She is met at the airport by her husband’s former security officer and friend, Tareq (Alexander Siddig). Left alone in the city, she is drawn to Tareq who acts as a sometime guide. A love affair blossoms, surprising both of them.

From the opening scenes with Juliette coping with the heat and jetlag, you have a great sense of place, almost like you have taken the journey there yourself. Cairo is an impressive city, and makes for an important third character to the story.

Patricia Clarkson gives an introspective performance that is superb. The camera lingers on her expressive face to great effect. With very little dialogue she manages to let you in on her inner feelings, whether it is the shock of being found attractive by the city’s young lotharios, or her growing unexpected attraction to her very dashing guide. Even when competing with Cairo for scene-stealing images, she commands the screen. It confirms her as one of the best actors around. Alexander Siddig impresses alongside her.

The film is beautifully directed by Canadian Ruba Nadda. All technical aspects of the film are first rate, excellent cinematography and production design. Special mention to the costume designer who certainly aids Patricia Clarkson in creating a beautiful believable character.

The film may not be to everyones taste, it’s slow pace can be seen as a drawback if you don’t succumb. Perhaps there are a few to many shots of walking through bazaars for my liking. It touches on some local politics to no great effect, seeming forced, maybe there to try and give more depth to the protagonists? Minor quibbles really in an overall satisfying cinema experience. Go take the journey.

Now playing in cinemas.

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In praise of….. Patricia

I thought it might be fun every once in a while to let people know thoughts on some of my favorite actors. In most cases it will be the females, as I tend to have more faves, than the males. How homosexual of me 🙂

First cab of the rank.

Patricia Clarkson.

Patricia Clarkson first came to my attention in the acclaimed indie film High Art (1998), in which she played (magnificently) a German drug addicted former model. Actually I think everyone stood up and took notice of her in that film. Her first film role was as Elliot Ness’ wife in Brian DePalma’s The Untouchables (1987). Ever since High Art I have always been happy when I know she is to appear in a film. I often go and see the film because she is in it. Of course, some of the films aren’t that great, but mostly she makes some pretty good choices.

She has appeared twice on Broadway. In the hit revival of John Guare’s  The House Of Blue Leaves (replacement cast) (1986), and in Richard Greenberg’s Eastern Standard (1987). Of course she is mostly known for her film roles.

She is a native of New Orleans, now living in New York’s West Village.

She is foremost known as a supporting character actress. She has an incredible sexy husky voice. I think she is one of those actors, that often when in a scene, you can’t keep your eyes off. Actually I think she is very attractive and sexy.

The next time I was really impressed with her performance was as the best friend to Julianne Moore in Todd Hayne’s superb film, Far From Heaven (1982). She really nailed the stylised nuances that Todd Haynes needed to make his film successful. She was always going on about the catering, I seem to recall. And her turning on her best friend was very icy and painful.

Then came a big year (1983) that really cemented her in my mind.

Her roles in The Station Agent, and Pieces Of April (in which she received an Academy Award nomination as supporting actress). In both performances she showed both a tough and vulnerable side to her characters, that was incredibly moving.

Since then she has popped up regularly in interesting roles, working with an incredible roster of excellent directors. (Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese).

Other notable roles were as the psychiatrist in the excellent Lars & The Real Girl, the hilarious southern belle in Woody Allen’s Whatever Works, and the psychotic runaway in Scorcese’s Shutter Island, in which her powerful scene was a real stand out. And in the underated film Elegy, as Ben Kingsley’s part time lover.

The only time I have been disappointed was in the role of Margaret White in the TV remake of Carrie. But the whole film was a disaster.

Aside from her Oscar nod, she has also won 2 Emmy’s for her guest role in HBO’s Six Feet Under. (of which I have not seen)

And for all you fans, she is next up in her first leading role, in which she has to carry the film. Cairo Time (opening here on Aug 19).

In this film she plays a diplomats wife who enters into an affair with he Egyptian guide. I will definately bee seeing that film, and will post a review soon.

I have left out many other fine performances . Look her up on IMBd (I haven’t learnt how to add links yet – Wanda I need a lesson if you know).

With Julianne Moore in “Far From Heaven” (we must go through the catering list)

“The Station Agent”

Woody Allen’s “Whatever Works”

Catch her soon in “Cairo Time” released in a couple of weeks


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