Chemistry is one of the most essential but hard-to-describe parts of the filmmaking process. Actors need to get in tune with their costars, just as directors need to find the right way to communicate with their actors. You can’t really force it. It just happens or it doesn’t.
Good chemistry broke out in a big way at this year’s Envelope Roundtable of supporting actresses. Participants Laura Dern (“Wild”) and Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”) have moved in similar circles for years, while Tilda Swinton (“Snowpiercer”) and Emma Stone (“Birdman”) met — and bonded — for the first time.
It all made for a conversation filled with genuine curiosity and discovery on such topics as impromptu costume design, adapting to unusual shooting methods, growing up in a household of actors and what the future holds for the next generation.
Here are excerpts from that conversation.
Olsen: Emma, with “Birdman,” the style of that movie is such a big kind of part of the movie itself, the way it’s shot so that it...Read more
Rain, shine or chickenpox, Oscar Watch -- a look at who and what's up and down this awards season -- comes to you every Monday. What's moving and shaking this week? Read on ...Read more
Can any movie beat "Boyhood"? What about Julianne Moore? Is she a shoo-in for every acting award for her affecting work as a woman coping with early-onset Alzheimer's in "Still Alice"? And who is going to emerge from that crowded lead actor field? Michael Keaton? Benedict Cumberbatch? Eddie Redmayne?
Now that the nominations for the Golden Globes and Screen Actor Guild Awards have been announced, we at least have a little more clarity. Join Los Angeles Times awards columnist Glenn Whipp and movie writer Steven Zeitchik at noon Thursday, Pacific time, as they sort through all the nominations, looking at the winners, the ignored (criminally and otherwise) and what it all might mean for the Oscars.
If you have any questions, concerns and/or outrages you'd like to vent, feel free to send them along and we'll address them accordingly. Tweet them to us using the hashtag #asklatimes.Read more
Meeting up after a triumphant opening-night premiere of "A Most Violent Year" at Los Angeles' recent AFI Fest, actor Oscar Isaac and director J.C. Chandor didn't look like the creative team behind one of the most complex, rewarding American films of the year. Rumpled, smiling and blinking in the light of the morning, they looked like two friends who'd gotten away with something. Isaac ("Inside Llewyn Davis") was unshaven with a mustache for his upcoming part in "Show Me a Hero," David Simon's HBO project about Yonkers, N.Y. Chandor ("Margin Call," "All Is Lost") was wearing a green baseball cap emblazoned with the logo of the Standard heating-oil company that Isaac's character, Abel Morales, runs with his wife, Anna (Jessica Chastain), resulting in a struggle that plays out against the chilly background of 1981 New York.
Your first film, "Margin Call," was set almost entirely in an office building; "All Is Lost" took place on a boat. Was "A Most Violent Year" a deliberate attempt to...Read more
Director Mike Leigh's "Mr. Turner" has won high praise for its portrayal of Britain's early 19th century master "painter of light" J.M.W. Turner, played by Timothy Spall. Working within England's Romantic period, Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran outfits Turner, in the last 25 years of his life, in dark and muted clothes. That palette allows the eye to be drawn instead to his at-the-time controversial depictions of "surrounding light." Besides, "that's how real people wear their clothes," Durran says. "That was important, to have it seem lived in."
This is your sixth film with director Mike Leigh. Does this make it more or less interesting for you as a designer?
They never get boring, ever, really, because [directors] are so different in their approach to costume.
With Joe [Wright, with whom she worked on "Pride & Prejudice" and "Anna Karenina"], we have a conversation early on and stylization is quite set out. But the way Mike works is it's all actor-driven; the...Read more
Production designer Maria Djurkovic didn't need an engineering degree to build a replica of one of the world's first computers for the film "The Imitation Game." Called the Bombe by its real-life inventor Alan Turing, this 1940s proto-computer cracked the Nazi code encrypted by the German Enigma machines during World War II, thereby shortening the war and saving millions of lives, historians estimate.
Despite its complicated appearance, Djurkovic said of making the Bombe for the big screen, "It's not technical, that's the weird thing."
But that's not to say it wasn't challenging. The machine not only had to look accurate, it had to look accurate in various stages of its construction over a short shooting window.
"You see Turing [Benedict Cumberbatch] working on it at the very start, and then you see it halfway through and then the finished thing when the dials actually start moving," Djurkovic said. "But for us, we're shooting those things possibly over two days. So we have to be able...Read more