And it’s another round of the Seattle Cinema Survey, where the city’s best – except that one we include here…you know… – critics answer the various random things I ask them every week.
On this first edition for June, I was pondering the career resurgence of Kate Beckinsale due to the massively rave reviews she has garnered for Love & Friendship. After years of films and work that made most ignore or mock her as an actress, Beckinsale’s back in the game. So I asked; What career would you most like to see flourish once more?
I have to go with Geena Davis, who for the first decade of her career had an unbelievable, varied run that kicked off with a superb supporting turn in Tootsie. Over ten years Davis fit memorably into the twisted (The Fly), the bizarre (Beetlejuice), the visceral (Thelma & Louise) and – maybe most perfectly – the inspiring (A League of Their Own). Always a unique presence, with her taller than most frame, Davis excelled at being earnest and giving the best of “I can’t believe this shit is happening” glares. Since the mega-bomb that was the starring role in her husband’s abomination Cutthroat Island, the filmography has struggled, with a little television work here and a little indie part there. Oh, for better females roles.
A theme you’re going to see in some of the upcoming responses.
Erik Samdahl of Film Jabber @ErikSamdahl
I’m still waiting and rooting for Kevin Costner to have a big comeback. He has sort of had a resurgence in recent years, but most of his standalone films have been garbage during that time-span. It’d be great to see him do something great again.
Also, I am waiting for Tyler Perry to do Alex Cross 2: Madea’s Murder.
Jason Roestel of Examiner @filmbastard
Is it too late to say Philip Seymour Hoffman? Oh… You know who I want back? Really, really bad? Mel Gibson. Acting. Directing. Going wild in our city streets. And sure, having some sort of role in the next Mad Max film. Luckily I get two big Gibson projects in 2016. His fifth directorial feature, Hacksaw Ridge, arrives next fall. Plus he plays a bit of an avenging brute in this summer’s much anticipated Blood Father.
Al Pacino. Yeah, I know the guy is 76 and he’s never going to have a run of great films like he did in the 70’s and 90’s but his recent work hasn’t been so great. While Pacino clearly hasn’t lost his love of acting, the projects he’s picked have ranged from mediocre (Danny Collins) to flat out terrible (Manglehorn, Jack and Jill). I remain optimistic that he will star in at least one more great film, one more great film to remind us why he’s the man. Even Pacino’s contemporary Robert De Niro, for all the crap he’s been in of late, redeemed himself with Silver Linings Playbook.
Pacino is supposed to be starring in crime film called The Irishman, directed by Martin Scorsese and co starring De Niro and Joe Pesci. Maybe that will be his next great film? Hopefully? If it even gets made? A boy can dream.
We may get to see this happen before too long, but I’d love to see Ellen Barkin come storming back. She’s kept busy over the years, but hasn’t reached the same highs as earlier in her career—though she was nominated for a Tony a while back.
Barkin has a potentially badass role on the way in just a few weeks as she plays Janine “Smurf” Cody in the impending series adaptation of the Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom. She’s got some big shoes to fill in the part, as Jacki Weaver earned an Oscar nomination for the performance, but Barkin is gritty and tough and just unhinged enough to pull it off.
Admittedly, the Americanized Animal Kingdom looks like it could either be fantastic or god-awful terrible, but I think a lot of whether it sinks or swims will fall on this version of Smurf.
Matt Oakes of Silver Screen Riot @SSRdotcom
Where in the world is Uma Thurman? The badass Boston blondie was poised to be the world’s next femme fatale superstar following her cool-as-ice portrayal of Beatrix Kiddo in Quentin Tarantino’s back-to-back femme-spoliation Kill Bill flicks. But rather than claim her deserved crown as queen of tinsel-town, Thurman kinda up and disappeared off the map, appearing in such uninspired fare as Susan Storman’s remake of The Producers and co-starring alongside Luke Wilson in My Super Ex-Girlfriend before flitting into nothingness. She (somewhat) recently stole the limelight in Lars von Trier’s two-part Nymphomaniac but her presence was as swift as it was brilliant and gone before you had a chance to blink. What happened to the actress who left us breathless as Mia Wallace, for which she got a much-deserved Oscar nomination, and why is she not all spun across the multiplexes? I anxiously await the return of she-who-must-not-be-named and still am hoping she’s got some aces up her sleeve.