Posts Tagged Jessica Chastain

Choice Quote: Jessica Chastain

on her upcoming film, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, Chastain told The Wrap:

Chanel - Front Row - PFW F/W 2013

“I don’t mind if the character is a small character, but I would just like her to have a journey in the film. Sometimes the characters are just there as a prop to further the man’s story. The great directors I’ve talked to, I’ve said listen, I don’t mind playing a woman that is a tiny part, but how does the story affect her? What can I play in the end that’s different from the beginning? Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense, because it’s just like being a prop.”


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Zero Dark Thirty: film review


Maya: “I’m gonna smoke everybody involved in this op and then I’m going to kill Bin Laden.”

It ends with the death of brutal Al-Qaeda terrorist leader and 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden during the covert mission in Abbottabad, Pakistan by Navy S.E.A.L. Team Six. Director Kathryn Bigelow [Point Break, Strange Days, The Hurt Locker] –who has made her career directing male-centric action films– and writer Mark Boal provide an edge-of-seat thriller chronicling the most phenomenal and intense decade-long manhunt. The film opens to a black screen and recorded calls on 9/11.

A woman’s voice to a 911 operator: “the floor is filled with smoke . . . I don’t think we can get out. Is someone coming to get us? I’m not sure we’re going to make it . . .” operator: “don’t say that. Someone is coming to help you.” Then silence. I got chills and tears in my eyes. Cut to Guantanamo. Cut to a black ops site where Dan [Jason Clarke–Public Enemies] brings in new team member Maya [Jessica Chastain– Take Shelter, The Help] for an interrogation.

Waterboarding, dog collar, loud music, withholding food and water, time in a box for suppressing information. Harsh and tense. Particularly the waterboarding scenes. Just terrifying. Holding down the detainee, putting a cloth over his face and pouring water over his nose and mouth. Drowning. How many lives might be saved if these agents can prevent further terrorist activity? Time passes and more attacks happen. Correlation that these techniques don’t work? Bigelow staggeringly showcases attacks in Saudi Arabia, London and Islamabad. Although I knew every terrorist attack I still cringed or screamed. There is so much death and destruction, blood and devastation, that you cannot help but think about the reasons behind the violence. It’s so upsetting and incomprehensible why anyone would want to continue to commit these acts of terror.


I didn’t even recognize Jennifer Ehle right away as seasoned CIA operative Jessica. She’s a bit skeptical of the youthful Maya from the start but after Maya’s found sleeping in her office enough times, she proves how dedicated she is to the Islamabad office despite insisting she didn’t choose it. The two women bond in a sisterly way. Jason Clarke excels as the super-charged field agent tasked to use any means necessary to get answers. As the head of the Islamabad C.I.A. bureau Kyle Chandler played it very Coach Taylor-lite which worked. Aussie Joel Edgerton and Parks and Recreation’s Chris Pratt stalwart and proud as Navy Seals. There are other familiar faces in smaller. roles—James Gandolfini as C.I.A. Director, Stephen Dillane as NSA Advisor and Mark Duplass as a C.I.A. tech.

Chastain does a remarkable job as Maya. Emotional when warranted– visibly shaken by a disastrous asset meeting. Confident when needed– steely at the top Washington brass meeting to vote on S.E.A.L. Team Six action. And the final few scenes. Amazing. Maya is the heart and compass of Zero Dark Thirty. She’s a strong, focused and determined woman. Never faltering from her end-goal despite losing team members. Maya continues the quest for Bin Laden undeterred by others who want to give up or believe intel might be weak.

–review by Amy Steele

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Reda Kateb, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Harold Perrineau, Chris Pratt
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Screenplay: Mark Boal
Rating: R
Release Date: January 4, 2013 [limited], January 11, 2013 [wide]

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FILM: my must-see list

Zero Dark Thirty
–decade long hunt for Osama bin Laden after 9/11 and take-out by Seal Team Six

directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
written by: Mark Boal
starring: Jessica Chastain, Chris Pratt, Joel Edgerton, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle
in theaters: December 19

Django Unchained
—spaghetti western. It’s QT. I see EVERYTHING he makes.

written and directed by: Quentin Tarantino
starring: Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson
in theaters: December 28

Silver Linings Playbook
–After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

written and directed by: David O. Russell
starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro, Julia Stiles
in theaters: November 23

Anna Karenina
directed by: Joe Wright
screenplay by: Tom Stoppard
starring: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Macfadyen
in theaters: November 16

Les Miserables
directed by: Tom Hooper
starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter
in theaters: December 28

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HAPPY WORLD VEGETARIAN DAY: Celebrity Vegans and Vegetarians [a select list]

Alanis Morissette

Alan Cumming

Alicia Silverstone, vegan

Alison Lohman

Amber Valletta

Angela Bassett

Anna Paquin

Anne Hathaway

Rosario Dawson

Betty White

Bryce Dallas Howard, vegan


Carrie Underwood, vegan

Casey Affleck, vegan

Christian Bale

Sarah Cracknell (St Etienne)

David Duchovny

Kate Moss

Chris Walla, guitarist, Death Cab for Cutie

Daman Albarn

Christina Applegate

Daryl Hannah, vegan

Tobey Maguire, vegan

Natalie Portman, vegan

Dianna Agron

Olivia Wilde, vegan

Conor Oberst (Bright eyes)

Phylicia Rashad

Jared Leto, vegan

Mayim Bialik, vegan

Usher, vegan

Morrissey, vegan

Fran Drescher, vegan

Eddie Vedder

Erykah Badu, vegan

Ellen DeGeneres, vegan

Julianna Margulies

Kal Penn

Fiona Apple, vegan

Gillian Anderson

Kevin Nealon, vegan

Emily Deschanel, vegan

Michelle Pfieffer, vegan

Woody Harrelson, vegan

Michael Imperioli, vegan

Moby, vegan

Jessica Chastain, vegan

Johnny Marr, guitarist, vegan

Juliana Hatfield, vegan

Kristen Bell, vegan

Lisa Edelstein, vegan

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FILM: Best of 2011

strong year for Ryan Gosling (Drive, Ides of March, Crazy Stupid Love), Jessica Chastain (Take Shelter, The Help, Tree of Life) and Brad Pitt (Moneyball, Tree of Life)

— brilliant, intense film about depression, anxiety and the end of the world
starring: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Keifer Sutherland
written and directed by: Lars von Trier

Take Shelter
–mesmerizing, creepy
starring: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain
written and directed by: Jeff Nichols

Midnight in Paris
–romantic, magical
starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Marion Cotillard
written and directed by: Woody Allen

–fascinating whether or not you follow baseball
starring: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright
directed by: Bennett Miller
written by: Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin

Young Adult
–smart, acerbic, dark
starring: Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson
directed by: Jason Reitman
written by: Diablo Cody

Meek’s Cutoff
–sweeping saga of a covered wagon trek through the dangerous landscape comprising the Oregon Trail
starring: Michelle Williams, Shirley Henderson, Bruce Greenwood, Paul Dano
directed by: Kelly Reichardt
written by: Jonathan Raymond

Win Win
–unique, moving, honest
starring: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan
written and directed by: Thomas McCarthy

Margin Call
–quietly effective, potent
starring: Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci and Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Paul Bettany, Penn Badgley
directed and written by: J.C. Chandor

Another Earth
–dreamy, pensive
starring: Brit Marling, William Mapother
directed by: Mike Cahill
written by: Brit Marling, Mike Cahill

Jamie and Jessie are Not Together
–inventive, alluring, engaging
starring: Jacqui Jackson, Jessica London-Shields
written and directed by: Wendy Jo Carlton

The Future
—bizarre, amusing, wistful existentialism
starring: Miranda July, Hamish Linklater
written and directed by: Miranda July

Crazy Stupid Love
—sweet without being predictable or over-sentimental
starring: Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone
directed by: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
written by: Dan Fogelman

The Muppets
–nostalgic, happy
starring: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper
directed by: James Bobin
written by: Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller

–retro, startling
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Mel Brooks, Bryan Cranston
written by: Hossein Amini
directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn

Into the Abyss
-superb meditation on the death penalty and our criminal justice system
written and directed by: Werner Herzog

The Tree of Life
–exquisite misery
starring: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain
written and directed by: Terrence Malick

Martha Marcy May Marlene
–disturbing and haunting
starring: Elizabeth Olson, Sarah Paulson
written and directed by: Sean Durkin

My Week with Marilyn
–delightful film and amazing performance by Michelle Williams
starring: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh
screenplay by: Adrian Hodges,
directed by: Simon Curtis

Jane Eyre
–lovely, sweeping, romantic
starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell
screenplay by: Moira Buffini
directed by: Cary Fukunaga

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