The podcast that looks back at female-driven films from the not-so-distant past.
Emma Thompson Crazy - The Tall Guy - BA046C
December 22, 2017 12:49 AM PST
The year is 1989. “Bad” communism is coming to an end, Europe is breaking into new nation states, Seán is being born and Emma Thompson is telling the world she is an absolute star in THE TALL GUY. After garroting Richard Curtis in the last episode, he gets an odd free pass here by helping create a strikingly independent female character in Emma's Kate Tampon Lemon. The film is a cluttered and creaking 80s romantic comedy, somewhere between Slaves of New York and A Chorus Line (i.e. far too batty for today's audiences). But weirdest of all, it includes what you never see much of: two consenting adults who barely know each other, casually arranging a date to enjoy a healthy serving of afternoon delight. (Well, if they’re straight, that is...). Known more for its raucous and equally joyous sex-scene between Emma and hunky co-star Jeff Goldblum, THE TALL GUY is a weird little romp down Shaftsberry Avenue and up the way to the Royal Free Hospital, which catapulted Emma to stardom. Seán and Brian cannot resist her charms, but was that ever really going to be a possibility? Oh Emma, we love you.
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Clips from the film presented according to fair use policy. Podcast Theme: "Pipeline" by CyberSDF (https://soundcloud.com/cybersdf/tracks).Emma Thompson Bad - Love Actually - BA046B
December 20, 2017 11:48 PM PST
Here at Broad Appeal we have the perfect gift for you: A foaming-at-the-mouth screed about one of the most repugnant little films masquerading as entertainment! Were it not for Emma Thompson, who brings an emotional weight to an entirely undeserving film, LOVE ACTUALLY would be consigned to the dust-bin of history. Also in that bin is every skeezy boss who ever creeped on his staff, political figures who think they can get away with anything, lad culture, and all “awkward” weirdos who just don't know how to talk to women. If you saw this film in 2003 and thought nothing of it, you'll be WOKEn up by the end of this episode. Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Andrew Lincoln, Bill Nighy et al – they're all here and they're all COMPLICIT! But Emma: As if we needed any reminder that E.T. is not only a consummate professional, with pools of artistic and emotional depth, but can also utilise the flat role of a taken-for-granted wife to craft a polemic on marriage, relationships, forgiveness and family, while never raising her voice. Richard Curtis and all cis-gendered males have a lot to answer for, but Emma makes this unfunny mess almost relatable. Proof, once again, that she is legendary.
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Clips from the film presented according to fair use policy. Podcast Theme: "Pipeline" by CyberSDF (https://soundcloud.com/cybersdf/tracks).Emma Thompson Good - Sense and Sensibility - BA046
December 20, 2017 01:13 AM PST
You may be yin, and I may be yang, but we can all agree on Emma Thompson. For some, she is the queen of 90s prestige filmmaking, for others (i.e. Brian) she is a role model, an idol, a way of life. SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (which Em wrote and starred in) takes 18th century English manners and deconstructs them through the Taiwanese lens of director And Lee. The story of wildly disparate sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood certainly left its impact on your wildly disparate hosts. For Brian it was fuel to the fire of his love and passion for Emma, for Seán it was some frou-frou trailer at the start of the VHS tape of Addams Family Values. But will the older, wiser Seán be able to come to his senses (as opposed to sensibilities) and to look beyond the Empire waistlines to see this film for what it is: a delightful, insightful comedy that is as much Thompson as it is Austen? Reader, he loved it. (That's her, right? - Ed. Note: No, Seán, that’s Charlotte Brontë)
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Clips from the film presented according to fair use policy. Podcast Theme: "Pipeline" by CyberSDF (https://soundcloud.com/cybersdf/tracks).Judi Dench Crazy - Notes on a Scandal - BA045C
December 08, 2017 12:32 AM PST
Don't you just love it when the bourgeoisie debase themselves? In what is undoubtedly a masterpiece in malice, Judi delivers her best performance ever in NOTES ON A SCANDAL. She is Barbara Covett, a petrified husk of an educator, who believes that Sapphic machinations form the basis of any good friendship. And yet even Dench's detestability is put to the test by Cate Blanchett's Sheba Hart: performing youth outreach in the form of sexual favours offered to the underaged. NOTES ON A SCANDAL is what happens when truly talented people get together to make utter trash - sure it disagrees with our bowels, but we can’t get enough of it.
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December 07, 2017 12:57 AM PST
What do you get when you combine Judi Dench, Cher, Maggie Smith, Lily Tomlin and someone called Joan Plowright with a bunch of hot Italian men, World War II and a healthy dose of fascism? The answer... practically nothing. TEA WITH MUSSOLINI is exactly the kind of film you'd expect from a right-wing homosexual, wistfully recounting his misspent youth amongst delightfully polite blackshirts. Maggie sympathises, Joan frets, Cher is rich and Judi goes gaga for her pooch. Even if the film is bloodless, Seán and Brian make sure to spill plenty of tea during the conversation. We like ours strong. Et tu, Benito?
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December 06, 2017 02:45 AM PST
Here at Broad Appeal we try and avoid all honorific titles and that includes “national treasure”. But as it turns out, Judi Dench has earned these platitudes: regal imperiousness is her USP! To say her range is limited to the odd monarch or head of MI6, however, is to do her a disservice. PHILOMENA may look like the perfect film to watch with your aunt, but like The Dench herself, it's far more than that. Judi D. plays the titular Phil, an Irish woman who for years kept a secret close to her heart: doing penance to unforgiving nuns for birthing an unwed child (and for the sin of enjoying the sex that conceived him!). She lived her whole adult life with her boy taken from her. Now she's teamed up with the cynical journo Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), whose level of smugness is perfectly matched with Philomena's polite way of managing B.S. But a wacky buddy-comedy this is not: PHILOMENA is a funny, heartfelt, emotional story handled with superb tact by Stephen Frears, and completely owned by Judi, melting hearts and filling every silence with maternal grace and faithful purity. Any film that deals with gayness, transatlantic identities, Catholicism and old ladies can definitely get Seán and Brian talking. And talk we did.
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November 24, 2017 06:22 AM PST
JENNIFER LOPEZ IS A GENIUS. Who else could've spun box office gold from this laughable material and turned it into... the ultimate guilty pleasure? JLo is a suburban Mom (and Classics teacher!) whose ill-advised jones for jailbait comes back to haunt her, and then some. Don'tcha hate it when the neighbor boy with the rock-hard abs turns out to be a psychopath? Achilles never raged as vengefully as this horny hunk who becomes hell-bent on destroying her family unit. This is Fatal Attraction: Female Version - featuring naked butts, pornographic photocopies and a gruesome finale that would put Aeschylus to shame. It's getting pretty wet down here!
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November 23, 2017 01:31 AM PST
Ali vs. Forman! Rocky vs. Apollo! JLo vs. JFo! On paper it sounds great: Puerto Rican pop princess faces off against a Hollywood grande dame in her unexpected return to the screen. Alas, what might've been a truly Freudian slugfest as mother-in-law battles bride-to-be lands with a whimper, a shrug and a WTF?! Jen is in candy-coated rom-com mode, rendering herself into an inoffensive Everygirl, while Hanoi Jane is going for a register somewhere in between Miranda Priestly and Mommie Dearest. This fascinating failure exhibits all the formulaic flaws that have sunk many a recent rom-com. Where's the rom? Where's the com? Brian and Seán dream of the diva duet that never happened, while dissecting the wilted bridesmaid's bouquet that was actually tossed.
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November 22, 2017 12:03 AM PST
Jennifer Lopez began her rise to multi-platform domination as a charismatic young actress with with some serious indie cred. She shines (and packs a punch) as tough-but-vulnerable federal marshall Karen Sisco in OUT OF SIGHT, hunting down bank robber George Clooney (and nearly stealing the movie from him). We return to the Elmore Leonard universe and contemplate what might've been if JLo had spent more time with directors like Steven Soderbergh (could he have found her her own Erin Brockovich-type vehicle??) Instead, she started churning out pop hits that delighted young Seán (before she started singing about boyfriend Ben Affleck, that is). There's no denying that Jenny from the Block is a woman to be reckoned with.
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November 10, 2017 12:42 AM PST
No one plays fucked-up, damaged sexuality quite like Julianne Moore. In SAVAGE GRACE, as the mercurial heiress Barbara Bakeland whose relationship with her son (Eddie Redmayne) goes from over-intimacy to incest, she stops at all the Stations of the Cross of camp insanity. Accosting her philandering husband in an airport while wearing a flagrant red dress? Check. Making her pre-pubescent son recite porn in a foreign language? Check. Having a threesome with said son's male lover? Check. Somehow, despite the hothouse atmosphere, suicide attempts and moody hallucinations, Juli and Eddie somehow manage to make these perverse, insular characters weirdly fun -- that is, until the incestuous sex grows both mechanical and murderous. Brian and Seán debate the merits of this particularly transgressive example of New Queer Cinema but conclude that it is undeniably watchable -- and that no one but Julianne could make all these crazy contradictions cohere -- por el culo!
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Broad Appeal is Seán McGovern and Brian Mullin, two obsessive gay boys with an all-encompassing love of actresses. Listen every 2 weeks for some irreverent, incisive and engaged entertainment. Our current season: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE CRAZY looks at career spanning moments of some of our favourite actresses.
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