Help influence Episode 34!


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Yes, you can help influence not only the film Pandy & I use as the joint review, but the homework we assign each other to plot the range of their career. As announced in Episode 32, our subject will be Dame Maggie Smith.

Pandy & I will take an executive decision on what makes the joint review on Saturday 17th September,  so get your ideas in before then!


NB) We've already covered Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. Duhhhhh.

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As good as she is in Gosford Park and the Harry Potter, I don't she has enough screen time to warrant coverage. In both cases, she's part of an ensemble. Same with Hook, unfortunately.

California Suite (in which she plays an actress married to a closeted Michael Caine and for which she won Best Supporting Actress)

For recent stuff, maybe Best Exotic Marigold Hotel or Quartet (the 2012 film, which was the directorial debut of Dustin Hoffman)

Hell, maybe Sister Act 1 for the period between the two.

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With Dames Helen Mirren and Judi Dench crossed off the list, perhaps the time has come to complete the trifecta with Dame Maggie Smith? Winning an Oscar and making her first mark with The Prime of Miss Jean Brody, Smith went on to play a lot of mentor and older woman roles. She would get critical attention again in A Room With a View. Also, she played Mother Superior in Sister Act. While she has gained massive critical acclaim in the last few years for playing the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey, most people didn't realize that she practically already played the part in Gosford Park from 2001.

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Any chance you could pick people that translate into the podcast format IE you've both seen films with them as the lead. I mean, I like Sigourney Weaver and Max Von Sydow but it's not like you were able to gets three films for each that really showcased their full talents as a lead actor. They were good episodes because you guys are entertaining but the picks were perhaps not great material for studying those performers.

Having said that I will now eat my words as I look back into the 70s and see multiple Academy awards and nominations, clearly I know nothing about Dame Maggie Smith.

But the point stands if we wind up with Sister Act 2 or something in the final list. Let's see her in Othello, Pride of Miss Jean Brodie and California Suite, not Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

I mean, obviously I blame Will for this.

Edited by Stavros
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Sister Act 2

What a good idea, thank you for your feedback!

That smacks of repeating ourselves, somehow....

As for the bulk of Tom's post, that gets to the heart of what we want the podcast to be against how the listeners perceive it as (which we honestly haven't had much response about, save for Tom's views on the Cage episode). I don't mean to speak for Pandy, and I'm sure he'll correct me if I mischaracterise his views, but we consider HAA! to be an entertainment podcast which hangs itself on the format of a movie club of film analysis based around 3 films of an actor's filmography. It's a longheld joke on here that I haven't watched a lot of films, and whilst I daresay Pandy's seen more films, his viewing is pretty much films post 1980. That limits our scope to act as full authorities on the films that get chosen.

Ultimately, we pick 3 films that fit the format, but there is a weird formula that tries to balance differing genres, major career highlights and films that we reckon people have watched. We don't always get it right (Exhibit A: Will Smith) but we do have a serious discussion prior to the final decision we take. So with regard to Maggie Smith, Sister Act would be a strong contender for joint pick as a) we've already done the sequel, b) Smith's the 2nd/3rd billed lead, c) it is an appearance in an American comedy film, which was not typical of her career, and most importantly, d) it has a number of votes in the thread. We still have a pick each, or even the right to override this is there's a film that fits better.

So in short: 1) Don't worry, we're not picking a Harry Potter film where she gets lost in the ensemble throughout (from the ones I've watched at least), 2) we frequently 'fess up to not giving great reviews but do what we can to entertain, and 3) Prime (not Pride, pillock) of Miss Jean Brodie is what I was GOING to suggest to Pandy. Now you've ruined Christmas!!!!

But seriously, if you have suggestions to improve the format, hit me up on PM.


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No prob Ian, I know you guys put thought into the show, the format is great and I enjoy the show which as you say is always the larger purpose of the whole exercise. 

If the choices of actor are just a means to talk about some movies then cool. I'm just reiterating a problem you guys yourselves acknowledged re featured actors not showing up until ages into some films. Doesn't mean you can't assess actors on small key roles (can't talk about Heath Ledger without Joker, Hopkins without Lecter etc) but perhaps for example Max Von Sydow in Shutter Island isn't enough to assess his modern career because as mentioned his screen time is very limited. 

It's hard to be definitive and even harder to emphasise that being definitive is not really the point. Which I kinda get more now than I did before, so I won't worry too much about it. Hearty discussion! 

And prime/pride appears to be an autocorrect/complete issue, my phone is awful for that stuff.

PS I ruin EVERY Christmas!

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Gosford park is very good, no idea how much of it she's in.

It's a Robert Altman film, so not enough.

She's not really in it von Sydow in Shutter Island! But it's unlikely to be chosen. Partially because both of us have seen it, even if Pandy protests otherwise.

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