Frances McDormand (born 23.6.1957) Frances McDormand is an Academy Award-winning American actress.
Childhood: Frances McDormand was born in Chicago, Illinois. She was given up for adoption and was adopted by Noreen and Vernon McDormand. Noreen was a nurse and Vernon was a pastor. Frances' sister, Dorothy, is also a minister and chaplain. She has another two sisters, all of whom were adopted. The McDormands often moved home; as a result, Frances lived in Georgia Kentucky and Tennessee before the McDormands settled in Pittsburgh.
Frances McDormand attained a BA in Theatre in 1979, after studying at Bethany College, West Virginia. She went on to earn an MFA from Yale University School of Drama, where she shared a room with Holly Hunter.
Music Career: Frances McDormand's first paid acting job was performing in a play written by Derek Walcott, in Trinidad and Tobago. Her film debut came in 1984, when she appeared in Joel and Ethan Coen's first film, Blood Simple. The film also starred Jon Getz and marked the beginning of a long-standing professional relationship between McDormand and the Coen brothers.
Around this time, she shared a house in the Bronx, with Holly Hunter, the Coen brothers and the director Sam Raimi.
In 1987, she shared screen time with Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona, alongside Nicolas Cage.
McDormand also took on TV roles, playing Connie Chapman in the US police drama, Hill Street Blues. In addition to this, she worked on the stage, starring in a production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award.
As her big-screen career developed, Frances McDormand was nominated four times for an Academy Award. The first nomination came in 1988, when she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Mississippi Burning. The film also starred Gene Hackman and Willem Defoe. Then, in 1996, McDormand won the Best Actress Award for her role in the Coen brothers' Fargo, which also starred William H Macy and Steve Buscemi. Her next nomination came for the Best Supporting Actress Award, this time for her performance in Almost Famous, which starred Kate Hudson as a rock band's groupie and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the revered music journalist Lester Bangs. McDormand's fourth Academy Award nomination came in 2006, again for the Best Supporting Actress gong, for her appearance in North Country, a film starring Charlize Theron and Sissy Spacek.
McDormand has won other awards, for films such as 2000's Wonder Boys, which included such luminaries as Michael Douglas, Robert Downey Jr and Tobey Maguire among the cast members.
Other significant film roles for Frances McDormand include her appearance in 2008's Burn After Reading, another Coen brothers film, starring John Malkovich, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton and George Clooney. In 2006, McDormand starred opposite Jennifer Aniston and Joan Cusack in Friends with Money, a critically-lauded drama that opened the 2006 Sundance Festival. 2008 also saw McDormand star alongside Amy Adams in the romantic comedy Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.
Personal Life: Frances McDormand is married to the director Joel Coen, with whom she has often worked professionally throughout her career. Joel and Frances have an adopted son from Paraguay, named Pedro.
Frances McDormand - A variety of stars were photographed in the press room at the 21st Annual SAG Awards which were held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 22nd January 2015
The multi-award-winning filmmakers will turn their Oscar-winning black comedy into a TV series, with Billy Bob Thornton taking on the starring role
Joel and Ethan Coen will be reviving their much-acclaimed 1996 dark crime caper Fargo for a television audience, Reuters reported, with plans for a Fargo TV series being announced earlier this week. On Friday (2 August), a spokesperson for Fox's FX channel revealed that the filmmaking siblings are working on a TV-version of the Oscar-winning film, due to air on the channel in Spring 2014.
The Coen Brothers are taking their first steps into television
The spokesperson also added that the 10-episode mini-series already has a major acting talent lined-up to star in the film-adaption, with Billy Bob Thornton unveiled as one of the stars of the series. The 57-year-old will play one of several new characters due to be introduced in the new series, taking on the part of criminal Lorne Malvo, who was described as "a rootless, manipulative man who meets a small town insurance salesman and sets him on a path of destruction" in the FX statement. No further cast and character details were announced, however it was revealed that the Coens will be serving as executive producers for the mini-series.
Continue reading: The Coen Brothers Lining Up 'Fargo' TV Series For FX
Hydraulic fracturing might not be the most compelling subject for a movie, but it provides a topical backdrop for this engaging drama about ethics. It also lets actor-screenwriter Damon reunite with his Good Will Hunting director Van Sant for another strikingly well-made movie centring around a handful of strong characters. And while we know what the filmmakers feel about this contentious issue, at least the script isn't heavy handed about it.
The story takes place in a rural New England town, where oil company workers Steve and Sue (Damon and McDormand) are trying to secure the leases needed to drill for natural gas. The farmers badly need the cash to keep in business, but a retired science teacher (Holbrook) voices concern about the potential dangers of "fracking". He's joined by environmental activist Dustin (Krasinski) to turn the town against Steve and Sue's multinational corporation. And Dustin even starts to meddle in a budding romance between Steve and local teacher Alice (DeWitt).
The script is cleverly constructed to make us wonder who is telling the full truth. There are obviously risks associated with fracking, but have they been exaggerated by politically motivated campaigns? Damon plays Steve as a straight-arrow, a nice guy who genuinely believes that the process is safe. Meanwhile, Krasinski is a but more slippery as the grassroots voice of caution, and the terrific McDormand gets all the best lines.
Continue reading: Promised Land Review
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Django Unchained are riding high at the top of the US box office charts and as the movie industry lurches slowly into the new year, it’s likely that they’ll remain there. After all, an unsolicited addition to the Texas Chainsaw collection is hardly going to have the pulling power to shift some of the biggest movies of last year off the top of that chart.
That, however, is one of the biggest movies of the week: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D. That’s right. An extra dimension has been added to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre story. No, we’re not sure why, either. The phrase “let’s leave well alone, shall we?” springs to mind. The horror genre was just fine and dandy with the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the other Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation and... okay all you need to know is that there are already seven of these movies.. but hey, now we have one in 3D, so that, presumably, you can fear not only for the safety of the characters onscreen, but also for the integrity of your own eyeballs, as chainsaw after chainsaw comes flying out of the screen and straight towards your face.
In a classic game of paper, scissors, stone, it becomes quickly apparent that ‘chainsaw’ beats ‘wooden door’ as good old Leatherface wreaks havoc with his favourite power tool once more. Unsurprisingly, it has been met with a tired response, with one reviewer on Rotten Tomatoes describing the film as a “giant turd of a movie.” So, probably not bound for big bucks box office success, then. Bound to divide audiences this one. Divide them between ‘Don’t really like it’ and ‘Really don’t like it,’ that is.
Matt Damon gets political in his new movie Promised Land, which tackles the issue of ‘fracking,’ the process of hydraulic fractured drilling, which has been at the root of great political debate in the US for some time. Its effects on drinking water and the debate surrounding energy use is a controversial one and has been gaining notoriety. The arrival of Promised Land will inevitably bring that debate to the awareness of even more American citizens.
In an interview with Reuters, though Damon was not prepared to weigh in on either side of the environmental debate. "The point is that the movie should start a conversation. It's certainly not a pro-fracking movie, but we didn't want to tell people what to think.” Damon also said that whilst the issue of fracking was at the centre of the story. “It wasn't that we said we wanted to make a movie about 'fracking' as much as we wanted to make a movie about American identity, about real people. We wanted to make a movie about the country today, where we came from, where we are and where we are headed.”
Continue reading: Is Promised Land Political? Matt Damon Won't Weigh In On Fracking Debate
Steve Butler is a successful businessman as part of a natural gas company who wishes to close down failing farming communities in order to obtain resources. He and his business partner Sue Thomason go to visit a particular town that is suffering a lot in the economic crisis in the hope that it will be easy to get drilling rights for the farmers' land in order to gain important resources through hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as 'fracking'. Things do seem easy at first, with his proposition providing some hope of economic relief for many members of the community, however he is soon challenged when a highly regarded teacher from the school and a determined grassroots campaigner object to the proposal and go about trying to get the rest of the town to vote against it.
'Promised Land' is a particularly appropriate film for the current economic climate and raises important issues that are of real concern to many. It has been directed by Gus Van Sant ('Good Will Hunting', 'Milk', 'Paris, je t'aime'), written by the movie's stars John Krasinski and Oscar winner Matt Damon (writer of 'Good Will Hunting') and based on a story by Dave Eggers ('Away We Go', 'Where the Wild Things Are') and is set to hit screens in the UK next year on April 19th 2013.
Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Continue: Promised Land Trailer
Instead of developing the characters or situations for comedy gold, the filmmakers instead just crank up the chaos. So while some scenes are both funny and visually impressive, this second sequel is simply too inane to make us hope there will be a part 4. Very young kids may be distracted by the hectic pacing and hyperactive characters, but everyone else will quickly be bored by the nonstop mayhem, simply because there's nothing interesting going on.
Anxious lion Alex (Stiller), chatty zebra Marty (Rock), nerdy giraffe Melman (Schwimmer) and silly hippo Gloria (Smith) are living a Lion King-style existence in Africa, although their only hope for escape has just flown away. Namely, the brainy penguins and their monkey assistants. So our heroes follow them to Monaco, where they all end up on the run from the notorious animal control agent Dubois (McDormand). They run straight into a failing circus, which they set out to bring back to its glory days so they can catch the eye of an American promoter and go home to New York. To do this means working with the current circus acts: sultry cheetah Gia (Chastain), dorky sea lion Stefano (Short) and tetchy tiger Vitaly (Cranston).
The circus premise lets the filmmakers have a lot of visual fun with the characters, most notably in a riotously colourful Cirque du Soleil-on-acid performance in London. But the plot makes no sense at all (if they can get to Monaco, surely they could get to New York, right?), and there are so many new characters that the central quartet feels almost sidelined. Especially since they've also wedged in an under-developed romance for the lemur king (Baron Cohen). Yes, it's all over the place, and being busy is not the same thing as being clever or funny.
Continue reading: Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted Review
Cheyenne is a soft-spoken, retired rockstar still wearing make-up and hairspray whilst living in Dublin and has been estranged from his Jewish father for 30 years. When he discovers that his father is dying in New York, he is determined to set out to put things right with him, but his journey is delayed by Cheyenne's aversion to flying; when he finally makes his way over, he is too late to see his father alive for the final time. He learns that his father was a victim of persecution in Auschwitz during the Holocaust of World War II and that he was once made to suffer public humiliation by the Nazi officer Aloise Muller. In a last bid to make peace with his father, Cheyenne sets out to kill Muller (who is currently hiding out in the States) whilst meeting several people along the way, including members of Muller's family. When he is finally led to Muller, he finds himself confronted with a difficult decision as he listens to his story and, eventually, he manages to mark out a new chapter in his retired life.
Continue: This Must Be The Place Trailer
After escaping to Africa from Madagascar, Alex the lion; Gloria the hippo; Melman the giraffe and Marty the zebra decide it's time to head back to New York once and for all. Unfortunately, they have to rely on the penguins - Skipper; Kowalski; Rico and Private - and the two chimpanzees, Mason and Phil and their combined mechanical knowledge, to get them back home. Nothing can go wrong this time, though, can it?
In 1960's New England, Sam and Suzy meet after the former sneaks backstage before a show, which features the latter. The pair fall in love and, from then on, communicate by writing letters. The pair makes a pact to run away together. Sam will escape from his summer camp and Suzy will climb out of her bedroom window.
Continue: Moonrise Kingdom Trailer
When man first landed on the moon over 40 years ago, their journey was well documented and broadcast on the TV around the world, what we weren't to know was the details of a secret mission the astronauts carried out on the 'dark side of the moon'. What they discovered was beyond their belief, evidence that we're not alone in the universe.
As the men enter the abandoned Cybertronian spaceship, they collect evidence and take pictures. 40 years on, the truth behind what the astronauts really discovered can no longer be kept secret.
Directed by: Michael Bay
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Ramon Rodriguez, Hugo Weaving, Peter Cullen, Patrick Dempsey, John Turturro, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Lester Speight, James Avery, Mark Ryan, Ken Jeong, Alan Tudyk, Frank Welker, Kevin Dunn, Glenn Morshower, Kym Whitley, Karyn Parsons, Julie White, Corey Burton and Jess Harnell