Claire Danes in "Shopgirl"

Discuss former or new projects of Claire Danes ("Angela Chase") in this forum.
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Jul 27th 2005, 10:02 pm

Definitely give it a try emmie - I was surprised that I liked it so much!
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Post by TomSpeed » Jul 27th 2005, 11:38 pm

I love the book. It's very funny. I also had it on audiobook with Steve Martin reading. It's definitely worth getting.

I said "had" because the comp it was on died. And when I hooked up my IPOD to my new comp, it was completely erased. Thanks, Apple. Even though Apple/iTunes has a record of every song I bought, I can't get them back. I'm going to try to get the old comp repaired. But it was hit by a power surge. I doubt the hard drive can be saved. Over $1 grand down the drain if I can't recover the old hard drive. I've switched almost all of my downloading to Rhapsody. It's a subscription service. Is it worth it? Yes, cause you can download songs to IPOD and other portable players. And everything is recoverable. The only thing I've downloaded off of iTunes since this happened are the podcasts, which are free.

Apples suggests saving things to CD in case a comp fails. But it's saving technology is terrible. It doesn't save the content list of the CD unless you make your own play lists. I had some things saved. But I had to manually look up all of the titles of songs, etc. It was so annoying. I gave up.

Rhapsody is very slow if you compare it to iTunes. But you can tell what your subscription fee pays for. Besides being slower, it doesn't have as wide a selection as iTunes. But it has enough to get by. I'm bummed because it doesn't have Calexico. I love the Tex-Mex sound.

Oh...yea...Shopgirl. Let Steve Martin read the story to you. You won't be disappointed.
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Sep 12th 2005, 4:26 pm

A yahoo article about Shopgirl, which was shown at the Toronto Film Festival:
Martin Shows Versatility With 'Shopgirl'

More so than at perhaps any other time in his career, Steve Martin has a film that showcases his versatility. "Shopgirl" started with Martin's prose, his best-selling novella about a depressive wallflower pursued by a rich older man and an awkward young slacker.

It comes to the theater via Martin's own screenplay adaptation, which turned a highly internalized tale with minimal dialogue into a camera-friendly story.

It also features one of the finer in Martin's growing range of quiet, restrained performances as he fills the role of the lonely older man looking for love while settling for sex with a woman half his age. And as the producer, Martin helped stitch together a pitch-perfect cast that includes Claire Danes as the wallflower and Jason Schwartzman as the slacker.

The only thing missing is the wild-and-crazy physical comedy that has been a trademark of Martin's biggest successes, from "The Jerk" and "All of Me" to "Bringing Down the House" and "Cheaper By the Dozen."

Dismissed by critics in the 1970s as an anti-intellectual, banjo-toting buffoon with a fake arrow through his head, Martin has undergone a gradual transformation since the mid-1980s to become an esteemed writer and performer.

"I think when the movie `Roxanne' came out, which I also had written, I felt something new that I never felt, which was respect," Martin said with a bonny laugh in an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, where "Shopgirl" played in advance of its Oct. 21 theatrical debut.

That continued through such films as "Planes, Trains & Automobiles," "L.A. Story," "Grand Canyon" and "The Spanish Prisoner" and a literary career that has produced the play "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" and the novel "The Pleasure of My Company."

"Also, as you get older, you gain a little more weight just by default because you've been around that long," said Martin, who turned 60 in August.

"Shopgirl" centers on Mirabelle (Danes), a twentysomething clerk at a ritzy Beverly Hills store. Solitary and on medication for deep depression, Mirabelle finds herself ineptly romanced by a young bumbler (Schwartzman) and swept off her feet by a rich divorced man (Martin).

Neither man proves quite what Mirabelle expected as the story winds through the euphoria of new romance, the sour taste of rejection and the human inclination to obsess over relationships gone wrong.

"I often think all that thinking we do and that emotional pain is some kind of evolutionary flaw. Why? Why are we neurotic? What's the purpose?" Martin said. "It's something like evolution going too far, and we end up so worried about things that don't matter. That's what love is. It's like this whole side effect of mating that got really complicated."

"Shopgirl" is the first of a flurry of Martin films that continues with the Christmas release "Cheaper By the Dozen 2," in which he reprises his role as patriarch to a family of 12 kids, and February's "The Pink Panther," in which he recreates Peter Sellers' bumbling Inspector Clouseau.

Even that broad range of films only scratches the surface of Martin's talent, said "Shopgirl" co-star Danes.

"He's an incredibly dynamic person. I don't know if the general public is so conscious of that," Danes said. "He's a skillful, celebrated writer. He also collects art in earnest, and he's also an incredible musician. You should hear him play the ukulele. It's ridiculous what he's capable of."

The soft-spoken, graciously polite Martin comes off like an elder statesman far removed from the wild-and-crazy guy he once portrayed.

"The Steve Martin I met and got to know is not a wild-and-crazy guy," said "Shopgirl" director Anand Tucker. "He's an incredibly erudite, articulate, quiet, I want to say even shy man. Very thoughtful. So in some ways, the Steve Martin you see in `Shopgirl' is more the real Steve Martin now."

Martin is braced for the day when writing could become his main job if lead movie roles dry up.

"I've kind of looked at it in two ways. One, one day it'll just be over," Martin said. "On the other hand, you've got Walter Matthau. He found a way to be funny late in life. But to just take a role as a corporate executive who sets up the new young stars, I have no interest in that."
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Post by Hollywood » Sep 12th 2005, 11:02 pm

I was a bystander at the Premier of "Shopgirl" Friday night at the Elgin Theater. I couldn't get tickets buy I sure saw Claire. I'll post some pics soon. It made my day to see her in person for the first time.
I'll go see Shopgirl when it comes out in October, can't wait!

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Post by Hollywood » Oct 17th 2005, 11:58 pm

here is a pic like I promised...

Image

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Oct 21st 2005, 4:05 am

A review of Shopgirl from the New York Times:

Behind a Counter Looking for Love

By A. O. SCOTT
Published: October 21, 2005

Every year, Hollywood cuts yards of so-called romantic comedy from bolts of synthetic cloth. The elegant and exquisitely tailored "Shopgirl," written by Steve Martin, based on his slender novel of the same name, and directed by Anand Tucker ("Hilary and Jackie"), puts most of them to shame. As it relates the delicate, almost anecdotal story of a young woman looking for love in modern Los Angeles, the movie reveals what is missing from most others of its kind: the fact of sex and the possibility of heartbreak, which is to say the very conditions of romance itself.

American commercial cinema is happy to crack dirty jokes and sing maudlin hymns to matrimony, but "Shopgirl," which is both funny and sweetly sad, aims for something other than salaciousness or sentimentality. It is partly about how the specter of love can give ordinary life a feeling of risk and enchantment, a process that Mr. Tucker discreetly recapitulates on screen. The crisp and lovely images (shot by Peter J. Suschitzky), though never self-consciously pretty, turn drab daily reality into a satisfying aesthetic experience. And the movie's jewel-like moments of humor and disappointment are tastefully laid out on the velvet cushion of Barrington Pheloung's luxurious orchestral score.

All that string-heavy music makes "Shopgirl" feel a bit like an older movie - a 1950's Technicolor romance or a 40's weepie, perhaps - but the setting and characters are thoroughly contemporary. Mirabelle Buttersfield (Claire Danes), as charming as her name, with just the right hint of oddness, commutes every day from her modest apartment in Silver Lake to her job selling gloves at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. Not the practical, hand-warming kind (this is Los Angeles, after all), but the long, thin-fingered accessories that once were a requirement of feminine glamour and have been demoted to the status of indulgent caprice. Mostly, she stands behind a counter, removed from the main retail action, as the camera admires her from a discreet distance.

Ms. Danes, whose performance is flawless, is certainly lovely enough to invite such admiration, but she does not go out of her way to solicit it. The movie's conceit depends upon our ability to believe that Mirabelle, who moved to California from Vermont, is lonely and overlooked - not quite an ugly duckling, but someone whose diffident, melancholy temperament might render her invisible in a world more interested in flashy display. (Such display is embodied by one of Mirabelle's co-workers, a gold-digging blonde played with marvelous verve by Bridgette Wilson-Sampras.) With her student loans, her futon furniture, her poky pickup truck and the antidepressants in her medicine cabinet, Mirabelle could be one of countless recent college graduates fumbling through early adulthood in the drifting, wanting state that sociologists used to call anomie. (This condition, as it afflicts the young, was uncompromisingly captured in Andrew Bujalski's decidedly unromantic "Funny Ha Ha.")

What Mirabelle needs, Mr. Martin's introductory voiceover tells us, is someone to recognize and appreciate her, to pluck her out from the crowd and confer a sense of specialness on her. The movie itself does this, of course, and so do the other two main characters, who become unwitting rivals for Mirabelle's affection.

The first suitor is Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman), who chats her up one night in a Laundromat. (To judge from his overall personal hygiene, it's probably a rare visit.) Jeremy, who works for a manufacturer of amplifiers ("I'm involved in stenciling" is how he puts it), represents the incisive caricature of a familiar generational type - the emo-slacker-hipster-doofus. Whether he is oblivious to his own immaturity or proud of it is hard to say. But his childishness is not without a certain appeal, and in any case he is available, so Mirabelle, panicked by her own need and isolation, goes on a less-than-thrilling date, and later - even less thrillingly - to bed with him.

And then along comes Ray Porter, a well-dressed older man with impeccable taste and unlimited resources, who is also recognizable to anyone not actually in "Shopgirl" as its screenwriter and narrator. Mr. Martin, with his silvery suavity and mutedly sardonic voice, has long since proven himself a mild and sensible guy, as well as an acute comic miniaturist. Ray's relationship with Mirabelle at first resembles the thwarted romance between Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in "Lost in Translation" (whose writer and director, Sofia Coppola, happens to be Mr. Schwartzman's first cousin). But Ray turns out to have more in common with Don Johnston, the middle-aged bachelor Mr. Murray plays in Jim Jarmusch's "Broken Flowers." Both Ray and Don are solitary, soft-spoken seducers, who have made their money in unspecified computer-related enterprises and who lead lives of serene and solitary good taste.

There is something attractively wistful about Ray, and also something calculating. In the course of his affair with Mirabelle, which occupies the long middle section of "Shopgirl," you can feel a chilly whiff of cynicism troubling the warm, romantic air. The literature of an earlier age would have used words like mistress or kept woman to describe Mirabelle, who happily accepts Ray's impressive generosity. The idea of buying and selling is right there in the film's title. But in a milieu as defined by consumerism as this one - the opening shot lingers over all the good stuff for sale at Saks - it may be difficult to conceive of a love that is not to some degree also a transaction.

Which is not to say that this is "Pretty Woman" all over again. Quite the contrary. That movie simplified and falsified a complicated (and objectively ugly) connection between its main characters, whereas this one finds complexity in a relationship that appears to be perfectly simple. Ray, who delights in giving Mirabelle nice presents, is a bit stingier with his emotions, and tries, after their first night together, to establish parameters and time limits. Mirabelle, swept up in his gallantry, is at a disadvantage. She has only herself to give.

Mr. Martin and Mr. Tucker neither minimize nor overstate the inherent cruelty of this scenario; nor do they deny its potential for tenderness and intimacy. The most complimentary and the most damning thing to be said about Ray is that he is a gentleman; he lives by a code that may ultimately be self-serving but that nonetheless obligates him to do his best to behave decently. Jeremy, on the other hand, seems altogether feral, if not infantile, driven by his immediate needs and impulses and oblivious to the rules and expectations that make society work.

And, it should be added, that make love possible. The thinnest, funniest strand in the braided narrative of "Shopgirl" involves Jeremy's eccentric journey in the direction of maturity, a trip aided by self-help tapes and a wise rock musician. But Jeremy's growth is, in a way, the key to the movie, which depends on the recognition that people change, and indeed change one another. This process is both farcical and painful, a doubleness Mr. Tucker manages to acknowledge without sliding into coarseness or melodrama.

"Shopgirl" is a resolutely small movie, finely made and perhaps a bit fragile. Under the pressure of too much thought, it might buckle and splinter; the characters might look flimsy, their comings and goings too neatly engineered, their lovability assumed rather than proven. And it's true that none of them are perfect. From where I sit, though, the film they inhabit comes pretty close.
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Post by SanDeE* » Oct 21st 2005, 10:13 am

Does anyone know when this opens nation-wide? I've seen a few different dates: Oct. 21, Nov. 4, etc... I'd like to see it!
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Oct 21st 2005, 1:40 pm

It opens today in New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto.

Next Friday, October 28, the film opens in Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Minneapolis, San Diego, Phoenix, Seattle, and Vancouver.

On November 4, the movie opens in Detroit, Baltimore, Dallas, Atlanta, Portland, Cleveland, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Denver, and Houston.
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Post by SanDeE* » Oct 21st 2005, 2:10 pm

Thanks candygirl. My city doesn't appear to be on that list... I also read another thing that said it opens nationwide on Oct. 28th. Oh well. I'll keep my eyes peeled!
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Post by SanDeE* » Oct 28th 2005, 4:32 pm

I haven't had time to listen to this yet - just found it. Claire gives and interview about Shopgirl on NPR.

Shopgirl interview
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Oct 29th 2005, 4:12 am

A Shopgirl interview with Claire Danes (from CNN:

Claire Danes expresses herself
'Shopgirl' actress says inward-looking roles 'easy for me to play'

TORONTO, Ontario (AP) -- What if Angela Chase, the fragile teen Claire Danes played on the short-lived TV drama "My So-Called Life," had gone on to take a few more hard romantic knocks into her mid-20s?

What if she found herself on her own, a continent removed from her parents, sharing only a superficial family relationship with her folks?

And what if Angela, who always seemed like a good candidate for Prozac, found herself diagnosed as clinically depressed and dependent on antidepressants to keep the blues at bay?

She might resemble Mirabelle, the sad-eyed wallflower Danes plays in "Shopgirl," a romantic comic drama co-starring Steve Martin and adapted from his best-selling novella.

Danes acknowledges the similarities between her first big role and her latest.

"I think they're both inward-looking. That's the most obvious parallel between the two," Danes said in an interview at September's Toronto International Film Festival, where "Shopgirl" premiered. "Thoughtful and kind of raw, emotionally. The feelings are very close to the skin.

"That's pretty easy for me to play, I guess," the 26-year-old Danes added with a long laugh.

Danes herself comes across as anything but a somber, brooding wallflower like Angela or Mirabelle. Gabby, lively, even a bit goofy, Danes chatters earnestly about relationships, her forays into action films and her first nude scene.

In "Shopgirl," Danes' Mirabelle lives in the slow lane as a sales clerk at the tranquil glove counter at Saks in Beverly Hills. Longing for love, Mirabelle finds herself pursued by a chivalrous older man (Martin) and an awkward young slacker (Jason Schwartzman).

Danes took her clothes off for Mirabelle's first love scene with Martin's character, a moment that left the actress uneasy. A friend told her, "It's good you're doing it at 25. When you're 80, you'll look back on this and think, I was pretty firm, so there's that," Danes said. "Firm at 25. That's a feat.

"It was uncomfortable, I have to say, but I did think that it was relevant and useful," Danes said. "Also, it's erotic. There's no reason to pussyfoot around that. I thought it was vital, so I stripped."

'Stillness and no artifice'

Danes felt similarly anxious with her romantic scenes in general, and not only because the 60-year-old Martin is more than twice her age.

"It's just as weird doing it with Steve as it is doing it with somebody my own age," Danes said. "You're not supposed to be kissing somebody who's not your boyfriend. You're just not. I don't know when I'll become more comfortable with it. You have to depersonalize it."

Martin, who wrote the screenplay and was a producer on "Shopgirl," had some difficulty articulating the ethereal quality Danes possesses that he wanted for Mirabelle.

"It's hard to find the right expression for this, but her beauty that she keeps within, you know?" Martin said. "The character of Mirabelle really requires stillness and no artifice, and that's what she has."

"Shopgirl" director Anand Tucker recalled going to Sunday tea with Martin and Danes as they were casting the film. Almost instantly, he and Martin shared a glance and knew Danes was right for the part.

"She has this incredible capacity to be beautiful and plain. She allows you to see right into her in some extraordinary way. She's not frightened to be vulnerable," Tucker said.

"This film really happens on her face. She's in 90 percent of the movie, and a lot of the time, she doesn't say anything. You're just watching her face. She has that ability that allows you to put yourself into her. That's a very rare quality. That's what great movie stars have. That's what Ingrid Bergman had."

Danes grew up in an artsy home in Manhattan's SoHo district and began studying acting in grade school. In her early teens, she landed the lead in "My So-Called Life," and though the show lasted only one season, it was a critical darling.

Early films included "Little Women," "How to Make an American Quilt" and "To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday." Danes starred with Leonardo DiCaprio in "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet," appeared in Oliver Stone's thriller "U Turn" and tried her hand at action with the big-screen flop "The Mod Squad."

After taking time off to study at Yale, Danes has worked steadily the last three or four years, her films including "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" and last year's "Stage Beauty," in which she co-starred with Billy Crudup, now her boyfriend.

Quiet characters and blowing stuff up

"Terminator 3" came Danes' way after she finished three sensitive, character-driven films, "Igby Goes Down," "The Hours" and "It's All About Love."

"I was really tired of that, so this opportunity landed on my lap. I was cast literally the day before I started working," Danes said, noting that another actress cast for the "Terminator" role had not worked out and director Jonathan Mostow needed an answer from her immediately.

"It was basically a shrug of the shoulders. OK, I'm available. I like the 'Terminator' movies. I like Jon Mostow, so OK. It wasn't so calculated. It was more intuitive. I just thought, 'You know what? After a year of being really heady and really sensitive, I just want to blow some (expletive) up.' "

Late this year, Danes co-stars with Diane Keaton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson and Craig T. Nelson in the ensemble holiday tale "The Family Stone." The role was a breezy departure for Danes, who plays the well-adjusted, easygoing sister of Parker's character, an uptight businesswoman making a mess of her first meeting with her fiance's family.

"I played a girl. There's really nothing controversial about her. She's just fine. She has to be fine in order to make Sarah Jessica's character pop," Danes said. "I say I just play a white girl in that movie."

Her experiences on "Shopgirl," in which none of the characters has their act together on romance, got Danes talking with acquaintances about their own relationships. One friend, a woman who has been married for 41 years, told Danes it was only within the last year or two that she had begun to really feel secure and honest in her marriage.

"In a way, that's really reassuring. I'm not just a very limited person to not have figured it out at this point. But it's also intimidating. Well, how long is it going to take before you can have a good time?" Danes said, laughing.

"It's not easy. Many, many, many songs have been written about it. We wouldn't have anything to read if relationships were easy. There would be no art in the world if we actually got along."
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Post by Angela_Catalano » Nov 4th 2005, 5:06 pm

I just got to see Shop Girl. I think it was a great movie.!! The acting by Claire Danes was awesome, as well as Steve Martin and Jason Swartzman!! The story was very good! It held my interest the whole way through!! One of my favorite movies of all time!!!!

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Nov 7th 2005, 5:48 am

Movie review from E!online - it even includes a MSCL reference:

Steve Martin continues to prove he's no jerk. Instead, he continues to amaze. With this quirky yet poignant May-December romance, Martin is a triple threat: author of the novella, screenwriter and star. He plays a sophisticated dotcom millionaire who courts a beautiful Saks Fifth Avenue salesperson (Claire Danes). She, however, must decide between Martin and Jason Schwartzman, a poor but good-hearted goofball. As in many of his other films (L.A. Story, Bowfinger), Martin uses Los Angeles as a fully dimensional character, from Danes' grungy Silver Lake apartment to his sprawling Hollywood Hills manse. But it's Danes that shines in her most complex and accomplished role since wowing us with My So-Called Life. When her character's trust is shattered late in the film, it's the actress' shining moment. There's no need to look any further, because Shopgirl is quite a find.
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Post by SanDeE* » Nov 15th 2005, 6:30 pm

I saw Shopgirl last night and I thought it was wonderful, with only a couple of moments that maybe were unnecessary. But overall it was great and I would highly reccommend it. I probably would have scored the music differently, but hey, I'm a composer!

[spoiler]The narration was so few and far between it was not needed. But if Steve Martin really wanted to keep it in, maybe he should have gotten someone else to narrate instead of himself, narrating in the third person about his own character and Mirabelle. Weird. Threw me off a little.

The scene where Mirabelle is at Ray's and they are looking through binoculars to see her place, Mirabelle sees into Jeremy's apartment and he's... having a private moment. Wasn't needed. Sort of like a cheap joke - no one laughed in the theatre.[/spoiler]
Um, in my room, one seam is a little off and I stare at it constantly. It's, like, destroying me.

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Post by Sascha (sab) » Dec 27th 2005, 8:34 pm

There's a somewhat hidden reference to "My So-Called Life" in "Shopgirl" : When Jeremy and his new rockstar-friend Luther are shopping for Yoga-Audio-CDs in the mall, you can see the top of two DVD boxes of "My So-Called Life" on a shelf right in front of the camera. If it hadn't been mentioned in the trivia section of the IMDb, I might have overlooked it in the movie.
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