OSCARS: Dressing ‘The Invisible Woman’

79f00e7e-8459-11e3-_510625b“There are so many people doing such great work out there,” said The Invisible Woman costume designer Michael O’Connor, who is Oscar-nominated for Best Achievement in Costume Design. O’Connor — who worked on the period drama about the life of Charles Dickens — was one of the most gracious people I’ve ever interviewed, handing out credit to his staff, his director Ralph Fiennes and even to his peers on other films. “If you look at a film like Nebraska, those clothes say everything about those people,” O’Connor said. “It’s good, intelligent work.” His appreciation and passion for the work is evident in every detail of the clothing he speaks of. He’s also fascinated with the historical research that comes into play prior to the actual designs and selection of fabrics. “The looking into it is the fun part,” he said. “There are subtleties that change throughout the years, and I love monitoring and watching that stuff. You know, the men started wearing suits at this time in the 1850s. The women’s bonnets changed shape as the shape of the dresses changed. The bonnets became shorter, more rounded and less of the face is hidden. They were made with a clever craft that no one makes these days anymore. The corners, the pockets for the watches, the overall attention to detail was there always.”

Related: OSCARS: 86th Academy Award Nominations

He said some of his inspiration came from the French neo-classical painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, whose work is displayed in the Louvre. He and Fiennes — who portrayed Dickens with a contagious enthusiasm — spent a lot of time thinking about what a particular character would weare. the_invisible_woman_ralph_fiennes_felicity_jones_2Felicity Jones, for instance, played Dickens’ very young and demur mistress. “We had discussions like, ‘Would her character really wear this kind of dress?’ Even little, tiny rickrack mossy, mustard-colored braids on Felicity’s dress, we discussed because we wanted to make sure the costume wasn’t speaking beyond the character. You didn’t want her to gleam out even though she was the lead actress, because the camera is going to find her anyway, so (in a scene with her family) you put her sisters around her in pink.” His greatest find was an original, mint condition waist coat from the period with green vine leaves and grapes on it against black that Fiennes wore in one scene. O’Connor said his director embraced the period completely because he wanted it to be a truthful film. “When the actors are wearing these clothes, it makes them feel different,” he said. Which is the same kind of thinking behind the costuming of one of the greatest films of all time, Gone with the Wind.

Related: Hot Trailer: ‘The Invisible Woman’
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Specialty Box Office: ‘Her’ Strong; ‘August: Osage County’ Holds; ‘Interior. Leather Bar.’ Rings In Quiet Start To 2014

Specialty Box OfficeLet’s hope the first weekend of 2014 is just a blip in the calendar. As newcomers are mostly hiding out, some holdovers have held steadfast in a freezing cold weekend for a huge chunk of the country. TWC’s Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Lone Survivor’ & ‘August: Osage County’ Bow OK In Limited Release

Lone Survivor, August: Osage County limited box officeThe Specialty Box Office went up against an onslaught of studio hardware in what could shape up to be a record-breaking holiday weekend overall. With a number of new or almost new power-houses vying for moviegoer dollars, The Weinstein Company bowed its star-packed August: Osage County in 5 theaters in what will surely be the beginning of a sizable run after putting off its initial planned theatrical roll out in the fall.August: Osage County The film grossed almost $180K for a $35,895 screen average. That number easily gave the film starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch and others the highest specialty PSA of the weekend, but given its lauded cast and awards possibility, including its Golden Globes noms, its initial prowess at the box office suggests the title has room to dazzle. TWC will move the Toronto Film Fest title outside its exclusive New York and L.A. runs into two additional markets next weekend before going wide the following week.

TWC noted August: Osage County had an A- Cinemascore and said its exit polls were “through the roof.”

Lone Survivor Box officeAlso notable this weekend, Universal opened its Mark Wahlberg and Taylor Kitsch starrer Lone Survivor in limited release. Though not a straight “Specialty” title, the studio went for a two theater bow for the true-story drama adapted from Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell’s memoir of 2005′s failed Operation Red Wings, in which 19 soldiers died. Uni is hoping to gain awards traction for the pic, and it did start off solid at the box office grossing $92,468 in two runs for a $46,234 average. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Invisible Woman’

By | Wednesday November 13, 2013 @ 2:10pm PST

Sony Pictures Classics picked up the film starring and directed by Ralph Fiennes at Berlin in February. He plays Charles Dickens in The Invisible Woman, and the title character is Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones), the young actress Dickens met at the height of his career … Read More »

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