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Kenneth Lonergan (#110 of 14)

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions Director

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Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Director

Lionsgate

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Director

Personally, we hope Damien Chazelle doubles down when he reaches the podium to accept the best director Oscar and, instead of thanking the Academy, proceeds to thank Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman, Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Dave Brubeck, Benny Carter, and whichever other (strictly male) jazz legends he can fit into his allotted 45 seconds. And, if the cutoff music begins to play, we hope the La La Land director hauls off and just starts scatting along with it, each “skittley be-bop, ah-wooah wah” inviting ever more rousing cheers from the audience even as he skirts closer and closer to this. And we hope the camera catches another eminently GIF-worthy reaction shot from the only nominee in this category that should, by all rights, be even more honored just to be nominated. And we hope that, amid the mêlée, the camera catches Barry Jenkins and Kenneth Lonergan clapping backs the same way it caught David Lynch and Robert Altman shaking hands when both lost to Ron Howard back in 2002. And then, ultimately we, hope Chazelle caps off his highly pedagogical rant with a titanic roar: “I’m the king of jazz!”

Mostly, though, we hope we’re long asleep by this point in the night.

Post-Youth: An Interview with This Is Our Youth‘s Michael Cera

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Post-Youth: An Interview with <em>This Is Our Youth</em>‘s Michael Cera
Post-Youth: An Interview with <em>This Is Our Youth</em>‘s Michael Cera

Kenneth Lonergan’s keenly observed This Is Our Youth, about growing up on the Upper West Side in the 1980s, closes on Broadway on January 4. The date may also wind up marking the end of another era. During the past decade, Michael Cera has come to represent “our youth” to many who identify with the slightly awkward, wholly ingenuous high schoolers he’s played in Arrested Development, Superbad, Juno, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Youth in Revolt. At 26, he may be a bit long in the tooth to play a teen, but the light-voiced Canadian adopts no affectations to pass as Lonergan’s 19-year-old hero, Warren Straub. Instead, Cera has used the six-month run to burrow ever more adeptly into the maladroit slacker’s humiliations, hurts, and romantic heart. In a fall season dominated by splashier productions, This Is Our Youth, like Straub himself, has been somewhat neglected and undervalued, but it deserves to be seen, especially for Cera’s disarming performance. He pulls off complicated bits of stage business with an aplomb that confirms his prowess at the physical aspects of performance. If his Broadway debut ends up being a farewell to the kind of characters who’ve made his reputation, it’s a remarkable valediction. I spoke with Cera before a matinee about his newfound experience as a stage actor and Brooklynite, his camaraderie with co-stars Kieran Culkin and Tavi Gevinson, as well as his plans post-Youth.