In Bruges: Colin Farrell as Ray
Colin Farrell as Ray, conflicted contract killer
Bruges, Belgium, Winter 2007
Film: In Bruges
Release Date: February 8, 2008
Director: Martin McDonagh
Costume Designer: Jany Temime
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Shortly thereafter, the instructions came through: “Get the fook out of London youse dumb fucks. Get to Bruges.” I didn’t even know where Bruges fuckin’ was. It’s in Belgium.
Despite it being directly up my alley, I somehow went 15 years without seeing In Bruges, Martin McDonagh’s critically acclaimed hit that opened the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. For his performance as the exiled hitman Ray, Colin Farrell received his first Golden Globe Award for In Bruges, fifteen years before winning his second this year for his performance in The Banshees of Inisherin, which re-teamed him with McDonagh and co-star Brendan Gleeson and also landed Farrell his first Academy Award nomination as announced this morning.
Following a botched first job in which he assassinates a priest and, tragically, a young boy in the path of one of his bullets, the inexperienced and irritable Ray is sent with his good-natured and literal partner-in-crime Ken (Brendn Gleeson) to Bruges, where they’re to lay low and await further instructions from their profane boss Harry Waters (Ralph Fiennes). Continue reading
The Rocky IV Shearling Jacket
Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, two-time heavyweight world champion boxer
Krasnogorsk, Russia, Winter 1985
Film: Rocky IV
Release Date: November 27, 1985
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Costume Designer: Tom Bronson
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
“New year, new you” messaging seems to dominate the beginning of every January, and what character better embodies getting in shape than the Italian Stallion and his famous training montages?
The Holiday: Jude Law’s Brown Plaid Jacket and Tie
Jude Law as Graham Simpkins, charming book editor and widowed father
Surrey, England, Christmas 2005
Film: The Holiday
Release Date: December 8, 2006
Director: Nancy Meyers
Costume Designer: Marlene Stewart
Happy 50th birthday, Jude Law! The London-born actor has been frequently featured on BAMF Style before but today’s post offers a more practical look for those of us who aren’t regularly jaunting off the Italian coast or solving crimes in Victorian England.
In recognition of Law’s December 29th birthday landing directly between Christmas and New Year’s Day, it feels most appropriate on his milestone birthday to review his scarf-positive performance in Nancy Meyers’ yuletide romantic comedy The Holiday, which was incorrectly rumored this month to be receiving a sequel 17 years after its initial release. Continue reading
Catch Me If You Can: Frank’s Fair Isle-Style Christmas Sweater
Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale, Jr., suburban high-schooler
New Rochelle, New York, Christmas 1963
Film: Catch Me If You Can
Release Date: December 25, 2002
Director: Steven Spielberg
Costume Designer: Mary Zophres
Based on the now mostly debunked claims of fraudster Frank Abagnale Jr., Catch Me If You Can was released 20 years ago today on Christmas 2002, an appropriate opening date for a movie that benchmarks its protagonist’s status by how he spends each yuletide.
When we first meet Frank in late 1963, he’s a relatively well-adjusted teen with plenty of charisma if perhaps a bit precociously streetwise for a 15-year-old in the suburbs of New Rochelle, no doubt a byproduct of his artful father Frank Sr. (Christopher Walken), depicted passing on several lessons in minor larceny to his son. Before Frank Jr.’s first Pan Am uniform fitting or check forgery, we spend one last idyllic holiday with the Abagnale family in their New Rochelle home during Christmas 1963, as both Frank and his father take turns dancing with his Algerian-born mother Paula (Nathalie Baye), reminiscing about Frank Sr.’s courtship of the “blonde bombshell” Paula while he was serving in France during World War II. Continue reading
L.A. Confidential: Bud White’s Brown Flannel on Bloody Christmas
Russell Crowe as Wendell “Bud” White, tough yet justice-minded LAPD plainclothes officer
Los Angeles, Christmas Eve 1952
Film: L.A. Confidential
Release Date: September 19, 1997
Director: Curtis Hanson
Costume Designer: Ruth Myers
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, L.A. Confidential chronicles a faction of cops and crooks in the City of Angels through the early 1950s, with Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson’s Oscar-winning screenplay adapted from James Ellroy’s sprawling pulp novel of the same name. The movie begins on Christmas Eve 1952, based on a real-life episode known as “Bloody Christmas” when seven prisoners were abused while in LAPD custody on the morning of December 25, 1951, resulting in a wave of indictments, suspensions, and transfers of the more than four dozen officers involved.
“You’re like Santa Claus with that list, Bud… ‘cept everyone on it’s been naughty,” observes corrupt LAPD Sergeant Dick Stensland (Graham Beckel) of his crusading partner, Officer Wendell “Bud” White, who watches an abusive husband ruin his wife’s Christmas through gritted teeth. Continue reading
Mad Men: Pete Campbell’s Burgundy Blazer at Christmas
Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell, ambitious advertising accounts manager
New York City, Christmas 1964
Series: Mad Men
Episode: “Christmas Comes But Once a Year” (Episode 4.02)
Air Date: August 1, 2010
Director: Michael Uppendahl
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant
Welcome to BAMF Style, Pete Campbell! Long-ignored as I had reserved Mad Men‘s sartorial spotlight on his colleagues Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Roger Sterling (John Slattery), Sterling Cooper’s ambitious accounts man finally gets his time to shine on this #MadMenMonday less than a week before Christmas. Rather than his bright blue suits from early seasons or the uniquely cut waistcoats from his three-piece suits in later seasons, Pete’s inaugural BAMF Style post explores how he dresses for the inaugural SCDP holiday party. Continue reading
The Man Who Came to Dinner
Monty Woolley as Sheridan Whiteside, catty, cantankerous, and “celebrated author and critic”
Ohio, Winter 1941
Film: The Man Who Came to Dinner
Release Date: January 1, 1942
Director: William Keighley
Costume Designer: Orry-Kelly
Based on a play of the same name by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, the holiday-centered screwball comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner was released 80 years ago this year. Inspired by Hart’s own experiences with critic and writer Alexander Woollcott, the eponymous “man” is Sheridan Whiteside, an acerbic radio personality whose well-publicized national tour includes a stop in the invented town of Mesalia, Ohio, where his prestige has preceded him more than his condescending attitude. Continue reading
The Silent Partner: Elliott Gould’s Gray Christmas Party Suit
Elliott Gould as Miles Cullen, mild-mannered bank teller
Toronto, Christmas 1977
Film: The Silent Partner
Release Date: September 7, 1978
Director: Daryl Duke
Wardrobe Credit: Debi Weldon
Among all the Christmas and Christmas-adjacent cinematic classics, I feel like The Silent Partner has yet to receive its due. Written on spec by Curtis Hanson—who later directed and co-wrote L.A. Confidential, among many others—this Canadian-made thriller blends touches of comedy with genuine thrills and a unique plot. Elliott Gould stars as Miles Cullen, a bored bank teller who foils a robbery plot attempted by the psychotic Harry Reikle (Christopher Plummer), whose wardrobe frequently alternates between a mall Santa costume and drag.
Through one of Harry’s abandoned hold-up notes, Miles caught wind of the robbery plan in advance and decided to let the crook’s larcenous plans benefit him as well by squirreling away a small fortune in anticipation of the heist. When Harry finally carried out the robbery, Miles was ready and handed over only a fraction of the money to the gun-toting Santa.
Miles’ coolness under pressure makes him popular among his colleagues, particularly the attractive Julie Carver (Susannah York), who shifts her attention from their married manager Charles Packard (Michael Kirby) to Miles, who accompanies her to a Christmas party at the Packard home on the following Sunday. Unfortunately, his quick thinking during the holdup has also attracted the attention of a bitter Harry Reikle, who realizes what Miles has done and begins threatening the scheming teller for the remaining money he feels he rightfully owed. Continue reading
Rambo: First Blood
Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, tough and resourceful Vietnam veteran who’s more than “just another smart-ass drifter”
Hope County, Washington, December 1981
Film: First Blood
Release Date: October 22, 1982
Director: Ted Kotcheff
Costume Designer: Tom Bronson
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Six years after exploding to stardom having written and starred in Rocky, Sylvester Stallone returned to a similar formula playing a tough guy with a heart of gold and unbreakable determination whose five-letter name began with an “R” in First Blood, adapted by Stallone, Michael Kozoll, and William Sackheim from David Morrell’s 1972 novel of the same name, with Morrell himself having said that he prefers the film over his own novel! Continue reading
Cary Grant in The Bishop’s Wife
For this holiday treat, I again welcome BAMF Style contributor Ken Stauffer (@oceansographer on Instagram), here sharing his thoughtful analysis of a screen icon in a holiday classic.
Cary Grant as Dudley, debonair angel
New York City, December 1947
Film: The Bishop’s Wife
Release Date: December 9, 1947
Director: Henry Koster
Costume Designer: Irene Sharaff
Happy holidays, BAMF Style readers! To celebrate the season, we’re looking back at the Christmas classic The Bishop’s Wife, which premiered at the Astor Theater in Times Square exactly 75 years ago today. Interestingly, general audiences would not have a chance to see the movie until the following February, an odd marketing decision that shows how much the film industry has evolved over the years.
The film stars Cary Grant as Dudley, a literal angel on Earth, assigned to help Manhattan-based Episcopalian Bishop Henry Brougham, drolly performed by David Niven. While acting as the bishop’s assistant, Dudley finds himself drawn to his eponymous wife Julia, played by Loretta Young in an enchanting turn. Continue reading