Todd Field

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Todd Field
Todd Field, Deauville Film Festival 5 September 2006.JPG
Field at Deauville American Film Festival press conference September 5, 2006.
Born (1964-02-24) February 24, 1964 (age 50)
Pomona, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Film director
Film producer
Screenwriter
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) Serena Rathbun (1986 – )
Children 4

William Todd Field, known professionally as Todd Field (born February 24, 1964), is an American actor and three-time Academy Award nominated filmmaker known for writing, producing and directing In the Bedroom and Little Children.

Early life[edit]

Field was born in Pomona, California, where his family ran a poultry farm.[1] When Field turned two, his family moved to Portland, Oregon, where his father went to work as a salesman, and his mother became a school librarian. At an early age he became interested in performing sleight-of-hand and later music.[2] A budding jazz musician, at the age of sixteen years Field became a member of the Big Band at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon. Headed by Larry McVey, the band had become a proving-ground and regular stop for Stan Kenton and Mel Tormé when they were looking for new players. It was here Field played trombone along with his friend, trumpeter and future Grammy Award-nominee, Chris Botti. Field graduated with his class from Centennial High School on Portland's east side and briefly attended Southern Oregon State College (now Southern Oregon University) in Ashland on a music scholarship, but left after his freshman year favoring a move to New York to study acting. Once there, he began performing with the Ark Theatre Company as both an actor and musician.[3] Field received his Master of Fine Arts from the AFI Conservatory.

Career[edit]

One of the film industry's more multifaceted members, having worked in varying capacities as an actor, director, producer, composer, and screenwriter,[4] Field began making motion pictures in 1985 when he was cast by Woody Allen in Radio Days. He went on to work with some of America's greatest film makers including Stanley Kubrick, Victor Nuñez, and Carl Franklin. It was Franklin and Nunez (both AFI alumnists) who encouraged Field to enroll as a Directing Fellow at the AFI, which he did in the fall of 1992. Since that time he has received the Franklin J. Schaffner Fellow Award from the AFI, the Satyajit Ray Award from the British Film Institute, a Jury Prize from the Sundance Film Festival, and his short films have been exhibited at various venues overseas and domestically at the Museum of Modern Art. To date, unadjusted box office receipts for the films in which Field has participated exceed a billion dollars worldwide.[5]

In the Bedroom[edit]

Tom Wilkinson & Sissy Spacek in Field's In the Bedroom. (2001)

Field became one of Hollywood's hottest new writer/directors with the release of In the Bedroom, a film based on the short story Killings by author Andre Dubus. (Kubrick and Dubus were among Field's mentors; both died right before the production of In the Bedroom.) In the Bedroom was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson, his first nomination), Best Actress (Sissy Spacek, her sixth nomination), Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei, her second nomination), and Best Screenplay (Adapted). The film was shot in Rockland, Maine, a New England town in which Field resides—the house where he, his wife (Serena Rathbun), and their four children live was even used as the setting for one sequence.[6]

Rathbun and Sissy Spacek did a portion of the set designing and Field handled the camera himself on many of the shots. The result, critics said, was stunning: David Ansen of Newsweek wrote, "Todd Field exhibits a mastery of his craft many filmmakers never acquire in a lifetime. With one film he’s guaranteed his future as a director. He has the magnificent obsession of the natural-born filmmaker."[7][8] Anthony Quinn of The Independent also praised the director: "Field has pulled off something here I thought no American filmmaker would ever manage again: he makes violence feel genuinely shocking."[9]

For his work on In the Bedroom, Field was named Director of the Year by the National Board of Review, and his script was awarded Best Original Screenplay. The film went on to win Best Picture of the Year by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and the New York Film Critics Circle awarded Best First Film to Field. In the Bedroom received six AFI nominations including Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay, three Golden Globe nominations, and five Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, and two individually for Field both as Screenwriter and Producer. The American Film Institute honored Field with the Franklin Schaffner Alumni Medal. With the exception of the AFI Life Achievement Award, the Schaffner Award is the highest honor an individual can achieve.

Little Children[edit]

Tom Perrotta and Field working on the script for Little Children, (2005)

Field followed In the Bedroom with Little Children, which was nominated for three Academy Awards including two for his actors: Kate Winslet (her fifth nomination, and with it a record for the youngest actor to be nominated for five Academy Awards) and Jackie Earle Haley (his first nomination, and first leading role in over fifteen years). After having written, directed and produced just two feature films, Field had garnered five Academy Award nominations for his actors, and three for himself, personally. The film, based on the novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta, premiered at the 2006 New York Film Festival. In his end-of-year roundup "Best of 2006", journalist A.O. Scott of The New York Times wrote: "The first time you see Todd Field's adaptation of Tom Perrotta's novel, you may remark on the director's impressive control over the unruly source material and the emotional agility of the cast. Kate Winslet in particular. The second time, the film's lurid, crazy side is more apparent, and the intensity of the supporting performances — Noah Emmerich, Jackie Earle Haley, Phyllis Somerville — creep into the foreground. This movie, Mr. Field's second feature..., is a complicated blend of gothic, melodrama and sexual comedy, unerringly attuned to the varieties of human failure."[10]

Future work[edit]

According to the Los Angeles Times, Field is currently in the process of adapting a film version of Cormac McCarthy's novel Blood Meridian.[11] During the process, Field took over the directing position of Ridley Scott, who was originally scheduled to direct. Scott himself stated that the film would be a tricky film and should be left as a novel.[12] Although director James Franco had taken interest in adapting the novel,[13] there has been no recent information regarding the project.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Field is currently in the process of preparing his next film, an adaptation of the Boston Teran novel The Creed of Violence. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is in talks to play the lead role of Rawbone.[14]

At the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Field appeared in the documentary film The Battered Bastards of Baseball, recollecting his early life as a batboy for the Portland Mavericks, the last unaffiliated independent Minor League Baseball team in the history of professional baseball.[15] According to the Hollywood Reporter, Field is set to write & direct a feature film based on the story.[16]

Filmography[edit]

Writer/director/producer[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Year Film Oscars BAFTA Golden Globe
Nominations Wins Nominations Wins Nominations Wins
2001 In the Bedroom
5
0
2
0
3
1
2006 Little Children
3
0
1
0
3
0

Short films[edit]

Year Film Duties Notes and Awards
1992 The Dog Co-Director with Alex Vlacos Short experimental film
Too Romantic Writer/Director AFI First Year Cycle Project
1993 When I Was a Boy Co-Director with Alex Vlacos & Matthew Modine Premiered at Sundance Film Festival in front of Victor Nuñez's Grand Jury Prize winning Ruby in Paradise in which Field also starred. Exhibited at MoMA as part of the New Directors/New Films Series
The Tree Writer/Director AFI First Year Cycle Project
Delivering Writer/Director AFI First Year Cycle Project
1995 Nonnie & Alex Director AFI Second Year Thesis Project

Winner Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Award, Winner College Emmy Best Film Award, Winner Aspen Short Fest Grand Prize

"Field has a deceptive facade of all-American clean-cut looks that allows him to suggest a wide range of emotions and thoughts behind such a regular-guy appearance; in "Ruby in Paradise" he expressed such uncommon decency and intelligence you had to wonder how Ashley Judd's hardscrabble Ruby could ever have considered letting him get away. In "Eyes Wide Shut" he's the likable med school dropout turned saloon piano player, and here he's an increasingly raging sociopath. In all these roles Field has the precious gift of being able to surprise you and to command your attention on screen."[17]
Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times review of Broken Vessels.

Actor[edit]

Year Film Role Director
1987 Radio Days Crooner Woody Allen
The Allnighter Bellhop Tamar Hoffs
Student Exchange Neil Barton/Adriano Fabrizzi Molly Miller
1988 Eye of the Eagle 2: Inside the Enemy Private Anthony Glenn Carl Franklin
Back to Back Todd Brand John Kincaide
The End of Innocence Richard Dyan Cannon
1989 Fat Man and Little Boy Robert Rathbun Wilson Roland Joffe
Gross Anatomy David Schreiner Thom Eberhardt
1990 Full Fathom Five Johnson Carl Franklin
1991 Queens Logic Cecil Steve Rash
1993 Ruby in Paradise Mike McCaslin Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor nom[18] Victor Nuñez
357 Marina del Rey Rake Rowe in segment of television series Danger Theatre[19][20]
1994 Sleep With Me Duane Rory Kelly
1996 Twister Tim 'Beltzer' Lewis Jan de Bont
Walking and Talking Frank Nicole Holofcener
1999 Broken Vessels Jimmy Warzniack Scott Ziehl
Eyes Wide Shut Nick Nightingale Stanley Kubrick
The Haunting Todd Hackett Jan de Bont
1999-2001 Once and Again David Cassilli
2002, 2003 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Ol' Drippy Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis
Awards and achievements
National Board of Review
Preceded by
Steven Soderbergh
for Erin Brockovich and Traffic
Best Director
Todd Field

2001
for In the Bedroom
Succeeded by
Phillip Noyce
for The Quiet American and Rabbit-Proof Fence
National Board of Review
Preceded by
Ted Tally
for All the Pretty Horses
Best Screenplay
2001
for In the Bedroom
Succeeded by
Charlie Kaufman
for Adaptation. and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Human Nature
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Preceded by
Ang Lee
for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wo hu cang long)
Best Film
Todd Field

2001
for In the Bedroom
Succeeded by
Alexander Payne
for About Schmidt
New York Film Critics Circle
Preceded by
David Gordon Green
for George Washington
Best First Film
Todd Field

2001
for In the Bedroom
Succeeded by
Dylan Kidd
for Roger Dodger
Chicago Film Critics Association
Preceded by
Award was created in 2001 to honor Field
Most Promising Filmmaker
Todd Field

2001
for In the Bedroom
Succeeded by
Dylan Kidd
for Roger Dodger
Golden Satellite Awards
Preceded by
Steven Soderbergh
for Traffic
Best Film
Todd Field

2001
for In the Bedroom
Succeeded by
Todd Haynes
for Far From Heaven
Golden Satellite Awards
Preceded by
Doug Wright
for Quills
Best Screenplay – Adapted
2001
for In the Bedroom
Succeeded by
Charlie and Donald Kaufman
for Adaptation.
Independent Spirit Awards
Preceded by
Kenneth Lonergan
for You Can Count on Me
Best First Feature
Todd Field

2001
for In the Bedroom
Succeeded by
Peter Care
for The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
Montréal World Film Festival
Preceded by
Raoul Ruiz
for Combat d'amour en songe
International Critics' Award – FIPRESCI
Todd Field

2001
for In the Bedroom
Succeeded by
Raoul Ruiz
for Cofralandes, Rapsodia Chileana
British Film Institute
Preceded by
Jean-Pierre Sinapi
for Nationale 7
Satyajit Ray Award
Todd Field

2001
for In the Bedroom
Presented to Field by Mike Leigh
National Film Theatre, 24 Jan 2002
Succeeded by
Henrik Ruben Genz
for En Som Hodder
American Film Institute
Preceded by
Darren Aronofsky
Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal
Todd Field

2002
Succeeded by
John Dahl
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Preceded by
Ang Lee
for Brokeback Mountain
Best Film
Todd Field

2006
for Little Children
Succeeded by
Andrew Dominik
for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Preceded by
George Clooney and Grant Heslov
for Good Night, and Good Luck
Best Screenplay
2006
for Little Children
Succeeded by
Sarah Polley
for Away from Her (Adapted)
Tamara Jenkins for The Savages(Original)
Iowa Film Critics
Preceded by
Ang Lee
for Brokeback Mountain
Best Picture
Todd Field

2006
for Little Children
Succeeded by
Ethan and Joel Coen
for No Country for Old Men

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Todd Field Biography -Movies@Piczo". 
  2. ^ "Todd Field Biography - Yahoo! Movies". 
  3. ^ Levy, Shawn. You couldn't write a better script. The Oregonian, March twenty-third, 2002.
  4. ^ "Todd Field Biography". The New York Times. December 3, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Todd Field Worldwide Box Office Totals: In the Bedroom, Little Children, Twister, Radio Days, The Haunting, Gross Anatomy, Eyes Wide Shut, Walking & Talking, Ruby in Paradise, Sleep with Me, The Allnighter, Fat Man & Little Boy, Queens Logic, Frank & Jesse, Stranger than Fiction. Box Office Mojo". March 6, 2009. 
  6. ^ Gale, Thomas (December 16, 2007). "Todd Field Biography". Contemporary Authors. 
  7. ^ Ansen, David (December 3, 2001). "Their House Torn Asunder". Newsweek. 
  8. ^ Ansen, David. (January 21, 2002). "Break On Through To The Oscar Side.". Newsweek. 
  9. ^ Quinn, Anthony (25 January 2002). "The Big Picture: In the Bedroom". The Independent. 
  10. ^ Scott, A.O. "Best of 2006: Here's to the Ambitious and the Altmans." The New York Times, December 24, 2006.
  11. ^ Medina, Jeremy (August 28, 2008). "Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian film changes directors". Los Angeles Times. 
  12. ^ "Todd Field still working hard on Blood Meridian". TalkingFilms. January 14, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  13. ^ Kevin P. Sullivan (February 1, 2012). "Ridley Scott In Talks For Cormac McCarthy's 'Counselor'". MTV Movies Blog. MTV. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  14. ^ Steven, Zeitchik (July 29, 2011). "A Western With Leonardo DiCaprio?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
  15. ^ Jeff, Labrecque (January 22, 2014). "Sundance 2014: Todd Field looks back on the 'Battered Bastards of Baseball'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  16. ^ Tatiana, Siegel * Borys, Kit (January 29, 2014). "Sundance Deal Wrap". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  17. ^ Thomas, Kevin (July 30, 1999). "Movie Review: Broken Vessels". Los Angeles Times. 
  18. ^ Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
  19. ^ Brooks, Tim, and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime-Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present, Sixth Edition, New York: Ballantine Books, 1995, ISBN 0-345-39736-3, p. 238.
  20. ^ Terrace, Vincent, Encyclopedia of Television Shows 1925-2010, Second Edition, 2011, ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7 (no publisher indicated; not paginated).

External links[edit]

Web
Publications
Academic Papers
Audio
Video