Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato is a movie reporter and critic for the Los Angeles Times. LA-based, she has served as entertainment reporter for The Daily Beast, editor and reporter on staff at Deadline, Movieline, and Rotten Tomatoes.


Articles by Jen Yamato


Patricia Arquette on Her Incendiary Oscars Speech and the Fight for Equal Pay – Jen Yamato reports

patricia arquette 1Patricia Arquette brought the fight for gender equality to the Academy Awards stage last year. She delivered the most impactful half-minute speech of her career, one that helped propel gender wage inequality into the national debate and led to the passage of the California Fair Pay Act, which took effect last month. This year, again on the eve of Hollywood’s biggest night, Arquette championed gender equality, co-hosting the first Dinner for Equality, gathering luminaries from entertainment, politics, and business to rally around the cause. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – ATOM EGOYAN ON SEYFRIED, SEX SCENES AND “CHLOE” – Jen Yamato interviews

In Atom Egoyan’s “Chloe,” frigid career woman Catherine (Julianne Moore) hires a beautiful young prostitute named Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) to seduce her husband as a test of his commitment to their marriage. What ensues is a tale as old as time — or, at least as old as the trials of fidelity found in operas by Beethoven and Mozart and tragic dramas penned by Shakespeare and Cervantes — but given a modern feminine twist, courtesy of screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Jen Yamato’s Top Ten of 2009

1. The Beaches of Agnes

2. Fantastic Mr. Fox

3. Up

4. The Hurt Locker

5. Bronson

6. Where the Wild Things Are

7. The Messenger

8. An Education

9. District 9

10. (500) Days of Summer

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AWFJ Women On Film – Nicholas Winding Refn on “Bronson” – Jen Yamato interviews

Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn (the Pusher trilogy) is courting controversy with Bronson, a tour de force meditation on violence and celebrity about real-life British felon Michael Peterson. Over a period of three decades and through sheer determination and bare knuckled brawn, Peterson has earned the distinction of being Britain’s most violent criminal; in Refn’s gloriously macabre film, he’s also Britain’s most charismatic anti-hero since Alex DeLarge. But does Refn’s film recklessly perpetuate Michael Peterson’s self-made myth? And how much of himself does Refn see in his violent, controversial film, which he calls “autobiographical?”

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AWFJ Women On Film – Charlize Theron Talks “Burning Plain” – Jen Yamato interviews

When Oscar-nominated screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (“Babel,” “21 Grams,” “Amores Perros”) set out to make his directorial debut, he turned to the A-list actress he thought could best carry his film’s story about guilt, forgiveness, and searing love: Charlize Theron. The Oscar-winning actress jumped full-force into the role of Sylvia, a beautiful but distant woman hiding from her past who, years later, still suffers from an unknown trauma that leads her down a path of self-destructive behavior ranging from self-harm to sexual addiction.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Michael Sheen on “The Damned United” – Jen Yamato interviews

Growing up in Britain in the 1970s, Michael Sheen was a soccer-playing kid with dreams of becoming a professional footballer. Eventually he traded his cleats for the camera, earning kudos as Tony Blair in The Queen and amassing fans as the vampire Aro in this fall’s Twilight sequel New Moon. But in “The Damned United,” the Welsh actor returns to his first love to portray famed English football coach Brian Clough, a controversial figure in British sports history with whom Sheen was already quite familiar. Sheen recalls his childhood impressions of Clough and reveals the insecurities he discovered in the coaching legend during the course of filming.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Audrey Tautou On Destiny, Astrology, and “Coco” – Jen Yamato interviews

Actress Audrey Tautou and designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel are both international symbols of modern French femininity – Chanel as the trend-setting couturier who liberated 20th century women with the simplicity and ease of her clothing, and Tautou as the single most recognizable French actress in the world, thanks to her captivating performances in films like 2001’s Oscar-nominated Amelie and a little 2006 thriller called “The Da Vinci Code.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Ben Whishaw on Poetry, Letter Writing, and “Bright Star” – Jen Yamato interviews

There’s definitely something of an old soul in Ben Whishaw, even if it’s hard to pin down. He had a breakout role as an obsessed killer in Perfume: The Story of A Murderer, played Keith Richards in the British music pic Stoned, and channeled two other poets at once – Arthur Rimbaud and Bob Dylan – in Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There. He loves poetry and still writes letters, two lost arts that might just regain popularity thanks to his latest film, Bright Star, a lyrical biopic that chronicles the brief but passionate love affair between 19th century poet John Keats and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish).

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AWFJ Women On Film – White on Rice’s Hiroshi Watanabe, On The Verge – Jen Yamato Interviews

Though he turned in memorable supporting roles in Ed Zwick’s The Last Samurai and Clint Eastwood’s Letters from Iwo Jima, Japanese actor Hiroshi Watanabe scored his biggest role to date thanks to a brief appearance in a little-seen independent film, Big Dreams Little Tokyo. Impressed by Watanabe’s comedic skills, that film’s director, Dave Boyle, wrote his next film specifically with the Japanese actor in mind. The result is this week’s White on Rice, an indie comedy that is steadily winning over audiences and earning Watanabe fervent kudos.

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