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Chicago – It’s been a while since I walked out of a screening so affected and feeling that I just experienced a truly honest, important film.
Sure, other ones have since, but back in 2007, “Once” especially made me feel that way long before the Oscars. I never would have expected it here and nor will you from this film you’ve probably heard little or nothing about, but a little engine that could called “Cake” has done that to me again. And you’d never guess who primarily made it possible: Jennifer Aniston in a visually unflattering, dramatic role.
While “Cake” as a film is receiving mixed reception, Aniston is being recognized for the career-growing range it’s proving for her beyond the “Friends” comedic stigma she’s trying to grow beyond. Though she tried with the dramatic romance “Love Happens” in 2009, it bombed. “Horrible Bosses” in 2011 and “Horrible Bosses 2 »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
The film stars Brittany Snow, William H. Macy and Glenne Headly. Vertical Entertainment co-presidents Rich Goldberg and Mitch Budin closed the deal during a meeting at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival with producer Jason Potash, Paul Finkel, and representatives from Xyz Films and Preferred Content.
The picture centers on a troubled young woman who works at a prayer call center. The prayers she says make a difference in callers’ lives, forcing her to reconcile her reckless past with the faith she inspires in others.
“Dial a Prayer” was written and directed by Maggie Kiley, produced by Storyboard’s Paul Finkel and Jason Potash, producer Dan Hyman, executive producers Marcus Dean Fuller and Julie S. Fuller. The film was financed and produced by Storyboard Entertainment in association with Compass Entertainment. »
- Brent Lang
Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, January 16th. (Synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise.) Wide The Boy Next Door Director: Rob Cohen Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, John Corbett, Kristin Chenoweth Synopsis: "A psychological thriller that explores a forbidden attraction that goes too far." Cake Director: Daniel Barnz Cast: Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Jennifer Aniston, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Adriana Barraza Synopsis: "While struggling with her own trauma, a woman in a chronic-pain support group begins to investigate the suicide of a fellow group member and develops an unexpected relationship with the woman’s husband." Criticwire Grade Average: B- (16 reviews) The Loft Director: Erik Van Looy Cast: Karl Urban, James Marsden, Wentworth Miller, Eric Stonestreet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Isabel Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Rhona Mitra Synopsis: "The story of five guys who »
- Steve Greene
Actor Kevin Pollak lines up the stars for his directorial debut, “Misery Loves Comedy,” a documentary exploration that cuts loose without ever cutting deep. While Pollak poses some provocative questions behind the camera — including the inquiry that inspires the title, “Do you have to be miserable to be funny?” — his parade of celebrity talking heads only skim the surface of the comedic mind. Packing far more laughs than your average doc, the Tribeca Film acquisition could generate limited theatrical interest but seems a more logical fit for premium cable or digital outlets.
The opportunity to collect amusing anecdotes from the likes of Christopher Guest, Larry David, Martin Short, Steve Coogan and Tom Hanks is as good as any reason to make a film, but Pollak positions this project as if he’s up to something more. “Do you think emotionally questionable people are drawn to standup/performing?” Guest reads aloud »
- Geoff Berkshire
Unlike their film counterparts, TV actors can often bank on repeat nominations at the annual SAG Awards. That’s great for a fortunate few, but the lack of turnover makes it all the more challenging for newcomers to crack the field. Two-thirds of this year’s TV series nominees have been nominated for their skeins in the past, but there are seven newcomers to the 2015 race — a relatively sizeable number helped by the fact that five of last year’s nominees (from “Breaking Bad,” “30 Rock” and “Arrested Development”) were no longer on the ballot.
Viola Davis won two SAG awards in the lead actress and ensemble categories for “The Help” but earned her first TV nom this year for ABC’s hit thriller “How to Get Away With Murder” — a rare achievement for a freshman series.
“It’s flattering,” Davis says of the nomination. “Those are your peers. Those are people who know the art. »
- Debra Birnbaum and Geoff Berkshire
Let Them Have It: Barnz Banks on Adept Aniston
Grief is a prickly emotion to convey within the confines of the indie American melodrama, a place that audiences have come to expect a certain amount of imaginable tragedy causing rippling aftershocks for its protagonist that force him or her to grow once more into a healed, even enlightened being. Along the way, a checklist of unlikely supporting cast mates imbue these reflections on coping with a sense of wishful thinking—we want these heroes and heroines of life’s harsh blows to have access to magical members of disenfranchised, socio-economically compromised denizens to guide them through a series of growing pains so that it’s possible to get right back to where they started from. If this sounds familiar, then you’ll be able to plug into the familiarity of Cake from director Daniel Barnz, which unfortunately feels more like »
- Nicholas Bell
Angry, depressed, self-pitying and desperate to lose herself in a pharmaceutical haze: no character is more relatable this awards season than Claire Bennett (Jennifer Aniston), a woman simply unable to cope after a semi-recent catastrophe leaves her with chronic pain and facial and bodily disfigurement.
The movies are full of noble sufferers, but Claire refuses to be one of them. Being difficult (by being herself) is the only way she knows how to insist that she and her pain matter — and »
- Inkoo Kang
The television industry is catching up with film and learning that pot sells in Hollywood. As more states join the legal marijuana movement and the drug becomes less taboo in the country, entertainment industry insiders say interest in weed-related storylines is at an all-time high.
Showtime series “Shameless,” for instance, which follows Chicago’s dysfunctional Gallagher family and stars William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum, will embark on a major weed arc later this year. The network is also responsible »
- Itay Hod
It's once again time to drag out the celebrity equivalent to musty yearbooks: wonderfully dated red carpet photos. With the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday Jan. 25, we dug through the archives and surfaced 20 years of gowns, power couples and confusing trends straight from the SAGs of yore. While Benedict Cumberbatch and Rosamund Pike are still relatively new to the SAG scene, most of the nominees have been walking the show's star-studded carpet for years. This means plenty of hidden treasures, from Jennifer Aniston's formal crop top to Billy Bob Thorton's inexplicable hair. See what 2015's honorees look like »
- Kelli Bender, @kbendernyc
Fans of the Showtime series Shameless don't have to worry about it being cancelled anytime soon. The execs have already renewed it for a sixth season. Will the ratings continue to grow in season five or will they fall? Stay tuned to find out.
Shameless continues to tell the story of alcoholic father Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) and his six smart and independent kids who are working to survive without him. The show also stars Emmy Rossum, Jeremy Allen White, Cameron Monaghan, Emma Kenney, Ethan Cutkosky, Joan Cusack, Shanola Hampton, Steve Howey, Noel Fisher, and Emily Bergl.
The Sundance Film Festival 2014 selection Rudderless has just made its home video debut on DVD and Digital HD. The film marks the directorial debut of William H. Macy and features an all-star cast including Anton Yelchin, Billy Crudup, Selena Gomez, Felicity Huffman and Lawrence Fishburne.
Thanks to Paramount Home Entertainment we have three copies of Rudderless on DVD that are up for grabs in this contest. For a chance to win one, please fill out and submit the short entry form below. The odds of winning can be increased each and every day you stop back to enter for as many days as the contest is open.
You must be a resident of the U.S. or Canada to enter.
Award-winning actor William H. Macy makes his directorial debut in this heartfelt and inspirational drama lead by an exemplary cast. Sam (Billy Crudup), a former high-profile ad executive, is devastated »
Paramount Home Entertainment has released the hit drama Rudderless on DVD, which marks the directorial debut of actor William H. Macy, who also co-stars in the drama. Following its debut at the Sundance Film Festival last year, Rudderless was acquired in a joint venture between Paramount Home Media Distribution and Samuel Goldwyn Films back in April. The film debuted in theaters this past October in limited release, and to celebrate the DVD release, we have a new contest lined up.
Rudderless tells the story of Sam, a father (Billy Crudup) whose life is torn apart by the sudden death of his son. When Sam discovers a box filled with his son's demo tapes and lyrics, his own child's musical talent is a revelation for him. Sam learns each song and eventually musters the will to perform one at a local bar. When Quentin (Anton Yelchin), a young musician in the audience, »
Chicago – Actor William H. Macy’s directorial debut “Rudderless” is a film of open mic songwriting that tackles a recovery from grief with neat lyrics and easy metaphors. Instead of standing out, Macy has provided another sap’s ballad that has the cuteness of “Kumbaya”, one that aims to please the crowd without challenging emotions, only showing them.
The film drifts on a performance from Crudup that isn’t so spectacular so much as the loudest instrument in the movie’s atmosphere. Crudup certainly acts as to how Macy directs, in an obvious way on a simple background. Fittingly, Crudup’s best moment is not anything during the movie when he is coming out of his shell, but his final performance towards the end of the film - a restrained moment that provides smoother catharsis and emotional recognition, without the obviousness.
Macy’s first endeavor behind the camera is memorable in the wrong ways. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Rudderless Sam (Billy Crudup) is an advertising executive whose life comes to a halt when his son dies unexpectedly. Unable to face what happened he leaves his world behind and retreats to a blue collar job on a tranquil lake, but when his son’s belongings make their way to him he discovers several recordings of the teen’s own music. Slowly, Sam begins to find a connection with his dead son by playing the music at a local bar, but the lyrics attract the attention of another lost young man (Anton Yelchin) and soon Sam finds himself a popular part of the local music scene. William H. Macy’s feature directorial debut is a fantastically affecting look at grief, redemption and the willingness to admit when you don’t have all the answers. Crudup »
- Rob Hunter
Deadbeat father. Quiz Kid Donnie Smith. 70's porn assistant director. Down-on-his luck car salesman who hires the wrong goons to kidnap his wife to collect some ransom money. These are some of the many prominent characters actor William H. Macy has played on screens big and little. Now he has something new to add to his prolific portfolio: filmmaker. Last year, his directorial debut Rudderless had its world premiere at the renowned Sundance Film Festival. It had a small theatrical run and tomorrow it's available on DVD. I reviewed it while at Sundance and recommend adding this film to your collection. Rudderless is a poignant and strangely inspiring movie about loss, pain, and bearing your heart to the world while coming apart at the...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
The directorial debut of the great actor William H. Macy, Rudderless, is available today on DVD, and we have three copies to give away. Read on to learn how. (Spoiler: it's easy!) The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival last year. Here is the official synopsis: Rudderless tells the story of Sam, a father (Billy Crudup) whose life is torn apart by the sudden death of his son. When Sam discovers a box filled with his son's demo tapes and lyrics, his own child's musical talent is a revelation for him. Sam learns each song and eventually musters the will to perform one at a local bar. When Quentin (Anton Yelchin), a young musician in the audience, is captivated by the song, the unlikely...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
“This movie has been sprinkled with fairy dust,” Aniston said of the indie’s quick journey from receiving a greenlight to premiering.
What she hopes will be long-lasting is the film’s message, and she passionately articulated what she considers to be the story’s takeaway: “Hope. And knowing that there is help, and you can get better and you’re not alone.”
Aniston’s been blown away by the film’s reception and the way it’s touched so many others. “My god,” she said, “I’m astonished, actually, [at] how many people have come to me and said, ‘That’s my stepmother,’ or ‘That’s my father,’ or ‘I have shrapnel down my right side.’ It’s quite staggering,” she confessed.
One of the film’s producers and a longtime friend of Aniston’s, »
- Marianne Zumberge
A new UK trailer has been released for Daniel Barnz’s drama Cake which stars Jennifer Aniston in a critically-acclaimed performance as a sarcastic chronic pain sufferer. You can check it out below after the official synopsis…
Claire Simmons (Jennifer Aniston) is in pain. Her physical pain is evident in the scars that line her body and the way she carries herself, wincing with each tentative step. She’s no good at hiding her emotional pain either. Blunt to the point of searing insult, Claire’s anger seethes out of her with nearly every interaction. She has driven away her husband, her friends— even her chronic-pain support group has kicked her out.
The only one left in Claire’s otherwise solitary existence is her housekeeper- cum-caretaker, Silvana (Academy Award nominee Adriana Barraza), who barely tolerates her boss’ need for liquor and prescription pills. But the suicide of Nina (Academy Award »
- Gary Collinson
With a number of awards nominations under it's belt already, the darkly funny drama Cake is already gaining a lot of notice for a very different, re-defining lead performance from Jennifer Aniston. As Claire Bennet, a deeply troubled woman dealing with addiction, it's light years away from anything we've seen her in before, and she puts in a thoroughly convincing and powerful performance. Add in a superb supporting cast , including Anna Kendrick, Felicity Huffman, Sam Worthington, and William H. Macy, Cake is definitely worth keeping your eye on. Released: 23rd January (U.S.)/ 20th February (Irl/U.K.) Synopsis: Cake takes us into the darkly funny world of Claire Bennett (Jennifer Aniston) who initiates a dubious relationship with a widower (Sam Worthington) while confronting fantastical hallucinations of his dead wife (Anna Kendrick) »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom White)
Rob Burnett wrote and is directing the adaptation of Jonathan Evison’s 2013 novel with Rudd in the role of Ben, a caregiver looking after Trevor, a tyrannical teenager in the advanced stages of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Also Read: TheWrap’s 25 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015: From ‘Fifty Shades’ to ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Spectre’
Gomez will play Dot, a sassy teenager who embarks on a roadtrip with Ben and Trevor.
Filming begins January 22 in Atlanta.
- Linda Ge
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