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Directed by: Ang Lee
Ang Lee has gone in about eight different directions in terms of genre. His resume includes “The Ice Storm,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Hulk,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Life of Pi,” and this delightful Jane Austen adaptation, starring Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, and young Kate Winslet. “Sense and Sensibility” took home the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay for the story of the Dashwood family, a mother widowed and left in difficult circumstances after her husband has left his fortune to his first wife, instead of his current one. So Mrs. Dashwood (Gemma Jones) and her daughters Fanny, Marianne, and Elinor (Harriet Walter, Winslet, Thompson) have to find a way to survive in a world ruled by men and the rules that seem to create obstacle after obstacle for them. Unfortunately, given the era, they are viewed as “unmarryable,” since they have no fortune and no prospects. »
- Joshua Gaul
Texas is not just for cowboys anymore. The first Dallas-Fort Worth South Asian Film Festival (Dfw Saff) is coming next month. Described as the "first-ever festival of South Asian independent cinema in North Texas," the event will be held at the Angelika Film Center in Plano (Shops at Legacy) from Friday, February 27 to Sunday, March 1. The festival will present 14 shorts, documentaries, and narrative features, kicking off with Mahesh Pailoor's Brahmin Bulls, a father-son drama that stars Mary Steenburgen, Justin Bartha, Sendhil Ramamurthy (TV's Heroes) and Indian veteran actor Roshan Seth. The centerpiece presentation will be sex-traffic drama Sold, starring Gillian Anderson and David Arquette, produced by Emma Thompson and directed by Jeffrey D. Brown. Closing things out will be the world premiere...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
"RuPaul's Drag Race" is coming back March 2 with a judging panel consisting of veterans RuPaul and Michelle Visage and newcomers Carson Kressley and Ross Mathews. Exciting! Personally I will miss Santino Rice's snarly angst, but he's had a good run. More exciting: The announced guest judges this season are pretty thrilling. Kathy Griffin is back along with Olivia Newton-John, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, and John Waters. Pretty damn smashing. But before season seven gets under way, let's make sure to proclaim which celebrities Still need to join RuPaul and criticize the fabulous dames of his runway. 1. Tim Gunn Here's my problem with Tim Gunn on "Project Runway": I truly believe he is holding back. He comes from a distinguished academic background and taught at Parsons for years. He knows biting, incisive criticism. Not that he goes easy on "Project Runway" contestants, but he could certainly be grimmer and more subversive. »
- Louis Virtel
Based on Bill Bryson's 1998 memoir, "A Walk in the Woods," directed by Ken Kwapis from a script by Rick Kerb and Bill Holderman, failed to impress critics when it premiered at Sundance last Friday. The film stars festival founder Robert Redford as the aging Bryson, determined to shake things up by hiking the Appalachian Trail with his old friend, Katz (Nick Nolte). Other cast members include Emma Thompson, Nick Offerman, and Kristen Schaal. Despite echoes of "Wild" and Redford's celebrated man-versus-nature turn in "All Is Lost," however, "Woods" does not manage to spin the sparring between the grizzled leads into either comedy gold or a meditation on growing old. Most early reviews have pegged the film as a predictable -- if pleasant -- diversion, too insubstantial to have much impact beyond the name recognition of the cast. Daniel Fienberg, Hitfix: "Surely there's an audience out there in the world for 'Grumpy Old. »
- Matt Brennan
Park City, Utah – There are too many films and not enough time between shuttle shuffles and line waiting to cover the festival day by day. So, in pure improvised festival-going fashion, I’ll now be posting reviews for material that I see, but necessarily in viewing order. Enjoy!
Image credit: Sundance Institute
A human being who looks better at his current age than I ever will in my entire life, Robert Redford has a sprightly screen presence that has carried him through thick and thin, even brutal storms that live-or-die on his charisma (Aka “All is Lost,” one of the best films of 2013). For his next adventure, Redford goes softer than a survival story, but nonetheless into an amusing jaunt with “A Walk in the Woods.”
Based on the nonfictional accounts by New Hampshire writer Bill Bryson, Redford embodies the author as an amusing smart-ass, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
When Robert Redford, the founder of the Sundance Film Festival, has a film playing here in Park City, you hope for the best. It wasn't Redford's idea to premiere A Walk in the Woods at Sundance, but instead that decision came from John Cooper, director of programming. Perhaps it would have been better to let the film lie, because it does not belong here in the mountains as part of the most prestigious independent film festival in the United States. A Walk in the Woods is a massive disappointment across the board with mediocre performances, poor production quality, and a story that meanders more than the characters. A Walk in the Woods adapts Bill Bryson's memoir of the same name, following Redford as the aging travel writer who decides to set out to hike the 2,100-mile-long Appalachian Trail, despite the objection of his wife, played by Emma Thompson, who »
- Ethan Anderton
Maybe if "Wild" hadn't done such a solid and visually rich job of portraying one woman's determination to restart her life by hiking 2000 miles, the banal platitudes and strange visual monotony of two older guys' determination to restart their lives by hiking 2000 miles in "A Walk in the Woods" wouldn't seem so subpar. Maybe if Robert Redford hadn't done such harrowing, committed and honest work as a man battling nature in "All Is Lost," Robert Redford's lax, barely engaged work as a man meandering through nature in "A Walk in the Woods" wouldn't seem so subpar. Maybe if "A Walk in the Woods" weren't having its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, a venue that doesn't always demand artistic or narrative experimentation but certainly rewards the work of risk-taking, it's bland and peculiar artistic and narrative flatness wouldn't seem so subpar. But here we are in Park City, »
- Daniel Fienberg
Robert Redford and Nick Nolte go for “A Walk in the Woods” in Ken Kwapis’ broad, bland adaptation of Bill Bryson’s 1998 tome. Like that mildly amusing travel-memoir-cum-elongated-humor-column, there’s light diversion but little substance in this tale of two grumpy old men making a predictable hash of their effort to hike the Appalachian Trail. The appeal of the cast names and the equally venerable scenic vistas should lure older audiences, though whether they’ll get out to theaters or wait for home-format delivery is an open question.
With his grandkids coming of age and peers dying off, Bill (Redford) here worries he’s losing his mojo with little time to spare; ergo his very random decision to hike the 2,200-mile trail, a determined whim that his English wife, Cathy (Emma Thompson), considers foolish and dangerous at his age. She insists that at least he not travel alone. No one »
- Dennis Harvey
Comedians to feature in series of love-themed programmes that will premiere on iPlayer the day before Valentine’s Day as BBC steps up online-first commissioning
As part of a season of Valentine’s Day programming, Bailey will re-imagine one of his most popular songs, Love Song, with a new video in which an obsessive loner’s life is turned upside down by a mysterious beauty, played by Thompson.
Continue reading »
- John Plunkett
Plot: Bill Bryson (Robert Redford) – an aging travel writer – decides to hike the Appalachian trail. Forced by his headstrong wife (Emma Thompson) to bring a companion, Bryson brings along his long-estranged former best friend, the slovenly Katz (Nick Nolte) and the two old guys bicker their way across the trail and try to prove to themselves that they're not too old for an adventure. Review: Considering the fact that Sundance is Robert Redford's own »
- Chris Bumbray
Chicago – In “Men, Women & Children,” director Jason Reitman not-so-audaciously reflects onto viewers their world of silent screens and awkward impersonal interactions. As many stories (“Don Jon,” “Disconnect”) have taken on the torch of showing how we are, gasp! — connected to the world yet disconnected from those close to us — Reitman’s tale is just another one for the batch.
When the aliens of another planet excavate our digital ruins to understand what we thought of what we wrought, “Men, Women & Children” shall stand out as the film that angled the screen society through the lens of absurdities and perversions, more by the parents than their title kin. Jennifer Garner and Judy Greer portray parents who exhibit control over their kin, enabled by the connectivity and mass audiences awaiting a simple post on the internet. In an example of screen culture absurdity, a stoic Garner is a vehement watchdog over »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Scott Davis on films to look out for at Sundance 2015…
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when many of Hollywood’s big hitters gather together to be awarded a variety of different prices on the Awards circuit, culminating with the 87th Academy Awards on February 22nd. But on Thursday weekend in west USA (namely Utah) the Sundance Film Festival kicks off again, and many of the world’s best independent films will get their debuts to the public, and the press, over the next few weeks.
Staff Writer Scott Davis takes a look at some of the films making their debuts, and digs deep to find the next gems that could be coming out way in 2015.
When an aging travel writer sets out to hike the 2,100-mile-long Appalachian Trail with a long-estranged high school buddy, the duo learn that some roads are better left untraveled. »
- Scott J. Davis
Festival resurges as launch pad for awards contenders while sales agents are prepared for healthy market
Those up in arms over Hollywood’s limited roles for women and minorities should be excited for the diversity of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday with no shortage of films that address the broad range of human experience, while renewing the festival as a key launch platform for awards season hopefuls.
- Jeff Sneider
Buyers will be out in full force this week in Park City but with so many options to choose from, it helps to have a cheat sheet to prioritize the must-see acquisition titles at Sundance. After talking to buyers and sellers alike, here are the 10 most promising titles with the loudest buzz heading into this year’s festival.
The Bronze (WME)
What’s the Deal?: The highlight of Sundance’s opening night lineup is this raunchy comedy from director Bryan Buckley featuring co-writer Melissa Rauch in what could prove to be a star-making performance. The “Big Bang Theory” actress plays a washed-up Olympic gymnast whose local celebrity is threatened by the arrival of a promising young gymnast seeking a mentor. Sundance describes the foul-mouthed protagonist as “a lovably loathsome character who makes Tonya Harding look like Grace Kelly,” so perhaps this will be the next “Bad Words?”
First Screening: Thursday, Jan. 22, 9:30 p.m. – Eccles
What’s the Deal?: Jake Johnson and Rosemarie DeWitt play East L.A. parents on the verge of a nervous breakdown as they juggle marital and parenting duties. Things get weird when she enjoys a night on the town with her girls and he takes the opportunity to invite his buddies over for smoking, drinking and carousing. Joe Swanberg’s latest may be his most commercial film yet, and it certainly features his most high-profile cast. Between Anna Kendrick, Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson, Sam Rockwell, Chris Messina, Jenny Slate, Melanie Lynskey, Timothy Simons, Ron Livington, comedian Mike Birbiglia and veterans Sam Elliott and Judith Light, there’s someone for everyone.
First Screening: Monday, Jan. 26, 9:45 p.m. – Eccles »
- Jeff Sneider
Chicago – This Thursday marks the beginning of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and yours truly will be in attendance to cover the fest for HollywoodChicago.com. Last year, the Park City, Utah event introduced the world to its 2014-defining sensations like “Whiplash” and “Boyhood”.
Those titles followed in the paths of indie landmarks such as “sex, lies and videotape,” “Clerks,” “Hoop Dreams,” “American Movie,” “Memento,” “Frozen River,” “Winter’s Bone,” and “Fruitvale Station,” among many others.
In pursuit of new favorite films for a new year, I’ve composed a relatively solid schedule so that I can devour as much diverse Sundance goodness as possible. Narratives, documentaries, white supremacists, nasty babies, Neil Hamburger, Chiwetel Ejiofor, stolen cop cars, and much, much more are all in play. But with hopes that everything I witness is the next “Boyhood”-like zeitgeist, I’ll be sure to report back here on what’s worth, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Jason Reitman's drama Men, Women & Children starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Judy Greer, J.K. Simmons and Emma Thompson has just been released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. This contest celebrates the release and will award a handful of lucky readers the opportunity to watch this powerful film on the house.
One lucky grand prize winner will score a copy of Men, Women & Children on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD combo along with the book from which the film is based. Two additional winners will each take home the Men, Women & Children Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD combo.
For a chance to win one of these prizes, 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 again for as many days as the contest is open. You must be a »
Sneak Peek more new footage from director Richard Laxton's period 'biopic', "Effie Gray", written by Emma Thompson ("Sense and Sensibility"), starring Dakota Fanning, Robbie Coltrane, Claudia Cardinale, James Fox, Julie Walters, Derek Jacobi and David Suchet:
"Despite her beauty, Ruskin didn’t consummate the marriage and the devastated Gray eventually fell in love with Ruskin’s protégé, painter 'John Everett Milias' (Tom Sturridge)..."
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Effie Gray"...
- Michael Stevens
The release of "Effie Gray" was delayed for almost two years because of plagiarism lawsuits against the film's screenwriter (and co-star) Emma Thompson, who won an Academy Award for her adaptation of "Sense and Sensibility." As The Playlist previously reported, "The period drama was completed 18 months ago, but the movie got bogged down in legal disputes, with two separate writers (Eve Pomerance and Gregory Murphy, who both wrote plays and existing screenplays on the subject) claiming the film leans too liberally on their existing works." These charges have since been dropped and the British biographical drama is her first adult-centric screenplay (having written both "Nanny McPhee" scripts) since the Oscar-winning "Sense and Sensibility." Directed by Richard Laxton ("An Englishman in New York"), the film stars Dakota Fanning as the titular character Euphemia "Effie" Gray, wife of great 19th century art »
- Anya Jaremko-Greenwold
Adopt Films just unveiled a domestic trailer for its upcoming "Effie Gray" historical drama, starring Dakota Fanning and Emma Thompson. Check it out below. Plot: The film tells the story of Euphemia "Effie" Gray. At 19, she married the prominent art historian and critic John Ruskin, but Ruskin refused to consummate their marriage. Lonely and frustrated Effie is drawn to painter John Everett Millais, and finds a friend and champion in Lady Elizabeth Eastlake. After five years trapped in a loveless marriage, Effie will defy the rules of Victorian society. "Effie Gray" is directed by Richard Laxton and is set to hit select theaters on April 3rd. Trailer: »
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler may have answered a lot of our questions last night (Andy Serkis played Reese Witherspoon’s backpack in Wild, J.K. Simmons is short for Just Keep Simmons), but the 2015 Golden Globes left us with plenty more. Like...
Or is that how she reacts to every joke? Because it’s pretty similar to how she reacted two years ago when Tina and Amy told that joke about James Cameron. Someone tell her a not at all controversial joke and see what happens.
2. Why was Joaquin Phoenix there?
Besides providing the punch line to one of the night’s best jokes. Yeah, he was nominated for Inherent Vice, but he also thinks award shows are bullsh*t, so...
3. What happens if Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t photobomb someone at an awards show? Does the world end? Does he actually turn into that dragon from Lord »
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