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By Anjelica Oswald
Justin Simien’s feature debut Dear White People is a satirical comedy that deals with intra- and interrace relations at a fictional Ivy League university after a group of white students throw a “black-themed” party. The film — which has been critically acclaimed and holds a 97% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes — opened this weekend in limited release, receiving an average of $31,273 from 11 theaters. The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival and won a Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at the festival. Simien, who wrote and directed the film, used to work on studio publicity and is now getting his own Oscar campaign from Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, the distributors for Dear White People. The film covers social issues that people often choose not to acknowledge and does so in a smart, humorous way. Though these types of films may cover topics the Academy is often wary of, »
- Anjelica Oswald
Bullets Over Broadway: Inarritu’s Vibrant, Exuberant Portrait Of Celebrity, Relevance, and Creative Passion
Not only is Birdman (or The Virtue of Ignorance) arguably the best film of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s impressive filmography (from a list that includes Amores Perros, 21 Grams, and Biutiful), it’s one of the most invigorating and passionately rendered films you could hope to see in this or any other year.
Exploding with a vibrant, restless energy, it’s one of those films able to manage the tricky balancing act of melding a real life persona with an allegorical dress. At its base level concerning a has-been Hollywood icon desperately trying to get out of the mainstream rut he sank into years before with a creative comeback to showcase his talents, the parallels between Michael Keaton’s career as Batman and another faded star with an avian-suited superhero background are, obviously, readily discernable, lending »
- Nicholas Bell
Upstart indie distributor A24 said today it has secured a $50 million line of credit from Comerica and Union Bank of California. It said it will use the facility to “build out its core film distribution business and finance initiatives in complimentary industry verticals.” The company is coming off a busy Toronto where it acquired Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts for $4M. It was a big get for A24, which has been chasing Baumbach since the distrib didn’t get Frances Ha.
“A24 has quickly claimed a unique place in the marketplace and demonstrated the ability to repeatedly craft compelling distribution campaigns that are innovative on multiple levels,” said Todd Steiner, a VP in Comerica’s Entertainment Group. “We are pleased that we can help support their current business endeavors, and we look forward to being a part of their continued growth.”
- The Deadline Team
While We’re Young
Written and directed by Noah Baumbach
At age 45, it feels like writer-director Noah Baumbach is getting soft. Best known for his caustic tragicomedies like Kicking and Screaming, The Squid and the Whale, Greenberg, and Margot at the Wedding, he took a turn in tone for his 2012 feature Frances Ha, which starred and was co-written by Greta Gerwig. So, though the warmth of that film might surprise someone familiar with his work, that it’s a collaboration with Gerwig explains at least part of that tone. While We’re Young, though, Baumbach’s newest film which premiered at Tiff this year and made a surprise appearance at the New York Film Festival, manages to carry that affection. It’s hard to top Frances Ha, but his newest is pleasant and impressive all the same.
- Kyle Turner
Our Nyff coverage continues with Matthew Eng on this year's surprise screening -- which was less of a secret than usual this year, continually hinted at by the Nyff themselves, even spoiled ahead of time by IndieWire...
Noah Baumbach is showing his age.
Not that this is the first time, mind you. Anyone who stuck through his exquisitely harsh and thus totally divisive Greenberg will surely remember Ben Stiller’s crusty, titular protagonist sourly announcing to a party full of fuzzed-out twentysomethings, “I hope I die before I end up meeting one of you in a job interview.”
There’s something instantly more pronounced about Baumbach’s evident unease towards the current generational divide in his latest adult dramedy, While We’re Young, in which Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts star as Josh and Cornelia, a deceptively comfortable urban couple who »
- Matthew Eng
The film-festival circuit this time of year is not unlike presidential-primary season. Venice or Telluride are sort of like the Iowa caucus, an important first step for a film to generate some name recognition and Oscar buzz—but not exactly the setting for a coronation. Toronto is the traditional Oscar-campaign battleground, a sort of New Hampshire primary that often separates the contenders from the pretenders. Last year, Toronto unofficially nominated 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, and Dallas Buyers Club, and those films went on to collect major awards.
But this year, the races still remain wide open after the first new rounds, »
- Jeff Labrecque
Yesterday it was announced that there would be a Special Screening at the 52nd New York Film Festival. Last year, the fest didn’t have a “Secret Screening” like it had done the prior two years, so the announcement has immediately led to some speculation about what title will be playing. There’s a highly likely choice, along with some longer shots that I’ll be discussing momentarily, but I just wanted to quickly state for the record…no, there’s no chance that it’s Star Wars: Episode VII. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can move on. Previously, Nyff has debuted early looks at big Academy Award players that year in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, but this year they’ve done something different in scoring a 2015 release. Depending on how you interpret that, it’s either something literally »
- Joey Magidson
Logan Sandler is directing the drama, which follows a young couple that travels to a small Caribbean island following a tragic loss.
Production begins next month. The pic is being written and produced by Thymaya Payne.
Hemingway can be seen next in Noah Baumbach’s “While We’re Young,” which bowed at the Toronto Film Festival.
- Justin Kroll
For film lovers who don’t have the dough to shell out $40 for a Criterion Collection Blu-ray, the good people at Vice continue to be on your side. Even though Vice can’t give you free online access to Criterion’s trademark glorious HD transfers of the films themselves, they’ve been uploading some of the most intriguing and informative Blu-ray special features as part of their “Conversations Inside The Criterion Collection” series. Last week we posted Criterion’s comprehensive documentary on the making of “Rosemary’s Baby”, and now fans of Noah Baumbach’s “Frances Ha” can rejoice as they access Canadian auteur Sarah Polley’s in-depth interview with the film’s star and co-writer, Greta Gerwig. During the 17-minute interview, Gerwig talks about pouring her soul into the production, how she came to cast her parents as Frances’ parents, and how the dancing scenes were pulled off. For fans of Gerwig and Polley, »
- Oktay Ege Kozak
As the final acquisition deals roll in on Toronto’s 2014 film festival movies, a couple of overriding themes emerged that bode well for the appetite for indie fare and have sellers smacking their lips for Afm, Sundance, Berlin and beyond. In a fest where Harvey Weinstein left his checkbook home and didn’t make a single splashy deal, I have never seen so many new players make statement buys at a festival than happened in Toronto.
The other intriguing development came on the fest’s biggest deal, when Paramount Pictures swooped into the auction of the Chris Rock-directed comedy Top Five, and blew buyers out of the water by paying $12.5 million for worldwide rights. It was the second straight fest where Paramount did this, after the studio made a precedent-setting pre-buy Cannes deal for the Denis Villeneuve-directed Amy Adams sci-fi film Story Of Your Life. Some established indie »
- Mike Fleming Jr
Within days of the film's premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, FilmNation has closed deals for Noah Baumbach's While We're Young in virtually every international territory. The dramedy stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a married couple whose lives are disrupted by the arrival of a younger couple, played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried. While We're Young also stars Charles Grodin, Adam Horovitz, Maria Dizzia and Ryan Serhant. “It is fantastic to see the distributor response match all the critical praise that Noah’s film has received,” said FilmNation CEO Glen Basner. During Toronto, While We're Young sold
- Pamela McClintock
Hipsters: you love to hate them and hate to love them. These uber-chic, urban-dwelling, subclass of twenty-somethings are usually defined by their originality through unoriginality, absurd style of fashion, “meta” sense of humor, and pop culture-referencing like there is no tomorrow. Hipsters’ unabashed preciousness and self-awareness rub many the wrong way to the point where anything with the slightest whiff of Hipster-ism is like presenting garlic to vampires, but for those with enough patience to swallow the twee self-indulgence prevalent in all hipster culture, often there is something of substance beneath all the excessive posturing.
Case in point, director Noah Baumbach. Whether Baumbach regards himself as a hipster or not, Baumbach, along with his friend and sometimes writing partner Wes Anderson, are associated with cinematic Hipster-ism. This makes Baumbach’s newest feature, While We’re Young, a very interesting film indeed, for the movie is essentially a satire of Hipster culture. »
- Christopher Lominac
Noah Baumbach’s newest film While We’re Young will be screened in theaters all around the world following a very well-received reception at Tiff.
While We’re Young stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a married couple who struggle with the idea that their big moments in life are behind them, and their lackluster life gets a boost when they become intertwined with a younger couple, played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried. Driver plays Jamie, a young, hipster documentarian, while Stiller’s Josh is a washed up documentary filmmaker, and the film plays on a conflict between the generations..
The film premiered in Toronto to rave reviews, and was quickly bought for Us distribution by A24. A24 reportedly paid around $4 million for the rights, giving While We’re Young one of the highest price tags at Tiff.
“We are enormous fans of Noah’s and were completely »
Like wild geese in reverse, movie lovers and the press corps head to the Great White North in early September— specifically, to the Toronto International Film Festival, which ended yesterday — for any number of reasons: to catch up with some of the best movies of the previous Sundance and Cannes as the flicks make one last fest-circuit stop; to see stars in their natural habitat, i.e. on a red carpet with microphone shoved in their faces; to stumble across something weird, wild or off-the-world-cinema grid that may not be coming soon, »
Even when his choice of material has been suspect, Alejandro G. (formerly Gonzalez) Inarritu has never given us reason to doubt him as one of the most purely gifted filmmakers of his generation. For him, no less than for Michael Keaton, this ferociously inventive plunge into the corroded soul of American celebrity represents a career-reigniting comeback; for that wizardly cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, it’s the latest in a steady stream of digital long-take miracles, like “Black Swan” as directed by Max Ophuls. (Venice, Telluride, New York)
“From What Is Before”
The extreme length is inseparable from the power and conviction of Lav Diaz’s historical epic about the devastation of a small Filipino barrio amid the political and military unrest of the early 1970s. As a slow-burning study of social decay, this winner of Locarno’s Golden Leopard prize is both a thematic companion piece to Michael Haneke »
- Variety Staff
By Anjelica Oswald
With Oscar season in full swing, the race is on for Oscar hopefuls. U.S. distributors help push their films and actors involved toward Oscar nominations, and some acquisition titles managed to find distributors in Telluride and Toronto. Ethan Hawke’s Seymour: An Introduction was sold to Sundance Selects at Telluride. Toronto continued to be a hotspot for acquisition titles looking to secure deals. Some films that inked deals include Chris Rock’s Top Five (Paramount), Chris Evans’ Before We Go (RADiUS), Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics) and Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young (A24); there are still a number waiting in the wings, though. Here are five actors who could possibly score an Oscar nomination if their films are picked up by distributors:
Spencer hasn’t been nominated for an Oscar since her supporting actress »
- Anjelica Oswald
★★★★☆Malaise of various kinds has manifested itself in the work of American director Noah Baumbach. In 2012, the much adored Frances Ha saw the director chronicle the ailing dance career and resultant ennui of an arrested development twenty-something whilst gently ribbing consciously cool New Yorkers. His new picture, While We're Young (2014), explores both professional stagnation and sends up trendy hipster culture through a more traditional mid-life crisis narrative. Providing a further through line between the films is Adam Driver who stars alongside Amanda Seyfried, Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts in a film that talks about getting old and artistic integrity while keeping the laughs plentiful.
- CineVue UK
It pains me to give a Noah Baumbach film anything less than a glowing review, especially considering there is so much that works about his new film, While We're Young. The premise is his most appealing to date, which, at a glance, involves a couple named Josh and Cornelia (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts), struggling to come to terms with their mid-life status -- a most vexing topic indeed, and one surely perfect for Baumbach's sensibilities. But somehow, this intriguing follow-up to revelations like Francis Ha and Greenberg, despite its top-shelf story, left me with a mind less than blown.Josh and Cornelia's status-quo is rocked when a free spirited mid-20s couple, named Jamie and Darby (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried), approach Josh after one of his university...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Confessions of an Aging Artist: Baumbach Humorously Reflects on Filmmaking Ethics and Middle Age
In some ways the complimentary antithesis to his last work of whimsy, Frances Ha, Noah Baumbach’s latest film, While We’re Young, clamps the cantankerous jaws of midlife crisis around hollow hipster nostalgia, inevitably asking where the importance of authenticity remains in our current media savvy culture and why we often seem to socially settle in and close up with age, ultimately losing touch with the contagious excitement of free flowing youthful creative energy. Likely the creative result of Baumbach’s relationship with his significantly younger significant other, Greta Gerwig, the notoriously bitter filmmaker seems to be grappling with his own gradual aging and inevitable disconnection from youth. Filmmaking may be a medium of immortality, but both he and his documentarian protagonist are beginning to realize that they are feeling their age, no longer relating »
- Jordan M. Smith
One of the final movies to debut at this year's Toronto International Film Festival comes courtesy of filmmakerAdam Wingard. You may remember his name from the credits of the fantastic horror deconstruction You're Next from 2011. His follow-up, The Guest, wraps up the Midnight Madness programme Saturday night and, like it's predecessor, the hugely enjoyable flick comes complete with a kick-ass '80s soundtrack - this time full of heavy '80s synth-pop classics which bring to mind the slasher pics of yore.
After taking a deeper look at Noah Baumbach's latest soundtrack for While We're Young, and now having looked over The Guest's stellar songlist, it got us harking back to all of the fantastic uses of music we've seen/heard over the course of Tiff 2014. From Bowie to The Beach Boys to Bahamas, the films of the festival have seen some impressive aural accompaniments.
So take a trip »
- Emma Badame
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