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Chris Messina both directs and stars in "Alex of Venice," a drama about Alex, (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a woman pushed past the comfort zone of everything she knows. Previously known for his work on "The Mindy Project" and HBO's "The Newsroom," this is Messina's directional debut. Tell us about yourself? I was born and raised in New York and spent many years performing in plays from anywhere from the Bronx to off-Broadway to Broadway. About 8 years ago Alan Ball cast me on the last season of "Six Feet Under" and I moved to Los Angeles to work in film and television more. I've been lucky enough to work with film directors like Woody Allen, Sam Mendes, Nora Ephron, Ben Affleck, David Gordon Green and Noah Baumbach and I learned a great deal from all of them. I live in Los Angeles with my wife Jennifer Todd who is a film producer and our two boys, »
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, while it’s still in theaters
The Unknown Known: documentary interview with Bush-era insider Don Rumsfeld is like a horror movie with a calm sociopath at its center [at Amazon Instant Video]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Great Expectations: a lively, vibrant retelling that feels very modern, with none of the stuffiness of a traditional costume drama [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] Philomena: a cry-till-you-laugh-dramedy about seeking lost family and finding new purpose; Judi Dench and Steve Coogan are fantastic; seriously, though: bring Kleenex [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
streaming now, before it’s in theaters
The Machine: the bleak chic of this Sf drama is intriguing, but the script that starts out smart and elegant soon slips into the shoddy and familiar [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
new to Prime
new to stream
Crouching Tiger, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The Tribeca Film Festival announced its jurors for this year’s event, which runs from April 16-27. The list includes Toni Collette, Lake Bell, Whoopi Goldberg, Catherine Hardwicke, Heather Graham, Anton Yelchin, Paul Wesley and 26 other leaders of the filmmaking community.
In addition to the Festival’s main competition juries in seven categories, Tribeca named Delia Ephron, Natasha Lyonne, and Gary Ross to select the second annual Nora Ephron Prize, which awards $25,000 to a female writer or director.
Click below for the entire list of jurors, with biographical information courtesy of the Tribeca festival:
World Competition Categories
The jurors for »
- Jeff Labrecque
Lake Bell, Toni Collette, Jeff Goldblum, Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Stuhlbarg, Heather Graham and Catherine Hardwicke are among the three dozen actors, filmmakers and executives chosen to sit on juries at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, Tff organizers announced on Tuesday. The jurors will give out awards in seven different competitive categories, with prizes totalling $150,000 to be announced at a ceremony on April 24. The Nora Ephron Prize, which goes to a female writer or director, carries an additional $25,000 award. Also read: 21 Summer Movies We're Dying to See – From ‘Transformers 4' to ‘Godzilla’ Jurors for the World Narrative Competition »
- Steve Pond
Organizers of the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival have tapped a roster of industry types including Sheila Nevins, Anton Yelchin, Whoopi Goldberg, Paul Wesley, Catherine Hardwicke, Toni Collette and Natasha Lyonne, among others, to serve as jurors for the fest’s seven competitive categories.
Hardwicke will judge the world narrative competish with a jury that includes Lake Bell and Steven Conrad (“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”), while the world doc winner will be selected by a team that includes New York magazine’s David Edelstein and BBC journo Nick Fraser.
Thesps Jeff Goldblum and Adepero Oduyo are part of the jury to pick the award winner for new narrative director, while Heather Graham and Michael Stuhlbarg are among those selecting the recipient of the new doc helmer laurel.
- Gordon Cox
Colin Callender‘s first producing effort, a nine-hour TV adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s stage production of The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby launched UK’s Channel 4 and won him his first Emmy in 1983. After a stint as an independent producer in his native Britain, Callender joined HBO where he shepherded films and miniseries like Angels In America, John Adams, Maria Full Of Grace and American Splendor to the tune of 104 Emmy Awards, 29 Golden Globes, 3 Oscars, and top awards at the Sundance Film Festival. Since leaving HBO in 2008, he has kept a low profile. Having started his career in theater, as stage manager at London’s Royal Court Theatre, Callender returned to his roots and built a theater slate during a break from television because of a three-year non-compete with HBO. His first play ever as a producer was Nora Ephron‘s Lucky Guy starring Tom Hanks, »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
In a time where Conscious Uncoupling is front of brain, our staffers have been digging into fiction that's full of the ups and very far downs of love. Failed first dates, infidelity and fading romance abound in this week's round up of staff reads. Share your thoughts on their choices - and let us know what you're reading. Linda Pacheco, Photo Editor Her Pick: What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin The protagonist of this quick, funny read is Molly Hallberg, a 39-year-old New York writer with a divorce lawyer for an ex. It's safe to say she sucks at dating. »
[Warning: This post contains spoilers about the Sunday, March 23 episode of The Good Wife.] Good Wife viewers are still getting over the shocking incident that occurred Sunday night and even Hollywood screenwriters are struggling to deal with what happened. Delia Ephron, Nora Ephron's sister and writer of movies like You've Got Mail, was so affected by Will Gardner getting gunned down on Sunday's episode that she couldn't sleep, took half a Valium, overslept and then took the wrong subway the next morning, she writes in Wednesday's New York Times. Photos: TV Shows That Have Killed Off Major Characters
- Hilary Lewis
John Green fans must have felt as though they’d stumbled into the literal heart of Jesus on Monday with news that the author’s 2008 novel Paper Towns would also be adapted into a feature film, with The Fault in Our Stars actor Nat Wolff cast in the lead. The announcement isn’t just a boon for Nerdfighters everywhere, but also for fans of what, for our purposes, I’ll call Everyday Ya: teen narratives in which nary a magic wand, sparkling vampire, or deadly arena (save for the high school hallway, of course) are to be found. And this »
- Amy Wilkinson
You know what helps me get through a Tuesday? Watching Tom Hanks shoot strangers in the head and really enjoy it. In the new music video by Buckwheat Groats, the act that also gave you "Nut I Busted," we learn about back-to-back Oscar winner and unflinching thug Tom Hanks, who loves strip clubs, pimping, and absolutely killing it in Nora Ephron movies. Yes, this clip is as awesome as "Joe Versus the Volcano" and yes, Colin Hanks and Chet Haze make cameos. Phew. »
- Louis Virtel
Andy Samberg got a weird wedding gift from magician David Copperfield - People Find out what obscene comment Bachelor Juan Pablo made to Clare - Us Weekly Mindy Kaling opens up about diversity on TV - Et How did Nora Ephron help Lena Dunham get a boyfriend? - HuffPost Celebrity Beyoncé and Jay Z spend quality time with Blue Ivy in Ireland - Lainey Gossip Lorde gets a beautiful new gig - Gossip Girl A Game of Thrones actor comes out as gay - BuzzFeed Pharrell and Will.i.am settle a trademark dispute - Hollywood Reporter Drew Barrymore is being honored with a prestigious award - Variety See which star tops Billboard's 2014 Money Makers list - Billboard »
- Brittney Stephens
One of the petitions to have Jones’ name added to the list is on the website Care2 and says, “Crew members are the unsung heroes of film and television production who work long hours and sometimes very dangerous conditions for the love of filmmaking.”
The “In Memoriam” segment on the Oscars usually features big names in Hollywood or in society in general — last year’s included Fahrenheit »
- Ariana Bacle
Technophilia will only get you so far, Jonze's near-future parable suggests, as it engineers a blind date between a lonely man and a sentient operating system with no concept of privacy settings – and finds both partners wanting. More successful is the marriage of sci-fi and romantic drama: the focus is more on the heart than the hardware in this soulful, often sorrowful movie.
The Lego Movie (U)
Using pop-culture humour and star voices to overcome blatant product placement, this canny, rapid-fire comedy adventure is like a Matrix parody rendered in CGI plastic bricks.
- Steve Rose
The 1993 smash Sleepless In Seattle is this week's Valentine's Day re-release on the big screen, and it's a movie to which director and co-writer Nora Ephron brought her terrific flair, wit and nous, although she propagates the terrifying fallacy that a widower makes a wonderful romantic catch. The movie references the 50s weepie classic An Affair to Remember, in which wheelchair-user Deborah Kerr famously can't keep her romantic appointment atop the Empire State Building with Cary Grant. Ephron cleverly reverses this situation and gives the man the heart-wrenching disability – bereavement.
Tom Hanks is Sam, the architect who has moved to Seattle after the death of his wife; his cute eight-year-old son Jonah calls a radio talk show about his depressed and insomniac dad and chivvies him into talking about »
- Peter Bradshaw
It’s not wildly cool to be unabashedly in love with love in 2014. As adults, our love stories have evolved to become these wieldy, introspective, self-deprecating things – multi-dimensional and piquantly marinaded in irony and angst. For all their myriad charms, each new romance that trips across the silver screen seems shadowed - Pan-like – by the ingenious back stories stitched to its toes. Yet two Valentine’s Day releases (something old and something brand new) will allow us to fall foolishly in love with love again : Spike Jonze’s beguiling film Her and Nora Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle.
Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks) and Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) have both been sucker-punched by sadness – quite blindsided by their respective bereavement and marital breakdown – they are men set adrift inside their own lives. And despite the contrast of wildly different wardrobes – from Phoenix’s hipster chic to Hank’s irrefutably ’90s »
- Emily Breen
Twenty-five years ago, When Harry Met Sally revolutionized the romantic comedy. Sure, this film genre had been around since the earliest days of cinema, and had once been the domain of giants like Billy Wilder and Ernst Lubitsch and Stanley Donen. But Rob Reiner and Nora Ephron’s 1989 hit, with its slick, highly quotable back-and-forth between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, as well as its oddly self-reflective quality, felt like something strange and new — the Star Wars of romantic comedies. It wasn’t just a romantic comedy, it was a rom-com. We’ve been living in its wake ever since, and Valentine's Day seemed like a good time to look at the 25 intervening years and pick our favorites.A couple of caveats: We focused only on American and British rom-coms. In part, this was because there was no way to do justice to all the great films coming out of other non-English-speaking countries. »
- Bilge Ebiri,David Edelstein
Oprah Winfrey may be coming to Broadway. The media mogul is in talks to star opposite Tony-winner Audra McDonald in a revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play 'night, Mother, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. The role would be her first in a Broadway production. Tony winner George C. Wolfe, who recently directed Tom Hanks in Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy, would direct the production, which is being eyed for the 2015-16 Broadway season. The play is being produced by Scott Sanders, according to The New York Times, which previously reported Winfrey was in talks for the role. Photos:
- THR Staff
The thrill has been mostly gone for romantic comedies since Meg Ryan’s heyday. Once the playground for Tracy and Hepburn, Nora Ephron, Woody Allen, Preston Sturges and Julia Roberts, the genre has lost its fizz, thanks to joyless rom-com duds such as “Fool’s Gold,” “New Year’s Eve” and “Did You Hear About the Morgans?.” Movies such as “No Strings Attached” and “Friends With Benefits” fumbled when they tried to injecting sex into the stale genre; though bromances disguised as romantic comedies such as “Knocked Up” managed to find the box office success that has eluded traditional romantic comedies. »
- Brent Lang
Marking her first turn directing a movie, Meg Ryan is teaming with Tom Hanks to make Ithaca, the film adaptation of William Saroyan's classic 1943 novel The Human Comedy. In addition to directing, she'll star opposite Sam Shepard, Melanie Griffith and Jack Quaid. Photos: From 'When Harry Met Sally' to 'Sleepless in Seattle': 11 Movies From Nora Ephron's Celebrated Career Hanks and his partner at Playtone, Gary Goetzman, are executive producing the Word War II coming-of-age saga about life on the home front. Brian O'Shea's The Exchange has acquired worldwide rights to the project and will shop Ithaca
- Pamela McClintock
If Airplane! and You’ve Got Mail went on a blind date, got liquored up, and had a baby…that baby would look like David Wain’s rom-com spoof They Came Together. Making its world premiere on Friday night at Sundance and adding some star power to the tail end of the festival, the silly send-up of formulaic Meg Ryan-Tom Hanks meet-cute movies and their ilk reunites the gang from Wet Hot American Summer – with some new faces sprinkled in.
Wain’s Wet Hot American Summer had its debut at Sundance 13 years ago. And it’s good to »
- Chris Nashawaty
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