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Heather Graham, Elizabeth Reaser, and Larry Cedar have been cast in “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.” Graham will play Judalon Smyth, a sexy, emotionally fragile woman who is having an affair with Dr. Oziel. Reaser will play Deputy District Attorney Pam Bozanich, who is assigned to the murders of Jose and Kitty Menendez. Cedar will play Milton Andersen, Kitty’s older brother. The series, which depicts the infamous murder trial of the infamous siblings, will air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC starting Sept. 26. Edie Falco, Julianne Nicholson, Anthony Edwards, and Sam Jaeger have been previously cast in the show.
- Rebecca Rubin
The actress has joined the cast of producer Dick Wolf’s anthology series Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.
Additionally, Elizabeth Reaser (Grey’s Anatomy) has been tapped to portray deputy district attorney Pam Bozanich, who is assigned to the murders of Jose and Kitty Menendez. »
MaryAnn’s quick take… This deeply satisfying military drama demonstrates that a simple, even familiar story can be powerfully effective when told with big heart and solid craft. I’m “biast” (pro): I’m desperate for stories about women; I’m a sucker for stories about dogs
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
I might have had something in my eye there by the end of this deeply satisfying military drama, which demonstrates that a simple story — even a familiar one — can be powerfully effective when told with big heart and solid craft.
This one isn’t entirely familiar, however. The honking big freshness to Megan Leavey is right there in the title: here it’s a young woman with no direction in life and few skills for coping with adult relationships who gains confidence and finds purpose when she joins the Marines, almost on a whim. This is a path that surely many women have taken, just as many men do, but one we rarely see onscreen. Leavey’s is even a true story, and as long as we insist upon maintaining such an expansive military, it’s absolutely vital that our popular storytelling reflects that it represents such an opportunity for women as well as for men. (I have not done a quantitative study, but I feel like there are far fewer movies that bear the names of their female protagonists than there are movies with men’s names as titles. So that’s something else to love here too.)
“Dog, dog, he’s a workin’ dog, he’s a hard-workin’ dog…”
Kate Mara (Morgan, The Martian) is terrific navigating Leavey’s restive despair as it slowly morphs into patience and power and confidence as she connects with and trains Rex, a bomb-sniffing dog with a bit of an attitude problem himself. Gabriela Cowperthwaite — the documentarian who gave us the astonishing Blackfish — makes her narrative debut here, and handles with surety the film’s dynamic central combat sequence, which is as viscerally thrilling as anything we saw in, say, The Hurt Locker. (The film notes slyly that even though women were supposedly not allowed to take combat roles at the time when Leavey was deployed in Iraq, in the mid 2000s, de facto combat roles were unavoidable for anyone there.) And Cowperthwaite avoids anything approaching the cornball in the intimate interactions between Leavey and her parents (Edie Falco [Random Hearts, Judy Berlin] and Bradley Whitford [Get Out, Saving Mr. Banks]), the fellow Marine (Ramon Rodriguez: Need for Speed, Battle: Los Angeles) she falls into a romantic relationship with, and of course with Rex. (Leavey bears no resemblance whatsoever to 2015’s appalling propagandistic military-dog movie Max. Thank goodness.) The script — by Pamela Gray, Annie Mumolo (Joy, Bridesmaids), and Tim Lovestedt — is uncomplicated, but in an era of overplotted blockbusters, its straightforwardness is actually sort of bracing.
There may be little that’s unexpected in Megan Leavey, but in this case, that’s just fine. This is an instant comfort movie for lovers of dogs and for anyone who longs — as I do — to see more stories about women living their ordinary lives, facing ordinary challenges, and succeeding on their own terms. We don’t get anywhere near enough movies like this one. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Could The Sopranos make a comeback? Recently, creator David Chase spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the possibility of a revival for the HBO TV series.The critically acclaimed drama centered on Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), a New Jersey mafia boss dealing with the challenges of balancing his home life with his work. The cast also included Edie Falco, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Robert Iler, Aida Turturro, Lorraine Bracco, Dominic Chianese, and Michael Imperioli.Read More… »
In one of the most touching stories, Megan Leavey will leave you with a tearful joy on a story about a female marine and a bomb sniffing dog.
Based on a true story, a female marine develops a relationship with a military combat dog while being deployed in Iraq. The dog manages to save her life as she attempts to save his life in return.
The film stars Kate Mara, Tom Felton, Bradley Whitford, Common, Geraldine James, Edie Falco, Will Patton and Ramon Rodriguez. It marks the feature narrative film debut for director Gabriela Cowperthwaite (Blackfish).
Megan Leavey is currently playing in theaters nationwide today.
Source: Lrm Exclusive »
- Gig Patta
Ahead of its Us release next month, a trailer and poster have arrived online for the upcoming comedy drama Landline. Directed by Gillian Robespierre, the film stars Jenny Slate, Edie Falco, Abby Quinn, John Turturro, Jay Duplass, and Finn Wittrock; take a look below…
When two sisters suspect their father (John Turturro) may be having an affair, it sends them into a tailspin that reveals cracks in the family façade. For the first time, older sister Dana (Jenny Slate), recently engaged and struggling with her own fidelity, finds herself bonding with her wild teenage sister Ali (Abby Quinn). The two try to uncover the truth without tipping off their mother (Edie Falco) and discover the messy reality of love and sex in the process. Set in 1990s Manhattan, Landline is a warm, insightful and comedic drama about a family united by secrets and lies, co-written and directed by Gillian Robespierre »
- Amie Cranswick
It's been 10 years since the finale of The Sopranos and people are still wondering what happened. Recently, Paolo Colandrea spoke with TVLine about his much-talked-about role in the HBO series finale.The critically acclaimed drama centered on Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), a New Jersey mafia boss dealing with the challenges of balancing his home life with his work. The cast also included Edie Falco, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Robert Iler, Aida Turturro, Lorraine Bracco, Dominic Chianese, and Michael Imperioli.Read More… »
9 June 2017 1:32 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Leavey centers around a young Marine of the same name, played by Mara, and the bond she develops with a military combat dog, Rex, while serving in Iraq.
The real Leavey, also in attendance at the premiere, now works as an executive in the Yankees' partnership sales department and was honored by the team in an on-field ceremony in 2012 after she and Rex were reunited.
"I couldn't be more excited »
- Hilary Lewis
In this week's roundup of movie news we've got some new posters (including one from the Marvel universe) and a few trailers that debuted over the past couple of days!
The first poster just dropped for Marvel's Black Panther! We must say, Chadwick Boseman looks bad-ass as the title character. Captain America: Civil War was the last time we saw him put on the suit and we'll have to wait until February 16th, 2018 to see it again.
T'Challa (Black Panther), the new ruler of the advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must defend his land from being torn apart by enemies from outside and inside the country. Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, and Forest Whitaker round out an all-star cast. »
- Zachary Dent
Two sisters in 1990s Manhattan find evidence that their father may be having an affair, sending them into a series of events that cause them to look closer at their family. Jenny Slate plays a woman struggling with her impending wedding who finds herself bonding with her rowdy teenage sister, played by Abby Quinn, over life, love, and relationships. “Landline,” directed by Gillian Robespierre of “Obvious Child,” stars Edie Falco, John Turturro, and Jay Duplass alongside Slate and Quinn. The film is distributed by Amazon Studios and set to be released for select theaters July 21 and everywhere Aug. 4. See the latest trailer here: Check out Backstage’s film audition listings! »
Surprises when you’re in this line of work are rare. Despite being an animal lover and a dog owner, Megan Leavey was not a movie that was on my radar whatsoever. So, it was an utter delight to come across this earlier on this week and discover that it’s really terrific. Opening today, it’s a true life drama that tugs at your heartstrings in a very real way. Seamlessly blending the “boy and his dog” story, with a gender reversal, with a modern military tale, it works in a big way. This is much more than the tale of a girl and her dog. It’s a tale of friendship, heroism, and sacrifice. It’s one of the year’s best films so far. This true story centers on title character Megan Leavey (Kate Mara), a troubled and aimless woman who found mean in the armed forces, »
- Joey Magidson
Author: Scott Davis
Robespierre made her feature debut back in 2014 with the critically-acclaimed Obvious Child, which starred Jenny Slate (Gifted) and the two have reunited on the new film which debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah. In Landline, Slate plays Dana who along with her sister Ali comes to find our their father, played by John Turturro (The Big Lebowski, Transformers), may have been cheating on their mother. The film then examines how the potentially explosive revelations could change their family lives in more than one way.
Speaking to IndieWire back in January, Slate said that the film is a little different than the duo’s previous effort, saying:
- Scott Davis
“I’m flailing. I’m just trying to figure out if the life I picked for myself is even the one I want,” admits Dana (Jenny Slate) in a newly released trailer for Gillian Robespierre’s “Landline.” The comedy hails from the same team that brought us “Obvious Child,” 2014's beloved rom-com with an abortion twist.
Set in 1995, “Landline” sees Dana at a turning point. She’s engaged to be married but seems to be dreading her wedding — and life with her husband — rather than looking forward to it. As Dana questions her romantic future, she and her sister Ali (Abby Quinn, “The Sisterhood of Night”) make a shocking discovery: their dad (John Turturro) is cheating on their mother (Edie Falco).
When the the sisters find correspondence between their father and his lover, Dana can’t help but ask, “Why does he sometimes refer to himself as her Pillsbury Dough Boy?” “Oh, it’s because he calls his junk dough,” Ali explains, as both wish they could forget about their dad’s infidelity — and his nickname for his penis.
“My co-writer Liz Holm and I wanted to tell a story about divorce. But rather than show a family falling apart, we wanted to see a family grow closer through the experience, getting to know themselves and each other for the very first time,” Robespierre told us. “We wanted to focus on a female perspective of monogamy across multiple generations, each woman navigating this deeply complicated, at times unattainable, very messy, and imperfect construct.”
“Landline” made its world premiere at Sundance this January. The film hits theaters July 21.
Trailer Watch: Jenny Slate Deals with Family Drama in Gillian Robespierre’s “Landline” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
“The Mummy” expands to 4,034 domestic locations on Friday amid expectations in the range of $35 million to $40 million in its opening weekend. Its momentum heading into the weekend has been slowed by a slew of negative reviews in recent days, earning it a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 20% and only 9% among top critics.
Alex Kurtzman directed “The Mummy” and Cruise plays a freelance treasure hunter who resurrects an ancient, evil Egyptian princess, portrayed by Sofia Boutella. She wreaks destruction via her vast supernatural powers with sandstorms and an army of the undead in Iraq and London. Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, and Russell Crowe also star.
- Dave McNary
Chicago – The poster is what gives away “Megan Leavey” the most. The titular soldier, and her bomb-sniffing dog, below a billowing American flag. So which war is it? Why, it’s the Iraq invasion, where the U.S. military and the politicians at home “freed” the Iraqi citizens from a peaceful life. Making a dog story out of that boondoggle doesn’t make it any more palatable, except to “support the troops.”
Eventually the film feels like propaganda, because it takes aways all the nastiness of war – and its heinous injuries – and reduces it to platitudes about a girl and her dog. This is based-on-truth, as they say, and adding in uncomfortable working class scenarios about the soldier’s family can’t save the observation that the film is exploitative regarding the real Megan’s life. Surprisingly, there was a similar film about a bomb-sniffing dog in Iraq called »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Megan Leavey is a true story-based drama about young woman whose close bond with a dog changes both of their lives. Although the young woman is a Marine serving in Iraq and the dog is her bomb-sniffing teammate, this really is a touching dog story rather than a war story.
Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s moving but flawed film is based on the true story of Iraq war veteran Megan Leavey and the German Shepherd explosives-detection dog Rex with which she worked. If you are a soft touch for true-story dog tales, this one’s got your number. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite has previous experience telling a compelling animal story, as the director of Black Fish, the award-winning documentary about captive orcas.
Making a nice transition to narrative feature films, Cowperthwaite tells a different kind of “girl and her dog” story, »
- Cate Marquis
Megan Leavey, 2017.
Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite.
Based on the true life story of a young Marine corporal whose unique discipline and bond with her military combat dog saved many lives during their deployment in Iraq.
A few short weeks ago Netflix released War Machine, which at this point proved that filmmakers are beating a dead horse by consistently criticizing the war in Iraq, how it was handled by politicians and soldiers alike, and by generally being another antiwar movie (this one isn’t a bad thing, but the point still stands). Essentially, I ended that review with a plea for the next Iraqi-based war flick to do something, anything different. Thankfully, Megan Leavey (based on the true story of the titular real-life war hero and her equally heroic canine bomb sniffer Rex »
- Robert Kojder
Law & Order: True Crime has some new company. Deadline reports Constance Marie and Carlos Gomez have joined the upcoming NBC TV show.From executive producer Dick Wolf, season one of the anthology drama will follow the events surrounding the trial of Erik and Lyle Menendez, two brothers who were accused of murdering their parents in the early ’90s. The cast also includes Julianne Nicholson, Anthony Edwards, Edie Falco, Gus Halper, and Miles Gaston Villanueva.Read More… »
Director Gillian Robespierre’s Obvious Child was mostly a character study, focusing on a struggling stand-up comedian played by Jenny Slate, but her follow-up movie seems to be more about an entire family of wacky characters, each with their own dark secrets and anxieties. Slate is there again, playing a newly engaged woman who isn’t crazy about where her life is going, with Abby Quinn playing a younger sister getting into some bad stuff, John Turturro as a possibly unfaithful father, and Edie Falco as the mother nobody pays attention to because they’re all too concerned by their own storylines. Also, the movie takes place in 1995, which you can tell from the clothes, the music, and the fact that Falco mentions an “app” at one point and isn’t talking about a thing on a phone.
In his Sundance review, The A.V. Club‘s own A ...
- Sam Barsanti
The actor will co-star in producer Dick Wolf’s anthology series Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders as Detective Les Zoeller, our sister site Deadline reports.
RelatedLaw & Order True Crime Taps ER Star
The eight-episode inaugural installment focuses on Lyle (Miles Gaston Villanueva) and Erik Menendez (Gus Halper), siblings who were convicted in 1996 of murdering their parents and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The cast also includes The Sopranos‘ Edie Falco (as defense attorney Leslie Abramson), ER‘s Anthony Edwards (as judge »
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