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4 items from 2006


Production Update: Australia

18 December 2006 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Four new feature projects have been announced as being funded by Film Finance Australia Corp., the funding agency, for production next year. Two of the films mark a return home for two critically acclaimed Australian filmmakers while another is set to be helmed by Australia’s most exciting up-and-coming.The first is the new feature from director Scott Hicks, The Boys Are Back in Town . Hicks, who is currently in post on a film with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart, is best known for Shine, the film that received a number of Academy Award nominations and won Geoffrey Rush an Oscar. Hicks resume also includes the mediocre Snow Falling on Cedars and Hearts in Atlantis. Boys, which is a co-production between the U.K. and Australia, tells of a sports writer who must suddenly accept single parenthood as he has to bring up two sons from different marriages. The »

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Open Window

25 January 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

PARK CITY -- In the first 15 minutes, "Open Window" lulls one into complacency with its idyllic images of sun-kissed Southern California and a young couple in the full flush of love, until you're suddenly and violently grabbed from behind, just like the story's main character, Izzy (Robin Tunney), when she's raped by a stranger in the sanctuary of her artist studio.

That moment and the vicious assault that follows it are the only surprises in this sometimes unbearably slow, uneven melodrama. It's sad to acknowledge, but the sensational and frightening rape scene, which is repeated in graphic flashbacks, could prove to be a draw. (Tunney is especially effective in these scenes).

Screenwriter-director Mia Goldman, a film editor making her feature directing debut, does achieve some elements of suspense and pathos in her story of a newly engaged couple whose relationship is dramatically transformed by the attack. Joel Edgerton plays her bland fiancee, Peter, and the fine character actor, Scott Wilson, turns in a solid performance as Peter's gruff, dead-beat Dad.

Cybill Shepherd shows up as Izzy's bossy mother from hell, which seems to be where the film industry often consigns actresses deemed passed their prime. Shepherd is over the top and not credible but neither are most of the characters in this film. The screenplay is riddled with complications and subplots about characters that fail to engage, go nowhere and bog down the narrative.

Denis Maloney's crisp cinematography captures the sunny seductiveness of Los Angeles as well as the shock of violence. Cliff Eidelman has assembled an earthy, jazz infused score. There's a decent film in here, but Goldman is undercut by a flawed script. The appearance of a kindly therapist played by Shirley Knight is a hackneyed plot device and a dead give-away that the script is in trouble. She also saddles her story with armchair psychology that is too pat and hard to buy. »

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Kinky Boots

23 January 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

PARK CITY -- "Kinky Boots", a crowd-pleasing British import based on a true story, may be this year's "Full Monty". After a festival screening here, this perky, very English comedy with rousing musical numbers, about a struggling Northamptonshire shoe company and the drag queen that comes to its rescue, had the audience on its feet. If the film draws the audiences that flocked to "Full Monty", a confident directing debut by Julian Jarrold, it could rack up good numbers.

After Dad dies, Charlie, played by pallid actor Joel Edgerton, takes over the failing family business Price Shoes. Sooner than you can say Gloria Gaynor, he meets Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a transvestite with a keen business sense, a solid set of values and a larger than life presence -- think Naomi Campbell on steroids.

After Charlie recruits Lola to advise at the factory, her presence, among manly men, raises questions of masculinity and femininity. Ejiofor steals every scene, as he vamps his way through brassy disco numbers in wigs and thigh-high, spike-heeled boots, the very boots that eventually put Kinky Boots on the runway in Milan. Anyone with a shoe fetish will surely experience a natural high.

A multi-tasker, Lola helps salvage Charlie's love life and shed his years of inhibition -- almost -- while she's at it. "You coming all this way to see me," she coos. "I feel like Oprah".

Costume designer, Sammy Sheldon gets the trashy chic outfits for Lola and her dancers just right. Danish cinematographer, Eigil Bryld's palette of grays and sienna evoke the world of fantasy and this is, after all, a fairy tale. »

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Open Window

22 January 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

A Thomas K. Barad Prod.

PARK CITY -- In the first 15 minutes, "Open Window" lulls one into complacency with its idyllic images of sun-kissed Southern California and a young couple in the full flush of love, until you're suddenly and violently grabbed from behind, just like the story's main character, Izzy (Robin Tunney), when she's raped by a stranger in the sanctuary of her artist's studio.

That moment and the vicious assault that follows it are the only surprises in this sometimes unbearably slow, uneven melodrama that's not without a few powerful sequences.

If marketed properly, the film could have limited commercial theatrical release and a possible cable TV run. It's sad to acknowledge but the sensational and frightening rape scene, which is repeated in graphic flashbacks, could prove to be a draw. (Tunney is especially effective in these scenes).

Writer-director Mia Goldman, a film editor making her feature directing debut, does achieve some elements of suspense and pathos in her story of a newly engaged couple whose relationship is dramatically transformed by the attack. Joel Edgerton plays her bland fiancee, Peter, and the fine character actor, Scott Wilson, turns in a solid performance as Peter's gruff, deadbeat Dad.

Cybill Shepherd shows up as Izzy's bossy mother from hell, which seems to be where the film industry often consigns actresses deemed passed their prime. Shepherd is over the top and not credible but neither are most of the characters in this film.

The screenplay is riddled with complications and subplots about characters that fail to engage, go nowhere and bog down the narrative.

Denis Maloney's crisp cinematography captures the sunny seductiveness of L.A. as well as the shock of violence. Cliff Eidelman has assembled an earthy, jazz infused score.

There's decent film in here, but Goldman is undercut by a flawed script. The appearance of a kindly therapist played by Shirley Knight is a hackneyed plot device and a dead giveaway that the script is in trouble. She also saddles her story with armchair psychology that's too pat and hard to buy. »

Permalink | Report a problem


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4 items from 2006


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