10 items from 2015
"Digging For Fire," the new film from indie relationship dramedy favorite Joe Swanberg, premiered on Monday (January 26) evening at the Sundance Film Festival. You can check out my review of the star-studded film here. Bright and early on Wednesday, I caught up with the sleep-deprived Swanberg, co-writer and star Jake Johnson and star Rosemarie DeWitt to talk about "Digging For Fire." Swanberg skipped in after happily watching the first 15 minutes of the 8:30 a.m. screening of "Digging For Fire," enthusiastically reporting crowd response to Johnson, who had only another few hours in Park City before returning to La and work on "New Girl." The "Drinking Buddies" veterans admitted that they were surprised by how much of "Digging For Fire" played as drama at its premiere, reflecting on Swanberg's sets make every scene feel like a party. "Digging For Fire" is about a long-married couple (Johnson and DeWitt), who contemplate »
- Daniel Fienberg
Joe Swanberg is 33. I don't know whether to be amazed by how high or low that number is. On one hand, that's ridiculously young for a filmmaker who broke out back in 2006 and 2007 with "Lol" and "Hannah Takes The Stairs" and has been absurdly prolific since then. On the other hand, though, the filmmaker who made his name -- and, depending on your generosity, made a genre -- chronicling the dramatically limited foibles of recent college graduates has reached the "thirtysomething" phase of his career. The erratic and misdirected youths at the center of Swanberg's earlier films have become the pesky nubiles who show up to make Swanberg's new leads feel either old or optimistically mature. It's a transition that has been in the works for a little while. Last year's Swanberg Sundance entry "Happy Christmas" featured the director and Melanie Lynskey as a grown-up, responsible couple whose house nearly »
- Daniel Fienberg
Joe Swanberg continues his march toward the mainstream even as he deepens his signature brand of hangout film in “Digging for Fire,” a lovely slice of everything and nothing centered on a housesitting couple who discover possible evidence of a murder. There are feints toward a bona fide mystery plot, but that genre element is just a pretext for a stealth marital drama. The film is held together through strong improv, tight editing (by Swanberg himself), moody cinematography and a synth score (from Dan Romer) that parties like it’s 1991. This is Swanberg’s starriest picture to date — even if some appearances, like Jenny Slate’s, amount to glorified walk-ons — making breakout success eminently possible.
Concerning the adventures of married parents Tim (co-screenwriter Jake Johnson) and Lee (Rosemarie DeWitt), “Digging for Fire” opens with the two of them and their son, Jude (played by Swanberg’s toddler, Jude, the finest »
- Ben Kenigsberg
To celebrate its recent wins at the 72nd annual Golden Globes, Amazon is making its new show "Transparent" available for free. It's just for one day only this Saturday with all 10 episodes at no charge. Amazon is also making its prime membership available for just $72 instead of the normal $99 during that same 24-hour period. The program won as Best TV Comedy Series and for Jeffrey Tambor as Best TV Comedy Actor on January 11. The plot centers around an older transgender woman and her California family. It co-stars Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, and Melora Hardin. L.A. Times -Break- A new photo gallery looks back at the previous 20 ceremonies of the Screen Actors Guild Awards and its all-time winners. At the top are Alec Baldwin and Julianna Margulies with eight trophies each. Other overachieving champs are: Anthony Edwards (6), Allison Janney (6), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (6), Ty Burrell (5), Edie Falco (5), Tina Fey (5), James Gando. »
Golden Globe-winning Jeffrey Tambor comedy hopes to drum up more Prime members with Saturday push
Amazon knows what it has in “Transparent”: Already a twice Golden Globe-winning comedy, and now possibly the best piece of marketing material to sell its Prime membership on.
Ignoring the short-term implications and focusing on the longer-term opportunity, the online retailer is making all 10 episodes of “Transparent” free for 24 hours starting on Saturday — so cancel any weekend plans.
The company is also offering Amazon Prime for $72, it tweeted out on Thursday morning.
- Tony Maglio
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
Amazon original “Transparent” has claimed the Golden Globe for best comedy series, in keeping with Sunday’s early trend of honoring newcomers.
Also Read: Inside the Golden Globes: 25 Secrets About the Upcoming Show
“To love,” Soloway said, raising her trophy up to the audience in the International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Stars Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, additional cast and producers joined her on stage. Soloway also referenced Leelah Alcorn, the transgender »
- Matt Donnelly
Transparent just made history at the Golden Globes. The Amazon series took home Best TV Series, Musical or Comedy at the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards. Transparent beat out Silicon Valley, Girls, Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin to take home the award. Creator Jill Soloway accepted the award, surrounded by the cast on stage. Jeffrey Tambor stars in the comedy about a father who announces he's transgender and begins to transition to a woman. Judith Light, Gaby Hoffman, Jay Duplass and Amy Landecker also star. "I want to thank the trans community," Soloway said. "They are our family, they make it possible." Soloway dedicated the award to transgender teenager Leelah Alcorn and »
Pope Francis or “Frank” as social commentator/comedian Bill Maher refers to him, is aces in Elton John and David Furnish’s book.The famous couple threw their annual AIDS fundraiser in New York Tuesday, with Elton raising over $3.7 million, according to Showbiz411.com.In attendance were Anderson Cooper (who emceed), Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft, Padma Lakshmi, Tommy Hilfiger, Neil Patrick Harris, Judith Light, Alec Baldwin, Mike Myers, Al Roker, Matt Lauer and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo according to Showbiz411. The cause of ending AIDS was included in a passionate speech that had Elton expressing his appreciation for the socially aware and kind […] »
- April Neale
The Big Bang Theory fans have something exciting to look forward to this January as Simon Helberg, best known as Howard Wolowitz on the series, takes the lead in the new romantic comedy We'll Never Have Paris. The first trailer and three posters have been released, which recount the real-life, clumsy and at once human account of screwing up on a transcontinental level in a noble effort to win back a loved one.
In a story based on true events, Quinn (Simon Helberg) has been in a devoted relationship with Devon (Melanie Lynskey) for several years, and is ready to propose marriage until a gorgeous blonde co-worker reveals her love for him. Quinn immediately has second thoughts about matrimony and ends up terminating his relationship with his long-time better half. After a brief relationship with the blonde, Quinn quickly realizes he's made the mistake of a lifetime, so he sets off to Paris, »
10 items from 2015
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