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Amanda Rose Wilder’s striking documentary follows the first year of Teddy McArdle Free School in New Jersey, where the kids write their own rules from the ground up and have parity with the teachers
There’s a great scene in Kenneth Lonergan’s briefly acclaimed and quickly forgotten indie drama You Can Count On Me in which a thirtysomething Mark Ruffalo tells off his eight-year-old nephew Rudy for betraying the terms of their friendship. “If you’re such a baby that you gotta tell your mommy about us playing pool when I totally asked you not to,” he tells the boy, who’s clearly unaccustomed to being told it straight, “then you are going to the babysitter’s.”
As a child, there’s something simultaneously exhilarating and unnerving about being treated as an adult, as the entire student body of the Teddy McArdle Free School in New Jersey finds out in Approaching The Elephant, »
- Charlie Lyne
Lost in the Pacific
Brandon Routh ("Superman Returns") and Zhang YuQi ("White Deer Plain") are set to topline the cast of Vincent Zhou's multinational sci-fi thriller "Lost in the Pacific" at Arclight Films. Filming begins shortly at the Pinewood Malaysia Studios ahead of a 3D release around year's end.
Set in 2020, the story follows a group of elite passengers on board the inaugural luxury, transoceanic flight of a "futuristic Titanic in the sky". [Source: Variety]
Ferrell will play a husband who joins with his neighbors to start an illegal casino in his basement after he and his wife blow their daughter’s college fund. [Source: Variety]
- Garth Franklin
While not possessing the uber-coolness of the Ryan Gosling/Nicolas Winding Refn bromance, Michelle Williams and Kelly Reichardt have carved out their own acclaimed corner of the indie movie world. The two first joined forces for the very well received "Wendy & Lucy," and followed that with the spare, gruelling "Meek's Cutoff." Now they're cooking up another project. Variety reports the duo will make a third film together this spring. The title and plot details are being kept under wraps for the moment, but we presume it won't be the most commercial offering in the world. Meanwhile, the shoot for Kenneth Lonergan's "Manchester-By-The-Sea," which involves Williams and Casey Affleck, has been pushed back again to an unspecified "later in the year" date. So when will we see Williams and Reichardt's finished product? If it sticks to the lo-fi output of their previous ventures, a debut at one of the fall festivals seems possible, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
For their third collaboration, Williams and Reichardt are set to reunite on a yet-to-be-titled indie drama. The American actress and indie director previously worked together on "Wendy and Lucy" (2008), a showcase for Williams as a young transient woman, and postmodern frontier western "Meek's Cutoff" (2010). "Wendy" brought Williams and Reichardt Independent Spirit nominations, and Williams a Best Actress prize from Toronto critics. We know Reichardt is writing and directing, and that this will be her first feature since last year's "Night Moves." Plot details are otherwise unknown at this time. According to Variety, Williams will shoot the Reichardt film before heading to Kenneth Lonergan's ("Margaret") "Machester-By-The-Sea." Read More: How to Help Restore Kelly Reichardt's "River of Grass" »
- Ryan Lattanzio
The project marks the third time the two have collaborated together, having previously worked on the Western drama “Meek’s Cutoff” and the drama “Wendy and Lucy,” both of which received critical acclaim and accolades from various festivals.
For “Wendy and Lucy,” Williams won best actress at the Toronto Film Festival and a nomination from the Indie Spirit awards, while “Meek’s Cutoff” brought in several honors from various festivals. The hopes are that this pic will bring similar critical praise.
Reichardt is writing and directing. Plot details are unknown at this time.
Williams recently signed on to star opposite Casey Affleck in Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester-by-the-Sea,” but sources say Williams will shoot this film first in the spring, with “Manchester-by-the-Sea” shooting later in the year.
- Justin Kroll
The halls are starting to hum softly here in Berlin as the European Film Market swings into gear. The first deals were announced yesterday before the event officially opened, with The Weinstein Co notably boarding Im Global’s The Man Who Made It Snow. This morning, FilmNation unveiled a series of offshore output deals for titles from Open Road, which will kick off with the Jamie Foxx/Michelle Monaghan-starrer Sleepless Nights.
Though it’s not likely to be a frenzy, and with currency concerns in the market internationally, Berlin should see more action in the coming days. Distributors are looking for product for 2016 and beyond, and some memorable buys have emerged here in recent years. In 2014, The Weinstein Company made a record-setting $7M deal for The Imitation Game which has now made about $140M worldwide and has an armful of Oscar nominations to boot.
Much of the pre-buy buzz »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Kenneth Lonergan is directing from his own script with shooting slated to begin in March in Massachusetts.
Matt Damon is producing through via the Pearl Street Films banner along with Kimberly Steward, who has come on board to produce and finance through her new production entity K Period Media, Chris Moore via his Cmp banner and Kevin Walsh through the B Story production company. K Period Media’s Lauren Beck and Josh Godfrey will Executive Produce.
Affleck will portray a man granted custody of his teenaged nephew after his older brother dies. Williams will portray his estranged ex-wife.
- Dave McNary
While DC and Marvel might already have a lock on several future release dates past the 2015 campaign with the Coen Bros. circling February on their calendars, for the most part, when it comes to American independent and foreign film flavored items, 2016 is still cloudy with a chance of…. 2015 just broke (we already have plenty to look forward to (Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films / Top 25 Most Anticipated Studio Films / Top 100 Most Anticipated American Independent Films – soon!) but we’re already excited about what is in store for several of our favorite auteurs. Here are picks 100 to 6, with our Nicholas Bell providing further analysis on current top five for 2016. Pictured above is Peter Strickland, who sits in our number six spot.
100. Untitled Edward Munch Project – Erik Poppe
97. Imagine – Benoit Graffin
- Eric Lavallee
The Writers Guild of America, West has chosen late screenwriter-director-actor-producer Harold Ramis to receive its Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement, awarded to a Writers Guild member who has advanced the literature of motion pictures and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the screenwriter. Erica Mann Ramis and family will accept the award on Ramis’ behalf at the Writers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, February 14. Harold Ramis passed away on February 24, 2014 at the age of 69. From today’s announcement:
“Harold Ramis changed the face of comedy. His death last year deprived us of his unique way of seeing the world, at once hilarious and wise. From his early work with National Lampoon and Sctv through Animal House, Meatballs, Caddyshack, and Ghostbusters, Ramis’ voice was strong, clear, outrageous in all the best ways. His unrealized projects – an adaptation of Confederacy of Dunces, a biopic about Emma Goldman – leave us aching with »
- Denise Petski
Last fall brought news of Matt Damon teaming up with his Margaret director Kenneth Lonergan again for a new drama called Manchester-by-the-Sea. However, it appears things have changed in the months since then, because recently The Boston Globe learned that it will be Good Will Hunting co-star Casey Affleck taking the role instead. He'll play a lazy and irresponsible Boston plumber forced to return home to the titular town after he learns his brother passed away. Suddenly he finds himself having to take care of his brother's 16-year old son but also finds himself crumbling due to a secret tragedy in his past. More below! In addition, THR reports My Week with Marilyn star Michelle Williams will play Affleck's wife in the drama. Production is slated to begin in March in the New England, which Affleck is all too familiar with. In addition, the film will have Chris Moore, »
- Ethan Anderton
Hailee Steinfeld is set to star in "Carrie Pilby," the Susan Johnson-directed indie film adaptation of the coming-of-age novel by Caren Lissner. Suzanne Farwell will produce and shooting aims to begin in May.
Kara Holden and Dean Craig adapted the script which centers on a 19-year-old genius who has just graduated from Harvard and has no idea how to fit in or socialize in life outside college. [Source: THR]
Michelle Williams is set to join Casey Affleck in Kenneth Lonergan's new drama "Manchester-by-the-Sea". Williams will play Affleck's wife in the film which slated to begin shooting in March in New England. »
- Garth Franklin
A project that was once set up as a possible film for Jonathan Demme, it fell apart a few years ago, and not much as been heard from it since. But it seems originally attached stars Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro still want to make "Honeymoon With Harry" happen. Today, Dan Fogelman ("Crazy Stupid Love") was tasked with rewriting the script, and it has emerged that Cooper has an eye on directing the movie himself. The story follows an alcoholic (Cooper) who reforms his ways after falling in love with a girl. When she dies on the eve of their wedding, he relapses, crossing paths with her father (De Niro) on the honeymoon they should have taken. A bit contrived perhaps, but given their chemistry, as seen already in "Limitless" and in particular "Silver Linings Playbook," this could work. [Deadline] Well, this keeps getting better. With Casey Affleck replacing Matt Damon, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Just as one list season is ending with 2014 coverage wrapping up in early January, a different kind of list season will begin. It's 2015, which means we have a decade and a half of movies to look back on from the start of the millenium. But the folks at Fandor have taken a different approach, asking 290 critics and movie lovers to pick the best films from 2010-2014. If anything, it shows there was a lot to be happy about over the past five years. The list of twenty-six films shown below, filling twenty-four slots (there were a couple of ties), highlights a tremendous crop of movies from filmmakers like the Coen Brothers, Terrence Malick, Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Harmony Korine and Lars von Trier. But it's not just the well known auteurs getting shout outs —we're super pleased to see the lovely "Tabu" crack the list, and it seems »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Kicking off with a dose of Skrillex and Spring Breakers, Kevin B. Lee’s latest supercut rounds up the best films of the decade thus far. The ranking was determined on the fairly informal basis of an all-are-welcome Twitter solicitation. I voted and am bitterly disappointed, though I guess not all that surprised, to see Computer Chess didn’t make it into the top 25. The most pleasantly unexpected inclusion is Kenneth Lonergan’s much-postponed, completely wonderful and nearly buried Margaret at #5. The Tree of Life — the closest thing we have this half-complete decade to a consensus milestone in film history — tops the list. For the full of list […] »
- Vadim Rizov
In today's roundup of best-of-2014 lists and awards, we've got fuller lists from Film Comment, a DVD/Blu-ray poll from Sight & Sound, nominations from guilds and from abroad, but the most intriguing of the bunch is the poll conducted by Kevin B. Lee: "Now that we are midway through the 2010s, what are the best films of the decade so far?" The top five: Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret and Leos Carax's Holy Motors. » - David Hudson »
Affleck revealed the swap in an interview with The Boston Globe.
Manchester-by-the-Sea centres around a plumber who returns to his hometown after his brother's death to look after his 16-year-old nephew.
His return causes long-buried secrets to come to light.
There’s a moment at the end of Good Will Hunting where Ben Affleck's Chuckie and the rest of the construction crew discover that Matt Damon’s Will Hunting has skipped town to grasp his brainy destiny and follow Minnie Driver’s Skylar. In that scene, Morgan, played by Casey Affleck, excitedly takes over the car seat usually occupied by Will. Now picture that,only with a film role instead of a car, as Affleck has replaced Damon on Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester-By-The Sea.Lonergan is working from a script he wrote that will now find Affleck as a plumber living in Boston who returns home to the titular town when he learns his brother has died. He’s landed with the responsibility of caring for his 16 year-old nephew, but a dark family tragedy from the past comes back to haunt him.Though Lonergan had been gearing up to »
Affleck told the Boston Globe that he will be starring in the director’s “Margaret” follow-up, which follows a man who returns to his hometown to take care of his nephew after the death of his brother.
See photos: 19 Biggest Box-Office Bombs and Bummers in 2014: From ‘The Giver’ to ‘Winter’s Tale’ (Photos)
- Linda Ge
Matt Damon’s busy schedule has forced him to drop out of reteaming with Margaret writer/director Kenneth Lonergan on the drama Manchester-by-the-Sea, but a friendly face will be filling in. Casey Affleck revealed to the Boston Globe (via The Playlist) that he’ll be replacing Damon as the lead in Lonergan’s new film, which revolves around a Boston plumber who is forced to look after his 16-year-old nephew after his brother passes away, but is hindered by a secret tragedy in his past. The You Can Count on Me writer/director Lonergan is an incredibly talented filmmaker, so his next effort is anticipated by many (myself included). No word on when production might begin. Damon is currently leading Ridley Scott’s sci-fi drama The Martian and is poised to reteam with Paul Greengrass on another Bourne film for release in 2016, so fitting Manchester-by-the-Sea into his schedule ultimately proved impossible. »
- Adam Chitwood
...and here's you first piece of major casting news for 2015: Scarlett Johansson has officially signed up for the manga/anime adaptation/redo, "Ghost In The Shell." The actress was offered the role in the long-developing movie last fall, but contracts have been signed and things are moving forward. Variety reports that Rupert Sanders ("Snow White and the Huntsman") will direct the movie that follows "a member of a covert ops unit of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission that specializes in fighting technology-related crime." So, if you're expecting some of the subtext of gender and sexuality to figure into this version...yeah, probably not. DreamWorks is backing the movie right now, with Paramount possibly coming on board as well. What's going on with "Margaret" director Kenneth Lonergan's "Manchester-By-The-Sea"? Well, with Matt Damon's schedule tied up for the foreseeable future with Ridley Scott's "The Martian," »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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