10 items from 2014
Here is a film that really disturbed me. It’s called Hungry Hearts and it’s made by the Italian director Saverio Costanzo, who clearly enjoys Roman Polanski’s Apartment Trilogy but has less positive feelings about the difficulties of raising a child. But, as what often makes Polanski’s movies so effective, inspired technique can work horrifying, if (in this case, and Polanski’s) alienating wonders with material that its maker is hostile towards, or at least skeptical of.
Costanzo’s new movie relies heavily on the accumulation of dread. It does not win us over with big surprises, uncertainty, or unruly plot twists. While the aforementioned devices have their place in the horror/thriller genre, Costanzo is exploring the genre from an unique angle, prodding different nerve endings. Many viewers will criticize this film for its over-determined nature, calling its seemingly unnerving events a preordained chain of implausible contrivances. »
- Parker Mott
After enjoying critical acclaim here in Venice with The Solitude of Prime Numbers, Saverio Costanzo returns with the second Italian film in competition. Based on Marco Franzoso’s novel Il bambino indaco, Costanzo has shifted the story from Italy to New York. Alas, it hasn’t travelled well.
Jude (Adam Driver) is an American who meets Italian Mina (Alba Rohrwacher) in that most romantic of settings – a public toilet – in the funniest scene of the film. After this, the laughs fade as Jude and Mina fall in love and marry when Mina becomes pregnant. As her pregnancy progresses, Mina has a recurring dream of a faceless man appearing on their wedding night and shooting a deer. As Jude tries to soothe her, Mina sees it as a harbinger of doom. This is partially lifted thanks to a clairvoyant, who informs Mina that she is expecting an indigo child, a New »
- Jo-Ann Titmarsh
Despite the near-dozen cast members listed, but then, soon after the half-hour mark, the once-charming protags and their increasingly irrational behavior turn exasperating. Saverio Costanzo’s first Gotham-set, all-English-lingo feature incorporates a “Blue Valentine” vibe crossed with “Rosemary’s Baby” in a story about a neurotic new mom whose bizarre parenting ideas threaten her child and her marriage. A prime example of an idea overwhelming script considerations, “Hearts” could parlay its American indie feel into a small Stateside rollout.
In the tiny basement bathroom of a Chinese restaurant, Mina (Alba Rohrwacher) gets trapped with stranger Jude (Adam Driver) when the door sticks shut. The topnotch actors make the most of their amusing dialogue in this nifty, claustrophobically lensed scene, which could easily work as a standalone shot. In the next shot, they’re lying in bed together when she learns that she’s being transferred from her embassy job; he asks her to stay. »
- Jay Weissberg
It’s hard to believe it, but the fall film festival circuit is fast approaching. Things kick off with the Venice Film Festival on August 27th, and today new images from three films that will be showcased in Italy have landed online. Briefly: Good Kill – Writer/director Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, Lord of War) returns to timely material by telling the story of a Las Vegas-based drone pilot. The film stars Ethan Hawke and January Jones. Your Right Mind – Actress Katherine Heigl fronts director Ami Canaan Mann’s (Texas Killing Fields) contemporary romance as a former country singer fighting for custody of her daughter. Ben Barnes and Clea DuVaal also star. Hungry Hearts – Rising star Adam Driver leads this offbeat love story of a couple that meets, gets married, and anticipates the arrival of their baby until they are told that they will have an “indigo” child. Alba Rohrwacher and Roberta Maxwell also star. »
- Adam Chitwood
The 71st Venice Film Festival announced its lineup this morning, highlighted by films from American directors, including David Gordon Green, Barry Levinson, Peter Bogdanovich, Lisa Cholodenko, Andrew Niccol, and James Franco. As had been previously announced, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, starring Michael Keaton and many others, will be the opening film when the festival begins on Aug. 27.
Click below for the entire list of 55 films playing in Venice.
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence, directed by Roy Andersson
Starring Holger Andersson, »
- Jeff Labrecque
Fresh off this morning’s excellent Toronto International Film Festival lineup announcement, we have debut images from some of the films that will be screening at the fest. Briefly: Before We Go – (Directed by Chris Evans) Starring Chris Evans and Alice Eve. Good Kill – (Directed by Andrew Niccol) Starring Ethan Hawke and January Jones. The Good Lie – (Directed by Philippe Farlardeau) Starring Reese Witherspoon, Corey Stoll, Arnold Oceng, Kuoth Wiel, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, and Femi Oguns. Hungry Hearts – (Directed by Saverio Costanzo) Starring Adam Driver, Alba Rohrwacher, and Roberta Maxwell. Hit the jump to chceck out the images and synopses. Tiff 2014 runs from September 4th – 14th. Before We Go Set in Manhattan, the story follows two strangers after their serendipitous meeting in Grand Central. Over the course of one night, they form an unlikely bond and the conflicts in their own lives become the basis for exploration into each other and themselves. »
- Adam Chitwood
The 39th Toronto International Film Festival has announced its initial slate of galas and special presentations, which includes 37 world premieres and several films with Oscar ambitions. The Judge, which stars Robert Downey Jr. as a big-city lawyer who reluctantly returns home and ends up defending his revered father (Robert Duvall) against criminal charges, will have its world premiere in Toronto. His Avengers pal, Chris Evans, will unveil his own directorial debut in Toronto, titled Before We Go.
- Jeff Labrecque
The Toronto International Film Festival has announced over 40 titles — a mix of awards contenders, star-powered indies, and international art-house fare — screening in its Gala and Special Presentations program this September, including Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer,” a pair of Reese Witherspoon projects and closing night film “A Little Chaos,” Alan Rickman’s period pic starring Kate Winslet as a landscape gardener assigned to construct the garden at Versailles.
World-preeming Galas announced this morning at the Tiff Bell Lightbox also include “Pawn Sacrifice,” Ed Zwick’s biopic on the legendary Cold War-era chess match between Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) and Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber), and “Black and White,” Mike Binder’s tale of a grieving widower (Kevin Costner) in a custody battle, as well as WB fall releases “The Judge” (Robert Downey Jr.) and Shawn Levy’s dysfunctional family comedy-drama “This Is Where I Leave You.”
International titles world-preeming on the »
- Jennie Punter
The Toronto International Film Festival announced its initial wave of 2014 premieres and galas this morning and it features some familiar awards titles, some big stars and some unexpected studio titles. Among the major studio films, David Dobkin's "The Judge" with Robert Downey Jr. and Antoine Fuqua's "The Equalizer" each received gala slots and should premiere over the festival's opening weekend. Other announced galas so far include Bennett Miller's acclaimed "Foxcatcher," which debuted at Cannes, and Mike Binder's "Black and White" starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer and Anthony Mackie. Toronto has also scheduled special gala screenings for David Cronenberg's "Map to the Stars" with Julianne Moore and Robert Pattinson, François Ozon's "The New Girlfriend," Ed Zwick's "Pawn Sacrifice" with Tobey Maguire, Lone Scherfig's "The Riot Club," Jean-Marc Vallée's "Wild," Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano's "Samba" and Shawn Levy's "This is Where I Leave You »
- Gregory Ellwood
“My So-Called Life” alum Devon Gummersall will direct from a script by Jenn Liu, who also stars as a young bride who starts questioning her sanity when she moves into a house her husband — portrayed by Darrow — inherited from his first wife who died under tragic circumstances. The young woman’s only ally is the enigmatic housekeeper.
- Dave McNary
10 items from 2014
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