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Touch of Class: Ullmann’s Update of Classic Text Ultimately Lifeless
There are a scant few equals to the texts of playwright August Strindberg’s, his 1888 play Miss Julie still ranking as one of theater’s most celebrated and intelligent titles. A forerunner of a movement toward naturalism, director Liv Ullmann pares down the visual flourish which hearkens back to Strindberg’s initial contrivance. Her first film since the critically celebrated Faithless (2000), which was written by Ullmann’s longtime collaborator Ingmar Bergman, the passion that burned through that relationship drama is replaced by reserved bouts of class driven animosity. While true to the initial spirit of Strindberg’s text, the focus here is devoted nearly entirely to class issues, leaving some of the play’s more subtle motifs rather neglected. Considering the extravagant and mesmerizing 1951 version from Swedish filmmaker Alf Sjoberg, Ullmann’s adaptation is a chewy piece of meat, »
- Nicholas Bell
[previous: “Robot of Sherwood”]
So, the monster under the Doctor’s bed when he was a kid was Clara. Well, why not? She’s been responsible for every other important thing in his life.
And while we’re at it, why not another example of Steven Moffat’s recycling his own ideas — whatever you do, don’t look; the monster in the shadows; the impossible astronaut — and other Doctor Who-ish things: the knocking from outside in a place where nothing’s supposed to be alive; the stranded time-traveler who’s related to someone else in the episode. As long as it’s all a fairy tale anyway, it doesn’t need to actually hang together as a narrative, right?
Because: awwwww. The Doctor as a little boy! Fear is a superpower! Toy soldiers!
Anyway, none of it’s really real, right? Everyone has the dream about their ankle being grabbed from under the bed, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
"Kiss my shoe!" Colin Farrell reenacts critical reaction to Chastain's debut film year
This review contains 126 year-old spoilers if you’re not familiar with August Strindbergh’s one act play, which has been adapted to film frequently. The play is about the bored, lonely, and loveless daughter of a Baron, Miss Julie (Jessica Chastain) who enjoys toying with the servants, especially with John her father's valet (Colin Farrell). She flirts shamelessly even in front of his fiancé the cook (Samantha Morton) ordering him to perform sometimes demeaning and not very valet-like duties, like kissing her shoe or bringing her flowers. The story takes place in a single night in which the valet and the lady of the house will consummate their extremely uncomfortable »
- NATHANIEL R
Screen Media announced on Tuesday that it was going for a “Ride” with Oscar-winning actress and filmmaker Helen Hunt. The independent distributor has acquired her second movie as a director, which is a follow-up to 2007's “Then She Found Me.” See also: Aaron Paul, Helen Hunt, Samantha Morton Fight Breast Cancer in ‘Decoding Annie Parker’ Trailer (Video) The film is about “an editor from The New Yorker magazine (Helen Hunt) follows her son (Brenton Thwaites) to La after he drops out of college to surf and find himself, she ends up being the one thrust into a sea change of self-discovery. »
- Jordan Zakarin
The McConaissance required some time on television, but there won't be a similar Cruisaissance.
Matthew McConaughey "slummed it" on HBO's "True Detective," and the rave reviews likely helped propel him to his first Academy Award. One would think Tom Cruise might take some notes from that and star in the TV series sequel to his 2002 movie, "Minority Report." One would be wrong.
Instead, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox is planning the pilot without him - and they're even flipping the gender on his role. The series would take place 10 years after the Precrime program ended and follow a male Precog who's still sees visions of the future. He teams up with "a detective haunted by her past who just may help him find a purpose to his gift."
In the 2002 film, based on Philip K. Dick's short story, Cruise played a detective in the year 2054 who ran the Precrime unit, »
- Kelly Woo
By Anjelica Oswald
Some pictures headed to the Toronto International Film Festival already with a domestic distributor — such as, The Judge (Warner Bros.) and Nightcrawler (Open Road Films) — but others are hoping to garner some bids and make some deals during the 11-day festival.
Among the recent acquisitions is The Last 5 Years, which was picked up by the Weinstein Co.’s RADiUS label.
Here are 10 acquisition titles to keep an eye on as of Monday morning:
While We’re Young
Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, along with Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried, play two sets of New York couples who become unlikely friends in Noah Baumbach’s new film. These couples have similar interests — both Stiller and Driver are documentary filmmakers — but live vastly different lifestyles. The older couple is more intune with the modern world, whereas the younger couple are into the hipster lifestyle, obsessed with vinyls and vintage. »
- Anjelica Oswald
It’s taken close to 15 years for her to return to the director’s chair, followed by months of speculation and feverish anticipation once news of production hit, but Liv Ullmann has finally unveiled her new film at the Toronto International Film Festival. “Miss Julie,” the infamous play by August Strindberg incessantly adapted for the screen and stage in multiple countries and languages, gets an Anglophone interpretation from the legendary Norwegian actress; set in Ireland, and starring a trio of familiar Hollywood faces in Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, and Samantha Morton. The film has all the makings of a special occasion with its multiple narratives; the return of Ullmann, the continuation of the "Chastainaissance," Colin Farrell in a respectable film again. It’s no surprise we, too, were swept up in all the excitement (the film was a shoe-in for our 15 most anticipated Tiff films) and yet, now that we’ve finally seen it, »
- Nikola Grozdanovic
Scrupulous fidelity to the source material makes Liv Ullmann’s adaptation of “Miss Julie” perfect for theater classes, but also keeps this latest version of Strindberg’s 1888 drama from coming alive onscreen. There’s much to admire in the performances of Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton, embodying a psychosexual triangle that implodes during a few hours’ span, but . Compared to what remains the work’s filmic gold standard, Alf Sjoberg’s classic 1951 version, this is a glorified performance record of what might have been a fine stage production, but one that has sadly turned rather tedious in the translation. It would probably play better as a prestige tube item; niche theatrical prospects are minor.
As helmer and adapter, Ullmann has taken major liberties that include paring away all minor roles (even most references to them) in order to focus exclusively on the leading character trio, and, for the sake of an English-language cast, »
- Dennis Harvey
As we look in the rearview mirror of the summer blockbusters, September heralds the start of the fall movie season. Filled with Hollywood heavyweights and A-listers, here’s our Big list of the most anticipated movies coming to cinemas this autumn and during the holidays.
Our exhaustive list includes films that are playing at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival as well the ones that already have a theatrical release date. With the awards season on the horizon, we also added a few bonus films at the end to keep your eye out for in the months ahead.
Pull up a chair, grab a pen and paper and get ready for Wamg’s Guide to the 100+ Films This Fall And Holiday Season.
We kick it off with what’s showing in Toronto at the film festival that runs September 4 – 14.
- Movie Geeks
After losing most of her family to cancer, Annie (Samantha Morton) has always known that life is a genetic lottery. But when she falls pregnant, she makes herself an expert in the condition to maximise her time with her child and husband (Aaron Paul). While she's encouraged at home by nurse Rashida Jones and doctor Corey Stoll, hope comes from afar in the form of a pioneering geneticist (Helen Hunt). »
Variety has announced its annual list of 10 Actors to Watch, an honor the publication has been bestowing since 1998.
Past honorees include many future Oscar-winners and nominees such as Adrien Brody, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Patricia Clarkson, Samantha Morton, Lupita Nyong’o, Viola Davis, Michael Shannon, Melissa Leo.
This year’s honorees will be featured in the Oct. 7 issue of Variety and for the third year, several of the honorees will participate in Variety Ten to Watch activities at the Hamptons Film Festival, which runs Oct. 9-13.
This year’s 10 Actors to Watch are:
Dakota Johnson, star of the upcoming »
- Jenelle Riley
Four interesting tidbits coming atcha that we neglected to discuss for multiple reasons. If you hadn't yet heard them, they'll feel like brand new news to you.
In what is clearly understood to be an awards-traction move, Jon Favreau's sleeper hit Chef will be coming back to theaters this Friday in wide release. I'm not sure it has the critical oomph to win any nominations and it didn't have the box office size to make that a non-issue (a la gargantuan hits like My Big Fat Greek Wedding) but could it sleeper hit its way into, say, The Screenplay race? I'm realizing I neglected to consider it at all there which is an obvious mistake. I had a really good time watching it with friends though; it's an easy sit and safe for diverse groups of viewers. My favorite visual was ScarJo eating a bowl of pasta but my »
- NATHANIEL R
Director: John McNaughton.
Running Time: 104 minutes.
Synopsis: Maryann (Calis) moves in with her grandparents after the death of her mother and father. She soon makes friends with a local sick boy (Tahan) who is confined to his home by his overbearing mother (Morton). As the two embark on a forbidden friendship, the mother seems to become more and more intense.
FrightFest has been a place of just as many laughs as it has been scares this year, but one film that aims to keep things very serious indeed. Director of Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer, John McNaughton, returns to supply one of the best films of the festival this year. The Harvest is an amazing achievement on many levels, not least that this is solid drama with a horror edge.
Starting off as a »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
John McNaughton, enfante-terrible of the BBFC thanks to his stunning 1986 debut feature Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, returns to genre film making after two decades away from horror (his Masters of Horror episode in 2006 is his only “horror” credit in 25 years), with a psychological thriller starring Britain’s very own Samantha Morton and everyone’s favourite Superman villain, Michael Shannon, who play married medical professionals Katharine and Richard Young who keep their sick son Andy isolated from the outside world in their remote countryside house.
However that isolation is broken when Maryann, following the death of her parents, moves in with her grandparents just down the road. Having left all she knows behind and feeling alone, she eventually befriends Andy – despite the vehement protest of his overprotective mother, »
- Phil Wheat
Directed by legendary actress and Ingmar Bergman-collaborator Liv Ullmann, Miss Julie is a tale of desire, class, and power set in the late 1800s in Ireland. Based on the play by August Strindberg, Julie (Chastain) is a aristocrat who sets her sights on seducing her father’s valet John (Farrell). Her desire sets off a series of mind games which grow stronger as the night wears on. All of their flirtations are silently witnessed by Kathleen (Samantha Morton), a cook who just happens to be John’s betrothed.
The film is making its world premiere in Toronto during the eleven day festival but has yet to receive a theatrical release date in Canada.
- Rachel West
"Minority Report" may be coming to the small-screen. Steven Spielberg's blockbuster sci-fi film starring Tom Cruise is being developed as a TV series by the director's Amblin Television, according to Deadline, with "Godzilla" screenwriter Max Borenstein attached to pen the script. The project, which is still in the "very early stages," will take off from the film's near-future vision of a world in which a special police unit - aided by telepaths known as "precogs" - is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes. The premise is based on the short story of the same name by Philip K. Dick. No network is yet attached to the project. Released in the summer of 2002, "Minority Report" was met with critical acclaim and went on to gross over $350 million worldwide. It also starred Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton and Max von Sydow. Do you think a "Minority Report" TV series is a good idea? »
- Chris Eggertsen
Nearly 25 years have passed since John McNaughton’s landmark true-crime horror film “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” snuck into U.S. theaters — and that itself was long after its 1986 festival premiere, a protracted tussle with the MPAA accounting for the delay.
Filmmaking would never be an easy ride for the Chicago-based director. Half a dozen narrative features (offbeat comedy “Mad Dog and Glory” and erotic thriller “Wild Things” among them) followed before he retreated from bigscreen work in 2001. Sporadic TV assignments followed — including a 2006 chapter for Showtime’s “Masters of Horror” series, which placed him in the company of John Carpenter and Takashi Miike, among others.
See Also: Film Review – “The Harvest”
And it’s to the horror genre that he returns with his comeback feature “The Harvest,” which McNaughton will present Aug. 23 at FrightFest in London. Starring Samantha Morton as the dangerously overprotective mother of a teenage shut-in, »
- Guy Lodge
Miss Julie explores the implications of a forbidden romance unfolding in 1890s County Fermanagh in Ireland.
The film centres on Miss Julie's (Chastain) seduction of her wealthy father's valet Jean (Farrell), which ignites a passionate affair between the two.
Norwegian actress and filmmaker Liv Ullmann directs Miss Julie. Ullmann is also a Golden Globe-winning and Academy Award-nominated actress, best known for her work with iconic director Ingmar Bergman.
There is no Us or UK release date for Miss Julie yet. »
Based on a play written by August Strindberg in 1888, Miss Julie is directed by Liv Ullman (Faithless) – who also adapted the screenplay – and stars Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton. Though we’ve seen a few photos from the film, today brings with it the first trailer for the romantic drama, ahead of its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.
The story centres on the daughter of an aristocrat (Chastain), and the relationship she develops with her father’s valet (Farrell), who is betrothed to the household cook (Morton). As she encourages the valet to seduce her, their connection is explored, along with themes of class conflict and competition.
The synopsis is as follows:
“Taking place at a large country estate in Britain over the course of one 1880s midsummer night, Miss Julie explores the brutal flirtatious power struggle between Julie and John – a young aristocratic »
- Sarah Myles
Suits are being pressed, dresses are being primped and red carpets are being steam cleaned as the Toronto International Film Festival gets ready to roll in a few weeks. And a new trailer is here for one of their highlight attractions, Liv Ullman's "Miss Julie." Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton lead this period drama, based August Strindberg's acclaimed play, about the upstairs/downstairs romance that develops between a valet and a young aristocratic woman. Hot, corseted stuff! As you'll see in the trailer, it's all very elegant and tortured, and yes, we're really looking forward to it. No release dates or distributors yet for "Miss Julie." Watch below. [Vlicious] »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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