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Now available on VOD and playing in select theaters is director Jake Paltrow’s Young Ones. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where water has become scarce and the only hope for a family becomes an irrigation pipeline that can revitalize their land. This conflict sets off a battle between the family’s patriarch Ernest Holm (Michael Shannon) and a young man (Nicholas Hoult) looking to romance Ernest’s daughter Mary (Elle Fanning). The film also stars Kodi Smit McPhee as Shanon’s son. For more on the film, watch the trailer. Last week in New York City I landed a great interview with Jake Paltrow. He talked about the hurdles he encountered in getting Young Ones made, the way the script changed from inception to release, the challenges and "seduction" of the desert, putting the cast together, dealing with the subject of drought, directing episodes of Boardwalk Empire, »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Audiences may be overwhelmed by the countless on-screen portrayals of a bleak future, but the sci-fi gem, Young Ones makes for a worthwhile view thanks to a compelling story, gorgeous cinematography and a unique vision.
Set in the stark aftermath of a water crisis, the film centers on the few who have managed to survive it. Ernest (Michael Shannon) and his two children, Jerome (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Mary (Elle Fanning), struggle to protect their farm from bandits, but an even greater threat may lie in the actions of Mary’s boyfriend, Flem (Nicholas Hoult).
Last week at the NYC press day for Young Ones, I had the chance to sit down for an exclusive interview with Smith-McPhee and director Jake Paltrow to discuss with them the inspiration for their new film and its dystopian theme.
Check out what they had to say in the video above and be sure to »
- Matt Joseph
Second Coming, 2014.
Directed by Debbie Tucker Green.
A London woman is slowly driven mad by suddenly and inexplicably becoming pregnant.
Naming your film after a poorly received Stone Roses album could be a creative risk, but when your protagonist, Jax (Nadine Marshall), suddenly becomes pregnant without conception, you might just be justified. Her story is that of cramped kitchens and overcast council estates, all seen through the slightly shaky camera of British realism. Grounding such a fantastical premise (divine conception) in this gritty tradition gives the film a poetic aesthetic. Unforuntaely, though, the lengthy opening segment is a bit too realistic…i.e. mundane.
Luckily, surprise Idris Elba (Prometheus, Luther) is a wonderful thing. He can pop up anywhere. Be it in Sky TV commercials, DJ spots at swanky Shoreditch parties or in independent British cinema by first-time female directors, the man is immune to overexposure. »
- Oliver Davis
Boardwalk Empire offers many opportunities for death and for redemption. Here’s Michael’s review…
This review contains spoilers
5.6 Devil You Know
The scent of death has lingered around this season of Boardwalk Empire like the odour of stale booze in a speakeasy. For obvious reasons, it has lingered most keenly around the fictional characters that now seem to be being cleared from the board before we enter the endgame.
Losing Sally Wheet was painful for Nucky, as his self-flagellating and nostalgic drinking mission attests, but for the viewer, losing Van Alden and Chalky, in the same episode no less, may well be the sharper experience. We’ve accompanied them since the very first season all the way to the near-end, through some very strange days indeed. The pair of them inhabited tragedy in their own way (though I suspect that George Raft’s comment about Shakespearean rise and fall »
If Joel Edgerton has one piece of advice to aspiring actors, it’s this: always be sure to check your inbox.
“I found an email the other day from my old agent in London, that I’d just sort of discarded because I was too busy at the time,” Edgerton recalls on a recent afternoon in New York, looking a tad professorial in full-rimmed glasses and beard. “It was this screenplay for a film by a first-time filmmaker that, if I was interested, I should consider auditioning for.” As it turned out, the filmmaker was Steve McQueen and the movie was “Hunger.”
Well, you win some and you lose some in this business, and lately Edgerton has been chalking up the wins. After back-to-back breakout performances in the Oscar-nominated “Animal Kingdom” (2010) and “Warrior” (2011), the 40-year-old Australian actor and screenwriter has been working nonstop in Hollywood, from his Navy Seal commander »
- Scott Foundas
Now available on VOD and playing in select theaters is director Jake Paltrow’s Young Ones. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where water has become scarce and the only hope for a family becomes an irrigation pipeline that can revitalize their land. This conflict sets off a battle between the family’s patriarch Ernest Holm (Michael Shannon) and a young man (Nicholas Hoult) looking to romance Ernest’s daughter Mary (Elle Fanning). The film also stars Kodi Smit McPhee as Shanon's son. For more on the film, watch the trailer. Last week in New York City I landed a fantastic interview with Nicholas Hoult. During our wide ranging conversation we talked about what the past few years have been like, the process of making Young Ones, working with Michael Shannon, what it was like making Mad Max: Fury Road with George Miller, working on Drake Doremus' Equals with Kristen Stewart, »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Young Ones opens today in limited release.] There are rare times when everything in a movie can work—its direction, performances, etc.—and yet the picture somehow comes up short. This is the problem with trying to judge movies piecemeal. For all of the different aspects that make up a picture, we have to evaluate it as a whole. Obviously, we can call attention to its outstanding aspects, but they have to lead, for better or worse, to some kind of impression. Jake Paltrow’s Young Ones is remarkable in how it does so much right, and yet it leaves the viewer completely cold. Its strengths are undeniable and its flaws are subtle, so subtle that they can be confusing as to how such a technically superb picture can be so ineffective. Set in post-apocalyptic future, water has become a scarce commodity. There’s no more rain, and Ernest Holm’s (Michael Shannon) well has dried up. »
- Matt Goldberg
In director Jake Paltrow’s new film “Young Ones,” "Boardwalk Empire" veteran Michael Shannon plays Ernest Holm, a father in a futuristic wasteland tasked with keeping his family together in their quest for water – a scarce resource around town. The film co-stars Nicholas Hoult as his rival and Elle Fanning as his defiant daughter, and blends elements of sci-fi and westerns in look and tone. Shannon’s performance is that of the stoic dad, trying to make ends meet, while »
- Mike Ayers
Written and directed by Jake Paltrow
If ever you should find yourself needing to explain the difference between a film being “well-shot” and “well-directed”, Exhibit A should be the new indie release Young Ones. Writer-director Jake Paltrow has created an intriguing world and spared not one cent out of his indie-sized budget to make it beautiful, but he doesn’t direct it well enough to avoid some storytelling problems.
Paltrow (yes, he is Gwyneth’s brother) imagines a near future in which droughts like the one currently ravaging California have become so intense that the rule of law itself has begun to break down in the American Southwest. In this world Michael Shannon plays a father trying to raise two children, played by Kodi Smit-McPhee and Elle Fanning, against the specter of his wells running dry and the intrusive advances of a local man played by Nicholas Hoult. »
- Mark Young
This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. In the not so distant future, a catastrophic drought has ravaged the United States turning it into an arid dystopian wasteland. While citizens have migrated away from the most heavily affected and devastated areas, some of the more hard-bitten and prideful survivors have refused to leave their lands, clinging to barren plots and drying water wells in the hopes that rains will come again and replenish the parched landscape. The hardened, shotgun-toting Ernest Holm (Michael Shannon) is one of these men. Resolute and stubborn, he protects his family—son Jerome (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and daughter Mary (Elle Fanning)—and water wells from invading bandits, and survives by trekking supplies to irrigation workers channeling the remaining water to tributaries of money and political influence. With resources precious, the cultural temperature is inhospitably dog eat dog. While severe on the outside, »
- Rodrigo Perez
Other anticipated selections include Hyde Park International’s 99 Homes directed by Ramin Bahrani starring Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon and WestEnd Films’ Michael Winterbottom drama The Face Of An Angel with Daniel Bruhl, Kate Beckinsale and Cara Delevingne.
Vmi Worldwide presents the drama Any Day from Rustam Branaman with Sean Bean, Kate Walsh and Eva Longoria and buyers will also get the chance to see Arclight’s action adventure The Last Knight starring Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman and directed by Kazuaki Kiriya.
More than 415 films will screen at the market, including 331 market premieres and 91 world premieres.
Afm is set »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
The below is a rerun of our interview from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Part western, part science fiction, wholly original—it’s not easy to pin down—writer/director Jake Paltrow’s latest film, “Young Ones,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (read our review here), is worth an examination. Ernest Holm (a gaunt Michael Shannon) and his two teenage children, Jerome (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Mary (Elle Fanning), resolutely hold onto their farmland in a drought-ravaged near future, stubbornly believing that the water will soon return. (In a town that shares an odd optimism, “Pray for rain” is a common greeting.) Paltrow imbues this landscape—using South Africa as a stand-in for the anonymous American West—with futuristic touches, including both a robotic mule and medical advances that keep the family’s wife/mother (Aimee Mullins) alive. Not too far away, water flows freely in an overcrowded city, glimpses »
- Kristin McCracken
AFM runs Nov. 5-12 in Santa Monica with over 415 films screening. “Suite Francaise,” directed by Saul Dibb and based on the Irene Nemirovsky novel, also stars Matthias Schoenaerts, Kristin Scott Thomas, Sam Riley, Ruth Wilson, Lambert Wilson and Margot Robbie.
TF1 International is selling international rights. The Weinstein Co. has U.S. rights.
Other notable world premieres include “How to Make Love Like an Englishman” with Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek and Jessica Alba (The Solution); Helen Hunt’s “Ride” (6 Sales); “The Last Knights” with Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman (Arclight); and “Any Day,” starring Sean Bean, Kate Walsh, and Eva Longoria (Vmi).
- Dave McNary
With Camp X-Ray hitting theaters this weekend, Kristen Stewart is finally exploring life beyond Twilight. The indie drama, which tells the story of one soldier stationed at Guantanamo Bay detention camp, is a far cry from Bella and the world of vampires Stewart became so famous for over the past five years. During that time, Stewart became pigeonholed and often hated on for her participation in The Twilight Saga. And for those who only know those films are doing themselves a disservice. Her latest film — the first of three high profile films she has coming out this year — has earned the actress accolades on the festival circuit and reminded many of the promise she showed in roles, such as Sarah Altman in Panic Room or Emily in Adventureland. It’s those films that fans (and the haters) should watch if they want to restore their faith in Stewart.
Panic Room (2002)
Directed by David Fincher, »
- Stacy Lambe
After Warner Bros. finally revealed their DC Comics lineup earlier today, more details are now coming into place about this shared universe, which kicks off in 2016 with Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. We reported last week that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will introduce the villain for Justice League Part 1, but now a new report from Badass Digest reveals who the Justice League Part 2 villain will be. Naturally, there will be spoilers revealed below, so read on at your own risk.
The end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will introduce Brainiac as the main villain in Justice League Part 1, while bringing in Justice League heroes Cyborg (Ray Fisher), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) to join forces with Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). They are said to be uniting to, "face the larger threat that »
Every year, one event rocks New York to its very core in a way that is so profound and so special that it grows in audience attendance every fall when it rolls along. That event, of course, is the hugely popular New York Comic Con and thousands of faithful pop culture fans and cosplayers flock to the Big Apple to partake in the annual celebration. It is an event that draws in crowds from all over the world and features many individuals and companies showing off their latest products in the hopes that those who come to the convention will purchase whatever they’re selling. But Nycc isn’t just about pushing merchandise and entertainment, it is about togetherness and every October, geeks come to New York and they conquer.
If you are unfamiliar with Nycc, then it’s pretty simple. It is a comic book, movie, TV, video game »
- Randall Unger
Jake Paltrow's Young Ones is a dustbowl western with a sci-fi twist. It looks and sounds like the past: The plains are barren, the people wear cheap cotton, and the score, by Nathan Johnson -- all vibrating, beautiful melancholy -- could be layered over any John Ford flick. But when their donkey snaps a limb, peddlers Ernest (Michael Shannon) and his son Jerome (Kodi Smit-McPhee) shoot the animal and replace it with a robot, a high-stepping, spindly machine that looks like a pickup truck on legs.
That robot is easier to love than most of the humans, who've grown hard in this savage imagining of the West where water is more precious than oil. The earth is parched. Everything from the brush to the hills is tumbleweed-beige, as is Shannon's face and hair and funny car »
Last week, I reviewed Aut?mata, which was a post-apocalyptic science fiction film that presented nothing new in terms of ideas or themes. It treaded on familiar territory and made it a bore to watch. Science fiction films need to reflect human nature in an interesting way to be successful, otherwise they become very easy to tune out. In comes Young Ones, a film that uses a near future of a massive water shortage to explore man's pride, greed, and struggle for survival. The film is not wholly successful in its ambitions, shifting away from its themes midway through into a more traditional revenge film, but with the help of a quartet of terrific performances, the film is never something Aut?mata was: boring. A rather subdued Michael Shannon plays Ernest Holm, the patriarch of a family who is clinging onto a 20-acre farm, despite a drought that has dried »
- Mike Shutt
Written by Howard Korder
Directed by Jeremy Podeswa
Airs Sundays at 9pm Est on HBO
Two of Boardwalk Empire‘s most longstanding veterans waved the long goodbye tonight in one of the hardest, heaviest, and most integral episodes the series has ever delivered.
First up was Van Alden, who went out in a way that perfectly belied the arc which his character has been building toward since S3. That he should go down screaming the law in the face of a man he’s hated for almost a decade is a natural bookend for him, and even if it’s telegraphed a few seconds before it happens, it only makes the the brutal hit more effective when it comes.
Van Alden was one of the most enduring characters in Boardwalk‘s 5 year history, and was arguably the strongest remaining cast member. Michael Shannon »
- Mike Worby
Young at Heart: Paltrow’s Sci-Fi Western is All Dried Up
Dystopic draught heralds the end of times for the parable that serves as Jake Paltrow’s sophomore effort, Young Ones. A mash-up of classic Western and ambitious sci-fi, the whole is not the sum of its parts, fluctuating between flashes of stylized visual flourishes in the midst of a quickly withering narrative, Paltrow seems to squander the abundant opportunities laid out by the promising set-up. It’s this kernel of potential that makes the film seem even more of a disappointment, methodically churning into a stagnant trench of recycled Greek tragedy themes, a familial saga of vengeance, murder, and inheritance never coalescing into a comfortable stride.
In a world gone dry, surviving members of the human race do the best they can to eke out an existence. The oceans having evaporated long ago, families of farmers do what »
- Nicholas Bell
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