9 items from 2015
Nicole Kidman's "Grace of Monaco" will skip Us theaters and land directly at Lifetime. The Grace Kelly biopic opened the Cannes Film Festival last spring to none-too-positive reviews. It will debut on the cable network one year after its splashy French premiere over the Memorial Day weekend on May 25. Set in 1962, "Grace of Monaco" takes place six years after Kelly and Monaco's Prince Rainier III tied the knot in the "wedding of the century." The drama focuses on the actress's desire to return to work against the wishes of the royal family. Parker Posey and Paz Vega co-star. Once considered an awards vehicle for Kidman, "Grace of Monaco" will now join Lifetime's roster of movies about female performers like Whitney Houston, Aaliyah, and Brittany Murphy whose careers were cut too short. [via Variety]
- Inkoo Kang
The drama opened the Cannes Film Festival in May to mostly negative reviews, with Variety‘s Scott Foundas calling it a “cornball melodrama.” The film was plagued by drama onscreen and off, with the Weinstein Co. originally making a $5 million deal to acquire U.S. rights to the $35 million production.
“Grace of Monaco” takes place in 1962, six years after Kelly celebrated her “wedding of the century” and finds her yearning for a return to her acting career. It also stars Frank Langella, Parker Posey, Paz Vega and Tim Roth as Prince Rainier III.
- Alex Stedman
Nearly one year after its opening night slot in Cannes, it emerged that the biopic starring Nicole Kidman will not get a Us theatrical release.
Critics mostly dubbed Grace Of Monaco a flop when it premiered on the Croisette and the tale will now get its first public showing on Lifetime on May 25.
The film was set for release in November 2013 and was subsequently pushed back to spring 2014.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Comedy Central produces enough misfires that the appeal of those shows that spark to life, a la “Broad City,” is perhaps magnified. So it is with “Big Time in Hollywood, Fl,” an infectiously energetic, wonderfully silly serialized comedy that feels like a mashup of the Three Stooges and Quentin Tarantino. Featuring several well-known actors in smallish roles (including producer Ben Stiller and Cuba Gooding Jr. as a hilarious version of himself), the 10-episode order isn’t exactly highbrow, but contains enough laugh-out-loud moments to indeed put co-creators Alex Anfanger and Dan Schimpf well on their way to the big time.
Anfanger (who had a role in Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”) and Lenny Jacobson (a “Nurse Jackie” alum) star as brothers Jack and Ben, who are living with, and off, their parents (Stephen Tobolowsky and Kathy Baker) in order to chase their filmmaking dreams, producing perfectly awful »
- Brian Lowry
Kill the Messenger, 2014.
Directed by Michael Cuesta.
Starring Jeremy Renner, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Paz Vega, Michael Sheen, Robert Patrick, Tim Blake Nelson, Ray Liotta, Michael K. Williams, Barry Pepper, Andy Garcia, Rosemarie DeWitt and Oliver Platt.
A reporter becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to the point of suicide after he exposes the CIA’s role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine into California. Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb.
There’s so much deep and fascinating detail to cover in Kill the Messenger, it’s a wonder the film didn’t get swallowed up by the multiple strands which lay between conspiracy thriller, journalistic cautionary tale and biopic. It’s a credit to director Michael Cuesta and lead star Jeremy Renner that their film ends up being one of the better ‘based on a true story’ films of the last year. »
- Gary Collinson
Director: Michael Cuesta; Screenwriter: Peter Landesman; Starring: Jeremy Renner, Robert Patrick, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Paz Vega, Michael Sheen, Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta, Rosemarie DeWitt; Running time: 112 mins; Certificate: 15
It only takes one small-town journalist to make a difference in Kill the Messenger, a true-life conspiracy thriller in the vein of All the President's Men, with The Hurt Locker and The Avengers' Jeremy Renner in buzzing electric form as the titular scribe. His defining moment is a 1996 series of articles uncovering the CIA's involvement in aiming to depose the Nicaraguan government, an effort funded by sales of crack cocaine – mainly in South Central, Los Angeles.
Apart from the dodgy foreign politics, issues of race and class are squarely in the frame as government spooks deem the lives of some of their own citizens expendable when weighed against the cost of arming the Nicaraguan Contra movement (who supply and distribute the coke in the Us, »
Being unabashedly trashy can be pretty entertaining, and Lifetime takes the plunge — a little too deeply in places — with “Beautiful & Twisted.” A ripped-from-the-headlines tale of sex and murder, this fact-based story about the comicbook-loving heir to a hotel fortune who married, and was murdered by, a stripper, is produced by and stars Rob Lowe. But it’s Paz Vega’s turn as a beyond-soap-opera femme fatale that should have people buzzing. Seemingly cognizant of its camp qualities, the movie finally can’t sustain its initial energy, and the violence proves needlessly graphic. Not that those shortcomings will detract from its ratings appeal.
Lowe plays Ben Novack Jr., who grew up surrounded by the opulence provided by his family’s ownership of Miami Beach’s Fountainebleau Hotel, and narrates his own sordid tale from beyond the grave. Like many a rich man (especially in Lifetime movies), he’s undone by an alluring woman — in this case, »
- Brian Lowry
This weekend, Kevin Costner stars as a grieving widower fighting for custody of his granddaughter opposite Octavia Spencer in "Black or White," Jon Favreau's crowd-favorite movie "Chef" is available to stream on Netflix, and the Seattle Seahawks battle the New England Patriots this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Et on NBC followed by the mid-season premiere of "The Blacklist," starring James Spader, directly after the big game.
Also in theaters this weekend: "Project Almanac" follows a group of teens who discover secret directions for a time machine and ill-advisedly construct one. In "The Loft," five married men share a penthouse to carry out their fantasies and affairs. But the dream soon becomes a nightmare after a woman is found dead in the loft. In "Amira & Sam," an army veteran's unlikely romance with an Iraqi immigrant is put to the test when she is faced with the prospect of deportation. »
- Jonny Black
Madrid – Spanish producer Antonio Saura (“The City of No Limits,” “Fados,” “Silence in the Snow”), also co-deputy chair of the European Film Academy, has been appointed executive director of Madrid-based world sales company Latido Films, a force not only in Spain but also Latin America and, increasingly, Eastern Europe.
Latido’s Berlin Fest slate will feature one of Saura’s latest productions, selected Wednesday for its Culinary Cinema section: “Sherry & The Mystery of Palo Cortado,” helmed by Jose Luis Lopez Linares, Spain’s foremost docu-feature filmmaker.
A delegate producer on Alex de la Iglesia’s milestone 1995 genre comedy “The Day of the Beast,” when he worked for Andres Vicente Gomez at Iberoamericana Films, Saura was also a founder of the Media Business School, one of the E.U.’s major audiovisual training initiatives. He replaces Silvia Iturbe, who guided Latido’s diversification into non-Latino films as production levels have plunged in Spain, »
- John Hopewell
9 items from 2015
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