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Portrait of Jenny: Heigl’s Performance Buoys Social Issue Context
There are several aspects to admire in Mary Agnes Donoghue’s sophomore directorial effort, Jenny’s Wedding, her first foray into directing since the 1991 Melanie Griffith film, Paradise. It’s most improbable facets are actually its assets, namely a warm central performance from Katherine Heigl as a lesbian who comes out to her wanly conservative nuclear family by announcing her marriage. A film such as this one could’ve had the opportunity to make an indelible mark on the American indie landscape had it been released seven to ten years prior, when the United States was coming out from underneath the shadows of the Bush Regime and the Lgbt community was in dire need of positive cinematic depictions meant to inspire hope in the eventuality of equality from the likes of trending, A-list actors at their peak.
Though this filmed »
- Nicholas Bell
Now we've passed the halfway point of the year and summer blockbuster season is beginning to wind down, what better time to deliver our half-term report on 2015 so far?
From Oscar contenders like Selma and Foxcatcher to blockbusters Mad Max: Fury Road and Jurassic World, it's been a strong year for cinema. Read on to find out our rankings then comment below with your favourites...
15. Fast & Furious 7
The Fast & Furious saga's latest instalment carried with it all the insane action sequences and stunts we've come to expect, but few could have predicted just how emotionally affecting the film turned out to be.
The death of Paul Walker in November 2013 meant that production had to be called off while the filmmakers figured out how to complete the movie without him, and they gave him (and character Brian O'Connor) the perfect send off. Sometimes life presents a fork in the road »
Directed by Sean Baker
Director Sean Baker (Starlet, Prince of Broadway, Take Out) was reportedly inspired to make Tangerine, after observing the customers of a donut shop in Hollywood’s red-light district. Tangerine’s stars are a pair of first-time actresses, Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor. They play two trans sex workers – Sin-Dee, who’s just been released from a 28-day stint in prison for drug possession – and her best friend Alexandra who prepares for a gig singing at a local nightclub. The film follows the duo over the course of a day – opening on a donut shop which serves as one of the key locations the two transitioning male-to-female call girls hang out. It’s the morning of Christmas Eve at the sketchy intersection of Santa Monica and Highland in Los Angeles and Alexandra and Sin-Dee are sharing a red-and-green sprinkled donut. »
Principal photography for the film, directed by Simon Aboud, starts this week in London.
Ambi Pictures’ Monica Bacardi and Andrea Iervolino and Christine Alderson of Ipso Facto Productions have greenlit This Beautiful Fantastic, Simon Aboud’s contemporary fairtytale set in the heart of London.
Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) has been announced in the lead role. Other members of the cast include Tom Wilkinson (In The Bedroom), Andrew Scott (Pride), Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) and Anna Chancellor (What A Girl Wants).
Findlay plays Bella, a young woman with dreams of writing and illustrating children’s books, who forms an unlikely friendship with a reclusive widower and horticulturalist (Wilkinson).
The film’s funding comes from Medinah, the UK tax credit, Head Gear, Lip Sync Post, The Project Post, and private investment. Ambi Distribution will handle global sales. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Madison Antus)
Simon Aboud, who last brought us 2012’s Comes A Bright Day, is kicking off production on his next film, This Beautiful Fantastic. And he’s rounded up another impressive cast, led by Jessica Brown Findlay and Tom Wilkinson.They’re at the head of an ensemble that also features Andrew Scott, Jeremy Irvine, Anna Chancellor and Sheila Hancock in the story of Bella Brown (Findlay), a young woman who dreams of writing and illustrating children’s books. But she’s dealing with various issues, including her abandonment as a child, her Ocd and her dictatorial boss at the library. Things start to change when her landlord orders her to deal with her neglected garden, which doesn’t exactly gel with a paralyzing fear of flora and fauna. But it brings her into contact with the cantankerous, loveless, rich old Alfie Stephenson (Wilkinson), who lives next door and just so happens »
Brought to the screen by the combination of a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and no small amount of old-school indie-film pluck, writer and director Mary Agnes Donoghue’s “Jenny’s Wedding” is a warm, agreeable coming-out romance buoyed by strong performances from its actors even as it explores fairly shallow waters. Katherine Heigl stars as the titular Jenny, devoted daughter of her fireman dad Eddie (Tom Wilkinson, fine as ever in a lower gear) and mom Rose (familiar if unheralded actress Linda Emond). Jenny, her siblings (including Anne, played by Grace Gummer) and her parents have a happy, messy life together, »
- James Rocchi
London — “Downton Abbey” actress Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Wilkinson, who was Oscar nominated for “In the Bedroom” and “Michael Clayton,” and Andrew Scott (“Sherlock,” “Pride,” “Spectre”) have joined the cast of Simon Aboud’s “This Beautiful Fantastic,” which starts to shoot this week in London.
Others in the cast include Jeremy Irvine (“War Horse,” “Now is Good,” “The Railway Man”), Anna Chancellor (“What a Girl Wants,” “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”) and Sheila Hancock (“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” “3 Men and a Little Lady”).
“This Beautiful Fantastic” is a contemporary fairy-tale revolving around the most unlikely of friendships between a reclusive young woman with dreams of being a children’s book author and a cantankerous widower, set against the backdrop of a beautiful »
- Leo Barraclough
Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), Tom Wilkinson (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Andrew Scott (Spectre), Jeremy Irvine (War Horse), Anna Chancellor (What A Girls Wants) and Sheila Hancock (The Boy In The Striped Pajamas) have boarded Simon Aboud’s The Beautiful Fantastic. Ambi Group principals Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi are teaming with Christine Alderson and her Ipso Facto production banner to finance and produce. This Beautiful Fantastic is a contemporary… »
Jessica Brown Findlay ("Downton Abbey"), Tom Wilkinson ("Michael Clayton") and Andrew Scott ("Sherlock") have joined the cast of Simon Aboud's "This Beautiful Fantastic". Filming begins this week in London.
The contemporary fairy tale revolves around the most unlikely of friendships between a reclusive young woman with dreams of being a children's book author and a cantankerous widower.
Source: Variety »
- Garth Franklin
Solid performances and decent intentions are all on the guest list for “Jenny’s Wedding,” a sweetly played yet overly on-the-nose dramedy about a lesbian who finally comes out to her sheltered Cleveland family after deciding to marry her longtime partner. Katherine Heigl brings both ferocity and vulnerability to the role of a favored child discovering the courage to be herself in front of her parents and siblings, but while the fine cast teases out glimmers of nuance here and there, Mary Agnes Donoghue’s film plays like a series of hand-holding growth exercises for closed-minded conservatives, and relies too heavily on its tying-the-knot finale for both dramatic momentum and emotional closure. A name-y cast and fortuitously topical timing will ensure some audience exposure for this July 31 IFC release.
Keeping your characters in the dark for too long while tipping off the audience too early can be a risky strategy, »
- Justin Chang
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage was very much front and center at Friday night’s premiere of “Jenny’s Wedding” at the Directors Guild of America as part of Outfest.
“I get very emotional and I cried,” recalled Katherine Heigl on the red carpet. “I was very grateful — grateful that our country has seen the light and is encouraging others to do the same.”
Heigl portrays the titular Jenny in the film, playing a buttoned-down Cleveland social worker who is openly gay — except with her family — and decides to marry her roommate, played by Alexis Bledel. IFC is releasing the movie on July 31.
“I loved making out with Alexis,” Heigl said.
The film, shot two years ago, was selected for Outfest several weeks prior to the Supreme Court ruling.
“Doing this at Outfest feels like the right time and the right place,” Heigl noted. “I »
- Dave McNary
Daniel Trunkman (Vaughn), a hard-working but disillusioned salesman, decides to set up on his own and take on the big man – or more specifically his cut-throat former boss Chuck (Miller). Accompanied by two unlikely associates; Timothy McWinters (Wilkinson) and Mike Pancake (Franco), he travels to Europe to close the most important deal of his life. But what begins as a routine business trip goes off the rails in every imaginable – and unimaginable – way, including unplanned stops at a massive sex fetish event and a global economic summit.
Ken Scott, director of Starbuck and its Us remake Delivery Man, seems to have cornered the market in broad comedies with emotional heart. Delivery Man could have been just another gross out comedy about »
- Phil Wheat
Director: Ken Scott
Special Features: Show Me Your Business / Gallery/ Theatrical Trailer
Unfinished Business is sold as one of those ‘unimaginable outcomes’ movies but, disappointingly, everything about it is obvious and been done before and with a whole host more of natural laughs. The film does have a good heart beneath the bravado because it really does aim for the right targets with themes of family and finding yourself, but despite a decent cast, there’s not much here to embrace.
Initially set around the moment salesman Dan Trunkman (Vince Vaughn) is fired by his boss Chuck, played by Sienna Miller trying her best Rose Byrne but not hitting the mark, he decides to set up a business of his own Jerry Maguire-style and aim for a first big deal to get the company off the ground. »
- Dan Bullock
Hilary Swank has turned down a number of acting roles in order to take care of her father.
Swank's father Stephen recently underwent a lung transplant and has moved in with the actress.
Swank told The Huffington Post that she wants to be there for her father in his time of need.
"I'm his sole caretaker right now," Swank said. "It's a certain amount of time, but in a lifespan it's a blink of an eye. There's been job opportunities I've passed on, and things that I said 'I can't', but really what we're here for is our family.
"There is nothing I want to do more other than being with my dad in this time of need. And if it wasn't me taking care of him, I think I would always look back and regret that opportunity to be able to care of him and help him through this extraordinary time. »
The Supreme Court just legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, and that's good news for the protagonists of "Jenny's Wedding," in which Katherine Heigl's titular character wants to marry her roommate -- and secret girlfriend -- Kitty (Alexis Bledel).
Unfortunately for audiences, though, this is one celebration that doesn't seem worth attending, thanks in large part to Jenny's awful family. They harp on her because she's unmarried (her mother, played by Linda Emond, actually utters the phrase "the clock is ticking" because Jenny doesn't have a family yet), and when she says she's in a relationship, they immediately ask when the wedding is. Um, how about we slow our roll, family?
But no, they insist, pressuring Jenny into eventually spilling the beans that Kitty is more than just a roommate, and come to think of it, they do want to get married. Cue horrible homophobia from everyone around Jenny, who »
- Katie Roberts
The comedy - which was partially funded by an Indiegogo campaign - tells the emotional story of a young woman named Jenny (Heigl) coming out to her parents.
Katherine Heigl on being a late bloomer: "I fasted for big boobs"
The cast of Gilmore Girls reunite at the Atx Television Festiva
The straight-laced family have difficulty accepting their daughter's love for another woman, and a rift grows when Jenny announces plans to marry.
A new trailer for the family drama was released less than a week after a historic Us Supreme Court ruling upheld the legality of same-sex marriage.
This gripping portrayal of a same-sex couple was written and directed by Mary Agnes Donoghue, »
In the first trailer for the movie, Heigl’s character’s mom and dad are caught off-guard when she announces she’s engaged to the woman they thought was just her roommate, played by Alexis Bledel.
The gay-marriage dramedy hits theaters on July 31 and arrives on VOD August 1.
- Maane Khatchatourian
StudioCanal have released the first photos from the black comedy "Kill Your Friends" based on John Niven's 1990s UK music industry-set novel. Nicholas Hoult stars in the film as a 27 year-old hotshot turns to murder to get ahead of his peers. The film opens in the UK on November 6th. [Source: Empire]
San Diego Comic Con
Comic-Con organizers have reached a deal to remain in San Diego through 2018 with the announcement due later this morning. With an average over 130,000 attendees in recent years, the event, has outgrown itself with much of the negotiations dealing with guarantees from dozens of local hotels to keep their costs down. [Source: Variety]
Marvel One Shots
Marvel seems to have given up on filming further "Marvel One-Shot" short films for now, though they have a number of different ideas for ones in the future. Marvel's Kevin Feige tells Collider he doesn't know when further ones »
- Garth Franklin
Last week, #lovewins was the hashtag heard around the world when the Supreme Court ruled gay marriage was a Constitutional right. And the timing couldn't be better for "Jenny's Wedding," which takes on the topic head on and a new trailer has landed for the film. Written and directed by Mary Agnes Donoghue (who also penned "Beaches," "White Oleander," and "Veronica Guerin"), and starring Katherine Heigl, Alexis Bledel, Tom Wilkinson, Linda Emond, and Grace Gummer, the story follows Jenny, who comes out of the closet to her family and announces that she will be marrying her partner Kitty, and must deal with consequences of disappointment and surprises that follow. The dramedy doesn't feel particularly groundbreaking in a narrative sense, but the emotions ring true, and the cast looks pretty solid all around. A simple story, well told and with a bit of heart looks to be goal and "Jenny's Wedding" aims to hit it. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
For a movie about a guy (in)famous for leaking classified information, "Snowden" is playing its own cards close to the vest. For now. Oliver Stone, who lives for this kind of story, directed the political bio thriller with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as former CIA employee Edward Snowden. The movie comes out on Christmas, which means it's a capital "B" Big Deal. Also a big deal: the rest of the A-list cast, which includes Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Rhys Ifans, Joely Richardson and even -- a bit randomly -- Nicolas Cage.
The first teaser trailer doesn't focus on the cast. It doesn't show them at all. It only lists their names at the end, after a series of facts are shown about the real Edward Snowden (who is also not shown at all). Here's what we see, amid close-up shots of an American flag, as pensive »
- Gina Carbone
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