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Craig Zobel’s previous two features made serious waves at Sundance – The Great World of Sound was a hit at the 2007 festival, and 2012’s Compliance set off something of a controversy. Understandably, his third film, a dystopian drama powered by a trio of movie stars (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine, and Wolf of Wall Street’s Margot Robie) was much anticipated here; even some veteran press lined up two-and-a-half hours early to get into Z for Zachariah. The new film, however, is nothing like Zobel’s last two; it has none of the rambling generosity of Great World of Sound or the edgy topicality of Compliance.Based on Robert C. O’Brien’s novel, the film takes place in a magnificent valley where the devastated schools, stores, and houses strike a sharp contrast with the sun-dappled fields, the shining lakes and rich forests. Anne (Margot Robie), the sole human inhabitant, ekes »
- Bilge Ebiri
Three years after his provocative and polarizing "Compliance," Craig Zobel is back at Sundance with another dark look into the recesses of humanity. "Z for Zachariah" is a highly-anticipated Sundance premiere not only by dint of its cast — it stars "Wolf of Wall Street" breakout Margot Robbie, "12 Years a Slave" star Chiwetel Ejiofor and "Star Trek" hunk Chris Pine — but also because of its ambitious premise. Zobel demonstrated a mastery of subtle thriller undertones with "Compliance" and we're hoping this strong tone will carry over into "Z for Zachariah." What's your film about?"Z For Zachariah" takes place after a nuclear event has devastated the country. Ann Burden lives alone in a small valley in the Appalachians that somehow has escaped destruction (via weather patterns in some strange micro-climate). One day, John Loomis, a wandering scientist out in the wasteland, stumbles into »
- Emily Buder
With Z for Zachariah, Craig Zobel (Compliance) turns Robert C. O’Brien’s 1973 novel into "a love triangle that lacks a right angle," as David Ehrlich puts it in Little White Lies. Most critics agree that, despite strong performances from Margot Robbie, "confirming the promise of her scene-stealing performance in The Wolf of Wall Street," Chiwetel Ejiofor, "brilliant as ever," and Chris Pine, "This is," as Mike D'Angelo writes at the Dissolve, "just about the least interesting way to explore the end of the world, which is presumably why O’Brien eschewed it." We're collecting more reviews, a video interview with Zobel and a clip. » - David Hudson »
Into the Woods, 2015.
Directed by Rob Marshall.
This adaptation of the popular fairytale-blending stage play finds a baker and his wife on the receiving end of an ultimatum from an evil witch: they must find and collect four specific items in the woods by the next two midnights if they ever want to conceive a child…
Into the Woods should have been a tonic. It should have been a blast of wild escapism in a month filled with deep, austere, thinking pictures like Foxcatcher and American Sniper. While they’re busy being serious and vying for awards, Into the Woods should have been busy injecting adrenalin into subdued audiences. But it wasn’t: why? They key factor in pinpointing the film’s failure is understanding that it »
- Edward Gardiner
Park City - Until this week, I didn't even know there was a book called "Z For Zachariah," much less that it was by the same author as the wonderful "Mrs. Frisby and The Rats Of Nimh." When we posted a clip from the new film adaptation of Robert C. O'Brien's book, it immediately became clear from your reactions here and in e-mail that the book has passionate fans, and that many of them were upset by what seemed to be a whole new character invented for the film. I couldn't respond because I don't know the book at all, and to be honest, what matters to me is whether the film works on its own. You don't need to know a book to know whether or not a film plays, and in the case of "Z For Zachariah," the film most definitely plays. Craig Zobel, whose previous films »
- Drew McWeeny
Save for a pesky snake problem, the Garden of Eden had a lot going for it, including lush greenery, a farm-to-table diet and a perfect male-female ratio. The post-apocalyptic Eden at the center of Craig Zobel’s “Z for Zachariah” offers many of the same amenities, only here there are two Adams vying for the attention of one Eve, with predictably fraught consequences. It’s a scenario with obvious appeal for Zobel, whose love-it-or-hate-it 2012 “Compliance” subjected a gaggle of characters to a psychological crucible modeled on Stanley Milgram’s controversial obedience experiments. This time, the stakes are even higher — the repopulation of the planet — but the dramatic tension considerably less, in a movie that feels stranded somewhere between serious artistic ambition and the dystopian franchise-building of “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent,” et al.
Like those movies, “Z For Zachariah” also sports a literary pedigree: a posthumously published 1974 novel by Newbery-winning Ya author Robert C. »
- Scott Foundas
I am at my second Sundance Film Festival. These are my reviews.
Sundance Film Festival 2015 Reviews
Director: Craig Zobel
Screenwriter: Nissar Modi
Principal Cast: Margot Robbie,
U.S.A., 2014, 95 min., color
Plot (courtesy of Sundance): In a post-apocalyptic world, a young woman who believes she is the last human on Earth meets a dying scientist searching for survivors. Their relationship becomes tenuous when
another survivor appears. As the two men compete for the woman’s affection, their primal urges begin to reveal their true nature.
Review: Sometimes you crave a movie to give you more information. You’re desperate for backstory and details. That’s definitely not the case in the very addictive Z for Zachariah. Ann (Robbie) is surviving in a post-apocalyptic radioactive world, hanging out on a farm, and a long comes Loomis (Ejiofor). They’re different (race and religion »
- Jeff Bayer
For a few days every year, Park City, Utah, becomes the hottest ticket in Hollywood when the Sundance Film Festival comes to town. This year, stars like Nicole Kidman, Hailee Steinfeld, and Jason Sudeikis were among the thousands who trekked to the tiny town outside of Salt Lake City to promote their new films and enjoy some of the best parties of the year - and People was there to catch all the fun moments. Friday, Jan. 231:56 a.m., Tao Nightclub at Sundance: After Danny Masterson (aka DJ MomJeans) finished his set at the Skullcandy Sundance Kickoff party, he »
- Patrick Gomez, @PatrickGomezLA
Plot: In an irradiated future, a lone survivor (Margot Robbie) finds herself torn between two surviving males, an intellectual (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who appeals to her emotionally, and a more rough-edged former miner (Chris Pine) who she's drawn to physically. Review: Z For Zachariah may have the trappings of a genre film, but at its core it is a straight morality tale not all that different from director Craig Zobel's last film, Compliance. Sure, the stage is different, but the premise »
- Chris Bumbray
With its premiere set for this weekend at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the first clip of post-apolcalyptic tale Z for Zachariah has emerged online thanks to HitFix, and you can check it out below…
Starring Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) and Chris Pine (Star Trek), Z for Zachariah tell the story of a young woman (Robbie) who believes she is the last survivor of an apocalypse, until she meets two males survivors (Ejiofor and Pine) who both have desires for her.
- Scott J. Davis
As Craig Zobel’s adaptation, Z For Zachariah, gears up for its debut this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival, a peek at the first footage from the movie has landed in the above clip. Courtesy of Hitfix (via Live For Films), the brief segment offers a look at the leading trio – Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine – having a laugh in a post-apocalyptic America.
Zobel, who previously helmed the eerie Compliance, adapted the movie from the 1974 novel by Robert C. O’Brien. Set “in the wake of a disaster that wipes out most of civilization,” Robbie plays Ann Burden, a young woman who has spent a year following that disaster alone in a valley untouched by its devastation. After a lone scientist kitted out in a radiation suit stumbles upon her homestead, she is forced to deal with his arrival… until a second man turns up and further complicates matters. »
- Gem Seddon
Warner Bros. is in negotiations to acquire the Marisa Lankester memoir Dangerous Odds, a package which has Margot Robbie attached to star as the author. The book chronicles Marisa Lankester's role in creating the first offshore sports gambling empire, which had connections to the mob. Marisa Lankester helped move the industry from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and eventually to the Dominican Republic, where gambling is legal.
While in the Dominican Republic, she became a victim of a violent and corrupt government. She was repeatedly raped by the general of the country's secret police and imprisoned in what she described as a "medieval hellhole." She eventually escaped the country and fled to Switzerland. Film 360 has been holding an auction for the project at Sundance since Wednesday, with multiple buyers indicating that Warner Bros. had landed the rights.
Here's your first look at footage of Chiwetel Ejiofor, along with Chris Pine and, an actress who seems to be Hollywood's new *it* girl, Margot Robbie, in Material Pictures' and Zik Zak Filmworks' "Z For Zachariah" - a psychological thriller about a girl, Ann (played by Robbie) who believes she is the only survivor after a devastating nuclear event, but comes to learn she is not alone - a scientist, Mr Loomis (played by Ejiofor) finds her farm, and the two develop a relationship. Making its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this week, and based on novel of the same name, here's a longer breakdown of the story, courtesy »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Obviously one of our most anticipated films of 2015 is Craig Zobel's adaptation of Z For Zacharia, the post-apocalyptic novel by Robert C. O'Brien. The film is set to star a great cast in Chris Pine, Margot Robbie and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
The film is set to premier at Sundance 2015 and we're looking forward to early word.
The first clip from the film has premiered online. It's shows a series of a few tender moments in the course of a night, but I think we know these apocalyptic threesome's don't always work out for the best.
In the wake of a disaster that wipes out most of civilization, two men and a young woman find themselves in an emotionally charged love triangle as the last known survivors.
Here's the clip, which comes courtesy of [Continued ...] »
Andrea Berloff will adapt Marisa Lankester’s memoir about her role in an offshore gambling empire
Warner Bros. is in exclusive negotiations to acquire “Dangerous Odds,” a red-hot package featuring Margot Robbie as Marisa Lankester, a beautiful insider within the world of illegal sports betting, multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap at Sundance.
Warner Bros. and CAA did not immediately respond to late-night requests for comment.
Andrea Berloff (“World Trade Center”) will adapt Lankester’s memoir of the same name that chronicles her role in the creation of the first offshore gambling empire, which had ties to the mob. »
- Jeff Sneider
Sources tell Variety that talks are very early, but the studio is high on the “12 Years a Slave” actor for a role in the film.
Cumberbatch will play the title role, with Scott Derrickson directing.
Role for Ejiofor and plot details of the film are unknown at this time.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.
- Justin Kroll
One of the movies that has a ton of heat already focused on it even before the Sundance Film Festival begins is "Z For Zachariah." Chris Pine, a brunette Margot Robbie, and Chiwetel Ejiofor co-star in this story that takes place "in the wake of a disaster that wipes out most of civilization," according to the official synopsis. "Two men and a young woman find themselves in an emotionally-charged love triangle as the last known survivors." Craig Zobel's last film that played here, "Compliance," was a cold-blooded and intensely well-made look at a true story that still gives me chills when I think about it. I am a huge fan of his first feature film, "Great World Of Sound," as well, and I am excited to see anything Zobel makes. Today, we've got an exclusive debut for you of the first clip from the film. In it, we see »
- Drew McWeeny
Scott Davis on films to look out for at Sundance 2015…
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when many of Hollywood’s big hitters gather together to be awarded a variety of different prices on the Awards circuit, culminating with the 87th Academy Awards on February 22nd. But on Thursday weekend in west USA (namely Utah) the Sundance Film Festival kicks off again, and many of the world’s best independent films will get their debuts to the public, and the press, over the next few weeks.
Staff Writer Scott Davis takes a look at some of the films making their debuts, and digs deep to find the next gems that could be coming out way in 2015.
When an aging travel writer sets out to hike the 2,100-mile-long Appalachian Trail with a long-estranged high school buddy, the duo learn that some roads are better left untraveled. »
- Scott J. Davis
Festival resurges as launch pad for awards contenders while sales agents are prepared for healthy market
Those up in arms over Hollywood’s limited roles for women and minorities should be excited for the diversity of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday with no shortage of films that address the broad range of human experience, while renewing the festival as a key launch platform for awards season hopefuls.
- Jeff Sneider
Watching movies at the Sundance Film Festival is just part of the fun. Here’s where celebs from Nicole Kidman to Chris Pine will be spending their off-hours in Park City, Utah starting Jan. 22. The Hot Parties The Village at the Lift will once again host several celeb-packed lounges and pop-up parties. Stars can visit the McDonald’s McCafe Lounge, Stella Artois Lounge, the WireImage/Getty Studio, and the IMDb & Amazon Instant Video Studio with drinks provided by Dark Horse Wine. Last year’s attendees included Kate Hudson and Selena [...] »
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