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Park City, Utah -- "Z for Zachariah" director Craig Zobel instructed one of his three actors Chris Pine to try multiple scene takes, to be "mean, meaner, creepier." Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor had to "delicately" expose his character's insecurities through a mention of race. And, believe it, "Wolf of Wall Street" actress Margot Robbie had to get awfully awkward for her role. This is all to say: playing one of the last people on the planet to survive after an apocalyptic event is no walk in the park. Robbie's Ann thinks she's Earth's sole survivor until a scientist Loomis (Ejiofor) stumbles into her scene. The two characters deal with "the delicateness of having to engage with people, knowing... that these are the only people you'll have to deal with forever" until Pine's younger, whiter, Christian-mischievous Caleb comes on the scene. "I play the antagonist, [but] it was more interesting to play »
- Katie Hasty
Following the success of his galvanizingly uncomfortable 2012 film Compliance, director Craig Zobel teases his way into genre with subtle sci-fi in Z for Zachariah, based on the novel from Robert C. O’Brien, author of the text that provided the basis for the children’s classic The Secret of Nimh (1982). Zobel’s third film, his meditative take on an oft explored scenario is an intriguing change of pace, and along with screenwriter Nissar Modi, the film retains a low-key, vintage flavor that belies the origins of the source material. Racial identity and issues of science vs. faith break the peaceful lulls of three individuals warped into the death throes of a dying species, but despite the allegorical possibilities, Zobel prefers a slow burn of tenuous desire to simmer into a sometimes underwhelming broth. And yet, it’s exactly the type »
- Nicholas Bell
“What I enjoy about it is we have a laugh,” the actor said. “We want to make sure it’s embedded in there so having Simon write it is the perfect fit.”
- Luke Owen
After writer-director Roberto Orci backed away from directing Star Trek 3 last month, Paramount has decided to completely discard the script he co-wrote with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, although he is still on board as a producer. Last week, we reported that actor-writer Simon Pegg will not only return as Scotty in the sequel, but he will also co-write the screenplay with Doug Jung. While it isn't known when production may begin on the sequel, which was given a summer 2016 release date last month, MTV caught up with Chris Pine at Sundance, who revealed that he thinks Simon Pegg is the perfect choice to write the script.
"We're all really excited because I think what we enjoy about it is that we have a laugh and we want to make sure that that's still kind of embedded in there so to have Simon writing it is the perfect fit. »
Park City, Utah – There are too many films and not enough time between shuttle shuffles and line waiting to cover the festival day by day. So, in pure improvised festival-going fashion, I’ll now be posting reviews for material that I see, but necessarily in viewing order. Enjoy!
Image credit: Sundance Institute
A human being who looks better at his current age than I ever will in my entire life, Robert Redford has a sprightly screen presence that has carried him through thick and thin, even brutal storms that live-or-die on his charisma (Aka “All is Lost,” one of the best films of 2013). For his next adventure, Redford goes softer than a survival story, but nonetheless into an amusing jaunt with “A Walk in the Woods.”
Based on the nonfictional accounts by New Hampshire writer Bill Bryson, Redford embodies the author as an amusing smart-ass, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
The snow-covered streets of Park City, Utah, would hardly give a radioactive postapocalyptic landscape a run for its money. But when the stars of the hit Sundance film Z for Zachariah — Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine and Margot Robbie — show up to Off the Cuff's outdoor set to talk to Peter Travers about adapting the 1974 cult sci-fi novel, none of them can handle the cold. A toxic environment? No problem. A temperature below 30 degrees? It's time to move things inside.
Like the book, the film takes place in a ruined future »
Sundance Film Festival Day 2:What did Keanu Reeves, Gary Cole, Winston Rauch, Michael Shannon, Adam Scott, Jason Schwartzman, Jason Isaac, Eli Roth, Jonny Drubel, Ethan Hawk, Avan Jogia, Emile Hirsch, Bryan Buckley, Adam Scott, Nicholas Lopez, Lorenza Izza, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Isaacs, Jake Busey, Ana DeArmas, Nick Offerman, Kevin Bacon, Chris Pine do on day 2 of Sundance? They checked out cast of Ten Thousand Saints, Knock Knock and Dope all descended on Acura Studio to sign the hood of the new 2015 Acura Tlx.Acura will donate the proceeds from the highest bidder to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s Ride […] »
- April Neale
Craig Zobel is back at Sundance for a third time after 2007’s Great World Of Sound and 2012’s Compliance. This time he’s got a little film with three big stars: Z For Zachariah features Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine and Margot Robbie as the last known survivors of a global calamity. The pic was picked up ahead of the fest by Roadside Attractions, and Zobel tells me: “There’s a lot of anxiety when you bring a movie here. You hope that it’ll find both an audience and an audience with the distributors, and not having that pressure is really great.” We’ll have more DeadlineNow@Sundance2015 interviews throughout the festival, so stay tuned.
- Dominic Patten
Tarzan and Jane forever! Alexander Skarsgard and Margot Robbie have been hitting up the party scene at the Sundance Film Festival. The stars of the upcoming Tarzan movie got things started at the Sabra Hummus Kick-Off Party on Friday. Skarsgard, 38, met up with the actress, 24, who was "holding court with an entourage" that included Chris Pine and Chiwetel Ejiofor. "They came separately but left together in a big group," says a source. "Alex told the girl at the door he was coming to see his 'friend.' They asked who his friend was and he said Margot Robbie ... he came to see her. »
- Melody Chiu and Patrick Gomez
The ChefDance Media Lounge welcomed day two of the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, January 24, hosting top tier-casts at the Tim Hortons Café & Bake Shop and the Indiegogo Lounge, where live-streaming interviews were conducted with Sundance films including:• “A Walk In The Woods” starring Robert Redford• “Z For Zachariah” starring Chris Pine, Margot Robbie and Chiwetel Ejiofor • “The Overnight ” starring Adam Scott, Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godreche• “Knock Knock” starring Keanu Reeves, with director Eli Roth.• “Glassland” starring Toni Collette• “The Bronze” starring Gary Cole, Melissa Rauch, Winston Rauch, Bryan Buckley, Thomas Middleditch and Haley Lu• […] »
- April Neale
The other day we got the somewhat surprising news that Simon Pegg (Scotty) would be co-writing the third (well, technically the thirteenth) Star Trek movie with Doug Jung. MTV asked one of his co-stars in the previous films, Chris Pine, for his thoughts on that during an interview at the Sundance Film Festival, where the Into the Woods actor was joined by his Z For Zachariah castmates, Margot Robbie and Chiwetel Eljiofor. Pine seems happy that Pegg's involvement likely means a bit more humor, though he also jokes that he's worried about long "Scotty monologues". Get More: Movie Trailers, Celebrity News "What I enjoy about it is we have a laugh. We want to make sure it's embedded in there so having Simon write it is the perfect fit." »
Like their Star Trek characters, Kirk and Spock, it seems that Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto actually are going to be friends through the millennium and beyond. Quinto adorably came out to support Pine at the Sundance party for Z for Zachariah, in which Pine plays one of the last people left on Earth, along with Margot Robbie and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Not bad company. "He's one of my best friends. I'm a huge fan of his, I'd support him to the end of the earth," said Quinto, who is a fan of Zfz director Craig Zobel as well and loved the movie. "Star Trek guys stick together, but Chris and I definitely, we stick together for sure."Pine hadn't yet seen Quinto's movie at Sundance, I Am Michael, in which Quinto, James Franco, and Charlie Carver have a threesome, but he still couldn't help but gush about how impressed he »
- Jada Yuan
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, 2014.
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
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