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Jonathan Demme’s 2008 “Rachel Getting Married” was a critical success and even pulled in about $13 million at the box office. The film has an 85% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and nabbed an impressive 37 awards on the festival circuit. Anne Hathaway scored her first Oscar nom for her work as Kym, the titular Rachel’s troubled sister. And why shouldn’t the film and its stars have received so much acclaim? Look at the cast: in addition to Hathaway, Demme lined up Anna Deavere Smith, Rosemarie DeWitt, Bill Irwin, and even TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe as Rachel’s groom, Sidney. As it happened, that last piece of casting almost wasn’t to be. In a recent interview with Stereogum, Adebimpe reveals scheduling conflicts prevented Demme’s first choice from joining the project, and the prospective Sidney might surprise you. “Oh, and the other funny thing about it was later, »
- Zach Hollwedel
Despite the lottery-esque sounding odds, the U.S Dramatic Competition section which produces the finest American indie specimens such as Frozen River, Winter’s Bone, Blue Valentine, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station and Whiplash is fairly consistent in terms of quality. Last year’s crop of sixteen have almost all had their theatrical releases with Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter being the last one out of the gates (pegged with an early 2015 release). Last week we individually looked at our top 80 Sundance Film Fest Predictions (you’ll find 30 other titles worth considering in our intro) and below, we’ve split the list into narrative and non-fiction film items and have both identified and color-coded our picks in an AtoZ cheat sheet. You’ll find 2015′s answer to Whiplash located somewhere in the stack below. Click on the individual titles below, for the film’s profile. »
- Eric Lavallee
Guess who’s turning 10? Joe Swanberg has had a “fire” in his belly for, give or take a decade, and his latest in the interpersonal thread was shot in April and appears ripe for another double-billing in January-set Sundance and March SXSW fests. It may also be, his most sophisticated film to date. Moving from the Sundance featured, shot on 16mm Happy Christmas, Swanberg adds to his nucleus of players and reteams with cinematographer Ben Richardson for Digging for Fire. Shot on handsomely old-school 35mm, Swanberg has built himself an all-star team here with first line players Jake Johnson (who co-writes and produces) and Rosemarie DeWitt with a spoonful of supporting and minor bits from the likes of Sam Rockwell, Brie Larson, Anna Kendrick, Orlando Bloom, Jenny Slate, Mike Birbiglia, Chris Messina, Sam Elliott, Ron Livingston, Jane Adams and Tom Bower.
Gist: Co-written by Swanberg and Johnson, this is a »
- Eric Lavallee
Another treat for you on this Thursday morning, and this time a trailer for Jason Reitman’s new film Men, Women & Children, which stars Ansel Elgort (Divergent) and Kaitlyn Dever. Rosemarie DeWitt, Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, Dean Norris and Adam Sandler also co-star in this new film.
“Men, Women & Children” follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives. The film attempts to stare down social issues such as video game culture, anorexia, infidelity, fame hunting, and the proliferation of illicit material on the Internet. As each character and each relationship is tested, we are shown the variety of roads people choose – some tragic, some hopeful – as it becomes clear that no one is immune to this enormous social change that has come through our phones, »
- Paul Heath
The last time HBO turned a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel set in Maine into a miniseries, it was 2005's "Empire Falls," which boasted a star-studded cast but was exactly the wrong length at four hours: too short to properly tell all of the books' stories and give the audience the necessary feeling of living among these characters, and much too long for the thin slice the filmmakers were able to carve out of the book. HBO's new miniseries "Olive Kitteridge" (it debuts Sunday night at 9) is also adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel set in Maine, and also clocks in at four hours. And though I haven't read the Elizabeth Strout book on which it's based, it certainly feels like the same mistake has been made about its length. Directed by Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right") and written by HBO movie veteran Jane Anderson ("Normal," "The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom »
- Alan Sepinwall
Guests at Monday’s premiere of HBO’s “Olive Kitteridge” would be forgiven if they thought they turned right in Chelsea and found themselves in a Maine fishing village instead of the heart of Manhattan’s fashion district.
The mini-series follows a prickly math teacher, her long-suffering husband and her resentful son in a multi-generational story of love, regret and endurance set in an unassuming coastal community. In keeping with the setting, the party planners at HBO dressed the Altman Building with picnic tables and outfitted servers with flannel shirts. The crowd of A-listers munched on comfort food that included lobster rolls and chicken pot pies while sipping drinks out of mason jars. All that was missing was the smell of salt water and the sound of distant ocean buoys.
Frances McDormand, who plays the film’s title character, was front and center on screen at the Sva Theatre and in the festivities. »
- Brent Lang
TV Picks: HBO’s poignant ‘Olive Kitteridge’ comes to the smallscreen November 2nd and 3rd.Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins star in the four-part HBO Miniseries drama Olive Kitteridge, a film by director Lisa Cholodenko, based on Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name with a teleplay by Jane Anderson. The miniseries also stars Bill Murray, John Gallagher, Jr., Peter Mullan, Rosemarie DeWitt and Zoe Kazan.Olive Kitteridge tells the poignantly sweet, acerbically funny and devastatingly tragic story of a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy, told through the lens of Olive (Frances McDormand), whose […] »
- April Neale
Men, Women & Children follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways technology has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives. The film attempts to stare down social issues such as video game culture, anorexia, infidelity, fame hunting, and the proliferation of illicit material on the internet. As each character and each relationship is tested, we are shown the variety of roads people choose – some tragic, some hopeful – as it becomes clear that no one is immune to this enormous social change that has come through our phones, our tablets, and our computers.
From Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Jason Reitman, the film stars Rosemarie Dewitt (“Kill The Messenger”), Jennifer Garner (“Dallas Buyers Club), Judy Greer (“Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes), Dean Norris (“Breaking Bad”), Adam Sandler (“Grown Ups 1 and 2”) and Emma Thompson (“Saving Mr. Banks »
- Movie Geeks
The history of America’s “War on Drugs” has produced many stories. One of the lesser-known ones is that of the late Gary Webb, an investigative reporter for the San Jose Mercury News who wrote a series of articles about the CIA’s involvement in cocaine trafficking into the United States. The film Kill the Messenger tries to tell the story of Webb and the backlash he faced because of his writing. Unfortunately, despite some good performances, the film falls short of its lofty ambitions.
Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner), a journalist for the San Jose Mercury News, thinks he’s found the story of a lifetime when he discovers information that seems to expose the CIA’s role in arming the Contra rebels in Nicaragua and supporting their trafficking of cocaine into the United States. But after Webb’s expose is published, he becomes the target of a vicious smear »
- Timothy Monforton
So much for Men, Women And Children being a comeback for Jason Reitman. After a tepid reception at its world premiere in the Toronto International Film Festival, the drama that stars Jennifer Garner, Adam Sandler and Rosemarie DeWitt tanked hard at the box office this weekend. Box Office Mojo reports Men, Women And Children made just $320,000 this weekend. That's not a good figure for a limited release, much less the expanded nationwide release the drama saw last week. Men, Women And Children was playing in 608 theaters. Meaning a per theater average of $526. By contrast, Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman earned $415,000 as it debuted in limited release this weekend. And that title played in just four theaters, averaging $103,750 per screen. What does all this mean for Jason Reitman and Men, Women And Children? Nothing good. When its first trailer hit, the buzz for Men, Women And Children was good. And »
“It’s great to be back. This is so much more fun than directing movies, I can’t even begin to tell you.”
So quipped Jason Reitman at the start of the fourth season of Film Independent’s Live Read at Lacma series on Oct. 16. Tackling Alan Ball’s Oscar-winning screenplay for “American Beauty,” the director recruited a clutch of actors from his most recent film, “Men, Women and Children.”
Adam Sandler took on Kevin Spacey’s signature role of Lester Burnham, with Rosemarie DeWitt once again playing his wife in the part originated by Annette Bening. Olivia Crocicchia read for Mena Suvari’s teenage sexpot; Travis Tope limned pot-dealer/videographer/amateur-philosopher Ricky Fitts; and Kaitlyn Dever, Dean Norris and Phil Lamarr rounded out the cast.
It would be easy to read the casting as a sort of crypto marketing stunt — as Reitman noted in an aside, “go see the film, »
- Andrew Barker
Now playing in theaters is director Jason Reitman’s (Up in the Air) latest feature, Men, Women & Children. Starring Ansel Elgort, Dean Norris, Adam Sandler, Rosemarie DeWitt, Judy Greer, J.K. Simmons, Elena Kampouris, Timothée Chalamet, Olivia Crocicchia, Dennis Haysbert, and the voice of Emma Thompson, the drama follows the loosely connected stories of a group of teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate life in the digital age. Loaded with great performances and a smart script, Men, Women & Children is able to tap into the zeitgeist of our tech-obsessed culture yet it doesn’t feel pedantic or forced. It was definitely one of my favorite films at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. For more on Men, Women & Children, read Matt’s review, watch some clips or the trailer, or click here for all our previous coverage. Recently I landed an exclusive phone interview with Dean Norris. »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
.Kill the Messenger. arrives in theaters near you but is this film worthy of Jeremy Renner.s performance? Here.s what I can tell you. The movie is scary! Why? Because it happened in real life! Take a look at my review!
Official .Kill the Messenger. Synopsis
Two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner ("The Bourne Legacy") leads an all-star cast in a dramatic thriller based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb stumbles onto a story which leads to the shady origins of the men who started the crack epidemic on the nation's streets...and further alleges that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua. Despite warnings from drug kingpins and CIA operatives to stop his investigation, Webb keeps digging to uncover a conspiracy with explosive implications. »
A better title for Men, Women & Children might be The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Internet. Another might be The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Movie.
I had hoped Jason Reitman's latest film would be up to the lofty standards of his best work, Juno and Up in the Air. But what could have been an insightful look at how the Internet has shaped our lives is instead a slight, heavy-handed and melodramatic cautionary tale about the dangers (at least from the film's point of view) that lurk online.
Shot in Austin, Men, Women & Children follows a group of teens and adults whose online activities land them in a heap of trouble. Among them are a mostly happy couple, Helen (Rosemarie DeWitt) and Don Truby (Adam Sandler), who let their sexual boredom get the better of them; Helen finds extramarital action thanks to hookup site Ashley Madison, »
- Don Clinchy
If you were hoping for a gritty, bloody, violent remake of 1982’s haunted house story Poltergeist, you are in for some disappointment: the MPAA has just given it a PG-13 rating. This cannot be much of a surprise: the original film was even the subject of a ratings controversy when it was originally slapped with an R. Producer Steven Spielberg managed to argue it down to a PG, but I think we can all agree that the film is a bit scarier than that.
The new Poltergeist appears to be following in its predecessor’s wake without quite being a straight remake, though. Jared Harris plays the host of a TV cable show called “Haunted House Cleaners,” bringing him into contact with a family living in a haunted house (played in part by Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt). The film, directed by Gil Keenan and produced by Sam Raimi, is »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
The original film was rated PG, and it was absolutely terrifying. What's funny is that this PG-13 remake probably won't be as scary as the original movie. The remake was directed by Gil Keenan, who has directed films such as the CG animated family horror film Monster House and City of Ember.
Jared Harris stars in the film as a character named Carrigan, described as "a larger than life TV personality who left the world of academia behind to become the star host of basic cable TV show 'Haunted House Cleaners.'" The movie also stars Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Saxon Sharbino, and Jane Adams as a family whose suburban home is invaded by a poltergeist. The attacks of the terrifying spirit escalate, and the youngest daughter is taken by them. »
- Joey Paur
Chicago – When journalists were heroes and exposed those in power for their sins, movies were made like “All the President’s Men.” Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News was one of those journalist heroes during the 1990s, but he wasn’t celebrated in his time. The indictments, induced paranoia and outright lies against him are distinctly chronicled in the luminary “Kill the Messenger.”
Jeremy Renner gives a riveting performance as Webb, who broke the story that the CIA partnered with drug lords to flood poor, minority neighborhoods in Los Angeles with crack cocaine, in order to fund the anti-communist Contras in Nicaragua (Central America). This Ronald Reagan administration effort was essentially true, as reported by Webb, but the corporate powers that had changed and controlled their media holdings since Watergate wanted the story to go away – and therefore wanted Webb to be brought down. Filled with head-smacking revelations, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
By the end of its theatrical run, Jason Reitman's Internet drama "Men, Women & Children" will likely amount to the director's least financially successful picture. No, not every film can click with the zeitgeist like "Juno" and haul in $143.5 million. But when Reitman's Kate Winslet-Josh Brolin drama "Labor Day" tapped out at $13.4 million this past winter, analysts considered it a disappointment. This weekend's specialty box office reports pin "Men, Women & Children" just under $128,500 after its second weekend — something beyond mere disappointment for Reitman and Paramount Pictures. The silver lining: With "Men, Women & Children," Reitman found actors that ignite him and perhaps vice versa. The door for future collaborations appears to remain open, with the first already in motion. As part of his on-going live-read series with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Reitman is set to direct a staged reading of Alan Ball's Academy Award-winning script "American Beauty. »
- Matt Patches
Entertainment Weekly reports that Jason Reitman will kick off his annual L.A. Live-Read series with a performance of American Beauty — which he did once before in 2012, starring Bryan Cranston — performed by the cast of his recent film Men, Women & Children. The reading will take place October 16 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and features Adam Sandler as Lester Burnham, in the role that won Kevin Spacey an Oscar, and Rosemarie DeWitt as his wife Carolyn, originally played by Annette Bening. Reitman also revealed some of the other live readings he plans to perform this year, including The Empire Strikes Back in December, Goodfellas in January, and Dazed and Confused in March. All starring Adam Sandler, we hope. »
- Anna Silman
Jason Reitman’s live read series is about to launch with the cast of his recent drama and a ’90s Oscar winner.
Reitman, who hosts a live read series every year in which actors perform classic scripts, has set his “Men, Women & Children” cast to perform the “American Beauty” screenplay for one night only. The performance will take place Oct. 16 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Adam Sandler will play Lester Burham, which nabbed Kevin Spacey an Oscar, and Rosemarie DeWitt will play Carolyn, originally portrayed by Annette Bening. Kaitlyn Dever has been cast as the couple’s daughter Jane (played in the film by Thora Birch), Olivia Crocicchia will play Jane’s friend Angela (played in the film by Mena Suvari) and Travis Tope will take Wes Bentley’s role as Ricky.
“I had a such a great experience working with the cast that I was looking »
- Alex Stedman
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