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Laggies tells the story of a 28 year old woman stuck in perpetual adulthood, who lies to her boyfriend when he proposes marriage to her. Instead of going on a retreat as she tells him, she spends the week hanging out with a group of teenage friends.
Originally, Shelton had intended to cast actress Rebecca Hall (The Town, Iron Man 3) in the lead role, but Hall exited the project to star in Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence opposite Johnny Depp. It was at that point that Shelton cast Anne Hathaway, fresh off the heels of her Oscar win for Les Miserables. Unfortunately for Shelton, it looks like Hathaway has bowed out to star in Christopher Nolan »
- Damen Norton
Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) and MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer) continue working together despite their history and tense romantic future? In the promo below, Mac reminds Will: “For just a minute, you forgot that you were mad at me.”
We also get a look at Marcia Gay Harden’s character, a key element in the new season-long arc, which includes a deposition about a wrongful termination suit. And Neal (Dev Patel), who was so brash as to be a proponent of blogs last season, this time around latches on to another story his bosses are reluctant to go along with — the Occupy Movement. »
- Amanda Taylor
After picking up a Grand Jury Prize nomination at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in January, Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely is set for a September 6 release in theaters and on VOD, a rep for the film confirms exclusively to EW. Written and directed by Lynn Shelton (Your Sister’s Sister), the dramedy tells the intertwining stories of two siblings: A massage therapist (Rosemarie DeWitt) who becomes averse to touching bodies, and a dentist (Josh Pais) who discovers that he may have the ability to mysteriously heal patients with his touch. “Abby, the massage therapist, is free spirited and in touch with feelings. »
- Adam Markovitz
It's exciting at the moment to see some of the names who broke out of the independent scene in the middle of last decade -- the filmmakers often lazily grouped under "mumblecore," people like Mark and Jay Duplass, Joe Swanberg, Ry Russo-Young, et al. -- getting to play on bigger canvases with big name actors and more robust budgets than when they were starting out. And it's particularly exciting when it comes to Lynn Shelton. The filmmaker has been a promising talent ever since her 2006 debut "We Go Way Back," and over three other subsequent features -- "My Effortless Brilliance," "Humpday" and "Your Sister's Sister" -- has won more and more fans, and wider and wider audiences. Her latest, "Touchy Feely," is the most star-studded to date, toplining Rosemarie DeWitt, Josh Pais, Ellen Page, Scoot McNairy, Allison Janney and Ron Livingston, and in many ways feels like a continuation of her earlier work, »
- Oliver Lyttelton
Six-time Oscar nominee Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs), Oscar nominee Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon), Bérénice Marlohe (Skyfall), Lambert Wilson (Of Gods And Men) and Olivia Thirlby (Juno) have joined the cast of Mockingbird Pictures and Demarest Films’ 5 To 7 alongside the previously announced Anton Yelchin (Star Trek Into Darkness). The film, set to start shooting in May in New York, is written and will be directed by Victor Levin (AMC’s “Mad Men”).
5 to 7 is being produced and co-financed by Sam Englebardt and William D. Johnson of Demarest Films, and by Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn of Mockingbird Pictures with their investor group as executive producers. The film is co-executive produced by Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel of The Solution Entertainment Group, which is handling international sales and will represent the film at the Cannes Film Market. CAA and Wme are co-representing the U.S. rights.
5 To 7 is set in New York, »
- Michelle McCue
Chicago – When a film promises to tackle a timely topic like fracking, it has raised the bar of expectations considerably. Sure, the filmmakers don’t need to take a stand on the issues they raise, but they have an obligation to explore them with some level of depth or insight. Otherwise, they risk getting charged with committing a “bait and switch,” and that’s precisely what Gus Van Sant’s “Promised Land” does.
It sets up a juicy conflict between an energy company salesman, Steve (Matt Damon), and an environmental activist, Dustin (John Krasinski), only to paint their personalities in the broadest of strokes before obliterating their credibility with a series of hackneyed twists. Damon still manages to deliver a fine performance, but he’s ultimately let down by the script he co-wrote with Krasinski. It lacks both the wit and intelligence that made Damon and Van Sant’s previous collaboration, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Day 2 and romance was in the air. Co-written with Ira Glass of This American Life fame Sleepwalk With Me is yet another off-kilter romantic comedy, translated from the drawled musings of stand-up comedian Mike Birbiglia. At something of an impasse in his life Mike tends bar whilst nurturing a tentative stand-up career, as he watches all his friends and family marry and progress in their respective professions. He’s been seeing his hippyish girlfriend Abby (Lauren Ambrose) for eight years and everyone is expecting him to pop the question soon, but a bought of dangerous, deteriorating sleepwalking and dream reenactments manifest due to his deeply submerged anxieties. Shot in a confessional style with Birbiglia breaking the fourth wall to directly address the audience one can’t help but think that this is a This American Life monologue stretched out to an admittedly brisk 80 minute feature, and it lacks the charm »
Rosemarie DeWitt and Josh Pais are terrific as the co-leads of a brilliant ensemble cast. DeWitt plays Abby, a free-spirited massage therapist who is suddenly overcome by an aversion to contact with skin, rendering her incapacitated in both her profession and her love life with her boyfriend (Scoot McNairy).
Pais plays her brother, Paul, a quirky, uptight, and emotionally unavailable dentist whose daughter, Jenny (Ellen Page), helps his failing dentist practice find its feet when word begins to spread that he has a magical healing touch.
The two siblings start out about as different from one another as is possible. But over the course of the film, as Abby and Paul navigate their own personal journeys and begin »
- Kenji Lloyd
Director: Lynn Shelton.
Running Time: 88 minutes.
Synopsis: A massage therapist is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile, her uptight brother’s foundering dental practice receives new life when clients seek out his healing touch.
Don’t worry – this is lighter than it sounds. Though the premise may put you in mind of a powerful but sluggish drama about the fragility of human interaction, Touchy Feely is a warm, accessible and very funny drama. It’s the sort of film Juno would grow up to be, although it may just feel that way due to the always welcome presence of Ellen Page and Allison Janney. This is an ensemble piece that excels due to its wonderful cast, and though Page and Janney are as chuckle inducing, »
- John Sharp
The Sundance London Film and Music Festival returns to the capital this weekend and the lineup of film and music events looks to build on the solid foundation established last year.
It’s an exciting time for Independent film with the trailblazing success of the Sundance festival in Utah sparking off dozens of initiatives, the Raindance festival is a notable and vibrant example, and Sundance London is looking to do more than replicating the success of its American cousin.
When we reported on the lineup we singled out Michael Winterbottom’s The Look of Love, a biopic of self-styled King of Soho Paul Raymond, and Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color, his highly anticipated follow-up film to 2004′s Primer. However there are many more excellent films playing across the various strands and we wanted to shine our spotlight on some of the films to look forward to.
All the films playing »
- Jon Lyus
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Returning to Sundance just a year after her disappointing Your Sister’s Sister collapsed under its own weight in act three, Lynn Shelton doesn’t have nearly the same luck this time – her latest indie doesn’t even begin to lift its feet off the ground before it falters. Adopting a more conventional aesthetic and production method from the director’s usual improv-workshops, Touchy Feely clearly suffers as a result, feeling atrophied from almost its first scene and never seeming to find a decent comic or dramatic rhythm.
Rosemarie DeWitt is Abby, a massage therapist who develops an aversion to touch just as her boyfriend, Jesse (Scoot McNairy) asks her to move in – as a clear allegory for commitment-phobia, it’s not hard to guess where this one is going.
Nevertheless, to contrast this tactile dysfunction, Abby’s dentist brother Paul (the impeccable Josh Pais) discovers »
- Shaun Munro
"Mad Men" has gone from a subtle, slow-burning series to a hit-you-over-the-head drama (that's still pretty slow) this season, but no parallel is more blatantly obvious than Peggy Olson's (Elisabeth Moss) transformation into her old boss and mentor Don Draper (Jon Hamm).
Before Season 6 debuted, Moss told The Huffington Post that Don's "the only example that she's ever had of a boss -- that's her mentor. That’s who she's looked up to, so she thinks that's what you're supposed to do and she thinks that's how you're supposed to manage." She added, "I'm interested for the audience to see whether or not that works for her, because she's not Don. She has much more heart, and that's what makes her better than Don honestly, and that's what Don actually loves about her."
But this week's episode, "To Have and to Hold," found the former confidants going head-to-head for the »
- Maggie Furlong
This week: Director J.A. Bayona's gut-wrenching "The Impossible" starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts in her Oscar-nominated role tells the true story of one family's struggle for survival after the 2004 tsunami that devastated Thailand and much of the surrounding region.
Also new this week is the troubled "Gangster Squad" with Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling; Gus Van Sant's "Promised Land" with Matt Damon and John Krasinski; and the Blu-ray 3D debut of the original "Jurassic Park."
Box Office: $19 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 81% Fresh
Storyline: Based on the true story of what befell one family during the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, "The Impossible" follows a married couple, Henry and Maria (Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts), and their three young sons who are staying at a Thai resort over the Christmas holidays. When the deadly wave abruptly hits their hotel complex, Maria and son Lucas (Tom Holland »
- Robert DeSalvo
Promised Land, 2012.
Directed by Gus Van Sant.
A salesman for a natural gas company experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources.
Promised Land is a classic morality tale of greed verses the greater good, focusing on the current political climate and controversy of drilling for natural gas. As a film it is both entertaining and thought provoking, which we can assume is the balance the film makers were attempting to strike.
Set in small town mid-America, the film tells the story of Steven Butler (Matt Damon) and his colleague Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand) who, representing a $9 billion fracking company, arrive from ‘the big city’ to convince the local townsfolk to sign over their land to be drilled on in return for financial gain. »
- Flickering Myth
Gus Van Sant's tale of humble folk resisting the temptation to sell the fracking rights on their land is sentimental fare
Adapted by John Krasinski and Matt Damon from a story by the prolific novelist, journalist and editor Dave Eggers, Promised Land is a soft-centred drama starring Damon as Steve Butler, a smooth-talking salesman out to cheat country folk of the same stock as himself. He's employed by an oil company to persuade a small midwestern town to sell the drilling rights to their land. The dirt-poor, rust-belt town is in terminal decline, but the windfall will involve fracking for shale oil that could result in the destruction of the land and contamination of the water.
There are some good scenes early on, and the conflict at the centre is real. But it's sentimental, Capraesque fare, predictable both in the way a retired scientist (Hal Holbrook) turned high-school teacher rallies the town, »
- Philip French
Matt Damon is ostensibly the bad guy in this earnest, eco-minded drama. He plays Steve, a smooth-talking rep for a gas company who is sent to buy a rural town, piece by piece, so that drilling can commence asap. Of course Steve can't be all that bad because, well, he's played by Matt Damon and he's partnered by Frances McDormand who is salt-of-the-earth and a working mum to boot.
For director Gus Van Sant there are many angles on this complicated issue and he touches on all of them without getting in deep. Fortunately, Damon and McDormand mount a charm offensive which is part of their strategy to win over the residents of a Pennsylvania backwater. To help the cause, they swap their suits for lumberjack »
they're not the stars but they steal the show. Chosen by the Guide's film writers, the prizes for the 23 best supporting actors of 2013 go to …
Who have we missed? Add your favourites below the line
There are times you feel as if Swinton has made it her mission to eradicate all traces of natural provenance. She's achieved an almost clone-like physical presence: an ageless, androgynous, translucent-skinned human blank, ready to be moulded into whatever role she's assigned. And boy does she get through them. She's been everything from a distressed housewife to the Angel Gabriel; corporate lawyer to Narnian ice queen. But in personality terms, she's the complete opposite of a blank. Malleable though she may be, Swinton has ironically become her own trademark. »
- Francesca Babb, Alex Godfrey, Andrea Hubert, Charlie Lyne, Phelim O'Neill, John Patterson, Steve Rose
HBO's "The Newsroom" has a premiere date!
Season 2 will debut on July 14 at 10 p.m. Et.
The network broke the news on Friday, along with the poster below:
This Just In: The #Newsroom Season 2 premieres July 14 at 10Pm, only on #HBO twitpic.com/ciuqw5 Rt & spread the word.
— HBO (@HBO) April 12, 2013
Not much is known about Season 2 of the Aaron Sorkin drama, except that it will see an impressive crop of guest stars including Jane Fonda, Patton Oswalt and Rosemarie DeWitt ... and that last year's David Petraeus scandal won't be covered.
"Frankly it's a story I would love to take on," Sorkin told told Newsweek in November. "Unfortunately Season 2 of 'The Newsroom,' which began shooting this week, our timelines literally ends the day before the Petraeus story broke, and I can't include it. Otherwise, I would go there."
Season 2 of "The Newsrooom" will kick off on Sun. »
- Leigh Weingus
As Ben Affleck has resurrected his career post-Bennifer implosion with a series of increasingly impressive directorial efforts, it’s easy to speculate that the Gigli star has learned a thing or two about the perils of working alongside romantic partners. So whilst Jennifer Garner’s husband wows critics with his latest release, Argo, the former “Alias” leading lady is left to take on a seemingly endless stream of lacklustre big screen projects. With a résumé that already includes the maligned Arthur remake, an odious Valentine’s Day and the *ahem* unforgettable Elektra, Garner can now add Disney’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green to her growing list of movie mistakes.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green focuses on a couple (Garner »
- Phil Wheat
If you believe that fairies live at the bottom of the garden, then you might just find yourself in movie heaven (or a rubber room) with this whimsical yarn starring Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton. Others will be left nonplussed by a story that casts the aforementioned as a married couple desperate to have a child and then find one, freshly sprouted from a hole in the front yard.
Garner gives a master-class in dewy-eyed melancholy in the opening stretch, but writer/director Peter Hedges is also quite practiced in the art of balancing sadness against dreamy optimism (with credits including Dan in Real Life and the script for What's Eating Gilbert Grape). Here, though, it's just a little too much to take when those dreams magically come to life in physical form. »
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