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Now that the wildly popular podcast Serial has come to a close, we're ready to watch the murder mystery unfold on the big screen -- and we know just who would play Jay, Sarah Koenig, Adnan Syed, Hae Min Lee and of course, Mr. S.
Photos: The 10 Biggest Breakout Stars of 2014
If you're unfamiliar with the true crime podcast that draws over 1 million listeners per week and is put on by the This American Life producers, Serial reexamines the 1999 murder of an 18-year-old Baltimore high school senior named Hae Min Lee.
Not long before Lee went missing, she had broken up with her boyfriend, then-17-year-old Adnan Syed, an honors student of the Muslim faith who was later tried and convicted for killing her. Adnan is now 33 and serving a life sentence for Hae's murder, but insists in a series of telephone interviews with producer Sarah Koenig that he's innocent.
The lineups for the competition categories at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival were recently unveiled, and along with them some debut images were released. Today we’ve got first look images at a few of the films that will screen in the World Competition category: Slow West – Directed by John Maclean; Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Rory McCann, Ben Mendelsohn, Brooke Williams, and Caren Pistorius. Strangerland – Directed by Kim Farrant; Starring Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugo Weaving, Lisa Flanagan, Meyne Wyatt, and Maddison Brown. Glassland – Written and directed by Gerard Barrett; Starring Jack Reynor, Toni Collette, Will Poulter, and Michael Smiley. Umrika – Written and directed by Prashant Nair; Starring Suraj Sharma, Tony Revolori, Smita Tambe, Adil Hussain, Rajesh Tailang, and Prateik Babbar. Check out the images and synopses after the jump. The 2015 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 22nd to February 1st. Slow West / New Zealand (Director: John Maclean, Screenwriters: John Maclean, »
- Adam Chitwood
The competition movie line-up has been revealed for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, which runs from January 22nd to February 1st 2015. Below the announcement video you'll find the U.S. and World Competition categories, as well as the Next section.
Out of the 12,166 submissions that the festival received this year only 185 were selected. It looks like there are going to be a lot of great films this year. I always enjoy going to Sundance because you never know what film gems are just waiting to be seen.
U.S. Dramatic Competition
Presenting the world premieres of 16 narrative feature films, the Dramatic Competition offers Festivalgoers a first look at groundbreaking new voices in American independent film.
Advantageous / U.S.A. (Director: Jennifer Phang, Screenwriters: Jacqueline Kim, Jennifer Phang) — In a near-future city where soaring opulence overshadows economic hardship, Gwen and her daughter, Jules, do all they can to hold on to their joy, »
- Joey Paur
Produced by Manish Mundra and Swati Shetty, Umrika features Life of Pi fame Suraj Sharma along with Adil Hussain, Prateik Babbar, Rajesh Tailang and Tony Revolori in lead roles. The film is about a young village boy who discovers that his brother, long believed to be in America, has actually gone missing. He begins to invent letters on his behalf to save their mother from heartbreak, all the while searching for him.
Nair’s first film Delhi in a Day traveled to several festivals in India and Indian festivals abroad, besides releasing theatrically in August 2012.
Last year, Geethu Mohandas’ Liar’s Dice was selected for World Cinema Dramatic Competition in Sundance.
Today the first wave of titles playing at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival were announced and while the majority of the titles are new to me the names in front of the camera most certainly are not as you'll see the likes of Michael Fassbender, Nicole Kidman, Saoirse Ronan, Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Jack Black, James Marsden, Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller, Jemaine Clement, Sarah Silverman, Toni Collette, Vincent Cassell and many, many more among the titles featured. I have collected several photos from many of the films playing the festival, which will take place from January 22 - February 1 in Utah next year. Today's selection includes the U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, World Cinema Documentary Competition and Next program. I'll be adding a few more pictures soon enough, but for now, have a look and see what stands out. »
- Brad Brevet
Titles such as Eskil Vogt’s Blind and David Wnendt’s Wetlands landed the most acclaim and Alejandro Fernandez Almendras’ To Kill a Man won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in the dozen offerings. This year we have John Maclean’s Slow West (starring Michael Fassbender), previous Sundance winner Anne Sewitsky returning with Homesick, and the highly anticipated title from Ariel Kleiman in the Vincent Cassel starrer, Partisan and a Nicole Kidman vehicle in Kim Farrant’s Strangerland (see pic above). Here are the dirty dozen from all corners of the world:
Chlorine / Italy (Director: Lamberto Sanfelice, Screenwriters: Lamberto Sanfelice, Elisa Amoruso) — Jenny, 17, dreams of becoming a synchronized swimmer. Family events turn her life upside down and she is forced move to a remote area to look after her ill father and younger brother. It won’t be long before Jenny starts pursuing her dreams again. Cast: Sara Serraiocco, »
- Eric Lavallee
America’s hottest and most eagerly anticipated film festival is nearly upon us! Running January 22 to February 1, 2015 in Park City, Utah, the annual Sundance Film Festival has launched its initial lineup of in-competition films in the Dramatic, World Cinema, Documentary and Next slates. In all, 66 films were announced in this initial lineup, with the Premieres and Documentary Premieres arriving December 8 and the Short Film slate arriving December 9.
Among the lineup, as always, are some intriguing prospects. The Us Dramatic Competition features films starring stars such as Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine (Z for Zachariah), Jack Black, James Marsden, Kathryn Hahn, Jeffrey Tambor (The D Train), Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård, Christopher Meloni, Kristen Wiig (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman (The Overnight), and Sarah Silverman (I Smile Back), among many others, and new films from recently hot directors including Alfonso-Gomez Rejon, Andrew Bujalski, and Craig Zobel. »
- Brian Welk
A funny thing happened on the way to Park City: The general upsurge of comedians in the independent film world wound up playing a major role in shaping the 2015 Sundance Film Festival program, per fest director John Cooper and director of programming Trevor Groth.
The effect can be felt across all aspects of the feature lineup, which boasts a total of 118 films (103 of them world premieres), but especially among the 16 titles set to screen in the always buzzy U.S. dramatic competition. That’s one of the four juried slates (including U.S. documentary, World Cinema dramatic and World Cinema documentary) unveiled today along with the festival’s noncompetitive Next section.
“There are probably more comedies in the dramatic competition than ever before,” Groth said, citing such titles as “Results,” a romantic laffer from mumblecore auteur Andrew Bujalski, with Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders as a pair of personal trainers; Patrick Brice’s “The Overnight, »
- Justin Chang
Sundance Film Festival director John Cooper and head of programming Trevor Groth have unleashed their first volley of films in what will be a 118-strong line-up overall culled from 12,166 submissions. Of these, 103 features are world premieres. The festival will run January 22 to February 1.
Us Dramatic Competition includes Craig Zobel’s post-apocalytpic tale Z For Zachariah starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine; Jack Black in comedy The D Train; and Kristen Wiig in the 1970s San Francisco-set coming-of-age story The Diary Of A Teenage Girl.
Other likely highlights are Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s The Stanford Prison Experiment starring Billy Crudup and Ezra Miller; and Saoirse Ronan in Stockholm, Pennsylvania, about a young woman who returns to live with her parents after she is freed from her abductor of 17 years »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
The Sundance Institute announced the first wave of selections for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and the world cinema dramatic competition features a number of familiar faces. Most notably, Michael Fassbender in "Slow West," Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving in "Strangerland" and Jack Reynor, Toni Collette and Will Poulter in "Glassland." Ten of this year's selections are world premieres featuring films from Italy, Turkey, Norway, Brazil and India. Some might question why there are four English language movies among the mix representing Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, but we'll give the programmers the benefit of the doubt for now. Sundance's world cinema slate has grown in stature although the English language pictures tend to resonate the most. "The Guard," "Animal Kingdom," "Four Lions," "Bronson," "An Education" and "Once" all screened in this category. Check out the 2015 slate on the next page. World Cinema Dramatic Competition "Chlorine" Italy Director: Lamberto Sanfelice, »
- Gregory Ellwood
When the cast of Exodus: Gods and Kings was coming together a few years ago, some fans started to complain that this Biblical re-telling of Moses' story was happening with all white actors, which include Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley and Aaron Paul. While we still have a few weeks left until this epic adventure hits theaters, it remains to be seen if the caucasian cast will be criticized even more. When asked about the "whitewashing" in an interview with Variety, director Ridley Scott revealed that he never even considered hiring non-white actors, claiming that his movie would never get financed.
"I can't mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such. I'm just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn't even come up."
The musical guest is Katherine Jenkins, performing a 1940s classic to mark Remembrance Sunday.
The X Factor Results: ITV, 8pm
Downton Abbey: ITV, 9pm
ITV's phenomenally popular period drama brings its fifth series to a close tonight, though a sixth is on the way.
In the fifth of 12 episodes, Carrie (Claire Danes »
“Homeland” hit the gas in Sunday’s episode, which marks the halfway point of the Showtime drama’s fourth season.
Spoiler Alert: Stop reading if you haven’t seen the Nov. 2 episode, “From A to B and Back Again.”
The sixth installment ratcheted the tension for main characters as a key plot twist became twisty-er and Claire Danes’ Carrie Mathison went deeper down the path of earning her moniker “The Drone Queen,” (which was also the name of the season premiere seg).
The episode, written by Chip Johannessen and directed by Lesli Linka Glatter, spurred social media chatter that it marked “Homeland’s” return to form as a deft mix of action, suspense and emotional moments that explore the decidedly gray areas of America’s covert war on terror. Danes’ performance ran the gamut of love scenes, physical fight scenes, an epic verbal showdown with co-star Nazanin Boniadi’s character »
- Cynthia Littleton
Written by Meredith Stiehm
Directed by Charlotte Sieling
Airs Sundays at 9pm on Showtime
“I’m a spy. I know shit.”
That line, spoken by John Redmond, is funny in the moment, but begins to feel ironic by the end of the episode. Practically everyone is off their game this week, with an abundance of questionable decisions leading to Saul getting kidnapped. By this point, we’ve spent plenty of time with Carrie, Saul, Quinn, even Fara. We know what they can do, we know how good they are at their jobs…except when the writers need them to be stupid. It all feels overly telegraphed, to the point where these uncharacteristic decisions not only frustrate on a plot level, but a character one too. It’s reminiscent of how a show like Family Guy treats its characters and its continuity, which is an »
- Jake Pitre
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
"Adventure Time: The Complete Fourth Season"
If you're not a fan of this sweetly silly animated series on the Cartoon Network, it's time you got acquainted with Finn and his canine pal Jake and their weird adventures in the Land of Ooo. Seriously, this is one of the coolest cartoons out there! Just ask Princess Bubblegum or adorable Marceline the Vampire Queen.
Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies is not your typical boarding school, but what would you expect from Ryan Murphy et al? Gabourey Sidibe, Emma Roberts, Taissa Farmiga, and Jamie Brewer play the newest arrivals at the Academy in New Orleans, led by the Academy's meek headmistress Cordelia Foxx. Jessica Lange appears as Fiona Goode, »
- Jenni Miller
Drone strikes gone wrong, thrilling chases in the back alleys of the Middle East, Saul, Quinn, Carrie … the gang's all here for Homeland season 4. Except Brody, of course, who finally died at the end of last season, leaving Carrie both mourning his loss and carrying his baby. (His death was sad, but at least we don't have to suffer through any more weird Dana subplots, so, hooray to that.) She's the bomb.The new season kicks off with Carrie (Claire Danes) stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan, ordering a drone strike on a rural farmhouse in Pakistan, thanks to a tip from »
- Gillian Telling, @gilliantelling
Homeland’s fourth season opened with Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) working in her new job as the Station Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. There, she’s tasked with, among other things, ordering drone strikes.
‘The Drone Queen’ Recap
Based in Kabul, Carrie had to leave her and Brody’s daughter, Franny, back at home with her sister. In the midst of birthday celebrations, she makes a hasty exit to try to get back to her room in time to Skype her sister and see Franny. After realizing she was too late to see the baby, Carrie takes an Ambien and goes to sleep.
As for the drone strike Carrie ordered earlier off of a tip from local agent Sandy Bachman (Corey Stoll), it hit a wedding in order to take out target Haissam Haqqani. As a result, there was “collateral damage,” including the mother and sister »
What does Homeland look like (mostly) minus Nicholas Brody?
The Showtime drama answered that question with Sunday night’s double-episode Season 4 premiere, which found Carrie serving as Station Chief in Kabul after trading away her cushy Istanbul gig for one that disallows dependents — carrot-topped cuties included.
But more on poor Frannie in a bit.
Related Showtime Boss Weighs In on Homeland Season 3 Backlash
The season opens with a literal bang, as Carrie oversees a strike on a Pakistani farmhouse, inside which is No. 4 baddie Haissam Haqqani. The intel came from a usually reliable source of Station Chief Sandy Bachman’s, »
Showtime’s Homeland concluded a trilogy of sorts with its Season 3 finale, as Nicholas Brody (played by Damian Lewis) — a disgraced Marine sergeant who loomed large as both a sometime threat to his own country and as a pivotal figure in CIA officer Carrie Mathison’s life — was written off the canvas in a quite definitive manner.
Related Homeland Season 4 Scoop on Carrie and Quinn
With Brody removed from the equation, Carrie (Claire Danes) stationed in Islamabad Kabul and her onetime boss Saul Berenson toiling for a private military contract as Season 4 opens this Sunday at 9/8c (with two new »
Meet the new, improved “Homeland.” After two disappointing seasons, the Showtime series’ dramatic culmination of its original story has shifted the focus squarely onto Claire Danes’ complex CIA operative, and simultaneously allowed the producers to shed more irritating elements (see Brody, Dana). What emerges, then, in a two-episode premiere and subsequent hour is a show that lacks the initial kick the program delivered, but plays like a smart, spare thriller — “24,” without the James Bond-style super-heroics. “Homeland” might never be a truly great series again, but if it stays on this path it will be an eminently watchable one.
Admittedly, the show has a lot of recovering to do as it pivots to face a new threat. Not only is it without the character of Nicholas Brody (as played by Damian Lewis), but the death of actor James Rebhorn has deprived the producers of his talents as the father of Danes’ Carrie Mathison. »
- Brian Lowry
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