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Julia Louis-Dreyfus Circling 'Force Majeure' Remake; Who Should Play the Male Lead?

7 hours ago

THR reports that Julia Louis-Dreyfus is in talks to star in Fox Searchlight's remake of "Force Majeure," the hilarious and critically adored comedy directed by Ruben Ostlund.  This film about a family vacationing in the French Alps, whose lives take a turn for the comically dysfunctional after an avalanche, won Cannes' Un Certain Regard jury prize in 2014, picked up a Golden Globe nomination and was shortlisted for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Magnolia opened the film last Fall to rave reviews, and it's now streaming on Netflix. Read More: Ruben Ostlund on Directing "Force Majeure" THR's sources say the multi-Emmy-winning "Veep" star is also attached to produce the project. She will presumably play Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli, fabulous, in the original), a woman who slowly comes unhinged after her husband Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke) chickens out on her and their kids during the false-alarm force of nature that threatens them. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Academy: Hire Judd Apatow to Produce 2016 Oscars

11 hours ago

This year's meeting on Tuesday night was no exception. At the "Mad Men" final premiere Wednesday night, several board members confirmed that they did discuss the show but not the number of Best Picture nominees--that will be decided this summer when the rules committee has weighed in. While Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are claiming that it is their decision, the news that they are not returning was confirmed today.  It's no surprise. Their first Oscars, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, boasted great music and great ratings--even if the host was a disappointment. Their second Oscars also boasted great music and a superb host, Ellen DeGeneres, along with great ratings. So the musical duo were asked to produce for a third time, which was not the charm. They allowed rookie host Neil Patrick Harris too much leeway with new writers and the show fell flat in all departments. (Personally, I loved »


- Anne Thompson

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BBC Films Celebrates Its 25th Birthday

13 hours ago

It’s an institution, in the best possible sense of the word. And nowadays it’s impossible to think of “the Beeb” without thinking of its filmmaking arm. This week BBC Films celebrated its 25th birthday, a quarter of a century of British independent filmmaking during which it has developed and produced over 250 films. The anniversary comes just a month after it won the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award at the BAFTAs. From its first film, Anthony Minghella’s "Truly Madly Deeply" in 1990, just a smattering of the back catalogue reflects the quality of its output, much by directors nurtured at the start of their filmmaking careers: "Jude" (Michael Winterbottom), "Twenty Four Seven" (Shane Meadows), "Billy Elliot" (Stephen Daldry), "Last Resort" and "My Summer of Love" (Pawel Pawlikowski), "Eastern Promises" (David Cronenberg), "The Duchess" (Saul Dibb), "An Education" (Lone »


- Demetrios Matheou

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How a Film Salon Celebrated Women Directors on Wikipedia

15 hours ago

To celebrate Women's History Month, I bring your attention to a monthly Women in Film Salon run by Seed&Spark producer and founder Emily Best. Rather than belly-ache about the sad state of women in Hollywood, cinematographer Elle Schneider and director Jen McGowan ("Kelly & Cal") pulled together 13 women for an edit-a-thon to create new Wikipedia pages. They whipped out their laptops and wrote  21 entries for women directors or women filmmaker organizations that did not have pages before. They were inspired by Wikipedia edit-a-thons for women artists as well as black women in history to create or strengthen Wikipedia entries about women who are notable but rarely written about. "Wikipedia is one of the most trafficked sites on the internet and a huge resource for people searching for women filmmakers, even though very few are listed," wrote Schneider in an »


- Anne Thompson

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TCM Film Fest: How 'Sound of Music' and '1776' Were Restored for Their Big Screen Returns

16 hours ago

This weekend's annual TCM Classic Film Fest is all about "History, According to Hollywood," and you couldn't find two more diverse musical examples than "The Sound of Music" (kicking things off tonight at the Tcl Chinese Theater IMAX in honor of its 50th anniversary, with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in attendance) and "1776" (screening Saturday at the Chinese IMAX). Both tout digital restorations to show off their compelling stories of nonconformity and revolution. FotoKem did "The Sound of Music" digital restoration a while back and the uber 5-disc 50th Blu-ray edition is currently available from Fox Home Entertainment. They scanned a new 65mm intermediate on the Imagica and then a completely 4K workflow was used for the rest of the restoration. FotoKem colorist Mark Griffith particularly addressed flicker, density fluctuation and variable color fading. "While the fading wasn't as challenging, the density »


- Bill Desowitz

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Pedro Almodóvar Reveals Cast for His Next Film, 'Silencio'

16 hours ago

Pedro Almodóvar has announced the cast for his women-led drama "Silencio." Earlier this year, the iconoclastic director of "Talk to Her" and "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" stated that casting for the film would be "complicated because what I’ve written doesn’t quite work with my actores amigos." Thus, he has gone with actresses relatively unknown in the states. Goya winner Emma Suarez ("The Dog in the Manger") and Goya nominee Adriana Ugarte ("Doghead") will play the same character, Julieta, in a drama that plays in typically Almodóvarian terrain: guilt, loss, destiny and abandoning the people you love. Read More: Pedro Almodóvar Reveals Why He Turned Down "Brokeback Mountain" His brother Agustín Almodóvar will also be producing the $9.8 million "Silencio" via their El Deseo banner when it starts shooting this April in Madrid and »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Magnolia Buys Sundance Drama 'Experimenter' Starring Peter Sarsgaard

17 hours ago

Ahead of the film's Closing Night screening at the Sf International Film Festival, the psychological drama "Experimenter" has been acquired by Magnolia Pictures, which plans a 2015 theatrical release. Directed by Michael Almereyda (2000's brainy Shakespeare update "Hamlet"), the film stars Peter Sarsgaard as social psychologist Stanley Milgram whose 1961 "obedience" experiments at Yale asked participants to send harmful electric shocks to strangers in order to test their will toward authority.  Read More: Sf Film Fest Gets 3 Films From Sundance and SXSW The rest of the cast includes Winona Ryder, Jim Gaffigan, Taryn Manning, Anton Yelchin, Kellan Lutz, John Leguizamo, Anthony Edwards, Josh Hamilton, Lori Singer, Vondie Curtis-Hall and Dennis Haysbert. "Experimenter" was produced by Uri Singer, Fabio Golombek, Isen Robbins and Aimee Schoof. Sundance reviews were mostly positive. Variety wrote: "Michael Almereyda dissects the »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams Eye Tom Ford's New Film

17 hours ago

Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams are reportedly circling writer/director Tom Ford's postmodern thriller "Nocturnal Animals," to be produced by George Clooney. The Hollywood Reporter says Gyllenhaal is attached to star, and that Adams is currently in talks. There's also talk of Joaquin Phoenix and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (who played John Lennon in "Nowhere boy" and is married to "Fifty Shades" director Sam Taylor-Johnson) potentially being chased for roles. Gyllenhaal has just finished his Broadway stint in "Constellations" and has Antoine Fuqua's gritty boxing drama "Southpaw" coming this year along with Jean-Marc Vallee's "Demolition." Adams will also be working with the busy Vallee on "The Story of Your Life" and reprises her role as Lois Lane in Zack Snyder's "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice," which is in post-production. Read More: Tom Ford Finally Unveils First Film Since "A Single »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Quentin Tarantino Lists His 20 Favorite Spaghetti Westerns

17 hours ago

Currently filming in rocky Colorado, Tarantino's 70mm western "The Hateful Eight" is headed for a Fall release from The Weinstein Company. Ahead of that, you can catch up on the movie-geek auteur's top 20 Italian-produced spaghetti westerns. (Hat tip: Open Culture.) Read More: Production Begins on Quentin Tarantino's "Hateful Eight" The list runs the gamut from under-seen obscurities to more obvious favorites, including the original "Django" series starring Franco Nero in the eponymous role. In 2007, Tarantino hosted a massive retrospective of spaghetti westerns at the Venice Film Festival and continues to program his favorites at his New Beverly in Los Angeles. His idol, Sergio Leone, makes more than one appearance throughout the countdown below. What did he leave off? Read More: 12 Must-See Modern Westerns 1. "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" (Sergio Leone, 1966) 2. "For a Few Dollars More" (Sergio Leone, »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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'Downton Abbey' Announces Final Season, and Possible Movie

17 hours ago

Updated: On the heels of announcing the final season today, "Downton Abbey" producers are contemplating a movie. Gareth Neame nixed hopes for a spinoff but did say in the press conference: “We would be very interested in [a movie]... it's definitely something we’re contemplating, it would be great fun to do.” (Entertainment Weekly reports.) Earlier: The rumors are true. "Downton Abbey"'s sixth season will be its last, said Executive Producer Gareth Neame on Thursday morning. "We wanted to close the doors of 'Downton Abbey' when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans. We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up," said Neame in today's press conference. Writer/creator Julian Fellowes' »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Watch: James Corden's Carpool Karaoke Session with Mariah Carey

18 hours ago

What better way to kill time in the hideous La traffic than with a little karaoke? Watch as Corden butchers Mariah Carey songs and as The Voice herself, from the passenger seat, reprises hits including "Always Be My Baby" and the Bad Boy remix of "Fantasy." "The Late Late Show" plays weeknights at 12:35am on CBS. Read More: Late Night's Unfinished Revolution, From Corden to Fallon »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Universal Takes New Direction for 'Darker,' 'Fifty Shades' Sequel

25 March 2015 6:38 PM, PDT

Universal is raising glasses of champagne to celebrate the grosses of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which has totaled  $164 million domestic and $558 million worldwide.In an all-too familiar pattern, the first film's director, Sam Taylor-Johnson, is not returning for the sequel. This is not news; she was open about her tussles with author E.L. James on the direction of the movie adaptation. Taylor-Johnson has established herself as a director of a commercial hit and is fielding plenty of offers. Universal is seeking a new writer to replace Kelly Marcel--James herself is under consideration, reports Variety-- as well as a new director for the sequel. One producer, Michael De Luca, is now running production at Sony. The other, Dana Brunetti, has been holding off his returning stars' demands for substantial salary boosts. Universal motion picture chairman Donna Langley has been running the show on this franchise. It seems premature to imagine what schedule this movie. »


- Anne Thompson

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Sf Film Fest Gets 3 Films from Sundance and SXSW

25 March 2015 5:18 PM, PDT

Now in its 58th year, the San Francisco Film Society's two-week festival will kick off on April 23 with Alex Gibney's SXSW premiere "Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine," a probing documentary portrait of the Apple guru. On May 2, the Centerpiece screening will be James Ponsoldt's acclaimed Sundance feature "The End of the Tour," starring Jason Segel as author David Foster Wallace opposite Jesse Eisenberg as the budding Rolling Stone journalist who follows him. The fest closes on May 7 with Michael Almereyda's "Experimenter," also a Sundance premiere, starring Peter Sarsgaard as scientist Stanley Milgram opposite Winona Ryder. The full lineup lands next Tuesday, March 31. Read More: Here Are the 19 Films in Sf Film Fest Competition Sfiff previously announced a special award tribute to Guillermo Del Toro, where we'll see footage from his fall tentpole "Crimson Peak," along with the 19 films in competition including Sundance premiere "The. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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How 'Girls' Became the Most Frustrating Show on Television

25 March 2015 2:08 PM, PDT

In an interview with "Fresh Air" host Terry Gross last September, timed to coincide with the publication of her book, "Not That Kind of Girl," Lena Dunham offered a surprising insight into the sense of stasis that has plagued "Girls" since I reviewed it, rather lovingly, at the end of season one: "[T]he span of time that we've covered [in] the show is much shorter than the span of time in which I've been doing the show. So [Hannah]'s grown less, both chronologically and emotionally, than I have since we started. She's only had one birthday since we began." "Girls," a series so of-the-moment that it functions as both the target and the purveyor of fatuous "Millennial" stereotypes, has nevertheless always appeared to take place out of time -- even at its most quotidian, it unspools according to the dreamlike rhythms of "One Man's Trash," where Hannah (Dunham) spends the weekend »


- Matt Brennan

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Steven Spielberg Takes Second Directing Gig to Warner Bros., Whither DreamWorks?

25 March 2015 1:20 PM, PDT

Three years removed from "Lincoln," amid speculation about the future of Spielberg's Reliance-backed DreamWorks, Deadline reports that the director is attached to direct a second movie for Warner Bros., Zak Penn's adaptation of Ernest Cline's 2011 sci-fi novel “Ready Player One," for the studio and Village Roadshow. Does this mean that Spielberg is preparing to hang his shingle at that studio, with which he has long ties? (DreamWorks' deal at Disney expires in 2016.) A Spielberg spokesman confirms that the director is still planning to next direct "E.T." writer Melissa Mathison's adaptation for DreamWorks of the Roald Dahl children's classic “The Bfg," to star Mark Rylance and newcomer Ruby Barnhill, which Disney has slated for release in July 2016. And Disney purchased the rights to the "Indiana Jones" franchise from Paramount in 2013, and is rumored to be "eyeing" "Jurassic Park" star »


- Anne Thompson

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5 Reasons Why Brian Wilson Biopic 'Love & Mercy' Deserves an Awards Push

25 March 2015 11:58 AM, PDT

The Brian Wilson biopic "Love and Mercy" is as wily and loose-limbed as the man himself, a dreamy and delirious ode to the troubled genius behind The Beach Boys. Director Bill Pohlad and writers Michael A. Lerner and Oren Moverman twist the genre by paralleling Wilson's disorderly heyday with his eventual nervous breakdown and subsequent Stockholm syndrome-like relationship with the dubious Dr. Eugene Landy. Paul Dano plays the spacey, slowly frittering '60s Wilson — as he was just starting to go solo and dip his toes in the world of orchestral pop — while Cusack plays 1980s Wilson, who was suffering creatively and wrestling with paranoid schizophrenia. Dano and Cusack's beautiful performances draw you into Wilson's inner world with the support of Elizabeth Banks as Melinda Ledbetter, the sparky Cadillac saleswoman who steps into his life to save it (and went on to become his current wife). 1. It's no ordinary biopic. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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What Happened to Reclusive Writer Michel Houellebecq? A New Faux Doc Fills in the Blanks

25 March 2015 11:56 AM, PDT

One of the happy surprises of the 2014 Berlinale was “The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq.” Guillaume Nicloux’ 90-minute film is a faux documentary inspired by the real-life and still-unexplained disappearance of the celebrated and reclusive French author, who didn’t show up for part of a 2011 book tour, leading to a media frenzy and even to worries of an Al-Qaeda plot, and then returned days later, lips sealed. Nicloux’ genius is to fill in the blanks, and he does so hilariously. It helps, of course, to know at least a bit about Houellebecq, who is as ornery and controversial as he is talented. In novels like “Platform” (2002) and “The Elementary Particles" (2000), he has openly criticized Islam and free economic markets, which he feels create winners and losers in love as well as life. Many critics consider him to be sexist, misogynist, racist, not to mention pornographic and generally repugnant. He is certainly an eccentric, »


- Tom Christie

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'Mad Max: Fury Road' Will Screen Out-of-Competition at Cannes

25 March 2015 10:03 AM, PDT

Cannes is screening "Fury Road," George Miller's return to "Mad Max" after 30 years, as an official selection out of competition on Thursday May 14 at the Grand Théâtre Lumière. Tom Hardy takes over the Max Rockatansky role originated by Mel Gibson, who gave his blessing and promises that this movie will be non-stop action like you've never seen before. Watch: Mel Gibson Talks Return to Directing, Mad Max, Shia LeBeouf "Mad Max: Fury Road" returns to a post-apocalyptic world in which gangs fight for scarce resources like gas and water. Max comes up against Empress Furiosa (Charlize Theron), who is being chased by a gang. Warner Bros. will open the film worldwide following its Cannes preview. Read: SXSW: Max and Furiosa Fight in New 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Footage  Australian doctor-turned-filmmaker George Miller launched the "Mad Max" series in 1979 before filming "Mad Max 2: The Road »


- Anne Thompson

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Bradley Cooper in Talks to Direct Warner Bros.' 'A Star Is Born' Remake

25 March 2015 9:28 AM, PDT

Bradley Cooper is in talks to direct Warner Bros.' remake of 1937 musical "A Star Is Born," which would make this his first feature. Cooper, along with Jon Peters, Bill Gerber and Basil Iwanyk, will also produce this version of William A. Wellman's Oscar-nominated Tinseltown tale of aging movie star Norman Maine who ushers a hopeful young starlet's rise to fame while grappling with alcoholism and the near-end of his career. The film has already been remade twice: first in 1954 with Judy Garland, who was in the hospital during her notorious Oscar snub, and in 1976 with Barbra Streisand. Clint Eastwood was attached to this latest remake back in 2011, with Beyonce Knowles in talks to play Esther Blodgett. That fell through and Eastwood shifted to another musical, "Jersey Boys." According to THR, Cooper is shopping several projects to direct for Warner Bros. In 2014 he and "Hangover" director Todd Phillips signed a three-picture, »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Before 'Get Hard,' Ranking 9 Will Ferrell Comedies from Foul to Funny

25 March 2015 9:01 AM, PDT

He also probably has had the most success with co-stars that go beyond the core group of Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jack Black, Steve Carell and the Wilson brothers, Owen and Luke. Basically, this onetime “Saturday Night Live” kingpin (1995-2002) and member of The Groundlings improv troupe plays well with others, even if he is given to streaking across the screen in his birthday suit. Not that Ferrell is averse to reuniting with his buddies now and again. He has said he is prepared to reprise his role as designer Mugato, known for his fashion line inspired by the homeless, for the recently announced “Zoolander 2.” March has been a sort of proving ground for members of the comedy clique. Vaughn, whose “Unfinished Business” swiftly sank like a stone earlier this month, is struggling to maintain his movie star status. Good thing he has signed up for the second season of HBO’s "True Detective. »


- Susan Wloszczyna

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