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Terence Davies' Long-Awaited Emily Dickinson Biopic Is Really Happening

11 hours ago

Terence Davies first announced his biopic of the notoriously reclusive American poet back in 2012, with Cynthia Nixon attached to star. The project stalled as Davies went into production on Lewis Grassic Gibbon adaptation "Sunset Song." That film wasn't ready for Cannes, but Davies will be taking the Dickinson picture to the Marche du Film this year now that Jennifer Ehle has joined the cast. Variety reports that Ehle will star alongside Nixon in "A Quiet Passion," which starts production this week in Belgium. Davies—whose gorgeous movies like "The Deep Blue Sea," "Of Time and the City" and "Distant Voices, Still Lives" challenge mainstream audiences—wrote the script with Nixon in mind. "It was the kind of dream casting you hope for," Davies told THR during Toronto 2012. "I never, for a moment, imagined my wishes would materialize. Cynthia has such a strong feeling for the work -- and now she is. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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La Film Fest Completes 2015 Lineup with Russell Brand, Ken Loach, Competitions and More

12 hours ago

Film Independent's 21st Los Angeles Film Festival returns to downtown's La Live with 74 feature films, 60 short films and over 50 new media works representing 35 countries. New sections this year are the U.S. Fiction and World Fiction Competitions and Launch, as well as the previously announced Buzz, Nightfall and Zeitgeist programs. As already announced, the fest will open with Lily Tomlin's tart Sundance sensation "Grandma," and will host gala screenings of "Dope," "Inside Out" and "Seoul Searching" out-of-competition. As is the new normal for festivals looking for fresh audiences, Laff added its first-ever TV gala this year, premiering MTV/Dimension's horror series "Scream," based on the international hit franchise spawned by Wes Craven.  Read More: Film Independent Announces New Los Angeles Film Festival Dates, Programming Team Among Laff's rash of titles from Sundance and other festivals are Netflix's SXSW pickup »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Cary Fukunaga Finds His Evil Clown Pennywise for 'It' Remake

13 hours ago

There's nothing scarier than a demented, child-killing, sewer-dwelling clown. So rather than follow in the footsteps of the 1990 miniseries version of Stephen King's terror tome, starring a creepy Tim Curry in the role of Pennywise, Cary Fukunaga is going young. Variety reports that New Line and Fukunaga have cast Will Poulter, 22, as the titular demon that haunts a group of seven outcast friends. Fukunaga reportedly considered older actors like stage thesp Mark Rylance and "Bloodline" star Ben Mendelsohn for the part, but were "blown away by Poulter's audition." The British actor broke out in New Line's "We're the Millers," starred in "The Maze Runner" and will soon be seen in Alejandro González Iñárritu's dark western "The Revenant" as a robber who leaves Leonardo DiCaprio for dead. Production is slated to begin this Summer on Fukunaga's two-part "It," which the busy 37-year-old director assures »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Netflix's 'Grace and Frankie' and the Rise of the Bad Grandma (Video)

14 hours ago

Washing down muscle relaxers with peyote-infused tea, enduring a little "light vomiting" along the way, Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) come to terms during a hallucinogenic "vision quest" in the series premiere of Netflix's new comedy. The former rages against a life spent playing by the rules and the latter mourns her broken heart, an expression in microcosm of their distinct personalities, but what the two women share, after watching their respective marriages disintegrate, is an unwillingness to hold it together. Whether capturing their fireside dance on a Southern California beach or watching them negotiate a funeral reception, the mediocre "Grace and Frankie" fails to generate much energy from its inspired casting, but it's also an instructive entry in the rise of a surprising icon of our youth-mad culture: the Bad Grandma. Unapologetic and at times unexpectedly crass, stylish, successful, and independent, the Bad »


- Matt Brennan

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Watch: Quentin Dupieux Narrates a Meta-Movie Moment From His Brain-Bending 'Reality' (Video)

14 hours ago

"Reality" unfolds as a tapestry of very strange story strands that casually intersect and bleed into each other. They're hard to parse, which makes Quentin Dupieux's latest oddity a uniquely playful kind of moviegoing experience, much like his earlier cult comedies "Rubber" (2010) and "Wrong" (2012). It goes something like this: A precocious little girl named Reality (Kyla Kenedy) finds a videotape inside the guts of a hog her father has slaughtered; a cooking show host (Jon Heder of "Napoleon Dynamite") dressed in a giant rat suit has a form of eczema only he can see; French camera-operator Jason (Alain Chabat) wants to make a film about murderous television sets; and Reality's school principal (Eric Wareheim) is plagued by dreams of cross-dressing. Are these episodic flights of fantasy reality, or wish-fulfillment? Though shot around Los Angeles, where Dupieux is now based, the film exists somewhere outside time and place, similar to. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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James Spader and Ultron Become One in 'Avengers': How They Did It

15 hours ago

There was an early moment in "Age of Ultron" when Joss Whedon wanted to hide his giant robot's face in the darkness of a church. Industrial Light & Magic was still perfecting the facial rig and the director wasn't taking any chances. But then came a breakthrough: Ilm showed Whedon the first close-ups of Ultron talking and it changed everything: Ultron could be Ultron without holding back. More important, Ultron could become everything James Spader brought to the performance: the wit, the strut, the arrogance. Ilm then went on to achieve its most articulate robot ever, far surpassing the Transformers. In fact, there are two Ultrons: the early defective version, and the sophisticated Ultron Prime. "The facial performance was key and the Ultron Prime rig is by far the most elaborate we've done for a major character," explained Ilm visual effects supervisor Ben Snow ("Iron Man"). "It's about 10 times the complexity of a Transformer. »


- Bill Desowitz

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Watch: Ryan Gosling Finally Eats His Cereal in Tribute to Meme Creator Ryan McHenry

16 hours ago

Ryan McHenry, creator of your favorite meme "Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal," died last weekend after battling bone cancer at the age of 27. In tribute, Ryan Gosling posted this Vine in which he finally does eat his cereal. Check it out below. "I was watching 'Drive' and eating cereal one day, and it kind of looked like Ryan Gosling was staring at my cereal," McHenry told EW regarding the origins of the meme. Gosling also sent his condolences to the filmmaker's family via Twitter: "My heart goes out to all of Ryan McHenry's family and friends. Feel very lucky to have been apart of his life in some small way." Read More: Ryan Gosling Reveals How and Why He Shot "Lost River" »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Cannes First Look: 'Krisha' Is 'A Woman Under the Influence'-Level Portrait of Delusion

17 hours ago

"Krisha" makes its Cannes premiere in the Critics' Week program, which is designed to steer attention toward promising discoveries and first-time filmmakers. Shults' debut is also a claustrophobic horror movie that unfolds over one hot, sweaty Thanksgiving Day in Florida, where Krisha (played by the director's real-life aunt Krisha Fairchild, a psychologist), a painkiller-addled, ex-alcoholic teetering on the edge of the wagon, reunites with her estranged and leery family members for the first time in years. Read More: Cannes Critics' Week Lineup: Louis Garrel's Debut, SXSW Winner Among Highlights Shults' decision to shoot the film with his own relatives -- and in nine days -- may feel like a stunt. He even casts his 90-year-old grandmother. But this is a strong first film, and his focused direction does yield some breakout performances, including his own turn as Krisha's disappointed son. The film's most mesmerizing scene is a revolving long take that whirls. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Louis C.K. Returns to Indie Film to Direct and Star in 'I'm A Cop'

18 hours ago

Louis C.K., whose curmudgeon comedy "Louie" is now in the middle of its fifth season, is returning to the big screen. Like his existentially angsty, triple Emmy-winning series, the comedian will write, direct and star in "I'm A Cop," an upcoming indie produced by Scott Rudin, Dave Becky and C.K.'s stalwart collaborator Blair Beard. THR reports: "The script tells of a depressed middle-aged man who is a volunteer police officer living in the shadow of his mother, a highly decorated retired officer. When she dies, her continued influence forces him to become a real police officer, which is something he never wanted to be." So why is Louis C.K., whose first film was 1998's "Tomorrow Night," going indie again? His experience writing and directing the 2001 Chris Rock starrer "Pootie Tang" ended sourly when distributor Paramount took him off the film during postproduction. "“I don't feel like I need anyone to tell me anything. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Quentin Tarantino Enjoys Running the New Beverly, Even When He's Shooting a Movie

4 May 2015 1:28 PM, PDT

And Tarantino's still in charge, working with managers Torgan, Jules McLean and Brian Quinn, even as he continues shooting "The Hateful Eight," which just left Colorado to finish filming in L.A. The theater first opened back in 1978 with a double feature of "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Last Tango in Paris." 35mm-collector and passionate advocate Tarantino quickly lined up a slate including films from his own collection, the late Paul Mazursky ("Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice") and the late Robin Williams ("The Best of Times"), as well as a double bill of Luc Besson's "The Professional" and Tarantino's own "Pulp Fiction," both 20 years old last October.  Back in August, Tarantino told La Weekly: "I want the New Beverly to be a bastion for 35 millimeter films. I want it to stand for something. When you see a film on the New Beverly calendar, you don’t have to ask whether it’s going to be. »


- Anne Thompson

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Locarno to Honor French Actress Bulle Ogier, Favorite of Rivette, Chabrol and Fassbinder

4 May 2015 12:14 PM, PDT

The 68th Locarno Film Festival will honor international cinema nonpareil Bulle Ogier, 75, with a Pardo alla carriera, the Swiss festival's annual lifetime achievement prize. A selection of films and a conversation with the audience will accompany the tribute. With this award the festival looks back at the legacy of the Nouvelle Vague and its most iconic figures, including past recipients Anna Karina and Jean-Pierre Léaud. A stage actress before moving to film, Bulle Ogier (née Marie-France Thielland) broke out in Jacques Rivette's "L'amour fou" (1969). This sparked a collaboration on six more films including "Celine and Julie Go Boating," "Pont du Nord" and "Gang of Four." Major European directors continued to cast her in films, from Luis Bunuel, Rw Fassbinder and Manoel de Oliveira to Claude Chabrol and Claude Lelouch, as well as her husband Barbet SchroederAlain Tanner's 1971 Swiss drama »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Now Streaming: Xavier Dolan's Hyperbolic, Hyper-Alive 'Mommy'

4 May 2015 11:52 AM, PDT

Take Xavier Dolan seriously. His Cannes sensation (and Oscar-snubbed) "Mommy" affirms that the prodigal filmmaker behind succès d'estime "I Killed My Mother" and the epic "Laurence Anyways" has, at 25, finally grown up. In "Mommy," Dolan wisely restrains his bravado and has never been more at home than with these three richly made characters: a scrappy and outrageously brave single mom, her smart yet deeply troubled teen with blond hair and behavioral problems, and the timid housewife with a speech impediment and secrets next door.  French-Canadian powerhouse Anne Dorval, in a wickedly unhinged performance that already feels iconic, is Diane, the widowed mother of rage-addled Steve (fresh-faced youngster Antoine Olivier Pilon), a teenager too out of control for even the steeliest boarding school. Their unbalanced, smothering relationship seems on the verge of total chaos until a diffident neighbor (Dolan pal Suzanne Clement, »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Oscilloscope Goes on a Shopping Spree, Buying Three Fest Faves From 2014

4 May 2015 11:12 AM, PDT

Oscilloscope Laboratories, eyeing an exciting slate for 2015, has acquired three films for Us release later this year. First up, Alice Rohrwacher’s 2014 Cannes Grand Prix winner “The Wonders”: A word-of-mouth hit on the circuit from Cannes to Nyff and AFI Fest, "The Wonders" centers on a family of beekeepers whose lives on their Italian countryside farm are upended by the arrival of a reality TV show (whose host is played by Monica Bellucci) that comes to showcase their lives. "The only Italian film competing in Cannes, and quite an atypical one at that, it should intrigue festival and art house audiences with its layers of barely-there meaning, but other viewers could find the story flimsy and the emotions scant, making it unlikely to go wide," wrote THR back at Cannes. "Alice Rohrwacher's bitter-sweet Cannes contender about the onset of adulthood and the fading of old ways is as powerful as it is enchanting, »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Bertrand Bonello's 'Saint Laurent' Is a Dreamy, Delirious Ode to a Troubled Iconoclast

4 May 2015 10:45 AM, PDT

Rebellious French auteur Bertrand Bonello's Yves Saint Laurent "biopic" is two-plus hours of a man sufferingly beautifully. For those cinephiles who go weak at the knees for tortured artists and decadents, "Saint Laurent" is movie heaven, starring marquee idol Gaspard Ulliel as the titular fashion-maker at his most gloriously debased. (There's a million dollar bedroom shot you won't want to miss.) In his earlier "House of Pleasures," Bonello confined his vision to the hothouse of a fin-de-siecle bordello; here, he paints his broadest vista yet, swan-diving, with postmodernist zeal, under the skin of an icon. The clothes are gorgeous, and so are the men, as played with twitchy charm by Ulliel, and an almost comically sexy, swarthy, mustachioed Louis Garrel as Jacques de Bascher, one of Saint Laurent's many despairing lovers. The film takes place in the late '60s and early '70s, when May '68 was »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Rodney Ascher's Sleep Paralysis Doc 'The Nightmare' Almost Took Inspiration From 'Dogville' (Trailer)

4 May 2015 10:25 AM, PDT

Ascher, who has suffered the condition himself, lays out and interprets the nocturnal experiences of eight individuals plagued by malevolent, dream-state visions—and many are alarmingly similar. Several victims are stalked beside by shadow people, or alien-like figments made of TV white noise; others feel the encroaching, creepy presence of an unseen evil force. One woman, who's made something of a YouTube celebrity out of her horrifying accounts, experiences a religious awakening because of sleep paralysis, believing that she is a kind of conduit between warring spiritual realms. One man thinks he's just crazy, and that sleep paralysis will one day kill him. But the most ingenious aspect of this spooky, silly doc is Ascher's inventively staged reenactments: eerie, cartoon-cutout figures shadow lookalike re-enactors in their sleep. The director explicitly puts the artifice of these episodes right in your face, occasionally revealing actors moving from one stage to the »

- Ryan Lattanzio

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Jessica Chastain's Unforgettable Turn in 'Miss Julie' Deserves Your Attention

4 May 2015 10:19 AM, PDT

What a shame that Jessica Chastain's fiery turn in "Miss Julie" went unnoticed by Academy voters. Director Liv Ullmann's complex take on August Strindberg's early feminist play may be too stagey for some, but this is Best Actress material for Chastain, who injects vitality into a repressed 19th-century woman who falls from grace. Chastain's electrifying performance places among the great female dramatic turns in a literary tragedy, from Nina Pens Rode in "Gertrud" to Nastassja Kinski in "Tess" and Isabelle Huppert in "Madame Bovary." So why was no one talking about it?  "Miss Julie" premiered at Tiff 2014 to unenthusiastic response and remained at-large on the distribution market before eventually landing at Wrekin Hill (the film hits home video 5/5). Perhaps too loyal to the original 1888 Swedish stage tragedy, Ullmann's version confines the three-character drama to a secluded estate over the course of one Midsummer's »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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See Andrew Garfield in First Images from Martin Scorsese's 'Silence'

4 May 2015 9:23 AM, PDT

Based on Shūsaku Endō's 1966 novel that follows Portuguese Jesuits who face violence and persecution while on a mission to remote 17th century Japan, "Silence" began shooting in January in Taiwan, which Ang Lee suggested as a location for Scorsese, and has now wrapped filming. The real work now begins for Scorsese and editor Thelma Schoonmaker. “I’ve wanted to make “Silence” for almost two decades, and it is finally a reality," said Martin Scorsese, whose film will be domestically distributed by Paramount, with foreign markets handled by AI Films/Im Global. "Silence,"one of our most anticipated films of the year, has now been slated for a 2016 release. Read More: How Scorsese and Schoonmaker Restored "The Tales of Hoffmann" "It’s a lifetime that the character of Father Rodrigues goes through that we witness," said Garfield at a press conference in Taiwan (video below). "It’s such an agonizing lifetime that he has to live. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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The Twin Madness of David Cronenberg's 'Dead Ringers' Still Troubles Us Today

4 May 2015 8:50 AM, PDT

David Cronenberg’s dark-souled psychological horror film casts Jeremy Irons as Elliot and Beverly Mantle, identical twin gynecologists who make a habit of seducing their patients. Unbeknownst to these women, the twins assume each other’s identity in the bedroom as well. The sibling’s sadistic roleplaying, exacerbated by drugs and paranoia, sends their lives (and the movie) into a hellish spiral replete with typically grotesque Cronenbergian touches. Irons won the New York Film Critics award for Best Actor. »


- Trailers From Hell

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The Dramatic Story Behind Satyajit Ray's 50s Masterpiece 'The Apu Trilogy' (Exclusive)

4 May 2015 8:33 AM, PDT

The more I've gotten to know Peter Becker, the President of the Criterion Collection and partner in Janus Films, the more I appreciate his virtues. Like many successful people, he is smart, tireless and knowledgeable, but that doesn't come close to capturing his passionate drive to restore and present the best films in the world. In short, he's obsessed. And patient. And perfectionist. He hangs on for years until a movie is right, restored and ready to be shared with the rest of us. He leaves no detail unexamined. And people trust his dedication to the original intentions of the filmmaker. Will we ever see the right and proper version of Orson Welles' fractured masterpiece "Chimes at Midnight"? Watch this space. Read More: How a Near-Pristine 35mm Print of Orson Welles' "Chimes at Midnight" Was Found As the years go by, retrieving archival prints and finding original negatives »


- Anne Thompson

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Carey Mulligan Just Says No, Goes Full Feminist with 'Far from the Madding Crowd' and 'Suffragette'

4 May 2015 4:28 AM, PDT

Like other intelligent women, she'd rather tread the boards than take yet another cookie-cutter role hanging on the arm of a fully-rounded leading man. She listened when her London agent Tor Befrage told her that she was in a good enough place to be able to turn down anything that she didn't feel she had to do because she couldn't bear the idea of someone else doing it. "I like taking time off," she tells me in a phone interview on her day off from her Broadway hit "Skylight," for which she and Bill Nighy both scored Tony nominations. Will Bathsheba earn her another Oscar nod? Reviews are strong, box office still to be determined.  While she took the plum role of Daisy opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann's lavishly appointed "The Great Gatsby" and worked for Oliver Stone on "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," Mulligan doesn't like most »


- Anne Thompson

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