Lisa Cholodenko & Frances McDormand's "Olive Kitteridge" Impresses in Venice
The biggest positive surprise at Venice is probably Lisa Cholodenko’s HBO miniseries, “Olive Kitteridge.” Starring those national treasures Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins as the title character and her pharmicist husband, Henry, the four-part series travels through their lives over some 25 years. In today’s press conference, McDormand said that she’d been playing supportive roles to male characters for her entire career and “it feels like I’ve been working for 35 years to set up this part.” And it does feel like she was meant to play this small-town Maine teacher who, as McDormand says, “not everyone likes but no one can ignore.” This is to put it mildly: Olive Kitteridge is brusque, sharp, acerbic, unforgiving, ungenerous, rude, mean, and downright unhappy much of the time – most of all with those close to her – Henry and their son, Christopher (John Gallagher, Jr). She’s also brilliantly funny, and »
- Tom Christie
‘One Day Since Yesterday: Peter Bogdanovich & the Lost American Film’: Venice Review
How fitting that 32 years after the Venice Film Festival opened with They All Laughed, Peter Bogdanovich’s swirling love letter to love and to New York City, the director is back on the Lido as the subject of a documentary focusing on that long-overlooked romantic caper comedy and its turbulent backstory. This is engrossing material, and its specificity alone makes One Day Since Yesterday worth watching. But while there’s no doubting director Bill Teck’s passion for the project, his inexperience as a filmmaker shows in the disorganized, technically rough study, which outstays its usefulness by a good half-hour,
- David Rooney
'The Maze Runner' Rules Revealed in New Featurette
A new featurette for The Maze Runner has debuted, outlining the daily drill for those trapped in the Glade. "Every day, the Maze Runners follow the same procedure," Ki Hong Lee explains to Dylan O'Brien, as he notes the importance of the map room, section assignments and gear. "Come back before the doors close," he concludes of the rules. "If you survive, we do it all again the next day." As for those who don't, well, we already know what happens to them. The Fox film centers on Thomas (O'Brien), a teenager who wakes up in a
- Ashley Lee
North Korea Condemns U.K. TV Series as ‘Despicable Burlesque’
London — The government of North Korea has condemned a TV political thriller about the country that has been commissioned by U.K. public broadcaster Channel 4.
The series, “Opposite Number,” centers on a British nuclear scientist who is taken prisoner in North Korea. It has been penned by British playwright and screenwriter Matt Charman, who wrote the original script for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Cold War movie.
See Also: U.K.’s Channel 4 Detonates North Korean Thriller ‘Opposite Number’
In a statement, North Korea’s National Defense Commission spoke about the drama as “malignantly slandering” the country, and said it was “a conspiratorial charade painting a wrong picture” of the country.
It said the country’s nuclear weapons — referred to as the “treasured sword for self-defense” — were produced due to its “own efforts, technology and resources from A to Z.”
The statement said the TV series “is based on »
- Leo Barraclough
Once Upon a Time Teases Elsa's Arrival in Storybrooke with New Trailer (Video)
Looks like things are getting pretty frosty in Storybrooke. Once Upon a Time has released its first teaser trailer featuring Elsa of Frozen, and the 30-second clip of the popular Disney character passing through Storybrooke's signature landmarks show the locations' feeling, well, left out in the cold. The ABC fantasy show made waves in July when it announced it had cast its Elsa, Fringe actress Georgina Haig, for its fourth season. (The show cast its Hans and Pabbie a few weeks later.) The trailer, which debuted on the Hollywood Reporter site, also shows that some characters are perhaps less thrilled »
Trendsetters at Work: Beauty.com
When we were kids, our ultimate day of indulgence would be spent at the candy shop loading up on all the chocolate and gummies we could fit into a plastic baggy. Fast-forward a couple decades and our ultimate day of indulgence has changed slightly. Now our favorite way of treating ourselves is a beauty product shopping spree. So naturally we felt like a kid in a candy shop when we were able to interview Romy Soleimani, the beauty director at large at Beauty.com—a heaven-like place where you can buy anything your beauty junkie heart desires. Keep reading to find out how Romy went from working as an intern at a scarf company to living in New York City living her dream job. What was your »
Watch: 'Downton Abbey' Season 5 Trailer
The new trailer for "Downton Abbey" season five -- or series five, as they say across the pond -- is here. New episodes of the beloved Brit series premiere September 21 in the UK. American audiences will see it January 4. Though nominated in seven categories, the Outstanding Drama Series contender was shut-out at the 2014 Primetime Emmys. Toh!'s Matt Brennan has strong feelings about the show's rise and fall as it heads into the tumultuous mid-1920s, as discussed in detail here. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
'Birdman' director Alejandro González Iñárritu has a problem with the word 'hero'
Telluride — "Birdman" has arrived stateside and made as significant an impact as it did at the Venice Film Festival last week. You won't run into too many people who have managed to catch it at one of its packed screenings who weren't completely blown away by the accomplishment, and for director Alejandro González Iñárritu, it was clearly a much-needed exercise in self-reflection away from the somber fray of his filmography to date. From "Amores Perros" to "21 Grams," "Babel" to "Biutiful," González Iñárritu has marinated in heavy drama. And it's not that "Birdman" is without its own profound gravity — quite the opposite, in fact — but it gave him an opportunity to finally have fun and get outside his own head a bit, albeit through a film that very much exists as an exploration of his own midlife considerations. That made sitting down with him all the more enjoyable. Jet-lagged from Venice »
- Kristopher Tapley
Review: Katherine Heigl country romance 'Jackie & Ryan' is corny but well-acted
Venice — Director Ami Canaan Mann's country music romance "Jackie & Ryan" is a film that raises many questions. The first is: Christ, is that dirt on his hands or some singularly ill-advised finger tattoos? Yep, those are definitely finger tattoos. And not very good finger tattoos. But let's try not to be personally offensive or get too hung up on some really, really bad finger tattoos. The hands defaced by the finger tattoos (did I mention the finger tattoos? They're just awful) belong to Ben Barnes' country singer Ryan, whom we meet as he brews his morning pot of coffee on a goods train heading in the general direction of Ogden, Utah. These hands are soon revealed to be instrumental to turning the engine of the plot, such as it is - these hands play guitar, fix roofs and politely caress Katherine Heigl's single mom Jackie. A rollin' »
- Catherine Bray
Venice Film Review: ‘Tsili’
“Punishing” may be the appropriate default setting for Holocaust dramas on film, but restless Israeli auteur Amos Gitai goes for extra credit in “Tsili,” With its simple, bare-boned narrative made arcane by Gitai’s more intuitive poetic flourishes, this female-oriented, Ukraine-set survival tale makes grander emotional gestures as it goes along — integrating the eponymous Tsili’s grueling odyssey with that of her people at large. Still, this Venice entry is unlikely to be taken to heart by more than the director’s most patient fans; Gitai’s last few features have struggled to gain much traction with international distributors, and his latest looks to be no exception.
Bowing on the Lido one year after his single-take drama “Ana Arabia” — and days after his similarly stuntish short contribution to the portmanteau film “Words With Gods” at this year’s fest — Gitai’s latest concerns itself less with such overt gimmickry, though »
- Guy Lodge
Venice Film Review: ‘Leopardi’
Despite considerable enthusiasm among international cognoscenti for the 19th-century Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi, his fame remains largely at home; Mario Martone’s “Leopardi” may briefly expand his name abroad, but is unlikely to inspire a fresh wave of readers. In his short life, the tormented poet elevated melancholy beyond his own twisted body, presenting it as the overwhelming attribute of the human condition; turning such existential sadness into a biopic is a difficult task, and Local arbiters of culture will boost home marketing, while offshore will be limited to fests and Italo showcases.
Martone is on a crusade to kindle interest in Italy’s complex 19th-century past via films meant to go beyond the kind of rote history lessons that too often benumb uninspired students. “Leopardi” is more successful than his previous “We Believed,” yet both suffer from dialogue that uncinematically conveys concepts more than character. Leopardi the man has often been classified with Byron, »
- Jay Weissberg
Masters of Sex Recap: Lingering Issues
To be completely candid, so many pieces shifted in last week's Masters of Sex that I had a little trouble reorienting myself when I sat down to watch last night's episode – in many ways, it was close to an hour of me saying, "Oh, Right" aloud to myself. Oh, right, Dr. Langham used to be a series regular. Oh, right, when Bill isn't continually getting fired from stuff, there's way more sex on this show. And oh, right, Bill can turn from decent to jerk on a dime.We've seen Bill's kinder side before this season, most notably when he fought for the rights of the baby born with ambiguous genitalia and he comforted Virginia when she first learned that Lillian had opted to stop her cancer treatments. And we saw it again on last night's episode in his interactions with his brother, Frank, who's desperately trying to conceive a »
- Lauren Hoffman
William and Kate Enjoy a Date Night in the Country
Prince William and Kate Middleton made time for a date night on Thursday, despite being knee-deep in renovating their 10-bedroom country house, Anmer Hall. The royal pair - he in faded blue jeans and sneakers, she in skinny jeans and a sweater - were spotted at the King's Head Hotel in Great Bircham, spending about two hours at the restaurant before they left holding hands en route to their car. Towards the end of their meal, the first-time visitors to the pub chatted happily with some locals who approached them at their table, the Sunday Express reported. The King's Head »
- Simon Perry, @sperrypeoplemag
'Foxcatcher': Steve Carell's Chilling Mission Statement Triggers a Chant in New Trailer
To play Olympic wrestling benefactor John Eleuthere du Pont in Foxcatcher, director Bennett Miller recalled that Steve Carell wanted embark on the lengthy preparations that Philip Seymour Hoffman did for Capote, including what the actor called "a very specific physicality that I thought was informed by what was going on inside him." That transformation is on full display in the film's latest trailer, as an unrecognizable and haunting Carell touts a gravelly voice and facial prosthetics to explain his mission. "Athletes need role models — like anyone, they need people to look up to," he says. "I want more than anything to win a gold
- Ashley Lee
Telluride Film Review: ‘Madame Bovary’
. Measured and absorbing rather than deeply compelling or vital, this latest adaptation of a rarely well-filmed novel makes a strong effort to capture the stiflingly provincial world that Flaubert was able to describe in such precise, painstaking detail on the page. If the slow-burning result falls somewhat short of that admittedly Herculean feat, there are fine compensations in Barthes’ exquisite visual sense (aided by Andrij Parekh’s widescreen imagery) and another fiercely unsympathetic performance from Mia Wasikowska in the title role. Following its Telluride and Toronto berths, this classy period piece deserves to find a discerning arthouse niche.
Although Flaubert’s once-controversial realist masterwork has yielded no shortage of TV and film adaptations (including Vincente Minnelli’s 1949 version and Claude Chabrol’s 1991 picture with Isabelle Huppert), Barthe’s film is billing itself as the first one to be directed by a woman — a savvy enough hook for this particular proto-feminist literary heroine. »
- Justin Chang
The Strain Recap: Yawn of the Dead
For seven weeks, The Strain’s locations have spread across New York City like strigoi themselves. (Or, if Eph prefers, “the transformative disease.”) But with the exception of its opening scene, which picks back up underneath Grand Central and shows us both a gravely concerned Abe and acutely wounded Eichhorst (yay), “Creatures of the Night” goes down on one small stretch of Brooklyn turf.Eph, Nora, Abe and Jim hop down to one of the Cdc’s medical-supply outposts, and are forced to break in when they realize all doors are locked. Nora, still ever the goody two-shoes, expresses pause. Eph makes clear they’re far past the point of no return when it comes to petty crime. Yet, he’s still a stubborn son of a bitch when it comes to completely heeding Abe’s instruction. “When will you decide to believe me?” an increasingly, and understandably, weary Mr. »
- Kenny Herzog
Trailers from Hell on 'Being There'
The brilliant chameleon Peter Sellers turns in his greatest (and penultimate) performance in this low-key satire about politics and the cult of personality. Or in this case, the lack of personality: as Chance, a gentle shut-in untouched by the outside world except for what little knowledge he’s gleaned from TV, Sellers turns in a studious portrait of a completely vacant man. Directed by Hal Ashby from Jerzy Kozinski’s 1970 novel, the film co-stars Shirley MacLaine, Jack Warden and, in an Oscar-winning performance, Melvyn Douglas. »
- Trailers From Hell
'Draft Day' deleted scene: See how Jennifer Garner's football exec made it in a man's world
In a case of life imitating art, the Cleveland Browns made some ambitious draft-day trades in May to land a college football star who they hope can turn around their franchise. Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel will be holding a clipboard when the real Browns open their season next week, but he’s already been anointed a savior by a city that hasn’t won an NFL title since 1964. In Ivan Reitman’s movie, Draft Day, Kevin Costner stars as Sonny Weaver Jr., the Browns’ embattled general manager faced with a make-or-break draft to reverse the team’s losing fortunes and save his job. »
- Jeff Labrecque
10 Biggest Winners and Losers at the Summer Box Office – From ‘GotG’ Chris Pratt Effect to Tom Cruise
Now that summer has drawn to a close and we can officially declare “Guardians of the Galaxy” the biggest winner at nearly $280 million domestically, let's take a look back at the other winners and losers to come out of the season. Winner – Chris Pratt That guy on “Parks and Recreation” became the summer's hottest male star after his endearing turn as the roguish Peter “Star Lord” Quill in the season's biggest movie, the Marvel space romp “Guardians of the Galaxy.” And he'll be back next June in “Jurassic World” Loser – The summer box office It finished down roughly 15 percent »
- Todd Cunningham and Gina Hall
Why We Won't See Screech's Suspenders in 'The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story'
Come Monday night, we can relive the early '90s with Zack Morris and the rest of the Saved by the Bell gang once more with Lifetime's TV movie premiere of The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story, which follows six then-unknown actors and their rise to fame while starring on the show. While we'll witness the Bayside High crew back together (with a new starring cast), there's one thing we'll miss seeing in this updated version: the show's original costume pieces — Screech's signature suspenders and Lisa's funky hats included. "Well, one thing is, we can’t copy what Saved
- Stephanie Chan
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