11 items from 2015
Whether you are a filmmaker, or one of the Sundance programmers whose task it is to identify the films that make up a line-up, it is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. The 32nd edition of the Sundance Film Festival kicks off on January 21st with Park City and Salt Lake City. Two decades back, Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan’s Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern was the Grand Jury Prize winner in the Documentary section while Todd Solondz’s Welcome to the Dollhouse beat out the likes of Nicole Holofcener’s Walking and Talking, Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott’s Big Night, Mary Harron’s I Shot Andy Warhol and Alexander Payne’s Citizen Ruth for the Grand Jury Prize dramatic.
As per our tradition here on the site and as we all get ready for the festival, we like to propose an overview of the films we »
- Eric Lavallee
Chicago – Actor Sam Eliott will make you smile. The distinctive voice, his famous mustache and his character presence in a film or TV show increases any potential in the production. He recently was in Chicago with director Paul Weitz, as they teamed up in the film “Grandma,” starring the incomparable Lily Tomlin.
“Grandma” has a very unique premise. Tomlin is the title character of Elle, who is visited by her granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner). The girl is seeking an abortion, and her feminist poet grandmother seems like the right fellow traveler on her way to the procedure. Sam Elliott portrays Karl, Elle’s ex-husband – she left him for a same sex partner – who harbors a resentment toward circumstances in their relationship. The two meet along the way to the clinic, and the resentment boils to the surface.
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Classics
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Accidental Love, 2015.
A small town waitress gets a nail accidentally lodged in her head causing unpredictable behavior that leads her to Washington, D.C., where sparks fly when she meets a clueless young senator who takes up her cause – but what happens when love interferes with what you stand for?
Every other film released today seems to come with a narrative built around it, filling the minds of audiences with predestined verdicts before the film is even seen; It’s a remake, it’s a reboot, it’s a restarting franchise, it’s been pushed back, it’s blown its budget etc. In the case of Accidental Love, the chequered history to get the film seen is a story unto itself, with all involved having moved on »
- Gary Collinson
The 2015 Sundance Film Festival may be long gone, but its fires continue to burn bright as festival sensation "Dope" enters theaters this weekend alongside the award-winning and expanding "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl." We've rounded up 10 more Sundance hits that are now available to stream on Netflix, including prestige documentaries such as "Hoop Dreams" and the Academy Award-winning "Man on Wire." These films are listed below in alphabetical order. Read More: 9 Indie Tearjerkers Now Streaming on Netflix "Citizen Ruth" (Alexander Payne, 1996)The debut feature of Alexander Payne ("Election," "The Descendants"), "Citizen Ruth" stars Laura Dern as an unruly pregnant woman whose actions draw attention from both sides of the abortion debate. With a wicked clever script and a tone that balances the moral shades of each side of the argument, "Ruth" proves just how acerbic and intelligent »
- Zack Sharf
Directed by Joe Johnston
Continuing our look at the original Jurassic Park trilogy, we now come to the third film in a franchise that didn’t lend itself to franchising very well in the first place. Simply titled Jurassic Park III (with 3 claw marks!), the film represents the last gasping attempt to milk the groundbreaking 1993 techno thriller of its fandom after the darker and scattershot turn the franchise took with The Lost World: Jurassic Park in 1997. Released in 2001, another 4 years between sequels, but now long after dinosaurs had captured the movie-going zeitgeist. We’d been through an alien invasion and a disaster movie fad since then and had moved on. We’d cloned a sheep and science was continuing to demystify genetic engineering. If the franchise was going to remain relevant it would have to present us with a new idea, »
- Charlie Sanford
London — The Munich Film Festival is to pay tribute to Alexander Payne with a complete retrospective of his movies.
Payne’s last visit to the event was in 1997 when he won the High Hopes Award for “Citizen Ruth,” the predecessor of the festival’s CineVision Award. The film starred Laura Dern as a white trash antihero who becomes a cause celebre when she gets pregnant with her fifth child.
Among the movies to play in Munich this year are “Election,” which was the international breakout role for Reese Witherspoon, “About Schmidt,” starring Jack Nicholson, “Sideways,” which stars Paul Giamatti, “The Descendants,” starring George Clooney, and “Nebraska,” with Bruce Dern toplining.
The Munich retrospective will show all Payne’s shorts, features and TV films. On June 26, there will be a gala held in his honor, and the director will also speak about his life and movies at Filmmakers Live in the Gasteig Black Box. »
- Leo Barraclough
When you imagine growing up in Texas, there’s the idealized Terrence Malick version of things, as seen in “The Tree of Life,” and there’s the casual, down-to-earth sort captured by Richard Linklater in such pics as “Dazed and Confused” and “Boyhood.” But for the truest depiction of how it feels to come of age in the Lone Star state, look no farther than Micah Magee’s “Petting Zoo,” a piercingly authentic, diamond-in-the-rough debut inspired by its director’s San Antonio upbringing, shaped by her personal experience with unplanned pregnancy and rendered poignant by whatever distance she’s since managed to put between herself and those teenage memories. Following screenings in Berlin and SXSW, Magee’s all-American indie is well poised for acquisition and further festival interest on both sides of the Atlantic — no small feat for a starless first feature.
Neither as witty as Juno nor as woebegone as Precious, »
- Peter Debruge
Read More: 'The Intruder' and 'I Believe in Unicorns' Among Winners at First Time Fest Harvey Weinsten is known for taking chances on first-time filmmakers, having helped launch the careers of Quentin Tarantino ("Reservoir Dogs"), Steven Soderbergh ("Sex, Lies and Videotape"), Baz Luhrmann ("Strictly Ballroom") and Alexander Payne ("Citizen Ruth") during his time at Miramax and now The Weinstein Company. Naturally then, Weinstein was an honoree at this year's third annual First Time Fest, a festival designed to showcase and discover first-time feature filmmakers. During the closing night discussion and throughout the festivities, The Hollywood Reporter was able to nab a few details about what Weinstein looks for from collaborators and first-time directors. Want to work with Harvey Weinstein one day? Here are the four tips Indiewire was able to cull from the piece. Write Your Own ScriptWhen asked what gives him the confidence to »
- Casey Cipriani
During his time running Miramax and The Weinstein Company, Harvey Weinstein has released a number of movies directed by first-time filmmakers including Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, Steven Soderbergh's Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Rob Marshall's Chicago, Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom, Alexander Payne's Citizen Ruth, Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station and George Clooney's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. This background made Weinstein an ideal honoree for the third annual First Time Fest, designed to discover, showcase and celebrate first-time feature filmmakers. Weinstein was honored during the closing night of this year's festivities, participating in a discussion with First Time Fest's director
- Hilary Lewis
More than 15 years ago, Reese Witherspoon gave her first really impressive performance as an ambitious, overachieving high school student in the indie comedy Election. She’d shown talent before then, but this was the moment we knew she would grow as an actress as she aged further into adulthood (she was 22 at the time, playing a teenager). Later came Legally Blonde and cemented her as a movie star, one who would go on to additional rom-com fluff like Sweet Home Alabama while only occasionally mixing in more substantial fare — enough to win an Oscar in 2005 for Walk the Line, at least. Now she appears to be focused on the latter in what some have called a career resurrection or (to borrow an idea from her Mud co-star) “Reese-enaissance” or (via the Fighting in the War Room podcast) “Reese-urgence.” And with this new era comes a reunion with her Election director, Alexander Payne »
- Christopher Campbell
Reese Witherspoon has signed on to follow up her critically-acclaimed performance in Wild with Downsizing. Ironically, the actress was initially attached way back in 2009 when we first reported on the project. Paul Giamatti and Sacha Baron Cohen were also attached to star at the time for director Alexander Payne, but it never moved forward, as the filmmaker went on to make Best Picture nominee The Descendants just a few years later. Matt Damon signed on to star back in November, playing a man who believes his life would be far better off if he shrunk himself, in what is described as a social satire.
Back in 2009, Reese Witherspoon was set to play a woman who met the shrinking man, then played by Paul Giamatti. It isn't known if she will still play the same role in this incarnation. Deadline reports that timing may be an issue with Reese Witherspoon, since »
11 items from 2015
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