8 items from 2016
Kate Winslet and Judy Davis working together, Friedrich Dürrenmatt's The Visit and Jack Nicholson in Sean Penn's The Pledge, Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns, Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, Albert Maysles and David Maysles' Grey Gardens - Jocelyn Moorhouse, director of A Thousand Acres (Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jason Robards, Colin Firth), and Proof (Hugo Weaving, Geneviève Picot, Russell Crowe) and The Dressmaker producer Sue Maslin, who reunited with novelist Rosalie Ham, discuss cinematic links and small-town logistics.
"If the dream, according to the interpretation, represents a wish fulfilled, what is the cause of the peculiar and unfamiliar manner in which this fulfillment is expressed? »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Loving Billy Wilder, watching Sunset Boulevard, an Audrey Hepburn Sabrina remodeling, Friedrich Dürrenmatt's The Visit and Jack Nicholson in Sean Penn's The Pledge, Sergio Leone, Alice B Toklas in Paris, South Pacific, David and Albert Maysles' Grey Gardens, consulting with Sophie Theallet about Madeleine Vionnet and Cristóbal Balenciaga - Jocelyn Moorhouse and producer Sue Maslin revealed the underpinnings of The Dressmaker.
Kate Winslet as Tilly Dunnage: "We're entering a fable. Although the story, of course, is very truthful and universal."
Based on the novel by Rosalie Ham, screenplay Pj Hogan and Moorhouse, starring Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth, and Hugo Weaving with Sarah Snook, Kerry Fox (Alison Maclean's The Rehearsal), Gyton Grantley, Alison Whyte, Shane Bourne, and Barry Otto (Gracie Otto and »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Watching Sean Penn‘s stupendously self-important “The Last Face” is an exercise in multi-layered torture. You’re not sure what hurts more: seeing accomplished actors Javier Bardem and Charlize Theron choke on laughably pompous dialogue or remembering that once-upon-a-time Penn directed real movies like “The Pledge” and “Into The Wild,” before he became a walking-talking political cartoon of […]
- Nikola Grozdanovic
Last year, “Beasts of No Nation” told a story of mutilated innocence in an unnamed African hell zone, but it didn’t feel compelled to add a token white hero (the caring photojournalist! the conflicted U.N. peacekeeper!) for the audience to identify with. “The Last Face,” an endless, logy cataclysm of a war-torn political drama directed by Sean Penn, goes right back to the look!-here-are-some-movie-stars-in-the-maelstrom paradigm. The film is set in some of the most blood-soaked territories of Africa – South Sudan, the Sierra Leone, Liberia — and it’s full of jaggedly edited sequences in which children lie on operating tables with their chests blown open, corpses appear in fly-buzzing piles and homemade bombs and machine-gun fire explode out of nowhere at deafening volume. At the front and center, though, are two characters who are in the crisis but not of it: Charlize Theron as Wren Petersen, a globe-trotting physician and activist, »
- Owen Gleiberman
Updated: Sean Penn’s humanitarian romance “The Last Face” is being savaged on Twitter after premiering Friday at the Cannes Film Festival. Commenters on social media are describing the film, which stars Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem, as the worst of the fest. Others are also quipping that the picture is so awful that it destroyed Penn’s relationship with Theron. The duo broke up a year ago.
When critics weighed in, they largely echoed the flash reactions that bubbled up online.
Variety Chief Film Critic Owen Gleiberman faulted Penn for spending so much time on the love story between Theron and Bardem, writing, “no matter how ‘well-meaning’ a director may be, there’s something inherently eye-rolling about being asked to care about the tragedy of African children through the Pov of two lovelorn glamour pusses.”
IndieWire’s Eric Kohn branded it the worst film of Penn’s career, writing »
- Brent Lang
Film centers on a Veracruz fishing village community leader, a charismatic woman and former prostitute. Now in her 50s, she is still in mourning the lives lost at sea in one of the largest storms in recent memory. Her search for closure leads her to Don Gabriel, an enigmatic 95-year-old shaman in a remote village, who claims to have control over the storms and the sea.
“Canicula” was co-written by Sebastian Hoffman (“Halley”), with cinematography by director Pedro Gonzalez Rubio (“Alamar”), figures who are beginning to attract far more attention in the U.S. and Europe, as is Chavezmontes. Starring Luis Gerardo Mendez (“The Noble Family”), Miguel Rodarte (“Saving Private Perez”) and Cassandra Ciangherotti (“The Hours With You”), “Tiempo Compartido,” Hoffman’s second film as a director, and a black comedy »
- John Hopewell
It’s been nearly a decade since Sean Penn‘s last directorial feature, Into the Wild, and 15 years since he last stopped by Cannes with his own film (The Pledge), but he’ll be back next month. The Last Face, which stars Charlize Theron, Javier Bardem, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Jean Reno, has been selected to premiere in competition at Cannes Film Festival, and today the first look has arrived.
Below, one can see Theron, who plays the director of an international aid agency in Africa, who meets a relief aid doctor (Bardem) during a political/social revolution. In the situation, they are presented with difficult choices when it comes humanitarianism amidst civil unrest. Penn is certainly no stranger to injecting politics into his cinema, so hopefully this one turns out more interesting that the last time he was on screen with The Gunman. Check back for our review next month from the festival, »
- Jordan Raup
It’s shaping up to be a strong year for American filmmakers at the Cannes Film Festival, with Sean Penn’s “The Last Face,” Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society” and Jeff Nichols’ “Loving” set to make their world premieres on the Croisette.
While festival delegate general Thierry Fremaux and his selection committee still have many titles to screen and many decisions to make before nailing down their lineup in mid April, the film slate is starting to come into focus with a marked emphasis on starry English-language fare, as already signaled by the announcement earlier this week that Jodie Foster’s “Money Monster,” with George Clooney and Julia Roberts, is Cannes-bound.
A slot in official selection likely awaits “Loving,” Nichols’ civil rights drama starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as an interracial couple in 1958 Virginia. Set to open theatrically Nov. 4 through Focus Features, the film would mark a return to »
- Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy
8 items from 2016
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