12 items from 2016
A leftfield Palme contender emerges in this insightful and sometimes very funny film about a prank-prone dad trying to lighten up his serious businesswoman daughter
This is proving to be a festival for broad, outrageous and enjoyable comedy. Bruno Dumont has just given us his madly over-the-top seaside extravaganza Ma Loute, and now German film-maker Maren Ade presents Toni Erdmann – an uproarious movie with a lot of big laughs. It’s a film that starts out looking like a European version of Hollywood’s bittersweet generational pictures about lovably impossible dads, like Jack Lemmon’s Kotch (1971) or Alexander Payne’s About Schmidt (2002). But then it gradually mutates into something darker and more disorientating.
The film is very funny – but asks its audience to wonder if being funny, if wanting to make people laugh, and particularly if using comedy for family-bonding, really is the sign of being relaxed and life-affirming in »
- Peter Bradshaw
“Juliet, Naked” centers on Annie, the long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan, and her unlikely transatlantic romance with once revered singer-songwriter Tucker Crowe, who also happens to be the subject of Duncan’s musical obsession.
CAA and UTA set up “Juliet, Naked” and are co-repping the rights.
“I’m thrilled to extend my long collaboration with Jesse to this film, »
- Dave McNary
The director of Our Idiot Brother will direct Juliet, Naked based on the Nick Hornby novel in a project backed by Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman’s fledgling producer-financier Los Angeles Media Fund (Lamf).
Tamara Jenkins and spouse Jim Taylor – Alexander Payne’s screenwriting partner on films such as Sideways and About Schmidt – wrote the screenplay with revisions by Phil Alden Robinson and Evgenia Peretz.
Lamf was launched in September 2014 to make films across a range of genres budgeted up to $50m.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
“Workaholics” star Maribeth Monroe has joined the cast of Alexander Payne‘s “Downsizing,” TheWrap has learned exclusively. Jason Sudeikis, Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz and Hong Chau will also star in “Downsizing,” which stars Matt Damon as an Omaha man who gives in and agrees to undergo a new process that shrinks people before moving to a community of like-minded individuals. Payne (“About Schmidt”) wrote the screenplay with Jim Taylor and is producing through his Ad Hominem production company along with Gran Via Productions’ Mark Johnson. Taylor and Jim Burke will executive produce. Also Read: 'Martian' Reunion: Kristen Wiig Joins Matt Damon in Alexander. »
- Linda Ge
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.
After the death of his wife, an emotionally numb man begins an unlikely friendship with a vending machine company’s customer service rep.
Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal) loses his wife in a car accident in Demolition’s opening scene. Yet as his tearful father-in-law Phil (the ever solid Chris Cooper) sets up a charitable trust in his daughter’s memory, Davis appears completely disinterested.
Demolition is a film about how different people deal with grief.
The first act is tough going. Not ‘tough going’ like the director’s previous film Dallas Buyers Club (about treating sufferers of the AIDS virus); ‘tough going’ like ‘oh Christ, we’re only 27 minutes in?!‘
Displacing his bereavement, Davis obsessively complains to a vending machine company. He’d bought a pack of M&Ms in one in the hospital when his wife died, »
- Oli Davis
We've been celebrating actors all month, and today one of our most legendary deserves a double dose of celebration: Jack Nicholson turns 79!
Nicholson is currently enjoying a low-key retirement. He hasn't been seen on the silver screen since James L. Brooks misfire How Do You Know, but his monolithic legacy of landmark work still feels fresh and the films rewatchable. We're lucky to still have an actor with us who can continue to inspire awe with performances like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest's McMurphy or The Joker. It's saying something that he's Oscar's most recognized actor, but has plenty of worthy unnominated worthy performances to add to the heap - Batman, Carnal Knowledge, and even The Shining.
- Chris Feil
Back in January 2015, we reported that Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon had signed on to join Matt Damon in director Alexander Payne's Downsizing, which was ironically the second time she had boarded the project. The movie was originally set up back in 2009, but it never moved forward. Today we have a report from Deadline that Reese Witherspoon has dropped out once again due to scheduling conflicts, with Kristen Wiig set to take her place.
The story centers on Matt Damon's character, an ordinary man from Omaha who joins a growing group of people undergoing a process to get shrunk to a fraction of their own size. He then moves to one of the several communities for "small people" that are beginning to sprout up all over the world. No details were given for Kristen Wiig's role, but when Reese Witherspoon landed the role in 2009, she was believed to »
Scheduling conflicts resulted in Witherspoon’s exit, though Paramount wasted no time in filling the actress’ shoes. Now, Wiig will be rubbing shoulders with Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz and Hong Chau in Payne’s atypical social satire, representing the director’s third collaboration with Paramount – his latest, Nebraska, debuted to critical acclaim in 2013.
Forget Bruce Dern’s troubled alcoholic, though, Downsizing centers on “an Omaha man who joins the throngs of people undergoing a new process that reduces people to a tiny fraction of their size before moving to one of the many communities of small people that are sprouting up around the world.” Well, we did say it was out of the ordinary.
Behind the scenes, Payne is reuniting with long-term writing partner Jim Taylor. Over the years, the Oscar-winning duo »
- Michael Briers
Wiig is taking the place of Reese Witherspoon, who withdrew recently due to scheduling conflicts.
“Downsizing” centers on an Omaha man who joins the throngs of people undergoing a new process that reduces people to a tiny fraction of their size before moving to one of the many communities of small people that are sprouting up around the world.
Payne is co-writing the script with Jim Taylor. The duo won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay for “Sideways” and collaborated on the scripts for “Citizen Ruth,” “Election,” “Jurassic Park III,” “About Schmidt” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.”
Payne’s directing credits include “Citizen Ruth, »
- Dave McNary
Has there ever been a comedy in which every single joke struck you as equally funny? Just curious, because if the worst thing that French directing duo Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern's latest film, "Saint Amour" can be accused of is a certain reckless hit-and-miss quality, it's in pretty good company. A late-festival treat to wash away the brain grime accrued over the previous day's 8-hour Lav Diaz marathon, perhaps, or a sweet little bonbon served up as a reward for sticking around for this final weekend when so many others have skedaddled, its joyously tacky humor, and extreme, eccentric lovability, are a tonic and a trip. It shares narrative DNA with about half of the back catalogue of Alexander Payne, (equal parts "Nebraska" and "Sideways" with a faint of bouquet of "About Schmidt"), but "Saint Amour" is twice as funny as any of them, less than half as pretentious despite being ineffably. »
- Jessica Kiang
Has there ever been a comedy in which every single joke struck you as equally funny? Just curious, because if the worst thing that Belgian directing duo Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern's latest film, "Saint Amour," can be accused of is a certain reckless hit-and-miss quality, it's in pretty good company. A late-festival treat to wash away the brain grime accrued over the previous day's 8-hour Lav Diaz marathon, "A Lullaby To The Sorrowful Mystery," perhaps, or a sweet little bonbon served up as a reward for sticking around for this final weekend when so many others have skedaddled, its joyously tacky humor, and extreme, eccentric lovability, are a tonic and a trip. It shares narrative DNA with about half of the back catalogue of Alexander Payne (equal parts "Nebraska" and "Sideways," with a faint bouquet of "About Schmidt"), but "Saint Amour" is twice as funny as any of them, »
- Jessica Kiang
Berger and Yerxa have acquired movie rights to Knausgaard’s New York Times Magazine articles, published last year, tracing the Vikings’ possible journeys from Newfoundland to Minnesota. Scandinavian producers Madeleine Ekman and Lizette Jonic at Zentropa Sweden are also producing.
Berger told Variety that he discovered Knausgaard’s article while on a flight to Scandinavia for a conference of independent producers and was able to start making the rights and producing deals during the trip. He also said that Payne’s ability to deliver road-trip comedies — “Nebraska,” “Sideways” and “About Schmidt” — convinced him that the director would be a good match.
“I think Alexander »
- Dave McNary
12 items from 2016
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