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‘Private Life’ Review: Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn Are Brilliant in Tamara Jenkins’ Crushingly Honest Fertility Epic — Sundance 2018

‘Private Life’ Review: Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn Are Brilliant in Tamara Jenkins’ Crushingly Honest Fertility Epic — Sundance 2018
A hilarious, profanely bougie, and crushingly honest story about a desperate couple trying something — anything — to have a baby before it’s too late, Tamara Jenkins’ first film since “The Savages” has been gestating for nine years, and it’s more than worth the wait.

Another acting showcase for a writer-director who’s previously mined new depths from talents like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Marisa Tomei, “Private Life” stars Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn as Richard and Rachel Grimes, 47 and 41 respectively. They live on East 6th Street and Avenue A, they have two large dogs, and they’re as hyper-literary as you might expect a theater director and a playwright to be (but they’re not all Noah Baumbach about it). But all of those details — everything that makes them who they are — is subsumed into their seemingly endless quest for a child.

Read More:‘Blindspotting’ Review: Daveed Diggs Is
See full article at Indiewire »

Alexander Payne on Downsizing: ‘The film isn’t a major statement – it’s a metaphor’

Alexander Payne on Downsizing: ‘The film isn’t a major statement – it’s a metaphor’
The director best known for character comedies such as Sideways on why he’s made a dystopia about tiny humans – and the tiny new human in his own life

‘Do you have any tiny humans in your life?” Alexander Payne asks me. The American director and screenwriter has many in his. The one he specifically has in mind is his first child, born only two weeks before he flew over for the London film festival last autumn. It’s the first thing he mentions when I step into the room and ask how he is. “I have a new daughter,” he beams expansively, and I almost expect him to hand me a celebratory cigar. “Two weeks. A tiny human.” What’s she called? “Thanks for asking,” he says, but will only tell me off the record. Suffice to say, it’s a rather poetic and very Greek name. Payne’s own family background is Greek,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘Downsizing’: What Went Wrong with Alexander Payne’s Social Satire

  • Indiewire
‘Downsizing’: What Went Wrong with Alexander Payne’s Social Satire
It’s easy to forget how many times Alexander Payne has pulled off movies that, on their face, were nowhere close to commercial. Payne has crossed over between the arthouse and the mainstream throughout his career. He’s a strong writer-director with a good nose for what will play for smart audiences all over the country. Born in Omaha, Neb., he has a gift for finding the universal in ordinary people; he has the populist touch. Making people laugh is a surefire way of getting stories across — except when they don’t land.

Payne has enjoyed a remarkable run. He and his writing partner Jim Taylor (who dreamed up this “getting small” idea with his brother Doug) are Oscar perennials. They were nominated for writing “Election” (1999; $17 million worldwide) and producing with Jim BurkeThe Descendants” (2011; $175 million worldwide), a Best Picture nominee. Payne has won twice, for writing “Sideways” with Taylor
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Downsizing’: What Went Wrong with Alexander Payne’s Social Satire

‘Downsizing’: What Went Wrong with Alexander Payne’s Social Satire
It’s easy to forget how many times Alexander Payne has pulled off movies that, on their face, were nowhere close to commercial. Payne has crossed over between the arthouse and the mainstream throughout his career. He’s a strong writer-director with a good nose for what will play for smart audiences all over the country. Born in Omaha, Neb., he has a gift for finding the universal in ordinary people; he has the populist touch. Making people laugh is a surefire way of getting stories across — except when they don’t land.

Payne has enjoyed a remarkable run. He and his writing partner Jim Taylor (who dreamed up this “getting small” idea with his brother Doug) are Oscar perennials. They were nominated for writing “Election” (1999; $17 million worldwide) and producing with Jim Burke “The Descendants” (2011; $175 million worldwide), a Best Picture nominee. Payne has won twice, for writing “Sideways” with Taylor
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

'Downsizing' Box Office a Rare Miss for Alexander Payne

'Downsizing' Box Office a Rare Miss for Alexander Payne
Acclaimed filmmaker Alexander Payne and Paramount may have bet big on Downsizing, but the movie is doing miniature-like business at the year-end holiday box office.

If the R-rated satirical comedy doesn't make a miraculous recovery, it will mark the first major miss of Payne's career, whose past films include prestige titles Nebraska, The Descendants, Sideways, About Schmidt and Election.

Downsizing is also the third movie in a row starring Matt Damon that's disappointed in North America after 2017 titles Suburbicon, directed by Damon's longtime collaborator, George Clooney, and The Great Wall. Prior to that, Damon turned out box-office...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Downsizing movie review: let’s get small (#LFF2017)

MaryAnn’s quick take… Absolutely stupendous: smart, funny, poignant, a true original. A thrilling odyssey of ideas that takes its sci-fi concept to the very edges of extrapolation. I’m “biast” (pro): big fan of Alexander Payne; big science-fiction fan

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

There are too many people on planet Earth, and we are having a devastating impact on the planetary environment. What if, instead of reducing the number of people, we just… reduced the people? This is the premise of Alexander Payne’s (The Descendants, Sideways) first foray into science fiction, and it is absolutely stupendous: smart, funny, poignant, a true original. I love this movie: it moved me in ways I wasn’t expecting and craved more of. It’s one of the year’s very best films.

An air of calm academia surrounds the announcement,
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

'Downsizing' Review: Matt Damon Shines in 'Bracing Comedy of Shocking Gravity'

'Downsizing' Review: Matt Damon Shines in 'Bracing Comedy of Shocking Gravity'
Alexander Payne, one of our best and most inventive filmmakers, is thinking big about being small. In Downsizing, a bracing comedy of shocking gravity, Payne and longtime writing partner Jim Taylor posit a future where human beings are offered the chance to shrink down to about five-inches in size and thereby be less of a burden on the besieged environment. And the money part's not bad either in a world where a little truly does go a long way. Any volunteers?

Paul Safranek (Matt Damon at his Everyman finest ) is intrigued.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Alexander Payne’s Films, Ranked Worst to Best (Photos)

  • The Wrap
Alexander Payne’s Films, Ranked Worst to Best (Photos)
In the two decades since “Citizen Ruth,” director Alexander Payne has lampooned both sides of the abortion fight, male entitlement, Type-a priggishness, Midwestern pithiness, sex-obsessed grandmas, and now, with “Downsizing,” the great lengths we’ll go to stay alive as a species. The Nebraskan auteur is also known, of course, for the breakthrough performances he elicits, many from little-known actors, as well as the poignant portraits of the many ways life lets us down. So where does a relatively silly effort like “Downsizing” fall in the ranks of his filmography? The sunnily depressive “Sideways”? The still-argued-about “Election”? Click through to find.
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Downsizing’ Review: Matt Damon Gets Small In A Smart, Funny & Human Movie With Big Ideas

‘Downsizing’ Review: Matt Damon Gets Small In A Smart, Funny & Human Movie With Big Ideas
There is no smarter director of wry and human comedy than Alexander Payne, whose filmography includes gems like Election, Nebraska, About Schmidt and Oscar-winning scripts like Sideways and The Descendants. As I say in my video review above, his latest, Downsizing, fits right in but also might be his most ambitious movie yet — certainly it is technically. In the vein of such great cinematic satirists as Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges, Payne and co-writer Jim Taylor
See full article at Deadline »

Director Alexander Payne Shares ‘Downsizing’ Production Team’s Sizable Contributions

Director Alexander Payne Shares ‘Downsizing’ Production Team’s Sizable Contributions
Paramount’s “Downsizing” is set in the near future, when a group of people shrink themselves to reduce their carbon footprint and extend their financial resources. Director Alexander Payne (who also scripted with Jim Taylor) had high praise for his behind-the-camera colleagues. “My charge to them was that I wanted it to look real; I didn’t want things eye-popping. I wanted a real sense of place.”

Cinematographer Phedon Papamichael

“The structure of the film is episodic. It starts in Omaha, then moves to Leisureland and so on. It’s four or five short films, but all of them are encased in a movie that should ultimately look like something shot in 1978. It’s a movie set 15 years in the future, but I wanted it to look like an old movie, as wacky as that sounds. I think older movies have a pleasing patina, and I wanted the pretty colors and grain. We knew that
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Contest: Win the Holiday Horror Film Better Watch Out on Blu-ray / DVD

  • DailyDead
Santa Claus isn't the only one making house calls this holiday season... A Home Alone-esque take on the holiday horror subgenre, Chris Peckover's Better Watch Out is out now on Digital HD, DVD, and Blu-ray Combo, and to celebrate the film's home media release, we've been provided with five Blu-ray / DVD combo pack copies to give away to lucky Daily Dead readers!

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Prize Details: (5) Winners will receive (1) Blu-ray / DVD combo pack copy of Better Watch Out.

How to Enter: We're giving Daily Dead readers multiple chances to enter and win:

1. Instagram: Following us on Instagram during the contest period will give you an automatic contest entry. Make sure to follow us at:

https://www.instagram.com/dailydead/

2. Email: For a chance to win via email, send an email to contest@dailydead.com with the subject “Better Watch Out Contest”. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.
See full article at DailyDead »

Alexander Payne on Tackling His Biggest Themes in ‘Downsizing’ and Why We ‘Need’ Horror Movies Today

Alexander Payne on Tackling His Biggest Themes in ‘Downsizing’ and Why We ‘Need’ Horror Movies Today
Alexander Payne recently had a business lunch with Jason Blum.

It may seem like an odd pairing. Payne is an Oscar-winning auteur known for such salt-of-the-earth comedies as “About Schmidt” and “Nebraska,” films where moments of levity emerge from a kind of hardscrabble realism. Blum, the hugely successful producer behind “The Purge” and “Insidious,” is a mogul of the macabre. But Payne, after seven movies that largely center on middle-aged schnooks, says he’s done with dramatizing the foibles of the pocket-protector set. He’s ready to shake things up.

“I want to do something different,” Payne tells Variety during a recent interview at Viacom’s Times Square headquarters. “How fun would it be to do a horror movie? They’re all the rage right now, and they make a lot of money.”

Before Payne can team up with Blum, however, he’s got a film to release. That’s why he’s flown to New York
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Win Passes To The Advance Screening Of Downsizing In St. Louis

Downsizing imagines what might happen if, as a solution to overpopulation, Norwegian scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall and propose a 200-year global transition from big to small. People soon realize how much further money goes in a miniaturized world. With the promise of a better life, everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha for a new downsized community, taking the irreversible leap that will trigger life-changing adventures when they become small.

Downsizing is directed by Academy Award© winner Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways), starring: Academy Award© winner Matt Damon (The Martian, Good Will Hunting), Academy Award© winner Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained), Hong Chau (Inherent Vice, Big Little Lies), Academy Award© nominee Kristen Wiig (The Martian, Bridesmaids), Udo Kier (Melancholia), Jason Sudeikis (Colossal), Academy Award© nominee Laura Dern (Wild, Rambling Rose), Neil Patrick Harris
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Election

We’ve all met Tracy Flick — the eager-beaver student that charms the right teachers, wins all the awards and corners the big scholarships. Alexander Payne’s witty, perceptive look at High School shows the predicament of a model teacher who can’t help but sabotage a pupil’s run for class president. Reese Witherspoon’s wholly original characterization scores big, and Matthew Broderick plays what is probably his best screen role.

Election

Blu-ray

The Criterion Collection 904

1999 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 103 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date December 5, 2017 / 39.95

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein, Jessica Campbell, Phil Reeves, Molly Hagan, Delaney Driscoll, Mark Harelik, Colleen Camp.

Cinematography: James Glennon

Film Editor: Kevin Tent

Production Design: Jane Ann Stewart

Original Music: Rolfe Kent

Written by Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor from a novel by Tom Perotta

Produced by Albert Berger, David Gale, Keith Samples, Ron Yerxa

Directed by Alexander Payne

“What
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

How ‘Downsizing’ Dp Phedon Papamichael, Director Alexander Payne Stayed Intimate With the Actors

How ‘Downsizing’ Dp Phedon Papamichael, Director Alexander Payne Stayed Intimate With the Actors
Downsizing,” one of the opening night films at the Camerimage film festival, is the fourth collaboration between director Alexander Payne and cinematographer Phedon Papamichael. Unlike the other three – “Sideways,” “The Descendants” and “Nebraska” – this new mix of comedy, drama and sci-fi uses plenty of visual effects to tell the story of a future in which many people miniaturize themselves in order to enjoy a better life.

Papamichael, who introduced the film, shot on Arri Alexa cameras using older Panavision lenses. Here he reveals how he and Payne were able to maintain the director’s signature style even on a large-scale movie.

Alexander Payne is known for actor-focused, intimate films. “Downsizing” is a bigger movie with lots of visual effects. Was that a big change for him?

It was definitely an adjustment for Alexander. When he and I shoot, we don’t really storyboard or do shot lists, we just bring in actors and see how they move
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Matt Damon and Downsizing Show Audiences an Eerie (and Tiny) Future

Matt Damon and Downsizing Show Audiences an Eerie (and Tiny) Future
Have you ever thought what it would be like to be really, really small? Probably—at least after the requisite childhood viewing of Indian in the Cupboard. Have you ever thought about what it would be like if Matt Damon were really, really small? Probably not. But now you'll never have to wonder. Downsizing, the upcoming flick from Oscar-winning director Alexander Payne (the man behind Sideways and The Descendants), explores that very question. It stars Damon and Kristen Wiig as a husband and wife in a not-quite-dystopic and not-quite-utopic future in which a company has figured out how to shrink humans down to fit in the palm of what used to be your...
See full article at E! Online »

‘Daddy’s Home 2’ is Paramount’s Last Big Hope, But It’s Stuck With Last Place

  • Indiewire
‘Daddy’s Home 2’ is Paramount’s Last Big Hope, But It’s Stuck With Last Place
“Daddy’s Home 2” opens today with advance estimates around $20 million. That’s a modest number, but for Paramount that’s great news: Not since “Transformers: The Last Knight” in June has it seen a movie open to as much as $8 million, nor grossed above $18 million. The $69 million-budgeted comedy is a sequel to the original that grossed $150 million two years ago. (In this case, #2 at the box office was great: #1 was “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”) The sequel reprises directing, writing and leads (Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell), with Mel Gibson and John Lithgow added as their intrusive fathers.

For Paramount, 2017 is the worst year in its history, and the release comes a week after in which two big news stories have rocked the studio. First, worldwide president of marketing and distribution Megan Colligan resigned, with claims of gender discrimination. Then, Paramount faced the abrupt end of a billion-dollar film financing deal with Chinese investor Huahua,
See full article at Indiewire »

Holiday Horror Comedy Better Watch Out Coming to Blu-ray & DVD This December

  • DailyDead
Well Go USA is making sure that Santa Claus isn't the only one making house calls this holiday season, as they'll be releasing the Home Alone-esque holiday horror comedy Better Watch Out on Blu-ray and DVD beginning December 5th.

Read on for more details in the official press release, and in case you missed it, read Heather's review of Better Watch Out, check out her interview with co-writer/director Chris Peckover, and read her fun chat with co-star Ed Oxenbould.

Press Release: Plano, Texas. (November 1, 2017) – Better Watch Out, the critically acclaimed horror-comedy that “puts the carnage into Christmas” (Entertainment Weekly), debuts on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD December 5 from Well Go USA Entertainment. Holiday cheer and Home Alone get a decidedly dark spin when a babysitter must protect her charges from a terrifying home invasion. Directed by Chris Peckover (Undocumented), Better Watch Out stars Olivia Dejonge (Scare Campaign
See full article at DailyDead »

Oscars Not So White: ‘Get Out’ and ‘Mudbound’ Lead Diverse 2018 Contenders

It would be lovely to think that last year’s “Moonlight” Oscar wins presaged a long and permanent shift in Hollywood movie culture. At the heart of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ complex diversity issue is how much the Oscars reflect the way that the Academy likes to view itself. That helps to explain why the Academy voters did far better with their 2017 Oscar nominations than the year before, when their 6,000 members failed to nominate any actors of color at all.

Read More:Barry Jenkins and Jordan Peele Among the 774 Invited to Join the Academy As It Pushes for Inclusion

The Academy’s recent diversity push added more younger and international members; its 7,000 voters are now 28 percent women and 13 percent people of color. But will the new membership shifts make a major impact on the 2018 Oscar nominations? Despite the new voters, the organization is still under the
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Oscars Not So White: ‘Get Out’ and ‘Mudbound’ Lead Diverse 2018 Contenders

It would be lovely to think that last year’s “Moonlight” Oscar wins presaged a long and permanent shift in Hollywood movie culture. At the heart of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ complex diversity issue is how much the Oscars reflect the way that the Academy likes to view itself. That helps to explain why the Academy voters did far better with their 2017 Oscar nominations than the year before, when their 6,000 members failed to nominate any actors of color at all.

Read More:Barry Jenkins and Jordan Peele Among the 774 Invited to Join the Academy As It Pushes for Inclusion

The Academy’s recent diversity push added more younger and international members; its 7,000 voters are now 28 percent women and 13 percent people of color. But will the new membership shifts make a major impact on the 2018 Oscar nominations? Despite the new voters, the organization is still under the
See full article at Indiewire »
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