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It's difficult to get through the trailer for Stronger -- the real-life story of Jeff Bauman, who became a double amputee following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing -- without being brought to tears. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Bauman on screen and the movie's poster, debuting on Et, shows him mid-physical therapy with the tagline, "Strength Defines Us."
Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions
Director David Gordon Green tells Et that his film is more than just a tearjerker, though. "You're in for a ride," he said by phone. "That certainly expresses a side of the emotional intensity of the movie, but you might be surprised to find a good sense of humor woven in there as well. Expect a few chuckles alongside a tear or two."
We're all impatiently waiting for season two of Stranger Things to hit Netflix, but the teasers can only hold us over for so long! There's good news for fans: the hit series received a whopping 18 Emmy nominations. In the outstanding supporting actor in a drama series category, David Harbour is nominated for his role as Jim Hopper. But where else have you seen the actor before? While the chief of Hawkins Pd is probably his most well-known role, Harbour has been acting since 1999. On the TV front, he started out with guest appearances. If you're an obsessive Law & Order watcher, you might've caught one of his several episodes across the franchise. He's also had supporting roles on shows like Pan Am, The Newsroom, Rake, Manhattan, and State of Affairs. Harbour has also appeared in quite a few films, including acclaimed and star-studded flicks like Brokeback Mountain, Revolutionary Road, Quantum of Solace, »
- Ally Bautista
Even as The Dark Knight approaches its tenth anniversary, Christopher Nolan’s unforgettable crime saga is still held up as a textbook example of a film that single-handedly raised the bar for its genre – the comic book movie, in this instance.
And though there are many parts that make up that the accomplished whole – the haunting score, the ensemble cast, the eternal struggle between good and evil…to name but three – Nolan’s modern classic owes a great deal to Heath Ledger, who delivered a performance for the ages as Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime. However, in looking back on The Dark Knight with the benefit of hindsight, it becomes important to remember the vitriolic backlash that ensued soon after Ledger was cast as The Joker. As you no doubt know by now, ardent DC fans ridiculed Christopher Nolan’s decision, as the director placed his faith in an »
- Michael Briers
Skydance came on to the project, which has been in development for two decades, last year. Jerry Bruckheimer, Skydance chief David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger are producing. Don Murphy and Chad Oman are executive producing.
Lee became attached to the project in April. His most recent film was “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” for which he used an unprecedented shooting and projection frame rate of 120 frames per second — five times faster than the normal rate of 24 frames per second. He won Academy Awards for directing “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi,” and was nominated for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”
In 2009, the late Curtis Hanson had been attached »
- Dave McNary
Focus Features have been responsible for some of the most memorable indie films of the past fifteen years. To celebrate their 15th anniversary, Focus Features have partnered up with Amazon, and Rooftop Films will be showing a selection of films from Focus Features’ library throughout the month of July as part of the celebration partnership. Screenings will take place in New York, Los Angeles and London, and you can see the schedule of films playing on Focus Features’ website.
Read More: Focus Features Anniversary: 15 Movies That Define 15 Great Years of Indie Cinema
To celebrate this partnership, Amazon and Focus Features are giving away five $15 Amazon gift cards, which you can use to purchase or rent a Focus Features film (or two!) of your choice. With “Lost in Translation,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and many more in Focus Features’ back catalogue, you won’t have trouble finding a great film to watch. »
- Jamie Righetti
Top 10 Movie Kisses for International Kissing DayTop 10 Movie Kisses for International Kissing DayAmanda Wood7/6/2017 10:00:00 Am
Today is International Kissing Day, and you know what that means: we’ve got a list to celebrate.
We couldn’t let this day pass by without commemorating it through a celebration of our favourite on-screen kisses. There have been many memorable make-out moments on-screen throughout the years, but these ten movies have what we consider to be the best of the best. It was honestly difficult to narrow this list down, and much debate was had over the memorability of certain smooches.
We think we’ve got the definitive best kisses list here, with everything from comedies to classic romances to animated films making the cut. Check out the list below!
Never Been Kissed (1999)
Could we really make a top kisses list without including Never Been Kissed? Absolutely not. This delightful tale »
- Amanda Wood
Last year was a windfall year for Lgbtq cinema, thanks to a historic Best Picture win for “Moonlight” and Park Chan-wook’s exquisite “The Handmaiden” both receiving critical and commercial acclaim. While these highly deserving queer stories rose to the top, many smaller Lgbt films were either forgotten or simply nowhere to be found.
Read More: Lgbt Superheroes: Why ‘Wonder Woman’ Couldn’t Be The Lesbian Avenger We Need
Hollywood studios have begun to shoehorn blink-and-you’ll-miss-it gay stories into an endless stream of remakes and TV adaptations, and there is a wide range of indies exploring the breadth of queer stories with ever-expanding joy and nuance. While it’s still difficult to get a gay film made (or any film, for that matter), it’s wonderful that, only halfway through 2017, there are already so many queer films on the horizon. Which is why we think it’s important to celebrate them now, »
- Jude Dry
Hollywood North: 12 major flicks filmed in CanadaHollywood North: 12 major flicks filmed in CanadaDaniel Bettridge6/27/2017 3:00:00 Pm
Everyone knows that Hollywood is the centre of the movie universe. But did you know that the likes of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal have made some pretty important contributions to the multiplex too? Because they have. In fact the great white north has played an important role in the film industry down the years.
So to help celebrate Canada 150, join us as we look back on 11 blockbusters that you didn’t know were made in our home and native land.
The Twilight Saga – British Columbia
Want to follow in the brooding footsteps of Edward, Bella and the rest of the Twilight crew? Then head on over to beautiful British Columbia where the majority of the blockbuster franchise based on Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling teen novels were shot.
Pacific Rim - Toronto
- Daniel Bettridge
Many Americans celebrated Lgbt Pride over the weekend, so we asked our readers to weigh the merits of the two films that made arguably the biggest impact at the Oscars for Lgbt representation: “Brokeback Mountain” (2005) and “Moonlight” (2016). Both films won three Oscars, and both were involved in shocking Best Picture upsets, though in […] »
- Daniel Montgomery
Sean Wilson Jul 6, 2017
Few contemporary film composers have made an impact quite like John Powell. From animation to drama to his immediately influential, propulsive Bourne soundtracks, Powell's energetic, emotional and heartfelt blend of symphony orchestra, electronics and percussion make him a singular voice.
Ahead of his BAFTA Screen Talks event at the Royal Albert Hall on 10th July, we were delighted to catch up with John to discuss his remarkable career and the secret to a truly great film score.
So 10 years after I saw The Bourne Ultimatum on the big screen and being electrified by your score I'm sat here talking to you, which is a real privilege. I wondered was there a particular film score that inspired you to become a film composer? »
'Making Love': Groundbreaking romantic gay drama returns to the big screen As part of its Anniversary Classics series, Laemmle Theaters will be presenting Arthur Hiller's groundbreaking 1982 romantic drama Making Love, the first U.S. movie distributed by a major studio that focused on a romantic gay relationship. Michael Ontkean, Harry Hamlin, and Kate Jackson star. The 35th Anniversary Screening of Making Love will be held on Saturday, June 24 – it's Gay Pride month, after all – at 7:30 p.m. at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. The movie will be followed by a Q&A session with Harry Hamlin, screenwriter Barry Sandler, and author A. Scott Berg, who wrote the “story” on which the film is based. 'Making Love' & What lies beneath In this 20th Century Fox release – Sherry Lansing was the studio head at the time – Michael Ontkean plays a »
- Andre Soares
Variety Critics Choice celebrates its 20th anniversary as a key Karlovy Vary International Film Festival section.
If you can’t trust the talking cat, whom do you trust? Such are brain-frying quandaries viewers may face deep into the darkness of this deliciously unhinged, blood-laced adult fairy tale from Swiss-Polish writer-director Greg Zglinski. Setting out with real-world levels of macabre nastiness as it wittily probes the marital faultlines between a bourgeois Viennese couple attempting a restorative Alpine getaway, the film takes a smooth, almost imperceptible left turn into David Lynch-worthy realms of illogic that will leave adventurous audiences both rapt and dazed, dreamily uncertain of where exactly they lost the plot. Unraveling this cat’s-cradle isn’t half as important or pleasurable as getting entangled in it to begin with. Zglinski’s espresso-dark humor and icy formal precision may nod to a host of expert cinematic mind-gamers, from Roman Polanski to Lars von Trier, but “Animals” gleefully cultivates its very own kind of crazy.
There’s an old saying, often attributed to Martin Mull: “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” In many ways first-time writer-director Kogonada’s “Columbus” treats architecture like music, as its protagonists write, talk, bicker and dance about an extraordinary collection of modernist structures in the unassuming Midwest town of Columbus, Ind. The hypnotically paced drama carried by the serendipitous odd-couple pairing of John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson is lovely and tender, marking the mono-monikered Kogonada as an auteur to watch. The relationships between each of the characters are imbued with warmth and humanity, and the filmmaking — like the city’s structures designed by the likes of Eero Saarinen and I.M. Pei — are gorgeous. In this unconventional American film, Kogonada is less interested in romance than in the characters’ overlapping and divergent worldviews and dreams, based on culture, environment, and upbringing.
— Geoff Berkshire
The Distinguished Citizen
Taciturn novelist Daniel Mantovani (Argentine star Oscar Martínez, who won the best actor prize at the Venice film festival for his performance) has an ambivalent relationship to fame: It has brought him the kind of wealth few authors can ever imagine, yet he’s concerned such success means he’s not the challenging writer he was at one time — an idea that’s amusingly conveyed in the opening scene, when he voices his fears while receiving the Nobel prize. Five years later, the Barcelona-based author remains too much in demand, politely declining most offers, until he gets a letter from his hometown of Salas, Argentina. It’s been four decades since he’s been back, despite using Salas as the setting for all his stories, and his return provides not only humor, but poignant insights into such themes as the burden of success, lost ideals, and whether artists truly give back to the communities they’ve creatively mined for decades.
— Jay Weissberg
God’s Own Country
In case it didn’t court “Brokeback Mountain” comparisons directly enough with its tale of two young sheep farmers finding love in a hopeless place, “God’s Own Country” seals the deal with one winkingly quoted shot: a work shirt draped on a wire hanger, poignantly removed from its wearer. Twelve years on, Ang Lee’s film has proven enough of a cultural milestone to merit such affectionate homage; luckily, Francis Lee’s tender, muscular Yorkshire romance has enough of an individual voice to get away with it, depicting a tentative romance between coarse English farmboy Johnny (Josh O’Connor) and the Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu) who comes to work for the season. Intimacy doesn’t come naturally to a man who has been raised in a household where caring is expressed through work, but rather than over-exerting well-worn clichés about rural homophobia, the film reveals pockets of tolerance in unexpected places.
Heal the Living
A 17-year-old car crash victim lies brain-dead in a hospital, as doctors urgently pitch the virtues of organ donation to his distraught parents; over in another town, a middle-aged mother of two with a severely degenerative heart condition goes on the waiting list for a transplant. What sounds like fodder for a routinely gripping episode of “ER” is complicated with rare depths of personal and sensual detail in French director Katell Quillévéré’s sublimely compassionate, heart-crushing third feature. More polished but no less authentically humane than her previous works “Suzanne” and “Love Like Poison,” this spidering ensemble piece — adapted from Maylis de Kerangal’s internationally acclaimed 2014 novel — boasts beautifully pitched performances from the likes of Tahar Rahim and Emmanuelle Seigner. But it’s Quillévéré’s soaring visual and sonic acumen that suffuses this sad, potentially familiar hospital drama with true grace.
An outwardly normal suburban Perth couple who abduct, torture, and murder schoolgirls must face their funny games in this genre-bending powerhouse thriller from first-time director Ben Young. Brave audiences will be rewarded, if that’s the word, with a harrowing ride that morphs from discrete horror to probing character study and back again in a vivid yet admirably restrained 108 minutes. Far from Michael Haneke-level lurid, the film generates a coiled depravity and almost unbearable tension from the determined tracking shots of cinematographer Michael McDermott and Dan Luscombe’s trance-like, Tangerine Dream-inspired score. Clayton Jauncey’s production design is detailed and evocative, keyed around kitchen knives. For such a bold film to work, the performances must be all-in, and the three leads are committed to Young’s vision: Ashleigh Cummings is fearless as the would-be victim, while Emma Booth is terrifyingly skittish and Stephen Curry (who is, believe it or not, a popular Australian comedian) redolent of pure evil.
— Eddie Cockrell
Lost in Paris
As anyone who has seen “L’Iceberg” and “The Fairy” knows, Abel and Gordon are quite possibly the two funniest clowns working in cinema today. No, really: Dominique Abel is a Belgian-born, burlesque-trained human pretzel and gifted physical comic on par with Chaplin or Keaton, while real-life Australian wife Fiona Gordon is a Tilda Swinton-tall redhead with Olive Oyl elbows and an Easter Island profile. With their latest film, they take audiences to Paris, where she plays a shy librarian desperate to find her missing Aunt Martha (the final role of “Amour” star Emmanuelle Riva), while he plays a harmless hobo who pops up practically everywhere she goes. Let the comic situations begin as this duo travels from one corner of the city to another (nearly getting incinerated at Père Lachaise cemetery one moment, dangling from the rafters of the Eiffel Tower the next), creating some of the funniest moments you’ll see on screen all year.
— Peter Debruge
A droll comic drama filmed in glorious widescreen black-and-white, “Merry Christmas Mr. Mo” follows a terminally ill barber (played by distinguished character actor Ki Joo-bong) whose dying wish is to make a short film directed by his distant son. What might have been a mawkish exercise in implausibility is instead fashioned into a consistently amusing and frequently touching tale of love, family and reconciliation with the past. Played to deadpan perfection by an appealing cast and directed with impressive assurance by first-time feature helmer Lim Dae-hyung, this lovely tale channels the spirit of early Jim Jarmusch films such as “Stranger Than Paradise” into its ultra low-key humor, dialogue non-sequiturs and loving monochrome photography of notionally unremarkable locations. Without ever succumbing to sentimentality, this offbeat crowd-pleaser will also move many viewers to tears by the time Mr. Mo’s task is completed.
Every summer, the Polish workers come to the Swedish countryside and pick strawberries. They tend the fields all day and keep to themselves at night, while the landowners hardly bother to learn their names. It’s a cycle as sure as the seasons themselves, though this year is different as one of the foreign fruit-pickers’ kids is old enough to take an interest in the host family’s daughter, and there among the strawberries a case of young love blossoms for the first time, complicating the entire arrangement, for the migrant workers are expected to make themselves invisible. In this sensitive, sun-kissed teenage romance, Swedish director Wiktor Ericsson invites us to recognize and identify with these faceless outsiders, asking for equality on the simplest terms. Though the setting may be specific, its appeal is universal, boasting a texture so rich, you can practically smell the ripe strawberries in the air.
— Peter Debruge
Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves
With its multiple aspect ratios, on-screen quotes, and cutaways to news broadcasts and documentary footage — not to mention a musical overture and interlude — this three-hour Quebecois political epic unfurls with a bravado as outsized as its title. Inspired by the student demonstrations that sparked the Maple Spring in 2012, co-directors Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie apply the language of radical cinema to a tense, mournful and profoundly ambivalent portrait of radicalism. Following four far-left activists as they commit acts of vandalism and terror to foment an uprising against the capitalist system, the film channels their passion while insistently questioning their methods and perspective. Politics aside, the dynamics at the film’s heart are practically universal among youth movements, resulting in a bold portrait that pulses with the vitality of four young people who, however flawed or foolhardy, sincerely want to change the world.
Related storiesKarlovy Vary Film Festival Honors Talent Working in Front of and Behind the CameraFuture Frames Showcase at Karlovy Vary Casts the Spotlight on Promising Creative TalentKarlovy Vary International Film Festival Showcases Stories of Social Turmoil »
- Variety Staff
Top 7 Movies to Celebrate Pride!Top 7 Movies to Celebrate Pride!Jenny Bullough6/23/2017 12:03:00 Pm
Pride Month is already well under way! With events, parades, and more, people are coming together to celebrate and show support for the Lgbtq community, and we love it!
But let’s face it, no matter how festive the mood is sometimes the last thing we want to do is go out in the boiling hot sun or pouring rain to stand side-by-side with a horde of sweaty strangers. If you’d rather stay home, you can still celebrate Pride with these movies (and more) from the Cineplex Store!
Boys Don’t Cry
Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her leading role in this film, which tells the true story of Brandon Teena, a transgender teen living in rural Nebraska. Although Brandon finds happiness and acceptance with his girlfriend Lana, played by Chloe Sevigny, he has a hard time fitting in with the rest of the town -- especially when his secret is exposed...
Watch the trailer and click here to rent or buy:
In this historical drama, Eddie Redmayne portrays the Danish artist Einar Wegener. When his wife Gerda, a portraitist, asks him to stand in for a female model, the simple act of dressing as a woman unlocks a longing Einar never knew existed, leading the couple on a journey through the meaning of identity -- and marriage.
Watch the trailer and click here to rent or buy:
Widely hailed as an instant classic for its sensitive portrayal of forbidden romance, this period drama tells the story of two cowboys, Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), and their decades-long love affair in 1960s Wyoming. Director Ang Lee beautifully depicts both the rugged scenery and passionate longing between Ennis and Jack. Have tissues handy!
Watch the trailer and click here to rent or buy:
Imagine Me & You
A happily-married newlywed (Piper Perabo) suddenly and unexpectedly falls head-over-heels for a woman she meets at her wedding (Lena Headey), creating a stir among her family and friends and causing her to question her sexual orientation in this surprisingly funny and bittersweet dramedy.
Watch the trailer and click here to rent or buy:
In & Out
When a small-town high school drama teacher is outed as gay by a former student’s Oscar acceptance speech, it sparks a media frenzy. Except he's not gay! Is he...? Kevin Kline, Tom Selleck, Joan Cusack and Debbie Reynolds fill the cast of this hilarious tale of accidental self-discovery.
Watch the trailer and click here to rent or buy:
The friendship between two women (Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara) deepens into love in 1950s New York, challenging conventional social norms, and the effects ripple through their families and community. Nominated for multiple awards, this unmissable drama was included on many "Best of" lists for 2015.
Watch the trailer and click here to rent or buy:
Based (very) loosely on the familiar story of Dr. Frankenstein, this campy, outrageous cult classic finds a strait-laced couple (Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick) stumbling upon a party thrown by the "transvestite from transsexual Transylvania" Dr. Frank-n-Furter (Tim Curry). The plot is wacky, but the final message of "don't dream it, be it" certainly fits with the Pride theme of self-acceptance!
Watch the trailer and click here to rent or buy:
For more movies with Pride, check out our collection in the Cineplex Store! »
- Jenny Bullough
It’s no secret that sex sells, and movies are no exception. But while plenty of films like to show gratuitous sex, they’re not always very good. That’s a problem, since movies have the power to shape not only the cultural norms, but personal ones. And what could be more personal than sex? Sexuality is an integral part of the human experience, not some sensational or shameful ploy to sell tickets (though it doesn’t hurt).
That’s why we think it’s important to single out the very best films that also happen to be incredibly sexy, titillating, and provocative. These are not only some of our favorite films in general, but they’re films that celebrate the broad spectrum of human sexuality while telling stories as cinematic as they are personal. Some don’t have any sex scenes at all, while some are notoriously near-pornographic. When these movies do show sex it is always in service of the story, and always in order to challenge, subvert, or celebrate contemporary beliefs about sexuality.
Turn on (and get turned on) by our list of the 25 best sexy movies of the 21st century (well, so far). You know you want to.
25. “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008)
Undeniably sexy and amusing at once, Woody Allen’s 2008 Spain-set dramedy delights in pushing its various players into all sorts of romantic permutations and configurations. Anchored by Scarlett Johansson in a sneaky performance as the eponymous Cristina (pre-breakout Rebecca Hall is her best pal Vicky), the film follows a pair of friends as they meet and make lots of love with the beguiling Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), who isn’t at all thrown off by the possibility of having two lovely ladies in his bed. In fact, he’s got another one to think about too, his free-spirited ex-wife (Penelope Cruz), who he just can’t get out of his head (or heart). On the surface, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” is a dead sexy romp about free-wheeling love-makers (complete with plenty of naughty bits), but it’s also a film that boldly explores issues of fluidity and fidelity with an uncharacteristically easy touch. -Ke
24. “Shortbus” (2006)
With its three-person blowjob circle, non-simulated sex scenes including ejaculation, and close-up of a pee stream unleashing into a bathtub, “Shortbus” is not for everyone. It’s an ambitious film, one that attempts to have fun, be sexy, and tell a good story. If anyone could pull it off, it would be the man behind “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” John Cameron Mitchell. “Shortbus” feels as much like an ensemble comedy as a playful experiment, though the two main characters are a sex therapist who’s never had an orgasm and a retired gay sex worker experimenting with opening up his relationship. With their partners, they both begin attending a weekly artist and sex salon, each hoping inspiration will strike. Mitchell wanted to use sex in new cinematic ways, “because it’s too interesting to be left to porn.” If it’s interesting sex you want, “Shortbus” has got it. -Jd
23. “Brokeback Mountain” (2005)
The end of this film is so movingly profound that your memory of it might not be that it was all that sexy. The love between these two men, buried under their rugged cowboy exteriors, ends with what can only be described as a sense of life-defining tragedy. Yet it is those brief moments where they let themselves go and unleash their animalistic passion, which “Crouching Tiger” director Ang Lee captures in his normal visceral fashion, that add a level of eroticism and physically affection that nearly makes all the pain worth it. Ennis and Jack rotate from almost fighting, as they pull at each others’ denim-clad exterior, to moments of being naked and incredibly tender. It’s virtually every cowboy fantasy rolled up into one. That they can only be themselves in the privacy of the great outdoors makes everything that much more liberating. Watching this film in 2005 felt taboo and rebellious, which resulted in a charged atmosphere in packed mainstream cineplexes around the country. -Co
22. “In the Cut” (2003)
Jane Campion’s handle on female desire has always been one of her best attributes as a director (and she’s got a lot of them), but nothing in her filmography is as overtly sexy and emotionally challenging as her 2003 Meg Ryan-starrer “In the Cut” (and that includes “The Piano,” which has a sexiness and eroticism all its own). Our first introduction to Ryan’s character is rooted in her coming to heady terms with her own sexuality, a theme that carries over throughout the often grisly drama. Increasingly drawn to Mark Ruffalo as a moody detective looking to solve a local murder that Frannie is tangentially involved in, Ryan’s character pushes the boundaries of “acceptable” desire. It’s a theme that Campion giddily plays into with some of modern cinema’s most satisfying and profound sex scenes, many of which center on — gasp — Frannie’s own pleasure over that of Ruffalo’s character. -Ke
21. “Hustle & Flow” (2005)
Craig Brewer’s crowdpleaser about a pimp dreaming of music fame is anchored by strong performances from Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, and Taryn Manning. Howard plays Djay, while Henson and Manning are Shug and Nola, two of his girls. Hot-tempered and passionate, Djay begins making tracks with his friend Key (Anthony Anderson), and discovers he has a gift for lyrics. The catchy original soundtrack helps sell the story, as Djay’s songs seem to actually have a chance at getting radio play. While the strip club setting provides ample shots of semi-nude women, Djay and Shug’s sweet romance gives the film its emotional core and shows a softer side to Djay (and his temper). Their undeniable chemistry leads the previously timid Shug to throw down a sexy hook, her raspy croon on “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” making Henson’s star power glaringly obvious. -Jd
20. “Beyond the Lights” (2014)
Chemistry is the name of the game in Gina Prince-Bythewood’s freight-train fast music industry romance, which pairs up rising starlet Gugu Mbatha-Raw (pure charm) alongside pre-“Birth of a Nation” Nate Parker. The pair exhibit major fireworks from the start, imagining Mbatha-Raw as hot new pop star Noni Jean, a big talent who is dangerously close to burning out and fading away, before she falls into the protective arms Parker’s do-gooder cop, Kaz Nicol. Prince-Bythewood’s film cannily sneaks in big questions about fame and the entertainment industry, along with issues regarding what’s actually sexy (Noni Jean is frequently kitted out in teensy costumes that make record execs happy, while diminishing her own humanity with every stitch), deep issues that are lovingly cradled by full-scale love story. When the pair finally give into their obvious attraction, “Beyond the Lights” pulls out the big guns, all gauzy love scenes and one particularly hot trip to Mexico, but the film maintains its sensuality by remembering that nothing is so sexy as mutual respect and admiration. -Ke
19. “In the Mood for Love” (2000)
Every Wong Kar-wai movie contains a kind of visual sensuality in every frame, but “In the Mood for Love” goes one step further — its slow-burning romance between a pair of would-be lovers who live across the hall from each other in sixties-era Hong Kong is rich with unobtainable desire. Much is left unsaid and unachieved about the fantasy of an extramarital affair shared by Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung), but the hints of attraction between them, unfolding in small gestures and passing glances, imbues each scene with the intensity of emotions specific to a period of repression. It’s a grand tragedy of issed opportunities framed by erotic implications. —Eric Kohn
18. “Ex Machina” (2014)
If you like high-tech voyeurism and intellectual sparring, you might find Alex Garland’s cerebral sci-fi thriller unearthing some hidden desires. An affable young programmer, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), is invited to the secluded jungle home of the CEO of his company, Nathan (Oscar Isaac) to participate in a top-secret experiment. Nathan wants to know if the cyborg he has been developing, Ava (Alicia Vikander) can convince Caleb that she has real consciousness. The tension is ripe between Nathan and Caleb as each attempts to alternately impress and control the other, but it is Caleb’s obsession with saving Ava that raises questions about the hero myth. Ava is the embodiment of male fantasy, trapped within a body invented to please and serve. As the two men fight over who best understands her mind, it turns out Ava was pulling the strings all along. There’s nothing sexier than a woman in charge. -Jd
17. “Quills” (2000)
It’s easy enough to get sucked into “Quills” based on the promise of Joaquin Phoenix playing an earnest (and incredibly sexy) young priest tempted by his attraction to a chambermaid. But somehow, much like Kate Winslet’s Madeline, we fall under the spell of the charismatic Geoffrey Rush, who plays his role as the Marquis de Sade with a deliciously dirty panache befitting the notorious French writer. The Marquis’ libertine ways run counter to the no-nonsense Royer-Collard (Michael Caine), who takes over the asylum with the intention of stifling the writer’s creative output. But even his own wife is no match for the words of the Marquis, which ooze both sensuality and liberty. Before long, any initial apprehension to the Marquis de Sade (he is a dirty old man, after all) is fully given over to the hope that his debauchery will win out, and that his desire, as well as that of Madeline and Coulmier (Phoenix) will be fully fulfilled — even though we know this is impossible. -Jr
16. “A Bigger Splash” (2015)
Watching “A Bigger Splash” feels like observing a sizzling chess game of attraction. Luca Guadagnino sticks Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Dakota Johnson on the world’s most gorgeous island and lets the sparks fly. Swinton plays a world-famous rock singer vacationing with her lover, a chiseled Schoenaerts who is practically a walking and talking sculpture of male beauty. Their time together is disrupted by the arrival of the rocker’s former lover and his daughter, a promiscuous young 22-year-old. Each character is so ready to succumb to sexual desire and so pent up with sexual attraction that Guadagnino creates the ultimate emotional orgy. The fun is in seeing how each person uses their sexuality to outsmart the next. You’ll be seduced from the first frame to the last. It feels like you’re watching each actor for the very first time. -Zs
On the next page: wild adventures in Florida, some of the century’s most jaw-dropping pairings, and at least one murder.
Related storiesAbdellatif Kechiche is Auctioning Off 'Blue is the Warmest Color' Palme d'Or to Finance New FilmNetflix's New Ratings System Is a Terrible Idea13 Essential Lgbt Indies From the Post-'Brokeback Mountain' Era »
- Kate Erbland, Jude Dry, Eric Kohn, Zack Sharf and Jamie Righetti
• Guardian Great interview with Holly Hunter about The Big Sick and her career. (People are already mentioning "Oscar nom!" in regards to her supporting work as Zoe Kazan's mother in the romantic comedy)
• Pajiba on what the new Defenders posters might remind you of
• Screen Crush picks the 25 best Lgbt films of the past 25 years. Happy to see Pariah and Bound mixed in with the usual titles like Brokeback Mountain and such. And the past few years have been so good for Lgbt cinema. I mean: Carol, The Handmaiden, Moonlight, Tangerine. #Blessed
• Esquire Fun article by Tyler Coates on how he finally learned to love RuPaul's Drag Race which he had avoided for years and even bad-mouthed in print
• Theater Mania you don't see this often but there's an actual age restriction on the Broadway adaptation of George Orwell's "1984". No one under 13 will be admitted due to its intensity. The show stars Tom Sturridge, Reed Birney, Olivia Wilde, and Tfe fav Cara Seymour (who previously did that lovely guest spot for us). I'm seeing it soon so will report back.
• IndieWire has issues with the "orientalism" of the new Twin Peaks. Add this to the onling Sofia Coppola controversy and... well... People I don't know what to do with all the outrage anymore at everything. There's got to be a line where, as an adult, you're just okay with what you're seeing and discarding the parts that irk you, or filing them under "I don't know about that but whatever" if they're not harmfully intended. Artists will always have their own peculiar obsessions and they'll always draw from a wide variety of influences (at least the good ones will) to craft their own stories and nobody really owns history; pop culture and the arts are giant beautiful melting pots of ideas and aesthetics from all over the world. Oh and also the Laura Dern hairstyle is not proprietarily Asian as the article seems to imply. I know this because I was obsessed with silent film star Louise Brooks as a teenager (Pandora's Box & Diary of a Lost Girl 4ever!). It was originally called the 'Castle Bob,' because Irene Castle (a famous NY dancer) debuted the then-shocking look in 1915. It was a very controversial look but became a sensation in the 1920s with flappers and silent film stars. Hollywood's first popular Asian American actress Anna May Wong, who the article references as an influence on Dern's look, actually had to get her hair cut like that because it was so popular.
Hilarious Reads and I Personally Needed the Laughs. You?
• The New Yorker "Tennessee Williams with Air Conditioning"... *fans self* I was cackling so loud by the end of this. Best article in forever.
• McSweeneys "11 Ways That I, a White Man, Am Not Privileged" Oops. Hee!
• Buzzfeed "25 Gay Pride signs that will make you laugh harder than you should" - so many of these are so wonderful I just want to hug all gay people for being funny and able to spell
• McSweeneys "An Oral History of Quentin Tarantino as Told to Me By Men I've Dated"
What places are delivering right now? So, in the early ’90s, right around when Pulp Fiction came out, Quentin Tarantino and Mira Sorvino were dating. I always thought Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion was a dumb chick flick, but I caught part of it on cable the other day and there was an ad for Red Apple cigarettes in the background of one of the shots! Do you know about Red Apple cigarettes? »
- NATHANIEL R
There's a good chance that, at some point over the course of his career, Jake Gyllenhaal has made you cry. Maybe it was in Brokeback Mountain? Or Love & Other Drugs? Perhaps you just shed a tear after you realized you'd paid $11 for a movie ticket to see Bubble Boy. Either way, Gyllenhaal is no stranger to making us all weep. His latest film, Stronger, seems like another inspirational tearjerker, telling the true story of Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman. In an effort to win back his ex-girlfriend Erin (Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany), Jeff (Gyllenhaal) cheers her on as she runs the 2013 Boston Marathon, only to have his legs blown off in one of the explosions. His road to recovery is a painful one, but with the help of Erin and his family, he faces his struggles head on. Prepare to cry when it comes out this Fall. »
- Quinn Keaney
Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights to Boy Erased, the coming-of-age and coming-out drama from writer/director Joel Edgerton based on Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family by Garrard Conley.
The film will tell the story of Jared (to be portrayed by Mr. Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents (Ms. Kidman and Mr. Crowe) at age 19. Jared is quickly pressured into attending a gay conversion therapy program – or else be shunned by his family, friends, and church. It is within the program that Jared comes into conflict with its head therapist (Mr. Edgerton).
“I’m excited to work with an ensemble of actors, seasoned and new, to bring Garrard’s story to the screen. I think Focus is the perfect partner on this, and I will always thank Garrard for trusting my passion for his life story. I can’t think of a better reason to get behind the camera again,” said Mr. Edgerton.
Boy Erased is being produced by Mr. Edgerton and Anonymous Content’s Kerry Kohansky-Roberts and Steve Golin, an Academy Award-winning producer of Best Picture Oscar winner Spotlight. Executive-producing the film are Rebecca Yeldham, Ann Ruark, and Anonymous Content’s Kim Hodgert and Tony Lipp. Josh McLaughlin, recently promoted to Focus president of production, will supervise the project for the company.
Mr. Conley’s book was first published last year by Penguin Random House, and was issued earlier this year in paperback. Mr. Edgerton has written the screenplay adaptation; Boy Erased will be his second feature as director following the sleeper hit The Gift (also produced by Ms. Yeldham), which earned him a Directors Guild of America Award nomination. He was recently a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award nominee for his performance in Focus’ Loving.
Focus Features was honored in 2012 by Point Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (Lgbt) students of merit, with its Point Inspiration Award,given to a company or organization that champions respect and inclusion of the Lgbt community and operates with the vision that investing in today’s potential will produce a brighter tomorrow.
Celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2017, Focus Features has made and released Academy Award-winning Lgbt-themed films including Beginners, Dallas Buyers Club, The Danish Girl, Milk, and Brokeback Mountain, the company’s all-time top-grosser.
Mr. Kujawski commented, “Garrard’s story is both timely and timeless, both personal and universal. It is a story which will not only deeply move people, but one that we hope will change outlooks. We are thrilled to work once again with Joel, and with the Anonymous Content team. These filmmakers’ passion for this heart-rending project speaks to all of us at Focus, and to why we make the movies we do.”
- Michelle Hannett
'In the Fade' with Diane Kruger: Fatih Akin's German-language Avenging Woman drama may give its star the chance to become next awards season Isabelle Huppert. Diane Kruger: 2017–2018 awards season's Isabelle Huppert? The 2003 Cannes Film Festival's Female Revelation Chopard Trophy winner, Diane Kruger was Cannes' 2017 Best Actress winner for Fatih Akin's In the Fade / Aus dem Nichts. If Akin's German drama finds a U.S. distributor before the end of the year, Kruger could theoretically become the Isabelle Huppert of the 2017–2018 awards season – that is, in case the former does become a U.S. critics favorite while we stretch things a bit regarding the Kruger-Huppert commonalities. Just a bit, as both are European-born Best Actress Cannes winners who have been around for a while (in Huppert's case, for quite a while). Perhaps most importantly, like Huppert in Paul Verhoeven's Elle, Kruger plays a woman out for revenge in In the Fade. Diane Kruger-Isabelle Huppert 'differences' There is, however, one key difference between the two characters: in Elle, Huppert wants to avenge her own rape; in In the Fade, Kruger wants to avenge the death of her Turkish husband (Numan Acar) and their son (Rafael Santana) at the hands of white supremacist terrorists. Another key difference, this time about the Kruger-Huppert Cannes Film Festival connection: although Isabelle Huppert became a U.S. critics favorite – and later a Best Actress Oscar nominee – for her performance in Elle, her (unanimous) Best Actress Cannes win was for another movie, Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher / La pianiste back in 2001. At that time, Huppert also became a U.S. critics favorite (winning Best Actress honors in San Diego and San Francisco; a runner-up in Los Angeles and New York), but, perhaps because of the psychological drama's sexually charged nature, she failed to receive a matching Oscar nod. Last year's Cannes Best Actress, by the way, was Jaclyn Jose for Brillante Mendoza's Philippine drama Ma' Rosa. Huppert had been in contention as well, as Elle was in the running for the Palme d'Or. Diane Kruger Best Actress Oscar nomination chances? A Best Actress nomination for Diane Kruger at the German Academy Awards (a.k.a. Lolas) – for her first German-language starring role – is all but guaranteed. Curiously, that would be her first. As for a Best Actress Oscar nod, that's less certain. For starters, unlike the mostly well-reviewed Elle, In the Fade has sharply divided critics. The Hollywood Reporter, for one, summarized Akin's film as a “thriller made riveting by an emotional performance from Diane Kruger,” while The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw called it a “mediocre revenge drama” with “a not particularly good” star turn. Besides, since the year 2000 just one “individual” Best Actress Cannes winner has gone on to receive an Oscar nomination for the same performance: Rooney Mara*, who, though one of the two leads in Todd Haynes' Carol (2011), was shortlisted in the Oscars' Best Supporting Actress category so as not to compete with her co-star and eventual Best Actress nominee Cate Blanchett. Then there's the special case of Penélope Cruz; the 2006 Best Actress Oscar nominee – for Pedro Almodóvar's Volver – was a Cannes winner as part of that family comedy-drama ensemble†. And finally, despite their Cannes Best Actress win for performances in (at least partly) English-language films, no less than seven other actresses have failed to be shortlisted for the Academy Awards this century. Björk, Dancer in the Dark (2000). Maggie Cheung, Clean (2004). Hanna Laslo, Free Zone (2005). Charlotte Gainsbourg, Antichrist (2009). Juliette Binoche, Certified Copy (2010). Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia (2011). Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars (2014). Coincidentally, that same year Moore starred in Still Alice, which eventually earned her the Best Actress Oscar. Warner Bros. will be distributing In the Fade in Germany later this year. Regarding the Oscars, whether late in 2017 or late in 2018, seems like it would be helpful if Diane Kruger got a hold of Isabelle Huppert's – and/or Marion Cotillard's and Jean Dujardin's – U.S.-based awards season publicists. * Rooney Mara shared the 2011 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award with Emmanuelle Bercot for My King / Mon roi. † Also in the Cannes-winning Volver ensemble: Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo, Chus Lampreave, and Yohana Cobo. 'The Beguiled' trailer: Colin Farrell cast in the old Clint Eastwood role in Sofia Coppola's readaptation of Civil War-set, lust & circumstance drama. Sofia Coppola ends Cannes female drought About 13 years ago, Sofia Coppola became the first American woman to be shortlisted for the Best Director Academy Award – for the Tokyo-set drama Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. Coppola eventually lost in that category to Peter Jackson for the blockbuster The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, but she did take home that year's Best Original Screenplay Oscar statuette. There haven't been any other Oscar nominations since, but her father-daughter drama Somewhere, toplining Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning, was the controversial Golden Lion winner at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. This year, Coppola has become only the second woman to win the Cannes Film Festival's Best Director Award – for The Beguiled, an American Civil War-set drama based on Thomas P. Cullinan's 1966 novel of the same name (originally published as A Painted Devil). With shades of Rumer Godden's Black Narcissus, The Beguiled follows a wounded Union soldier as he finds refuge at a girls' boarding school in Virginia. Sexual tension and assorted forms of pathological behavior ensue. Tenuous Cannes-Oscar Best Director connection From 2000 to 2016, 20 filmmakers† have taken home the Cannes Film Festival's Best Director Award. Of these, only four have gone on to receive matching Best Director Oscar nominations – but no wins: David Lynch, Mulholland Dr. (2001). Alejandro González Iñárritu, Babel (2006). Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007). Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher (2014). Four other Cannes Best Director winners were bypassed by the Academy even though their movies featured – at least a sizable chunk of – English-language dialogue: Joel Coen, The Man Who Wasn't There§ (2001). Paul Thomas Anderson, Punch-Drunk Love (2002). Gus Van Sant, Elephant (2004). Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive (2011). In other words, a Best Director Cannes Film Festival win is no guarantee of a Best Director Academy Award nomination. Ultimately, Sofia Coppola's chances of an Oscar nod in the Best Director category depend on how well The Beguiled is received among Los Angeles and New York film circles, and how commercially successful – for an “arthouse movie” – it turns out to be. † During that period, there were three Cannes Film Festival Best Director ties: 2001: Joel Coen for The Man Who Wasn't There§ & David Lynch for Mulholland Dr. 2002: Im Kwon-taek for Painted Fire & Paul Thomas Anderson for Punch-Drunk Love. 2016: Cristian Mungiu for Graduation & Olivier Assayas for Personal Shopper. Both films opened in the U.S. in spring 2017 and may thus be eligible for the upcoming awards season. § Ethan Coen co-directed The Man Who Wasn't There, but didn't receive credit in that capacity. 'The Beguiled' with Nicole Kidman. The Best Actress Oscar winner ('The Hours,' 2002) had two movies in the Cannes Film Festival's Official Competition; the other one was 'The Killing of the Secret Deer,' also with Colin Farrell. Moreover, Kidman was the recipient of Cannes' special 70th Anniversary Prize. 'Sly' & 'elegant' Also adapted by Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled will be distributed in the U.S. by Oscar veteran Focus Features (Brokeback Mountain, The Danish Girl). The film has generally received positive notices – e.g., “sly” and “elegant” in the words of Time magazine's Stephanie Zacharek – and could well become a strong awards season contender in various categories. The cast includes The Killing of a Sacred Deer actors Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, in addition to Kirsten Dunst (the star of Coppola's Marie Antoinette), Somewhere actress Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Addison Riecke, Angourie Rice, and Emma Howard. As an aside, Cullinan's novel also served as the basis for Don Siegel's The Beguiled (1971), a Southern Gothic effort adapted by Irene Kamp and former Hollywood Ten member Albert Maltz. In the cast of what turned out to be a major box office flop: Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, and Jo Ann Harris. Women directors at Cannes & the Oscars For the record, Soviet filmmaker Yuliya Solntseva was the Cannes Film Festival's first Best Director winner, for The Story of the Flaming Years back in 1961. The only woman to have directed a Palme d'Or winner is Jane Campion, for The Piano (1993). Early in 1994, Campion became the second woman to be shortlisted for an Academy Award in the Best Director category. The first one was Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties (1976). 'A Gentle Night' & 'Montparnasse Bienvenue' Qiu Yang's short film Palme d'Or winner A Gentle Night should be automatically eligible for the 2018 Academy Awards. But competition, as usual, will be fierce. In the last decade, the only short film Palme d'Or winner to have received an Oscar nomination is Juanjo Giménez Peña's Timecode (2016), in the Best Live Action Short Film category. This article was originally published at Alt Film Guide (http://www.altfg.com/). »
- Steph Mont.
The sexual tension mingles with the mud and sweat of a hard day’s farm work in Francis Lee’s stunnign debut film, “God’s Own Country,” which released its first official trailer today. The movie played Sundance earlier this year to rave reviews, with its country setting and restrained storytelling earning inevitable comparisons to “Brokeback Mountain.” But “God’s Own Country” has the benefit of two fresh young faces in the leads (Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu) to fully inhabit the roles with no prior associations, as well as the freedom to buck Hollywood tropes. Including that pesky one where gay films have to end in tragedy.
Read More: ‘God’s Own Country’ Review: A British ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ But Better — Sundance 2017
The film is set in the bleak but beautiful Yorkshire countryside, where young Johnny (O’Connor) carries the burden of managing his family’s livelihood int he »
- Jude Dry
Many of the best works from successful writers come in the form of the short story. “Carrie” by Stephen King was originally a short story intended for Cavalier magazine, until he went back to the drawing board, expanded it into his first published novel, which became a hit motion picture. Still, many works of short fiction have made their way to the big screen and without the original short story, we would not have several wonderful movies to love. Here are five movies that were adapted from short stories. “Brokeback Mountain” This story by Annie Proulx was first published in
Short Stories That Turned into Epic Feature Films »
- Virginia Repka-Franco
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