12 items from 2015
Many a filmmaker shows up at the Sundance Film Festival dreaming of becoming the next Martin Scorsese. But only Alfonso Gomez-Rejon can claim to have crashed on the legendary director’s sofa, retyped his script pages and learned at his side.
Unsurprisingly, the “Taxi Driver” auteur is everywhere in Gomez-Rejon’s Sundance grand jury prize-winner “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” which Fox Searchlight opens in limited release June 12. Greg Gaines, the movie’s cinephile protagonist, has a “Mean Streets” poster tacked to his bedroom wall, a first-edition copy of “Scorsese on Scorsese” on his desk, and a photo of the filmmaker’s longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker as his computer screensaver.
And those are just some of the homages that crop up throughout the second feature by Gomez-Rejon, who learned some of his craft at Scorsese’s elbow, as the director’s production assistant on the Las Vegas shoot of “Casino” in 1995. Now, »
- Scott Foundas
Naomi Kawase’s An is "a cloyingly sentimental yarn of an elderly pastry chef transforming lives around her through the magic she does with the titular pancake filling," writes Michał Oleszczyk. "Kawase is a long-time Cannes darling and I may be alone in my emotional immunity to her films, but it needs to be said that this particular one feels extremely calculated in its effort to become an arthouse version of the popular inspiration-through-cookery genre that gave us Babette’s Feast and Chef at its best, and Chocolat and Eat Pray Love at its worst." But for Barbara Scharres, also dispatching to RogerEbert.com, An is "her best and most mature film to date." And Kirin Kiki, Nagase Masatoshi and Uchida Kyara are "uniformly excellent." We've got more reviews and the trailer. » - David Hudson »
Yes, please. Stephen Colbert, who's been largely Mia (minus his fabulous beard reveal) since The Colbert Report ended in December, was back in the spotlight today at CBS' Upfronts presentation at Carnegie Hall, taking the hot seat to talk about his upcoming plans as host of the Late Show, premiering in its new form on Sept. 8. And speaking of a hot seat... Dressed in a very "Stephen Colbert"-style suit and tie but appearing as himself, Colbert told reporters that he had been trying to find himself over the last few months via an Eat Pray Love-type journey, joking that his new hosting identity could be "as a Kardashian." Luckily, he brought photos to illustrate his point. Cue »
The story follows a man who goes on a cross-country trip to Oregon with his father-in-law (Langella), who has given up on life.
He spends the trip trying to convince his father-in-law not to commit euthanasia when they arrive in the state.
PBS’s Masterpiece producing public broadcasting channel Wgbh announced this morning it had “optioned” the novel The Signature Of All Things, written by Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert and “inspired by the true-life adventures of real 19th century female botanical explorers.” UK film and TV production company Origin Pictures, helmed by David Thompson, is developing the project; Origin's recent titles include Death Comes To Pemberley starring Matthew Rhys, and Woman I… »
Based on the memoir by Cheryl Strayed, Wild follows along as Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) suddenly decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, more than a thousand miles of rough territory, all by herself.
The intensely personal story is well-suited to Witherspoon, and gets a lot of its power by way of director Jean-Marc Vallée and his ability to frame a scene, and work a conversation to its best emotional effect, in much the way he managed in Dallas Buyers Club‘s more subdued scenes.
The film is about as straight-forward, and difficult to relate, as Eat Pray Love. In this case, Strayed adds a level of difficulty, and perhaps stupidity, to her journey by tackling something she isn’t prepared for, but the “life-altering journey” is the same.
The film kicks off on the middle of the road, and then dances through various pasts – on the trail, through the drug use and failed marriage, »
- Marc Eastman
Along with his work in Bollywood and in India, you have seen choreographer Longinus Fernandes’ work in Slumdog Millionaire in the ‘Jai Ho’ sequence and in Eat Pray Love among many others. Now Fernandes has brought his unique style and fabulous moves to the movies again for a special sequence in director John Madden’s The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. What makes it so special is that the choreographer worked with some of the best actors in the world including Richard Gere, Judy Dench, Maggie Smith, Lillette Dubey, and Dev Patel to name just a few and got them to dance to the Bollywood beat of the killer song ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’.
I was lucky enough to get the chance to do an email interview with Longinus about The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and more! Check out what he had to say about working on the film, getting »
- Stacey Yount
‘Here’s the best part: you want to watch Davis. She has presence’
Three cheers for Viola Davis, who last weekend won a Screen Actors Guild award for her role in How To Get Away With Murder. She’s only the third actor of colour to have won Female Actor in a Drama Series (the other two came from shows also produced by Shonda Rhimes), and her pleasure in triumph warmed me from the inside out. “Thank you,” she said to the producing team, “for thinking that a sexualised, messy, mysterious woman could be a 49-year-old, dark-skinned African American woman who looks like me.” In calling out Hollywood’s problem with black actors and the limited roles they’re offered, she gave a speech that was much more than the sum of its parts.
This is Davis’s moment in the sun, and how welcome it must feel. She’s had a long career, »
- Bim Adewunmi
Ridhima Sud, who will be making her debut with Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do, is certainly looking forward to spreading her wings beyond the big banners. The girl has recently signed a 3 film deal with Shoojit Sarkar and John Abraham’s co production. That’s not all, she has already finished shooting for the first of the three slated releases and will be seen in the lead.
When asked Ridhima about it, she confirmed the news saying, “Yes! I’ve already finished shooting for the first one of the three. And I am reading scripts for the future projects. It should be out this year after Dil Dhadakne Do. Shooting for this other film was very different experience from shooting Zoya’s film but fun nevertheless.”
Ridhima Sud has already made her international innings and her Hollywood debut with the Oscar nominated, Ballad of Rustom. This talented actress is »
- Press Releases
Certain films can be both uplifting and exhausting, bringing the feel-good factor not from sunny optimism, but from a hard-won victory over cynicism and adversity. The most comfortable Wild ever feels would be in that category, taking inspiration from Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild: From Lost To Found On The Pacific Crest Trail.
The book covers her 1,100 mile hike across America's Pacific Crest Trail, from the Mojave Desert to the border of Washington State, through extreme weather on both ends of the spectrum, without any prior backpacking experience.
Using an elliptical time structure, we first meet Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon) at the top of a mountain, some distance into her hike, suffering through a scene of cringe-making body horror that wouldn't be too out of place in an Evil Dead movie.
Deftly adapted by screenwriter Nick Hornby from Cheryl Strayed’s 2012 memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, this grittily likable journey of self-discovery finds Reese Witherspoon walking more than a thousand miles in someone else’s shoes to “become the woman my mother thought I was”. As Cheryl makes her blistered and bloodied progress along the Pct, from the Mojave desert through California and Oregon to the borders of Washington State, we flash back to happier times with her mom (Laura Dern) and traumatic encounters with love, death, rough sex and dangerous drugs, gradually building a kaleidoscopic picture of her life, different periods overlapping like waves on a beach. At times, Jean-Marc Vallée’s direction drifts towards the hallucinatory, a half-remembered dream of an exhausted life. Elsewhere, it’s down and dirty, »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
While Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon -- an idea that came from the actor himself when, in 1994, he told Premiere magazine that he’s worked with everybody -- has become the ultimate trivia game, it may be time to re-think who’s actually at the nexus.
Thanks in large part to Friends -- the former NBC sitcom now streaming on Netflix -- Aniston worked with a number of stars well before they were famous. And in the years since the series ended, Aniston has shared the screen with a few but key number of A-listers. But it wasn’t until she earned a 2015 Golden Globe nomination for her role in Cake that we realized she’s practically worked with everyone in Hollywood.
Look: 2015 Golden Globe Nominees in Photos
Ahead of this year’s Golden Globes, we played »
12 items from 2015
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