8 items from 2015
Opening in theaters last week was the new comedic drama Infinitely Polar Bear, which was written and directed by Maya Forbes (The Rocker). The film follows Cameron (Mark Ruffalo), a manic-depressive father trying to win back his wife (Zoe Saldana) by attempting to take full responsibility of their two young daughters living in New England in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
Our very own Jordan Adler reviewed the film back when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and had the following to say about it:
“Crowd-pleaser” and “manic depression drama” often don’t go together. However, Infinitely Polar Bear is a different beast, rooted in truth and featuring superb performances.
It’s a sentiment I agree with, too, as the entire cast gives it their all, resulting in a heartfelt indie film that definitely deserves to be seen.
Last week at the Los Angeles press day for Infinitely Polar Bear, »
- Jami Philbrick
Screenwriter Maya Forbes (“The Larry Sanders Show,” “Monsters vs. Aliens,” “The Rocker”) decided to make her directing debut to ensure that this semi-fictionalized account of her late-‘70s childhood in Cambridge — with a high-strung blue-blood father who can’t hold a job and a driven African-American mother (Zoe Saldana) — would capture the spirit of their unconventional life together. There are many humorous moments to enjoy, given that Ruffalo’s manic-depressive Cam is as likely to make a perfect crepe or sew a fabulous last-minute flamenco dress for a school talent show as he is to forget to pick up the girls from school or refuse to buy a new sponge to replace the one rotting on the sink. But most compelling is how the mood swings caused by his mental state, not helped by the fact that Cam rarely takes his meds and prefers alcohol to calm his demons, are both harrowing and entertaining. »
- Susan Wloszczyna
With its based-on-the-director’s-life pedigree and stars Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana, "Infinitely Polar Bear" — horrible title aside — sounds like many Sundance films past and present: a family struggles with mental illness, trying to keep one person whole while also keeping — or failing to keep — the family together. And after writing such good-to-indifferent Hollywood product like "The Rocker," "Monsters vs. Aliens," and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days," you can hardly fault writer-director Maya Forbes for trying to create something a little more substantive and a little less glib. And yet, even based on her experiences, "Infinitely Polar Bear" is so phony that you can imagine the production budget being made up of three-dollar bills; it treats severe mental illness as a series of quirky, fun-sy tics; the circumstances of its characters are tortuously contrived; and every child character seems not like a real, living child, but »
- James Rocchi
Cameron Crowe's "Aloha" is a movie about relationships -- past and present -- so it's a nice bit of trivia (and maybe a casting move) that stars Emma Stone and Bradley Cooper have already worked together (2008's "The Rocker"). And as the pair reveal, their first impressions of each other weren't exactly kind. (It's all water under the bridge now... Or is it?!!) Watch, laugh along, and try to imagine what their first meeting must have been like. Awkward probably.
"Aloha" hits theaters May 29th. »
- Tim Hayne
Two of Marvel's biggest stars, Avengers: Age of Ultron's Mark Ruffalo and Guardians of the Galaxy's Zoe Saldana, come together for an indie that doesn't require extensive makeup or motion capture work, in the first trailer for Infinitely Polar Bear. The plot is set in the late 1970s, following a manic-depressive mess of a father (Mark Ruffalo), who tries to win back his wife (Zoe Saldana) by attempting to take full responsibility of their two young, spirited daughters, who don't make the overwhelming task any easier.
Infinitely Polar Bear debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it was met with critical acclaim and eventually picked up by Sony Pictures Classics. Maya Forbes wrote the screenplay and makes her directorial debut, after writing movies such as Seeing Other People, The Rocker, Monsters Vs. Aliens, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days and the upcoming Trolls. Bad Robot's J.J. Abrams »
Josh Gad has made a pretty good career out of being the chubby sidekick. From The Rocker to Love And Other Drugs to the more recent Jobs and The Wedding Ringer, Gad has proven to be adept at the hijinks as well as musical stylings. Coming to fame in the Broadway musical Book Of Mormon, Gad took part in the phenomenon that was Frozen where he voiced the somewhat chubby snowman Olaf. Now, Gad is about to voice another chubby sidekick for another Disney musical, this time a live-action one. »
- Alex Maidy
The vast column inches and pixels dedicated to Clint Eastwood's American Sniper of late may have questioned its celebratory portrayal of a man who took hundreds of lives and how it racked up an astonishing $90 million box office debut, but one aspect of the film's fallout has been overlooked entirely: Bradley Cooper is now a bona fide A-list movie star.
American Sniper's financial records keep stacking up. Best ever three-day opening for a Best Picture Oscar nominee, biggest ever January opening, an IMAX bow that beats 2012 blockbuster Prometheus and a career best for its 84-year-old director.
All this is vindication for Cooper, who picked up the film rights to Navy Seal sharp-shooter Chris Kyle's memoir in 2012 with a view to producing a film starring Chris Pratt in the lead role. Warner Bros backed the project on the proviso that Cooper himself play Kyle, while the star's Silver Linings Playbook »
Also Read: Spirit Awards Get Live Broadcast for 30th Anniversary
Read the full release from Film Independent:
Film Independent President Josh Welsh announced today that Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell will co-host the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The nonprofit, which also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent at Lacma, will hold the 30th annual awards ceremony as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica on Saturday, »
- Matt Donnelly
8 items from 2015
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