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Despite the lottery-esque sounding odds, the U.S Dramatic Competition section which produces the finest American indie specimens such as Frozen River, Winter’s Bone, Blue Valentine, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station and Whiplash is fairly consistent in terms of quality. Last year’s crop of sixteen have almost all had their theatrical releases with Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter being the last one out of the gates (pegged with an early 2015 release). Last week we individually looked at our top 80 Sundance Film Fest Predictions (you’ll find 30 other titles worth considering in our intro) and below, we’ve split the list into narrative and non-fiction film items and have both identified and color-coded our picks in an AtoZ cheat sheet. You’ll find 2015′s answer to Whiplash located somewhere in the stack below. Click on the individual titles below, for the film’s profile. »
- Eric Lavallee
Technically hitting paydirt in the indie biz with their breakout addiction drama, we could argue that over the course of their four film filmography (television fiction and docu assignments aside) that the writing-directing tandem of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck are softening their searing-like stance yet adhering to a contemplative template. Half Nelson (easily among my top ten films of ’06) was followed by Sugar (2008), dramedy It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010) and in 2015, we can “bet” on a roadtrippin comedy to detail our need to beat the odds. Boden and Fleck are no strangers to Park City, a pair of their shorts landed there prior to their first two features. Mississippi Grind is a blue-chip indie item that originally had Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead but Ben Mendelsohn, Ryan Reynolds take the reigns alongside Analeigh Tipton, Sienna Miller, Alfre Woodard and Concussion thesp Robin Weigert. Shot in Alabama, New Orleans and Louisiana, »
- Eric Lavallee
With Ryan Gosling's 34th birthday on Nov. 12, we're looking back on his time in the Hollywood spotlight. He's been winning hearts and weakening knees for two decades, charming fans on screen and off with his witty one-liners and swoon-worthy smirk. Back in the early '90s, he captured the crowd's attention at a talent show before bringing his smooth moves to The Mickey Mouse Club. From there, Ryan became a teen heartthrob, a romantic leading man, and a fan favorite so lovable that people actually petitioned for him to be People's 2011 Sexiest Man Alive. Most recently, Ryan became a dad. Actually, let's rephrase that - Ryan is officially a hot dad. In honor of his approaching birthday, go all the way back to Ryan's adorable days on the Disney channel to see his heartthrob evolution from adorable crooner to Hollywood's hottest Dilf. Source: Getty/Valery Hache/Afp He had the moves early on. »
"The Life and Death of Tommy Chaos and Stacey Danger" is easily one of the craziest and most entertaining short films you will have watched in months. The film comes from director Michael Lukk Litwak, and it's a ridiculously epic action-packed romantic adventure! It's an all-around great flick, but one of the main things that I love about it are the dinosaurs that have freakin' lasers attached their heads! According to the director, the movie was “once described by a drunk person as ‘a cross between Blue Valentine and Jurassic Park.’” Buckle up broncos, because you're about to embark on a wildly insane ride! Enjoy!
Via: io9 »
- Joey Paur
Wme has signed three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams in all areas. She was previously represented by CAA. Williams earned Oscar nominations for her work in “My Week With Marilyn,” “Blue Valentine” and “Brokeback Mountain.” Also read: ‘Cabaret’ Theater Review: Michelle Williams Tackles Sally Bowles, Alan Cumming Auditions for ‘Hedwig’ She is currently starring as Sally Bowles in Broadway's “Cabaret,” co-directed by Rob Marshall and Sam Mendes. Williams continues to be repped by Bloom Hergott. »
- Jeff Sneider
WME has signed Michelle Williams for representation in all areas.
Williams was previously represented by CAA. She has been nominated for Academy Awards for her work in “My Week With Marilyn,” “Blue Valentine” and “Brokeback Mountain.” The actress is currently starring as Sally Bowles in Broadway’s “Cabaret,” co-directed by Rob Marshall and Sam Mendes. She has completed shooting on World War II romance “Suite Francaise.”
Williams continues to be repped by attorneys at Bloom Hergott.
- Dave McNary
On the heels of CAA’s $225 million majority-stake deal with Tpg, three-time Oscar nominee and client Michelle Williams has jumped to Wme, signing with the rival agency in all areas. The Oz the Great and Powerful and Take This Waltz star earned her Oscar nods for acclaimed turns in Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine, and most recently My Week With Marilyn, in which she played the iconic Marilyn Monroe. She’s currently on Broadway playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret for Rob Marshall and Sam Mendes. Her next film, the WWII drama-romance Suite Française, is set to be distributed by The Weinstein Co. Williams is also repped by Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman.
- Jen Yamato
Oscar nominee Michelle Williams has moved from CAA to Wme, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The actress received Academy Award nominations for her roles in Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine and My Week With Marilyn. She is currently making her Broadway debut in the Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall revival of Cabaret, starring as Sally Bowles opposite Alan Cumming's Emcee. Read more 'Cabaret': Theater Review Williams came to fame with the WB's Dawson's Creek and has since become one of Hollywood's most-respected young talents, with credits that also include Oz the Great and Powerful and Shutter Island. At CAA she was with super agent Hylda
- Rebecca Sun
As was the case in Gillian Flynn's bestselling novel, the central soured marriage between Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy (Rosamund Pike) only grows more unsettling the more you discover about both parties, the seemingly perfect veneer peeling back inch by inch to reveal festering dysfunction.
We can never get enough festering dysfunction over at Digital Spy, so here are seven more of the big screen's most shining examples of marital strife.
1. George and Martha (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)
The crumbling couple that arguably inspired every other on this list. Edward Albee created the archetypal marriage in spectacular meltdown in his blistering 1962 play, and real-life sparring lovers Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor bring George and Martha vividly to life on the big screen.
Watching the central pair inventively tear »
Since festival audiences have already exhausted the “Spring is like…” comments over every form of social media (Spring is like Before Sunrise meets H.P. Lovecraft, for example), I’ll just plainly say that Spring is romantically horrific bliss, achieving perfection through tragedy and soul. Is there a subgenre of horror equatable to the “Mumblecore” scene yet? If not, filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have pioneered it, throwing together a loving tale that’s aided by a creature-feature subplot akin to a Troma production on super-steroids.
There’s something so primal and affectionate about Spring. It strikes an honesty that’s notably reminiscent to Richard Linklater’s or Joe Swanberg’s crowning work. It’s the most regal of Shakespearean epics meets the most sinister Joe Dante feverdream, striking a wealth of emotional riches while also utilizing beastly effects reminiscent of Landis’ An American Werewolf In London and many other skin-tearing affairs. »
- Matt Donato
Eva Mendes gave birth to a baby girl last Friday, making her boyfriend, Ryan Gosling, a first-time father, so we're celebrating the couple's new addition with a look at Ryan's cutest interactions with kids. On screen, in The Place Beyond the Pines, Ryan and Eva's characters have a child together, and stills from the film show Ryan sweetly holding onto the baby boy. And in real life, Ryan was seen making funny faces with his Blue Valentine costar back in 2010. Sure, you may be grieving over Ryan having a baby with another woman, but maybe it will help to see all these cute photos as proof that he'll be an adorable, doting dad. »
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Sept. 23, 2014
Price: DVD $19.99
Kathleen Quinlan in After
Set in the winter of 2002 in chilly upstate New York, After tells the story of a middle-class family struggling with the financial consequences of a failing business and a series of inter-generational conflicts and rivalries. Quinlan stars as Nora Valentino, a woman whose husband, Mitch (John Doman, Blue Valentine), loves her more than anything in the world. So much so that he, along with his four children and sister-in-law, have gone to extreme lengths to hide a horror too painful for Nora to bear. And if this intricately buried secret is revealed, it could alter everyone’s lives irrevocably.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby is about a couple, but it isn’t necessarily a love story: Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) and Conor (James McAvoy) are happily married until a tragic event shakes them and separates them. It’s no Blue Valentine, but it’s no The Notebook either—the movie depicts two people united by marriage and trauma dealing with their grief in very different ways.
That plot alone might not sound entirely intriguing at first glance, but director Ned Benson created three separate films out of the story to create three different experiences. There’s Them, which opens Friday »
- Ariana Bacle
Telluride — It's impossible to see every movie at a film festival, but you can certainly come close if you're able to catch a few of the main centerpieces beforehand. At Telluride, the benefit of having viewed "Foxcatcher," "Mr. Turner," "Mommy" and "The Homesman" at Cannes allowed this pundit to catch a few of the lower profile titles that are still worthy of your attention. Here are a few short capsule reviews for some films that will also screen at the Toronto and New York film festivals and that should most definitely be on your radar. "Madame Bovary" Grade: C+ Reaction: Sophie Barthes' adaptation of the classic Gustave Flauber novel is a sight to behold. The cinematography from Andrij Parekh ("Blue Valentine") and the costumes from Christian Gasc and Valérie Ranchoux are Oscar-worthy, and the score by Evgueni and Sacha Galperine memorably adds to the atmosphere. Unfortunately, Barthes wants to »
- Gregory Ellwood
Winstead plays a workaholic attorney forced to reinvent herself after her husband (Messina) suddenly leaves the family. She’s forced to deal with an aging father (Johnson), an eccentric sister (Nehra) and an extremely shy son (Skylar Gaertner).
The drama has played at the Tribeca, Seattle and San Francisco Film Festivals and is scheduled to appear at the Deauville, Napa Valley and Hollywood Film Festivals.
Ronnie Schieb said in her Tribeca review that Winstead’s performance is “extraordinary.”
“Alex” is produced by Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell and exec produced by Samantha Housman and Louise Runge. The production company is Electric City Entertainment, which has produced “Half Nelson,” “Blue Valentine, »
- Dave McNary
Despite the near-dozen cast members listed, but then, soon after the half-hour mark, the once-charming protags and their increasingly irrational behavior turn exasperating. Saverio Costanzo’s first Gotham-set, all-English-lingo feature incorporates a “Blue Valentine” vibe crossed with “Rosemary’s Baby” in a story about a neurotic new mom whose bizarre parenting ideas threaten her child and her marriage. A prime example of an idea overwhelming script considerations, “Hearts” could parlay its American indie feel into a small Stateside rollout.
In the tiny basement bathroom of a Chinese restaurant, Mina (Alba Rohrwacher) gets trapped with stranger Jude (Adam Driver) when the door sticks shut. The topnotch actors make the most of their amusing dialogue in this nifty, claustrophobically lensed scene, which could easily work as a standalone shot. In the next shot, they’re lying in bed together when she learns that she’s being transferred from her embassy job; he asks her to stay. »
- Jay Weissberg
We haven't gathered links in a few days so we're way behind on news and such. Here's a few handfuls for ya...
The Wire David Sims measures the cast of Expendables 3 by every conceivable metric
The Hairpin 'The only Throwback Thursday that matters.' Amen
Balder & Dash Teo Bugbee has a massive two part essay on the films of the Coen Bros for your reading pleasure
IndieWire interviews Michael Fassbender and gets him to say "size doesn't matter" -ha!
Comics Alliance "Thanos is really bad at being a supervillain" - I thought I was insane when GotG premiered and everyone was endlessly raving. How do you rave about a heroes movie when the villains suck? I've noticed more and more people are complaining about Marvel's shitty track record with the baddies. Hopefully they can course correct. »
- NATHANIEL R
Last month we learned Rachel Weisz might be joining Michael Fassbender in Derek Cianfrance's (The Place Beyond The Pines, Blue Valentine) The Light Between Oceans, and it's been announced Weisz has been cast in the adaptation of the M.L. Stedman novel. Swedish actress Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair, Anna Karenina) will also star in the period drama, and filming for it will begin next month in New Zealand. Here's the book description from Amazon: After four »
- Jesse Giroux
Luke Sital-Singh has reworked a selection of songs from iconic films.
The British singer-songwriter has comprised an Ep titled 'Film Songs', including his favourite soundtrack moments from films such as Blue Valentine, Juno and The Wrestler.
"One of the great things about music is its way of enhancing the experiences and emotions we all go through. Basically how great songs soundtrack our lives," Sital-Singh said of the Ep.
"What would life be like without soundtracks? Can you imagine your favourite film without that bit with that song? It doesn't bear thinking about."
Sital-Singh's collection comes ahead of the release of his debut album The Fire Inside, which drops on August 18 through Parlophone.
The full 'Film Songs' Ep is currently available on Spotify. »
Entertainment One (eOne), in association with Shivani Rawat and Nimitt Mankad, through ShivHans Pictures, and Lynette Howell and Jamie Patricof, through Electric City Entertainment, announced today that it has secured the international rights to Captain Fantastic, the comedy-drama starring Viggo Mortensen, written and directed by Matt Ross. eOne will handle sales of the film in all territories outside of the Us, as well as directly distribute Captain Fantastic through its own distribution infrastructure in the UK, Canada and Australia/New Zealand.
It was also announced today that Steve Zahn, Kathryn Hahn, Missi Pyle, and Erin Moriarty have joined the film's cast, which also features Frank Langella and a group of up-and-comers including George MacKay, Annalise Basso, Samantha Isler, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crooks and Charlie Shotwell.
Electric City's Howell and Patricof are producing the film alongside Rawat and Mankad. Rawat is also financing the film via her ShivHans Pictures banner. ShivHans' Monica Levinson is executive producing. »
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