15 items from 2010
Much can be gleaned from offhanded comments that provide insight to career success and failures. In a recent story about Hayden Christensen's switching agents again (he's now at UTA after leaving Paradigm after leaving Icm), an agency head spoke out about why Christensen isn't working. Paradigm's Jim Osbourne told Deadline about the Jumper and Star Wars II and III star, "He wouldn't read for Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, he passed on Afterlife opposite Liam Neeson, he passed on Cheri opposite Michelle Pfeiffer. It's so competitive for young actors right now that sitting on a farm in Toronto is not going to get him a job."
Of course, none of those movies did very well at the box office, so perhaps Christensen isn't making terrible career decisions after all. He did take the job in Takers, which also didn't do very well. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tara the Mom)
Screen Daily reports that young thesps Luke Treadaway (broke out with Brothers of the Head and we'll see him in Attack the Block next year) and Felicity Jones (Chéri and The Tempest and will next be seen in Drake Doremus's Like Crazy and Hysteria) will topline Donald Rice's directorial debut film, Cheerful Weather For The Wedding. Produced by Yellow Knife's Teun Hilte (Paul Verhoeven's Black Book), filming is currently underway and the cast also includes actors Mackenzie Crook and Elizabeth McGovern. Gist: Mary Henely Magill and Rice co-wrote the project which is based on a 1932 novella by Julia Strachey and tells the story of a brisk March day in England, during which Dolly (Jones) is due to marry the Honourable Owen Bigham. Waylaid by the disheartened admirer who failed to win her over while he still could, a distant and detached mother, and her own sense of foreboding, »
Maggie Gyllenhaal is starring in a movie about the invention of the vibrator, and now five more women have joined her in the cast. That really ought to be all you need to know for now about Hysteria, a romantic comedy also starring Hugh Dancy about the Victorian-era doctor who invented the vibrator as a "relaxation" implement for frazzled housewives. No, really-- that's really how it happened. Anyway, the actresses recently boarding the project are Ashley Jensen, Sheridan Smith, Gemma Jones, Felicity Jones and Anna Chancellor. You may recognize any number of them-- Jensen played Christina McKinney on 66 episodes of Ugly Betty, Smith has done plenty of British TV work including the sitcom Gavin & Stacey, Gemma Jones is known as Madam Pomfrey in the Harry Potter franchise and starred in Woody Allen's recent You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, Felicity Jones (pictured above) appeared in Brideshead Revisited and »
It took Stephen Frears more than four decades of directing for TV, stage and screen before he finally got an opportunity quite like Tamara Drewe, his adaptation of author/illustrator Posy Simmonds's celebrated graphic novel about love, lust, lies and gossip in the English countryside. It's hardly new thematic terrain for Frears, whose deft touch with sordid secrets and those who keep them has served him exceedingly well from Dangerous Liaisons to The Grifters to Dirty Pretty Things and last year's underrated Chéri. But those sources didn't have beloved illustrated sources providing guidelines and clues -- not to mention challenges. »
This is just too cool not to draw some attention to. Below is the teaser trailer for The Continuing and Lamentable Saga of the Suicide Brothers, a Grimm Brothers-esque fairytale starring Rupert Friend (Cheri, The Young Victoria), Tom Mison and Keira Knightley (Never Let Me Go).
Over at the short’s Web site is an interesting “Making Of” in which the filmmakers talk about the film, it’s origins (on the set of the Johnny Depp-starrer The Libertine) and the production design, which looks all sorts of strange and wonderful. The script is credited to Mison and Friend. On the site you’ll find a brief synopsis of the short, including setting (“a dark forest in a fairytale Bavaria”) and character motivation of two brothers who try to kill themselves every day, with failure. But why would you want to know too much more about this?
First, enjoy the teaser [courtesy of The Playlist]:
The film, »
- Dan Mecca
The Telluride Film Festival kicked off Friday with a number of films that had already screened at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Two of them were Sony Classics' titles: "Tamara Drewe" and Charles Ferguson's "Inside Job." One of the biggest revelations after watching the incredibly entertaining "Drewe" is just how much Stephen Frears has become one of my favorite directors. After the "Dangerous Liasons" and "The Grifters" helmer had a few unfortunate missteps in the mid-90s ("Hero," "Mary Reilly"), Frears has been on something of a renaissance recently with "The Queen," the incredibly underrated "Cheri" (don't get me started) and, now, "Tamara Drewe." »
Stephen Frears is an amused connoisseur. I can't dispute his estimate that the less money he's had at risk on a venture, the better it ends up
Inasmuch as he will be 70 next year, and is a national treasure, I suspect some honours list will notice Stephen Frears soon. Of course, it is possible in his humble, muttering self-effacement that he wouldn't hear of such a distinction (I think there's a republican in there). On the other hand, he did make The Queen (with writer Peter Morgan and pretender Helen Mirren), the most sophisticated public relations boost Hrh has had in 20 years, and all the more affectionate because it was wry and a bit of a tease.
By now, it is taken for granted that Frears – whom I count as a friend – gets away with nearly anything he cares to try, and as he grows older, he is less conventional and obvious. »
- David Thomson
The Playlist has posted the UK trailer for Stephen Frears‘ Tamara Drewe, a comedic graphic novel adaptation which received a pretty warm welcome at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Frears is best known for directing High Fidelity and The Queen; his most recent effort was 2009′s Cheri, which ended up being a bit of a critical disappointment.
The screenplay for Tamara Drewe was written by Moira Buffini, who also wrote the script for the upcoming Jane Eyre film starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. Tamara Drewe will receive a U.S. release on October 8th, courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics. The embedded trailer and plot synopsis can be found below.
Plot: Acclaimed director, Stephen Frears (The Queen) brings to life Posy Simmonds’ comic strip, serialised in The Guardian from 2005-2007, starring Gemma Arterton (St Trinian’S, Quantum Of Solace) as glamorous newspaper columnist Tamara Drewe and Dominic Cooper (Mamma Mia! »
- Danny King
Pfeiffer sightings are pretty rare these days, so I'm always shocked to find an alert in my inbox. Seems that while I was out celebrating my birthday, the one & only was in the land of Nick, Mike, Tim & Roger attending a hockey game.
This is no way to celebrate my birthday! I don't even like hockey (though I guess her husband does). She's supposed to be reading a huge stack of scripts right now about a beautiful woman lying to herself, or a beautiful woman experiencing a tragedy, or a beautiful woman reuniting with a past flame, or a beautiful woman terrorizing someone (she likes the villain roles, lately) or a beautiful woman struggling with a teenage child. She finished work on Chéri well over a year ago. Times a wastin'.
Didn't that trip on the Oscar circuit supporting her best screen partner inspire her?
Why is she drinking Coke »
- NATHANIEL R
Updated 04/19 They've added two titles but none to the actual competition list just yet. Updates are included below
04/15 Yes, they will add a few titles. Looking round the web people expect something like 4 to 5 more films to show up. Speculation that Malick's Tree of Life or Nolans Inception or Schnabel's Miral probably won't die until after they add said missing titles. But if you're heading over to the South of France next month or merely reading along on various Twitter feeds or film blogs, these are some of the titles you'll be hearing about.
Blanchett. Crowe. Scott
Opening Night Film
Because you have to kick off with a starry entry for that maximum red carpet kick. It gets the international and mainstream press excited and you need their eyeballs... even if your festival is for the global cinephiles.
Robin Hood (Ridley Scott)
I'm amused that the tagline is marketing this as an "untold story". Hee. »
- NATHANIEL R
The lineup for the 63rd Cannes Film Festival set to run from May 12 - 23 was announced this morning in Paris, France at the Grand Hotel. On top of the information you'll read below, Twitter user OnTheCroisette added additional information as did ioncinema who specifically reports Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life is 'not ready'" and will not be included in the festival as was previously expected. OnTheCroisette said the Cannes selection committee saw a "copy" of the film, and "anything could happen in the coming weeks," but I'm not holding my breath.
Word from the press conference is that we can expect four to six additional films announced over the coming days/weeks. What will they be? Olivier Assayas's Carlos? Julian Schnabel's Miral? Francois Ozon's Potiche? Bruce Robinson's Rum Diary? Take a look at the list and my brief commentary below and let us know what you think. »
- Brad Brevet
So for two years I ran a fun little contest called "Actress Psychic". It was going swimmingly with more contestants each year trying to predict the Best Actress Oscar shortlist a whole year in advance. But the hugely painstaking spreadsheets and enormous time commitment -- which compiled points throughout the year for various achievements like precursor attention, magazine covers, festival attention and box office, finally done me in on the third edition.
I biffed it this year big time just as soon as I could have possibly biffed it. Gutterball! Or whatever sports analogy you'd like for Fail. But in a rare feat of beating a deadline I had last night, I had some time to at least pour over the original entries and "guess" about who the winners should be without those pesky actual point totals.
I highlighted the actual correct guesses in gold and highlighted the suggested nominees »
- NATHANIEL R
Jumping back into the FiLM BiTCH Awards now. They're my long running personal awards for best of any given year. I usually try to wrap up the exact-correlative Oscar categories before the Academy's nominations but obviously that didn't happen this year. Oops.
Herewith the next couple of awards: Best Original Score and Best Adapted/Mix or Song Score.
I have two categories since so many films these days use a mix of original and previously recorded material for their soundscapes. You'll find that animated films are well represented in one category or another. Mr. Fox is Fantastic, everyone agrees. Coraline and Up are not just eye candy but ear candy, too. And then there's Karen O's work on Where the Wild Things Are which I like to think of as a hipster remembrance of the mysteries of childhood rather than a child-like score. Even with all the kiddies singing.
- NATHANIEL R
Oopsie. Forgot to update the Say What? contest from the week. The winner is Michael Parsons who is the first back-to-back winner of this series. Next time I'll let him pick the winner and declare him ineligible!
There were other good ones if you click back though. There were also some interesting comments which I'd hoped to address. But this week went on as long as Rapunzel's locks. Jack observed/worried that Disney will be going all snarky/cynical with this one (note the poses) and misses the sense of innocence and wonder that used to be found in the genre. Duly noted and I do think that's a shame. Especially since I love the story of Rapunzel and if any character shouldn't be worldly and snarky it's probably the one who's a total shut in with no outside contact.
Can Disney movies ever be innocent again when they've »
- NATHANIEL R
He's been feted for his appearances with Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer and is soon to open in the West End. Yet the media only want to discuss his relationship with Keira Knightley. No wonder he is wary says Elizabeth Day
Rupert Friend already knows how this interview is going to be written. "You start off with a humorous anecdote about meeting me," he says, as if reciting a shopping list. "Then you end on something that neatly refers back to the beginning. It's so boring." He sits back in his chair, a small smile on his face.
It seems fair to say that Friend, 28, has developed a fairly healthy contempt for journalists. He tells me that he refuses to read any newspapers because they are saturated with meaningless celebrity trivia and he seems to believe most of us who work for them are hopelessly ignorant. At one point, when »
- Elizabeth Day
15 items from 2010
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