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Shot Caller review – taut, tense prison thriller that's unexpectedly impressive

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is terrific as a blameless family man transformed into a tattooed hard case by his time in jail following a fatal road accident

The last film by Ric Roman Waugh I caught was the fantastically improbable and overblown Snitch, about the war on drugs. My expectations here were tepid. But Shot Caller turns out to be a really taut, tense, prison-set thriller, a little like Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet and longform television such as Breaking Bad or The Wire.

Game of ThronesNikolaj Coster-Waldau plays Jacob, a blameless financial trader and family man who is sent to prison for accidentally killing someone while driving through a red light. Advised by his nervy lawyer to play it tough on his first day in the yard, Jacob catastrophically gets involved in a fight with an African-American prisoner and gets befriended by an extreme white-power gang – persuaded that hanging with
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Phares et Balises Ramps Up TV Drama Production, Expands Into Film (Exclusive)

Phares et Balises, one of France’s top documentary production banners, is expanding its slate of high-profile drama series and moving into feature films.

The Paris-based company, launched 25 years ago by Jean Labib, has partnered up with Alvaro Longoria (“Everybody Knows”) of Spain’s Morena Films and Laura Bickford (“Traffic”) in the U.S. to develop the feature film “The Man Who Loved Dogs,” which “Narcos” helmer Jose Padilha is attached to direct. The English-language project, adapted from Leonardo Padura’s novel, is a multilayered political thriller revolving around the encounter between a struggling Cuban writer and an exiled Spaniard who turns out to be the man who assassinated Leon Trotsky in Mexico City in 1940.

Phares et Balises has also recently hired French veteran producer Marco Cherqui, whose credits include Jacques Audiard’s “A Prophet.” Cherqui is currently developing a roster of ambitious drama series, notably Rebecca Zlotowski’s “Les Sauvages” and Jean-Marc Rudnicki’s “After the Crash
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Tahar Rahim, Stacy Martin to Topline ‘Joueurs’ (Exclusive)

Tahar Rahim, Stacy Martin to Topline ‘Joueurs’ (Exclusive)
Tahar Rahim (“The Past,” “A Prophet”) and Stacy Martin (“Nymphomaniac,” “Redoutables”) are starring in “Joueurs,” a romance-crime drama that takes place in the clandestine gambling club network.

The film marks the directorial debut of Marie Monge, whose short “Marseille la nuit” was nominated for a Cesar in 2014. Michael Gentile at Paris-based The Film, whose credits include Julie Delpy’s “Lolo,” is producing.

“Joueurs” revolves around the relationship between a gambling addict and a young woman who falls madly in love with him and will stop at nothing to win his heart.

The key crew includes Paul Guilhaume, the cinematographer of “Ava,” which premiered at Cannes Critics’ Week.

The script was penned by Monge, Julien Guetta (“Le petit locataire”) and Romain Compingt, the co-writer of Houda Benyamina’s Golden Camera winning “Divines.”

Gentille said Monge developed the script for three years and did extensive research in underground gambling club networks to depict the characters accurately and give them
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Toronto Film Review: ‘The Price of Success’

Toronto Film Review: ‘The Price of Success’
While it’s generally not essential for a film about a successful creative character to get their job right, there’s something conspicuous about the hottest stand-up comedian in France never once saying anything funny. In “The Price of Success,” a a cliche-larded drama about celebrity malaise, Tahar Rahim, best known for his galvanizing turn in “A Prophet,” stars as a blockbuster comic who sells out arenas but seems incapable of making people laugh. It doesn’t help that the film bears so much similarity to Chris Rock’s “Top Five,” a funny drama by and about one of the world’s premier stand-ups. The absence of humor here feeds into the perversive inauthenticity that dogs the action. Rahim remains a magnetic leading man, but original insights into fame, family and ethnic identity are few and far between.

In his second feature, co-writer/director Teddy Lussi-Modeste (“Jimmy Riviere”) plays up the carnival-of-life craziness that engulfs a French
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Michael B. Jordan and Josh Brolin Wanted for Sam Raimi's A Prophet Remake

  • MovieWeb
Michael B. Jordan and Josh Brolin Wanted for Sam Raimi's A Prophet Remake
Sony Pictures' A Prophet remake may finally be moving forward, despite practically no activity on the project since director Sam Raimi came aboard back in January 2016. Today we have word that the studio is still hoping to start production sometime this year, and a new report claims the director has reached out to Michael B. Jordan to play the lead role of Marcos Colon, with Josh Brolin being eyed to portray Cesar. Those roles were portrayed by Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup in the original film from Jacques Audiard, although the Marcos Colon role was named Malik El Djebena.

That Hashtag Show broke the news today, revealing that director Sam Raimi is hoping to start production by the end of this year, so even if Michael B. Jordan or Josh Brolin don't fill those roles, we certainly may hear more about casting soon. This project has been in the works for quite some time,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Film Review: ‘Shot Caller’

Film Review: ‘Shot Caller’
While American audiences wait for the Hollywood remake of Jacques Audiard’s gritty 2010 French thriller “A Prophet,” Ric Roman Waugh swoops in with a comparably gritty prison epic of his own: Debuting on DirecTV two weeks before hitting theaters, “Shot Caller” dramatizes how a hardcore stint behind bars transforms an otherwise docile citizen — in this case, a white-collar wheeler-dealer (Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) convicted of a DUI manslaughter charge and tossed in with the violent offenders — into a ruthless crime boss.

The character’s arc proves considerably more complex than that description suggests, as Waugh forgoes cheap action-movie gimmicks, offering up instead a haunting psychological portrait of an intelligent man forced to completely reinvent himself before he can even dream of seeking redemption for his previous sins. “Shot Caller” marks the third time that writer-director Waugh (who previously helmed “Felon” and “Snitch”) has taken audiences into this intimidating underworld, and the tough, no-punches-pulled
See full article at Variety - Film News »

11 Films to Watch After Seeing ‘Good Time’

In their feature films, directors Josh and Ben Safdie have always walked a fine line between fact and fiction. Not quite documentaries and not quite traditional narratives, their work takes on an air of alarming spontaneity, threatening to jump off the screen at you. Between Daddy Longlegs and Heaven Knows What, the Safdies captured a gorgeously grainy snapshot of their home city of New York, both painfully truthful and deeply impacting.

Their latest, Good Time, returns to New York City, this time bringing a pulp edge to their naturalistic aesthetic. After a botched bank robbery lands his brother Nick (Ben Safdie) in jail, Constantine (Robert Pattinson) is forced out of Queens into the city to bring his brother home, at any cost.

Our review describes Good Time as “in parts a heist movie (iconic masks included) and a chase movie, but not an homage in any sense — more an evolution,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Invisible Worlds by Anne-Katrin Titze

Sâm Mirhosseini and Jérémie Renier in Clément Cogitore's Neither Heaven Nor Earth (Ni Le Ciel Ni La Terre)

Neither Heaven Nor Earth (Ni Le Ciel Ni La Terre) director Clément Cogitore spoke with me on the role his producer Jean-Christophe Reymond played in the collaboration with Les Cowboys director Thomas Bidegain, who also has screenwriter credits for Bertrand Bonello's Saint Laurent, Jacques Audiard's Rust And Bone, A Prophet and Cannes Palme d'Or winner Dheepan, and Michaël R Roskam's Racer And The Jailbird (Matthias Schoenaerts, Adèle Exarchopoulos) which will have its world première at the Venice International Film Festival.

Bax's (Clément Bresson) tattooed back in Neither Heaven Nor Earth

Clément went into the invisible worlds of his debut feature (starring Jérémie Renier with Kévin Azaïs, Swann Arlaud, Finnegan Oldfield, Clément Bresson, Marc Robert, Hamid Reza Javdan, Edouard Court, Steve Tientcheu, Aria Faghih Habib, Stéphane Boissel, and the voice
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

San Sebastian: ’Underground,’ ‘The Sower’ ‘Killing Jesus,’ ‘Princesita’ Make New Directors Cut

San Sebastian: ’Underground,’ ‘The Sower’ ‘Killing Jesus,’ ‘Princesita’ Make New Directors Cut
Madrid — Daniel Palacio’s “Underground,” Marine Francen’s “The Sower,” Laura Mora’s “Killing Jesus” and Marialy Rivas’ “Princesita” are among 13 first titles announced by Spain’s San Sebastian Festival for its New Directors section, the biggest sidebar at the Spanish-speaking world’s highest-profile film event.

Sponsored by the Basque Country’s Kutxabank, New Directors carries a €50,000 ($57,600) cash prize for the director and Spanish distributor of the winning film. It also serves to highlight some outstanding debuts or second films of the year: Pedro Almodovar, Olivier Assayas, Danny Boyle, Walter Salles, Nicolas Winding Refn and Laurent Cantet have seen early titles in its line-up.

Inevitably, the films also say something also about the zeitgeist, captured often by disaffected directors seeking to make their mark with bold visions of youth and its discontents.

Produced by Cannes Competition regular Brillante Mendoza, for instance, Daniel Palacio’s Philippines-set “Underground” weighs in as a grounded cemetery-set young family drama come grave
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Denis Villeneuve, Sofia Coppola and More Filmmakers Pick the Best Films of the 21st Century

Denis Villeneuve, Sofia Coppola and More Filmmakers Pick the Best Films of the 21st Century
Picking the best movies of any century is hard, but it’s especially challenging when dealing with a century of cinema as boundary-pushing as the 21st. IndieWire critics Eric Kohn and David Ehrlich made their own top 10 picks last summer, with Leos Carax’s “Holy Motors” and Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation” taking the top spots, and now some of the best filmmakers in the business have weighed in with their own choices in a new survey from The New York Times.

Read More: Sofia Coppola Has No Interest in Making a Blockbuster or a Sequel

The newspaper reached out to the likes of Coppola, Denis Villeneuve, Antoine Fuqua, Alex Gibney and more to pick their brains on what is the best cinema has been over the last 17 years, and their answers are as expected (of course “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood” have a
See full article at Indiewire »

Imr International to sell Jacques Audiard's 'The Sisters Brothers' starring

  • ScreenDaily
Exclusive: Darkly comic Western story to shoot in Europe next month.

Imr International will introduce Cannes buyers to The Sisters Brothers directed by Palme d’Or winner Jacques Audiard starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The Western joins a prestige slate that features Lynne Ramsay’s competition selection You Were Never Really Here starring Phoenix, and Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Kings with Halle Berry and Daniel Craig.

John C. Reilly and Riz Ahmed, riding high on rave reviews for his role in HBO’s The Night Of, round out the key cast.

The Sisters Brothers is scheduled to begin principal photography in Spain and Romania next month and is based on Patrick deWitt’s darkly comic novel about a pair of brothers who wreaked havoc during the California Gold Rush.

Phoenix and Reilly play the eponymous killers – one of whom enjoys his murderous lifestyle while the other longs for a quieter life.

Everything changes
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Imr International to sell Jacques Audiard's 'The Sisters Brothers'

  • ScreenDaily
Exclusive: Darkly comic Western story to shoot in Europe next month.

Imr International will introduce Cannes buyers to The Sisters Brothers directed by Palme d’Or winner Jacques Audiard and starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The Western joins a prestige slate that features Lynne Ramsay’s competition selection You Were Never Really Here starring Phoenix, and Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Kings with Halle Berry and Daniel Craig.

John C. Reilly and Riz Ahmed, riding high on rave reviews for his role in HBO’s The Night Of, round out the key cast.

The Sisters Brothers is scheduled to begin principal photography in Spain and Romania next month and is based on Patrick deWitt’s darkly comic novel about a pair of brothers who wreaked havoc during the California Gold Rush.

Phoenix and Reilly play the eponymous killers – one of whom enjoys his murderous lifestyle while the other longs for a quieter life.

Everything changes
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Heal the Living review – pulsating transplant drama

Katell Quillévéré’s audacious feature follows a human heart from donor to recipient, stirring strong emotions and showing breathtaking visual skill

“Careful. No powerful emotions.” Claire (Anne Dorval) smiles wryly, undermining the brittle anxieties of her loved ones by gently mocking the cardiac disease that could shutter her life at any moment. The fiftysomething mother of two adult sons, Claire is the end point of the journey of the closest thing that this film has to a central character: the human heart that we follow from accident-victim donor to critically ill recipient.

And “no powerful emotions” is central to the approach that French director Katell Quillévéré adopts for her stunning third feature, an adaptation of last week’s 2017 Wellcome Book prize-winning novel Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal. No swampy melodrama or misery tourism here. Quillévéré favours uncluttered empathy over sentimentality. Her film-making is as clinical and precise as a scalpel incision,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Official Us Trailer for Drama 'Heal the Living' Featuring Tahar Rahim

"We can try to figure out what Simon would have wanted." Cohen Media Group has debuted an official Us trailer for the French indie drama Heal the Living, based on the book of the same name (Réparer les vivants) by Maylis De Kerangal. The film stars Tahar Rahim (from A Prophet and The Past) as Thomas Rémige, a doctor who is tasked with caring for a young teenage surfer boy who is in a coma after a car crash. The story follows the lives of three different people, and how they connect after a horrific accident. The cast includes Emmanuelle Seigner, Anne Dorval, Bouli Lanners, Kool Shen, Monia Chokri, and Alice Taglioni. The film already played at film festivals last fall, and opens this month. This has some stunning cinematography, and it looks like a tender, emotional film about grief. This trailer totally got my attention. Here's the official Us
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

‘Heal the Living’ Trailer: Tahar Rahim-Starring César-Nominated Drama Details Fallout of Tremendous Tragedy — Watch

‘Heal the Living’ Trailer: Tahar Rahim-Starring César-Nominated Drama Details Fallout of Tremendous Tragedy — Watch
After screening at the Venice Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, Kattell Quillévéré’s lauded “Heal the Living” is headed for its theatrical release.

Read More: Venice Film Festival 2016 Winners: Emma Stone And Tom Ford Earn Major Prizes

Based on the novel “Heart,” “Heal the Living” takes place in the aftermath of a tragic car accident leaving a young man, Simon (Gabin Verdet), braindead and forcing his family to decide his fate. Intertwining with a other narrative plots, the decisions one family makes regarding the donation of their son’s organs changes the lives of both the ones he leaves behind and the ones with the possibility of a greater future.

The film has an incredible cast, starring Tahar Rahim (“A Prophet,” “The Past”), Emmanuelle Seigner (“Venus in Fur,” “In The House,” “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”), Anne Dorval (“Mommy,” “I Killed My Mother”), Kool Shen,
See full article at Indiewire »

Reda Kateb Faces Music and War in First Trailer for ‘Django’

If you’re looking for something related to Sergio Corbucci or Quentin Tarantino, one will have to keep searching. Rather, Django tells the story of famous musician Django Reinhardt as he flees from a German-occupied Paris in 1943. Premiering at the Berlin International Film Festival as its opener, the first trailer has now landed for Etienne Comar‘s drama starring Reda Kateb (A Prophet, Zero Dark Thirty) ahead of a release in France this spring.

We said in our review, “this drama about an artist who – at first – ignores the rise of far-right fascism in Europe (“who I play to is of no concern” Reinhardt argues) proves, by its close, an effective warning of the troubles of collaborationists and appeasers to society’s malignant forces. While it’s narratively unadventurous and its characters are undeveloped, this debut by French director Étienne Comar does have the ring of prescience, and is all the better for it.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Sam Raimi Heads To The Bermuda Triangle

Sam Raimi is in no big rush to make his next movie, though he’s certainly been stacking up quite a few options. Perhaps the most high profile is a Hollywood redo of Jacques Audiard‘s intense “A Prophet,” while on the blockbuster front he’s taken a look at “World War 3” and the tornado heist movie “Stormfall.” Well, Raimi is putting another big project into the mix.

Continue reading Sam Raimi Heads To The Bermuda Triangle at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Jake Gyllenhaal Joins Joaquin Phoenix in ‘The Sisters Brothers,’ Oscar Isaac Will Run ‘The Garbo Network’ & More

With four films likely premiering (or already set for a release) this year, Jake Gyllenhaal has now found his next role. The Enemy star is set to join Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly for The Sisters Brothers, according to Variety. The latest film from Palme d’Or-winner Jacques Audiard (Dheepan, A Prophet, Rust and Bone), the neo-noir western is an adaptation of the novel by the same name from Patrick DeWitt, which centers on two brothers (Riley and Phoenix) who are hired to kill a man. This will be Audiard’s first full English-language film and as for Gyllenhaal, following last fall’s Nocturnal Animals, he’ll have Life, Stronger, Wildlife, and Okja all arriving this year.

Meanwhile, another top Hollywood star, Oscar Isaac, has joined the cast of a new World War II thriller titled The Garbo Network. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the espionage tale penned by
See full article at The Film Stage »

Berlinale: Benoit Jacquot Preps ‘Mr. Casanova’ With Vincent Lindon (Exclusive)

Berlinale: Benoit Jacquot Preps ‘Mr. Casanova’ With Vincent Lindon (Exclusive)
“Farewell, My Queen” director Benoit Jacquot is preparing “Mr. Casanova,” a film about the life of Giacomo Casanova, the famed Italian libertine, adventurer and author, who will be played by French star Vincent Lindon.

Lindon, who won a prize in Cannes for his role in Stephane Brize’s “The Measure of a Man” and served on Cannes’ jury last year, last worked with Jacquot on “Diary of a Chambermaid,” which competed in Berlin in 2015.

Kristina Larsen, who produced “Diary of a Chambermaid” and “Farewell, My Queen,” is producing “Mr. Casanova.”

Written by Jacquot, Chantal Thomas and Jerome Beaujour (“The Nun”), the film centers on Casanova’s life in exile in London at the age of 45 and will shed light on his unrequited passion for a 25 year-old woman, the first and only who ever resisted him, Larsen said.

Thomas, an expert on Casanova, wrote the novel “Casanova, Un voyage libertin” in the 1980s.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Jake Gyllenhaal Joins Joaquin Phoenix And John C. Reilly In The Sisters Brothers

Jake Gyllenhaal is one of our finest working actors. A talent that commands the screen like few others right now, he’s arguably at the peak of his craft, and everything he does seems more exhilarating than the last performance. The same compliments can be extended to Joaquin Phoenix, too. That makes Gyllenhaal’s involvement in The Sisters Brothers, which stars Phoenix and John C. Reilly, all the more exciting. Here’s hoping they’re only stronger in each other’s company.

An adaptation of Patrick DeWitt’s 2011 novel of the same name, The Sisters Brothers is set in 1851 and follows Eli and Charlie Sisters, two brothers and notorious assassins, hired to kill a gold prospector named Hermann Kermit Warm (Reilly, presumably) who stole from their boss. It’s unclear who’ll play Charlie and Eli specifically, but Gyllenhaal and Phoenix fill the roles nevertheless. The forthcoming indie will be
See full article at We Got This Covered »
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