6 items from 2016
Every couple of weeks, I’ll wonder what happened to Gus Van Sant, that thought process always along the lines of, “So there was Restless in 2010, Promised Land in 2012, and nothing since then? What could he be doing?” And then I remember The Sea of Trees, the cause celebre (read: laughingstock) of last year’s Cannes Film Festival, and suddenly grow a bit sadder.
We already got a glimpse of the film ahead of its Japanese release; now the French opening has offered another preview. (Roadside Attractions will bring it to the U.S., but no word yet on when that might be.) While I’m willing to believe the reaction was overcooked and liked what’s shown herein — Matthew McConaughey! Naomi Watts! Ken Watanabe! beautiful locations! — that reaction also connects to our review in a rather uncomfortable way. As we said, “The genuinely captivating ambiguity of these early moments »
- Nick Newman
The first wave of films screening at the 15th Tribeca Film Festival have been announced and this year, the Narrative program has been split into two separate sections: the Us Narrative competition which celebrates the works of American filmmakers and the International Narrative competition which will showcase cinematic works spanning five continents.
With one third of the Festival’s feature films being directed by women – the highest percentage in history – the Festival is becoming renown for its discovery of new and distinct voices.
“In our 15th year we wanted to deepen our support of American narrative filmmakers and have opened our competition to separately showcase the Us and International films,” said Genna Terranova, Festival Director. “We are very impressed by the films this year and inspired to see new voices transcending traditions and taking risks by telling their stories their own way. We are excited to share with audiences how »
- Sacha Hall
The greatest southern gothic tales feature richly detailed atmosphere dripping with a strong sense of location. Night of the Hunter and other classics certainly fit the category, and the fairly recent Sundance drama Ain’t Them Bodies Saints was a fine example, featuring characters that, whether in a doomed romance or not, feel destined for one another. On paper, The Free World seemingly has all the necessary ingredients, yet the drama stumbles out of the gate with cliche after cliche, even when it tries to change things up with a sharp dramatic turn.
Beginning as a study of rehabilitation, Mo (Boyd Holbrook) recently got out of a prison stint in which he became defined as the toughest inmate, earning the nickname “Cyclops.” Working at an animal shelter under the tutelage of Linda (Octavia Spencer), he cleans cages and shows a tender care for the battered animals brought in. One day, »
- Jordan Raup
Actor and writer Jason Lew, the screenwriter behind Gus Van Sant's "Restless," makes his feature directorial debut with “The Free World,” a sometimes-curious picture that takes on a big story with an intimate execution. “Curious” only because “The Free World” ends up in a place vastly different from where it starts, genre-hopping and taking unexpected turns. At times it feels as though the story might exceed the scope of the film, but it manages to stretch to contain it, and pushes the boundaries of what a “Sundance film” might be. The film opens with a look inside the very small world of Mo (Boyd Holbrook). He’s a recently released felon working in an animal shelter for Linda (Octavia Spencer), who seems to have knowledge of “the inside” as well. He has a sparse life, an apartment with no furniture and no car. As we come to find out through snippets of conversation, »
- Katie Walsh
Remember when Boyd Holbrook was just a scrawny young thing? Born and raised in Kentucky, he did some modeling, took acting classes and sent a screenplay off to Gus Van Sant, who gave him a minor role in “Milk,” launching an acting career that’s bound to lead him, sooner or later, to play a blockbuster comic-book character. In the meantime, Holbrook is proving what a capable performer he can be, turning up in indies such as “The Free World,” where it’s hard to believe the tortured soul with the prison-scarred brow, “Deadwood” goatee and haunted eyes was ever a child. Which is the effect writer-director Jason Lew (who wrote Van Sant’s “Restless”) intends with this well-meaning, well-acted but otherwise clumsily executed parable about second chances, whose damaged-goods pairing of Holbrook and Elisabeth Moss ensures at least a small release.
Having packed on considerable heft since last we »
- Peter Debruge
Comprising a considerable amount of our top 50 films of last year, Sundance Film Festival has proven to yield the first genuine look at what the year in cinema will bring. Now in its 38th iteration, we’ll be heading back to Park City this week, but before we do, it’s time to highlight the films we’re most looking forward to, including documentaries and narrative features from all around the world.
While much of the joy found in the festival comes from surprises throughout the event, below one will find our 25 most-anticipated titles off the bat, which doesn’t include some of the ones we’ve already seen and admired, notably Cemetery of Splendour, The Lobster and Rams. Check out everything below and for updates straight from the festival, make sure to follow us on Twitter (@TheFilmStage, @jpraup, @djmecca and @DanSchindel), and stay tuned to all of our coverage here. »
- Jordan Raup
6 items from 2016
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners