Sunlight Jr. (2013) - News Poster

(2013)

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Laurie Collyer’s Road Trip Movie Starring Tessa Thompson and Melissa Leo Secures Distribution

Thompson in “Westworld

IFC Films will steer U.S. and Canadian distribution of Laurie Collyer’s new road movie, The Hollywood Reporter confirms. Led by rising star Tessa Thompson and Oscar winner Melissa Leo, “Furlough” co-stars Whoopi Goldberg and “True Blood” alumna Anna Paquin.

The comedy centers on a Thompson’s character, who is caring “for her aging mother while working at a jail,” THR details. “She gets assigned to accompany a rowdy prisoner (Leo) on an emergency furlough to visit her dying mother, but the duo’s trip goes haywire.”

No word on when to expect “Furlough,” but THR notes that it’s completed.

Collyer’s previous credits include “Sunlight Jr.” and “Sherrybaby.”

Thompson stars in “Thor: Ragnarok,” which is in theaters now. “Westworld,” “Creed,” and “Selma” are among her other credits. Her upcoming projects include sci-fi flick “Annihilation,” which sees her heading on a mysterious expedition, and Nia DaCosta’s “Little Woods,
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

2015 Sundance Trading Card Series: #26. Andrea Roa (Unexpected)

Eric Lavallee: Name me three of your favorite “2014 discoveries” …

Andrea Roa: Tranparent, The Babadook, Fun Home.

Lavallee: With regards to the casting choice of Cobie Smulders, what were some of the personality traits that you were looking for in the casting process of the anti-domesticated, career-oriented future mother to be Samantha.

Roa: Pregnant!

Lavallee: This is your second “Swanberg” feature, I was wondering at what point did you come on board, and how long of a gestation period was there since Unexpected was shot late in the game (early Fall).

Roa: I came on board last year at Sundance when Kris and I met to discuss the script. So it came together quickly.

Lavallee: Between features Drinking Buddies, Sunlight Jr. and now Unexpected, you’ve maintained strong ties (in the producing capacity) to short filmmaking/filmmakers. Could you describe your attraction to the form?

Roa: The attraction is the filmmaker.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Scoop: Pan Am's Kelli Garner Cast as Marilyn Monroe in Lifetime Miniseries

Scoop: Pan Am's Kelli Garner Cast as Marilyn Monroe in Lifetime Miniseries
Hello, Norma Jean.

Kelli Garner (Pan Am, My Generation) has scored the title role in Marilyn, Lifetime’s upcoming miniseries about Marilyn Monroe, TVLine has learned.

As previously reported, Oscar winner Susan Sarandon is set to play the bombshell’s mentally ill mom, whose struggle with her own demons had a profound affect on her famous daughter’s life.

Marilyn, based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s book The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, promises to reveal “for the first time what the iconic superstar succeeded in hiding from an all-too-invasive world.”

Stephen Kronish (The Kennedys) penned the script and Laurie Collyer (Sunlight Jr.) will direct.
See full article at TVLine.com »

Scoop: Susan Sarandon to Play Marilyn Monroe's Mom in Lifetime Miniseries

Scoop: Susan Sarandon to Play Marilyn Monroe's Mom in Lifetime Miniseries
Susan Sarandon has signed on to play the mother of all bombshells in Lifetime’s upcoming Marilyn Monroe miniseries, TVLine has learned.

The Academy Award winner will portray Monroe’s mentally ill mom, whose struggle with her own demons had a profound affect on her famous daughter’s life.

Marilyn is based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s book The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe. Stephen Kronish (The Kennedys) will pen the script and Laurie Collyer (Sunlight Jr.) will direct.

The four-hour miniseries, which has not yet cast its title role, is slated to air in 2015.

Sarandon is best known for
See full article at TVLine.com »

Lifetime Takes on Marilyn Monroe: Upon Which Actress Do You Wish This No-Win Scenario?

Lifetime Takes on Marilyn Monroe: Upon Which Actress Do You Wish This No-Win Scenario?
When it comes to its 2015 development slate, Lifetime prefers blondes.

The female-skewing cabler has given the green light to a miniseries about iconic Hollywood bombshell Marilyn Monroe, TVLine has confirmed.

Photos Fall TV Preview: Get the Scoop on 50+ New Shows

The project, titled Marilyn, is based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s book The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe. Stephen Kronish (The Kennedys) will pen the script and Laurie Collyer (Sunlight Jr.) will direct.

So, getting back to the question posed in the headline: Who’s on your short list to play the (thankless) title role?

Related storiesWayward Pines' M. Night Shyamalan,
See full article at TVLine.com »

Naomi Watts Joins Matthew McConaughey In Gus Van Sant's 'Sea Of Trees' & Halle Berry To Star In 'Kidnap'

Naomi Watts hit a brief career rough patch following her Oscar nominated turn "The Impossible." A couple of indies—"Adore" and "Sunlight Jr."—were barely seen, while she was savaged ruthlessly by critics for last year's biopic flop "Diana." But she's got a very promising slate coming up with roles in Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman," the buzzed "Saint Vincent De Van Nuys" and Noah Baumbach's "While We're Young." And she's adding yet another auteur to her filmography. THR reports the actress is in talks to join Gus Van Sant's "Sea Of Trees" opposite Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe. And yes, that's a helluva pairing. Penned by Chris Sparling ("Buried," "Atm"), the 2013 Black List script follows an American man taking a journey into the infamous “Suicide Forest” at the foothills of Mount Fuji with the intention of taking his own life. When he is interrupted by a Japanese
See full article at The Playlist »

The Walking Dead Creator and Star Norman Reedus Team Up for New Thriller

The Walking Dead Creator and Star Norman Reedus Team Up for New Thriller
Norman Reedus is teaming up with The Walking Dead executive producer and original comic book creator Robert Kirkman, as well as Djimon Hounsou, for the sci-fi thriller Air, which Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions is in final talks to acquire.

The plot is set in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster, centering on an underground cryogenic facility that is one of the only habitable places left on Earth. The story centers on two custodial workers (Norman Reedus and Djimon Hounsou), who take care of the personnel in deep cryogenic sleep, while maintaining the fragile environment and grappling with their own sanity.

Video game writer and lead designer Christian Cantamessa, who is behind the hit titles Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, is making his directorial debut, working from a script he co-wrote with Chris Pasetto. Robert Kirkman is producing alongside fellow The Walking Dead executive producer David Alpert,
See full article at MovieWeb »

New DVD Blu-ray: 'Captain Phillips,' 'Blue Jasmine,' 'Machete Kills

Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week

"Blue Jasmine"

What's It About? Cate Blanchett stars as Jasmine, a fancy New Yorker whose late husband was one of those finance scumbags who swindled people. Left high and dry, she heads to Sf to impose upon her sweet sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins), who's got her own problems to deal with.

Why We're In: This Woody Allen flick is getting rave reviews, nominations, and awards out the wazoo, so if you haven't seen it yet, get cracking.

Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week

"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (Criterion)

What's It About? Comedy bigwigs like Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy, and Jonathan Winters star in this slapstick-y flick about buried treasure.

Why We're In: Because it's winter and you need a laugh, and because this Criterion edition is restored, extended, and spiffed up in all the right ways.
See full article at Moviefone »

Samuel Goldwyn Films Snags ‘Better Living Through Chemistry’ with Sam Rockwell

Samuel Goldwyn Films has taken U.S. theatrical rights to Geoff Moore and David Posamentier’s “Better Living Through Chemistry,” the dark comedy that stars Sam Rockwell and Olivia Wilde.

Goldwyn has cued up the film for a spring release, with homevid distribution in the Us to be handled by Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures Intl. Entertainment taking care of ancillary platforms in the U.K., France, South America and other territories.

Plot of “Better Living” centers on a pharmacist (Rockwell) whose life gets wild when he begins an affair with one of his customers (Wilde). Michelle Monaghan, Norbert Leo Butz, Ben Schwartz, Ken Howard, Ray Liotta and Jane Fonda also appear in the pic, which Moore and Posamentier co-wrote and co-directed.

Occupant Entertainment’s Joe Neurauter and Felipe Marino produce with a team that includes associate producers Richard Naing and Kate Sharp and exec producers Keith Calder,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Top 10 Indies in the iTunes Store This Week: 'Frances Ha' Hits the List, 'Blackfish' Rules

  • Indiewire
Top 10 Indies in the iTunes Store This Week: 'Frances Ha' Hits the List, 'Blackfish' Rules
Each Monday we present you with the most up-to-date list of Top 10 (Indie) Movies in the iTunes Store (combining rentals and purchases). "Blackfish" tops the indies chart this week and also ranks #4 among movies overall in the iTunes store and #1 among documentaries. New titles making the indie list this week include "Frances Ha," "Charlie Countryman," "Grandmaster," "Sunlight Jr." and "Dear Mr. Watterson." The top 10 indies in iTunes are listed below (number represents North American gross, where applicable): 1. Blackfish (Magnolia, $2,073,582) 2. The Way, Way Back (Fox Searchlight, $21,498,029) 3. Parkland (Exclusive Media, $653,651) 4. Frances Ha (IFC, $4,066,582) 5. The Grandmaster (The Weinstein Co., $6,594,959) 6. Stuck in Love (Millenium Entertainment, $81,071) 7. Charlie Countryman (Millenium Entertainment, $8,600) 8. Dear Mr. Watterson (Submarine Deluxe, $6,800) 9. Sunlight Jr. (Samuel...
See full article at Indiewire »

Norman Reedus on Sunlight Jr. and The Walking Dead’s Daryl and Michonne

  • Vulture
Norman Reedus on Sunlight Jr. and The Walking Dead’s Daryl and Michonne
In Sunlight Jr., Naomi Watts plays a convenience store clerk struggling to get by and to get away from her ex-boyfriend Norman Reedus, who's taken to stalking and harassing her at work. He doesn't accept that she's moved on, and uses his position as her mother's landlord (and neighborhood drug dealer) to intimidate her further. Reedus, who of course also plays fan favorite Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead, called up Vulture while shooting the finale of that show ("It's a very ambitious episode; they went big with it") to chat about surviving on spaghetti, head-butting, and his wish to guest on Portlandia.Do you see anything in common with the show, and your new film? They're both about the struggle to survive, although under very different circumstances.No zombies in Florida! [Laughs.] The thing I liked about Sunlight Jr. was that it felt like a very real, very honest portrayal
See full article at Vulture »

Sunlight Jr. – The Review

Around the time of the last presidential elections we heard quite a bit about the income discrepancies in the Us thanks to the Occupy Wall Street movement protests that eventually spilled over into that election campaign (still recall that “parasite” speech) with talk about the “job creators” and the “takers”. Well it was only a matter of time before a film producer would focus in on the “have-nots” or as Occupy called themselves, the “99 percent”. Time to shine a light on the “working poor”. Or better yet let’s upon the movie drapery and let Sunlight Jr. shine in.

Down in balmy Clearwater, Florida Melissa (Naomi Watts) lives in a grimy, run-down motel with her paraplegic boyfriend Richie (Matt Dillon). They’re barely scraping by on her cashier job at the dingy 24-hour gas and convenience shop, Sunlight Jr. ,and his disability checks. She’s got to put up with
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Film Reviews: Opening This Week (Nov. 11-15, 2013)

Film Reviews: Opening This Week (Nov. 11-15, 2013)
Nebraska

(Paramount)

After making side trips to California’s Central Coast and Hawaii (for “Sideways” and “The Descendants,” respectively), Alexander Payne returns to his home state of Nebraska for his sixth directorial feature, a wistful ode to small-town Midwestern life and the quixotic dreams of stubborn old men. Sporting a career-crowning performance by Bruce Dern and a thoroughly impressive dramatic turn by “SNL”/“30 Rock” alum Will Forte, Payne’s first film based on another writer’s original screenplay (by debut feature scribe Bob Nelson) nevertheless fits nicely alongside his other low-concept, finely etched studies of flawed characters stuck in life’s well-worn grooves. Black-and-white lensing and lack of a Clooney-sized star portend less than “Descendants”-sized business, but critical hosannas and awards buzz should mean solid prestige success for this November Paramount release.

— Scott Foundas

Read the full review

The Best Man Holiday

(Universal)

Back in 1999, Malcolm D. Lee’s debut feature,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Exclusive Interview with Director Laurie Collyer for ‘Sunlight Jr.’

It’s a harsh reality of America nowadays.

Every time one turns on the news, they are highlighting about the struggles of people trying to survive on the minimum wage or obtain health insurance.

Sunlight Jr.” premiered this weekend as a fictionalized look about a middle-aged couple living in a motel and barely surviving below the poverty line. And then the couple had to deal with an unexpected pregnancy.

The movie stars Matt Dillon, Naomi Watts and Norman Reedus. It is directed and written by Laurie Collyer (“Sherrybaby,” “Nuryoican Dream”).

Latino-Review had an exclusive phone interview with Collyer to discuss about “Sunlight Jr.” We talked about the casting, books on poverty, and American struggles.

Sunlight Jr.” is in theater limited release and VOD.

Read the transcript below.

Latino-Review: For this film that you wrote and directed, what is the inspiration behind this movie?

Laurie Collyer: I read a book in 2006, a while ago,
See full article at LRM Online »

Five Questions with Sunlight Jr. Director Laurie Collyer

The following interview was originally published in May 2013 to coincide with the world premiere of the film at the Tribeca Film Festival. Sunlight Jr.goes on release theatrically today through Gravitas Ventures. While the lives of the working class are not the stuff Hollywood dreams are made of, they are at the heart of Laurie Collyer’s new film, Sunlight Jr. Starring Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon as a couple dealing with an unexpected pregnancy while trying to survive on minimum wage jobs, Sunlight Jr. premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival this weekend where it is sure to stir up a conversation about what it means […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Five Questions with Sunlight Jr. Director Laurie Collyer

The following interview was originally published in May 2013 to coincide with the world premiere of the film at the Tribeca Film Festival. Sunlight Jr.goes on release theatrically today through Gravitas Ventures. While the lives of the working class are not the stuff Hollywood dreams are made of, they are at the heart of Laurie Collyer’s new film, Sunlight Jr. Starring Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon as a couple dealing with an unexpected pregnancy while trying to survive on minimum wage jobs, Sunlight Jr. premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival this weekend where it is sure to stir up a conversation about what it means […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

Sunlight Jr. Review (Four out of Five stars) Booze, heartache and Noami Watts’ incredible performance make Sunight Jr. a standout drama

Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon bring standout performances to working class drama Sunlight Jr. The spotlight burns red hot this fall for actress Naomi Watts thanks to luxury sets, international locations, a familiar designer wardrobe and arguably the world’s most famous haircut. I’m talking about Watts’ starring role as “the people’s princess,” Diana, the Princess of Wales, in director Oscar Hirschbiegel’s bio-drama Diana. Yet, the true spotlight role, the better movie that showcases Watts’ impressive dramatic skills takes place far away from the red carpet and unfolds on the opposite of the tracks in Florida in the couples dramaSunlight Jr. Watts joins writer/director Laurie Collyer (Sherrybaby), and Matt Dillon in a grounded and heartfelt blue-collar story about Melissa and Richie, a working poor Florida couple expecting their first child while experiencing financial difficulties. Watts is something of an expert at melodramas thanks to her roles
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

Weekend Movies: 'The Best Man Holiday,' 'Nebraska,' & More

This weekend, a group of old college friends reunite for the holidays in "The Best Man Holiday," and an aging father believes he's become a millionaire after receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail in "Nebraska."

"The Best Man Holiday," Malcolm D. Lee's sequel to his 1999's "The Best Man," reunites the original movie's cast, including Morris Chestnut, Monica Calhoun, Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, Terrence Howard, Regina Hall, and Harold Perrineau. The film picks up 15 years later, when the college friends reunite for the Christmas holiday. However, while a whole lot of time may have passed, the romantic tensions and forgotten rivalries start to brew up again. In Alexander Payne's ("The Descendants") "Nebraska," Bruce Dern plays aging Woody, a man of little words in denial of his drinking problem. When Woody receives a marketing letter in the mail informing him that he's won a million dollars,
See full article at Moviefone »

Capsule Movie Reviews (Nov. 13): 'Sunlight Jr.' and five more

New Release

Sunlight Jr.

Not Rated, 1 Hr., 35 Mins.

So relentlessly bleak that you’d have to be a masochist to make it to the end credits, Sunlight Jr. stars Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon as doomed Florida lovers who can’t catch a break. He’s a drunk drowning in self-pity in a wheelchair while she busts her hump working the graveyard shift at a convenience store. Here’s one snapshot of the Sunshine State that no one wants a postcard of. (Also available on iTunes and VOD) C- —Chris Nashawaty

New Release

12-12-12

R, 1 Hr., 45 Mins.

After Superstorm
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »

Review: Unflinchingly Honest And Grim 'Sunlight Jr.' Starring Naomi Watts & Matt Dillon

To orient you to a filmmaker who's been away for far too long: If Wes Anderson’s central preoccupation is tightly controlled diorama-like compositions, Tim Burton’s obsession is dark, kooky misfits, and Sofia Coppola’s fixation is alienated teenagers soundtracked to exquisite pop songs, then Laurie Collyer’s main absorption is the forgotten underclass and their perils. The filmmaker behind “Sherrybaby” (and the gripping social documentary “Nuyorican Dream”), Collyer hasn’t made a movie since 2006, but her latest, “Sunlight Jr.,” could easily act as the third in a trilogy about the impoverished, the destitute and the depressed. And severely depressed, “Sunlight Jr.” is. So much so that it may be too hard to watch for some viewers. Set in the indigent, trailer-park trash areas of Southern Florida, Collyer’s latest writer/directorial effort centers on a uneducated, penniless couple struggling to get by on minimum wage. Their daily struggle
See full article at The Playlist »
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