18 items from 2016
The latest film from Bryan Bertino (The Strangers, Mockingbird), The Monster will make house calls on January 24th when Lionsgate releases the emotional creature feature on Blu-ray (including Digital HD) and DVD.
We have the press release below with full details, and in case you missed it, check out Heather Wixson's review of The Monster, as well as her interview with legendary special effects artist Alec Gillis.
Press Release: The Monster
Arriving on Blu-ray & DVD January 24
Everyone’s worst fears about the evil that hides in the dark come to life in the nightmare-inducing horror film The Monster, arriving on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) and DVD January 24 from Lionsgate. Somewhere deep in the dark woods lurks a bloodthirsty creature that targets an unsuspecting mother and daughter on a late-night road trip. Starring Primetime Emmy® Award nominee Zoe Kazan (TV’s “Olivia Kitteridge”) and Teen Choice Award nominee »
- Derek Anderson
The performances in Bryan Bertino’s The Monster by Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks, In the Valley of Elah) and Ella Ballentine (The Captive, Anne of Green Gables) are both exceptional, but as horror fans we care most about the performance of… Continue Reading →
- Drew Tinnin
In 11 Questions, The A.V. Club asks interesting people 11 interesting questions—and then asks them to suggest one for our next interviewee.
An actress from a storied Hollywood family who has made her cinematic mark in films like The Savages, Ruby Sparks, and Revolutionary Road, Zoe Kazan is a bit of a spitfire. An outspoken advocate for civil liberties, reproductive rights, and general decency, Kazan lives a reasonable part of her life out in the open, sharing her thoughts, interests, and beliefs with the world via her Twitter account. She also seems more than content to let her work speak for her, something that she’ll be able to do this weekend, when The Monster hits theaters and streaming services. The Bryan Bertino film finds Kazan playing a divorced mother traversing back roads on a stormy night with her daughter, all in an attempt to see the girl ...
- Marah Eakin
There are no shortages of talented young actresses who aren’t getting their due in Hollywood. We know that. For my money though, no one is as underrated and deserving of acclaim as Zoe Kazan. She has been doing really compelling work for years now, but always seems to be stuck somewhat on the periphery of the industry. Simply put, she deserves better. This week, she once again puts forward a top tier performance, this time in the independent horror movie The Monster. Not only is the film good, she’s positively incredible. This is one of the best performances I’ve seen all year long. The film is an indie horror tale that’s also as much a character study as anything else. Young mother Kathy (Kazan) has a tough relationship with her daughter Lizzy (Ella Ballentine). Kathy isn’t too responsible and is struggling with addiction. They’re »
- Joey Magidson
It’s hard to believe Zoe Kazan, who gained notoriety for the 2012 fantastical love story Ruby Sparks and earned an Emmy nomination for HBO’s Olive Kitteridge, is already experiencing something of a creative drought in her career.
As Kazan explains, it’s the sad reality that actresses over 30 face in Hollywood. “I had so many more auditions at 23 than I do at 33,” she tells Et by phone. “We, in our culture, tell stories about young girls and tell stories about mothers. There’s a desert in the middle.”
Even more limiting for the actress, who still passes for 16 in the Off-Broadway play Love, Love, Love, is the fact that she’s admittedly played the same ingénue part onscreen in the string of romantic comedies that followed Ruby Sparks. It’s thanks to “me looking demure and having big eyes and being kind of small and looking young,” she says.
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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that “The Monster” boasts (at least) one of the year’s best performances, but it does. In fact, that revelation arrives with as much of a jolt as any of the film’s immaculately-timed jump scares, which writer-director Bryan Bertino (“The Strangers”) unleashes with the discretion of a master and the patience of a monk. Like any great twist, it hides in plain sight from the start, and like any great twist, it reveals itself with maximum impact, delivering the chilly kind of shudder that doesn’t shake off with the closing credits.
Zoe Kazan plays Kathy, a ferocious alcoholic who looks at her bright young daughter as though the little girl were nothing but a symptom of the particularly stubborn hangover that she’s been trying to shake for the better part of a decade. Less of a mother to Lizzy (Ella Ballentine »
- David Ehrlich
By: Carson Blackwelder
Over the course of her career, Annette Bening has been nominated for four Oscars. That, of course, shouldn’t come as a surprise because this is one extremely talented lady. What might shock you, though, is that Bening has taken home zero of those coveted statuettes — but this could all change with her latest work: 20th Century Women.
Mike Mills (Beginners, Thumbsucker) returns with another work he both directed and wrote the screenplay for — and it has the distinction of holding its world premiere on October 8 at the 54th New York Film Festival as the Centerpiece film this year.
The movie is a comedy based in Santa Barbara in the late 1970s and is the story of three women — Bening as single Dorothea Fields, a single mother to teenaged son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann); Greta Gerwig as Abbie, »
- Carson Blackwelder
Most films are bound by a necessity for its lead characters to be depicted as likable individuals that audiences can root for. However, My Blind Brother dares not only to subvert that expectation across the board but to make perhaps its most unlikable figure the titular blind man played by Adam Scott. With her feature debut, writer/director Sophie Goodhart attempts to challenge the current politically correct social environment and, in doing so, reunites three comedic stars who have all appeared on NBC’s Parks and Recreation.
My Blind Brother – based on the 2003 short film of the same name created by Goodhart – centers on the rivalry between brothers Robbie (Scott) and Bill (Nick Kroll). After Bill shares a night of connection with a guilt-ridden woman (Jenny Slate), he is shocked to soon discover that she’s dating his blind brother instead. From there, the film embarks on a number of »
- Robert Yaniz Jr.
Actor Paul Dano is gearing up to make his directorial debut. It was announced over the summer the Swiss Army Man star would direct Wildlife, based on Richard Ford‘s coming-of-age novel. Dano co-wrote the adaptation with actress, partner, and screenwriter Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks), but neither of them will star in the film. The stars of Wildlife are Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals) and Carey Mulligan (Inside Llewyn […]
- Jack Giroux
Two movies about women at crossroads in their lives explore the sort of personal crisis — lost mojo! — typically reserved for men onscreen. I’m “biast” (pro): desperate for movies about women
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Women at crossroads in their lives. Women who feel their worlds falling apart and don’t know what to do about it. Women who’ve lost their mojo… or never even found it in the first place. These are not the sorts of personal crises that we typically see women experiencing onscreen (though men have countless cinematic examples to follow when they find themselves in a rut). So I was delighted to discover two films that fall into the sparsely populated subgenre of Women Who Go in Search of a Kick in the Butt (Though They Might Not Realize That’s What They »
- MaryAnn Johanson
In an effort to both serve our readers and help support The A.V. Club, we are going to post daily links to deals and interesting items that we find over on Amazon. If you use these links to click through and buy something—not just the thing you clicked—on Amazon, we will see a portion of that income. You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to, but if you do, know that we appreciate it.
The New Batman Adventures action figure ($20.67)
This 6-inch Batman is so angular and bendable. Imagine how capable he would look standing watch over your desk.
The Fault In Our Stars, Juno, (500) Days Of Summer, and more ($3.99 to rent, $8.99 to buy)
Amazon’s running a sale on off-kilter romantic movies, so if you’ve never seen Ruby Sparks or Me And Earl ...
- Marah Eakin
Following this summer’s Swiss Army Man and after currently taking a part in Bong Joon-ho’s upcoming Okja, Paul Dano is gearing up for his directorial debut Wildlife, Variety reports. The script, penned by Zoe Kazan and Dano himself, is adapted from the 1990 coming-of-age novel by Richard Ford, following a boy who watches his parents marriage unravel after a move. The couple have previously worked together in an acting capacity on Ruby Sparks, but it seems unlikely either will act in Wildlife. It is being produced, along with Dano, by Alex Saks, Oren Moverman, Ann Ruark. There is no word yet on when it will begin production.
Staying in the indie world, Cedar Rapids and Youth in Revolt director Miguel Arteta‘s next film is Beatriz at Dinner and he has added three new cast members. Deadline reports Chloe Sevigny, Salma Hayek, and Jay Duplass have joined John Lithgow, »
- Mike Mazzanti
Emboldened, perhaps, by the life-affirming message of “Swiss Army Man,” Paul Dano is set to go behind the camera for the first time. The actor will make his directorial debut with “Wildlife,” an adaptation of Richard Ford’s 1990 novel that Dano has co-written along with Zoe Kazan.
Neither actor is expected to appear onscreen in the film, reports Variety. “Wildlife” tells of a teenager named Joe Brinson whose parents’ marriage slowly dissolves after the family moves to Montana in 1960. Dano and Kazan have been in a relationship since 2007 and co-starred in “Ruby Sparks” (which Kazan wrote solo) together four years ago. Kazan’s recent credits include “Our Brand Is Crisis” and the South by Southwest premiere “My Blind Brother,” while Dano has been seen in “12 Years a Slave,” “Prisoners” and “Love & Mercy.”
- Michael Nordine
The narrator of the book is a teenage boy who watches his parents’ marriage start to come apart after the family moves to Montana. ”In the fall of 1960, when I was 16 and my father was for a time not working, my mother met a man named Warren Miller and fell in love with him,” the book begins.
Neither Dano nor Kazan are expected to act in “Wildlife.” Dano’s credits include “Little Miss Sunshine,” “There Will Be Blood,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Love & Mercy” and “Swiss Army Man.” He’s currently in production on “Okja” with “Snowpiercer director Bong Joon-Ho.
- Dave McNary
“Little Miss Sunshine,” that gem of a dramedy about a family trekking across the country for a child’s beauty pageant, turns 10 years old today. The film was produced with a budget of $8 million and ended up grossing over $100 million, earning four Academy Award nominations and winning two. Did you know its script came from first-time screenwriter Michael Arndt (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Inside Out”) and marked the directorial debut of husband-and-wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (“Ruby Sparks”)? Here are 10 more reasons “Little Miss Sunshine” endures as a cinematic classic. The opening scene.A first shot says a lot about a movie—its story, tone, visual language—and Dayton and Faris nail that concept by introducing us to Olive, the innocent dreamer and heart of “Little Miss Sunshine.” As portrayed by (an Oscar-nominated) 10-year-old Abigail Breslin, the character engulfs the screen with her wide-eyed, bespectacled expression; she »
North America’s largest festival of new Japanese cinema, and pound-for-pound one of the most consistently rewarding film festivals on the planet, Japan Cuts grows more vital with every passing year. In part, that’s because Manhattan’s Japan Society has done a stellar job of cultivating a local audience, pouring resources into the annual celebration, and programming their slates in a way that appeals equally to cinephiles, otaku, and people who just want to see a movie about a guy who falls in love with his goldfish.
Unfortunately, Japan Cuts also grows more vital with every passing year because the domestic market for foreign film is withering away at a terrible rate, lowering the odds that you’ll ever get a second chance at seeing any of these exhilarating dispatches from the Land of the Rising Sun on the big screen.
This year’s fest, which runs from July »
- David Ehrlich
FilmNation is financing and selling the project to foreign buyers at the European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival. UTA is handling domestic rights.
FilmNation came on board the project to fully finance and handle worldwide rights in December. Nanjiani wrote the script with his wife, Emily V. Gordon, based on their own relationship about the challenges faced by a Pakistan-born man (Nanjiani) and his American girlfriend (Kazan).
- Dave McNary
Continuing to feed off of last week’s Academy Award nomination announcement (as well as yesterday’s piece on the snubs found within those nominations, in one or two cases), today I want to look at who happens to be most due a nod at this point. An Oscar nom is certainly no easy achievement, but you can usually look around at the actors and actresses who have never been nominated and find at least one missed opportunity on the part of the Academy. As such, today I’m again putting out a list of who deserves a nomination the most, updated since certain contenders like Jennifer Jason Leigh finally have their citation… Here now are ten actors or actresses overdue for an Oscar nomination: 10. Zoe Kazan – Anyone who doesn’t consider Kazan to be overdue for a citation just isn’t paying attention. Look at The Exploding Girl or »
- Joey Magidson
18 items from 2016
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