11 items from 2015
Brian Shoaf‘s directorial debut might have found its second wind. After a failed Kickstarter attempt to drum up some coin with Adrien Grenier and Mamie Gummer toplining, now Variety reports that Jenny Slate is in negotiations to join Zachary Quinto on Aardvark. Susan Leber (Hello I Must Be Going), Neal Dodson (A Most Violent Year) and Quinto are producing. Filming is expected to begin this December in New York with supporting cast announcements likely in the works.
Gist: Aardvark centers on Josh Norman, a man who has spent most of his adult life suffering from mental illness. While Josh rejects the labels that have been applied to him over the years, there is no question that he sees and hears things that aren’t there. Sometimes he’s well aware of this, but other times it’s not so clear. Josh’s most vivid hallucinations involve his estranged brother, »
- Eric Lavallee
"All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter." The Weinstein Co has debuted the official Us trailer for Justin Kurzel's Macbeth, the precursor to Fassbender's Assassin's Creed (also directed by Kurzel), and one of the most talked about films coming out of Cannes this year. Michael Fassbender stars as Macbeth, a duke of Scotland, in this Shakespeare adaptation also starring Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth. The cast also includes Elizabeth Debicki, Marion Cotillard, Sean Harris, David Thewlis, Jack Reynor and Paddy Considine. There are some really spectacular shots shown in this trailer, from cinematographer Adam Arkapaw, and overall it looks like my kind of Shakespeare movie. Dark, gritty, enthralling, and visceral. Here's the official Us trailer (+ poster) for Justin Kurzel's Macbeth, direct from TWC's YouTube: Macbeth is directed by Justin Kurzel (The Turning, The Snowtown Murders) and written by Todd Louiso (Hello I Must Be Going, Love Liza, »
- Alex Billington
Read More: The Indiewire 2015 Fall Preview: The 27 Festival Films We're Most Excited to See One of Sundance's undisputed breakout dramas, Josh Mond's "James White" debuted at this year's festival to major acclaim, ultimately winning the festival's Best of Next Audience Award. The film also scored with Indiewire's own Criticwire critics, who awarded Best Lead Performance to Christopher Abbott and Best Supporting Performance to Cynthia Nixon. The film features Abbott -- known to audiences as a former "Girls" co-star, though he's no stranger to the festival circuit, having previously appeared in indie favorites like "The Sleepwalker," "Hello I Must Be Going" and "Martha Marcy May Marlene" -- as the titular James White, a reckless young New Yorker who is forced to reevaluate his bad behavior (including the kind of partying that only makes one look ill all the time, an inability to commit in his romantic life and »
- Kate Erbland
The drama tells a fictional story of betrayal and triumph set against the real-life Bp oil spill, as one politician (Cage) tries to rebuild the gulf.
Using a full-on Southern accent, Cage's politician takes on corporate America in the face of a sex scandal that could topple his ambitions.
Stark shot The Runner on location in the Louisiana gulf and Washington DC last summer.
"This is the very painting of your fear." Whoa. This first teaser trailer for Justin Kurzel's Macbeth looks amazing, which is why it's a must watch. Michael Fassbender stars as Macbeth, Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth, in this adaptation of the classic Shakespeare play, from the filmmaker who brought us The Snowtown Murders. The film just had a successful premiere at Cannes and is now aiming for release in the fall, at least in the UK. The rest of the cast includes David Thewlis, Elizabeth Debicki, Jack Reynor, Sean Harris & Paddy Considine. This has a very mesmerizing style that pulls you in, shot by Dp Adam Arkapaw, and it seems like a very emotional but still gripping take on the story of the King of Scotland. Here's the first official teaser trailer for Justin Kurzel's Macbeth, from StudioCanal's YouTube: Macbeth is directed by Justin Kurzel (The Turning, The Snowtown Murders »
- Alex Billington
As the shortest, sharpest and most stormily violent of William Shakespeare’s tragedies, “Macbeth” may be the most readily cinematic: The swirling mists of the Highlands, tough to fabricate in a theater, practically rise off the printed page. So it’s odd that, while “Romeo and Juliet” and “Hamlet” get dusted off at least once a generation by filmmakers, the Scottish Play hasn’t enjoyed significant bigscreen treatment since Roman Polanski’s admirable if tortured 1971 version. The wait for another may be even longer after Justin Kurzel’s scarcely improvable new adaptation: Fearsomely visceral and impeccably performed, it’s a brisk, bracing update, even as it remains exquisitely in period. Though the Bard’s words are handled with care by an ideal ensemble, fronted by Michael Fassbender and a boldly cast Marion Cotillard, it’s the Australian helmer’s fervid sensory storytelling that makes this a Shakespeare pic for the »
- Guy Lodge
Long a supporting fixture in a variety of film projects going on five decades, actress Blythe Danner takes center stage in an endearingly warm turn in I’ll See You in My Dreams, the sophomore film from Brett Haley. Premiering at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, it’s a familiar narrative enhanced by an adept script that focuses on character nuance rather than cheap laughs, and proves that even the grayest of predictable tropes can still be administered in an emotionally authentic manner.
Discovering that her dog is ill and must be put down, retired schoolteacher and widow of twenty years Carol Petersen (Danners) is left with a nagging void. She develops an unexpected friendship with Lloyd (Martin Starr), the new pool cleaner that attempts to help her rid the home of an unwanted rodent. Over several glasses of wine, »
- Nicholas Bell
"It reminded me a lot of a Western." Empire has debuted three photos from Justin Kurzel's Macbeth, which will be premiering In-Competition at the Cannes Film Festival later in May. This adaptation of the Shakespeare classic stars Michael Fassbender as Macbeth, the duke of Scotland, and Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth. The two of them can be seen in photos below, which have been released to remind us the film's festival unveiling is coming up. Aside from a Western, Kurzel says this reminded him "of a landscape and atmosphere that felt much more dangerous than I'd ever seen before from adaptations of Macbeth." Here's the three new photos for Macbeth, debuted via Empire where they have more details from Kurzel. Macbeth is directed by Justin Kurzel (The Turning, The Snowtown Murders) and written by Todd Louiso (Hello I Must Be Going, Love Liza, The Marc Pease Experience), based on »
- Alex Billington
Even though Blythe Danner has appeared on countless TV shows (“Will & Grace”), films (“Meet the Fockers”) and Broadway plays (“Follies”), it took her 50 years as an actress to headline a movie. On Tuesday night, the Sundance Film Festival premiered “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” a comedic drama in which Danner stars as a woman who contemplates her own mortality following a tragic loss. But that description doesn’t do this crowd-pleasing indie justice. When the film debuted at the Eccles Theatre in Park City, Danner received a standing ovation. On a following morning screening, the audience showered Danner with more rounds of applause.
“I’m so overwhelmed,” Danner says later backstage. “I’m a little verklempt talking about it. I’m 71, about to turn 72. I’ve never had a film role like this.” It’s also the first time the Emmy-winning actress has received Oscar buzz, even if »
- Ramin Setoodeh
The challenge of finding pleasure, companionship and personal fulfillment in one’s twilight years gets thoroughly pleasant, poignant screen treatment in “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” a sweetly handled romantic dramedy that has the great virtue of featuring Blythe Danner in an all-too-rare leading role. As a Los Angeles widow making room in her solitary existence for two new friendships, each one holding out the possibility of something more, Danner makes an elegant, warmly sympathetic heroine in this sometimes broadly played but always tender and appealing effort. Writer-director Brett Haley’s second feature (after 2010’s “The New Year”) breaks no new ground but has all the trappings of a modest crowdpleaser, if properly marketed toward the older audiences who turned “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” into a sizable specialty hit.
When her dog becomes ill and has to be put down, retired schoolteacher Carol Petersen (Danner) becomes more »
- Justin Chang
If you’re attending the Sundance Film Festival (or just paying attention to excellent coverage of the festival, much like you would find right here at Film School Rejects, cough cough), you’re most likely looking for new projects, people, and productions to get excited about. Sundance may (somewhat bizarrely, when you really think about it) take place in the dead of winter in a tiny town mostly dedicated to ski tourism, but that early jump on the festival year allows the fest to set the tone for the rest of the year. This is the place you come to when you want to see something new, and this year looks poised to deliver that, in spades. Sundance has often played home to the breakout roles of big stars (hello, Jennifer Lawrence), and although finding the next big talent is mostly a guessing game, fingers-crossing adventure, we’ve got some idea as to who just might emerge »
- Kate Erbland
11 items from 2015
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