One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer-director Jill Soloway’s Afternoon Delight. Starring Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor and Jane Lynch, the film’s about a L.A. housewife that “puts her idyllic hipster life in jeopardy when she tries to rescue a stripper by taking her in as a live-in nanny.” Featuring great performances from the entire cast, the film was well received by audiences and critics and Soloway won the U.S. Dramatic Directing Award during the closing night festivities.
The day after the premiere, I landed an extended interview with Josh Radnor. We talked about how he got involved with Afternoon Delight, trying to make the movie while also filming How I Met Your Mother, how things changed on set, and more. In addition, he talked about if he knows who is the mother on HIMYM, getting financing for future movies after the success of Happythankyoumoreplease and Liberal Arts, deleted scenes, future projects (says he’s writing two films right now. One is a bigger movie that he put aside because he couldn’t get it ready by this summer. One is a lean picture where the goal is to pare things down), and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
Kathryn Hahn is an amazing comic actress who has yet to receive the widespread recognition she deserves. She’s mostly been stuck in supporting parts, but she’s a scene stealer, and she deserves to be in lead roles. She finally gets that opportunity in Jill Soloway‘s Afternoon Delight. Hahn proves that not only can she carry the picture, but she has the dramatic range to play a woman who is looking for a change of pace in order to fix her life. Soloway puts a fascinating relationship at the center of the movie, and for two-thirds of the film it looks like she has made a confident feature debut. But then a sequence comes along that drowns the movie in sorrow, and grinds it to a halt to where not even Hahn’s performance can save it.
The producers of the wildly popular CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother finally have an answer as to the fate of their series. Creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas began writing the current eighth season as if it would be the show’s last, and they’ve been patiently waiting for the network to come down with an answer regarding whether or not they needed to plan for one more season, or wrap things up in May. Dealing was complicated as contracts for both Bays and Thomas as well as the entire cast were up at the end of this year, but CBS made no secret of the fact that they would be keen on ordering another full season for the ratings-smash show if all the deals could be renegotiated.
Now it looks like the long-awaited answer to the statement posed in the title won’t come until 2014, as How I Met Your Mother has been renewed for a ninth and final season. Hit the jump for more details.
The Sundance Film Festival recently announced the promising lineups for a few of the festival’s categories, and we’ve now got the first images from some films that will be playing in competition as part of the U.S. Dramatic category. Briefly:
- Afternoon Delight – Written and directed by Jill Soloway, starring Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor, and Jane Lynch.
- Ain’t Them Bodies Saints – Written and directed by David Lowery, starring Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Nate Parker, and Keith Carradine.
- C.O.G. – Written and directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez, starring Jonathan Groff, Denis O’Hare, Corey Stoll, Dean Stockwell, Casey Wilson, and Troian Bellisario.
- Concussion – Written and directed by Stacie Passon, starring Robin Weigert, Maggie Siff, Jonathan Tchaikovsky, Julie Fain Lawrence, Emily Kinney, and Laila Robins.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17 – 27.
Liberal Arts, written and directed by Josh Radnor, tells the story of Jesse Fisher (also played by Radnor), a newly single university admissions counselor in his mid-thirties, who returns to his college alma mater for a retirement dinner honoring his favorite teacher (Richard Jenkins). While there, he not only comes across some rather unique characters, like the zen Nat (Zac Efron) and the brooding young depressive Dean (John Magaro), but also 19-year-old undergrad Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen), for whom he is both attracted to and torn about their age difference.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, Josh Radnor talked about what inspired Liberal Arts, what made co-stars Elizabeth Olsen and Elizabeth Reaser the perfect actresses for their roles, where he personally stands on the debate of whether you should read to be entertained or read to be enriched, and how filmmaking is equal parts challenging and enjoyable. He also talked about currently developing his next project, his desire to work on things that feel both professionally exciting and personally relevant, being in a confusing place with his TV show How I Met Your Mother (starting its eighth season on September 24th) because none of the cast or crew know if this is going to be the last season or not, and that it would be a real shame, if things weren’t wrapped up properly. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Today, we’ve got a poster round-up for you, featuring some new domestic and international looks:
- Liberal Arts, stars writer/director Josh Radnor (Happythankyoumoreplease) as a thirty-something loser who falls for a 19-year-old college student (Elizabeth Olsen) when he returns to his alma mater. Look for Liberal Arts in wide release starting September 21st.
- Zero Dark Thirty, the Osama bin Laden picture from director Kathryn Bigelow, stars Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt and Jessica Chastain in the revealing story of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six operation. Zero Dark Thirty lands December 19th.
- Alex Cross, the adaptation of the James Patterson novel, stars Tyler Perry in the title role opposite Matthew Fox as the antagonist. Alex Cross debuts October 19th.
- Looper, a sci-fi time-traveling actioner from writer/director Rian Johnson (Brick) and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt, opens September 28th.
Hit the jump to see the posters.
The first trailer for How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor’s second directorial feature, Liberal Arts, has landed online. Radnor stars as a 35-year-old whose yearning for his glory days of college is intensified when he strikes up a romance with a 19-year-old college student over a shared love of music and literature. The film debuted to a wildly positive reception earlier this year at Sundance, and despite the blaring music that screams “QUIRKY INDIE!” this trailer looks pretty swell. Radnor and Elizabeth Olsen seem to have some genuine chemistry, and without having to set up jokes every two minutes Radnor is able to give a restrained, funny, and affable performance. Given the positive buzz I’m inclined to believe that we’re in for something more than a by-the-numbers indie about a thirtysomething coming to terms with growing up, so Liberal Arts is definitely something I’m looking forward to in the coming months.
Hit the jump to watch the international trailer. The film also stars Richard Jenkins and Allison Janney. Liberal Arts opens on September 14th.
From the creators of Despicable Me comes the animated feature film adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, a beloved cautionary tale of environmental conservation wrapped up in a colorful children’s story. The 3D-CG animated adaptation is an adventure that follows the journey of idealistic 12-year-old Ted (voiced by Zac Efron) while he searches for a real Truffula Tree for Audrey (voiced by Taylor Swift), in order to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find one, he must learn the story of the Lorax (voiced by Danny DeVito) from the enigmatic and bitter old hermit, known as the Once-ler (voiced by Ed Helms), who let the temptation of greed and success get the better of him. For more on the film, here’s some images, trailers, 8 clips from the movie, and the Super Bowl spot.
At the recent Los Angeles press day, I was able to speak with Zac Efron for our partners at Omelete. During the interview, Efron talked about how he got involved in The Lorax, how his character changed during the recording process, karaoke, his favorite movie, actor and director, and who he plays in director Josh Radnor‘s Liberal Arts. Finally, fans of Joss Whedon might know that Efron’s first acting job was a role on the sci-fi series Firefly. Do you remember who he played? Hit the jump to find out.
With our continuing coverage of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s Spotlight line-up, we’re bringing you some early looks at next year’s films. Hit the jump for synopses and images from writer-director Julie Delpy‘s 2 Days in New York, starring Delpy and Chris Rock; writer-director Nicholas Jarecki‘s Arbitrage, starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Tim Roth; writer-director Leslye Headland‘s Bachelorette, starring Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and Lizzy Caplan; and writer-director Josh Radnor‘s Liberal Arts, starring Radnor and Elizabeth Olsen.
The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from Thursday, January 19th to Sunday, the 29th. Click here for all our coverage.
Fresh off his directorial debut HappyThankYouMorePlease, which premiered at Sundance to highly positive reviews, How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor is planning on stepping behind the camera once more for the indie film Liberal Arts. Radnor also wrote the flick and THR reports that he will star alongside Sundance darling Elizabeth Olsen. The younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley, Elizabeth broke out in a big way at this year’s Sundance Film Festival with her performance in Martha Marcy May Marlene.
Liberal Arts tells the story of a 35-year-old whose yearning for his glory days of college is intensified when he strikes up a romance with a 19-year-old college student over a shared love of music and literature. The man is busy coming to terms with his age and responsibilities, while the young girl’s immaturity puts a strain on their relationship. The whole thing kind of reminds me of 2006’s underrated The Last Kiss starring Zach Braff. Radnor will shoot the film this spring during his hiatus from How I Met Your Mother. Olsen is currently filming Red Lights with Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy.
Following The Big Bang Theory‘s move to Thursdays and the uncertain future of Two and a Half Men, the dominance of CBS’ Monday comedy block is in jeopardy. The Live Feed reports the network has locked in reliable performer How I Met Your Mother, renewing the sitcom for two more seasons. How I Met Your Mother is currently in the middle of its sixth season; the renewal promises a season eight that would keep the show on the air through the end of 2013.
The five stars — Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders, Jason Segel, Allison Hanygan, Neil Patrick Harris — are each contracted through season eight. With his budding movie career, Segel has implied intent to leave at the end of his contract. Radnor reiterated in a recent interview: “Right now, I think everyone is on the same page, including the writers, to finish out the next two seasons, after this.” The high-concept hook (“Who is the mother?”) always directed HIMYM to the end of its story, a strategy which is not best served by the indefinite timeline of an American TV series. I’ll be sad to see it go, but I am excited by the prospect that creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays can plan the show around this end date.
Happythankyoumoreplease, written, directed by and starring How I Met Your Mother’s Josh Radnor, is a new comedy about a group of 20-somethings who are learning to navigate life and love in New York. On his way to a meeting with a publisher, aspiring novelist Sam Wexler (Radnor) meets Rasheen (Michael Algieri), a young boy separated from his family on the subway. When he realizes that Rasheen has already been in several previous foster homes before this one, he lets the boy stay with him for a few days. During that time, the boy meets Sam’s friends, including Annie (Malin Akerman), who has the auto-immune disorder alopecia, Mary-Catherine (Zoe Kazan) and Charlie (Pablo Schreiber), whose possible move to Los Angeles threatens their relationship, and Mississippi (Kate Mara), a waitress who also happens to be an aspiring singer that catches Sam’s eye, but also tests his fear of commitment when she wants him to open up to her.
At the film’s press day, Josh Radnor did this exclusive interview with Collider and talked about how the film came about for him, how excited he is for audiences to finally get to see it, what he learned from the experience of writing and directing that will help him in the future, and the scenes he cut that he plans to put on the DVD/Blu-ray. He also talked about being happy with where things are at with Season 6 of the hit comedy series How I Met Your Mother and how far he sees the show continuing. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
One of the many films that premiered at last year’s Sundance Film festival was writer/director Josh Radnor’s happythankyoumoreplease. While many might have thought Radnor only got into Sundance due to his CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, his film won the Dramatic Audience Award at Sundance last night, proving he belonged at the Festival.
Starring Radnor, Malin Akerman, Kate Mara, Zoe Kazan, Tony Hale, and Pablo Schreiber, happythankyoumoreplease is about six New Yorkers juggling love and friendship. Even though the story is nothing new in the world of movies, I really enjoyed Radnor’s debut film. Also, while many Sundance movies are tough to watch, happythankyoumoreplease is a really sweet romcom that’s sure to please audiences looking for an uplifting movie about love.
With the film getting released March 4, a new poster and the first trailer have been released. Hit the jump to check them out. You can also watch my video interview with Malin Akerman and Josh Radnor here. It was recorded at last year’s Sundance.
For a show that was at one point “on the bubble” as to whether or not it would get renewed, it’s pretty remarkable how large the fanbase for How I Met Your Mother has grown over the last few years. Timed with the sixth season’s premiere on television, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has released the complete fifth season on a three-disc DVD set with a few noteworthy bonus features. Although not every episode of season five reached the high standards set by the best of seasons past, it was still another impressive run of episodes backed by the series’ signature writing and solid performances. Hit the jump for my full review.
I liked it well enough, but the fifth season of How I Met Your Mother faced accusations of a decline in quality in some critical circles. Creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, refreshingly, kept their fingers out of their ears. They acknowledged the show is better served when they don’t hit the reset button at the close of each segment, and keep their eyes to the end of the series.
Nice thought, but the step between the promise and the execution is a difficult one. My review of “Big Days,” the first episode of season six, after the jump.