NYFF 2013: THE IMMIGRANT Review

by     Posted 292 days ago

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There are some settings that don’t quite work with a soft, romantic approach.  There’s no romanticizing child labor or human trafficking or abject poverty.  James Gray’s The Immigrant shows there’s also no romanticizing prostitution in New York City in 1921.  Gray attempts to spin a complicated love triangle though an elegant web, but two of the three main characters get stuck in mushy, bland roles despite the best efforts of the actors.  What’s meant to carry an air of tragedy, damnation, and the hint of redemption ultimately comes off as silly due to Gray’s misguided approach.

First Trailer and Poster for Spike Jonze’s HER Starring Joaquin Phoenix

by     Posted 350 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the first trailer and poster for director Spike Jonze’s new film Her.  The romance centers on a lonely writer (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his operating system.  The film looks reminiscent of Jonze’s previous works: an outlandish premise that yields a joyous story tinged with sadness.  I’m sure there will be Siri jokes galore, but to be fair, Siri would be a lot more endearing if it was smarter and sounded like Scarlett Johansson.  But back to the trailer, I’m even more excited to see this movie than I was before.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster.  The film also stars Rooney Mara and Amy AdamsHer opens in limited release on November 20th.

First Look at Joaquin Phoenix as Larry “Doc” Sportello in INHERENT VICE; Maya Rudolph Joins Cast

by     Posted 1 year, 49 days ago

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Filming is underway on Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Inherent Vice, and the first set photos have arrived online.  Based on the book by Thomas Pynchon, the story takes place in 1969 Los Angeles, and centers on a pothead/private detective Larry “Doc” Sportello, who is helping a former lover with an intriguing case that involves infidelity, mental institutions, and policemen called “Bigfoot.”  As you can see, Joaquin Phoenix is rocking the muttonchops as Sportello, and the set photos also reveal that a very pregnant Maya Rudolph has a part in the movie.  She joins a cast that also includes Katherine Waterston, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Martin Short, Jena Malone, Kevin J. O’Connor, and possibly Sean Penn.

Hit the jump to check out the set photos.

Cannes 2013: New Images from BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, NEBRASKA, THE IMMIGRANT, and AS I LAY DYING

by     Posted 1 year, 69 days ago

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The 2013 Cannes Film Festival begins today, and new images have been released for these movies in the fest’s line-up:

  • Behind the Candelabra – Directed by Steven Soderbergh, starring Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Dan Aykroyd, Rob Lowe, and Debbie Reynolds.
  • Nebraska – Directed by Alexander Payne, starring Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Stacy Keach, and Bob Odenkirk.
  • The Immigrant – Directed by James Gray, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard, and Jeremy Renner.
  • As I Lay Dying – Directed and starring James Franco, co-starring Tim Blake Nelson, Logan Marshall-Green, and Danny McBride.

Hit the jump for the images and synopses.  The 2013 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 15 – May 26th.

The Road to Oscar: Best Actor

by     Posted 1 year, 153 days ago

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As Sunday’s 85th Annual Academy Awards loom closer, we’ve using this week as an opportunity to take a look back at how the past year’s Oscar race has played out in a number of categories.  We first took a look at the ebbs and flows in the Best Supporting Actor category, and then we chronicled the road that lead us to the Best Supporting Actress nominees.  Today we’re examining the Best Actor race, which actually seemed to be all wrapped up months before the nominees were even announced.  Hit the jump to read on.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s INHERENT VICE Hoping to Shoot in Late April or Early May

by     Posted 1 year, 175 days ago

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It appears that writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson is wasting no time in putting together his follow-up to his 2012 effort The Master.  Though there was a five-year gap between Punch-Drunk Love and There Will Be Blood and the same amount of time lapsed between TWBB and The Master, Anderson is moving much faster on his adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel Inherent Vice.  We recently learned that Anderson’s The Master star Joaquin Phoenix will be handling the lead role in the 1960s Los Angeles private detective story, and now word comes that production is gearing up to begin in a few short months.  Hit the jump for more.

Joaquin Phoenix in Talks to Reteam with Paul Thomas Anderson for INHERENT VICE

by     Posted 1 year, 180 days ago

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Fresh off their polarizing yet undeniably impressive collaboration on The Master, director Paul Thomas Anderson and Joaquin Phoenix are looking to team up for another project.  THR reports that Phoenix is now in talks to star in Anderson’s adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel Inherent Vice, which takes place in 1969 Los Angeles and centers on a private detective who is helping a former lover with an intriguing case that involves infidelity, mental institutions, and policemen called “Bigfoot.”  Robert Downey Jr. had long been circling the lead role, but the actor apparently decided to pass on the project.

Anderson recently described his screenplay adaptation for Inherent Vice as more “secretarial” than his adaptation for There Will Be Blood, but I wouldn’t necessarily bank on the filmmaker making a wholly accessible film—especially with Phoenix in the lead role.  The actor was a force of nature in The Master, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what the two cook up for this project.  Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, which financed The Master, is once again producing.  Hit the jump to read a synopsis for the book.

THE MASTER Coming to Blu-ray February 26; Extras Include Additional Scenes, Outtakes, an 8-Minute Short Film, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 186 days ago

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Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s perplexing drama The Master was certainly one of the most thought-provoking films of 2012, and now you can continue to (attempt to) unravel the puzzle at home with the Blu-ray and DVD release.  The Weinstein Company announced today that The Master will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 26th.  The combo pack’s special features include “Back Beyond,” which is a collection of outtakes and additional scenes edited to music by composer Johnny Greenwood, “Unguided Message,” which is an 8-minute short/behind-the-scenes look at the film, and a group of teasers and trailers which as we all know included footage not shown in the film.

As a bonus, an additional special feature will be added to the combo pack by way of John Huston’s fantastic 1946 documentary about WWII veterans Let There Be Light.  Hit the jump to check out the full press release and cover art.

2013 Oscar Nominations Announced; LINCOLN Leads with 12 Nominations, Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck Snubbed for Best Director

by     Posted 1 year, 194 days ago

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The nominations for the 85th Academy Awards have been announced, and it’s quite a whirlwind of nominees.  As expected, Lincoln landed the most nominations with 12, followed with Ang Lee’s Life of Pi which nabbed 11.  The big story here, though, is the Best Director category.  Shockingly, only two (two!) of the DGA nominees for Best Director made the Oscar cut: Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg.  The rest of the category was filled out by Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern WildDavid O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, and Michael Haneke for Amour.  It was almost guaranteed that Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow would be landing nominations for Argo and Zero Dark Thirtyrespectively, but shockingly neither made the cut.  Apparently those films just directed themselves.  Based off today’s nominations, it now looks like it’s (surprisingly) down to Lincoln vs. Silver Linings Playbook for the big win.

Hit the jump to check out the list of nominees, and click here to check them against my predictions (somehow I predicted the Best Picture and Supporting Actor categories perfectly).  The 85th Academy Awards will take place on February 24th.

Adam Predicts the 2013 Oscar Nominees

by     Posted 1 year, 195 days ago

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At last, Oscar is upon us.  Back in November I shared a look at the early awards season race by way of our 2013 Oscar Preview articles, and now nearly two months later there’s still quite a bit up in the air.  This truly is one of the more exciting awards races in recent years, as 2012 is so stacked with quality that there are a surprising number of uncertainties this close to the Academy Awards ceremony.  Nevertheless, I am once again foolishly going to attempt to predict how the Oscar nominations will shake out when they’re announced tomorrow morning, January 10th.  Hit the jump to check out my predictions.

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Names AMOUR Best Picture; New York Film Critics Online and Boston Society of Film Critics Award ZERO DARK THIRTY

by     Posted 1 year, 225 days ago

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Director Kathryn Bigelow’s drama Zero Dark Thirty continues its dominant critics awards path, as it has picked up two more Best Picture wins from the New York Film Critics Online and Boston Society of Film Critics groups, adding to its previous wins from the New York Film Critics Circle and National Board of Review.  Bigelow also won Best Director from both organizations, while Daniel Day-Lewis took home Best Actor for LincolnEmmanuelle Riva won Best Actress from New York and Boston, while she shared the award in a tie with Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook in the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Los Angeles broke from the mold a bit by naming director Michael Haneke‘s devastating French-language film Amour the Best Film of the year.  They also awarded Paul Thomas Anderson Best Director for The Master and Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Dwight Henry the Best Supporting Actor honor in a couple of pleasant surprises.  Hit the jump for the full list of winners from all three critics groups.

2013 Oscar Preview: Best Actor and Best Actress

by     Posted 1 year, 242 days ago

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The 2013 awards race is in full swing, and what better way to spend the Thanksgiving holiday then to take a closer look at how the categories are shaping up thus far?  Over the next few days we’re providing a bit of an overview of what the state of the race looks like at this point in time.  Yesterday we ran down the contenders for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, and today we’ll be taking a look at the fiercely competitive categories for Best Actor and Best Actress.  Hit the jump to read on.

Final Extended Trailer for THE MASTER Featuring Extended and Deleted Footage

by     Posted 1 year, 298 days ago

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Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master expanded to a rather wide number of theaters this past weekend, but a final trailer for the film has just now landed online.  Anderson confirmed that he cut and released the previous trailers himself, and this nearly 5-minute long final trailer is appropriately titled “Last One/Thank You.”  The clip features a great deal of unseen footage and extended scenes not in the finished film, so it’s a fruitful watch for those that are still ruminating on the incredibly dense pic (like myself).  It’s rare these days that we get a film that sparks so much discussion and so many varied opinions on what it all means, and I have a feeling we’re gonna be talking about The Master for years to come.

Hit the jump to watch the extended trailer, which is NSFW.  The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams.

TIFF 2012: THE MASTER Review

by     Posted 1 year, 317 days ago

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Tickets for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master should be good for two screenings.  The movie is so damn dense that there’s almost too much to digest on an initial viewing.  Like his previous film, There Will Be Blood, The Master is hypnotic with its smooth, crisp cinematography and Jonny Greenwood‘s moaning, bluesy score.  The story proceeds at a slow, methodical pace where the energy comes from the astonishing performances of lead actors Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams.  But the craft and talent of the project was never in doubt.  What makes The Master such a challenge is in trying to untangle the twisted themes and symbols presented by the central conflict between a mad dog and his owner.

Venice Film Festival Reneges on Top Prize for THE MASTER; Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix Share Best Actor Award

by     Posted 1 year, 317 days ago

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The award winners for the Venice Film Festival have been announced, but quite the controversy has arisen from the ceremony.  THR reports that the Michael Mann-led jury was poised to give Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master the festival’s top prize, the Golden Lion, but due to a ridiculous festival rule they opted to give the award to Kim Ki-Duk‘s revenge film Pieta instead.  Apparently the Venice Film Festival’s new rules state that one film cannot win more than two major awards, so in lieu of the Silver Lion directing award going to Anderson and the acting award being split by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix, the jury was asked to reconvene and “remove” one of The Master‘s awards.

As one can imagine, a heated jury session followed that ultimately resulted in The Master’s Golden Lion being taken away.  Ah, awards season.  Nevertheless, the film is currently making the rounds at the Toronto Film Festival so check back on Collider soon for Matt’s full review.  In the meantime, hit the jump to check out the full list of awards from the Venice Film Festival.

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