STARRED UP: Check out the Trailer and Poster for the Prison Drama Starring Jack O’Connell and Ben Mendelsohn

by     Posted 41 days ago

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Tribeca film has released the Starred Up trailer and poster.  The drama centers on Eric (Jack O’Connell), a 19-year-old who has been in the prison system most of his life, but is now incarcerated in a penitentiary for adults.  Once inside, he must confront his violent tendencies and a renewed relationship with his estranged father (Ben Menedelsohn).  I really liked the film when I saw it at TIFF, and this trailer does a good job of highlighting O’Connell’s excellent performance without giving away too much of the plot.  This is definitely an indie to keep on your radar when it’s released next month.

Hit the jump to check out the Starred Up trailer and poster.  The film hits iTunes on August 26th and will be released in theaters on August 29th.  Starred Up also stars Rupert Friend.

New Images from LOST RIVER; Director Ryan Gosling Says Film Was Inspired by Decline of Detroit

by     Posted 103 days ago

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More new images from Ryan Gosling‘s directorial debut, Lost River, have gone online.  The film, previously titled How to Catch a Monster, weaves elements of fantasy noir and suspense, and centers on a single mother of two and her teenage son who stumble upon a road leading to an underwater town.  Gosling recently released a statement saying he was inspired by directors Nicolas Winding Refn and Derek Cianfrance (he’s worked with each director twice) and saying his style falls somewhere in between the two.  Additionally, his time shooting The Ides of March in Detroit left an impact on him regarding the rise, fall, and possible rebirth of the bankrupt city.  Gosling says Lost River doesn’t take place in Detroit, but rather “in an imagined city in an imagined past,” and the city is the “damsel in distress.”  His full statement is fascinating, and it makes me even more excited to see the movie.

Hit the jump to check out the Lost River images.  The film will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival later this month, and stars Christina Hendricks, Ben Mendelsohn, Eva Mendes, Saoirse Ronan, and Matt Smith.

TV Casting: Jay Baruchel to Lead FX Comedy Pilot; Linda Cardellini, Sissy Spacek, and Ben Mendelsohn Join Kyle Chandler in Netflix Series

by     Posted 193 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of TV casting stories to report on today.  First up, Jay Baruchel has been tapped to lead a new FX comedy pilot called Man Seeking Woman, based on author Simon Rich’s book The Last Girlfriend on EarthTHR reports that Baruchel will play “a naïve romantic on a desperate quest for love” in the potential half-hour comedy series, which is described as a sweet and absurd look at the life-and-death stakes of dating.  Jonathan Krisel (SNL) will executive produce and direct the pilot, with Lorne Michaels also acting as executive producer.  The show returns Baruchel to television after the actor shined on Judd Apatow’s short-lived Undeclared, and the pilot will be filmed in Toronto this spring.

Additionally, a trio of very talented actors have joined Kyle Chandler in the new Netflix series from the creators of Damages.  Hit the jump for more.

First Trailer and Poster for STARRED UP Starring Jack O’Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, and Rupert Friend

by     Posted 207 days ago

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The first trailer and poster have been released for the prison drama, Starred Up.  The movie stars Jack O’Connell (300: Rise of an Empire) as a young convict whose latest stint in prison is complicated by the fact that his father (Ben Mendelsohn) is a fellow inmate who’s trying to protect his violent, traumatized son.  I caught the movie at TIFF and quite enjoyed it.  This trailer doesn’t spoil the picture, but it doesn’t make it stand out either.  However, the eight British Independent Film Award nominations it racked up will hopefully bring the movie the attention it deserves.

Hit the jump to check out the U.K. trailer and poster.  Starred Up opens in the U.K. on March 21st; no U.S. release date has been announced.

British Independent Film Award Nominations Announced; STARRED UP Leads with 8 Nominations

by     Posted 281 days ago

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The nominations for the 16th annual Moet British Independent Film Awards were announced today, and David Mackenzie‘s Starred Up led the pack with eight including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Jack O’Connell), and two Best Supporting Actor nominations (Ben Mendelsohn and Rupert Friend).  I haven’t seen many of the other contenders, but I caught Starred Up at TIFF, and it absolutely deserves any acclaim it receives, especially for O’Connell.

Other notable nominees included possible Oscar contenders Blue Jasmine (Best International Film) and Judi Dench for Philomena (Best Actress).  It’s a good collection of nominations, but if I had to note some absences, I would point out that The Double deserved some more love (Mia Wasikowska was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, so the film was eligible).  Also, I don’t know if Dom Hemingway was eligible, but if so, ignoring Jude Law for Best Actor is criminal.  Hit the jump for the full list of nominees.  Winners will be announced on December 8th.

Director Derek Cianfrance to Reteam with Ben Mendelsohn on “Crazy” Clown Movie A COTTON CANDY AUTOPSY

by     Posted 316 days ago

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Director Derek Cianfrance is adding yet another project to his to-do list.  The Blue Valentine filmmaker made waves earlier this year with his stellar drama The Place Beyond the Pines, and now he says he’s going to direct a film about a clown called A Cotton Candy Autopsy.  Speaking with Jeff Goldsmith on his podcast, Cianfrance said that he will be writing Autopsy with his Pines co-writer Darius Marder, and added, “I don’t know how to describe it, except that it’ll be a crazy movie.”  He also revealed that Pines standout Ben Mendelsohn will have a role.  Hit the jump for more on Cianfrance’s upcoming schedule and news of one project that won’t be moving forward.

Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendelsohn and Kodi Smit-McPhee Join Western SLOW WEST; Kristin Chenoweth Joins THE BOY NEXT DOOR

by     Posted 334 days ago

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Here’s a look at today’s latest casting news:

Hit the jump for more on both pictures.

TIFF 2013: STARRED UP Review

by     Posted 339 days ago

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In movies, a father-son bond can be repaired in various ways: A game of catch, a cross-country road trip, or a death in the family to name a few.  Starred Up finds a new one by putting the reconnection inside a prison, and the attempts of a father to protect his reckless son from getting murdered by other inmates.  Supported by excellent performances from Jack O’Connell and Ben Mendelsohn, director David Mackenzie and screenwriter Jonathan Asser have removed the schmaltz from this kind of story by taking two men who aren’t just estranged; they’re both violent and dangerous in a volatile environment.  The filmmakers then proceed to further expand the story by offering the son different support structures and choices that further complicate the father-son relationship.

New Images from Telluride Entries UNDER THE SKIN, NEBRASKA, BURNING BUSH, and STARRED UP

by     Posted 355 days ago

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Yesterday, the Telluride Film Festival announced its line-up, and since the festival begins today, we can expect to start hearing reactions to potential awards-contenders very soon.  In addition to the announcements, new images have been released for festival entries Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johansson; Alexander Payne‘s Nebraska starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte; Agnieszka Holland‘s HBO miniseries Burning Bush; and David Mackenzie‘s Starred Up starring Jack O’Connell and Ben Mendelsohn.

Hit the jump to check out the images, and keep up with our new Oscar Beat column as Adam keeps an eye on this year’s awards race.

THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 2 days ago

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The “family drama” genre is usually one that is relegated to saccharine films that feel like movies of the week, or small-scale character pieces that explore dynamics within a contained story.  With The Place Beyond the Pines, however, writer/director Derek Cianfrance boldly expands the scope of the “family drama” to an epic scale with an ambitious, unique structure that succeeds without sacrificing the compelling character interplay that grounds the story’s emotions.  Themes of legacy and parenthood play out across three distinct acts buoyed by a magnetically reserved and nuanced Ryan Gosling performance that reverberates throughout the entire feature, culminating in one of the best films of 2013.  Hit the jump for my review of The Place Beyond the Pines.

Production Begins on Kevin Macdonald’s BLACK SEA Starring Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, and Ben Mendelsohn

by     Posted 1 year, 11 days ago

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Production has commenced in the U.K. on Kevin Macdonald‘s submarine thriller, Black Sea.  The film stars Jude Law as a rogue captain who goes on a hunt for sunken treasure, but as greed desperation begins to take hold of his misfit crew, tensions cause the men to fight for their survival within their claustrophobic vessel.  As I’ve stated before, I love submarine movies and there aren’t enough of them.  Macdonald’s film has a great premise, and it doesn’t hurt that the cast also includes Killing Them Softly co-stars Scott McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn.

Hit the jump for the full press release.  Black Sea is set for release in 2014.

First Trailer for TWO MOTHERS, Starring Naomi Watts and Robin Wright as Women in Love with Each Other’s Sons

by     Posted 1 year, 186 days ago

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The first international trailer for director Anne Fontaine’s (Coco Before Chanel) drama Two Mothers has, fittingly, found its way online on Valentine’s Day.  The film stars Naomi Watts and Robin Wright as two lifelong friends who unexpectedly fall in love with each other’s sons (yes, it’s basically a feature film adaptation of “Motherlover”).  I caught the film at Sundance at it’s a peculiar movie.  The story chronicles these two relationships over a number of years and shows the ups and downs that feel universal to any relationship, but it’s hard to forget that you’re watching two middle-aged women cuddle up to boys that they have known since they were babies.  It’s not a bad movie, but it did elicit quite a bit of unintentional laughter at its Sundance premiere.  You can read my full review right here.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Xavier Samuel, James Frecheville, and Ben Mendelsohn and will hit theaters later this year.

Sundance 2013: TWO MOTHERS Review

by     Posted 1 year, 212 days ago

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Relationships are complicated.  Every person knows this; it is a universal truth.  Love can be both the best experience and the worst experience, but it’s incredibly difficult to live your life on this earth unscathed by the scars of loving another person.  Of course, a relationship is made a bit more complicated when you fall in love with your best friend’s son, and director Anne Fontaine takes this complication one step further by chronicling the extended love affair of two best friends who fall in love with each other’s sons.  Hit the jump for my full review of Two Mothers.

Christian Slater and Justin Long Join UNDISCOVERED GYRL Adaptation, Connie Nielsen Boards McG’s Latest and Ben Mendelsohn in Talks for MISSISSIPPI GRIND

by     Posted 1 year, 224 days ago

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Check out the latest casting news below:

  • Christian Slater (Broken Arrow) and Justin Long (Live Free or Die Hard) join the indie drama Undiscovered Gyrl, an adaptation of Allison Burnett’s novel which Burnett himself will direct.
  • Connie Nielsen (Gladiator) has joined the latest McG project, previously reported as Three Days to Kill.  The pic is a darkly comic action thriller that involves a Secret Service agent who comes out of retirement for one last mission in exchange for a drug that could save his life.
  • Ben Mendelsohn (Killing Them Softly) is in talks to join Mississippi Grind, a road trip pic of sorts with a plot focused on gambling addiction.  The indie also stars Jake Gyllenhaal who will produce.

Hit the jump for more on each picture.

Casting Call: Schoenaerts to Co-Star in SUITE FRANCAISE; Marisa Tomei Joins Hugh Grant Comedy; Mendelsohn to Reteam with Gosling on MONSTER

by     Posted 1 year, 268 days ago

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If you’ve managed to break away from your Black Friday shopping, we’ve got some brief casting stories for you this morning.  First up, rising star Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead) has joined Michelle Williams and Kristin Scott Thomas in the period drama Suite Francaise.  Directed by Saul Dibb (The Duchess), the adaptation of the Irene Nemirovsky‘s novel “set in German-occupied France, about a German officer billeted at the home of a young woman (Williams) and her mother-in-law (Scott Thomas).”  According to the Daily Mail, Schoenaerts will play the German officer.  If you’ve seen Bullhead, you know it’s great to see Schoenaerts’ career take off.  He can currently be seen starring opposite Marion Cotillard in Jacques Audiard‘s acclaimed latest feature, Rust and Bone.

Hit the jump for Marisa Tomei and Ben Mendelsohn casting news.

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