I walked out of Arthur Newman thinking it was a nice movie. It had pleasant performances, a light directorial touch, and a positive message. But the more I kept thinking about Arthur Newman, the more I realized that “nice” isn’t worthy of an independent film. It isn’t a sweet movie, or an uplifting one. The performances are nowhere near what leads Colin Firth and Emily Blunt are capable of. The direction is inoffensive. And if a bad indie comedy is too reliant on quirk, then a bad indie drama is too reliant on strained premises so the story can provide fortune cookie wisdom. Arthur Newman tiny slip of paper would like us to consider the puddle-deep lesson of not running away from our problems.
As the Cannes Film Festival heats up, plenty of casting deals are getting done. We’ve combined some of the latest casting stories into one handy article for your viewing pleasure. First up, Colin Firth and Emily Blunt have signed on to star in a dark comedy from director Dante Ariola and written by Becky Johnston. According to Deadline, “Firth plays a man who hates his job and is hated by his ex-wife and son. Feeling he missed his one shot at living the dream, he fakes his death and buys a new identity. Along the way he meets a woman (Blunt) who is also trying to leave her past behind. The pair break into empty homes and pose as the absent owners. The two find a kindship despite all the lying.” I’m a little giddy at the thought of Firth and Blunt playing off each other so hopefully we’ll see this project sooner rather than later.
Hit the jump for more casting news regarding Katie Holmes, Chase Crawford, Dennis Quaid, Orlando Bloom, Nick Nolte, Stanley Tucci, and Cristiana Capotondi.
Shia LaBeouf has signed on to lead Dante Ariola’s “romantic actioner” The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman. Written by Matt Drake, Countryman centers on Charlie (LaBeouf), a charming gent who falls in love with a girl who’s past association with an “insanely violent crime boss with a gang of thugs at his disposal,” proves slightly hazardous to Charlie’s health. However, Charlie’s willingness to keep getting his ass kicked in an attempt to woo Gabi may lead him to having his heart literally broken.
The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman will be the feature film debut of Ariola, whose previous work includes commercials for Coca-Cola, Levi’s, Nike, HP, and PlayStation. Drake’s script for Countryman was on the 2007 Black List (list of the best unproduced screenplay in Hollywood). LaBeouf will next be seen in theaters this September in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Hit the jump to read the full press release.