The first trailer for director Lenny Abrahamson’s dark comedy Frank has been released online. The film stars Domhnall Gleeson as an aspiring musician who joins an eccentric band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank, played by Michael Fassbender. The story is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom, as Fassbender sports an odd, large mask for the entirety of the film. I caught the pic at Sundance and it’s incredibly weird, very funny, and oddly sweet. Fassbender is excellent as the titular Frank, and Gleeson shines once again as the straight man opposite a bounty of strange characters.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer and click here to read Matt’s full review. The film also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Scoot McNairy. Frank opens in the U.K. on May 9th and in the U.S. later this year.
Time travel is a tricky concept to pull off in any medium, especially film. If the movie is “about” time travel, it can easily get bogged down in trying to explain the mechanics and paradoxes involved in said time traveling. The best time travel films (like Back to the Future and Looper) aren’t really about time travel at all, but instead put the focus on the characters and story so that any specifics regarding how it all works become secondary. This is true of writer/director Richard Curtis’ third directorial effort About Time, which is a surprising turn from the director behind Love Actually and Pirate Radio that manages to balance humor, heart, and time travel in equal measures, resulting in an effectively emotional gut punch. Read my review of About Time on Blu-ray after the jump.
“He’s the sanest person I’ve ever met,” band manager Don (Scott McNairy) tells keyboardist Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) about their lead singer and songwriter, Frank (Michael Fassbender). Frank wears a giant fake head that he never takes off. Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank is a funny, warm, thoughtful story about crafting an artistic identity, and needing to seize on to someone else’s expression when you don’t have one of your own. It also provides an insightful look at the fault in trying to forge an identity based on the acceptance of others instead of embracing one’s own oddities and shortcomings even if the world at large sees them as “insane”.
From time to time, I like to fantasize about how my life would be different if I could relive certain moments knowing what I know now. Would my life be any better? We are, for good or ill, the sum of our experiences. We may come out stronger because of failure, but it would be nice if we could repair those failures to steer our lives towards a better future. About Time takes a little bit of time travel to provide a wonderful fantasy about getting the chance to make things right. However, the real magic is how writer-director Richard Curtis takes this concept and uses it not only to create a charming love story, but a powerful life story that will have you tearing up not at the fantasy of reliving your past, but the reality of cherishing the present.
Here’s today’s casting news:
Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.
A new trailer has been released for the romantic dramedy, About Time. The film puts a time travel spin on the classic romantic comedy conceit, as Domnhall Gleeson (Anna Karenina) plays a man who has inherited the ability to travel through time from his father (Bill Nighy). Naturally, Gleeson’s character uses his time travel prowess to woo the girl of his dreams (Rachel McAdams), but as with all time travel stories, the powers come with grave consequences. The trailers we’ve seen have cast the film as a serious drama and as a light-hearted comedy, and this new one is definitely the latter. But rather than lay out the whole plot, it boils down the time travel device into one scene, and it works wonderfully.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. About Time opens in the U.K. on September 6th, and in the U.S. on November 1st.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Shadow Dancer opens today in limited release.]
It’s great when movies are a slow burn, but to qualify for that description there needs to be at least some heat. James Marsh‘s Shadow Dancer moves at a glacial pace and barely does anything to build tension. There’s hardly any urgency and no interest in the intrigue. A compelling lead performance is essential to making a film like this working, but actress Andrea Riseborough meanders through her role and fails to convey any deeper emotions or conflict. Some movies can be effective “anti-thrillers” where they play against expectations and still manage to generate drama. Shadow Dancer just seems to be against thrills.
Working Title has released the first trailer for director Richard Curtis’ (Love Actually) new film About Time. The pic puts a time travel spin on the classic romantic comedy conceit, as Domnhall Gleeson (Bill Weasley from Harry Potter) plays a man who has inherited the ability to travel through time from his father (Bill Nighy). Naturally, Gleeson’s character uses his time travel prowess to woo the girl of his dreams (Rachel McAdams), but as with all time travel stories, the powers come with grave consequences. Curtis has a knack for making familiar stories interesting and endearing, and About Time looks to be no different. I like the earnestness with which the film is approached, and Gleeson seems poised to break out in a big way.
Hit the jump to watch the debut UK trailer. The film also stars Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie, Lydia Wilson, and Vanessa Kirby. About Time opens on September 6th in the UK and November 1st in the US. [Update: We've added the just-released US trailer (which gives away too much), poster, and images.]
Rising stars Oscar Isaac (Drive) and Domhnall Gleeson (Anna Karenina) are set to lead Ex Machina, the directorial debut from screenwriter Alex Garland (28 Days Later). As we reported last week, the story centers on a billionaire programmer who invites a young employee to spend a week at his remote estate, participating in a test involving an artificially intelligent female robot that he invented. At this point, I assume the theme from Weird Science kicks in. According to The Wrap, Isaac would play the billionaire and Gleeson would play the employee.
Hit the jump for more. Filming is set to begin this summer or fall.
We’ve got a host of new images from the following Universal Pictures films opening in 2013:
- About Time – A new image featuring Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson, who star in this time-traveling sci-fi dramedy from writer/director Richard Curtis. About Time opens May 10th.
- Fast and Furious 6 – One new image of Paul Walker and Vin Diesel who return for the sixth installment of the streetcar franchise directed by Justin Lin. Fast and Furious 6 opens May 24th.
- Identity Thief - 16 images from director Seth Gordon’s crime comedy starring Jason Bateman as a victim of Melissa McCarthy’s thieving. Identity Thief opens February 8th.
- Jurassic Park 3D – A new image from the 3D re-release of the 1993 Steven Spielberg movie, roaring into theaters on April 5th.
Hit the jump to see the images.
The first image has been released for Lenny Abrahamson’s rock comedy Frank. The film stars Domhnall Gleeson (Dredd) as man “who discovers he’s bitten off more than he can chew when he joins a band of eccentric pop musicians led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank (Michael Fassbender) and his terrifying sidekick Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal).” The film is based off the memoir by Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare at Goats), and “is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom, the persona of cult musician and comedy legend Chris Sievey, as well as outsider musicians like Daniel Johnston and Captain Beefheart.” As you can see from the image, Fassbender looks like he’s really gotten in shape for the film, and that shape is terrifying.
Hit the jump to check out the image. The film also stars Scoot McNairy, Carla Aza, and Francois Civil.
Joe Wright’s adaptation of Leo Tolstoy‘s classic novel Anna Karenina is now playing in theaters. The film takes place in late 19th century Russian society, and stars Keira Knightley as an adulterer who questions her happiness. In true Wright fashion, this isn’t exactly a straightforward adaptation; the director has set much of the film in a lush theater that uses over 100 interconnected sets to allow the action to move fluidly through various settings. The film also stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Olivia Williams. For more on Anna Karenina, here’s Matt’s review, five clips, and all our previous coverage.
At the press day, I spoke to Domhnall Gleeson. We talked about how he prepared for the role, when he found out Joe Wright was changing the way he wanted to tell the story and his thoughts on the change, collaborating with Wright and his unique camera angles, and more. In addition, we also talked about Richard Curtis‘ About Time, which also stars Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy. Hit the jump to watch.
Joe Wright is a gifted director. His direction is daring, inventive, captivating, and unforgettable. But that doesn’t make him a great director. A great director finds a way to take the material he’s given and bring it to its maximum potential. Joe Wright doesn’t elevate his movies; he exceeds them. Pride and Prejudice and Hanna are marvelous, but Atonement and The Soloist are terrible. Granted, any director can only do so much with a script he’s given, but Wright seems content to leave his poor stories in the dust so that we can sit in awe at his bold direction like the long take of Dunkirk in Atonement or the musical colors in The Soloist. In his new film, Anna Karenina, Wright has once again blown past his story by using a melodrama to wrap his fascinating framing device rather than the other way around. Anna Karenina is a wonder to behold, but it leaves you wondering what you’re holding.
The incredibly talented (not to mention charming) Michael Fassbender is looking to try his hand at comedy. Variety reports that Fassbender and Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter) are attached to star in director Lenny Abrahamson’s rock comedy Frank. The film is loosely based on the life of musician/comedian Chris Sievey and will center on an aspiring musician (Gleeson) “who finds himself in over his head when he joins an eccentric rock band fronted by Fassbender.” Gleeson is probably best known for his turn as Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter films, but he also had memorable parts in True Grit and Never Let Me Go. He appears in this fall’s Dredd and Anna Karenina.
Fassbender recently wrapped a re-team with Shame director Steve McQueen on Twelve Years a Slave and is currently filming Ridley Scott’s drama The Counselor. He’ll return for the X-Men: First Class sequel early next year, and he’s also set to produce and star in an adaptation of Assassin’s Creed. No word on when he’ll be available to squeeze Frank into his tight schedule, but I’m interested to see the actor’s comedic chops.
The first trailer and poster for director Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina has been unveiled. The film is an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic tome about late 19th century Russian society and stars Keira Knightley an adulterer who questions her happiness. We knew from Wright’s previous resume (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, Hanna) that Anna Karenina wouldn’t be a straightforward, boring period piece, and this trailer speaks volumes to the director’s strength as a filmmaker. The visuals are absolutely gorgeous and he appears to using some truly mesmerizing set design to change the film’s setting in one take. Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Johnson all look great, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how Wright’s adaptation plays out in full.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer and check out the poster. The film also stars Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyen, Domhnall Gleeson, Emily Watson, Alicia Vikander, Olivia Williams and Ruth Wilson. Anna Karenina opens on November 9th.