Coming of age movies are incredibly difficult to get right. The film and TV marketplace is flooded with sappy and self-important stories of high school drama, angst, and ennui, and so when something comes along that captures this universally formative period in such a raw and honest way, it’s almost hard to believe it exists. However, writer/director Stephen Chbosky’s adaptation of his own novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of those rare gems of the coming of age genre that just “gets it,” and with a sharp script, three-dimensional characters, and emotionally honest performances, the film is destined to speak to audiences for generations to come. Hit the jump for our review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower on Blu-ray.
Actor Ezra Miller has rightfully earned a reputation for his willingness and ability to give fearless performances, including the one he gave as Patrick in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Recognized for his emotionally moving work in that film, he was honored with a Virtuosos Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF). Collider was there to cover and attend the event, and we’ve compiled the highlights of what the actor had to say, both on the press line and during the Q&A.
While there, Ezra Miller talked about how amazing it’s been that the film has been able to reach kids in the way that they’d hoped, his reaction when he first read the book at 14, how exciting it was to play a fully realized and confident gay character, the unfortunate reality of the American high school experience, the first time he saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and throwing out the choreography and doing the film’s fight scene for real. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
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 Lincoln. Emmanuelle 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.
Oscar season is in full swing, folks. 2012 has been a fantastic year in film so far, and with merely weeks to go before 2013 begins there are still a couple of highly anticipated films that have yet to be seen. Just like last year, I’ll be running down a preview of the upcoming Oscar race during this fine Thanksgiving week, giving readers a look at what the state of the race looks like right now. To be clear, this isn’t a personal list but rather an objective look at how things look to be shaping up. I’ve divided each category into frontrunners, likely to be nominated, and other contenders in order to parse out where things stand at the moment. There are multiple strong contenders in nearly every category, so this is looking to be a rather heated run to the finish line.
We’ll be looking at a couple of different major categories each day over the next four days, and we’re kicking things off with the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories. Hit the jump to read on.
For the first time, I’m writing from the comfort of my newly remodeled “mancave” or, as my wife likes to lovingly refer to it, the “nerdcave”. For a space that used to be an attached garage/dungeon, I have to say that the end result is pretty cozy. I guess there really are no living quarters that a substantial amount of time, money, and framed movie prints can’t fix. Now, if only I could find a way to fit and/or afford a mini-fridge, classic stand-up arcade games (i.e. The Simpsons, and X-Men), theater-style seating, and a projection screen that comes down from the ceiling via hand-clap command, I may finally be able to fulfill my dream of never leaving home again.
All praises of my new space aside, this week’s incarnation of the Top 5 brings a look back at our Fantastic Fest 2012 coverage, Looper interviews with writer/director Rian Johnson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt, The Avengers Blu-ray interviews with members of the pic’s visual effects team, The Perks of Being a Wallflower interviews with Emma Watson, writer/director Stephen Chbosky and more, and Hotel Transylvania interviews with Andy Samberg and Selena Gomez just to name a few. As you might expect, a brief recap and link to each is holding down the fort after the jump.
Opening this weekend, in limited release, is Stephen Chbosky’s fantastic movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Chbosky actually wrote the adaptation of his own novel and also directed the feature. In the film, Logan Lerman plays an introverted high school freshman who finds acceptance in two senior students, played by Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. The film also stars Mae Whitman, Kate Walsh, Dylan McDermott, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Rudd. Over the past few years I’ve seen a number of coming of age movies. Usually they play out the same way and touch on the same themes. What makes Perks so special is that it tackles serious issues with honestly and believability. In addition, all the actors are great and it’s Lerman’s best work to date. I strongly recommend checking it out.
Last week Perks premiered at the Toronto Film Festival to glowing reviews. Shortly before the premiere I spoke to Ezra Miller, Johnny Simmons and Mae Whitman. We talked about their reaction to the script, what makes this film special, what do they remember the most about filming in Pittsburgh, the junket game, and Miller reveals how he was cast even though he wasn’t in Scott Pilgrim. Hit the jump to watch.
The indie coming-of-age drama is a plague on the indie festival, and Stephen Chbosky‘s The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the cure. In place of the quirky, self-centered protagonist is a lonely, scared individual who finds the courage to greet the world with wonder rather than malaise. In place of contrived conflict designed to occupy a sad and droll life, Perks tackles serious issues that would be difficult for anyone to face, let alone teenagers. Free from a twee character and a lazy script, actor Logan Lerman delivers a wonderful, eye-opening performance in Chbosky’s big-hearted and finely crafted adaptation of his 1999 novel.
A new clip from The Perks of Being a Wallflower has gone online. I read the book last week, and I think I would have loved it if I had read it when I was fifteen. That’s not to say it’s a bad book, but it does seem designed to speak directly to people in the age range of 13 to 17-years-old. My biggest curiosity about the movie is that author Stephen Chbosky has adapted his own novel, and some of his book may not easily translate to the big screen. For example, the protagonist, Charlie (Logan Lerman), cries all the time in the novel. In this new clip, he’s toasted by friends Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson) for being a wallflower. In the book, he starts crying, and here, he’s dry-eyed, which is probably for the best since it would probably look kind of silly.
Hit the jump to check out the clip. The film also stars Mae Whitman, Kate Walsh, Dylan McDermott, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Rudd. I plan to catch The Perks of Being a Wallflower when it plays at the Toronto International Film Festival; it opens in the U.S. on September 21st.
If you enjoyed the first round of images from Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you’ll enjoy today’s post as we have fifteen more shots to share with you. Chbosky wrote the adaptation of his own novel and also directed the feature, which is a coming-of-age story that touches on all the keystones of adolescence. Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Mae Whitman, Paul Rudd, Dylan McDermott, Nina Dobrev and Ezra Miller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower opens September 21st. Hit the jump to check out the new images.
The jaw-dropping lineup for the upcoming Toronto Film Festival was announced this morning, and a number of images and synopses have been released for films that will be screening at the prestigious fest. Briefly, here’s a batch of new images:
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Directed by Stephen Chbosky) Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Nina Dobrev, Melanie Lynskey, Paul Rudd, and Dylan McDermott.
- Jayne Mansfield’s Car (Directed by Billy Bob Thornton) Starring Thornton, Robert Duvall, Kevin Bacon, and John Hurt.
- The Impossible (Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona) Starring Naomi Watts, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast, and Ewan McGregor.
- Byzantium (Directed by Neil Jordan) Starring Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan, Sam Riley, and Jonny Lee Miller.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.
Lynne Ramsay is one of the prime examples of how directorial talent doesn’t ensure an easy cinematic career. She started her career explosively, captivating Cannes in the mid-90s with her student shorts, before releasing her critically lauded and Criterion-captured freshman feature Ratcatcher in 1999, and the daring Morvern Callar in 2002. But then Ramsay disappeared from the cinematic landscape, plagued with behind-the-scenes creative and financial woes. She spent four years adapting The Lovely Bones, before it was handed over to Peter Jackson for a less than stellar adaptation. She was courted for Jane Eyre, but refused the offer when she wasn’t allowed to adapt the material herself.
Her luck began to turn when Lynne Ramsay settled on Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin. The road was hard, as the filmmaker battled financial woes and rigid timeframes, but Ramsay persevered to create one of the most captivating films of 2011. Our review of the DVD/Blu-ray combo follows after the jump.
The first trailer from writer/director Steven Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower has gone online. The film adaptation of Chbosky’s acclaimed novel by the same name features Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) as an introverted high school freshman who finds acceptance in two senior students, played by Emma Watson (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) and Ezra Miller (We Need to Talk About Kevin). Also starring Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd and Mae Whitman, The Perks of Being a Wallflower opens September 14th. Hit the jump to check out the trailer.
Check out the new release dates for the following films:
- The Tall Man, a horror/mystery/thriller starring Jessica Biel (The A-Team) and Jodelle Ferland (Silent Hill), will open August 31st, 2012.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower, starring Emma Watson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) and Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) opens September 14th, 2012.
- Pitch Perfect, with Anna Kendrick (Scott Pilgrim vs the World) and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Kick-Ass), opens Octboer 5th, 2012.
Hit the jump for more on each film.
The US trailer for Lynne Ramsay’s searing drama We Need to Talk about Kevin has gone online. The film, which picked up six BIFA nominations today, centers on Eve (Tilda Swinton), a mother who is forced to grapple with her son’s unforgivable and violent act. Ramsay cuts between Eve’s life pre- and post-atrocity and how she wonders if her son was always capable of committing such a horrifying deed. I’ll have my review up when the movie opens in December, but when I saw it at TIFF it left me with my jaw on the floor and a hole in my gut. The trailer does a good job of conveying the tone of the film and selling the magnificence of Swinton’s performance. I’ve seen other great work from actresses this year like Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia and Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy May Marlene, but Swinton blows them away. In my mind, she’s the frontrunner for the Best Actress Oscar.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller. We Need to Talk about Kevin opens in New York and LA on December 9th and will begin a platform release in February 2012.
New posters have been released for Martin Scorsese‘s Hugo and Lynne Ramsay‘s We Need to Talk about Kevin. The Hugo poster does a good job of conveying the wonder and adventure of the movie plus it’s a nice reference to a scene from the 1926 silent comedy Safety First, which was the first movie to depict a guy hanging off the face of a clock tower. The final UK poster for We Need to Talk about Kevin is a bit of a disappointment. Yes, it conveys the creepiness of Ezra Miller‘s eponymous character (even though the younger Kevin is far creepier), but the person to highlight is Tilda Swinton. Her performance is one of the best of the year and the movie is more about her overwhelming guilt and madness. Also, the tech angle is one scene in the movie (and a bit of an unnecessary one).
Hit the jump to check out the posters. Hugo opens in 3D on November 23rd. We Need To Talk about Kevin opens in limited release on December 9th.