Blockbusters dominate the summer movie season, and some will definitely be worth your time. You’ll pre-order your ticket, get together with friends for the earliest possible screening, and probably have a grand time. But there are some smaller films this summer that shouldn’t escape your attention. I’ve compiled a list of ten worthwhile indie films I saw at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and SXSW 2013. The list includes coming of age comedies, moving romances, brutal dramas, and more. There are other smaller films this summer that might be worth a look such as The Bling Ring and Blue Jasmine, but I haven’t seen them yet. I can vouch for these ten. Hit the jump for the list.
Magnolia has picked up the reverse rom-com I Give It a Year. The film stars Rafe Spall and Rose Byrne as a married couple who grow to realize that they’re not right for each other, and start being drawn to other people (Anna Faris and Simon Baker, respectively). I caught the film at SXSW, and found it to be surprising funny and charming even though it deals with a relationship that’s falling apart. The movie will be released via Magnolia’s “Ultra VOD” program, which means it will debut on VOD and then the VOD cost will be slightly reduced when the picture hits limited theatrical release. VOD is probably the best distribution method for the film since it’s a little too slight and lacks the star power to be a serious wide release.
Hit the jump for the press release. I Give It a Year is due out later this year and also stars Stephen Merchant, Olivia Colman, Jason Flemyng, and Minnie Driver.
Dan Mazer‘s I Give It a Year is the rom-com in reverse and two rom-coms in one. Mazer takes the difficult task of showing a marriage fall apart, and turns it into a surprisingly funny and witty comedy that never feels cynical. And it’s absolutely easy to be cynical when it comes to marriage because of the 50% divorce rate. But like any good comic writer, Mazer finds the humor in an unlikely topic, and succeeds with sharp dialogue, talented actors, and wisely keeping the tone of the film the same as an average romantic comedy.
Earlier this month, we reported on the first wave of SXSW 2013 films, which includes The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Evil Dead. Today, the full line-up has been announced, and it feels like Sundance all over again when it comes to plenty of unknown films. The chance of discovering a gem is high, and I look forward to hearing the buzz that arises from some these movies. There’s also a second chance at festival films I missed like The Act of Killing (from TIFF) and Pit Stop (from Sundance). I thought Toy’s House would make it in to SXSW, but I’ll see it eventually since it picked up distribution.
Hit the jump for the full line-up. The 2013 SXSW Film Festival runs from March 8 – 17th.
A new trailer for the British romantic comedy I Give It a Year has been released online. The film stars Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) and Rafe Spall (Prometheus) as a mismatched couple and centers on their struggle to survive their first year of marriage. While the logline and “romantic comedy” description may sound a bit trite, this actually looks like a solid comedy. The new trailer features some great stuff from Stephen Merchant and even a solid Justin Bieber joke for good measure.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Written and directed by Dan Mazer (Borat), the film also stars Minnie Driver, Jason Flemyng, Olivia Colman, and Jane Asher. I Give It A Year opens in the UK on February 8, 2013.
The promising first trailer for the British romantic comedy I Give It a Year has been released online. The film focuses on a mismatched couple as they struggle to survive their first year of marriage. Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) and Rafe Spall (Anonymous) star as the newlywed couple, while Simon Baker and Anna Faris appear in supporting roles as temptations for the duo. The pic actually looks really funny, with strong turns from Byrne and Spall and some big laughs from Stephen Merchant.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here for images and a synopsis for the film. Written and directed by Dan Mazer (Borat), the film also stars Minnie Driver, Jason Flemyng, Olivia Colman, and Jane Asher. I Give It A Year opens in the UK on February 8, 2013.
A few weeks ago, Steve attended the American Film Market (AFM) and was able to bring back some promo images, posters, and synopses for a few upcoming films. Today we have the first images and synopsis for the romantic comedy I Give it a Year, which centers on a mismatched couple as they struggle to survive their first year of marriage. Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) and Rafe Spall (Anonymous) star as the newlywed couple, while Simon Baker and Anna Faris appear in supporting roles as temptations for the duo.
Hit the jump to check out the first images and synopsis for the film, which was written and directed by Dan Mazer (Borat, Bruno). I Give It a Year opens in the UK on February 8, 2013.
Two very funny actresses have been added to the cast of the romantic comedy I Give It a Year. Variety reports that Bridesmaids star Rose Bryne and Anna Faris will star alongside Simon Baker and Rafe Spall in the pic, written and directed by Dan Mazer. The story centers on a mismatched couple as they struggle to survive their first year of marriage. Spall and Bryne will play that central couple, while Faris and Baker are set as “strong supporting characters.” While the logline may seem a bit monotonous, Mazer previously worked as a writer-director on Da Ali G Show and is a credited writer on both Borat and Bruno, so I think I Give It a Year will probably be a bit more R-rated than most romantic comedies.
I’m glad to see that Byrne will be given a chance to shine as the comedic lead this time around. She certainly proved her dramatic chops on the TV series Damages and had a dastardly great role in last year’s Bridesmaids, but it was her work in Get Him to the Greek that first hipped me to her comedic talents. She’ll next be seen on the dramatic side of things in Derek Cianfrance’s crime drama The Place Beyond the Pines alongside Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling. Faris next stars in the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Dictator.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share with you today. First up, The Mentalist star Simon Baker has settled on a feature project to shoot during his upcoming hiatus from the CBS series. Variety reports that Baker will star in the comedy I Give it a Year. The film stars Rafe Spall (Anonymous) and centers on “the comedic trials and tribulations of a pair of newlyweds during their first year as a married couple.” Dan Mazer, a writer-director on Da Ali G Show and a credited scribe on Borat and Bruno, is set to direct the pic. It’s a bit of a departure for Baker who’s best known for dramatic roles, and with Mazer onboard I think we can safely assume this won’t be your average romcom.
Hit the jump for casting news concerning the thriller No Good Deed.
Director Joe Johnston has gone from the big budgets of Captain America: The First Avenger down to the micro-budget of Not Safe for Work. He must be a good barterer because Universal Pictures has tapped Max Minghella (The Social Network) and Eloise Mumford (The River) to star in the Blumhouse Productions thriller. Written by Adam Mason and Simon Boyes, Not Safe for Work centers on a young paralegal (Minghella) trapped at work while a killer is on the loose with orders to destroy certain files and neutralize anyone who tries to stop him. Mumford is in talks to play his co-worker girlfriend.
In other casting news, Rafe Spall (Anonymous) is in talks to topline I Give it a Year for writer/director Dan Mazer (Da Ali G Show). The rom-com follows a young married couple trying to stay together through their first year of marriage. Production is scheduled to begin in London this spring. Hit the jump for more on both projects.