In his past films, George Clooney has shown himself to be surprisingly deft at working with genre and mood. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is a stunning directorial debut that melds comedy, paranoia, tragedy, and drama, and his following works all have a smart, sensible core (although I’ll admit his previous picture, The Ides of March is slightly shaky). Unfortunately, his confident direction is nowhere to be found in his latest film, The Monuments Men. The story is scattershot in structure, narrative, and tone. The premise is fascinating, but Clooney can never seem to find the right angle, and it’s unclear if we’re watching a drama with comedic elements or a rousing World War II picture with moments of tragedy. There’s almost a total lack of cohesion, and while Clooney is occasionally able to regain control of the picture, the best moments rely almost entirely on the performances.
John Goodman turns in a moving performance in The Monuments Men as Walter Garfield, a role inspired by real-life Monuments Man Walker Hancock who was an acclaimed artist and St. Louis sculptor. Goodman’s character is part of a motley crew of art historians and museum curators who rush to the front lines of WWII in a race against time to save priceless works of art from Nazi thieves. Opening February 7th, the buddy action thriller directed by and starring George Clooney boasts an impressive cast that also includes Jean Dujardin, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Bob Balazar, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett.
I recently landed an exclusive interview with Goodman who spoke about what attracted him to the role, why he said yes to the project before reading the script and had the same reaction when the Coen Brothers offered him Inside Llewyn Davis, why honoring the generation that sacrificed so much to win the war was a big hook for him, how his acting process has changed over the years, his upcoming role in The Gambler and his reaction to William Monahan’s script, working with the Wachowskis on Speed Racer, hosting SNL and his favorite sketch, the possibility of a Monsters University sequel, and looking back on making The Big Lebowski. Check out the interview after the jump.
Opening February 7th, George Clooney’s exciting action drama The Monuments Men features an impressive ensemble cast that brings to life the untold but true story of courageous people who risked everything to rescue the world’s artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves. Set during World War II, the movie is based on the book by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter and centers on one of the greatest treasure hunts in history. It also shines a light and a perspective on very well-known historical facts.
At the film’s recent press day, we participated in a press conference with Clooney, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bob Balaban, John Goodman and producer Grant Heslov. They spoke about wanting to make an entertaining movie that also deals with a very serious subject matter, what they found inspiring about portraying their characters, their experience working in Berlin, Clooney’s evolution as a director, why he enjoys stepping behind the camera now more than acting, what Heslov and he look for in a project, how he pranked Damon by altering his wardrobe during production, the importance of protecting art and preserving our cultural legacy, the impact of this movie moving forward and how the Monuments Men are still at work today. Check out the interview after the jump.
Sony Pictures has released a slew of new high-resolution images from George Clooney’s latest directorial effort, the WWII drama The Monuments Men. Based on a true story, the film revolves around a group of museum directors, artists, architects, curators, and art historians tasked with rescuing the world’s artistic masterpieces before the Nazi army destroys them. Clooney has repeatedly stated that this film is his effort at tackling less cynical material than his previous directorial projects, and he’s put together a fantastic ensemble to bring this story to life.
Hit the jump to check out the new images, and click here to watch five clips from the pic. Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett star. The Monuments Men opens February 7th.
Five clips have been released for George Clooney’s The Monuments Men. For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it’s based on a true story about soldiers and historians who have to go to Germany during World War II to rescue artistic masterpieces before the Nazis destroy them. We previously reported that Clooney was trying to find the right tone for the film between the comedic and dramatic aspects, and so perhaps these clips will give people a slightly better idea of what to expect.
Hit the jump to check out the clips. The film stars Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Bill Murray. The Monuments Men opens February 7th.
After starring in the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, John Goodman is set to join Paramount’s remake of The Gambler. Rupert Wyatt is set to direct the picture which features Mark Wahlberg in the title role. James Toback scripted the original 1974 version starring James Caan, and William Monahan penned a draft of the remake, which sees “a literature professor whose gambling addiction lands him in hot water with his girlfriend, his mother and some unsavory gangsters.” Goodman stars as “a Jewish loan shark, to whom Wahlberg finds himself indebted.” Brie Larson, Jessica Lange, Michael K. Williams and Travis Tope also star. (Via The Wrap)
20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures have released a fun spin on the trailer for The Monuments Men by doing it in the style of a World War II newsreel. For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it’s based on a true story about soldiers and historians who have to go to Germany during World War II to rescue artistic masterpieces before they’re destroyed by the Nazis. What’s really surprising about this trailer is that it provides a phone number at the end that actually works. I was expecting to get a recorded message plugging the movie, but if you call 1-866-WWII-ART you can get a real person on the line. When I called the number, I expressed my surprise to the person I spoke to, and she explained that the number is for people who believe they might have a lead on art that was stolen by the Nazis or lost during the war. There’s also a website, supportthemonumentsmen.com, that has more useful information. I’m surprised and delighted that the studios put something of substance into their marketing.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Bill Murray. The Monuments Men opens February 7, 2014.
From Academy Award winners Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis follows folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), who is struggling to make it in the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Relying on friends for a couch to sleep on and scrounging for whatever work he can find, Llewyn attempts to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, many of which are of his own making, while never really catching a break. The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham, Adam Driver, Stark Sands and Max Casella.
At the film’s press day, actor John Goodman (who plays the rather eccentric Roland Turner) spoke at this roundtable interview about how this role was presented to him, finding the cadence and personification of his character, how important the costume was, what his ongoing relationship with the Coen brothers has meant to him, what the experience of working with the Coens is like, having been on the same page with them since his audition for Raising Arizona, and what his own pre-success years looked like. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
As we continue our in-depth look at the coming awards season, it’s now time to delve in the Best Supporting Actor race. It’s a tough category this year, with a number of impressive turns from a variety of actors. The two big standouts emerged at the Toronto Film Festival this past September with Jared Leto earning extremely high praise for his turn as a transsexual opposite Mattthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club, and Michael Fassbender turning heads as a ruthless slave owner in the highly emotional 12 Years a Slave. But there are plenty of other contenders as well, with both Jonah Hill and James Franco firmly in the race for a pair of more comic performances.
Hit the jump to read the latest edition of Oscar Beat, in which we examine the Best Supporting Actor category.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 New York Film Festival. Inside Llewyn Davis opens today in limited release.]
It’s a terrible thing to feel like you’re not the protagonist of your own story—to simply exist with nowhere to go. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a man who doesn’t fit into his own life, and in the Coen Brothers’ most melancholy film to date, Inside Llewyn Davis, we’re taken on the moving journey of a folk singer trying to succeed in the right place at the wrong time. He can’t create a future from the songs of the past, and he lives ambivalently in the present. Toning down the stylized hyperrealism of their previous movies, Joel and Ethan Coen have created a work that still bears their signature, yet takes them and us to a restrained, yet tonally and emotionally frustrating place. Anchored by a subtle, touching performance from Isaac, as well as beautiful renditions of folk songs, Inside Llewyn Davis is a somber look at a wandering musician.
Georgle Clooney‘s Monuments Men looked like it could be a player in this year’s awards race, but it had to be pushed back to February in order to work on the special effects and find the tone of the story. For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it’s based on a true story about soldiers and historians who have to go to Germany during World War II to rescue artistic masterpieces before they’re destroyed by the Nazis. The first trailer made the film look confused and mediocre, but now an international trailer has gone online, and the movie looks like it’s in much better shape. The humor is sharper, the story is better laid out, and the stakes are more clearly defined. There’s even a little grin about the premise having a bit of an Ocean’s Eleven vibe when Matt Damon‘s character asks Clooney, “Aren’t you a little old for this?” I have high hopes for the film, and this new trailer finally makes me excited for what Clooney has put together.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Bill Murray. The Monuments Men opens February 7, 2014.
The Coen Brothers‘ Inside Llewyn Davis is terrific, and it’s also probably the duo’s saddest movie. However, it also has some hilarious moments, and its funniest scene by far is when struggling folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) reluctantly plays “Please Mr. Kennedy” with his friend (Justin Timblerlake) and another musician (Adam Driver) who has a unique approach to the song. I’ve recommended holding off on listening to the song until you see the movie, but that’s because I wanted you to see Driver performing it. Now you can, and you absolutely should. There’s also a new featurette, which does a good job explaining the music’s role in the production and in the story.
Hit the jump to check out the clip and featurette. The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Stark Sands, Garrett Hedlund, and John Goodman. Inside Llewyn Davis opens December 6th.
CBS Films has released three clips and five new images from the Coen Brothers‘ upcoming film, Inside Llewyn Davis. The story takes place in the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961, and follows singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he struggles with his career and strained personal relationships. It’s one of the best films I’ve seen this year and the soundtrack is a must-buy. These are good clips that won’t spoil anything, and they also highlight Isaac’s strong performance. John Goodman‘s character, an ornery jazz musician, also explains a traditional commit suicide.
Hit the jump to check out the clips and the images. The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Adam Driver, Stark Sands, and Garrett Hedlund. Inside Llewyn Davis opens December 6th.
Saturday Night Live has lined up a fantastic trio of hosts for its December shows. Paul Rudd will kick off his third appearance as host on December 7th with musical guest One Direction, no doubt promoting Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; could a Will Ferrell cameo be in the cards? Next up is Inside Llewyn Davis star John Goodman making his 13th appearance on December 14th with musical guest Kings of Leon. Finally, SNL will finish strong with the promising duo of Jimmy Fallon as host and Justin Timberlake as musical guest on December 21st. Not a bad way to get ready for the holidays.
Starz, like PBS and BBC America, has had some success in second-runs from or co-productions with the British. But are we getting a delicious second brewing, or leftovers? Dancing on the Edge (which originally aired last winter on BBC2) is, in many ways, both the perfect British export, and the perfect mix of English and American-ness. It feels a great deal like an Agatha Christie novel — wealth! garden parties! intrigue! murder! — but also incorporates the very American element of jazz.
The miniseries covers the rise and quick unravelling of the fictional Louis Lester Band from 1932 to 1933. They’re a hidden gem of a group, lead by their highly educated and charming band leader Louie (Chiwetel Ejiofer), and a pair of alluring chanteuses, Jessie (Angel Coulby) and Clara (Wunmi Musaku). Their introduction and integration into London society is helped along by an ambitious and cocky music writer, Stanley (Matthew Goode), who arguably also helps usher their downfall. Hit the jump for more.