Fox Searchlight has released a new trailer for Sound of My Voice director Zal Batmanglij’s upcoming thriller The East. The film stars Brit Marling as an undercover operative for an elite private intelligence firm who infiltrates a domestic terrorist organization in order to protect her corporate clientele. Once she starts living as part of the anarchist collective, though, she finds that her loyalties aren’t as solid as she believed them to be. I caught the film at Sundance and it’s a very solid thriller. Batmanglij and star/co-writer Marling prove that they can skillfully craft a commercially pleasing film that still manages to be smart and thought provoking, and Marling turns in a riveting performance as the film’s protagonist. This trailer delves quite a bit deeper into the pic’s plot than the first teaser trailer, and it gives you a good idea of the pic’s intensity level and story beats.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer, click here to read Matt’s review, and click here to read my interview with Batmanglij and Marling. The film also stars Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson, Julia Ormond, Shiloh Fernandez, and Jason Ritter. The East opens on May 31st.
Usually when I say Mary Mother of Christ, it’s due to a bout with Tourette’s or just after smashing my thumb with a hammer. In this case, the film is actually a prequel of sorts to Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. The Alister Grierson-directed picture has reportedly interested Sir Ben Kingsley, who is eyeing the role of King Herod. The story involves Mary’s impassioned defiance of the King in order to save her son, Jesus. Mary Mother of Christ was written by Barbara Nicolosi and Benedict Fitzgerald, who co-wrote The Passion of the Christ with Gibson. Hit the jump for more on this picture.
The first trailer for My Week With Marilyn has gone online. Based on the memoirs of Lawrence Olivier’s assistant Colin Clark, the film details a week in the life of Marilyn Monroe as seen through the eyes of Clark. The trailer looks pretty great, and Michelle Williams looks to be going all out for the role of Monroe. It’s impressive to see her play the dichotomy of the public Marilyn and the private Marilyn, and Williams seems to be holding nothing back. I like the character-centric plot, and I’m interested to see where the overall arc of the film goes.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Kenneth Branagh, Dominic Cooper, Julia Ormond, Judi Dench, Emma Watson, and Eddie Redmayne. My Week With Marilyn opens on November 4th.
Director Zack Snyder continues to fill out the cast for Man of Steel, and it looks like he’s found Superman’s mom. Deadline reports that Julia Ormond is in talks to star as Superman’s Kryptonian mother Lara Lor-Van, opposite Russell Crowe who was recently cast as father Jor-El. Their counterparts, Clark Kent’s adoptive Earth parents, will be played by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane.
Henry Cavill is set to play the titular Man of Steel, with Amy Adams poised to play Lois Lane and, in an inspired bit of casting, Michael Shannon will be taking on the role of General Zod. Antje Traue will play villain/Zod’s partner Faora. Details on David Goyer’s script are mum, but production is set to get underway next month in Vancouver. Produced by Christopher Nolan, Man of Steel is currently eying a holiday 2012 release.
Roadside Attractions has released the trailer and poster for the The Music Never Stopped. I caught the film at Sundance and while I found it to be schmaltzy, it was still enjoyable because of the strong performances from lead actors J.K. Simmons and Lou Taylor Pucci.
If you were curious about the movie but didn’t have 90 minutes to kill, this trailer does you the service of condensing the entire picture down to two minutes and thirty seconds. If that’s what you want, then hit the jump to check out the trailer as well as the poster. The Music Never Stopped also stars Cara Seymour and Julia Ormond. The film opens March 4th.
Schmaltz isn’t always a bad thing. It’s just usually a bad thing since it tells us how to feel, eschews genuine emotion in favor of forced sentiment, and cheapens emotional payoff. The Music Never Stopped is undoubtedly schmaltzy. It’s a feel-good father-son relationship story that relies on nostalgia of classic rock in order to bolster its real-life narrative about a brain-damaged man tapping into his memories through the songs he loved. However, the film never gets to the point where the sappiness is unbearable, and that in large part is due to the tremendous performances of lead actors J.K. Simmons and Lou Taylor Pucci.
While the Sundance Film Festival doesn’t begin until January, we’re bringing you the first images from films that will be screened at the festival. Today we bring you two films that will premiere out-of-competition at the festival: The Details and The Music Never Stopped. The Details stars Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta, and Dennis Haysbert. The film tells the story of the chain reaction of events that occur following the discovery of worms living under the sod in a couple’s backyard by raccoons.
The Music Never Stopped stars J.K. Simmons, Julia Ormond, Cara Seymour, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Mia Maestro. The film centers on a father attempting to connect with his son, whose brain tumor prevents him from forming new memories. Hit the jump to check out images, as well as a brief synopsis for both films. The 2011 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 20 – 30th.
My Week With Marilyn has begun principal photography and the production has released the first image of Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe. The film centers on a week Monroe’s life in the summer of 1956 on the set of the movie The Prince and the Showgirl. My Week with Marilyn is directed by Simon Curtis (Return to Cranford) costars Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Dominic Cooper, Emma Watson, and Julia Ormond. Filming is scheduled to continue for the next seven weeks at Pinewood Studios and on location in and around London. Hit the jump to check out the image of Williams as Monroe plus the full press release.
Bill Pullman is the quintessential actor whose choice of roles has covered the width and breadth of American cinema. Trained in the theater and equally at home on the film screen or the television screen, Pullman personifies the ‘every man hero’ in such roles as the President of the United States in Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day as easily as the slightly left of center characters like the Mafia ‘fixer’ in John Dahl’s You Kill Me and the saxophonist Fred Madison in David Lynch’s Lost Highway.
In his latest film, Surveillance, Pullman plays FBI agent Sam Hallaway who, along with partner Elizabeth Anderson (Julia Ormond), investigates a string of violent murders and heinous crime scenes that plague a long stretch of highway across a windy, barren landscape. In this darkly disturbing, Rashomon-inspired thriller directed by Jennifer Lynch and executive produced by David Lynch, the Feds slowly expose the fragile little details each witness conceals so carefully with a well practiced lie. But, when the ‘truth’ finally begins to emerge, it comes at an enormous price that no one expects.
Jennifer Lynch’s Surveillance marks a long awaited return to the big screen for this definitive, and often surprising, filmmaker. Borrowing a page from the Japanese master Akira Kurosawa, Lynch has crafted a film that’s both a taut thriller and a stunningly detailed story told from the perspectives of three witnesses. In pure Lynch fashion, however, nothing is as it seems – even at the final moment.
Surveillance is the first feature film Lynch has directed in over a decade, coming after her lauded and oft criticized feature film directorial debut, Boxing Helena. It’s a dark movie with a perverse sense of humor and all the characters are just a few bad decisions away from hurting themselves and others, but eventually it all comes down to one question: will telling the truth save your life?
Like an onion, Lynch peels the layers and lets the story find its voice through a talented, unorthodox cast that includes Julia Ormond, Bill Pullman, Pell James, Ryan Simpkins, Cheri Oteri, French Stewart, Kent Harper, and Michael Ironside. The low-budget feature was lensed by DP Peter Wunstorf on location on the plains of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Jennifer Lynch is a compelling filmmaker of strong convictions who was only 19 when she wrote the screenplay for Boxing Helena. She became a published novelist at age 22 when she wrote The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, a best-selling Twin Peaks tie-in book which appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller List for 15 weeks. In 1993, at the age of 24, she added the distinction of being the youngest woman in American film history to direct a feature film from her screenplay, Boxing Helena, which was nominated for a Grand Jury prize at Sundance the same year.
After the jump is what she had to tell us about her new film, Surveillance:
A stunning actress whose remarkable skill and talent have graced the screens in some of the most beloved films of all times, Julia Ormond has most recently been seen in two of the most highly anticipated films of 2008: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” from director David Fincher and “Che” from director Steven Soderbergh. She is currently filming “The Wronged Man” for television and has another film in post-production, “Temple Grandi”n, starring Catherine O’Hara and David Strathairn.
Her latest film, “Surveillance”, is a taut, over the top thriller directed by Jennifer Lynch in the tradition of Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon”. Ormond plays Federal Officer Elizabeth Anderson who, along with her partner, Sam Hallaway (Bill Pullman), arrives at a small mid-western police station in the middle of nowhere to investigate a string of vicious murders told from three distinctly different perspectives by the surviving witnesses.
It’s been a hell of a day on the highway. One zealot cop (Kent Harper), a strung out junkie (Pell James) and an eight year old girl (Ryan Simpkins) all sit in testimony to the roadside rampage, but as the Feds begin to expose the fragile little details each witness conceals so carefully with a well practiced lie, they soon discover that uncovering ‘the truth’ about the crime spree can come at a very big cost.
Julia Ormond is a terrific actress and we really appreciated her time. After the jump is what she had to tell us about the role:
Pell James most recently appeared in David Fincher’s Zodiac. Her other credits include The King opposite Gael Garcia Bernal and William Hurt, Broken Flowers opposite Bill Murray directed by Jim Jarmusch, as well as Undiscovered. She next will be seen in Against the Current opposite Joseph Fiennes directed by Peter Callahan and recently completed The Tree of Life with Terrence Malick.
In Jennifer Lynch’s dark, psycho-thriller, Surveillance, James plays a strung out cokehead named Bobbi, one of three witnesses whose Rashomon-style version of reality may hold the key to solving a string of violent murders that plague a lonely stretch of road in the middle of nowhere. When the Federal Officers (Bill Pullman and Julia Ormond) are called in to investigate the mayhem, they slowly expose the fragile little details each witness conceals so carefully and discover the truth they’re looking for comes at an enormous price no one expected.
Pell James turns in a wonderful performance and we really appreciated her time. After the jump is what she had to tell us about her new film:
David Fincher raises expectations. If nothing else, he’s one of the best technical filmmakers working today, and he’s also a man who commits to a number of projects but tends to put a film out every once in a while. So the fact that he followed up 2007′s Zodiac a couple of months later with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was… curious to say the least.
The film follows the narrative of an elderly New Orleans woman, Daisy (Cate Blanchett) as she is about to die, and just as hurricane Katrina is about to hit. She’s attended by her daughter Caroline (Julia Ormond), and Daisy gives her daughter the journals of Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) to read to her as she passes on. Button was born in 1918, and was born an old man. Thought to die shortly after birth, his real father Thomas Button (Jason Flemying) leaves him on the porch of a retirement home, run by Queenie (Taraji P. Henson), who then takes Button in.. But the further along Benjamin goes in life, the more it becomes apparent he’s aging backwards. He spends some time fighting in World War II, and falling in love with a Brittish spy’s wife (Tilda Swinton), but it appears the love of his life was always Daisy. The two just have troubles intersecting. And even when they finally do, Button’s got a clock.