The 2014 Sundance Film Festival In Competition lineup has been unveiled, and along with it some first-look images and synopses have been released. After the jump, find the images and synopses for the following films that will screen as part of the U.S. Competition category:
- Hellion – Written and directed by Kat Candler; starring Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis, Josh Wiggins, Deke Garner, Jonny Mars, and Walt Roberts.
- Infinitely Polar Bear – Written and directed by Maya Forbes; starring Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky, and Ashley Aufderheide.
- Jamie Marks Is Dead – Written and directed by Carter Smith; starring Cameron Monaghan, Noah Silver, Morgan Saylor, Judy Greer, Madisen Beaty, and Liv Tyler.
- Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter – Directed by David Zellner; starring Rinko Kikuchi.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2014 Sundance Film Festival runs January 16 – 26th.
Sony Pictures Classics has released the first teaser trailer for director Bennett Miller’s (Moneyball) upcoming drama Foxcatcher, and it’s kind of incredible. The film tells the true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), and their relationship with eccentric millionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell). This trailer is absolutely fantastic. I was a bit unsure about Carell stepping into such an intense dramatic role, but judging by this trailer he looks to knock it out of the park. Miller once again shows incredible talent behind the camera, this time bringing a heavy amount of intensity and, by way of Carell’s performance, terror to the screen. Miller’s previous two directorial efforts (Moneyball and Capote) were both big Oscar contenders, each landing in the Best Picture race, and Foxcatcher looks like it might have the goods to make it three for three. I’m really, really looking forward to this one.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave, and Anthony Michael Hall. Foxcatcher opens December 20th. [Update: Unfortunately someone jumped the gun and Sony has removed the trailer from the internets. Hopefully the official debut will be online soon.]
A striking cinematic portrayal of sex addiction hit screens two years in the form of Steve McQueen‘s Shame. McQueen’s searing film is unrelenting to the point where it drowns us in the misery of its central character, but at least there’s honesty at the core of the picture. Director Stuart Blumberg attempts a somewhat lighter tone with Thanks for Sharing, and while that’s not necessarily problematic, he goes about it such a superficial, ham-fisted way as to undermine almost all of the drama. Putting aside the efficacy of “Anonymous” groups like Sexaholics Anonymous, two-thirds of the movie plays out like a PSA ad but with real actors struggling to sell the horrendous and preachy dialogue. Blumberg and co-writer Matt Winston‘s script struggles to be anything more than a cheap attempt at easy drama as it prays on addiction rather than making an earnest try at conveying it.
John Carney’s 2007 film Once was a surprising, touching musical about two musicians falling in love through their love of music. It felt authentic thanks to the naturalistic direction, and real-life musicians Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, who made their acting debuts and fell in love in real life. That kind of chemistry is lightning in a bottle, but it provided Once with a unique and vibrant feel that expertly wove together a love of music and a love story. Carney’s new film, Can a Song Save Your Life?, returns to similar territory but with a more polished approach that diminishes the charm in favor of a more Hollywood-friendly feel. The movie is still funny, good-natured, and most importantly, stresses the joy of sharing music with others. It’s even a little acerbic in its tone towards the music business, but Carney’s film is guilty of the some of the same critiques regarding watered-down entertainment.
The Weinstein Company has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Once writer/director John Carney’s new film Can a Song Save Your Life?. The pic premiered last night at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and instantly became a crowd favorite. Mark Ruffalo stars as a washed up A&R man who discovers a young singer-songwriter (Keira Knightley) soon after being fired, and the two set out to change each other’s fortunes for the better. I had the pleasure of seeing the film earlier today at TIFF and it’s an incredibly sweet and fun pic that has the potential to be a real crowd-pleaser. The soundtrack is fantastic, and Carney finds a fascinating way to both incorporate music and celebrate the beauty of New York City. The pic is rounded out by swell turns from Hailee Steinfeld, Catherine Keener, and the surprisingly effective Adam Levine.
TWC paid a hefty $7 million for the film after a bidding war broke out, and they have committed $20 million in P&A (prints and advertising). It’s unclear whether the studio will release the film this year or next, and while it’s not really an awards movie I could see it doing really well with the holiday crowd. Hit the jump for the press release, and look for Matt’s full review on Collider soon.
Hot on the heels of news that Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher will be making its world premiere at AFI Fest this November, two new stills from the feature have been released. They highlight not only the relationship between brothers and Olympic wrestling champions, Mark and Dave Schultz (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo), but also the make-up job on Steve Carell, who plays the eccentric and dangerous millionaire John du Pont. Also starring Vanessa Redgrave and Sienna Miller, Foxcatcher opens theatrically on December 20th.
Hit the jump to view the images and film synopsis.
Sony Pictures Classics has cast Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher into the awards race with a December 20th release date. Starring Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo as Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark and Dave Schultz, the film explores their relationship with eccentric heir to the DuPont fortune, John du Pont (Steve Carell), an association which ultimately led to murder. Foxcatcher is based on Mark Schultz’s autobiography and also stars Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave and Anthony Michael Hall. With that cast and Bennett Miller’s pedigree of Academy Award Best Picture-nominated features (Capote and Moneyball), Foxcatcher is definitely coming in with high expectations. Hit the jump to read the full details.
One of the biggest box office surprises of 2013 thus far has been director Louis Leterrier’s magician heist pic Now You See Me. The $75 million film went on to gross $115.6 million domestically, and it’s international total now stands at $119.3. When you consider that some major studio tentpoles (ahem The Lone Ranger) have failed to cross the $100 million mark stateside, that is an incredibly impressive performance; obviously this means it’s time to make a sequel. THR reports that Lionsgate and Summit are moving forward with a follow-up film, with production currently “penciled in” for 2014. Should that plan stick, we could expect to possibly see Now You See Me 2 hit theaters in 2015. Hit the jump for more.
Earlier today, the Toronto International Film Festival announced its line-up for their Galas and Special Presentation programs. Among the films with new images and synopses are:
- Devil’s Knot (Directed by Atom Egoyan) Starring Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Kevin Durand, Bruce Greenwood, Mireille Enos, Dane DeHaan, and Stephen Moyer.
- You Are Here (Directed by Matthew Weiner) Starring Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler, and Laura Ramsey.
- Can a Song Save Your Life? (Directed by John Carney) Starring Keira Knightley, Adam Levine, and Mark Ruffalo.
- Dallas Buyers Club (Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée) Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, and Jared Leto.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th. [Update: We have removed the image from Labor Day at the request of the studio]
The first images from the set of Glee, American Horror Story, Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy’s upcoming HBO film The Normal Heart have landed online. Murphy directs the feature film adaptation of the Tony-winning Larry Kramer play of the same name, which chronicles the rise of HIV/AIDS among New York’s gay community in the 1980s. Kramer wrote the screenplay for the pic, which boasts an impressive ensemble cast that includes Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Taylor Kitsch, Matt Bomer (White Collar), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), and Jonathan Groff (Glee). In these NYC set photos, we see Ruffalo and a blonde Kitsch sharing a scene together, as well as some possibly spoilery images featuring Kitsch and Groff on the street.
Hit the jump to take a look at the images. The Normal Heart will premiere on HBO sometime in 2014.
Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have released the first trailer for the sex addict comedy/drama Thanks for Sharing. Marking the directorial debut of The Kids Are All Right scribe Stuart Blumberg, the pic tells the story of three sex addicts struggling to function in normal society. The central focus is on Mark Ruffalo, who plays an addict who’s trying to strike up a relationship with a woman who has sworn off dating other addicts (Gwyneth Paltrow). The other main addicts include Book of Mormon star Josh Gad, Alecia Moore (aka Pink), and Tim Robbins, with Gad unsurprisingly looking like a scene-stealer. There’s a healthy balance of comedy and drama on display in this debut trailer, and the film’s impressive ensemble cast is certainly promising.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to check out a couple of new images. The film also stars Joely Richardson and Patrick Fugit. Thanks for Sharing opens on September 20th.
The opening line of Louis Leterrier‘s Now You See Me warns “The closer you look, the less you’ll see.” But it doesn’t matter how closely or carlessly you look because there’s not much worth seeing in the film. For a movie that centers on magicians, the most spectacular thing about Now You See Me is how spectacularly it wastes both its premise and its cast. Leterrier seems torn between wanting to provide cool magic tricks that could conceivably be performed in real life, and then he swings wildly to effects-laden set pieces. The story also doesn’t seem to have much affinity towards magicians since it portrays them as smug and self-satisfied. But the film’s most egregious trespass is taking an outstanding cast and forgetting to give them characters. The movie should craft an intriguing illusion, but aside from some clever moments and Mark Ruffalo‘s performance, Now You See Me is a cheap trick.
With director Louis Leterrier’s (The Incredible Hulk) magician-centered thriller Now You See Me opening May 31st, I recently went to New Orleans to interview the cast. For those unfamiliar with the story, it follows an FBI squad on the heels of a team of bank-robbing magicians who share their profits with the audience. The pic boasts an impressive ensemble cast that includes Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine, Melanie Laurent, and Morgan Freeman. For more on the film, watch six clips and check out all of our previous coverage.
During my interview with Ruffalo, he talked about how much fun he had making the movie, what he learned about magic, what it was like working for Leterrier and his always moving camera, and more. In addition, he talked about how his life has changed over the past year, and if he’s talked to Joss Whedon about The Avengers sequel. Hit the jump to watch.
There have been lots of rumors flying around about two potential films on Marvel’s upcoming Phase Three slate: a standalone Hulk film and a Doctor Strange origin story. Marvel’s Kevin Feige recently talked about plans for a number of upcoming films, including these two standalone projects. In short, Feige said that there are no current plans for a solo Hulk movie, but they are talking about it and he isn’t opposed to keeping Mark Ruffalo in the role. For Doctor Strange, the property is expected to be a top priority for the studio and will feature the first film fully devoted to “a world of pure magic.” Hit the jump for much, much more from Feige.
Summit Entertainment has released eight character motion posters for Now You See Me. I’ve enjoyed the posters for the film since they’re employing trippy optical illusions that fit in well with the plot about four magicians who use their tricks to rob banks. This looks like a fun movie, and I hope it’s good because it would be a shame to waste a cast that includes Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine, Melanie Laurent, and Morgan Freeman.
Hit the jump to check out the posters. Now You See Me opens May 31st.