A batch of new posters have landed online. Briefly:
- A new poster for director Joe Wright’s (Hanna) adaptation of Anna Karenina. The visually stirring period pic stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law, and Aaron Johnson. The film opens on November 9th.
- Two Spanish posters for The Impossible, the English-language debut of director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), have gone online. The film centers on the events surrounding the Tsunami of 2004 and stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. The film opens on
- An international poster for the stop-motion animated film ParaNorman, featuring the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Casey Affleck and Anna Kendrick. The film opens on August 17th.
- The first poster for the Sundance drama Hello I Must Be Going. The film stars Melanie Lynskey as a recent divorcee who retreats to the Connecticut home of her parents and begins an affair. The film opens in limited release on September 7th.
Hit the jump to check out the posters.
Focus Features has released seven clips from Lorene Scafaria‘s dark romantic comedy Seeing a Friend for the End of the World. The movie takes place a few weeks before a meteor wipes out all life on Earth, and mild-mannered Dodge (Steve Carell) strikes up a friendship with his neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley) as the two go on a road-trip to find Dodge’s true love and get Penny back home to see her parents. Along the way, they meet a cast of colorful characters and situations as people react differently to the coming apocalypse.
Hit the jump to check out the clips. The film also stars stars Adam Brody, Derek Luke, Melanie Lynskey, T.J. Miller, Patton Oswalt, Rob Heubel, Connie Britton, Gillian Jacobs, Rob Corddry, and Melinda Dillon. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World opens Friday.
New images from the Keira Knightley movies Anna Karenina and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World have gone online. Knightley plays the title character in Joe Wright‘s adaptation of Leo Tolstoy‘s classic tome about late 19th-century Russian society. Seeking a Friend is far more light-hearted fare, and has Knightley playing a woman who sets out on a road-trip with a guy (Steve Carell) who’s trying to find his high-school sweetheart during Earth’s final days (it doesn’t sound light-hearted, but you can see from the trailer that it’s a comedy).
Hit the jump to check out the images. Anna Karenina opens November 9th. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World opens June 22nd
The first trailer for the football drama Touchback has gone online. The trailer opens like Miracle 2: Football, but then we get into the slightly more complicated plot not concerning Kurt Russell: a former high school football star whose life was sidetracked after a game-related injury unexpectedly travels back to the past to relive his glory days. The premise could be interesting enough, but this trailer plays out like a Hallmark Movie of the Week, complete with groan-inducing voiceover narration and a ham-fisted score. It’s not necessarily the quality of film one expects to see in theaters.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Brian Presley, Melanie Lynskey, Christine Lahti, Marc Blucas, Drew Powell, Sarah Wright, Sianoa Smit-McPhee and Kevin Covais.
There must be some guy or gal who works at a major film festival and is blissfully unaware of movies that embody almost every indie cliché you can think of. I’m not sure how that happens. I’m not sure how a programmer can sit through hundreds of movies, do it year after year, and not notice the presence of a cloying score, well-worn tropes, contrived dialogue, flat-footed attempts at quirkiness, superficial relationships, and all of it done under an inoffensive and totally forgettable approach. No matter how it happens, it happens, and that’s why a film like Hello I Must Be Going ruins 95 minutes of my day.
The cast for the pre-apocalyptic rom-com Seeking a Friend for the End of the World has just kind of exploded. The film was already set to star Steve Carell as a man who is joined by a woman (Keira Knightley) to find his old high-school sweeheart before the world is destroyed by an asteroid. Yesterday, we learned that the talented Gillian Jacobs had joined the film and now we’ve received a press release announcing that a truckload of other great actors have signed on as well. Check out this line-up: Connie Britton, Patton Oswalt, Rob Huebel (who yesterday signed on to another apocalypse-based comedy, Rapturepalooza), Melanie Lynskey, T.J. Miller, Melinda Dillon as well as Aaron Brown (The District), Tonita Castro (The Sarah Silverman Program), Mark Moses (Desperate Housewives), and Bob Stephenson (Jericho). And this is all in addition to the previously announced cast-members William Petersen, Adam Brody, Rob Corddry (also in Rapturepalooza), Derek Luke, and Lindsay Sloane. How can the movie squeeze in this kind of ensemble? It’s a road-trip picture, which means most of these folks will probably only have a scene or two, but it’s better than nothing.
Lorene Scafaria (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) is making her directorial debut from her own script. Production on the film begins this week. Hit the jump to check out the press release.
[Update: We've updated the article with a couple of set photos featuring Carell and Knightley. Check them out after the jump]
One of the best films I saw at Sundance was Tom McCarthy’s Win Win. The film centers on a struggling lawyer (Paul Giamatti) who inadvertently ends up housing a young teenage wrestler (Alex Shaffer). While the film is somewhat lighter than McCarthy’s previous films (The Station Agent and The Visitor) it still hits strong emotional beats without coming off as cloying and dodges the indie comedy trap of being quirky for the sake of being quirky. Instead, McCarthy rests Win Win on honest performances of strong, well-written characters.
Hit the jump to check out the clips and click here for my full review. Win Win also stars Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Melanie Lynskey, Burt Young, and Jeffrey Tambor. It opens in limited release this Friday.
One of the best movies I saw at Sundance this year was Tom McCarthy’s Win Win. The film is warm, touching, and incredibly funny. Fox Searchlight has now released a trailer for the flick and I think it does a fine job of selling the picture without giving too much away.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer and click here to read my review of the film. Win Win stars Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Melanie Lynskey, Jeffrey Tambor, Bobby Cannavale, and Alex Shaffer. It opens March 18th.
I still have plenty of movies left to see at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but I don’t know if any will leave me smiling as much as Tom McCarthy’s Win Win. The movie a gigantic ball of warmth filled with terrific performances, smart humor, and genuine emotions. Even a glaring narrative question doesn’t slow the film down because you’re too busy caring about the characters and their journey. Everything in Win Win is earned, from the laughs to the sentiment, and the payoff is tremendous.
The cast for writer-director David Wain’s new comedy Wanderlust is filling out and it’s been quite impressive. Wain co-wrote and directed Paul Rudd in Role Models, which I feel was the best comedy of 2008. Now Variety is reporting that Kathryn Hahn (Crossing Jordan, Step Brothers) will join Wain and Rudd in Wanderlust, and I can’t wait to see what wild antics she will undoubtedly have. Meanwhile, news about the World War I drama Four Saints from multi-talented Jean-Pierre Isbouts has arrived. Variety reports that Lorena Rincon, Rhona Mitra, Selma Blair, and Melanie Lynskey will topline the upcoming war drama written and directed by Isbouts. Hit the jump for further details on the cast of Wanderlust and what Four Saints is all about.
A grizzled central performance from Kurt Russell as Coach Herb Brooks played a major role in keeping the inspirational hockey tale Miracle on the favorable end of the predictable sports movie spectrum. With that in mind, director Don Handfield has wisely secured Russell’s services for the role of Coach Hand in his feature debut, Touchback.
Brian Presley stars as Murphy, a former high school football hero who unexpectedly travels back to the past to relive his glory days on the gridiron. Melanie Lynskey, Christine Lahti, Marc Blucas, Drew Powell, Sarah Wright, Sianoa Smit-McPhee, and Kevin Covais also star in the film, set to shoot in Grand Rapids, Michigan this week. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Tom McCarthy, who along with starring in the final season of The Wire has directed the indie favorites The Station Agent and the even better The Visitor, has booked his next directing project as Win Win, and it’s taking shape very quickly.
With shooting set to start Monday in New York, Fox Searchlight has announced that Melanie Lynskey, Bobby Cannavale and, yes, even Arrested Development vet Jeffrey Tambor will join the already unveiled Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan in the flick.
So, what’s it about? The story–also written by McCarthy–is about a struggling attorney (Giamatti) who moonlights as a high school coach. He becomes the legal guardian of an elderly client, and when the old man’s teenage son runs away, Giamatti’s character’s family ends up taking him in. The lad goes on to join the wrestling team and, well, you can imagine it will get pretty uplifting from there – but, in the hands of McCarthy, I’d imagine pretty darn entertaining and insightful too, so definitely keep your eyes on this one.
The Informant! brings together Matt Damon with Steven Soderbergh for a small character drama that proves an actor’s showcase for its leading man. In true would-be seventies fashion it’s a character study of the real life Mark Whitacre, who gives up his company to the FBI because he thinks that it’s the right thing to do. But something is off with Whitacre, and the further the case goes along, the more evidence there is that his business dealings aren’t 100% above the level. Scott Bacula, Joel McHale, Melanie Lynskey and Tom Wilson co-star, and my review of The Informant! is after the jump.
The joy of list-making continues today as I’m running down who I thought gave the best performances of the year plus what I thought were the best quotes and kills of 2009. Please keep in mind that regarding the performances, I haven’t seen a few key films that could have very well changed the winners and runners-up: Crazy Heart (Best Actor), The Last Station and Bright Star (Best Actress), and a few others. If you think there was someone who clearly should’ve won or been nominated, shout out in the comments section and I’ll let you know whether I saw the film or not.
With this disclaimer out of the way, I present to you my picks for the best performers, directors, quotes, and kills of 2009. Hit the jump to check them all out.
One of the best films I’ve seen this year is director Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air. In his two previous movies, Juno and Thank You For Smoking, Reitman showed us he was a director to watch. And while I loved his two previous films, Up in the Air is definitely his best work and it’s sure to nab a nomination for Best Picture.
If you haven’t heard of Up in the Air, I would advise you to learn as little as possible and go see the movie based solely on my recommendation. But for a bit more…the film stars George Clooney as a corporate downsizing expert whose cherished life on the road is threatened just as he is on the cusp of reaching his goal of ten million frequent flyer miles and after he’s met the frequent-traveler woman of his dreams.
Finally, I cannot say enough about the entire cast. The three leads – George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick – each have moments to shine. Also, what’s great about the film is both women are much more than typical movie girlfriends or love interests. Due to a great script featuring well rounded characters, they each get to showcase their considerable talent. If you can’t tell, I loved this film. So while I’d prefer for you to wait and not watch any clips, hit the jump for a glimpse of Up in the Air: