In Woody Allen’s new film, Blue Jasmine, Peter Sarsgaard delivers an engaging performance as Dwight, a diplomat who is quickly smitten with Jasmine’s (Cate Blanchett) beauty, sophistication and style. Jasmine sees him as a potential lifeline, but Dwight is no knight in shining armor. Sarsgaard, who is noted for his range and ability to access what is behind the often complicated facades of the characters he plays, admits that Dwight is not interested in what’s going on with Jasmine but rather how she might serve to further his political ambitions.
In an exclusive interview, Sarsgaard talked about how he was returning from a search and rescue effort in the Gila Wilderness when he got the call that Woody wanted to meet with him, how he only read his small part but never knew the rest of the story, why he had to let go of his ego to play the role, how he wondered why Blanchett was acting so strangely in their scenes together, why he appreciated Allen’s economical approach to directing that kept the performances fresh, how they bonded as musicians, and his favorite Woody Allen movies. He also discussed the final The Killing episode, his upcoming films: Lovelace, Night Moves, Bone Tomahawk and Lady Grey, and why he likes working with first time directors. Check out the interview after the jump.
Earlier this week, the Toronto International Film Festival unveiled part of its 2013 line-up, and there were plenty of must-see movies. But the Venice Film Festival, which begins a week earlier, has countered with an equally impressive array of picture. While there’s the inevitable cross-over like Venice opener Gravity playing at TIFF along with Philomena, Under the Skin, Parkland, Joe, and many more, the Venice exclusives (at this point) make me want to book a Transatlantic ticket. The fest will play host to the world debuts of Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem, Errol Morris’ Donald Rumsfeld documentary The Known Unknown, Steven Knight’s Locke (starring Tom Hardy and shot in one take), and more. Also set for the festival is Hayao Miyazaki’s new movie, The Wind Rises as well as Lee Sang-Il’s Japanese remake of Unforgiven. Last year, most of the movies in Venice eventually ended up in TIFF’s line-up, and since I’ll be going to the latter, I hope most of these movies find their way to Toronto this September.
Hit the jump for the full line-up. The 2013 Venice Film Festival runs from August 28 – September 7th.
The Toronto International Film Festival has announced part of its line-up for 2013. The festival will kick off with Bill Condon’s Julian Assange movie, The Fifth Estate, and close with Daniel Schecter’s Jackie Brown prequel, Life of Crime. In between, you have the premieres of Ron Howard’s Rush; Jason Reitman’s Labor Day starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet; Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender; Richard Ayoade’s The Double starring Jesse Eisenberg; David Gordon Green’s Joe starring Nicolas Cage; Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis Three movie Devil’s Knot starring Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon; the North American premiere of Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, and many more. Even the Mike Meyer’s documentary Supermensch that we reported on yesterday will be on hand, so it looks like he’s already completed it. Unfortunately, I’m sure TIFF will front-load their schedule like they always do, so there will be plenty of tough choices, but Gravity and 12 Years a Slave are the must-sees that immediately jump to mind.
Hit the jump for a list of the Galas and Special Presentations. Please note that there are plenty of other categories that will be announced soon including the full Midnight Madness, Documentary, and Masters line-up so stay tuned. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.
I have mixed feelings about the fall festival season. On the one hand, I love going to the Toronto International Film Festival (very well-run and great venues), and getting a jump on the awards season movies because a fair share of them are going to be damn good. On the other hand, there’s less room for the joyful discovery I’ll find at Sundance, SXSW, and Fantastic Fest. Nevertheless, studios like to begin their awards season maneuvering in the fall, and that usually starts at the Venice Film Festival, and then those films then move on to Telluride and TIFF. Variety has begun their predictions for what they believe will debut at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Among the predictions are Alfonso Cuaron‘s sci-fi drama Gravity, Paul Greengrass‘ Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks, and Steve McQueen‘s star-studded Twelve Years a Slave. The only confirmed title thus far is Paul Schrader‘s The Canyons, which isn’t particularly noteworthy since it will debut on VOD in the U.S. weeks before.
Hit the jump for more films that might show up at Venice this year. The 2013 Venice Film Festival runs from August 28 – September 7th.
One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Linda Lovelace biopic Lovelace. The film stars Amanda Seyfried as the titular porn star who rose to prominence following 1972’s Deep Throat (the first pornographic feature film to be a mainstream success). Lovelace would eventually go on to claim that her husband Chuck Traynor (played by Peter Sarsgaard) physically and verbally abused her, and coerced her into the pornography business. The film also stars Juno Temple, Wes Bently, Sharon Stone, Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, and James Franco as Hugh Hefner.
The day after the premiere, I sat down with Sarsgaard for an exclusive interview. We talked about how he got cast in Lovelace, his initial hesitation to play Chuck Traynor, Sundance, how he prepares for a role, working with Woody Allen on Blue Jasmine, director Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves, director S. Craig Zoller’s western Bone Tomahawk, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
One of the many films to premiere at Sundance this year was writer-director Naomi Foner’s Very Good Girls. The film stars Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen as two lifelong best friends that fall for the same boy during a New York summer. As the film unfolds, they learn life isn’t as simple as they had thought. The cast also includes Boyd Holbrook, Demi Moore, Ellen Barkin, Richard Dreyfuss, Peter Skarsgaard, and Clark Gregg.
Earlier today I sat down with Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen here in Park City. We talked about being back at Sundance, how much changed during production, the type of research they do for a role (Fanning tells a great Tony Scott story), how many takes they like to do, whether they like watching themselves on screen, and a lot more. In addition, when talking about future projects, Fanning revealed she’s been cast in The Last of Robin Hood which is about the last two years of Errol Flynn’s life (Kevin Kline is playing Flynn). Hit the jump to watch.
One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer-director So Young Kim‘s (In Between Days) For Ellen. Led by a fantastic performance by Paul Dano, the film’s about a struggling musician trying to keep custody of his very young daughter even though he’s never been around. The film also stars Jon Heder, Jena Malone, Margarita Levieva, and Shay Mandigo.
Shortly after seeing the film I got to sit down with Dano for an extended interview. We talked about being at Sundance, how he got involved in For Ellen, what it’s about, who he plays, how much fun he had playing a “narcissistic prick,” what it’s like to be in almost every frame of the movie, and if more people want to talk to him about The Girl Next Door, Little Miss Sunshine, or There Will Be Blood? In addition, with Dano involved in so many other projects, we also talked about Rian Johnson‘s Looper, Being Flynn with Robert De Niro, director Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris‘ He Loves Me, and how he’s hoping to do a film called Night Moves with Meek’s Cutoff director Kelly Reichardt. Hit the jump to watch.
Magic Mike (aka The Male Stripper Movie) has spent the summer casting beefcakes: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello Matthew McConaughey. Finally, one of the male parts will go to… how do I put this delicately… a very, very fat man. According to THR, comedian Gabriel Iglesias will play the DJ at the strip joint where a veteran dancer (Tatum) teaches the new guy (Pettyfer) everything he knows, including “the protocol of stage performance, the principles of money management, and rules for dating female fans.” Steven Soderbergh is directing the drama, based on Tatum’s experience in the business at the age of 19.
Hit the jump to read Peter Sarsgaard’s description of Night Moves and his potential involvement in the Kelly Reichardt-directed movie.
Director Arthur Penn passed away last night at the age of 88. Penn was best known for directing the classic and highly-influential 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. Bonnie and Clyde is consistently upheld as one of the films that launched the “New Hollywood” and American cinema’s second golden age. Other must-see films in Penn’s filmography include Little Big Man, Night Moves, The Miracle Worker, and The Chase.
Speaking to his son Matthew, the New York Times reports that cause of death was congestive heart failure. Our deepest condolences go out to Penn’s friends and family.