by     Posted 104 days ago


Film festivals are a good time to sample the latest work of Noah Baumbach.  The caustic comedic filmmaker’s work can feel a bit nasty when held up against the tripe that often qualifies as mainstream comedy.  Shove it in amidst a series of screenings of art house exports, documentaries, and Oscar bait and suddenly it doesn’t feel so odd.  Baumbach’s work tends to be at it’s best when he’s at his most visious and uncompromising.  His newest film While We’re Young is a bit softer than much of his work, which is mildly disappointing.  Thankfully, Baumbach playing nice is still harsher than 95% of comedies and this flick features easily one of his funniest scripts.  Hit the jump for all the dirty deets.

Lake Bell Inherits EMPEROR’S CHILDREN From Noah Baumbach

by     Posted 117 days ago


This is the kind of news that keeps me excited about movies.  Lake Bell, who directed and starred in In a World last year (along with a litany of other impressive acting appearances) is set to direct Emperor’s Children from a script by Greenberg and Frances Ha writer/director, Noah Baumbach.  I love Baumbach’s work and was quite impressed with In a World, so this project is already one of my most anticipated of next year.

The story, adapted from the Claire Messud novel of the same name, sounds like it is very much in Baumbach’s wheelhouse of smart, damaged characters.  It takes place in the literary world in the months before and after 9/11.  Baumbach spoke to us about the project a few months back, and I’m glad its finally moving forward.  Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins from Imagine are producing.  Hit the jump for more on Emperor’s Children.


by     Posted 152 days ago


The Toronto International Film Festival has made the initial announcement for its 2014 line-up.  While there will be more films announced in the near future, we now know who many of the heavy hitters will be.  While the opening night film has yet to be unveiled, the closing night film will be Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos, starring Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman and Stanley TucciBennett Miller’s much buzzed about Foxcatcher (featuring Steve Carell and Channing Tatum in a great cast that includes Mark Ruffalo and Vanessa Redgrave).  Somewhat unexpected is the announcement of Antoine Fuqua’s 80’s show adaptation The Equalizer starring Denzel Washington and Chloë Grace Moretz.  We’ll also see Adam Sandler trying his hand at another dramatic role (which he is often good at) in Men, Women and Children from director Jason Reitman.  Another pleasant addition is Dan Gilroy’s The Nightcrawler, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo and Bill Paxton.  We’re also getting While We’re Young from Noah Baumbach, I’m a massive fan of his so that makes me happy.

Many more high profile titles were announced today as well.  Hit the jump for the TIFF 2014 Line-up of 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 2014 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4 – 14th.

Noah Baumbach Has Been Secretly Directing DreamWorks Animation’s FLAWED DOGS

by     Posted 1 year, 93 days ago


While filmmaker Noah Baumbach first rose to prominence with 2005’s The Squid and the Whale, the director has been taking a rather stealthy approach to his projects as of late.  He filmed this year’s excellent Frances Ha on the cheap and in secret, only confirming its existence when it had completed production, and we know next to nothing about his currently in-production effort While We’re Young.  Well now you can add yet another secret project to Baumbach’s resume, as he has apparently been covertly directing DreamWorks Animation’s Flawed Dogs in his spare time.  Hit the jump for more.

2013 Oscar Preview: Possible Contenders from the First Half of the Year

by     Posted 1 year, 168 days ago

It’s never too early to start talking Oscar, right?  We’re officially at the midway point of 2013, and while the bulk of awards season is normally concentrated towards the latter third of the year, there have been some strong contenders in the past that were released closer to the beginning of the year—Silence of the Lambs is probably the most famous example, having won Best Picture after being released in February of 1991.  The first half of 2013 has seen at least a couple of potential Best Picture contenders, and in addition to more than a handful of standout performances in smaller indie fare, we may very well have already seen the release of the film that will go on to take home the Oscar in technical categories like Best Visual Effects or even Best Production Design.

Hit the jump to read on as we examine the possible Oscar contenders from the first half of 2013.

Noah Baumbach Talks FRANCES HA, Partnership with Greta Gerwig, His DreamWorks Animated Movie, WHILE WE’RE YOUNG, and THE EMPEROR’S CHILDREN

by     Posted 1 year, 222 days ago

noah baumbach frances ha

Filmmaker and Academy Award nominee Noah Baumbach’s charming and quirky dramatic comedy, Frances Ha, is a modern comic fable that examines the human condition and explores New York, friendship, ambition, failure and redemption.  Greta Gerwig, who co-wrote the screenplay with Baumbach and starred earlier in Baumbach’s Greenberg, plays the title role.  Opening May 17th, the film was shot on location in New York City and features a terrific cast of up-and-coming actors that include Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen and Patrick Heusinger.

In an exclusive interview, Baumbach talked about how the finished film compared to his original vision, what fuels his creative collaboration with Gerwig, writing a story populated by intelligent, funny and relatable characters, what his casting choices brought to the film, why he is drawn to Gotham, the challenges of filming in NYC, why he decided to shoot in black and white, and how he used music to elevate and expand the movie.  He also discussed his upcoming projects including reteaming with Gerwig on a new film set in New York City, an animated feature in development at DreamWorks, directing the Ben Stiller drama While We’re Young, and adapting The Emperor’s Children for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.  Hit the jump for the interview.

First Trailer for Noah Baumbach’s FRANCES HA Starring Greta Gerwig

by     Posted 1 year, 291 days ago


The first trailer for director Noah Baumbach’s (The Squid and the Whale) upcoming comedy Frances Ha has been released online.  The film is described as “a modern comic fable” and stars Greta Gerwig as the titular character.  A straight plot is unclear, but the film looks to follow the exploits of Frances as she meanders her way through late 20s irresponsibility, juggling friendships, love, and everything in between while living in New York City.  I adore the black and white aesthetic and the tone that this trailer conveys (Gerwig appears to be unendingly charming), so consider my hopes for this one high.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read our review of the film from TIFF.  Written by Baumbach and Gerwig, the film also stars Mickey Summer, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen, and Patrick HeusingerFrances Ha opens on May 17th.

TIFF 2012: FRANCES HA Review

by     Posted 2 years, 96 days ago


Even though his films are most easily classified as comedies, you rarely feel good coming out of project by writer/director Noah Baumbach. That’s not a bad thing as his caustic wit and insightful observations about terrible, self-obsessed people have lead to some great films like The Squid And The Whale. However, his latest feature is a little different. Teaming up with mumblecore darling Greta Gerwig following their collaboration on the underappreciated Greenberg, Baumbach has surprisingly delivered his most warm and sweet movie to date in Frances Ha. After being produced almost in secret, the film premiered at TIFF to a far more positive reception than he has ever received before. Hit the jump for additional appreciation for the appropriately frivolous and insightful ode to late 20s irresponsibility.

Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Olivia Wilde and Brie Larson Up for Peter Bogdanovich’s SQUIRRELS TO THE NUTS

by     Posted 2 years, 210 days ago


Director Peter Bogdanovich is assembling an incredibly impressive team both in front of and behind the camera for his next feature.   Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Olivia Wilde and Brie Larson (21 Jump Street) are attached to star in the indie comedy Squirrels to the Nuts with Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach onboard to produce the pic; it’s essentially The Avengers of quirky cinema.  The film centers on a hooker-turned-Broadway-thesp, played by Larson, and follows the “recurring intersection between these two facets of her life.”  Hit the jump for more.

HBO Passes on THE CORRECTIONS Adaptation Starring Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal

by     Posted 2 years, 233 days ago

the corrections-ewan-mcgregor-slice

I have a tendency to write a little too breathlessly about projects in development at HBO.  So it is important for me to learn that like every other network, HBO passes on some series, no matter how great the talent attached.  Variety reports the network passed on The Corrections, the adaptation of the bestselling Jonathan Franzen book about “the troubles of a Midwestern couple and their three adult children as they trace their lives from the mid-20th century to ‘one last Christmas’ together near the turn of the millennium.”  Writer/director Noah Baumbach (Greenberg) had assembled a stellar cast in Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rhys Ifans, Dianne Wiest, Chris Cooper, and Greta Gerwig.  McGregor, a man of taste and distinction, praised the scripts by Baumbach and Franzen, saying the “lovely writing” convinced him to spend four months of each of the next four years exploring this character.  They shot the pilot in February, but alas, the pieces apparently did not come together in a way that met the HBO standard.  For more on what we’re missing out on, hit the jump for the full book synopsis.

Ewan McGregor Talks HBO Series THE CORRECTIONS; Filming Begins in NYC This June if Pilot Gets Picked up

by     Posted 2 years, 290 days ago


Author Jonathan Franzen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Corrections was met with wide acclaim when it hit bookstores back in 2001.  Given the book’s popularity, it’s a bit surprising that a film or television adaptation hasn’t come to fruition until now.  That said, I don’t think there’s a better way to adapt the book to the visual medium than through an ambitious HBO series.  Franzen and director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) teamed up on the TV adaptation, and they’ve assembled an incredible cast for the show: Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rhys Ifans, Dianne Wiest, Chris Cooper, and Greta Gerwig.

Steve got the chance to sit down with McGregor to talk about the upcoming dramedy Salmon Fishing in the Yemen earlier today, and the actor spoke quite a bit about his first foray into television.  In addition to confirming the show’s impressive filming plan (four seasons of 10 episodes each), McGregor revealed that he recently wrapped the pilot and should HBO pick it up to series, they’ll start shooting the first season this June in New York.  Furthermore, the actor talked about his initial hesitation about diving into television, the creative team involved in The Corrections, and more.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

Promo Poster for Jake Paltrow’s Sci-Fi Flick YOUNG ONES

by     Posted 3 years, 46 days ago

Straight from the American Film Market, we’ve got the first promo poster for the sci-fi pic Young Ones. The film is director Jake Paltrow’s (yes, the brother of Gwyneth) first since his 2006 feature directorial debut The Good Night. While info on the pic is scarce, the film is said to have Elle Fanning attached to star in a story set in the not too distant future where water is a scarce commodity (per Ion Cinema). The film centers on a cowboy grieving over the death of his father when he finds out that his father’s killer has just moved in with his sister. Greenberg and The Squid and the Whale writer-director Noah Baumbach may or may not be producing the pic, which sounds like an intense character drama highlighted by touches of sci-fi. The promo poster boasts the tagline “Not all children have a childhood” and features a young boy carrying a gun, against a desert-like landscape augmented by what looks to be a large robot/machine. Hit the jump to check it out.

Dianne Wiest and Chris Cooper to Star in HBO’s Adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s THE CORRECTIONS

by     Posted 3 years, 64 days ago

Dianne Wiest and Chris Cooper THE CORRECTIONS HBO slice

Being a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is just one of many good ways to get your writing noticed. Luckily for Jonathan Franzen, his National Book Award-winning novel The Corrections has been picked up by the capable folks at HBO. Now, screenwriter Noah Baumbach (Greenberg) and producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network) have some equally capable actors to work with. Dianne Wiest (In Treatment) has landed the female lead of Enid Lambert and may star opposite Chris Cooper (Adaptation) who is in negotiations to play her husband, Albert.

The Corrections is a sprawling satire of a conservative Midwestern couple suffering from “empty nest syndrome,” among other things. The novel wanders through time, highlighting each of the family members’ successes and mistakes until finally converging at a point where they all begin to correct the individual courses of their lives. Hit the jump for more on The Corrections.

Director Scott Cooper Replaces Noah Baumbach on THE EMPEROR’S CHILDREN

by     Posted 3 years, 71 days ago


Crazy Heart writer-director Scott Cooper has replaced Noah Baumbach (Greenberg) for the adaptation of Claire Messud’s novel The Emperor’s ChildrenTwitch reports that the switch is likely due to Baumbach’s busy schedule.  He’s currently in production on a documentary, and he’s already set to direct his script While We’re Young (starring Jesse Eisenberg, Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) next year.

Since last November, Cooper has becomes attached to a remake of Carancho, a project called The Pale Blue Eye, and the dark drama Out of the Furnace, but we don’t know if he’s still on board for these films, although Twitch says he’s still on for Furnace.  It’s unknown if Cooper will still use Baumbach’s script for Emperor’s Children.  The film is being eyed for a spring 2012 start date.  Hit the jump for a synopsis of the novel.

An Hour-Long Interview between the Coen Brothers and Noah Baumbach

by     Posted 3 years, 191 days ago


The Film Society of Lincoln Center held an hour-long discussion between Joel and Ethan Coen and fellow filmmaker Noah Baumbach.  Normally I’d bitch and moan about how jealous I was not to be there and then cry myself to sleep.  But not today!  Filmlinc.com has kindly posted the discussion online and I know what I’ll be watching when I get off work today.  Some of the topics covered include how the Coens open their movies, their use of voice-over, how they use misdirection, and how their films compare to Baumbach’s.  The interview is also worth watching because the Coens rarely speak about the films and instead prefer to let them stand on their own.  People continue to speculate on the symbolism of the hat in Miller’s Crossing.

Hit the jump to check out the video and quotes pulled from the interview.

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