The first image has arrived from 28 Days Later and Sunshine screenwriter Alex Garland’s directorial debut Ex Machina. The psychological thriller revolves around a billionaire programmer who invites a young employee to spend a week at his remote estate and to participate in a test involving an artificially intelligent female robot that he invented. Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson star, and based on this first image it appears that Isaac is playing the inventor. The actor previously told us that the pic is a “provocative, sci-fi sexual thriller” and described it as “a great three-hander with people torturing each other with their brains, in rooms.” It’s certainly a fascinating premise, and Garland’s track record as a screenwriter (which also includes Never Let Me Go and Dredd) is great so I’m eager to see how he fares in the director’s chair.
Hit the jump to check out the first Ex Machina image. The film also stars Alicia Vikander and does not currently have a release date, but this Ex Machina image debut may be a sign that it could pop up on the 2014 Cannes Film Festival schedule that goes up soon.
The thriller The Two Faces of January, the directorial debut of Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini, is set to premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, and the first trailer and poster have now gone online. The movie centers on an American con artist (Viggo Mortensen) and his wife (Kirsten Dunst) who strike up a relationship with a stranger (Oscar Isaac) in 1960s Athens. The trailer makes the film look exciting and puts an emphasis on the interesting dynamic between the three characters, especially the one between Mortensen and Isaac. Also, it wasn’t until I watched this trailer that I realized there wasn’t a new movie featuring Mortensen last year. That’s simply unacceptable.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster. The Two Faces of January currently has no U.S. release date, but will open in the U.K. on May 16th.
Because I’ve grown tired of never following through on my New Year’s resolutions to get in shape, this year I’m trying something more attainable: to keep a list of all the movies I watch in 2014. Many thanks to my colleague, Mr. Goldberg, for throwing out a Letterboxd recommendation in this collage of films he watched in 2013. I joined the site shortly after reading his rec and think it’s a great way not only to keep a viewing diary (and actually stick with a resolution for once) but also to create/share your own lists and communicate with fellow movie lovers. If you want to keep up with my 2014 watch diary, check out my Top 10 of 2013, and/or my most anticipated for 2014 then hit me up on Letterboxd by clicking here.
Shameless self-promotion aside, the first Top 5 of 2014 features a recap of Matt, Adam, and Dave’s Top 10 of 2013 lists, a new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, video interviews for Inside Llewyn Davis with Oscar Isaac and more, the great first trailer for writer/director Gareth Evans‘ The Raid 2: Berandal, and a new installment of Cinemath that breaks down the 2013 box office. Continue reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
Currently playing in theaters is the new Coen Brothers’ film, Inside Llewyn Davis. The folk music drama centers on the title character (Oscar Isaac), a young singer attempting to navigate the Greenwich Village scene in the early 1960s. If you need more of a hook to get you into the theater, this new clip from the film highlights the musicality of the picture, with Isaac recording a song live alongside costars Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver. Stick around after the clip for commentary from executive music producer, T-Bone Burnett.
Also starring Carey Mulligan, John Goodman and Garrett Hedlund, Inside Llewyn Davis is in theaters now. Hit the jump to watch the clip.
Now playing in theaters is one of the best films of the year, Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Inside Llewyn Davis. The story takes place in the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961, and follows singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he struggles with his career and strained personal relationships. Loaded with incredible performances, an all-star cast (featuring Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham, Adam Driver, Stark Sands, and Max Casella), and a fantastic soundtrack (put together by T-Bone Burnett), Inside Llewyn Davis should not be missed. For more on the film, read Matt’s review.
At the Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with Oscar Isaac. He talked about what it was like working for the Coen Brothers, how he felt landing the role, what it was like performing the songs and how much changed along the way, and more. In addition, Isaac talked about working with Alex Garland on Ex Machina and William Monahan on Mojave. Hit the jump to watch.
A new behind-the-scenes featurette from Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis reveals the laborious process of bringing stage music to the screen. The Coens join star Oscar Isaac, music producer T-Bone Burnett, production mixer Peter Kurland, and re-recording mixer Greg Orloff, for this eight-minute look at how the folk music drama came together.
The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund, and John Goodman, and is now playing theaters. Hit the jump to watch the behind-the-scenes featurette.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 New York Film Festival. Inside Llewyn Davis opens today in limited release.]
It’s a terrible thing to feel like you’re not the protagonist of your own story—to simply exist with nowhere to go. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a man who doesn’t fit into his own life, and in the Coen Brothers’ most melancholy film to date, Inside Llewyn Davis, we’re taken on the moving journey of a folk singer trying to succeed in the right place at the wrong time. He can’t create a future from the songs of the past, and he lives ambivalently in the present. Toning down the stylized hyperrealism of their previous movies, Joel and Ethan Coen have created a work that still bears their signature, yet takes them and us to a restrained, yet tonally and emotionally frustrating place. Anchored by a subtle, touching performance from Isaac, as well as beautiful renditions of folk songs, Inside Llewyn Davis is a somber look at a wandering musician.
From Academy Award winners Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis follows folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), who is struggling to make it in the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Relying on friends for a couch to sleep on and scrounging for whatever work he can find, Llewyn attempts to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, many of which are of his own making, while never really catching a break. The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham, Adam Driver, Stark Sands and Max Casella.
At the film’s press day, actor Oscar Isaac spoke at this roundtable interview about how he prepared for this role, the appeal of working with the Coen brothers, the experience of collaborating with T-Bone Burnett, how being a part of this film has changed the way he plays music now, balancing giving a musical performance with acting in the role, how the film made him grow, as an actor, and how you just can’t expect compliments on your performance when you’re working with the Coens. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
We’ve got a few casting announcements to attend to. Briefly:
- Oscar Isaac will replace Javier Bardem in director J.C. Chandor’s (All Is Lost) new film A Most Violent Year opposite Jessica Chastain.
- Zach Galifianakis is in negotiations to star opposite Owen Wilson in the heist comedy formerly titled Loomis Fargo.
- Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden and recording artist Rita Ora have been added to the cast of Fifty Shades of Grey.
Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.
The first trailer for director Charlie Startton’s upcoming drama In Secret has been released. Based on the Emile Zola novel Therese Raquin and previously titled Therese, the film stars Elizabeth Olsen as a young woman trapped in an arranged marriage who conspires with her lover to dispose of her sickly cousin husband. Oscar Isaac plays the lover, Harry Potter’s Tom Felton plays the husband, and Jessica Lange plays Olsen’s aunt. I caught the film at the Toronto International Film Festival and while the performances are solid, it becomes a bit of a chore when the story starts revolving around two terrible characters feeling terrible about being terrible. This trailer pits the film as more of a thriller, but in actuality it’s more of a psychological drama.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer and click here to read my full review. The film also stars Shirley Henderson, John Kavanagh, Mackenzie Crook, and Matt Lucas. In Secret opens February 21, 2014.
The Coen Brothers‘ Inside Llewyn Davis is terrific, and it’s also probably the duo’s saddest movie. However, it also has some hilarious moments, and its funniest scene by far is when struggling folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) reluctantly plays “Please Mr. Kennedy” with his friend (Justin Timblerlake) and another musician (Adam Driver) who has a unique approach to the song. I’ve recommended holding off on listening to the song until you see the movie, but that’s because I wanted you to see Driver performing it. Now you can, and you absolutely should. There’s also a new featurette, which does a good job explaining the music’s role in the production and in the story.
Hit the jump to check out the clip and featurette. The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Stark Sands, Garrett Hedlund, and John Goodman. Inside Llewyn Davis opens December 6th.
CBS Films has released three clips and five new images from the Coen Brothers‘ upcoming film, Inside Llewyn Davis. The story takes place in the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961, and follows singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he struggles with his career and strained personal relationships. It’s one of the best films I’ve seen this year and the soundtrack is a must-buy. These are good clips that won’t spoil anything, and they also highlight Isaac’s strong performance. John Goodman‘s character, an ornery jazz musician, also explains a traditional commit suicide.
Hit the jump to check out the clips and the images. The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Adam Driver, Stark Sands, and Garrett Hedlund. Inside Llewyn Davis opens December 6th.
The 2014 Independent Spirit Awards nominations have been announced, and director Steve McQueen’s excellent drama 12 Years a Slave tops the nominees with seven nods, including Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Actor. Nebraska is not far behind with six nominations, and the Robert Redford drama All Is Lost also did well with four nods. The much-beloved Short Term 12 failed to land a Best Feature nomination, but Primer director Shane Carruth’s twisty second feature Upstream Color landed nods for Best Director and Best Editing. The Best Actor category is a strong mirror of the very tight Oscar race in the same category, and the wonderful Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson nabbed Best Actress nominations for The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12, respectively.
Hit the jump for the full list of nominations and additional commentary. The Independent Spirit Awards will be hosted on March 1, 2014.
In the last few months of covering this year’s awards race, it’s become very clear that the 2014 Oscars are going to be one of the most competitive in recent memory. Nowhere is this more clear than in the Best Actor category, which already seems to have congealed into a solid list of five extremely likely candidates with a number of others waiting in the wings to play the spoiler. As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches and the race starts to firm up, now seems like a good time to start taking a closer look at the individual categories in the 2014 Oscar race.
In today’s edition of Oscar Beat, we begin with the Best Actor category, which will see a couple of acting legends challenging the rise of McConaughey, powerful performances depicting historically important characters, Leo, and more. Read on after the jump.
The first image from the biopic of soccer legend Pelé—aptly titled Pelé—has been released. The film chronicles the life of the titular “King of Football,” tracing the Brazilian soccer prodigy’s life as he led the country to its first World Cup win in history and solidified himself as the greatest player of all time. Leonardo Lima Carvalho plays the young version of Pelé, and he can be seen here playing with a “football” made of socks in the alleys of Bauru where he grew up. Under the direction of Michael Zimbalist and Jeff Zimbalist, the film is currently in production in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Additionally, a new image from writer/director William Monahan’s new thriller Mojave has been released just a few days after a handful of debut photos landed online. The film centers on a near-suicidal artist (Garrett Hedlund) who escapes into the desert to take an existential crisis head-on, only to encounter a doppelganger-like antagonist in the form of a brilliant, homicidal drifter (Oscar Isaac). Check out the images from Pelé and Mojave after the jump.