Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Corey Stoll, Kuoth Wiel, Sarah Paker, Writer Margaret Nagle, and Producers Talk THE GOOD LIE

by     Posted 32 days ago

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The Good Lie is an inspiring film about love, survival and triumph over adversity and a powerful reminder of what’s really important in life.  Philippe Falardeau directs the moving story of “The Lost Boys” who were uprooted by the brutal Sudanese Civil War that lasted from 1983 to 2005.  Young orphans of war, both boys and girls, trekked thousands of miles on foot through hostile, treacherous terrain to escape the violence and find safety.  Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3600 of them from Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp to America.  The entertaining drama stars Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, Corey Stoll, Kuoth Wiel, and Sarah Baker.

At a recent press conference in Nashville, Witherspoon, Oceng, Duany, Wiel, Stoll, Baker, screenwriter Margaret Nagle, producers Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill and Trent Luckinbill, and UNICEF’s Kent Page talked about the importance of telling the story with integrity, Nagle’s exhaustive research, the lengthy development process, the struggle for financing, finding the right cast for the film’s central roles, how the part of Carrie was written with Witherspoon in mind, why they chose not to play up the white girl coming to the rescue angle, how the African actors found making the film a difficult but rewarding experience, and their hope that it will raise awareness and create change.  The film opens limited October 3rd and goes wide October 24th.  Check out the interview after the jump:

INHERENT VICE Trailer: Joaquin Phoenix Leads Paul Thomas Anderson’s Psychedelic Detective Romp

by     Posted 32 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the highly anticipated first Inherent Vice trailer for filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel, and it is glorious.  The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as private detective Larry “Doc Sportello” who is enlisted to help a former lover thwart a potential kidnapping involving her current billionaire boyfriend.  While PTA has trended a bit darker with his past few films, Inherent Vice looks to be a delightfully goofy romp that’s closer in tone to Boogie Nights than There Will Be Blood.  I found myself laughing multiple times during this trailer, and Joaquin Phoenix looks to be absolutely perfect casting as the pothead protagonist.  Moreover, the supporting cast appears to be phenomenal as well, with Josh Brolin getting a particularly hilarious standout moment here.  Anderson cuts his own trailers so this is likely a very accurate snapshot of the film’s vibe as a whole, and all I can say is it’s made the wait for the film’s release feel so, so, so much farther away.

Hit the jump to watch the Inherent Vice trailer.  The film also stars Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Jena Malone, and Joanna NewsomInherent Vice opens in limited release on December 12th.

First Look at Reese Witherspoon in New INHERENT VICE Image

by     Posted 37 days ago

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We have seen a couple stills and a brief flash of footage from Inherent Vice, but Warner Bros. is happy to keep the flow of publicity materials slow and steady up until the October 4 New York Film Festival premiere.  A new image surfaced tonight that offers our first look at Reese Witherspoon.  Adapted from the Thomas Pynchon novel, the plot of the movie is set into motion when an ex-girlfriend (Katherine Waterston) hires private detective Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) to investigate a case in early 1970s Los Angeles.

Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson, Martin Short, Jena Malone, and Joanna Newsom also star.  Inherent Vice opens in limited release December 12 and expands nationwide January 9, 2015.  See the full Inherent Vice image after the jump.

Reese Witherspoon’s THE GOOD LIE Gets a Featurette on the True Story Behind the Film

by     Posted 42 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a new featurette for The Good Lie that focusses on the real-life Sudanese backdrop that inspired the film.  Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar) directed the picture, which stars Reese Witherspoon (who is already generating Oscar buzz with one of her other films this year, Wild).  If you’ve seen the trailer for the movie you know that its overall aim is one of uplift, and it looks well done for one of these types of stories.

Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel JalNyakuoth Weil, and Corey Stoll star in the October 3 release.  Brian GrazerRon Howard, and Molly Smith (The Blind Side) are producing.  Check out The Good Lie featurette after the jump.

Oscar Beat TIFF 2014: Reese Witherspoon Enters Frustratingly Thin Best Actress Race with WILD

by     Posted 49 days ago

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While the Toronto International Film Festival is a regular launching pad for awards season fare, this year’s fest lacked any one big breakout film like last year’s 12 Years a Slave and Gravity.  TIFF 2014, instead, was all about the performances.  I’ve already written about the awards prospects of the incredible work in Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything, not to mention a potential dark horse in Jake Gyllenhaal’s Nightcrawler, and now it’s time to discuss Reese Witherspoon’s raw, naked lead performance in director Jean-Marc Vallée’s pleasantly surprising and refreshing drama Wild.

You can read my full review of the film right here, but in this TIFF 2014 edition of Oscar Beat, I consider Witherspoon’s chances in the frustratingly weak Best Actress race.  Read on after the jump.

WILD Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 51 days ago

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Perseverance is easier said than done.  We all understand that if we can just get through this, push a little harder, fight through the pain, then we will more than likely come out better off on the other side.  But it is so easy to stop trying.  Laze seems to be some kind of natural instinct that takes over and tells us to just give up and accept our life as it is.  Director Jean-Marc Vallée follows up last year’s Dallas Buyers Club with a much more solitary drama in Wild, which recounts author Cheryl Strayed’s three-month hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, during which she reflects on past mistakes and hardships, and struggles to find some inner peace.  That’s a trite enough premise, but through Vallée’s confident, dynamic direction and a truly fearless lead performance by Reese Witherspoon, Wild turns out to be an honest, surprising, and unabashedly feminist chronicle of determination and rebirth. 

Check out New Images from THE JUDGE, ANNABELLE, and THE GOOD LIE

by     Posted 85 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released new The Judge images along with new stills from their upcoming films Annabelle and The Good Lie.  Briefly:

  • The Judge: Robert Downey Jr. plays an attorney who returns home for his mother’s funeral only to learn that his estranged father (Robert Duvall), a judge who suffers from Alzheimer’s, has been accused of murder. Opens October 10th.
  • Annabelle: The Conjuring spinoff focuses on the creepy dolls, and stars Annabelle Wallis, Alfre Woodard, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola, Eric Ladin, and Brian Howe.  Opens October 3rd.
  • The Good Lie: The film chronicles the attempt to save Sudanese refugees in 1998, and stars Reese Witherspoon, Corey Stoll, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, and Nyakuoth Weil.  Opens October 3rd.

Hit the jump to check out the images.

Samuel L. Jackson to Lead BLACK PHANTOM, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon Team for BIG LITTLE LIES, Casey Affleck Set in FINEST HOURS, and Trio Join SCRIPTURE

by     Posted 86 days ago

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We’ve got a number of casting stories to attend to this evening.  Briefly:

  • Samuel L. Jackson is in talks to replace Jamie Foxx in the action comedy The Black Phantom.
  • Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are teaming up to develop to star in the dark comedy Big Little Lies.
  • Casey Affleck is in talks to join Disney’s period Coast Guard rescue film The Finest Hours.
  • Eric Bana, Theo James, and Jack Reynor are in negotiations to join director Jim Sheridan’s adaptation of The Secret Scripture.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting news.

First Images from Chris Evans’ BEFORE WE GO, GOOD KILL, THE GOOD LIE, and HUNGRY HEARTS

by     Posted 101 days ago

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Fresh off this morning’s excellent Toronto International Film Festival lineup announcement, we have debut images from some of the films that will be screening at the fest.  Briefly:

  • Before We Go – (Directed by Chris Evans) Starring Chris Evans and Alice Eve.
  • Good Kill – (Directed by Andrew Niccol) Starring Ethan Hawke and January Jones.
  • The Good Lie – (Directed by Philippe Farlardeau) Starring Reese Witherspoon, Corey Stoll, Arnold Oceng, Kuoth Wiel, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, and Femi Oguns.
  • Hungry Hearts – (Directed by Saverio Costanzo) Starring Adam Driver, Alba Rohrwacher, and Roberta Maxwell.

Hit the jump to chceck out the images and synopses.  TIFF 2014 runs from September 4th – 14th.

WILD Trailer: Reese Witherspoon Sets out on a Solitary Hike

by     Posted 113 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released the first trailer for WildDallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallée’s adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir.  Reese Witherspoon takes on the role of Strayed in the pic, as she decides to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Coast Trail alone after the dissolution of her marriage and death of her mother.  There’s plenty more on display here than scrapbook moments from Strayed’s journey of self-discovery, as the trailer cuts between the challenges she faces on her hike and pivotal decisions she made in the past.  One imagines the feature film will follow a similar style, paralleling her trials and tribulations during both her metaphorical journey and her literal one. However Vallée handles the film’s framework, the inspiring story is almost certain to spark some awards talk.

Hit the jump to watch the Wild trailer.  The film also stars Laura Dern, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffman, Thomas Sadoski, and Kevin RankinWild opens in theaters on December 5th.

First THE GOOD LIE Trailer: Reese Witherspoon Helps Sudanese Lost Boys Come to America

by     Posted 134 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the first The Good Lie trailer.  Reese Witherspoon stars as an American woman who is assigned to help three Sudanese refugees (a few of the “Lost Boys of Sudan“) move to the United States.  Everything falls into place when “from the executive producer of The Blind Side” flashes across the screen in the middle of the trailer.  Relying on the perspective of a bankable white star to tell the story of Sudanese refugees is problematic, but there is still a good story in there.  Director Philippe Falardeau earned rave reviews for his last feature, Monsieur Lazhar, so I hope he finds an effective way to tell that story.

Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, Nyakuoth Weil, and Corey Stoll star in the October 3 release.  Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, and that Blind Side EP Molly Smith are producing.  Watch the Good Lie trailer after the break.

New Trailer for DEVIL’S KNOT Starring Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth

by     Posted 235 days ago

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A new trailer for director Atom Egoyan’s real-life drama Devil’s Knot has been released online.  The film is based on the story of the West Memphis Three, who were wrongfully accused and convicted of the murder of three young boys in Arkansas in the 1990s.  Reese Witherspoon stars as the mother of one of the victims while Colin Firth plays a private investigator hired to look into the defense case.  I caught the pic at TIFF last fall and found it to be a massive disappointment.  The film has no real focus and the performances—by talented actors, mind you—are bafflingly atrocious.  Moreover, the story of Witherspoon’s character verges into exploitation territory.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Alessandro Nivola, Stephen Moyer, Dane DeHaanMireille EnosBruce GreenwoodElias Koteas, and Amy Ryan.  Devil’s Knot opens in theaters May 9th.

THE PROPOSAL Director Anne Fletcher to Helm Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara in DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS

by     Posted 263 days ago

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Though Reese Witherspoon just dropped out of the next Nancy Meyers film, she already has another project moving forward rather quickly.  Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara attached themselves to the MGM comedy Don’t Mess with Texas last year, and now the film has found its director.  Deadline reports that The Proposal and 27 Dresses director Anne Fletcher has entered talks to helm the pic, which is aiming to begin production this spring in order to coincide with Vergara’s hiatus from ABC’s Modern Family.  Written by David Feeney and John Quaintance, the project is described as a female-driven Midnight Run and revolves around a police officer (Witherspoon) and a prisoner (Vergara) who are forced to go on the run together.

Fletcher last directed the Seth Rogen/Barbra Streisand road trip comedy The Guilt Trip.  Witherspoon most recently wrapped Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Valle’s new film Wild and she’ll be seen later this year in Inherent Vice.  Vergara, meanwhile, appears in Jon Favreau’s Chef, opening this May.

Anne Hathaway in Talks to Star in THE INTERN, Replacing Reese Witherspoon

by     Posted 266 days ago

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A few months back, Robert De Niro and Reese Witherspoon were reported as circling roles in Nancy Meyers’ workplace comedy, The Intern.  While De Niro appears to still be involved, Witherspoon has apparently left the project, with Anne Hathaway in talks to replace her.  The story centers on “an owner of an Internet company who gets assigned an intern who’s a retiree (De Niro). He becomes a valuable resource and the two develop a relationship.”  Witherspoon left the project mid-January citing scheduling conflicts.  Hathaway will next be seen in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar this November.  (Via THR)

Robert De Niro and Reese Witherspoon Circle THE INTERN; Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane Join SOMNIA; IF YOU SEE HER Adds to Cast

by     Posted 358 days ago

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Here’s today’s latest casting news:

Hit the jump for more on each project.

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