Watch Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, Felicity Jones, Reese Witherspoon, Patricia Arquette, and More in 50-Minute Roundtable Discussion

by     Posted Yesterday

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As many are spending the Thanksgiving holiday with relatives, some may find they need a breather or two.  Luckily, THR has released a new roundtable interview from its Oscar series that makes for a fascinating and entertaining watch.  This 50-minute discussion involves a group of actresses that are in the mix for awards consideration this year: Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Reese Witherspoon (Wild), Amy Adams (Big Eyes), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Hilary Swank (The Homesman), and Laura Dern (Wild).  The resulting video is a candid talk that touches on topics like the pressure of playing real people, the uncomfortableness of sex scenes, and more.  It’s well worth a watch.

Check out the actress roundtable video after the jump, and be sure to check out the writers roundtable if you missed it.  For more on the current state of the Best Actress Oscar race, peruse my recent Best Actress edition of Oscar Beat.

Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon to Star in Limited Series BIG LITTLE LIES from David E. Kelley

by     Posted 3 days ago

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It’s no secret that the “limited series” (ie. a fancy new word for miniseries) is now one of the most popular trends in television.  Telling a close-ended story over a short amount of episodes not only allows the material to remain creatively fresh and satisfying, but the relatively short time commitment allows for bigger actors to make the move to TV.  True Detective did it, Fargo did it, and now a pair of high-profile actresses are taking the limited series dive.  Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are poised to lead a limited series adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s book Big Little Lies with veteran TV producer David E. Kelley set to pen the script.  More after the jump.

Oscar Beat: The Best Actress Race at a Glance

by     Posted 15 days ago

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Every year it seems like Oscars’ Best Actor category is crowded, while the number of contenders for the Best Actress trophy feels relatively thin.  It’s a result of the sad fact that there just aren’t as many interesting lead roles for women in Hollywood as there are for men; many times the “female lead” is relegated to existing only in relation to the film’s male lead.  It’s disappointing to be sure, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t any noteworthy female roles out there, and this year’s Best Actress race is an excellent showcase of both talent and range, from brilliant sociopaths to Alzheimer’s patients.

After the jump, I take a look at the current state of the Best Actress Oscar category in this new edition of Oscar Beat.

Reese Witherspoon Gets Mistaken for a Hobo in Excellent New WILD Clip

by     Posted 16 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released a new Wild clip from director Jean-Marc Vallée’s (Dallas Buyers Club) upcoming drama, and it’s a fantastic representation of the film as a whole.  Based on the Cheryl Strayed memoir of the same name (adapted by Nick Hornby), Reese Witherspoon stars as a woman who attempts a three-month long hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, during which she reflects on past mistakes and hardships, and struggles to find some inner peace.  While the premise may sound trite and predictable, the film is anything but.  It’s funny, surprising, and emotionally affecting, and Witherspoon gives quite possibly the best performance of her career.  This new clip comes from a scene in which Witherspoon’s character gets mistaken for a hobo and responds in sharp fashion.  Again, I highly recommend seeing the film when it comes to a theater near you; it’s one of my favorites of the year.

Check out the new Wild clip after the jump, and click here to read my full review from TIFF.  The film also stars Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffmann, Kevin Rankin, W. Earl Brown, Mo McRae, and Keene McRaeWild opens in theaters on December 5th.

WILD Clip: Reese Witherspoon Really Needs Some Potato Chips and a Snapple

by     Posted 18 days ago

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Ready to get a taste of a possible Oscar-worthy performance?  Fox Searchlight just unveiled the very first clip from Jean-Marc Vallée’s Wild.  The film is based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, which chronicles her 1,100-mile hike from the Mojave Desert to the border of Washington State while revealing what sparked the need to make the lengthy journey along the way.  In a TIFF edition of Oscar Beat, Adam dubbed Witherspoon’s work in the film “her best performance to date.”

This new Wild clip doesn’t really have “Academy Award” written all over it, but it is a charming scenario and Witherspoon does make a convincing plea for chips and a lemonade Snapple upon her arrival at the very first stop on her 1,100-mile trek, Kennedy Meadows.  Hit the jump to check it out for yourself.  Wild arrives in select theaters on December 5th and also stars Laura DernMichiel HuismanGaby HoffmanThomas Sadoski and Kevin Rankin.

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

by     Posted 60 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 60 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 65 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 70 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 77 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 79 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 113 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 114 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 129 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 141 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.

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