MOONRISE KINGDOM and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK Lead 2013 Independent Spirit Award Nominations; Matthew McConaughey Lands Double Nods

by     Posted 1 year, 298 days ago

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The nominations for the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards have been announced, and Oscar hopefuls Silver Linings Playbook and Moonrise Kingdom lead the pack.  Both films picked up nominations for Best Feature, Director, and Screenplay with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper landing acting noms for SLP and Bruce Willis garnering a swell Best Supporting Actor nomination for his work in Moonrise KingdomBeasts of the Southern Wild, Bernie, and Keep the Lights On round out the Best Feature nominees, while The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Safety Not Guaranteed were singled out for the Best First Feature award.  Also, Matthew McConaughey pulled double nominations for his stellar work in this year’s Magic Mike and Killer Joe, landing a Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor nod, respectively.  Notably shut out of the race entirely was Leos Carax‘s critically-lauded Holy Motors.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominations.  The winners of the 2013 Spirit Awards will be announced on Saturday, February 23, 2013.

ROBOT & FRANK Review

by     Posted 2 years, 35 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.  Robot & Frank opens in limited release today.]

Not even ornery old men can resist the lure of a special robot friend. Robot & Frank‘s hook is in its title, but it goes beyond what could have been the premise for a weekly sitcom. Instead, the film puts together a strong juxtaposition between a man who’s started to forget everything and a robot who can remember anything. It’s a familiar story about memory being tied to personality, but Robot & Frank throws in the importance of teaching and passion as a way to keep remembering (if only for a little while longer). With the exception of a confused epilogue, director Jake Schreier and screenwriter and Christopher D. Ford have managed to build a warm, funny, and charming movie around a thoughtful premise.

First Trailer for ROBOT AND FRANK Starring Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon

by     Posted 2 years, 88 days ago

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The first trailer for the indie comedy Robot and Frank has been released.  The buddy comedy stars Frank Langella as a retired jewel thief who seeks to resume his criminal ways with the help of a companion robot, voiced by Peter Sarsgaard.  Steve and Matt caught the film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and both of them thought it was great (you can read Matt’s review here).  The trailer definitely seems sweet and warm-hearted, but I wonder if they’ve revealed too much of the plot.  I sincerely hope that’s not the case, as the premise sounds neat and I’m eager to experience the film for myself.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  You can read Steve’s interviews with director Jake Schreier and screenwriter Christopher D. Ford, as well as Langella himself.  The film also stars Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, and Liv TylerRobot and Frank opens on August 24th.

Frank Langella Talks ROBOT AND FRANK, His First Book DROPPED NAMES, and More at Sundance 2012

by     Posted 2 years, 232 days ago

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One of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was director Jake Schreier‘s Robot and Frank.  The film is set in the near future and centers on an elderly ex-jewel thief (Frank Langella) whose kids (James Marsden and Liv Tyler) give him a caretaker robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard), sparking an unlikely friendship. Susan Sarandon plays a librarian who serves as Langella’s only friend.  Since premiering at the Festival, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Samuel Goldwyn Films picked up the film for distribution, so you can expect to see it for yourself later this year.  For more on the film, you can read Matt’s review.

Right after seeing the film I got to sit down with Frank Langella for an exclusive interview.  During our extended conversation we talked about how he got involved in the project, how the script changed along the way, the design of the robot, the quick shooting schedule, filming on location, premiering it at Sundance, and a lot more.  In addition, Langella talked about writing his first book.  He told me, “It is called Dropped Names and it is about famous men and woman as I knew them from the age of 15 up to now, and I am dropping their names because they have dropped dead.  It is about famous people who are dead.”  Hit the jump for more.

Sundance 2012: Matt’s Review Scorecard and Wrap-Up

by     Posted 2 years, 234 days ago

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Like I did last year, I had a great time at the Sundance Film Festival.  It’s tough to complain about weather conditions or getting around when you have the privilege to watch and discover new movies all day.  Even better, plenty of Sundance 2012 films turned out to be pretty damn good.  For me, there weren’t any quite as excellent as Martha Marcy May Marlene or Project Nim from last year, but those movies set an incredibly high bar.  Many of my peers felt they saw something truly special with Beasts of the Southern Wild and I can understand the love even if it didn’t hit me with as much emotional impact.  Most of my peers also loved Liberal Arts and Sleepwalk With Me, and I’m sorry I missed those.  But all in all, the festival ran as smoothly as last year, the volunteers (especially those in the press tent) were awesome, and it’s always a joy to hang out with people from other movie websites.

Hit the jump for my festival scorecard where you can see an organized list of my ratings for the movies I saw (although I highly encourage you to read the full review rather than just glance at a letter).  While this is my wrap-up, Steve will be posting his Sundance interviews throughout the week so keep an eye out for those.

Sundance 2012: ROBOT & FRANK Review

by     Posted 2 years, 236 days ago

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Not even ornery old men can resist the lure of a special robot friend.  Robot & Frank‘s hook is in its title, but it goes beyond what could have been the premise for a weekly sitcom.  Instead, the film puts together a strong juxtaposition between a man who’s started to forget everything and a robot who can remember anything.  It’s a familiar story about memory being tied to personality, but Robot & Frank throws in the importance of teaching and passion as a way to keep remembering (if only for a little while longer).  With the exception of a confused epilogue, director Jake Schreier and screenwriter and Christopher D. Ford have managed to build a warm, funny, and charming movie around a thoughtful premise.

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