Angelina Jolie Says Her Next Film Will Be the SLEEPING BEAUTY Re-Imagining, MALEFICENT

by     Posted 2 years, 66 days ago

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Angelina Jolie can almost always move forward a project of her choosing, and it looks like she’ll be taking the Sleeping Beauty re-imagining, Maleficent, as her next feature.  While promoting her directorial debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey, and the Berlin Film Festival, Jolie told THR,

“I haven’t acted in two years, and I haven’t done anything else since this [Land of Blood and Honey]. The next thing I am looking at is a Disney movie,” said the actress.

The “Disney movie” would almost certainly be Maleficent unless it’s another project that we haven’t heard anything about. Jolie’s last film was The Tourist although audiences heard her voice last year in Kung Fu Panda 2.  Hit the jump for more details on Maleficent and a refresher on her other projects.

SLEEPING BEAUTY Review

by     Posted 2 years, 140 days ago

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[This is a reprint of my review from the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Sleeping Beauty opens tomorrow in limited release.]

Julia Leigh’s Sleeping Beauty invites us into a world which unintentionally undoes its own effect. Ordinarily, the sex acts and humiliation would shock us, but we’re asked to accept a reality in which every character passively accepts these depraved circumstances. The characters have perfectly justifiable reasons for their detachment but their ennui carries over to the audience due to Leigh’s sparse approach, seductive visuals, and Emily Browning’s brave but withdrawn performance. We become numb like the film’s protagonist and we disconnect from any emotional attachment.

New Trailer for SLEEPING BEAUTY Starring Emily Browning

by     Posted 2 years, 190 days ago

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A new trailer has gone online for Julia Leigh’s psychosexual drama Sleeping Beauty.  Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) stars as a young woman who becomes a prostitute offering a highly-specified fetish for high-paying clients.  The trailer is a bit misleading as it sets the movie up as more of a thriller with an underlying sense of danger.  As I said in my review, the film numbs you into feeling the ennui and detachment of the protagonist and the cinematography, while gorgeous, is meant to reflect that detachment and beauty of Browning’s character.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  Sleeping Beauty opens in limited release on December 2nd.

TIFF 2011: SLEEPING BEAUTY Review

by     Posted 2 years, 219 days ago

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Julia Leigh’s Sleeping Beauty invites us into a world which unintentionally undoes its own effect.  Ordinarily, the sex acts and humiliation would shock us, but we’re asked to accept a reality in which every character passively accepts these depraved circumstances.  The characters have perfectly justifiable reasons for their detachment but their ennui carries over to the audience due to Leigh’s sparse approach, seductive visuals, and Emily Browning’s brave but withdrawn performance.  We become numb like the film’s protagonist and we disconnect from any emotional attachment.

TIFF 2011: PAGE EIGHT, SLEEPING BEAUTY, VIOLET & DAISY, and More Added to Galas and Special Presentations Line-Up

by     Posted 2 years, 247 days ago

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A task can’t get “more impossible”, but the prospect of seeing everything I want at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival just got more impossible.  We’ve already shown you the incredible line-ups for the Galas & Special Presentations, Real-to-Reel (Documentary), Midnight Madness, Vanguard, TIFF Kids, City to City, Canadian Features, and Canada First! programs. Now even more must-see movies have been thrown into the mix.  TIFF has announced that the spy thriller Page Eight (starring Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, and Ralph Fiennes) will be the closing night film in the Galas section.  Other films added to Galas and Special Presentations include Sleeping Beauty (starring Emily Browning), Winnie (starring Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard), Intruders (starring Clive Owen), Violet & Daisy (starring Saoirse Ronan and Alexis Bledel), and more.

Hit the jump to check out the additions to the Galas and Special Presenations line-up.  The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8 – 18th.  Click here for all of our TIFF 2011 coverage.

Release Dates for MARGIN CALL, TAKE SHELTER, THE SKIN I LIVE IN and SLEEPING BEAUTY

by     Posted 2 years, 286 days ago

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We’ve got some release date news for you this afternoon. First up, a couple of movies that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival have been slated. The financial crisis-centered drama Margin Call is now set for an October 21st, 2011 release (via Box Office Mojo). The film stars Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore and Stanley Tucci. Additionally, Jeff Nichols’ intense psychological drama Take Shelter is set for a limited release on September 30th (via The Playlist) before going wide on October 7th. Starring Michael Shannon, the film generated a good amount of buzz at Sundance.

The release date for Pedro Alomodovar’s next film The Skin I Live In has been shifted from October 7th to October 14th. Based on Thierry Jonquet’s novel Tarantula, the film stars Antonio Banderas as a plastic surgeron out for revenge on the man who raped his daughter. Finally, IFC Films will release Julia Leigh’s dark psychosexual drama Sleeping Beauty on October 28th (via The Playlist). The film stars Emily Browning and was an official selection for the Cannes Film Festival.

NSFW Trailer and Image for Cannes’ Selection SLEEPING BEAUTY Starring Emily Browning

by     Posted 3 years, 6 days ago

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As we just reported, the selections for this year’s Cannes Film Festival have been announced.  Among this year’s selections is Julia Leigh’s dark psychosexual drama Sleeping Beauty.  How dark is the film?  Well here’s what he heard the synopsis was last year: “a haunting erotic fairy tale about a student who drifts into prostitution and finds her niche as a woman who sleeps, drugged, in a ‘Sleeping Beauty chamber’ while men do to her what she can’t remember the next morning.”

The trailer has some striking imagery and I’m intrigued by the unnerving premise.  Hit the jump to check out the trailer along with some images from the film.  The 2011 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 11 – 22nd.

Hailee Steinfeld Attached to SLEEPING BEAUTY Spec Script

by     Posted 3 years, 22 days ago

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Hailee Steinfeld may have missed out on The Hunger Games due to her age, but the young Oscar-nominee is showing no signs of slowing down.  In addition to circling an adaptation of the upcoming novel Forgotten, Steinfeld is now attached to lead a re-imagining of Sleeping Beauty.  According to Deadline, Lindsay Devlin’s script tells the story from the eponymous princess’ point of view and has her fighting to find a way out of the dream world.  While I’m getting a little sick of these re-tooled fairy tales, I like the premise of this one.  The story of waiting for a prince is stale and a smart director could have some fun telling the tale from Aurora’s point of view.

However, if Sleeping Beauty moves forward (the script is currently out to buyers) it will have plenty of competition when it comes to fairy tale re-imaginings.  Hit the jump for list of just some of the public domain properties that Hollywood is banking on.

Tim Burton to Direct MAI THE PSYCHIC GIRL?

by     Posted 3 years, 338 days ago

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Not busy enough with five other projects, Tim Burton is rumored to be developing an adaptation of the Japanese manga, Mai The Psychic Girl, which he hopes to direct.  Burton was once attached to direct an adaptation of Mai in the late 80’s, which was going to feature music by the band Sparks.  Burton is supposedly back on the project after Sony gave the rights back to him after acquiring the project 8 years ago.  This is only the latest project to join Burton’s list of upcoming films.  You can find out more about Mai and what other films Burton has coming up after the jump.

Angelina Jolie Might Be the Evil Queen in Tim Burton’s MALEFICENT

by     Posted 4 years, 25 days ago

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Disney, never one to shy from striking while the iron is hot, appears to be revving up production on Maleficent, the story from the perspective of the wicked fairy godmother that casts a spell on Sleeping Beauty, and a key actor may play the villain. Angelina Jolie, who has been rumored to star in every film in pre-production, is reportedly interested in playing the antagonist according to the LA Times, and it would mark a change of pace from her action-oriented film roles of late. If Disney could land Jolie, it would mark a potential headliner that might see the repeat of the success of Tim Burton’s recent smash Alice in Wonderland. In fact, Burton was rumored to be eyeing the project not long ago, while Disney just tabbed Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King) to begin drafting the screenplay for the live-action project earlier this week.

For more detail on the project, including a further explanation of the Sleeping Beauty mythos and why Disney is so hot on retelling old stories from a different perspective, hit the jump.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND Screenwriter Summons Evil Queen MALEFICENT for Live-Action Film

by     Posted 4 years, 28 days ago

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Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland continues to rake it fat stacks of cash, so it’s only natural that the film’s screenwriter Linda Woolverton would once again team with Disney.  This time, the classic tale is that of Sleeping Beauty, or rather, the 1959 animated Sleeping Beauty‘s villain, the evil queen Maleficent.  The plan is to make a live-action adaptation where the Sleeping Beauty story would be told from Maleficent’s perspective.  Heat Vision explains that it would be “offering a new take on a classic tale as she did with Lewis Carrol’s Alice.”  I take that to mean the original tale is good where as her new take would be bad.

As much as I ragged on Burton’s creative stagnation in my review, I feel that the larger culprit was Woolverton’s script and crafting Alice as a borderline inert protagonist who’s shepherded by various characters for stakes she doesn’t even think are real for most of the movie.  Granted, Woolverton also wrote better Disney films like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.  And if in doubt on this project, she can look over to Wicked, which is also a classic tale told from the villain’s perspective.

As for whether Tim Burton will reunite with Woolverton, Heat Vision confirms Aint It Cool’s report from January that it’s one of the projects the director is circling.

For more details on the character Maleficent, hit the jump.

Emily Browning Is a SLEEPING BEAUTY in the Sex Trade

by     Posted 4 years, 70 days ago

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If you love organizing your movie collection alphabetically, you’re going to love this: Emily Browning will star in Julia Leigh’s Sleeping Beauty.  However, this Sleeping Beauty isn’t so much of a Disney fairy tale as much as it’s “a haunting erotic fairy tale about a student who drifts into prostitution and finds her niche as a woman who sleeps, drugged, in a ‘Sleeping Beauty chamber’ while men do to her what she can’t remember the next morning.”  It seems a little grandiose to construct a chamber specifically for one sex act.  What happened to the good old days where a sex dungeon would suffice for all your haunting erotic needs?  We truly live in a culture of excess.

Browning replaces Mia Wasikowska in the role (who, as we reported yesterday, will star in Cary Fukunaga’s adaptation of Jane Eyre).  Browning also provided a last-minute save last year when she replaced Amanda Seyfried in Zach Snyder’s Sucker Punch. [The Playlist]

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