Our Sundance 2014 pre-coverage continues with some first look images and synopses from a collection of films that will have their world premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Briefly:
- Rudderless – Directed by William H. Macy; starring Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Felicity Huffman, Selena Gomez, Laurence Fishburne, and William H. Macy.
- The Trip to Italy – Directed by Michael Winterbottom; starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.
- The Voices – Directed by Marjane Satrapi; starring Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, and Jacki Weaver.
- White Bird in a Blizzard – Written and directed by Gregg Araki; starring Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, and Thomas Jane.
- Young Ones – Written and directed by Jake Paltrow; starring Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Elle Fanning, and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2014 Sundance Film Festival runs January 16 – 26th.
The Weinstein Company has released the US theatrical trailer for director Stephen Frears’ (The Queen) upcoming comedic drama Philomena. Based on a true story, the film centers on Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), an Irish woman seeking the illegitimate son she was forced to put up for adoption. Steve Coogan plays former BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith, who aided Lee in the search for her son. I caught the film at TIFF and it’s much less “gooey” than this trailer would suggest, but the trailer does do a nice job of showcasing Dench’s wonderful performance as the titular Philomena, even if it does verge on giving away too much of the story. Dench and Coogan make a truly great comedic duo, and the film is surprisingly thoughtful despite its Lifetime Movie-esque premise. Honestly, it’s one of the more pleasantly surprising films I’ve seen this year and will like put Dench in the Best Actress race. Read my full review here.
Hit the jump to watch the theatrical trailer. The film also stars Michelle Fairley, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Mare Winningham, and Charles Edwards. Philomena opens in the US in limited release on Christmas Day and expands nationwide on January 10th.
Steve Coogan and Judi Dench might not immediately jump out to most viewers as an obvious big screen dream team, but director Stephen Frears somehow saw a peanut butter and chocolate combination in the two legendary Brits and brought them together for a bittersweet dramedy (what else?) called Philomena. Mixing remorseful tragedy for Dench and sardonic a-hole comedy for Coogan, the film is an interesting combination and works fairly well. Sure, it’s not perfect. But really, what else could you expect from a clash of screen personalities this unexpected and diametrically opposed? Hit the jump for all the diddy-details.
As the first weekend of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival heads toward a close, we’ve already seen a number of serious Oscar contenders emerge. While 12 Years a Slave and Gravity will certainly be heavy hitters in a number of categories, there are a couple of other TIFF films that could nab just one or two nods comes Oscar time. Judi Dench’s wonderful turn in the pleasantly surprising drama Philomena may very well put her back in the Best Actress race, and Hugh Jackman’s strong performance in the taut thriller Prisoners has a slight possibility of landing him a second Best Actor nomination.
Hit the jump for my rundown of the Oscar prospects of Philomena and Prisoners in this special TIFF edition of Oscar Beat.
At first glance, Philomena’s premise reads like that of a Lifetime movie of the week. An older, unassuming woman sets out in search of her long-lost son with the help of reluctant journalist. Life lessons are learned, hearts are warmed, and humor ensues. However, director Stephen Frears and co-writers Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope take this simple logline (based on a true story) and run with it in complete earnestness, crafting a sweet, thoughtful, and endearing story of guilt, redemption, and friendship that is buoyed by a remarkable performance from Judi Dench and excellent chemistry between the actress and her co-star, Steve Coogan. Hit the jump for my full review.
The 70th Venice Film Festival is a wrap and the award-winners have been announced. While showcasing some of the world’s top talent, the festival also serves to illustrate just how out of touch I am personally with the global cinematic world. While the overall award for Best Film (the Golden Lion) went to Gianfranco Rosi’s Sacro Gra, a couple of other notable names made the list: Tye Sheridan earned the Best Young Actor award for his work in David Gordon Green’s Joe, and Gabe Klinger’s Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater won the Best Documentary on Cinema award. Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope earned the Best Screenplay Award for Stephen Frears’ Philomena.
Hit the jump to view all the winners.
Magnolia Pictures has acquired the North American distribution rights for the BBC Films/Studio Canal comedy Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, ensuring that the pic will get a theatrical release here in the U.S. For those unaware, the film is a feature adaptation of the popular BBC TV series and radio character Alan Partridge, portrayed by Steve Coogan. Patridge is a bit of a parody of sports commentators and talk show hosts, as the character is himself a radio host and television presenter for I’m Alan Partridge.
Magnolia is eyeing an early 2014 release for the film here in the States, where it will simply be titled Alan Partridge. The pic hit U.K. theaters on August 7th, where it has been enjoying a rather successful theatrical run for the past couple of weeks. Hit the jump to read the full press release, and click here to watch the trailer.
The first trailer for director Stephen Frears’ (The Queen) new film Philomena has landed online. Based on a true story, the film centers on Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), an Irish woman seeking the illegitimate son she was forced to put up for adoption. Steve Coogan plays former BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith, who helped Lee locate her son. While Frears’ most recent directorial effort Lay the Favorite was pretty much universally panned, Philomena looks to be a nice, simple return to form for the director. It’s nice to see Dench stretching her comedic side, and Coogan gets a chance to shine as the straight man for once. There is a chance that the film could be a tad overly sentimental, but this trailer is nevertheless promising. Moreover, Dench makes a wonderfully off-color joke at the end.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Philomena will play at the Toronto Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival and is slated to open in the UK on November 1st. A U.S. release date has yet to be set.
The Toronto International Film Festival announced its stellar line-up for their 2013 Galas and Special Presentation programs. Among the films with new images and synopses are:
- The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her (Directed by Ned Benson) Starring Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Nina Arianda, Viola Davis, Bill Hader, Ciarán Hinds, Isabelle Huppert, William Hurt, and Jess Weixler.
- Dom Hemingway (Directed by Richard Shepard) Starring Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir, Emilia Clarke, Kerry Condon, Jumayn Hunter, Madalina Ghenea, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett.
- Enough Said (Directed by Nicole Holofcener) Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine Keener, James Gandolfini, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, Eve Hewson, and Tavi Gevinson.
- Hateship Loveship (Directed by Liza Johnson) Starring Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce, Christine Lahti, Nick Nolte, Hailee Steinfeld, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Sami Gayle.
- Philomena (Directed by Stephen Frears) Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The Look of Love opens today in limited release.]
Real estate magnate, nudie show producer, and smut publisher Paul Raymond cared more about success than people. It’s an obvious conclusion from a man who treated women as objects, put his own desires first, and didn’t mind doing cocaine with his daughter. Perhaps it’s appropriate that Michael Winterbottom‘s The Look of Love never bothers to look any deeper at its protagonist since Raymond never took a deeper look at the people in his life. Nevertheless, it still makes for an uninteresting biopic, and a surprisingly bland picture considering the lengths its subject went to in order to titillate his audience.
Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment have released seven clips from the upcoming animated sequel Despicable Me 2. In the new film, Gru (Steve Carell) is kidnapped by the “Anti-Villain League”, and recruited in order to defeat a new super villain, voiced by Benjamin Bratt. Fans of the first pic aren’t likely to be disappointed with this follow-up, as it looks to include more goofy weaponry, cute kids, and of course those adorable minions.
Hit the jump to watch the clips. The film also features the voices of Kristen Wiig, Ken Jeong, Steve Coogan, Dana Gaier, Elsie Kate Fisher, Miranda Cosgrove, and Russell Brand. Despicable Me 2 opens in 3D on July 3rd.
Studio Canal and BBC Films have released the first teaser trailer for writer/director Armando Iannucci’s (In the Loop) upcoming comedy Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. The film is a feature adaptation of the popular BBC TV series and radio character Alan Partridge, portrayed by Steve Coogan. Patridge is a bit of a parody of sports commentators and talk show hosts, as the character is himself a radio host and television presenter on I’m Alan Partridge. I’m quite unfamiliar with Partridge, but this teaser trailer is funny enough and I assume fans of the character will be pleased to see that the movie is finally coming to fruition. As a fan of Iannuci’s In the Loop and his HBO series Veep, I look forward to seeing more of Alpha Papa
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa opens in the UK on August 7th.
A new trailer has been released for the dramedy What Maisie Knew. The story centers on 6-year-old Maisie (Onata Aprile), who is dealing with the divorce of her rock icon mother (Julianne Moore) and art dealer father (Steve Coogan). Maisie’s life becomes more complicated as she’s bounced around between her parents’ new partners, Lincoln (Alexander Skarsgard) and Margot (Joanna Vanderham), respectively. The trailer tries to go for an uplifting tone, but really it all comes off as kind of confused. The film played at last year’s TIFF, but I didn’t hear any buzz on it, so it fell by the wayside even though I like the cast.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. What Maisie Knew opens this spring.
Real estate magnate, nudie show producer, and smut publisher Paul Raymond cared more about success than people. It’s an obvious conclusion from a man who treated women as objects, put his own desires first, and didn’t mind doing cocaine with his daughter. Perhaps it’s fitting that Michael Winterbottom‘s The Look of Love never bothers to look any deeper at its protagonist since Raymond never took a deeper look at the people in his life. Nevertheless, it still makes for a deeply uninteresting biopic, and a surprisingly bland picture considering the lengths its subject went to in order to titillate his audience.
The 2013 Sundance Film Festival just announced an absolutely stacked lineup of films for their Premieres program, and we’ve got some new/first images from a few of the included films to share. Briefly:
- The Look of Love – Directed by Michael Winterbottom, written by Matt Greenhaigh, and starring Steve Coogan, Anna Friel, Imogen Poots, and Tamsin Egerton.
- Lovelace – Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, written by Andy Bellin, and starring Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, James Franco, and Sharon Stone.
- Prince Avalanche – Written and directed by David Gordon Green, starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch.
- Stoker – Directed by Park Chan-wook, written by Wentworth Miller, and starring Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver, and Nicole Kidman.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 17 – 27th.