With a production budget in the neighborhood of $150 million and a worldwide pull of just under $50 million entering its second weekend, it’s probably fair to say that White House Down will ultimately be seen by the powers that be as a bust. Blame its proximity to the similarly themed Olympus Has Fallen (which, on the whole, received similar critical reaction but comparatively more box office success) if you will, but having watched and enjoyed the heck out of the film last night I believe at least some of the blame lies at the feet of Sony’s marketing. Whereas Fallen was packaged, and ultimately delivered, as a dead serious action/thriller, I don’t think White House Down marketing did enough to prep its potential audience members for the over-the-top, often times ridiculous, self-aware genre piece they would encounter. The best examples I can give to support this theory are the multiple scenes that left me laughing out loud while the majority of my fellow moviegoers sat quietly, unsure whether the movie was actually asking them to laugh with it or was just that silly and contrived. It’s possible that I’m going Roland Emmerich and co. too much credit, but I went with the former every single time and ended up having a great time with the film as a result.
All White House drama aside, this week’s Top 5 includes a slew of interviews from The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp and more, a list of 15 movies from the first half of 2013 that you may have missed but definitely deserve a look, Christian Bale insisting that he is not involved with the Justice League movie in any way, The Way, Way Back interviews with Steve Carell and more, and a look at our most anticipated movies from July to September.
Hard to believe we’re already half-way through 2013. What’s even more surprising is the number of quality films from the first half of the year that flew under the radar. Want some quirky horror? Check out John Dies at the End and 100 Bloody Acres. Looking for the newest efforts from some up-and-coming writer-directors? How about Zal Batmanglij’s The East or Quentin Dupieux’s Wrong? Perhaps historical dramas like No, Lore and Kon-Tiki are more your style. Whatever your interest, 2013 surely has a film for you, you just might have missed it. Hit the jump for 15 movies from 2013 that deserve another look.
What Maisie Knew is a captivating story told through the eyes of the film’s charming 6-year-old heroine (Onata Aprile) who struggles for grace in the midst of her parents’ bitter custody battle. Maisie navigates the increasing turmoil with an unusual generosity of spirit as she comes to realize that she can’t depend on the adults in her life. Directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel from a screenplay by Carroll Cartwright and Nancy Doyne, the film is set in New York and also stars Steve Coogan, Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgard, and Joanna Vanderham.
At the recent press day, Aprile, McGehee and Siegel talked about their modern take on the Henry James novel, how they were drawn to the emotional tenor of the story and its relevancy today, why Aprile’s unique ability made it possible to tell a simple yet complex story from a child’s perspective, how Coogan and Moore became involved in the project, and how visual style and music helped maintain the lightness of touch and innocence of Maisie’s point of view. McGehee and Siegel also discussed the challenge of getting their films financed and produced and revealed the two biopics they’re currently working on. Hit the jump to read more.
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.
Earlier today, TIFF announced that they were adding new films to a line-up that’s already packed with terrific-looking films. Among the new additions are:
- What Maisie Knew (directed by Scott McGehee) Starring Joanna Vanderham, Onata Aprile, Alexander Skarsgård, Julianne Moore, and Steve Coogan.
- Do Not Disturb (directed by Yvan Attal) Starring François Cluzet and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
- Greetings from Tim Buckley (directed Dan Algrant) Starring Imogen Poots and Penn Badgley.
- Lines of Wellington (directed by Valeria Sarmiento) Starring John Malkovich, Nuno Lopes, Soraia Chaves, Marisa Paredes, and Victoria Guerra.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 – 16th.
And here I was thinking that the line-up for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival couldn’t get any better. Silly me. TIFF has sent out a press release announcing new additions to their Galas and Special Presentations line-up, and there are some powerhouses in the bunch. The new additions include Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master, Brian De Palma‘s Passion, Spike Lee‘s Michael Jackson documentary Bad 25, Susanne Bier‘s Love Is All You Need, Walter Salles‘ adaptation of On the Road, Lee Daniels‘ The Paperboy, Harmony Korine‘s Spring Breakers, and Nick Cassavettes‘ Yellow. Yeah, there aren’t enough hours in the day.
Hit the jump to check out a list of all the new additions. The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 – 16th.
In a society where half of all marriages statistically end in divorce, it’s the children of those failed unions that often get lost in the shuffle. The premise of co-directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s film, What Maisie Knew deals with a young girl trapped in the wake of her parents’ bitter divorce. While the film could easily become bleak and depressing, the trailer, at least, seems hopeful, buoyed by the effortless and carefree performance of Onata Aprile in the titular role. It helps that What Maisie Knew sports a supporting cast of Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgard, Steve Coogan and Joanna Vanderham, to name a few, but your hearts will be stolen by Aprile. Hit the jump to check out the trailer.
True Blood star Alexander Skarsgard has joined the cast of What Maisie Knew. The dramedy, adapted from the novel by Henry James, stars Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan. The story centers on 6-year-old Maisie, who is dealing with the divorce of her rock icon mother (Moore) and art dealer father (Coogan). THR reports that Skarsgard will play Moore’s new husband. Scott McGehee and David Siegel are directing from a script by Nancy Doyne and Carroll Cartwright. The story will be set in contemporary New York. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of James’ novel.