There are rare times when everything in a movie can work—its direction, performances, etc.—and yet the picture somehow comes up short. This is the problem with trying to judge movies piecemeal. For all of the different aspects that make up a picture, we have to evaluate it as a whole. Obviously, we can call attention to its outstanding aspects, but they have to lead, for better or worse, to some kind of impression. Jake Paltrow’s Young Ones is remarkable in how it does so much right, and yet it leaves the viewer completely cold. Its strengths are undeniable and its flaws are subtle, so subtle that it can be confusing as to how such a technically superb picture can be so ineffective.
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 2014 Sundance Film Festival has already announced its lineup for competition films and the At Midnight and NEXT categories, and today they’ve unveiled the multitude of world premieres that will take place in Park City next month. These films include the action sequel The Raid 2, director Lynne Shelton’s new film Laggies, director Anton Corbijn’s John le Carre adaptation A Most Wanted Man, the David Wain comedy They Came Together, writer/director Jake Paltrow’s sci-fi pic Young Ones, the Roger Ebert documentary Life Itself, and many more. Hit the jump to check out the full lineup.
Opening this weekend, in limited release, is director/co-writer Ariel Vromen’s The Iceman. The drama is based on the book by Anthony Bruno that chronicles the life of Richard Kuklinski (played by Michael Shannon), a professional hitman who kept his work secret from his family. The contract killer received the nickname “The Iceman” because he froze the bodies of his victims in order to disguise their time of death and throw the authorities off track. The film also stars Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, Winona Ryder, Robert Davi, and Danny Abeckaser. For more on The Iceman, watch the trailer.
At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive interview with Michael Shannon. We talked about the way he prepares for a role, making The Iceman, the balance between Hollywood-izing the subject matter versus also telling the real story, whether he still has to audition, and so much more. In addition, he also talked about playing General Zod in Man of Steel, Jake Paltrow’s Young Ones, other future projects, losing his anonymity, and we even talked about his early work playing a Wrestlemania fan in Groundhog Day! Hit the jump to either read or listen to what he had to say.
As the marketing campaign for Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel has heated up in recent weeks by way of new images and a truly remarkable new trailer, the veil has been lifted with regards to the film’s villain. Michael Shannon seems an inspired choice to play General Zod in director Zack Snyder’s fresh take on the comics character, and we got a few tantalizing glimpses of the actor in action in the most recent trailer.
Steve recently spoke with Shannon in anticipation of the crime drama The Iceman, and the actor also talked a bit about his work in Man of Steel, confirming that Zod’s armor is entirely CG. Additionally, Shannon discussed Jake Paltrow’s upcoming film Young Ones and his next collaboration with director Jeff Nichols, which they hope to start filming later this year. Hit the jump to read on.
Quite the impressive ensemble is being assembled for director Jake Paltrow’s (The Good Night) upcoming futuristic thriller Young Ones. Variety reports that Nicholas Hoult, Michael Shannon, Elle Fanning, and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) have signed on to star. The story centers on a 14-year-old boy forced to use his wits to survive and “is set in a violent near-future where water has become the most precious—and fastest-dwindling—resource on the planet.” Paltrow wrote the script and will direct, with production already underway in South Africa’s Northern Cape desert.
This isn’t Hoult’s first go at apocalyptic landscapes, as he recently wrapped director George Miller’s sequel Mad Max: Fury Road. He recently scored a hit in his first leading turn with Warm Bodies, and also plays the title character in next month’s Jack the Giant Slayer. After Young Ones, he’ll report to the set for the sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past. Since the lead in the film is a 14-year-old, though, one assumes Smit-McPhee is playing the main character.
Straight from the American Film Market, we’ve got the first promo poster for the sci-fi pic Young Ones. The film is director Jake Paltrow’s (yes, the brother of Gwyneth) first since his 2006 feature directorial debut The Good Night. While info on the pic is scarce, the film is said to have Elle Fanning attached to star in a story set in the not too distant future where water is a scarce commodity (per Ion Cinema). The film centers on a cowboy grieving over the death of his father when he finds out that his father’s killer has just moved in with his sister. Greenberg and The Squid and the Whale writer-director Noah Baumbach may or may not be producing the pic, which sounds like an intense character drama highlighted by touches of sci-fi. The promo poster boasts the tagline “Not all children have a childhood” and features a young boy carrying a gun, against a desert-like landscape augmented by what looks to be a large robot/machine. Hit the jump to check it out.