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

by     Posted 2 years, 24 days ago


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.


by     Posted 2 years, 25 days ago


Awards season has begun: The Gotham Awards were handed out tonight to honor the best of the year in independent film.  Wes Andersons Moonrise Kingdom landed the top award, Best Feature, a choice I won’t argue with.  As far as recognizable names go, Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Mark Duplass won Best Ensemble Performance for Your Sister’s Sister.  Although Beasts of the Southern Wild must have been a strong contender for Best Feature, Benh Zeitlin had to settle for Breakthrough Director.

You better believe that the Gotham Awards go more obscure than Beasts, including an award for Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You.  So hit the jump for the full list.

Mark Duplass Talks YOUR SISTER’S SISTER, THE LEAGUE, Kathryn Bigelow’s ZERO DARK THIRTY and More

by     Posted 2 years, 189 days ago


The improvised indie drama Your Sister’s Sister, from filmmaker Lynn Shelton, is a human story of grief and romance, and finding humor in unlikely places.  Jack (Mark Duplass) is an emotionally unstable slacker, still reeling from the death of his brother Tom, a year later.  When Tom’s ex-girlfriend Iris (Emily Blunt) offers up her family cabin on an island in the Pacific Northwest, Jack runs into Iris’ sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), who herself is reeling from the abrupt end of a long-term relationship and looking for solace.

At the film’s press day, actor Mark Duplass spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about how he came up with the idea for the film which he brought to Lynn Shelton, what he was looking to do with this character, improvising with Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt, the easiest and hardest scenes to improvise, and what he likes about collaborating with Shelton, as a filmmaker.  He also talked about working with Kathryn Bigelow on her Osama Bin Laden film (tentatively titled Zero Dark Thirty), what he looks for in acting roles, what he enjoys about doing the FX series The League, and what he’s looking to do next.  Check out what he had to say after the jump:

First Trailer for YOUR SISTER’S SISTER Starring Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt, and Rosemarie Dewitt

by     Posted 2 years, 247 days ago


The first trailer for Your Sister’s Sister has gone online.  The film stars Mark Duplass as a man still mourning his brother’s death who retreats to a cabin on Puget Sound at the behest of his best friend (Emily Blunt).  When he finds Blunt’s sister (Rosemarie Dewitt) at the cabin, the two sleep together after a tequila fueled night, only to wake up and find that Blunt has decided to join them at the cabin.  Though the premise could easily devolve into a by-the-numbers romantic comedy, director Lynn Shelton looks to have crafted a thoughtful drama that plays out the scenario in the most human, and realistic, of fashions.  I’m a big fan of the cast here, and Matt enjoyed the film at Sundance, so I’m looking forward to checking it out.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film opens on June 15th.  If you missed them, you can also check out Steve’s interviews with Duplass and Dewitt at Sundance.


by     Posted 2 years, 321 days ago


One of the many films that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was director Colin Trevorrow‘s Safety Not Guaranteed.  Written by Derek Connolly, the film’s about a trio of magazine employees investigate a classified ad that seeks a partner for time travel. One employee develops feelings for the paranoid but compelling loner and tries to discover what he’s really up to.  It’s based on a real ad that was passed around the internet in 2005 and the movie stars Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson and Karan Soni.  Shortly after premiering, FilmDistrict bought the film, so you can look forward to seeing it at some point in the future.  For more on the film, you can read Matt’s review.

After seeing the movie, I got to sit down with Mark Duplass for an extended interview. We talked about being at Sundance, how he got involved in Safety Not Guaranteed and what it’s about, what it was like to watch the film for the first time with a big crowd at Sundance, and how the film changed during production.  In addition, since Duplass is involved in a number of other projects, we talked about the directorial debut of Alex Kurtzman (Welcome to People), The Skeleton Twins (Bill Hader and Anna Faris as twins), Jeff Who Lives at Home, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, The League, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch the interview.

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

by     Posted 2 years, 325 days ago


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: YOUR SISTER’S SISTER Review

by     Posted 2 years, 328 days ago


It’s remarkable how much you can class up a Jerry Springer-esque conflict if you cast its characters as thoughtful, funny, lovably flawed people.  Your Sister’s Sister takes a premise worthy of a “Jerry” chant and imbues it with warmth and compassion through charming performances by its lead cast.  However, the heavy reliance on dialogue to the expense of other cinematic elements leaves the film only as good as its conversation, and also makes the audience feel like voyeurs who are intruding on the characters’ personal lives.

Sundance 2012: Line-Ups for SPOTLIGHT, PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT, NEXT <=>, and NEW FRONTIER Announced

by     Posted 3 years, 21 days ago


Yesterday, Sundance announced the line-ups for the in-competition categories.  Today, we’re moving into the out-of-competition films and just because they’re not competing for an award, doesn’t mean they won’t be great.  Sundance has announced their line-ups for the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, Next <=>, and New Frontier categories.  There are a lot of exciting films in these categories, but I’m over the moon that Sundance will be getting The Raid.  The movie got massive love coming out of TIFF this year, Sony Pictures Classics picked up the distribution rights, and I’m going to make sure there’s a spot for it in my Sundance schedule.  Other noteworthy movies include Monsieur Lazhar, Wuthering Heights, and Black Rock (a horror film from The Freebie director Katie Aselton and her husband/Cyrus co-writer-director Mark Duplass).

Hit the jump for the line-ups.  The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19 – 29th.

TIFF 2011 Award Winners and Film Sales Announced

by     Posted 3 years, 95 days ago


The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival has come to a close.  We covered the hell out of it and we’ve got loads of interviews still to post.  Today, TIFF announced the winners in three award categories for Canadian films and the winners of the Cadillac People’s Choice Awards.  Nathan Morlando’s crime drama Edwin Boyd (pictured above) won Best Canadian First Feature Film, Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar picked up the award for Best Canadian Feature Film, and Ian Harnarine’ Doubles With Slight Pepper was awarded Best Canadian Short Film.  As for the Cadillac People’s Choice Awards, Nadine Labaki’s Where Do We Go Now? won the top prize, Jon Shenk’s The Island President won in the documentary category, and Gareth Evans’ The Raid picked up the award for The Cadillac People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award.

Hit the jump for the full press release along with a list of all the films that were sold to distributors.  Keep in mind that just because a film didn’t sell during the festival, that doesn’t mean it won’t be picked up for distribution in the near future.

IFC Films Picks Up YOUR SISTER’S SISTER, 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH, and THE INCIDENT; Oscilloscope Acquires Andrea Arnold’s WUTHERING HEIGHTS

by     Posted 3 years, 99 days ago


Sales out of the Toronto International Film Festival started slow, but the market is picking up.  As evidence, I present news of three new acquisitions.  IFC Films will leave Toronto with at least a trio of films, now that they’ve added Your Sister’s Sister, 4:44 Last Day on Earth, and The Incident to their upcoming slate.  Meanwhile, Oscilloscope entered the game with a high-profile acquisition: Andrea Arnold’s adaptation of Wuthering Heights.

Hit the jump for more on each film, including cast and synopses.

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