Being a platonic friend sucks. It just does. No matter how much chemistry you have with a person, the relationship dynamic inevitably pushes you into a Hobson’s choice: take the less-than-ideal relationship you have or lose it entirely. There’s not much middle ground unless the platonic relationship finally becomes romantic, and that tends to be in the realm of wish fulfillment, especially when the one you want to be with is in a healthy relationship with someone else. The F Word takes on this familiar story, and while it does keep the wish fulfillment intact, director Michael Dowse obliterates the selfishness and single-sided nature of these stories to create a rich, full, and painfully funny ensemble piece that offers sweet sentiment with salty comedy.
The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival has added a few more films to its already stellar lineup. Here’s a brief look at some of the Canadian productions that have been added:
- Enemy – Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners), the thriller features Jake Gyllenhaal pulling double duty as two characters and tells the story of a man who is torn between his mistress and his wife.
- The F Word – A romantic comedy from director Michael Dowse (Take Me Home Tonight) that stars Daniel Radcliffe as a young man who, upon finding out that the girl he just met lives with her long-term boyfriend, resigns himself to being “just friends.” Adam Driver also stars.
- Tom at the Farm – A dark new thriller from director Xavier Dolan that tells the story of a man returning home for a funeral, only to find himself embroiled in a twisted game.
Hit the jump to check out the full list of additions. The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5-15th.
Based on the Neil LaBute play by the same name, Some Girl(s) follows a successful writer (Adam Brody) who, on the eve of his wedding, travels across the country to meet up with ex-lovers, in an attempt to make amends for past relationship transgressions. On his journey, he reunites with high school sweetheart Sam (Jennifer Morrison), sexually free-spirited Tyler (Mía Maestro), married college professor Lindsay (Emily Watson), his best friend’s little sister Reggie (Zoe Kazan), and Bobbi (Kristen Bell), who is the one that got away.
At the film’s press day, Adam Brody, Zoe Kazan and director Daisy Von Scherler Mayer spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about why this project appealed to them, why this play translates well for the big screen, shooting each of the scenes with the women differently to give them each their own feel, what it’s like to work with the words of Neil LaBute, and how the notion of going on a journey to see a bunch of your exes is just so squirm-inducing. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
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 Kingdom. Beasts 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.
Now available on DVD/Blu-ray is the romantic dramedy Ruby Sparks, from directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), about a once-famous novelist named Calvin (Paul Dano), who creates a beautiful fictitious character named Ruby (Zoe Kazan) that not only brings his work to life, but actually literally comes to life. TheDVD/Blu-ray special features include Behind the Story, Real-Life Couples: Co-stars & Directors, Be Careful What You Wish For and the theatrical trailer.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, the film’s star and screenwriter Zoe Kazan talked about how writing this feature came about, when she realized that she and her real-life boyfriend Paul Dano would be playing the roles, what writing allows her that acting doesn’t, how she originally had a different ending for the story, that she always wanted to leave the reasons for Ruby’s existence unexplained, how she just finished writing the first draft of a new project, and working with Daniel Radcliffe (the Harry Potter franchise) on The F Word. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
Here are a couple of casting notes in brief:
- Heather Graham (The Hangover) is set to star opposite Selena Gomez in the indie comedy Feed the Dog, formerly titled Parental Guidance Suggested.
- Rafe Spall (Prometheus), Megan Park (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) and Mackenzie Davis (Smashed) will join Daniel Radcliffe in The F Word, directed by Michael Dowse (Goon).
Hit the jump for details on each picture.
A sharp, modern take on the Pygmalion myth, Ruby Sparks is the story of a novelist’s vision that inexplicably comes to life, only to prove far more complicated than even he could have imagined. Ruby (Zoe Kazan) starts out as an idea in Calvin’s (Paul Dano) mind, but he creates her with such a strong individualistic desire to be her own person that he is ultimately forced to grow in order to accommodate her strength and evolution. Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris from a first screenplay by actress and playwright Kazan, the film constantly challenges the audience as it takes an unpredictable route into fantasy, identity and the ways we invent love and how love reinvents us.
At the press day for Ruby Sparks, we sat down at a roundtable interview with Kazan and Dano to talk about what happens when a writer tries to make a relationship from his imagination work in the real world. They told us what the experience was like bringing their characters to life on screen, how they approached the film’s most physically and emotionally challenging sequences, and why Dayton & Faris were the perfect duo to direct the film. They also revealed their next projects including Dano’s upcoming For Ellen, Looper and Twelve Years a Slave and Kazan’s The F-Word.
Daniel Radcliffe’s current career trajectory is screaming, “I will not be Harry Potter forever!” The actor has been taking on an admirable diversity of roles ever since hanging up his wand last year. Earlier this year, he starred in the gothic horror flick The Woman in Black, he’s playing Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings, and several days ago we reported that he would lead the supernatural fantasy-thriller, Horns.
Today, Variety reports that Radcliffe is adding an indie romantic comedy to his slate by signing on to star opposite Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) in The F Word. Michael Dowse (Goon) will direct from a Black List script by Elan Mastai (The Samaritan), which has “Radcliffe venturing to be the first male to have a successfully platonic relationship with a girl he likes (Kazan), only to find out she’s already in a relationship.” I have no idea what this means because I’m not exactly sure how the story is measuring success. Is he trying to escape from the friend zone? Is he trying to be at peace living in the friend zone? Damn you and your vagueness, loglines. Damn you to hell.
Three bits of casting additions to finish your week off. Here they are in brief:
Hit the jump for more on each picture.
The first trailer for Ruby Sparks, the follow-up feature for Little Miss Sunshine directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, has gone online. The film stars Paul Dano as a once-great novelist who writes his dream girl who then comes to life. The trailer is expectedly quirky with brief touches of Stranger Than Fiction, but overall I think it looks like a lot of fun. The premise is certainly enticing, and Dano and Kazan (a couple in real life) seem to have some great onscreen chemistry. As a character hints in the trailer, I’m incredibly interested to see how this ends. It’s a brilliant plot device to play around in, but I’m assuming the success of the film as a whole will hinge on how the story concludes. In the meantime, Faris and Dayton seem to promise a follow-up not dissimilar in tone to Little Miss Sunshine.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan, and Elliott Gould. Ruby Sparks opens on July 25th.
We’ve got a few new images to share with you today. Briefly:
- Moonrise Kingdom – Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray star in writer-director Wes Anderson’s latest film. The story centers on two 12-year-olds who fall in love at summer camp in 1965 and run away together. The film opens on May 25th.
- Ice Age: Continental Drift – The fourth film in the Ice Age franchise follows the prehistoric characters during the breakup of Pangea and the splitting of the continents. The film opens in 3D on July 13th.
- Great Hope Springs – Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones star as a married couple seeking a weekend of counseling from a therapist played by Steve Carell. The film opens on August 10th.
- Ruby Sparks – Directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s long-awaited follow-up to Little Miss Sunshine stars Paul Dano as a creatively blocked, once-great novelist who writes his dream girl (Zoe Kazan) who then comes to life. The film opens on July 25th.
Hit the jump to check out the new images.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share with you this afternoon. First up, Variety reports that Amanda Peet is the third person to join the cast of the comedy Identity Thief. Briesmaids star Melissa McCarthy plays a woman who steals a man’s identity (Jason Bateman), and hilarity ensues. Plot details beyond the basic logline are unknown, but Bateman and McCarthy make an enticing comedic pair. Throw the lovely Amanda Peet into the mix and you’ve got yourself the makings of a promising comedy.
I’ve been a big fan of Peet’s work for years, with her stint on the short-lived Aaron Sorkin series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip a standout on the show. Horrible Bosses director Seth Gordon is onboard to direct Identity Thief is set to open on May 10th, 2013. Hit the jump for casting news concerning the Black List script The Pretty One.
Directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton scored a huge hit with Little Miss Sunshine, but had difficulty getting a follow-up off the ground. The duo was attached to Will, which was set to star Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis, but the project fell apart. There was also the possibility of the comedy The Abstinence Teacher starring Sandra Bullock and Steve Carell, but that fizzled out. Then Faris and Dayton were attached to try and get the long-in-development Used Guys into production, but it didn’t happen. Last year, they finally got a new movie in front of cameras. The film, He Loves Me, stars Paul Dano as “a once-great novelist who is creativity blocked due to heartache and loneliness, only to be turned around when he writes his dream girl (Zoe Kazan) who then comes to life.” The movie co-stars Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, Elliott Gould, Chris Messina, and Deborah Ann Woll.
Today, Fox Searchlight sent out a press release announcing that the title had been changed to Ruby Sparks. The studio also revealed an official synopsis and a release date. Hit the jump for more.
Michael Stahl-David (Cloverfield) and Zoe Kazan (Meek’s Cutoff) have joined Abigail Spencer in Brin Hill‘s supernatural romance In Your Eyes. Written by Joss Whedon, all we previously knew about the film was that it centered on “two seemingly polar opposites who are deeply connected in ways neither could have ever imagined.” Deadline now offers a more detailed description, and the story sounds pretty interesting:
Stahl-David stars as Dylan, a boyish-looking man who served time in jail for robbery when he refused to rat on his accomplices. Now, he is living in a trailer in New Mexico. Kazan stars as Rebecca, an attractive but skinny and slightly awkward woman, who is married to an older doctor and living in Connecticut. The two have a powerful connection, and they can hear and see each other, even though they have never met.
Color me intrigued. Filming is set to begin soon in Los Angeles and Boston.
It looks like Annette is close to locking in her first role post-The Kids Are All Right. Variety reports that the actress is in negotiations to star in Fox Searchlight’s He Loves Me. The film stars Paul Dano as “a once-great novelist who is creativity blocked due to heartache and loneliness,” only to be turned around when he writes his dream girl who then comes to life. So it’s like Weird Science meets Mannequin, only super indie.
Dano’s real-life girlfriend, Zoe Kazan, wrote the screenplay and will star in the film as the dream girl. Bening is eying the role of Dano’s mother, a painter who’s worried about how much her son hates her second-husband, a dirty hippie (the answer is a lot. He hates your dirty hippie husband a lot). Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris are helming the flick, which starts filming next month.