Posts Tagged ‘Annette Bening’

Berlin 2010 Preview: Competition, Part 1

February 3, 2010

The Berlin Film Festival is often overshadowed by Cannes Film Festival as it’s very difficult to dock a yacht in Berlin. It’s endured for 60 years, though, as an early warning system for the best of the year’s international art house fare. The Competition strand features those films vying for the Golden Bear, which in past years has gone to Jose Padilha’s The Elite Squad and Claudia Llosa’s The Milk of Sorrow. The field’s first half features Japanese war stories, the making of one of the worst films ever made, criminals old and young and the returns of Polanski, Baumbach and Popogrebsky.

Bal (Honey)

Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu’s fifth film is a father/son story set in the remote mountains. Young Yusuf is ostracized at school for his stammer, but worships his beekeeper dad, who tends to a network of precarious treetop hives. When his father is called away on business, Yusuf follows him into the forest.

Kyatapira (Caterpillar)

Lieutenant Kurokawa returns from the front of the second Sino-Japanese War. He’s had his arms and legs blown off. Shigeko is expected to dutifully attend to her immobile war hero husband. Director Koji Wakamatsu’s previous film, the acclaimed United Red Army, still awaits release in the U.S. Based on the story by Edogawa Rampo, which was censored by the Japanese authorities in 1939.

(more…)

Sundance 2010: Winners and Losers

January 31, 2010

Last night the Sundance Jury handed out its prizes and audience awards. The big winners were the hill people noir Winter’s Bone and Obselidia, a romance which was only lacking a stamp reading “Sundance-approved.” More eyes will turn to the backrooms, where lucrative deals were being cut. Focus Features picked up Lisa Cholodeniko’s The Kids Are All Right, with Julianne Moore and Annette Bening as a lesbian couple. Lionsgate agreed to distribute Buried, where Ryan Reynolds struggles to escape a coffin armed only with his cellphone (and some great reception). Harvey Weinstein worked his silver-tongued magic and went home with the rights to The Tillman Story (formerly I’m Pat _________ Tillman) and Blue Valentine, which created Oscar talk for its leads Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Other buzz films included the Interwebs documentary Catfish and Banksy’s debut Exit Through the Gift Shop. Anyway, we’ve got some envelopes to open …

Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Dramatic Film

Winter’s Bone. A clear favorite among critics, Debra Granik’s adaptation of a novel by Daniel Woodrell is a chilling thriller set in the Ozarks. A teenager (Jennifer Lawrence) goes in search for her father, who skips jail after a bust for running a meth lab. Big trouble awaits. “My advice? Discover this one now.” said Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir. It’s been picked up for distribution by Roadside Attractions.

Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary

Restrepo. The documentary follows humpy journalist Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm) as he spends a year with the 173rd Airborne’s Second Platoon. The unit has been assigned to the deadliest valley in Afghanistan. “I’ve never seen combat footage like Junger and [co-director Tim] Hetherington get in Restrepo,” wrote Noel Murray in The Onion. “It’s raw, relentless, and made all the more unsettling by the fact that the soldiers can’t see who’s shooting at them.” National Geographic have the broadcast rights.

(more…)

The Slate: Reese Plays Ball, Amanda Doesn’t

March 24, 2009

reese-witherspoon

  • Reese Witherspoon let slip some info on the latest James L. Brooks film. She will play a “professional softball player” who is fought over by a white-collar executive and a pro ballplayer, who will be played by Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson (although not necessarily respectively!). Witherspoon said the improv-friendly writer/director had been working on the film “for about two years now and one day we’ll start filming!” Bill Murray is also due to make an appearance. (WENN)
  • To lose one actress is unfortunate. To lose two looks like carelessness. So far, Sucker Punch is just unfortunate. Amanda Seyfried, she of Mamma Mia! “fame,” has decided there are better places to be then Zack Snyder’s “Alice in Wonderland with machine guns.” “Schedule conflicts” are being blamed, but maybe Seyfried got a whiff of Malin Ackerman’s Watchmen perf and decided Snyder’s feminine touch was best avoided. (Entertainment Weekly)
  • Multi-hyphenate Andy Garcia unveiled his latest dream project Hemingway & Fuentes by noting that Anthony Hopkins was “loosely attached” to star as Ernest Hemingway. The film would look at the last years of the writer’s life and his relationship with Cuban fishing boat cap’n Gregorio Fuentes. Also navigating the ocean of booze mightbe Annette Bening as Hemingway’s wife, Mary. Garcia will co-write and direct. (Hollywood Reporter)
  • In a small act of decency, Twilight sequel New Moon has staffed its Wolf Pack entirely with Native Americans. Smouldering alongside the Pattinson/Stewart axis will be Chaske Spencer, Bronson Pelletier, Alex Meraz, Kiowa Gordon and Tyson Houseman. The actors are of Lakota, Cree-Metis, Purepecha, Hulapai and Cree descent. Somewhere Jay Silverheels (Mohawk) is smiling. (Stepheniemeyer.com)
  • Bryan Singer (X-2) has spent the week getting his ducks in a row. First it was reported that he was thinking of making a “hot revenge thriller project” with Mark Wahlberg. Now Fox has purchased the rights to comic book Freedom Formula: Ghost of the Wasteland. The futuristic graphic novel has jet-packs, genetic engineering and what sounds like a Matrix-style transformation of the world. Singer is producing and could direct. (EW/Variety)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.