Over 20 years since Speaking Parts, Atom Egoyan is still looking for where the truth lies. Julianne Moore is the doctor who suspects husband Liam Neeson is cheating on her. She hires an escort to act as bait. Does he take it? Nice to see Moore doing something other than her sphinx impersonation, although the film looks like it tips over into Single White Female territory. And yes, it is based on that French film Nathalie …. Amanda Seyfried takes on the Emmanuelle Beart role. That’s an awful big basque to fill.
Posts Tagged ‘Julianne Moore’
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.
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.
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.
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.
It says something about the extraordinary Antichrist that the first time Squally saw it, the film felt like a comedy. The second time, it felt like a tragedy. The movie was greeted with jeers at Cannes, which writer/director Lars von Trier brushed off with the proclamation, “I am the world’s greatest filmmaker.”
The critics were trying to take Antichrist too seriously. In dealing with the disintegration of a woman, after all, Von Trier was walking on hallowed ground. The cracked woman is a favorite trope of (male) directors, whether it’s Marnie or Rebecca, Catherine Deneuve in Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, Monica Vitti in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Red Desert, any number of women in Bergman’s films, Gena Rowlands in John Cassavetes’s A Woman Under the Influence, Julianne Moore in Todd Haynes’s Safe, or especially Isabelle Huppert in The Piano Teacher, by von Trier’s bete noire, Michael Haneke. Squally could go on, but let’s just say that it’s one of the greatest clichés of the art house cinema: a beautiful woman goes to pieces, the beautiful actress who plays her is acclaimed for the performance.
Designer Tom Ford makes his directorial debut with an adaptation of the Christopher Isherwood novel. An English professor spends his day grieving for his dead lover. The glib thing to say is that the results look like a perfume commercial. The rampant visual fetishization of the 1960s and the presence of Colin Firth and Julianne Moore and all their attendant actorial baggage, however, is certainly intriguing.
- It’s quite a day for humpy men of a certain age. Following news of Zac Efron’s growing dance card, Robert Pattinson is circling Memoirs. The pitch–lovers whose relationship is threatened by mutual family tragedy–doesn’t sound very thrilling, but the good news is that Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married) is rewriting Will Fetters’ original script. Like Pattinson himself, we have nothing interesting to add. (Variety)
- Cameron Diaz and “meh” romantic comedies go together like Cameron Diaz and dancing around in your underwear. Which is why Cameron Diaz’s people are talking to the people making Swingles, a rom-com about a bachelor who uses a shrew to attract single women. Will Diaz play the shrew? The single woman? The bachelor? Will it be “meh”? Why does all this seem really familiar? (Variety)
- HBO’s The Special Relationship, the scary story of the Bill Clinton-Tony Blair friendship as told by the pen of Frost/Nixon‘s Peter Morgan, has announced a very special cast. Frost’s muse Michael Sheen will essay the Blair smarm for the third time (that was him grovelling in The Queen). The Clintons will be played by Dennis Quaid and Julianne Moore. Morgan plans on directing. Will Quaid finally unfreeze his face? For that matter, will Moore? (Hollywood Reporter)
- Everyone loves a good wedding comedy and Liv Tyler is no exception. She’s signed on to The Romantics, the story of a group of Yalies who reunite for a marriage. But the groom has some ancient history with both the bride and her room-mate/maid-of-honor. Galt Niederhoffer will direct her own novel, which Publishers Weekly called “wan” and filled with “thin stereotypes.” Hey, they paid to see Bride Wars … (Variety)
- There hasn’t been this much fuss about animal husbandry since Gorillas in the Mist. [Truth in bad blogging dept.: We actually initially typed “Guerillas in tha Mist.” Fo’ shizzle!] The story of Kenyan elephant lover Daphne Sheldrick will be told in the family film Peaceable Kingdom by Nick Cassavetes, a director who oscillates between mush like The Notebook and twinkfest Alpha Dog. A pal of the Born Free crowd, Sheldrick rehabbed animals at Kenya’s Tsavo National Park from 1955 to 1976 (it sez here). Can you feel the trunk tonight? (Variety)