Archive for the News category
VANITY FAIR – August, allegedly one of the year’s pop-cultural backwaters, is actually a great movie-going month. You get the supposed dregs of Hollywood’s summer blockbuster season: the B-movies and funky genre exercises deemed not quite commercial enough for May, June, and July. You also get the first hints of fall: films that are ambitious yet don’t necessarily meet the craven Oscar-bait standards of October, November, and Christmas. In other words, August movies, whether high or low, are often far more interesting than the year’s earlier or later fare. Two current examples are The Spectacular Now, an indie teen romance that aspires to be, maybe, its generation’s Say Anything; and Elysium, the big-budget dystopian action film that represents the final would-be blockbuster in Hollywood’s summer harvest—the last bushel of corn in the farmer’s multiplex.
Two very different films, but they also have two prominent things in common. One: both could be better, which, come to think of it, is true of most movies. More specifically, then: both are smart and idiosyncratic enough that they conjure their own better selves, as if sharper, wittier versions of what you’re watching might be playing simultaneously one auditorium over, or maybe on a future director’s cut on the Blu-Ray. I found myself rooting for them against their own odds, if that makes sense.
Two: whatever their failings, both movies were redeemed by above-and-beyond performances by actors with unusual names that begin with Sh-. So here’s to Shailene Woodley of The Spectacular Now and Sharlto Copley of Elysium! If there were Oscars in August, they’d be shoo-ins.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – A stunning sunset and a rainbow provided the backdrop for The Hollywood Reporter, Samsung and Cinema Society-hosted screening of the coming-of-age pic The Spectacular Now at The Crow’s Nest restaurant in Montauk. A beach party and bonfire followed the showing of the teen drama.
While the weather was pleasant on Friday evening for the outside screening, director James Ponsoldt explained that, during the film’s production, the crew had to endure thunderstorms in Georgia.
“We ran with it. Even the scene where Miles [Teller] and Shailene [Woodley] have their first kiss, the long walk and talk, it rained, we huddled under a tent,” he said. “You have to embrace the elements and not fight them.”
The Spectacular Now shoot was the first time that Woodley had visited the state. “I had never been to the South before and I loved the atmosphere,” the actress said. “I loved the food and the people. It was so diverse.”
Teller, the film’s lead who nabbed a special jury award for acting at the Sundance Film Festival in January, described how he felt when he learned about the honor. “I found out I won the award from my mom,” the actor said. “She called me crying. ‘You won,’ ‘you won.’”
ACCESS HOLLYWOOD – Jennifer Lawrence won the Oscar for Best Actress this year, but the “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” star says her parents now have custody of the coveted gold statue.
“My parents took it back to Kentucky, ‘cause I felt odd having it, like, on display in my house,” the 22-year-old star – who won the Academy Award for her performance in “Silver Linings Playbook” – told Access Hollywood’s Scott Mantz at Comic-Con 2013 in San Diego, Calif., on Saturday.
“If anybody’s coming over to my house, I didn’t want them to remember that. Just kind of puts a weird energy out,” she explained.
The actress initially tried placing the prestigious award in an inconspicuous place, before surrendering it the care to her parents.
“I put it in the hallway towards the bathroom, and my mom was like, ‘I’m taking it. It shouldn’t be here.’ And now it’s on a piano in Kentucky!”
Jennifer also dished on the advice she recently gave fellow young star Shailene Woodley, who was nervous about how her life would change if she took on the role of Beatrice “Tris” Prior in the upcoming film, “Divergent.”
“She asked, basically, ‘If you had the opportunity to do this again, would you? Because it’s scary. It’s life changing,’” Jennifer, who had her own doubts about signing on to play Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games” movies, shared. “And I said, ‘Yes. As many things change, as many things are horrible and scary, it’s worth it if you love the movie,’ which she did.”
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” hits theaters on November 22.
If you thought things might be winding down for Shailene after Comic-Con before she heads off to film The Fault in Our Stars, it seems quite the opposite is true. Her schedule will be as busy as ever next week as she is due to appear on four talk shows, all listed below.
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON, NBC
Tu 7/23: Louis CK, Shailene Woodley, Neal Preston, Emeli Sande
THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART, Comedy Central
We 7/24: Shailene Woodley
Tu 7/30: Neil Patrick Harris, Shailene Woodley, Dan St. Germain
THE VIEW, ABC
We 7/24: Shailene Woodley, Tom Papa
VANITY FAIR – The first day of Comic-Con has arrived, and fans are already anxiously queuing outside the San Diego Convention Center for the Ender’s Game and Divergent panels, both of which promise exclusive footage from the young-adult-novel adaptations that some are calling “the next Hunger Games.” Despite the palpable excitement surrounding the films, and their career-boosting potential, Divergent star Shailene Woodley tells us that she initially balked at the idea of starring in Neil Burger’s adaptation of Veronica Roth’s best-selling novel, for which a sequel is already planned.
When we spoke with Woodley at Comic-Con, mere hours after she arrived from the film’s dystopian Chicago set, she explained her reservations.
“I was nervous because I had just gotten out of a five-year series, which was a six-year contract,” Woodley explained, referring to the ABC Family series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, to which she was contractually bound, even after earning a Golden Globe nomination for her breakout role in The Descendants, the Oscar-nominated 2011 drama co-starring George Clooney. “I sort of learned my lesson about signing into things for a long period of time,” she told us. “The thought of signing a four-year contract was very daunting, and doing a huge franchise movie that has the potential to be very successful was frightening to me. I never wanted that amount of attention, and the thought of losing my anonymity was not something that I was looking forward to.”
DEADLINE — Summit Entertainment is offering a first-look at footage of Divergent at Comic-Con this week. Today comes word that the futuristic sci-fi actioner will be digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX format and released in IMAX theaters worldwide starting March 21, 2014. The first in a planned franchise, Divergent is adapted from Veronica Roth’s best-seller and stars Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet, Theo James, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, Ashley Judd, Ray Stevenson, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Mekhi Phifer, Ben Lamb, Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Christian Madsen. Much of the cast along with director Neil Burger and Roth will be in San Diego this week.
Hopefully Shailene will attend the Comic-Con panel for ‘Divergent’ so keep checking back for more updates!
EW.COM – Hazel has found her Gus!
Ansel Elgort has been offered the role of Augustus Waters—the male lead opposite Shailene Woodley—in the eagerly anticipated adaptation of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, directed by Josh Boone. Green’s beloved, best-selling book is a love story that is equal parts funny, sweet, and heartbreaking in its telling of Hazel and Gus, two teens who meet in a cancer support group. (EW had it on the Best Fiction of 2012 list)
“Ansel is whip-smart and uber-charismatic and everything I dreamed for Augustus Waters,” John Green tells EW in an exclusive statement. “I am by nature a cautious pessimist, but I’ll just say it: Now that we have Shailene and Ansel, I am completely, unreservedly psyched about this movie.”
Director Josh Boone tells EW: “Ansel Elgort is the epitome of the boy John Green brought to life so vividly in his novel and he truly embodies the character traits we admire so much about Gus. His humor, sensitivity, honesty and confidence floored us. Watching him with Shailene was like seeing the film for the first time. Hearing then say okay to each other was incredibly moving. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have found our Gus.”
DEADLINE.COM – Upstart distributor A24 has set a June 14 limited theatrical release launch of the Sofia Coppola-directed The Bling Ring, and it has set an August 2 limited release for the James Ponsoldt-directed The Spectacular Now. This spring, A24 launches Ginger & Rosa and Spring Breakers, films also aiming at a young demographic.
The Bling Ring stars Emma Watson, Leslie Mann, Gavin Rossdale and Paris Hilton, latter of whom was actually ripped off by the title characters, young bandits who broke into the homes of well to do celebutantes. The film’s based on the Vanity Fair article The Suspects Wore Louboutins by Nancy Jo Sales.
The Spectacular Now was scripted by (500) Days of Summer scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber and stars Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Elizabeth Winstead in a drama about a mismatched young high school students. It was bought at Sundance in January.
It looks like SXSW is going to be a bit of Sundance South in 2013. With Park City premieres like “Don Jon’s Addiction,” “Computer Chess,” “Prince Avalanche,” “Before Midnight” and “Upstream Color” all headed to Austin, one more movie that unspooled at the festival is making its way to the city of BBQ.
Zal Batmanglij’s “The East” will be the Closing Night film of the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. It’s familiar territory for the director, who followed a similar trajectory in 2011 with “Sound Of My Voice,” with that film too taking a bow at Sundance and playing SXSW a couple months later. But capping off an exciting week or so of moviegoing is a nice way to return. The film stars Ellen Page, Alexander Skarsgard, Brit Marling and Patricia Clarkson, and tells the story of a young woman who infiltrates a radical environmentalist activist group but finds her moral boundaries becoming blurred.
As we noted in our review, the film is one that should get many people talking, and it seems like a good note to end SXSW on. Meanwhile, even more Sundance titles have also been added to the lineup including James Ponsoldt’s “The Spectacular Now,” docs “Muscle Shoals,” “Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer” and “Linsanity” as well as Ramin Bahrani’s “At Any Price” and many more. Check out the official website for more details. The festival runs from March 8-16.