Archive for the The Spectacular Now category
A24 have just released this behind the scenes look at The Spectacular Now, featuring some short on set interviews with the cast as well as some additional footage from between takes. Be sure to take a look!
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.
TIME – In The Spectacular Now, opening August 2, Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller take on the roles of two high-school students finding their way in love, life and academia. Next spring, they’ll share the screen in Divergent, an adaptation of a very different YA novel, in which they play enemies rather than prom dates. They sat down with TIME to discuss making that switch (and the very different project they’d like to collaborate on in the future).
So you guys just got back from Comic-Con, where you were on behalf of Divergent. How did it compare to your expectations?
Miles Teller: The big hall was pretty impressive. There were like 6,000 people in there and there’s a giant screen behind you. I’ve never been a part of a really big movie, and when the sound effects come in it’s like BOOM. It’s a big, big movie. But I thought it would be weirder, personally.
MT: Like, I thought it would be weird. And it really wasn’t. I was on the convention floor and I saw a couple cool costumes, a lot of zombies. But I’ve been to music festivals that were weirder—and I really was looking for it.
Shailene Woodley: I was looking for weird too and I was really bummed out. I saw R2-D2, which was pretty fancy, but apart from that…
VANITY FAIR – This summer’s most authentic coming-of-age drama arrives courtesy of Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) and Miles Teller (Rabbit Hole, Footloose), who radiate as unlikely teenage love interests in The Spectacular Now, out in theaters today. In the James Ponsoldt film—which was adapted from Tim Tharp’s bittersweet novel by (500) Days of Summer screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber—Teller stars as a charismatic high-school senior more concerned with the omnipresence of his flask than his academics or future. His trajectory is altered, ever so slightly, when he wakes up on the lawn of an unassuming classmate, Aimee (Woodley)—who is more sci-fi than socially oriented—and draws her into his orbit.
In advance of the film’s release, Woodley phoned VF.com last week to discuss how her high-school relationship informed her performance, why she loved her first sex scene so much, and why Miles Teller is stuck with her for the next four years.
You and Miles have great chemistry and are so convincing as a guy and girl who have a loving but complicated relationship. How did you first meet and build that rapport?
We met right before we began filming. We ate lunch together and then talked for about two or three hours and then went straight to Georgia. We just naturally became friends and he became my brother for life. I want to do a movie a year with him.
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.’”
WALL STREET JOURNAL – A few weeks ago, after a screening of “The Spectacular Now” at Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center, director James
Ponsoldt received an unusual question from a teenager in the audience: “What genre would you call this?” she asked.
“I said, ‘Well, what would you call it?’ ” says Mr. Ponsoldt. “And she was like, ‘I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking you.’ ”
The teen coming-of-age drama—sans zombies or werewolves—was a cinematic staple in the 1980s and 1990s, the heyday of filmmakers like Cameron Crowe (“Say Anything…”) and John Hughes (“Sixteen Candles”). Beloved by Gen-Xers like Mr. Ponsoldt, the genre has slipped away from the mainstream movie landscape in recent years—and the few exceptions rarely are released in the summer.
“I don’t know if that’s necessarily what audiences want now or if it’s what the studios are serving them,” says Mr. Ponsoldt. He hopes that if “The Spectacular Now” proves to be profitable, “then maybe people will make more [of these types of films], and won’t feel like the characters have to be witches or vampires.”
Shailene and co-star Miles Teller were on New York Live this morning to talk about and promote their new film The Spectacular Now. Check out the photo below!
VULTURE – There’s a truly remarkable scene in The Spectacular Now, out August 2, that knocked me flat when I saw it at the Sundance Film Festival. It stars Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley as two high schoolers embarking on a tentative romance, and it’s the beginning of that relationship that the movie nails so well: Over the course of one long scene, these two kids who don’t have much in common — Teller’s character Sutter isn’t used to girls who are as down to earth as Woodley’s Aimee, while Aimee can’t conceive that the popular Sutter would have any interest in her — have a conversation on the way back from a lakeside party, and at the end, they share their first awkward kiss. At the end of this long, single take, which must span about five minutes, I was convinced that I had just watched two people fall in love.
We’ve got the tail end of that scene as a Vulture exclusive — hey, if you want to see the whole thing, you’ll have to buy a ticket — but here’s what director James Ponsoldt had to say about it.