VARIETY – I became so lost in the raw vulnerability of Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s acute and accurate portrayal of an alcoholic woman, my mind seemed to forget that I was watching a movie starring an actress instead of observing a dear friend who was fighting personal inner battles.
Mary paved her road of empowerment with penetrating strength and unabridged vulnerability. She sucked me into Kate’s world, a world of messy, difficult, unclear paths that are filled with obstacles and tribulations beyond reason. She did not glamorize AA meetings. She did not victoriously display the perks of abstaining from substances. She did not give me the impression that life gets easier once an individual becomes sober. Rather, she navigated her way through waves of confusion, self-doubt, dependence, separation, honesty, responsibility and courage without ever demanding empathy or compassion from her audience.
I was naturally drawn to root for this woman, to cheer for her triumphs and to cry for her blunders. Mary’s performance left me humbled as she carved her way out of a blinding inebriation with forceful perseverance and pure, stripped-down human bravery.
Thanks to the lovely Nicole, we have new matching themes for both the main site and gallery. As much as I loved the previous look, I felt now was was time for something different and this happens to be one of my favorite photoshoots of Shailene. I’ve also tweaked the site content a little bit to make things more organized, as well as adding new information pages on Shailene’s upcoming roles in White Bird in a Blizzard and Divergent – both will be updated once further details about the films become available.
Feel free to share your thoughts on the layouts and if you should come across any errors please don’t hesitate to let me know. Thank you and enjoy the new look!
EMPIRE – It’s been a few months since we heard anything about Gregg Araki’s latest film, which, back then had Shailene Woodley attached and was simply called White Bird. Now the full title appears to be White Bird In A Blizzard and the movie has added Christopher Meloni, Eva Green, Shiloh Fernandez and Gabourey Sidibe.
Not much is known about what they’ll all be doing, besides the fact that Woodley will be playing a young woman whose life is changed dramatically when her mother disappears. Araki wrote the script and is in pre-production on the film, which will shoot, we assume, soon in case Woodley has to go and report to the Amazing Spider-Man sequel set. Though even if she does finally lock in the Mary Jane role on Spider-Man, chances are she could also work on other things in between shooting blocks.
Meloni, meanwhile, is keeping his film career ticking along after a long stretch on cop drama Law & Order: SVU. With that now finished, he’s got plenty of movies set to arrive, including Jackie Robinson drama 42, comedy They Came Together and a tiny indie pic about some bloke who can leap tall buildings in a single bound called Man Of Steel, which arrives on June 14.
I’ve added a beautiful outtake from Shailene’s photoshoot earlier in the year for Vogue to the gallery. Enjoy!
Shailene celebrated her 21st birthday yesterday and I’ve added some new photos from last night taken at Film Independent’s Live Read of Woody Allen’s Manhattan at the LACMA to the gallery. Be sure to take a look!
THE WRAP – Lionsgate may have one mega-franchise ending in “Twilight,” but the studio reassured investors and analysts Friday that it has already unearthed the next big thing in young adult entertainment.
The way it plans to keep cash registers ringing through 2014 lies with “Divergent,” a series of novels by Veronica Roth aimed at tweens and set in a futuristic dystopia. Book sales are tracking ahead of where “Twilight” and Lionsgate’s other major franchise “The Hunger Games” were at a similar point in their life cycles, Lionsgate executives said during the company’s second-quarter conference call. Moreover, the fan base for the novels is a passionate one.
“We’re putting it out to our fans right now that we think this is the next big franchise,” Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer said.
“Divergent” will star Shailene Woodley, the beautiful and youthful actress who turned heads in last year’s “The Descendants.” Neil Burger (“Limitless”) will direct the story of a young girl who rebels against her repressive society.
The film is set to open on March 21,2014, roughly the same slot where “The Hunger Games” opened earlier this year. The timing, Feltheimer said, is wholly intentional.
“By putting it, frankly, in the original ‘Hunger Games’ time slot, we’re indicating the amount of support we have,” he said.
Though Lionsgate and Summit, the studio it purchased for $412.5 million earlier this year, are readying for the end of “Twilight,” there are still profits on the horizon from the vampire franchise. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2” hits theaters next week and Feltheimer said that advance ticket sales are ahead of where they were for the previous film in the series.
Anticipating the taste of teenagers helped propel Lionsgate to a remarkable third quarter. Thanks to strong home entertainment sales from “The Hunger Games,” the studio reported second-quarter profits of $75.5 million, while revenue jumped 97 percent to $707 million.