There are a number of films from the 2015 Cannes Film Festival that have stuck with me over the past few months. Denis Villeneuve's "Sicario" (which will hit theaters in September), Jia Zhangke's "Mountains May Depart," Gaspar Noé's "Love" and Todd Haynes' "Carol" immediately come to mind for one reason or another. The one film that I've actually been dying to see again, however, is Paolo Sorrentino's "Youth."
How good as 2015 been for moviegoers? This past year audiences have witnessed an opening act that included blockbusters such as “Cinderella,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Furious 7.” Hollywood followed that string up with summer goods such as “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Trainwreck,” “Inside Out” and “Jurassic World” (currently no. 3 all-time at the U.S. box office). And while we’re currently experiencing the annual cycle of late August dumps you won't even watch on an airplane, the movie gods may have saved the best for last.
Paul Weitz’s “Grandma” is the sort of movie that should grow on you. By the time it finishes you should be fully invested in the fate of Elle Reid, a woman attempting to help her granddaughter while also coming to peace with some of her own personal demons. Thanks to the always-impressive Lily Tomlin and a few key supporting performances it almost hits the mark. Again, "almost."
After the initial slate for the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival was announced last month there were many observers, including this pundit, who wondered of the annual September event had once again lost the battle of premieres to its Fall festival cousins. While debuting Ridley Scott's "The Martian," Jean Marc Valle's "Demolition" and Michael Moore's "Where Do We Invade Next" is nothing to sneeze at the fact some of the most anticipated films of the year are heading to Venice and Telluride first has to be a bit disheartening. Especially when it's your 40th anniversary. Never fear fans of the Great White North, Toronto always seems to land some eyebrow raising last minute additions and this year is no different.
She's almost done with "The Hunger Games" franchise. We "think" she's almost done playing Mystique in the "X-Men" movies. What's next? More "Joy" most likely.
Do you see that look on Cate Blanchett's face? Her expression conveys both hope and heartbreak and, in many ways, it's the signature moment of Todd Haynes' "Carol."
One of the more entertaining and buzzed about documentaries at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival is finally heading to a theater near you. "Finders Keepers" centers on a dispute over a mummified leg that was discovered in a grill purchased by Shannon Whisnant at a North Carolina auction. Whisnant's problem is that it turns out the limb's original owner, John Wood, is still alive and wants his foot back. That's a pretty humorous and almost too bizarre to be true scenario for any big screen doc, but there's significantly more to the story.
After revealing its centerpieces earlier this month, the Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced the full slate for the 2015 New York Film Festival and the big news is Steven Spielberg is back. That's right, after debuting “Lincoln” at the fest just three years ago, America’s greatest living filmmaker returns with his latest thriller, “Bridge of Spies."
Bryan Cranston, Louis C.K., Helen Mirren, John Goodman and Elle Fanning? What's not to like about a movie with that incredible cast? Well, you're in luck because Jay Roach's "Trumbo" features all those talented actors and more. The historical drama is already set to debut at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival before its November release date and today distributor Bleecker Street released the first trailer, a significant improvement on the movie's "Imitation Game"-ish poster.
Everything old is new again. No, really. Everything old is new again today. Winona Ryder says a "Beetlejuice" sequel is actually happening, the latest trailer for the "Jem and the Holograms" remake was released today (truly, truly outrageous) and "AbFab" is headed for the big screen. Yes, Edina and Patsy, your favorite British BFF's and gay icons, are once again ready to crash every fashion show, charity event and posh soiree in the greater London metropolitan area and beyond.
According to Deadline and confirmed by HitFix, Fox Searchlight is in negotiations to co-finance and distribute the long awaited "Absolutely Fabulous" movie. The movie will be based on the BBC TV Series which began way back in 1992 and ran for three initial seasons. It proved so popular that there have been numerous specials, two more seasons (2001, 2005) and a 20th Anniversary special that tied into London's 2012 Olympic Games. Now, series creator Jennifer Saunders is finally delivering the long awaited feature film version (we've actually lost track of how often we've written about this potential project).
Never heard of it? Here's a quick refresher. "AbFab" follows the long running friendship between PR maven Edina Monsoon (Saunders) and fashion director Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley). The two characters were the poster children for anti-ageism before Madonna could even conceive of it. Edina is comically trying to stay as hip as possible while Patsy is the queen of drugged out cougars knocking up every young man she can get her hands on. Acting as their moral foil is Patsy's extremely conservative daughter Saffron (Julia Sawalha), who Patsy has detested since she was born and immediately threw a wrench into their non-stop party. The show's other major players included Patsy's assistant Bubble (an always amazing Jane Horrocks) and Paty's mother (a currently 89-year-old June Whitfield). Two series regulars we'd expect to see back are Patsy's ex-husband Marshall (Christopher Ryan) and his new American wife Bo (Mo Gaffney).
There aren't many details about the film's storyline, but it will be directed by longtime series helmer Mandie Helmer and is expected to feature a ton of celebrity cameos. Some of the names who popped by on TV included Helena Bonham Carter, Miranda Richardson, Naomi Campbell, designer Christian Lacroix, Whoopi Goldberg, Debbie Harry, Kristin Scott Thomas, Minnie Driver, Spice Girl Emma Bunton, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Nathan Lane, La Roux, Stella McCartney and Elton John.
Searchlight's involvement is a smart one. The movie will probably only have limited commercial legs in the U.S., but in Britain movies based on popular local television programs have done big business (the two "The Inbetweeners" movies being the best case scenario). Any "surprise" success in the U.S. would be a huge bonus.
Production is expected to begin on Oct. 12.
Still not sure what all the fuss is about? Check out the following videos below. The first two are music videos for original "AbFab" songs from the Pet Shop Boys and Junior Vasquez ("I Am Thin and Gorgeous"). The final embed is a collection of some of Patsy and Edina's best moments of the series.