Exclusive: 'Keep the Lights On' poster looks you straight in the eyes
Credit: Music Box Films

Exclusive: 'Keep the Lights On' poster looks you straight in the eyes

Sundance drama hitting theaters this September

The last time I wrote about Ira Sachs' "Keep the Lights On" was a little over six months ago at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.  I'd spoken to Sachs and one of the film's stars, Zachary Booth, about the impressive gay drama with hopes it got picked up for major distribution.  A lot has happened in half a year.

"Lights" wowed a few weeks later at the Berlin Film Festival winning a "Teddy" honor and has played the festival circuit with stops at Tribeca, Seattle and Karlovy Vary.  It's also screened at gay film festivals such as San Francisco's Frameline and Los Angeles' Outfest where it won the Grand Jury Award for Outstanding U.S. Dramatic Feature Film. Oh, and happily, Music Box Films came on board to give the picture a proper art house release.

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Toronto Film Festival 2012: First Selections A-Z

Toronto Film Festival 2012: First Selections A-Z

New images from some this year's most anticipated films

The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first 62 selections for the 2012 edition of the annual awards season kick-off Tuesday and critics are already salivating over the line up.  With new films from Terrence Malick ("To The Wonder"), Neil Jordan ("Byzantium"), Noah Baumbach ("Frances Ha"), Ben Affleck ("Argo"), the Wachowskis ("Cloud Atlas"), Joss Whedon ("Much Ado About Nothing"), Joe Wright ("Anna Karenina"), David O. Russell ("Silver Lining Playbook"), Mike Newell ("Great Expectations"), Andrew Adamson ("Mr. Pip"), Derek Cianfrance ("The Place Beyond the Pines"), Dustin Hoffman ("Quartet") and Rian Johnson ("Looper") this edition of the festival already appears to be substantially improved over last year's snorefest.  Of course, everyone needs to actually see the films in question, but in the meantime we have weeks to speculate (or pray).

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<p>Ryan Gosling reunites with &quot;Blue Valentine&quot;&nbsp;helmer Derek Cianfrance in &quot;Place Beyond the Pines.&quot;</p>

Ryan Gosling reunites with "Blue Valentine" helmer Derek Cianfrance in "Place Beyond the Pines."

Toronto Film Festival selects 'Argo,' 'Anna Karenina,' 'Cloud Atlas' for 2012

Plus: New films from Robert Redford, Noah Baumbach, Neil Jordan, David O. Russell and more

The Toronto International Film Festival announced their initial selections for the 2012 edition of the annual awards season kick off and it includes new films from Ben Affleck, the Wachoski's, Terrence Malick, Neil Jordan, David O. Russell, Joss Whedon, David Ayer, Joss Whedon, Derek Cianfrance and Joe Wright among others. Rian Johnson's "Looper" will be the opening night gala on Thursday, Sept. 6.  The closing night film has not been announced.

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'Anna Karenina' poster

'Anna Karenina' poster

Credit: Focus

Keira Knightley is center stage in new 'Anna Karenina' poster

Joe Wright's adaptation co-stars Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson

We've seen the "Anna Karenina" trailer and heard star Keira Knightley talk about the challenges of playing the title role, now take a peek at the poster for the potential award season heavyweight below.

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<p>Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan on the set of &quot;Ruby Sparks.&quot;</p>

Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan on the set of "Ruby Sparks."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Exclusive: 'Ruby Sparks' Zoe Kazan explains the story of her debut screenplay

Plus: New footage from the late summer Fox Searchlight release

t's been a strange summer season so for at the art house. Unlike last year, which was dominated early both critically and at the box office by "Midnight in Paris," "The Tree of Life" and "Beginners," 2012 looked like it would be much quieter.  That's hardly been the case.  Focus Features' "Moonrise Kingdom" is a certifiable hit, "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is pretty much a global blockbuster (even if it's not really playing to the traditional specialty crowd), Weinstein's "Intouchables" is a solid foreign language player, the success of Millenium's "Bernie" is proving an embarrassment to all the major indies who turned it down and "To Rome With Love" and "The Beasts of the Southern Wild" have been superb in their limited runs so far. One film that could tap into the crowd that enjoyed "Moonrise" is "Ruby Sparks."

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<p>Matthew McConoughey and Channing Tatum talk about their new movie &quot;Magic Mike.&quot;</p>

Matthew McConoughey and Channing Tatum talk about their new movie "Magic Mike."

Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey talk frankly about 'Magic Mike'

Have you ever had a big star ask you your sexuality on camera?

LOS ANGELES - Yes, as I sit down to do my interviews for "Magic Mike," I notice Matthew McConaughey has a bundle of $1 bills on his chair.  Why? I'm not entirely sure.  My guess is that it's a fun bit both McConaughey and Tatum have been having with the national press rotating through their TV room on this Friday afternoon.  But, as entertaining as Steven Soderbergh's latest film is, I have no intention of spending my short time with the gents waxing about, er, male waxing, picking the right thongs and what their favorite stripping number was.*

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<p>Helen Hunt and John Hawkes in the first poster for Fox Searchlight's &quot;The Sessions,&quot;&nbsp;formerly known as &quot;The Surrogate.&quot;</p>

Helen Hunt and John Hawkes in the first poster for Fox Searchlight's "The Sessions," formerly known as "The Surrogate."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Exclusive: New ‘The Sessions’ poster continues John Hawkes ‘Surrogate’ Oscar campaign

A prime best actor candidate

Awards season is still months away from formally beginning, but the best actor race is already shaping up.  It's going to be another competitive year with highly anticipated performances from Daniel Day-Lewis ("Lincoln"), Denzel Washington ("Flight") and Philip Seymour Hoffman ("The Master") on the way.  There is, however, one phenomenal turn that's been waiting in the wings since Sundance, John Hawkes acclaimed portrayal of polio victim Mark O'Brien in "The Sessions."

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<p>Quvenzhan&eacute; Wallis talks about her breakout role in &quot;Beasts of the Southern Wild.&quot;</p>

Quvenzhané Wallis talks about her breakout role in "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

Is 'Beasts of the Southern Wild's' Quvenzhané Wallis ready for her close up?

Plus: A conversation with director Benh Zeitlin

LOS ANGELES - To remark that Quvenzhané Wallis is not your everyday 8-year-old is something of an understatement. In a relatively short amount of time she's been cast as the lead in an unconventional independent film, traveled to Park City, Utah where such film dominated Sundance's jury awards and then crossed the Atlantic where the same film became an international favorite at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.  These are the magical and joyous days of the cast and filmmakers behind "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and as another newcomer and Wallis' onscreen father noted in an interview last week, "We're riding a wave."

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<p>Keira Knightley as &quot;Anna Karenina.&quot;</p>

Keira Knightley as "Anna Karenina."

Credit: Focus Features

Keira Knightley admits 'Anna Karenina' is the hardest thing she's ever done

Plus: The joys of 'Seeking a Friend at the End of the World'

NEW YORK - The last time I spoke with Keira Knightley we were sitting in an almost empty ballroom.  Knightley had just come from the early afternoon Toronto premiere of "A Dangerous Method" and was in a gorgeous gown.  I, on the other hand, had raced over in a t-shirt and jeans having no idea Knightley would be soon boarding a plane later that evening to cross the pond where production on Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina" awaited her.  Nine months later, it's a different movie, country and city and yet, Knightley still looks fantastic.  On this day I've got a much shorter amount of time to talk about a rare contemporary role for the "Atonement" star - just five minutes - in Lorene Scafaria's "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World."

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<p>The newly christened Dolby Theater (formerly the Kodak Theater) at Hollywood and Highland suped up for the world premiere of &quot;Brave.&quot;</p>

The newly christened Dolby Theater (formerly the Kodak Theater) at Hollywood and Highland suped up for the world premiere of "Brave."

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Disney brings 'Brave' to the new Dolby Theater

A taste of Scotland in Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD - Walt Disney Studios and Pixar teamed up with Dolby last night to christen the "new" Dolby Theater with the world premiere of the new animated adventure "Brave" and, fortunately, everything sounded just fine.

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