Heads up, fans of Richard Linklater's "Before" trilogy. This is right up your alley. And boy is it awesome.
One lucky reader is going to make me really jealous
Will Smith and son Jaden (oh, and M. Night) get jiggy with it this weekend
I'm pretty slow on the uptake this summer with a ton of movies I still need to see, and one of them is M. Night Shyamalan's "After Earth." What's that, you say? You didn't know this was an M. Night joint? You'd be forgiven for missing that nugget, since advertising for the film has curiously kept his name low key if not outright out of the picture (it's nowhere to be found above the title on the poster and the trailers certainly didn't play it up). As for why, I'll leave that to you to decide.
The film, like clockwork, is taking a critical beating. But it has a few forgivers, like our own Drew McWeeny, noting that it was "lovely to see something that is sincere, thematically focused, and that ultimately works in a way I didn't expect." Then again, maybe it's just a Scientology indoctrination film. I'll see for myself eventually, but it would appear Shyamalan is a filmmaker with a lot of ground to cover if he's going to be back where he was a decade ago. For now, though, if you've seen the film (which stars Will Smith and son Jaden) or if you get around to it this weekend, head on back here with your thoughts and feel free to vote in the poll below.
Precious hints at the actor's process on an iconic performance
I still remember the moment I found out Heath Ledger was dead. I was driving up the 10 freeway in Los Angeles on the way home and a Variety colleague called. "Did you hear about Heath Ledger?" "No." I'm thinking maybe there's some awesome news about the then upcoming film "The Dark Knight." "Dude, he died."
Crushing. We were robbed of an incredible talent that day. But one of the other things we we robbed of was the chance to really dissect and investigate Ledger's choices for his soon-to-be Oscar-winning role as the Joker in "The Dark Knight," as well as the opportunity to always go back and reflect with the actor as he, and we, spun away from its epic impact over the years. The mystery left as a result is singular and fascinating, serving only to elevate the performance in some ways, but I always felt a pang of sadness that we could never dig into the work with the artist.
Oscar-winning production designer Dean Tavoularis designs Telluride Film Festival's 40th annual poster
Anniversary is set for August 29 - September 2
With Cannes but a memory we look forward to the rest of the summer and, soon after, the dawn of the 2013-2014 film awards season. The starting gun will, as always, be the Venice and Telluride film festivals, followed by Toronto soon after, and we'll be well on our way.
This year Telluride will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in style with an extra day of screenings (though not an expanded slate, just more opportunity to see everything) as well as a new venue, "The Werner Herzog Theatre," named after the famed director who has made the annual trip to Colorado for decades. Before long there will be plenty of buzzing about what films could pop up there -- "Labor Day?" "Nebraska?" "Out of the Furnace?" -- but for now, things are just gearing up, and it all started today with the release of this year's poster art for the fest.
Will Robert Redford land his first acting nomination in 40 years?
CANNES - Officially wrapping up our Cannes coverage today, it's time to really break down the Oscar prospects coming out of the 66th annual fest.
Nearly two years removed from unfortunate gay slur debacle
We all know about Brett Ratner's unfortunate recent history with the Academy. I guess he's made amends and whatnot but certainly this will go a long way toward smoothing it all out.
The press release, in part:
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today a $1 million gift from director Brett Ratner to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
"Brett has a sincere love of movies and film history, and we are excited to welcome him to our group of supporters," said Bill Kramer, the museum's managing director of development...
"I feel blessed to be part of such a magnificent museum. I was blown away by the recent Kubrick exhibit at LACMA, which the Academy co-sponsored. I couldn't be more excited that our Academy will finally have its own museum that will preserve and exhibit cinema's greatest work," said Ratner.
How did Palme d'Or winner 'Blue is the Warmest Color' measure up?
CANNES - Once again from the south of France and the 66th Cannes Film Festival a few days post-fest, HitFix's Gregory Ellwood and Guy Lodge of In Contention survey the lay of the land, this time focusing on the festival's second week.
Who do you think should get the part?
One has to imagine that the role of Hillary Rodham Clinton in the developing biopic "Rodham" is a bit of a coveted one for the industry's top actresses. The project is already fascinating from the outside, stemming from a 2012 Black List script penned by Korean screenwriter Young Il Kim spear-headed by "The Twilight Saga" producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen with indie filmmaker James Pondsoldt on board to direct. When the casting news finally does hit, it will be just one more level of intrigue.
Two years ago at the Kennedy Center Honors, the late Nora Ephron quipped of Meryl Streep's versatility (amid the flurry of the actress's Oscar-winning work as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady") that it was only a matter of time before she would play the former Secretary of State and First Lady. Although "Rodham" happens to be set during the height of the Watergate scandal in 1974 when the 27-year-old politician became the youngest lawyer chosen for the House Judiciary Committee to impeach Richard Nixon. The 63-year-old Streep would better compute for a modern-day yarn, but a quartet of Hollywood's younger stars are keen on the role, The Sunday Times revealed this weekend.
10 films that caught our attention - for better or worse
CANNES - The 66th Cannes Film Festival has ended. The prizes have been handed out. Films have been acquired for global distribution and the last bottle of champagne is empty. This year's festival had something for almost every cinephile except for the glaring lack of documentaries (always an issue on the Croisette it seems) and less Hollywood star power. While there were many polarizing films, there were few disasters. That being said, it's easy to compile a necessary best and worst of this year's selections.
Check out Guy Lodge and Gregory Ellwood's picks in the embedded story gallery. Then let us know which movie you're most excited about seeing in theaters down the road.
Blurbing the good, the bad and the ugly of the 66th annual