I saw "August: Osage County" on Broadway back in 2008, I think it was, and like most who saw Tracy Letts' dissection of an Oklahoma family, I was moved and caught under the spell of a playwright at the top of his craft. A film adaptation was inevitable, and a stellar cast was, too. That's what we're getting later this year in the form of John Wells' take on the material, a film that will no doubt be a fixture in the awards season with the Oscar-savvy Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood golden boy George Clooney leading the charge.
(Welcome to Cannes Check, your annual guide through the 20 films in Competition at next month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 15. Taking on a different selection every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Steven Spielberg's jury. We're going through the list by director and in alphabetical order -- next up, Abdellatif Kechiche's "Blue is the Warmest Color.")
Like many of you, I'm eagerly anticipating Alfonso Cuarón's upcoming space drama "Gravity." Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, it promises to be an eye-popping piece of 3D grandeur from an auteur who has already given us some of the most indelible cinematic imagery of his generation.
Everyone's waiting for the first trailer for the film, which should hit sometime soon. But while we wait, let me pass this bit of info along. A source who's seen "Gravity" (and is over the moon about it) tells me that Ed Harris is featured in the role of a mission control voice. It might seem like just a cool bit of casting with a recognizable voice, but it's also a nice ode to one of the actor's Oscar-nominated performances.
Cannes may be just around the corner, but the Venice Film Festival is sooner than you think it is -- the two European majors effectively bookend the summer movie season, meaning the first glimpse of fall prestige fare on the Lido is just over three months away. Last week, the festival named William Friedkin the winner of this year's lifetime achievement Golden Lion, and today they further interrupted the pre-Cannes conversation with the announcement of this year's Competition jury president: Oscar-winning Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci.
After a five-month delay, Baz Luhrmann's long awaited adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" is finally coming to theaters. So far, reviews have been mixed. "Gatsby" has a 56 on Metacritic and just a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes. And "Gatsby" still has a global stampede of critics ready to pounce after it opens the Cannes Film Festival next week. With that in mind, we're using the film's opening to kick-off a new feature here on HitFix, 3 on 3. What's 3 on 3? Simply, three questions answered by three HitFix insiders on a compelling topic from the world's of movies, music and television.
Let's get to it...
In our recent list of 10 under-the-radar films to watch out for this summer, I listed the small Danish thriller "A Hijacking" as a title especially worthy of your attention. A sparse, nerve-shredding account of a Danish cargo ship held hostage by ruthless Somali pirates, it's a must-see on its own terms -- but also worth checking out as a primer (and yardstick) for this fall's pumped-up Hollywood take on a notably similar story: Paul Greengrass's "Captain Phillips." Now the first trailer has arrived, and it's a good one.
(Welcome to Cannes Check, your annual guide through the 20 films in Competition at next month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 15. Taking on a different selection every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Steven Spielberg's jury. We're going through the list by director and in alphabetical order -- next up, Jia Zhang Ke's "A Touch of Sin.")
After initially being something of a question mark on the schedule (remember when IMDb rather unconvincingly asserted that it was being released in February?), the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" now seems to be falling into the prestige groove we expect for the directors' work these days. A high-profile premiere in Competition at Cannes is just around the corner, while last week, an awards-friendly release date of December 6 was announced for the period folk-music drama. CBS Films may not be terribly experienced in this game, but they sure are aware that three of the brothers' last four films nabbed Best Picture nominations.
After Ben Affleck won the Best Picture Oscar for "Argo" -- and, apparently, the admiration and sympathy of the industry at large -- at February's Academy Awards ceremony, he could probably have persuaded Hollywood to greenlight just about anything he felt like making. Those on the lookout for a grand, overreaching folly in the actor's fourth outing behind the camera, however, may be disappointed to hear he'll be on familiar turf: like his 2007 debut "Gone Baby Gone," "Live By Night" will be an adaptation of a Dennis Lehane novel.
Her recent run-ins with the law may be mildly tarnishing her name at the moment, but the question of what's up with Reese Witherspoon has been on my mind for several years now -- and it has nothing to do with any offscreen activities. Rather, the decline of Witherspoon as a vital screen actress -- all while she's held onto her stardom with impressive ease -- has been far more troubling to witness than any standard-issue TMZ fodder.