Woody Allen's latest hits theaters this weekend. I'm a huge fan of it, particularly Cate Blanchett's searing performance (which I think even detractors can admit is an accomplishment, one that showed up on our list of the greatest performances in Woody Allen movies, in fact). We've also talked to Blanchett about working with Allen and digging in deep on the character. But now it's your turn to speak up. When and if you get around to seeing it, please give us your take in the comments section and feel free to vote in our poll below. And, as always, if there are any other films you've seen recently that you want to discuss, have at it. Open thread.
For about 80% of James Mangold's "The Wolverine," I had a huge smile on my face. It was a pretty solid adaptation/re-imagination of the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller miniseries from 1982, it got the most out of a fresh environment for Hugh Jackman's eponymous mutant and you could tell, for a variety of reasons, that an actual filmmaker was at the helm. Then…that third act. I won't go into spoilers here (though assume the comments section will), but it was heartbreakingly awful and not in a nifty comic book way. It was more reminiscent of the dreadful "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" than anything else in the film and that just bummed me out.
But that's me. Drew McWeeny had some forgiveness for it, and certainly I do, too, but I'd love to hear what you made of the film, which is kicking off midnight screenings on the east coast as we speak. So when/if you get to the movie this weekend, head on back here with your thoughts and feel free to vote in our poll below. (And remember to stay for the credits.) Or if there's anything else you've caught up with recently that you'd like to discuss, consider this an open thread to do just that.
Cate Blanchett on navigating the dark corners of a broken individual in Woody Allen's 'Blue Jasmine'
NEW YORK - The obvious question when you're talking to an actress who has just finished a collaboration with Woody Allen, an actress like "Blue Jasmine" star Cate Blanchett, for instance, is whether that specific collaboration an actor's dream. After all, so many performers have produced some of their best (in many cases, award-winning) work under the director's helm. But the answer isn't necessarily the one you might expect.
Nicole Holofcener's 'Enough Said' with James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus set for Sept. release
When James Gandolfini suddenly and tragically left us last month, he had a few final films left to be completed. His swan song would appear to be Michaël R. Roskam's "Animal Rescue" from a screenplay by Dennis Lehane starring Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace. But before we get that, we'll have Nicole Holofcener's "Enough Said" which stars Gandolfini along with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Toni Collette and Catherine Keener.
It seemed like the trailer for John Lee Hancock's "Saving Mr. Banks" turned a number of people around on the project, at least judging by comments I've seen here and there. And make no mistake, it will have a presence in the awards season; Disney is circling its wagons, has brought on a key Oscar strategist and will probably be all in on this one.
Cate Blanchett has been making the rounds on behalf of Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine" this week, which premiered in Los Angeles last night. And again, we'll be talking about that performance quite a bit over the next few months, but when I got her on the phone recently to discuss the film, I also took a few choice moments at the end to talk about two other projects that have me intrigued.
I've been trying to figure out how Warner Bros. may or may not handle Telluride in 2013. Last year they took "Argo" there as a sneak preview and it blew the roof off the Chuck Jones Cinema. Then, as we all know, it went on to be a dominant force in the awards season and pick up the Oscar for Best Picture. The year before, however, they dodged it, taking "Contagion" to Venice, "J. Edgar" to AFI Fest and banking on latter-year release "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." So you never can tell.
This year the studio has already set Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" as the Venice opening night selection. The film is then going on to Toronto alongside Denis Villeneuve's "Prisoners" (which could end up being an unexpected awards play), so there's a small chance one or the other could go to Telluride. There's no word yet on the roll-out for Spike Jonze's "Her," though the recently wrapped "The Good Lie" from "Monsieur Lazhar" director Philippe Falardeau and starring Reese Witherspoon and Corey Stoll (with shades of "The Blind Side") could go to Telluride and end up figuring into the race.
Every year, the announcement of the first wave of Toronto Film Festival inclusions takes some of the guesswork out of the Venice Film Festival lineup announcement a few days later. And so it was this year: thanks to those telltale "North American premiere" tags, we knew that such films as Stephen Frears's "Philomena," Jonathan Glazer's "Under the Skin," Kelly Reichardt's "Night Moves," David Gordon Green's "Joe," Peter Landesman's "Parkland" and John Curran's "Tracks" would be having their world premieres on the Lido -- all of those titles, as it turns out, in competition for the Golden Lion.
There are arguably five great film festivals in the world: New York, Sundance, Cannes, Venice and Toronto. (Yes, you could argue Berlin is in that mix as well, but how many noteworthy premieres do they really get?) Out of that group, no festival has as many artistic highs and lows as Toronto. It's partly because of their huge program, partly because it's a pseudo fall film market and, well, they sort of like to have lots of famous people walk their red carpets (tough love, TIFF, tough love).
The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first 71 selections for the 2013 edition of the annual awards-season kick-off this morning and there is plenty to choose from and send any festival-goer's schedule into a tizzy. New films from Bill Condon ("The Fifth Estate"), Ron Howard ("Rush"), Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") and Jason Reitman ("Labor Day") will be at the top of most people's lists, while others from the likes of David Gordon Green ("Joe"), Atom Egoyan ("Devil's Knot") and Ralph Fiennes ("The Invisible Woman") sit primed to be potential discoveries. I'm not sure a program could be much more stuffed than this, but I look forward to taste-testing whatever early gets we see at the Telluride fest a week before Toronto takes off.