The most nominated actress in Oscar history is working hard for her 17th nomination next year. Meryl Streep has been consistently nominated at least every few years since her first Academy recognition in 1978’s The Deer Hunter. Despite her two wins, you can call Streep the new Susan Lucci. Her last win came nearly 30 years ago for Sophie’s Choice (1982). Thirty years! For some reason, the Academy can’t bear to honor who is arguably the greatest actress of all time just once more. Perhaps it feels “she’s won twice, so let’s honor someone new—all the while, we can’t not recognize her talent, so a nomination will be enough for her.” Enough for her? Maybe. Enough for her fans? Hardly. All these years later, Streep still turns out some truly inspired performances. (I still get goosebumps thinking about what she did for her character in 2008’s Doubt.)
Category Archives: Independent Film
THE GUARD Unveils Official Poster
Sony Pictures Classics has released the official poster for The Guard, starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle in a buddy-cop comedy from John Michael McDonagh in his feature directorial debut. The poster has a sort-of classic film vibe to it, which is cool to see for more contemporary fare.
The Guard screened at this year’s Sundance, Berlin, Los Angeles, and Tribeca film festivals and is set to bow in New York and LA on July 29. (Check out the trailer after the jump.)
Synopsis: Two officers from different worlds (and countries) have to team up to take on an international drug-smuggling ring.
Official site: sonyclassics.com/theguard
IMDb’s Amazingness: Independent Films and Shorts
IMDb is my homepage. It’s my home on the Web—where I hang my hat and spend most of my time. I research films, check the news, rate movies, build my Watchlist, and vote in the daily poll. It’s great. IMDb is like a brain—a clearinghouse for knowledge and creativity. But I have to confess—I haven’t recognized the site’s full potential. Much like the human brain, I only use about 10% of it. So imagine my surprise when I discovered you could actually watch independent full-length movies and short films on the site. Almost 7,000 of them. Maybe I’m late joining this party. Perhaps many of you already knew this. So humor me. Check out IMDb’s list of Independent Films and Shorts. There’s no reason to ever be bored again.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be highlighting some of IMDb’s features, proving the site’s amazingness. (Yes, amazingness.)
Note: IMDb is not paying me to endorse its site, but I would gladly accept a few bucks. Movies are getting expensive, you know.
I’m Cuckoo for Coco
I’ll try to make this my last post about Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, the new documentary that follows Conan as he embarks on his Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour after his unceremonious departure from NBC and The Tonight Show. I tried getting tickets to this show almost immediately after it was announced, but it sold out quicker than I could say “Coco.” I’m anxiously awaiting this film’s release, as those who know me know I bleed Conan orange.
(Truthfully, I was looking for a reason to use this super awesome headline, and it all seemed to come together when I received the following opening day announcement. So here she is … )
After a much–publicized departure from hosting NBC’s Tonight Show, O’Brien hit the road with a 32-city music-and-comedy show to exercise his performing chops and exorcise a few demons. Filmmaker Rodman Flender’s documentary, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, is an intimate portrait of an artist trained in improvisation, captured at the most improvisational time of his career. It offers a window into the private writers room and rehearsal halls as O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour is almost instantly assembled and mounted to an adoring fan base. At times angry, mostly hilarious, we see a comic who does not stop—performing, singing, pushing his staff and himself. Did Conan O’Brien hit the road to give something back to his loyal fans, or did he travel across the continent, stopping at cities large and remote to fill a void within himself?
This film opens this Friday, June 24, at New York’s new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center and Landmark Sunshine.
Short Film: “Alive in Joburg” by Neill Blomkamp
In my last post, I referenced District 9, the South African Oscar Best Picture nominee from 2008. “Alive in Joburg” is the 2006 short film on which District 9 was based, directed by Neill Blomkamp (who also helmed the feature) and produced by Sharlto Copley (who stars in the feature adaptation).
Aliens have arrived to Johannesburg …
For some reason, I typically really like movies that are adapted from plays. So, in honor of tonight’s Tony Awards, take a look at three of my favorite recent plays-turned-movies.
The Movie (2008)[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ibxs_2nDXUc]
The Play (2007)
3 Tony nominations (including Best Play), 1 win (Best Actor, Frank Langella)[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8GpdhKrIqk]
In Theatres: The Tree of Life
Fresh from the Cannes Film Festival and currently in select theatres is Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. The film received a healthy mix of boos and applause at Cannes, but acclaimed filmmaker Malick had the last laugh when his film won the coveted Palme d’Or. Malick is one of those directors you keep your eye on. He doesn’t make films that often (a good 20 years between Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line), but when he does, the epic productions usually pack a punch, usually in story and visuals.
I’ve been looking forward to The Tree of Life for a while now, as I’m a fan of Malick’s and Sean Penn’s and the film is being distributed by Fox Searchlight, my favorite distributor. The more I read about the film, the more the idea seems to fly over my head, so I’ll revert to the plot summary from Yahoo! Movies:
The impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950s following the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years, as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father. Jack finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Through Malick’s signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life.
Director: Terrence Malick
Screenwriter: Terrence Malick
Producers: Dede Gardner, Sarah Green, Grant Hill, Brad Pitt, Bill Pohlad
Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Fiona Shaw
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Official Site: foxsearchlight.com/thetreeoflife
Runtime: 138 min.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw3QBALWa60&feature=fvst]
2011 Top 10 Indie Summer Flicks
(Re-posted from limitémagazine.com)
X-Men: First Class. Super 8. Green Lantern. Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Captain America: The First Avenger. Cowboys and Aliens. Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Conan the Barbarian.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the summer films that are on fewer people’s radars—the ones that won’t be #1 at the box office—yet, they’re primed to absorb some serious critical acclaim.
Last year, Limité launched its Top 10 Indie Summer Flicks as an alternate to all of the standard summer blockbusters. Many of those films went on to receive sparkling reviews and accolades, as well as Oscar nominations in several categories (including Best Picture, Best Documentary, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay, among others), so we kinda feel like we know what we’re talking about here.
We’re proud to present the second-annual summer film guide. Share your thoughts below by leaving a comment.
1. BEAUTIFUL BOY
by Daniel Quitério
Michael Sheen and Maria Bello play Bill and Kate, a married couple that learns its son committed a mass shooting at his university before taking his own life. The two struggle through the grief and confusion as the media spill into their lives. Beautiful Boy is the winner of the 2010 Toronto Film Festival International Critics’ Award.
This chilling film is reminiscent of last year’s Rabbit Hole with threads of 2005’s American Gun interwoven. Both Beautiful Boy and Rabbit Hole explore a couple’s relationship as it struggles over the death of a son. In Beautiful Boy, however, the stakes are higher, as that son is also responsible for taking the lives of several others, which is a subplot in the heavy-handed message film American Gun.
This film’s got “Oscar performances” written all over it for both Sheen and Bello, two highly underrated actors who have been aching for and deserving of that spotlight.
Director: Shawn Ku
Screenwriters: Michael Armbruster, Shawn Ku
Cast: Michael Sheen, Maria Bello, Alan Tudyk, Moon Bloodgood, Kyle Gallner, Meat Loaf
Distributor: Anchor Bay Films
Release Date: June 3
More Coco Love …
How fortuitous! Just a day after I posted the Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop trailer, the official poster and website launched. Check out the site here. The film hits theatres on June 24.
Coming Soon: Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
Following his unceremonious exit from his long-time stomping grounds at NBC, Conan O’Brien set out on a 32-city tour, titled The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour. Mixing music and comedy, Conan’s tour played 42 shows in front of 130,000 supportive fans. Unfortunately for me, tickets to both New York City shows at Radio City Music Hall sold out faster than I could say “Coco,” and I was left shedding a tear for my dear Conan from afar. Imagine my excitement when I learned that Conan’s former Harvard classmate Rodman Flender captured the tour and all of the behind-the-scenes goodness on camera. Exposing a very real Conan O’Brien, Flender’s documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop premiered at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, where it landed a unique distribution deal that sees three companies handling different parts of the film’s distribution. According to iTunes Movie Trailers, the film is scheduled for a theatrical release on June 24.
Director: Rodman Flender
Producers: Rachel Griffin, Gavin Polone
Cast: Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter, Jimmy Vivino
Distributors: AT&T (TV through U-verse and AT&T mobile devices), Abramorama (theatrical), Magnolia Home Entertainment (VOD/home entertainment)
Runtime: 89 min.
Release Date: 6.24.11