Paolo Sorrentino has been a darling on the festival circuit in the past few years with both 2008’s Il Divo and 2013’s The Great Beauty. The latter of which walked home with the Best Foreign Language Oscar of that year.
Here he has oldsters, played by Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel ,struggling with retirement (or rather, impending retirement) at a boutique hotel in the Alps. The trailer for his latest, Youth, angles it as both an emotional and a pedantic experience. That sounds about right. Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano and Jane Fonda also star.
The film certainly looks gorgeous, was well received at Cannes, is playing on this side of the pond at TIFF, and opens commercially in December.
Fred and Mick, two old friends, are on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. Fred, a composer and conductor, is now retired. Mick, a film director, is still working. They look with curiosity and tenderness on their children’s confused lives, Mick’s enthusiastic young writers, and the other hotel guests. While Mick scrambles to finish the screenplay for what he imagines will be his last important film, Fred has no intention of resuming his musical career. But someone wants at all costs to hear him conduct again.
This is the one where Sean Bean and Jimi Hendrix show up.
By now, whether you have read Andy Weir’s surprise hit, self-published novel or not, you know that an astronaut, played by Matt Damon, gets accidentally stranded on the Red Planet. Left to his own devices and remaining gear scattered about, he has to ‘science the shit’ out of his situation while a rescue operation can be put together by both his fellow crew members currently headed back to Earth, as well as NASA mission control. The trailer has a lot of familiar beats from previous ones, but also has a fair bit of new footage as well. Nice to see some can-do American spirit on display without rampant flag-waving. Go Science!
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission.
The Martian will bow at this years Toronto International Film Festival, before receiving a wide theatrical release in early October.
Sundance hit, The Witch, offers up a very intense, quite disturbing trailer. The self-labelled, “New England Folktale” from director Robert Eggers is not so much about viscera or ritual or the usual witch cliches, but the power of superstition, fear, and family values imploding under immense survival pressures and religious beliefs in the New World in the 17th century. It is unrelenting grey and grim, almost black and white in colour palette, and I kind of wish this was released on American Thanksgiving. As the film continues on the festival circuit (next stop: TIFF), it will not be getting a commercial release until 2016.
New England, 1630: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life, homesteading on the edge of an impassible wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another.
Quite honestly, the idea of a retelling of “Frankenstein” seems preposterous but since everything else is getting re-tooled and re-told, why not Shelley’s classic tale? This new revision comes at the hands of Max Landis (of Chronicle fame) and director Paul McGuigan who has been busy in TV land for the last few years but hasn’t directed anything of note since 2009’s Push.
As appealing as that writer/director duo is, the real catch here is the tag team of James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe who are playing Dr. Frankenstein and Igor respectively. I was on board from the word McAvoy but wasn’t expecting much from the project so color me surprised at the first trailer which is ridiculous, funny, kind of gruesome and which presents a movie that looks far better than anything I could have anticipated.
And since we’re already marvelling at this thing, can I also take a moment to note how funny this trailer is? Like, real comedic moments! This thing could actually work out for the best. Unsurprisingly, since McAvoy has chemistry with a door, he and Radcliffe looks right at home together. I’m sure Michael Fassbender is jealous.
Just ask Jon Favreau: being a chef isn’t easy, but making a movie on the subject matter in the 2010s sure make for compelling viewing. Bradley Cooper loves it too; the heat, the pressure… the violence? Yes, try to open a kitchen in the world today and people will be out to kill you. Seems believable enough.
John Wells made one of the worst and most loathsome films in 2010 with The Company Men. Then he made a pretty angry, loathsome film with August: Osage County in 2012. Now he’s headed to the kitchen to make a pretty angry intense version of the culinary scene.
I guess I’m in.
Also, heart the sound effect during the closing credits of the trailer. Nice touch!
Prominently featuring Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson, I’m getting a very delicious Django meets The Thing vibe here. Paranoia, guns, shacks, prisoners, a laundry list of great character actors (Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Demian Bichir, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Gene Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Zoe Bell) and a lot of excellent dialogue. It is oh so easy to be all in for this 70mm shot western.
Bobby Canavale, an untapped resource of genius if there ever was one, and Juno Temple star in this ‘Mad Men of the 1970s record industry’ new show from HBO, Vinyl. Produced by Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terrence Winter (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire). This is a dream team kind of project that might collapse under its own weight of talent, but I’m hoping that it is simply amazing.
Norwegian director Joachim Trier, a darling on the festival circuit after 2006’s Reprise and 2011’s Oslo, August 31, returns with his English language debut, Louder than Bombs, which stars the ubiquitous Jesse Eisenberg, the always wonderful Isabelle Huppert, Gabriel Byrne, David Straithairn and the boy who plays ‘Young Louis’ on Louis CK’s TV show, Devin Druid. His understated but powerful visual style is in full display in the trailer below.
An upcoming exhibition celebrating photographer Isabelle Reed three years after her untimely death, brings her eldest son Jonah back to the family house – forcing him to spend more time with his father Gene and withdrawn younger brother Conrad than he has in years. With the three of them under the same roof, Gene tries desperately to connect with his two sons, but they struggle to reconcile their feelings about the woman they remember so differently
Having already played Cannes and Karlovy Vary film festivals, and with Trier’s previous two films playing the Toronto International Film Festival in the past, here is hoping that some of us can catch this on this side of the pond before quite far off its April 2016 release date. If you’re in Norway, however, Louder Than Bombs opens in October.
A link to the trailer and two embedded clips are both tucked under the seat.
Husband and wife seem to have trouble enjoying their vacation in a swanky hotel on the Maltese coast. Angelina Jolie wrote and directed By The Sea, and it stars in it with her husband Brad Pitt. They slap each other a lot, and look very unhappy and it is all very 1970s glamour. Make of that what you will.
Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and a hotel owner.