Another soulful and engaging trailer for The Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis which gets it’s wide release around Christmas time this year. There are few doubts that this film will be excellent, and the smattering of critics quotes in the trailer (I don’t look at the text of the quote, I look at the names of the critic used to assess these things) only confirm things. Great cast, great musical vibe, and great setting – the niggling question here is how easy it will be to acclimatize to the glowing-desaturated-instagram-filter cinematography with Roger Deakins sitting this one out while Bruno Delbonnel (Amélie, Dark Shadows) pinch hits.
We haven’t seen much from the Coen Brothers’ much anticipated Inside Llewyn Davis,
surprising considering that the movie is due for release on February 8th (thanks to the comments section for clearing up the erroneous date. No release date is confirmed), but a trailer has emerged and it looks very different from the directing duo’s last few outings.
Part of it is the fact that Roger Deakins was unavailable to shoot this project, too busy on Skyfall I presume, but Bruno Delbonnel, known best for Across the Universe and Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince brings a beautiful dreamlike aesthetic to the picture which nicely captures the 60s setting of the movie.
The story is loosely based on the life of influential folk musician Dave van Ronk and stars Oscar Isaac as the titular character with Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund and Justin Timberlake in supporting roles (though Timberlake is nowhere to be seen in this trailer). It’s certainly a fantastic cast and there’s some great dialogue in the trailer (surprise, surprise) particularly from Mulligan.
Director: Robert Lorenz
Screenplay: Randy Brown
Producers: Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Michele Weisler
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, Matthew Lillard, John Goodman
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 111 min.
Early into Trouble with the Curve we meet “Peanut Boy” (Jay Galloway) a Latino youth that throws a bag of peanuts at Bo Gentry, a cocky hitter at the top of the draft list and who all the scouts are there to check out, including Clint Eastwood’s Gus. Problem is that Gus is losing his vision so he’s depending on his daughter Mickey (Amy Adams), named after the baseball legend, to help him figure out if the Gentry kid is as good as the computers say he is.
It’s important to note this scene because from the moment it plays out, I expected the story to meander in his direction. It eventually goes the way you’d expect it to though that bit of plot doesn’t take centre stage until much later in the movie and the farther the plot meanders from that scene, the clearer it becomes that Trouble with the Curve isn’t really a movie about baseball. Sure, there’s a lot of baseball in it and it takes place in the heat of a baseball road trip (complete with tailgaters) but at its core this is a family drama and a romantic comedy brought together by baseball.
Gus is a stubborn and independent guy, the best scout in the business. Bo Gentry is the up-and-comer everyone’s talking about so the Braves send Gentry out to make sure that the kid is solid. But Gus’ boss and good friend Pete (John Goodman) knows Gus isn’t doing so well so he calls up Gus’ daughter Mickey and essentially convinces her to help out dad by going with him on this scouting trip which could likely be his last. Reluctantly she agrees, a decision that will affect both her personal and professional life. While on the road she and her father finally come to terms with their broken relationship, Mickey falls for a former player turned scout (Justin Timberlake) and she eventually saves the day by discovering that Peanut Boy is an exceptionally gifted pitcher.
David Fincher’s The Social Network is currently my second favourite film of 2010, and my pick (both prediction and preference) to take home this year’s Best Picture Oscar. As I wrote in my review back in November, the movie is “a stunningly absorbing and superbly acted drama with a flawless pace and mesmerizing aesthetic…a film that offers a brutal critique of one of its most influential figures of the internet age, and one that seems Fincher’s evolution as both a storyteller and an artist come magnificently to a head.”
But there is one moment in the film that even after three viewings has always left me wondering.
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE THE SOCIAL NETWORK
So as I’m sure you remember, there’s a moment about two thirds of the way through the film where Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) moves out to California with a group of interns. And by a seemingly random chance, who should happen to be helping his friend move out from the house directly across the street but internet entrepreneur and all round douche-bag Sean Parker (Justine Timberlake). Both characters play it off as a happy coincidence and the movie proceeds from there without giving it much more thought.
But of course there’s no way this meeting was just a coincidence. We are talking about two of the most cunning characters in recent cinema history, both of whom have a serious interest in inserting themselves into the other ones life. I’ve read the script (available here thanks to Sony Pictures) and the scene is written in exactly same way as it is filmed – completely ambiguous. So the question remains: was it Zuckerberg who rented a house that “just happened” to be across from where Parker was crashing, or had Parker sussed out Zuckerberg’s whereabouts beforehand, choosing to use the sight of a collapsing chimney as a plausible excuse to ring the doorbell?
Director: David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club, Zodiac)
Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, Ben Mezrich (book)
Producers: Dana Brunetti, Ceán Chaffin, Michael De Luca, Scott Rudin
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Max Minghella, Josh Pence, Justin Timberlake, Joseph Mazzello, Rooney Mara
MPAA Rating: PG13
Running time: 121 min.
David Fincher’s The Social Network is an age old tale of what happens daily in the business world. The difference here is that involves one of the biggest brands in the world (valued at somewhere in the $25 billion ballpark), best friends (one of which is portrayed as socially inept) and the fact that this all happened before anyone involved turned 25.
The one thing that we need to keep in mind while watching the film is that this is a work of fiction. The people involved know what happened but that’s about it. Regardless of how well researched Ben Mezrich’s book is (from which the talented Aaron Sorkin adapted the script), we can’t take it as the bible of what happened but we know the basics and they are that in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg and his partner Eduardo Saverin launched thefacebook.com (they later dropped “the” from the name). Shortly after launching at Harvard, the site launched at other campuses before eventually going public and everyone and their grandmother having a facebook account. Along the way, Zuckerberg burned a few bridges, causing a few lawsuits (the film’s tag line accurately reads: “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies”) and facebook is still the biggest thing in the world. Ah, brand power overshadows much.