Redford Vs. Spielberg Over Lincoln?

RobertRedfordThere’s nothing like a little competition to get the blood pumping, especially when that competition is between Robert Redford and Steven Spielberg.

For some time now Spielberg has been working to put together an Abraham Lincoln epic but the film has been placed on hold due to budgetary and location problems and though Spielberg isn’t giving up on the project, someone else has stepped in and will apparently beat him to the punch.

Recent news is that Robert Redford has his own Lincoln film in the works and though this one appears to have different scope, focusing primarily on the events which unfolded after the assassination of the president and the individuals charged with the murder.

Redford’s The Conspirator is scheduled to begin shooting next month with James McAvoy and Robin Wright Penn in leading roles. Wright Penn has been cast as Mary Surratt, the only female in the group charged with the president’s death while McAvoy has been cast as Frederick Aiken, a war hero who reluctantly defends Surratt.

Spielberg insists that his film is very different from Redford’s and is even putting up a good front saying that he believes Redford’s project will “compliment” his project but it’s never easy to have two similar projects. All will be well if Redford’s film is a success but what if it fails? What happens then to Spielberg’s project? That’s yet to be seen and considering that the project is now on the backburner, it could be years before we see Spielberg’s vision.

I’m curious to see both since it sounds like they are quite different but at this point, I’m happy to see that Redford’s film will be the first out of the gate. How do you feel? Is there one you’d like to see more than the other? Is this somewhat of a Redford/Speilberg smakcdown?

New York, I Love You Trailer

New York, I Love YouI knew that at some point we’d posted a trailer for the anthology film New York, I Love You what I didn’t realize was that that trailer was posted a year ago.

The film premiered at TIFF last year and Kurt foresaw the film would open early in 2009 but for some reason, reviews perhaps?, it was shelved and forgotten until today when a sexy discombobulated new trailer appeared. With acting and directing contributions from a long list of talented folk (Park Chan-Wook, The Hughes Brothers, Faith Akin, Mira Nair, Yvan Attal, Shunji Iwai, Wen Jiang, Joshua Marston, Andrei Zvyanginstev, Brett Ratner, Shia LeBeouf, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Anton Yelchin, Orlando Bloom, Christina Ricci, Chris Cooper, Kevin Bacon, Robin Wright Penn, Maggie Q, Ethan Hawke, John Hurt, Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Olivia Thirlby) this is bound to have a little something for everyone.

The trailer is not exactly eye popping but it certainly looks nice and I have love for much of the talent involved so I’m game. I still haven’t seen Paris, je t’aime but I may have to check it out before being sucked into this one.

New York, I Love You is scheduled for limited release on October 16th.

Now, who’s working on a Vancouver, I Love You?

Trailer is tucked under the seat!

Would you like to know more…?

Pippa Lee’s Private Lives on Display

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee Movie StillI’m not familiar with Rebecca Miller’s work but I appreciate that she’s a talented writer and director who has gained wide acclaim for both her films and her books. Her second film Personal Velocity: Three Portraits won the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award and though she’s only made one film since that win in 2002 (though that too won some accolades) she’s one of these female directors to watch.

Her new film The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, an adaptation of her first novel, stars Robin Wright Penn as Pippa Lee, a woman married to a much older man (Alan Arkin) who begins re-evaluating her life when her husband decides to move them from the city and into a retirement community. In her re-evaluation, she thinks back to her turbulent youth as a 17-year old, pill addicted teen and how her life unfolded, getting her to where she is today. Along with Arkin and Penn, the film also stars “Gossip Girl” Blake Lively as the young Pippa Lee, Maria Bello, Monica Bellucci, Julianne Moore (triple threat!), Winona Ryder, Mike Binder and Keanu Reeves.

Though I’m not particularly interested in this story (the trailer doesn’t even appeal to me), there are a whole lot of factors urging me to see this: the cast which features quite the collection of female actresses (it’s nice to see films with great casts like this), then there’s the Keanu factor but trumping all is Miller’s track record which, from the surface, suggests mainstream films with legs. I’m willing to find out; I’ve added her previous films to my DVD queue.

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee will play the Edinburgh Film Festival on June 18th and will open in the UK on July 10th. I can’t find details on a US distributor but the film has been picked up for Canadian distribution by Maple Pictures. I expect we’ll have a chance to see it later this year.

Overlooked: State of Play Trailer

State of Play Movie StillWatching “Lost” for the first time as it aired was both a great and annoying experience; great because I no longer need to worry about spoilers and annoying because of the commercial breaks. One of the pesky breaks included a trailer for a new Russell Crowe film that I had either 1) ignored or 2) missed.

Directed by Oscar winner Kevin Macdonald and based on an acclaimed BBC miniseries from a few years ago, State of Play stars Russell Crowe as a journalist investigating the suspicious death of a congressman’s mistress.

The film adaptation was at the centre of a bidding war and at one point had both Brad Pitt and Edward Norton lined up as potential stars before Crowe came onto the scene yet, I’ve managed to miss everything about the production which struts a great supporting cast which includes Helen Mirren, Jason Bateman, Robin Wright Penn, Rachel McAdams, and Jeff Daniels.

The TV spot left me cold but a glimpse at the cast peaked my interested enough to search out the trailer which is, thankfully, a better experience. Political thrillers rarely hold my interest and I’m not buying Ben Affleck as a congressman (he seems too young) this one is selling me on cast alone. I’m not a huge fan of Crowe’s but he, more often than not, manages a great performance and with this cast, I’m finding it difficult to walk away.

State of Play opens on April 17th.

Trailer is tucked under the seat.

Would you like to know more…?