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Entries in Anna Kendrick (33)

Wednesday
Jun172015

Get Ready for a Third Round of 'Pitch Perfect'

Margaret here with breaking news: Hollywood loves money, water is wet and Pitch Perfect 3 is officially in the works.

Pitch Perfect 2 is still in theaters, and presumably since it's nearing a $300 million worldwide take (which would be more than respectable even without its vastly profitable soundtrack tie-in), Universal has just announced that they've staked out July 21, 2017 for the threequel. 

Critics were less than enthused about the second installment, but heaven knows if they can squeeze three movies out of The Hangover and Meet the Parents then there's no harm in in making room for movies starring and produced by women in the franchise club.

Screenwriter Kay Cannon is in talks to return for round three, and while there's no word on whether Elizabeth Banks will be back to direct, it has been announced that both Rebel Wilson and Anna Kendrick are on board.

See how ecstatic she looks? 

The question is... how? Considering how inevitable another sequel seemed, it was strange to see the Pitch Perfect 2 screenplay consistently cutting off potential avenues for a sequel.

Of course, the most sensible (read: boring) solution would be to repeat the premise with a new slate of actors and have the original stars cameo in mentorship roles. But it's early yet, and we can hold out hope for a dramatic creative swerve. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a gritty game-change chronicling the harsh reality of post-college a cappella life, where the gang reunites to busk in the big city by night while by day they try to break into an unsympathetic industry. Featuring lots of shaky-cam, naturally. In what direction would you steer the Pitch Perfect series?
 

Saturday
May232015

Review: Pitch Perfect 2

The standard formula for sequel-making is easy to remember: do it again, only bigger. Elizabeth Banks has taken this to heart while working both sides of the camera. Pitch Perfect 2 marks her feature directorial debut but she's still fully visible as one half of the insult-comic pundits that barrage the acapella groups with shade as we watch them perform. The absurd notion of live commentary during vocal performances continues to be a pretty good unspoken joke unto itself so naturally Gail (Banks) and John (John Michael Higgins), have larger roles this time. They're like the Waldorf & Statler to the Bardem Bella's Muppets only hornier and way more intrusive. The comparison may be fusty but so is the jokey tone - vaudeville sized in its caricature driven gags and completely shameless at wringing laughs from crude, repetitive and stereotype-loving jokes. In fact, it's so broadly cartoonish that it's easy to imagine virtually any of the cast members as muppets, especially Fat Amy (née Fat Patricia). 

Who among you didn't visualize Rebel Wilson as a Muppet just now; the resemblance is uncanny!

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr082015

Young Hollywood Casting News Roundup

Manuel here trying to not to make a big deal out of that “Grace of Monaco will be premiering on Lifetime” news. The Emmy campaign begins now, yes, but gosh, there really is no wrath like a Weinstein scorned, is there? And so, rather than try and come up with a witty headline (maybe something like “DisGrace”?), I figured we’d look onward by checking out some casting news about some of our favorite up and coming (read: young) actresses. In other words, imagine we here at TFE brought all of these talented gals together, shot our very own Vanity Fair-style cover, and this is just a helpful guide as to where to see them next:

Mia Wasikowska
She’s been tormented by Nicole Kidman in Stoker, she’s tormented Julianne Moore in Maps to the Stars, and while I wish I could announce she’ll finish collecting all The Hours ladies with an upcoming Meryl Streep film (we know Meryl loved her in Jane Eyre) she’ll actually be tormented and persecuted by her Lawless co-star, Guy Pearce, in the upcoming Western thriller Brimstone.

Mia is building quite the filmography, no?

Brie Larson
After her head-turning lead role in Short Term 12, Larson has been oddly not busy (let’s not speak of The Gambler). Thankfully, 2015 looks busy enough: we’ll be seeing her next in Trainwreck, while two other films (the claustrophobic sounding Room and the India-set Basmati Blues) feel like fall films. She’s just signed on to Ben Wheatley’s Reservoir Dogs-style flick Free Fire, where she’ll co-star against a trio of hunks: Luke Evans, Armie Hammer and Cillian Murphy.

I really hope Larson has some Trainwreck scenes with Tilda (here pictured with Schumer)

Anna Kendrick
The now ubiquitous triple threat (she can sing! she can act! she can social media!) is poised to have a great summer with Pitch Perfect 2 and while her follow-up projects see her taking more serious looking roles (a hit-man film with Sam Rockwell and a forensic accountant film with Ben Affleck), those of us who enjoy her in full comedy mode should greet her newest casting - in a rom-com titled Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates alongside Zac Efron! - with open arms.

Keke Palmer
Akeelah and the Bee was clearly just a beginning. Since, Palmer has been making a name for herself, both on Broadway (where she was the first African-American Cinderella) and on TV (with recurring roles in 90210, Masters of Sex and starring roles in Lifetime’s A Trip to Bountiful and VH1’s CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story). Now she’s joined the merry band of Ryan Murphy players in Scream Queens:

Kristen Stewart
Hot off being the first American actress to win a Cesar Award (for Clouds of Sils Maria which opens this weekend; go see it!) and chastising the “big, big, big green monster of cash” that fuels the current celebrity news industry, Stewart has been lined up to star with Brendan Gleeson in a Scottish historical film titled The Great Getaway.

Stewart really is amazing in this two-hander with Binoche.

Gabourey Sidibe
I can’t be the only one happy to see Gabourey’s post-Precious career continue to flourish. After parts in The Big C, American Horror Story and Empire, it seems she’s found a footing in television and that’s where we’ll see her next in Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner’s Hulu comedy Difficult People.

Sidibe has a recurring role as the manager of the coffee shop where Eicher's character works

Don't you find it refreshing that none of these actress casting notices mention tentpoles, blockbusters or otherwise multiple-film franchise contracts? Which one of these projects are you most excited about? 

 

Wednesday
Feb252015

Red Carpet: Supporting Actresses & Stray Beauties

Red Carpet Lineup Time as we struggle to wrap up Oscar night! It's time to say goodbye to the Supporting Actress Class of 2014 and it occurs to me that though I know you favored Arquette to a very wide margin in the race, I have no idea who y'all think was best dressed of this annual rotating quintet? So please do vote!  

 

NATHANIEL: In the meantime please welcome back our LA beauties Margaret and Anne Marie to the fashion panel. In the spirit of the times, when red carpet press have been encouraged to #AskHerMore, let's do that. We've never cared "who" people are wearing anyway... just that they're giving us glamour for our favorite International Holiday, Oscar Night. What questions immediately come to mind when you see this lineup?

MARGARET: What I'm desperate to know is, who are these ladies going to work with next? With perhaps the exception of California-law-mandated nominee Meryl Streep, they all have fresh momentum that should give them their pick of projects..

ANNE MARIE: Maybe they can all work in a movie together. They certainly make a great lineup standing next to each other.

NATHANIEL: Actresses are not allowed to work together! They must choose which man they'd like to mother, inspire or longsuffer for.

MARGARET: In my very vivid head-world where I am a massively wealthy movie producer, I would definitely finance the heck out of some Empire-style movie about which ambitious and capable protege of Meryl's should take up the torch of some high-powered business.

NATHANIEL:  I think it wisest we keep Laura Dern away from big corporations.

more...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb122015

"The Last Five Years" Is Here

My two favorite Off Broadway musicals of all time have both now made the trek to movie screens. Hedwig and the Angry Inch which I saw thrice in 1999 right after moving to NYC became an instant cult classic in film form thanks to its brilliant creator / star / writer John Cameron Mitchell. He just returned to the role on Broadway (though he's out for a bit after an injury so Michael C Hall is back to fill in for him). The second The Last Five Years took much longer. I saw it during the last week of its original run (whew!) in 2002 and 13 years later it's on screens with Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan as the troubled couple Cathy and Jamie who can't quite connect (illustrated narratively by his story moving forward while hers moves backwards through the relationship. It's not the unqualified success that Hedwig was but if you love the movie musical genre you really need to see it because it's a really unique beast.

Radius TWC is distributing which means there aren't many theaters playing it yet beyond Los Angeles, New York and Toronto but it's also available On Demand. On Oscar weekend it expands to several more cities. I'd love to hear from any TFE readers who see it. It's a very unusual musical to adapt since the concept is very theatrical and it's intimate whereas most movie musicals are big glitzy things. Wisely they cast two actors who can sing the hell out of its tremendously satisfying song score.

Two key blog posts in case you missed them...

Anna Kendrick Interview

Nathaniel: "Summer in Ohio"... I LOVE this version.
Anna Kendrick: I'm so glad. It was a ton of work. In the show she's writing a letter but I thought when I'm away from my boyfriend we Skype. And Cathy in that number is not just recounting her day, she's performing for Jamie because even at the beginning of their marriage she’s like “I have to keep him interested. I have to keep him in love with me”... [Read the Rest]

Toronto Film Festival Review

The first thing you see in The Last Five Years is a white brownstone. It looks almost like a ghost in the middle of a New York City block. As the notes begin to play, the camera drifts upwards to peer into windows and search for its movie star within them. No, that's not her.  Not her either. Ah, there she is. Anna Kendrick sings the entirety of "Still Hurting", moping around a dark apartment, crying. The camera moves around her (in strange patterns) and her voice is just beautiful. And then I realize I've forgotten to breathe and am gripping my armrest. [Read the Rest]

 

Wednesday
Feb112015

Musical Oscars: JHud, Kendrick, Jack Black & More to Perform

Anna Kendrick singing her ass off all month on screen and stageManuel here bringing more news about the Oscar telecast. While some continue to ponder whether we’ll really be asked to be Team BOYhood or Team birdMAN (and how’s that for a an apt metaphor for contemporary Hollywood!), we’ll be focusing more on what Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have in store for us during the sure-to-be-endless ceremony that shortchanges winning speeches for needless montages and musical performances.

Speaking of these, it looks like we’re getting a full Best Original Song performance roster, with Adam Levine ("Lost Stars"), Tegan and Sara with The Lonely Island ("Everything is Awesome!!!"), Common & John Legend ("Glory"), Tim McGraw ("I'm Not Gonna Miss You") and Rita Ora ("Grateful") slated to sing their respective numbers on the big night.

"We're creating several musical sequences for the Oscars and we couldn't be happier that our friend, Jennifer Hudson, will be performing in one of them," say Zadan and Meron.

On top of this, last week came word that Jack Black would be performing, that Anna Kendrick would be part of a "special performance" and just this past weekend, Meron and Zadan confirmed that Jennifer Hudson would also be performing (my guess is she might be doing the In Memoriam number? That is, unless they’ve designed another “tribute to musicals” like they did in 2013, remember that?)

That already looks like quite a stacked schedule, especially once you add NPH’s number, so maybe we’ll be spared the montages that celebrate “Oscar’s history” or some oddly specific genre rather than the year in film and the actual nominated films?

The Best Picture lineup may look quite oppressively manly, but with all these musical numbers (and NPH on hand), it’ll be quite the glittery gay spectacle, no? Fingers crossed! My only hope is that Hudson wears something as cray-tastic as that cape from her Dreamgirls red carpet.