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Entries in Chloe Moretz (20)

Thursday
Oct092014

NYFF: Maria Dances on the Mountain-tops

Straight from the final week of The New York Film Festival here's Jason on Olivier Assayas' new film Clouds of Sils Maria, starring Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart.

If I was going to make a sort of Cinematic Mad Libs where I filled-in-the-blanks with all my favorite people, places, and things, which then somebody would take that list and turn that into a movie, there's a good chance that Olivier Assayas' Clouds of Sils Maria would be the result. Noun-wise we have my favorite actress Juliette Binoche. Place-wise we have the Swiss Alps, my favorite place in all the world. And Thing-wise we have Rainer Werner Fassbinder's play (and movie) The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. Sils Maria tosses all these ingredients into a pot and cooks up a stew that listen, I was just never not gonna like. It was made for me! And it is delicious.

Maria Enders (Binoche) is a big deal actress and international movie star - she is basically Juliette Binoche. She has flirted with the Hollywood game after rising up in serious roles, and is now trying to swing back to the interesting stuff again. At her side, insistently, is her personal assistant Val (Kristen Stewart), always juggling a couple of cellphones and a thousand appointments at once. Into their life comes a script about the love affair between a woman and her female personal assistant - Maria had played the ingenue role in her youth, but now she's going to tackle that of the older woman. The two women take to the mountains (a gorgeous expanse of Northern Switzerland, misty with metaphor and, uh, mist) to rehearse the two-parter, slipping between their roles and reality, and debating the give-or-take between what makes a movie star and what makes an actress and if they can reconcile the spaces.

It helps, of course, to have that extra level of frisson introduced that here we have a Serious Actress and International Movie Star having this on-screen debate with an International Movie Star who very much would like to be a Serious Actress (and who, by the way, is a Serious Actress - Kristen Stewart's fantastic in this) - in the Q&A following the film Assayas underlined how important it is that we always see it's Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart on screen, that the performative aspect never dissipates; I found the endless reflections of actress and person and character fascinating. And the fact that this is a talky acting piece about making a talky acting piece in between big-budget other-stuff. And the way the big-budget other-stuff swoops in and effects all that talky acting. As the third woman (a well-cast Chloe Grace Moretz) comes in, a mask of whatever-the-moment-calls-for, nothing but a mirror, we watch where the conversations land - the way the theater stage itself is over-produced and overwhelmed, a maze of clear boxes like a re-staging of Chinese Roulette by way of Playtime.

It's very much of a piece with Fassbinder's work though - while Petra von Kant is fogged up and made into this movie's own separate thing it's clear that's what everybody's riffing upon, and as with that film (and most of Fassbinder's work) it is the performance itself that is placed at the forefront. Everyone is playing their roles, hitting their marks, spinning towards their inevitables - the snake will roll in just on time, even if you're not there to see it. "Is it set on Earth?" Binoche asks a director pitching her a science-fiction movie towards the end - after all she's already been up in the clouds, dotting the snow-caps with sacrifices; it's probably time to come down now.

--

Clouds of Sils Maria played last night at NYFF and plays again tonight at 9pm.

Monday
Aug252014

Box Office: An Expensive Lesson in Sequel Production

Amir here, with the weekend’s box office report. Much like last week, the biggest story at the multiplex is the massive failure of a has-been brand. Then, it was the shrinking shoulders of 80s action heroes that could not bear the weight of a changing, modern world. Now, it is Frank Miller’s overly familiar aesthetic and the fading stars of Jessica Alba and crew. This catastrophe is of epic proportions. Budgeted around $70m, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For failed to make even 1/10th of its production costs back and fell behind the aforementioned Expendables 3. Reviews haven’t been kind and any affection for the original film has vanished in the intervening decade. You either have to suffocate the audiences with non-stop sequels and reboots before they know who’s hitting them, or they’ll forget you. That’s the lesson for Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller and one they have had to pay at least $50m dollars to learn.

The best selling wide release was also the weekend’s Film Amir Is Too Old To Watch, a romance starring Chloe Grace Moretz called If I Stay that didn’t have the muscle to take the throne from Guardians or Turtles, making this one of the year’s quieter weekends. 

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY $17.6 (cum. $251.8)  Review
02 ...NINJA TURTLES $16.8 (cum. $145.6) remember the animated one?
03 IF I STAY $16.2 *new*
04 LET'S BE COPS $11 (cum. $45.2)
05 WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL $9 *new*
06 THE GIVER $6.7 (cum. $24.1) Review
07 THE EXPENDABLES 3 $6.6 (cum. $27.5)  recommended read
08 SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR $6.4 *new*
09 THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY $5.5 (cum. $32.7) 
10 INTO THE STORM $3.8 (cum. $38.3)  
11 LUCY $3.5 (cum. $113.7) Podcast
12 BOYHOOD  $1.8 (cum. $16.5)  Review & Podcast
13 MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT $1.3 (cum. $6.8)  
14 DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES $1.1 (cum. $203.9) Podcast & Reviewish
15 GET ON UP  $.9 (cum. $28.7) Review & Viola Davis

On the limited side, brighter news: Ira Sach's Love Is Strange a film The Film Experience adores, did strong business on only 5 screens. Here’s hoping it expands across North America as quickly as possible. The only new release I watched in the past couple of days is Ari Folman’s The Congress, which isn’t actually out until next weekend. Stay tuned for my review! What have you watched this weekend?

Monday
Aug182014

Coming Soon? More from the Author of "Gone Girl"

On a trip to Los Angeles last year I met longtime reader Margaret de Larios who, as it turns out, turned our own Anne Marie of "A Year With Kate" fame on to the blog originally. Margaret wanted to sound off on a topic I was very intrigued by so here she is to talk about the mysteriously silent upcoming movie "Dark Places". Say hello! - Editor


In just under two months, Gone Girl will likely be taking cineplexes by storm. The movie's marketing team is not of a mind to let us forget it, slowly rolling out new posters and trailers as well as sending David Fincher out to stoke internet buzz by playing coy about a possible new ending.

But what about the other Gillian Flynn movie, Dark Places?

Because there is another Gillian Flynn movie. And a TV series in development. And a project with HBO. And an original screenplay. And two new impending novels. Gillian Flynn is about to be everywhere and I, for one, plan to welcome our new thriller overlord.  Her work is creepy and uncomfortable and gripping in the best way. It also, significantly, happens to feature a wealth of meaty, nasty female roles. This could portend some long-needed mitigation of the True Detective Problem (or the Hannibal problem or the Breaking Bad problem or the-- well, you get the gist) and be a boon to lovers of actressing everywhere... as long as we finally get to see them produced.

Gone Girl is in the bag and Flynn's every development deal makes news, so whither Dark Places with Charlize Theron? [More...]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May242014

Cannes Diary: "Foxcatcher" and Best Actor, "Clouds of Sils Maria" and Actresses

Diana Drumm reporting from Cannes for The Film Experience

With the Palme d’Or announcement looming over the Croisette, critics and casual filmgoers are scattering to catch the festival favorites screening throughout the Palais and/or selecting their bets for the Awards ceremony. Yours truly is in a bizarre, hazy limbo between the two, writing up what’s left of my coverage and running to more screenings. Without further rambling, here are two more competition films (an Oscar favorite and an indie to look out for) along with my personal pick for Best Actor. Will Jane Campion and jury agree? 

Foxcatcher
Bennett Miller’s true story drama looks at the relationship between Olympic wrestlers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) and American old money heir John E. du Pont (Steve Carell), that would lead to a point-blank murder. Opening with black-and-white footage of a foxhunt (horses, hounds, riding gear) on the du Pont Foxcatcher estate, the film then cuts to Mark Schultz in not quite as posh straits, getting paid $20 to give a speech to an elementary school and chowing down on lukewarm ramen. So when he gets the call that John E. du Pont (apparently an avid wrestling enthusiast despite his status and it being a sweaty arm sport) wants to fly him out to meet, Mark leaps at the chance before getting any specifics on du Pont...  

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep222013

Box Office: The Family Prisoners of Oz

Jake Gyllenhaal sure needed it. Hugh Jackman's still got it. Prisoners, their tense new child abduction thriller had a strong opening weekend. It shouldn't come as a surprise, really. Hugh hasn't had anything like a true "flop" since Deception (2008) and The Fountain (2006). Even Australia, which people remember as a flop, would have been a hit all told with its solid global gross had it not had such a steroid-humongous budget. We'll discuss Prisoners in depth tomorrow (it's the type of movie that people will unfortunately "spoil" while discussing it enthusiastically so let's give it another night before we dive in) once we're past Emmy weekend.

marketed largely on Hugh Jackman, Prisoners turns out to be a true ensemble piece

WIDE RELEASE
01 Prisoners $21.4 
02 Insidious Chapter 2 $14.5 
03 The Family $7
04 Instructions Not Included $5.7
05 Battle of the Year $5
06 We're The Millers $4.6 
07 Lee Daniels' The Butler $4.3 REVIEWED 
08 Riddick $3.6 
09 Planes  $2.8
10 Percy Jackson 2 $1.8 

I ran into Joe Reid at the movies on Thursday and we talked about the tiny short shelf life of some movies. We were joking that people won't even remember that The Family ever came out by Friday. But here it is for the second week in a row in the top three grossers. So perhaps we were wrong. I haven't had the time (or, more pointedly, the heart) to write up the movie. I will say that Pfeiffer, DeNiro and Jones are good enough with the material but none inspired by it. What prompted them to make it beyond the paycheck? The fault lies with Luc Besson and the writing since it's such an unwieldy and even ugly mix of tones, swerving from heartfelt drama to black comedy to slapstick to god-only-knows what in nearly every scene with none of the dramatic empathy or comic inspiration that it would need to survive its indecisiveness and total mediocrity.

Mother & Robot. After school.

P.S. The only moments of joy I felt watching the movie was a couple shots of an endearing beautiful dog (named "Malavita" - ha!) and every shot of La Pfeiffer as it came with tiny flashes of nostalgia from the 80s classic Married to the Mob wherein the goddess was also comically cavorting with gangsters.

P.P.S. Dianna Agron is awful but I actually think she has the film's most impossible role and I can't believe I'm saying this but it needed someone of Chloe Moretz's total "f*** you" adolescent confidence and technical skill - she can fake human-like responses when she has to. Agron can (sort of) "act" confidence but she's like a robot when it comes to emotions; they do not compute.

LIMITED or STILL PLATFORMING
01 Wizard of Oz IMAX 3-D $3
02 Thanks For Sharing $.6
03 Enough Said $.2
04 Rush $.2 REVIEWED
05 Short Term 12 $.1 REVIEWED (cum $.7)

Having recently rewatched The Wizard of Oz for the millionth time for Hit Me With Your Best Shot I didn't feel the need to see it on the big screen again (I've done that several times, too). But did you? In other news, I fear that Short Term 12 is not long for this world, encountering its first dip during its gutsy and beautiful weekly expansion... so get out there and see it, people. Support movies that are crafted with everything BUT box office on their minds, and we'll get better movies!

What did you see this weekend? And was it money well spent?

Wednesday
Aug212013

"Give Carrie a call?"

Sometimes I receive an e-mail from a reader that is so spot on I don't even know what to add. So thanks to Dave for pointing out this absurdity on Facebook. 

He writes:

Are they honestly trying to make "Carrie" sexy? Do they think that evoking old 1-900 hotlines is... relevant to kids today? 

Good questions both and lol on the 1-900. On the other hand, if Margaret White rings (or sings), I'm totally picking up. 

Sexy 'Scary Carrie' hits theaters one month from now. With remakes of lesser known titles you sometimes have to worry that studios will bury the original to clear the way for new profits. Thankfully the original Carrie is too well known and too widely disseminated for that. The new Carrie will surely self-immolate (literally and figuratively) but the original will haunt forever. 

Wednesday
Apr242013

You're Gonna Link Me When I'm Gone

Erik Lundegaard "find the future movie star". This was really fun and hard... I briefly thought I saw James Cagney but that wasn't it... (here's the answer if you can't figure it out)
Los Angeles Times
 Lincoln Center honored the one and only Barbra Streisand this week. I was not invited though I sought an invitation which I have to admit depressed me. In related news: HAPPY BIRTHDAY BARBRA!
i09 the new After Earth trailer proves M Night Shyamalan doesn't know how evolution works
Salon YouTube's eighth birthday brings classic time-wasters 
Gawker Ben Affleck to spend only $1.50 a day for five days in honor of movie blogge... oh I'm sorry, as part of the "Live Below the Line" challenge meant to draw attention to Global Poverty. 

Speaking of Affleck...

i09 Marvel got the rights to Daredevil back from Fox. Will they use them. And how soon? I really wish they'd consider a TV series for at least one of their characters. Lawyers belong on TV. Surely they got the industry mandate on that?
Slash ...and speaking of Marvel Studios. Lee Pace, whom we love here at TFE, is in final talks to play the villain in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. I don't know that series but this is terrible news since his perfect perfect mug will undoubtedly be buried in some weird unrecognizably villainous makeup. Stop making beautiful people ugly, Hollywood! Ugly actors need jobs too.

and more non-Marvel links
In Contention Dallas Buyers Club goes to Focus. Will it be their prime Oscar contender for 2013? 
Towleroad Downton Abbey: The Musical 
Welcome to Twin Peaks amazingly creepy mashup of Twin Peaks and The Shining
Empire Chloe Moretz, uncontent to haunt me in every Hollywood picture is considering working with one of my favorite European auteurs Olivier Assayas for a film called Sils Maria. I have to admit the plot sounds super interesting (especially since the Irma Vep auteur is behind it) with Moretz possibly playing an actress currently playing one of another actresses (Binoche) defining roles.  
Cinema Blend Entertainment giant and sort of retired director Mike Nichols returning with One Last Thing Before I Go. Ugh. why didn't he just say yes to August: Osage County then?!? 

and look!

Anna Kendrick made a music video. The song will be familiar if you saw Pitch Perfect. There's a funny reaction to this on Videogum.

and Tweet of the Day goes to Dwayne Johnson "the Rock" who sent his fans this pic from his hospital bed after hernia surgery.

Ha! (The Superman t-shirt is perfect since he's already practically a cartoon superhero)