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Entries in Jason Reitman (6)

Wednesday
Sep112013

"Labor Day" in a Nutshell

If I'd have known that the poster to Jason Reitman's Labor Day, an adaptation of the Joyce Manard novel, hadn't made it online yet at this writing, I'd have snapped a picture of it. It's a beauty for its rarity. How many actual film stills are used for movie posters these days? It's usually either iconic floating heads or powerful star bodies. If not that then boring vertical / horizontal grids of star faces, or a mishmash collage.

Here's the freeze frame in question, that's only been slightly modified for the poster image...

Kate Winslet & Josh Brolin star in Labor Day

And that film still, the first image released, is truth in advertising. What's more -- and only faithful TFE readers will truly appreciate this -- it's the image that stopped me in my tracks during the movie and made me think  "That's my choice for 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' though I promise I don't play that game with every movie I watch. 

The image is the story in a nutshell...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep072013

TIFF: Boogie Nights Revisited as Radio Show

Jason Reitman's Live Reads have long since gained "event" status on the West Coast and occasionally here in Toronto. Last year's TIFF event, a live reading of  American Beauty won so many raves that I knew I had to be there for the live read of Boogie Nights, another 90s classic and one much dearer to my heart. ... My crotch? Somehow Boogie Nights played much dirtier read aloud which got me to appreciate the unbelievable balancing act of the movie all the more. Somehow Mark Wahlberg's dumb sweetness, Julianne Moore's eager-beaver maternal warmth, Melora Walters and Don Cheadle's lost soul puppy love and the entire cast's totally committed work in Paul Thomas Anderson's classic elevate the material (already great to begin with of course) into something both stylized and authentic and totally endearing.

This time through without the visuals what I appreciated most was the comic glories of its dimwitted poetry.  Like this from Dirk:

You don't know what I can do! You don't know what I can do, what I'm gonna do, or what I'm gonna be! I'm good! I have good things that you don't know about! I'm gonna be something! I am! And don't fucking tell me I'm not!

Or literal dimwitted poetry like this from Reed...

I love you, you love me | Going down the sugar tree |  We'll go down the sugar tree, and see lots of bees: playing, playing |  But the bees won't sting, because you love me

more

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Thursday
Jul042013

Will You Be Having "Labor Day" For Christmas?

Labor Day, the latest film from writer/director Jason Reitman is now scheduled to open on Christmas Day so I thought I'd post about it on Independence Day just to continue its holiday confusions!

You may remember that I had promised to read two books that y'all voted on in that "read this before the movie comes out" and this was your second choice pick (I'll read 12 Years a Slave next). I managed to get through thise runner up on flights during my recent Scandinavian trip. Joyce Manard's "Labor Day" was an easy read, actually as the novel is slim and the story is condensed to a very short time frame. I like both of its book covers though they're vague (love and peach pies do figure in but...) and its difficult to say what they're selling but the same is arguably true of the book, which I felt ambivalent about when I'd finished though it never really lost my interest in the reading.

It could make a smart tight movie about unloved middle aged people and the messy crossroads between romantic fulfillment and parenting, OR what it's like to grow up as the child of absent divorced parents but it also could make for an odd collision of coming-of-age clichés, faux thriller suspense, and romantic drama. If it's not tightly directed I could see some 'let's just watch some actors act' aimlessness happening given the novel's multiple identities. I'm loathe to give away details (though I'm 100% certain the trailer will...) but the set up is that an escaped ex convict Frank (Josh Brolin) suddenly enters the lives of a shut-in mother Adele (Kate Winslet) and her lonely teenage son Henry (played by 14 year old Gattlin Griffith from Changeling and then by 16 year old Dylan Minette who has had a few regular series gigs on TV... though it seems strange to have actors so close in age playing the same character at different ages) on a rare trip out shopping, further isolating them from the world. That's all I'm saying. 

 

I'm intrigued to see Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet work together -- seems like smart casting director match-making.

Winslet's character is a complicated one so if the movie is strong a Best Actress nomination isn't out of the question. Adele is eccentric, stubborn, moody, shut-down, delusional but also sexually vivid. She's described repeatedly in the novel as beautiful with a lithe dancers physique that's still a head turner even though she doesn't take care of herself and put herself out there visually (she seems to have no interest in dating). But based on the set photos of the costuming and styling maybe they've erred on the side of "she's a housewife that's given up!" Winslet might have to provide all the eroticism on her own. 

Dylan MinnetteBrolin is a smidge beefier than his character as described (Frank is a wiry almost gaunt ex-con) though it does look like he lost some weight for the role. But I think it's great casting emotionally since he is fairly adept at shading good guys and bad guys alike with questionable impulses and more complex character that you're able to read at first glance. 

Is this a movie you're looking forward to?
If you've read the novel what did you think of it? Do you remember Gattlin Griffith in Changeling (little Walter Collins) and if you've seen Dylan Minette on Lost or Saving Grace tell us what you think of his big screen potential?

Related Reading: 14 Books to Read Before They Hit the Big Screen (BuzzFeed) 25 Beach Reads for Summer 2013 (Vulture)

Saturday
Feb162013

Links, Inc.

i09 Monster University has a recruiting ad
i09 and character designs - Helen Mirren being dragon-like as the Dean in this Pixar sequel
Interiors picks a great topic this month: the apartment in Amour. All mapped out. 
NPR Tony Kushner's research and characterizatin of Lincoln
Pakoto illustrated tribute to Jurassic Park
Movie|Line talks to the Ryan Gosling of the porn set who keeps getting cast in XXX versions of Gosling hits


Details interviews James Franco on this moment in his career including Oz the Great and Powerful and...
MNPP brilliantly dissects those page 3 answers about deep throating a pistol for his next picture Spring Breakers
Stale Popcorn Naomi Watts on stardom and breakthroughs
Vanity Fair Quentin Tarantino Kill Chart in infographic form. Wow his movies are gruesome 
Grantland has a snarky Oscar bracket for worst travesties ever while...
A Blog Next Door has some snark for Grantland's fratboy leanings

/Film Jason Reitman's next live reading of a famous picture is Glengarry Glen Ross. This time it's gender-flipped. Normally I am quite happy to be a New Yorker but these events in LA sound so enticing every time. Alec Baldwin's famous role has yet to be cast but Robin Wright will be doing her best Pacino and Catherine O'Hara gets the plum Jack Lemmon role. 

Finally... I wasn't aware of this but Encore Entertainment is hosting a blog-a-thon of some sort called Motifs in Cinema so far I've seen two articles. They are: Motifs: Aging featuring Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, Hope Springs, and Amour; Motifs Fantasy & Reality featuring Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Hobbit, and Savages

Wednesday
Jan042012

Interview: Charlize Theron on "Young Adult" and "Snow White"

Reason #103 to Love Charlize Theron: The Hello Kitty t-shirt in "Young Adult" was her idea!If I were brainstorming about the imaginary pop culture diet of fictional Mavis Gary, the self-absorbed alcoholic YA novelist at the cool heart of Young Adult I'd put this forth: She's never watched the Oscars but flips absently through fashion roundups in the magazines the day after every year. (Her beauty is only skin deep and her thought processes even shallower.) Her creators director Jason Reitman, screenwriter Diablo Cody and actress Charlize Theron, on the other hand all have a lot going on upstairs and are also intimately familiar with Hollywood's big event. If Academy voters widen their range a little to notice the brilliance of this smart acerbic comedy, who knows? They could be invited back again.

Not that any of this seems to concern Charlize Theron, who calls me herself on the night of our interview, to discuss her new role. As a producer on the film, she seems less concerned with statues and acclaim and more about finding the right audience for such a tricky unique film. "It's not a quintessential Jason Reitman film and it's not a quintessential Charlize Theron film," she says, matter of factly. Anyone expecting another Juno or Monster will be thrown. They planned carefully with pop up screenings and key theater appearances and a quick but not instantaneous wide release. Smart. Young Adult feels like just the kind of film that will grow its audience slowly (we're definitely already on board) and it's easy to imagine a Mavis cult gathering over time. 

"You have to celebrate the spirit of the movie you're making and release it into the world in that way." she says speaking like a producer. Though of course we know her first and foremost as an actress, a great oneAnd she's an enjoyable conversationalist in that regard, too, though she knows when to keep a secret about her films and her process.

 


Nathaniel R: When did you first feel you understood Mavis while reading the script. Did you have a moment of "I know this character?"

CHARLIZE THERON: It wasn't something specifically but I guess just an overall feeling. Otherwise i don't think i could have said yes to the film. She felt human to me. She felt real. This overwhelming need and want to be loved and this kind of loneliness and the horrible tool set that she has to go about getting those things.  I guess those things all kind of resonated with me? 

Nathaniel: If we were to look at your script: Is it pristine? do you write a lot of notes? How do you prepare?

CHARLIZE: How do I prepare? You know, it's a little bit like asking a magician 'How did you pull a rabbit from the hat?' I don't know if people really want to know that stuff. I think what we're trying to do ultimately is have people forget about that stuff. On top of that I don't have anything that's concrete. Every time is different. I know that I have a very obsessive compulsive mind. So when I know I'm doing something I think everything in my daily life i'm observing and filing and knowing that I might be able to use it.

From the moment I say yes it's breathing and living under my skin. I'm constantly thinking about it. And conversations with my director are sometimes important. But I don't talk about things too much. For me it's a very intimate experience and an "alone" experience. I have to go through it myself.

That's interesting since Mavis is so solitary. And writing is, too.

Diablo and Jason who are both writers know that world really well. I'm not a writer so I didn't realize how great they were at capturing that until writers came up to me and said "oh my god that's exactly my life." Everything kind of stops and disappears. There is no outside world. So, I have to give them credit for really nailing that.

Beauty is such an important issue to Young Adult but in your most famous role, Monster, your own beauty doesn't factor in. Do you think about your own beauty when playing roles like this? 

[Character Beauty, Three Consecutive Villains and that damn 'Hello Kitty' after the jump

Click to read more ...