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Entries in Joaquin Phoenix (23)

Wednesday
Jan292014

We Can't Wait #5: Inherent Vice

[Editor's Note: We Can't Wait is a Team Experience series, in which we highlight our top 14 most anticipated films of 2014. Here's Amir Soltani on "Inherent Vice."]

Inherent Vice
Doc Sportello, a perennially buzzed detective in Los Angeles at the beginning of the 70s, gets himself tangled up in a mess with former lovers, low life gangsters, prostitutes, billionaire crooks, a ship called Golden Fang and a whole lotta people with really weird names.

Talent
One of America’s greatest filmmakers, Paul Thomas Anderson, is behind the camera and one of America’s greatest actors, Joaquin Phoenix, is in front of it. Cinematographer Robert Elswit is collaborating with the director again after a one-film break, as is composer Jonny Greenwood. Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Reese Witherspoon and P.T.'s partner Maya Rudolph fill out the rest of the cast list.

Maya Rudolph in "Inherent Vice"

Why We Can’t Wait
With Paul Thomas Anderson’s name attached, little else is needed to drum up excitement. In my opinion, he has directed three spotless masterpieces (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood and The Master) and the rest of his filmography is as compelling as it is provocative. His is a singular and vital voice in modern American cinema. But there’s another factor at play here too: Inherent Vice is one of my favorite novels of recent years, and one of Pynchon’s most polished and coherent works. Its relatively modest scale should lend itself better to adaptation than the rest of his bibliography.

It will also be interesting to see Anderson in a more relaxed mood again. Vice has the potential to take him back to the Altman-esque structure he so successfully utilized in Boogie Nights, both because of its sprawling cast of colorful characters and its bitter humor and casual insight into the Angelenos counterculture. Few directors can get an ensemble to click as comfortably as Anderson does and it’d be a shame if he never used that gift again. If adapted faithfully, Doc Sportello is more central to the narrative than Dirk Diggler was, but there’s still plenty of meat for everyone else to chew on here. Plus, look at that cast! It’s mouthwatering. So good, in fact, that I’m willing to forgive the presence of Reese Witherspoon!

But We Do Have To Wait
Warner Brothers has the distribution rights, but we know we have to wait a while. None of Anderson’s films have been released earlier than mid-September on the calendar, and chances are this one won’t be an exception. A festival bow in Venice is likely; one in Toronto is almost inevitable.

Previously on "We Can't Wait"
06 Into the Woods
07 Snowpiercer
08 Nymphomaniac
09 Boyhood,
10 Big Eyes,
11 The Last 5 Years,
12 Gone Girl 
13 Can a Song Save Your Life 
14 Veronica Mars 
runners up  just missed the cut.

Thursday
Dec192013

The Man In Black Vs The Big Blue Boy Scout

JA from MNPP here, taking a look and a listen at the whispers coming from Warner Brothers that no less than Joaquin Phoenix is being "sought" to play the bad guy in the next Superman (slash Batman slash Justice League) movie, which is thought to be a little somebody named Lex Luthor. "Sought" meaning somebody's floating the idea, and Joaquin hasn't even been offered anything yet, but hey it's the internet and we have to fill this place with something, so let's talk about it!

I personally was on a bit of a cold streak with regards to Joaquin for awhile, but then I thought he was the best thing going on in The Master last year, and then Her happened and in my review of that film (which is out in some theaters now! See it as soon as you can!) I called it "probably... when it all comes down to it, my favorite Joaquin Phoenix performance that will ever, ever happen." I stand by that effusive assessment here a few months later - indeed my affection's only grown. So Joaquin and I, we're totes good right now! And I kinda love the idea of him tackling a big bad super-villain.

Side-stepping over to the topic of whether it's a good idea to cram every character in the DC universe into Zach Snyder's next whizz bang opus though, well that's a bald horse of a different color. There are lots of Superman characters - Lex again? Really? And the stink off Man of Steel, which might've given me lasting brain damage, is making me wonder if Joaquin might be better off sticking to his auteur pieces anyway. What do we think?

Wednesday
Oct162013

FYC: Best Actress - Marion Cotillard 

Jose here. It's that time of year when I start begging everyone to give Marion Cotillard awards, this time around I think she's Best Actress material in The Immigrant which recently played at the New York Film Festival.

In the film, Cotillard plays Ewa Cybulski, a young woman who arrives in 1921 New York City, escaping the violence in her native Poland. Her American dream is instantly shattered when her sister (Angela Sarafyan) is left at the Ellis Island infirmary and Ewa begins a destructive relationship with entertainer/pimp Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix) who forces her into prostitution in order to rescue her sister and avoid deportation.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct122013

NYFF: A Few Thoughts on "Her"

Jose here. The New York Film Festival is coming to its end this weekend and earlier today we were treated to Spike Jonze's Her, which has its official world premiere at the festival tonight.

The film takes place in a not so distant future where human communications have evolved into something quite fascinating: people get paid to write handwritten letters, video games push your buttons and force you to try harder and computer operating systems have personalities that you can even fall for. This happens to the film's protagonist Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls madly in love with his OS named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).

The film is a small masterpiece that will undoubtedly appear on endless Top Ten lists at the end of the year and here are a few random thoughts I had about the film and at the press conference that followed which included appearances from Jonze, Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Olivia Wilde.

More Jonze, Phoenix and ScarJo after the jump!

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep012013

Podcast: Fall Film Preview... "Lady Stuff Coming Up!"

Labor Day Weekend is notoriously unfriendly to movie openings unless you can find a gem at your arthouse... so Katey, Joe, Nick and Nathaniel are looking ahead to the Fall Film Season on this week's podcast.

Films speculated upon include Ridley Scott's The Counselor, Alfonso Cuarón directing Sandra Bullock in Gravity, Steve McQueen & Michael Fassbender reunited for 12 Years a Slave, George Clooney's Monuments Men, Spike Jonze's HerAugust: Osage County and many more. We answer these fives questions and you should, too, in the comments...

• Which two movies are you most excited about?
• Which performance are you most curious to see?
• Which film are you most suspicious of?
• Whose life is going to change this fall when their movie hits? 
• Which premiere party would you most like to attend? 

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download it on iTunes. Please note: There won't be a new podcast next weekend since ½ of us will be festing in Toronto and dashing madly from screening to screening. 

Fall Film Preview 2013

Friday
Aug092013

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Her"

Before we begin let us celebrate the coming of another Spike Jonze movie and one that has the prestigious closing night gala spot at the NYFF this year. Jonze has yet to make anything less than very memorable (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Where the Wild Things Are not to menion numerous iconic music videos).

Let us also bask in the saturated colorogy of Her's poster

Mmmmm never have I loved reds bleeding into pinks before... perhaps it's the hypnotic turquoise of Joaquin's eyes? They're like pools of inviting water thatinduce hypothermia once you've dove in. They're so hypnotic I didn't even notice the mustache and I hate face carpet unless it's evenly spaced about the room. (in other words: beards are fine) 

But we are here for the trailer and our Yes No Maybe So verdicts (after the jump)

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb102013

BAFTAs "live"

David here, bringing you the least live 'live blog' in TFE's history. Nowhere on the planet are the British Academy Film (and Television) Awards broadcast live - not even in their home country. No, we Brits struggle along with the rest of you as the BBC stubbornly refuses to move with the times and shows the edited ceremony two hours after its begun.

But let's make the best of it. Over the next few hours I'll bring you a melange of results and commentary, mostly surmised until the ceremony comes in, which will hopefully have some individual flavour worth reporting. The celebrities have already walked up the foaming red carpet in London's famous torrential rain, so, to kick off, here are a few highlights from the BBC's brief coverage so far.

Chilled to the rust and boneMarion Cotillard couldn't even muster a brave face as she was persuaded to stop racing down the carpet and pose for a few photos. Has it ever NOT rained on BAFTA night?

Marion's here tonight as a Best Actress nominee for Rust & Bone - BAFTA also nominated Helen Mirren, leaving Quvenzhane Wallis and Naomi Watts on the sidelines for tonight - but it's Emmanuelle Riva, who wisely skipped the long route into the building, who I've got my fingers crossed for tonight. Can she add a little flavour to the Best Actress race by surprising J-Law here?

Helen Mirren. Pink hair. The interviewer here oddly didn't even attempt to ask what's going on with this. MORE...

Click to read more ...