October 24, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
The first awards of the Oscar season has kicked things off today with the 23rd annual Gotham Independent Film Awards announcing its nominees today. With the focus on US-based independent films (even more so than the aptly named Independent Spirit Awards), the nominees are unsurprisingly filled with some of our favorite up and comers and breakout stars of the year.
“12 Years a Slave,” set to be an Oscar juggernaut, led the way here with three nominations, for Best Feature, Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Best Breakthrough Actor (Lupita Nyong’o). Also nominated for Best Feature are festival favorites “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” “Before Midnight,” “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “Upstream Color.”
The Best Actress category is especially packed with younger actors this year, with Brie Larson of “Short Term 12″ and Shailene Woodley of “The Spectacular Now” getting well deserved recognition for their leading roles, while Scarlett Johansson is a surprise nominee for her role in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut “Don Jon.” Cate Blanchett for “Blue Jasmine,” the Oscar frontrunner and Amy Seimetz for “Upstream Color” round out the category.
The most relevant category for us has always been Best Breakthrough and this year features another strong lineup in addition to Nyongo’s heartbreaking work in “12 Years.” Dane DeHaan is recognized for his searing turn in “Kill Your Darlings” while Michael B. Jordan gets a nod for his breakthrough role in “Fruitvale Station.” Kathryn Hahn is nominated for “Afternoon Delight” while Robin Weigert is also in for “Concussion.”
The awards will be handed out at a gala event on December 2nd and the full list of nominees can be seen below.
August 29, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Mia Wasikowska is out, but Rooney Mara is in for 1950s romantic drama “Carol”, according to THR. Todd Haynes is directing the adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s thriller novel “The Price of Salt,” and Cate Blanchett is set for the other lead role.
The New York tale is about two women, Therese Belivet, a lonely young woman who works in a department store dreaming of something bigger, and Carol, an elegant older woman she encounters at her job. Carol seems to have it all together, but is quite lonely and discontent in her own life and loveless marriage. “We’re over the moon to have Rooney on board,” Haynes said via press release. “I’ve been a tremendous admirer of her work from the beginning, so the thought of bringing her together with Cate on-screen is thrilling to say the least.” Filming will begin in spring 2014.
Mara broke out in 2011 with her turn as Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, which earned her her first Oscar nomination for Best Actress. She quickly landed a series of projects helmed by auteurs like Spike Jonze’s “Her” (out this fall after closing the New York Film Festival), Terrence Malick’s untitled Texas-set romance with Ryan Gosling, Steven Soderbergh’s “Side Effects” and David Lowery’s “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.” She next films Stephen Daldry’s “Trash.”
August 15, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker and Danny Glover are set to star in romantic drama “Blackbird”, according to Deadline.
Gina Prince-Bythewood is directing from a script she wrote, and Mbatha-Raw will play Noni Jean, a hot new singer who just won a Grammy but succumbs to the pressures of fame and nearly ends her own life. She’s saved by Parker’s character, a young policeman, and the two fall for each other despite their families’ objections.
Parker first garnered attention opposite Richard Gere in last year’s surprise hit “Arbitrage”, and will be seen opposite Casey Affleck and Rooney Marain buzzy Sundance drama “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” out this weekend. He’s also wrapped filming on Liam Neeson thriller “Non-Stop” and is producing and starring in indie thriller “Eden.”
Mbatha-Raw, one of BAFTA’s Brits to Watch of 2012, was a regular on Fox drama series “Touch” and can be seen opposite Anton Yelchin in the upcoming “Odd Thomas.” Next month she heads to Toronto to premiere British historical drama “Belle”, in which she plays the title character opposite Sarah Gadon and Sam Reid.
July 26, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
There are a bunch of Lance Armstrong movies rushing into production, but taking an early lead is the one from Stephen Frears. Deadline reports he’s already got his Armstrong, as Ben Foster is in final negotiations to take the role of the once beloved and now disgraced Tour de France champ.
John Hodge wrote the screenplay, which will cover years spanning from the road cyclist’s testicular cancer diagnosis in 1996, which he triumphed over in 1997, to his seven consecutive Tour de France wins between 1999 and 2005, through his retirement in 2011 amid growing doping allegations that culminated in being stripped of all his wins and a lifetime ban from the sport, to his eventual confession in 2013. It’s a juicy role for Foster to tackle, to say the least, and still a hot topic fresh in people’s minds. Other dramatic retellings of the saga of Armstrong include one at Warner Bros written by Scott Z Burns and to be directed by Jay Roach, and one at Paramount to be directed by JJ Abrams. Earlier rumors had pegged Bradley Cooper as Abrams’ Armstrong, though nothing further has emerged on that front.
Foster had two movies at Sundance this year, Sony Pictures Classics’ Beat generation origin tale “Kill Your Darlings”, in which he played William Burroughs opposite Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan, and David Lowery’s meditative Western “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” with Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck. He’s wrapped on Peter Berg’s Navy SEAL thriller “Lone Survivor” and recently made his Broadway debut in “Orphans” opposite Alec Baldwin.
May 24, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck are star-crossed lovers in the first trailer for David Lowery’s hit Sundance and Cannes western romance “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”, embracing, separating and longing for each other after an arrest for a crime spree separates them just as she gets pregnant with their child. Much has been made of the beauty of this film and the brilliant cinematography by Bradford Young is clearly evident in this first glimpse of it, as are the strong acting choices by the impressive cast.
Our own Rebecca Lewis gave the film a glowing A, saying it “feels like a classic already, old-fashioned to an extent but also a timeless tale of love, family and limits – and almost as if the director is beginning a fresh re-examination of these outlaw tales of old”, with Affleck and Mara turning in “the performances of their careers.” As for those Malick comparisons, well, the high volume of magic hour shots is certainly reminiscent, but “Saints” also seems much more verbose and action-driven, with a clear narrative and an inevitable conclusion.
Watch the first trailer below. “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”, also starring Ben Foster and Nate Parker, releases on August 16th.
May 23, 2013 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
Gearing up for an August 16th release date, and a VOD release on August 19th, here’s the new poster for David Lowery‘s crime romance “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” – and it’s a gorgeous, stylised poster that fits perfectly with the mood and time of the film.
The new poster, with Rooney Mara‘s Ruth, rightly so, placed front and center, is actually a painting by Benjamin Lowery, David’s brother. Also featuring Casey Affleck, “Aint Them Bodies Saints” is the story of Ruth and Bob, two outlaws who spend most of the film apart trying to, in their own separate ways, get back to each other.
The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Fest and then received a Special Screening this past week at Cannes Film Fest where we called it “brave, raw and visually stunning”.
Thanks to SlashFilm for the poster.
Click below for the full poster and an official synopsis of the pic.
A tale of an outlaw couple set against the backdrop of 1970s Texas, “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” immediately drew comparisons to Terrence Malick’s “Badlands”, but this, director David Lowery’s breakout hit, is a brave, raw and visually stunning film that never tries to imitate the classics despite being clearly influenced by them.
“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” is a slow-burning romantic crime drama that unfolds against the gorgeous Texas plains through the lens of DP Bradford Young, who well earned a Special Jury Prize from Sundance for his cinematography. “I love the myth of the American outlaw, and I wanted to play around with it and take it apart a little bit. There’s so much of America wrapped up in that ideology,” said Lowery, and this passion comes across on screen. The film feels like a classic already, old-fashioned to an extent but also a timeless tale of love, family and limits – and almost as if the director is beginning a fresh re-examination of these outlaw tales of old.
May 20, 2013 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
Saturday at the 66th Cannes Film Festival dawned bright and sunny, making a welcome change to the previous three days. Of course it didn’t last long and by midday the torrential rain was back!
On Friday there had been confusion at a market screening of the Sundance pic “Magic Magic” which UpAndComers.net had been invited to review. The PR team had underestimated how popular the pic would be and they unfortunately had to ask all press to leave. Kudos to the team at Jazo though, on Saturday morning I received a promised Vimeo link in my inbox, and once I find a few spare hours to watch the Juno Temple/Michael Cera indie thriller, you can expect a review.
May 16, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara walk and talk and fight and make up against a gorgeously shot backdrop of trees and sunshine in the first clip from Sundance hit “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”, released today by Entertainment Weekly.
David Lowery directed the film about Mara and Affleck as an outlaw couple whose crime spree comes to an end with him going to jail and her going free to give birth to their daughter. It picks up four years later when he breaks free and she’s not sure if she still wants him back in her new little family’s life. The film won a Special Jury Prize for Cinematography for Bradford Young at Sundance, it’s easy to see why in this first glimpse of the slow-moving Texas-set film that’s drawn comparisons to Terrence Malick.
Watch the first clip of Mara and Affleck below. We’re hoping to catch the film at the Cannes Film Festival this week, and everyone can watch it when it’s released in theaters on August 16th.