January 26, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Another fabulous year for rising stars has just concluded the Sundance Film Festival, which wrapped up 2013 with its annual award ceremony tonight in Utah, hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whose directorial debut “Don Jon’s Addiction” ended up being one of the bestsellers of the fest.
The award season for next year got off to an early start as Ryan Coogler’s directorial debut “Fruitvale” starring Michael B. Jordan swept the US Dramatic Competition category, winning both the Audience Award and the top prize of the night: The Grand Jury Prize. The film, which co-stars Octavia Spencer, Ahna O’Reilly and Melonie Diaz, captivated Sundance with its gritty retelling of the true story of Oscar Grant (Jordan), who was tragically fatally shot by police in a scuffle in the Bay Area on New Year’s Eve 2009. Its awards potential was immediately obvious and Oscar heavyweight Harvey Weinstein took note, buying the film for more than $2 million, beating out Fox Searchlight, Paramount Pictures, Focus Features and CBS Films. An awards-friendly fall release date can’t be far behind for this year’s festival’s undeniable winner.
“The Spectacular Now”, the other big buzzed about film of the fest, took home a Special Jury Prize for Acting for its two young stars Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. The two have received rave reviews from festival goers for their portrayal of a high school couple in James Ponsoldt’s coming of age drama. The film was picked up by upstart distribution company A24, so we’ll have to wait and see how much the film figures into next year’s awards race. A summer release is tentatively scheduled.
The full list of awards are below.
January 19, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
It’s with that easy pun the high praise kicked off immediately upon credits rolling on James Ponsoldt’s coming of age drama “The Spectacular Now”, which premiered last night at the Sundance Film Festival. One of the films we’re super excited about, fast rising stars Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley play an unlikely high school couple whose relationship rests on Big Themes like alcoholism, college and plenty of family drama. It’s not exactly an original idea and could have easily gone wrong or made forgettable, but it appears Ponsoldt has knocked his follow-up to last year’s “Smashed” out of the park.
January 16, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
We are one day away from opening night of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and today we have new images from one of our most anticipated films premiering at the festival, James Ponsoldt’s adaptation of Tim Tharp novel “The Spectacular Now.”
The Playlist unveiled the new images featuring the movie’s young leads Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley all dressed up and getting close at prom. As fans of the book know, prom is not just a romantic night out for Teller’s Sutter and Woodley’s Aimee, but turns out to be a pivotal moment in their relationship. The film also stars Brie Larson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler and “The Hunger Games” star Dayo Okeniyi, and will make its world premiere in Park City on Friday night.
We can’t wait for this one and hope it lives up to the book and its impressive cast and crew. The new images of Teller and Woodley can be viewed below.
November 28, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
More Sundance photos are trickling in, and now we have our first look at Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley as the high school couple at the center of James Ponsoldt’s adaptation of Tim Tharp’s award-winning novel “The Spectacular Now.”
Teller plays Sutter Keely, a party-hard high school student who stumbles across Woodley’s shy and introverted Aimee. Instead of good girl Aimee saving Sutter from his bad boy ways, he begins to change her in return as she starts to adopt some of his risky behavior. Brie Larson plays Cassidy, the beautiful and popular girlfriend of Sutter who dumps him and prompts his meeting with Aimee. Rounding out this impressive cast are Kyle Chandler as Sutter’s father and Ponsoldt’s “Smashed” star Mary Elizabeth Winstead as his sister.
“The Spectacular Now” will premiere in the US Dramatic Competition category next January, and the HQ version of the first image can be viewed below, thanks to The Film Stage.
September 11, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
There has been buzz about this move since it premiered at Sundance in January, but today we finally have the trailer for James Ponsoldt’s relationship dramedy “Smashed”, which sees Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul as a couple of happily married kids whose bond is sustained by a mutual love for getting drunk.
Things get tense when Winstead’s character decides it’s time to stop and begins going to AA, where she is befriended by Octavia Spencer in her first role since winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “The Help.” Winstead herself is getting her fair share of Oscar buzz this time around, with critics calling her performance revelatory and a tour-de-force and the footage in the trailer certainly is very promising. The film’s also got that classic indie drama visual style, with swaying cameras and blurry closeups, which reminds me immediately of last year’s “Like Crazy”, which also charmed audiences and critics, as well as boasted a breakthrough performance from a young actress.
“Smashed” will be released on October 12th and the trailer can be viewed below.
August 2, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Kyle Chandler have joined the cast of teen coming of age dramedy “The Spectacular Now”, which already stars Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Dayo Okeniyi and Brie Larson. Variety also reports that Bob Odenkirk, Andre Royo, Kaitlyn Dever and Masam Holden have also joined the cast in supporting roles.
In the James Ponsoldt-directed film based on Tim Tharp’s novel, Teller plays Sutter Keely, a party-hard high school student who stumbles across Woodley’s shy and introverted Aimee. Instead of good girl Aimee saving Sutter from his bad boy ways, he begins to change her in return as she starts to adopt some of his risky behavior. Larson will play Cassidy, the beautiful and popular girlfriend of Sutter who dumps him and prompts his meeting with Aimee. Chandler will play Sutter’s father, and Winstead his sister.
Chandler graduated from playing the beloved Coach Taylor of NBC’s “Friday Night Lights”, which finally earned him an Emmy, to an increasingly impressive film career. He most recently completed filming on Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty”, as well as political thrillers “Broken City” with Mark Wahlberg and Ben Affleck’s “Argo.” He’ll next film Martin Scorsese’s “Wolf of Wall Street” opposite Leonardo Dicaprio. Winstead broke out as Michael Cera’s dream girl in Edgar Wright’s “Scott Pilgrim vs the World” and starred in one of this year’s best-received Sundance offerings, “Smashed”, as well as “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, in which she played Mary Todd-Lincoln.
July 19, 2012 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
As casting for the sequel to “The Hunger Games”, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” gets underway, the young actors who didn’t make it to the end of the first Games are beginning to make their own odds in Hollywood.
Dayo Okeniyi is the latest tribute to find life after the arena, with THR reporting that the Nigerian actor will be joining the cast of two Hollywood flicks – indie coming-of-age drama “The Spectacular Now” and the gambling drama “Runner Runner” starring Justin Timberlake.
In “The Spectacular Now”, Miles Teller stars as party-hard high school senior Sutter Keely, who has no ambitions beyond high school except to have as much fun as possible. When he wakes up on a random front lawn and meets shy, introverted Aimee – to be played by Shailene Woodley – she begins to turn his world upside down as he does hers. Based on the award winning novel by Tim Tharp, the film will be directed by James Ponsoldt and also stars Brie Larson.
In the Brad Furman-helmed “Runner Runner“, Okeniyi will be joining Timberlake, Ben Affleck, Oliver Cooper, Anthony Mackie and Gemma Arterton as a Princeton PhD student. The film follows two friends (Timberlake and Cooper) who get drawn in to the shadier side of gambling after being hired by Affleck’s billionaire online gambling business owner. Trouble soon comes in the form of Mackie’s FBI agent, who has been tracking Affleck for years. Arterton plays Timberlake’s love interest and filming is already underway in Puerto Rico.
June 21, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Brie Larson has joined the cast of teen novel adaptation “The Spectacular Now”, according to Deadline. James Ponsoldt will direct the film based on the award-winning novel by Tim Tharpe, with filming set to begin this summer in Athens, Georgia.
Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller headline the coming of age dramedy that follows Teller’s Sutter Keely, a party-hard high school student who stumbles across Woodley’s shy and introverted Aimee. Instead of good girl Aimee saving Sutter from his bad boy ways, he begins to change her in return as she starts to adopt some of his risky behavior. Larson will play Cassidy, the beautiful and popular girlfriend of Sutter who dumps him and prompts his meeting with Aimee.
Larson starred opposite Rooney Mara in indie “Tanner Hall” and played Envy Adams in Edgar Wright’s “Scott Pilgrim vs the World” before delighting audiences with her turn as Jonah Hill’s dream girl in “21 Jump Street” earlier this year. She has two indie comedies coming up, “Relanxious” and “Squirrel to the Nuts”, both opposite Olivia Wilde.
June 19, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Miles Teller will star opposite Shailene Woodley in the big screen adaptation of Tim Tharp “The Spectacular Now”, according to Deadline. The coming of age dramedy, to be directed by James Ponsoldt, follows party-hard high school senior Sutter Keely (Teller), who has no ambitions beyond high school except to have as much fun as possible. When he wakes up on a random front lawn and meets shy, introverted Aimee – to be played by Woodley – she begins to turn his world upside down as he does hers. Filming is set to begin this summer in Athens, Georgia.
After making his feature film debut opposite Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”, Teller went on to do comedies, including supporting roles in “Footloose”, “Project X” and starring roles in the upcoming “21 and Over” and “Get a Job.” Deadline also reports Sony is interested in Teller for the starring role in “The Kitchen Sink”, a genre comedy that had once been rumored to be the directorial debut vehicle for Jonah Hill.
April 17, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Shailene Woodley has been wisely picky about a follow-up to her breakout role in Alexander Payne’s Oscar-winning “The Descendants.” Now Variety reports that the rising actress has chosen that all-important follow-up, and it will be coming-of-age dramedy “The Spectacular Now”, based on the award-winning novel by Tim Tharp.
The coming of age dramedy, to be directed by James Ponsoldt, follows party-hard high school senior Sutter Keely, who has no ambitions beyond high school except to have as much fun as possible. When he wakes up on a random front lawn and meets shy, introverted Aimee – to be played by Woodley – she begins to turn his world upside down as he does hers. The search is now on for a young actor to play Sutter, though rumors have pegged Nicholas Hoult for the role.
Woodley, one of our Breakout Stars of 2011, has been the star of ABC Family’s teen melodrama “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” for five years, but didn’t break out on the big screen until Alexander Payne cast her as George Clooney’s rebellious daughter in last year’s “The Descendants.” It was a revelatory role that won her many accolades and almost an Oscar nomination (we think she was robbed) and she’s inevitably being bombarded with offers now. While she had committed to star in an essay-writing-contest comedy “A Thousand Words Or Less” for “Descendants” studio Fox Searchlight last July, it appears that has now fallen through.