• Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke will play the lead in the psychological thriller Voice From the Stone, based on the Italian novel La Voce Della Pietra by Silvio Raffo. Eric D. Howell will make his feature directorial debut with the story adapted by Andrew Shaw set in 1950s Tuscany about a nurse (Clarke) who gets caught up in an evil force inside the castle where she is taking care of a young boy dealing with the trauma of his mother’s sudden death. Shooting is scheduled to begin in Italy in November. [The Hollywood Reporter] READ FULL STORY
Tag: Anna Kendrick (1-10 of 26)
It may not be revolutionary to note that twentysomethings are different from thirtysomethings, but in director Joe Swanberg’s latest, Happy Christmas, he takes that idea to the next level when Anna Kendrick’s hard-partying Jenny moves in with her brother (Swanberg), his wife (Melanie Lynskey), and their young child.
Though Jenny might neglect responsibility at every turn, her presence actually helps Kelly (Lynskey) confront the state of her own artistic aspirations, allowing Swanberg to explore the very real tensions that emerge when one party in the relationship takes on the lion’s share of domestic responsibilities. “I’m excited about the feminist issues that the movie tackles. I hope especially women come to the movie and see something that they relate to and that it gets husbands and wives talking about what those family roles are and maybe how to make them work for both people,” Swanberg told EW in a conversation about the intensely personal film and his fascination with all different varieties of female characters.
Check out the Q&A after the jump. READ FULL STORY
Drinking Buddies fans, show yourselves! (Everyone’s hand should be raised.)
The trailer for director Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies, 24 Exposures) next project is here. Just as in 2013’s Drinking Buddies, Happy Christmas stars Anna Kendrick. This time around, Kendrick is joined by Swanberg, Melanie Lynskey, and Lena Dunham in a dramedy about a hard-partying twenty-something who, after a breakup, moves in with her brother’s family over the holidays. That move prompts her sister-in-law (Lynskey) to rethink how her own life is going and what she wants from the future.
“It was interesting in this because my character doesn’t know when to shut up,” Kendrick told EW about on-set improv. “That’s a lot easier than listening in improv.”
Watch the trailer for the film, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year, below: READ FULL STORY
• Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) will play a woman looking for love in the Max Landis-scripted Mr. Right. She thinks she may have found the one till she discovers that he’s a hit man…but, you know, a reformed one. His past catches up with him and suddenly both of their lives are in jeopardy. Sam Rockwell (The Way Way Back) has also joined the cast, but it was unclear from the report whether he is her Mr. Right. Paco Cabezas (Tokarev) will direct the pic, which is scheduled for a fall shoot. [Deadline] READ FULL STORY
• Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) and Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies) will play an American couple on the run from two criminals (Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley) in Autobahn. Joel Silver is producing the action-thriller which begins production next week. Evan Creevy (Welcome To The Punch) will direct. [THR] READ FULL STORY
Sundance 2014: Ryan Reynolds talks to the animals in 'The Voices' and Aubrey Plaza goes zombie in 'Life After Beth'
There’s a certain kind of oddball film that seems like it could only have its coming-out party at a place like Sundance. Marjane Satrapi’s dark serial killer comedy The Voices is one of those films. The best way I can think to describe it is: imagine Fight Club if Brad Pitt’s part was played by a talking dog and cat.
Tyler Durden comparisons aside, Satrapi, the Iranian director of 2007’s Persepolis, has created a totally unique, genre-defying film. Which isn’t to say The Voices is great. Far from it. It’s wildly uneven and it never finds a tone and sticks with it. But it’s a boldly gutsy and giddy experiment mainly because it gives us a likable, sympathetic, gee-whiz protagonist (Ryan Reynolds) and then spends the next hour and a half showing him go on a psychotic killing spree. The hook of the film –and it’s a doozy — is that through it all, Reynolds is egged on in his homicidal deeds by his cat (Mr. Whiskers) and cautioned against them by his dog (Bosco), both of whom talk to him. Like the devil and angel that hover over all of our shoulders, Mr. Whiskers is a nasty piece of business who speaks in a Fat Bastard Scottish brogue, while Bosco is a dumb-but-moral mutt with a southern drawl.
Despite his hunky, leading-man good looks and relative box-office currency (Green Lantern and R.I.P.D. aside), Reynolds has always been an interesting actor because he’s at least willing to take chances. Sometimes those chances pan out, sometimes they don’t. But looking at movies like The Nines and Buried, you can’t say that he plays it safe. He had to know going in that The Voices would never be a mainstream multiplex hit, but that doesn’t stop him from delivering a surprising and ballsy performance. Jerry begins the film as a bubbly, optimistic factory worker who we slowly learn through sessions with his court-appointed shrink (Jacki Weaver) has a history of mental illness. And, of course, there’s the whole talking pet thing.
When Jerry develops a crush on one of his coworkers (Gemma Arterton), Bosco encourages asking her out. Meanwhile, Mr. Whiskers only cares about whether or not he will close the deal and have sex with her (well, that and making sure that Jerry feeds him on time: “Where the f—‘s my food, f—face?”). Jerry’s date goes horribly, tragically, fatally wrong. So does the one after that with another coworker (an excellent Anna Kendrick). And as Jerry’s world starts to unravel, Bosco and Mr. Whiskers do their hilarious, chatty push-and-pull routine yanking at the wishbone of his soul.
I wish I could say that the second half of the film lived up to the promise of the first. Or that the film probably won’t offend some folks with its glib, played-for-laughs treatment of mental illness. Still, The Voices is never less than unpredictable and amusing in a that’s-so-wrong kind of way. For those who take their comedy black, you could do a lot worse.
Like Ryan Reynolds, Aubrey Plaza is an actor who’s drawn to rolling the dice and taking risks — usually with a deadpan expression on her face. In Safety Not Guaranteed, The To Do List, and on Parks and Recreation, Plaza has a special and all-too-rare gift for totally committing to embarrassing situations and finding the absurd humor in them. Which is exactly what she does again in the gonzo zombie rom-com Life After Beth.
I could say that Plaza’s new film is the funniest zombie comedy since Shaun of the Dead, but the truth is there haven’t been many decent contenders for that title. I laughed while watching Life After Beth, but not as much, or as hard, as I felt like I should have. Like The Voices, it promises more than it ultimately delivers.
Written and directed by Jeff Baena, Life After Beth stars Dane DeHaan as Zack, who, at the opening of the film, is grieving over the death of his girlfriend (Plaza), who was bit by a snake while hiking. As he mourns along with her parents (a pair of aces John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon), he beats himself up over all of the things he never got to say to her while she was alive. But he soon gets a second chance when Beth reappears. She’s not a zombie exactly — not yet, at least. And the film has fun with the nonchalance with which Reilly and Shannon meet her return. After all, why look a gift horse in the mouth?
At first, Zack is freaked out. But soon he’s taking advantage of his romantic do-over with the girl he loves — even if she is acting a bit…odd. Plaza’s Beth is moody, violent, horny, and what’s the deal with her new sweet tooth for smooth jazz and the strange decomposing rash on her face? Scared that she’s becoming one of the walking dead, Zack asks her: “You don’t want to, like, eat me, do you?” Plaza’s response: “Zack, not with my parents around!”
Things get worse when other deceased folks start turning up wanting to listen to smooth jazz and eat people too. It turns out World War Z has arrived and its soundtrack is Spyro Gyra and Chuck Mangione.
Life After Beth has a slew of strong supporting performances from Reilly and Shannon, Paul Reiser and Cheryl Hines (as Zack’s oblivious parents), and Anna Kendrick (there she is again!). But it’s Plaza who literally and figuratively chews the movie up. With a premise as absurd as Life After Beth‘s is, it’s a testament to Plaza that she gives it everything she’s got. The sight of this wonderful actress — bloody, foaming at the mouth, and lumbering around with a stove strapped to her back is one I won’t forget anytime soon.
We wouldn’t want to say exactly how many movies prolific indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg has directed because he might have finished another one in the time it’s taken to write this sentence. But we can say that his new film, the brewery-oriented comedy Drinking Buddies is his most high-profile to date thanks to a cast which boasts Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston, Jason Sudeikis, and Swanberg’s fellow auteur, Ti West. Drinking Buddies arrives in theatres August 23 — the same day cinemagoers will be able to see both Swanberg and West in the horror-comedy You’re Next — and is currently available to watch on VOD.
Below, the Chicago-based Swanberg explains why he felt like Michael Bay while he was making the movie and talks about the paltry three other films he has awaiting release.
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