Director J.C. Chandor turns back the clock to 1981, one of the deadliest years in New York City history, for A Most Violent Year, an action-packed drama (due this fall) about surviving the American dream. Oscar Isaac plays Abel, a principled gas businessman whose growing profits bump up against the New York underworld. His wife, Anna (Jessica Chastain), has some Brooklyn connections who might be able to lend some muscle when rivals start hijacking their gas trucks. “Her father and brother are well-connected on the wrong side of the law and Abel is not,” says Chastain. “There are certain things he won’t do, [so] she thinks maybe she has to. Like, maybe I have to be the man, too.” READ FULL STORY
Tag: J.C. Chandor (1-4 of 4)
Robert Redford is one of the movie stars of our time, yet I would contend that he’s always been an underrated actor. There are a host of reasons for that, and they feed into each other in subtle, at times mythic ways. You could say, on the one hand, that Redford was too golden-boy pretty (always a surefire way to not get nearly the respect you deserve), or that he was too understated as a screen presence, or that he was too openly skeptical of the Hollywood game. Redford had his first major big-screen role in 1965, in Inside Daisy Clover, and by 1969, when he starred in the independently financed Downhill Racer, he was already seeking ways to work outside the system, and that echoed his dynamic as an actor: He played men who stood apart, who created their own private space of action and wary observation. That was the Redford mystique, and it’s what attracted audiences to him and, at the same time, allowed him to come off on screen as self-contained and even aloof. From Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) onward, Redford had the glow of a larger-than-life star, but as the 1970s rolled forward, it was his special karma to be the last WASP god in a Hollywood that was busy leaving the world he stood for — the world of WASP gods — behind. READ FULL STORY
Robert Redford has had one of the greatest and most interesting careers in Hollywood history, starring in iconic movies like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President’s Men, directing movies like Ordinary People, and making the Sundance Film Festival the premiere indie showcase. So it’s really a surprise to some when they discover that he’s only been nominated for one Academy Award for his acting (The Sting). That could change this year with All is Lost, a daring cinematic and acting challenge that places Redford’s mariner at the center of a looming ocean disaster. He plays a man whose sailboat becomes crippled as he battles one deep-sea misfortune after another.
Like his character, Redford is alone in the film. There are no other characters. There are no pet dogs, or flashbacks, or video-camera confessions. There is hardly any dialogue. The movie is Redford fighting the elements with every ounce of his strength. With so much riding on the audience’s relationship with the unnamed main character, who writer/director J.C. Chandor simply refers to as Our Man in the script, casting someone with Redford’s history on film turned out to be essential. “There are so many similarities between the Redford persona, Redford the actual person he is on the planet, and then the performances that he’s given,” says Chandor. “Obviously, that’s sort of his biggest weakness, it almost seems: people have a hard time disconnecting all three of those things from each other. What I thought I was going to be able to do in this movie was use that weakness as a strength. So instead of just ignoring that relationship the audience has with him, I want you to have it but then I want you to forget it a couple of minutes into the movie — but subconsciously it’s always going to be there.” READ FULL STORY
Cannes 2013: With hardly a line of dialogue, Robert Redford is marvelous as a man lost at sea. Plus, Liz Taylor's bling
All Is Lost is a man-stranded-at-sea movie, starring Robert Redford, in a role that has almost no dialogue, as a fellow who wakes up in his small yacht, somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean, only to discover that a random floating shipping crate — who knows how it got there? — has gashed a hole in the boat’s hull. It’s like his own miniature iceberg scrape: All of a sudden, his boat could go down, and him with it. Most movies that strand a solitary figure at sea, like Life of Pi, or on a desert island, like Cast Away or the template of the whole genre, Robinson Crusoe, are lonely but upbeat tales of invention and survival. J.C. Chandor, the writer and director of All Is Lost, does a radical existential twist on those tales. The film opens with Redford in voiceover, reading a farewell note to his family (confessing his selfishness, he says “I’m sorry,” and explains that he has only half a day’s rations left, and that he’s resigned to his fate, and that “all is lost”). It’s quite a bummer of a beginning, and when the movie then flashes back eight days, we’re already primed to experience Redford’s journey not as a series of small, ingenious acts of self-salvation but as a gradual downward spiral, the story of a man getting sucked into the void. READ FULL STORY
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