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Watch Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman in the trailer for 'A Little Chaos'

Alan Rickman takes both the director’s chair and the throne in his latest movie, A Little Chaos.


Alan Rickman's 'A Little Chaos' picked up by Focus Features

The North American distribution rights for Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos, in which the actor both appears and directs, were picked up by Focus Features, which plans to release the film about a landscape designer played by Kate Winslet in 2015. The release date means that the film and Winslet will not be players in the awards race this year. READ FULL STORY

Watch Kate Winslet meet the king in Alan Rickman's 'A Little Chaos'


The Toronto Film Festival is only half over, and though several promising festival films have already emerged as Oscar contenders—like Foxcatcher, The Theory of Everything, and Wild—there are still several curious and intriguing movies yet to debut. One of them is A Little Chaos, Alan Rickman’s period romantic-drama that will be TIFF’s closing-night film on Sept. 14. Kate Winslet stars as Sabine De Barra, a strong-willed 17th-century French gardener who challenges sexual and class barriers when she vies to design and build one of the main showcase attractions at King Louis’s XIV’s new palace at Versailles. Using wit and intelligence, she attracts the attention of the court’s renowned landscape architect, André Le Nôtre (The Drop‘s Matthias Schoenaerts), and comes face to face with the Sun King himself, who demands the gardens become a paradise of unrivaled beauty.

Who else to play such an all-powerful king that Rickman himself, who can convey more disdain or disinterest with one raised eyebrow than most actors can with a lengthy soliloquy.  A Little Chaos is Rickman’s first time back behind the camera since The Winter Guest in 1997—though he’s directed several theatrical plays in between. A Winter Guest starred Emma Thompson, a longtime friend of Rickman’s from Sense and Sensibility. With A Little Chaos, Rickman reunited with the other Dashwood sister, and the actor/director marvels at the actress and the woman she has become.

In an exclusive scene from the film, which is in Toronto hunting for distribution, Winslet’s Sabine arrives at the king’s gardener’s plot to swap some shrubs and flowers. But the head gardener isn’t there, sent away earlier by the king himself so he could enjoy some solitude surrounded by beauty. For better or worse, Sabine doesn’t recognize her king when she meets him face-to-face for the first time. READ FULL STORY

Critical mass: Not much divergence in reviews of 'Divergent'

The template seems simple enough: adapt a best-selling dystopian YA book with a dynamic female heroine, sit back, and start counting the moolah. Lionsgate is wisely trying to replicate the billion-dollar success of Jennifer Lawrence and The Hunger Games with Divergent, another potential franchise based on Veronica Roth’s trilogy and starring Shailene Woodley.

Of course, Woodley’s Tris isn’t the first girl-power character to follow Katniss’ footsteps — but she is the most promising after disappointments like Mortal Instruments and The Host. In Roth’s novels, Tris is the rare renaissance gal from a rigidly divided skill-based society that sorts citizens into five camps based on personality traits, like bravery (Dauntless), intelligence (Erudite), or selflessness (Abnegnation). Tris, who was raised Abnegnation, qualifies for three camps, making her a “divergent” threat to the status quo, represented by Kate Winslet’s icy Erudite leader. “The future belongs to those who know where they belong,” she tells the nervous teens at their Choosing Ceremony.

Fortunately, Tris has some help from Dauntless, which is the daredevil group she surprisingly elects to join. Theo James plays her smoldering and mysterious teacher, Four, whom EW’s Owen Gleiberman compares to an “unflaky James Franco with a surly hint of T-shirt-era Brando; he brings off the neat trick of playing a hardass who is also a heartthrob.”

Divergent has been a great hope, especially since it nabbed the critically acclaimed Woodley (The Descendants) for the lead role and has Winslet’s glower-power to keep things interesting. The most passionate fans rushed out to see Thursday-night screenings — grossing an impressive $4.9 million overnight — and a sequel, Insurgent, is already on the way. But is Divergent any good? Click below to see what Gleiberman and other critics are saying about the movie before you head to the theater.

Kate Winslet on shooting 'Divergent' scenes after giving birth: 'I felt like an absurd marshmallow with udders!'

In Divergent, we see Kate Winslet as we’ve never really seen her before — playing the cold and rather ruthless antagonist Jeanine Matthews — and that’s exactly why she took the part. “I was sent a lovely letter by [director] Neil Burger,” she says. “It came with a gigantic packet of Divergent info. I hadn’t heard of the book at that point, and so I devoured it immediately. And on reading it, frankly, I wanted to play a baddie! It’s something I have never done.”

But Winslet, who gave birth to her son last December, had also never come back to set just weeks after giving birth, as the Oscar-winner did earlier this year. “Coming back to set post-baby was a little bit like wheeling a cow into a straitjacket. I felt like an obscure and absurd marshmallow with udders!” she says. “It was actually OK. Once I got over the delight that my costumes still fit — apart from the boob area, which had to be relaxed by about a meter — it was all good. And I felt alive and less foggy-brained than I had whilst we were shooting and I was pregnant. I felt as though my senses had come back to life.”

For more on Divergent, pick up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now.

'Divergent' clip: Kate Winslet vs. Shailene Woodley -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO


When Divergent hits theaters next month, moviegoers will get a chance to see Shailene Woodley’s Tris Prior and Kate Winslet’s Jeanine Matthews go head to head. But for now, fans can enjoy the following exclusive clip, which features Winslet and Woodley discussing their characters’ respective agendas.

The new clip also features a few more glimpses at the film itself, including a flash of Four (Theo James) being captured and led away by Jeanine’s henchmen, and a rebel army clearing out Tris’ old Abnegation faction. Watch the exclusive clip below: READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Tom Hiddleston boards J.G. Ballard adaptation; Plus, Evangeline Lilly for 'Ant-Man'?

• Tom Hiddleston (Thor: The Dark World) is attached to star in High-Rise, an adaptation of J.G. Ballard‘s 1975 novel about a luxury residential unit. Hiddleston would play Robert Laing, a doctor who loves the idea of the tower, becomes obsessed with the architect, and gets embroiled in the complex mess surrounding the building. In the book, the building isolates the residents from the outside world and societal niceties soon devolve as residents segregate themselves by class and eventually regress to a primitive hunter/gatherer culture. Ben Wheatley (Doctor Who) is set to direct. [Variety]


Critical Mass: Is 'Labor Day' a peach? Or the pits?

Typically, it’s not considered savvy to open a movie on Super Bowl weekend, what with more than 100 million spending their Sunday afternoon on their sofa, eating nachos, guac, and buffalo wings in front of the Big Game. But Jason Reitman’s Labor Day might qualify as counter-programming. Based on Joyce Maynard’s 2009 novel, the film tells the melodramatic story of a fragile divorcee (Kate Winslet) whose rare excursion out of her house and into town with her 13-year-old son (Gattlin Griffith) is hijacked by an escaped fugitive (Josh Brolin) who demands refuge. But while he looks threatening, he’s a mild soul, and before long, he’s just what the boy and his mother are looking for: a father-figure and a man of the house.

“Once back at the house, Frank ties up Adele, pausing to tenderly caress her foot before spoon-feeding her some chili that he’s whipped up in the kitchen,” writes EW’s Chris Nashawaty. “At this point, even the most voracious reader of Harlequin romances might let out an embarrassed titter. But that’s just a warm-up for what comes next: the peach pie. Ay-yi-yi, the peach pie.”

The peach-pie scene aims to do for pastry what Ghost did for clay, and viewers will either swoon or eye-roll. The earnest romance is a departure for Reitman, the director best known for Juno and Up in the Air, but with another powerful female performance and supporting cast (Tobey Maguire, J.K. Simmons, Clark Gregg, James Van Der Beek), Super Bowl Sunday doesn’t have to be all about football.

Before you head to the theater, read what some of the nation’s leading critics are saying about Labor Day. READ FULL STORY

'Divergent' trailer: Shailene Woodley's Tris must face her 'worst fears' -- VIDEO


Teenage years are generally a time of tumultuous physical and emotional transformation — of growth spurts and angsty mood swings. But for Shailene Woodley’s 16-year-old Tris, it’s all of that plus a dash of life-or-death stakes. Not an ordinary teen fitting into a single faction, her transformation is all about survival.

In the new full-length trailer for Divergent, based on the first book in the Veronica Roth-penned dystopian trilogy, we see Tris Prior have her locks shorn off, almost drown, dodge speeding knives, and get thrown down by her instructor, Four (Theo James), who urges her to conquer her fears — “If you want to survive, follow me,” he says.

While training, Tris must evade the watchful eye of Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet), who wants to extinguish the divergents. “The future belongs to those who know where they belong,” she warns.

Watch the new trailer below:

'Labor Day' trailer: Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet's inconvenient romance -- VIDEO


Paramount has just released a full-length trailer for Labor Day, the upcoming drama starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet that centers on young Henry Wheeler (Dylan Minnette/Tobey Maguire), an adolescent struggling to take care of his reclusive mother, Adele (Winslet), after his father leaves. On a back-to-school shopping trip, they run into Frank Chambers (Brolin), who convinces them to take him home and then reveals himself to be an escaped inmate convicted of murder.

The trailer shows that there might be more to Frank’s story than what’s being said in the papers, and soon a romance forms between him and Adele.

Watch the trailer for Labor Day below:

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