Going in to the first Sundance showing of The Skeleton Twins, in which Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader play a troubled sister and brother coping with the legacy of their screwed-up family, I knew nothing about the film except that it was being billed as the movie that reunited the two former SNL teammates but wasn’t a comedy. Glancing at that photo above, I thought to myself: Hmmmmm, I hope it’s not one of those glum dysfunctional-family indie specials in which gifted comedians blank themselves out for the sake of art. I needn’t have worried. The Skeletons Twins is very much a drama, but it has lots of laughs, too — the kind of good, soul-ticking laughs that emerge, organically, from dramatic situations. Its tone is comparable to that of The Kids Are All Right or Alexander Payne’s films. The Golden Globes would have no problem nominating The Skeleton Twins in the Best Comedy or Musical category. Yet as directed and co-written by Craig Johnson, this is a tenderly sincere, and smart, and beguiling, and penetrating movie about the way that ordinary messed-up people can wind up stumbling through their lives. And let me say right up front: The two actors are fantastic together, every bit as powerful as Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo were as the woundedly bound siblings of You Can Count on Me. But then, we already know from Bridesmaids what a knockout of a leading lady Kristen Wiig can be. It’s Bill Hader who’s the revelation. I think he could become a major screen actor. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Lynn Shelton (1-9 of 9)
In director Lynn Shelton’s Sundance film Laggies, Keira Knightley’s character Megan is having a quarter-life crisis until she meets Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz) and her dad Craig (Sam Rockwell).
So what does Star Wars have to do with all this? We’ll let Rockwell, Moretz, and Shelton explain it, in this Sundance interview with EW’s Sara Vilkomerson:
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Ellen Page is no amateur.
Not only has she starred in some of the most beloved and successful modern indies, including cult favorite Hard Candy and her star-making role in Juno, she’s also held her own in big-budget endeavors too, stealing scenes from the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception. But on her first day on set for director Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely, Page suddenly found herself paralyzed with fear and doubt.
What happens when a massage therapist suddenly can’t stand to touch her clients…or anyone?
That’s at least one of the questions explored in Touchy Feely, writer-director Lynn Shelton’s followup to Your Sister’s Sister and Humpday. The film follows Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt), the aforementioned masseuse, and Paul (Josh Pais), her dentist brother who suddenly discovers he can actually heal people with his touch. Argo’s Scoot McNairy co-stars as Abby’s boyfriend Jesse who, apparently, takes a liking to her niece (Ellen Page).
The film, which also stars Ron Livingson and Allison Janney, premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival where it picked up a Grand Jury Prize nomination. Check out the trailer after the jump.
A wedding isn’t the only exciting news for Keira Knightley fans this week: The actress is in negotiations to play the female lead in the dark comedy Laggies, according to a rep for the film. The independent production, written by first-timer Andrea Seigel and directed by Lynn Shelton (Your Sister’s Sister), tells the story of a young woman who reacts to her boyfriend’s marriage proposal by pretending to go on a business retreat while she actually hunkers down with a new 16-year old friend (Chloë Grace Moretz). Anne Hathaway was originally on board for the lead but had to depart due to scheduling conflicts with her next project, Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic Interstellar.
Knightley, 28, has a mix of small and big-budget films on her docket, including the Kenneth Branagh-directed Jack Ryan (co-starring Chris Pine) and the indie Can a Song Save Your Life? by writer-director John Carney (Once). The actress married musician James Righton in a small ceremony in France on Saturday. (A rep for Knightley did not immediately reply to a request for comment.)
After picking up a Grand Jury Prize nomination at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in January, Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely is set for a September 6 release in theaters and on VOD, a rep for the film confirms exclusively to EW. Written and directed by Lynn Shelton (Your Sister’s Sister), the dramedy tells the intertwining stories of two siblings: A massage therapist (Rosemarie DeWitt) who becomes averse to touching bodies, and a dentist (Josh Pais) who discovers that he may have the ability to mysteriously heal patients with his touch. “Abby, the massage therapist, is free spirited and in touch with feelings. And Paul [the dentist] is the polar opposite: scared of the world, not wanting any change. And the two of them enter these journeys of self-discovery for kind of opposite reasons,” explains Shelton, who originally developed the characters for two separate movies. “Then I realized, they should be in the same movie! They’d be an interesting juxtaposition with each other, so I’ll make them brother and sister.” READ FULL STORY
Casting Net: Anne Hathaway and Chloe Moretz might play best friends; Plus, Kate Mara, Peter Fonda, more
• Things have been pretty quiet for Anne Hathaway on the casting front since her Best Supporting Actress win, but we just assumed that she was waiting to line up the perfect post-Oscar project. She may have found that in Lynn Shelton’s (Your Sister’s Sister) next project Laggies — a dark comedy about a late 20-something afraid of growing up. Chloë Moretz, Sam Rockwell, and Mark Webber are also in talks to star. With a script by Like the Red Panda author Andrea Siegel, Hathaway would play Megan, the 20-something in question. When her boyfriend (potentially Webber) proposes to her, she decides to hide from life with her 16-year-old best friend Annika (Moretz). [Deadline]
• House of Cards’ Kate Mara is coming back to the big screen to join Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall in Wally Pfister’s Transcendence. No word yet on her role, but we continue to be very excited for Pfister’s directorial debut. He’s even got the support of his longtime collaborator Christopher Nolan who is serving as a producer on the project along Emma Thomas (Nolan’s wife and producer). Pfister has tapped Jess Hall (Brideshead Revisited) to serve as cinematographer. [Deadline]
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