One of the more polarizing entries at the Cannes film festival this year was Restless, director Gus Van Sant’s first film since Milk. The atmospheric drama follows a death-obsessed Oregon teenager (Henry Hopper, son of Dennis) who crashes funerals where he meets a terminally-ill cancer patient (The Kids Are All Right‘s Mia Wasikowska). Some viewers found the film a bit precious, but I still found Wasikowska’s character’s matter-of-fact reaction to her diagnosis inspiring. Sony Pictures Classics will release Restless on September 16; here’s a new trailer in the meantime: READ FULL STORY »
Tag: Mia Wasikowska (11-13 of 13)
This weekend, the stormy, deluxe new version of Jane Eyre opens, and in just about every way the rituals that have long attended the mounting and marketing of a lofty romantic period piece have been duly observed. The film’s star, Mia Wasikowska, is a ravishing and talented up-and-coming classy It Girl of the moment — just as Gwyneth Paltrow was 15 years ago when she first set hearts aflutter in Emma (1996), and Helena Bonham Carter a quarter of a century ago when her stately carriage and wistful dark eyebrows anchored in A Room with a View (1985). Audiences, I have no doubt, will line up to see the movie, at least for a few weeks. And though I personally didn’t think Jane Eyre was all that, many critics have disagreed with me, like A.O. Scott of The New York Times, who gave it the kind of reverently thoughtful sendoff that distributors crave. For a long time, movies like Jane Eyre have occupied an essential niche in our moviegoing culture, and in this case the niche appears, once again, to have been filled. READ FULL STORY »
The marketing campaign for this year’s Sundance Film Festival urges rebellion, renewal, and a return to the aesthetic roots of independent filmmaking, while festival volunteers wear jackets emblazoned with the establishment logo of corporate sponsor Kenneth Cole. In other words, it’s Sundance, Jake. And this year I’ve been wearing the (non-logo) badge that identifies me as a member of the three-person jury judging 14 entries in the World Dramatic category of the competition. The awards ceremony is tonight; I’ll report on some of the outstanding selections I’ve seen next week, after I’ve removed my ID badge.
So much for my silence on this site, while Owen has been commenting eloquently on what he and I agree has been a particularly rewarding Sundance. But nothing stops me from sharing my enthusiasm for two of the films I’ve liked best outside of my jurisdiction.
I’ll start with my favorite U.S. drama with movie stars: The Kids Are All Right, directed by Lisa Cholodenko from a screenplay she cowrote with Stuart Blumberg, stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a long-time married lesbian couple in California, mothers, via sperm donor, of an academically gifted 18-year-old daughter (Mia Wasikowska) and an athletic 15-year-old son (Josh Hutcherson) on a quest to find their biological father. The kids don’t have to look far: Open records lead sister and brother to Mark Ruffalo as a free-wheeling, peace-and-love-style bachelor restaurant entrepreneur whose charm enchants his chromosomal offspring — and challenges their mothers.
Rebellious filmmaking? Yes, insofar as Cholodenko’s warm, smart, audience-friendly, often very funny movie features two marvelous, famous actresses in full flower as lesbians — not to mention gay sex, straight sex, and READ FULL STORY »
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