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Tag: Sundance (1-10 of 46)

Felicity Jones in 'Breathe In': Wise beyond her years -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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The last time Felicity Jones played a British exchange student, hearts were broken in Like Crazy, the bittersweet 2011 indie romance that won her a special acting prize at the Sundance Film Festival. In Breathe In, another Sundance movie from Like Crazy director Drake Doremus, Jones plays another British exchange student who falls in love with an American. But this tale is much darker and more complex.

Jones plays a piano prodigy named Sophie who comes to America to experience the thrills of New York. Her host family, however, lives in upstate New York, far away from the bright lights and excitement. The doldrums of suburban life are broken when she forms a deep connection with the married man of the house (Guy Pearce), a high-school music teacher whose dreams of playing in an elite orchestra are no longer encouraged by his wife (Amy Ryan). What starts as a shared passion blooms into something more dangerous that threatens all the characters’ well-being and sense of identity.

The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 and opens in theaters this Friday, March 28. Click below for an exclusive video from the film and a chat with Jones.

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Roger Ebert documentary 'Life Itself' picked up for distribution

After premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Life Itself, a documentary about the life of film critic Roger Ebert, will be distributed theatrically by Magnolia Pictures. Directed by Steve James (Hoop Dreams), the film will also be broadcast exclusively on CNN later this year after its scheduled summer release. This is the second such deal with Magnolia and CNN after their collaboration last year on the documentary Blackfish, which also premiered at Sundance.

“Roger Ebert gets the tribute he deserves with Life Itself,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “Steve James has done a beautiful job capturing Roger’s complexity and energy in a loving but wonderfully clear-eyed portrait.”

Based on his memoir of the same name, Life Itself explores the fascinating and flawed journey of Ebert from school newspaperman to the movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, and from Pulitzer Prize winner to finding love later in life. Ebert died last year after a decade-long battle with papillary thyroid cancer that left him no longer able to speak. In his “third act,” the first critic to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame emerged as a major voice on the Internet.

“Magnolia is the perfect partner for bringing this film on such a seminal figure in film to the big screen,” said Steve James. “Roger’s story deserves it.”

Philip Seymour Hoffman talks Sundance, directing in one of his final interviews -- VIDEO

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Philip Seymour Hoffman was at the Sundance Film Festival less than two weeks ago to talk about his role in John Slattery’s directorial debut, God’s Pocket. He spoke with EW’s Anthony Breznican along with Slattery and co-star Christina Hendricks (Mad Men). Hoffman had his first film as director — Jack Goes Boating — premiere at Sundance in 2010, and he only had this bit of advice for Slattery: “When you get here, it’s the letting go time.”

Watch the video from Sundance below and check out previous interviews with the Oscar winner from EW about some of his earlier films, including Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Charlie Wilson’s War, and A Most Wanted Man.

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'Love is Strange' and 'Frank' both get post-Sundance deals

After premiering at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, two films have been acquired for theatrical release.

Sony Pictures Classics announced Friday that they have acquired all North American, German, and Scandinavian rights to Ira Sachs’ feature Love Is Strange starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as a longtime couple who lose their New York City home shortly after getting married and, as a result, must live apart, relying on friends and family to make ends meet. “Filmmaker Ira Sachs, one of our most acute observers of humanity in modern times, has made his most accomplished film featuring two of the greatest actors in the English speaking world at the peak of their form. It is a privilege to collaborate with them on releasing Love Is Strange,” Sony Pictures Classics said in a statement. The all-star cast also includes Marisa Tomei, Darren Burrows, Charlie Tahan, and Cheyenne Jackson.

The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnolia Pictures also announced Friday that they have acquired North American rights to Frank, an offbeat comedy directed by Lenny Abrahamson and written by Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare at Goats) and Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). Frank stars Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gylenhaal, Scoot McNairy, and Michael Fassbender as the titular character, a brilliant and eccentric musician who wears a giant fake head at all times.

“All of us at Magnolia were completely taken with Frank,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “It reaffirms the considerable talents of Lenny Abrahamson, who has delivered a beautiful, poignant, and hilarious film that speaks on many levels about being an artist. That Michael Fassbender can be so affecting while encased in a papier-mâché head proves that he is one of the greatest actors working today.” Magnolia is eyeing a summer 2014 theatrical release for the film.

Sundance 2014: South Central L.A. is the Wild West in 'Imperial Dreams' -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

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It’s hard to believe that John Singleton’s generation-defining film Boyz n the Hood came out 23 years ago, in 1991, introducing audiences to a part of Los Angeles that’s a world away from Hollywood. It’s even harder to believe that South Central is still just as hard a place to live and thrive now as it was then. Malik Vitthal’s first feature, Imperial Dreams, which grew out of a Sundance Lab project and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week, aims to tell a modern story of hope amidst the gang-ridden streets of Watts, and it largely succeeds. It’s received standing ovations at screenings and the praise keeps mounting for its star, 21-year-old British actor John Boyega (Attack the Block).

“There’s always going to be poverty,” the film’s producer Jonathan Schwartz, who has also been behind Sundance hits in previous years including Like Crazy and Smashed, tells EW. “We wanted to make a film that’s socially important, but not preachy and not cliché.”

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Sundance 2014: The alarmingly different, utterly charming personalities of 'Land Ho!'

Road trip movies (and road trips in general) live and die by the likability of the travel companions. Writing and directing team Martha Stephens (Pilgrim Song) and Aaron Katz (Cold Weather) knew that, of course. Their film Land Ho! reunites a pair of 70-something ex-brother-in-laws for a trip around Iceland.

“We wanted to make a comedy that was sort of an ode to comedies that we loved growing up like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Uncle Buck and stuff that’s really fun, but we also wanted to incorporate the way that we made movies,” said Stephens.

Cast chemistry is key for a film of this nature. But for a small production, sometimes there just aren’t the resources to get the leads in the same room before shooting begins. A scary thought for any production, but on Land Ho! one of the main cast members was also a non-actor.

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Sundance 2014: You're not supposed to know anything about 'The One I Love'

The One I Love is Charlie McDowell’s feature directorial debut. It stars Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass as a broken couple who go on a retreat to an idyllic home at the urging of their therapist (played by McDowell’s stepfather, Ted Danson) in an attempt to salvage their relationship. And that’s the only thing you should know about it going in.

“I think we just felt like the movie would play so much better the less you knew about it. That’s why we sort of hinted more at the tone of it. We just felt like from the very beginning that was the right way to approach it,” McDowell, who also wrote Dear Girls Above Me, told EW.

“We’re going to do our best to maintain that for audiences,” Duplass, who also serves as a producer, added the morning after the film’s premiere. “We’re going to ask and hope that people be respectful and we’ll see what happens.”
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Sundance 2014: The Zellner Brothers create a folk hero in 'Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter'

On the surface, Kumiko is fanciful. As portrayed by Rinko Kikuchi, the isolated, lonely lead character of David and Nathan Zellner’s epic Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter dons an oversized red hoodie, sports a messy cropped bob, has one friend — a bunny named Bunzo — and leaves Japan on a quest to a buried treasure. Specifically, the briefcase full of cash that she sees buried in Joel and Ethan Coen’s Fargo after she finds a distorted VHS copy of the 1996 film. It could have easily devolved into whimsy, but on film, she’s a driven folk adventurer on a high stakes, utterly essential quest.

“We didn’t want it too be cutesy,” David Zellner told EW after their premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. “That would trivialize the character and her plight. We always wanted the audience to always be on her side and nothing to be at her expense.” In a lesser movie, Kumiko’s otherness might have been the joke, but the Zellners knew that despite her on paper oddness, she still had to be the hero. “You can laugh at situational stuff, but we wanted everyone to be rooting for her and for the stakes to be as high for the audience watching as they are for her in that moment. As soon as you stigmatize someone and separate them, it’s easier for you to distance yourself to not relate to them as a human being. It was essential to us that you relate to her on a very human level and that you believe in her quest and you want her to succeed,” David said.

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Sundance 2014: Elizabeth Banks searches for some hands-on healing in 'Little Accidents' -- VIDEO

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Tragedy brings two broken souls together in director/writer Sara Colangelo’s debut feature film, Little Accidents. Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games) plays the wife of a mining executive whose son goes missing and befriends the only survivor after a mining accident rattles their small town.

Chris Columbus serves as executive producer on the film and has a very personal connection to the dangerous trade. EW’s Anthony Breznican sat down at Sundance to talk with the cast — Banks, Boyd Holbrook (Hatfields & McCoys), and Jacob Lofland (Mud) — as well as Columbus and Colangelo about the film and the director’s maiden cinematic voyage.

Watch the exclusive interview below:
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Sundance 2014: EW's best and worst of the festival so far -- VIDEO

The 2014 Sundance Film Festival continues through the end of the week, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to pick some of our favorite movies from Park City, Utah, and some others that left us feeling a little cold.

Film critic Owen Gleiberman — who has been attending Sundance since 1995 — talks to EW’s Sara Vilkomerson about Bill Hader’s dramatic side, a film that took more than a decade to make, and whether or not Kristen Stewart is a convincing soldier.

Check out Owen’s favorites below:
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