> Chapter1-Take1: February 2013

Will OZ be The Great and Powerful?

As February finally comes to a close, March is the month we'll finally get to see what James Franco is really made of. OZ: The Great and Powerful comes out next week on March 8. As does another film based on a book, The Monk. Also being released on March 8 but in the UK, is Broken, a movie I can't wait to come to the U.S. !
So what to expect?

There's the ultra-splashy mega-budget big-name-actor-studded retelling of a classic American story OZ: The Great and Powerful - that everyone is waiting for. Sort of. Because it could be great fun, magical, hilarious, moving or it could be a giant bust. James Franco is rather unpredictable of late; and is he quite right for the part? I've shared previously about the film in Three Things I learned about Oz: The Great and Powerful  and I'm sure I'll have more to say. I'm also sure you've seen the commercials running constantly; they even had a huge hot air balloon outside the Academy Awards ceremony. Is your excitement as up there as the filmmakers hope?

And then something quite a bit different. 

The Monk is a French film starring Vincent Cassell (Black Swan). It was first released as Le Moine in 2011 but is only now making its' way to America. The thriller is based on the gothic novel written by Matthew Lewis in 1796. He was just twenty when he wrote the book which according to the website, Sweet Despise,
" is a novel containing lots of the gothic themes: supernatural agencies, murder, rape, incest, poisonings, hauntings, incarcerations and a tragic love story"

The book has a fascinating backstory which I'm glossing over but it was initially received well in its day (ala last year's obsession with Fifty Shades) but there were also accusations of plagiarism, the book was banned at one point and the subject matter from one so young destroyed his family's reputation. Scholarly writers like Coleridge actually penned essays on its merits and weaknesses. According to Coleridge, there were more of the latter. You can actually link to the Gutenberg Project here and download The Monk for free if you'd like to read it. But watch the trailer first.

Pretty creepy looking but it's shot really well. If the plot line is anything like SweetDespise writes I think it won't quite be my cup of tea but I'm keeping an open mind. If MLH goes too, maybe I'll see it!

And something special... a book giveaway
For those of you in the U.K. you have Broken to look forward to and I'm so jealous! The movie is based on the novel Broken by Daniel Clay,(which I loved) and lucky me, Daniel has done a brilliant Q&A with me - the Q's weren't so brilliant but the A's were.
PLUS we're doing a book giveaway. open to everyone in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Daniel, who writes the nicest emails, is going to send a SIGNED BOOK to two lucky winners - one from the UK and one from the U.S. or Canada. Look for CONTEST DETAILS coming soon and I'll be posting my take on the book soon as well.

I'll also keep those of  you not in the U.K. posted when I hear more international and north american release dates. In the meantime have a gander at the trailer for the critically acclaimed film starring Tim Roth, Cillian Murphy, Eloise Laurence and Rory Kinnear. And let me know what you think. It's always great to hear what you all have to say. Thanks.

Happy Birthday Mr. Steinbeck

John Steinbeck
Born February 27, 1902   Salinas, California
Died December 20, 1968  New York, New York

The Grapes of Wrath, The Pearl, East of Eden, Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row. Steinbeck's novels have been adapted for the screen many times over and in several languages. Check out the complete list on imdb.com  and for more info on the Pulitzer Prize winning author, visit the National Steinbeck Center on line ... or if you're out west, stop by for real in Salinas, California before hopping over to Monterrey Bay.

We watched The Grapes of Wrath on TCM; read my thoughts here.

The Road Home leads to Leonardo DiCaprio #book2movies

 “I am a bit drained. I'm going to take a long, long break.  I’ve done three films in two years and I’m just worn out.”  Leonardo DiCaprio, BILD
Leonardo DiCaprio, whose quote in Germany's BILD had been much cited and interpreted as evidence that Leo's leaving the movie business, was as silly as it sounded. Besides having screen adaptations of both Dennis Lehane's Live by Night (which Ben Affleck eventually starred in) and Erik Larson's Devil in the White City still somewhere in the development pipeline. 

The strange thing is a film DiCaprio was said to sign on for — The Road Home based on the upcoming novel from Michael Armour—has had no movement at all since this post in 2103. Scott Cooper, an actor/writer/director hybrid - he wrote and directed the acclaimed screen adaptation of Thomas Cobb's Crazy Heart which took the Writer's Guild Best Adaptation prize in 2010 - was on board to write, direct and produce along with Leonardo's own company, Appian Way.

Armour's book is said to be a Depression-era story set on the coast of Central California. A rancher name Creek (Leo) who tries to help solve a local murder gets mixed up in a scandal involving local police trying to bury the case. The book doesn't come out until the fall*.  God knows when the movie will come out. God and Leo. **

*Book bloggers on ARC lists! I don't get ARC's and can't wait to hear your thoughts when you've read your advanced copy! Let me know if you'd like to share them in a guest post. Casting suggestions included!

** 3/1/2018 Updating this post to tell you there is NO word on the movie ... or the book!
Seriously, I can't find any record of The Road Home or Michael Armour as its author. I don't know what happened, did the book get presold based on a concept the writer couldn't actually write to completion? 

I've scoured the internet to no avail. If you have any info, please share!

Hey Oscar! The party's over...now go home!

Picture Source: Entertainment Tonight
THE big night in movies is behind us, and even with a day to digest everything I have to say I'm still disappointed that the Oscar show didn't reach the dazzling heights of this year's films but c'est la vie. Maybe Tina and Amy will host next year! As for this year's host Seth McFarlane; he proved he can sing and dance and that he can be tremendously funny. He also showed that he can bomb and just as easily cross the line into boorish and hurtful rudeness. As for the rest of the show I'm pretty much in synch with what Michael Russnow said in today's Huffington Post which I suggest you read after...

A few thoughts of my own :

L to R: Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence
Anne Hathawy & Christoph Waltz
The top acting nods were dished out pretty much as expected;  Jessica Chastain lost - I wonder with how big a margin - to Jennifer Lawrence who took Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook.  As surely as Anne Hathaway was going to win Best Supporting Actress for Les Miserables, Lincoln's Daniel Day-Lewis was the only one really in the running for Best Actor. And while some of us hoped Tommy Lee Jones would snatch the Best Supporting Actor for playing Thaddeus Stevens in Lincoln from Django Unchained's Christoph Waltz, that didn't happen.

I think my favorite moment of the event came from 9-year old Quvenzhane Wallis, nominated for Best Actress for Beasts of the Southern Wild. She was carrying a puppy-purse which, she delightedly shared on the Red Carpet, she'd adorned with a tiarra and sparkly necklace. She was so fresh, so sweet, innocent and joyous ... just a lovely highlight.  Which made the closing number "Here's to the losers" sung by McFarlane and Kristen Chenowith all the more egregious to me. Perhaps adults can laugh at being called losers - which I doubt with the 'losing' being so fresh - but a little girl? I assume she'd been prepped by her family that she would probably not win given her age and experience but that the nomination made her a winner, period. True enough but that doesn't negate the fact that she's still a nine year child and couldn't be expected to enjoy being the butt of the joke. MLH says it's possible she didn't make the connection. I hope so. I know it's a grown up venue and when you play with the big boys ya gotta play by their rules but still...she's a child, just a child.

I also loved Shirley Bassey's singing of the iconic Goldfinger theme song. There was a moment at the beginning when I thought they should have stuck with her original recording but that was soon replaced by admiration. I just loved how she sold it...and couldn't help singing along under my breath.
Aaron Tveit as Enjolras

The Les Miz cast was fantastique; I'm thrilled that Aaron Tveit who played Enjolras was included. He's got a great singing voice and he's gorgeous in a gorgeously manly way. Expect to see more of him as his exposure kicks in and everyone, even those in Hollywood who still haven't seen the film*, starts saying who is that guy. *Yeah, there's still an anti-musical bias in Hollywood that Les Miz financial success looks like it may turn around. Sure was a musical heavy show to set the stage.

I'm disappointed that Zero Dark Thirty was basically ignored - it won only for sound editing - and considering Jessica Chastain's standout performance, I'm thinking it might be a good idea for the Academy to follow the Golden Globes example and break down the awards into two categories; drama and comedy or musical. Not that they ever will! Jennifer Lawrence was amazing in Silver Linings Playbook but how do you even begin to compare her performance to Jessica Chastain's in the drama Zero Dark Thirty or Naomi Watts come to think of it, in The Impossible, a deeply visceral and emotional performance. It's all just ridiculous which is why I say C'est la vie.

What else? I'm happy for Ang Lee because Life of Pi is a beautiful film based on a beautiful book. It's a magnificent  achievement, especially in the categories where it understandably won - for Mychael Danna's gorgeous score, for Claudio Miranda's eye popping cinematography and for Bill Westenhofer's truly astonishing visual effects. This movie could not have been made just a few years ago. And I'm feeling bad for Stephen Spielberg - Daniel Day-Lewis has been justly rewarded but the film and Spielberg's direction, not so much. Lincoln is, like all the nominees, a marvelous movie, the current $179 million dollar and counting take will have to suffice!

I didn't expect Silver Linings Playbook to win Best Adapted Screenplay - Chris Terrio has been winning that for Argo all over the place. SLP is an amazing script though, really making the most of Matthew Quick's novel but, let's say enhancing it, when needed.

And let's see,  what other random thoughts are swilling around in my so called brain?  ... Jane Fonda has the neck of a thirty year old and was radiant in yellow. Quentin Tarantino encouraged writers - yay ! Barbara Streisand stood and delivered a moving tribute to Marvin Hamlish, singing The Way We Were at the end of In Memoriam which unfortunately left out a few important names including Andy Griffith!  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is too cute for words singin and a dancin in his tux and Adele is Adele is Adele. A for amazing, awesome, astonishing, astounding and on and on. Skyfall was another no-brainer for Best Song - it's one of the songs I walk to, listening with ear buds on my iPhone  everyday.  It's really hard not to sing along but I resist, lest the Neighborhood Watch bust me for impersonating someone who can carry a tune.
I think that about wraps it up for me; it's no more worrying about the race and back to a steady diet of basics. Bookish movie news about past, present and future screen adaptations based on the books we love yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Dreaming of France: Emmanuelle Riva

It would have been perfect had the revered French actress Emmanuelle Riva received a Best Picture Oscar as an 86th birthday present yesterday but alas it was not to be. The top award went to a much younger actress, Jennifer Lawrence, for her role in Silver Linings Playbook. And she was great!

But Riva, who  did 'beat out' Lawrence (if you must look at it that way) for the BAFTA this year for her work in the sad and intimate Amour could probably care less.

As she told Gawker  "I've never wanted to be a star, never." (click their link to read more spunky quotes but come on back)

What she does have, besides this year's BAFTA, is a whole new audience curious about her work. That's the pro on the pro-con side of the entire awards season. Films and performances that might not be seen have a much better shot at getting their due. And as difficult a movie as Amour is at times to watch, Emmanuelle Riva's performance is worth watching. For cinephiles, Ms. Riva is most well known for the masterpiece of French New Wave, Hiroshima Mon Amor, from Alain Resnais, made in 1959. The Academy Award-nominated script from French novelist, Marguerite Duras tells the tale of a French actress (Riva) and a Japanese architect (Eiji Okada) engaging in an intense affair in postwar Hiroshima. It's been a long time since I've seen this film and I want to revisit it but my recollection is that, much like Amour,  Hiroshima Mon Amour is dark, and no picnic in the park.

If you've not seen either film perhaps a look at their respective trailers will pique your interest.
First up Amour

And take a look at this clip from Hiroshima Mon Amour. I wasn't able to find a clip with English subtitles but it gives you a good idea of mood and tone. And I can't help but note that Ms. Riva was slapped across the face by her amour in both films! That's pretty astounding when you think of it; we don't often see women getting slapped by men, thank God, in life or in film. I would say both incidents seem to be the "get hold of yourself" type slaps and I'm not sure how I feel about that somewhat archaic man-in-charge message. 

Dreaming of France is a meme hosted by Paulita at An Accidental Blog. Check it out on Mondays for all things French and fabulous.

The Oscar Winners 2013

Here's to the winners! CONGRATS!

New Catching Fire movie posters released: This girl is on fire!

We all know that with the huge success of the first Hunger Games movie and now Silver Linings Playbook that this girl IS on fire! Jennifer Lawrence's The Hunger Games Catching Fire movie has just released two more posters for the movie which comes out November 22. But where's the fire?

Am I the only one confused about the iciness of the look compared to the more fiery
graphics of the first poster released?

While I have tons of time before the movie comes out, maybe I better get busy so I understand the new look!
Here's a look at the first teaser poster I shared awhile back ...

The Perfect Oscar Shoe?

NO! This is NOT the perfect Oscar shoe!
It's a perfectly ugly shoe ... isn't it? *
Last year I was lucky enough to attend the Oscars as my brother's date - he works for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science and goes every year. For a few years his wife was sick of it all, so he started taking other family members and last year was my big chance.
But I had nothing to wear plus I was feeling heavy and out of shape and couldn't bear the thought of revealing my bare arms in a gown and besides I couldn't find a long sleeved gown that didn't look like a nun's habit. 
I went shopping with my BFF of almost 40 years. We finally found a simple velvet tuxedo at The Address in Santa Monica. It's one of those upscale boutiques where socialite types and celebs - or their assistants! -  sell off their old designer duds. They also had a gorgeous pair of Yves Saint Laurent pumps that I could walk in for $100.

You can see my post about going to the Oscars last year here if you're interested.

This year I'll be staying home in jammies, swilling cheap champagne, and stuffing my face - in moderation - with Nancy's Mini Quiche, Kaukauma port wine cheese and English biscuits. I may live TWEET during the show but I reserve the right to leave it aside while I munch and try to spot my big bro and his wife among the more sparkly invitees!

Oh and for those of you who voted in my OSCAR poll - thank you! As noted, Les Miz won (it has my vote) but we all know it won't actually win, right? It's still looking like it will come down to Lincoln or Argo, I think the betting money is on Argo has the fabulous Lincoln is a little talky and academic. Argo picked up another award - Best Foreign Film at the Cesar Awards this Friday night in Paris. Amour won almost everything else - the best film, Michael Haneke for his direction, best original screenplay, Jean Louis Trintignant for Best Actor and Emmanuelle Riva for Best Actress. 

I've seen Amour twice, btw. The first time I was just astounded such a dark and claustrophobic film could even be nominated. I was astounded as well that it left me tearless - considering the subject matter. I watched it again and got more out of it, including some tears. It's a movie that demands you pay attention, and haunts you afterward.

* a saleswoman came over as I was taking this picture with my iPhone 
"Can I help you?" 
"No thanks, I just wanted to take a picture of this shoe."
"Why, because you'd never buy this shoe?"
"No, because I have so much that would go with them. I just need to check my closet."

Nicholas Sparks gets $5 Million for "The Longest Ride"

Nicholas Sparks does it again. Safe Haven is doing well, just as he said, taking in $36 million here in the states since its' Valentine's Day release...and that's without Keira Knightly who was originally supposed to play the part of Katie, which ultimately went to Julianne Hough. Now Deadline is reporting that after something of a bidding war, Fox 2000 has bought the rights to The Longest Ride.  The purchase price of $5 million is high - but par for the course for the prolific writer of schmaltzy love stories we keep paying to see ... hoping against hope this will be the one to beat The Notebook.
Like Safe Haven, The Longest Ride will be released on Valentine's Day ... 2015. That's a long long ride.  But the book first, eh? According to Spark's website, The Longest Yard will be on bookshelves September 24, 2013. 
Can you wait?

You can read a couple of other posts about Safe Haven and the movie based on the book here  and here.

The Oscars: What movies will win in the craft categories?

Thursday already! The Oscars are this Sunday ... did you vote in my Best Picture poll? So far Les Miz has almost half the vote, the rest divided up among the remaining films except for Argo which got Zero votes and may well win and Django Unchained which most certainly won't. While I'm not expecting the Academy members votes to align with our vote, I'm curious to see what takes the top prize, as it were. I'm almost more interested in the the so-called craft races. Glenn Whip has a great article in the L.A. Times predicting the winners and why they'll win. I'll be a lazy blogger and share it with you in total.  I grabbed some visuals from google to dress it up so I'm not a total slacker, right?
By the way, isn't it nifty to see so many films based on books among the top movies? I've * 'em just for fun.

From the L.A. Times The Envelope Section By Glenn Whipp
February 20, 2013, 4:28 p.m.

Gold Standard writer Glenn Whipp is sweeping through all 24 Oscar categories this week, assessing the races, predicting the winners and helping you prevail in your Oscar pools. He looked at the shorts categories here and the sound races here. Now he looks at five craft categories rewarding eye-pleasing work.
The nominees:

And the winner is ... "Life of Pi." Voters may not be able to distinguish the line between Miranda's photography and the film's visual effects work, but that probably won't matter. More than any other movie of the season, "Pi" has been hailed for its gorgeous visuals as well as its striking use of 3-D. All those beautiful images were likely dancing in academy members' minds when they filled out their ballots.
Unless ... voters finally decide to reward 10-time nominee Deakins for the wall-to-wall visual splendor in "Skyfall." Deakins took the top prize from the  American Society of Cinematographers, but that particular honor hasn't translated into love from the academy on his prior two ASC wins. "Skyfall's" absence in the best picture slate doesn't help Deakins' cause, either.


The nominees:
"Anna Karenina," production design: Sarah Greenwood; set decoration: Katie Spencer   *
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," production design: Dan Hennah; set decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Brigh   *
"Les Misérables," production design: Eve Stewart; set decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson   *
"Life of Pi," production design: David Gropman; set decoration: Anna Pinnock   *
"Lincoln," production design: Rick Carter; set decoration: Jim Erickson   *

And the winner is ... "Anna Karenina" won the Art Directors Guild Award, and deservedly so. Even detractors who griped about the movie's artifice were more than happy to celebrate the intricate design and imagination that Greenwood and Spencer brought to "Anna's" theatrical vision of reality.
Unless ... not enough voters saw "Anna," which would probably mean another below-the-line victory for the "Pi" team.


The nominees:
"Anna Karenina," Jacqueline Durran   *
"Les Misérables," Paco Delgado    *
"Lincoln," Joanna Johnston    *
"Mirror Mirror," Eiko Ishioka   * fairy tale
"Snow White and the Huntsman," Colleen Atwood   * fairy tale
And the winner is ... We'll go with "Anna Karenina" here too, where it's on even more solid footing in a category that often goes to the most lavish work. Three-time nominee Durran should score her first win.
Unless ... voters go with best picture nominee "Les Miserables," which was sumptuous itself, albeit mostly in a grimy, tattered, revolutionary chic kind of way.


The nominees:
"Hitchcock," Howard Berger, Peter Montagna & Martin Samuel  * Alfred Hitchock & the Making of Psycho
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane   *
"Les Misérables," Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell   *

And the winner is ... "The Hobbit." Gandalf's beard casts a long shadow.
Unless ... voters decide that since two of the three "Lord of the Rings" movies also won this Oscar, it's time to move in another direction. Then, tear-soaked visions of an aged, dying Jean Valjean probably give the nod to "Les Miz."


The nominees:
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton
and R. Christopher White   *
"Life of Pi," Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott    *
"Marvel's The Avengers," Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
"Prometheus," Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
"Snow White and the Huntsman," Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson   *

And the winner is ... "Pi." See: cinematography.
Unless ... Forget Daniel Day-Lewis and Anne Hathaway in the acting categories. "Pi" winning this Oscar is the night's surest bet.
If you enjoy going behind the scenes
take a look at Catherine Martin's costume and production design for The Great Gatsby. Ms. Martin won the 2014 OSCAR in both categories!

See all the winners for 2014.

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen: First Paragraph, Teaser Tuesday

"The news about Walter Berglund wasn't picked up locally -- he and Patty had moved away to Washington two years earlier and meant nothing to St. Paul now -- but the urban gentry of Ramsey Hill were not so loyal to their city as not to read the New York Times."
This is the beginning of Freedom, Johnathan Franzen's highly praised novel about the American family. Published in 2010 the book was an Oprah Book Club recommendation and Scott Rudin snatched it up almost instantaneously for adaptation. Where it now sits on a shelf next to Rudin's copy of The Corrections, the other Franzen novel Rudin owns the rights to. There was going to be an adaptation of The Corrections for HBO with Ewan McGregor all set to star but that's been cancelled for now. I can only hope there is actually a screenwriter somewhere with his own copy of Franzen's 562 page book, writing and re-writing away to whittle the book into a 120 page screenplay!  But how?? Regardless, I've met Walter and Patty, the young and the not-so young versions, and would love to see them onscreen. Wouldn't you?

On Tuesdays, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph of her current read. Over at Should Be Reading MizB posts a random tease for Tuesday Teasers. Mine comes from Freedom as well.

"Neighbors who were closer to the Berglunds than the Paulsens reported that Miss Bianca had left her little mouse house, on a minor lake near Grand Rapids, exclusively to Walter and not to his two brothers."

Oscar drama: NEW Silver Linings Playbook video

Take a trip over to the AMPAS site for an
up-close look at this uber cool Oscar poster
designed by English artist Olly Moss.
Today is the deadline for members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to cast their votes in time to be counted for this year's ceremony, set for Sunday.  At this point the Best Picture seems a clear battle between the popular Argo and the historical drama Lincoln; presumably leaving the disturbing but brilliant Zero Dark Thirty and its political controversy in the dust although with the Academy you never know! Amour is too depressing ... but beautifully haunting in retrospect, Django Unchained too heavy on the N-word, and Beasts of the Southern Wild chances seem as ephemeral as the film itself. I can't imagine Les Miz winning - even though it's the clear favorite in my poll and holds a special spot in my heart! Like Life of Pi, despite their nomination there's been zero best picture buzz for either of these two screen adaptations. But what about another book to movie favorite, The Silver Linings Playbook?

It ain't over until the fat lady sings - or Seth McFarlane says 'that's a wrap' this Sunday night - and there is that 'anything can happen' feeling in the air. A feeling that has prompted major player Harvey Weinstein to make a rather unusual move on behalf of TSLP. Weinstein has a history of advocacy for his films - his fevered campaigning supposedly helped both The King's Speech and The Artist net the big prize - and this year he's put his hopes on The Silver Linings Playbook, the film based on Matthew Quick's rather amazing book. A few days ago, just days before the Oscar voting closes, 'at the very last minute' so to speak, the Weinstein Company released this half hour promotional video featuring none other than Doctor Oz, along with Senator Patrick Kennedy plus the cast, the director David O. Russell and author Matthew Quick.  That move caused IndieWire to proclaim "Harvey Weinstein Contracts Oscar Brain Fever" and Rope of Silicon came right out and called the release of the video a calculated move.

The cynical view is that the filmmakers are playing on the emotions of the Academy voters. The gist of the featurette talks about how the film's depiction of the main character's mental health issues has opened up a healthy dialogue, illuminating the lives of those that grapple with depression, anxiety, and uncontrollable rage.  And there is a moment, just about four and a half minutes in where the video features Robert DeNiro's very personal and emotional response to the discussion of mental health on Katie Couric's television show that could make you agree.  I do love that this film has broadened that dialogue ... I just hope it doesn't take it self too too seriously ala one of the title cards proclaiming it "the movie that became a movement". Movies should be movies first.

In any case, if you've seen the film already, you'll probably appreciate this featurette ... I wonder if you'll think the inclusion of Dr. Oz and Kennedy are a bit of overkill? It is, at the end of the day, a movie and should be judged, by the Academy anyway, on those merits rather than its' estimable social conscience.

Do NOT watch this 

Silver Linings Playbook featurette if you haven't seen the movie! Seriously!

Dreaming of France: Mr. Morgan's Last Love trailer #book2movies

There are some beautiful glimpses of Paris scenery in this new trailer for Mr. Morgan's Last Love. The film stars Michael Caine as a lonely American widower in Paris who strikes up a friendship with a young French woman played by Clemence Poesy. His kids, Gillian Anderson and Justin Kirk do not approve. Jane Alexander is in the mix, it looks like she plays a family friend. The movie is based on the French novel La Douceur Assassine written by the actress, Francoise Dorner. I'm not aware of an English translation but if there is one I'd love to know about it. They obviously changed the title for the movie,  as well as changing the main character from a Frenchman to an American - and played by a Brit at that! German director Sandra Nettlebeck said she wrote the part with Caine in mind. I'm so surprised by his accent I'm not quite sure what to think of it.
Take a gander and see what you think.

You can see the trailer by clicking the link under the poster. 
It takes you to the distributor's website where it also indicates a July 2013 release date in Germany at least. I hope it goes international quickly - even though if it's not translated into English I'll never be able to read the book first, last or ever!

I heard about Mr. Morgan's Last Love a year and a half ago, blogging about it in November 2011 where you can read the book's synopsis and then again for the Dreaming of France meme in November 2012 where you can read about some of Michael Caine's favorite restaurants in Paris - one of the great pleasures in shooting there.

The Dreaming of France meme is hosted by Paulita at An Accidental Blog. It's a sweet way to start the week.

New trailer (video):The Company You Keep directed by Robert Redford

Thriller addicts: there's still plenty of time to read Neil Gordon's The Company You Keep before Robert Redford's screen adaptation hits theaters in L.A. and NYC on April 5th... and hopefully the rest of the country shortly after! I wrote a more detailed post  last month (January 16,2013) ... today I just want to share the new trailer.

I've been critical of Redford, who directs, for his own casting. The man's a great talent but I felt the 70 year old was too old to play father to a 12 year old, played by America's Got Talent winner, Jackie Evancho. Watching the trailer again, I'm getting more and more thrilled at the idea of the movie rather than getting caught up with whether he is or isn't too old to play the part. Redford doesn't have a lot of closeups in the trailer but there is one scene showing him then and now in side by side photos. That young Redford is the actor I had the hots for :), the older man he has become is more than a seasoned star; he's an influential environmental activist, important filmmaker, and founder of Sundance, one of the most influential festivals in the world of independent film making.
Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon, Anna Kendrick, Terrence Howard, Chris Cooper, Sam Elliot, Julie Christie and Nick Nolte also star in The Company You Keep.

The Company You Keep Official Trailer 

I've been waffling about what to read next; I think I'll give Gordon's book a go.
What are you reading this weekend?

Will you see Safe Haven or Beautiful Creatures this weekend?

Ouch! The critics have dismissed Safe Haven for being schmaltzy and predictable - weighing in with a really stinking 13% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoe. Who knows if they've read the book? I haven't but I know enough to expect a predictable and schmaltzy love story from a movie based on any Nicholas Sparks book. Because that's what he does. Anyway the novel's author is characteristically unconcerned. He said "It will do well; they all do." I expect I'll wait for the DVD but the Valentine's Day release seems to be doing, as Sparks predicts, well.  Deadline reports that Safe Haven opened at #2 bringing in about $10 million for the one day alone. Critics ... schmitics! (yes, auto correct, I know 'schmitics' is not a word!) And who knew Valentine's Day was such a big movie-going occasion!  

Beautiful Creatures did much better with the Rotten Tomatoes critics - but it's still a lousy 47% fresh rating.  The box office whiz folks say it came in at #5 and earned a paltry $3 to 4 million dollars. That may be due in part, to the fact that its showing in about 300 less theaters than Safe Haven. Still it's a poor enough showing for Deadline to pronounce it a bomb. Happy Valentine's Day Beautiful Creatures
Did you read the book by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl? Warner Brothers is hoping that fans of the supernatural book series will make this the next Twilight franchise so they're hoping those numbers get better by the time the weekend counts come in.  

If you've read either Safe Haven or Beautiful Creatures AND 
seen the movie I'd love to hear what you think?
Anyone want to write a guest post?

What's the Most Romantic Movie Based on a Book? The Notebook

In my extremely humble opinion, it's The Notebook based on the Nicholas Sparks novel. For Valentine's Day what could be better than snuggling up with a great romantic movie? (Okay, besides that!) I doubt I can get my husband to sit through it but since I own the most romantic movie of all time, maybe I'll just pop it in before he comes home. The chemistry of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as Noah and Allie really is impossible to beat. I'm betting that I'm not the only one who remembers the couple accepting their Best Kiss plaque on some award show (Kids Choice?) a few years back. The pair recreated their big movie kiss - the passion-drenched, rain-soaked kiss depicted on the book and DVD cover. They ran across the stage toward each other, meeting at the podium where McAdams threw herself into Ryan's arms, and he pulled her in and held her there, while he kissed her deeply.  Pretty steamy stuff! 

The story of Noah and Allie is impossibly romantic, even ridiculously so, but what begins as summer love between two young people from very different worlds becomes a story of loyalty and love so deep, it can't help but move you.

That's my choice for 
The Most Romantic Movie Based on a Book. 
What's yours?

Be sure to vote for Best Picture in my Oscar poll. Thanks!

WWW Wednesday: What I'm Reading: Now. Last. Next

What are you currently reading?
I began The Fault In Our Stars by John Green a few minutes ago! So far, so good.  At a few pages in I like the character's disdainful voice; since he has cancer I'm assuming it's faux cocky? I'm assuming it is a 'he' but at this point there's nothing, besides that tone of voice, that indicates whether it's a 17 year old girl or guy. I expect I'll know for sure soon enough. The Fault In Our Stars been optioned for the movies and I'm pretty much a sucker for movies based on books. Must read the book first! I've been warned to have a box of tissue handy which is fine by me; I love the catharsis of a good weep fest.

What did you recently finish reading?
I just finished reading The World Without You by Joshua Henkin. I loved this family drama so much I decided to blog about it - it's the first time I've written about a book that hasn't been adapted for the screen - or on its way there. And according to Joshua Henkin, there's not a screen adaptation in the works just yet. He did tell me he's taken some meetings in L.A. though, so I'm keeping the faith. This would make a great character driven film featuring a strong ensemble cast of fabulously written females! I posted 'my take' on the book yesterday, along with my casting suggestions just for fun. I'd love you to take a look at my post and let me know what you think.

What do you think you'll read next?
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker is technically next up on my list. I'm excited because it has been optioned - in fact Hollywood nabbed it before its publication date - but I haven't bought the book on my Nook yet. I just picked up The Replacement Wife by Eileen Goudge, Nineteen Minutes from Jodi Picoult and The Trouble with Mr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan from the library so I might save my $$$ and go with one of them next. I know Lathan has written a ton of Pride and Prejudice knockoffs but I've not read any of them. I do love the original though! I like the cover for The Replacement Wife but I know it's about a woman looking for a wife for her own husband. I think I might need a break from death and dying for a bit.
Nineteen? Jodi Piccoult is ... Jodi Piccoult. I know it will be well-written, but I'm not inspired.

Any helpful suggestions?

Every week MizB of Should B Reading asks those 3 questions. Go to Should Be Reading to play along.

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