> Chapter1-Take1: January 2014

Matthias Schoenaerts to star in adaptation of True Detective's Nic Pizzolatto novel Galveston

Matthias Schoenarts and Carey Mulligan; Far from the Madding Crowd*

If you're loving HBO's new True Detective starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, this ought to ring your bell. Nic Pizzolatto, the scribe behind the new hit, has written a script based on his own debut novel, Galveston. Deadline reports the project is a go with production planned for a spring start. Check out the storyline below and tell me how Matthias Schoenaerts, attached to star, strikes you as the character Roy? Deadline also reports the hunt is on for the female lead. 
"On the same day that Roy Cady is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he senses that his boss, a dangerous loan-sharking bar-owner, wants him dead. Known “without affection” to members of the boss’s crew as “Big Country” on account of his long hair, beard, and cowboy boots, Roy is alert to the possibility that a routine assignment could be a deathtrap. Which it is. Yet what the would-be killers do to Roy Cady is not the same as what he does to them, which is to say that after a smoking spasm of violence, they are mostly dead and he is mostly alive.
Before Roy makes his getaway, he realizes there are two women in the apartment, one of them still breathing, and he sees something in her frightened, defiant eyes that causes a fateful decision. He takes her with him as he goes on the run from New Orleans to Galveston, Texas—an action as ill-advised as it is inescapable. The girl’s name is Rocky, and she is too young, too tough, too sexy—and far too much trouble. Roy, Rocky, and her sister hide in the battered seascape of Galveston’s country-western bars and fleabag hotels, a world of treacherous drifters, pickup trucks, and ashed-out hopes. Any chance that they will find safety there is soon lost. Rocky is a girl with quite a story to tell, one that will pursue and damage Roy for a very long time to come.

* While Far from the Madding Crowd is slated to come out sometime this year, news from the production has been few and far between. I'll be adding it to this years guide to movies based on books very soon. 

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan Pair Up for Ithaca

The once swoon-worthy love duo Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are getting back together! While boomers like me would love nothing better than to see the Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail costars pair up onscreen again, this partnership will see Hanks playing a behind the scenes role, executive producing Meg Ryan's directorial debut. The project, Ithaca, is based on the William Saroyan novel The Human Comedy about a fourteen year old boy and telegraph messenger left to look after his widowed mother and siblings when his older brother heads off to fight in World War II. Homer, who strives to be the best and fastest bicycle telegraph messenger the fictional town of Ithaca has ever seen, "will grapple with one message that will change him forever - from a boy into a man."  

Ms. Ryan will star alongside Sam Shepard, Melanie Griffith and her own son, Jack Quaid (The Hunger Games), with a tentative start set for this summer. This isn't the first time around for Saroyan's classic; Andy Rooney headed the  cast in the 1943 Oscar-nominated iteration which also starred Van Johnson and Donna Reed. It remains to be seen whether Erik Jendreson' (Band of Brothers) script will update the material or stay true to the original WWII setting in the fictional California town. 

The Fault in Our Stars FULL Trailer: It's a good life, Hazel Grace

Just a couple of days after a low quality version of the trailer for The Fault in Our Stars was leaked online - (there seems to be an epidemic of 'leaks' lately, ask Quentin Tarentino) 20th Century Fox has gone ahead and released the real thing. Fans, alerted the trailer was coming, were glued to The Today Show and their twitter feed waiting for the big reveal. What they saw was a short teaser which I'm sure left most of John Green's devoted fanbase wanting more. 

Here, fellow fans, is more.  Enjoy it in all its' 2 minute 30 second glory, thanks to 20th Century Fox.  


What got me? After swaddling us in a sweet falling in love vibe, the sudden crash of Hazel Grace telling Gus "I'm a grenade and one day I'm gonna blow up and I'm gonna obliterate everything in my wake and I don't want to hurt you". 
Ay, there's the rub!
And - as a mother - the look on Hazel's mother's face (Laura Dern) as she goes rushing to her daughter at the hospital.

The Fault in Our Stars is set to open June 6th; watch for the trailer in theaters beginning in February; probably earlier than the initial Valentine's Day plan. 

Now that you've seen it, what do you think about Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as the key beloved characters? Is there a fault in these stars or do they embody Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters you know and love?

Ten Thousand Saints: First look at Eliza, Jude and Johnny

No sooner did we learn Emile Hirsch was on board the screen adaptation of Ten Thousand Saints - most likely as Johnny - when, WHAM, Day One of shooting in NYC brought us a still of Emile (far right) along with Hailee Steinfeld as Eliza and Asa Butterfield as Jude. 

First Impressions

Eliza: I can't get over the cheeky hat and little jacket Steinfeld rocks as Eliza but those jeans! Did everyone look like they were wearing 'mom' jeans back then? I was there but I've forgotten. 

Jude: So much for Jude's red hair and orthodontic headgear from the novel, eh!? Not to be overly literal but I was so struck by Henderson's description that when I learned Jude was going to be played by Asa Butterfield, the adorable dark-haired boy we first met in Hugo, I assumed the filmmakers were at least planning on dying his hair! 

Johnny: Here's how Henderson describes Eliza's first look at Johnny ...
"His hair was stubbled, all but bald, muscular as an apple, but the hair he did have, on scalp and cheek, was as yellow as a toddler's. His face was heart-shaped: broad forehead, severe cheekbones, chin like a spade. He wore a small gold hoop through each earlobe, a strand of wooden beads wound three times around his neck, and although it was nearly as cold inside the apartment as it was out, only a pair of camouflage shorts. From his waistband, the dark, serpentine shape of tattoos climbed up the downy path to his navel, across the ladder of his ribs, circling the pale sinew of his arms, feathers and scales and flames and gods, sea green and devil red."
So Ten Thousand Saints fans, how do you feel about the re-imagined boys from the book? Jude's hair color isn't important; blond, brunette, auburn, his hair color doesn't make a difference to his character. He was a redhead in the novel, now he's a brunette. Big deal. But isn't Johnny's relative baldness key to the clean, 'straight edge' lifestyle his character embodies? I'm finding that a bit confusing.

If you've not read Ten Thousand Saints - you have oodles of time as the film isn't set to come out until next year - here's the storyline:
"Adopted by a pair of diehard hippies, restless, marginal Jude Keffy-Horn spends much of his youth getting high with his best friend, Teddy, in their bucolic and deeply numbing Vermont town. But when Teddy dies of an overdose on the last day of 1987, Jude's relationship with drugs and with his parents devolves to new extremes. Sent to live with his pot-dealing father in New York City's East Village, Jude stumbles upon straight edge, an underground youth culture powered by the paradoxical aggression of hardcore punk and a righteous intolerance for drugs, meat, and sex. With Teddy's half brother, Johnny, and their new friend, Eliza, Jude tries to honor Teddy's memory through his militantly clean lifestyle. But his addiction to straight edge has its own dangerous consequences. While these teenagers battle to discover themselves, their parents struggle with this new generation's radical reinterpretation of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll and their grown-up awareness of nature and nurture, brotherhood and loss.

A Long Way Down : The first trailer is finally here

JOY! Sheer unadulterated happiness. The first trailer for A Long Way Down has finally arrived. I ADORED this book - yes, I'm shouting, I'm so thrilled to finally see something on film - and I've got my fingers crossed that the film does justice to Nick Hornby's brilliantly dark and hilarious and moving work about four suicidal people who meet on New Years Eve and agree not to kill themselves before Valentine's Day.  Take a gander at the trailer and please, fellow Hornby fans, let me know your thoughts.  I'll share my first impressions after I take a close look as well. 

I have to admit the trailer has taken me a bit by surprise; from what we're given here it's quite a bit lighter and broader than Hornby's more nuanced novel which while extremely funny isn't exactly a picnic in the park. Hornby's beautifully rendered relationship between Jess (Poots) and JJ (Aaron Paul) seems to have been turned into something out of a giggling rom com. I hope not, I'm praying it's just the way this particular trailer was cut. Brosnan seems perfect as self-loathing Martin, but Toni Gillette is given very little to do here as Maureen, the mother of a severely mentally disabled teenager, so miserable she's ready to die.  I'm wondering if the focus is on Poots and Paul to appeal to 1) younger audiences and 2) to get a little free pr traction due to Paul's Breaking Bad success? 

What do you think? Does the trailer look like the film will do Nick Hornby's book justice? I'm trying to stay optimistic but as an ardent fan of the novel, I have that dreaded sinking feeling. 

A Long Way Down still doesn't have a US release date  - the Jack Thorne-scripted (curse you sir!) film starring Pierce Brosnan, Toni Gillette, Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots is slated to open March 21st in the UK.

Browse my other A Long Way Down posts

Casting Ten Thousand Saints: Emile Hirsch

It's official. Variety and Ten Thousand Saints author Eleanor Henderson have both reported that Emile Hirsch has joined the cast of the upcoming screen adaptation, and that filming begins today in New York CityNo one is definitively saying Hirsch has been cast to play Johnny but who else but Teddy's brother and the devotee of the straight edge punk music could he be?  

Hirsch joins Asa Butterfield (Jude Keffy-Horn), Hailee Steinfeld (Eliza) and Ethan Hawke (Lester) in the story of the troubled teen (Jude) sent to live with his father in NYC when he spins out of control after his best friend's overdose.  Hirsch recently received raves for his work in Lone Survivor but for me the terrifying Into the Wild always comes to mind. Hirsch has an edgy intensity that should work well; I can picture the handsome Hirsch, complete with the clean shaven head Johnny's character rocks, leading the younger Jude on a crazy game of laser tag throughout the city with the two racing through the subway system, hopping dangerously from one train car to another. While Johnny's character doesn't do booze or drugs, he gets high by facing fear head-on. 

Guide to Movies Based on Books 2014: Two titles to add to the list

Hey everyone, I've been down for the count with the flu. Yeck! I have barely enough energy to let you know I'm adding two screen adaptations to my Guide to Movies Based on Books 2014. I've been following both but for now while both films are set to come out sometime this year, we don't know exactly when. Stay tuned. Cheers!

GATSBY is in the house; a look at Chez Jay.

Gatsby's mansion was inspired by Long Island's majestic estates
Update -1/23/2014: Now that Catherine Martin has received an Oscar nomination for both the costume and production designs for last year's Great Gatsby, I'm republishing this post as a mini-refresher course on why the work deserved the recognition. This piece was originally published on 4/3/2013.

Oh, Wow! Architectural Digest has an article on GATSBY, including gorgeous images of the extraordinary sets designed by Baz Luhrman's wife and long-time collaborator, production and costume designer, Catherine Martin. According to AD, Martin's designs for the residence were based on the great early-20th-century houses of Long Island’s North Shore—places like Oheka Castle, La Selva, and Beacon TowersWhile GATSBY was shot in Australia, Martin and Luhrman toured Long Island's Gold Coast for inspiration.

Beacon Towers, Long Island
Oheka Castle

Looking at images of Beacon Towers, there’s something that gives it the feel of the Disneyland castle, and Baz referenced that—the idea that Gatsby was building a fantasy,” Martin says.
St Patrick's Seminary, Manly, Australia
Adding ivy

For the exterior shots of Gatsby's estate, I wanted to show you how how Martin transformed the former St. Patrick’s Seminary in Sydney, a stunning example of Gothic revival, into the dazzling Gatsby mansion. I found the two above images, which aren't part of the AD article to show you. As you can see the roof line of the real structure (Above, left) is completely different from the final -and dazzling - cinematic image shown at the top of the page.  AD reports that those stunning Disney-esque turrets were added digitally while fake ivy was actually applied to the first two floors.  In the image (Above, right), a crew member works from a crane, doing just that.
Did you notice the fountain in front of Gatsby's place?  It doesn't exist in front of St. Patrick's
and was constructed in the courtyard for the film. I don't see the palm trees in 'real life' at all; they may have been physically removed unless the effect was done digitally; hard to say at this point.

You can check out the entire article here  

Don't you love Daisy and Tom's sitting room? It's a cross between European Deco and Hollywood Regency. That gorgeous rug is one of a series of deco inspired rugs designed by Catherine Martin for the film; apparently the talented designer is well known in Australia for her rug and wallpaper designs.
Her collection, CM Deco Rug Collection, in collaboration with
Designer Rugs is due out June 6th.

You can see all the designs at Martin's web site talk about brilliant cross-merchandising!

I'll be cross-posting this to my Gonzo for Gatsby page where I'm gathering all the GATSBY goodies I can find; including an upcoming look at the costumes coming out of the collaboration between Prada and Martin.
That's Martin (L)standing in front of one of her wallpaper designs.
If you want to check out the original inspiration up close and in person, visit Discover Long Island; you can even request a free travel guide to start planning your trip.

A Long Way Down: First look at the poster for the film based on Nick Hornby's book

Thank you Toni Collette! The actor just published the first look at the poster for the film, A Long Way Down. You KNOW I've been dying for news of the film based on Nick Hornby's black comedy so I'm loving this but alas no US release date yet. Aaargh. Catch up on my A Long Way Down posts.

What do you think? I'm struck by the grim expression on Aaron Paul's face especially in contrast to Imogen Poots and Toni Collette grinning. No, this isn't a rom com although you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a tale of two couples if you hadn't read the book. It's making me a bit worried about where the film may take us that the book didn't! Guess we'll have to wait and see! Pierce Brosnan seems to have mustered up the appropriate level of self-loathing smirkiness. 

I've added the poster to my guide to movies based on books for 2014.

Great Gatsby Costumes: A look at Catherine Martin's Oscar-nominated Costume Designs

1/21/2014 Update: Since Great Gatsby was nominated for both its' gorgeous production and costume design - both from director Baz Luhrman's partner in crime and life, Catherine Martin - I thought I'd revisit my posts on the subjects. See the full list of Academy Award nominees. The following was originally published as 'Gatsby Costume Galleries' on April 24, 2013. I'll repost my look at the production design later today. Hope you enjoy!

I'm not the only one who has gone a little nuts over the upcoming Great Gatsby movie. VOGUE has tons of Gatsby costume goodies of which, which thanks to the internet even a non-Fashionista like me can get a good look.

Mia Farrow's wardrobe was designed by Theoni V. Aldredge
The costume sketches come from a piece in British VOGUE earlier this year; many - not all - of the costumes were designed by and/or adapted from Prada designs;in collaboration with Catherine Martin as costume designer. More recently the editors take a look back at  Daisy's fashions from the 1974 film starring Mia Farrow as Daisy in their Dress the Part Piece. The editors show you how to get the look. It may not have been a great movie but it set a very high fashion bar.

Carey in Chanel Haute Couture chiffon
feather and tulle dress inspired by Gatsby.

But best of all is this, what I can only call, fabulous article in this month's Vogue.  It's fabulous not merely because the piece is linked to a splendiferous photo gallery of Carey dressed in Gatsby-inspired gowns from top designers like Alexander McQueen, Nina Ricci and Dior; the article talks about the clothes but quite a bit more. The focus is really on Luhrmann and Carey's vision for Daisy and is chock full of insight and tidbits. Including Carey Mulligan's adorable audition story - she kissed Leo - and this, touching on Leonardo's truly charming acting technique.
"During filming, she and DiCaprio exchanged in-character notes after DiCaprio made Mulligan a gift of a protein bar she’d been coveting. “So he got one for me and wrote me this little note: ‘Darling Daisy . . .’ and signed it ‘Jay.’ He’d drawn a little daisy on the front of it. . . .” she recalls."

He had me at drawing the little daisy on the front of it! I confess I would eat a protein bar if Leonardo DiCaprio bought it for me.

Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby costume designer, production designer, and wife of director Baz Luhrman  talks about her husband's vision for the iconic F. Scott Fitzgerald work:

Baz really felt very strongly that the book’s nature was quintessentially modern, that the twenties was the time when everybody came to grips with the twentieth century,” says Martin. “It was out of the late-Edwardian summer; you have this incredibly dynamic shift where you have people earning a few dollars a week before the war suddenly getting $100 a week; you have women in the workforce in America for the first time. If you think about it in terms of the neckline on dresses—strapless, one-shouldered, V-neck—whatever necklines you want to talk about they had in the 1920s. They had every silhouette of dress, from Erté, long and languid; the beginning of the bias cut; the robe de style, which was much more like the Dior New Look, with a slim bodice and a big skirt; the shift dress; the jersey dress; the shirt-maker dress—all those styles were invented in that period, or else they were synthesized and made modern.”  

Along that modern line Luhrmann sees Daisy and Gatsby as Liz and Dick!

“I liken Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship to one of those chemically dangerous relationships you see between celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton,” says Luhrmann. “Gatsby is hounded by his own celebrity. Remember that celebrity gossip and newspapers are a new invention. Celebrity was just being born in the twenties, and Fitzgerald was fascinated with it.”
No wonder Carey Mulligan likens Daisy to a Kardashian!
"She feels like she’s living in a movie of her own life. She’s constantly on show, performing all the time. Nothing bad can happen in a dream. You can’t die in a dream. She’s in her own TV show. She’s like a Kardashian."
I don't read a lot of celebrity profiles, and I rarely read Vogue - except when I'm cruising for things like this - but I really enjoyed this one. I suppose because it's not a gossipy fluff piece, instead it focuses on the acting and craft element. Check it out in its' entirety at VOGUE

For more Great Gatsby posts 

Labor Day: my take on the book by Joyce Maynard

There will be spoilers. Seems absurd to worry about spoilers when Joyce Maynard's Labor Day has been out since summer of 2009, but then you're probably thinking it's absurd I'm bothering to write this at this late date at all. The thing is I LOVED the book; if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. The 216 pages fly by plus the film starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin comes out in theaters everywhere Jan 31st. You'll kick yourself if you don't read the book first.

In the novel - so curious to see how the film handles it - two wounded people, Frank, an escaped convict, literally wounded from having jumped out of the 2nd story window of the prison hospital after an appendectomy, and Adele, the depressed, divorced, possibly agoraphobic, certainly reclusive, woman wounded by a series of personal tragedies - fall in love over an extended and extraordinary Labor Day weekend. 

Maynard takes what initially feels like a half-baked situation and fills it in with delicious detail - such as the several pages devoted to Frank teaching Adele and her 13 year old son Henry to make perfect pie crust - until it's bursting with a truth that resonates with anyone who has known what it means to have a hungry heart. 

Henry serves as our eyes and ears to the events of that holiday weekend, recounting what happens between the three of them while slowly revealing in illuminating bits and pieces how he and his mother came to live hidden away within a cocoon-like world of Adele's creation. How his mother, and Henry along with her, arrived at the time, place and emotional vulnerability, to take a convicted criminal like Frank not just into that fortress-like home but into their hearts.

Right from the start, Henry - bad at sports, scorned at school - is pleased that Frank, limping and bleeding, picks him out to ask for help in the Pricemart where he and his mother are shopping - a once in a blue moon occurrence for the woman who doesn't care to leave the house - 
It felt good, him choosing me, out of everyone. This wasn't usually how things went."  
Poor Henry. Feeling so adrift, utterly insecure; he's crying out for a little male attention which Frank, kindly, patiently, lovingly provides. When Frank wants to buy him a baseball and Henry retorts that he sucks at baseball, Frank says "Maybe you used to." Over the course of their few days together, he gives Henry some lessons, so that the boy while not Derek Jeeter (or whoever, name your favorite player) overnight, doesn't totally suck anymore. He's been seen, listened to, helped. That's a pretty powerful draw. If Henry can't help liking Frank, Adele can't help loving him. Which means there are things that go on between Adele and Frank, a man who is both an escaped convicted criminal and the sweetest guy ever, that a 13 year old shouldn't have to be privy too. 
The way I imagined what went on between my mother and Frank on the other side of the wall, though I tried not to, they were like two people shipwrecked on an island so far away from anyplace no one would ever find them, with nothing to hold on to but each other's skin, each other's bodies.  Maybe not even an island, just a life raft in the middle of the ocean, and even that was falling apart."  

The foreboding of that line  'and even that was falling apart'  filled me with anxiety; it couldn't be possible for a love story between these two damaged people to end well. While I knew Adele wouldn't let her feelings for Frank come between her and her son, Henry doesn't quite know that and begins to see himself as the odd man out. That sense of not belonging again, fearful of being replaced in his mother's heart is where the unraveling begins. Maynard had me nibbling my nails and wanting to shake some sense into Henry and warn him not to spoil the love story. I wanted it to work out, wanted them to be a family. Adele's life with Henry's father had been filled with tragedy; Frank was actually a very good man; Henry just wanted to be part of a family, a 'normal' family. They all deserved to catch a break. Adele maybe most of all. But that's my bias, feeling an odd kinship for this woman who finds life so painful, she has to hide from it. Her ex-husband describes her this way -
Everybody talks about this crazy, wild passion, he said. That's how it goes, in the songs. Your mother was like that. She was in love with love. She couldn't do anything partway. She felt everything so deeply, it was like the world was too much for her. Any time she'd hear a story about some kid who had cancer, or an old man whose wife died, or his dog even, it was like it happened to her. It was like she was missing the outer layer of skin that allows people to get through the day without bleeding all the time."
[SPOILER ALERT]                   [SPOILER ALERT]   

       Seriously, I SPOIL the ending. 
The depth of feeling, the passion Frank awakens in Adele, are what made the last few chapters of the book troubling for me. Without going into too much detail, Frank is captured and goes back to prison for another 18 years or so, while Adele carries on in much the same way as she did before Frank came into her life. They end up together when he gets out, living happily ever after.  My problem is that if Frank's coming has brought Adele back to life, I think that his going might be, as the expression goes, the death of her. I can't see her simply carrying on as usual. If she was a bit barmy to begin with, a trauma of this kind might send her right over the edge. Or maybe that's the ending I wish Maynard had written rather than the pleasant, happy ending the novel provides?

It just felt a bit too pat, too neat and tidy. Despite that, the last line of the book absolutely slayed me.  Yeah, I got a little misty, so I acknowledge some part of me was a fan of the happy ending after all. Deep down, implausible as it may be, aren't we all?

Can't wait to see Kate Winslet as Adele and Josh Brolin who seems so, so perfectly cast as Frank. The young actor who plays Henry - Gattlin Griffith - is actually an old hand when it comes to acting having played Angelina Jolie's missing son in 2008's The Changeling. Gattlin is about as different from his character Henry as you can imagine. His IMDB bio tells us he's also an accomplished trick rider, competing in rodeos and unlike Henry, quite sporty, so much so that he always has his football on set.  Just what a film set needs ... "hey kid, no playing ball on set!  watch out for the cam... well, that was a camera!"

You know I'm not a fan of assigning stars; if pushed I'd give this one 3 1/2 peach pies.
I hope the movie is just as yummy; I'll let you know what I think after I see the movie. How about you, planning on seeing it?  Care to share your thoughts?  I'm all ears.

Sundance debut: A Most Wanted Man based on book by John Le Carre

Making its' debut at Sundance this week is the adaptation of John LeCarre's non-Smiley novel, A Most Wanted Man directed by Anton Corbijn. There's no US release date yet so I haven't included it in this year's guide to movies based on books; hoping we come out of Sundance with more specifics.

Here's the storyline plucked from LeCarre's website - we'll have to see if the film sticks to the source or whether it's more of an inspiration rather than an adaptation.
A half-starved young Russian man in a long black overcoat is smuggled into Hamburg at dead of night. He has an improbable amount of cash secreted in a purse round his neck. He is a devout Muslim. Or is he? He says his name is Issa.
Annabel, an idealistic young German civil rights lawyer, determines to save Issa from deportation. Soon her client’s survival becomes more important to her than her own career. In pursuit of Issa’s mysterious past, she confronts the incongruous Tommy Brue, the sixty-year-old scion of Brue Frères, a failing British bank based in Hamburg 
Poignant, compassionate, peopled with characters the reader never wants to let go, A Most Wanted Man is alive with humour, yet prickles with tension until the last heart-stopping page. It is also a work of deep humanity, and uncommon relevance to our times."
Annabel (Rachel McAdams) with Issa (Grigorly Dobrigin)

The cast includes Rachel McAdams as the idealistic lawyer Annabel with Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Gunther Bachman, the German security officer. He's clearly the lead here and as expected, he's flawless in the trailer; I don't what what Hoffman can't do except play a traditional romantic lead. Robin Wright, looking and sounding like her House of Cards character with a dye job, is Martha Sullivan- btw, some critics are saying the material would have been better served done as a Netflix series ala House of Cards - and imdb lists Daniel Bruhl (Nikki Lauder in Rush) as Max. Willem Dafoe is Brue, the scion of the failing British bank based in Hamburg. Is it just me or does Rachel McAdams seem like odd man person out in this?  Glad to see her getting the opportunity to dig into something a bit grittier than the mostly romantic fare we see - and tend to love - her in.
Grigorly Dobrigin plays the young Muslim; gotta say he looks gorgeous.

Here's the international trailer; no US release date, no poster yet. With that, I'll keep you posted.

White Bird in a Blizzard: First trailer for the film starring Shailene Woodley and Angela Bassett

In honor of Sundance, here's the trailer for White Bird in a Blizzard, the Shailene Woodley indie making its' debut at the prestigious winter fest this weekend. The cast for the Greg Araki-directed film includes Eva Green as 17 year old Kat Connor's disappearing mother, Christopher Meloni, Gabourey Sidibe, Shiloh Fernandez and Angela Bassett. 


No word when the film will actually hit local theaters.

See more pictures from my first post back in December.

Interested in films based on books? I've gathered this year's screen adaptations in this handy dandy month by month Guide to Movies Based on Books 2014. 

Ethan Hawke will be a slacker dad in Ten Thousand Saints

Check out the latest tweet from Eleanor Henderson; proof positive the film adaptation based on Ten Thousand Saints is underway! 

As we talked about last week, the Ten Thousand Saints cast includes Asa Butterfield (Jude) and Hailee Steinfeld (Eliza) who worked most recently together in Ender's Game.  Yesterday, along with the Oscar nominations, came the news that Ethan Hawke is also onboard.  Hawke, along with Julia Delpy and director Richard Linklater received an Oscar nomination for their Before Midnight screenplay. And last night at the Critics Choice Awards (see all the results at The Hollywood Reporter), the trio received the Louis XIII Genius award for their Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight trilogy.

And speaking of 'genius' the casting of Hawke is just that. I'm about a third of the way through the book and am mesmerized by Henderson's characters and the sharp sense she's created of New York in the 1980's. Hawke is going to play dad to Butterfield's Jude Keffy-Horn, the 16 year old pot-smoking, chemical-huffing kid who goes into a deep depression when his BFF Teddy dies. It's not clear if he's overdosed or was just so high he collapsed in the snow, unable to drag himself out of the freezing cold, while Jude barely survives. Either way Jude is lost and feeling helpless, his mother, Harriet, sends him from their Vermont home to New York City to live under his father's care. The trouble is Jude's dad, Lester, not only smokes a lot of dope himself, he grows and deals it for a living. While Jude's mother may not want Jude smoking dope, Lester's attitude is that at sixteen
"- he's going to find some fruit if he wants it, no matter how much Mommy and Daddy say no...."
so naturally, 
"So I can't tell my kid not to smoke reefer," Les said. "But I can tell him not to smoke other people's reefer." One of his slippers was dangling from a white, veiny foot. "My stuffs safe. It's robust. It's cut with nothing but love. And it won't get you arrested or dead.
Nothing but love, baby. Nothing but love.  While he may have an arguable point, Les is not exactly the kind of role model most of us would wish for our sons. He not only gives Jude lots of freedom and few rules, he sees no problem with sharing a joint with his son to start the day. 'Slacker dad' would be an understatement. Hawke is just magnificent, perfect casting. His laid back aura and slightly bad boy vibe matches the carefree and careless Lester to a t. 

Ten Thousand Saints is currently slated for a 2015 release but I don't know; husband and wife helmers Sharon Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini should be finished principal photography by late spring; depending on post-production, it seems entirely possible to have the film finished in time for an end of year award qualifying run. And from what I've read so far, the piercing material warrants that kind of attention. Have you read the book?  Care to agree or disagree?

Source: IMDB

The OSCAR Nominations 2014... Decidedly UN supercalifragilisticexpialidocious #book2movies

Did I get up at 5am to see Chris Hemsworth (Rush) announce the Oscar nominations live? No I did not! Not even gorgeous Hemsworth is enough to stir me at that hour. But when I did wake up I hopped over to Oscar.com for the complete list of nominees. You can download an 'official' Oscar ballot (pretty lame that they call it that since we're not actually voting) or log in and play along via Facebook.  Scroll below for my down and dirty cut and paste version but do know the Oscar site has lots of pretty pictures and additional materials. Here in the states, the Academy Awards, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres airs March 2 at 7pm eastern on ABC. 

The first thing you'll notice is that the Academy has snubbed both Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson! Unlike the Golden Globes where Hanks was nominated for Best Actor for Captain Phillips in the drama category, and Saving Mr. Banks in the comedy/musical category, Hanks didn't get a nomination from the Academy for either film. While Captain Phillips is one of the Academy's nine nominated films, Saving Mr. Banks didn't make the Best Picture cut. Except for the score by Thomas Newman - downright delicious - poor Saving Mr Banks has been soundly walloped as Mary Poppins might say. 

I'm most taken aback though, not at Hank's exclusion but at Emma Thompson's.  She gave an absolutely brilliant performance as the persnickety author PL Travers in Saving Mr. Banks but, looking at the actresses who earned the nod, who would I bump? Who would you? While it's disappointing that Thompson didn't get her well-deserved recognition - is she being blamed for the very blurred lines between what really happened and Disney's somewhat sweetened version of the story? - ageism isn't a factor. With the exception of Amy Adams, none of the Best Actress nominees are what we used to call 'spring chickens'. All the nominees are over forty, even Sandra Bullock, former rom-com queen and America's Sweetheart, turns fifty this year. What a joy to see these highly accomplished, experienced, mature actresses getting their just desserts! I only wish that the sharp and sassy Emma Thompson were in that number. It's at moments like this when I remind myself what a ridiculous, reductive exercise this whole process is.   

Small surprises - Gatsby is back, with Catherine Martin earning nominations for Best Production Design and Costume Design. And while Her's snazzy high waisted pants and American Hustle's permed hairstyles got a lot of love from audiences, neither captured the Academy's attention.

Here are the nominees

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street


in a Leading Role
Christian Bale
American Hustle

Bruce Dern


Leonardo DiCaprio

The Wolf of Wall Street

Chiwetel Ejiofor

12 Years a Slave

Matthew McConaughey

Dallas Buyers Club


in a Leading Role
Amy Adams
American Hustle

Cate Blanchett

Blue Jasmine

Sandra Bullock


Judi Dench


Meryl Streep

August: Osage County


in A Supporting Role
Barkhad Abdi
Captain Phillips

Bradley Cooper

American Hustle

Michael Fassbender

12 Years a Slave

Jonah Hill

The Wolf of Wall Street

Jared Leto

Dallas Buyers Club


in a Supporting Role
Sally Hawkins
Blue Jasmine

Jennifer Lawrence

American Hustle

Lupita Nyong'o

12 Years a Slave

Julia Roberts

August: Osage County

June Squibb



The Croods
Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco and Kristine Belson

Despicable Me 2

Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri

Ernest & Celestine

Benjamin Renner and Didier Brunner


Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho

The Wind Rises

Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki


The Grandmaster
Philippe Le Sourd


Emmanuel Lubezki

Inside Llewyn Davis

Bruno Delbonnel  


Phedon Papamichael


Roger A. Deakins


American Hustle
Michael Wilkinson

The Grandmaster

William Chang Suk Ping

The Great Gatsby

Catherine Martin

The Invisible Woman

Michael O'Connor

12 Years a Slave

Patricia Norris


American Hustle
David O. Russell


Alfonso Cuarón


Alexander Payne

12 Years a Slave

Steve McQueen

The Wolf of Wall Street

Martin Scorsese


The Act of Killing
Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen

Cutie and the Boxer

Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher

Dirty Wars

Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill

The Square

Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer

20 Feet from Stardom

Nominees to be determined


Jeffrey Karoff

Facing Fear

Jason Cohen

Karama Has No Walls

Sara Ishaq

The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed

Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Edgar Barens


American Hustle
Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten

Captain Phillips

Christopher Rouse

Dallas Buyers Club

John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa


Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger

12 Years a Slave

Joe Walker


The Broken Circle Breakdown

The Great Beauty


The Hunt


The Missing Picture





Dallas Buyers Club
Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

Stephen Prouty

The Lone Ranger

Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny


Original Score
The Book Thief
John Williams


Steven Price


William Butler and Owen Pallett


Alexandre Desplat

Saving Mr. Banks

Thomas Newman


Original Song
"Alone Yet Not Alone" from ALONE YET NOT ALONE
Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyric by Dennis Spiegel

"Happy" from DESPICABLE ME 2

Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams

"Let It Go" from FROZEN

Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

"The Moon Song" from HER

Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze


Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson


American Hustle
Judy Becker (Production Design); Heather Loeffler (Set Decoration)


Andy Nicholson (Production Design); Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard (Set Decoration)

The Great Gatsby

Catherine Martin (Production Design); Beverley Dunn (Set Decoration)


K.K. Barrett (Production Design); Gene Serdena (Set Decoration)

12 Years a Slave

Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Alice Baker (Set Decoration)


Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden

Get a Horse!

Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim

Mr. Hublot

Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares


Shuhei Morita

Room on the Broom

Max Lang and Jan Lachauer


Live Action
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me)
Esteban Crespo

Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)

Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras


Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson

Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)

Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari

The Voorman Problem

Mark Gill and Baldwin Li


All Is Lost
Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns

Captain Phillips

Oliver Tarney


Glenn Freemantle

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Brent Burge

Lone Survivor

Wylie Stateman


Captain Phillips
Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro


Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson

Inside Llewyn Davis

Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Lone Survivor

Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow


Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds

Iron Man 3

Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick

The Lone Ranger

Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier

Star Trek Into Darkness

Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton


Adapted Screenplay
Before Midnight
Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke

Captain Phillips

Screenplay by Billy Ray


Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope

12 Years a Slave

Screenplay by John Ridley

The Wolf of Wall Street

Screenplay by Terence Winter


Original Screenplay
American Hustle
Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell

Blue Jasmine

Written by Woody Allen

Dallas Buyers Club

Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack


Written by Spike Jonze


Written by Bob Nelson

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