Watch This: Trailer for The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them releases in September. The film stars James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain in a love story with a twist. It’s told from different perspectives in three versions. There is his perspective, her perspective and their perspective, to create three totally different films. The films are directed and written by Ned Benson. It’s Benson’s directorial debut. A bold move for a debut.

The trailer shows how the Them version works, with slightly different versions of each event mashed together. The versions for him and her will be released about 6 weeks after the Them version. The story is about the couple played by McAvoy and Chastain, who are married, but their relationship is strained by a recent tragedy.

The film also stars Bill Hader, Viola Davis, and William Hurt.

Watch This: Trailer for The Homesman

This is the International trailer for The Homesman, which will release in the U.S. in November. The film stars and is directed by Tommy Lee Jones. Others in the film are Hilary Swank, Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, and Sonja Richter. The tale is about claim jumper and a pioneer woman, who team up to escort three insane women from Nebraska to Iowa.

Meryl Streep is also in the cast. It looks like a small part based on the trailer, and the IMDB info for the film shows her name way down at the bottom of the cast list. The reason I’m making a big deal about it is that as far as I know this is the first film that Meryl Streep has appeared in with one of her children also in the cast. Grace Gummer is Meryl Streep’s daughter. (Another daughter, Mamie Gummer, is also an actress.)

Watch This: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

Here’s the first trailer released for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 which will be out in November.

The preview features President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and a very noticably missing Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), however, looks under President Snow’s control. Based on what we know about these characters, I’m guessing Peeta’s compliance is a sham.

The whole Hunger Games series is such a metaphor for our current political situation that it’s fascinating even though it’s somewhat predictable. Katniss is the perfect female leader and heroine.

If you didn’t watch the first Hunger Games film because you thought it was a young person’s film, I urge you to take another look.

Watch This: Trailer for Cinemanovels

Cinemanovels is a Canadian film starring Lauren Lee Smith. Also in the film are Jennifer Beals, Ben Cotton, Kett Turton, and Katharine Isabelle.

The film was written and directed by Terry Miles, who also wrote and directed A Night for Dying Tigers and the short They Wore Pink, which you can watch here. Lauren Lee Smith worked on both these projects, so this is the 3rd time together for Miles and Smith. Jennifer Beals was in A Night for Dying Tigers. Beals and Smith also worked together in The L Word.

I contributed to the Kickstarter campaign for the film. A perk was getting the chance to actually watch the film. I hope you can find a way to see it as well.

This film belongs completely to Lauren Lee Smith as Grace. It’s the inner journey and inner work of a daughter coming to grips with her relationship with her dead father. After his death, she agrees to help with a memorial film retrospective of his life and work as a filmmaker.

There are people around Grace – husband, friends, the man who helps her edit and create the retrospective, her father’s former lover. Her interactions with these people help her process and understand what she’s learning about her father from looking at the films she avoided for most of her life.

It’s very much the style of Terry Miles to show, not tell. In this film, he shows you Grace doing things, thinking about things, reacting to what she learns, struggling with what she learns. There’s never any telling, explaining, or interpretation. Grace is living this chapter in her life in her own way and we see it unfold. We are left to decipher the reasons, the motivations, and the understanding of Grace in our own terms.

The film is slowly making its way into American Theaters. I’m hoping it will be released to streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix. Soon. You can preorder a copy of Cinemanovels right now on Amazon.

Some Terry Miles films are available for purchase at cinemanovel.com.

Watch This: Trailer for Lucy

The film Lucy stars Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. It opens on July 25. At the film’s official site, the film is described like this:

From La Femme Nikita and The Professional to The Fifth Element, writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history. Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in Lucy, an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

So, here’s the deal. When a woman gets super powers, like being able to use 100% of her brain, she goes on a killing rampage. Because that’s what a normal woman who could use 100% of her brain would do.

The word is out that movies starring women are making money. So I suppose the notion that making a film showing a man’s idea of how to use super powers to act out video game fantasies but starring a woman seems like a sure thing.

Really, Scarlett, you were a lot more interesting when you just sat around modeling earrings.

Review: Margarita

Margarita, starring Nicola Correia Damude as the Mexican nanny Margarita, is the Canadian version of A Day Without a Mexican. In the same way that all of California comes to a screeching halt without Mexicans doing the actual business of making life work in A Day Without a Mexican, so Margarita makes life work for everyone around her. Only when she’s threatened with deportation, do the people around her notice how valuable she is.

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Margarita”

Review: Camilla

Camilla, from 1994, stars Jessica Tandy and Bridget Fonda in a delightful road trip tale. Two women, several generations apart in age, take off together leaving a son and a husband at home to wonder where they are. They have an adventure that takes them from Georgia to Toronto.

Jessica TAndy in Camilla
Jessica Tandy in Camilla

Camilla, played by Jessica Tandy, tends to embellish her career as a concert violinist with imagined feats of greatness, while Freda (Bridget Fonda) tends to minimize her talents as a musician.

Somehow doing the irresponsible thing and setting off on a vacation together brings them both closer to an appreciation of what their talents really are.

Bridget Fonda in Camilla
Bridget Fonda in Camilla

Freda’s clueless husband is played by Elias Koteas. Camila’s beleagured son Harold is played by Maury Chaykin. Waiting in Toronto, making violins by hand, is Ewald (Hume Cronyn).

The two adventurers meet some interesting characters along the way. The relationship between the two of them is full of warmth and understanding: that’s the heart of the story.

Something I love about films in which both Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn appeared together in their old age is that they always include love scenes. Sex – it’s not just for youngsters, and they make sure you aren’t foolish enough to think it is. They let you know sex happens among elders, too.

I completely enjoyed this movie and recommend it to you. It’s available on Netflix.

Have you seen Camilla? What did you think?

Watch This: Trailer for This is Where I Leave You

This is Where I Leave You boasts an incredible cast. It looks hilarious. It’s based on a novel by Jonathan Tropper, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. It’s scheduled for a September release.

Look at this cast: Rose Byrne, Abigail Spencer, Adam Driver, Timothy Olyphant, Connie Britton, Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Dax Shepard, Corey Stoll, Ben Schwartz, Aaron Lazar, and Debra Monk.

Really, Tina Fey alone would have been enough for me, but all those fabulous actors – oh, my, yes.

This is Where I Leave You
This is Where I Leave You

Here’s how Warner Bros. describes the film.

When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide-driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.

Take a look.

It sure looks good to me. What do you think?