Watch This: Trailer for My Old Lady

My Old Lady stars Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith and Kristen Scott Thomas. Kevin Kline inherits a Paris apartment from his estranged father. When he goes to France to claim it, he finds he cannot sell it until the current inhabitant – Maggie Smith – dies.

Kristen Scott Thomas plays Maggie Smith’s daughter.

That two fabulous women like Maggie Smith and Kristen Scott Thomas are identified as “old” in the film is a sad commentary on life. I suggest naming the film, “My Beautiful Lady.” But whatever you call it, I want to see it.

My Old Lady will be released in the U.S. in September. It was produced by BBC Films. Take a look at the preview.

The film is based on a play written by the screenwriter and director Israel Horovitz.

Images © 2014 – Cohen Media Group

Advertisements

Watch This: Trailer for Boyhood

Boyhood shows us 12 years of Mason’s life, from age 6 to age 18. It took 12 years to film.

The remarkable project – conceived, written and directed by Richard Linklater – was filmed by getting the cast together once a year every year for 12 years.

Ellar Coltrane plays the boy. Patricia Arquette is his mom. Ethan Hawke is his dad. The concept is fascinating, the film looks as if it feels utterly real, unfolding as the characters age and their lives change before our eyes.

The film opened in some locations already, it should be in your locale soon.

Review: Now is Good

Now is Good one of those films in the genre young woman dying of cancer. If there isn’t a genre called that there should be because films about it are plentiful. Don’t let that put you off, however. This film is beautifully directed, well acted, and heartwarming in many ways.

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Now is Good”

Review: Don Jon

Don Jon is an oddly sensitive film that ultimately has a good message. The message, however, is delivered in a complete man ‘splaining way. This makes it a man’s film much more than a woman’s film. We go through a lot with Jon, the don of sex, for him to learn something that women already know.

Spoilers ahead.

Working on the male ideal
Working on the male ideal

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Jon. He is super buff, a man’s man. He takes home a different girl every night after rating the women in the bars on a scale of 1–10 with his buddies. He always gets the girl with the highest score. After a quick bang with the girl-of-the-day, Jon sneaks off to watch pr0n. (Sorry for the misspelling. Trying to keep the icky people away.) Pr0n is perfect. Big tits, big asses, both in your face 100% of the time. Nothing like real sex.

This Jersey boy (the Jersey accents in the film are dead on) goes home to dinner with the folks once a week. His dad is played by Tony Danza who is simply fabulous in this part. Jon goes to mass on Sunday with the family and confesses each week to the number of times he had intercourse outside of marriage and the number of times he jerked off while watching videos.

A perfect 10
A perfect 10

One night in the bar, the boys spot Barbara (Scarlett Johansson). The ass, the boobs, the lips, the hair: she’s perfect. Jon has to have her.

Surprise, she’s not easy. He has to work for it. When he finally gets it, he’s sure he’s in love. He’s so sure he’s in love, he overlooks her little flaws – like she completely takes control of his life. Like she has sex just like everyone else he’s ever met and that great body of hers is never in his face the way it is in his fantasy world.

She makes him promise to stop watching the pr0n0. When he cannot, she dumps him.

Classmates
Classmates

Meanwhile Jon meets Esther (Julianne Moore) in night school. In a movie full of cardboard cutouts of characters, she is the most undeveloped of all. We know she bursts into tears at inappropriate times, smokes a lot of pot, and is willing to have sex with Jon. That’s it.

Later, when we get to the brief sensitive part of the story, we learn that Esther recently lost both her husband and her son. She is the woman who finally teaches Jon how to connect with a woman and actually make love as opposed to have sex.

Thanks to Esther’s wise teachings, Jon stops being an ass and becomes a nice guy. That’s the good message I mentioned. Getting Jon to that point is a very masculine undertaking. Not surprising since the film was written and directed by the star Joseph Gordon-Levitt and is about a hyper masculine guy.

If you want to take this trip from a male point of view, this film will rate very high with you. Within those parameters, it’s an excellent film.

A Comment from Twitter

When I tweeted a link to this article, I was reminded of something important about this film in a return tweet. I noticed while I was watching the film how Barbara with her romantic movies was just like Jon with his videos, but then I forgot to mention it in the review. Thanks to @damnthemusicman for reminding me of this important plot point.

All images © 2013 Relativity Media

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”