Pieces of a Woman tells the story of a parent’s worst nightmare. Vanessa Kirby plays a woman whose child dies just minutes after being born. Everyone in the film deals with the grief in their own way, but Kirby’s Martha is so real in her agony that it’s painful to sit with her for the 2 hours of the film.Continue Reading: Pieces of a Woman feels unbearably real
I found How to Make an American Quilt, a 25 year old gem, on Netflix in a queue of films directed by women. I remember loving it, wanting more films like it, and holding it as an example of what I wanted movies to be. I decided to watch it again to see how it held up all these years later.
How to Make an American Quilt was directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse. She’s also directed The Dressmaker, A Thousand Acres, Proof, and episodic television. For such a gifted writer and director, her resume should be 10 times longer than it is. That she managed to get this almost-all-women film made in 1995 is amazing.Continue Reading: Review: How to Make an American Quilt
Lifetime TV’s Custody premiers March 4th. It has an outstanding cast including Viola Davis as a NYC family court judge, Hayden Panettiere as a lawyer, and Catalina Sandino Moreno as a mom who may lose her kids. Continue Reading: Watch This: Trailer for Custody with Viola Davis
About Scout is a warm-hearted story about family, friendship and acceptance set in the most harrowing of circumstances. Spoilers ahead.
Continue Reading: Review: About Scout
The Age of Adaline looked so romantic in the previews. It looked like a great love story with a beautiful cast. I was right about the cast, but wrong about the story. There will be a couple of spoilers.Continue Reading: Review: The Age of Adaline
House of Cards season 4 comes down to Underwood vs. Underwood in this trailer. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are back as Frank and Claire Underwood in this political drama set in the world’s most ruthless centers of power. Continue Reading: Watch This: Trailer for House of Cards season 4
Interstellar is a space adventure about time, space and the power of love to cross dimensions. The main character, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a pilot who sets off on a mission he believes will save earth and his two children.
Mild spoilers ahead.
The film starts on a dying earth subject to massive dust storms. Cooper is a former pilot, now a farmer living with his two kids. The kids are Murph (Mackenzie Foy) and Tom (Timothée Chalamet). They live on a farm growing hundreds of acres of corn. That’s the only thing that will still grow on earth. Cooper’s father (John Lithgow) lives with them. Young Murph has a brilliant mind. Together Cooper and Murph puzzle out a mysterious anomaly that leads them to a secret NASA installation headed by Professor Brand (Michael Caine). The professor’s daughter, simply called Brand, is played by Anne Hathaway. Brand is another scientist.Continue Reading: Review: Interstellar
In The Calling Detective Inspector Hazel Miscallef (Susan Sarandon) realizes there’s a serial killer loose in her area of Ontario, Canada. Generally all I need to know about a film is that Susan Sarandon is in it to be interested.
From the trailer the film looks grim and a bit gruesome.
However, the thriller does have a great cast. In addition to Sarandon, there’s also Gil Bellows, Ellen Burstyn, Topher Grace, and Donald Sutherland.
Here’s the plot description:
Detective Hazel Micallef hasn’t had much to worry about in the sleepy town of Fort Dundas until a string of gruesome murders in the surrounding countryside brings her face to face with a serial killer driven by a higher calling.
The film opens August 29 but it’s a limited release, so you may have to watch for it to make it to most locations.
The Guardian tells us that Diane Keaton plans US remake of BBC’s Last Tango in Halifax. It will air on HBO. Sally Wainwright, the creator of the show, says she will be a producer of the American version but will not have a huge role in the production.
I know I have lots of feelings about this news, and I’m sure the dedicated Last Tango fans do, too.
First, where would it be set? I just made up the part about Santa Fe. It’s a cool place, there are ranches surrounding it, and a lot of films get made in New Mexico. It might be a sensible location for a series that needs both urban and rural settings along with great scenery. Diane Keaton has not asked for my opinion in this matter, however.
Who would be in it? Would Diane Keaton play Celia? She’s 67. What American actresses are in their 70s? Shirley MacLaine, Barbra Streisand, Faye Dunaway, Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn, Olympia Dukakis, Julie Christie, Candice Bergen are a few possible names. So we have talent in that age category, but American women don’t look their age. That’s a bit of a problem. Do we want to see anyone who doesn’t look as genuine Anne Reid in the role?
There are simply tons of older men to choose from for Alan. Robert DeNiro, Robert Redford, Harrison Ford, Peter Coyote and dozens more. But I so like Derek Jacobi’s sweet and loving Alan. Some swaggering American who is used to waving a gun around just doesn’t feel right. And 70 year-old American men still fancy themselves leading men who should be snaring women 30 and 40 years younger than themselves. That’s a bit of a problem, too. As for the feckless John, Tony Gardner was perfection in this part. Who could equal that?
What about Caroline and Gillian and Kate? Remember my dream actress pairing of Ashley Judd and Jennifer Beals? Think they’d make a good Caroline and Kate? Other actresses in their 40s abound, include Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Renée Zellweger and lots more. But I’m sort of convinced that Sarah Lancashire is irreplaceable as Caroline. Nicola Walker in her jeans and Converse sneakers brings such nuance and subtlety to Gillian.
Casting is a challenge. Adapting the dialog and locations will be a challenge as well. Diane Keaton has taken on a huge task to make this wonderful story American. I wish her well, and I wish her great luck finding the right people to do the writing and casting and create the sets.
I’m really attached to Last Tango in Halifax. Even so, Diane Keaton is trustworthy, in my opinion. If anyone can make a love story about older adults shine, it should be Diane Keaton. Who knows, I may love the American version of this tale of second chances as much as I do the British one.
When I get attached to a show, like the Millennium series in Swedish (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest) I feel a vague dread at the arrival of American versions. Then I go see it (of course) and I like it on it’s own merit. It isn’t the same as the original, but it still has the characters and the story and I end up enjoying both versions. I’m ready to see what happens to this lovely British tale of second chances. Go, Diane!
One extra good piece of good news from The Guardian post is,
The second series of Last Tango In Halifax, one of BBC1’s biggest-rating new shows of 2012, launches next month and a third is planned.
A big hurrah for season 3.
Diane Keaton image © 2003 Columbia Pictures