Review: Ride

Ride was written and directed by Helen Hunt. In Ride, Helen Hunt plays the worst helicopter mom of all time to her college-age son Angelo (Brenton Thwaites). When he goes to California to spend the summer with his dad, she secretly follows him and watches his every move.

Spoilers ahead.

Continue reading “Review: Ride”

Watch This: Official Trailer for Season 4 of Longmire

The official trailer for season 4 of Longmire came from Netflix. Season 4 centers on Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) after finding out who was behind the murder of his wife. He wants to find the killer and take justice into his own hands.

I ran a teaser trailer earlier here, but it was mostly rehashed material. This is new scenes from season 4.

The 10-episode season stars Taylor, along with Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bailey Chase, Cassidy Freeman and Adam Bartley.

Season 4 will be on Netflix in its entirety beginning on September 10, which is almost here.

Watch This: Trailer for Breathe

Breathe is a film from actress-turned-director Mélanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds, Beginnings). It’s in French with English subtitles and will be released in the US in late September.

Joséphine Japy and Lou de Laâge in Breathe

Joséphine Japy and Lou De Laâge as two young girls whose all-consuming friendship takes a dark turn.  Here’s the film synopsis:

A taut, nuanced story about the depths of female friendships and the dark side of teenage infatuations, Breathe, the sophomore directorial effort from Mélanie Laurent, is an assured adaptation of the sensational French young adult novel of the same name. Charlie (Joséphine Japy) is seventeen and bored. Her estranged parents are too caught up in their own drama to pay her much attention. School holds no surprises either, and Charlie grows tired of her staid friends. Enter Sarah (Lou de Laâge), a confident and charismatic new transfer student who brings with her an alluring air of boldness and danger. The two form an instant connection, and through shared secrets, love interests and holiday getaways their relationship deepens to levels of unspoken intimacy. But with this intimacy comes jealousy and unrealistic expectations, and soon the teens find themselves on a dangerous trajectory toward an inevitable and unforeseen collapse.

Isabelle Carré plays Charlie’s mother in Breathe.

For readers, a movie tie-in edition of the novel the film is based on will be published by St Martin’s Griffin in September. It is a translation of Anne-Sophie Brasme’s novel written when the author was just seventeen years old. It spent several months as a bestseller in France after its publication in 2001.

Watch This: Trailer for Miss You Already

Miss You Already stars power pair Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore in a drama about best friends. Dominic Cooper and Paddy Considine play the men in the lives of these two friends. 

The synopsis reads, “Miss You Already is an honest and powerful story following two best friends, Milly (Toni Collette) and Jess (Drew Barrymore), as they navigate life’s highs and lows. Inseparable since they were young girls, they can’t remember a time they didn’t share everything –secrets, clothes, even boyfriends — but nothing prepares them for the day Milly is hit with life-altering news. A story for every modern woman, Miss You Already celebrates the bond of true friendship that ultimately can never be broken, even in life’s toughest moments.”

Based on the two main characters and the relationship they show in the previews, I would watch this movie no matter what. You want a movie about women’s lives? This is one. I support that 100%.

The film is directed by Catherine Hardwicke with a screenplay by Morwenna Banks.

Miss You Already will be released on November 6.

Watch This: Trailer for The Danish Girl

The Danish Girl stars Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe, one of the first transgender persons to have sex-reassignment surgery. Alicia Vikander plays Lili’s wife, Gerda Wegener. Both were artists.

The surgery took place in 1920s, but the story begins before that. We are going back to the beginning of the transgender movement and transgender acceptance in this film. We see Elbe’s slow realization of her gender identity. She poses for paintings by Gerda as a woman, and begins appearing in public as a woman.

Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar last year for The Theory of Everything, and there is talk of another nomination for his work in this film. On the reverse side of that, there are complainers who think a genuine transgender actor should have played this part.

Director Tom Hooper told Screen Daily, “Eddie was really the the person I wanted to make the film with and I was very passionate about that. I was a a great believer in him as an actor. I think also there’s a certain gender fluidity that I sensed in him that I found intriguing and it led me to think he might be a really interesting person to cast in this role.”

“When I first read the script, I wept three times,” said Hooper. “It connected to me in similar ways to The King’s Speech, where a man is locked in his body by a stammer and he’s helped by a tender friendship. With Lili I was moved by the power of love as an agent of transformation, even when the world was against it.”

The film was written Lucinda Coxon. It is based on David Ebershoff’s historical novel.

The Danish Girl opens November 27.

45 Years and Still Having Sex

45 Years is a British drama about a couple preparing for a 45th anniversary of their wedding. Here’s the synopsis. Continue reading “45 Years and Still Having Sex”

Watch This: Trailer for He Named Me Malala

He Named Me Malala is a documentary by Davis Guggenheim about Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai.

After the Taliban tried to kill her for speaking out on behalf of girls’ education, Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai emerged as a leading advocate for children’s rights and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Now 18, Malala is the personal heroine for many young (and old!) women.

Malala continues to advocate for education for girls as she continues her own education. The Yousafzai family lives in England now. The documentary shows her experiences and gives a glimpse into her family life now.

One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.
–Malala Yousafzai

The film opens theaters on October 2. That release date coincides with an international advocacy and fundraising campaign in partnership with the Malala Fund, Yousafzai’s nonprofit organization that helps empower adolescent girls globally through secondary education. National Geographic will televise the film next year in 171 countries and 45 languages.

Watch This: Season 4 Preview and Sneak Peek for Longmire

Longmire was dropped by its old network after 3 seasons and was picked up amid a great fan outburst by Netflix. Season 4 will be starting on Netflix on September 10. In the meantime, you can watch all of the first 3 seasons on Netflix. To quote Longmire, “It’s not that you come back, it’s how you come back that matters.” This comeback was 100% fan driven.

I know Longmire isn’t the type of show I usually promote here. But it is filmed near me and I started watching to see if I could recognize any of the locations. It’s gorgeous scenery – supposedly set in Wyoming but actually filmed near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

And there is the fact that I like Katee Sackhoff, so I was watching to see her. However, it took almost no time before I was hooked on all the characters and their stories.

Katee Sackhoff plays Deputy Vic Moretti
Katee Sackhoff plays Deputy Vic Moretti

Robert Taylor is Sheriff Longmire. His deputies are played by Katee Sackhoff as Vic, Bailey Chase as Branch and Adam Bartley as The Ferg. Lou Diamond Phillips is Henry Standing Bear, one of many Native American characters in the show. If you’ve ever read anything by Tony Hillerman, you know how his books treated Native American culture. The mostly Cheyenne people and culture in Longmire are treated with the same kind of respect.

Other cast includes Cassidy Freeman, Louanne Stephens, Gerald McRaney and Ally Walker.

None of the characters are wholly pure, all have demons of their own, including the main characters in the sheriff’s department of this small town. It makes for great story arcs that go on for many episodes. Which is all the more reason to go back and catch up on seasons 1–3 before you start season 4.

One of the multi-episode stories involves the murder of Longmire’s wife, which is what I think the scene in the preview below relates to.

The following teaser is for season 4. You see glimpses of many characters and some of the beautiful Western scenery.

If you’ve never watched Longmire, give it a try. And if you are already a fan of this complex character-driven drama, come celebrate with me on September 10 when we can start watching the 10 new episodes of season 4.

Watch This: Trailer for Carol

Carol is a love story set in the 1950s. It stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as the two lovers. Back in the 50s, we would have called that “forbidden love.”

Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett in Carol
Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett in Carol

Rooney Mara plays Therese, a department store clerk. Cate Blanchett is Carol, a wealthy woman in a loveless marriage. Kyle Chandler plays her unlucky husband. Poor guy, imagine snagging Cate Blanchett and then realizing she bats for the other team.

When Variety reviewed the film after Cannes, they described it as, “an exquisitely drawn, deeply felt love story that teases out every shadow and nuance of its characters’ inner lives with supreme intelligence, breathtaking poise and filmmaking craft of the most sophisticated yet accessible order.”

The Telegraph reviewed the film after Cannes as well, and said, “More than hugely accomplished cinema, it’s an exquisite work of American art, rippling with a very specific mid-century melancholy, understanding love as the riskiest but most necessary gamble in anyone’s experience.”

Such glowing reviews! I’m convinced.

The film is based Patricia Highsmith’s novel “The Price of Salt” with a screenplay by Phyllis Nagy. The director is Todd Haynes. Based on the previews, it appears that Todd Haynes decided to emphasize the 1950s setting with artistic atmospheric touches. The preview also gives new meaning to the song “My Foolish Heart.”

The preview is mostly longing glances and unexpressed desire, but the film is rated R for sexuality.

Carol will be in US theaters on November 27. For those in the UK, it will premier there on October 14 at BFI London Film Festival.

Here’s an earlier clip from the film.

Images © 2015 THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY

Watch This: Trailer for Big Stone Gap

Big Stone Gap looks like an old-fashioned romantic comedy from a bygone era. The comedy might be a bit on the silly side, but I’m completely sold on the cast. It stars Ashley Judd, Jane Krakowski, Jenna Elfman, and Whoopi Goldberg. All that female awesome is countered by Patrick Wilson as the romantic leading man.

Ashley Judd and Patrick Wilson in Big Stone Gap

There are other well known actors in the film, including Chris Sarandon, Jasmine Guy, Anthony LaPaglia, John Benjamin Hickey, and Judith Ivey. Dagmara Dominczyk will play Elizabeth Taylor. Big Stone Gap was written and directed by Adriana Trigiani.

Here’s the plot synopsis:

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the tiny town of Big Stone Gap is home to some of the most charming eccentrics in the state. Ave Maria Mulligan is the town’s self-proclaimed spinster, a thirty-five year old pharmacist with a “mountain girl’s body and a flat behind.” She lives an amiable life with good friends and lots of hobbies until the fateful day in 1978 when she suddenly discovers that she’s not who she always thought she was. Before she can blink, Ave’s fielding marriage proposals, fighting off greedy family members, organizing a celebration for visiting celebrities, and planning the trip of a lifetime-a trip that could change her view of the world and her own place in it forever.

The 1978 setting explains Whoopi Goldberg’s hairdo and all the interest in whether or not a woman approaching 40 has a husband.

The movie is based on a best-selling novel by writer-director Trigiani and filmed entirely on location in her Virginia hometown. Patrick Wilson’s family also comes from Big Stone Gap, VA. I suspect some of the extras will be persons of importance to either Trigiani or Wilson.

This is Trigiani’s first directing effort. She’s worked as a producer and has written a number of best selling novels. The film will be released October 9, 2015.

Images © 2015 Picturehouse.