[Jim Grant is a widowed single father and attorney living in Albany. What none of his friends or clients know is that Jim was once a member of the activist/terrorist organization the Weather Underground. Wanted for robbery and the murder of a security guard, Jim has been in hiding for more than thirty years. When another former Weatherman turns herself in to the FBI, an aggressive young journalist, starts sniffing around for leads. He gradually finds his way to Jim, not suspecting that this seemingly upright citizen is himself a former militant activist. Concerned that Ben will eventually discover his true identity, Jim flees, though a safe harbour may prove difficult to find.]
This movie has been on my radar since last fall when it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. I didn’t get to see it then and since debuting, it has received mixed reviews but damn it, the cast (Redford - also directing, LaBeouf, Sarandon, Nolte, Tucci, Marlin) is going to get my butt in the seat. Despite LaBeouf’s propensity to do sub-par, glaringly hollow action films (yeah, Michael Bay, I’m giving you the stink eye), his on-set antics, and his super weird yet entertaining-to-read accounts of his very existence on this earth (seriously, the most awesomely strange celebrity magazine cover story I’m ever read), I think he has potential to be a really great actor… he just needs to get his shit together. I have seen some of those sparks of brilliance. You can treat yourself to a promo still from the film before the April 5th theatrical release date.
Until we meet again, Sundance! Of all the times I’ve been to Sundance, 2013 has been my favorite year. Sundance steps up its amazing film programming every year. All of you out there have some great films coming to you in 2013. In case you missed some of my posts on film reviews and pictures associated with my time at the festival, here is alittle recap:
The Films How about this. Seven films. No advanced tickets. All wait-listed. I still got to see some films that are bound to be the best critically-reviewed and crowd favorite films of the year:
Two Mothers (Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Xavier Samuel) “It accomplished being both a standout look at relationships that challenge social norms and that draw intriguing parallels to each other and a film that could use some work conceptually.”
Don Jon’s Addiction(Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tony Danza, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore) “…not a great movie by any stretch of the imaginary, but what JGL does give us is a great dark comedic look at everything that pop culture reveres and the masses turn to for quick gratification - the porn culture and the fast acquisition of sex that the club culture that fosters this idea, the laughable, cookie cutter movies that fosters idealistic romantic notions, as well as our recent fascination with all things Jersey as the intersection of the two.”
1. Running into the main cast of Afternoon Delight after they exited an interview; 2.How I Met Josh Radnor (sorry so blurry; a kind stranger took it with an iPhone so I can’t complain.. but it’s evidence!); 3. Some of the movie memorabilia from Reality Bites on display in the Chase Sapphire House including rare behind-the-scenes photos; 4. View on Main Street; 5. The cast of Breathe In at the post-screening panel; 6. The cast and crew of The East at the premiere Q&A; 7. All the people involved in bringing Afternoon Delight to the screen; 8. ‘Be Original, Be Bold’, Be in the Sundance Channel HQ; 9. The Sundance HP tent where cool live music events occur; 10. Chris Mohney from Tumblr prepping for the interview that I took part in.
My third day in Park City was hectic… and very cold. But that was made so much better by the three.. count ‘em three… movies I saw as apart of the festival. My morning was encompassed by one move that I was drawn to because of the great budding director/actor duo of Drake Doremus and Felicity Jones, my afternoon was all about Brit Marling and the third Sundance film she co-wrote and starred in, and my night was all about a long-awaited sequel to two of my favorite movies of all time. And here are my thoughts…
Breathe In: I was so taken aback by how good Drake Doremus’ movie Like Crazy was, a selection of the 2011 Sundance film festival. I did not catch a screening of this film at Sundance that year (which went on to win the Dramatic Grand Jury prize) but I did see it when it opened to theaters and really really enjoyed it. I loved the way that it was framed as this sweet and sentimental story of love found and lost but deep within it laid something alittle more heavy and unfortunate, a look at two people who enter each other’s lives, change it forever, but ultimately do not find the forever happiness that hoped for. That is what also drew me to see Doremus’ latest film Breathe In, which also stars Felicity Jones (in addition to Guy Pearce; Memento is my favorite movie so… you know.. i kinda love him). Instead of witnessing the love between two young college students over time, this one looks at the (very inappropriate) connection formed by a young exchange student and an older, married man. For this reason alone, this movie is darker iteration of Like Crazy, but where the subject matter has the ability to shock or invoke dismay, the film takes great care with this relationship and presents it with a sort of innocence (probably hard to believe but very true; it also makes it a better movie that the very similar Sundance 2012 film Nobody Walks). Like in Like Crazy, Drake Doremus finds a way to craft beautiful, soft, intimate moments between the lead characters. It’s all in the looks, the touches, and the chemistry he evokes heightened by music which gently nudges the characters together and apart as needed. The film only faults in some contrived montages at the end which sums up some of the actions anyone would predict will transpire. The very last moment though is enough to make up some of it for me. (SPOILERS) We meet Sophie (Jones), a high school student and accomplished pianist who, in her need to get away from her life at home in the UK, travels to a sleepy suburban town in New York state for a semester. She is invited to live with a music teacher Keith (Guy Pearce), his wife Megan (Amy Ryan), and teenage daughter Lauren (newcomer Mackenzie Davis). She doesn’t plan it, but she finds a kindship with Keith, a musicially talented man who left all his dreams of being a serious musician in NYC in favor of being a high school music teacher to appease his wife who wants a more practical life. His wife humors him at times but finds the time he commits to practicing his music or playing with the NY symphony a hobby. He is unhappy and at a crossroads when an opportunity to get back on the path of his dreams is given to him. Sophie comes to represent for him his innocence lost and the personification of his intense love of music as she shares his passions. She is a girl that is more mature behind her years, often quoting people like Laurence Olivier, people that most kids her age probably have never heard of. Sophie comes to find in Keith someone very much like the uncle who taught her piano and recently passed way, someone that inspired the very best part in her. This is a film on the level with Like Crazy in so many ways and represents a worthy companion piece. My Grade: B+
See what the cast and direct thinks of their film:
Breathe In has not been acquired for distribution as of yet.
[An operative for an elite private intelligence firm goes into deep cover to infiltrate a mysterious anarchist collective attacking major corporations. Bent on apprehending these fugitives, she finds her loyalty tested as her feelings grow for the group’s charismatic leader.]
One of my picks to see at Sundance 2013 with all the potential to be just as intriguing as the other indies written by Brit Marling (see: Another Earth, Sound of My Voice). She and her writing partners have a knack for creating stories involving individuals in the fringes of society unlike any films that we have seen recently.
The Company You Keep // First photo from the newest film directed by Robert Redford. The story center on a young, ambitious reporter (Shia LaBeouf) who exposes the identify of a wanted criminal (Redford), which causes him to come out of hiding and go on the run. The film is expected to be released spring 2013 and also stars Brit Marling, Stanley Tucci, Terrance Howard, and Anna Kendrick. Loving the look, LaBeouf. The film was just announced as part of the 2012 Toronto Film Festival which I will be attending (yay!) so hopefully I will get to see it there.
Tiny Furniture. Just finished watching this predecessor to one of my new favorite shows, Girls. I have to say I’m glad I saw Girls first. Though I think the film does capture some of true-to-life musings of post-college life with some real sparks of witty brilliance, I felt it wandered aimlessly at times. A valiant test-run before Girls (which may have benefited from Judd Apatow’s influence) but doesn’t hold a candle to it.
Kinda in love with my new favorite spot - Videodrome, an video store that specializes in independent and foreign film in the heart of Virginia Highlands (Atlanta). I can find the most obscure of films here. If I could live here I would.
Sound of My Voice. Everyone seems to be intrigued with writer/actress Brit Marling and so am I. This movie wasn’t as creepy as it was portrayed but it was at times eerily good. Read my review here. Uhh, is it weird that I want a hoodie like that?
I bring this blog post to you straight from a little independently-owned coffeehouse I got to in my red mini cooper where I am spending my Sunday afternoon eating quiche and looking for inspiration. Have good one.
Pop-Culture Randomness (Hipster-edition):
A battle of the Steve Jobs biopics is brewing - one to star Ashton Kutcher as the man himself (I’m not joking) and one written by Oscar-winning Aaron Sorkin. Which will you choose?