Rachel Weisz at premiere of new film The Lobster at the Toronto Film Festival

12 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Weird.

Why would a movie with awards hopes have its world premiere at a film festival that takes place a season before its theatrical release makes it eligible for Oscar consideration?Julianne Moore recalled her daughter passing that judgment on a movie career that has included about 60 feature films, and more than a few characters who were, indeed, in dire personal straits.If you’re among those who thought Jake Gyllenhaal would never find a role weirder than Louis Bloom, the sociopathic news videographer of “Nightcrawler,” think again.This year’s Toronto Film Festival includes screenings of high-profile films starring actors like Jake Gyllenhaal, Matt Damon, Rachel McAdams, Johnny Depp, Julianne Moore, and Eddie Redmayne.

The Toronto International Film Festival is a longtime launchpad for awards campaigns, but its choices for opening-night films are sometimes above the fray, like Thursday night’s “Demolition,’’ starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a man who is unable to grieve after his wife’s sudden death. That might sound like surefire Oscar bait coming from French-Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée, who directed Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto to wins with “Dallas Buyers Club’’ — which bowed at the 2013 festival — and who helmed Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern to nods for last year’s “Wild.’’ “Demolition’’ isn’t scheduled to open in the US until April, which seems like a tacit admission by Fox Searchlight that this screwball comedy-drama is in some ways even more out-there and potentially alienating to audiences (but probably not to some critics) than “Nightcrawler,’’ the Gyllenhaal vehicle whose Oscar push netted a sole nomination for director Dan Gilroy’s screenplay. Ridley Scott’s big budget return to space will hopefully be a far more interesting excursion than Alien prequel Prometheus, a sequel to which he is currently prepping. Moore, who spoke in a staged conversation here on Friday morning, plays a character pointed toward marital collapse in “Maggie’s Plan.” That one is directed by Rebecca Miller and screens here on Saturday, and is for sale at the festival’s associated film market.

Gyllenhaal is no less good here as a smarmy stockbroker whose wife is killed in an automobile accident while they’re arguing in a car crossing the Brooklyn Bridge (yeah, another one of those clichéd scenes). A juicy premise (astronaut stranded on Mars) and arguably the year’s most impressive cast (Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels) suggests it might.

For one thing, Vallee is Canadian, Last year, he was forced to choose between Telluride and Toronto for the premiere of his previous Fox Searchlight film, Wild, and he choose Telluride. Unable to shed a single tear over her death, Gyllenhaal shocks her grieving father (Chris Cooper) by showing up, unshaven, to work at the Wall Street firm where Cooper is also his boss shortly after her funeral. After forever being the plentifully nominated bridesmaid, Julianne Moore is hoping for her second best-actress Oscar in a row with another Toronto premiere for an awards-friendly role. Critics found fault with the plot of the movie but praised the work of both Gyllenhaal and Vallée, with one writing that Gyllenhaal’s work is “his best performance since ‘Brokeback Mountain’.. [Gyllenhaal and Vallée’s] unexpected creative choices across the line salvage a sledgehammer-obvious screenplay” and another writing, “As farfetched as [the plot] sounds, Gyllenhaal makes it all feel compellingly real.” Another film that has already got reviewers talking is Michael Moore’s newest film, “Where To Invade Next.” Moore has not directed a feature film since his 2009 movie “Capitalism: A Love Story” and reviewers called his new movie “Invade,” which has Moore travel to Europe and look at positive aspects of life in various countries, “funny… engaging” and “equally affecting and annoying in its simplicity… it does make America look cartoonishly bad in comparison.” Other high-profile films are still to come. But the highly contrived script gets even weirder: Gyllenhaal’s character becomes obsessed with his failure to purchase a packet of M&Ms from a vending machine in the hospital where his wife dies.

Additionally, Demolition’s star, Jake Gyllenhaal — who gives a mesmerizing performance as a whacked-out widower who needs to smash property in order to feel something — has awards hopes this year for two other 2015 films: Southpaw, for which he totally transformed his body in order to give an unforgettable performance, and also perhaps even for Everest, an upcoming genre movie in which he does strong supporting work. It’s a blatant device for Gyllenhaal to pour his heart out in a long letter to the vending-machine company — and, believe it or not, their customer service rep (Naomi Watts) calls him at 2 o’clock in the morning. Bryan Cranston aims to finally shake off the meth-cooking shadow of Walter White with a lead in Austin Powers director Jay Roach’s McCarthyism-era biopic. Soon, Gyllenhaal and the unhappily married Watts are seeing each other (the actors have no chemistry whatsoever), and with her husband away on business, he hangs around the house with her and her effeminate young son (Judah Lewis), who Gyllenhaal urges to shoot him in his bulletproof vest in the film’s most ridiculous scene. All of that being said, one can’t help but wonder: might it make sense to reconsider the game-plan and actually slip Demolition, which is clearly ready to go, into this year’s race?

Moore said, “Oh, my gosh, those people have been married for a long time and it’s all going wrong, I know that.” She is supposed to be a slightly monstrous mother and professional academic from Denmark. “She’s not monstrous,” she’s just Danish said Cameron Bailey, the Toronto festival director who was quizzing Ms. The festival was established in 1976 and always drew interest, with the early movie “In Praise of Older Women,” which debuted in 1978, especially making headlines.

In the meantime, “Demolition’’ lives up to its title, as Gyllenhaal begins disassembling things (his refrigerator, his computer, the men’s room in the office) before graduating to working on a home-wrecking crew in a three-piece suit. But in recent decades, eventual Oscar Best Picture winners like 1999’s “American Beauty” and 2008’s “Slumdog Millionaire” received a big dose of publicity from the festival, helping them receive the big prize. Eventually, he and the kid are taking sledgehammers to his former marital home in a sequence where the whimsy and metaphors are laid on with a trowel. One critic wrote, “If Toronto audiences did not lionize [‘Slumdog], and vote it to an audience award, it would never have been released in theatres and it would never have gone on to win a slew of Oscars.”

It’s an impressively committed Gyllenhaal performance in a film not grounded even in stylized reality — with a mad rush of emotionally manipulative twists at the end to tie up the (many) loose ends. One of the festival’s biggest British hopes sees Tom Hiddleston take centre-stage in an adaptation of JG Ballard’s dystopian thriller about an isolated tower block that offers luxury at a price.

Not because it’s isn’t good — Bryan Sipes’ script is creative, Gyllenhaal is Nightcrawler-level strong; Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper and young Judah Lewis all rise to the occasion in supporting roles; it’s beautifully shot by Vallee’s regular DP Yves Belanger; and it really is “the most rock ‘n roll film” Vallee has ever made, as he said in his intro of the film. Moore plays Laurel Hester, a New Jersey police detective who, before dying, waged a fight to have her survivor pension benefits paid to a domestic partner, played by Ellen Page.

Cooper’s presence also signals it’s taking on the suburban ennui so much more brilliantly critiqued in “American Beauty,’’ which began its march to Oscar glory at the 1999 Toronto Fest. While her role as a bored housewife in the romantic drama Carol has pretty much ensured her an Oscar nomination next year, Cate Blanchett is hoping to double her chances with a supporting turn in this journalism drama. Then again, I suppose you could say the same thing about another movie about an insensitive widower, About Schmidt, which wasn’t nominated for best picture, but for which Jack Nicholson and Kathy Bates received lead and supporting acting noms, respectively. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook,’’ it comes a lot closer to Mike Binder’s 9/11 dramedies “The Upside of Anger’’ and “Reign Over Me,’’ which failed to deliver sought-after Oscar nods for its respective stars, Kevin Costner and Adam Sandler. Roland Emmerich might be an unlikely figure to helm a 60s-set drama about the Stonewall riots in New York, but this has been a passion project for the director usually associated with disaster epics.

Moore sees problems in America: education, health care, military employment, race and gender equality. “I think the press out there thinks that Ed Snowden is coming on the stage,” Mr. One of a number of music biopics landing during festival season (Ethan Hawke is Chet Baker in Born to Be Blue and Don Cheadle plays Miles Davis in Miles Ahead), this is likely to be the most traditional of the three, in terms of structure.

The main event was Jeremy Saulnier’s “Green Room,” a nasty thriller about a punk band that takes a gig it wishes it hadn’t and must face down a group of neo-Nazis headed by Patrick Stewart. Hoping for more luck is director Matthew Cullen, best known for Katy Perry’s California Gurls video, who is bringing this noir thriller to life with a cast that includes Amber Heard, Billy Bob Thornton and Johnny Depp. After acclaimed Australian drama 52 Tuesdays and the recent Venice premiere of Eddie Redmayne’s fact-based drama The Danish Girl, 2015 is shaping up to be an important year for transgender stories on the big screen.

In this drama, Elle Fanning plays a teenager going through the transition from female to male and Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon star as mother and grandmother. Here are five reasons Toronto matters so much: TIFF is considered the major launchpad for the awards season and starts on the first Thursday after Labor Day. In 2014, the festival doled out some 1,200 media credentials, and studios take advantage of having stars and journalists in one place by banging out junket after junket. “It’s like a worldwide gathering point,” one studio publicist said. “With all the international press and the casts there at once, a lot can be banked for the remainder of the season.” For East Coasters and Europeans alike, this Canadian city is an ideal destination. It helps that everyone speaks English, and the festival’s thousands of volunteers are friendly and as helpful as can be, happily ushering film lovers through the city’s squeaky clean streets. Among the famous people who graced TIFF last year: Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Duvall, Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne, Laura Dern, Reese Witherspoon, Naomi Watts, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Pattinson, John Cusack and, delightfully, Bill Murray, who was feted with his very own Bill Murray Day.

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Netflix’s ‘Fuller House’ Gets Premiere Date; Teaser

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Fuller House’ release date revealed.

Netflix announced a Feb. 26 premiere date for Fuller House, its 13-episode spinoff of the ABC classic Full House. No, it’s the trailer for a spinoff of a classic late-’80s sitcom “Full House” on the familiar (rebuilt) set, a tease for the Netflix series “Fuller House.” The trailer beckons with nostalgic guitar music, pondering whether it’s possible to go home again.

The 13-episode, family friendly show, titled “Fuller House,” will star Candace Cameron-Bure, Jodie Sweetin (who played Stephanie) and Andrea Barber (who portrays Kimmy Gibbler) — all members of the original cast. As the cast prepares to make an entrance, Netflix announces the release date: Feb. 26. “Full House” ran on ABC for eight seasons, from September 22, 1987, to May 23, 1995, and endlessly in syndication. Together, the trio will help raise Kimmy’s teenage daughter Ramona (Soni Nicole Bringas), and D.J.’s three sons, the rebellious Jackson (Michael Champion), the neurotic Max (Elias Harger) and the newborn Tommy Jr.

Tanner-Fuller calls upon her sister, Stephanie, and her friend, Kimmy, to move in and help raise her three boys.” The brief trailer takes viewers back inside the beloved Tanner home. Sweetin and Barber also appeared in the original series, as did Fuller House guest stars John Stamos (as Jesse Katsopolis), Bob Saget (as Danny Tanner), Dave Coulier (as Joey Gladstone), Lori Loughlin (as Becky Katsopolis) and Scott Weinger (as Steve Hale). His big break was 2015’s “Granny.” According to a rundown in E!, Harger will play Max, who is “very smart and curious about the world, and takes after his grandpa Danny (Bob Saget).” Netflix has also released a nostalgia-heavy teaser for the series, showing sets and establishing shots that suggest the Tanners haven’t been big on redecorating since the first series went off the air in 1995. Bure said viewers will laugh, cry and learn important lessons by watching the beloved characters face and overcome modern-day scenarios — much like they did during the show’s original run from 1987 to 1995. “The show is so nostalgic.

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