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Sofia Coppola And Others Win Top Prizes As 70th Cannes Film Festival Wraps

beguiled

The 70th Cannes Film Festival wrapped up this year with several big surprises. The Killing of a Sacred Deer and You Were Never Really Here both tied for the best screenplay award. Sofia Coppola became the first female director to win the Best Director award at Cannes in 56 years for The Beguiled, an adaptation of Thomas Cullinan’s Civil War novel about a wounded soldier who takes refuge among the inhabitants of a girls’ school in Virginia. Joaquin Phoenix and Diane Kruger were awarded best actor awards for their respective roles in You Were Never Really Here and In The Fade, the latter of which featured Kruger speaking in her native German. Additionally, Nicole Kidman received a special award for her appearances in four of this year’s festival entries, including The Beguiled, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, and Top of the Lake. Other noteworthy entries include BPM (Beats Per Minute), a drama focused around the French gay-rights movement in the early 90s that earned this year’s Grand Prix, and Ruben Östlund’s The Square, about a high-class museum curator who is forced to mingle with lower class members when he is pick-pocketed on the street. A full list of this year’s winners is provided below…. Continue reading

70th Annual Cannes Film Festival Celebration Begins Today Through May 28th

cannes-70th

Today kicks off the 70th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival in France. A number of anticipated entries are included in this year’s competition. Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled with Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, and Kirsten Dunst is her first indie film since 2013’s The Bling Ring. Andrey Zvyagintsev’s new drama Loveless has high expectations after the director’s last film, Leviathan, earned he and his co-writer Oleg Negin the Best Screenplay award in 2014. Director Hong Sang-soo has two films premiering at this year’s festival, The Day After and Clair’s Camera, but both have been kept well under the radar until their upcoming debut.

Director Lynne Ramsay is also looking to impress with her latest project You Were Never Really Here, a drama about a veteran who attempts to help a young girl involved in a sex trafficking ring. Other anticipated projects being tossed around the web are Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Michael Haneke’s Happy End. The festival will open tonight with director Arnaud Desplechin’s Les fantômes d’Ismaël (Ismael’s Ghosts). Another big event at this year’s festival will be a Virtual Reality (VR) film called Carne Y Arena from acclaimed writer/director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, The Revenant). The film runs a full hour and twenty minutes and is the first Virtual Reality film to ever appear at Cannes. The festival will run from the 17th to the 28th in Cannes, France. You can see a full list of this year’s entries below. Continue reading

New Teaser Trailer Available For Nacho Vigolando’s ‘Colossal’ with Anne Hathaway

A new teaser trailer is available for Nacho Vigolando‘s Colossal with Anne Hathawy (The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar). The film is currently playing at the Sundance Film Festival and is slated for a domestic release this April 7th. Colossal is a comedic action-thriller with an interesting concept. It follows Gloria, a New Yorker forced to move back to small town America after her boyfriend throws her out for her eccentric party-every-night lifestyle. Upon moving home, Gloria gets a job working at the local bar and continues her excessive drinking, until one morning she wakes up and discovers (in a state of disbelief) that Seoul, South Korea had been terrorized by a giant, Godzilla-like monster the night before. As the phenomenon progresses, she slowly comes to suspect a strange link between herself and the Korean-terrorizing monster.

Strange? Corny? Yes. Hilarious? Yes. Worth seeing? Judging even by the short teaser trailer, definitely! Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigolando (Timecrimes, Extraterrestrial) wrote and directed the film, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year. The cast includes Dan Stevens (A Walk Among the Tombstones, Beauty and the Beast), Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses, We’re the Millers), Tim Blake Nelson (Oh Brother Where Art Thou?, Lincoln), Austin Stowell (Whiplash, Bridge of Spies), Rukiya Bernard (Supernatural, Accidental Obsession), and Agam Darshi (2012, Sanctuary). Check back for additional trailers, and remember this one hits theaters on April 7th!

‘The Comedian’ and ‘The Book of Love’ Seeing Limited Release This Weekend

Two independent films are seeing a limited theatrical release this weekend. The first is a comedy from Oscar-winning director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentlemen, Ray) titled The Comedian. Robert De Niro stars as an aging insult comic who must learn to adapt his art for the modern world of technology, YouTube, and social media. De Niro is backed by an outstanding supporting cast including Leslie Mann (Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin), Danny DeVito (Hoffa, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia), Billy Crystal (When Harry Met Sally, Analyze This), Harvey Keitel (Mean Streets, Reservoir Dogs), Edie Falco (The Sopranos, Nurse Jackie), and Patti Lupone (Witness, City by the Sea). Despite having an impressive cast and director, the film has received incredibly harsh reviews from critics, who complain the potential of the cast and director are overshadowed by asinine, old-school comedy. Judging from the trailer, however, it looks like an entirely crowd-pleasing, worthy-of-the-times comedy, so don’t leave it off of your list just because of a few critics with no sense of humor! The Comedian is expected to see an expanded release in early February, so look for it in theaters for a good Valentines date! Continue reading

‘Independence Day 2: Resurgence’ Now Playing In Theaters Nationwide

The highly anticipated sequel to director Roland Emmerich‘s 1996 blockbuster Independence Day 2: Resurgence is now playing in theaters nationwide. Despite a failed effort to bring back Will Smith, who played one of the lead roles in the original film, the new sequel has gained much anticipation from fans of the original, who no doubt are excited to see veteran actors Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Bill Pullman (Spaceballs, While You Were Sleeping) reunite onscreen to fight aliens! Also returning from the original film are actors Vivica A. Fox (Juwanna Man, Kill Bill: Vol 1), Brent Spiner (The Aviator, Star Trek: The Next Generation), and Judd Hirsch (Ordinary People, A Beautiful Mind), who are joined by new lead Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games, Paranoia), and actors Jessie T. Usher (When The Game Stands Tall, Survivor’s Remorse), Joey King (Crazy Stupid Love, The Conjuring), Maika Monroe (Labor Day, It Follows), Sela Ward (The Day After Tomorrow, Gone Girl), and William Fichtner (Armageddon, Black Hawk Down). Despite popularity among fans, the film has not received good reviews from critics, who have called it “boring” and “loaded down with ’90s cheesiness.” Not sure how audiences will react or if they will agree with the critics, but I guess we’ll find out this weekend. Enjoy!

New Biographical Drama ‘Race’ Opening In Theaters February 19th

A new biographical drama called Race is opening in theaters nationwide this week, which follows the story of Jesse Owens, the Olympian who won four gold medals for track and field at the 1936 Olympics. Ownes’ performance went down in history, not only for his amazing skill, but also for the fact that his victory happened in Berlin, the heart of Adolf Hitler’s supposedly supreme Aryan Race. The film is directed by Stephen Hopkins (Lost in Space, The Reaping) from a script by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse (The Tonto Woman, Frankie and Alice) and stars Stephan James (Home Again, Selma), Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses, We’re the Millers), Eli Goree (Godzilla, The 100), Shanice Banton (Degrassi: The Next Generation, A Day Late and a Dollar Short), Carice van Houten (The Fifth Estate, Game of Thrones), Jeremy Irons (The Man in the Iron Mask, Die Hard with a Vengeance), and John Hurt (The Good Shepard, Robin Hood). Considering the ensemble cast and the profoundly positive message, this one might turn out to be one of the more impressive sports biographies recently released, but that’s no slate against Concussion, Foxcatcher, or 42. The trailer is available here on MADE. See it on the big screen this Friday. Enjoy!

MADE Review: The Revenant

Oscar-winning writer/director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel, Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is following up his fantastic work on Birdman with a new dramatic western of love, survival, and revenge titled The Revenant. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio (The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street), Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Lawless), Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Will Poulter (We’re The Millers, The Maze Runner), and Forrest Goodluck (Gaming), the film follows a frontiersman who is brutally attacked by a grizzly bear while on an expedition in the 1820s Rockies, and is left for dead by members of his team. Against all odds, he survives the attack and sets out for revenge against the men who killed his son. The story is inspired by true events that appear in the book by author Michael Punke. Inarritu and Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Children of Men, Gravity) again deliver excellent camera work on the film, and the cinematography and the scale of the film are truly epic. Leonardo DiCaprio (as usual) delivers an outstanding performance, and equally impressive is that of Tom Hardy, who could easily get an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. In showing the hardship and the struggle that DiCaprio’s character encounters in the wilderness, Inarritu also delivers an impressive display of graphic effects, including an insane mauling by a grizzly bear and a night spent in the innards of a dead horse. The only complaint I can find with the film is that it could have been 15-20 minutes shorter: the middle section of the film, while vividly entertaining, begins to feel a little long. The ending, however, is excellent, leaving the audience with a sense of closure for the story, combined with a sense of wonder surrounding the final fate of the character, a stylistic approach that is all Inarritu. I would definitely recommend seeing The Revenant when it opens in theaters this Friday, January 8, 2016.

‘Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens’ Now Playing In Theaters Nationwide

After months and months of anticipation, fans can finally rejoice! As of today, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is now playing in theaters nationwide, and if you haven’t already secured a ticket, you might have to wait at least a week or two before braving the storm of people waiting in line out the door. Director JJ Abrams (Mission Impossible 3, Super 8) took leave of his Star Trek obligations in order to direct the film, which reunites original stars Mark Hamill (Commander Hamilton, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), Harrison Ford (Blade Runner, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc), and Carrie Fisher (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, The Blues Brothers) with an all new generation of actors, led by Daisy Ridley (Blue Season, Scrawl), John Boyega (Junkhearts, Imperial Dreams), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, A Most Violent Year), Domhnall Gleeson (Unbroken, Ex Machina), Adam Driver (While We’re Young, This Is Where I Leave You), and Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey). The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi Oscar-winning screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (The Big Chill, The Accidental Tourist) worked on the new project’s script with director Abrams and fellow Oscar-winner Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3), about a new threat to peace and justice in the galaxy that occurs 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi concluded. Little more needs be said; all I ask is that you not be an asshole and spoil the plot for everybody in ear-shot of your conversations! Enjoy.

New Trailer For Upcoming Western ‘The Revenant’ Now Available

It seems that Westerns are continuing to make a comeback to big screen productions. The last decade has seen titles like 3:10 to Yuma, The Lone Ranger, True Grit, No Country For Old Men, Django Unchained, and Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Christmas release The Hateful Eight bring in big hauls at the box office, and now 3x Oscar-winning writer and director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel, Birdman) will be releasing his latest feature this January. The film is titled The Revenant and is based on the novel by Michael Punke about real-life frontiersman Hugh Glass, who was abandoned and left for dead by members of his own team after being mauled by a bear, and set out on a mission of survival and vengeance across the uncharted American wilderness during the 1820s. Starring in the lead role is Oscar-nominee Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Wolf of Wall Street), with Tom Hardy (Lawless, Mad Max: Fury Road), Will Poulter (We’re The Millers, The Maze Runner), and Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina, Unbroken) making up the supporting cast. A new trailer is now available here on MADE. The film will see a limited theatrical release this Christmas Day, with a nationwide extension supposedly happening in January. Given the cast and the writer/director behind the project, I think this will probably be one of the year’s best releases, so mark this one down on your Must-See list.

Catch This Week’s Limited Releases Opening In Theaters This Weekend

she's that kind of funny

Indie films hardly get the public recognition they deserve outside of the circle of internationally known film festivals, or national premieres outside of New York City or Los Angeles (the recently released Mr. Holmes with Sir Ian McKellen and Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence serve as perfect examples). But that’s not to say I wouldn’t recommend seeing any of these. This week several such projects will be seeing limited releases on big screens across the country. First on the list is Grandma from writer/director Paul Weitz (About A Boy, In Good Company), which follows a young teenager, Sage, as she goes to her grandmother, Elle Reid, for help when finding herself in a tight spot. The two embark on a day-long journey of self discovery and life reflection that brings both a sense of comfort and motivation to the audience. Actresses Lily Tomlin (Nine to Five, I Heart Huckabees), Julia Garner (Martha Marcy May Marlene, The Perks of Being a Wallflower), and Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River, Into The Wild) will be leading the cast on this one. Next on the list is The Last Picture Show director Peter Bogdanovich‘s She’s Funny That Way, starring Imogen Poots (28 Weeks Later, Filth), Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers, Midnight in Paris), Jennifer Aniston (Horrible Bosses, We’re The Millers), and Kathryn Hahn (Step Brothers, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty). Given the plot of this one revolves around a love-triangle on the set of a Broadway production in New York, I would recommend this one as a good date-night movie. Last, but not least, is another romantic comedy (you would think it’s Valentine’s Day weekend!) called Some Kind of Beautiful from director Tom Vaughn (What Happens in Vegas, Extraordinary Measures). Pierce Brosnan (GoldenEye, The Thomas Crown Affair), Salma Hayek (From Dusk Til Dawn, Desperado), Jessica Alba (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Awake), and Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, The Artist) lead the cast in this tale of a Cambridge poetry professor who comes to a type of midlife crises when he begins to reevaluate his life. All three selections are rated R due to some pretty heavy content, but I think they are all definitely worth seeing, so be sure to check your local theater listings for showtimes in your area, and as always…Enjoy!!