– The Guardian calls Hollywood’s summer box office victory – approximately a 2.4% lead on 2009 – a hollow one; “the abiding memory of summer 2010 will be of a decline in standards” (the standards of storytelling, not technical effects). The arguments behind this hollow victory include the decline in actual people in theatre seats (lowest since 1997) and the rise in revenue (thanks, 3-D), the root of which conflicts with studios’ growing challenge to stay relevant amongst growing sources of alternative entertainment (if they’re only making movies for profit, they’re undermining the argument for preserving the relevance of film). The Guardian also disses too many studio-approved screenplays that “too often settle for tired storylines, hackneyed dialogue and vacuous characters hiding behind music video sensibilities and loud explosions.” The Guardian does see hope in the next year (including Never Let Me Go, but warns another “creatively impoverished” season of films will descend upon us sooner or later.
David Poland’s interview with Never Let Me Go stars Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield is on the jump.
– The winning combination of Brit director Steve McQueen and rising star Michael Fassbender will ante in again for a NYC set drama entitled Shame. McQueen’s directorial debut Hunger won the Camera d’Or at Cannes 2008 and brought Fassbender much attention, which should continue with each project he has coming out. Shame will likely perch itself on the same provocative stoop that gave Hunger its raw power. Fassbender will play a man struggling to manage his sex life in a story that questions the nature of need. The script will be written by McQueen and Brick Lane writer Abi Morgan (who is also penning Joe Wright’s The Little Mermaid). Maybe there’s hope yet, Guardian.
– How exactly to categorize Love and Other Drugs? Well the trailers will have us believe one thing (sexy rom-com) or another (tear-jerker) – so which is it? The poster now suggests that Jake Gyllenhaal doesn’t know either. Like the title of the book upon which the film is based, it’s apparently a Hard Sell. NYMag hypothesizes a few explanations for this odd combo of Gyllenhaal-as-enigma and Hathaway-as-obliviously-happy-even-though-I’ve-got-Parkinson’s. It’s not the only movie with an identity crisis. The poster says: we might be a rom-com, we might secretly be something else, but either way you’ll see us near-naked, so come! The Playlist also pokes at the poster, and reminds us that Hathaway is getting serious praise for her performance as a sometimes clothed and unavoidably doomed woman in this Edward Zwick pic – hard to believe this is the same director that brought us Legends of the Fall sixteen years ago.
And here is David Poland’s Never Let Me Go interview with Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield. They talk Mulligan’s uncontrollable tears, the brilliance of the material, and Garfield’s aversion to school.