Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck tells the NYTimes that “I live outside my comfort zone always,” which helps to explain why the German director-writer chose to follow up best-foreign-language Oscar winner The Lives of Others with Sony’s lavish guilty-pleasure film The Tourist starring high-wattage Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. Foreign directors rarely have successful crossovers into big-budget studio fare, admits Sony co-president Michael Barker, “other than Roman Polanski with Chinatown and Milos Forman with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
Von Donnersmarck carried over his attention to detail from The Lives of Others to make sure Jolie looked like the “least down-to-earth” person alive (as Depp’s character compliments her in the film). Von Donnersmarck says it was bizarre, but “we spent a few days just doing camera tests on different types of lipstick and white silk to be sure we could find the right combination and see how it would translate onto film…the material beauty [in the film] was just so important.” Jolie says she felt in good hands: “I knew he had a sense of culture,” she says. The material beauty of the film, shot mostly throughout Venice and lingering as often as possible on Jolie’s face, is undeniable (see photo gallery below). The Tourist opens Friday, December 10.
– Ryan Gosling is giving hope to Hollywood’s Evolution of Masculinity, telling Vulture: “Some of us are tired of all the sissies in this town…The ones who go along, flow with the flow, line up where they’re told to line up at. The studios want you to make the same movie over and over again.” Vulture credits “a new crop of brainy, complicated, and highly autonomous actors” – i.e. Gosling, James Franco (127 Hours), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Joseph Gordon-Levitt ( Days of Summer), Tom Hardy (Bronson, Inception) and Michael Fassbender (Hunger, Fish Tank) – with creating “a new prototype [that] is seeping into the mainstream.” Gosling says Fassbender and Hardy are “not playing one note…they’re adding dissonance,” while Gosling’s co-stars attest to his own multi-dimensionality.
Blue Valentine‘s Michelle Williams says that Gosling is “constantly pulling things out of his pocket—secrets that seem to be in contradiction to who he is,…Can you imagine someone as masculine and alpha as Ryan also likes to take ballet lessons?” All Good Things co-star Kirsten Dunst says yes, he is “kind and adorable” but also “really dark and weird and manipulative. Everything you’d want in an actor.” [photo courtesy of Vulture]