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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    RS 29—That Awkward Age: "The Savages" and "On Golden Pond"

    Let’s look, if we must, at the posters. Not that one should judge or evaluate a film in this manner, but a one-sheet, commissioned to aptly represent a movie’s spirit and tone, will also, in retrospect, say a lot about the spirit and tone of the era from which it comes. The poster for Tamara Jenkins’s The Savages looked familiar upon its release in 2007: it was designed by comic-book artist Chris Ware, known for beautifully static, melancholy cartoons of doughy-faced, moist-eyed personae with all the flexibility of Charles M. Schulz figures. The act of using this particular style to represent the essence of a film like The Savages undoubtedly constitutes a form of branding. The Savages is a film about two physically if not emotionally grown siblings, played by Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman, forced to take care of their bitter pill of a father, now aged and wracked with dementia. Its tone is practiced wryness, its visuals as plain and sullen as a shy teenager. There are genuine moments of empathy peeking through its slightly cracked self-protective shell of distancing irony. Like so many American mini-major-studio indies from the past decade or so—a broad category, admittedly—there’s a built-in glibness to its direction and an emphatic formalism that dilutes its knottier issues. Which is all to say that Ware was indeed perhaps the right choice to illustrate the film: his illustrations are a known entity, providing an immediate flash of recognition of cartoonish melancholy. The Savages, a film ostensibly about messy people with messy problems but which finally only tries to assuage, came, appropriately, perfectly prepackaged.

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    More: new issue
  • The Playlist
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    Cannes Film Festival: 10 Films That Will Be Making Noise On The Croisette

    This year at Cannes, it seems that you'll be able to throw a rock and manage to hit a celebrity. In stark contrast to last year's festival -- which some colleagues told us was the worst in a decade -- Cannes honcho Thierry Fremaux is bringing the goods this year with a cineaste's wet dream of films from some of the finest auteurs working today. However, what unfolds over the next few days will be fascinating. Not everything can be a masterpiece, there will be some unexpected disasters and more enticingly, some pleasant surprises. We've run down the list of the films that are likely to be making the biggest noise on the Croisette this year, and given the lineup, some of these choices are certainly obvious. We've tried to mix it up a little bit and the list might be more notable for what has been left off as well. Watch for our coverage starting tomorrow and expect reviews over the next ten days of each of the below films and more.

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  • The Playlist
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    Maggie Gyllenhaal & Viola Davis Set To Star In 'Still I Rise'

    The inspirational teacher/fighting the system movie isn't exactly a new one, but the genre could use a breath of fresh air. And while we'll have to wait and see how this one turns out, you couldn't ask for two better actresses. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis are set to star in "Still I Rise" for Walden Media. The duo will play frustrated mothers who combine forces to transform an inner city public school. Sounds great, right? (ok, relatively so) Here's where our reservations on the project kick in.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Kristen Wiig's 'Bridesmaids' Is A Winning Balance Of Hilarious & Heartfelt

    The following is a reprint of our review from the 2010 SXSW Film Festival.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Viola Davis Will Star In Walden Media's "Still I Rise" (Not To be Confused With Maya Angelou's Poem)

    Deadline just posted this today, calling it an *Exclusive*, although we got wind of it about 2 weeks ago and posted it then - on April 27th HERE.

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    More: casting
  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Everything Must Go' Is A Tender & Winning Indie Drama With Will Ferrell At His Low-Key Best

    The following is a reprint of the review that ran at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Poster For Suicide Jumper Drama/Thriller "The Ledge" Co-Starring Terence Howard

    We debuted the trailer last week; now we've got a look at the first official poster for the new drama/thriller titled The Ledge (not to be confused with the upcoming heist thriller with Sam Worthington and Anthony Mackie titled Man On A Ledge) which stars Terrence Howard, Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler, and Patrick Wilson.

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  • Hope for Film
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    Guest Post: Leah Warshawski on "Navigating Rejection With Grace"

    The process of getting a film made is a long climb through rejection, neglect, frustration, and even some hostility. Those that "know", tell you that it is impossible -- but still tens of thousands of films get made every year despite this knowledge of the "experts". Being a filmmaker takes incredibly thick skin. But it not just bullheaded arrogance that is needed to navigate through the difficult climb to completion. You need to turn rejection into a tool.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Monday Hangover: Thor

    Monday HangoverThor

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    Box Office Roundup - Weekend of May 6, 2011

    I thought we should take a look at some numbers from this past weekend since we haven't done that for a while.

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