Blue Jasmine (header)

How many career resurgences has Woody Allen had at this point? I’ve lost track, but we’re square in the middle of one now, kicked off with the career-topping success of his 2011 release Midnight in Paris. His new film, Blue Jasmine, stars Cate Blanchett as “a New York housewife struggling through a life crisis.” That sounds middling to dire until you see what Blanchett is doing with it — she’s entitled and insufferable, but ragged and clearly, if comically, worn down to a nub.

This trailer introduces her character, and the sister (Sally Hawkins) who takes her into her San Francisco home when Jasmine’s husband (Alec Baldwin) turns out to be less than an upstanding dude. Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Peter Sarsgaard, and Michael Stuhlbarg also star; you’ll only get a glimpse of Louis C.K. here, but he seems to be playing a suitor for Hawkins.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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Nothing made me happier today than to hear enthusiastic responses to Jim Jarmusch‘s rock and roll vampire film, Only Lovers Left Alive. The film stars Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as vampires who have spent centuries together. We’ve got some clips, images and more info here, but frankly I want to know as little about further details as possible, at least until there’s a chance to see the film in the US.

That chance might not be far off, as the reception at Cannes was capped off by Sony Pictures Classics’ purchase of the US distribution rights. The company didn’t offer precise release info, but knowing it has a home is a good start. After the break, you can check out the SPC press release, and some reviewer reactions to the movie. Read More »

Before Midnight (header)

Before Midnight is perhaps the most unlikely sequel you’ll see this year, and it is very much a film you should see. Director Richard Linklater reunited with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy to revisit the characters they created in Before Sunrise (1995) and to whom they first returned in Before Sunset (2004). The result is among the best films released in 2013 so far. For this third film, the trio ended up in Greece, where they crafted a story about the stage of a romantic relationship that has moved far past the first blooms of love.

If you don’t want to know anything about how Hawke and Delpy’s characters are seen together once more, don’t even watch this trailer. Not that it gives away too much, but there are some basic story points it can’t help but reveal. So if you’d like to go in truly cold, just wait for the May release date. For those open to knowing a bit about where Celine and Jesse are today, check out the footage below. Read More »

At first, Pedro Almodovar‘s new film I’m So Excited! seems to move away from the psycho-sexual weirdness of his last movie, The Skin I Live In and its predecessor Broken Embraces. The colors are bold, the energy is big, and the tone is defiantly upbeat, at least from what we’ve seen of the film to date.

But all is not necessarily well. The film follows “the passengers and crew of an imminently doomed plane, as hysteria begins to take over the plane’s interior.” Because this trailer is entirely in Spanish, there will be readers who have to determine the particulars by inference alone. But because it’s Almodovar, whose visual storytelling is reliably brash, there’s more than enough to digest here even without the dialogue. Plus there are little appearances from Almodovar’s old compatriots Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz.

Update: The trailer has hit the UK, this time with English subtitles. I’ve swapped out the old Spanish-only embed and bumped this to give you a look at the subbed version.

Read More »

It’s going to be an arthouse-friendly summer. Following yesterday’s announcement that Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight would land in theaters Memorial Day weekend, Sony Classics has just set June and July openings for two more upcoming auteur releases, Pedro Almodovar‘s I’m So Excited and Woody Allen‘s Blue Jasmine.

The news is less positive for DreamWorks’ animation slate, as Mr. Peabody & Sherman has been pushed from late 2013 to early 2014, knocking Me and My Shadow off the schedule altogether. And finally, rounding out this batch of release date updates is Last Vegas, which is moving up to avoid the crowded Christmas slate. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Briefly: One of the biggest hits of Sundance last month was Richard Linklater‘s third collaboration with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, Before Midnight. The film was universally praised as a great picture, and a very satisfying continuation of the story begun in Before Sunrise (’95) and Before Sunset (’04).

Sony Pictures Classics nabbed the film at Sundance, to no one’s surprise, and now we know that some audiences won’t have long to wait. Expect to see the film in New York and LA on May 24. Read More »

Briefly: Woody Allen continues to work at a pace that other directors can only dream of. He’s following To Rome With Love with a new film that stars Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard and now Michael Stuhlbarg. And now the movie has a title, Blue Jasmine, and a distribution deal with Allen’s regular partner Sony Pictures Classics.

Allen scripted (of course) and the film follows “the final stages of an acute crisis and a life of a fashionable New York housewife.” In form typical to the director, that’s just about all we know beyond the cast roster. We do know the film will shoot in the US, making it the director’s first film at home since the 2009 release Whatever Works. The fact that this will be Allen’s fourth movie since that picture came out is a testament to his wonderfully relentless work habit. [THR]

Even for people who aren’t predisposed to love action films, Gareth EvansThe Raid earned a spot on many a 2012 top ten list. When Sony Pictures Classics picked up the film, the company also grabbed distribution rights to the planned sequel, The Raid: Berandal.

Casting details for the sequel hit before the new year, with Iko Uwais, star of the first film, set to appear again, alongside Julie Estelle (Macabre) as Hammer Girl, and Alex Abbad, Marsha Timothy, and silat fighter Cecep Arif Rahman playing an unknown but reportedly significant role.

Now Evans confirms that the sequel shoots very soon, and explains that the new film picks up right after the end of the first. Read More »

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