20th Century Women

As of this moment, 20th Century Women is my favorite movie of the year. Mike Mills‘ (Beginners) latest film is warm, compassionate, honest, and funny. It’s easily the director’s most accomplished feature to date. While watching 20th Century Women, there are themes that call to mind his previous features. Time is a crucial component of Mills’ work, and in 20th Century Women, he focuses on a very particular and relatable time in most peoples’ lives.

Below, watch the 20th Century Women featurette.

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Live By Night Trailer

Next week brings the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and there are so many movies desperate to get promotion in front of the huge audience going to see the Harry Potter spin-off. And it seems Warner Bros. Pictures will be taking advantage of that by releasing a new trailer for Ben Affleck‘s latest directorial effort Live By Night.

Watch the new Live By Night trailer after the jump. Read More »

20th Century Women trailer

Is there ever really a right time for a teenage boy to come of age? Put aside the nostalgia for the past and the optimism for the future for a second, and you’ll find that each era provides its own ups and downs, some universal and some unique. Still, the tail end of the Carter era is looking like a particular challenge for Dorothea (Annette Bening), the single mother at the center of 20th Century Women. “When you were born, I told you life was very big and unknown,” she says in a wistful monologue. “But now it’s 1979, and nothing means anything.”

The new movie from Mike Mills (Beginners) chronicles the lives of a ramshackle sort of family. Dorothea and her son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) runs a boarding house whose tenants include artist Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and carpenter William (Billy Crudup). There’s also Julie (Elle Fanning), the next door neighbor who’s over so often she might as well live there, too. When Dorothea reaches out for help raising Jamie, they all come together to embark on this messy project. Watch the 20th Century Women trailer below.  Read More »

20th Century Women trailer

The first trailer for 20th Century Women opens with a familiar sound: a politician grandly diagnosing what he sees as the real problem with America. But the person talking isn’t anyone running for president this year — it’s Jimmy Carter, delivering his famous “Crisis of Confidence” speech in 1979. The characters watching the address seem largely unimpressed, save for Dorothea (Annette Bening). “I thought that was beautiful,” she says.

20th Century Women is the new feature by Mike Mills, who last put out the rather lovely romance Beginners. He’s lined up an impressive cast to bring to life his portrait of 1970s Santa Barbara, including Bening, Elle FanningGreta GerwigBilly Crudup, and Lucas Jade Zumann. Watch the 20th Century Women teaser trailer below. Read More »

Live By Night Trailer - Ben Affleck

Not too long ago, we learned that Ben Affleck‘s long-awaited adaptation of Dennis Lehane‘s novel Live By Night may get an awards-qualifying release late this year before going wide in January. Now that appears to have been confirmed with the first trailer for the 1920s crime thriller making its way online. This looks like it has the potential to be Ben Affleck’s best movie yet.

Watch the Live By Night trailer after the jump. Read More »

The Neon Demon ending questions

Nicolas Winding Refn‘s The Neon Demon is a beautifully shot yet polarizing film. It’s either shallow, pretentious, sensationalistic and self-indulgent or a bold haunting hypnotic work of suspense. I’m still not sure if I liked it or not, but It has certainly remained with me since my viewing of the film over the weekend. My reaction is typical — the movie has gotten a very mixed reaction from critics and film geeks.

My viewing has prompted a deep dive into interviews and analysis of the film, and I thought I’d share some of the insights into The Neon Demon ending, the symbology and metaphors both obvious and more hidden. I’ll also attempt to answer some of your The Neon Demon questions.

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Nicolas Winding Refn pic

Nicolas Winding Refn‘s name appears many times in The Neon Demon, in both the opening and closing credits. But even if his name weren’t mentioned, nobody would mistake this darkly funny horror movie as anything but a Refn film. This time around, however, the director behind Only God ForgivesDrive, and Bronson tells a story from a woman’s perspective — which is a first in his career.

The Neon Demon stars Elle FanningJena MaloneAbbey Lee Kershaw, Bella Heathcote, and, in a part that was shot over the course of three days, Keanu Reeves. Which one of these characters, with the possible exception of Reeves’ sleazy motel manager, is the titular demon is up to the viewer to decide. In my brief conversation with Refn, he refers to Jesse as the Neon Demon, but his story, which he co-wrote with Mary Laws and Polly Stenham, leaves plenty of room for an audience to think otherwise.

Sometimes you never fully know what to expect from Refn, as proven by our own Jacob Hall’s somewhat contentious interview with him and composer Cliff Martinez. I’ve spoken to the director a handful of times over the years, and just like his work, he’s occasionally unpredictable, but he’s also always engaged and not without a sense of humor, both about himself and his films.

Below, read our Nicolas Winding Refn interview, which has some mild spoilers for The Neon Demon.

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The Neon Demon Mondo poster

The initial reactions to Nicolas Winding Refn‘s The Neon Demon were, as expected, polarizing. The director’s surreal horror-comedy isn’t for everybody, although it is more accessible than his previous feature, Only God Forgives. If Refn’s fans and harshest critics can agree on one thing, though, it’s that the director certainly knows how to create a mood, usually one of beauty and horror. Mondo’s print for The Neon Demon strikes that balance as well.

Below, check out Mondo’s The Neon Demon poster.

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The Neon Demon

I don’t think anyone was expecting a unanimous reaction to Nicolas Winding Refn‘s The Neon Demon. Refn’s horror film just screened at the Cannes Film Festival, and the critical response was mixed, to say the least. Some have claimed the reaction was even more divisive than when Only God Forgives debuted at the festival — which likely pleases Refn, who never attempts to satisfy all audiences. “I can only say if you’ve polarized, you’ve done something right,” he once said. “If everyone likes it, you’ve done something wrong.”

Check out The Neon Demon early buzz below.

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The Neon Demon international trailer

“Beauty isn’t everything; it’s the only thing,” Keanu Reeves‘ (John Wick) character claims in The Neon Demon international trailer. We haven’t seen much of Reeves in the past trailers for the film, and, thankfully, the international trailer continues to portray him as more of a background player. Besides plenty of neon lighting and blood, we still don’t fully know what to expect from Nicolas Winding Refn‘s upcoming film. While international trailers tend to have a habit of spoiling surprises or major plot points, this one doesn’t appear to reveal too much from the Drive and Only God Forgive director’s latest project.

Watch The Neon Demon international trailer below.

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