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Noah Baumbach‘s last film, Frances Ha, was shot and finished without many people knowing about it; the director’s involvement was only revealed just before the film premiered at Telluride. He’s currently in production on the film While We’re Young, about which we also know little.

Now it seems like the Greenberg and The Squid and the Whale director is taking a similar approach with another film; the difference is that this is an animated project, for a major studio. Even better, the film, Flawed Dogs, is based on recent work by cartoonist and author Berkley Breathed. The adaptation was announced a couple years ago, but this is the first we’ve heard of Baumbach’s involvement. Read More »

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What is Frances Ha about? I’ve watched this trailer a couple times, and can’t quite tell you. Not because this is an Upstream Color situation, where the trailer is rather obscure, and the film it advertises is hardly typical. Rather, this Noah Baumbach film co-written by and starring Greta Gerwig looks like a pretty standard old-school indie, as it follows a young woman (Gerwig) who can’t quite get her life together.

There’s a synopsis below that will tell you a bit more, but really it’s just better to watch the trailer, which is spilling over with Gerwig’s winning charm, and the beat of David Bowie’s ever-infectious ‘Modern Love.’ Read More »

A prim and proper version of Greta Gerwig takes charge this weekend in Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress, but this summer will see a much messier, more uncertain version of Gerwig trying to get her life together in Lola Versus. Directed by Daryl Wein, the comedy centers around a young woman who’s dumped by her fiancee (Joel Kinnaman, The Killing) just weeks before her wedding and subsequently struggles to deal with her newfound singlehood. Hamish Linklater (The Future) and Zoe Lister-Jones (NBC’s Whitney) also star. Watch a new trailer after the jump.

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2011 saw one of the greatest successes of Woody Allen‘s career, as his film Midnight in Paris did great business on the US arthouse circuit and worldwide, eventually raking in nearly $150m globally. There was also that little matter of winning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Now Allen returns with To Rome With Love, a vignette-based romantic comedy with most of the action falling into a very familiar Allen mode. (It’s a welcome returns, with lines like “the kid’s a communist, the father’s a mortician… does the mother run a leper colony?”)

The cast features Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, Roberto Benigni (of whom we haven’t seen much in some time), Judy Davis and Woody Allen himself, who hasn’t been in front of the camera since the 2006 release Scoop. The action places that cast in various minor romantic and comic entanglements that all look a bit fluffy, and very entertaining.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

It’s not often you’ll see Piranha 3DD and Anna Karenina mentioned in the same breath, but every film needs a release date, no matter how trashy or elegant. After the jump, check out new release dates for those two movies, plus Henry Cavill‘s The Cold Light of Day, Robert Pattinson‘s Bel Ami, and the comedy Lola Versus.

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Throughout the ’90s, Whit Stillman could be counted on for his wry depictions of the American upper class, inspiring the likes of Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach. But he took a break from filmmaking after 1998’s The Last Days of Disco, and it’s only now that he’s returning to the silver screen with Damsels in Distress.

Greta Gerwig stars as the leader of a clique of college girls trying to change “the atmosphere of male barbarism” at their preppy East Coast school. Analeigh Tipton (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) and Adam Brody also star, but I’m just as excited for the supporting performances from comedic actors like Alia Shawkat, Aubrey Plaza, and Zach Woods. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Briefly: 2011 was a great year for Woody Allen. His playful, entertaining film Midnight in Paris turned into the year’s runaway arthouse hit, taking in $60m to become Allen’s greatest domestic success. Sony Classics has distributed the director’s last few films and after their stellar success with Midnight in Paris, I think it has been pretty much a foregone conclusion that his next movie, Nero Fiddled, would go out via the company as well.

Variety reports that deal has been set, with Sony Classics picking up North American and UK rights to the film, which stars Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. As is typically the case with a new Allen film we don’t know much about the plot — all we’ve got is that the Rome-set film “consists of four separate vignettes — two with American characters, two with Italian characters — but the vignettes never intersect.”

The film will get a summer 2012 release, and is a likely bet for a Cannes debut.

Woody Allen Renames Upcoming Film ‘Nero Fiddled’

This past summer, Woody Allen enjoyed the unexpected success of his film Midnight in Paris, which has been going strong in arthouses since May with over $100m earned worldwide. He also shot a new film in Rome, and for quite some time he was planning to call the movie Bop Decameron. There’s a lot to like about that title — it’s very Woody Allen, and even a good bit more jaunty than most of his titles. But it isn’t the sort of title that will keep a movie on screens for six months. Midnight in Paris sounds romantic and enticing. Bop Decameron sounds like… well, I imagine Woody realized a lot of people might not know what it sounds like.

So the film is now called Nero Fiddled. Not as jaunty or romantic, but at least people will know what he’s talking about. I hope. Read More »

Blue Valentine director and star Derek Cianfrance and Ryan Gosling are back together for the multi-generational crime/grudge saga The Place Beyond the Pines. The film follows Gosling as a stunt cyclist who robs banks in order to provide for his son, and ands up entangled with cop-turned-politician Bradley Cooper. Their antagonism spills down the family tree, eventually involving their sons.

The large cast was said to include Greta Gerwig, but now we’ve learned that she had never fully signed on, and won’t be able to take part in the film due to other obligations. Stepping into the role earmarked for her will be Rose Byrne, of Damages and Bridesmaids. Read More »