The Immigrant trailer

We got our first look at the Cannes 2014 slate this morning, but there are still a few Cannes 2013 films making their way to theaters. One is James Gray‘s The Immigrant, starring Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner.

Cotillard stars as Ewa, a Polish woman who emigrates to New York in 1920 with her sister Magda (Angela Sarafyan). The two are separated upon their arrival at Ellis Island when Magda turns out to be sick.

Desperate, penniless, and alone, Ewa accepts the help of a charming stranger named Bruno (Phoenix) who turns out to be a pimp. He traps her in a life of prostitution, but she sees the potential for salvation when she meets his more pure-hearted cousin Orlando (Renner). Watch the new The Immigrant trailer after the jump.

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inherent-vice

It’s a cruel world. If you didn’t already know this, just check out the “first look” at Inherent Vice from Paul Thomas Anderson. The image of Joaquin Phoenix as burnout SoCal detective Doc Sportello, created by Thomas Pynchon in the novel of the same name, is teeny-tiny. (It’s not unlike our first real look at Lancaster Dodd from The Master.) But it comes with a candid shot of Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, who is scoring the film. And it’s an implicit promise of more materials to come. Read More »

Her BTS 5

Much attention has been paid to Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson‘s exceptional performances, Casey Storm‘s eye-catching costumes, and Spike Jonze‘s eloquent script, but the  soundtrack for Her – from Owen Pallett, Arcade Fire, Karen O., and others — deserves some love too. Happily, the latest behind-the-scenes featurette spotlights one particularly lovely instrumental track, playing it over film footage and behind-the-scenes clips.

The feel of that particular video is wistful and bittersweet, but one of the best things about Her is that it’s also got a great sense of humor. Jonze seems to know exactly how seriously to take the film’s far-fetched conceit. But if he’d taken things a step further into comic side, he might’ve come up with something like Him, a parody sequel that imagines a woman falling for her operating system.

Watch both the Her featurette and the fake Him trailer after the jump.

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joaquin-phoenix-02

Fresh off working with Warner Bros. on Her, it seems Joaquin Phoenix is being eyed by the studio for the villain role in Zack Snyder‘s Batman vs. Superman. Variety reports the actors has been offered the lead bad guy rule, believed to be Lex Luthor.

Update: Phoenix is quoted in a new LA Weekly story, expressing his desire to do a blockbuster. Read below.
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her-trailer-2-header

The new film from Spike Jonze is Her, which delves into the strangeness of modern relationships through an unusual device: Joaquin Phoenix plays a man who falls in love with a piece of software, appealingly voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

Set in a slightly sci-fi near-future Los Angeles, the story features Phoenix interacting with Johansson in voice only, through an earpiece that allows him to stay in constant contact with the operating system of his dreams. This is no glib gag laughing at the idea of a man/machine romance, however, but an earnest inquiry into what makes relationships tick.

There’s a new trailer out today, which you can see below. Read More »

Joaquin Phoenix Her

There’s a vast difference between simply making a movie and taking the time to develop a new idea to make a movie about. It’s the difference between franchises releasing a new sequel every year, and the work of Spike Jonze, a filmmaker who up to this point has only made three movies in 15 years. His fourth film, Her, is the director’s first original screenplay. It’s everything you’d hope for from the mad genius who brought to life Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Where the Wild Things Are.

Her is a dramatic sci-fi romance about a man named Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his artificially intelligent computer operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). It’s a simple, yet brilliant conceit realized with depth and emotion, two rare traits in mainstream cinema. The depth comes from Jonze’s ideas about technological dependence and loneliness, and the emotion is conveyed as the film raises questions about what it means to love and our capacity to do so. It’s a film that’ll both spark intelligent debate and plenty of tears.

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This looks promising. The Immigrant is James Gray‘s latest film, which debuted at Cannes to generally positive reviews. And no wonder: the film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner in a love triangle of sorts, as Phoenix “helps” Cotillard as she immigrates to the US in the 1920, then traps her in a life of prostitution. Renner plays Phoenix’s cousin, and the man who could set her free. Sure, that’s a pretty hoary old story, but with the talent involved it still has appeal. And coming from Gray (and cinematographer Darius Khondji) I’d expect more out of it than the basic description suggests.

Note: this trailer is not safe for work, due to some nudity. Read More »

John Belushi as Bumble Bee at Skating Rink

We’re all just going to pretend Wired, that ill-fated screen version of a John Belishi biography, never happened. (Sorry, Michael Chiklis.) But that doesn’t mean that Hollywood wants Belushi to be forgotten, and in fact there’s another screen biography brewing about the late comedian and actor.

The same project that once had The Hangover director Todd Phillips tied to the director’s chair now has a new director, and a handful of potential stars as well. They include Emile Hirsch and Joaquin Phoenix, neither of whom springs to mind as a first choice, but each of whom has an appeal that becomes evident after some thought. Read More »

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