Low Down

It’s been a bad year for Elle Fanning and cinematic father figures. Her Maleficent dad sent her away as a baby, and her Boxtrolls dad mostly just neglects her. Her streak will continue with Low Down, in which John Hawkes finds himself torn between his love for her, his passion for music, and his addiction to heroin.

Directed by Jeff Preiss, the indie drama debuted at Sundance this year and is now headed for a theatrical release thanks to Oscilloscope. Also starring are Glenn CloseTaryn Manning, Flea, Lena Headey, and Peter Dinklage – which means we might actually get to see the two Lannister sibs share a scene without trying to kill each other. Watch the first Low Down trailer after the jump.

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Galifianakis Hangover

FX has landed some major comedic star power for a bunch of new pilots. Billy Crystal has a show called The Comedian, Tracy Morgan has a show called Death Pact, Denis Leary has a show called Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and that’s not the half of it.

There are 12 new pilots in total and the two most exciting might be a new show created by and starring Zach Galifianakis, which will be co-produced and co-written by Louis C.K. It’s the first show in C.K.’s new deal. Then, Oscar-winning writer Charlie Kaufman‘s new show How and Why has cast John Hawkes and Michael Cera in key roles. Read More »

Robin Costume

Before Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, much of the conversation surrounded Joseph Gordon-Levitt being Robin. Rumors said “Yes,” other sources said “No,” and in the end the answer was, kind of, both. His name was Robin, but not the Batman sidekick we all remember.

Those talks are about to begin again thanks to Latino-Review. Their latest report is Batman vs. Superman, directed by Zack Snyder, will feature Dick Grayson, the real identity of Robin/Nightwing. Read More »

jason-clarke-zero-dark-thirty

It’s never happy news when a project loses Christian Bale, but on the bright side, Baltasar Kormákur is getting a hell of a consolation prize. His survival drama Everest has just added Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, and Jake Gyllenhaal, with Jason Clarke negotiating to take over Bale’s old slot. Hit the jump to get all the details.

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While The Sessions earned film festival staple John Hawkes a lot of critical acclaim last year, another of his indie performances flew mostly under the radar. In Julia Dyer‘s The Sessions, he and his former Deadwood co-star Molly Parker play a dysfunctional couple in ’70s suburbia. The pair are in the habit of inviting the neighbors over for grown-up get-togethers that get more sexually charged the more freely the booze flows.

But the film isn’t really about them so much as it is their four children, tucked away in the attic for the evening. Newcomer Olivia Harris plays the responsible oldest sibling, who’s old enough to be disappointed in her parents’ decisions but not quite ready to forge her own path into adulthood. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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This morning Megan Fox, Ed Helms, and Jessica Alba announced the nominations for the 2013 Golden Globes. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization behind the event, is famous for nominating films and performances simply based on their star factor — if there’s an actor that members of the HFPA want to hang out with, they’re sure to get a nomination.

But the HFPA is great at putting on a show, and so the Golden Globes generate a lot of attention every year. And, as the NY Times points out, with the Globes nominations coming just days before Oscar nomination voting starts, there’s a possibility that nominations here could affect Oscar voting. The Best Picture nomination set includes what is already becoming a standard set of awards favorites, such as Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty, but there are also nominations for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and Django Unchained. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen picked up a few nominations, actually, which was one of  the big surprises.

The Golden Globes will air on January 13, 2013, hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. The full nomination list is below. Read More »

Hilarious, charming and heartwarming, The Sessions is one of the best films of the year. It’s the true story of Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes), a California-based journalist relegated to a gurney and iron lung because of disabling polio. At the age of 38, he’s still a virgin and, with the blessing of his priest (William H. Macy), Mark hires a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to remedy the problem.

Directed by Ben Lewin, The Sessions is now open in select cities with plans to expand over the next few weeks. As that happens, buzz will begin to grow for the film, which makes complete sense considering the source material. This fictional take on a true story is based on the 1997 Oscar-winning Documentary Short Film Breathing Lessons, written and directed by Jessica Yu. It too centers on O’Brien, but instead of using sex as the window to his struggle, the short presents a more traditional, complete portrait of the man.

Check out the Oscar-winner that inspired a potential Oscar-winner after the jump. Read More »

Note: This is a reprint of my review of The Sessions, formerly The Surrogate, upon its premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. I’ve changed the name of the film below, but left everything else remains intact. It opens on a limited basis today and is truly one of the year’s most special films.

With 2011 being a rare exception, a Sundance award winner is almost always in the thick of awards season. And while the 2012 Sundance Film Festival has yet to bestow its awards, let alone premiere all the films, I feel confident in saying Ben Lewin‘s The Sessions will likely be in the mix for awards here and possibly next year at the Oscars.

The Sessions is the true story of Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes), a California-based journalist relegated to a gurney and iron lung because of disabling polio. At the age of 38, he’s still a virgin and, with the blessing of his priest (William H. Macy), Mark hires a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to remedy the problem.

While the story sounds kind of creepy, pathetic and depressing, The Sessions is exactly the opposite. It’s hilarious, brave and frank about both disabilities and sexuality. It’s a special film which had its world premiere this week in Park City, leading to what looks like a $6m deal for Fox Searchlight to distribute the film. Read more after the jump. Read More »

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