Steven Soderbergh, so often adventurous over the course of his career, closes out his theatrical run with the relatively conventional thriller Side Effects. Though the ideas within are familiar, a winding narrative path keeps predictability out of sight, and prevents Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns from ever falling back to one simplistic message. Soderbergh’s own skill with the form allows him to pursue that path at length, without losing the plot.
Starting off with pharmacological paranoia, the two take clear inspiration from Rosemary’s Baby, and toy with notions that call back to Hitchcock. But this is no throwback. Soderbergh has crafted a smart but pessimistic film rooted firmly in fears that are becoming more and more common today.
The film is built around a woman (Rooney Mara) who suffers from severe depression and falls into the care of a potentially dodgy psychiatrist. Side Effects traffics in the tone of modern paranoia that defined previous Soderbergh/Burns collaboration Contagion, and revels in the duplicity that was a cornerstone of their first partnership, The Informant!. The three films define something like an informal trilogy in which we are chronically disconnected, dishonest, and perhaps eventually doomed. Read More »
Please Recommend /Film on Facebook
Posted on Thursday, January 24th, 2013 by Angie Han
As Steven Soderbergh hurtles toward retirement, he’s dropping one last theatrical feature. (He also has the HBO movie Behind the Candelabra, but that’s not hitting cinemas.) In Side Effects, Rooney Mara plays a woman dealing with her husband’s (Channing Tatum) imminent release from prison. To help her cope with her anxiety, her psychiatrist (Jude Law) puts her on some new drugs. And then, somehow, everything goes terribly wrong.
I say “somehow” because the last couple of trailers have purposely been vague about the plotline. Characters walked around saying dramatic things against an unsettling backdrop of growing tension, and because all of it looked pretty well done, that was enough to attract some curiosity. But the latest interntional trailer finally gives us a better idea of what, exactly, happens in this movie. Watch it after the jump.
Read More »
Director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns have spent the last couple years making genre films with prestige casts to explore modern anxieties in a unique manner. The Informant! tackled fears of impotence and mediocrity through the story of a guy who envisions himself as a powerful insder agent. Contagion charted paranoia about the ever-closer proximity in which we live with others, using a tagline that warned “Don’t talk to anyone. Don’t touch anyone.”
Now the two finish out an informal anxiety trilogy with Side Effects. The film wraps a thriller structure around a look at the insidious pharmaceutical industry, and the ways in which we rely on it, often blindly. A short new trailer for the film dropped today. It’s a brief edit, just a minute long, but the effect is much bigger than the short running time as a husband and wife (Channing Tatum and Rooney Mara) deal with the fallout of the woman’s use of medication. More than a few things are obscured in this trailer, but there’s enough here to get my attention. Read More »
Posted on Friday, November 2nd, 2012 by Angie Han
Steven Soderbergh‘s retirement may be imminent, but over the past couple of years he’s been busy as ever. Where most directors might’ve opened one film between 2011 and 2012, he’s released three: Contagion, Haywire, and Magic Mike. Now, for his final (at least for now) act, he has the thriller Side Effects due out early next year, followed by his final effort, Behind the Candelabra.
Rooney Mara, in her first post-Dragon Tattoo role, stars as a woman struggling with anxiety over her husband’s (Channing Tatum) recent release from prison. She turns to a new brand of anti-depressant, prescribed by a doctor (Jude Law) who apparently harbors a not entirely professional interest in her. Before long, everything is spiraling badly out of control. Watch the trailer after the jump.
Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, October 9th, 2012 by Angie Han
There are films that land a high-profile cast because they promise easy cash for little work (ahem, New Year’s Eve), and then there are pictures that attract major talent because they actually seem worthy of it. Wes Anderson‘s next project seems to fall in the latter category. The director has a pretty fantastic track record with A-list talent so far, so it’s no wonder he’s collecting an enviable roster for The Grand Budapest Hotel.
A couple of weeks back, Anderson squelched rumors that Johnny Depp had signed on to star, but with or without him, the film is continuing to rope in some interesting names. Angela Lansbury and (no surprise) Bill Murray were reported as part of the cast a not long ago, joining Owen Wilson and Jude Law. Now the latest addition is Ralph Fiennes, who’s a newcomer to Anderson’s genteel universe. More after the jump.
Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 by Angie Han
Like most filmmakers, Wes Anderson has a few stars he likes to return to time and time again. But no one’s logged more time in Anderson’s genteel, impeccably art-directed universe than Bill Murray, who’s starred all but one (Bottle Rocket) of Anderson’s seven features to date. It should come as no surprise, then, that the pair are set to reunite once again, for Anderson’s upcoming The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Not that the film will be all Anderson regulars. In addition to his longtime pal Murray, the filmmaker has also just added Angela Lansbury to his lineup. The Grand Budapest Hotel marks the Murder, She Wrote legend’s first time featuring in one of Anderson’s movies. Lansbury and Murray join previously announced stars Owen Wilson, Johnny Depp, and Jude Law. More after the jump.
Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 by Angie Han
None of these updates are all that major, but there are a lot of them so let’s get right to it. After the jump:
- Channing Tatum won’t direct Magic Mike 2 just yet
- Stephen King‘s The Shining (book) sequel gets dated
- Jude Law is totally up for more Sherlock Holmes
- Karen Allen reiterates Indy 5 is up to George Lucas
- Seth MacFarlane is “thinking about” a sequel to Ted
- Men in Black 3 and the trilogy hit Blu-ray / DVD this fall
- Rosario Dawson says Sin City 2 will shoot in November
- Super Troopers 2 hits legal trouble; Pot Quest still simmering
Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2012 by Angie Han
If last month’s first trailer for Anna Karenina gave us an intriguing taste of the sumptuous theatricality of Joe Wright‘s adaptation, this new six-minute clip offers a big, juicy bite. As Wright explains in the introductory voiceover, nearly the entire film was filmed on over a hundred sets, nearly all constructed inside a single dilapidated theater. And he takes full advantage of the setting, turning what could’ve been a staid period drama into something rich, ambitious, and altogether unique.
Historical romance queen Keira Knightley stars as the title character, a 19th century Russian aristocrat who enters into a passionate and destructive affair with the charismatic Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Watch the clip after the jump.
Read More »