Elvis and Nixon review 1

At first glance, the 1970 picture of Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon shaking hands in the Oval Office looks flat-out bizarre. The flamboyantly attired musician makes for a striking contrast to the staid politician, and it’s a little jarring to realize that not only did these two people once inhabit the same universe, they actually crossed paths once. Somehow, the story behind that picture is even stranger: To Elvis, at least, this was no mere photo up but a meeting to discuss his swearing-in as an undercover federal agent-at-large for the Bureau of Narcotics.

Liza Johnson‘s Elvis & Nixon is about that how that meeting came to be and what happened when these two larger-than-life figures finally collided, with Michael Shannon as the King and Kevin Spacey as Tricky Dick. But it’s less about the vast differences between this two men than the one thing, even more than a shared distaste for the counterculture of the times, that truly bound them together: the strangeness of fame.  Read More »

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naomi watts

After the massive success of 50 Shades of Grey, director Sam Taylor-Johnson decided against returning for the sequels. Since the adaptation opened in theaters, she hasn’t lined up many film projects for herself. In December, Taylor-Johnson was briefly attached to direct Chappaquiddick, but two months later, she dropped out of the film to work on Netflix’s Gypsy, a series that has just landed its lead, Naomi Watts (Demolition). 

Learn more about the Naomi Watts Netflix series below.

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Elvis & Nixon

“Everybody loves Elvis.” Everybody also loves Michael Shannon, so who better to play the King than the 99 Homes star? Shannon is playing the rock icon in Elvis & Nixon, with Kevin Spacey playing the latter role. Today’s Presley’s birthday, so to celebrate, Amazon released a trailer and poster for director Liza Johnson‘s comedy.

After the jump, watch the Elvis & Nixon trailer.

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Elvis and Nixon (historical)

What’s that saying about truth being stranger than fiction? Liza Johnson‘s new comedy Elvis & Nixon documents the real-life meeting between the two famous figures, played by Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey.

The event was even weirder than the image above makes it look — Elvis wanted Nixon to make him an undercover federal narcotics agent, and Nixon actually gave him a badge. Get your first look at Elvis & Nixon after the jump.  Read More »

Michael Shannon as Elvis

Elvis Presley has been portrayed by many actors over the decades since his death in 1977. That doesn’t make the idea of seeing Michael Shannon play the singer any less head-turningly odd. Pair him with Kevin Spacey as Richard M. Nixon and you might have something really… weird. The two actors have been cast in Elvis & Nixon, which is inspired by the unlikely photo op that resulted in the photo above, taken in 1977. Read More »

Hateship Loveship

Kristen Wiig may have gotten her start on Saturday Night Live, but her range as an actress expands far beyond comedy. The new Hateship Loveship trailer takes her to the dramatic end of the spectrum, playing the mousy caretaker to troubled teen Sabitha (Hailee Steinfeld).

The plot gets rolling when Sabitha plays a cruel practical joke on Wiig’s Johanna, encouraging her to fall for Sabitha’s recovering drug addict dad Ken (Guy Pearce). The picture was helmed by Liza Johnson, director of the acclaimed if underseen Return, and based on Alice Munro’s short story Hateship Loveship Courtship Loveship Marriage. Watch the Hateship Loveship trailer after the jump.

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It’s never quite been clear to me why Linda Cardellini isn’t a bigger star. Cardellini’s talents have been apparent ever since she starred in Paul Feig’s Freaks & Geeks back in 1999, and over the years she’s shown remarkable range in projects ranging from the deadly somber (Brokeback Mountain) to the utterly silly (Legally Blonde, the Scooby-Doo films).

I don’t know whether her next movie, Return, will do much to raise her profile, but if it doesn’t it certainly looks like another to add to the “Reasons Linda Cardellini Should Be More Famous” pile. Cardellini plays a war vet who’s initially excited to return home to her husband (Michael Shannon) and kids after a long deployment, but struggles to fit back into a world that’s clearly moved on without her. Critics praised Cardellini’s riveting turn after the film’s debut at Cannes last year, and even in this 85-second trailer, it’s easy to see why. Watch the video after the jump.

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