a_most_wanted_man

Anton Corbijn‘s two feature films have been pretty firmly aimed at the arthouse, but with his John le Carré adaptation A Most Wanted Man, the director may find himself with a slightly larger audience. Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in a story about a ”young ex-prisoner who arrives illegally in Germany, practically destitute.” Hoffman’s character harbors significant suspicions — or paranoia — about the young man’s backing and intentions, and sets out to find out what he’s really all about.

Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Daniel Bruhl and Robin Wright co-star in the film which, from this footage, appears to make a nice companion to the other recent le Carré adaptation Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. There are differences, obviously, but this film appears cold and soaked in fear, and like it gets the tone right. It looks good on this cast, too, and I’m excited to see what Corbijn has really achieved here. Read More »

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John Slattery is Roger Sterling in MAD MEN - Season 5 | ©2012 A

Earlier this week I joked that, after Sunday’s episode of Mad Men, I wouldn’t be surprised if John Slattery (who directed the episode) was picked to make his feature directing debut with Fifty Shades of Grey.

As it turns out, the Cannes market this week does bring news of Slattery making his first feature film, and it will almost certainly be a much better thing than Fifty Shades. (Which, jokes aside, I’m very glad he’s not making.)

The film is God’s Pocket, adapted from Pete Dexter‘s novel of the same name. Slattery co-wrote with Alex Metcalf, and the production has lined up a killer cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman will star (and produce), and Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks and John Turturro are co-starring. Read More »

The first set of official pics from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hit yesterday, showing characters such as returning heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and new hero Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin).

Now we’ve got a second batch that shows off some of the new and returning supporting cast. There’s Donald Sutherland as President Snow, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, and Paula Malcomson and Willow Shields as Mrs. Everdeen and the younger Primrose. Then there’s the first official look at Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee. See them all below.  Read More »

Philip Seymour Hoffman is down in Atlanta right now, filming the second Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire, and probably also enjoying some of the afterglow of The Master having a record-setting weekend. And now we’ve got more good news for Hoffman fans, as he is prepping to make his second directorial effort, based on the 2011 script Ezekiel Moss.

Called a “Depression-era ghost story,” the film hit the 2011 Black List of popular unproduced screenplays, and was penned by Keith Bunin. Producer Cathy Schulman of Mandalay Pictures calls the project a “captivating and gothic exploration of faith and the supernatural.” Read More »

Not to make things confusing, but there are two similarly titled films which feature sets of powerful actors in music-related stories. One is Quartet (the current title, at least), which happens to be Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut. And then there is A Late Quartet, which premieres tonight in Toronto, and is from director Yaron Zilberman with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Christopher Walken, and Imogen Poots starring.

Walken plays a musician diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, who structures a performance as his farewell bow. It’s lovely to see Walken turning in a moderated, even restrained performance, and in general the work of the actors looks like it should be enough to draw anyone in. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Paul Thomas Anderson did another early screening of his new film The Master in 70mm last night at Chicago’s Music Box Theater, to follow on the Santa Monica showing that took place a couple weeks ago. Just about the only people who seem to be unhappy about that are officials at film festivals, as praise for various aspects of the film is pouring in via Twitter and a few reviews. (The Venice film gave The Master a slot in competition, but the showing will now hardly count as a world premiere.)

It would be wrong to suggest that the praise for Anderson’s latest film is uniform. The film follows a drifter (Joaquin Phoenix) as he comes into the orbit of the magnetic title character Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Dodd’s wife (Amy Adams), who have organzied a coterie of followers around Dodd’s philosophical approach to life. The film’s performers are universally acclaimed so far, as is the visual presentation, specifically as seen in 70mm. Some seem to be seeking a new film to lead the charge in the battle between film and digital, and have found it in The Master. But the movie is also called a bit aimless (which isn’t necessarily a point of complaint) and referred to as one that takes a lot of processing time.

See some of the reactions below. Read More »

We got our first teaser clip from Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master in May, followed by a second in June, and then the full-length trailer in July. In other words, we’ve been getting video about once a month all summer. Which means, yes, it’s time for one more now that we’ve hit mid-August.

If you’ve been following the marketing so far, you’ll have some idea of what to expect from the new clip. Jonny Greenwood‘s score once again pops up to set the uneasy tone, and stars Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams continue to convince us that they’ll be nominated for some little gold statues before this is all over.

But just because it’s not terribly surprising doesn’t mean it’s not breathtaking. Hit the jump to watch the video — which, by the way, promotes a 70mm screening scheduled for tonight in Chicago. Details on that after the jump, too.

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The best news this weekend was that Paul Thomas Anderson did a sneak screening of his new film The Master on Friday night after a showing of The Shining in Santa Monica, and that attendees were very impressed by the director’s work. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the title character, a self-made religious/cult leader in the vein of Scientology’s L. Ron Hubbard; Amy Adams plays his wife, who has power behind the scenes; and Joaquin Phoenix is the alcoholic ex-Navy drifter who comes into their orbit.

The actors all received excessive praise for their work from those who saw the film this weekend, and we’re looking forward to hearing more about it at the Venice and Toronto festivals, before the film begins to hit US theaters on September 14.

Before any of that takes place, however, you can look forward to the film by decyphering the film’s new one-sheet. The image has the look of a mild kaleidoscope, or perhaps and insectoid eye. Check it out in full below. Read More »

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