The Spectacular Now at Sundance

In an age when the phrase “teen drama” suggests hardscrabble dystopias or lovelorn werewolves, what’s extraordinary about The Spectacular Now is how ordinary it is. The leads are two kids that could be from any town in America, and their romance is neither epic nor star-crossed. Stories like this one surely play out dozens of times a day all over the world.

But despite that ordinariness, or more likely because of it, The Spectacular Now is also one of the best teen dramas of recent years. Under the direction of James Ponsoldt (Smashed), The Spectacular Now is a pitch-perfect depiction of adolescence, warm and funny and sad without ever veering into forced sentimentality.

It’s a tough balance to pull off, and during a recent press stop in New York I got the opportunity to ask him how he managed to get it right. We also talked about why the kids in The Spectacular Now drink so much, how he took advantage of Kyle Chandler‘s Coach Taylor image, and which Arrested Development star he’d love to work with. Hit the jump to read the full interview. (Some spoilers for The Spectacular Now follow.)

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US-Secretary-of-State-Hillary-Clinton

Briefly: Lionsgate may be the studio to make a Hillary Clinton film. James Ponsoldt could direct as his follow-up to The Spectacular Now. The script, called Rodham, was written by Young Il Kim, and ended up on the Black List of popular unproduced screenplays in 2012.

Deadline reports that the script “covers Hillary when she was a hotshot young lawyer in D.C. and was torn between flourishing in Capitol Hill or going back to Arkansas to rekindle a relationship with her ex-boyfriend, a law teacher named Bill Clinton, who didn’t want to leave home.”

This isn’t the first recent effort to make a Hillary Clinton biopic; NBC and CNN each had it’s own plan to make either a mini-series or documentary about her, but both were blocked due to press from both sides of the political aisle, and reluctance of potential sources to participate. The Republican National Committee reportedly also argued that creating such films would represent unusual bias on the part of NBC and CNN.

There’s no cast in talks for this project yet.

Carey Mulligan

Carey Mulligan is unmistakably British, but her recent roles have brought her more and more frequently to this side of the Atlantic. Her most recent role saw her playing one of American literature’s most iconic dream girls, and her next release puts her in the middle of the ’60s folk scene in New York City.

Now Mulligan’s looking likely to portray another famous American figure: politician Hillary Clinton. Though she’s just one of several actresses in contention for the James Ponsoldt-directed biopic Rodham, a new report indicates that she’s currently the frontrunner for the part. Hit the jump for more details.

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Just as we’re enjoying the last of 2012′s cinematic offerings, the latest edition of the Black List has hit the web. The annual survey highlights the hottest unproduced screenplays of the year, as based on the votes of hundreds of executives.

The term “unproduced” is used rather vaguely here. Some of these scripts (like Ivan Reitman‘s Draft Day and Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence) already have a director or star attached, while others are still floating around in search of the right studio or producer. The subjects and honorees range greatly as well. Nazi hunters, Hillary Clinton, the NFL, and time-traveling teens are among the subjects of this year’s winners, and the screenwriters run the gamut from industry newcomers to seasoned pros.

Hit the jump to read the full list.

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