This Monday, on my first day at the site, /Film reader Jean Morel asked: “Who the F is Jack Giroux?” But my question is: “Who are you, Mr. Jean Morel?” Rather than explain who I am or provide you with a background profile, I thought it’d be best to let my taste in movies do the talking. After the jump, read about my favorite movies of all time.

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Lance Armstrong movie

Ben Foster made an interesting revelation while promoting The Program. In the film, he plays former cycling champ Lance Armstrong, whose titles were stripped after confirmation that he used performance-enhancing drugs. To play the role, Foster went so method that he actually used performance-enhancing drugs to prep for the role.

Read what Foster had to say about that approach to the Lance Armstrong movie and what it did for him, and check out new trailer for The Program, after the break.  Read More »


In the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, multiple parties were racing to adapt the story for the big screen. As of now, the winner is Stephen Frears with The Program. The first international trailer has hit today, nearly two years after we got our first look.

Ben Foster leads as the disgraced cyclist, and Chris O’Dowd is the journalist who begins to suspect Armstrong of cheating. Jesse Plemons, Lee Pace, and Dustin Hoffman also star. Watch the Lance Armstrong biopic trailer after the jump.

UPDATE: Studiocanal UK has just uploaded an English-language version of The Program trailer, with new footage. See it after the jump. Read More »

Great Directors documentary

The 2009 film Great Directors from doc filmmaker Angela Ismailos is a great introduction to the work, creative philosophies and personalities of ten directors: Bernardo Bertolucci, David Lynch, Liliana Cavani, Stephen Frears, Agnes Varda, Ken Loach, Todd Haynes, Catherine Breillat, Richard Linklater and John Sayles. The film presents conversations and clips from the work of those filmmakers, and is just the sort of thing to turn new audiences on to films from each of those filmmakers, or, if you’re already a fan of that crew, to bolster your knowledge of each. Watch the full Great Directors documentary below.  Read More »

Ben Foster

With seemingly half of Hollywood racing to bring a Lance Armstrong biopic to the big screen, the first one to reach the starting line is Stephen Frears. His untitled picture began shooting a few days ago, with Ben Foster in the lead role of the disgraced cyclist. A first-look image has just hit the web, and you can check it out after the jump.

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Bradley Cooper

The intensified scandal over the doping actions of Lance Armstrong have irrevocably tainted his participation in cycling. As you might expect, however, the controversy has only increased the speed at which various producers are trying to put together a film based on his story.

One of a few projects in the works about the cancer survivor and disgraced champ is Red Blooded American, housed at Warner Bros. Atlas Entertainment is producing, and Jay Roach is directing, and the development is based on a script by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion). Now Bradley Cooper has come on as a producer. He may also star in the film. Read More »

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Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight

With a title like Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, you’d think it’d be safe to assume HBO Films’ upcoming release was a sports film. But no, Stephen Frears‘ drama follows Ali’s historic Supreme Court battle to stay out of the Vietnam War.

Ali was drafted in the ’60s but refused to go, citing his religion and declaring himself a conscientious objector. As a consequence, he was convicted of draft evasion and stripped of his title and boxing license. He appealed the conviction all the way to the Supreme Court, which is where Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight picks up.

Christopher Plummer, Frank Langella, and Danny Glover portray some of the Supreme Court justices. Interestingly, Ali himself isn’t played by an actor — he appears only archival footage. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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Stephen Frears‘ last release, the gambling comedy Lay the Favorite, has the unfortunate distinction of being among the worst-reviewed films of his career. His two films before that, Chéri and Tamara Drewe, failed to make much of a mark at all. Fortunately, his next film Philomena looks like it could be a return to form.

Judi Dench stars as the titular character, an Irish woman who was forced to give up her toddler son in the 1950s. She’s spent the years since then searching for him in vain, and eventually gets some assistance in her quest from journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan).

The moving, fact-based tale seems like perfect prestige pic material, and with Oscar winner Dench and the Oscar-nominated Frears involved, Philomena could potentially make waves this awards season. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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Lance Armstrong

The doping scandal lost Lance Armstrong a lot of fans, but it’s won him a lot of attention from Hollywood. Warner Bros. and Paramount already have their own projects about the disgraced cyclist in development. Now Working Title has set Stephen Frears to direct yet another one with Ben Foster in the lead. Hit the jump for all the details.

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