Trust Me trailer

These days, we mostly know Clark Gregg as the unflappable Agent Coulson from The Avengers and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But during his downtime from battling superpowered baddies, he’s also been building up an interesting career as a filmmaker. He made his directing debut in 2008 with Choke, and today we have a trailer for his sophomore effort Trust Me.

The dark comedy stars Gregg as a former child actor who’s now an agent for child actors. He thinks he’s found the next big thing in 13-year-old Lydia (Saxon Sharbino) — and must keep his professional rival (Sam Rockwell) and her overprotective dad (Paul Sparks) don’t get in their way. Hit the jump to watch the first full Trust Me trailer.

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Rudderless

Just when you thought you’d seen William H. Macy do everything, he steps behind the camera with his feature debut Rudderless. Macy co-wrote and directs a complex story of love, loss, friendship and music. Billy Crudup stars as Sam, the successful father of a boy who dies in a school shooting. After years of grief, Sam comes to realize his son was a very talented budding musician. With the help of another young musician named Quentin (Anton Yelchin), the two bring his music to the public.

Rudderless starts like an upbeat, uplifting film. It doesn’t finish there, however, instead delving into much darker issues along the way. These deeper themes definitely distinguish the film from the usual fare, but Macy’s direction in both parts doesn’t feel cohesive. The change is jarring and some of the goodwill the film has earned goes away at the shift. Still, it’s touching movie with a fantastic lead performance and even better music. Read More »

The Wind Rises

Briefly: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is having a big news day. He’s attached to adapt Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and he’s now officially been revealed as the lead voice in Disney’s English-language release of Hayao Miyazaki‘s final film, The Wind Rises.

Gordon-Levitt will voice Jiro Horikoshi, a talented engineer who spends his life building planes, only to realize he can’t fix everything. The actor will be joined by an impressive list of names including his Looper co-star Emily Blunt, her husband John Krasinski, as well as Martin Short, Stanley Tucci, Mandy Patinkin, William H. Macy, Werner Herzog (!), Mae Whitman, Jennifer Grey, Darren Criss, Elijah Wood and Ronan Farrow.

The English dubbed version will be released February 21. [USA Today]

Note: This is a reprint of my review of The Sessions, formerly The Surrogate, upon its premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. I’ve changed the name of the film below, but left everything else remains intact. It opens on a limited basis today and is truly one of the year’s most special films.

With 2011 being a rare exception, a Sundance award winner is almost always in the thick of awards season. And while the 2012 Sundance Film Festival has yet to bestow its awards, let alone premiere all the films, I feel confident in saying Ben Lewin‘s The Sessions will likely be in the mix for awards here and possibly next year at the Oscars.

The Sessions is the true story of Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes), a California-based journalist relegated to a gurney and iron lung because of disabling polio. At the age of 38, he’s still a virgin and, with the blessing of his priest (William H. Macy), Mark hires a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to remedy the problem.

While the story sounds kind of creepy, pathetic and depressing, The Sessions is exactly the opposite. It’s hilarious, brave and frank about both disabilities and sexuality. It’s a special film which had its world premiere this week in Park City, leading to what looks like a $6m deal for Fox Searchlight to distribute the film. Read more after the jump. Read More »

The story of a guy trying hard to get laid for the first time has been told and told again in many an R-rated comedy, but Ben Lewin‘s The Sessions isn’t American Pie or even The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Instead, it’s a truth-based drama that’s garnering serious Oscar buzz for its star, John Hawkes. The Martha Marcy May Marlene actor plays poet Mark O’Brien, who’s confined to an iron lung thanks to a long-ago battle with polio. At 38, he decides it’s time to lose his virginity, and he enlists the help of a professional sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to do so.

The Sessions originally debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival under the title The Surrogate, and then briefly changed its name to Six Sessions before settling on The Sessions. But whatever it’s called, it’s proving well-loved. Germain called it “truly breathtaking” and named it one of his favorites of this Sundance 2012, and other critics have been similarly enamored. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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Plenty of offices around the country have already begun winding down for the holidays, but apparently Showtime and HBO had a few things to get out of the way first. Meanwhile, Fox is still holding out on a decision on Terra Nova til the new year — though the producers are apparently feeling optimistic. After the jump:

  • HBO renews Enlightened, axes Bored to Death, Hung, and How to Make It in America
  • Showtime drops a trailer for Shameless Season 2
  • Dexter showrunner Scott Buck talks about the finale’s climactic moments
  • Homeland exec producers discuss the tense first season finale
  • Terra Nova producers are “guardedly optimistic” about the show’s chances for a second season

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There’s some bad and some good in today’s TV Bits, but I’d say there’s more of the latter — more Shameless, more Homeland, more Jennifer Coolidge, and Olga Kurylenko in late ’50s Miami all count as pluses, right? After the jump:

  • Showtime’s Shameless get a Season 2 trailer — and invites fans to play Truth or Dare with one of the characters
  • Starz debuts a trailer for Magic City, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Olga Kurylenko, and Danny Huston
  • CBS gives full season orders to Unforgettable and Person of Interest
  • Showtime renews freshman series Homeland
  • Jennifer Coolidge signs on for CBS’ 2 Broke Girls
  • Jenna Elfman boards the fifth season of DirecTV’s Damages
  • Starz’ Boss loses its two showrunners
  • ABC’s Pan Am gets a new showrunner

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‘Dirty Girl’ Trailer: Juno Temple Hits the Road

Here’s the trailer for Dirty Girl, the film that Harvey Weinstein picked up after it debuted at TIFF last year. The mogul put on his ‘Harvey Scissorhands’ name badge when dealing with this one, having nearly 20 minutes cut out of the original 109-minute running time to bring it into the realm of a broad, more mainstream 90-minute comedy. Director Abe Sylvia reportedly likes the cut, and this first trailer for the edited version certainly suggests something broad and not terribly challenging.

Juno Temple, the rising British star who appeared in Atonement, Notes on a Scandal and Kaboom before landing a role in The Dark Knight Rises, plays a brassy, raunchy and confrontational Oklahoma high school girl in 1987. She and her in the closeted best friend (played by Jeremy Dozier, who looks like the film’s highlight) road trip to California to find the girl’s real father. Read More »

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