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Briefly: It will come as a surprise to no one that Sony Pictures Classics has picked up North American distribution rights to Woody Allen‘s new movie Magic in the Moonlight, and along with the announcement we’ve got the first plot details for the film. We’ve known that the cast features Emma Stone and Marcia Gay Harden (seen above) with Colin FirthEileen Atkins, Hamish Linklater, Simon McBurneyJacki WeaverJeremy Shamos and Erica Leerhsen. Now we know what they’ll be doing.

Specifically, the Sony Classics announcement says “Magic in the Moonlight is a romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle.  Personal and professional complications ensue. The film is set in the south of France in the 1920s against a backdrop of wealthy mansions, the Côte d’Azur, jazz joints and fashionable spots for the wealthy of the Jazz Age.”

There’s no release date for the film at this point, but a Cannes debut doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect.

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Is it weird to watch Woody Allen working as a self-styled pimp, given his own, er, unusual sexual history? Maybe so, and perhaps that just makes this new trailer for John Turturro‘s film Fading Gigolo more, er, striking. I keep waiting for the whole thing to be revealed as an extended dream sequence, given that the plot has the Normal Guy played by Turturro turning into a $1000-per night gigolo thanks to the efforts of his pal, played by Allen. We’re given an intro via two gorgeous women (Sharon Stone and Sofía Vergara) who want a threesome, with Vergara even offering up that “a woman is meant to be looked at.” Seriously.

Lest you think this is all just a self-serving wish-fulfillment act from Turturro, note that The Playlist called the film “odd, uneven and yet engaging” after its premiere at TIFF, and noted that the best parts of the picture turn up via Turturro’s relationship with a widow played by Vanessa Paradis.  That makes it sound like some reality does tap the main character on the shoulder sooner or later, which may be good to know. in the meantime, take in the new trailer below. Read More »

Bullets Over Broadway (movie)

In an entirely appropriate twist, Woody Allen‘s Bullets Over Broadway is now itself headed to Broadway. At the helm of the new show is Susan Stroman, who just so happens to have previous experience directing Broadway plays about Broadway plays — she previously directed and choreographed The Producers and picked up a couple of Tonys for her trouble.

Leading the musical production as naive playwright David Shayne is Zach Braff, of Scrubs and Garden State fame. How does he measure up to John Cusack, who played the role in Allen’s 1994 movie? See for yourself with a first-look image after the jump.

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The last few years have seen a great career upswing for Woody Allen, as his film Midnight in Paris helped re-ignite broad audience interest in his movies, and became his greatest commercial success. Blue Jasmine, starring Cate Blanchett, had a good run earlier this year, and now Allen is finishing his next film.

The new movie takes place in southern France and spans a couple of decades, roughly through the ’20s and ’30s. It stars Eileen Atkins, Colin Firth, Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater, Simon McBurney, Emma Stone, and Jacki Weaver. Now the title has been revealed to be Magic in the Moonlight (cringe) and the first production stills have also been unveiled. That’s one, above, and there’s a good shot of Firth below. Read More »

Woody Allen

Everyone wants Woody Allen, it seems. Just as the director’s new film, Blue Jasmine, is hitting theaters, the filmmaker finds himself in demand from more than one territory.

Last week he revealed that he’s been offered money to produce a film in Stockholm, Sweden. And now the mayor of Rio de Janeiro says he’ll fully fund a feature if Allen will make it in his city. Read More »

Fading Gigolo

John Turturro probably isn’t the first person who comes to mind when you think of a prostitute, and Woody Allen is no one’s idea of a stereotypical pimp. Nor would you think Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara would be the first in line to utilize their services. But all of this unexpected casting comes together in Fading Gigolo, the upcoming TIFF comedy written by, directed by, and starring Turturro.

Fioravante (Turturro) is a florist in need of some extra cash, who turns to prostitution with the assistance of his bookseller pal Murray (Allen). The first trailer is mostly just lighthearted fun and games, but presumably they run into some kind of conflict somewhere down the line. Watch the video after the jump.

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Blue Jasmine (header)

How many career resurgences has Woody Allen had at this point? I’ve lost track, but we’re square in the middle of one now, kicked off with the career-topping success of his 2011 release Midnight in Paris. His new film, Blue Jasmine, stars Cate Blanchett as “a New York housewife struggling through a life crisis.” That sounds middling to dire until you see what Blanchett is doing with it — she’s entitled and insufferable, but ragged and clearly, if comically, worn down to a nub.

This trailer introduces her character, and the sister (Sally Hawkins) who takes her into her San Francisco home when Jasmine’s husband (Alec Baldwin) turns out to be less than an upstanding dude. Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Peter Sarsgaard, and Michael Stuhlbarg also star; you’ll only get a glimpse of Louis C.K. here, but he seems to be playing a suitor for Hawkins.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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Hating on Zach Braff has become the cool thing to do. The reason being the actor/director took to Kickstarter in April to fund his next movie, Wish I Was Here. It was a polarizing move because many people felt Braff had enough clout to get traditional funding. He agreed, but decided he’d rather make the movie outside the system. Support and money poured in, as did criticism of the plan. Braff has remained steadfast in his decision, and is lining up a fantastic cast for the film. So far he’s got Anna Kendrick, Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, Jim Parsons and Josh Gad.

Braff stopped by Sirius XM earlier this week and not only did a little defending, he revealed he off-handedly explained the entire crowd funding avenue to Woody Allen. Allen, whose last few films have all been set in Europe because it’s easier for him to get funding there, was apparently quite taken by the idea. Braff also revealed that Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell approached him to write a song for the film. Read more, and listen, to the segments below. Read More »

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