While 2017 has, overall, been a tire fire of a year, it has also been a largely rewarding year for cinema. (It should go without saying, but every year is rewarding for cinema.) Though there have been thematic throughlines in unexpectedly similar films, and unavoidable, sometimes unintentional parallels to real-world events, 2017 in film has been the year of the ubiquitous character actor.
In a strange coincidence (or just a sign of taste from various filmmakers), a handful of character actors have not only appeared in a number of the year’s most notable films, but they’ve each appeared in movies that may well end up with Oscar nominations aplenty next month. Let’s look at four character actors who seemingly showed up in every movie released in 2017: Caleb Landry Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tracy Letts, and Bradley Whitford.
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At the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, I sat in the library theater for the premiere of an ultra low budget film titled Tangerine. Filmmaker Sean Baker‘s Duplass Brothers-produced dramedy told the story of a transgender working girl searching Hollywood on Christmas Eve for the pimp who broke her heart. The film surprised the crowd with its heart and comedy, but the big shock came after the screening when the director revealed that the whole film was shot on an iPhone 5s.
The film has been namedropped by big filmmakers like JJ Abrams, and a lot of people have been interested to find out what Baker would be doing next. In April it was revealed that Baker had found his next movie, a film called The Florida Project. The title actually refers to Orlando Florida’s Disney World. Disney fanatics probably know that when Walt Disney first started buying up land and planning Disney World, the theme park plans was referred to it as “The Florida Project.”
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Last year, the Best Picture nominated drama Selma chronicled a pivotal turn in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, when the black citizens of the United States were struggling for basic rights and equality. This year we’ll see the start of the modern Gay Rights Movement in the drama Stonewall, and the first trailer has just arrived.
Independence Day and 2012 director Roland Emmerich takes a break from big sci-fi action to tell this true story of a community of young gays, lesbians and drag queens who begin a riot at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in an effort to begin a more active fight for their own rights and acceptance.
Watch the Stonewall trailer after the jump! Read More »
Lords of Chaos is your classic “young friends become enemies” tale, but with a few shocking twists. For one, the friends in question were in bands that helped define a metal subgenre that is now an established cornerstone of the metal scene. They were also linked to a rash of arson cases — specifically, the burning of churches in Norway. Hanging over it all is murder.
That’s all part of the story of Varg Vikerns, of the one-man band Burzum, and Øystein Aarseth, a.k.a. Euronymous (above right), of the band Mayhem. Their story is chronicled in the book Lords of Chaos. A Lords of Chaos movie has been in development for years, and now Jonas Åkerlund is going to direct it, with Rory Culkin and Caleb Landry Jones in the lead roles. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, April 18th, 2013 by Angie Han
Nearly two decades after Interview With the Vampire, director Neil Jordan is heading back into bloodsucker territory with Byzantium. Based on the young adult play A Vampire Story by Moira Buffini, the film follows two 200-year-old “sisters” who arrive in a small coastal town.
The outgoing older one, Clara (Gemma Arterton) takes up with a sweet man named Noel (Daniel Mays) and turns his family’s old guesthouse into a brothel, while the younger, more introspective Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan) meets and falls for the sickly Frank (Caleb Landry Jones). But whatever peace they find is threatened when their secrets and misdeeds catch up with them. Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.
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If you’re attracted to the idea of a fable-like vampire tale but don’t want to forego big splashes of blood and big, baroque emotional arcs, then Neil Jordan‘s Byzantium might be one to see. The film features Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as mother and daughter, with the twist being that they share vampiric blood. They’re trying to maintain the undead version of a living in a small town, but when Ronan’s character sparks to a young man played by Caleb Landry Jones, things get out of control.
Jonny Lee Miller, Sam Riley, and Tom Hollander also show up in the story that marks Jordan’s return to vampires following his 1994 effort Interview With the Vampire. (There are also distinct shades of his 1984 fairy tale A Company of Wolves here, as well.)
Reviews of this one out of TIFF last year were mixed, but this new international trailer does a good job of setting up the film as something fun and a bit set off from the now-typical film depiction of vampires. Read More »
Like a monster through a city, major shifts are happening in the world of Godzilla. The film, which premiered concept footage at Comic-Con in July and will be directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters), is already set with a May 16, 2014 release date. Now, two of the film’s major producers — Dan Lin and Roy Lee — have left the project. In addition, Oscar-nominated writer/director Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Walking Dead) has been brought on to do a final rewrite. Both of those things are happening just weeks before the film is set to start shooting in March. There are more details after the jump.
UPDATE: A short list of actors Warner Bros. is interested has now been revealed, including Dark Knight Rises star Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who has passed) and Man of Steel star Henry Cavill. Plus we know where the movie will shoot. Read more below. Read More »
I’d like to make this the ‘leading lady’ edition of Casting Bits, but I don’t think Caleb Landry Jones would like that very much. (Jason Segel would probably be OK with it.) Still, after the break you’ll find that two films have chosen their lead actresses, while Jones joins Jordan. Ahem. To wit:
- Alexandra Maria Lara (above) takes the (female) lead in Ron Howard’s racing movie Rush,
- Cody Horn will be the leading lady in Soderbergh’s Magic Mike,
- Caleb Landry Jones, aka the First Class version of Banshee, joins Neil Jordan’s Byzantium,
- and, as a final note, Jason Segel appears to be confirmed for Judd Apatow’s This is Forty.
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Posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 by Angie Han
Yet another new international trailer for Matthew Vaughn‘s X-Men: First Class has dropped, and while it looks a lot like all the other trailers we’ve seen, I can’t argue that it doesn’t look good. There’s also a tiny bit of new footage within. Watch it after the jump.
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A couple weeks ago a great international trailer for X-Men: First Class appeared, with dialogue dubbed in Russian. Now there is a Japanese cut of the trailer — same thing, but with original English dialogue. If the dubbing put you off before there’s no reason not to take a look now. While some of the marketing for the film has been a little off the mark, the two core trailers — this one and the primary US one — have been fantastic and full of promise. So catch up now by hitting the jump. Read More »