To coincide with its long-awaited Sundance debut, Chan-wook Park‘s Stoker has just unveiled a new international trailer. The first English-language outing from the Oldboy auteur stars Mia Wasikowska as India, a teenage girl mourning the death of her father (Dermot Mulroney). The unexpected arrival of her mysterious Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) further complicates matters, especially as he seems to have taken an unhealthy interest in both India and her chilly mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). Watch the new video after the jump.

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The title Stoker suggests vampirism, as a play on the name of Dracula creator Bram Stoker. But the monsters in this film are purely human — people warped into terrible shapes by neglect and jealousy.

For his English-language debut, Oldboy direcotor Park Chan-Wook chose Stoker, a script by actor Wentworth Miller that revolves around a family suffering the pain of change after a significant death. Evie Stoker and her daughter India barely have a moment to come to terms with the untimely passing of husband/father Michael, when his long-lost brother Charlie shows up. Charlie is so long-lost that the rest of the family barely knew of his existence. But it isn’t long before he has insinuated himself into the broken household, and is toying with the affections of lonely Evie and rapidly maturing India.

There’s an influence from Hitchcock — the imposition of a long-lost Uncle Charlie can’t help but conjure thoughts of Shadow of a Doubt — but Stoker doesn’t feel like a Hitchcock film at all. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel much like a classic Park film, either. There’s lush cinematography to spare, and a strikingly vivid color palette, yes. As a story or character portrait, however, Stoker is resoundingly hollow. Read More »

Park Chan-Wook‘s Stoker is one of the film’s we’re most keen to see in the early months of 2013; the English-language debut of the director behind Thirst and the “Vengeance Trilogy” (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) holds a lot of appeal. That’s in part due to Park’s wonderful work with the camera and actors, as seen in most of his previous films. But there’s also the appeal of him tackling a story with explicit Hitchcock references and a talented cast that includes Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode, the three of whom play a strange family unit that comes together in the aftermath of a death in the family.

The first teaser poster for the film artfully brings together some of the story elements, and corrals them in a stark frame of thorny growth that aptly visualizes the characters’ twisted entanglements. Check it out in full below, along with a video showing the poster’s creation. Read More »

Finally! We recently saw some footage from Stoker, which is the English-language debut from South Korean director Park Chan-wook, best known for the “vengeance trilogy” of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.

Stoker appears to be a thriller in the Hitchcock/De Palma vein, with a good dose of heated psycho-sexual tension, and some of Park’s characteristically lush visuals. After the death of the Stoker family patriarch, the women of the family, mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) and daughter India (Mia Wasikowska), are visited by Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode). Things get intense, and really weird.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

I’m not going to assume that this is true for everyone, but I think a lot of people in my generation and the one or two that follow me have had the “it’s just different now” marriage conversation with some elder family members. For many couples, it takes a lot longer to get to the point where marriage seems like the best step to take, and even after getting engaged, the path to the altar isn’t always a short one.

So here are Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel, the team behind Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the co-writers of The Muppets, to toy with that generational attitude towards marriage in The Five-Year Engagement. Based on this new trailer, the film appears to take a gently comic approach to telling the story of a couple (Segel and Emily Blunt) whose nuptials are continually preempted by other life events. Check it out below. Read More »

Sharon Stone was a big deal in the ’90s thanks to Basic Instinct in 1992, but she’s got a lower profile lately. She’s been working very steadily, but it doesn’t feel that way. I can’t remember the last time I saw a memorable Stone performance. Probably either Broken Flowers (’05) or Alpha Dog (’06). Law & Order: SVU fans would probably point to her recurring role on that show. I don’t know if anyone would point to Basic Instinct 2 (’06) even though the image above makes her appearance in that one look like a different version of the X-Men’s Emma Frost.

She might get more attention playing the mother of a porn star. Stone is now set to play the mother of Linda Lovelace (possibly played by Amanda Seyfried) in Lovelace. That’s one of two Linda Lovelace films in development right now, and the one that will be directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Howl). Peter Sarsgaard is in talks to play Lovelace’s husband an accused pimp and abuser Chuck Traynor. Andy Bellin and W. Merritt Johnson scripted based on the book The Complete Linda Lovelace by Eric Danville. [AP]

(The other Linda Lovelace film is Matthew Wilder’s Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story.)

After the break, find casting info for an indie called Wild Oats, and Ezra Miller’s denial that he has anything to do with WB’s Akira. Read More »

This Thanksgiving brings a slew of intriguing releases, from family-friendly fare like The Muppets and Hugo to possible Oscar contenders like The Artist and My Week with Marilyn, and now we have at least one reason to look forward to next year’s holiday as well.

The Weinstein Co. have just decided on a November 21, 2012 release for David O. Russell‘s The Silver Linings Playbook, which suggests the company sees the film as a potential player in next year’s awards season — no surprise, considering Russell’s last film The Fighter was nominated for seven Oscars in 2010 including Best Picture and Best Director. The date also gives the movie plenty of time to make the festival rounds and garner some good buzz before hitting theaters.

Based on a novel by Matthew Quick, the film follows a former high school teacher (Bradley Cooper) who moves back home after spending years in a mental institution. He initially sets out to try and win back his ex-wife, but soon finds himself developing a relationship with an eccentric young widow (Jennifer Lawrence) who lives in his neighborhood. Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles, and Chris Tucker also star. Read the official synopsis after the jump.

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Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook

Bradley Cooper first broke out playing a moneyed douchebag in Wedding Crashers, and then went on to cement that fame playing a somewhat less moneyed douchebag in the Hangover franchise. But he’s obviously been working on branching out, landing a string of interesting roles including the lead in David O. Russell‘s The Silver Linings Playbook.

Based on a book by Matthew Quick, the comedy sees Cooper playing a high school teacher who returns home after a stint at a mental institution and sets about trying to woo back his wife. The character is miles away from his usual parts — for one thing, he’s apparently the kind of guy who has no shame about donning a garbage bag in public. After the jump, check out the first images and read the synopsis from the film.

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My Week with Marilyn star Eddie Redmayne will join Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway in Tom Hooper‘s prestige musical Les Miserables. Based on the hit Broadway show and Victor Hugo‘s classic novel of the same title, the film follows an ex-con named Valjean (Jackman) in 19th century France as he seeks to redeem himself. Redmayne will play Marius, who falls in love with Cosette, daughter of Fantine (Hathaway) and eventual charge of Valjean.

Les Miserables is already being touted as a likely Oscar contender, with a release date of December 7, 2012. Redmayne isn’t exactly a household name yet, but has marked himself as a talent to watch in projects like The Good Shepherd, My Week with Marilyn, and Hick. [Deadline]

After the jump, Rashida Jones and the guy who played Ernest Hemingway in Midnight in Paris befriend Samantha Morton, while David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook picks up a Boardwalk Empire star.

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Julia Stiles is set to co-star in David O. Russell‘s The Silver Linings Playbook, based on Matthew Quick‘s novel. The story centers around a former high school teacher (Bradley Cooper) who’s just been released from a four-year stint at a mental hospital into the care of his mother (Jacki Weaver). Upon his release, he tries to win back his ex-wife but eventually falls into a romance with an troubled young widow (Jennifer Lawrence). Stiles has landed the role of Lawrence’s older sister.

But perhaps the more exciting bit of news is that Chris Tucker, who entered talks last month to play Cooper’s friend from the institution, is now in final negotiations to take the role. I got a little worried last week, when stories of Weaver’s casting didn’t mention Tucker’s name, but I’m happy to see I was overreacting. If Tucker finalizes the deal, Silver Linings Playbook will be his first film part since 2007’s Rush Hour 3. [Deadline]

After the jump, April Ludgate watches Charlie Harper lose his mind, and Paul Walker deals with the aftermath of Katrina.

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