Greta review

Everybody needs a friend. And who wouldn’t want to be friends with Isabelle Huppert? It’s a set-up too good to ignore, and director Neil Jordan milks it for all that it’s worth in his gonzo thriller Greta. What could’ve very easily been a serious, scary movie is, Jordan’s hands, a weird, goofy freakshow, in which Huppert hams it up as the loneliest, craziest woman in New York. She’s looking for a friend. And a surrogate daughter. And, quite possibly, a victim. She’s out of her freakin’ mind, and part of the fun of this movie is watching Huppert ham it up to the extreme. Late in the film, Jordan goes so far as to have Huppert dance around a dead body while humming to herself. Yes, it’s that ridiculous. But that’s not a bad thing.

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Dexter (06)

Look how excited Masuka is about the impending return of Dexter. After the jump:

  • HBO sets Boardwalk Empire and Hello Ladies premiere dates
  • Bobby Cannavale joins Martin Scorsese‘s HBO pilot
  • Michelle Fairley (a.k.a. Catelyn Stark) heads to Suits
  • Dan Stevens is sorry about that Downton Abbey stuff
  • The IT Crowd crowd is back at work for one last episode
  • Showtime’s Shameless loses one of its regulars
  • Nurse Jackie will stick around for another year
  • The Borgias will end after Season 3, won’t get a movie
  • Peek at photos from the Dexter Season 8 premiere

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Byzantium may be the year’s ultimate horror movie, because it is about a girl who is sixteen years old forever, and I can’t think of many things more horrible than spending eternity in that transitional phase.

Saoirse Ronan plays a woman who appears to be young, but in fact is a vampire, and has been since she was sixteen… which was a couple hundred years ago. Her mother, played by Gemma Arterton, is also a vampire, and they must periodically flee to a new safe haven. The film finds them settling into a dilapidated coastal town, but secrets are revealed, and trouble brews.

Neil Jordan directs from a script by Moira Buffini, and Byzantium looks like it is cut straight from the cloth Jordan used for films such as Interview With the Vampire and The Company of Wolves. Jordan’s visuals, captured by Hunger and Shame cinematographer Sean Bobbitt, are lovely, and this first US trailer presents them well. Read More »

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 MillerSam 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 »

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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Is Saoirse Ronan the latest young talent to be cloned so that she can be attached to many projects at once? That appears to be the case. She’s already scheduled for  The Host,  may be in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina and Emma Thompson’s Effie, and the latest is a film called Byzantium, a ‘mother-daughter’ vampire tale co-starring Gemma Arterton that Neil Jordan will direct. Read More »

Power! Sex! Decadence! That’s the promise of Showtime’s new series The Borgias. The show seems to act as a spiritual successor to The Tudors, but ups the ante by casting Jeremy Irons as the infamous Cardinal Borgia, who became Pope Alexander IV in 1492. And Neil Jordan acts as exec producer and directs the first two episodes. See the trailer for what Showtime bills as ‘the original crime family,’ after the break. Read More »

Neil Jordan to Direct ‘Skippy Dies’


Paul Murray‘s novel Skippy Dies is “a sprawling boarding school comedy with a dark heart,” according to the Guardian, which reviewed the novel when it was published in the UK earlier this year. (The paper also called the book ” one of the most enjoy able, funny and moving reads of this young new year.”)

The such adoring press it’s no wonder a film development deal is in motion, and now Neil Jordan is signed to write and direct. Read More »


In October of 2008 we heard from Neil Gaiman that a film was in development based on his novel The Graveyard Book. A few months later, Gaiman revealed that Neil Jordan would write and direct. And that, for the most part, is all we’ve known about the project.

Now a report on the slate of films for Chris Columbus‘ company 1492 Pictures and financing partner CJ Entertainment out of South Korea suggests that the film is coming closer to being a reality. That’s a joy; not only is Jordan a potentially great choice for the material, but after a week of regurgitated reboot and sequel news, this is news of a film that could have a unique identity. Read More »

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Movie Trailer: Neil Jordan’s Ondine


Magnolia Pictures has released the official movie trailer for Neil Jordan‘s Ondine The dramatic fantasy story stars Colin Farrell as an Irish fisherman who discovers a woman in his fishing net who he believes to be a mermaid. Farrell’s current girlfriend and actress Alicja Bachleda plays the suspected mermaid.

The film premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival and was met with good, but not great, reviews. Our friends at FirstShowing saw the film at the Canadian film fest, and say it is “a heartwarming feel with some beautiful cinematography, impressive acting, and just a wonderful story, that it’s easy to fall in love with this film.” Watch the trailer after the jump and leave your thoughts in the comments below!
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