Editor | Peter Bowen
Focus Features’ Slate set to conquer 2011
Posted May 27, 2010
We may be just starting summer 2010, but Focus Features is ready for next year. Focus Features officially announced four films to be released in 2011. First up is Kevin Macdonald’s Eagle of the Ninth, which is due out on February 11. Set in 140 AD, centurion Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum) teams up with his freed British slave Esca (Jamie Bell) to travel beyond the known world to solve the mystery of the Ninth Legion, a troop of soldiers led by Aquilla’s father that disappeared 20 years early in the wilds of the Scottish mountains. The cast is rounded out with Donald Sutherland, Mark Strong, and Tahar Rahim.
On March 12, Jane Austen move over, as Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) brings his version of Charlotte Brontë’s gothic novel Jane Eyre to the screen, with Mia Wasikowska of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland as Jane and Michael Fassbender of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds as the mysterious Rochester. The talented cast also includes Jamie Bell, Juid Dench, Sally Hawkins, Tamzin Merchant, and Imogen Poots.
In spring 2011, kick-ass young woman continue to rock with Atonement director Joe Wright’s Hanna. Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones) plays a teenage girl, raised by her father (Eric Bana), in the wilds of Finland. Her special education has trained her to be a soldier first, training that she'll need when she is suddenly thrust into a mission to take on a ruthless intelligence agent (Cate Blanchett) with a mysterious connection to Hanna. Hanna also stars Jason Flemyng, Tom Hollander, Olivia Williams, and Martin Wuttke.
Finally An Education-helmer Lone Scherfig returns with One Day. Adapted from his own novel by David Nicholls, One Day stars Anne Hathaway as Emma, a working-class girl, who makes an agreement on the day of their graduation––July 15, 1988––with Dexter, a wealthy kid looking for fun, to meet on the same day every year to see where their lives have taken them. And for the next 20 years they meet on that one day for a front-row set to each other's life.
You can find the offical press release here.
Los Angeles Times sees profit in Focus Features
Posted May 26, 2010
In a recent Los Angeles Times article in the business section, Claudia Eller looks at the positive balance sheet that Focus Features has maintained for the last decade. As Eller points out, “Focus has been consistently profitable over its eight-year history and occasionally hits a home run, as it did with Ang Lee's 2005 drama Brokeback Mountain, about a secret love affair between two cowboys, and with the animated feature Coraline, which it didn't produce but which earned Focus a hefty fee for distributing. As part of the NBC/Universal world, Focus, of course, must answer to its parent company. But according to Eller, and President of Universal Studio Ron Meyer, everyone is on board with Focus. Says Meyer, “We are committed to the management team and the films they produce and distribute.”
Off the business page, the LA Times entertainment blog “24 Frames” also is trumpeting Focus recent films, pointing to the surprise––in a good way––performance of Babies.
Babies Are In The House
Posted May 20, 2010
In the movie house, that is. In an article–– picked up by a number of papers from Kansas City.com to the Los Angeles Times––Associated Press writer Leanne Italie reports on the phenomenon of parents taking their babies to see Babies. Of course, these are primarily private viewing parties held at Sundance Cinemas, screenings in which the other audience members not only expect, but welcome, a screaming baby sitting next to them. These special screening are turning into movie-going playgrounds for all members of the audience:
"I didn't know what to expect," said Lara Miller [shown above] of her 15-month-old son. "He sat in my lap and pointed and said baby. He loved the close-ups when they were a little older and they started to make sounds like him. It was lots of fun."
Babies Hattie bonds with Dora the Explorer
Posted May 20, 2010
In the Stanford Daily, Zoe Leavitt writes in her article “Baby Talk” about the effect of Thomas Balmès’ film Babies has had on Hattie and her parents. The Stanford connection is that Hattie’s mom, Susie Wise, works at the Stanford Institute of Design. For Wise, watching the film has provided some essential lessons: “The most important thing is, just love your kid!” and “Children don’t learn from fancy toys, they learn from observing their environment, and the film shows that message beautifully.” The one thing the film didn’t teach them however is how to work with a burgeoning moive star. Leavitt recounts:
Seeing herself on the big screen had a strong effect on Hattie, though her parents are trying to make sure she doesn’t think of herself as a movie star. Soon after Hattie saw the movie for the first time, says Wise, she went to a birthday party with a Dora the Explorer cutout.
“That’s Dora, she has a movie too!” Hattie exclaimed.
The Kids Are All Right’s Josh Hutcherson in Interview
Posted May 14, 2010
This kid is not only all right, but he’s growing up. In the recent Interview magazine (the one with Madonna) on the cover, Josh is featured in an short article by Kaleem Aftab (and beautifully photographedby Gregory Harris). Aftab points out, that although Josh has been well known as a kid actor, “in Lisa Cholodenko’s new summer comedy The Kids Are All Right, he finally gets togrow up, playing the son of a same-sex couple (Julianne Moore and Annette Bening), who tries to convince his sister (Mia Wasikowska) to help him find their sperm-donor dad (Mark Ruffalo).”
New York Times Loves Babies
Posted May 07, 2010
In his review for the New York Times (“Awwwwww, Ewwww, Who’s a Good Baby?”), A. O. Scott notes the ineffable cuteness of the subject. In case you need more proof, the Times offers an interacative slide show to look at more babeis. But in the end, as Scott notes, the film promotes an idea beyond just babies.
They grow, they learn, and they remind the rest of us of the astonishing power that is our common birthright. We are cast into the world as a bundle of reflexes, unable to focus our eyes, control our limbs or influence our environment in any way. Twelve months later we can walk, kiss, utter basic words and comprehend complicated utterances. It may be downhill from there: a movie called “Adolescents” or, heaven knows, “Grownups,” would hardly be as charming as “Babies.” But “Babies” just might restore your faith in our perplexing, peculiar and stubbornly lovable species.
The Kids Are All Right Annette Bening speaks to indieWIRE’s Anne Thompson
Posted May 05, 2010
Wall Street Journal on Babies
Posted May 05, 2010
As the thudding sound of Babies crawling towards movie theaters reverberates through the media world, more and more observes are taking notice. Michelle Kung in the Wall Street Journal blog Speakeasy captures an interview with Babies' director Thomas Balmès who, among other things, mentions the website's efforts.
They have been quite efficient. From what they tell me over a million people have seen the trailer online and they’re advertising the film through all these new ways of communication. I’m looking forward to the DVD; because I shot so much material — some of the kids could have been subjects for a whole film — there’s going to be a lot a extras on the eventual DVD.
The Voice of Babies
Posted May 04, 2010
Film reviewers work long and hard to find just the right words to describe the experience of a particular film. Sometimes, as in the case of Dan Kois's review of Babies in New York's The Village Voice online, there is just one word. Here is the crucial paragraph from his review:
Babies: Babies babies babies babies, babies, babies babies, babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies, babies babies babies babies Babies. Babies babies babies babies babies, babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies. Babies babies babies babies babies babies babies! Babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies, babies babies' babies-babies babies babies babies babies babies babies. Babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies-babies, babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies—babies babies babies babies babies.
The American trailer up on Yahoo Movies
Posted May 04, 2010
For a first glimpse of George Clooney thriller The American direced by the stylish Anton Corbijn, go to Yahoo Movies to catch the premiere of the trailer. The story of a hitman (Clooney) trying to get out of the game in scenic Italy seems a welecome addition to the genre, as Matt Holmes at Obsessed With Film sees it: "It’s a sleek trailer for what looks to be an arty mood Euro-thriller. A smart movie for a thinking audience that is very welcomed in these parts..."