Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Uh Oh...

It has just been announced that Kate Hudson is officially attached to Rob Marshall's musical-extravaganza, Nine. Now, I'm thinking the same thing that you're thinking: Kate Hudson is a talentless and vacuous blonde who will drown next to the acting heavyweights who also grace the line-up; but, what if she does a good job? Huh? Maybe she'll be amazing. I mean, when I was 14 years old I watched Almost Famous and decided that I needed to leave home, become a rock journalist, and fall in love with a slu-... groupie named Penny Lane. I loved her. I adored her. When she said, "What kind of beer?" my heart broke into millions of little pieces and has never fully recovered. Whatever you want to say about her, the girl has charm and presence. At least, I believe that she does. Who knows, maybe acting with Nicole Kidman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Marillon Cotillard, and Sophia Loren will force her to play up to their level. Good Lord that cast list makes me all kinds of happy. Rob Marshall is a very talented guy who pulled a great performance out of Renee Zellweger in Chicago, and I had absolutely no faith in her whatsoever; so, maybe he'll be able to do the same with Kate Hudson. To sum it up: she showed great promise in Almost Famous; she was wonderfully charming and funny in Le Divorce; and, despite the movie itself being kind of crappy, she was able to turn in a decent performance in The Skeleton Key. With a great director and fantastic cast she might just do a great job.

Oh... crap... wait. She has to sing as well, doesn't she? Hmph.

Now, not only is she joining this impressive group of people, but unlike the rest of them, her character has been created for the movie and wasn't featured in the Broadway musical it's based on. For those of you who don't know, or didn't read my colleague's previous post, Nine follows famous film director Guido Contini (Day-Lewis) as he struggles with the pressures of his relationships with his wife, lover, muse, agent, and mother.

Rob Marshall's statement as of yesterday (Mon. July 14th):
"[Hudson's] revelatory skills as a singer and a dancer lead to the creation of the role."

If he has faith, I have faith.


[Source LA Times]

- Popcorn


Something Wicked This Way Comes

Every year around this time I start anticipating all the goodies that the Toronto International Film Festival will have to offer. I figure, then, that to work with my anticipation we will begin linking to posters, trailers, and news about various films that myself (popcorn) or cigarettes are interested in seeing! It's always fun (and actually a bit nerve-wracking) hearing about last minute line-up changes, so I figure that any information we hear should be passed on to y'all. Now don't for a second take what's posted here as gospel; we all know that the rumour mill turns out a doozy every once in a while. What you can expect is a routine update on said rumour mill and our excitement, disappointment, or disgust with the decisions being made by the higher-ups.

So, without further ado, I give you some movies that I want to see:

1. Tokyo Sonata - Kiyoshi Kurosawa

story of a dysfunctional Japanese family dealing with their
individual differences whilst coping with a sudden and unexpected event that shakes everything up. 

Now, I for one am all about the dysfunctional family movie genre. I love everything from Ordinary People, to The Ice Storm, to American Beauty, and so am hopeful that the early praise that this film has received is well-earned. Kurosawa proved with his 2001 effort, Kairo (Pulse), that he has a strong visual imagination, which should hopefully help elevate any lapses in energy or pace should the film suffer from any moments of yawn-this-is-the-same-family-drama-we've-all-seen-before. Now, the film did win the Jury Prize - Un Certain Regard at this year's Cannes Film Festival, so my guess is that Kurosawa's film is as great as I expect it to be. I mean, hello, it won an award; that, like, totally means that it's automatically the best thing ever. Deal with it.

Oh, and the poster is awesome: gorgeous type-face; wonderful capture of the lead character; fantastic colour palette. I'm really rather excited. 

Oh and make sure to check out the website here and a larger version of the trailer here. (Yes, I know that it's all in Japanese. hmph.)

2. The Secret Life of Bees - Gina Prince-Bythewood

Yes, I know that this movie stars Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Queen Latifah, but I still want to see it. 

Things it has going for it:

- Sophie Okonedo who was fantastic in both Dirty Pretty Things and Hotel Rwanda
- Based on a critically acclaimed, best-selling novel

Things it has against it:

- Seemingly melodramatic saturation
- Lead cast of debatable credibility and talent

The movie stars Dakota Fanning and Jennifer Hudson who move in with three sisters (Latifah, Keys and Okonedo) after Fanning's mother is murdered. Hmm... coming of age chick-flick set in South Carolina in 1964. This could be terrible, or it could be endearing and heart-warming. Plus, Dakota Fanning looks all growed up now! Don't get me wrong, I still find her an annoying little brat; but, I'm curious to see whether or not hers is a talent that will last or not. 

You can check out a clip here and let me know how much you don't want to see it. 

3. Un Conte de Noel - Arnaud Deplechin

Just like family dramas, I love me a good Christmas movie. I especially love them if they include Catherine Deneuve and Mathieu Amalric in the cast list. This movie has all the elements of a terribly cheesy, redundant, and piss-poor Hollywood Christmas film: a family reunites in their old home as Christmas draws nearer, allowing for a mix of comedy, drama, questions, and answers. Eugh. But, all reviews, all news, all anything point towards this film being handled with a grace and sophistication that Hollywood should take note of. I mean, the presence of Catherine Deneuve itself elevates this movie above any Hollywood, Stone Family (or otherwise) garbage. 

Click here to watch the french trailer of Un Conte de Noel by Arnaud Deplechin.

Well, that's all the time I have for today. My God these posts take for-bloody-ever to write up. So drop me a line and let me know if you find yourself interested in any of these, think they'll be codswallop, or have any suggestions of your own.


- Popcorn

[Source TIFF]