Ansel Elgort

Men Women and Children

Does Jason Reitman hate texting? From the looks of the first trailer for his Men, Women & Children, that definitely seems to be the case. Reitman’s latest is all about the secrets we keep online and that threaten to leak into the real world — which makes it kind of weird that the film’s marketing is encouraging fans to use the Whisper app to share their secrets, because that sure seems like something that’s pushing precisely what the film is against — with everyone constantly staring at their phones and looking shocked. Not a fan of films that use cute graphics to share texts, emails and pix on the big screen? Oh, you’re going to hate this one. Reitman’s film centers on a loosely connected group of students and their families, though it appears that they are all linked by their mutual sadness and disconnection. Put down your phones. Start living your lives. The Internet is bad. You are watching this trailer on the Internet, which is weird, right? Hmm. Watch the first trailer for Men, Women & Children after the break. You can probably do it on your phone.

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20th Century Fox

We’re told from the very beginning that this is a different kind of cancer story. There will be no Hollywood fluff or gloss here says our narrator and lead character Hazel (Shailene Woodley). Instead, she’s going to tell us the cold, hard truth of what it’s like to be a teenager facing a health-related death sentence. Well, the cold, hard truth as filtered through a slightly less glossy Hollywood lens anyway. Hazel’s childhood cancer has moved into her lungs leaving her a teenager whose constant companions are an oxygen tank on wheels and a pair of tubes up her nose. She spends her days re-reading her favorite book and watching with wistful eyes as young couples in love live their lives around her until a chance meeting with a fellow cancer survivor named Augustus (Ansel Elgort) leads not only to her very own love story, but also to a new appreciation for metaphors. Despite Hazel’s`protests to the contrary, The Fault In Our Stars belongs to a dramatic sub-genre that consists primarily of young love and deadly illness. It’s most always cancer because cancer is a bitch like that, but the steady theme through this and films like A Walk to Remember, Here on Earth and Love Story is that life is short and every moment — especially the ones when you’re in love — should be fought for and cherished. And if you can find a way to smoothly transition the memory of Anne Frank from metaphor to foreplay? That works too.

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The Fault in Our Stars

Later this week, John Green‘s beloved YA new classic, “The Fault in Our Stars,” will hit movie theaters in the form of a cinematic adaptation, appropriately titled The Fault in Our Stars. The film’s title has already caused plenty of tongue-twisting trouble (just this morning, The Today Show‘s Al Roker referred to it as “The Fault in the Stars” without missing a beat or issuing any kind of correction, bless his heart). The film’s relatively heavy subject matter — it follows a pair of teenagers, played by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, who meet and fall in love in a support group for kids who have cancer — means that it should come with a certain level of respect. This isn’t the kind of film that you make fun of, that’s just bad manners and bad karma, but its unwieldy title isn’t helping matters. Even more serious? Green’s title is inspired by a line penned by Shakespeare himself, and the book’s Wikipedia page tells us that it’s “inspired by a famous line from Shakespeare‘s play Julius Caesar (act 1, scene 2). The nobleman Cassius says to Brutus, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.’” You don’t want to mangle that, do you? Let us help, with ten ways you should not refer to this week’s latest tearjerker.

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The Fault In Our Stars

Late last night, as you were attempting to watch Mad Men or Game of Thrones, or file your taxes at the last minute, you might have heard an eerie howling carried in the wind through your open window, making you pause for a minute and consider the possibility of something terrible afoot. Nope, it was just the sound of thousands of teens simultaneously freaking out while watching the MTV Movie Awards — the first clip from The Fault In Our Stars was released during the broadcast, and it was positively swoon-worthy. Stars is the highly anticipated adapatation of the YA novel by John Green that has a near cult-like following at this point by teens and younger readers. The story follows Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley), a sixteen-year-old girl suffering from cancer whose parents make her attend a support group meeting for young patients. There she meets Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), an ex-basketball player whose beaten bout with osteosarcoma cost him his leg in the process. The two strike up a friendship over their unfortunate bond, as well as their passion for books, and as these things happen, they begin to fall for each other as well.

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stars

Quick, like a bomb going off, young actress Shailene Woodley made an impact in Hollywood. All it took was starring opposite George Clooney in The Descendants and she was made. Honestly, people were only buzzing about her for about fifteen minutes and she had already lined up a dozen or so new jobs starring in adaptations of various, popular works of youth-oriented literature. Recently we’ve started to see the end results of those early deals, and so far the results have been good. Though The Spectacular Now was a bit more of an acting showcase for the equally great Miles Teller, Woodley continued to convert fans with her performance as the female lead there, and now we have a trailer for her latest YA adaptation, The Fault in Our Stars, which not only seems to be a film that shines the spotlight fully on her growing star, but is also one that gives her the inherent drama of a deadly illness to tug at our heartstrings with. This one should be an easy layup for her. Now she’s a shoo-in for being the favorite actress of a whole new generation of weepy teen girls. Or, at the very least, this thing looks a lot more promising than that questionable Divergent movie they’ve also got her starring in. That one’s encroaching just a little bit too much on Jennifer Lawrence’s turf for comfort.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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