Ezra Miller

commentary-wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the story of Charlie (Logan Lerman), a teenager struggling to fit in with those around him (including Emma Watson and Ezra Miller) while also dealing with traumatic memories from his past. It’s a rare film in that it manages to be very personal even as it speaks to so many people. The disc contains two commentaries, one with writer/director Stephen Chbosky and another with six cast members plus Chbosky. I watched the film twice, back to back, with each of the commentaries, and the combination of experiencing it (mostly) free of dialogue, where actors’ expressions and the film’s editing tells the story while the creative team explores what the film meant to them has altered the movie for me in a profound way. I liked but didn’t love it upon first viewing, but as someone who watches way too many movies I know that sometimes a re-watch under different circumstances or in a different frame of mind can have a dramatic effect on how you receive a film. The fact that it happened to me while watching with the commentary track on is a definite first for me though. Keep reading to see what I heard with this week’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower Commentary Commentary…

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Rhys Ifans

Given the reliable financial formula of taking classic novels and turning them into feature films with lots of fancy period costumes and either Keira Knightley or Mia Wasikowska in the lead role, it was probably only a matter of time before somebody decided to make another film version of Gustave Flaubert’s influential masterpiece, “Madam Bovary.” So we weren’t at all surprised when it was announced that Cold Souls director Sophie Barthes would be taking a crack at the material, and that she had Wasikowska all booked up to be her lead. Sounded like a pretty good idea. But after that the pot was sweetened even further when versatile young actor Ezra Miller, who effectively played a creepy kid in We Need to Talk About Kevin and a flamboyant friend in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, was announced as playing one of the Bovary character’s many extramarital boy toys, and acting god Paul Giamatti signed on to play Monsieur Homais, a man who threatens to reveal the title character’s many indiscretions. Don’t think that Barthes and her crew are done when it comes to their attempts at luring you into watching a movie based off a book you avoided in high school, either. Variety is now reporting that another great actor is joining the cast, as Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill, The Amazing Spider-Man) has signed on to play Monsieur Lheureux.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower Review

In attempting to write a review for Stephen Chbosky‘s cinematic adaptation of his own novel of the same name, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I ran into a problem (a problem big enough that I’d feel the need to use frequent “I” statements in said review, a big no-no in my book). It’s impossible for me to write a review of Perks that would, in any way, be able to masquerade as an objective take on the material (and, of course, no review is ever wholly objective, and you’d do well to remember that straight away), because Chbosky’s book made an indelible mark on me as a teenager, one that I’ve never been quite able to shake. Chbosky’s book was published on February 1, 1999. I got a copy of the book as a gift from my first boyfriend about two weeks later. For those of you not keeping track on my personal biography, I was fifteen in the winter of 1999, a sophomore in high school who, though lucky enough to have a ton of friends and great parents and good grades, still felt a bit awkward (being a bookworm and a movie buff and a modern art freak didn’t help — these weren’t cool things to be, yet). I’ll stop you there — yes, everyone felt awkward in high school, but the experience of being a teenager is a profoundly insular one, so most of us don’t know (often for quite some time) that everyone else felt […]

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After his break-out performance in We Need to Talk About Kevin, it looked as if Ezra Miller would be permanently doomed to creeper status, haunting the edges of our collective cinematic nightmares forever, so I was predictably cagey about his casting as Patrick in Stephen Chbosky‘s The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. Author Chbosky has adapted his own (beloved) novel for the film (which he also directs), and while so much of the film’s other casting – namely Logan Lerman as protagonist Charlie – seemed spot-on, Miller bothered. Patrick is one of the first people who makes Charlie feel accepted in high school – a profound feat once you’re aware of how much young Charlie has already endured and how much Patrick himself is going through – and Miller hasn’t previously seemed to be the type of actor who could pull off such a kind-hearted character. Wrong. In the first trailer for Perks, Miller steals the show as Patrick – he’s hilarious, zingy, vibrant, and about as far removed from his We Need to Talk About Kevin character as humanly possible. Everyone else looks totally radical, too (after all, the book is set in the ’90s), but Miller is the main attraction here. Check out the first trailer for The Perks Of Being A Wallflower after the break!

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Young Ezra Miller terrified audiences last year with work in Lynne Ramsay’s nightmare factory of a film, We Need to Talk About Kevin, but the rising star doesn’t appear interested in getting stuck in similar (horrifying, revolting, and very difficult) roles. Variety reports that the actor has signed on for a role in Sophie Barthes‘s Madame Bovary, already set to star Jane Eyre‘s Mia Wasikowska in the title role and Paul Giamatti as Monsieur Homais. The outlet does not specifically name his role, just that he will be a “love interest” for Wasikowska, but Cinema Blend points out that Miller is better suited for Leon Dupuis, one of the first men who tempts Emma, but not the man she eventually engages in a passionate and destructive affair (that would be Rodolphe Boulanger). Written by Rose Barrenche from Gustave Flaubert‘s novel, Barthes plans to start filming this fall. While I’m not particularly sold on yet another take on Bovary, Barthes is lining up an impressive and varied cast, which could recommend this new version of the classic story.

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Reel Sex

People were up in arms Tuesday after the announcement of nominees for the 84th Annual Academy Awards. So many seem to forget that every year they are disappointed with the nominees and every year there is some film or performer who was left off or included on the prestigious list. I may have spent the final weeks of 2011 lamenting my utter ennui with last year’s films, but I never in a million years expected some of the Oscar outcomes. No Supporting Actor nomination for Albert Brooks, whose performance in Drive unnerved audiences to the core? Or the blatant disregard for solid documentary filmmaking in The Interrupters, Buck, or Project Nim, three entries into filmmaking that will forever impact the way we view the world around us? No, the Academy seemed to forget the impressive and daring offerings in favor of an adorable dog in a silent film. What is this, 1920? Last I checked The Jazz Singer pushed us into the land of the talkies. I could spend all day gnawing my tongue over which films shouldn’t have been included in this year’s awards recognition, but just like arguing the virtues and evils of the MPAA, our time is better used talking about some of the sexy pieces of work that the Academy felt were too provocative to include (for reasons I have completely made up in my mind. Hey, they have their prerogative, I have mine.). Going along with the Academy’s new voodoo math rules of deciding the […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr hunkers down and braces for award season. He also prepares for an onslaught of celebrity guest stars in New Year’s Eve, which features a poster that looks like a “Friends available to chat” sidebar on Facebook. In order to watch all the movies for the week, Kevin hires the only babysitter available… Jonah Hill. What could possibly go wrong with that? Fortunately this frees him up to see some of the smaller releases, like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, W.E. and I Melt with You. And he wraps up the week wondering why everyone needs to talk about him.

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After nearly a decade out of the cinematic limelight, director Lynne Ramsay returned to the film world with her Cannes Film Festival entry, We Need to Talk About Kevin. The film drew stellar reviews at the fest, with most people pointing squarely at Tilda Swinton‘s performance as one to watch. The film was also nominated for the Palme d’Or, which it lost to The Tree of Life. Simon saw the film at Cannes and gave it an A-, with his review paying particular attention to the strengths of the film’s performances, and adding to the kudos heaped on Swinton’s performance. The film tells the story of Swinton and John C. Reilly‘s characters, a regular married couple who have a not-so-regular son in the titular Kevin. Classy festival terminology aside – Kevin is a Grade A whack job, a nutcase of the highest order, an utterly terrifying child who grows up to be an even more unnerving teenager. And if the few glimpses we get at Ezra Miller‘s dead-eyed stare are any indication of his performance in the film, it looks like his eldest incarnation of Kevin will join the pantheon of all-time cinematic creepsters. Basically, watching this trailer will make you never want to have children – ever. You’ll never be able hear a baby cry without listening for a sinister lilt underneath the howls ever again. Fine, you should probably just never have sex ever again, because you may spawn something like Kevin. Consider it birth control by way of movie […]

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22 films in 11 days. One walk-out. One mighty fine steak. Such is the story of this writer’s coverage of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, and now that Robert De Niro and his panel of the great and the good of world filmmaking have sat down over coffee and cheese to decide the real winners, I’d like to offer my own thoughts on who I would have liked to see win. This is all based on my personal experiences of the films, and you might notice the categories don’t match up to the split competitions of the festival itself, but I’m in charge here, and I can do what the flaming hell I want. So here we go with the best parts of the 64th Cannes Film Festival…

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It is an odd coincidence to note that Scottish director Lynne Ramsay‘s We Need To Talk About Kevin screened immediately before Gus Van Sant’s Restless today, since the subject matter positions this irresistibly dangerous film an almost sequel to Van Sant’s equally controversial Elephant, which itself walked away with the Palme d’Or in 2003. But this is a far different affair entirely, because, at its heart We Need To Talk About Kevin is both a situational horror and a domestic/maternal horror story. Tilda Swinton, who must surely be a contender for many, many Best Actress gongs in the coming year, plays Eva, a mother whose son has committed the atrocious crime of attacking and killing a number of his schoolmates in a Columbine style shooting. We don’t actually learn about this until the end of the film, but since the marketing material references it heavily, and since there is a far more affecting twist in this tale, it’s fine to say it here. Ramsay successfully employs an alinear structure, jumping back and forth in time to reveal jigsaw pieces that flesh out characters and events in a perfectly captivating manner, and ultimately converge with astonishingly affecting results – but really the film is quite restrained in its focus. The film’s focus is far more on the relationship between Eva and Kevin as the boy grows up, and the difficult position Eva is left in after he is imprisoned, rather than on the actual flashpoint that the story blossoms out from. In that respect, the story becomes more that maternal […]

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It’s been a pretty big day on the Internet for Jonny Greenwood. First it was announced that Radiohead’s next album ‘The King of Limbs’ has gone up for digital pre-order and will be able to be downloaded on February 19. And now it has been reported that Greenwood will score director Lynne Ramsay’s (Ratcatcher) next film We Need to Talk About Kevin. This is important news because Greenwood’s score for There Will Be Blood was completely awesome and more stuff from people who are awesome is always a positive.

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There’s something to be said about movies that adamantly refuse to give you whimsical circumstances or endearing characters. There’s something to admire about a movie that refuses to pander to its audience, instead expecting a certain degree of work and a different kind of investment from them entirely. Such is the situation in the indie-family-drama Every Day, the feature writing/directing debut by Nip/Tuck producer Richard Levine. Ned (Liev Schreiber) is a staff writer on a medical melodrama whose cheap theatrics are reminiscent of Grey’s Anatomy, and is growing increasingly sick of the limitations and deep lack of satisfaction experienced in both his personal and professional lives. His wife Jeannie (Helen Hunt, who really needs to be in more movies) has just moved her sick father Ernie (Brian Dennehy) across the country to take care of him at their home, but quickly realizes she is in over her head with the responsibility and the mess. Their openly gay son Jonah (Ezra Miller) is a high school student ready to start dating, but is suffocated by the overbearing paranoia and implicit homophobia of his father. The younger son Ethan (Skyler Fortgang) is suffering from, well it’s never made quite clear – either a dark chronic pessimism or performance perfectionism as a young violin player.

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