Greta Gerwig

I’ve been praising the moves Derek Cianfrance has been making with The Place Beyond the Pines ever since I first learned of the project. First there’s the plot of the film; a professional motorcycle rider turns to bank robbery in order to support his newborn son and a rookie cop vows to start his career off right by taking the robber down. Just hearing those words arranged in that order makes my inner five-year-old squeal. Then there are the actors Cianfrance cast in the leads. He got the quirky, charismatic Ryan Gosling to step in as the bank robber and the newly crowned, proven leading man Bradley Cooper to sign up as the cop. Those guys are both good, and watching them play off each other should be fun. Finally, Cianfrance wrapped the package up in a nice little bow by picking a couple of actresses I enjoy to play the love interests. He got Eva Mendes, who is crazy-gorgeous and seems to have real potential as an actress, to be Gosling’s baby mama, and he got one of my favorite young actresses working today, Greta Gerwig, to play Cooper’s character’s wife. Things were great, I was all ready to sit back and wait for this one to come to theaters. But now we’ve hit a stumbling block.

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Even though Woody Allen’s latest film Midnight in Paris is still doing gangbusters in theaters, it’s time to start talking about his next project. I mean, the guy does one of these things a year, there’s no time to sit back and soak up any success. His next film, The Bop Decameron, sees him continuing his tour of Europe by filming in Rome. Makes sense, seeing as ever since he stopped filming in New York City we’ve already gotten movies from him set in England, Spain, and France. Why wouldn’t Italy be next on the itinerary? The films location isn’t the thing worth talking about though. What’s really newsworthy is that earlier today Allen made a show of announcing the official cast. His first announcement was that he himself would be returning to acting for this one, something we haven’t seen him do for half a decade, since 2006’s Scoop. The rest of the casting news is that The Bop Decameron will star, alphabetically, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penélope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, and Ellen Page. There are just too many actors I love, especially young actors, in that list to even begin dissecting why this is an awesome cast. I’ll just say I’m gushing at the thought of hearing Eisenberg deliver Woody dialogue and leave it at that. In addition to these names, Allen also says that the film will co-star Antonio Albanese, Fabio Armiliata, Alessandra Mastronardi, Ornella Muti, Flavio Parenti, Alison Pill, Riccardo Scamarcio and […]

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There’s some more casting news about Derek Cianfrance’s upcoming crime drama The Place Beyond the Pines. We already knew that the Blue Valentine director’s latest would pit a pro motorcycle rider who decides to start robbing banks (Ryan Gosling) against a cop who needs to take him down (Bradley Cooper), and now there’s word that they’ve cast some pretty ladies to play opposite these two fellas as well. Eva Mendes is on board to play the Gosling character’s baby-mama, whose pregnancy is the impetus of his decision to start acquiring gobs of money illegally. And Greta Gerwig is set to play Bradley Cooper’s character’s wife, because motorcycle-riding jerks have illegitimate children and police officers have nice marriages. You probably know Gerwig as being the girl who started off being in every Mumblecore movie ever, but then moved up to more mainstream affairs like Greenberg and No Strings Attached. And probably you know Eva Mendes as that really attractive person on the covers of magazines and whatnot. I give this casting news my personal stamp of approval as Gerwig is one of my favorite young actresses working today, and Mendes impressed me with her comedic chops in the otherwise bland The Other Guys. I’m interested to see what else she has up her sleeve, especially when working with a director like Cianfrance. [Deadline Highland]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr spends a long day in the multiplex, checking out a variety of films from alcoholic romantic comedies to nature documentaries with elephants and orangutans. He drinks himself silly and hits on Greta Gerwig in Arthur, narrowly escapes being killed by ass-kicking teen assassin Hanna, narrowly escapes getting his arm bitten off by a tiger shark in Soul Surfer and peeps in on Natalie Portman undressing for a swim in Your Highness. Too bad she’s pregnant now, ‘cause Kevin just ain’t into that scene.

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Cliches like the headline shouldn’t be taken lightly. They should be avoided at all cost, except when they are so accurate that it would make your nose bleed. In the case of Russell Brand slurping hooch and pitching woo in the remake of Arthur, we may need to recheck the records to see if Dudley Moore died in the same hospital on the same day Brand was born. The strength of Arthur rests solely on its actors. The sequences are more than interwoven sketch comedy, but they aren’t much more, and without the humor and absurdity inherent in the all-too-popular new character of the man child, this thing would have been as flat as if a giant magnet bed fell on it. Russell Brand is Arthur. And what Arthur is, is hilarious and heartfelt.

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There’s a sweet romance developing in No Strings Attached that’s infused with equal parts hope, humor, and hesitation. Both the characters and the actors bringing them to life are funny and capable of expressing their desires and doubts with brief exchanges and glances that feel honest and heartfelt. But unfortunately for the movie (and the viewers) the romance in question is not the one featuring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. Instead it’s a couple of supporting characters who manage to do in fifteen collective minutes of screen-time what the leads fail to accomplish throughout the entire film. Adam and Emma (kids here, but soon to be played by Kutcher and Portman) first meet at summer camp where he tries to turn sympathy over his parent’s impending divorce into a sexual opportunity, but she finds his emotional needs even less appealing than his offer of a good old fashioned fingering. They meet in passing a couple more times over the years, but their story proper begins when Adam awakens naked one morning on a couch belonging to Emma and her three roommates. He’s an emotional mess after discovering his ex-girlfriend is now dating his father (Kevin Kline) and she’s an overworked doctor uninterested in relationships, so the duo decide the best course of action is a ‘friends with benefits’ arrangement. And the downside is…?

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Despite the lack of Ghostbusters 3 rumors this week, Ivan Reitman is still getting himself into the news quite a bit. It must have something to do with him being hard at work casting his next film, Friends with Benefits.

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The actress will either keep Portman and Kutcher from getting together, or impart some wisdom on the pair as the geeky female best friend.

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This week, chubby man about town Kevin Carr takes a look at How to Train Your Dragon, Hot Tub Time Machine (which sounds right up his alley) and Greenberg. You may want to wear a helmet.

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Greenberg

‘Greenberg,’ Noah Baumbach’s latest, is a mixed bag, with an enormously likable character battling a deeply reprehensible one for screen time.

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Focus Features has released the first trailer for director Noah Baumbach’s upcoming film Greenberg, which stars Ben Stiller as a jobless guy who doesn’t really want to do anything with himself.

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The folks over at Vulture have gotten their hands on a first look at probably one of the single creepiest posters I’ve seen all year. It is for the Magnet release House of the Devil.

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gretagerwig-1

Wait…There’s a different Greta in Hollywood? eff.

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