Infidelity

Diane Kruger and Anton Yelchin

Ever since Diane Kruger stole everyone’s hearts in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds back in 2009, she’s just been doing far too many French films and not nearly enough English language work. It’s time they lent her back. They’ve been bogarting her. And Anton Yelchin, well he’s been spending far too much of his time starring in rehashes of properties from decades ago and providing voices for children’s movies. It’s high time he makes us all tear up in another relationship drama, like he did with Like Crazy. It’s good news for everyone, then, that THR is reporting the duo will soon be teaming up for a project called 5 to 7, which is both an indie romance as well as a movie that was written and will be directed by a guy who speaks English. The good news doesn’t stop there though, because that English-speaking guy isn’t just some jerk off the street. No, 5 to 7 is the latest work of Victor Levin, a creative type so talented that he’s been spending the last couple years serving as a writer and producer on TV’s Mad Men (you know, the Mad Men that was already the best show on television, but then just topped itself with its stellar season 5). Sure, he also wrote a romantic comedy called Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! back in 2004 that I don’t think anybody remembers much or liked all that well, but let’s focus on the positive: Mad Men!

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The Details trailer

Though Mean Creek director Jacob Aaron Estes’ latest project, The Details, debuted all the way back at Sundance 2011, it’s just finally gearing up for a real theatrical release come November 2. Why has it sat on the shelf for so long? Maybe it’s just because the idea of watching Spider-Man act like a jerk for a couple of hours is something of a hard sell. From the looks of the film’s new trailer, The Details is a character drama that sees Tobey Maguire cheating on his wife, banging Ray Liotta’s wife, getting another woman pregnant, contemplating murder, toilet training raccoons, appreciating latte art, chatting with Kerry Washington, chatting with Dennis Haysbert, and trying out religion. Okay, so maybe there isn’t anything wrong with those last few things, but the first couple are pretty bad. Is this going to be the sort of lead character who audiences can relate to?

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If there’s one thing that seems to be able to provide endless material for indie films to mine, it’s infidelity. There’s no need for special effects, fancy locations, or even big name actors to make a compelling human drama, all you have to do is set yourself up a good, old-fashioned love triangle, get a couple steamy shots of people doing it, and then take things to a place where everyone is crying a lot and yelling at each other. The results are instantly compelling, and instantly relatable to everyone watching. Nobody Walks has a leg up on your typical, indie infidelity movie for a few reasons though. Most apparent is that they actually have sprung for some big name actors. From indie darlings like Olivia Thirlby and Rosemarie Dewitt, to beloved TV stars like John Krasinski and Justin Kirk, to an up-and-comer like India Ennenga (Treme) and an old hand like Dylan McDermott, Nobody Walks is bursting at the seams with actors who you’ll recognize and have probably been impressed by at some point.

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In recent years Ben Affleck has been earning praise left and right for his skill as a director. His first two films, Gone Baby Gone and The Town, have largely been far better received by the movie media than any of the performances he’s given over the course of his career. But, it turns out, his first love is still acting. Sorry, everybody. Even as he handles the post-production of his next project as a filmmaker, Argo, he’s managed to find some time to negotiate himself into another job as an actor. Warner Bros. has been sitting on the political comedy, Nathan Decker, for a while. Written by Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love.), it’s the story of a prominent politician who gets disgraced by an affair and is forced to return to his home town in order to deal with lingering issues from his past. Originally it was thought that Tom Cruise was going to star, but his involvement in the project never materialized, and the studio is now looking at it as a starring vehicle for Affleck.

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Oh, infidelity. Apparently it’s tough to stay faithful when Eva Mendes and Guillaume Canet come knocking at your bedroom door. At least if you’re Keira Knightley or Sam Worthington. Last Night is the directorial debut of The Jacket writer Massy Tadjedin, and if this trailer is any indication it looks like 1) it’s fraught with internal strife and smart hand-wringing, and 2) Sam Worthington is getting a chance to act finally. This is the perfect teaser. Everything about it looks sharp, and it leaves the question of whether they will or won’t cheat on each other dangled like a chocolate-dipped carrot maddeningly out of reach. Check it out for yourself:

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I typically save the boiling points for Robert Fure, aiming instead to frame my column as an observation of media rather than a critique, analyzing trends and their meaning in the context of film and television as an intersecting object of commerce and art. But there is something that has been getting under my skin in some films released in the past several months, and it’s the way that Hollywood deals with the subject infidelity.

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oam-theapartment

Much like the great prognosticator of trends that he always was, Billy Wilder drew from the past and anticipated the future by creating a hilarious movie that also happens to deal realistically with infidelity, occupational depression, and suicide.

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