Jessica Chastain

A Most Violent Year

J.C. Chandor started off as a promising but cold filmmaker. His first two feature films, Margin Call and All is Lost, showed us the nuts and bolts of those worlds, whether it be the life of a lost sailor or the strangest day at a Wall Street investment bank. In the latter case, the world was far more compelling than the characters, but he brought some of the humanity and nuance lacking in his directorial debut to All is Lost. Thankfully he’s cranked up the emotion even higher for his latest film, A Most Violent Year, which is a paradoxical title for this stirring drama. Much of the drama derives from the unsexy world of heating oil supply. This is not a gangster movie about drugs. This is not a gangster movie with shootouts. This is a gangster movie about a man, Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac), who doesn’t want to be a gangster. To Abel, success comes from hard work and luck, not cheating one’s way to the top. Unfortunately his competitors and wife, Anna Morales (Jessica Chastain), disagree. Set in the most violent year in the history of New York, 1981, the businessman tries not to stray from his honest path, while everyone else accepts the lawless world they’re living in. Chandor depicts this New York as the wild west, to the point where Alex Ebert‘s score even sounds like it came out of a classic Western. There’s always danger lurking somewhere, whether on the streets or on the radio. It’s an abrasive environment. Rarely when Abel is […]

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Paramount Pictures

The Earth is in bad shape, and mankind is on the fast track to follow okra and obesity into extinction. A devastating blight has swept the planet, killing off plants and crops and making way for epic dust storms (haboobs to anyone who’s spent time in the Sudan or Arizona) that leave the small communities that remain in constant struggle for food, good health and cleanliness. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a farmer growing the only viable crop left, corn, but his heart is in the skies above. A NASA test pilot before nature and societal pressures grounded him — this is a time/place where textbooks teach that the Apollo moon landing was a hoax — he now settles for the more earthly life along with his two children and father-in-law. But someone, or something, wants him to reach for the skies once again, and they’re communicating through his daughter Murph’s (Mackenzie Foy as a child, Jessica Chastain as an adult) bedroom bookshelf. He’s soon forced to choose between the draw of his family and that of the unknown, and with the fate of humanity at stake he’s compelled to choose the latter. Along with a few other astronauts he sets out for a wormhole that promises to hold the key to the continued existence of our species. Interstellar is in many ways as ambitious and messy a film as the sci-fi adventure it’s portraying, and its themes, visuals and pockets of bald emotion are guaranteed to appeal to fans of director Christopher […]

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Interstellar

Here is a takeaway from this latest trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar: Matthew McConaughey is going to cry a lot in this thing. The star of the upcoming sci-fi space opus already teared it up in the film’s first teaser, and now he looks like he’s back at it. This time, though, it looks like he’s crying in space. Here is another takeaway from this latest trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar: we’re going to space, you guys! This new trailer gives us a much better and wider look at what Nolan’s spacey stuff is going to look like — cold, watery, very cool — alongside McConaughey apparently sobbing at every turn. As it so happens, when you decide to go save the world and leave your family in the process, you get emotional about it. We’re right there with you, big guy. Take a look:

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The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

Ned Benson‘s The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby was first screened at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, to hooting, hollering, and an air of general acclaim. So when this year’s Cannes Film Festival unveiled its lineup and Eleanor Rigby made the cut, I doubt anyone’s eyes were boggling out of their head, Tex Avery cartoon-style. Except for one pesky detail that made absolutely zero sense. On the official Cannes documentation, Eleanor Rigby is marked with the running time of one hour and fifty-nine minutes. Confused? You should be — not only is Eleanor Rigby not two hours long, but it’s not even one movie. To get the full Eleanor Rigby experience, you’ve got to watch it twice. Sort of. First, you see The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His, which chronicles the collapse of an extremely good-looking marriage from the perspective of its husband, played by James McAvoy. Then you watch the same movie again, but now it’s got a subtitle of Hers and it follows the missus, played by Jessica Chastain. Or I guess you could watch Hers and then His, probably, if you felt the need to rebel against traditional gender roles in the mildest way possible.

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Andrew Dominik Blonde

Filmmaker Andrew Dominik’s long-in-the-making attempt to turn Joyce Carol Oates’ Pulitzer Prize finalist “Blonde,” a loose (and beloved) 700-page take on the life of Marilyn Monroe, into a feature film has steadily become a prime candidate for inclusion on listicles that chart great-sounding films that never happened. It’s like Dune! Or The Man Who Killed Don Quixote! But it could still totally happen! But the news that Dominik’s feature has snagged a new leading lady to play the Monroe part, despite the long-time attachment of another famous blonde and little public indication that he needed a fresh face, seems to indicate that this thing might actually happen after all. The Wrap shares that Dominik’s film has now cast Jessica Chastain as Monroe, with an eye to start filming in August. As much as we really want to see this film – a true passion project for Dominik, as cliche as that may sound – we’re still skeptical. After all, we’ve learned from the past.

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Denis Villeneuve

Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is a busy guy – after all, the frequently lauded director is steadily lining up compelling new projects after the one-two punch of his last two projects (that would be last year’s Prisoners and this season’s Enemy, both of which bowed back in September at TIFF, making it clear that the Incendies director had arrived in a big way) – but the new heat on his career doesn’t mean he’s cutting corners. He’s not getting sloppy. He’s not picking up films about monster trucks or winged aliens or whatever it is that Hollywood is throwing at emerging filmmakers. Villeneuve is making his own way. But is that going to include finding a female muse to match the relationship he’s cultivated with Jake Gyllenhaal, who quite memorably starred in both of Villeneuve’s latest projects, in very different roles? 

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reilly

What is Casting Couch? It’s just coming out of a holiday weekend, so it doesn’t have all that much casting news at the moment. But how about we put all of the actors we’re reporting on in stylish sunglasses to celebrate the kickoff of the summer season? It would be pretty hard to argue that Marvel Studios’ recent slate of interconnected superhero movies hasn’t been a huge success. Marvel movies have pleased longtime fans, cultivated a generation of new fans, and made gobs and gobs of money. Everyone knows that you’re not truly a success in the movie business until you’ve worked with John C. Reilly though, so Hitfix is reporting that the studio is currently trying to get the living legend on board one of their upcoming projects. Apparently an offer has gone out for him to play Rhomann Dey in Guardians of the Galaxy. Things are a bit more confusing than that though, because while Dey was an alien member of the intergalactic Nova Corps in the comic books, apparently in the movie world he’s going to be a human agent of SHIELD who works as the liaison between the organization and this new team of space heroes. Weird.

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Caine

What is Casting Couch? Today, it’s pondering the inevitability of all Christopher Nolan-related casting while readying some sweet margaritas for the weekend. Please contain your shock as we pass on news that Michael Caine will join Christopher Nolan for a sixth outing, as the veteran actor has now signed on for a role in the director’s upcoming and already tremendously anticipated Interstellar. It’s currently unknown what role Caine will play in the sci-fi feature, so there’s scarce little for us to write here beyond the usual “he will be great,” “it will be great,” “they will be great.” Great stuff. [Deadline, via ComingSoon] Fine, fine, we’ll also throw you another Interstellar bone to make up for our lack of knowledge. Deadline (via ComingSoon) also reports that Jessica Chastain is lining up to join the new feature as well. Chastain is in talks to play the “third lead” in the film, next to the already-cast Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, which pretty much tells us just as much as that Caine casting does, so we’re at a bit of a loss here. Perhaps a love triangle? Pure speculation? Fine, we still don’t know much about the film. But isn’t that sort of nice?

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portmangarb

What is Casting Couch? Maybe not more casting news than you can shake a stick at, but just enough so that you’ll feel comfortable shaking a stick at it. Today we have news of movie roles for TV stars Allison Williams and Jon Hamm. Get shakin’. Back a few months ago it was looking like Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender were going to be working together on Jane Got a Gun, but we all saw what happened there. No dice. Those who were hot and bothered by the idea of a Portman/Fassbender pairing need not worry though, because not only will they both be appearing in Terrence Malick’s newest project in some form or another, but they’ll definitely be sharing serious screen time in Justin Kurzel’s new adaptation of Macbeth. Just two days ago we learned that Fassbender would be taking the title role of the stage-to-film adaptation, and now Screen Daily is reporting that Portman has signed on for the role of his scheming, murderous wife, Lady Macbeth. This should give her more of an opportunity to cultivate that creep factor she showed flashes of in Black Swan. Intriguing.

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Benedict Cumberbatch

What is Casting Couch? A big list of casting news. Today we’ve got word on who’s going to play the new Hercules. And no, we’re not talking about Dwayne Johnson. The other new Hercules. The new new one. Big things are happening over on Guillermo del Toro’s haunted house project, Crimson Peak. Plot details are still being kept under wraps, but we do know that Emma Stone and Charlie Hunnam are already on board to co-star, and we do know that del Toro is approaching the film as a throwback to the classic haunted house movies of yesteryear. And now, thanks to Variety, we also know that star-on-the-rise Benedict Cumberbatch has been brought on board in a lead role. As if starring in Sherlock, the new Star Trek, and The Hobbit wasn’t already enough to make him a geek icon, now he has to go and work with del Toro. If he keeps this up he could soon find himself at the center of one of those trusty geek backlashes.

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Zero Dark Thirty

This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering! Still trying to find bin Laden? Sounds like you need to revisit Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty. In celebration of the home video release of one of 2012’s finest films, we’re giving away two very cool prize packs. Each pack includes one ZDT t-shirt and one script book (you can read it while you watch the movie, you big nerd!), and one pack will include a Blu-ray of the film, while the other will include a DVD. So how do you win? Well, you’re going to have to find us! Ahem, on Twitter. Hit the break to read our very precise, years-in-the-making, social media-fueled instructions on how to win your very own Zero Dark Thirty prize pack.

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Carrie Fisher

What is Casting Couch? Yesterday it was mostly about a bunch of dudes who got jobs acting in movies, today it’s mostly about a bunch of ladies who got jobs acting in movies—ladies from the show Mad Men in a couple of cases. Tomorrow? Who knows. UPDATED: CNN now reports that Fisher was “joking.” Sure. Probably Carrie Fisher was supposed to wait for some sort of official announcement from the new Disney-owned Lucasfilm’s marketing team before she went and confirmed what we all were thinking, that the main players from George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy are going to be showing up in J.J. Abrams‘ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. But Carrie Fisher being Carrie Fisher, she seems to have gotten sick of all the questioning and just confirmed that she’s coming back anyway. And she confirmed it to Palm Beach Illustrated, of all outlets. When asked if she could confirm that she would be reprising her role as Leia Organa for Abrams, Fisher simply responded, “Yes.” Oh, Carrie Fisher, never change.

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Best Actress

There are two main rivalries in the 2013 Best Actress race. There’s a head-to-head showdown between Silver Linings Playbook’s Jennifer Lawrence and Zero Dark Thirty’s Jessica Chastain. These ladies even have a supposed rivalry brewing between them. By all accounts, they are the ones to beat. There’s also that oldest versus youngest match-up between Amour’s Emmanuelle Riva [oldest] and Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Quvenzhané Wallis [youngest]. And then there’s The Impossible’s Naomi Watts. Hopefully there will be an upset so this Oscars 2013 don’t prove to be too boring. Though the Oscars do lean toward the predictable… Will any of these actresses go down in history with a bombastic speech, featuring a line akin to “You like me! You really like me!” or suffer some sort of horrendous wardrobe malfunction on the red carpet? Will there be a deluge of tears that goes down in history? Only time will tell. Hopefully the chosen lady is somewhat well-deserving of her award and at least has a good stylist. Here are the nominees with my predicted winner is in red:

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Tom Hardy

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s bursting at the seams after Hollywood had a very gabby twenty-four hours. Dig in. Tom Hardy: quite simply, he’s awesome. But can he do a Russian accent? We’re likely to find out now that he’s signed up to co-star alongside the also awesome Noomi Rapace in a new film called Child 44. Deadline reports that this one is about a Soviet war hero who uncovers a mass murder and is suddenly faced with doubts about the country he’s spent his life believing in and fighting for. Michael R. Roskam will be directing the film, which is an adaptation of the first in a trilogy of Tom Rob Smith novels. So, if you like bleak Soviet Union-set murder stories, you might be getting sequels!

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Old Spice Unchained

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the most talented, most handsomest, often silliest movie news column on the planet. Movie news columns from other parts of the galaxy might be able to compete, but they are yet undiscovered, so they can suck it. He’s On a Horse – Sometimes memes are fun. In this case, mashing the Old Spice guy together with Samuel Jackson’s head house slave character in Django Unchained is a simple, wonderful choice.

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review_mama

Once upon a time… horror films knew how to consistently land their third act. The original Black Christmas, The Exorcist and John Carpenter’s The Thing build tension and escalate the scares without falling apart by the end, but you don’t even need to go back that far to find ones that get it right thanks to (relatively) recent movies like [REC], The Mist and The Innkeepers. But more than any other genre a lot of horror films from the last few years simply drop the ball before the credits roll. Andrés Muschietti‘s Mama continues that trend unfortunately, but truth be told its grip is pretty damn tenuous from the beginning. After Victoria and Lily’s father kills their mother and some co-workers he takes the girls on a drive that ends with a crash in the woods. The trio wander the cold, desolate forest before finding an old, seemingly deserted cabin and settling in for the night. Father of the year doesn’t make it to morning. Five years later the now feral girls are found and returned to their uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend Annabelle (Jessica Chastain), but something else has come home with them and it’s not too keen on sharing custody.

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JENNIFER LAWRENCE and BRADLEY COOPER star in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

The 70th Golden Globe Awards will be held tomorrow night, and I invite you to join myself and FSR’s awards guru, Daniel Walber, for live-blog commentary during the ceremony. We’ll try to keep it smart, avoid too much snark and will likely be obeying the rules of the drinking game that co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have devised. It will also hopefully be more conversational than remarks we could have just tweeted, in order that I can turn the discussion around as a more readable post-event recap of the night. In case you’re too busy paying attention to your TV to also read our words simultaneously. Anyway, you can’t head into a big awards telecast viewing without predictions for what you think will win. Daniel and I seem to agree on exactly half of the movie categories. So, maybe it won’t be such a predicable night. Check out our choices after the break and give us your own predictions in the comments. If you do better than either of us, we commend you in advance (and maybe at the end of our GG coverage too).

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Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 12.33.05 PM

A fair amount of critics are touting Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty as her masterpiece. While Bigelow has definitely directed films in her decades of filmmaking that are comparable to the overall quality of Zero Dark Thirty, it is great that between this and her Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, she is getting the acclaim that she deserves. What does set Zero Dark Thirty apart from the rest of the Kathryn Bigelow oeuvre is that is a far more deliberate and slower paced film that her others. At about two-and-a-half hours, it includes only perhaps two or three major “action/suspense” scenes, which are all impeccably executed in her usual fashion. Mostly, however, the film follows the mental unraveling and rise to power of CIA agent Maya (Jessica Chastain) as she follows a seemingly-circumstantial hunch, which results in her looking over Osama bin Laden’s body bag. The film certainly is successful in what it sets out to do. Through Chastain’s Maya, it is a more nuanced study of the disappointments of losing the war on terror against Al Qaeda and then fighting back, resulting in less of a fist pump of exultation, but more of a quiet recognition of accomplishment.

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Zero Dark Thirty

If you’ve somehow managed to avoid the massive praise that’s already been heaped on Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty – so far, they include four Golden Globe nominations, three National Board of Review wins, inclusion in AFI’s list of the best films of the year, countless critics associations nominations, and that’s just going top-of-the-head here – you’ve managed to stay insanely out of the loop on one of the year’s very best films. Congrats to you. Now let’s correct that. Sony has just sent out their final trailer for the Jessica Chastain-starring, Osama Bin Laden-killing, truth-based tale, and it may be your last chance to jump on the ZDT bandwagon before that train pulls out of the station (forgive these mixed metaphors). All aboard? (Shh, secret time, I didn’t even watch this trailer, and I already know it’s awesome.) Check it out after the break, as if you need a reason.

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Sure, this latest trailer for Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty is a lot of things: cool, collected, awesome, awesome, exciting, cool all over again, bold, vibrant, but it’s also dominated by one overwhelming force that encompasses all those adjectives. Jessica Chastain. Did we somehow miss that this film, Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal‘s true life take on the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, was really The Chastain Show? Looks like it, and we’ve already got our ticket in hand. Check out the latest Zero Dark Thirty trailer after the break.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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