Jessica Chastain

 Get ready to hear the name “Jessica Chastain” much more in the coming months (a little bird tells me that you can even expect to see a couple of reviews for a Chastain film on this very site within the next few days). The actress is set for the big leagues, thanks to being plucked from relative obscurity by Terrence Malick to star in his The Tree of Life that finally opened earlier this year, followed by roles in Take Shelter, The Debt, Texas Killing Fields, and the upcoming star-fest that is The Wettest County. Now Chastain has landed a prime leading lady position opposite Tom Cruise in Joseph Kosinski’s sci-f film that is…well, apparently without a title as of now. But you may know it as Oblivion or Horizons. Let’s call it Obli-zons and be done with it. Tron: Legacy director Kosinski is helming the film is based on an upcoming graphic novel that he himself conceived of and wrote (with Arvid Nelson) for Radical Publishing. The script for the film has been adapted by William Monahan, with a rewrite by Karl Gajdusek and a polish by Michael Arndt. The story centers on the character that Cruise will play, a repairman named Jak. But Jak’s life is just a smidge different than that of any other sort of repairman, because he lives in a future where an alien invasion has irradiated the Earth so severely that it is no longer inhabitable. The population of the planet now lives in the […]

read more...

The Debt is a painstakingly old-fashioned drama that’s far more interested in the nuances of human behavior than exploitation or pyrotechnics. At the same time, in telling the parallel stories of Mossad agents hunting a Nazi doctor in East Berlin circa 1966 and those same agents dealing with the consequences of that mission 30 years later, John Madden’s film evokes the existential themes that lie at the heart of Israel’s creation. To straddle both those worlds within the constraints of a tightly-wound thriller is a considerable accomplishment. And this eloquent remake of a 2007 Israeli picture with the same name harkens back to the old-fashioned aesthetics of genre movies that mean something, films that are unafraid of drawing out big ideas between familiar lines. The film stars Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson and Ciarán Hinds as the older version of agents Rachel Singer, Stephan Gold and David Peretz, who discover that the book has not been written on their mission of 30+ years ago with the finality they thought it had. Jessica Chastain, Martin Csokas and Sam Worthington play their younger selves, tracking the sadistic Doktor Bernhardt (Jesper Christensen) astride the Iron Curtain.

read more...

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr readies for a Labor Day vacation at a lake house surrounded by bloodthirsty sharks. Once dinner is over for the little beasties, he goes undercover in 1960s-era East Berlin to help a bunch of emotionally brittle Mossad agents to kidnap a Nazi war criminal. Unfortunately, all they uncover is dozens of hours of video recordings from a lost NASA moon landing. So Kevin decides to edit all of this footage together into a feature film and hock it to the Weinsteins, convincing them that it really happened… or did it?

read more...

Why are spies so sad and mopey now? Where are the cool, suave, and untouchable secret agents? Lately, nowhere to be found on the big screen. Director John Madden certainly is not bringing back the era of smooth heroes with his latest film, The Debt. The director’s small, claustrophobic remake focuses on lost individuals who display more heartache and moral uncertainty than your typical heroics. Madden did not make a film about a secret mission gone awry, but a film about regret and the power of lies. A few years ago director Matthew Vaughn was attached to helm the thriller, and if he ended up behind the camera, The Debt would be a very different film. Instead of going for a stylish and poppy feel, the Shakespeare in Love filmmaker went with something far more claustrophobic and full of moral uncertainty. As a result, Madden made something many, many notches above Kill Shot in the quality department. Here is what director John Madden had to say about his three damaged Mossad agents, taking a serious matter seriously, and the power of regret:

read more...

Ani Canaan Mann’s second feature film, Texas Killing Fields, has had a somewhat long journey to the screen, and has gone through some slightly different incarnations, from involvement with other behind-the-camera talent (namely Danny Boyle) to the shorter, gentler title of The Fields. But with the film showing in competition at Venice, it looks like it may be smooth sailing from here on out. Despite a pretty standard true crime plotline, there’s something about Texas Killing Fields that has kept me intrigued for many months. Maybe it’s that the film’s cast is almost murderously good, as it includes Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Sam Worthington, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jessica Chastain, Stephen Graham, Jason Clarke, and Annabeth Gish. That’s got to be it.

read more...

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr makes big plans to publish a best-selling book that women across the nation will read in hoity-toity book clubs. Step one: Move to the deep south and get raised by an African American maid. While Kevin tries to figure out how to move past that step, he gets a job delivering pizzas and lives in constant fear he’ll be used in a bank heist. Then he cheats death by avoiding the Glee concert movie, but lives in even more constant fear that the flick will hunt him down and make him watch it.

read more...

The Tree of Life isn’t a film for everyone. You have to meet it halfway, it tests your patience at times, and it doesn’t fit normal storytelling conventions. If a viewer isn’t at all into experimental filmmaking and doesn’t know what “non-linear” means, then it’s most likely not a film for them. Because of this, some filmgoers should probably do their homework before going to Terrence Malick’s epic. “Brad Pitt? Sean Penn? Dinosaurs? And the creation of earth!?! Awesome!” Some patrons must’ve gotten that impression, and the art house Avon Theater in Stamford, CT is responding to those theatergoers who would prefer a refund, rather than enduring a two and a half hour poem. Here’s the “no refund” warning the theater put out:

read more...

The Tree of Life is a film that, as most of you have surely already noticed, will be hailed for its beauty and visual ecstasy. Everyone will discuss how every frame could make for a great photo or whether or not Terrence Malick is actually saying something with all those incredibly long non-narrative shots, but thematically, Malick backs up his eye-candy. While the headline title and statement made by actress Jessica Chastain could be read as being very hyperbolic, it couldn’t be closer to the truth. The Tree of Life does not hit the standard narrative beats, something that will either excite or annoy viewers. When there’s a 20-minute sequence of seeing the beginning of time unfold, you’ll quickly realize you’re not watching your typical drama. Here’s what Jessica Chastain had to say in our quick conversation about the film’s truthful exploration of childhood memories, the film’s structure, how Malick’s scripts read, and her interpretation of the ending.

read more...

Each Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the most important holidays on the Jewish calendar, there’s an extraordinary prayer read in synagogue. Called the “Unetanneh Tokef,” it evokes the awesome power of judgment day, extolling God’s capacity for punishment, his propensity for mercy and man’s insignificance in the face of it all. I thought of the third part of that prayer while watching The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick’s ambitious, meditative stab at codifying the cosmos. It gets close to the essence of the reclusive auteur’s much-anticipated new picture: “A man’s origin is from dust and his destiny is back to dust. At risk of his life he earns his bread; he is likened to a broken shard, withering grass, a fading flower, a passing shade, a dissipating cloud, a blowing wind, flying dust, and a fleeting dream.” In paralleling the origins of the universe with flashes from the everyday 1950s childhood of a young boy from Waco, Texas, Malick’s film captures the ethereal nature of life. Beginning with the Big Bang and the dinosaurs and cycling through Jack O’Brien’s (Sean Penn) memories of his youth — of ballgames on the lawn during muggy summer nights, his younger brother’s warm gaze, contentious family dinners and the first stirrings of sexual feelings — Malick offers one man’s story writ large and small.

read more...

Terrance Malick’s films have always seemed a bit too airy and enigmatic, and The Tree of Life seems no different based on the trailer. It looks like equal parts Stand By Me, The Fountain, and Introduction to Eastern Philosophy As Seen Through The Eyes of the 1950s Male. It might turn out to be mind blowing or mind numbing. Brad Pitt plays a father to Jack, a young boy who he leans on a bit too heavily. Now an adult (played by Sean Penn), Jack wants to find some peace within that relationship. He also, for some reason, wants to dance around in a cloud of DDT. Check it out for yourself in higher def over at Apple. On a side note, did anyone else get a slight rush of nostalgia seeing Brad Pitt asking another character to hit him in the face? The Tree of Life hits theaters in May 2011.

read more...

Sam Worthington in The Debt

The first trailer for The Debt has hit the web. This movie, which appears to have snuck up on many of us, is the latest from Shakespeare in Love director John Madden. It’s a trip into the world of Isreali agents hunting down Nazi war criminals, and it’s filled with an interesting cast. The likes of Sam Worthington and Jessica Chastain are flanked by some serious talent: Helen Mirren, Ciaran Hinds and Tom Wilkinson. The trailer doesn’t give us much to work with beyond evoking the general look and feel of Steven Spielberg’s Munich, but it does deliver a sense of energy. And it does have a bit of energy. It’s worth noting that this film is based on a story by Kick-Ass creative duo Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman. The official synopsis and new trailer are yours to play with after the jump.

read more...

The first image from Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life has emerged online, featuring Jessica Chastain. And so begins today’s rundown of entertainment news on The B-Roll.

read more...
  PREVIOUS PAGE
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
SXSW 2014
Game of Thrones reviews
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3