Maggie Gyllenhaal

Maggie Gyllenhaal in FRANK

Frank is full blown indie quirk. That heightened sensibility is often insufferable to sit through, but what makes potentially grating quirks work is what director Lenny Abrahamson and screenwriters Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan say with each of the film’s eccentricities. While certain oddities may appear fun and harmless at the start, they turn into real pain by the end. Our eyes and ears in Frank is Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), a young musician who may not have the talent to make a career out of it. He dreams of making it big, so when he’s asked to play the keyboard for the band Soronprfbs, he jumps at the chance. No money is involved, just the chance to play music with a group Jon thinks could be the next big thing. The problem is, Soronprbs is made up of a group of unreliable hipsters, led by the charming, kind, and likable Frank (Michael Fassbender), who happens to wear a big paper mache head, which he never takes off. The other members of the band, besides Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal), aren’t given much personalities, beyond their annoyance of Jon.

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Sundance 2014 had a loaded schedule of top notch films, Lenny Abrahamson’s pleasantly weird dark comedy Frank, among them. Frank is the story of Jon, played by Harry Potter alumn Domhnall Gleeson, a young songwriter brought into the fold of a quirky noise rock band called Soronprfbs, led by singer Frank (Michael Fassbender), who perpetually wears a giant papier-mâché head. Quirky and whimsical as he is, the talented Frank is saddled with some pretty heavy issues. Jon moves to Ireland to record an album with the band, posting rehearsal videos on social media, with the aim of getting Frank and his musical cohorts a spot at Austin’s South by Southwest. Check out the trailer below.

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When it was first announced that everyone’s favorite actor, Michael Fassbender, would be appearing in an Irish indie film called Frank, it was said that he would be playing an “eccentric front man” who leads a band that gets joined by an aspiring musician played by Domhnall Gleeson. While that sounded interesting enough on its own, it turns out that description undersold the film a bit as far as its weirdness factor goes. You see, when the title character that Fassbender is playing here was initially described as being “eccentric,” what they really meant is that he’s a complete lunatic who wears an absolutely bonkers mascot head everywhere he goes while waxing on philosophically about music and the universe and whatnot. Fassbender is basically the most charismatic man ever, but can even he give an engaging performance while having his head completely covered by such an outlandish distraction? Of course he can. Duh. Click through to watch a clip from the film [via The Playlist] which proves just that.

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Maggie Gyllenhaal

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s been out of work since casting agents seem to be treating the week between Christmas and New Years as one prolonged food coma. If there’s one thing that Jurassic Park taught us, it’s that nature finds a way. Well, casting finds a way too. In a week where there isn’t any news getting leaked to the trades, leave it to Albuquerque Business First to break a new scoop. The eagle eyes over at The Film Stage noticed that, in an article about how that Michael Fassbender-starring rock and roll comedy called Frank is coming to town to shoot, the local source managed to break the news that Maggie Gyllenhaal is coming to town with it. Her involvement in the film sees her joining a cast that includes not just Fassbender, but two of the young MVPs of 2012, Domhnall Gleeson and Scoot McNairy, as well. Which, you know, makes her one of the luckiest ladies in the world.

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The public school system-targeted message drama Won’t Back Down is a kind of war film. It opens on a hazy classroom scene in which a little girl is attempting to read a sentence on the blackboard as her fellow grunts are half-dying (learning-wise) around her. The sound is muffled, as if a bomb has just gone off and the blast has damaged the characters’ hearing. Machine gun fire is heard nearby, from another student’s video game. Their leader is preoccupied with her own life and useless to them. The enemy that the girl is currently up against is the word “story.” If that’s not a baited call for criticism with the film’s own story… And indeed it’s a fitting moment, but not because the story is badly told so much as the children get lost in it. The film recognizes that there is an education war going on, with revolutionary parents battling powerful teachers unions, and it’s the children stuck in the trenches, caught in the crossfire. But at the same time, Won’t Back Down is not really about the kids, either.

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This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering! When you think about the invention of the vibrator (and I bet you think about that a lot, you naughty minx), you probably don’t quite picture that particular apparatus being invented during one of the most straight-laced periods in modern history – the Victorian era. Yet, that’s exactly when the electro-mechanical vibrator was invented, thanks to the vision of one open-minded doctor. In Tanya Wexler‘s Hysteria, the director fictionalizes up some of the story, using the charming Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal for some sexiness, and the result is a forward-thinking and very entertaining film. To get your motors running, we’re giving away one (1) copy of Hysteria on DVD and one (1) copy of Hysteria on Blu-ray. It’s worth moaning about, that’s for sure. Winners will be chosen randomly (including which version our two winners will each receive). The home video release of Hysteria also includes some fun extras, like deleted scenes, commentary with Wexler, and a featurette on “The Technology of Orgasm.” Zing! To win one (1) copy of Tanya Wexler’s Hysteria on DVD or Blu-ray, all you have to do is jump down into the comments section and let us know the title of your favorite sex comedy (because, at its heart, Hysteria is quite funny). Please also provide your email address in your comment. This contest is only open to U.S. residents. The contest will close on Friday, September 28th, at 6:00PM PST. The winner will be chosen at random to receive one copy […]

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We’ve known for a while that Channing Tatum was going to play a heroic Secret Service agent who protects the President during an attack on the White House in Roland Emmerich’s upcoming action film White House Down. It’s been a scary proposition to think about, because everybody knows that action star Channing Tatum is the worst Channing Tatum you can get. He’s much better when he’s being funny or dancing, which doesn’t sound like things he’s going to get much of a chance to do in a movie that keeps getting described as “Die Hard in the White House.” Unfortunately, this movie may be giving us the return of the dreaded Wooden Channing Tatum. Some new casting rumors introduce new promise to the production, however. While watching Tatum try to pull off stalwart and stern for two hours is likely to be a chore, his supporting cast just may end up being talented enough to pull him through this one unscathed. First off, Variety has a report that Jamie Foxx is in negotiations to play the President that Tatum is going to be protecting. Barring the casting of Barack Obama himself, Foxx is about the most charismatic man I can think of who could be put into the role of a movie President and pull it off believably, so that’s promising news right there.

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Despite being trapped in the constricted 1880’s, Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) is a forward-thinker, a believer in germ theory (can you imagine a time when doctors chalked the existence of germs up to a theory?), meaning that he doesn’t fit in with his counterparts at London’s many hospitals, which is why he’s been fired from just about all of them. Desperate for a position – any kind of position – the good doctor lands an assistant job at Dr. Robert Dalrymple’s (Jonathan Pryce) clinic, working for the rich and popular doctor who specializes in something very, very unique: the treatment of female hysteria. Traditionally speaking, “hysteria” was used as a blanket term of any kind of lady trouble for centuries, with the term originating in 4th century BCE. Hysteria was seen as a particular scourge on ladies in the Victorian era – “the plague of our time” – and was believed to effect half of the female population. Dalrymple eases his patients by way of a procedure referred to as “pelvic massage.” You can guess what “pelvic massage” really was. No, really, you can. There’s a picture up top and everything.

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As the temperatures turn just the slightest bit colder and the fall colors settle in the landscape (if you’re lucky enough to live near trees), we should start directing our film focus to the fall movie season. We love summer for its mind-numbing fun, but the last season of the year tends to offer some of the most vulnerable, honest, and captivating films (you know, just in time for that other “big O”). Fall supplies films meant to scandalize our minds and even our naughty bits, and there is nothing wrong with that. But with so many films and film festivals to choose from between now and December, it becomes overwhelming to sort through all the goodness being dispensed our way. Lucky for you, my love of highlighting full-frontal male nudity and questionable sexual conduct happens to pay off for a change. Below you’ll find a helpful collection of five sultry features sure to stimulate your brain and your nethers.

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Stop groaning at that headline and start moaning along with this clever, mildly silly trailer for Hysteria. Based on the historical invention of the vibrator, the film boasts Felicity Jones, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Rupert Everett, Jonathan Pryce and a bunch of women shaking their thighs in ecstasy. Seriously. There are a lot of shots of women coming in this thing. Beyond that, it has the usual flair that any period piece might aspire to. The costuming, the set work, the language. It’s all there along with some cheeky humor and what looks like a romantic foundation the focuses on taming a shrew. Plug in, and check it out for yourself:

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I think we all know each other well enough now. Yeah? Let’s talk fetishes. When I took the position of Reel Sex columnist the first story idea that sprung to mind revolved around BDSM culture. I’ve always been fascinated with the back and forth of this lifestyle, and with so many examples of light to moderate to down-right kinky in mainstream cinema it’s not difficult to find something that everyone can enjoy. Some of the films springing to mind right off the bat are ones we’ve looked at before, like 2002’s Secretary (which we will explore more in depth below), but there are so many more that established the base of mainstream BDSM culture in cinema. Here is just a small sample of what to expect before you dive, gag-ball deep, into some of the most controversially kinky films.

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Thanks to Netflix, it has become easier to watch controversial movies at home, but it’s also harder to find the quality. Often times a movie’s description is more misleading than helpful and may lead a person to feel duped once the credits have rolled. Following the website-generated suggestions only takes you so far—or right into the awaiting arms of something too line-crossing for a newbie – and a quick Google search turns up pages and pages of porn. I think it’s time someone makes this search a little less difficult. Yes, there are tons of lists out there compiled by reputable sites detailing which sex-centric movies are the quintessential, the most titillating, and even the most disgusting, but what if you just want to put your toe into the sex movie pool? You can have a movie that’s all about sex but doesn’t have one hot sex scene or a drop of chemistry in it…hello Last Tango in Paris!

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After months and months of racking my brain over it, a film project has finally pointed out what was missing from He’s Just Not That Into You and Valentine’s Day: a bunch of women climaxing and the invention of the vibrator. Thankfully, Maggie Gyllenhaal has signed on for just such a romantic comedy project where she’ll play daughter to a doctor (Jonathan Pryce) who helps insane, crazed, hysterical (read: slightly irritated) women of the sexy Victorian age by placing a vibrating massage tool where their Victorian’s Secret should cover. Uncover the details of Hysteria.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dives into Spring Break at Lake Victoria, or at least that’s how it felt in 3D. He examined how similar Piranha 3D is to Eat Pray Love because piranhas eat their prey and all the bare boobies can inspire such self love. Then Kevin is chided by an ugly Emma Thompson for misbehaving, and suddenly she becomes a hottie. Finally, Kevin tries to determine whether vampires suck or if it’s just Vampires Suck that sucks.

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Oscar Predictions

This year’s nominees in the Best Supporting Actress category run the gamut from a feisty lingerie-wearing mistress to a monstrous, abusive excuse for a mother, and while this category is usually pretty hard to predict, I’m thinking this year not so much. Here are the nominees for best actress in a supporting role.

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‘Crazy Heart,’ better known as the movie that Fox Searchlight thinks will get Jeff Bridges an Oscar, is an admirably low-key venture that never packs much of a punch.

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A month ago, there was very little known about the Jeff Bridges led drama Crazy Heart, from first time director Scott Cooper. But ever since Fox Searchlight set a release date, we’ve been hit with a flood of new info that has piqued our interest.

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Today brings the birth of The Early Edition, FSR’s latest daily feature — its your new first stop for movie news in the morning. Period. Seriously.

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Miley Cyrus for pervs and Maggie Gyllenhaal for bad fashion

Jennifer Cady is an avid reader of FilmSchoolRejects, is jealous of my success and is currently stalking me.

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Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight

The tagline of one of the movie’s posters is “welcome to a world without rules” and it could not be more fitting. Nolan’s vision is no-holds-barred and all the better for it. This movie is dark and complex, and never shies away from collateral damage or the potential thereof, which rewards the audience with one of the most suspenseful climaxes in recent memory.

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