Mia Wasikowska

Suspense novelist Patricia Highsmith will forever be known as the scribe behind “Strangers on a Train,” which has been adapted for the big screen over two dozen times (and most memorably by Hitchcock himself), but Highsmith also wrote another seminal work of fiction whose influence arguably surpassed “Strangers.” Two years after publishing “Strangers,” Highsmith adopted the pseudonym Claire Morgan to pen a very important piece of homosexual fiction – “The Price of Salt.” Despite the book’s ground-breaking portrayal of a lesbian relationship in the 1950s, the book has yet to yield a full-scale cinematic adaption – but that’s changed now. News from Cannes (our new favorite kind of news!) reports that John Crowley (who previously directed the achingly beautiful and deeply sad Boy A) will direct a big screen take on the book, now titled just Carol for the film, that will star Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska as the lovers, Therese and Carol.

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Young Ezra Miller terrified audiences last year with work in Lynne Ramsay’s nightmare factory of a film, We Need to Talk About Kevin, but the rising star doesn’t appear interested in getting stuck in similar (horrifying, revolting, and very difficult) roles. Variety reports that the actor has signed on for a role in Sophie Barthes‘s Madame Bovary, already set to star Jane Eyre‘s Mia Wasikowska in the title role and Paul Giamatti as Monsieur Homais. The outlet does not specifically name his role, just that he will be a “love interest” for Wasikowska, but Cinema Blend points out that Miller is better suited for Leon Dupuis, one of the first men who tempts Emma, but not the man she eventually engages in a passionate and destructive affair (that would be Rodolphe Boulanger). Written by Rose Barrenche from Gustave Flaubert‘s novel, Barthes plans to start filming this fall. While I’m not particularly sold on yet another take on Bovary, Barthes is lining up an impressive and varied cast, which could recommend this new version of the classic story.

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Director John Hillcoat’s (The Road) upcoming project tells the tale of a family of Depression-era bootleggers coming under the scrutiny of a crooked and cutthroat authority. It’s adapted from a Matt Bondurant novel called “The Wettest County in the World,” it was once being referred to as The Wettest County, and for some reason it’s now called Lawless – but a movie with this cast by any other name would be just as badass. The film’s first theatrical trailer has hit the net today, thanks to Yahoo! Movies, and for the first time we’re getting a glimpse of just how much fun it is to see all of these actors working together; which is a whole lot of fun indeed. First off, you’ve got Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke, and Tom Hardy playing the Bondurant Boys, the bootlegging trio of brothers who are, at least in some way, based off the author of the source material’s real family history. Then you’ve got Gary Oldman playing the big-time crook they’re working for, Guy Pearce playing the corrupt authority figure brought in to make sure they’re either getting shut down or giving the government their required cut of the profits, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska playing a couple of ladies they become romantically entangled with, and a whole host of grizzled-looking character actors filling out the rest of the cast of backwoods Virginia hillbillies.

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What has long set Gustave Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary” apart from other literary works is that it is wildly considered by scholars and other writers alike to be a “perfect” work of fiction and a supreme example of Realism, one elevated by Flaubert’s personal signature of weaving in themes and details and paying particular attention to setting and place. It’s not a very original story – in short terms, it tracks the unhappy marriage of a mismatched pair that ends tragically after the wife’s unfaithfulness, partially sparked by her boredom – but Flaubert’s skill makes the reading of the book its own reward. Of course, the novel has been adapted for the screen numerous times – including Albert Ray’s 1932 film, MGM’s 1949 film directed by Vincente Minnelli, a 2000 miniseries starring Frances O’Connor, and Claude Chabrol’s 1991 Isabelle Huppert-starring feature. And, of course, it’s high time that Hollywood adapted the novel yet again – its importance as a written work be damned! Variety reports that Mia Wasikowska will star in a new Madame Bovary as Emma Bovary herself. Wasikowska has become Hollywood’s go-to girl for period pieces, with recent roles in Jane Eyre and Albert Nobbs, so such casting is not surprising. Sophie Barthes (Cold Souls) will direct from a screenplay by Rose Barrenche. The outlet reports that “the adaptation is a period piece that is faithful to Gustave Flaubert’s original story, [but] it is a fresh retelling of the classic novel, em[emphasizing the more youthful and contemporary themes.” What, […]

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The last time we heard about director Richard Ayoade’s follow-up to his quirky and likable teen drama Submarine, we were hit with the news that Jesse Eisenberg had been cast in the lead. The Double is based on a Fyodor Dostoyevsky novella called “The Double: A Petersburg Poem,” which is a trippy tale about an average Joe who’s being followed around by his exact double, an evil doppelganger intent on ruining his life. Eisenberg, of course, is playing the lead and the lead’s evil twin, which is exciting in itself; but now that THR is reporting that up-and-coming young actress Mia Wasikowska is also joining the cast, my excitement surrounding this one has, well, doubled. Seeing as this is less a direct adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s novella and more a work written by Ayoade and Avi Korine that’s inspired by the original story, it’s hard to say what role Wasikowska will actually be playing in the film. But seeing as she’s a major actress, I guess we can infer that it’s going to be a large one? What THR does seem to know for sure is that Ayoade promises that his film is “funny, frightening and dream-like” and it will “reflect on loneliness and our need to love and be loved.” Sounds like The Double is going to share some themes with Submarine. Is this the first glimpse we’re going to get at Ayoade the auteur? Couple this onscreen duo with the satiric wit that Ayoade displayed in his first film, […]

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Albert Nobbs is a study in tasteful restraint. But that doesn’t mean it’s slow, passionless or dry. Rodrigo Garcia’s film trades in subdued emotions and subtle currents of longing that are deeply felt, driven home by the great performances of leads Glenn Close and Janet McTeer and a screenplay that’s attuned to the sense of wonder — and the longing for something better — that accompanies the pursuit of an unlikely dream. Close stars as the title character, a devoted and rigid butler at a small 19th century Dublin hotel. Albert has a secret, of course. He’s a woman, living as a man to work and save enough money to open a small tobacco shop. When the obsessive, justifiably paranoid Albert meets Hubert Page (McTeer), a handyman facing the same predicament, he’s inspired to begin opening up, moving forward in his store-owning aspirations and fomenting a romance with the deceptive maid Helen Dawes (Mia Wasikowska).

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr pulls out his screening schedule, which looks like a gambling addict’s racing form. He bounces from huge, mainstream releases to minor indie award contenders. Facing motion-capture CGI, tattooed bisexual investigators, cross-dressing waiters, silent film actors, and a lead star who is literally hung like a horse, Kevin tries to make sense of the seemingly countless releases this holiday week. Exhaustion from this process makes it impossible to buy a zoo or face the 3D end of the world, but his movie stocking is full, nonetheless.

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Tim & Eric

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of things you’ll want to read, even if they didn’t originate on this website. We know, we know, all the good stuff can only come from Film School Rejects. But every once in a while (at least 8 times per day), other websites strike gold. And we’re here to celebrate their modest victories. We begin tonight with an image from Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, one of a number released today by Magnolia Pictures. It features Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim as… well, I have no idea what’s going on in this picture. But apparently people find this funny. Having watched numerous episodes of their show, I’m not convinced that they’ve ever been funny. But who am I to argue with the masses? Oh right, I do argue with the masses. Seriously, guys, this stuff isn’t funny. At all.

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Typically, release date information isn’t the most important of news, but when it comes to John Hillcoat’s latest project, a star-packed adaptation of a book ripe for a cinematic telling, all bets are off. Hillcoat lensed The Wettest County in the World, from Matt Bondurant’s fact-based tale of his very own grandfather and two of his granduncles and their moonshine-running exploits in Prohibition-era Virginia, earlier this spring, and rumors once held that we’d see it this December, but that’s just not the case. The Weinstein Company picked the film up back during this year’s Cannes Film Festival, but they won’t have the time or inclination to get it into theaters until April 20, 2012. The film is crammed with a murderer’s row of talent, from the firmly established (Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce) to the up-and-coming (Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, Dane DeHaan, Mia Wasikowska) to the hot properties looking to expand their resumes (Shia LaBeouf , Tom Hardy). Hardy, Clarke, and LaBeouf star as the three bootlegging Bondurant brothers, who attempt to hold their family business together through threats that include the law, other bootleggers, and love. While the book itself is a bit dry, the tale of the Bondurants is inherently cinematic, and under Hillcoat’s watch (and with a script from his The Proposition scribe, the ever-talented Nick Cave), Wettest County should prove to be an accomplished and thrilling slice of Americana. [BoxOfficeMojo, The Playlist]

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I’ve no better, more eloquent way to put this — Gus Van Sant‘s Restless is awful, pandering, painfully acted, lazily written, up its own ass schlock. It’s bad. This is not the Van Sant that pulled beautiful, nuanced performances from his actors in Good Will Hunting, gave us solid, dark, indie-fare like Elephant, or even the almost total airball remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. This, perhaps, is a sign that Van Sant has taken his title as arthouse darling and run it completely off the rails.

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Usually when a filmmaker goes on a string of making a bunch of movies it’s nothing to bat an eyelash at. Hey, he’s a filmmaker, what did you expect? But when that filmmaker happens to be Terrence Malick, then it’s a whole other story. Malick is an infamous perfectionist who usually takes at least five years or so between everything he makes. Dude even waited twenty between Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line. It’s weird that despite the fact his newest film Tree of Life was just in theaters, he already has his next picture in the can. But it’s even weirder that before that picture has been put together and given a release date and what not, Twitch has already unearthed some information about the next movie he’s making a move on. Once he gets his Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams romance Voyage of Time out of the way, he’s said to be starting up a new film, which will star Christian Bale. That Bale is in the film shouldn’t come as a surprise, he’s worked with Malick before in The New World and he almost took the role Affleck eventually filled in Voyage of Time; but the fact that we look to be getting three Malick movies in two years is a gigantic shock. Who put what in this guy’s Wheaties? Does Malick know something that we don’t, or did he just blow all his money on a gambling debt or something?

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It was only a matter of time after Jacki Weaver’s Oscar nominated turn as the grandmother from hell in the Australian thriller Animal Kingdom that she would start popping up in American films. First up will be a role in Nicholas Stoller’s Five Year Engagement due out next April, but a second US-based film has just been added to her schedule and it’s exciting news to say the least. Deadline Sydney is reporting that Weaver has joined the already strong cast of Park Chan-wook’s English language debut, Stoker. The film, written by Prison Break‘s Wentworth Miller, tells the story of a teenager (Mia Wasikowska) dealing with her father’s recent death and the arrival of her odd and eccentric uncle (Matthew Goode) whose return home coincides with a rash of disappearances around town. Nicole Kidman is set to play Mia’s mother, and it’s presumed that Weaver will take on the grandmother role again. Hopefully this doesn’t mean she’ll try to have poor little Mia killed.

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Jim Jarmusch is a polarizing figure among the film-going public. His films are all a little off the beaten path, a little bit inaccessible to general audiences, and usually some people end up loving them and some people end up hating them. I think what everybody can agree upon though, is that there are always several interesting things going on with every project that he takes. That’s why new reports that he is planning to helm a vampire movie have left me scratching my head a little. He’s making a vampire movie? Right in the middle of a time where every hack director who can find funding is making a vampire movie? That just doesn’t seem like Jarmusch’s bag. But still, despite all of that, I certainly can’t argue with the cast he’s compiling. This new vampire project is still untitled, but it’s set to star Tilda Swinton, Michael Fassbender, and Mia Wasikowska as the children of the night. Those are some good vampires. Also, the extremely British John Hurt has been cast in an undisclosed feature role. I don’t know about you, but if I was going to be casting a distinguished gentleman like John Hurt in my new vampire film you better believe it would probably be as some grizzled old vampire hunter. In addition to the casting news, Jarmusch let a little bit slip about the setting by calling the film a, “crypto-vampire love story, set against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangiers.” Say what you […]

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Last year I came away from Cannes needing to tell as many people as possible to see Blue Valentine, which enthralled and emotionally jarred me thanks to a blend of compelling story-telling and two mesmerizing lead performances ranging from touching to explosive in the space of a few short minutes. Already, only two days in, I feel the same way about Gus Van Sant‘s Restless, the film that today opened the Un Certain Regard section of the festival. Restless is a similar tale of two entwined souls romantically entangled, but unlike Blue Valentine, which was all about the central pair’s relationship to the extent that it quite wonderfully presented them as living in an impenetrable and ultimately devastating bubble, Van Sant throws in a couple of narrative conceits and a hugely gripping hook that adds a different element to the film. Both films share a resolute focus on a final point: while Blue Valentine alludes to it (the relationship’s end) thanks to an alinear narrative structure, Restless reveals very early on that Annabel (Mia Wasikowska) has a terminal disease that will kill her inside three months, which gives the story both structure and that killer hook. This is no Bucket List – there are no grand, sweeping gestures, no life affirming to-do-lists to complete in order to feel complete before death. Instead we are offered a portrait of a young couple, both aged by their personal tragedies (one by her illness, the other by the death of his parents), yet unwilling and unable to cast […]

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Why Watch? There is absolutely nothing wrong with shooting a flaming arrow at a zombie to blow it up. There’s also nothing wrong with Spencer Susser’s short film I Love Sarah Jane. Especially since there’s nothing wrong with Mia Wasikowska dropping F-bombs a lot. I mean, a lot. There are a lot of instances and colorful uses of the word Fuck here. The gore is particularly gruesome with some droolingly uneasy wounds and creeping zombie make-up as the bloody cherry on top. Thanks, Australia! What Will It Cost? Just 12 minutes of your time. Does it get better any better than that? Check out I Love Sarah Jane for yourself: I LOVE SARAH JANE (2008) Directed By: Spencer Susser Written By: Spencer Susser & David Michod Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Brad Ashby, Beau South, Vladimir Matovic, and Peter Yacoub Trust us. You have time for more short films.

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When Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) was quite young, her parents died and she was left in the care of her aunt. The aunt took none too kindly to Jane’s outspokenness and her free spirit and promptly sent her to a finishing school where education was synonymous with corporal punishment. Years later, having survived her sentence at that school, she is employed as the governess for the daughter of the wealthy Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender). A love blossoms between them, but a terrible secret threatens to tear them apart. Melodrama ensues. I may very well invoke your judgment and scorn with the following admission: I don’t like period romance films. That being said, I happily volunteered to review Jane Eyre. No, this was not rooted in a sadistic desire to rip the film to shreds but rather the result of a very deceitful piece of marketing. If you haven’t seen the trailer, and you are as ignorant of the story of Jane Eyre as I was, it sells you on an atmospheric horror film set in the Victorian Age. They go so far as to appropriate the Goblin score from Suspiria and lay it over the three seemingly supernatural moments of the film. Turns out, now that I’ve seen the movie and had a few gaps filled in for me, there is a pseudo ghost story interwoven into the fabric of Jane Eyre, but this adaptation does nothing to cultivate it so the trailer is an out and out lie. But […]

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We reported back in November about Chan-wook Park setting up his first English-language gig with Fox Searchlight, but at the time, the synopsis for Stoker merely alluded to foul play by the hands of a young girl’s uncle who comes to town when her father dies. According to the usually questionable Daily Mail (via Screen Rant), the uncle is definitely a vampire. What’s more, the rag claims that Oscar winner Colin Firth is set to star as the bloodsucker alongside Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska. All of those names are various replacements for Carey Mulligan, Jodie Foster and Johnny Depp (that guy is everywhere) who were all name-dropped last Fall. Park handled vampires with his trademarked insanity in Thirst, so seeing him return to that is bittersweet. The most fascinating prospect is seeing him handle someone else’s material (sense the script for Stoker was written by Wentworth Miller). Park has written for others, but he’s never directed a screenplay that wasn’t his own. That could be a challenge, especially in the face of the curse of brilliant directors making the jump to American cinema. At the very least, it will be interesting to see the auteur try on someone else’s writing for size. Firth in the mean time will be seen in the forthcoming Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and at some point we’ll get to see Park’s iPhone movie in all its glory.

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John Hillcoat, director of The Proposition and The Road, has managed to once again assemble an awesome ensemble for his next project Wettest County in the World.  The film will be an adaptation of a Matt Bondurant novel of the same name (except for an added “The” at the front, I guess Hillcoat got tired of making “The” movies) that is about a family of Virginia-born brothers who take to distributing booze during prohibition. Originally Hillcoat had tapped Shia LaBeouf and Ryan Gosling to play two of the three brothers in a cast that was to also include Paul Dano and Amy Adams, but that all fell apart. Hearts were broken and what looked to be a pretty awesome film project was put into question. Things have looked up since then, however. LaBeouf is still on the project and instead of a Ryan Gosling it was announced that we would be getting Tom Hardy. That’s a pretty strong trade. And now The Hollywood Reporter has Hollywood reported that Jason Clarke, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman, and Mia Wasikowska will join LaBeouf and Hardy for the ride. Mind blown. Clarke will be the one filling out the trio of brothers, while Pearce plays the hardass deputy trying to take them down, Oldman plays a gangster who employs them, and Wasikowska plays LaBeouf’s love interest. The movie will be made from a script by Nick Cave and it’s set to begin shooting on February 28th. That’s a whole lot of name-dropping for one […]

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Upcoming thriller Stoker looked to have a moment of trouble when its original lead actress Carey Mulligan dropped out of the project. Ever since her breakthrough performance in An Education, Mulligan has been seen as the go to girl when you need a talented young actress. Her attachment to the script is probably a large reason why it sold in the first place. But a crisis has been averted, as the project has managed to snag the girl poised to be the next big thing after Mulligan to take her place. Mia Wasikowska, who turned heads in last year’s indie success story The Kids Are All Right and who gained mainstream success starring in the Tim Burton-helmed Alice in Wonderland is reportedly close to signing on to the film. Wasikowska should gain further credentials before this one goes behind the camera by starring in a big screen adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë novel “Jane Eyre”, which is set to be released in March and looks just like the type of stuffy period piece that would get recognized during awards season. In Stoker Wasikowska would be playing a teenage girl who is forced to reconnect with an estranged uncle after the death of her father. The project is to be directed by Chan-wook Park, whose 2003 revenge film Oldboy gained a lot of critical attention in the US for its quirky yet brutal approach to its material. Park’s projects are always ones to watch, and the Wasikowska grab seems to be […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

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