Nick Hornby

Reese With Her Spoon Going Wild

“Strayed” isn’t really Cheryl Strayed’s last name. The author and subject of “Wild” was originally born Cheryl Nyland, and eventually decided to change her surname after years of pain and a particularly wrenching divorce – and, if the movie adaptation of her novel is to believed, it was literally plucked out of the dictionary after careful consideration – into something that echoed, well, how she had strayed from her path, and possibly her wish to get back on track. When we first meet Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon) in Jean-Marc Vallee’s lovingly crafted Wild, she’s bloody and bruised and gasping, perched high atop a mountain, desperately pulling off her too-tight hiking boots to reveal a blood-soaked sock and a big toe that’s in bad shape. Terrified and alone, Cheryl yanks loose a cracked toenail, practically spits in pain and jostles loose a single boot, which tumbles down the rocky incline, never to be seen again. Cheryl’s next move is perhaps a bad one: she stands, screams and chucks her other boot after it. How do you get back on track after that? You stand and you yell and you chuck your other boot. And then you keep walking.

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Reese With Her Spoon Going Wild

There comes a time in every woman’s life where she has to face a couple forks in the road. When her life is going completely to hell and there’s really nothing that can remedy the situation. Is this the time to give up and curl into the fetal position indefinitely? Or does she gather up a fat stack of Oprah magazines and take life by the steering wheel, setting forth some impossible self-help journey to cleanse her system of whatever’s bringing her down? Girlfriend, you know the answer. The first trailer for Wild, the Nick Hornby-scripted adaptation of the wildly popular memoir by Cheryl Strayed, gets a few things clear straight off the bat. The source material for the film contains much darker depths than we’re used to seeing from the “find yourself” genre. One of the main reasons for Cheryl setting out on her journey is to cope with her former heroin addiction, and it’s clear from flashbacks peppered into the trailer that while the habit might be kicked, the emotional toll may still be present. It’s a stark contrast to Eat, Pray Love, where Elizabeth was dissatisfied with a mostly okay life and went on an extended vacation to canoodle with handsome dudes, or even something like How Stella Got Her Groove Back, where Stella … gets her groove back … directly via Taye Diggs on vacation. The other point is that Reese Witherspoon‘s hair after weeks on the Pacific Crest is much better than mine looks after sitting at a desk writing all day.

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A Long Way Down

Author Nick Hornby has a good track record with this movie stuff. The bestselling writer has been responsible for the source material – a little thing called “books” – for a number of beloved films that continue to endure as favorites in a crowded movie marketplace. Basically, the man writes good books, and then they become good movies. Hornby’s jump to the big screen so far includes films like About A Boy (which has now spawned its own television series), Fever Pitch (which got both a British and an American version in the span of eight years), and High Fidelity. (Hornby, it must be noted, is also a screenwriter who has found a niche adapting the work of others for the big screen – including An Education and the upcoming movie version of Wild.) But is Hornby’s next film going to hit with fans – both of his movies and of his books, and of any intermingling therein – or has the era of Hornb-tation run its course? Let’s try this – how do you feel about stories about suicide? What if they involve Imogen Poots? Are you interested in seeing Aaron Paul not yelling “bitch” a lot? Are you opposed to crying in movie theaters? Do you need a fairy tale ending?

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ronan

It was back in spring of 2012 when we first heard about a film adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s 2010 novel about an Irish immigrant, “Brooklyn.” Back then the story was that it was being put together by the same producing team that made An Education, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara was attached to play the lead, and the search was on for a director. Well, from the looks of the comments made my director John Crowley (Intermission, Boy A) in an interview he recently did with Bleeding Cool [via Dark Horizons], it appears that the suits have finally found the perfect director to bring this story to life, but in the process of making their search for a director, they seem to have lost their star.

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While most movie-going audiences familiar with author Nick Hornby know him best for seeing his own written works turned into films (like High Fidelity, Fever Pitch, and About a Boy), the writer has recently begun adapting other authors’ books into screenplays. We know, it’s a bit complicated. Hornby notably penned the screenplay for An Education, based on Lynn Barber’s memoir, and recently finished the script for Brooklyn, which is based on a Colm Toibin novel. Next up, Hornby will adapt another memoir for the big screen, turning his talents to Cheryl Strayed‘s “Wild,” a tome that Strayed wrote about her soul-saving 1,100-mile solo hike up the Pacific Crest Trail. Reese Witherspoon‘s production company, Pacific Standard, will produce the project, and Witherspoon is also expected to star. Witherspoon also personally drafted Hornby for the film, telling Deadline that “Nick’s innate blend of humanity and humor are a perfect match for Cheryl’s raw emotional memoir.” Hornby was just as filled as praise, commenting that he “loved Cheryl Strayed’s memoir. It’s moving, funny, painful and brave, and the moment I’d finished it I wanted someone to let me have a go at adapting it, because it was clear to me that it could make a wonderful movie. I’m thrilled to be given the chance; the fact that this chance was given to me by Reese Witherspoon, a great actress who feels exactly the same way about the book as I do, makes this project all the more exciting.” What a lovefest! ComingSoon rustled up the book’s official […]

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About a Boy gets a TV series

Hugh Grant is in need of a comeback. But this is not a story about that hypothetical comeback. (Although Grant fans should most definitely check out his crazy, cruel and fantastic performances in the upcoming Cloud Atlas.) Instead, news has broke that one of Grant’s finer films, his last great one with him in a leading role, is getting adapted into a television series. About a Boy featured Grant as a cynical, well-off bachelor incapable of forming real human connections, but when a teenager (Nicholas Hoult) facing his own social obstacles form an unlikely friendship with him they both learn that growing up doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Chris and Paul Weitz adapted the Nick Hornby novel for the big screen in 2002, and the story (in both mediums) is a wonderfully warm, often acerbic look at relationships and loving the people who matter most.

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Aaron Paul Casting in A Long Way Down

Yeah, bitch! Everyone’s favorite meth-making sidekick, Aaron Paul, is now set to star in the latest adaptation of a Nick Hornby novel. Deadline Hollywood reports that Paul will star in the Paschal Chaumeil-directed and Jack Thorne-scripted A Long Way Down, an ensemble dramedy about, of all totally hilarious things, suicide. The film centers on four very different characters who are linked by one common thread – they all plan to commit suicide in the same way on the same day. The four of them meet when they all find themselves on the top of the same building on New Year’s Eve, each intent on jumping off of it. As they talk and get to know each other, their plans go a bit askew. Paul will play JJ, an American who is living in London after losing both his band and his girl. Distraught over having chucked his dreams for a girl who chucked him, JJ is stuck in a dead-end job as a pizza delivery boy. He will be joined by Pierce Brosnan (as Martin Sharp, a former television host disgraced by his an affair with a fifteen-year-old girl), Toni Collette as Maureen (the single mother of a disabled son), and Imogen Poots (as Jess, a teenager with a host of family problems). If you’re thinking that this is perfect casting, you are correct.

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After months of carefully choosing her next roles post-The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, star Rooney Mara has gone on a bit of a signing bonanza – at least, a Mara-sized bonanza. Though Mara earned an Oscar nomination for the film (and the bulk of its kudos), she’s shied away from jumping into just any role – she’s signed on for films from auteurs like Terrence Malick (Lawless) and Stephen Soderbergh (Bitter Pill), showing her clear choice to not go a more traditional and commercial route with her burgeoning career. But Mara is easing up a bit, signing on for no less than two project this week alone. Just yesterday, Nathan reported on her apparent casting in Spike Jonze’s next film, in a role that once belonged to Carey Mulligan. As if that project didn’t already sound wonderful enough, Mara has signed on for another project that sounds, if possible, still more amazing. Variety reports that Mara is attached to play the female lead in Brooklyn, based on a novel by Colm Toibin and with a script adapted by no less than Nick Hornby. The film is still in need of a director, but it will be produced by Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey of Wildgaze Films, who also produced An Education.

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Back in May, the illustrious Matt Patches put together a list so honest, so compelling, so original, that I had absolutely no choice but to copy it almost totally wholesale to craft my own version. Patches’s list was comprised of eight films his previous girlfriends had forced him to watch that made him who he is today (the list was, of course, titled “8 Movies My Past Girlfriends Forced Me to Watch That Made Me Who I Am Today” because we here at FSR are nothing if we are not succinct). The list, while interesting on a purely cinematic basis, also said something surprisingly deep about the nature of relationships themselves – mainly when it comes to the all-important element of compromise. Patches, a gentleman and a scholar, found some compelling honesty in his consistently sweet tales of cinematic (and romantic) discovery. My list starts off with a film that made me realize my first boyfriend was possibly also interested in other men. That’s just the sort of list this is. Here are seven movies that seven different suitors all “forced” me to watch at different points in my (admittedly still young) cinematic life. More than any individual lesson each film taught me, together the list forms one giant reminder of what I love best about going to the movies – endless possibility. Take a peek at my list after the break, and then feel free to pipe in with any films that someone made you watch that ultimately changed your […]

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It’s Academy Awards time again, and even though we all know the awards are basically an irrelevant exercise in mutual masturbation it’s still fun to watch. This year sees a wide variety of films gain entry into Oscar history via nominations for Best Screenplay, Original and Adapted. Some deserve the honor, while others are based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire.

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an_education_trailer

Another trailer for An Education is online daring people to rebel in a polite sort of British way. Between the difficult and boring, and the easy and fun – which do you choose?

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an-education-trailer-header.jpg

Sony Pictures Classics has released the first theatrical trailer for Lone Sherfig’s period drama An Education, and in it we see the bright shining star that is Carey Mulligan.

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aneducation-1

Perhaps this year’s most buzzed about Sundance movie, director Lone Scherfig’s period drama accomplished more than few things during its Sundance ’09 run. First and foremost, it was one of the most well-executed period films of the festival, bringing to life 1960s Britain in a very authentic way. It also introduced us to a brilliant new talent named Carey Mulligan.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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