Nicole Kidman

The Paperboy Movie Lee Daniels

Now don’t tell me that when you heard that Precious director Lee Daniels was directing a film about a love-crazed lady (played by Nicole Kidman) who is obsessed with a man on death row (John Cusack) that you thought, “yes, this will be fantastic and insightful and awards-worthy and dramatic and searing.” You did? But then you heard that Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron were co-starring as brothers who investigate the potential wrongful conviction of Cusack, who also get mixed up with Kidman, and it’s all kinds of wacky and crazy and embarrassing and you changed your mind? No? Really? But then you heard that Kidman pees on Efron in an act of love at some point in the movie and you remembered, “oh, yes, Lee Daniels. Hack.” Good. That said, wow, can The Paperboy arrive in theaters now? The film’s first trailer is positively off the wall, the sort of marketing that includes review pull quotes that include words like “pulpy,” “sweaty,” and “down and dirty” in order to sell the film. And while Kidman doesn’t urinate on Efron in this first trailer, it just might contain a glimpse of her face while in the act (in other news, can you believe this movie?). Check it out after the break.

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Park Chan-wook

According to Box Office Mojo, Chan-wook Park‘s first English-language film, Stoker, will hit theaters on March 1, 2013. The film stars Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, Jacki Weaver, Lucas Till and Dermot Mulroney in a story about a young girl who’s recently lost her father and has to deal with a strange uncle who arrives and embeds himself into her life. It’s exciting to see a definite release (this was on our list of Most Anticipated for 2012 as TBA), and it would be exciting to see any new Park work, but it’s especially interesting to see if he can avoid the pitfalls with making a movie within the studio system. He’s a bold visionary, and it’s unclear whether the potential of limitations might hamper his capabilities or whether he’ll use them to craft something incredible. We’ll see in March, the same weekend that Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium is schedule to screen. Not a bad double feature.

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Park Chan-wook is a talented filmmaker who’s never afraid to get experimental and crazy with his work, so film fans have been looking forward to his first English language movie for quite a while. The director’s breakthrough into the world of Hollywood will finally come in the form of a film called Stoker, which stars Mia Wasikowska as a teenage girl who’s forced to reconnect with a strange and probably dangerous uncle after the untimely death of her father. Just hearing that Park has gotten the chance to direct names like Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Jacki Weaver is enough to make Stoker a heavily anticipated release already, but today some new news broke that makes the movie look like even more of a surefire delight. According to Film Music Reporter, composer Clint Mansell has scored the film, and is currently recording its music at Air Studios in London. Mansell has been doing film work for a while, but he’s probably best known as being a longtime collaborator of Darren Aronofsky’s. Their work together has created some of the greatest scores of the last decade or so, with the soundtracks for Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain probably being the high points. Mansell was also responsible for the mellow tones that made up the score for Duncan Jones’ debut film Moon, a track list that surely shows up on a lot of movie score nuts’ top-ten of the 2000s lists. He is also a particular favorite of our own Allison […]

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Last year, I kicked off the FSR Cannes Awards by taking the opportunity to give three awards to The Artist (three of the Oscars it won actually, if you’re interested in just how much of a boss I am), and though there isn’t quite the same standout type of film at this year’s festival, there were some notable highlights. The rain was not one of them. This year, I saw 21 of the hundreds of films available to see, so these awards obviously only take in those that I deemed worthy of my attention (or which were possible to see given the intense mathematical equations required to see everything and write reviews of them all in timely enough fashion that all of the key information doesn’t bugger off out of your head). Here are my own highlights of the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival:

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The Paperboy John Cusack

Last year’s Cannes Film Festival featured this year’s Oscar winning Best Actor performance thanks to the inclusion of the wonderful The Artist in competition, and though the films seem to have been chosen for their artistry and provocative subtexts more than any really commercial pointers (as always happens the year after the festival is deemed “too commercial”), there have been some seriously fine performances this year as well. There wasn’t an Uggy this year, but there was a murdered pooch in Moonrise Kingdom, a bitey Killer Whale in Rust & Bone, and a striking performance from an armadillo in Bernardo Bertolucci’s Me and You, so we’ll have to wait and see who emerges with the best animal performance. Probably won’t come from Madagascar 3 though…so for the time being, let’s stick to the humans.

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The Paperboy Movie Lee Daniels

For a long time heavy-weight director Pedro Almodovar attempted to bring an adaptation of Peter Dexter‘s excellent novel “The Paperboy” to the screen, and a cursory glance at the story details of that novel confirm exactly what promise the Spanish auteur saw in that potential project. The book focuses on the case of death row inmate Hillary Van Wetter, convicted for the death of a local sheriff who murdered his cousin, and whose romantic relationship with letter-writer Charlotte Bless leads to the involvement of two investigative journalists from Miami who look into the possibility of Van Wetter being innocent. Without wanting to give away too much, as the book progresses, all is not what it seems, leading to a catastrophic ending. It seems that Almodovar was not the man to bring a film version of The Paperboy to life, and Precious director Lee Daniels stepped in to offer his own take on the story, investing a good deal more social outrage and shifting the focus onto the younger brother of one of those journalists. Zac Efron plays that brother – Jack Jansen – a former swimmer kicked out of college for an angry act of vandalism, and Matthew McConaughey his elder brother Ward, who enlists the help of writing partner Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo) to investigate Van Wetter’s (John Cusack) innocence, at the behest of local vamp, and regular inmate letter write Bless (Nicole Kidman).

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Playwright-turned-screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire quite memorably adapted his own Pulitzer prize-winning work for the Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart-starring Rabbit Hole, an intense family drama directed by John Cameron Mitchell that centered on a couple attempting to recover from the sudden loss of their young son. The 2010 drama was one of the year’s best, thanks in no small part to Lindsay-Abaire’s script and Kidman’s powerful Oscar-nominated performance, so it’s certainly good news that the two are pairing up again for another film about a different sort of family and their own set of troubles. Deadline Douglaston reports that Lindsay-Abaire will adapt Kevin Wilson’s novel “The Family Fang” for the screen, with Kidman starring in and producing the project. The New York Times bestseller hit shelves last year, and it garnered a ton of critical praise – including find a place on end of the year top ten lists complied by “Time Magazine,” “Esquire,” and “People Magazine,” along with a place on Kirkus’ Best Fiction of 2011 and Booklist’s Top First Novels of 2011. Kidman and Per Saari, her partner at Blossom Films, also optioned the book last year, and it appears they’ve made a fine investment.

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In some “oh, wow, I totally forgot they were casting that” news, Variety reports that Nicole Kidman has “beaten out some stiff competition” to grab the role of Grace Kelly in Grace of Monaco. That actress is currently in negotiations for the role in Olivier Dahan‘s film, which comes complete with a Black List script from Arash Amel. We’ve know about the project since October, when The Hollywood Reporter said that the film “sets Kelly’s personal story amid the politics of the time, in the vein of The King’s Speech.” The film will focus on Kelly’s life six years into her marriage to Prince Rainier III (and thus, six years into her princess-hood) and is set between December 1961 and November 1962. That is certainly a compelling time frame in Kelly’s life, marking her adjustment period to royalty and including the very young childhoods of two of her three kids.

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In The Paperboy, Zac Efron and Matthew McConaughey play reporters from Miami hired to prove the innocence of a death row inmate (John Cusack). The woman who hires them is the highly sexual Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman) who has fallen in love with the inmate despite never meeting him. She’s convinced he should be free, and that they should be married. The movie is based on the novel by Pete Dexter (who wrote the screenplay), and it’s being directed by Precious helmer Lee Daniels. With one Oscar-nominated film under his belt, it will be interesting to see if he shoots for a second. It will also be interesting to see if they keep the harrowing ending to the novel, because if they do, things are about to get a lot darker. A new poster for the film is making the rounds, and it’s the kind of artwork that makes most poster artists seem lazy (as if they need help). It’s a fantastic throwback style with a little too much eye-liner. Check it out for yourself:

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; we don’t know what a barbie is either so just throw the shrimp into our mouths. You have just gone walkabout and stumbled upon the Internet’s 87th most prestigious bad movie column. Every week, I spear a wildly schlocky movie as it goes hopping by with a veritable pouch full of shortcomings. But then my opinion of the film boomerangs back to the pure adoration I’ve been harboring all along. To cap the occasion, I offer a disgustingly delicious snack food item certain to prove only slightly less hazardous than any of the innumerable poisonous Australian fauna. This week’s didgeri-don’t: BMX Bandits. 

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

When the calendar page turns to October, we Rejects have only one thought: horror. To celebrate this grandest and darkest of months, we’ll cover one excellent horror film a day for the entirety of the month. That’s 31 Days of Horror and 31 Films perfect for viewing on a dark, chilly, October night. If you, like us, love horror and Halloween, give us a Hell Yeah and keep coming every day this month for a new dose of adrenaline. Synopsis The Others begins with a scream when Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman)awakens from a nightmare. Grace and her children Anne and Nicholas live in isolation in a fog shrouded house on the Jersey Islands in 1945. She and the children had been living under German occupation, but even though the war has ended and the occupation is over life is still fraught with tension. The children are so photosensitive they will die if exposed to sunlight. The windows are shrouded in blackout curtains leaving them in darkness only relieved by candlelight or gas lamps. Grace’s husband Charles is missing in action and she’s on her own struggling to keep her children safe. Grace’s struggle to maintain an orderly life is disrupted by the arrival of three mysterious servants. The secretive trio arrives out of nowhere, but good help is hard to find so Grace hires them, leading them from room to room, instructing them on how to keep the children away from sunlight. It’s Anne who is aware of the others […]

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For a film with Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman to get theatrically dumped, it’s a pretty clear sign that the final product didn’t turn out so hot. The dumpee is Joel Schumacher‘s Trespass. That’s right, a Joel Schmucher film with two recognizable stars is getting rushed in and out of the market. Apparently, it will be hitting DVD and VOD three weeks after its October 14th theatrical release. VideoEta already has the home video release date listed as November 1st. Millennium picked up the film about a month ago and even with the hit and miss star power involved, one would think it would get a bigger release than this.

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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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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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What is Movie News After Dark? It too slays vampires and zombies. Not in a top hat, mind you, but it slays them nonetheless. It also believes strongly that it will be assassinated (by /Film’s Page 2) while attending a revival of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. “There’s something in the American psyche, we want our presidents to be warriors. We’re giving that to Abraham Lincoln, sort of posthumously in this case.” That’s what Seth Grahame-Smith had to say A in an interview with The New York Times. It’s part of NYT giving the world its first look at Benjamin Walker as Abe Lincoln, the ax-wielding, vampire slaying 16th President of the United States. It’s a neat article that gives away a lot of details about the project, but nothing that you wouldn’t get having read the book.

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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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This article is part of our Oscar Week Series, where you will find breakdowns and predictions for all of the major categories. Some of you might be confused as to what the Best Actress category is exactly. Don’t worry; it’s easy enough to explain. You see, Best Actress is just like the award for Best Actor, except it’s for people with lady parts only. Why there needs to be a gender distinction when it comes to giving out awards for acting performances is beyond me. Is there something inherent in one of the genders that would give them the edge when it comes to acting? Or maybe this is a relic of an older Hollywood where all of the really meaty roles were written for men and actresses didn’t have much more to do than be the object of affection? I think we’re past that point now. I would argue not just that female actors put out work equal to male actors in 2010, but also that they were on the whole given more interesting characters to play. I say that this is the year where we need to band together and call for the end of award discrimination. Who’s with me? Maybe you should look over the nominees first. They are as follows, with my winner prediction in red.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr spent the night in jail after trying to sneak in and see Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D. The cops didn’t believe him that he was trying to watch the latest remake of Thunderball. Sadly, they just saw a pervy looking fat guy squealing and crying with a group of thirteen year old girls. Fortunately, he had a chance to catch the other movies of the week, including Gnomeo and Juliet, Just Go With It and The Eagle. He also gives a little bit of love (what’s left of it anyway after spending the night in lock-up) to the Oscar-Nominated Shorts.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr enters the grid (which is what he likes to call his local IMAX theater) to try and find an old and hairy Jeff Bridges amidst a bunch of young-looking sexy-time people in tight body suits. Afterwards, he has a pic-i-nic at Jellystone Park and faces a bear attack. It’s a good thing he had his hunting rifle with him… but he still wonders why that grizzly he shot was wearing a hat and tie. Finally, he hands out some grades on two limited release award flicks that really don’t jazz him as much as a big, dumb IMAX 3D movie.

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Rabbit Hole takes on one of the oldest artistic subjects – a family’s struggle to find some way of moving on from a devastating death. Yet, as adapted by David Lindsay-Abaire from his own Pulitzer Prize-winning play, the film avoids the overt sentimentalizing and easy stabs at the tear ducts –what one might deem “grief porn” – that have wrecked so many of its predecessors. Instead, director John Cameron Mitchell has assembled an affecting, well-acted portrait of a couple stuck in stasis, trying to reclaim normalcy where there is none to be had. The Hedwig and the Angry Inch creator demonstrates an eye for the intricacies of a strained relationship, the complex psychological burden of the lingering, pervasive specter of a terrible loss and the eerie quality of a home once occupied by a child, now hauntingly quieted.

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