Open Windows

Sasha Grey in OPEN WINDOWS

When Open Windows was making the festival rounds, it played like an increasingly crazy kidnapping yarn where all the action happens on a single laptop screen. Since it’s hitting theaters after August 31st (November 7th to be exact), Nacho Vigalondo‘s movie about an actress held against her will plays out very much like a statement on the large-scale celebrity photo leak that was dubbed The Fappening with a speed unique to the internet. It has the deranged, unseen hacker pulling the strings; the nascent A-lister (played by Sasha Grey) held hostage by the threatened release of a sexual video; and the super fan being used as the reluctant-but-not-that-reluctant tool of her discomfort. First of all, yes, it’s absurd. It’s a convoluted high concept worthy of Rube Goldberg, and Vigalondo takes great delight in expanding that wackiness. Second of all, it’s not easy to escape the unintentional commentary being offered here, and that’s something the writer/director fully recognizes. “I was horrified by the leak of photographs of famous women on the internet,” he tells me while nursing a hangover in the (also prescient) Black Lodge-themed karaoke room at The Highball during Fantastic Fest. “I’m horrified about my movie talking so straight about that stuff, and I’m feeling uncomfortable about my movie being a crazy fantasy. Because it’s not realistic at all. It became science fiction. I was so uncomfortable that this movie is a crazy fantasy about something so serious. [The leak] hadn’t happened by the time I was making it. But at the same time, […]

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Sasha Grey in OPEN WINDOWS

2007’s Timecrimes is a sharp time travel film that makes you believe the unbelievable in a movie with an impossible concept. Unfortunately, Nacho Vigilando fails to capture that same magic with his latest film, Open Windows. It’s a mixed bag that shows promise at the start before fizzling out in the last 30 minutes. Its technique is ambitious, but the final result is not. Nick Chambers (Elijah Wood) is visiting Austin to meet his favorite actress, Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey). She’s in town for Fantastic Fest to promote a comically terrible-looking cheap sci-fi sequel. Based on the clip, Jill is the kind of bad actress who still has her fans, including Nick, who runs a fansite for her. He was flown down to Austin to have dinner with Jill for an interview, but it’s unexpectedly cancelled by a mysterious figure (Neil Maskell). Since that figure’s voice is an English accent, you know something’s wrong from the start.

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Open Windows

Were you such a fan of the Ethan Hawke/Selena Gomez instant classic Getaway that you have to see it again, only you’d like to see it kind of modified? Have I got a treat for you. Sit down for Nacho Vigalondo‘s Open Windows, a puzzling thriller that replaces the car with a webcam, Hawke for Elijah Wood, and the disembodied voice with…another disembodied voice. Wood stars as the creepy but well-meaning fanboy/webmaster of a website dedicated to what looks like paparazzi shots of his favorite actress, Jill Godard (Sasha Grey). Without any prompting (RED FLAG), a Disembodied Voice gives him a code for a secret webcam pointed on Jill. Thanks, buddy! You know the drill, though; if Wood doesn’t do what he says, Jill dies. After a lot of furious typing and nineties hacking technology streaming across the screen, because he’s a computer genius, the trailer devolves into some kind of action-y mess. Check out the trailer for yourself after the break.

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Michael Fassbender

What is Casting Couch? It’s where you go to make sure Elijah Wood is adding another new job to his calendar every day. Turns out, today he kept the streak alive, read on… Colin Firth and Michael Fassbender are two of the best actors on the planet Earth; objectively, inarguably. What a coup, then, that director Michael Grandage has landed both of them for his upcoming project, Genius. Based on a book by A. Scott Berg, Genius is a biopic that explores the relationship between Thomas Wolfe (Fassbender) and his editor Max Perkins (Firth). Turns out Wolfe and Perkins were great friends, but the kind who butted heads over everything. Sure, listening to two guys argue over word choice wouldn’t normally sound like a very exciting idea for a movie, but with these two actors on board it absolutely does. Add this one to your to-do list. [Variety]

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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