Rosemarie Dewitt

sandler

When’s the last time we saw Adam Sandler buckle down and do some real acting? Do things like Spanglish and Reign Over Me count because they were more drama than comedy, even though they were still pretty cheesy and lame? How about Funny People? That was kind of a meaty part, even though Sandler was essentially playing himself in it. Is his role in Punch Drunk Love really the only thing that could unequivocally be considered an example of Sandler rolling up his sleeves and actually doing some work as an actor? At this point we’ve gotten so used to the guy wearing cargo shorts and t-shirts while sleepily trudging his way through scenes opposite his friends, that to see him actually engaged in his work would probably feel pretty alien. Director Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air, Young Adult) seems to think that he can get a real performance out of him though, because a report from Deadline says that he’s in the process of signing Sandler to one of the featured roles in his next  movie—and Jason Reitman doesn’t make lazy Adam Sandler movies.

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dewitt

What is Casting Couch? It’s a rundown of all the important casting news that occurred in the last 24 hours. Today Hollywood’s movers and shakers have found jobs for former sitcom stars, former Goonies, and even the BoKu guy. Given all of the money that haunted house movies, possession movies, and remakes of old classics have been making lately, it’s seemed pretty strange that nobody has pulled the trigger on a Poltergeist remake. Could Tobe Hooper’s legendary tale of a terrorized family be the one property that the movie industry feels they got so right the first time, they don’t want to mess with it again? No. Don’t be silly. Of course a remake of Poltergeist is in the works, and a report out of Deadline says that Rosemarie Dewitt is now set to take the female lead, which was played by Jobeth Williams in the original. Monster House director Gil Kenan is in charge of the remake, and rumor has it that now that Dewitt has been recruited, his search for the new Craig T. Nelson is underway.

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stamp

What is Casting Couch? It’s the daily column that’s back with the first load of casting news for July, and if you love the CW’s 90210, then prepare to get excited, because two of the actors mentioned are apparently on that show, which apparently still exists. Tim Burton keeps making his upcoming biopic of Margaret and Walter Keane, Big Eyes, look more and more interesting by branching outside of his usual stable of actors and bringing in more and more talented people who we’ve yet to see him work with. The latest name he’s signed up, according to a report from THR, is screen legend Terence Stamp. He’ll be joining the film as art critic John Canaday, who is said to have been openly appalled at the way Walter Keane used his wife’s work in order to con his way into art world fame.

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touchy

Lynn Shelton’s Your Sister’s Sister was one of the best films of 2012, and is still probably criminally underseen, so let’s make sure that doesn’t happen to her new film, Touchy Feely, by spreading around its trailer early and often. The film stars Rosemarie Dewitt as a massage therapist who develops a fear of touching and being touched by other people, and even though that sounds like a difficult enough hurdle to overcome already, probably it’s safe to say that’s not entirely what the movie is about. No, the new trailer for the film makes it seem like a metaphor for the larger issue of human relationships, how we make connections with other people, how important those connections are to our wellbeing, and all of that good stuff. Of course, any movie about human relationships is going to need some talented humans to bring the whole thing to life, so Touchy Feely has gone ahead and brought together a cast of people like Ellen Page, Scoot McNairy, Allison Janney, and Josh Pais to make that happen. Click through to watch the trailer and see how they did.

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Promised Land

Promised Land has been met with a few Frank Capra comparisons, clearly establishing it as one of director Gus Van Sant‘s more easily digestible and accessible pictures. The filmmaker has never been afraid to test an audience’s patience or make them feel truly uncomfortable, but the new Matt Damon- and John Krasinski-penned movie isn’t one of those pictures. If anything, Promised Land, the story of a man trying to convince a small town to turn towards big business fracking, fits in quite neatly with Van Sant’s other, softer pictures: Milk, Good Will Hunting, and Finding Forrester. Those are his audience-friendly movies, the kind you’d pick watching with your grandma over, say, To Die For or Elephant. Speaking with the highly acclaimed Van Sant, we discussed his relationship with his audience, the process of test screening, and the investigations his characters tend to go on:

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Promised Land Trailer

Things get perhaps a bit zippy and drippy and cliched at the end of this first trailer for Gus Van Sant‘s Promised Land, but there’s just so much good stuff before all that upbeat music and hackneyed professions of maybe-wonder to sink it. Originally slated as Matt Damon‘s directorial debut, Promised Land does still feature Damon in front of the camera and behind its script, as he’s co-written this one with co-star John Krasinksi (of note, this is the sort of pairing dreams are made of), who first conceived of its story with author Dave Eggers before Matty and Johnnycakes (as we like to refer to them) penned the script. Details have been slim about the project, but we have known that it would center on “a salesman [who] experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town” and that it would possibly involve fracking. It looks like both those nuggets have proven to be true, as Promised Land looks like a mix of Erin Brockovich and Michael Clayton, set in a small town that Damon’s natural gas conglomerate is trying to convince to sell off their drilling rights. Things get messy when some of the townspeople start to revolt against ol’ smoothy Damon and his company, and that crisis isn’t helped by a potential love triangle that also involves Krasinski and the lovely Rosemarie DeWitt. Take a look:

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If there’s one thing that seems to be able to provide endless material for indie films to mine, it’s infidelity. There’s no need for special effects, fancy locations, or even big name actors to make a compelling human drama, all you have to do is set yourself up a good, old-fashioned love triangle, get a couple steamy shots of people doing it, and then take things to a place where everyone is crying a lot and yelling at each other. The results are instantly compelling, and instantly relatable to everyone watching. Nobody Walks has a leg up on your typical, indie infidelity movie for a few reasons though. Most apparent is that they actually have sprung for some big name actors. From indie darlings like Olivia Thirlby and Rosemarie Dewitt, to beloved TV stars like John Krasinski and Justin Kirk, to an up-and-comer like India Ennenga (Treme) and an old hand like Dylan McDermott, Nobody Walks is bursting at the seams with actors who you’ll recognize and have probably been impressed by at some point.

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It can be difficult making friends once you’re past a certain age because the older people get the more set in their ways they become. Youth offers any number of bonding experiences that bring people together from grade school up through college, but once you enter the real world those opportunities start to dwindle. Husbands and wives, children, jobs, existing friends…these things tend to limit the time you have for meeting new people, becoming familiar with them and building new relationships. Past the age of thirty a catalyst of some kind is required to draw people together on short notice. Something big is good. Something of planetary importance is even better. Evan (Ben Stiller) is constantly on the lookout for friends and has formed more clubs than Tracy Flick ever dared to dream. He keeps busy with running club and Spanish for Senior Citizens, but when one of his Costco employees is viciously murdered Evan decides to form a Neighborhood Watch. Franklin (Jonah Hill) failed every test the police department threw at him, so the opportunity to join a “vigilante squad” appeals to him greatly. Bob (Vince Vaughn) is a recent transplant to town with his wife and teen daughter, and he jumps at the chance to hang out with the guys. And Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) is simply a responsible newcomer to our American shores. Together they form a local neighborhood watch. Together they will decide Earth’s fate as they discover and attempt to stop an alien invasion. Together, if […]

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Editor’s note: With Your Sister’s Sister beginning its limited roll-out this week, we thought it best to re-run Robert Levin’s sterling Sundance review of the film, already a Reject favorite. This review was originally published on January 28, 2012. Your Sister’s Sister is perhaps the most high-concept movie I saw at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but it’s also one of the funniest and most heartfelt. Sometimes, a precise, discernible pitch really does have potential. And after this film and Humpday (in which two straight male friends decide to make an amateur porn film together), writer-director Lynn Shelton is fast establishing herself as one of the independent film world’s masters of such fare. Her new picture parallels pensive shots of the pristine, misty splendor of the Pacific Northwest with the story of three lonely, likable locals who are searching for happiness. Mark Duplass stars as the directionless Jack, struggling to cope with the recent death of his brother. Emily Blunt plays Jack’s best friend Iris, who is also his brother’s former girlfriend. To clear his head, she offers him the run of her family’s vacation home on a picturesque island off the Washington coast. Iris’s half-sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) is already there, though, looking to escape a trauma of her own: the end of a seven-year relationship. A drunken night with Jack leads to hilariously awkward sex and, eventually, serious consequences when Iris unexpectedly shows up the next day.

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Kate Hudson seems doomed to never get a chance to repeat her Almost Famous glory, stuck in a rut of endless romantic comedies, from the passable (Alex & Emma, How to Lose a Guy in 1o Days) to the horrific (Bride Wars, Something Borrowed). Nicole Kassell‘s A Little Bit of Heaven attempts to give Hudson just an, ahem, little bit more to work with, but the film is bogged down with too many shabby and shopworn rom-com tropes to ever rise above the sum of its tired and worn-out parts. Hudson plays Marley Corbett, who comes complete with all the hallmarks of a modern romantic comedy heroine – she’s dead-set against committed relationships (despite being quite in control of her sexual conquests), she depends on a Bridget Jones style urban family made up of friends and co-workers, she has a hip job, and she’s got a bawdy sense of humor that endears her to the most random of people. Marley is the last person you’d ever expect to get cancer (especially, as she so eloquently calls it, “ass cancer”), but her rapid weight loss and general malaise are not due to work stress or her wild social calendar – it’s the big c.

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There are a good number of reasons to get excited for Your Sister’s Sister, not the least of which is that our own Robert Levin saw it at Sundance and ended up enjoying it quite a bit. The biggest reason to get excited today, however, is the release of the film’s trailer. Taking place in the gorgeous scenery of the Pacific Northwest, Your Sister’s Sister tells the tale of a depressed gent (Mark Duplass) who gets sent away by his best friend (Emily Blunt) to her family’s island cabin. Hijinx ensue when Blunt’s equally depressed sister (Rosemarie DeWitt) is unexpectedly already at said cabin, and some drunken sexy time commences. Drama ensues when Blunt shows up the next day, also unexpectedly, and everyone has to work through a tangled web of complex interpersonal relationships and suppressed feelings.

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Sundance 2012: Nobody Walks

The notion that nobody walks places in Los Angeles is one of the biggest L.A. clichés, right up there with the belief that Southern California is populated by beautiful sunglasses-wearing people who spend most of their time doing cocaine when they’re not driving around in their convertibles, loudly yammering about the biz. Still, based on my limited experience there (and City of Angels dwellers, feel free to correct me), the aversion to walking is actually kind of true. At the very least, the idea provides an interesting way into the cross-coastal, gender-driven culture clash at the center of Nobody Walks, a film from New Yorkers Ry Russo-Young (director and co-writer) and Lena Dunham (co-writer), about a New York filmmaker named Martine (Olivia Thirlby) who arrives in L.A. to work on a movie with married sound designer Peter (John Krasinski) and to stay with his family at their home in Silver Lake, in part because she doesn’t drive.

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Neighborhood Watch has had a pretty dicey past, but under the eye of director Akiva Schaffer it seems to now be coming together nicely. The film has a new script penned by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg ready to go, and a bunch of casting maybes have become casting confirmations. Ben Stiller is set to star as a city guy who moves out to the suburbs and gets roped into joining a nutty neighborhood watch program. Big time comedic talents Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill have signed on to fill out the watch. Rachel Getting Married actress Rosemarie DeWitt has been tapped to play the Stiller character’s wife. And now another big name is in negotiations to hop on boar as well. Almost Famous actor Billy Crudup is the latest addition, and according to Heat Vision, he’s negotiating to play the character of a creepy and weird neighbor who catches the watch’s attention. Seeing as past synopsis of the film’s plot have pointed to the fact that Stiller and his new buddies find themselves stumbling into an alien plot to overthrow the planet, I think it’s probably a good bet that we’ve just found ourselves our first alien. Seems like a good choice to me. Crudup is just too handsome. It’s… suspicious.

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Things seem to finally be coming together quite nicely for the long troubled comedy Neighborhood Watch. After a period of uncertainty where it was having trouble getting financed, it now has two big name comedic actors signed on to star in Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. Sure, they may not be the freshest faces in Hollywood, and they might have been even bigger names a few years ago, but they’ve got a couple of in-the-now screenwriters, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, to take a pass at and freshen up the long gestating script they’re working with. Plus, they’ve got an up and coming voice in The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer to direct. After failing as a Will Ferrell vehicle, Neighborhood Watch might be set up to be the most relevant things that Stiller and Vaughn have done in a while. One sign that a film is really going full steam ahead in its production is when it starts filling out its supporting cast, and this one seems to be doing that right now. In the last day or so there have been several stories popping up about new faces being added. The first rumor, and the one that’s most likely, is that according to Heat Vision, Rachel Getting Married actress Rosemarie DeWitt is close to signing on as Stiller’s wife. If you remember the synopsis of this one, Stiller plays a city boy who is forced to move out to the boring suburbs, and DeWitt’s character would be the reason […]

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Nobody Walks is the next project from Lena Dunham, the writer/director/star of last year’s ultra-low budget indie film Tiny Furniture. It tells the story of a Los Angeles family that takes in an artist and has their lives changed by the experience, presumably because of her free wheeling quirkiness. Dunham is one of those young filmmakers whose voice is so specific and whose films are focused so intently on the struggle of modern youth that they get derided as naval gazing and narcissistic. Kind of like a proto-Sofia Coppola. Given that criticism of her work, warranted or not, she has at least picked three actors who are well experienced working in said hipster genre for her next feature. Rosemarie DeWitt has already been in one of the last decade’s big unlikable white people movies with Rachel Getting Married, John Krasinski worked with Sam Mendes when he took his stab at hipster ennui in Away We Go, and Olivia Thirlby is known for almost nothing but playing in movies about quirky, self obsessed youths, starting with Juno. If you are one of those people who rolls your eyes at movies about upper class, faux artsy white people, then be sure you don’t roll them right out of the sockets while you’re reading this. But if you’re a person that sometimes enjoys them, like myself, then this is already an interesting looking project. Source: Variety

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I’ve already heard several folks here in Park City draw lines between John Wells’ recession drama The Company Men and Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air. That’s not exactly true. But it also isn’t a bad thing.

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


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