Sarah Gadon

sm-maryjane

Why on Earth are we already reporting on The Amazing Spider-Man 3 when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn’t even finished being made? It’s a long story, one that starts with Monday’s news that Sony is so happy to have the rights to the Spider-Man property in their portfolio, they’ve already scheduled release dates for ASM 3 and 4, even before ASM 2 can be completed and released. For fans of Marc Webb and the principal cast he’s put together for this new Spidey franchise, Sony’s faith and commitment to new films has to be seen as a good thing, but, unfortunately, planning for two more movies has forced some things to be shuffled around, and all of that shuffling doesn’t come without at least one casualty. From the looks of things, said casualty is going to be Shailene Woodley’s portrayal of Mary Jane Watson, which we were supposed to be seeing in ASM 2.

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What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s ready for the weekend. Colin Firth is kind of a sneaky hunk. At first glance he’s pretty handsome, but not the most attractive dude in the world, and then he’s got this charm to him that just grows on you until you’ve scrawled his name on all of your Trapper Keepers. He’s such saucy dish that it looks like he can make even a big name star like Nicole Kidman develop a schoolgirl crush. THR is reporting that she liked playing his wife in the recent World War II drama The Railway Man so much that she’s now actively recruiting him to join her in her next project, Before I Go to Sleep. Apparently, Before I Go to Sleep is an adaptation of a S.J. Watson novel about an amnesiac woman whose husband must reintroduce himself to her every morning. Early attempts at titling the film The Rich Man’s 50 First Dates were reportedly rejected by the studio.

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Editor’s Note: This review originally ran as part of our Cannes 2012 coverage. Cosmopolis hits theaters this weekend, August 17th. Though it is faintly vulgar to talk of any actors in terms of only one project, who would have thought a couple of years ago that the two lead actors from Twilight would both feature In Competition at Cannes, starring in brave and bold adaptations of two iconic, but problematic American novels? Two days after Kristen Stewart’s next release – Walter Salles’ On The Road – screened in the Theatre Lumiere, the same screen played host to the Robert Pattinson-starring adaptation of Don DeLillo‘s Cosmopolis. The film follows Eric Packer (Pattinson), a young billionaire asset manager on a journey across a thronging New York City in his limousine, flanked by his head of security Torval (Kevin Durand) in order to get a hair cut. Along the way he encounters colleagues (Jay Baruchel, Samantha Morton, and Philip Nozuko), protesters (Mathieu Amalric), his wife (Sarah Gadon) and lovers (Juliette Binoche and Patricia McKenzie), all of whom contribute to unravel his cold, clinical world. It helps little that the New York he seeks to cross is in open revolt, with anti-corporation demonstrations making way for violence, and somewhere amongst it, an unknown killer stalks Eric.

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Is there anything more dangerously piquant than the angst of a teenage girl? The raw emotions, the budding sexuality and the passionate conviction that their feelings are matters of life and death all lend themselves towards the possibility of entertaining cinema. When handled correctly these characters can provide lurid thrills and wonderfully overwrought drama, but in less sturdy hands the results can be disaster. Even worse, it can result in mediocrity. Rebecca (Sarah Bolger) is returning to her all-girls boarding school excited to see friends and to try to put her father’s suicide further behind her. Her best friend Lucie (Sarah Gadon) is the one she’s happiest to see, and the two immediately fall into their old habits that have bonded them over the years. Into this tight friendship lands Ernessa (Lily Cole), a transfer student from the UK whose own father also killed himself. The new girl is odd in appearance and behavior, but nothing bothers Rebecca as much as Ernessa’s immediate attempts to befriend Lucie and Lucie’s almost as fast embrace of that friendship. She quickly grows jealous, and unable to conceal her feelings she upsets Lucie and loses the one thing that mattered most. When Lucie starts getting sick no one seems to see the connection between her mysterious illness and the presence of Ernessa, but when Rebecca’s suspicions drive her to dig deeper and her friends start leaving school by car or by body bag she finds the newcomer is more than a simple mean girl. […]

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Being the son of a famous artist can certainly have its drawbacks, and the most pronounced for Brandon “Son of David” Cronenberg will undoubtedly be certain expectations that he will take up his father’s filmmaking tricks and become a great in his own right. Especially difficult for Cronenberg Jr. will be some of his father’s fans’ unwillingness to forget former successes, and perpetually demand that he make Videodrome again, and the inevitability that they might now turn to him for that opportunity. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be such a concern, because based on the experience of Antiviral – included in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes film fest – the son of The Fly director has every intention of following in his father’s oddly-shaped footprints.

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As we get further and further out from The Twilight Saga’s initial success, it starts to feel like more and more of a stretch to accuse everything featuring young women and vampires of being a cash grab meant to capitalize on the mainstream’s fascination with Team Edward vs. Team Jacob. And yet, other than as a cash in on Twilight, I can honestly think of no other reason why a movie as miserable as The Moth Diaries would exist. A tale about the repressed sexuality of an all girls boarding school and how bottled up feelings bubble to the surface once a vampire is introduced into the mix, director Mary Harron’s adaptation of the Rachel Klein novel of the same name fails on almost every level imaginable. Initially my instincts were to blame that on Klein’s novel – which I haven’t read – because Harron had already proven herself a capable adapter of literary works with her 2000 film American Psycho; but, on further inspection, the excuse of less than serviceable source material failed to explain the film’s made for (crappy) TV look, the incapable actors that fill its supporting roles, or its scatter-shot, disjointed pacing. No, The Moth Diaries has to be a case of everyone involved firing on absolutely no cylinders.

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Mary Harron must be obsessed with refined murderers. She famously gave the world an adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s business-card obsessed killer in American Psycho, and now she’s headed to boarding school to create The Moth Diaries – an adaptation of the Rachel Klein novel of the same name. It looks like she’s got a cast on board as well – Lily Cole, Scott Speedman, Sarah Gadon and Sarah Bolger have all signed on. As to tone, Harron notes “This is a chillingly atmospheric horror story with real emotional depth. I’ve tried to stay true to Rachel Klein’s novel in the way it re-works and updates the Gothic tradition and the whole notion of girl-on-girl vampires.”

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