Stephen Daldry

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr pulls out his screening schedule, which looks like a gambling addict’s racing form. He bounces from huge, mainstream releases to minor indie award contenders. Facing motion-capture CGI, tattooed bisexual investigators, cross-dressing waiters, silent film actors, and a lead star who is literally hung like a horse, Kevin tries to make sense of the seemingly countless releases this holiday week. Exhaustion from this process makes it impossible to buy a zoo or face the 3D end of the world, but his movie stocking is full, nonetheless.

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Remember those trailers for Stephen Daldry‘s adaptation of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close that we all cringed at? Well, how could you forget – they stick with you in a very off-putting way. Disappointingly, most of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close replicates that experience. Daldry’s a fine filmmaker, and with a script from Eric Roth – a writer who’s delivered his fair share of modern classics – one should expect more from their collaboration. What their combination delivered is a mostly stilted, heavy-handed, and, quite often, wrongly manipulative experience. I won’t dismiss the film as being “blatant Oscar bait,” seeing as it’s well-intentioned and earnest. Unfortunately, those intentions, in execution, feel false and empty. A real heart isn’t here to grab onto; only an artificial and cold one. The film constantly says how Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) affects all these people he meets, but it never shows it. There are little glimpses of the child interacting with people on his quest, and whatever his effect may be holds no weight. The only emotional beat that somehow works is between Horn and Jeffrey Wright, despite the scene leaving one with the thought of, “Well, how’s this going to impact Wright’s character?” Sure, he’s seeing the beauty of a child desperately trying to find an answer, but in the grand scheme of things, the effect will probably be as powerful as a nice Christmas card: makes you smile and maybe makes your day, but a few days later, you’re no different.

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It will be interesting to see how audiences respond to a film about 9/11 being released on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. On the one hand, it feels like a great reminder and bittersweet tribute. On the other, it could be the hand that rips the bandaid off uncovering the wound again. Still, since the film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is based off the superb writing of Jonathan Safran Foer (check out Everything is Illuminated as well), and being helmed by poetic Oscar nominee Stephen Daldry, there’s little chance that it won’t be soaring and heartfelt. Now, John Goodman has joined Oscar winners Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks for the story of a young boy who loses his father in the 9/11 attacks and goes on a journey with a key his father gave him to find where it fits. [THR]

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Stephen Daldry is attached to see Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel about a little boy, his father, and 9/11.

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Stephen Daldry

The rumor mill around the fourth Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn, keeps spinning with each passing day. And like the film’s main character, Edward (Robert Pattison), the damn thing just won’t die — no matter how much we wish it would. Until Summit Entertainment picks a director, their “wish list” will be the source of great speculation.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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