The Standby Lovers

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Hey, there, sweet reader. Today hasn’t been the sunshiniest of Fridays, so let’s take a break and watch something sure to elevate your mood. Pedro Almodovar‘s latest film, I’m So Excited (which was once referred to as The Standby Lovers, and has now clearly been renamed in honor of The Pointer Sisters’ song), has just sent out its first teaser trailer, and it is a delight. Drugs! Dancing! Lip-syncing! All on a jet hurdling through the sky! Get your tickets now. (Get it?) Back in June, we learned a bit about the film when Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz joined the cast, including its apparent plot: “a comedy…that’s about a plane full of people who reveal their most guarded secrets to one another when the aircraft starts to go down.” And that’s just about all we know at this point, though it’s certainly not essential for enjoying said first teaser. Get excited with the teaser trailer after the break.

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Anyone who saw last year’s surgical horror story, The Skin I Live In, knows that director Pedro Almodóvar can pull a first-rate performance out of Antonio Banderas, which makes sense, seeing as they’ve been working together for over 20 years. And anyone who has seen Almodóvar’s starring vehicles for Penélope Cruz, like Volver or Broken Embraces, can give similar compliments to his relationship with that actress. Almodóvar is a filmmaker who knows how to get the best out of the people he’s working with. But what he’s never been able to do is direct Banderas and Cruz together in the same movie. As a matter of fact, even though they’re maybe the two most famous Spanish actors of the last two decades, up until this point nobody has been able to get them both to appear in the same film. That’s all set to change come Almodóvar’s latest project, however. His new film is a comedy called The Standby Lovers that’s about a plane full of people who reveal their most guarded secrets to one another when the aircraft starts to go down. In addition to Banderas and Cruz (whose official involvement we reported on yesterday), the film is also said to include an all-star cast of Spanish actors including Javier Cámara, Guillermo Toledo, Raúl Arévalo, Hugo Silva, Cecilia Roth, Miguel Angel Silvestre, Blanca Suárez, José María Yazik and Antonio de la Torre. That’s a lot of Spanish-sounding names.

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While the rest of the movie-going universe debates the merits of Prometheus, Ridley Scott is busy putting the final touches on the Cormac McCarthy-scribed thriller The Counselor. The film stars Brad Pitt as a lawyer who gets involved with drug trafficking, and already sported the promising supporting cast of Michael the-best-thing-about-Prometheus Fassbender and McCarthy veteran Javier Bardem. According to Deadline Bloomington, another McCarthy veteran (remember All the Pretty Horses?), Penélope Cruz, has officially been added to the cast after being rumored for a role for some time. No word on what character she’ll play, but despite any reservations audiences have had about Scott’s latest star-studded genre outing, this cast in the first script penned by really-freaking-good novelist Cormac McCarthy seems promising. Deadline notes that the film has been described as [sigh...] “No Country For Old Men on steroids,” which promises exactly the opposite of everything that made that Best Picture winner interesting. Principal photography for The Counselor begins this summer.

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