Vera Farmiga

Bates Motel

Bates Motel still remains a surprising success. Not only in terms of ratings, but its quality. A prequel to Psycho showing a young Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) sounded like a joke a few years ago, the kind of idea doomed to fail. But the first season turned out to be a highly enjoyable show. Vera Farmiga does consistently great work, Highmore is good fun, and, every once in a while, there’s some genuinely good drama, thanks to Norma Bates, who’s the heart and soul of the show. Unfortunately, there was s a slight drop in quality with season two. Bates Motel is at its best when it’s just Norma and Norman getting through problems or the never-ending trope of the nerdy kid going after “the cool girl” when the right one is there all along: Emma (Olivia Cooke). Once Norman starts watching High School movies, hopefully he’ll smarten up. Where the show began to falter was the all-too-heavy focus on the town’s drug war.

read more...

at-middleton

Here’s an pairing that’s just so odd that it might work: Vera Farmiga and Andy Garcia as bubbly single parents of incoming college freshmen who fall in love when they meet on the campus tour. Adam Rodgers‘ At Middleton is the story about how they get separated from their kids and the tour and spend a day experiencing all the college has to offer instead. You know, like dancing in a dorm room and running fully-clothed through a fountain. Since this is a rom-com, Garcia is the straight man complete with a bowtie, and Farmiga is the free-spirited woman wearing a silk blouse. They have nothing in common, and yet they’re falling madly in love after just an afternoon together. You see, they went looking for the tour group and found each other instead. It’s a sweet trailer, but a bland premise. They both seem to be dissatisfied with their lives (Farmiga’s breakdown in the middle) and a campus tryst with another parent isn’t going to magically solve things. Mom and Dad, we’re just going to be waiting in the parking lot. Text us when you’re finished with that rave, okay? Check out the trailer here:

read more...

THE CONJURING

When Warner Bros. put The Hangover into production, they gave Todd Phillips $35M and a ton of creative freedom (they only seemed to intervene when the director wanted to use real Tasers on his actors). The idea was that if he stayed under that budget, he could cast who he wanted (those guys?) and make the comedy he envisioned with limited studio interference. It was an admirable move that became even easier to praise when the movie destroyed box office records and launched a franchise with three new stars. The Conjuring is a different beast, but its connection to The Hangover (not simply that they have the same distributor) is an interesting one for the sole reason of timing. Released months apart from each other, the final Hangover installment scored another $112M domestic from a budget of $103M (from humble beginnings…), and in less time, James Wan‘s haunted house movie will overtake that domestic amount for $15M less than the cost of the original Hangover. There’s a big lesson here, and hopefully Hollywood is paying attention (but they probably aren’t).

read more...

The Conjuring

The best horror films transcend simple scariness. They create an atmosphere filled with tension that puts a stranglehold on the audience. That reaches through the screen, grabs you and pulls you into the film. Movies like The Exorcist, Poltergeist and Halloween all do this in different ways. It’s a sort of ineffable quality, difficult to put into words, but often characterized by causing goosebumps. I’ve seen The Conjuring twice now, and I’ve gotten goosebumps both times. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga play real life husband and wife paranormal investigation team Ed and Lorraine Warren. The film opens with them going through a famous case of theirs involving a creepy doll, but we then meet the Perron family, Roger and Carolyn (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor) and their 5 daughters as they move into a new home. Things are off about the new house and as the disturbances grow in intensity, Carolyn seeks out the Warrens. Ed is initially reluctant, but they agree to come to the Perron home to help.

read more...

The Conjuring

The first trailer we saw for James Wan’s (Saw, Insidious) upcoming horror film, The Conjuring, didn’t really hit all the usual beats that horror trailers do. Instead it played much more like a short film, building to a big scare in the end. It was an effective tactic that really sold the movie as something that was going to scare the pants off you. So it’s pretty head-scratching as to why the approach was completely abandoned for this new ad for the film, which is just about as generic as a horror movie trailer can get, even while going completely over the top with what it gives away. It opens with some faux found footage that looks derivative of every bad horror movie that’s come out over the last five years, moves on to the same invisible-ghost-yanking-the-legs-of-sleeping-people trick that the Paranormal Activity movies have driven into the ground, checks the creepy kids box off of its list, and then goes on to show way more special effects craziness than probably even the feature itself should contain. The rule of that which you don’t see being scarier than that which you do see seems to be completely thrown out of the window here.

read more...

Bates Motel

Who in their right mind would want to see a prequel to Psycho? Sequels and remakes have been attempted, but have failed miserably recapturing the original’s magic. If Gus Van Sant can’t come out looking good when playing Alfred Hitchcock, then why even bother? A producer and writer from the show, Lost honcho Carlton Cuse, attended this year’s Southwest by Southwest to both tell us and show us why, premiering the show’s pilot to a few hundred people. It’s fair to say he answered the question of “who cares?” swiftly, mainly because of the prowess of Vera Farmiga, helping to bring real drama to the show’s key relationship. The pilot has a good deal of set up, but it still allows for smaller, more nuanced moments to tells us everything we need to know about Norman (Freddie Highmore) and his mother’s dynamic.

read more...

Bates Motel TV 2013

In 2013, A&E will debut Bates Motel, a prequel inspired by Psycho that tells the story of Norma (Vera Farmiga) and Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore). It comes from Lost executive producer Carlton Cuse and looks to have a bit of Twin Peaks inside of it. The production has released a teaser that also features some of the cast and crew speaking to their vision. It’s all a bit too obvious on the marketing side, but it’s not hard to imagine this being a freaky, scary exploration of a life that led to a delusional killer. And why does this look like a movie, while everything from Hitchcock looked like it was made for TV?

read more...

Fringe: Season 5

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that welcomes your feedback. Or your blind allegiance. Whichever you prefer, dear reader. We begin this evening with a new shot from season five of Fringe, a show I’ll dearly miss once it makes its exit after this upcoming season. The bastard son of a generation of J.J. Abramses raised on The X-Files, Fringe is still one of the most consistently interesting and energetic sci-fi shows on television. And it’s got John Noble, so that helps.

read more...

Editor’s note: Goats lands in limited this week, determined to gnaw on theater chairs, popcorn buckets, and actual moviegoers, so give our Sundance review a read before heading into that situation. This review was originally published on January 27, 2012. Ellis (Graham Phillips) has grown up in a less-than-average household. Ellis lives in Tuscon, Arizona with his mother Wendy (Vera Farmiga), a free spirit who relies on Ellis to make sure their bills are paid on time while she seems to still be “finding herself.” Add to this Goat Man (David Duchovny), who tends to their pool and garden (as well as his own “garden”) and lives on the property with, you guessed it, his goats. Despite this rather unusual upbringing, Ellis seems more than well-adjusted and the film focuses on his recent decision to attend an East Coast prep school, Gates Academy, which his father Frank (Ty Burrell) also attended. Considering Wendy refers to Frank as “Fucker Frank,” it is clear this decision is not one she is happy about.

read more...

Goats Movie 2012

Goats, the directorial debut of acting coach Christopher Neil, looks crunchy. Vera Farmiga plays a New Age mom concerned more about appearing mainstream than how her son might be faring, and David Duchovny plays a bearded free spirit who hangs out with goats all the time. He once saw one born inside out. True story. However, the film really focuses on Ellis (Graham Phillips), who has to deal with a hippie mother, a spirit animal of a father figure and a real father (played by Ty Burell) who hasn’t been in the picture until Ellis heads off to a boarding school. It looks more lighthearted than leaden drama, and hopefully Farmiga’s character is as big a cartoon as this trailer makes her out to be. Even if it ends up being cheesy, Duchovny and his inability to use stamps seems to be reason enough to give it a look. Check out the trailer for yourself:

read more...

Fear not Harry Potter fans, it looks like we’ve finally found a promising project for Rupert Grint. Over the past year or so we’ve been living in a post-Potter world, and Grint’s co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have been flourishing. It seems like rarely a week goes by without one or the other poking their head into a new project. Grint has had a bit tougher of a time landing significant work so far, and things were starting to look a bit worrisome. But holy heck does this new film The Drummer sound like it could be a great chance for the young actor to show what he’s got apart from being Ron Weasley. Despite the fact that this one is from a writer/director duo that haven’t done much I’ve found noteworthy (Randall Miller and Jody Savin), The Drummer could be a winner just based on subject matter alone. It’s a look at the last few years of the life of Beach Boys’ drummer Dennis Wilson, when he was working on his solo album “Pacific Ocean Blue.” With the legions of Beach Boys fans still out there in the world, undoubtedly this is a project that will be getting a lot of attention, especially when you consider the cast that Grint will be joining.

read more...

Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in his Jedi robes and grabs his lightsaber, heading to the theater to see the 3D re-release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. While there, he faces a sea of estrogen as ladies of all type swarm into the multiplex to see Channing Tatum’s abs multiflex. After using his lightsaber to break through the wall of pre-Valentine’s Day ladies, he faces more obstacles with twentysomething dudes heading out to see Safe House and obnoxious families to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Fortunately for Kevin, he is able to dispatch everyone with his Rock-inspired “pec pop of love.” It was an early Valentine’s Day massacre.

read more...

If Hollywood has taught us anything about the CIA it’s that those bastards really can’t be trusted. The exception to the rule is that the lower the character is on the agency’s totem pole the more honorable and good they’ll most likely be. They’re naive idealists who have yet to be molded by the big, bad world into heartless, morally bankrupt pricks motivated by warped patriotism and self interest. Which brings us to Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), a low level agent stationed at the same, boring post for the last twelve months. He’s a “housekeeper” at a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa, and every day he waits for a coded call alerting him to the imminent arrival of an incoming “guest.” The call finally comes when Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) mysteriously turns himself into the local US embassy after a decade on the run as an ex-agent turned traitor and killer. He’s moved to the safe house and immediately interrogated via water-boarding and harsh language. But when the inaccurately named safe house is attacked by a gaggle of heavily armed men Weston finds himself tasked with his guest’s safety and on the run from killers both foreign and domestic. The result is a film that offers no surprises in its story or character arcs but still manages to thrill with some stellar action sequences and two talented and charismatic leads. (That’s right. Two.)

read more...

In 2010, Patrick Wilson got haunted in Insidious. In 1999, Lili Taylor got haunted in The Haunting. Now the two are heading back into the haunted house together with Vera Farmiga and Ron Livingston in James Wan’s The Warren Files. Now they’ll have children to look after as ghosts chase them around in New England. According to Variety, Mackenzie Foy (Twilight) and Joey King (who will play young Talia Al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises) have both been tapped to play young members of the based-on-real-life Perron family who claimed they were living with spirit from beyond in the 1970s. Taylor and Livingston play the adult members of the family, while Wilson and Farmiga play ghost investigators The Warrens. So, for those keeping track, with Insidious, The Warren Files and Insidious 2, James Wan is going to be telling ghost stories for a long time.

read more...

As many fellow conflicted yet faithful Netflix subscribers know, last week marked the beginning of the separation of Instant and disc-only memberships. I had been trying to whittle down my streaming queue for a few months, but we all know that is a nearly impossible task with that devilish recommendation list appearing every time you go to the site’s homepage. Suffice it to say, my queue had actually grown since the announcement, making the budgeting decision for me. One of the films at the top of my queue was 2010’s long-awaited gay love story I love You Phillip Morris starring the forever not-sexy Jim Carrey and the always delicious Ewan McGregor as two convicts head-over-heels in love with each other. I could spend an entire column writing about this rapid, surprisingly honest and tender romance sprinkled with deception and humor, however my greatest take away from this man on man sexiness was the unexpectedly hot chemistry (and subsequent love scenes) between Carrey and McGregor.

read more...

Closer to the Moon already has a lot of things going for it. It’s got Mark Strong and Vera Farmiga cast in lead roles, an interesting story about Communism and bank robberies, and an experienced Romanian director named Nae Caranfil putting it all together. And now you can add to the pile of positives that they’ve managed to poach one of the standout actors from HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones for another lead role. This one is starting to look like a project to pay attention to. We already know that Strong will be playing Max Rosenthal, a former police officer who is implicated in a bank robbery and is forced to re-enact his crimes in a propaganda film produced by the Communist-era Romanian government before being put to death. And it’s old news to us that Farmiga will be playing the mother of his child, a student in Moscow who travels back to Bucharest when she hears of Rosenthal’s impending execution. Harry Lloyd’s casting adds even another interesting wrinkle into the story. He will be playing a cameraman working on the propaganda film that Rosenthal is forced to take part in, and apparently over the course of the film he falls in love with Farmiga’s character. Drama! Seeing as I’ve only seen Lloyd playing the sniveling, awful Viserys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, I’m kind of picturing this as being less a love triangle and more a tragedy where Rosenthal gets his life snuffed out and his girl […]

read more...

If I had to name a couple current actors that deserve to be huge stars but haven’t quite gotten to that level, Vera Farmiga and Mark Strong would both be up at the top of that list. They both have been getting a lot of jobs lately, and both of them always do strong work in every job they take, but they’re not quite there when it comes to star power. Farmiga has had high profile roles in movies like The Departed, Up in the Air, and Source Code, and Strong has impressed in big movies like Sherlock Holmes and Green Lantern while simultaneously appearing in quirkier films like Sunshine and Kick-Ass. They both have familiar faces and a lot of momentum behind their careers; but if you mention their names to random people on the street, generally they wouldn’t know who you’re talking about. Despite that, either one just needs one perfect role to break through and become a big name in the business. And that’s good news for the upcoming drama Closer to the Moon, because it just cast them in lead roles. Closer to the Moon is an upcoming drama from Romanian director Nae Caranfil set during Romania’s period of communist rule. Strong will play a police officer named Max Rosenthal who is implicated in a bank robbery and sentenced to death due to his Jewish heritage. Before he is to be killed, however, the government forces him to participate in a propaganda film where he and […]

read more...

“Rife with honest moments, spurred by Farmiga-the-filmmaker’s keen eye for shading various relationships in loving, authentic ways, the film transcends the specificity of its setting to evoke the joys and pains of everyday life, and the proverbial search for the meaning behind it.” That’s how our very own Robert Levin describes Vera Farmiga’s directorial debut Higher Ground. Clearly he was one of the many who fell in love with it at Sundance earlier this year. Now you have a chance to fall in love with it by checking out the trailer:

read more...

The upcoming Daniel Espinosa-directed thriller Safe House continues to fill out its cast. The film is said to be about a CIA safe house where criminals are detained, a young agent who acts as house sitter to the institution, and his attempts at moving a high profile criminal to another location once the house is under attack by a villainous organization. Denzel Washington was the first on board, playing the criminal who needs to get moved, and Ryan Reynolds signed up soon afterwards to play the young CIA agent. Now the rest of the cast is starting to come together as a start date looms. According to Deadline Kurpinova, Vera Farmiga has joined the cast, playing the CIA operative who supervises Reynolds’s character.  This choice was probably a no-brainer for the film’s casting agents as Farmiga has become something of a go-to whenever you need a slightly older, yet still attractive woman to play some sort of authority figure. Whether it be a doctor, or a successful businesswoman, or what have you, throw Farmiga in some business clothes and you’re good to go. Most recently she was seen in Source Code playing, you guessed it, a government agent. Say what you will about type casting, but Farmiga is a solid actress and playing these sorts of character roles is a great way to build a robust filmography and work with a lot of other great people. Plus, you have to appreciate the lady, because every time she gets cast in […]

read more...

I’ve been wondering where director Niki Caro has been. After delivering the stunningly brilliant Whale Rider in 2002, she followed it up with another great effort in North Country, but The Vintner’s Luck will only be her third film within the span of nearly a decade. She’s not the most prolific, but so far, she’s done nothing but produce quality. Perhaps being picky has paid off. That looks to be the case here again with the trailer for her forthcoming flick that focuses on a peasant who learns the grape-stomping trade in order to rise in the ranks of society and get Vera Farmiga drunk. The trailer has just about everything you could ask for, including vibrant production design, some romantic conflict, and, of course, a mysterious angel that appears in the night to giveth and taketh away in equal measure. Check it out for yourself:

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

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


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3