While We’re Young

Focus Features

This year’s Toronto International Film Festival boasted dozens upon dozens of films to sate the cinema-hungry masses, and we’re willing to bet that we saw…well, at least a hearty fraction of them. The festival has just wrapped up, and as we all attempt to recover from ten-plus days of universally excellent film-going, it only seems appropriate to revisit our favorite films of the festival. These are the titles that stuck with us, the ones we recommended to anyone who would listen, the ones we couldn’t quite shake, a big mix of the funny and the fantastic, the sad and the silly, the wild and the weird. Are these the best films of TIFF? We certainly think so.

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While We

Adulthood is not the answer. Director Noah Baumbach has long played with characters who exhibit little interest or ability to just plain grow up, from the arrested development of the college grads in Kicking and Screaming, to the unrestrained emotion of Roger Greenberg in his Greenberg, to the charming immaturity of Frances Ha, but that doesn’t mean that taking on the trappings of adulthood will suddenly solve the issues of Baumbach’s characters. Being a grown up is just as impossible as refusing to do so, there are just better apartments to act out your angst in. Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia don’t really fit in with their friends anymore – even their best friends Marina (Maria Dizzia) and Fletcher (Adam Horowitz, yes, Ad-Rock) – because everyone around them has gone baby-mad and the pair remains childless. It’s not for lack of trying, however, and it soon becomes apparent that Josh and Cornelia attempted to expand their family before, and it didn’t work out (like, really didn’t work out). Distraught from that portion of their lives, and more than a bit flummoxed by the baby brains all their friends seem to exhibit, the couple decides babies aren’t for them. So where do they fit?

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While We

With yesterday’s news that Emma Watson is reteaming with her The Perks of Being a Wallflower filmmaker Stephen Chbosky for While We’re Young, yet another literary adaptation for the duo (this time of a book by Adena Halpern), there comes both excitement and the lingering sense of “wait, that title sure sounds familiar.” It should – because Noah Baumbach just so happens to be in the middle of crafting his own film titled While We’re Young. Red alert, people, red alert. The popular title is not to be confused with the One Direction song “Live While We’re Young” (don’t let that header image fool you), the teasing comment your sassy grandma yells out when you take too long to drive her to bingo, or the USGA’s “pace of play pledge” that they’ve styled around the saying (golfers, what can you do?). But the saddling of two very different films with the same title will inevitably lead to some confusion, so with that in mind, we’ve cooked up a handy guide to telling apart your dueling While We’re Young films. Here’s hoping no one else decides to jump on this moniker-addled bandwagon, we’ll just have to update this damn thing.

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Despite the fact that everyone with a soul loved the Harry Potter franchise, there was quite a bit of speculation following its completion as to whether or not the three young actors who made up the core of those films’ casts would be able to transcend their iconic roles and go on to have continued success in the acting world once they were over. Emma Watson didn’t take long to prove that she’d do just fine, however, and the big reason she was able to do that was the head-turning supporting role she was given in Stephen Chbosky’s 2012 film The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Given that Chbosky was primarily known as a writer, but was now going to be handling directing duties on Wallflower (which was an adaptation of his novel of the same name), there were more questions floating around regarding how successful that film was going to be than just whether or not moviegoers would be able to accept Watson as anything other than Hermione, but, in the end, Wallflower was one of the most pleasant surprises of 2012, and Watson’s performance ended up being one of the biggest highlights of a film that was full of them. And now there’s some news that Chbosky and Watson are going to be looking to rediscover some of that old chemistry, as a new project has them slated to work together again.

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The last time I reported on Noah Baumbach’s next project, While We’re Young, it was with the unfortunate news that James Franco and Cate Blanchett had been forced to drop out of the film. At the time I held out hopes that Baumbach might be able to easily replace the actors with Jesse Eisenberg and Greta Gerwig, and it’s looking like at least half of my hopes and dreams are probably going to come true. While We’re Young is about a couple in their forties who are feeling alienated by their normal set of friends because they haven’t had any children, so they befriend a younger couple who kind of teaches them to rekindle their youth. Now that I know more about the plot of the film, having Gerwig replace Blanchett’s character wouldn’t make much sense age wise, but they seem to have found a different, equally awesome choice to fill her role that does work.

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The last year or so has seen James Franco stacking up as many projects as he can on top of one other, and many people have been waiting for the tower to fall. Well down it comes, and it’s landing on Noah Baumbach’s head. Franco was scheduled to star in the upcoming Baumbach project While We’re Young, but has now been pulled from the film due to commitments to Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful. It seems that one man can’t earn a PHD, host awards shows, appear in soap operas, star in big budget films, AND star in independent movies. He can only do four of the five. Oh, and direct a bunch of stuff on the side. He’s not Superman, people. Why does the Oz movie take precedence over Baumbach’s next naval gazer? Probably because it’s made by Disney. You don’t cross those people.

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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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