Frederick Weller

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Opening Night Of 'Big Love' - Arrivals

Frederick Weller - Opening night of 'Big Love' held at the Signature Center - Arrivals at Signature Center, - New York City, New York, United States - Monday 23rd February 2015

Frederick Weller
Frederick Weller

Opening Night After Party For 'The Money Shot' - Arrivals

Gia Crovatin, Neil LaBute, Elizabeth Reaser, Frederick Weller and Callie Thorne - Opening night after party for 'The Money Shot' - Arrivals at Lortel Theatre, - New York, New York, United States - Monday 22nd September 2014

Gia Crovatin, Neil Labute, Elizabeth Reaser, Frederick Weller and Callie Thorne
Frederick Weller and Neil Labute
Neil Labute

'The Money Shot' - Opening Night Curtain Call

Callie Thorne, Elizabeth Reaser, Frederick Weller and Gia Crovatin - 'The Money Shot' - opening night curtain call at Lortel Theatre, - New York City, New York, United States - Monday 22nd September 2014

Callie Thorne, Elizabeth Reaser, Frederick Weller and Gia Crovatin
Callie Thorne and Elizabeth Reaser
Callie Thorne, Elizabeth Reaser, Frederick Weller and Gia Crovatin
Callie Thorne, Elizabeth Reaser, Frederick Weller and Gia Crovatin
Callie Thorne, Elizabeth Reaser, Frederick Weller and Gia Crovatin
Callie Thorne, Elizabeth Reaser, Frederick Weller and Gia Crovatin

Photocall For 'The Money Shot'

Neil LaBute, Frederick Weller, Callie Thorne, Heather Graham and Gia Crovatin - Photocall for the MCC Theater production of 'The Money Shot' held at the Second Stage Theatre - New York City, New York, United States - Thursday 14th August 2014

Neil Labute, Frederick Weller, Callie Thorne, Heather Graham and Gia Crovatin
Terry Kinney, Blake West, William Cantler, Frederick Weller, Callie Thorne, Heather Graham, Gia Crovatin, Bernard Telsey and Neil Labute
Neil Labute
Neil Labute and Terry Kinney
Blake West, William Cantler, Bernard Telsey, Neil Labute and Terry Kinney

Opening Night Of Mothers And Sons - Curtain Call

Grayson Taylor, Frederick Weller, Tyne Daly and Bobby Steggert - Opening Night of the Broadway play "Mothers and Sons" at the Golden Theatre - Curtain Call. - New York, New York, United States - Monday 24th March 2014

Grayson Taylor, Frederick Weller, Tyne Daly and Bobby Steggert
Frederick Weller and Bobby Steggert
Bobby Steggert and Frederick Weller
Frederick Weller
Grayson Taylor, Frederick Weller, Tyne Daly and Bobby Steggert
Frederick Weller

The Business Of Strangers Review


Excellent
Never mind the recession, business seems to be booming in the unctuous corporate world of The Business of Strangers. This sharp-minded and crafty estrogen-driven character study about power plays and complex mind games is the feature debut from writer-director Patrick Stettner. The film counters its message of sisterhood with one of the psychological scheming by ambitious women. It's as irresistibly evocative as the stirring misogyny behind Neil LaBute's penetrating In the Company of Men, as Stettner cleverly stages his confrontational chess game in the confining, claustrophobic atmosphere of a hotel lounge where deception is disguised as wit. The Business of Strangers is a fascinating and sardonic look at skirt-wearing corporate creatures, and their ability to be as equally and ridiculously ruthless as their opportunistic male counterparts.

Stockard Channing shines in an Oscar-worthy performance as Julie Styron, a middle-aged corporate executive slated to meet the bigwig of her company at an airport hotel bar. Julie fears the worst because the CEO is flying in to hear her presentation and thoughts of her termination dance in her head constantly. As if she doesn't have enough to worry about in terms of her own uncertain future, Julie fusses over the fact that her desirable and curvy youngish assistant Paula (Julia Stiles, Save the Last Dance, O) is late for the important meeting and is apparently unprepared. Julie abruptly dismisses the twentysomething woman when she finally shows up. Upon Paula's firing, Julie makes arrangements for the terminated young assistant to seek other avenues of employment through a shady corporate headhunter named Nick (Frederick Weller). Meanwhile, it turns out Julie is hit with sudden fortune when it's revealed that she is being made the big cheese of the company, therefore putting to rest her earlier paranoia. Ironically, Julie and Paula bond after a hectic evening of boozing, which culminates in the revelation the Nick is a rapist and all-around creep. The drunken duo then arrange for the lowlife to finally get his comeuppance.

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Cash Crop Review


Weak
From Homegrown to Bongwater to Half Baked, the pot movie is back in a big way.

If only all of those movies didn't suck.

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When Will I Be Loved Review


OK
Neve Campbell's performance as Vera, a poor scheming rich girl, in When Will I Be Loved is probably her best ever. The shock of watching her isn't that Campbell does anything particularly different with her manner, voice, or body (apart from appearing naked), but that her recessive chirpiness is shaped into something expressive yet mysterious. She seems to be going through the movie one scene at a time, taking everything in while refusing to let her face betray what will happen next (even if nothing much happens). Vera is essentially a flintier, less likable version of the expert manipulator and sexpot Campbell played in Wild Things.

Wild Things, it should be noted, is more successful at exploitation than Loved is at provocation, despite the superior Campbell performance and director James Toback's best efforts. The central story of Loved, in fact, would've taken up about 45 seconds of that Florida twistathon: Campbell's hustler of a boyfriend Ford (Fred Weller) tries to pimp her out to Count Tommaso (Dominic Chianese), "the Italian media mogul," as at least one character helpfully notes. That's as much as can be revealed without summarizing the entire breezy 80 minutes.

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The Shape Of Things Review


Extraordinary
Neil LaBute, you're a cruel, cruel man.

After the somewhat senseless Your Friends and Neighbors and the bafflingly bad period piece Possession, LaBute has at last returned to his roots with the kind of story that made In the Company of Men such a kick in the nuts.

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The Shape Of Things Review


Grim

It's impossible to discuss some of the hiccups in the concept of Neil LaBute's "The Shape of Things" -- a thorny, thought-provoking contemplation of the lengths people will go for love, or what they think is love -- without giving away the startling twist the film takes in its last act.

But it can be said that in adapting his own 2001 play, the writer-director didn't augment the characters and settings with the additional depth and definition necessary to flesh out a stage production for the screen.

As a film, "The Shape of Things" is set in the real world -- on a college campus where frumpy, unassertive, full-time English major and part-time museum guard Adam (Paul Rudd) comes under the lifestyle-altering influence of a sexy, puckish, wily, funky art student named Evelyn (Rachel Weisz), whose interest and affection Adam desperately clings to because he hardly believes in it himself.

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The Business Of Strangers Review


Weak

Stockard Channing submerges herself in layers of psychological debris as an aging, pinched corporate crocodile in "The Business of Strangers," a unsettling, canny film of Machiavellian manipulation, mind games and sexual conjecture.

Going stir crazy in an posh hotel at the end of an important business trip that went awry, her fatigued and barren, Valium-fueled life of raw ambition has been flashing before her eyes when she goes to the lobby bar and comes face-to-face with an insolent young assistant (Julia Stiles) she'd fired in a snit that afternoon.

A retrospective apology lead to several rounds of drinks and a mutual recognition of their similar brash chutzpah and cold calculation of life -- and that leads to trust, which is a very dangerous emotion between people who are cold and calculating.

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WHEN WILL I BE LOVED Review


OK

No other filmmaker besides James Toback has such a perverted, cynical view of humankind. Even if his films are sometimes not entirely successful, they represent a fascinatingly skewed, sadistic vision of pleasure, money and power, usually at the expense of a moral center.

His best films eventually overcome this factor, finding a spot of human essence among the corruption, specifically "Fingers" and "Two Girls and a Guy." But even his completely bankrupt films like "Black and White," "Harvard Man" and the new "When Will I Be Loved" have a dark allure to them. At least we know that the artist is staying true to himself rather than making another slick widget for the studios to sell.

The real reason "When Will I Be Loved" works so well is the brilliant casting of Neve Campbell, who seems to have traveled on an opposite arc from Reese Witherspoon. Witherspoon started in small, crafty independent movies which allowed her to stretch and test her own limits, then graduated to big, expensive, brain-dead films in which she does very little.

Continue reading: WHEN WILL I BE LOVED Review

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