Philip Lewis Friedman is a very successful writer, though not the most likeable of people. He has no shame in bragging and expressing his genius, but his persistent self-involvement starts to put quite a strain on his relationship with girlfriend Ashley. Not only that, but while the people around him are suffocating in his endless egoism, he's also finding the humdrum world of life at home particularly difficult to stomach - even without his romance issues. Soon, though, he is offered some solace when he meets his all-time favourite author Ike Zimmerman who invites him to stay with him at his country retreat and reassess his life, love and career. Will he learn to realise and appreciate the truly important things in his life? And will they even be around anymore once he has?
'Listen Up Philip' is a comedy drama which made its premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. It has been directed and written by Alex Ross Perry ('The Color Wheel', 'Impolex'), and has already landed several awards at a handful of other film festivals such as Locarno International and Philadelphia Film Festival. It is set to be released in cinemas in the UK on June 5th 2015.
Middle-aged romances are rare on the big screen, so it's frustrating that this one is so badly compromised by a series of contrived plot points. One gimmick wasn't enough for director-cowriter Arie Posin, who continually twists and turns the events in ways that are both bizarre and melodramatic. Within this, Annette Bening and Ed Harris still manage to create intriguing characters, but it becomes increasingly difficult to care when the screenwriters clearly have trouble on their minds.
It opens as Nikki (Bening) is flooded with memories of her husband Garret (Harris), who died five years ago while they were vacationing in Mexico. Now that their daughter (Jess Weixler) is moving away from home in Los Angeles to attend college in Seattle, Nikki has time to think. Although she wants to remain friends and nothing more with her lusty widowed neighbour Roger (Robin Williams), an old friend of Garret's. Then Nikki meets a man who looks uncannily like Garret and begins stalking him. Tom (Harris again) is an art professor, and when Nikki gets up the nerve to talk to him, she knows she's going to a very odd place.
The film is like a variation on Vertigo, as Posin plays up the freaky doppelganger storyline to add a heightened sense of dangerous tension. But it's not so easy for the audience to accept such a set-up, when one honest conversation would solve everything. Instead, Nikki lies to everyone she knows, hides Tom from them and then lies to Tom as well. It's difficult to take a romance seriously when it has such a fraudulent foundation. Thankfully, Bening gives Nikki a fragility that makes her sympathetic, and her interaction with Harris bristles with unexpected connections because they are experiencing their blossoming relationship in such strikingly different ways. Both of them add layers of interest to their characters that make them engaging between the lines. Sadly, Williams' character never gets a chance to evolve.
Continue reading: The Face Of Love Review
Conor (James McAvoy) and Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) play a couple who fall in love and get married, before hitting various hiccups in their relationship. However, this film is far from the clichéd love story, and instead tells the tale from both points of view, as well as relatable and engaging look at the relationship of two people still trying to figure out who the other person truly is. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby charts the highs and lows in a relationship between two people trying to recreate the past, so as not to let their love fade away.
Russell Crowe, the leading man of biblical epic 'Noah', is snapped on the red carpet on his arrival at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York for the movie's premiere alongside his onscreen wife Jennifer Connelly who was there with her real life actor husband Paul Bettany.
The New York premiere of 'American Hustle' at the Ziegfeld Theater got off to a rocking start with red carpet appearances from the likes of Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell with his wife Vicky Karayiannis, and former lead singer of R.E.M. Michael Stipe.
Alfonso Cuaron, director of space thriller movie 'Gravity', was snapped at the New York premiere of the movie alongside his son and co-writer Jonas Cuaron. The film stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney - who are the only visible actors on screen - and is set to be released in the UK on November 8th 2013.
It's not for lack of trying. Swanberg builds a loose character setup within an ambitious background of reality and artifice. He asks us to consider when intimacy is true, when it is simply make-believe, and when the hell we should be able to tell the difference.
Continue reading: Alexander The Last Review
Decked out with odes to the 1950s bargain-basement sci-fi films that Lichtenstein grew up on, Teeth tells the delightful yarn of a teenaged girl named Dawn (Jess Weixler) and her shark-tooth-lined vagina. (The press kit, and one seriously unlucky gynecologist, is quick to point out that the Latin term is actually vagina dentate.) Bopping back and forth from churches and schools, Dawn spends her time as an abstinence-is-rockin' faith promoter. After a speech, she meets Tobey (Hale Appleman), and the purity sparks fly. Their idea of a fun date includes a wild night of popcorn and the latest animated feature at the multiplex.
Continue reading: Teeth Review
Unlike with ensemble dramas like Magnolia, there's only lip service paid to connecting the stories here. While the class has about a dozen people in it, director Ishai Setton mainly focuses on two of the classmates: Amy (Paget Brewster), a teacher headed for divorce, and Jordan (Jess Weixler), an innocent-seeming girl who actually works as a casino dealer and stripper. Their lone connection: Jordan's brother is a student in Amy's class, which they put together later in the film. Swimming instructor Noah (Jeff Branson) also plays a role: He's a hunky guy that all the gals in the class adore, but he's morose and wants a dog.
Continue reading: The Big Bad Swim Review
Philip Lewis Friedman is a very successful writer, though not the most likeable of people....
Middle-aged romances are rare on the big screen, so it's frustrating that this one is...
Conor (James McAvoy) and Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) play a couple who fall in love and...
Lonnie's life is boring. His marriage to free spirit Clover has suddenly become dull and...
For the last couple of years, filmmaker Joe Swanberg has been one of the unofficial...
There are three bitten-off penises in plain sight in Mitchell Lichtenstein's Teeth, all three accompanied...