Leslie Urdang

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TGIT Premiere Event

Jon Tenney and Leslie Urdang - Stars were snapped at the Palihouse in West Hollywood for the TGIT Premiere Event in Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 20th September 2014

Jon Tenney
Jon Tenney
Jon Tenney and Leslie Urdang

The 2014 Crystal + Lucy Awards

Leslie Urdang and Jon Tenney - The 2014 Crystal + Lucy Awards at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 11th June 2014

Leslie Urdang and Jon Tenney

2014 TCM Classic Film Festival 'Oklahoma!'

Jon Tenney and Leslie Urdang - Opening night gala screening of 'Oklahoma!' during the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival at TCL Chinese Theatre - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 10th April 2014

Jon Tenney
Jon Tenney and Leslie Urdang
Jon Tenney
Jon Tenney
Jon Tenney

Thanks for Sharing Review


Excellent

Even if we've never been to a 12-step meeting, an intelligent script and sharp performances help us see ourselves in these characters and situations. The film may sometimes get a little preachy, but writer-turned-director Blumberg (The Kids Are All Right) strikes a terrific balance between comedy and drama. 

At the centre is Adam (Ruffalo), who has just passed the five year mark in his battle against sex addiction. His sponsor Mike (Robbins) is proud of him, but he and his wife (Richardson) have their own issues since their ex-addict son (Fugit) has just returned home. Meanwhile, Adam is sponsoring Neil (Gad), who was court-ordered to attend rehab and doesn't take his addiction seriously until he gets to know Dede (Moore aka P!nk), a fellow rebel in the group. Then out in the real world Adam meets Phoebe (Paltrow) and has an instant spark of attraction. But as their relationship develops, he knows he'll have to tell her about his addiction.

The script is very tightly constructed to explore the topic from several angles through a handful of characters and sideplots. But while this may feel a bit tidy, Blumberg keeps everything grounded in honest experience. So the comedy is edgy and surprising, while the dramas avoid the usual cliches, never going quite where we expect them to as Blumberg and the cast explore the deep flaws all of these people have. So we can cheer for their small victories and sympathise with their failures. And each actor is excellent.

Continue reading: Thanks for Sharing Review

The Oranges Review


Weak

There's plenty of potential for jagged black humour in this suburban comedy-drama, but the filmmakers never take a single risk. So with its soft and simplistic approach, the movie is never as quirky or hilarious as it should have been, or as the filmmakers seem to think it is. The only pleasure in watching it comes through understated touches the gifted cast members manage to inject here and there. And what a great cast!

It's set in West Orange, New Jersey, where two families have been best friends for decades. David and Paige Walling (Laurie and Keener) have two grown children: Vanessa (Shawkat) lives at home while Toby (Brody) drops in to visit every now and then. Across the street are the Ostroffs, Terry and Carol (Platt and Janney), whose wayward daughter Nina (Meester) is home for Thanksgiving. Everyone thinks a romance between Toby and Nina would be wonderful. But as the Wallings try to work out some marital problems, it's David who drifts into a transgressive affair with Nina. Which sends these long-time friendships into spiralling chaos.

The plot is so perfectly suited to a black comedy that we wonder what happened along the way. Director Farino smooths every edge, instead straining for silly farce that leads to some sort of emotional catharsis. But he fails to recognise that these people are all intelligent adults, so the fallout from David and Nina's fling feels contrived and obvious. The script also never makes us feel like they are doing anything besides reacting to their previous relationships: this isn't real love, so why should we care?

Continue reading: The Oranges Review

The 2011 New York Stage and Film Winter Gala held at The Plaza Hotel - Arrivals.

Leslie Urdang and Jon Tenney - Leslie Urdang and Jon Tenney New York City, USA - The 2011 New York Stage and Film Winter Gala held at The Plaza Hotel - Arrivals. Sunday 4th December 2011

15th Annual Hollywood Film Awards Gala Presented By Starz - Arrivals at The Beverly Hilton Hotel

Jon Tenney, Leslie Urdang and Beverly Hilton Hotel - Jon Tenney and Leslie Urdang Beverly Hills, California - 15th Annual Hollywood Film Awards Gala Presented By Starz - Arrivals at The Beverly Hilton Hotel Monday 24th October 2011

Beginners Review


Good
With a slow, wistful pace, Thumbsucker writer-director Mills tells a moving story about connections across generations. It's warm and perhaps a little too heartfelt, but it's grounded in the three central performances.

Oliver (McGregor) is struggling to cope with the death of his father Hal (Plummer), only a few years after his mother Georgia (Keller) died. As his memories swirl, he meets the lively Anna (Laurent) at a party, and they embark on a tentative relationship. But he's consumed by thoughts about his father, who came out as gay after his mother's death and then had a complex relationship with Andy (Visnjic). He also remembers time with his mother when he was a boy (Boos), wondering how his personal history is affecting his life now.

Continue reading: Beginners Review

Rabbit Hole Review


Extraordinary
After two iconic films (Hedwig and Shortbus), Mitchell deploys his distinctive directorial style to adapt Lindsay-Abaire's play for the big screen. And he brings a remarkably light tough to the heavy subject matter, creating a film that deeply moves us.

Becca and Howie (Kidman and Eckhart) are a wealthy couple in the New York suburbs, but their life is coloured by intense grief after the accidental death of their 4-year-old son. Unable to move on, they struggle to integrate their loss into their daily routine, attending group-counselling sessions that Becca can't bear due to other parents' religious platitudes. Meanwhile, her mother (Wiest) and sister (Blanchard) add both comfort and stress, and Becca's chance encounter with the teen (Teller) who was driving the fateful car sparks her to take unusual action.

Continue reading: Rabbit Hole Review

Adam Review


Grim
Quirky and cute almost to the point of distraction, the offbeat romance is only rescued by its likeable cast and an intriguing storyline. But the writer-director overstates everything, and encourages his actors to do the same.

Adam (Dancy) lives in a Manhattan flat on his own after the death of his father. He has Asperger syndrome, working as a toy company microchip developer and pretty hopeless at relationships. Then Beth (Byrne) moves into his building, and they strike up a friendship that leads to romance. She's attracted to his honesty, although her parents (Gallagher and Irving) aren't so sure. And the events that follow in both Adam's and Beth's lives put a heavy strain on their relationship.

Continue reading: Adam Review

A Midsummer Night's Dream Review


Weak
A Midsummer Night's Dream is hardly Shakespeare's best work. Memorable only for the role of the impish Robin "Puck" Goodfellow (Tucci, here), Midsummer is a rambling and disjointed play that tries to blend plotlines involving unrequited love, fellows putting on a play, and of course, fairies. Does this blend very well? Not really, and Midsummer has always felt totally out of whack to me. Of course, if you want to see Calista Flockhart rolling in the mud and Kevin Kline turned into a donkey, well, whatever floats your boat.

Twelve and Holding Review


Excellent
Being a kid is awkward and awful, but not in the stick-your-penis-in-a-pie way and certainly not the Peter Pan way. Situations that you can't even fathom happen ad nauseum from ages 11 to 19 on account of wild hormones. After that, the consensus would be to consult some sort of psychiatrist. Hollywood has somehow turned all these stories and occurrences into redemptive stories where every transgression is purely sexual and where things aren't fully blamed on anyone. Even if someone is blamed, the blame is nonchalant and patched up with a simple hug.Michael Cuesta announced himself in 2001 with the vicious and viciously underrated drama L.I.E., which offered a mind-blowing performance from Brian Cox as an aged pedophile and a young, strikingly good Paul Dano as the young poet who befriends him. If the film had any real flaw, it was that it was too stiff; things seemed to structured for a story that was so amorphous and daring.Cuesta now returns packing fire and ravaging humor with Twelve and Holding, an unyieldingly dark look at adolescence and neglect. It starts easy: four kids, all at age 12, sit and watch fireworks at a neighborhood block party. There's Rudy and Jacob (both played by amazing newcomer Conor Donovan), twin brothers to a pair of steady-as-she-goes parents. Their only physical distinguishing trait is a large, purple birthmark on Jacob's face. Then there's Leonard (Jesse Camacho), the terribly overweight offspring of two fat-and-loving-it parents (mom: Marcia Debonis, dad: Tom McGowan). Lastly, there's sweet Malee (Zoe Weizenbaum), who tries to make the most of a psychiatrist mother (Annabella Sciorra) and a no-show dad.Their lives get tossed when Rudy is accidentally burned alive during a prank. Suddenly, Leonard wants to lose weight, Malee gets the hots for one of her mom's patients (stunning Jeremy Renner) and Jacob begins to take out his rage over his brother's death by visiting the kid who's responsible in a juvenile detention center. None of their parents are interested or really take notice of this behavior. Leonard's mother (Debonis works miracles with a tough role) is downright opposed to her son's new found love for health; he refuses to eat any of her fried chicken and opts for apples and salad instead. Malee begins a friendship with the patient and begins to obsess about him and his favorite song, Blue Öyster Cult's "Burning for You," which is used in a terrific scene not unlike the way "Hey You" was used in last year's The Squid and the Whale. Jacob begins to befriend the prankster, but things take a major dark turn for all three.Twelve and Holding encapsulates everything one could hope for from a sophomore effort. Cuesta's style has become more defined and, with ample help from cinematographer Romeo Tirone, his imagery has become even more stirring and efficient. His work with actors has become a thing of beauty: all the child actors are fantastic and the supporting cast gives a resonant tone to the children's world. Cuesta, working from a remarkable script from first-timer Anthony Cipriano, makes sure to define the parents but makes them the ghostly apparitions that the kids see them as. When Leonard finally takes action with his mother, the way he deals with her is still in the way of forced neglect. Squirming in their seats and foreheads cringed, parents might find themselves rushing home from Cuesta's tarnished scrapbook of forgotten embarrassment to spend time with their tykes.

People I Know Review


Grim
People I Know is a character study cum murder mystery that won't be known to many theatre patrons and won't be missed. It's a labored 24-hour journey with a worn-out New York publicist (also known as a press agent) struggling to maintain the residue of vitality he enjoyed in an earlier life. More characters in the story show him the admiration he once commanded than moviegoers are likely to. There's not much to admire.

The film starts with entrenched Big Apple dweller Al Pacino affecting a Georgia accent -- interesting, but no more required by the plotline than if he had come from Florida or North Dakota. About all the southern background does for his character, Eli Wurman, is provide an exaggeration to his promotional pushiness at one time, and slow, slurry speech to befit his character's drug-induced degradation at other times.

Continue reading: People I Know Review

A Midsummer Night's Dream Review


Weak
A Midsummer Night's Dream is hardly Shakespeare's best work. Memorable only for the role of the impish Robin "Puck" Goodfellow (Tucci, here), Midsummer is a rambling and disjointed play that tries to blend plotlines involving unrequited love, fellows putting on a play, and of course, fairies. Does this blend very well? Not really, and Midsummer has always felt totally out of whack to me. Of course, if you want to see Calista Flockhart rolling in the mud and Kevin Kline turned into a donkey, well, whatever floats your boat.
Leslie Urdang

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