Katie Aselton and Mark Duplass - 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Arrivals at Santa Monica Beach, Independent Spirit Awards - Santa Monica, California, United States - Saturday 21st February 2015
Not perfect, but certainly a worthy entry to Elisabeth Moss' post-Mad Men career
Starring Mad Men’s Elizabeth Moss, The One I Love follows Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Moss) attempt to salvage their flagging marriage by taking a vacation to a beautiful house for a weekend getaway. However, an unexpected journey forces them to look at their relationship, and themselves, in a totally different way.
Moss [L] and Duplass [R] are superb in 'The One I Love'
In a celebration of the leading twos’ acting, the critics have praised ‘The One I Love’, but were quick to point out some of the notable plot points that lead to a 76% rating on Rotten Tomatoes instead of something in the 90s.
Continue reading: Reviews: 'The One I Love' - Moss and Duplass Shine
Scroll for pictures from the screening
The stars were out in force at New York screening of 'The One I Love' at the Crosby Street Theater on Tuesday (Aug 5).
The film sees Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Elizabeth Moss) escape to a beautiful vacation house for a weekend getaway in an attempt to save their marriage. But what follows is an unexpected journey that forces them to look inside themselves and each other in a different way.
The offers are starting to flow in for Moss, 32, who, having just wrapped up filming the role of a lifetime in Mad Men’s Peggy Olson, has Hollywood at her feet. Already in production are the films ‘High Rise’ and ‘Meadowland’ and a role in the second season of the hugely anticipated True Detective, in which she may play one of the mooted “strong women.”
Continue reading: New York Screening of 'The One I Love' [Pictures]
Melissa McCarthy is clearly in a rut: the title character in this film isn't very far removed from her previous roles in The Heat and Identity Thief. Yes, Tammy is another chubby slob who is on the road to some sort of epiphany, and along the way she realises that simply running a comb through her ratty hair might make her look more human. At least the film has a seriously strong supporting cast who almost make it worth a look.
Tammy (McCarthy) is sacked from her job at a fast-food outlet on the same day she discovers that her husband (Faxon) is having a fling with a neighbour (Tony Collette). In a childish rage, she runs home to her parents (Allison Janney and Dan Aykroyd) and then decides to keep running, taking her grandmother Pearl (Sarandon) along for the ride. Pearl has a dream to see Niagara Falls before she dies, but she's just about as immature as Tammy is, so they immediately start getting into trouble. Their antics include a series of incidents involving a jet-ski, flirting and more with a father and son (Gary Cole and Mark Duplass), robbing a burger joint and attending a raucous 4th of July party at the home of Pearl's wealthy cousin (Kathy Bates).
Tammy is even less worldly wise than McCarthy's previous variations on the character: she has never even attempted to grow up, so reacts to everything like a toddler. Aside from not being remotely funny, this is deeply annoying from the start. And even the characters around her don't laugh - they roll their eyes in exasperation. Then after establishing her as a relentless loser who brings misfortune on herself, the script (written by McCarthy and her real-life husband Ben Falcone, who also directs and appears as Tammy's boss) contrives to make Tammy sympathetic by portraying her as some sort of a victim. Meanwhile, she of course slowly begins to look less cartoonish simply because she changes her shirt and takes a shower along the way.
Continue reading: Tammy Review
First-time filmmaker Aselton creates one of the most assured thrillers in recent memory, throwing finely developed characters into a very nasty situation that makes us squirm in our seats. It's also a rare film that acknowledges how difficult it actually is to kill someone: no one dies as easily as they do in most Hollywood horror movies, and the psychological nastiness is even worse than the physical stuff.
The title refers to an isolated island off the coast of New England, where Sarah (Bosworth) is planning a reunion camping trip with her two childhood pals, Lou and Abby (Bell and Aselton). The problem is that Abby hasn't spoken to Lou for six years, following an unforgivable incident. So Sarah has to trick them into coming along, then convince them to bury the hatchet for a weekend on the island they used to visit as little girls. Just as they've reached a peaceful accord, they run into three cute young hunters (Bouvier, Paulson and Richardson). But after an evening of alcohol and flirting, things take a very dark turn, and the boys start hunting the girls through the woods. They may be armed, but these feisty women know their way round the island a lot better.
Even though the back-story is essentially very simple, it adds to the dynamic between these three women, creating characters we are interested in right from the start. And their dialog is smart and offhanded, bringing out lively humour, dark emotions and the tensions between these strong-minded women. Opposite them, the three ex-soldiers are also intriguing because they show signs of post-traumatic stress. So the girls know they will never give up looking for them: they can't just hide, they have to fight back if they want to survive.
Continue reading: Black Rock Review
Blistering writing, directing and acting hold us firmly in our seats as this procedural drama snakes its way to a riveting action finale. Although it's sometimes not easy to know whether director Bigelow and writer Boal are celebrating or criticising the way America has conducted itself on the world stage in its war on terrorism. Clearly the characters believe that these dodgy methods are essential tools in their job. But the film cleverly respects and challenges our own views on the issues.
The story begins with the events of 9/11, after which the CIA is determined to track down Osama bin Laden. Spearheading the search is tenacious analyst Maya (Chastain), who works with her colleague Dan (Clarke) to interrogate prisoners and mobilise their team (including Ehle and Perrineau) to action. Their bosses (Chandler and Strong), the CIA director (Gandolfini) and the national security advisor (Dillane) offer support and challenges. And eventually they get approval to illegally send a black-op team into bin Laden's suspected hide-out in Pakistan.
It's astonishing that Boal and Bigelow have managed to tell this true story without taking sides. They have been criticised for possibly using classified details or for depicting torture as an interrogation tool, but the facts can't be denied just because we don't like them. And your attitude going in will probably colour how you feel about the movie: some will find this a story of triumph while others will be troubled by the methods it depicts. Either way, it's impossible to ignore the film's urgency as it pulls us into a fascinating story.
Continue reading: Zero Dark Thirty Review
A range of intelligent blockbusters, inventive foreign films and beautifully crafted storytelling made 2012 a good year at the cinema...
1. Life Of Pi
Ang Lee's clever, thoughtful adaptation of Yann Martel's acclaimed novel is an unexpected work of art. It's also one of the richest, most challenging, most visually spectacular movies we've ever seen.
Starring: Suraj Sharma & Irrfan Khan
Read the review of Life Of Pi Here!
2. Rust & Bone
French filmmaker Jacques Audiard follows up his amazing prison drama A Prophet with this startlingly edgy, tough-minded romance about two deeply wounded people who find each other.
Starring: Marion Cotillard & Matthias Schoenaerts.
Read the review of Rust And Bone Here!
Continue reading: The Ten Best Films of 2012
With a low budget but a lot of imagination and talent, director Trevorrow and writer Connolly create a deceptively simple comedy that's one of the most entertaining films of the year. It's so cleverly written that every moment of the film is hugely engaging, and it's so perfectly played by its cast that we can't help but fall for the likeable, flawed characters.
Set in Washington state, the story centres on Darius (Plaza), a sardonic Seattle magazine intern whose life derailed when she was 14, after her mother's death. So her interest is piqued when she hears about a classified ad asking for an assistant on a time travel mission ("Bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed"). She accompanies arrogant journalist Jeff (Johnson) and fellow intern Arnau (Soni) to a seaside town to write up the story for the magazine, but once they track down the ad's author Kenneth (Duplass), nothing goes as expected.
Each of these three magazine reporters has a full-bodied story, expertly set within the larger investigation of whether Kenneth is nuts or not. All of these characters are caught between their past and the present, exploring who they once were, who they are and who they want to be, which makes them easy to identify with even as they do some amusingly silly things. And the filmmakers cleverly refuse to play into our expectations, keeping us guessing about where the movie is heading. So each scene bristles with possibility, and each twist and turn of the plot and side-plots is both thrilling and hilarious.
Continue reading: Safety Not Guaranteed Review
There's an intriguing true story buried inside this overly structured drama, and by playing by simplistic screenwriting rules the filmmakers make everything trite and predictable. Fortunately, the cast is much better than the material, and they bring their characters to life with jaggedly engaging interaction and some resonant emotion.
The story centres on Sam (Pine), a fast-talking New York salesman who is in big trouble professionally. So when his estranged father dies in Los Angeles, it gives him a chance to escape. He heads off to see his mother (Pfeiffer) and find out what he has inherited. But the lawyers hand him a bag of cash that he has to give to smart 11-year-old Josh (D'Addario), whose barmaid mother Frankie (Banks) is the half-sister Sam never knew he had. Without revealing his identity, he worms his way into Frankie and Josh's life. But the Feds are catching up with him, and Frankie is about to learn who he really is.
This is one of those films that hinges completely on the characters' inability to talk to each other. So one honest conversation at the beginning would make this a very short movie! But no, the screenwriters force everything into an unnatural formula that completely undermines the genuinely interesting things going on. Even so, the actors manage to hold our interest, mainly due to some terrific chemistry. At the centre, Pine nicely holds his own in scenes with the wonderful Pfeiffer and Banks, while D'Addario proves to be a young actor to keep an eye on. Meanwhile, side characters add texture, most notably Duplass as a neighbour with the hots for Frankie, and Wilde as Sam's frazzled girlfriend.
Continue reading: People Like Us Review
A year after his brother's death, Jack (Duplass) has become best friends with his brother's ex Iris (Blunt), who suggests that he take some time out in her father's island cabin outside Seattle. When he arrives, Iris' sister Hannah (DeWitt) is there, nursing her pain from the breakup of a long-term relationship. After a few drinks they end up in bed, which is a problem for two reasons: Hannah is a lesbian who wants a baby, and Iris arrives the next day to tell her sister that she's in love with Jack.
Continue reading: Your Sister's Sister Review
At 30, Jeff (Segel) is wasting his life in his mother's basement. Frustrated that he's not more ambitious, like older brother Pat (Helms), Mom (Sarandon) sends him out on an errand. But everything that happens when he's outside reinforces his belief in some sort of cosmic destiny that's guiding his every step. He also gets involved with Pat, who's showing off his new Porsche just as he learns that his wife (Greer) might be cheating on him. Meanwhile, Mom is perplexed by the fact that she has a secret admirer at work.
Continue reading: Jeff, Who Lives at Home Review