During the creation of the film 'While We're Young', the film's creators began to explore the idea of youth culture, and its obsession with the older generations.
With his new film 'While We're Young', Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) takes a complex look at the impact of youth culture on the previous, older generation. This is done by depicting the often comical interaction of two couples: Naomi Watts and Ben Stiller in their mid-40s and Amanda Seyfried and Adam Driver in their mid-20s.
Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts in 'While We're Young'
Watts believes that the film pokes a hole in the current obsession with anything that seems young. "The funny thing about the film is that these people who pose themselves as this incredibly hip young couple turn out to be not as hip as they think they are," she said. "This endless fascination with the youth culture is there in all of us, and the irony of them using vinyl and typewriters and oh, let's leave it to questions and not know the answer, let's try and remember without looking things up on our phones! Ben and I are fooled into believing they are so pure. That becomes the genesis of our crush on them, and then we figure out they're not as authentic as they promise."
Continue reading: 'While We're Young' Tackles Youth Culture
Writer-director Noah Baumbach once again taps into a specific point in life with astute observational skill, even if the plot feels oddly forced. The vividly defined characters continually surprise with their awkward honesty, although this comedy-drama suffers from the contrived plotting of Greenberg (2010) rather than the free-spirited joy of Frances Ha (2012). Still, people on the cusp of middle age will find it hilariously, and worryingly, resonant.
In their early 40s, Josh and Cornelia (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) feel like everyone is judging them for not having children. And Josh has the additional pressure that his filmmaking career has stalled: he has nothing to show for eight years spent on his latest documentary. Then they meet 25-year-old aspiring filmmaker Jamie (Adam Driver) and his wife Darby (Amanda Seyfried), who inspire them to recapture their youthful interests in art and culture. Even their sex life begins to perk up. And Jamie encourages Josh to make progress on his movie, just as Jamie gets his own project underway, consulting with Cornelia's well-established filmmaker dad (Charles Grodin). But is this trans-generational friendship appropriate?
The fact that they even wonder that gives away Baumbach's own perspective, especially as he fills the film with witty contrasts that work a little too hard to make the point. For example, Josh collects CDs and DVDs while Jamie collects LPs and VHS tapes. Continual touches like this add lots of clever observational humour, although they also make everything feel a bit cartoonish and over-constructed. Plus of course the nagging sense that there's a right and wrong way these kinds of things should play out. Thankfully the dialogue is fiendishly smart, delivered to perfection by the gifted cast. And it helps that each of the actors are willing to be fairly unlikeable in his or her role, although Stiller is sometimes sent over the top with Josh's inexplicably harsh reactions to everyone around him.
Continue reading: While We're Young Review
A sharp improvement on the original, this second entry in The Divergent Series has a much stronger sense of its premise and characters, which makes it much more exciting to watch. Where Divergent felt gimmicky and a bit shallow, this chapter pushes the characters much deeper, giving the actors a chance to bring them more engagingly to life, which makes the odd set-up more involving as well.
It picks up immediately where the first film ended, with Tris (Shailene Woodley) escaping from post-apocalyptic, segmented-society Chicago with her boyfriend Four (Theo James), her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and their shifty cohort Peter (Miles Teller). Hiding out in the Amity agricultural community, they know that Erudite leader Janine (Kate Winslet) has sent her goons (Jai Courtney and Mekhi Phifer) to find them. Actually, she needs a divergent to open an artefact from the pre-war days so she can rid Chicago of pesky divergents forever. When their location is discovered, Tris and pals head back into the city, teaming up with factionless leader Joanna (Naomi Watts) and getting help from the head of Candor (Daniel Dae Kim) before going to Erudite to face Janine.
The story has a strong push to it, driving these rebels ever closer to a confrontation with their nasty nemesis, and their journey is fraught with surprise wrinkles, vicious battles and some mind-bending imagery. In fact, there are so many dreams, flashbacks and computer simulations that it's not always clear if what's on screen is actually happening or not. But it all looks so cool that we hang on to discover where it'll go next, so the two hours passes briskly, and sometimes breathlessly. The film looks terrific, as director Robert Schwentke keeps the focus on the characters while creating some amazing effects around them, especially in the simulation sequences.
Continue reading: Insurgent Review
With an epic Golden Globe awards ceremony set to take place on 11th January 2015, the contenders are taking a little time to relax before the stress kicks in.
With the 72nd Golden Globe Awards set to air on NBC on Sunday 11th January, the residents of Los Angeles are partying the remaining days away in anticipation of the celebration. Before converging on The Beverly Hilton this weekend, members of the casts for 'Birdman', 'Big Eyes' and 'The Hobbit' stopped by the Audi party.
Edward Norton - Best Supporting Actor Nominee (credit Jason Merritt - Getty Images)
Amongst those at the prestigious event were Edward Norton and Naomi Watts, who play the actor/actress couple Mike and Lesley in 'Birdman'. 'Birdman' itself is set to do well at the Golden Globes, as it has been nominated for seven awards, including 'Best Supporting Actor' for Norton. 'Birdman' has also been nominated for 'Best Picture - Musical or Comedy', 'Best Performance in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy', 'Best Supporting Performance in a Motion Picture - Drama, Musical or Comedy' (both actor and actress) and 'Best Director', 'Best Screenplay' and 'Best Original Score'.
Continue reading: Golden Globe Nominees Celebrate At Audi Pre-Event Party [Photos]
Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu continues to reject traditional narrative structures with this whizzy, ambitious exploration of celebrity, art and commerce. And the clever casting of Michael Keaton adds another layer of meaning to the whole film, which is shot as one long wildly entertaining single take and pointedly subtitled "The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance". Blackly hilarious and darkly emotional, this is an exploration of how show business can push a person to the brink of madness. And maybe knock them over the edge.
Keaton stars as Riggan, once a top movie star known for his three Birdman blockbusters. But he hasn't done anything notable since, and is now trying to reboot his career by directing, adapting and starring in a Broadway play based on a Raymond Chandler story. The problem is that no one will let him escape from the iconic superhero character he's best known for, least of all Birdman himself, who mentally haunts and taunts Riggan at every turn. Meanwhile in the theatre, Riggan locks horns with costar Mike (Edward Nortan), a controlling show-off brought in at the request of lead actress Lesley (Naomi Watts). As opening night approaches, Riggan and his producer-friend Jake (Zach Galifianakis) are also struggling with the demands of high-maintenance costar Laura (Andrea Riseborough), plus distractions from Riggan's daughter-assistant (Emma Stone) and ex-wife (Amy Ryan).
Inarritu and ace cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki tell this story as if it's one continuous snaky shot with the camera following Riggan through the maze-like backstage corridors, into the theatre and out into nearby Times Square streets. The virtuoso filmmaking is simply breathtaking, and it works perfectly because all of the characters are packed with pungent details and fully developed inner lives. The actors find all kinds of quirks that are both hilarious and darkly thoughtful, creating jagged interaction as they cross paths with each other, sparring riotously for attention. Every scene bristles with startling revelations and barbed jabs at the Hollywood system.
Continue reading: Birdman Review
Following on from the events of 'Divergent', the mysterious government has discovered a magical maguffin which had the power to create the idyllic future they have always hoped to fulfil. The only catch, is that it requires a Divergent in order to activate it. As the government begins testing any and all Divergents they can find, Tris (Shailene Woodley) is already on the run, and meets up with an army of secret, hidden Divergents. When it is revealed that she may be the only one to truly activate the maguffin, the Divergents rise up as an Insurgency, and take the fight to the government that has oppressed them for too long.
Continue: The Divergent Series: Insurgent Trailer
Bill Murray shines in this story of a cynical grump whose life is changed by his friendship with a bright young kid. Writer-director Theodore Melfi makes an assured debut with this hilariously astute, emotional punchy drama, which may sometimes feel a bit over-planned but gives the audience plenty to think about. And along with Murray, the film has especially strong roles for Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts and promising newcomer Jaeden Lieberher.
It's set in a New York suburb, where the neighbourhood grouch Vincent (Murray) is already having a bad day when he discovers meets the perky family next door: Maggie (McCarthy) and her curious son Oliver (Lieberher). She has just fled from her unfaithful husband (Scott Adsit) and is working extra hours to make ends meet, so she reluctantly agrees to let Oliver stay at Vincent's house after school. Intriguingly, Oliver is one of the few people Vincent can bear to be around, aside from the pregnant Russian stripper Daka (Watts) and his lively cat Felix. And Oliver is like a sponge, happily soaking up Vincent's knowledge about things like swearing, fighting and betting on the horses. Oliver has no real idea that all of this makes Vincent a seriously unsuitable role model.
Yes, the central point is that good people are sometimes hard to spot. Vincent may smoke, swear, gamble and hang out with hookers, but he also has a deep soul that Oliver witnesses in the way he takes care of Daka, or how he regularly visits his wife in a nursing home even though she has long forgotten who he is. Melfi makes the most of this perspective, seeing everything through the eyes of perceptive young actor Lieberher. And Murray shines in a role that adds clever shadings to the actor's usual on-screen bluster. The interaction between Oliver and Vincent snaps with personality, and sharp roles for McCarthy and Watts offer meaningful wrinkles, as do other side characters such as Chris O'Dowd's schoolteacher.
Continue reading: St. Vincent Review
Michael Keaton has discussed his role in 'Birdman' and described himself as "unbelievably blessed" to have been involved.
Michael Keaton has spent most of his career on the fringes of Hollywood even after playing such iconic roles as Batman and starring in cult classic Beetlejuice. It's fairly easy to draw parallels between Keaton and the character he plays in his latest film, Birdman.
Michael Keaton stars in Birdman.
The 52nd New York Film Festival gave a showing of 'Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)' on 11th October, 2014. Posing on the red carpet, was Edward Norton and his wife, former movie producer Shauna Robertson. Naomi Watts was also seen, as was Emma Stone, who both have parts in the film.
Vincent is living a life of hedonism in his retirement from the army. An avid smoker and drinker with few friends save for nightclub dancer Daka, he's hardly what you'd call a friendly neighbour. Nonetheless, a recently divorced Maggie has moved in nearby with her impressionable young son Oliver and she is desperate for a babysitter. Never one to judge a book by its cover, she enlists Vincent to take care of him while she's at work, and while he's not cut out to deal with children realistically, he could really do with the cash. Oliver learns a lot from Vincent, who pays him to cut his lawn and who helps him overcome his bulllies at his new school, while Vincent also learns a little from his new friend, who unwittingly shows him that there's a lot more left in life for him to enjoy.
Continue: St. Vincent - Clips
Emma Stone was snapped on the red carpet at the opening of the 71st Venice Film Festival on Wednesday 27th August. The 'Birdman' actress looked beautiful in a plunging dark green gown and was sporting a new shorter haircut.
20 years ago, Riggan Thomas (Michael Keaton) played the iconic Birdman - a comic book hero for the big screen. Having watched his career dissolve in the intervening years, Riggan has adapted a Raymond Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love and intends to direct and star in it as part of his big come back. In an attempt to show the world that he still matters, he ends up struggling most of all to prove his worth to both himself and his family. As troubles begin to emerge in the run up to the opening night, Thomas becomes haunted by his early fame, manifesting as a Birdman alter ego.
Continue: Birdman - International Trailer
St. Vincent de Van Nuys is a broke former soldier with a serious alcohol and gambling habit. He has few friends apart from nightclub dancer Daka, but that's all about to change when some new neighbours arrive. Maggie and her young son Oliver have moved in, with the latter feeling a little alienated as one of the only Jewish kids at school as well as being smaller than everyone else. Vincent decides to take him under his wing in a bid to earn a little more cash as a babysitter, and Oliver soon warms to him despite his hedonistic life and generally poor childminding skills. Maggie is unhappy that Vincent is introducing him to strip clubs, dingy bars and the racetrack, but it soon becomes clear that Oliver is exactly what Vincent needs to finally get his life on track.
Continue: St. Vincent Trailer
Riggan Thompson used to be a major movie star having played a much-loved onscreen superhero, Birdman, in his more prolific years. However, he's starting to believe he was just a one trick pony as he struggles desperately to get his Broadway debut underway having just written his first play. Things just don't seem to be going right for Riggin, however, when everything surrounding the production begins to fall apart and he has to cast a younger and cockier actor for the main role - a man he utterly abhors and feels he simply cannot work with. Not only that, but his personal life is also taking a massive blow and he must find a way to reconnect with his family so that, maybe, he can re-discover himself along the way.
Continue: Birdman - Trailer
It looks like a return to form for Michael Keaton in "Birdman'. Check out the trailer below.
We always had a feeling that Birdman was going to be good. It has a lot going for it. Babel’s Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is behind the camera for a start – and the cast is probably one of the most impressive and intriguing line-ups in recent years: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Zach Galfianakis, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts.
Michael Keaton in 'Birdman'
Oh, and then there’s the plot. Birdman tells the story of a washed-up actor (Birdman) who once played an iconic superhero (Yeah, we know) and must overcome his own ego and family troubles as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory.
The 45 year-old actress will portray Evelyn, the leader of the Factionless, in 'Insurgent' and 'Allegiant,' which will be split into two separate films.
Naomi Watts is the latest star to join the already-impressive cast of the 'Divergent' film franchise.
The Australian actress has signed on to play a major role in the next three film instalments of the sci-fi series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Watts will star in 'Insurgent,' which is due out next year, and 'Allegiant,' the third and final book in the Veronica Roth series that will be separated into two separate films, due out in 2016 and 2017.
Continue reading: Naomi Watts Cast In Major Role For Next Three 'Divergent' Movies
Naomi Watts - 2014 G'DAY USA Los Angeles Black Tie Gala to honor Australians Geoffrey Rush, Jacki Weaver and chef Curtis Stone at JW Marriot at LA Live - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 11th January 2014
Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber - Liev Schreiber gets a visit from Naomi Watts with his two sons Alexander and Samuel while filming "Pawn Sacrifice" in Santa Monica Beach. The actor played with the boys and ate snacks and gave his partner Naomi a kiss goodbye before going back to set. - Santa Monica, California, United States - Tuesday 10th December 2013
The damning study could signal change for the British film industry
A recent study by the British Film Institute has revealed the extent to which British films consistently fail to turn a profit. The findings show that a mere 7% of UK films between 2003 and 2010 made a profit in a damning expose of the country’s proud industry.
Naomie Watts in Diana
The worst in terms of fiscal return were low-budget projects; only 3.1% of films with budgets of £500,000 or less became profitable, while at the other end of the spectrum, under a fifth of films with budgets of more than £10m turned a profit, according to the findings, which were presented by the BFI's David Steele at the Screen Film Summit.
Continue reading: BFI Reveal British Film Profits - They're Derisory
'The Great Gatsby' Leonardo Dicaprio was snapped arriving at the Armani One Night Only fashion show event held at the SuperPier in New York. He was joined by 'Goodfellas' director Martin Scorsese and 'Beautiful Creatures' actor Jeremy Irons with his wife Sinead Cusack.
While this odd biopic is a real mess, it's not quite the cinematic disaster snootier critics claim it is. Essentially fan fiction, the script spins a story that has only the vaguest basis in fact, drawing much of its dialog from screenwriter Jeffreys' and book author Kate Snell's imaginations. And if what these people say to each other wasn't so laughably silly, the film's genuinely intriguing themes might have emerged with more force.
We pick up the story in 1995, after Diana (Watts) has been separated from Prince Charles for three years. She still hasn't moved on romantically, and spends most evenings alone in Kensington Palace, making beans on toast and quietly crying herself to sleep. So when she meets heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (Andrews), she's relieved that he doesn't treat her like a princess. Over the next two years, their romance develops in secret because Hasnat is a very private man and Diana is the most famous woman on earth. Fed up with the intrusive paparazzi, Hasnat puts the brakes on their relationship. So Diana uses her friend Dodi Fayed (Anvar) to provide misleading headlines and spark Hasnat's jealousy.
Of course, we know their love is doomed for another key reason: the film is bookended by scenes in Paris on the fateful evening of 31 August 1997. But even if this romance has clearly been fictionalised, it offers some intriguing themes that catch our sympathies, mainly due to an understated performance from Watts that occasionally catches Diana with remarkable detail. So it's frustrating that Khan is portrayed as such an icy, uninteresting figure, which means that Andrews never generates any chemistry with Watts.
Continue reading: Diana Review
Oliver Hirschbiegel's 'Diana' has been savaged by critics. Absolutely savaged.
It was, by all accounts, a strange turn of events. Naomi Watts - the Australian actress who plays Princess Diana of Wales in Oliver Hirschbiegel's new biopic - walked out of an interview with movie critic Mark Kermode and the mild-mannered broadcaster Simon Mayo during the pair's BBC 5Live movie show this week.
Naomi Watts Plays Princess Diana
Kermode is known for his formidably forthright opinions, though his interview subjects are usually treated to nothing less than a serious, intelligent discussion about whichever movie they're flogging at the time. See Kermode's chat with Ben Affleck during the promotion for Argo as a prime example. At the end of the discussion - filmed for the Culture Show - the American director was heard to say, "Nice interview," after presumably being swamped with the same predictable queries all day.
Date of birth
28th September, 1968
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