Thursday, June 02, 2011

A short Thursday report long on fun news

If you skipped Derek Cianfrance's "Blue Valentine" last year, either because of its mind-boggling NC-17 rating or simply because the subject matter sounded so depressing, fix that right away with a rental, because in many ways the movie is a real joy to watch.

It is indeed about a marriage that's imploding in front of our eyes, but the acting from Michelle Williams (rightly nominated for an Oscar) and Ryan Gosling is nothing short of amazing to behold, and the story goes on a journey well worth exploring that will make you smile and laugh more than it will make you blue. The "future room" alone makes this movie well worth renting (it's out on DVD now, so check it out).

And even better comes big casting news about Cianfrance's next movie, the crime drama "The Place Beyond the Pines," which reunites him with Gosling. He will play a biker who, after having a child, begins robbing banks to support the baby. And now comes word that Bradley Cooper will play a rookie cop who's on his trail.

Filming will start in July, and Cianfrance is a real talent to keep an eye on, so stay tuned for more on this whenever I find it.

In other news about a director I can't get enough of, it's now guaranteed that even people in my little corner of the world will get to see Tomas Alfredson's follow-up to the simply sublime "Let the Right One In" (still streaming on Netflix), a remake of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy."

The news is that Focus Features has taken over distribution from Universal and has set an awards season U.S. release date of Nov. 18, and best of all, will apparently do so in glorious "wide release."

Bully to that, because Alfredson has compiled a stellar cast for the Cold War spy saga based on the John Le Carre novel, starting with Gary Oldman as George Smiley, the British spy charged with uncovering a Russian mole in his ranks, and also featuring Colin Firth, Ciaran Hinds, Tom Hardy and Mark Strong.

Bring it on already, even for people like me, who live in tiny burgs!

And finally (and inevitably) today, Paramount is finalizing an option deal to develop a movie based on "Furious Love," an account of the public love affair of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and is ready to hand it off to one Martin Scorsese to direct.

Scorsese is currently wrapping up "Hugo Cabret" starring Chloe Moretz and Asa Butterfield (based on one of my favorite novels, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," so bully to that) for a Nov. 23 release, and after that he has a number of potential projects on his plate. Included among those are "Silence," a tale of two Jesuit priests (potentially Daniel Day Lewis and Benicio Del Toro, imagine that) in 17th century Japan, the hitman drama "The Irishman" and a Frank Sinatra biopic.

Though any of those would be a natural fit, I'd imagine he would gladly put them all on hold to jump on this, given his interest in Hollywood history and how simply juicy the story is. Burton and Taylor were both married when they met on the set of "Cleopatra" in 1960, and began a public romance that inflamed the paparazzi. They eventually married in 1964, divorced in 1974, remarried in 1975 and separated for good in 1976.

And with that, I'm off to the job that still pays my bills, so have a perfectly pleasant Thursday. Peace out.


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