Saturday, September 25, 2010

“Foster, Winslet, Waltz to star in Polanski's 'God of Carnage' - MSN” plus 2 more

“Foster, Winslet, Waltz to star in Polanski's 'God of Carnage' - MSN” plus 2 more


Foster, Winslet, Waltz to star in Polanski's 'God of Carnage' - MSN

Posted: 23 Sep 2010 02:19 PM PDT

Foster, Winslet, Waltz to star in Polanski's 'God of Carnage'

Sept. 23, 2010, 4:33 PM EST

By Jeff Sneider

Oscar winners Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz are set to star in Roman Polanski's adaptation of Yasmina Reza's Tony Award-winning play "God of Carnage," Foster and Waltz's representation at ICM and Winslet's publicist have confirmed to TheWrap.

The story concerns two sets of middle-class parents who meet for dinner after their sons are involved in a fight at school. The confrontation goes disastrously wrong after each couple attacks the other's parenting skills, which leads to the husbands and wives turning on each other about problems in their own marriages.

The second male lead has not yet been cast, despite Deadline's initial proclamation that Matt Dillon had landed the plum part.

The idea of Foster and Winslet trading verbal barbs is positively tantalizing, and it'll be nice to see Waltz out of villain mode for a change, as the "Inglourious Basterds" star will soon be seen as the antagonist in "The Green Hornet" opposite Seth Rogen and in "Water for Elephants" opposite Robert Pattinson.

James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels and Hope Davis starred in the original Broadway incarnation of the play, which ran for 452 performances before closing in June.

The play was set in Brooklyn, but because the Oscar-winning director isn't allowed to enter the U.S. due to his well-documented legal troubles, production will take place in Paris beginning in February.

France's SBS will co-produce with Germany's Constantin Film, and ICM's Jeff Berg packaged the project.

Winslet next stars in HBO's miniseries "Mildred Pierce." She also appears alongside Hugh Jackman in the omnibus film "Untitled Comedy" and is set to star in Steven Soderbergh's upcoming virus thriller, "Contagion." She is represented by CAA.

Foster stars in and directs "The Beaver," which has been delayed indefinitely by distributor Summit Entertainment because of star Mel Gibson's legal troubles.

The "God of Carnage" casting news was first reported by Deadline.

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Ben Affleck goes to 'Town' for slick, entertaining Boston crime movie - Boston Globe

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 10:34 PM PDT

I don't care what anyone outside the greater metropolitan area says: "The Town'' takes place in Movie Boston rather than the real thing. Movie Boston is a sub-Scorsese landscape of stubbled men walking down mean Suffolk County streets that exist primarily in the minds of good pulp novelists and bad screenwriters, and its authenticity depends far too much on Hollywood actors trying hahd to bend their dialogue around non-rhotic speech patterns.

That said, Ben Affleck's latest is a pretty decent crime drama — not a patch on the best parts of his directorial debut, 2007's "Gone Baby Gone,'' but it's moody and grim and engrossing if you approach it with the right expectations. The local horselaughs that have greeted the trailer for "The Town'' — with its stentorian voice-over implying that the "one-square-mile neighborhood called Charlestown'' is responsible for every urban plague from bank heists to bedbugs — won't extend to the movie, which traffics in clichés but keeps the traffic moving.

Instead of directing his brother, Casey (who's off chasing the ghost of Joaquin Phoenix), Affleck directs himself this time. He plays Doug MacRay, the leader of a four-man Charlestown bank-robbery crew that prides itself on planning, efficiency, and the threat of maximum violence. We see them in action early on and we also see the team's weak link: Jeremy Renner ("The Hurt Locker'') as hair-trigger Jimmy Coughlin, Doug's oldest friend and biggest liability.

If Affleck's doing a riff on the sexy, doom-laden antiheroes of '40s film noir, Renner's doing straight-up Cagney, and he's the most watchable thing in the movie. His character is itchy with aggression, complete in his loathing of yuppies and other "tunies'' crowding into the old nabe. If Jimmy knew that Doug was falling for the lissome bank manager they briefly took hostage on their last job, he'd pitch a fit.

Yes, it's that kind of movie, where you have to swallow some sizable coincidences and implausibilities if you want to play along. Claire (Rebecca Hall) may not have laid eyes on Doug during the robbery (he was wearing a Halloween mask) but she certainly heard his voice, and Affleck gives that voice a velvety growl a woman would remember, even if she didn't turn out to live just on the other side of the Monument.

The romance is the silliest part of "The Town,'' but it's also the part that works best, maybe because it's so frankly a movie device and this director so frankly loves movies. As an actor, Affleck is a nice visual match for Hall — they're both big, rangy people who seem comfortable in their own skin — and we root for Doug and Claire to make it even as we know that the big revelation (I've been dating the guy who held me at gunpoint and ditched me in East Boston!) might possibly be a deal killer. That knowledge weighs Doug down and gives him substance: He's betting it all on something that can't last.

Otherwise, "The Town'' feels a little too familiar and a little too canned, from the regulation three-day beard on everyone up to and including Jon Hamm's implacable FBI agent (really? Feds don't shave?) to Blake Lively ("Gossip Girl'') slumming it as Jimmy's slatternly sister Krista, a single mom who pines for Doug but is willing to go home with whoever's paying at closing time. This is more or less the same role that got Amy Ryan an Oscar nomination in "Gone Baby Gone,'' but Lively is, to put it kindly, not Amy Ryan.

Is "The Town'' authentic? Hell if I know — I'm from Brookline. For that matter, the director's from Cambridge, and the curse of this city's clannishness (one of them, anyway) is that you can never speak to the reality of the next town over without somebody getting their panties in a twist. That's partly the point of both Chuck Hogan's original novel ("Prince of Thieves'') and this adaptation: A community that takes so much pride in insularity will eventually choke on it. But Affleck's more interested in townie mythologizing and borrowed Lehane-ian street cred; did I mention he's from Cambridge?

On the local-color level, at least, he gets things reasonably right. You buy that a vicious neighborhood top dog might look like Pete Postlethwaite and work as a florist; that his muscle might look like Dennis McLaughlin, a non-actor with excellent B-movie presence. As the other members of the crew, Slaine and Owen Burke have the proper pasty anonymity, and the faces in the corners of the screen are pink and hard. The knowingly chosen locations lead up to an amusing performance by Fenway Park as itself, and the grand absurdity of a high-speed police chase through the narrow streets of the North End has been thought out with devilish care. For once the geography in a Boston movie makes sense; even the standard shot of the Zakim Bridge has relevance.

The accents? Oddly, Affleck's feels the most forced — maybe Hollywood diction lessons beat the regionalism out of him. Hall conquers her British cadences and sounds appropriately mid-Atlantic, and Renner, bless him, wins the Jill Quigg award for most lived-in local speech patterns. He doesn't push it and he doesn't underdo it; this is just how Jimmy talks, which is an extension of the shark-like rapacity with which he moves through the world. Accent is destiny in the Movie Boston rule book, and the pleasure and the limitation of "The Town'' is that it plays squarely by the rules.

Ty Burr can be reached at tburr@globe.com.

© Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company.

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Chloe Moretz Attached to Star in 'Emily the Strange' Movie - TheWrap

Posted: 23 Sep 2010 02:55 PM PDT

Chloe Moretz is attached to star in Universal's adaptation of the Dark Horse comic "Emily the Strange," her publicist has confirmed to TheWrap.

Rob Reger and his company Cosmic Debris created the gothic counterculture character in 1993, and the property has since been licensed in 35 countries.

Universal recently acquired rights to the material, and the feature film will likely be an origin story about the odd teenager and her four mysterious cats.

Dark Horse's Mike Richardson will produce, while Reger will exec produce with Keith Goldberg.

Moretz is currently filming Martin Scorsese's "Hugo Cabret," and next stars in Matt Reeves' "Let Me In," which Overture Films and Relativity Media will release on Oct. 1 against Sony's "The Social Network."

She also stars alongside Sam Worthington in Ami Canaan Mann's "The Fields," and is expected to reprise her breakout role as Hit-Girl in Matthew Vaughn's planned "Kick-Ass" sequel.

Moretz is represented by WME and 3 Arts. Her attachment to the project was first reported by Deadline.

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