Now playing in select theaters, Youth centers on the lifelong friendship of an orchestra conductor (Michael Caine) and a film director (Harvey Keitel). The pair make a habit of vacationing together in the Alps, and now in the autumn of their years, both of them are on their own respective journey in finding passion in their lives. The movie co-stars Rachel Weisz’s as the conductor’s loving daughter, with Paul Dano playing a jaded A-list actor who’s suddenly adrift in his career. Jane Fonda received a Supporting Actress Golden Globe nod as a tougher than nails actress who has troubling news for the director.
Directed by Oscar winning filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film), Youth boasts a talented ensemble and, thanks to Sorrentino’s poetic use of imagery, is a visually sumptuous movie. Although Caine has carved out a prolific and revered film career, he was actually surprised that he was Sorrentino’s only choice to play the conductor.
Click on the media bar below to hear Caine talk about his collaboration with Paolo Sorrentino.
Opening December 25, The Hateful Eight is the latest Western from Quentin Tarantino, and unlike the sprawling epic of Django Unchained this film is more of what Tarantino describes as a “chamber piece.” Kurt Russell is John Ruth, a bounty hunter who is determined to see Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), his latest capture, die by a hangman’s noose. Samuel L. Jackson co-stars as a fellow bounty hunter that Ruth encounters on the road.
But John’s plans take a drastic turn after his stagecoach pulls up at a rest stop during a mighty blizzard. The place is inhabited by several men (including Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Demian Bichir, and Tim Roth) who may have a few bloody intentions on their mind, and John must find a way to coexist with these strangers until the snow lifts and sends everyone on their way.
Channing Tatum, who is actually not part of the “hateful eight,” said it was a “unique” experience working with Tarantino, and he admitted to a bit of nervousness on the first day of set. Since we hate giving out spoilers, we won’t divulge the true identity of Tatum’s character in the film. Quentin Tarantino can also be heard in the clip:
Based on a novel by bestselling scribe Nicholas Sparks, The Choice centers on the relationship between Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer), a medical student who has designings on settling down with her long time boyfriend (Tom Welling). Travis (Benjamin Walker) is Gabby’s next door neighbor, a guy who prefers bachelorhood over commitment. When “sparks” fly between the two, all bets are off, and what looks like a budding relationship that will lead to a happily ever after turns into something entirely different.
Palmer, who will next be seen in Point Break, also starred in the underrated 2014 crime thrillerCut Bank, and The Choice director Ross Katz previously helmed the subtle and also overlooked feature Adult Beginners. The romantic drama, which opens February 5, also features Maggie Grace and Alexandra Daddario. Though Sparks’ stories often seem to follow a similar star-crossed lovers theme, some of his movies actually hit the mark (most notably The Notebook and The Lucky One).
The trailer, which gives a bit of a clue on the “choice” that has to be made, is below. Check it out and tell us if you’re excited about the next Nicholas Sparks movie.
Matt Damon will receive the Chairman’s Award at the 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF). Hosted by Mary Hart, the gala takes place January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, with the fest running January 1-11.
“Since his breakthrough role in Good Will Hunting,MattDamon has taken on a series of challenging roles through his career,” said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In his latest film, The Martian, Damon dazzles yet again as Mark Watney, an astronaut desperately trying to survive on Mars, yet still finding a way to laugh and bring hope to an impossible situation. It is an honor to present MattDamon with the 2016 Chairman’s Award.”
The honor will be given to Damon by Ridley Scott, the director of The Martian. Previous recipients of the Chairman’s Award include Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Richard Gere, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.
Damon, an Oscar winner for his Good Will Hunting script (co-written by Affleck), has also starred in Monuments Men, The Bourne Identity, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Green Zone, and The Informant.
During a past interview with Damon, he told us why he really doesn’t get hounded by the paparazzi:
The original Star Wars film was the movie of a generation for many a young moviegoer in the ’70s and the sequels Return of the Jedi and the Empire Strikes Back did nothing to tarnish the legacy. As adults, we’ve passed our love for the original trilogy down to a new generation and with Star Wars: The Force Awakens the younger generation has a film worthy of passing along to film lovers who come after them.
Fittingly, the J.J. Abrams-directed film delves into family and there’s a little something for everyone. Fans of the original series of films in the franchise will cheer out loud for the winks and nods to past plotlines. The movie takes place 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi and each elder central character’s initial appearance onscreen serves the storyline while delivering the kind of entrance befitting of such iconic characters.
Meanwhile, we get a group of well-drawn new characters as well who drive the action in this film and set the stage for future installments. We’re first introduced to Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), a heroic fighter pilot who’s charged with getting intelligence about the whereabouts of the missing Luke Skywalker back to the Resistance. Dameron is joined on his adventures by a droid named BB8, a soccer ball-looking bleep-inducing cohort who charms more than annoys. After Poe is captured by the First Order, who are hoping to vanquish Skywalker, he’s tortured by a masked, “force”-using villain named Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and later freed by a storm trooper with a conscious given the name of Finn (John Boyega) by Dameron. The final new character of note is a principled scavenger named Rey (Daisy Ridley) who crosses paths with BB8 and Finn while the First Order forces are trying to track them down. Finn serves as reluctant hero and comic relief, delivering some of the film’s funnier moments. Rey is the more courageous voice of reason in their journey. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren has been seduced to the dark side, but we’re led to believe he’s conflicted.
At the heart of the film is the search for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). The First Order wants to vanquish the last Jedi while the Resistance needs his help to ensure their future. Little by little, Finn, Rey and BB8 build their base of allies, first with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca and later reuniting with Dameron as well as Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). Realizing the First Order is too powerful and will eventually be able to eliminate them as they have done to other allies, the Resistance takes the fight to them before they are destroyed.
We get showdowns that fans have clamored for, we get light saber battles that play out with emotion and vitality rather than looking like choreographed dance moves and we get lots of battles and explosions. There’s the classic John Williams score and some of the set pieces and locales are visually interesting to the eye. It’s the little things of the Star Wars universe that wowed us as a kid and still keeps us enthralled today while no doubt making a new generation of fans in the process.
Without giving away any spoilers, just know that the film is all about the adventure and the relationships formed. None of it feels forced or stiff and the film flows at a pace with few lulls. Abrams and fellow filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan penned a script with plenty of knowing nods for longtime Star Wars fans, but it’s done in such a manner that those who have not combed over every minor detail of the Star Wars universe can still enjoy and be entertained without having to look up every reference. After watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens, our love for the franchise has awakened once again and the anticipation level for future chapters should once again be at a fevered pitch.