Richard E. Grant Takes Lee Israel Connection Off His Shelf With ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’

Richard E. Grant, who made an acclaimed debut over 30 years ago in Withnail & I, is still busier than ever, and now he’s front and center during awards season with his work as author Lee Israel’s (Melissa McCarthy) good friend Jack Hock in Can You Ever Forgive Me?. Hock, along with being a drinking buddy of Israel’s, ended be her fence during her run as a literary forger.

Grant’s own knowledge of Israel’s writing career, though slim, was actually right before his eyes. “I had one book on my shelf of Lee Israel’s biography of the actress from the 1940s Tallulah Bankhead,” said Grant. “So that was the only vague bell that it rang and the book was about an actress so that is what I remembered. I just remember the name. But I didn’t know the story about the forgery that she pulled off at all and I think it’s one of the great scams of all time – and she didn’t kill anybody. It’s a white collar crime, really.”

Click on the media bar to hear Grant talk about shooting one of the movie’s more emotional scenes with McCarthy:

Can You Ever Forgive Me? is directed by Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl).

 

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘Roma’ Director Alfonso Cuarón To Be Honored With Sonny Bono Visionary Award

Filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón will be honored with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award at the 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF). The honor will be presented at The Film Awards Gala on January 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Alfonso Cuarón’s latest feature Roma is a masterful achievement in filmmaking,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “Drawing upon his childhood memories, Cuarón has created an emotionally driven story about a family growing up in 1970s Mexico City.  A film he not only directed, but also was a writer, producer, cinematographer and editor.  For his ability to take on many roles and for his expert storytelling of this subject matter, the festival is proud to present Alfonso Cuarón with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award.”

Previous recipients include directors Danny Boyle, Quentin Tarantino and Richard Linklater. The Palm Springs International Film Festival takes place January 3-14. Roma hits Netflix on December 14.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Hailee Steinfeld Gets “Back To Life” With Transformative Experience On ‘Bumblebee’

True Grit earned Hailee Steinfeld a Supporting Actress Oscar nomination and The Edge of Seventeen was roundly praised, and with Bumblebee she’s traversing relatively new ground. Though 2013’s sci-fi drama Ender’s Game was definitely underrated, it won’t garner the sizable audience that is destined to see Bumblebee.

The project centers on Charlie Watson (Steinfeld), a youth who finds the titular character in the junkyard. Set in 1987, this prequel is a coming of age story much like 2007’s Transformers. Click on the media bar to hear Steinfeld explain why doing Bumblebee was such a unique experience.

Bumblebee, co-starring John Cena and directed by Kubo and the Two Strings filmmaker Travis Knight, opens nationwide December 21. Steinfeld’s her new single “Back to Life” is also featured in the film.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

KiKi Layne Gets “Connected” To The World Of ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’

Based on the James Baldwin novel, If Beale Street Could Talk centers on Tish Rivers (KiKi Layne), a 19-year-old who has found her soulmate in 22-year-old Fonny (Homecoming’s Stephan James). When Fonny lands in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, Tish is determined to have him return to civilian life before she has her baby.

This is Layne’s movie debut, and she had nothing but praise for If Beale Street Could Talk filmmaker Barry Jenkins. “Working with Barry was amazing,” said Layne. “He’s just so attentive to what each of us needs as individual artists. I felt so well taken care of and supported on his set.”

Click on the media bar to hear Layne talk about the connected spirit that anchors If Beale Street Could Talk:

Co-starring Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk is in theaters now.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Armie Hammer Gets “Inspired” With RBG Biopic ‘On The Basis Of Sex’

After the success of last year’s Call Me By Your Name, Armie Hammer proceeded to star in two more acclaimed films (Sorry to Bother You and Final Portrait). Now he takes on the role of Marty Ginsburg, the supportive husband of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones) in On The Basis of Sex. The project comes on the heels of the hit documentary RBG, so this film will already have a built in audience.

“I knew a bit about (Ruth Bader Ginsburg),” said Hammer. “Because she’s become this punk/pop icon so I was familiar with her accomplishments but really seeing the woman behind it was what really blew me away and inspired and really impressed the hell out of me.”

Click on the media bar to hear Hammer talk about Felicity Jones’ performance in the feature: 

On The Basis Of Sex opens nationwide December 25.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Emma Stone Acted Like “A Human Noodle” During ‘The Favourite’ Rehearsals

The Favourite, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster), has received heaps of critical praise and will become a literal “favorite” come awards season time. The 18th century England set tale centers on the dynamics among Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), her confidante Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz), and a charming new servant named Abigail (Emma Stone).

As one can obviously see from his movies, Lanthimos has a unique approach to filmmaking. Though many projects don’t afford much rehearsal time, the filmmaker ensured his ensemble extensively rehearsed before cameras started rolling. ,”For three weeks, we acted like human noodles and crawled all over the floor and embarrassed ourselves completely in front of each other,” said Stone. “By the end, (we) felt really safe and comfortable with each other and so it was kind of an amazing process. Because as nuts as it felt in the moment, we were also learning to rely on each other as a team.”

Click on the media bar to hear Stone talk about wearing a corset in The Favourite:

The Favourite is now playing in limited release.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi