CinemAddicts Podcast Previews ‘Blade Runner 2049’ And ‘Wonderstruck’


October is upon us and the most highly anticipated film of the month is Blade Runner 2049. Already receiving stellar reviews, Blade Runner 2049 may be one of the rare movies that improves upon the iconic original. Directed by Arrival and Sicario filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, the feature marks the return of former LAPD blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). Ryan Gosling is simply known as K, the officer who’s searching for Deckard. Blade Runner 2049 opens nationwide October 6.

Critics darling Todd Haynes (Carol, Far from Heaven) is back with Wonderstruck, a storyline that follows the journey of two children living in different time periods. Julianne Moore, who previously worked with Haynes in Far From Heaven and Safe, reunites with Haynes in the feature that’s adapted by Brian Selznick’s book. Wonderstruck opens in limited release October 20.

Better Watch Out, the Harry Dean Stanton headlined Lucky, and Una (which features Carol actress Rooney Mara) are also covered on the latest episode of CinemAddicts. Take a listen below and feel free to comment!

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Todd Haynes Reaches “Ground Control” With ‘Wonderstruck’ Trailer

wonderstruck1Delving into the past is part of director Todd Haynes’ (Carol, Velvet Goldmine, I’m Not There) storytelling style, and he follows suit with his latest film Wonderstruck.

Penned by Brian Selznick (from his own bestselling novel), Wonderstruck is set in two time periods (1927 and 1977). After his mother’s (Michelle Williams) passing, Ben (Oakes Fegley) goes on a quest to find a father he has never known. Fifty years earlier, a child named Rose (Millicent Simmonds) goes searching for an actress (Julianne Moore) she admires.

It’s great to see Haynes and Moore reunite after their successful collaborations on Safe and Far From Heaven. The Wonderstruck trailer has a similar wistful tone to Haynes’ Citizen Kane-ish homage Velvet Goldmine, and the film has already received great word of mouth. Whether or not David Bowie approved of Velvet Goldmine, it’s a wonderful touch to have the seminal track “Space Oddity” in the trailer.

Check out the trailer and tell us what you think!

Wonderstruck hits theaters October 20th via Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Rooney Mara Receives A ‘Spotlight’ At Palm Springs International Film Festival


It’s been a great week for Carol, as the drama received five Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture, Actress (Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara), director (Todd Haynes) and score (Carter Burwell). Mara will also receive the Spotlight Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival for her work, and the gala takes place Saturday January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Rooney Mara’s nuanced portrayal of Manhattan shopgirl Therese Belivet opposite Cate Blanchett’s Carol Aird brings integrity and depth to this story of forbidden love set against the sexual mores of the 1950s,” said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzer. “For this brilliant performance, which adds yet another laurel to her diverse career, it is an honor to present Rooney Mara with the 2016 Spotlight Award.” Previous Spotlight honorees include Jessica Chastain, Julia Roberts, and Amy Adams.

Mara’s credits include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Trash, Side Effects, and The Social Network. The Palm Springs International Film Festival runs January 1-11.

Below is a sampling of Carol’s captivating soundtrack:

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Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi

Phyllis Nagy Talks ‘Carol’ & “Wonderful” Todd Haynes Collaboration


Screenwriter Phyllis Nagy’s collaboration with director Todd Haynes in Carol is, as the oft-used phrased goes, a match made in heaven. Based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Price of Salt, the 1950s set novel centers on a Manhattan store clerk (Rooney Mara) who is instantly bewitched by Carol (Cate Blanchett), a sophisticated, charming yet unhappily married woman. That instant connection between the two is that rarest of occurrences, and both attempt to hold onto that bond even though Carol’s familial obligations is of utmost importance.

Nagy’s writing and directing efforts for 2005’s Mrs. Harris was highly celebrated (the film garnered 12 Emmy nominations), but it still took Nagy years to see her adaptation of Highsmith’s work hit the screen. Since 1996, the scribe has collaborated with different filmmakers and actors, but when Haynes (Far From Heaven, Mildred Pierce) came on board the momentum swung in Nagy’s favor.

Nagy, who befriended Patricia Highsmith while on assignment, talked about her appreciation for the late author’s body of work. “Her books are quite singular in the annals of crime fiction, for lack of a better term,” said Nagy. “In that she examined issues of guilt and lack thereof, and it’s the same thing she does in The Price of Salt, but in a very different way. She uses the profound lack of guilt of both of those women, about who they are, or what their sexual choices are, to examine much larger issues in the society.”

In the audio below, Nagy talks about her “fortuitous” collaboration with director Todd Haynes:

Carol is now playing in select theaters.

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Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi

Review: Carol to Attract Oscar Attention With Tale of Forbidden Love

carolWhile strides have been made over time concerning the acceptance of same-sex relationships, the new film Carol takes us back to a time when the world was not as understanding. The movie stars Cate Blanchett, turning in Oscar-caliber work as the titular character, an upper class woman who upon first look seemingly has it all — that is everything but the chance to live the life she was meant to live.

It’s 1950s-era New York and Carol and her husband Harge (Kyle Chandler) are estranged, still bonded together by their love for their daughter Rindy (KK Heim) but torn apart by the frequent time spent by Carol with “Aunt Abbie” (Sarah Paulson). A suspicious Harge hopes that things have and can still change while Carol seems resigned to who she is and where the relationship is going.

One wintery day, Carol wanders into a department store where she meets a young shop girl named Therese (Rooney Mara), and a chance interaction finds the two of them bonding over a train set that Therese suggests as a gift for Carol’s daughter. There’s a spark of wonder for both, as Therese sees Carol as the bold, independent woman she’s hoping to be while Carol is attracted to the innocence and enthusiasm of a young girl with her whole world ahead of her and still trying to find her place in life. When Carol leaves her gloves behind, Therese takes the initiative and mails them back to her, which leads to an invite to lunch.

Where Carol seems very composed and aware of what her life is, Therese is more of a work in progress. She lives in an apartment that often needs the stove to keep things warm. She has an interest in photography, but has never pursued it. And she has a nice enough beau (Jake Lacy) who is mapping out the path to their marriage, but not one that she’s sure that she wants. The meeting with Carol shows Therese what life could be. It’s as if when the pair are together, they speak an unspoken language and when Therese is witness to a particularly brutal fight between Carol and Harge, she realizes that the world she envisions Carol having is not what it seems.

As the holidays approach, Harge is incensed after finding the strange young girl with Carol, sensing something is amiss. So he files for divorce and asks for full custody of their daughter and thanks to a morality charge in the filing, Carol’s world begins to crumble. Unable to spend the holidays with her daughter, Carol decides to get away from everything and asks Therese to join her on a road trip. Though witnessing the horrible scene between Harge and Carol, rather than run she decides to accept, and it’s there that the bond grows stronger and the roles begin the two women begin to change.

Carol’s the one less self assured, while Therese comes into her own, standing up for what she wants. Carol and Therese go from being kindred spirits to lovers, but as with most relationships of the forbidden kind, there are obstacles that stand in the way, with the ultimate will-they, won’t-they ending ahead, with the viewer left to interpret the ending.

Blanchett is all but a shoe-in for a Best Actress Oscar nod, but the better chance for Oscar gold may actually come from Mara, who expresses so much not only in her words but also her facial expressions, it’s as if you can almost see every experience emboldening her all the more. The bigger question will be whether Mara will be viewed as a co-lead or as a supporting actress. If it’s the latter, you could see her snagging her first Oscar for this meaty role, while a co-lead may split the two actress’ chances.

As for the film, Blanchett and Mara are both given well-drawn characters within the Phyllis Nagy screenplay and Kyle Chandler makes what could have been a closed-minded big bad somewhat sympathetic in parts. Even Paulson turns in solid work as Carol’s onetime fling and longtime friend. If there’s one flaw, it’s being hit over the head with certain symbolism — in particular the usage of steamy, raindrop-filled car windows that will make you think that every single car came with those panes installed at creation. It goes from a cool visual look to something that could be a drinking game by the time the film is complete. But that’s one minor flaw in what is an otherwise stellar movie.

Carol will be a familiar name come awards season. And you can look for both Blanchett and Mara to be gracing many a red carpet in honor of their roles.

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Posted by AC