I love the lead sentence in Stu Van Airsdale‘s 7.13 Movieline piece about Zooey Deschanel, to wit: “[She] has long been something of an emo-dork wet dream for more than just her striking features, lilting voice and commanding screen presence.” Feeling no kinship with emo types or dorks, I’ve never felt the slightest anything for Deschanel. She’s just…whatever. I can roll or not roll with her, but in no way does she push the buzzer.
That said (and as I said on 6.20), 500 Days of Summer “may be, in fact, be the most honest and agreeable blend of romantic headiness and sinking despair since Jerry Maguire.”
The official Sony Classics one-sheet for Lone Scherfig‘s An Educationdebuted today on Movie City News. What does it “say”? Period, obviously. A certain poise, a touch of class. But not necessarily an older guy-younger lassy relationship. (Peter Sarsgaard has been Photoshopped to look 26 or so, and Carey Mulligan could be 22 or 23.) What it doesn’t say — and what it should say, I feel — is “a mid ’60s John Schlesinger film.” In sum, it feels a shade too cautious. But what do I know?
I’ve only just decided to hit San Diego Comic-Con next week due to an opportunity that was recently presented to me (by Brazilian journalist and HE pally Pablo Villaca) to participate in a forthcoming InFilm tour/seminar. So yesterday I wrote ComicCon’s press guy Christopher Jansen, and seconds later I got a form letter saying that press registration Comic-Con 2009 is closed, and that there will be no onsite registration. It also said “due to the high volume of emails it may take several days before I can get back to you.”
So this is a direct appeal to anyone at Comic-Con who reads and respects and values HE to please ask Jansen to cut me a break.
HE reader Ray Ciscon has passed along an article on a US Army-related website in which The Hurt Locker is discussed. Some commenters voice relatively minor realism and credibility issues with the portrayal of U.S. soldiers (particularly Sgt. James) in the film. A persistent theme throughout the article is that a good percentage enjoyed it and would in fact recommend it to others.
In a just-posted discussion with Ain’t It Cool’s Mr. Beaks, Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn has shared an observation about Aaron Johnson‘s performance as John Lennon in Nowhere Boy, which Vaughn has seen.
Kristin Scott Thomas as Aunt Mimi and Aaron Johnson as John Lennon in Nowhere Boy.
Vaughn: I nearly postponed the movie for a year because I couldn’t find Dave Lizewski [the lead character in Kick-Ass]. I just couldn’t find Kick-Ass. It was a Friday morning, and I said to the guys, ‘We’re going back to London tonight, and we’re postponing the movie until we figure out who’s playing Dave.’ Then Johnson came in, who, mark my words, is going to be a huge movie star.
“I just saw Nowhere Boy, where he plays John Lennon, and it is a ten-out-of-ten performance. The whole film is fantastic, but he is phenomenal in it. I actually feel like a juvenile moron for what I did to that kid compared to what he does in that film.
Beaks: “What sort of qualities does he bring to the character?
Vaughn: “He has that charisma where you believe every word he says. He can also stand in front of the camera and say nothing, but you still want to watch him. He’s fun. The actor I think he’ll become is Robert Downey, Jr. He’s very similar to him.”
Nowhere Boy is slated for a 2010 release. Beaks remarks that “if Johnson is as good as Vaughn says, I wonder if the Weinstein Co. will consider moving this film into 2009 for a run at Best Actor (especially if Nine turns out to be troublesome).”
“I’m trying to think of another American comedy that has this kind of vigor and springy step,” I said this morning during a breakfast interview with In The Loop director Armando Iannucci. “The overwhelming majority of American comedies are geared for guys like Turtle on Entourage, and they don’t have a fraction of the mental alertness, that special Preston Sturges-like quality, that In The Loop has.”
I forgot to snap a photo this morning of In The Loop director Armando Iannucci, but this is where we sat for breakfast at the Cooper Union hotel.
I also remarked that “if I was a major comedian — if I were a Jim Carrey or a Steve Martin — I would consider it vital to somehow work with you somewhere down the line. Sooner or later. There are just not that many people who know how to do this sort of thing, or even care to do this sort of thing well. The lines are just snap-snap-snap. Like Sullivan’s Travel or The Lady Eve.”
Seven months after enjoying an uproarious debut at the ’09 Sundance Film Festival, In The Loop — easily one of the sharpest and funniest potty-mouth comedies about governmental inanity and media mis-speak ever made — is finally about to open. IFC is doing one of their simultaneous indie-level theatrical and IFC On Demand preems on 7.24.
With an invitational Manhattan screening-and-after-party of In The Loop set for this evening, I sat down this morning with Iannucci at the Cooper Square hotel.
In The Loop director-writer Armando Iannucci, costar James Gandolfini.
In The Loop costars Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini, Tom Hollander, David Rashe, Gina McKee, Chris Addison, Anna Chulmsky and Mimi Kennedy. It’s basically about how the media can sometimes focus on a gaffe by an official or spokesperson and make it sound (via sheer repetition and obsession) to represent firm government policy concerning this or that major issue.
In The Loop‘s major issue is a potential military conflict involving U.S. and British troops — think Iraq in late ’02 and early ’03. The humor is about how various second- and third-tier government types in London and Washington try to dodge, maneuver and counter-spin their way around an essentially meaningless statement by a British cabinet minister that war is “unforeseeable.” Meaningless and yet strangely meaningful once the media gets hold of it. And the source of endless misery for many people.
“One of the most robust pleasures of In The Loop,” I said this morning, “is the wonderfully creative and liberal use of absolutely disgusting profanity. It’s really some of the funniest uses of it. Was every word of it pretty much scripted?”
“More or less, yeah,” Iannucci replied. “You do improvisation, but that’s just to loosen it up and make it feel more natural. But with Malcolm’s…with Malcolm’s swearing, it has to be so precisely done. He does it syllable for syllable, precisely as on the page.
“I’ve tried to describe that sense of absolute certainty that comes when you’re watching a comedy that is absolutely working,” I continued. “To get that feeling one of two things seem to have happened. One is that al the actors have gone to some kind of comedy boot camp and had it drilled into them that there’s a certain attitude that energy that they all need to absorb and radiate, because they’re all of a piece.”
I love how Iannucci, who is Scottish-British, says “Pentagen” rather than “Penta-gone.