When you’ve got Darren Aronofsky bringing a Biblical tale to screen, expectations are through the roof. “Noah” may not meet those expectations, but the film does nestle in just a few notches below. It isn’t a mind-blowing epic, but it’s certainly a riveting and worthy retelling of this story.
The film kicks off with a partial recap of creation, specifically what went down with Adam and Eve, and what became of their children, Cain, Abel and Seth. From there we cut to one of Seth’s descendant’s, Noah (Dakota Goyo), who’s just a boy at the time, but watches his father murdered right before his eyes. Years later, Noah (Russell Crowe) has a wife, Naameh (Jennifer Connelly), and three boys of his own, Shem, Ham and Japheth. After having a vision of man’s demise, Noah sets out to save the innocent – the animals – with the help of his family and The Watchers while Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone) and his followers threaten to claim their work, the ark.
As someone with limited knowledge of scripture, Aronofsky had a significant amount of breathing room with this and he didn’t let an inch of it go to waste. Whereas early memories of Noah’s ark involve a lecture or pages in a book, Aronofsky’s take is cinematic through and through. The performances are bold and engaging, most visuals are downright stunning, and they’re both featured within the context of an enthralling narrative. However, even though Aronofsky does deliver a worthy big screen Bible story, by going big in certain respects, he is forced to tiptoe around a number of potential pitfalls.
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Life isn’t a fairy tale. Life requires life beyond loss and according to writer-director-producer Akiva Goldsman, that’s why we need fairy tales for adults like his new movie, Winter’s Tale. The book-to-film adaptation stars Colin Farrell as a thief named Peter Lake. Peter’s perfectly fine stealing to get by, but after crossing paths with Jessica Brown Findlay’s Beverly Penn, he abandons everything he’s known for something he’s experiencing for the very first time – true love.
Just ahead of the film’s Valentine’s Day debut, Goldsman, Farrell and Brown Findlay as well as co-stars Jennifer Connelly who portrays Virginia, a mother with an ailing daughter whose fate becomes intertwined with Peter Lake’s, and Eva Marie Saint who steps in as the older version of Beverly’s younger sister, all sat down for a press conference in New York City. Check out what the gang had to say about the challenge of enticing an audience to suspend disbelief, their personal experiences with miracles, the ups and downs of shooting the film’s most intimate scene and more.
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“Winter’s Tale” is not a true story nor a love story, but rather, the comedy of the year.
Based on Mark Helprin’s 1983 novel, “Winter’s Tale” focuses on Colin Farrell’s Peter Lake. We meet Peter when he’s just a baby in 1895. His parents so desperately want to come to the United States, but because they’ve got heart conditions, they’re not allowed in. However, it doesn’t have to be that way for baby Peter. Instead of re-boarding their boat and heading back home together, they plop the infant into a tiny model boat, lower him down from their own and then watch as he presumably sails off to New York City.
That covers just about ten minutes of the movie, but right there you’ve already got two devastating problems. First off, this movie is one of magical realism. You’re not going to get a theater full of people to buy into that unless you establish it right from the start. This odd display of two parents risking their child’s life in an absurd effort to give him a better one does not do that in the least, making it even more difficult to adjust and accept when magic is thrown into the equation a little later on. And that brings us to detrimental issue #2, believability. There are countless scenes in this movie when characters are doing or saying something oh-so seriously that makes little to no sense and that turns out to be a highly successful formula for creating laugh-out-loud-worthy moments.
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Sometimes it’s awkward playing dance video games with Jennifer Connelly and often it’s a little uncomfortable to reenact your director’s first time, but when you’ve got strong talent and a good friend by your side, you end up with charming and poignant material like Nat Wolff and Liana Liberato did with “Stuck In Love.”
Wolff leads as Rusty, the son of a prominent writer (Greg Kinnear) and the brother of a budding young talent (Lily Collins) on the verge of having her first book published. Rusty wants to be a writer too, but what’s a writer without a life full of experiences? So Rusty decides to take a risk, defy the high school social ladder, and win over the girl of his dreams, Kate (Liana Liberato).
With “Stuck In Love” due for a limited release on July 5th, Wolff and Liberato took the time to sit down and run through the challenges and highlights of making the film. We cover what it’s like working with an esteemed co-cast, crying on cue and the pressure of portraying real people in addition to a nice dose of sarcasm and a sense of what happens when Nat Wolff unleashes his inner Alex Wolff. Check it all out for yourself in the video interview below.
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