Month: June 2015
Taglines: Every moment matters.
Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) and his family attend a Thanksgiving dinner at the home of their neighbors Franklin (Terrence Howard) and Nancy Birch (Viola Davis). Both families’ young daughters, Anna Dover (Erin Gerasimovich) and Joy Birch (Kyla Drew Simmons), go missing.
Detective David Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) arrests the driver of a suspicious vehicle, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), who has the IQ of a ten-year-old, but finds no link. Dover attacks Jones as he is released, and Jones whispers to him: “They didn’t cry until I left them.” Dover abducts Jones and imprisons him in an abandoned apartment building, torturing him for days with Franklin’s reluctant help, but learns nothing.
Pursuing other leads, Loki discovers a corpse in the basement of a priest’s house. The priest admits that he killed the man because he confessed he was “waging a war against God” and boasted of killing sixteen children.
At a candlelight vigil for the girls, Loki sees a hooded man acting suspiciously who flees when Loki approaches him. The man breaks into both girls’ houses. A store clerk recognizes the man from an e-fit and reports him buying children’s clothing. The suspect, Bob Taylor (David Dastmalchian), is arrested at his home, whose walls are covered in drawings of mazes.
Loki finds crates filled with maze books, live snakes, and bloodied children’s clothing, including items belonging to the missing girls. Taylor confesses to the abduction, but kills himself before revealing more information. The police conclude that Taylor was a fantasist and had no involvement with the disappearance; he stole the clothes from the girls’ homes and bloodied them with pig’s blood to recreate abductions.
Dover continues to torture Jones, who denies he is Alex Jones and claims he escaped from a maze. Dover visits Jones’s aunt, Holly (Melissa Leo), who tells him that she and her husband were religious until their young son died of cancer.
Joy Birch is found drugged but alive. Dover visits her in the hospital to ask for information. Her memories are confused, and she mumbles “You were there”, making him a suspect. He realizes she may have seen him at the Jones’s house, and runs from the police. Loki searches for Dover at the apartment building and discovers Jones.
Dover goes to the Jones’s house to get information from Holly, but she pulls a gun on him. She explains that she and her late husband abducted many children as part of their “war on God” after their son’s death. Alex was the first child they abducted, followed by Taylor. Holly imprisons Dover in a concealed pit in her yard, where he finds a whistle belonging to his daughter.
Loki goes to Holly’s house to tell her that Jones has been found. He finds a photograph of Holly’s husband wearing the same maze pendant found on the body in the priest’s basement. Loki finds Holly with Anna and exchanges gunfire, wounding him and killing Holly. Loki rushes Anna to the hospital, where she reunites with her mother. Outside the Jones’s house, Loki hears Dover’s labored whistling from the pit.
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, Eliza Birch
Screenplay by: Aaron Guzikowski
Production Design by: Patrice Vermette
Cinematography by: Roger Deakins
Film Editing by: Joel Cox, Gary Roach
Costume Design by: Renée April
Set Decoration by: Frank Galline
Music by: Jóhann Jóhannsson
MPAA Rating: R for disturbing violent content including torture, and language throughout.
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: September 20, 2013
Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a masseuse, a mother of a teenage girl and a divorcee attends a party in Pacific Palisades with her friends, married couple Will (Ben Falcone) and Sarah (Toni Collette). She meets a poet, Marianne (Catherine Keener), and Will introduces Eva to his friends, Jason (Phillip Brock) and Albert (James Gandolfini). After the party, Albert asks Will for Eva’s number and though hesitant, due to the lack of physical attraction, Eva agrees to go on a dinner date with Albert, which goes well. Marianne contacts Eva for a massage, and she takes an automatic like to Marianne and they become friends.
Eva finds herself more and more fond of Albert and they have lunch with his teenage daughter, Tess (Eve Hewson), who, like Eva’s daughter, is graduating from high school and moving away to attend college. A few days later, Eva goes to her massage appointment with Marianne and realizes that Albert is Marianne’s ex-husband after she tells her a story about how he eats guacamole – the same story Albert told her. Tess then arrives at the house and Eva’s suspicions are confirmed. Marianne tries to introduce Eva to Tess, but she hides behind a tree to avoid the meeting. Eva continues seeing Albert, keeping her friendship with Marianne a secret; likewise, she does not tell Marianne she is seeing him.
Eva encourages Marianne to complain about her ex-husband Albert so she can identify potential problems in her relationship with him. To the encouragement of Eva, Sarah and Will invite her and Albert to a dinner party, which goes badly after Eva begins finding fault with Albert, which upsets him. At another appointment with Marianne, Eva is exposed when Albert arrives to drop Tess off at her mother’s. He is angry that Eva kept her friendship with Marianne a secret, and breaks up with her.
Eva and her ex-husband take Ellen to the airport for her flight to college. A few months later, on Thanksgiving Day, Eva drives by Albert’s home and stops in front of the house on her way to pick up Ellen from the airport. He sees her and she awkwardly waves. He eventually comes outside, to Eva’s surprise, and sits with her on the porch and they begin to renew their relationship.
Enough Said received widespread acclaim from critics, ranking as the fifth best-reviewed wide release of 2013. Additionally, it emerged as the most critically and commercially successful work in Holofcener’s filmography to date. The film also received several major award nominations, including for a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, two Independent Spirit Awards and four Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. In particular, stars Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini received notice for their work, along with Holofcener’s script.
Directed by: Nicole Holofcener
Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lennie Loftin, Jessica St. Clair, Christopher Nicholas Smith, Tracey Fairaway
Screenplay by: Nicole Holofcener
Production Design by: Keith P. Cunningham
Cinematography by: Xavier Grobet
Film Editing by: Robert Frazen, Nick Moore
Costume Design by: Leah Katznelson
Set Decoration by: Douglas A. Mowat
Music by: Marcelo Zarvos
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content, comic violence, language and partial nudity.
Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release Date: September 18, 2013
Dante Graham enlists Jason Blake to coach the United States’ b-boy team to compete in the Battle of the Year, as the US has not won in 15 years. Blake puts together a team of the best b-boys across America à la Dream Team. After overcoming their differences and learning to work as a team, the Dream Team makes it to the semi-finals, beats the reigning champion French team and finds themselves against the favorites, the Koreans. Ultimately, they lose by one point. Blake resolves to resume training as soon as possible to win next year.
The movie follows Dante and Derrek as they try to put together a B-boy team that will win the upcoming Battle of the Year under the belief that proper coaching can take any team to victory.
Battle of the Year is an American 3D dance film directed by Benson Lee. The film was released on September 20, 2013 through Screen Gems and stars Josh Holloway, Chris Brown, Laz Alonso, Caity Lotz, and Josh Peck. Battle of the Year is based upon Lee’s documentary about the b-boying competition of the same name. It initially held the working title of Planet B Boy, and includes some cinematography by the original doc DP “Vasco Nunes”.
Film company Screen Gems first began planning for a feature film adaptation of Lee’s documentary Planet B-Boy In 2009 after discovering that while interest in breakdancing had declined in the United States, it still enjoyed popularity in other countries. Chris Brown and Josh Holloway were announced as being attached to the project in October 2011. Filming began in late 2011 in Los Angeles, with more filming taking place in Montpellier, France.
The first trailer for Battle of the Year was released in July 2012, with Adam Chitwood, Associate Editor of Collider stating that “if B-boy competitions are your thing I assume you’ll have some interest in Battle of the Year.” Screen Crush commented that the 3D aspect “could be a lot of fun with a film like this” but questioned whether the film would stand out against “an A-list title”.
Battle of the Year 3D
Directed by: Benson Lee
Starring: Josh Holloway, Laz Alonso, Josh Peck, Caity Lotz, Chris Brown
Screenplay by: Brin Hill, Chris Parker, Benson Lee
Production Design by: Chris Cornwell
Cinematography by: Michael Barrett
Film Editing by: Alessandra Carlino, Peter S. Elliot
Costume Design by: Soyon An
Art Direction by: Charlie Campbell
Music by: Christopher Lennertz
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and some rude behavior.
Studio: Sony ScreenGems
Release Date: September 20, 2013
Recounting the chaotic events that occurred in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, Parkland weaves together the perspectives of a handful of ordinary individuals suddenly thrust into extraordinary circumstances: the young doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital; Dallas’ chief of the Secret Service; an unwitting cameraman who captured what became the most watched and examined film in history; the FBI agents who nearly had the gunman within their grasp; the brother of Lee Harvey Oswald, left to deal with his shattered family; and JFK’s security team, witnesses to both the president’s death and Vice President Lyndon Johnson’s rise to power over a nation whose innocence was forever altered.
Parkland is an American historical drama film that recounts the chaotic events that occurred following John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The film is written and directed by Peter Landesman, produced by Playtone’s Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and Bill Paxton with Exclusive Media’s Nigel and Matt Sinclair. The film is based on Vincent Bugliosi’s 2008 book Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Directed by: Peter Landesman
Starring: Zac Efron, Tom Welling, James Badge Dale, Marcia Gay Harden, Mark Duplass, Colin Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Ron Livingston
Screenplay by: Peter Landesman
Production Design by: Bruce Curtis
Cinematography by: Barry Ackroyd
Film Editing by: Markus Czyzewski, Leo Trombetta
Costume Design by: Kari Perkins
Art Direction by: Rodney Becker
Music by: James Newton Howard
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for bloody sequences of ER trauma procedures, some violent images and language, and smoking throughout.
Studio: Exclusive Media Group
Release Date: September 20, 2013
Taglines: Love has no boundaries.
Swimming into the hearts of a new generation—beautifully restored and this time in 3D—“The Little Mermaid” features the beloved Ariel (voice of Jodi Benson), a fun-loving and mischievous mermaid, who is enchanted with all things human. Disregarding her father’s order to stay away from the world above the sea, she swims to the surface and, in a raging storm, rescues the prince of her dreams. Determined to be human, Ariel strikes a bargain with the devious seawitch Ursula (voice of Pat Carroll), trading her fins and beautiful voice for legs.
With her best friend Flounder (voice of Jason Marin), misguided seagull Scuttle (voice of Buddy Hackett) and the calypso-singing Caribbean crab chaperone Sebastian (voice of Samuel E. Wright) at her side, Ariel must win the prince’s love and save her father’s kingdom – all in a heart-pounding race against time. Originally released in 1989, “The Little Mermaid” garnered two Academy Awards®, including Best Original Score (Alan Menken) and Best Original Song (Menken/Howard Ashman, “Under the Sea”).
Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, who went on to direct “Aladdin” and “The Princess and the Frog,” “The Little Mermaid” returns to the big screen on September 13, 2013, and be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.
The Little Mermaid 3D
Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker
Starring: Rene Auberjonois, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Jodi Benson, Pat Carroll, Paddi Edwards
Screenplay by: John Musker, Ron Clements
Film Editing by: Mark A. Hester
Art Direction by: Michael Peraza Jr, Donald Towns
Music by: Alan Menken
MPAA Rating: G for general audiences.
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: September 20, 2013
Taglines: Music can heal a broken heart.
Ethan Bortnick plays Nathan, a young boy who becomes separated from his mother, Army Lieutenant Margaret Peters (Lacey Chabert), when she goes missing during a tsunami rescue mission in Japan. Back home in Detroit, Child Care Services threatens to take Nathan away when it was revealed that his dad George (Jonathan Bennett) isn’t his biological father. Nathan runs away, discovering his musical gift, a sense of belonging and his purpose along the way.
A family shattered… a children’s home in jeopardy…a wounded heart…and kids on a mission to make a difference. These powerful elements spark gripping drama, suspense, comedy, love and beautiful music. This spectacular film stars piano prodigy, Ethan Bortnick with Jonathan Bennett, Lacey Chabert, Kym Whitley, Fatima Ptacek, and David Haines. This is a wholesome, feel-good movie that will entertain the entire family with a message about sharing love and good will for all people. This film features lush cinematography, original songs and a suspenseful story that will make viewers laugh, cry and believe that Anything Is Possible.
Anything Is Possible
Directed by: Demetrius Navarro
Starring: Ethan Bortnick, Jonathan Bennett, Lacey Chabert, Fatima Ptacek, David Haines
Screenplay by: Carlos R. Bermúdez, Demetrius Navarro
Cinematography by: Keith L. Smith
Film Editing by: Andrew Brzozowski, Jon Vasquez
Music by: Ethan Bortnick, Kevin Dorsey, Bruce Lowe, Guy Thomas
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: Image Entertainment
Release Date: September 27, 2013
On the surface Adam (Mark Ruffalo), an over-achieving environmental consultant, Mike (Tim Robbins), a long-married small-business owner, and Neil (Josh Gad), a wisecracking emergency-room doctor, have little in common. But all are in different stages of dealing with addiction.
Confident and successful in his career, Adam is afraid to allow love back into his life, even if that means losing a chance to start over with smart, beautiful and accomplished Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow); Mike’s efforts to control his wife, Katie (Joely Richardson), and son, Danny (Patrick Fugit), as tightly as he does his impulses are tearing the family apart; and Neil is still deeply in denial when befriended by Dede (Alecia Moore), who has just begun to take her own small steps back to health. As they navigate the rocky shores of recovery, Adam, Mike and Neil become a family that encourages, infuriates and applauds each other on the journey toward a new life.
Thanks for Sharing is an American comedy-drama film directed by Stuart Blumberg, from a screenplay written by Blumberg and Matt Winston. The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad, Joely Richardson, and Alecia Moore with supporting roles from Patrick Fugit, Carol Kane, Michaela Watkins, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr.
About the Story
Set in New York City, Thanks for Sharing centers around three people undergoing a 12-step process to recover from their sexual addiction.
Adam (Mark Ruffalo) walks along the streets of New York, tempted by various advertisements and women on his way to work to have sex. Neil (Josh Gad) purposely grinds against a stranger in the train he’s taking to attend a sex addiction meeting. Mike (Tim Robbins) is a married recovering sex addict who is the leader of the addiction group.
He sponsors Adam, who is also a recovering sex addict who hasn’t had sex in five years, Adam sponsors Neil. They are all at the sex addiction meeting, talking about their progress. Adam proclaims he’s been ‘sober’ for five years, and Neil makes jokes and later admits he is only there because the court has forced him to be there. He goes back to masturbating the same night, and lies about his 1 week sober to the addiction group.
Adam meets Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow) at a ‘bug party’ and they go out on a date. She reveals straight away that she had breast cancer, and later says she would never date an addict again after her last boyfriend who was an alcoholic, causing Adam to not admit to his sex addiction. They begin a relationship. Dede (Alecia Moore) joins the sex addiction meetings, she is the only woman in the group, and admits to being a sex addict from a very young age.
Neil starts out as a doctor who is addicted to masturbating, but is caught secretly filming under the skirt of his boss, and is fired, and loses the job he has dreamed of since childhood. He then begins to take the meetings more seriously, and admits he has a problem. Meanwhile, Mike’s son Danny (Patrick Fugit), a recovering drug addict, has returned home and is attempting to make amends to Mike and his mother Katie (Joely Richardson).
Phoebe eventually finds out about Adam’s sex addiction when finding an addiction token in his pocket the morning after sleeping with him. She takes some time away from him, but eventually agrees to continue their relationship. Meanwhile, Neil and Dede have become friends and have become attracted to each other after Neil talked her out of having sex with her abusive ex-boyfriend, and go to a ‘free dance’ together and come close to kissing, but don’t.
At the same time, while Mike has been getting on better and better with his son Danny who is now living with his parents again building a pond in the back yard, they get into a fight when Mike assumes Danny stole his mother’s pills. Danny reveals that Mike gave Katie Hepatitis C, and was also abusive to him at a young age (which may be why Danny is a drug addict). Mike slaps Danny, Danny attacks Mike and knocks over Katie, then realizing what he has done, panics and runs out of the house.
Meanwhile, Phoebe, who has told Adam she is a ‘very sexual person’ has become frustrated and concerned being in a relationship with Adam, and breaks it off after they have a fight. Adam goes back to masturbating, and sleeps with a prostitute. Dede comes over to Neil’s place, and helps him clean up his house and burns his porn. She admits she’s never been ‘just friends’ with a guy before. Mike finds his wife Katie’s pills, and realizes Danny never stole them after all. Katie gets upset at Mike, because he “always has to be right”. Mike, also upset, storms out of the house to go find Danny.
While he is out, Katie calls him to tell him Danny is in hospital after a DUI. Mike hugs his son in hospital, who turns out to have been sober for the past 8 months. Adam invites his ex-girlfriend Becky (Emily Meade) over, and as they start out by reenacting her daddy issues, she then wants Adam to slap her. When he refuses, she breaks down, locks herself in the bathroom and attempts to commit suicide. Neil takes the train to get over to Adam’s and breaks down his bathroom door. Adam goes back to being sober, starts again, and goes back to Phoebe, who admits she too is not perfect. Neil confronts his over-sexual mother (Carol Kane), and all the addicts celebrate being and staying sober.
Thanks for Sharing
Directed by: Stuart Blumberg
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad, Joely Richardson, Alecia Moore
Screenplay by: Stuart Blumberg, Matt Winston
Production Design by: Beth Mickle
Cinematography by: Yaron Orbach
Film Editing by: Anne McCabe
Costume Design by: Peggy A. Schnitzer
Set Decoration by: Lisa Nilsson
Music by: Christopher Lennertz
MPAA Rating: R for language and some strong sexual content.
Studio: Roadside Attractions
Release Date: September 20, 2013
Taglines: Jude Law is Dom Hemingway and you’re not.
Dom Hemingway (Jude Law) is a larger-than-life safecracker with a loose fuse, funny, profane, and dangerous. Back on the streets of London after twelve years in prison, it’s time to collect what he’s owed for keeping his mouth shut. Traveling with his devoted best friend Dickie (Richard E. Grant), Dom visits his crime boss Mr Fontaine (Demián Bichir) in the south of France to claim his reward. But Dom’s drunk and drug-fueled ego decides what he’s lost can’t be replaced. One car accident and a femme fatale later, Dom realizes his priority must be to reconnect with his long-lost daughter.
Dom Hemingway is a British black comedy–crime drama film directed and written by Richard Shepard. The film stars Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demián Bichir, and Emilia Clarke. It was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
About the Story
Safecracker Dom Hemingway (Jude Law) is released after spending 12 years in prison and seeks payment for refusing to rat out his boss Ivan Fontaine (Demián Bichir). He reunites with his best friend Dickie (Richard E. Grant) and they travel to Fontaine’s villa in the French countryside. Dom flirts with Fontaine’s Romanian girlfriend Paolina (Mădălina Diana Ghenea) and becomes angry that he spent 12 years in jail for Fontaine. He begins to mock Fontaine and storms out. At dinner, he apologizes and Fontaine presents Dom with £750,000.
They spend the night partying with two girls, one of whom, Melody (Kerry Condon) strikes up a conversation with Dom. When the group go driving in Fontaine’s car, they crash into another car. While unconscious, Dom has a vision of Paolina asking for his money. He wakes up, resuscitates Melody, and finds Fontaine impaled on the car’s fender. Dom and Dickie head back to the mansion, where they find Paolina has taken Dom’s money, but they see her leaving in a car. Dom runs through the forest and into the road, where he is almost hit by Paolina. She asks him if she looks like a woman who wants to be poor and drives away. Dom meets Melody, who tells him that because he saved her, he shall gain good luck.
A few days later, Dom returns to London and collapses outside the apartment of his estranged daughter, Evelyn (Emilia Clarke). He wakes up and Evelyn’s boyfriend Hugh (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) introduces Dom to his grandson, Jawara. Hugh says that Evelyn is upset that Dom left her and was in prison, missing out on her childhood and his wife Katherine’s death. Hugh suggests Dom visit Evelyn after her concert at a local club and attempt to reconcile.
He goes to the concert, but leaves and meets Dickie. Dom says he wants to work for Lestor McGreevy Jr., the son of Fontaine’s old rival. Dickie says Lestor is even worse than his father, but Dom says he needs work. Dom follows Lestor on his daily jog and learns Lestor holds a grudge for Dom killing his cat when he was a child. Lestor tells Dom to go to his club that night. They make a bet. If he opens an electronic safe he gets work, if he fails to open it in 10 minutes, Lestor will cut off his cock and balls.
Directed by: Richard Shepard
Starring: Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir, Emilia Clarke, Kerry Condon, Jumayn Hunter, Madalina Ghenea, Nathan Stewart Jarrett, Jumayn Hunter, Kaitana Taylor
Screenplay by; Richard Shepard
Production Design by: Laurence Dorman
Cinematography by: Giles Nuttgens
Film Editing by: Dana Congdon
Costume Design by: Julian Day
Set Decoration by: Ute Bergk
Music by: Rolfe Kent
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, some violence and drug use.
Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release Date: November 15, 2013
Taglines: Behind the headlines, beyond the spotlight, lies the real story.
The sequel to Never Say Never continues to focus on Bieber’s rise to international fame as he embarks on his Believe Tour. The film features interviews by his mother Pattie Mallette, his mentor Usher Raymond IV, his manager Scooter Braun as well as others.
Rumors of a sequel to Never Say Never began surfacing the media around May 2012, when Bieber himself hinted a possible sequel for some time. It wasn’t until January 2013 when the project was confirmed by Bieber himself tweeting about it. Concert footage was filmed during Justin’s Believe Tour on January 26–27, 2013 at Miami’s American Airlines Arena. Two months later, in March 2013, a $15 million budget was appointed for the production of the sequel.
On October 11, 2013, it was confirmed that Jon M. Chu reprised his role as director for the biopic and will be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival later in the month. Meanwhile, Justin Bieber released a teaser trailer on his kidrauhl YouTube channel for the sequel to Never Say Never with the tagline “There’s more to his story” and the hashtag “BelieveMovie” confirming the sequel title as “Believe”, to be released on Christmas day in 3D. The official trailer was released on Yahoo! Movies on November 15, 2013.
Justin Bieber’s Believe
Directed by: Jon M. Chu
Starring: Justin Bieber, Scooter Braun, Ryan Good, Usher Raymond, Pattie Mallette
Screenplay by: Sarah Landman
Production Design by: Tom E. Marzullo
Film Editing by: Jillian Twigger Moul, Avi Youabian
Music by: Nathan Lanier
MPAA Rating: PG for brief language and mild thematic material.
Studio: Open Road Films
Release Date: December 27, 2013
Jane, A 30-something American writer, is spending the summer on the island of Ischia in southern Italy. Her husband Leonard, a classical violinist, is busy rehearsing for a concert. Although there is no hostility between the spouses, the relationship lacks love.
While Jane is struggling with a book based on recorded interviews with her grandmother, she meets Caleb, a 19-year-old American with whom she experiences a sensual awakening and rediscovers spontaneity in her life.
While We Were Here« is a romantic, poetic, and bittersweet film. The film pays homage to Italian neorealism and French new wave, both in location and theme. Kate Bosworth blossoms as Jane, reminding the audience of Jean Seberg in Jean Luc Godar’s »Breathless«. Director Kat Coiro carefully creates a rich sense of nostalgia and at the same time touches upon the problems of modern relationships and the complexity of female desire.
And While We Were Here Review
Harkening back to Italian neo-realism, the romance of Naples is alive in “And While We Were Here,” the latest film from writer-director Kat Coiro. Considerably more watchable than her pratfall-driven debut “L!fe Happens,” the picture is significantly more sober-minded, concerning the marriage of pretty blonde Jane (Kate Bosworth) and taciturn, mature Leonard (Iddo Goldberg). They arrive in the city and, almost as if by protocol, consume each other in bed. As she retreats to the lavatory, she gazes in the mirror and wraps her arm around her stomach mournfully. It’s not hard to see that, while young, Jane has lost something.
Leonard departs for concert rehearsals during the day, leaving Jane alone to swim in her thoughts. However, when they are together, it’s not as if she’s receiving much intellectual nourishment. She waxes philosophically about David Foster Wallace, but he’s more of a meat-and-potatoes type, quite literally in one occasion when he praises English steak in favor of Italian food. She decides to dive headfirst into the recordings of her late grandmother, whom she had interviewed regarding a life led amongst battlefields in Europe, one that, it’s suggested, was filled with not so much love as exploration and experimentation. The boys, the boys.
When visiting local ruins, the twentysomething Jane asks a “local” boy for directions. His sun-kissed tan and ethnic sensuality is misleading, for he is also a visiting American, albeit for very different reasons. Caleb (Jamie Blackley) tags along on her journey, revealing that it’s his nineteenth birthday, and his slim shoulders and calamari-tail tanktop reveal nineteen whole years of naivete and brash inexperience. Caleb is a world traveler with a convoluted academic backstory that has taken him first to Italy and soon to every Eastern European country he can visit given his vagabond means.
Athletic and beautiful, Caleb is sensuality personified, his rogueish smile and terrible jokes revealing an intellectual curiosity seemingly alien to Jane. She is fresh-faced and youthful, porcelain but tough, too wise to immediately fall for him, but too green to deny his charms outright. Wielding her wedding ring as if it hails from Oa, she keeps this plucky boy at a distance, but he proves admirably fearless. He meets Leonard head-on, not resisting the urge to tone down his charm, not afraid to disagree with this older romantic rival. Leonard won’t laugh at Jane’s ego-deflating jokes, revealing himself to be a humorless prig, but Caleb gladly cackles. His youth almost feels permanent.
Coiro’s film is a punch, no doubt, but one severely pulled. Bosworth is an undeniable screen presence, and she smiles with her entire body, seducing the camera with considerable ease. It’s far too clear that she’s a poor match for matinee-idol handsome Leonard, as Goldberg broods and blusters with the gentle rhythm of a troubled gentleman. Leonard is all shoulders and suits, classy but hopelessly antiquated. Caleb, sinewy limbs and troublemaking smile, is just far too much of a mismatch.
In fact, he’s only a few degrees removed from the popular Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and would serve as the male analog had he not represented such a gamine threat to Jane’s already faltering marriage.The picture was originally presented in a gorgeous black and white when it screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012, but the filmmaker (who shot in color), decided to switch back to color for the final release.
“And While We Were Here” takes place in modern day, though its location, classical music score and fashion sense (it feels as if Leonard was conceived wearing a skinny black tie) scream a previous era. The intention is to mimic Italian Neo-realism, though “While We Were Here” stays concrete when it needs magic, it zigs where it should zag.
Jane is too sensible, and Bosworth too smart an actress to ever suggest it would ever be a difficult decision, not so much Leonard versus Caleb, but rather a clash of ideals. As an affecting romance between a woman caught between two worlds, it very nearly sticks the landing. As a showcase for Ms. Bosworth, never better, it’s often sublime.
And While We Were Here
Directed by: Kat Coiro
Starring: Kate Bosworth, Iddo Goldberg, Jamie Blackley, Claire Bloom
Screenplay by: Kat Coiro
inematography by: Doug Chamberlain
Film Editing by: Adam Catino
Art Direction by: Emmy Eves
Music by: Mateo Messina
MPAA Rating: R for some sexual content, language and brief drug use.
Studio: Well Go USA Entertainment
Release Date: September 13, 2013