Month: July 2015

The Theory of Everything

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The Theory of Everything Movie

Taglines: The extraordinary story of Jane and Stephen Hawking.

Starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, this is the extraordinary story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde.

Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age. With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of – time. Together, they defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science, and achieving more than they could ever have dreamed.

The film is based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, by Jane Hawking, and is directed by Academy Award winner James Marsh (“Man on Wire”).

The Theory of Everything is a British romantic biographical film directed by James Marsh and penned by Anthony McCarten. The film was inspired by the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Hawking, which deals with her relationship with her ex-husband theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and his success in physics.

The Theory of Everything Movie

A Brief History

Time has always been a subject of fascination to the brilliant astrophysicist Stephen Hawking: when the universe began, when it will end, and all points in between. The renowned professor’s book A Brief History of Time has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. But the concept of time struck him on a most personal level when, in 1963 at the age of 21, he was given two years to live after a diagnosis of motor neuron disease (MND, which is related to ALS; the latter is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). He wanted life, even with the impending constraints on his speech and movement. He wanted love, with the woman who would be his wife. Against the odds, he would have all of that and more.

No matter how strong his will, he could not have done it alone; he was accompanied on his journey by Jane Wilde, soon to be Jane Hawking. A brilliant mind in her own right, she dedicated herself to Stephen and their marriage and family.

Outliving his diagnosis decade after decade, Stephen continued to explore the outer limits of theoretical physics, leading to further breakthroughs. By the 21st century, his name was being spoken of in the same breath as Albert Einstein’s.

Screenwriter and producer Anthony McCarten has long been fascinated by Professor Hawking, in particular the time and effort it took for the severely physically compromised man to write his seminal book. “He has illuminated physics for the world, and there is a sense of the profound in all his work,” says McCarten. “That was enhanced by Stephen’s own physical situation, which only allowed him to compose his communications at the agonizing rate of one word per minute; here, in one man, was an unprecedented juxtaposition of extraordinary mental prowess and extraordinary physical incapacity.

The Theory of Everything Movie

“His mind continued to open up one frontier after another in relentless exploration, so he was contracting yet also expanding which was apt for a man whose life is devoted to studying the universe.”

McCarten was moved to read Jane Hawking’s memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen. He discovered “a marvelous love story between two people, incredibly intense and challenged in the extreme: first by the physical decline, and then by the advent of fame in their lives. When news of his imminent death proved exaggerated, and two years became 10, then 20, their situation demanded that their love take bold and unorthodox forms if it was to survive. Theirs was a love story without precedent.”

Envisioning the couple’s story as a feature film, he began writing a screenplay adaptation of the book with no guarantees in place; he met with Jane at her home to discuss the project. “I will always be grateful to her for answering that buzzer and welcoming me inside. No promises were made that day, and our dialogue continued over time,” he notes.

After multiple drafts, he was introduced to producer Lisa Bruce via their mutual ICM agent, Craig Bernstein. Knowing of Stephen Hawking only as the brilliant man in the motorized wheelchair who communicated via a mechanical voice activated device, Bruce found the script to be a revelation.

She remarks, “A lot of people don’t even think about Stephen Hawking’s domestic life, much less know that he walked and talked, and they certainly don’t know that he fathered children. When you look deeper into his life, you see so much more than just the genius: you find a father, a husband, and under it all an eternal optimist. But, for me, the most powerful element of this story was the sense that he would never have achieved what he did without a partner like Jane.”

What also struck Bruce was how Stephen and Jane’s love story was simultaneously unique and universal. She explains, “Nobody has ever lived what the Hawkings experienced as a couple; here were two young people with their whole lives in front of them, full of nothing but promise, and then this bomb drops on them with Stephen given two years to live in effect, a death sentence delivered at age 21. Yet, instead of running from it, they chose to face this impossible life together; in that regard, I think they are one of the most inspirational love stories of our time.”

The marriage would evolve and adapt while Stephen made significant strides in his work. Bruce notes, “Jane and Stephen’s relationship in this movie spans 25 years, as we seem them achieve things the most able bodied among us can’t even imagine. On that level, it’s unique. At the same time, what is completely universal is loving and caring for someone.”

“Jane had done this extraordinary thing,” says McCarten. “She said to Stephen, yes I’ll marry you and I’ll take that ride with you. This was essential to Stephen, since, as he admits, he was in a bit of a dark hole at the time. He was just beginning his life when he was told that it would end very soon. Despite the uncertainty, with Jane he entered into marriage joyfully and optimistically.

“It was a personal and professional turning point all at once. With Jane’s help, he overcame his depression, and the ticking clock of his prognosis sparked his mental process. In a very short time he began to achieve his full potential as an astrophysicist. The Theory of Everything charts this intellectual ascent alongside his physical deterioration; through it all Stephen somehow finds the courage and internal drive not only to cope but also to actually prevail which is astonishing.”

It would take McCarten and Bruce several years to secure the full legal rights, and the blessing and permission from Jane and Stephen, to allow this love story to become a movie. During those years they worked tirelessly together on the story, promising to eschew sensationalizing or sentimentalizing the couple’s history, and committing to conveying the complexity of the marriage.

McCarten asserts, “For them to have marched through that difficult terrain together and had a marriage that lasted decades was nothing less than a triumph. Stephen and Jane both show us all what human beings are capable of when they set their minds to something. But in writing the script, I had to allow for showing their moods and frustrations that were completely understandable. Our film celebrates Stephen, but it doesn’t try to mythologize him; he had very strong negative emotions about the loss of his physical powers and we show that, as well as the highs and lows of the marriage.

Oscar winning filmmaker James Marsh joined the project. The award winning Working Title Films producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, with whom Bruce had made the telefilm Mary and Martha, also came on board.

Bruce notes, “Tim and Eric cared deeply about this story, and about getting our telling of it to deliver the truth and emotional power that was in the Hawkings’ lives. The support of Working Title was overwhelming.

“Everyone felt that, given the way he has empathized with real life people in his films, James would have the sensitivity needed to tell this story.”

Marsh, who had won the Academy Award for his documentary Man on Wire, was continuing to work on both narrative and nonfiction features. When he received the script, the director admits, “I had the fixed image of Stephen Hawking as the great scientific mind with the wheelchair and the voice machine.

“But I quickly became infatuated with Anthony’s take. He found the fascinating point of view, which was to tell the story from the perspective of the woman who was falling in love with an able bodied man; she then makes the critical choice to stay with the man she loves when he is diagnosed with a terminal illness. The moving and unusual love story that Anthony wrote was quite original in demonstrating what it’s like to live with someone who is both disabled and a genius, and the burdens it placed on Jane’s career and on her as a wife and mother. This was very rich territory.”

The director was also drawn to The Theory of Everything because its spirit recalled Man on Wire for him; both are about men who defy conventional human boundaries and limitations. He muses, “There is definitely an affinity, and there is also a cosmic irony: Stephen is physically constrained and yet mentally he is able to go wherever he wants. His mind can and does travel to the outer limits of the universe, but his body is confined.”

The tonal challenge that Marsh zeroed in on was that “Stephen Hawking’s story, while bittersweet, is not a tragedy even though a near fatal illness befalling a young able bodied man with promise has all the elements of one. It’s Stephen’s character which takes that out of the equation; his defiance of the illness with humor, perseverance, and grit makes this story the opposite of a tragedy in the end.

Already a man who has upended our concept of the creation of the universe, Professor Hawking continues to challenge and inspire us well into a new millennium.

The Theory of Everything Movie Poster

The Theory of Everything

Directed by: James Marsh
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Charlie Cox, Charlotte Hope, Anastasia Harrold
Screenplay by: Anthony McCarten
Production Design by: John Paul Kelly
Cinematography by: Benoît Delhomme
Film Editing by: Jinx Godfrey
Costume Design by: Steven Noble
Set Decoration by: Claire Nia Richards
Music by: Jóhann Jóhannsson
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some thematic elements and suggestive material.
Studio: Focus Features
Release Date: November 7, 2014

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Interstellar

Interstellar Movie

Taglines: The end of Earth will not be the end of us.

When a wormhole (which can theoretically connect widely separated regions of spacetime) is discovered, explorers and scientists unite to embark on a voyage through it, transcending the normal limits of human space travel. Among the travellers is a widowed engineer (McConaughey) who must decide whether to leave his two children behind to join the voyage and attempt to save humanity from an environmentally devastated Earth.

Interstellar is a science fiction film directed by Christopher Nolan. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine, the film features a team of space travelers who travel through a wormhole. It was written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, who combined his idea with an existing script by his brother that was developed in 2007 for Paramount Pictures and producer Lynda Obst. Nolan is producing the film with Obst and Emma Thomas. Theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, whose works inspired the film, acted as both an executive producer and a scientific consultant for the film.

Interstellar Movie - Anne Hathaway

Directed and co-written by Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy), the production will travel the globe and utilize a mixture of 35mm anamorphic and IMAX film photography to bring to the screen a script based on the combination of an original idea by Nolan and an existing script by Jonathan Nolan, originally developed for Paramount Pictures and producer Lynda Obst. The new script chronicles the adventures of a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.

Warner Bros., who produced and distributed some of Nolan’s previous films, negotiated with Paramount, traditionally a rival studio, to have a financial stake in Interstellar. Legendary Pictures, which formerly partnered with Warner Bros., also sought a stake. The three companies co-financed the film, and the production companies Syncopy and Lynda Obst Productions were enlisted.

Interstellar Movie

Warner Bros., who produced and distributed some of Nolan’s previous films, negotiated with Paramount, traditionally a rival studio, to have a financial stake in Interstellar. Legendary Pictures, which formerly partnered with Warner Bros., also sought a stake. The three companies co-financed the film, and the production companies Syncopy and Lynda Obst Productions were enlisted.

The director also hired cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema since his long-time collaborator Wally Pfister was busy working on Transcendence, his directorial debut. Interstellar was filmed with a combination of anamorphic 35mm and IMAX film photography. Filming took place in the last quarter of 2013 in locations in the province of Alberta, Canada, in southern Iceland, and in Los Angeles, California. The visual effects company Double Negative created visual effects for Interstellar.

Interstellar is scheduled for a limited release in North America (United States and Canada) on November 5, 2014 and a wide release on November 7, 2014. It will also be released in Belgium, France and Switzerland on November 5, 2014 and in additional territories in the following days, including the United Kingdom on November 7, 2014.

For the limited release in North America, it will be released in 70 mm and 35 mm film formats in approximately 240 theaters which still project the formats, including at least 41 70 mm IMAX theaters. For the wide release, it will expand to theaters that will show it in digital format. Paramount Pictures will distribute the film in North America, and Warner Bros. will distribute it in the remaining territories.

The director also hired cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema since his long-time collaborator Wally Pfister was busy working on Transcendence, his directorial debut. Interstellar was filmed with a combination of anamorphic 35mm and IMAX film photography. Filming took place in the last quarter of 2013 in locations in the province of Alberta, Canada, in southern Iceland, and in Los Angeles, California. The visual effects company Double Negative created visual effects for Interstellar.

Interstellar Movie Poster

Interstellar

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn, Casey Affleck, Collette Wolfe, Topher Grace
Screenplay by: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Production Design by: Nathan Crowley
Cinematography by: Hoyte Van Hoytema
Film Editing by: Lee Smith
Costume Design by: Mary Zophres
Set Decoration by: Gary Fettis
Music by: Hans Zimmer
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some intense perilous action and brief strong language.
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: November 7, 2014

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Before I Go to Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep - Nicole Kidman

Taglines: Don’t trust anyone.

Due to a catastrophic accident in her mid-twenties, Christine, now a forty-seven-year-old writer, is incapable of forming and maintaining new memories for more than a day. Trapped in an existence in which she wakes every day believing herself to be single and with a whole lifetime of choice ahead of her she discovers instead that she lives with her husband, Ben, with most decisions already made.

Through her meetings with a doctor who is helping her to recover her memory, Christine’s story begins to emerge, setting in motion a series of events that trigger startling consequences for her and all who love her, leading her to question whether the truth is sometimes better left forgotten.

Before I Go to Sleep is a British mystery thriller film directed and written by Rowan Joffé, based on a 2011 novel, Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson. The film stars Nicole Kidman, Mark Strong, Colin Firth and Anne-Marie Duff.

About the Story

Forty-year-old Christine Lucas wakes up in bed with a man she does not know, in an unfamiliar house. The man explains that he is her husband, Ben, and that she suffered brain damage from a car accident ten years ago. Christine wakes up every morning with no memory of her life from her early twenties onwards. Every morning, after she wakes up, Ben has to explain to her what has happened.

Before I Go to Sleep

Christine receives treatment from Dr. Nasch, a neurologist at a local hospital. He gives her a camera for her to record her thoughts and progress at the end of each day, and calls her at home every morning to remind her to watch the video in the the camera. Dr. Nasch also instructs Christine to keep the camera hidden from Ben. Dr. Nasch reveals that Christine’s memory loss did not occur due to a car accident, but that Christine had been attacked and left for dead near an airport hotel. They surmise that Ben tells Christine it was a car accident to avoid upsetting her.

Over the course of treatment, Christine faintly remembers her friend, a red-haired woman named Claire. She asks Ben about Claire, and Ben tells her that Claire could not handle Christine’s condition, and ended contact from her. Later, Christine recalls that she had a son. She angrily confronts Ben over hiding their child, but Ben says their son had died of meningitis when he was eight years old. He avoided mentioning their dead son as it always upset her. Christine faintly remembers the name Mike, and believes it may be the name of her attacker.

Before I Go to Sleep - Nicole Kidman

Christine learns that, several years after her attack, Ben had placed her in an assisted care facility and divorced her. Ben states that it was due to the stress of dealing with her condition, coupled with their son’s death, but that he had had a change of heart and brought her home to live with him. Christine learns that Claire had been trying to contact her at the care facility, unaware that Ben had taken her away. Christine obtains Claire’s phone number and meets her. Claire reveals that Christine had embarked on an affair prior to her attack, while Ben and Claire had had a one-time sexual encounter, due to their shared grief at Christine’s memory loss. Feeling an obligation to keep Ben and Christine’s marriage intact, Claire chose to end contact.

Out of gratitude for his love and care, Christine decides to let Ben see the videos she has made on the digital camera. However, Ben angrily accuses Christine of having an affair with Dr. Nasch, strikes her in the face, and storms out. On the telephone, Claire tells Christine that Ben claims to not have seen Christine for several years. Claire asks Christine to describe the “Ben” she is living with, and they realize he is not Ben at all. Christine attempts to escape the house, but “Ben” renders her unconscious.

Before I Go to Sleep Movie Poster

Before I Go to Sleep

Directed by: Rowan Joffe
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Anne-Marie Duff, Rosie MacPherson, Adam Levy, Jing Lusi
Screenplay by: Rowan Joffe
Production Design by: Kave Quinn
Cinematography by: Ben Davis
Film Editing by: Melanie Oliver
Costume Design by: Michele Clapton
Set Decoration by: Niamh Coulter
Music by: Ed Shearmur
MPAA Rating: R for some brutal violence and language.
Studio: BBC Films
Release Date: October 31, 2014

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John Wick

John Wick Movie

Taglines: Don’t set him off.

When a retired hit man is forced back into action by a brutal Russian mobster, he hunts down his adversaries with the ruthlessness that made him a crime underworld legend in John Wick, a stylish tale of revenge and redemption set in a brilliantly imagined New York City and starring World Stunt Award-winner Keanu Reeves.

After the sudden death of his beloved wife, John Wick (Reeves) receives one last gift from her, a beagle puppy named Daisy, and a note imploring him not to forget how to love. But John’s mourning is interrupted when his 1969 Boss Mustang catches the eye of sadistic thug Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen). When John refuses to sell the car, Iosef and his henchmen break into his house and steal it, beating John unconscious and leaving Daisy dead. Unwittingly, they have just reawakened one of the most brutal assassins the underworld has ever seen.

John’s search for his stolen vehicle takes him to a side of New York City that tourists never see, a hyper-real, super-secret criminal community, where John Wick was once the baddest guy of all. After learning that his attacker is the only son of a former associate, vicious Russian crime boss Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist), John turns his attention to vengeance. As word spreads that the legendary hit man is after his son, Viggo offers a generous bounty to anyone who can bring John down. With a veritable army on his trail, John once again becomes the remorseless killing machine the underworld once feared, launching a pitched battle against Viggo and his soldiers that could mean the end of them both.

John Wick Movie - Adrianne Palicki

About the Production

When producer Basil Iwanyk of Thunder Road Pictures first read Derek Kolstad’s original screenplay for John Wick, he found himself drawn to the contradictions and complications faced by its main character, a seemingly ordinary man who harbors an extraordinary secret.

“The tone of the script was subversive and really fun,” says Iwanyk. “It had a very clear emotional throughline and a great premise for an action movie. John Wick is the story of a man who loses his wife and has his home invaded, his car stolen and his dog killed. It’s a very human premise for a big action movie, something that could happen to anyone. To me, the holy grail of the action genre is to pair a very simple and very accessible premise like this with a hyper-real style, as we’ve done with this film.”

Kolstad found his inspiration in some of his favorite film-noir classics. “When I was a kid, I watched a lot of movies,” he explains. “My favorites always had a revenge motif. And I love the antihero. So I wanted to explore what would happen if the worst man in existence found salvation. Would it be true to his core? When the source of his salvation is ripped from him, what happens? Do the gates of Hades open?”

And so began the extraordinary journey of John Wick, the only man to ever walk away from a shadowy world of elite professional killers and survive, only to be sucked back in by fate. “John’s the kind of guy who walks into a room and has everything laid out in his mind like a chess game,” says Kolstad. “In the underworld, he’s a legend, and he’s been away long enough that the young up-and-comers have heard the name, but don’t necessarily believe all the stories.”

John Wick Movie

Given the character’s fabled career as an assassin, the filmmakers initially imagined an older actor in the role. “Instead, we decided to look for someone who is not literally older, but who has a seasoned history in the film world,” says Iwanyk. “Keanu Reeves is someone I’ve always wanted to work with.”

Reeves’ impeccable action pedigree, which includes the groundbreaking Matrix trilogy, two chapters of the blockbuster Speed franchise and the daredevil adventure Point Break, has justifiably earned him iconic status in the action world. But for the past five years, Reeves has been devoting most of his time to his directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi.

“So audiences haven’t seen much of him,” notes Iwanyk. “We thought that gave him a fresh and interesting edge. I think the audience will believe that this character has been retired for five years, because in some ways Keanu retired as an action star for a while.”

Reeves signed on to headline John Wick, working closely with the writer to refine the story. “Basil and Peter Lawson of Thunder Road brought the script to me with the idea that I would be a part of such a great collaboration,” the actor says. “We all agreed on the potential of the project. I love the role, but you want the whole story, the whole ensemble to come to life.”

Kolstad says there was no “star temperament” working with Reeves. “What I really like about Keanu is that he’s a normal, laidback guy,” he says. “He’s incredibly bright and such a hard worker. We spent as much time developing the other characters as we did his. He recognizes that the strength of the storyline lies in even the smallest details.”

Looking to infuse the film with innovative action sequences that would set it apart from the pack, Reeves contacted the filmmaking team of Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, co-founders of 87Eleven, one of Hollywood’s most elite stunt groups. Reeves and Stahelski originally met on the set of The Matrix and Stahelski eventually became the actor’s stunt double. Together with longtime friend Leitch, Stahelski has worked on dozens of high-profile action films, and the pair are now two of the most in-demand second-unit directors in Hollywood.

Approached to design and film the blistering action scenes of John Wick, Stahelski surprised the producers by asking if he could pitch his ideas as director. After years at the top of his profession, he was ready to transition to the next level, with his longtime collaborator Leitch on hand to produce. When this screenplay landed on his desk, he knew it was time to grab the opportunity.

“It had gun fights, knife work, car chases and lots of hand-to-hand combat,” says Stahelski. “Dave and I talked about the potential to make a great graphic-novel-influenced action movie set in an almost mythical world. We pitched Keanu, Basil and the guys at Thunder Road the idea of John Wick as an urban legend, a thriller assassin movie with a realistic vibe and an otherworldly setting.”

Reeves was already confident the duo had the skill and creativity to stage John Wick’s groundbreaking action sequences better than anyone else. “Hearing Chad speak about the material and how he thought he could visually bring it to life was revelatory,”
Reeves says. “He and Dave were interested in making each character unforgettable. They had given thought to the themes of the movie, the double life, the hyper-reality. They’ve been closely following the film since day one and trying to bring out all the emotion that is in this piece.”

As a filmmaking team, Stahelski and Leitch were the ideal choice for John Wick, according to Reeves. “Chad and Dave are experts in terms of this genre,” the actor notes. “The dialogue is hard-boiled but it’s also got the humor of graphic novels, the kind of amazingly original imagery and framing that we’ve come to associate with them. It’s a unique vision. I thought it was exciting and really cool to see all of these influences and experience and craft come together.”

Iwanyk was immediately sold on Stahelski and Leitch’s approach to the film. “Their take for the movie and their visual presentation were so in line with what we were thinking the movie should be,” says the producer. “Everything from the color palette to the way in which the action should be staged and shot to the lookbook just felt right.”

John Wick Movie Poster

John Wick

Directed by: David Leitch, Chad Stahelski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Willem Dafoe, Dean Winters, Bridget Moynahan
Screenplay by: Derek Kolstad
Production Design by: Dan Leigh
Cinematography by: Jonathan Sela
Film Editing by: Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir
Costume Design by: Luca Mosca
Set Decoration by: Susan Bode
Music by: Tyler Bates, Joel J. Richard
MPAA Rating: R for strong and bloody violence throughout, language and brief drug use.
Studio: Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate Films
Release Date: October 24, 2014

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Force Majeure

Force Majeure Movie

A critical favorite at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it took the Jury Prize in Un Certain Regard, this wickedly funny and precisely observed psychodrama tells the story of a model Swedish family—handsome businessman Tomas, his willowy wife Ebba and their two blond children—on a skiing holiday in the French Alps.

The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but, during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche suddenly bears down on the happy diners. With people fleeing in all directions and his wife and children in a state of panic, Tomas makes a decision that will shake his marriage to its core and leave him struggling to reclaim his role as family patriarch.

Director’s Statement – Ruben Östlund

Force Majeure has its origins in a question I have long been fascinated by: How do human beings react in sudden and unexpected situations, such as a catastrophe? The story concerns a family on holiday that witnesses an avalanche and the father runs away, terrified. When it is over, he is ashamed because he has succumbed to his primal fear.

This particular story came about from an anecdote that I found impossible to forget. Some years ago, a Swedish couple—friends of mine—were on holiday in Latin America when suddenly, out of nowhere, gunmen appeared and opened fire; the husband instinctively ran for cover, leaving his wife unprotected. Back in Sweden, she could not stop, after a glass of wine or two, telling the story over and over again…

Force Majeure Movie

My imagination fired, and I began to research other true stories like this one – stories of distress and emergency, of passengers during the sinking of ships, of tourists stricken by tsunamis or held hostage by hijackers. In such extreme situations, people can react in completely unexpected and exceedingly selfish ways. It appears there are scientific studies on the subject – that in the aftermath of a catastrophe, a hijacking or a shipwreck, a large number of the survivors divorce.

It also appears that, in many cases, men do not act according to the expected codes of chivalry. In life or death situations, when their very own survival is at stake, it seems that men are even more likely than women to run away and save themselves, which may be the chief cause for those divorces. This made me want to explore the notion that a man is supposed to be the protector of his wife and family, the societal code that says he must not step back in the face of danger.

From here, I arrived at the concept of an existential drama in a ski resort, something that appeals to me greatly. Ski holidays contribute to the feeling of having full control over one’s own life. Like most European ski resorts, Les Arcs, where FORCE MAJEURE was shot, was built in the 1950s to receive middle-class families consisting of an executive father (sometimes working) mother and two kids. The father is supposed to muck in, the fully equipped open-plan kitchens in the ski apartments giving the mother a chance to do things other than cooking, like ski with her family, or relax.

Force Majeure Movie

Ski resorts are meant to be cozy, as the advertising shows—we can imagine the woman relaxing, her husband playing with the kids. Vacation is a time when the Western middle-class father “pays back” the family for his absence. It is an opportunity for him to devote time to his children and take care of them. But in Force Majeure “Civilized Man” is confronted by “Nature.” The characters experience this drama, and the father, Tomas, must face the savage part of himself, because his instincts lead him to save himself and abandon his children and his wife. He must face the reality that he, too, is subject to the forces of Nature, and that he has failed to conceal his most basic human impulse – the survival instinct.

After the panic of the avalanche, our characters manage to raise a nervous smile, get back onto their feet and brush off the snow. But although no physical damage has been done, the family bonds have been shaken to their core; slowly, they will begin to ask themselves questions about the roles they believed they played so well, they will have to deal with this new image of Tomas, who did not act as was expected. Tomas himself must also reconcile his actions with his self-image, and his wife, Ebba, must admit that her husband and the father of her children abandoned them at the moment when they needed him most.

This particular situation illustrates the wider existence of specific mutual expectations between the members of a family, even if these assumptions are seldom voiced. Each person has a role to play and one expects the others to perform according to their given role. Perhaps unconsciously, most people expect the mother to take care of the children on a daily basis, whereas the father has to stand up when a sudden threat is coming. Yet nowadays a man very rarely has to stand up and protect his family.

He has no practical opportunity to express this kind of action, because there is so little physical danger in Western middle-class society. But everybody still expects it from him—he even expects it from himself. That interests me, this expectation, as does the fact that it is disconnected from reality – that statistics show a man is more likely than one thinks to abandon his family in a crisis. Investigations of catastrophes at sea have shown that the percentage of male survivors is higher than that of female survivors.

The avalanche scene in Force Majeure is genuinely frightening. It was shot in a studio where a part of the restaurant terrace was reconstructed in front of a green screen, composited with footage of a beautiful avalanche shot in British Columbia and with digital snow mist added to the scene. During the post-production of this and some other shots, I applied effects and/or camera movements using Photoshop and After Effects as I had previously done with PLAY and INVOLUNTARY and most notably in the short film INCIDENT BY A BANK, in which all the camera movements were created during the editing process.

FORCE MAJEURE takes place in a majestic visual environment that I wanted to enhance further through CG, “rebuilding” mountains and portions of the hotel complex to create a truly sensational feeling. Of course, as was the case in my previous films, digital work remains completely invisible, leaving audiences without any clues that the environments have been touched.

We shot the film with anamorphic lenses, using the ARRI Alexa camera, after cinematographer Fredrik Wenzel and I had done a variety of tests. These lenses lend a more cinematic feel to the film and allowed us to achieve a truly epic sense of framing in the mountain environment. They also bring us closer to the characters than in my previous feature film PLAY; we were able to get close-up shots whilst still having some background to work with.

The structure of the film follows a regular ski week schedule—first day, second day, third day—until the family goes back to the airport on the fifth day. The family dynamic is developed on the first day, with the gorgeous setting, the mountains, and the great weather. The incident with the avalanche then occurs on the second day. On the third, fourth and fifth days, we see how the family is trying to handle the consequences of the avalanche. This five day structure will allow us to repeat several elements of each day’s routine—daily breakfast, brushing teeth at night—in order to follow the evolution of the family’s behavior before and after the incident.

In FORCE MAJEURE we follow Ebba and Tomas in their journey, see the evolution of their feelings and their perception of events, witness them struggle to get back together, and share their sorrows and their hopes. The appeal for the audience is much more connected to emotion than in my previous, more conceptual films.

In the final scene, as our main characters return to the airport by bus, the tourists find themselves standing on the side of the road not only because of the bus driver’s recklessness, but also because they let their fear get the better of them. As they walk down the mountain on foot they see the bus drive off safely, and a slight sense of collective shame arises. Yet, as they walk, this slowly transforms into a feeling of solidarity. Their social masks have crumbled away and they actually share a strong moment together.

Force Majeure Movie Poster

Force Majeure

Directed by: Ruben Östlund
Starring: Johannes Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren, Vincent Wettergren, Brady Corbet
Screenplay by: Ruben Östlund
Production Design by: Josefin Åsberg
Cinematography by: Fredrik Wenzel
Film Editing by: Jacob Secher Schulsinger
Costume Design by: Pia Aleborg
Art Direction by: Josefin Åsberg
Music by: Ola Fløttum
MPAA Rating: R for some language and brief nudity.
Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Release Date: October 24, 2014

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St. Vincent

St. Vincent Movie

Taglines: Love thy neighbor.

St. Vincent is an American comedy-drama film written and directed by Theodore Melfi, making his feature film debut. The film stars Bill Murray as the title character with Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, and Naomi Watts. The film had its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival where it won 2nd runner up as “People’s Choice Award for Best Film”. It was released theatrically on October 24, 2014.

Filming began the first week of July 2013, with scenes filmed in Brooklyn, New York and at Belmont Park in Elmont, Long Island, New York. On December 26, 2013, Theodore Shapiro was hired to score the film. Sony Classical Records released the soundtrack album on October 27, 2014.

Vincent MacKenna (Bill Murray) is a Vietnam War veteran and retiree living in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, who is the son of Irish immigrants. He is a grumpy alcoholic who smokes and gambles regularly. His wife, Sandy (Donna Mitchell), developed Alzheimer’s Disease years ago and can no longer recognize him, but he still does her laundry for her at the nursing home where she lives and visits her every week, posing as a doctor. Otherwise, Vincent’s only other close friends are a pregnant Russian prostitute named Daka (Naomi Watts) and his cat, Felix, as he owes many people money. Despite leading a quiet and boring existence, Vincent has many acquaintances who like and respect him.

St. Vincent Movie - Naomi Watts

One day, after Vincent’s 30-year-old Chrysler Lebaron gets damaged by a tree branch resulting from his new neighbors moving in, Maggie Bronstein (Melissa McCarthy) and her 12-year-old son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher), meet Vincent. Maggie is a single mother fighting for custody after her husband had several affairs. Despite this, she is doing her best to provide for Oliver, who is ostracised and bullied at his Catholic school, but is nonetheless knowledgeable and friendly. On his first day at his school, Oliver’s phone and house keys are stolen from his gym locker. Oliver asks Vincent if he can stay at his home until his mother comes home from work. Maggie is late and she pays Vincent for babysitting.

Now that Vincent has money coming in, Vincent starts babysitting Oliver every day after school because Maggie often has to work late hours. Vincent’s ideas of after-school activities involve visits to racetracks and bars, but eventually the mismatched pair begin to help each other mature. Vincent teaches Oliver how to fight, and he breaks his bully’s nose, but the two soon become best friends. Vincent and Oliver quickly become good friends and a lucky bet at the racetracks help Vincent to pay off some of his debts. But things do not get any easier for Vincent, as he gambles away the rest of his money, hoping to make more to keep Sandy in her nursing home, as he is behind on payments. Vincent is also interrogated in his home by his loan sharks Zucko (Terrence Howard) and Antwan (James Andrew O’Connor), who both attempt to take Sandy’s jewelry.

St. Vincent Movie Poster

St. Vincent

Directed by: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O’Dowd, Terrence Howard, Kimberly Quinn, Ann Dowd
Screenplay by: Theodore Melfi
Production Design by: Inbal Weinberg
Cinematography by: John Lindley
Film Editing by: Sarah Flack, Peter Teschner
Costume Design by: Kasia Walicka-Maimone
Set Decoration by: Jasmine E. Ballou, Graham Wichman
Music by: Theodore Shapiro
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic material including sexual content, alcohol and tobacco use, and for language.
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Release Date: October 24, 2014

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Ouija

Ouija Movie - Olivia Cooke

Taglines: Keep telling yourself it’s just a game.

After a friend is brutally killed in an accident, by a dark spirit, a group of close teenage friends must confront their most evil and demonic fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board by attempting to contact their friend. They soon realize that the Ouija Board is not just a game; it’s real life.

Stiles White directs the supernatural thriller that is produced by Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller (The Purge, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th) alongside Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity and Insidious series, The Purge), Bennett Schneir (Battleship) and Hasbro. Juliet Snowden and Stiles White wrote the script for Ouija.

Ouija is an American supernatural horror film directed by Stiles White and co-written with Juliet Snowden. The film stars Daren Kagasoff, Douglas Smith, Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Bianca A. Santos, Erin Moriarty, and Vivis Colombetti. The film is set for an October 24, 2014 release. It is the first Hasbro properties to be produced by Platinum Dunes and Blumhouse Productions as well as Hasbro’s first horror film and the first Hasbro properties after the Hub Network as re-branded Discovery Family on October 13, 2014.

Ouija Movie

About the Story

Young friends Laine and Debbie are playing with a Ouija board, stating a basic rule that you must never play alone. Years later, high school senior Laine’s (Olivia Cooke) longtime childhood friend, Debbie (Shelley Hennig), burns a Ouija board in her fireplace. The board reappers in the bedroom, then Debbie kills herself. Laine and Debbie’s boyfriend, Pete (Douglas Smith), later discover the antique Ouija board in Debbie’s room and try to use it to say “Goodbye” to Debbie.

When the curious teen begins asking questions and stumbles upon the mystery of Debbie’s death, Laine discovers that the board’s resident spirit calls itself DZ and doesn’t want these sessions to end. As stranger and stranger things start happening, Laine enlists her younger sister, Sarah (Ana Coto), to fall down the rabbit hole alongside her and help discover who DZ is and what it wants from them. Joining the sisters in their dangerous game are Pete, Laine’s friend Isabelle (Bianca A. Santos) and Laine’s boyfriend, Trevor (Daren Kagasoff).

Ouja Movie Poster

Ouija

Directed by: Stiles White
Starring: Daren Kagasoff, Ana Coto, Bianca A. Santos, Douglas Smith, Olivia Cooke, Shelley Hennig, Lin Shaye, Sunny May Allison, Claudia Katz
Screenplay by: Juliet Snowden, Stiles White
Cinematography by: David Emmerichs
Film Editing by: Ken Blackwell
Costume Design by: Mary Jane Fort
Art Direction by: Jeremy Woolsey
Music by: Anton Sanko
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for disturbing violent content, frightening horror images, and thematic material.
Studio: Universal Pictures
Release Date: October 24, 2014

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White Bird in a Blizzard

White Bird in a Blizzard

Taglines: I was 17 when my mother is dissapeared.

Kat Connors (Shailene Woodley) is 17 years old when her perfect homemaker mother, Eve (Eva Green), a beautiful, enigmatic, and haunted woman, disappears – just as Kat is discovering and relishing her newfound sexuality. Having lived for so long in a stifled, emotionally repressed household, she barely registers her mother’s absence and certainly doesn’t blame her doormat of a father, Brock (Christopher Meloni), for the loss. In fact, it’s almost a relief. But as time passes, Kat begins to come to grips with how deeply Eve’s disappearance has affected her. Returning home on a break from college, she finds herself confronted with the truth about her mother’s departure, and her own denial about the events surrounding it…

Q & A With Gregg Araki

White Bird in a Blizzard is adapted from a novel by Laura Kasischke. What made you decide to make this story into a movie?

Gregg Araki: A producer friend and collaborator of mine, Sebastien Lemercier, recommended the book which I read and fell in love with. I was instantly struck by the novel’s lyrical and poetic nature. It really haunted me and reminded me of what I had liked about Scott Heim’s novel Mysterious Skin: softness and beauty within the violence.

What was it about the book that moved you the most?

Gregg Araki: It’s difficult to put into words but you instinctively know what movies you need to make. Laura’s storytelling style is impressionistic and also very visual and cinematic so it lends itself perfectly to the filmmaking process. The feminist aspect of her viewpoint also appealed to me as I have always been heavily influenced by feminist film theory.

White Bird in a Blizzard

White Bird is the story of a young woman, Kat Connors, who is taking her first steps into her own sexuality just as her world is turned upside down by the sudden disappearance of her mother. But the novel isn’t a generic suspense thriller – it’s more measured, introspective, a beautiful and haunting portrait of a broken American family. Kat’s mother, Eve, is an archetypal suburban housewife – a woman whose place in the world has been prescribed for her by society. She dutifully manages her household but it slowly turns into a prison. Eva Green, who plays Eve, and I were both really compelled and fascinated by this tragic component of her character.

What did you change in the story to make it your own?

Gregg Araki: Adapting the novel for the screen, I started by moving the story from Ohio to Loma Linda, California, a suburb near L.A. which is similar to the one I grew up in. It’s helpful for me to have inside knowledge of a location and its atmosphere, in order to create the world of the film.

The book is divided into four distinct chapters chronicling the years between 1986 to 1989, for the film we’ve shifted a bit later to the late eighties/early nineties – a period that, culturally and especially musically, has always fascinated me. As anyone familiar with my movies knows, the music of that era which is used in the film – Depeche Mode, New Order, The Cure, Cocteau Twins, etc. – that music was a huge influence and inspiration for me as a young artist, so the film pays homage to that.

White Bird in a Blizzard - Eva Green

What was involved in adapting the novel?

Gregg Araki: A filmmaker has the advantage of being able to tell a story through images – and Laura’s novel was full of beautiful, cinematic imagery to start with. I always work with a storyboards so I can put the images which are playing in my head onto paper for others – the crew, the actors, etc. – to see.

It helps me make the imaginary real. The world that Laura created was rich and very vivid – the snow in Kat’s dreams, the gloomy interior of the Connors house, it was all there in the book. I always find it’s easier to work from something that exists, because the story, characters and images are already there. All you have to do is hone and sculpt them into a 90 minute format.

This is your second book adaptation, after Mysterious Skin. Both films feature a certain softness, an intentional romanticism. It’s almost as though adapting someone else’s work tames your style…

Gregg Araki: You could look at it that way I suppose. But at the same time, both films explore my usual stylistic and thematic concerns – dreams and the surreal, sexual coming of age, people who are outsiders in society, etc. For me, adapting someone else’s work usually means finding a voice that I empathize with, which really strikes a chord in me. Scott Heim and Laura are both clear examples of this.

Then, in making the book into a film, it’s about staying true to that voice while enhancing it with my own authorial vision. With a film like Kaboom or Doom Generation, which are original screenplays I wrote, those films are more like my imagination running wild, not in service of another author’s voice and point of view. Despite their seeming difference in tone and surface, the films which are my original ideas and those I adapt from other sources fit together.

White Bird in a Blizzard

The narrative structure relies heavily on Kat’s dreams. How did you work with these dreams?

Gregg Araki: The dreams Kat has of her mother lost in the snow give us an insight into the emotional bond between them as well as illuminating what is going on inside Kat’s head. My films have always been influenced by surrealism and filmmakers like David Lynch so the way Laura utilizes dreams in the book definitely appealed to me. It really gave me a pathway into the story.

White Bird In A Blizzard unfolds almost entirely from Kat’s perspective – it’s told from a very feminine point of view…

Gregg Araki: It’s not the first time I’ve made a movie centered on a female protagonist – Smiley Face (2007) and even in The Doom Generation (1995), a significant part of the action is seen through Amy Blue’s eyes. From my days in film school, I’ve always been interested in the feminist perspective which is why Laura’s sensibility is such a good fit for me.

This film also seems to take a different approach to one of your favorite subjects – adolescence.

Gregg Araki: Adolescence is a time of change and transition, where nothing is stable or certain, and teenagers live a life that is a big question mark – so naturally they make compelling dramatic subjects. However, I’m in my fifties and not particularly interested in dragging out my adolescence in my movies. Throughout all my films, my perspective of this period of life has changed significantly over the years.

White Bird in a Blizzard

In White Bird, the crazy rock ‘n’ roll side of adolescence is virtually non-existent. Instead, the film focuses on Kat’s troubled and dysfunctional family and as a result it’s much quieter and more serious. There’s a big difference between this movie and Doom Generation, made 20 years ago. While Doom is very wild and chaotic, White Bird In A Blizzard is more controlled, introspective, classical almost in structure and tone.

There are some characters, like Kat’s close friends, who seem to represent the outcasts of the world: the overweight Afro- American, the gay best friend…

Gregg Araki: In the book, Kat’s friends were two white girls. My movies have always been about outsiders, those who don’t really fit into mainstream American society. That’s why I changed these characters as I envisioned Kat and her friends as misfits who create a world unto themselves. They are perfectly content living outside of the norm, apart from the middle of the road “popular” kids, because they have each other.

You purposefully set the film in the late Eighties. How does this context impact the tragedy that befalls this family?

Gregg Araki: Women like Eve Connors grew up in the Fifties and Sixties – a time before the major societal and cultural developments of women’s rights and feminism. These women were taught from a young age that their place was in the home. Eva Green and I discussed this idea at length when we were talking about Eve. Someone like Eve would have been greatly influenced by the icons of that period: Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, and all of Hitchcock’s heroines who were the incarnation of the feminine ideal in their time.

White Bird in a Blizzard - Shailene Woodley

These women would have all been role models for Eve, so she lives to project the image of the perfect wife and mother. One of my favorite scenes is the montage of an impeccably dressed Eve cleaning her house – which we intentionally shot and lit so it looks like one of those old TV commercials glorifying the happy, perfect housewife.

You mentioned Hitchcock, who wasn’t known for being a feminist. Kat’s mother seems more like a character from a Douglas Sirk melodrama…

Gregg Araki: Sirk is definitely a reference. And I guess you could say Hitchcock is almost more like the “anti” reference – since his women are systematically trapped, victimized, and even murdered as they are idealized and put on a pedestal. With White Bird, I wanted to show how the “paradise” of suburban America could turn into a sort of living hell. My set designer, when he first read the script, said: “Wow, that’s the story of my family!” [laughs]

The dilemma of the Connors family, beyond the story’s more extreme dramatic elements, is actually a pretty common one. The foundation of the American Dream is that everyone is supposed to have the same dream but the reality is that there is a lot of unhappiness, a lot of secrets and lies and hidden tragedy. Laura’s novel really eloquently points out that the American Dream doesn’t necessarily work for everyone.

It reminded me in a way of American Beauty (Sam Mendes – 1999) and The Ice Storm (Ang Lee – 1997), portraits of the American middle class that explore the darkness lurking beneath the seemingly perfect facade. Hollywood doesn’t really make that kind of movie anymore.

Kat is played by Shailene Woodley who has recently achieved international stardom as the heroine in the teenage saga Divergent (Neil Burger – 2014). Was this iconic element helpful to you?

Gregg Araki: I first discovered Shai through her heartbreaking performance in The Descendants (Alexander Payne – 2011). Coincidentally, she was a big fan of Mysterious Skin and I’ve known her manager, Nils Larsen, for years. He insisted that I meet Shai and we hit it off instantly. This was years before Divergent came along. She read the script for White Bird, loved it, and immediately signed on.

Shai actually reminds me a lot of Joe Gordon Levitt, who I worked with on Mysterious Skin. They are both incredibly talented and creative individuals who take their art very seriously – they’re not in it for fame or money or any of the bullshit. They both also have really great parents so they’re more centered and secure in themselves than some young actors who don’t have that kind of solid upbringing.

The role of Eve is a departure for Eva Green as she portrays a character who is significantly older than she is in real life. It’s a role unlike any we’ve seen her play before.

Gregg Araki: Eva’s performance in the movie just blew me away. Because the Eve character ages from early 30s to 40s, we debated casting an older actress and making her look younger with makeup and effects but I couldn’t get Eva out of my mind. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since The Dreamers (Bernardo Bertolucci –2003) and I was so excited for the chance to work with her. She and I were both very wary however of using prosthetics and “old age” makeup to make Eve look like the weary, older housewife she is in the film’s later half because that always looks so fake and terrible.

In the end, we barely touched her face, the makeup artist just very subtly enhanced what was already there. The rest is all Eva – she just miraculously became this entirely different person, her posture, body language, her very essence changed. She just kind of withered away. When I first saw her in character, wearing that sad grey sweater, lurking in the doorway, I was stunned because in real life Eva is one of the most gorgeous, radiant people I’ve ever met. She is literally like Marlene Dietrich or Greta Garbo, this otherworldly kind of presence.

In fact, Eva was only 32 when we shot the film, which is funny, because Shiloh Fernandez, the actor who plays Phil, Kat’s teenage boyfriend, was like 27 at the time; they could date in real life and no one would bat an eye. But the scene where the two of them are flirting is genuinely unnerving and creepy because they are both so skilled at making us believe those characters. The entire cast – Shai, Eva, Shiloh, Chris Meloni, Gabourey Sidibe, Tom Jane… I just feel incredibly blessed for the opportunity to work with such an amazing ensemble of actors. It really was like a dream come true.

White Bird in a Blizzard Movie Poster

White Bird in a Blizzard

Directed by: Gregg Araki
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, Thomas Jane
Screenplay by: Gregg Araki, Laura Kasischke
Production Design by: Todd Fjelsted
Cinematography by: Sandra Valde-Hansen
Costume Design by; Mairi Chisholm
Set Decoration by: Ryan Watson
Music by: Harold Budd, Robin Guthrie
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content / nudity, language and some drug use.
Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Release Date: October 24, 2014

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Love, Rosie

Love, Rosie Movie

Taglines: They just can’t themselves together.

Love, Rosie is a 2014 British-German romantic comedy-drama film directed by Christian Ditter and written by Juliette Towhidi, based on the 2004 novel Where Rainbows End by Irish author Cecelia Ahern. The film stars Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Tamsin Egerton, Suki Waterhouse, Jaime Winstone and Lily Laight.

Alex and Rosie have been best friends for almost as long as they can remember. After depicting their time together as children, the movie jumps to Rosie making a speech at what appears to be a wedding, while staring at Alex, implying it may be his wedding but not hers. The movie switches to 12 years earlier, where Rosie is upset because of getting drunk during her 18th birthday. Alex comes over to discuss the previous night’s events but pauses when Rosie tells him how she wished it never happened.

The pair later go to the beach together to attend a party where ‘the fittest guy in [their]grade’ asks Rosie to the school dance, which she rejects saying she is going with Alex. Alex later tells her that an attractive and ‘out of his league’ girl named Bethany wants to go with him. After a fight between the two, Alex and Bethany go to the dance along with Greg and Rosie. After some dancing, Bethany and Alex share a passionate kiss and Greg and Rosie get a private room. The two then have sex but due to Greg’s inexperience, the condom comes off and gets stuck inside Rosie. She immediately calls Alex who gets her to a hospital then takes her home.

Love, Rosie Movie

Later, Rosie receives a letter telling her that she has been accepted into Boston University for the hotel management course that she wants to do. After running over to tell Alex, she overhears him and Bethany having sex and vomits into a handbag. She leaves without seeing Alex and goes to a pharmacist, saying she has been feeling nauseous lately.

The woman behind the counter, Ruby, gives her a pregnancy test which turns out to be positive despite her taking the morning after pill. Rosie decides against telling Alex after he tells her that he has been accepted by Harvard, not wanting him to stay for her. Rosie says goodbye to Alex at an airport as he heads to his university, saying she will be just behind him. Rosie gives birth to a baby girl, whom she names Katie, and decides not to give her up for adoption despite prior plans. Rosie raises Katie as a single mother.

A few months later, Rosie, with baby Katie, bumps into Bethany in the street. Bethany tells Alex, who immediately comes back to England from America to visit Rosie. The two become friends again and Alex becomes the godfather of baby Katie.

Back in America, Alex meets a girl in a bar and they soon move in together. Five years later, after Alex convinces Rosie to visit, Rosie discovers that Alex’s girlfriend is incredibly posh and snobby, taking them to an art gallery of a man named Herb. Upon telling Alex that she didn’t see them as a good couple, they fight and Rosie goes back to England. During the trip she also finds out that Alex’s girlfriend is pregnant.

Greg (who earlier moved to another country after hearing of Rosie’s pregnancy) visits Rosie at work having received her letter and a drawing by Katie. After some arguing, Rosie decides that Greg can see Katie. The three become a family and Alex then receives an invitation to Rosie’s wedding to Greg. Rosie marries Greg but notices Alex’s absence from the event. Rosie’s parents go on a trip and Rosie soon receives a call from her mother saying that Rosie’s father has died. At the funeral, Alex visits and the two reconcile. Greg is also present but noticeably drunk and rude to Alex and Rosie.

Love, Rosie Movie Poster

Love, Rosie

Directed by: Christian Ditter
Starring: Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Tamsin Egerton, Suki Waterhouse, Jaime Winstone, Christian Cooke, Art Parkinson
Screenplay by; Juliette Towhidi
Production Design by: Matthew Davies
Film Editing by: Tony Cranstoun
Costume Design by: Leonie Prendergast
Set Decoration by: Judy Farr
Music by: Ralf Wengenmayr
Studio: Arcade Films
Release Date: October 24, 2014

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Laggies

Laggies Movie

Taglines: A comedy about acting your age and other adult decisions.

Having spent her twenties comfortably inert, 28 year old Megan (Keira Knightley) reaches a crisis when she finds herself squarely in adulthood with no career prospects, no particular motivation to pursue any and no one to relate to, including her high school boyfriend (Mark Webber). When he proposes, Megan panics and given an opportunity to escape – at least temporarily – she hides out in the home of her new friend, 16-year-old Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Annika’s world-weary single dad (Sam Rockwell).

Laggies (released in the United Kingdom as Say When) is a 2014 American romantic comedy film directed by Lynn Shelton and written by Andrea Seigel. The film stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, Ellie Kemper, Mark Webber, and Kaitlyn Dever. The film had its world premiere at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 17, 2014.

Laggies Movie

About the Story

When 28-year-old Megan visits her 11-year high school reunion, she realizes that very little has changed in her life. She still lives with her high school boyfriend Anthony, and works as a sign flipper for her father’s accounting company. When her boyfriend proposes, she panics and crosses paths with 16-year-old Annika, who convinces her to buy her and her friends alcohol and she hangs out with them for the rest of the night. Afterwards, she realizes that she needs to take a week off from her life and lies to her boyfriend, saying that she is going to a business seminar, but instead she goes to Annika’s house and spends time there and also with Annika’s attractive, single father Craig.

Laggies Movie Poster

Laggies

Directed by: Lynn Shelton
Starring: Keira Knightley, Chloë Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell, Kaitlyn Dever, Jeff Garlin, Ellie Kemper, Mark Webber, Daniel Zovatto
Screenplay by: Andrea Seigel
Production Design by: John Lavin
Cinematography by: Benjamin Kasulke
Film Editing by: Nat Sanders
Costume Design by: Ronald Leamon
Set Decoration by: Tania Kupczak
Music by: Benjamin Gibbard
MPAA Rating: R for language, some sexual material and teen partying.
Studio: A24 Films
Release Date: October 24, 2014

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