Category Archives: Independent

Saoirse Ronan breaks from small town cage in first trailer for Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut ‘Lady Bird’

Greta Gerwig has had an incredibly successful acting and writing career, working on scripts with Noah Baumbach for Frances Ha and Mistress America, among others, and delivering wonderful performances in those films as well as, most recently, in 20th Century Women. And now, Gerwig is stepping behind the camera for her directorial debut Lady Bird, which is a semi-autobiographical story following Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) as a high school senior trying to leave Northern California for the East Coast. A24 released the first trailer for Lady Bird today.

The film premiered at Telluride this past Friday, where many critics hailed it as their favorite of the Colorado film festival, which also played host to films like HostilesFirst They Killed My Father, Battle of the SexesThe Shape of Water and Darkest Hour. Variety has even posited Ronan as, currently, one of the stronger contenders for Best Lead Actress.

Lady Bird also stars Laurie Metcalf as McPherson’s mother — a central role as many are calling this a mother-daughter story, and praising Metcalf for her work — Tracy Letts as her father, Lucas Hedges as a good friend and Timothée Chalamet as a love interest. The film is set to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival later this week as well as at New York Film Festival in October before releasing on November 10.

Saoirse Ronan recently started filming the Beau Willimon written, Josie Rourke directed Mary, Queen of Scots, which is eyeing a 2018 premiere and also stars Margot Robbie and David Tennant. Greta Gerwig will provide voice work for Wes Anderson’s animated project Isle of Dogs, which will hit the big screen on March 23, 2018. A24 has a fairly full slate this fall/winter with The Florida ProjectThe Killing of a Sacred Deer and The Disaster Artist all set to release.

Featured image via A24.

Christian Bale is a Western cavalryman in first ‘Hostiles’ trailer

Christian Bale and writer-director Scott Cooper have reteamed, after Out of the Furnace, for the upcoming Western Hostiles, which follows Captain Joseph J. Blocker (Bale) as he reluctantly escorts a Cheyenne chief (Wes Studi) and a grieving woman (Rosamund Pike) through hostile territory. The film premiered this weekend at Telluride Film Festival to incredible acclaim, with The Hollywood Reporter and Variety saying that Bale could be a very strong Oscar contender for his performance. Riding that buzz, Hostiles has dropped its first trailer, released through Deadline Hollywood.

Hostiles finds itself in a very unique position this fall, currently without a distributor, which may be why the trailer landed with Deadline instead of being released through a film company online. The film accompanied a tribute to Christian Bale’s career at Telluride, which started the buzz of who might acquire the title — with companies such as Annapurna (new to distribution), Sony Pictures Classics and Netflix rumored as in the mix. But Variety says that Telluride isn’t particularly a festival where titles get picked up and suggests that there won’t be any official news until, at the earliest, Toronto International Film Festival, where the film is set to screen next on September 11.

With a trailer dropping, it seems as though the film is eyeing a 2017 release, considering that, with the Oscar buzz, it would be a strange move to release a trailer now and then wait over a year to release it next fall. A distributor would have to act fast to put together a marketing campaign that can get enough people in the theater to then realize that awards potential. And it also seems, with the subject matter, that 2017 is the prime window for a release, as the film deals with themes of hatred, racism and reconciliation, and can compare to today’s times, as talked about by Scott Cooper in Variety’s film podcast Playback.

Featured image via Lorey Sebastian, Le Grisbi Productions and Waypoint Entertainment.

First look at Saoirse Ronan in ‘Mary, Queen of Scots,’ scripted by ‘House of Cards’ creator

The first look of Saoirse Ronan, two-time Oscar nominee for her performances in Atonement and Brooklyn, in her new film Mary, Queen of Scots has dropped. The historical drama began filming on August 14 and comes from independent studios Focus Features and Working Title, who have worked together in the past on notable films such as The Theory of EverythingThe World’s End and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and will release Victoria and Abdul and The Darkest Hour later this year.

Beau Willimon, writer of The Ides of March and creator/showrunner of House of Cards until his exit after season 4, wrote the script for the film. British theatre director and artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse Josie Rourke will make her feature debut. Ronan will be joined by Jack Lowden, who appeared this summer in Dunkirk, as well as Joe Alwyn, David Tennant, Guy Pearce and Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I.

Ronan will appear later this year in On Chesil Beach, a film from fellow English theatre director Dominic Cooke, when it premieres at Toronto International Film Festival in September. She’ll also star in Greta Gerwig’s directorial feature Lady Bird, from A24, which releases on November 10.

Look below for the first image of Ronan and the official synopsis of Mary, Queen of Scots:

Saoirse Ronan Mary Queen of Scots

John Mathieson/Focus Features/Working Title/Courtesy

Mary, Queen of Scots explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart. Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth 1.  Each young Queen beholds her “sister” in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones – and change the course of history.”

 

Willem Dafoe plays father figure in ‘The Florida Project’ trailer

In 2015, director Sean Baker released his film Tangerine, shot on augmented iPhones, to some of the best critical success of the year, further progressing his career as an indie filmmaker to look out for.

And look out for him we must, as A24 has just released the trailer for Baker’s follow-up film The Florida Project, which follows young Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) and her mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) during their stay at “The Magic Castle,” a motel run by Bobby (Willem Dafoe). As Halley finds herself falling into troubling circumstances, Bobby looks to step up to not only help her, but to be a father figure to the many children at the motel. Yet, it seems as though Moonee has no problem creating her own fun with her imagination.

The Florida Project premiered at Cannes Film Festival to outstanding reception. It currently sits at 96% on RottenTomatoes with 22 fresh reviews out of 23 total, and at a score of 91 on Metacritic with 9 positive reviews. The film then went to the Champs-Élysées Film Festival in France and will visit the Toronto International Film Festival in September before a limited theatrical release on October 6, 2017.

Willem Dafoe has already received extensive praise for his performance, with many calling him a near-lock for an Oscar nomination. Some critics have predicted the film to be nominated for Best Picture.

Baker shot The Florida Project on 35mm film, but it is unclear how many theaters will be able to project it in that format.

A24’s A Ghost StoryMenashe and Good Time are still in theaters. The production-distrubtion company will release Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which premiered at Cannes to slightly divisive reviews and stars Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman and Barry Keoghan (of Dunkirk), on October 27. Its other end of the year plays include Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut Lady Bird, releasing on November 10, and the James Franco directed-starring The Disaster Artist, which premiered as a work-in-progress at South by Southwest to nearly unanimous acclaim and will visit Toronto International Film Festival, releasing on December 1.