Sienna Miller is coming to us on film very shortly in “Factory Girl.” She was already a hit in the underrated Lasse Hallstrom comedy, "Casanova." At Sundance, she gets to prove she’s the real thing in “Interview,” a movie directed by Steve Buscemi.
Click on the FOX 411 Tuesday morning to read Roger Friedman's report on the Oscar nominations.
Buscemi also co-stars in "Interview" as a journalist sent to interview Miller’s character, Katya, a Hollywood starlet who lives in a SoHo loft, stars in a "Sex and the City"-type TV show and makes her living in B movies.
The problem is Buscemi’s interviewer is a demoted political correspondent who doesn’t care about Hollywood and has little idea who Katya is.
“Interview” is basically a two-hander, with Miller and Buscemi cleverly volleying with each other in the manner of “My Dinner with Andre,” only sexier.
To Buscemi’s credit, the Soho loft where the action takes place never feels claustrophobic. With facile cutting, and enough different “sets” in the loft, there’s a lot of movement.
The focus, though, is on Miller. It’s rare to see such a film where an actress on the brink of stardom in real life is showcased so fully in fiction.
For Miller, “Interview” is kind of a brave step. This is like seeing her resume on display. She’s sly, cute, funny, deceiving, outraged and miserable, all in the same structure.
Luckily, she pulls it off. Katya is a winning exercise for her. Sienna Miller is the real thing. So forget all the tabloid stuff about Jude Law etc. There’s a new girl in town, and she means business.
The word coming out of Sundance on Sunday night is that on the heels of the Weinstein Company’s purchase of the elegant “Grace Is Gone,” the same group is also picking up a much more controversial film.
Sometime today we should hear about the Weinstein Company and Lions Gate partnering up on “Teeth.”
This is actor Mitchell Lichtenstein’s comedy/drama about the mythological female genitalia with teeth.
Lichtenstein, the son of late legendary artist Roy, is also the actor who starred in Ang Lee’s "The Wedding Banquet" several seasons ago.
“Teeth” has gotten mixed reviews so far at Sundance, but it’s certainly also had a lot of talk. Aside from a movie here about men who have sex with horses and another in which a 12-year-old is raped, “Teeth” is probably the least offensive of the controversial films here this year.
For Harvey Weinstein, it certainly represents a jump-start back into the aggressive business of acquisitions.
On Saturday night, he outbid about five other companies, paying $4 million worldwide for “Grace Is Gone,” a film that will certainly net John Cusack a bunch of awards next winter.
Add that to the Weinstein Company’s ambitious slate for the coming year, and it looks like the former Miramax heads are back as a player.
The “Teeth” deal will be only one of many to come out in the next 24 hours. Distributors are circling such potential one-word titled hits as “Waitress,” “Delirious” and “Clubland,” all of which should find homes shortly.
“Waitress” played to a sold-out audience yesterday afternoon, most likely because its director, Adrienne Shelly, was tragically murdered in her New York apartment on Nov. 1.
At the premiere screening, her husband announced the formation of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation, which will sponsor scholarships for young women breaking into film.
There are so many terrible aspects of Shelly’s death, but one of the worst is that “Waitress” would have been her breakthrough film.
It’s a deft comedy that should put Keri Russell, better known as TV’s “Felicity,” on the map as a film star.
“Waitress,” handled correctly, could be the “Little Miss Sunshine” of this festival. It’s funny and sad, sweet and edgy, with a great screenplay and terrific performances.
Shelly mixed a bit of “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” with darker influences like “Citizen Ruth” and the sweet aspects of “Chocolat” to tell a story about a pie expert who very shrewdly plots her escape from an abusive husband.
Russell is a revelation, but then so are her co-stars, who include Cheryl Hines — of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” fame — as the wisecracking friend; Nathan Fillion; Jeremy Sisto; an “overnight star” named Eddie Jemison and a large, welcomed cameo from beloved 80-year-old star Andy Griffith.
It’s hard to think about the 2008 Oscars when the nominations for the current pack of movies is announced Tuesday morning.
Nevertheless, whoever picks up “Clubland,” a cross between "Little Voice" and "The Full Monty," will not only get a hit but one with a Best Actress nominee in Brenda Blethyn.
Brenda is already well known to U.S. audiences for her stunning performances in “Secrets and Lies” and “Little Voice.”
Now, Australians Cherie Nowlan and Keith Thompson have crafted a star turn for her as a kind of B-level entertainer still trying to have a career in dinner-theater show biz while raising two coming-of-age sons.
“Clubland” got an enormous ovation last night at the Eccles, not just because it was the first truly ebullient film we’ve seen, devoid of unhappy Midwestern families trying to kill themselves or each other. No children are harmed either in "Clubland," although that’s another theme of this year’s festival.
“Clubland” is not just the story of an over-the-hill comedian, although that is one of the main plotlines. There’s also a second story of Blethyn’s character Jean’s two sons, in their early 20s, trying to grow up and get out of her reach.
Screenwriter Thompson deftly weaves this in and around Jean’s manic attempt to revive her career, and the two actors who play the sons — Richard Wilson and Khan Chittenden —make impressive debuts.
There’s also a sensational performance by newcomer Emma Booth as a sexy young woman who threatens to destroy the fragile hold Jean has on her family.
If “Waitress” is the “Little Miss Sunshine” of this year, then “Clubland” is undoubtedly "The Full Monty." Unlike some other films we saw yesterday — like David Gordon Green’s harrowing and miserable “Snow Angels” — this is a film people will actually want to see.
Sam Rockwell, best known for playing Chuck Barris so brilliantly in “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” is in two films here — "Joshua," and "Snow Angels."
They are each well-made, and it’s possible Fox Searchlight will buy the former. In the latter, Rockwell is simply mesmerizing. But trust me, you will see this only on cable or maybe a DVD.
“Snow Angels” starts out with a lot of promise, but ultimately devolves into many indie film clichés. But why can’t this poor guy get into some hit films? He’s too good to squander like this. …
The hills are alive this year, like the last few, with swag! There are “gifting suites” all over town, and everything from shoes to coffee to jewelry is being given away.
Both Marquee and Tao nightclubs are set up temporarily on Main Street. Unik (pronounced ‘unique’) owner of New York’s PM club had a house party in Deer Valley on Saturday night with Diddy and all the major young celebs vying to get in.
Of course, none of this has anything to do with indie films. But at least there’s been no sighting of Paris Hilton as of yet!