It's a baffling Wonder that that it was made: New film by Terrence Malick is so bad it might not be released on big screen in UK
09:09 GMT, 14 September 2012
Latest Terrence Malick film, which stars former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, is so bad it may go straight to DVD
The latest Terrence Malick film, which stars former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, is so bad it may go straight to DVD and never be released on the big screen in the UK.
Executives at distributor StudioCanal will view the picture — called To The Wonder — in London in two weeks to decide whether to put it in cinemas next year.
Ms Kurylenko, who appeared in the 007 film Quantum Of Solace, revealed in Toronto that Malick shot enough footage to make five movies.
The film also features Rachel McAdams and Ben Affleck.
But performances in To The Wonder by other big-name actors, including Rachel Weisz, Jessica Chastain and Michael Sheen, did not make the final cut. They must have had a guardian angel watching over them.
The picture was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival; Ms Kurylenko and Ms McAdams were on hand to promote it and, frankly, they were as baffled as the rest of us.
Studio bosses may take the stand that there are enough passionate Malick fans out there to warrant releasing the film. We will see.
An international film-maker, sitting just along from me at the screening, found it so mind-numbingly dull he slept through most of it.
All this is a shame, because Malick has directed a handful of classics, from Badlands to Days Of Heaven. And even those who loathed The Thin Red Line and The Tree Of Life could not deny they were stunningly made.
To The Wonder, though, isn’t in the same league — and it’s not the fault of the actors.
The film is a love story, of sorts, about an American (Affleck) who meets a Ukrainian girl, Marina (Kurylenko), in Paris and asks her to come home with him to Oklahoma.
McAdams plays an old flame of Affleck’s character.
Kurylenko said she shot reams of footage, in which Marina is depressed and melancholic. ‘I was very worried about not being able to come out of my character,’ Kurylenko told me in Toronto. ‘For two months, I was this woman who was up and down. It was really scary,’
She said that for one scene Malick had her speak for three hours — but not a word ended up in the movie.
‘I tried to speak the dialogue and Terry said: “Shh . . . don’t say it.” And I say: “Why not You sent over 30 pages of text!” But he was saying: “Say it with the eyes; the eyes don’t lie.”’
If only they could turn To The Wonder into a sleeping pill, they’d make a fortune.
Blunt sharpens shooting skills
Emily Blunt is learning martial arts and has been out on the shooting range
Atten-shun! Emily Blunt is learning martial arts and has been out on the shooting range in preparation for her next movie.
Emily is co-starring with Tom Cruise in the futuristic military thriller All You Need Is Kill, which will start filming soon at Leavesden studios out in Hertfordshire, where the Harry Potter films were made. Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) will direct.
‘I play an arse-kicking sergeant-major,’ the actress said of her character when I met her at the sleek new Toronto outpost of the Soho House empire.
‘She really knows how to lock and load. She’s not very ladylike, but she’s a damn good soldier.’
All You Need Is Kill is based on an illustrated novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka about a soldier fighting aliens who goes through a timewarp loop (like Groundhog Day meets The Terminator), and each day becomes a better fighter.
Emily was in Toronto for the film festival.
She appeared in Looper, which opened the event, and alongside Colin Firth in the comedy drama Arthur Newman.
Miss Pike joins the poetry pack
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Rosamund Pike will be part of an illustrious ensemble of actors taking part in The Josephine Hart Poetry Week.
The event, which runs from October 8 at the Arts Theatre in London, is being produced by Michael Grandage and James Bierman for the Michael Grandage Company (MGC).
In keeping with MGC policy, all tickets will be 10, with no booking fee. The late Josephine Hart, who was married to
Maurice Saatchi, was a writer and passionate lover of poetry. Indeed, she presented poetry events with Grandage and Bierman when they ran the Donmar.
Other actors involved will include Deborah Findlay, Derek Jacobi, Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Dominic West and Samuel West.
They will read poems by T.S. Eliot, Auden, World War I poets, Larkin and U.S. poets. And it gets better.
Melvyn Bragg, David Hare, Richard Eyre, Alan Yentob and Tom Stoppard will each host an evening, and read Hart’s comments on the chosen works.
The Michael Grandage Company theatre season begins with Simon Russell Beale in Privates On Parade at the Noel Coward Theatre from December 1.
Find more details on both events at michaelgrandagecompany.com
No mean feat for talented Jennifer
Jennifer Lawrence kept apologising for her dancing: ‘I have two left feet, and I’m not exactly a graceful mover,’ she said sadly.
‘Bradley’s the one who can dance,’ she added, gesturing towards The Hangover star Bradley Cooper — who appears with her in the new film The Silver Linings Playbook. ‘And he’s not supposed to know how to!’
We were laughing because, as Jennifer — pictured here — explains, in the film: ‘Our skill sets got reversed!’
Jennifer, who became an international star after playing Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, was chatting after the world premiere of The Silver Linings Playbook. The movie is based on David O.
Russell’s brilliant adaptation of Matthew Quick’s bestseller, and was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival this week.
Jennifer — nominated for a best actress Oscar at just 19 for the drama Winter’s Bone — plays Tiffany, a grieving young widow with few social skills.
And Bradley plays Pat, a former teacher who’s been released from a mental institution on the condition that he stays with his parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver).
Tiffany agrees to help Pat get back with his wife, provided he partners her in a dance competition.
So in the film she’s supposed to be the dance expert, while Pat is clueless on the dance floor.
Given her admitted lack of skills, Jennifer told me she wasn’t even expecting to win the role.
‘I didn’t think they’d give it to me — they couldn’t hire this klutz,’ she joked. Well, there’d be no movie if they hadn’t. Bradley, to be sure, gives a cracking performance as a man whose psychological disorders stem from his wife’s blatant betrayal and his obsessive desire to win her back.
The Hangover star Bradley Cooper who appears with her in the new film The Silver Linings Playbook
But the movie crackles with excitement whenever Jennifer’s in a scene with him. In fact, it sizzles whenever she’s on screen, period.
The actress, who’s from Louisville, Kentucky, is 22 but was 21 when she made the picture.
Russell told me he and Harvey Weinstein started working on the project even before Quick’s novel was published four years ago.
He shot Oscar-winning film The Fighter, then set about casting The Silver Linings Playbook, seeing countless young actresses in Hollywood and London.
‘Jennifer did her audition on Skype from her parents’ home in Louisville,’ he recalled. ‘I knew she was
Tiffany the moment I saw it. She was funny, and she just has a quality about her.’
In other words, she’s the real deal. There’s a poignancy underlying the humour, and her comic timing is priceless.
There’s a scene she does with De Niro, which I won’t spoil by giving away here except to say that when it was over, I found myself applauding — and I wasn’t the only one. I thought: ‘Wow, what can’t she do’ That’s when I realised I would have to re-think the entire awards season.
Later I caught up with Jennifer at a bash Grey Goose was hosting at the new Soho House Toronto.
She was barefoot, and had changed out of her Dior Couture gown into a little Alexander McQueen number and was chatting to Kristen Stewart and Emma Watson. Three franchise queens . . . but which one was born a star
The weird thing about the whole evening was that I almost had to be dragged to see the film.
It opens in the UK on November 21.
Cornish superwoman stars in new Robocop movie
Behind every superhero, there stands a super woman and in the new RoboCop movie, that woman is Abbie Cornish
Behind every superhero, there stands a super woman — and in the new RoboCop movie, that woman is Abbie Cornish.
The Australian actress stars in director Jose Padilha’s mammoth remake of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 thriller, which will start filming soon.
It’s about a Detroit detective whose shot-up body is rebuilt to create the ultimate crime-fighter.
‘I’m Mrs RoboCop,’ Abbie told me in Toronto. ‘I play RoboCop’s wife Ellen, and I sign the consent papers that allow the corporation to turn my husband into a law-enforcement cyborg.’
She explained that Ellen’s a psychologist who helps her husband, played by Joel Kinnaman, cope with the mental stresses caused by his transformation at the hands of a team of scientists led by Gary Oldman.
In fact, I also bumped into Oldman and Kinnaman as they checked out some of the movies being shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, including Martin McDonagh’s cool, darkly comic Seven Psychopaths — in which Abbie also appears, with Colin Farrell and Sam Rockwell.
Oldman said the RoboCop production would run well into the New Year, but most of the cast would be able to come and go.
‘But not him,’ he added, pointing to Kinnaman. ‘He’s in every scene, so he’ll be here for months.’
Abbie added that the film’s cast and crew were having what she called ‘full-on’ rehearsals.
‘We’re all there: the actors, writers, cinematographer and editor in a room, going through every line of dialogue and changing things.
‘It’s a full-on collaboration, which is unusual on a big studio film like this.’
The Impossible makes you feel like you were there
It took me a while to figure out why The Impossible, a terrific picture about a family caught up in the hell of the Boxing Day tsunami almost eight years ago, made me feel as if I was there.
It was the amazing sound. I could hear the storm rumbling and the wind shrieking in my ears. Later, the film’s director Juan Antonio Bayona explained how his technicians used the kind of aural technology usually employed with 3D movies, though The Impossible is 2D.
The other special effect Bayona uses is an extraordinary cast, led by Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor as parents of three young sons — the eldest played by Tom Holland (a former Billy Elliot at the London’s Victoria Palace) who is going to have a very bright future.
On-screen family: Ewan, Tom and Naomi
This kind of disaster film is usually so cheesy you can eat Welsh rarebit in your seat, but Bayona keeps his actors rooted in reality.
There are great moments between Watts and Holland, and a moving scene where McGregor breaks down when he fears he’ll never see some family members again.
Watch out for…
Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, James D’Arcy, Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Keith David, Xun Zhou and David Gyasi, who are among the cast of the stunning film adaptation of David Mitchell’s complex but celebrated novel Cloud Atlas.
The storyline sweeps over time and space, interweaving and interrupting stories involving a variety of characters. Many said Mitchell’s tome was unfilmable but as directed by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer and Andy Wachowski, it’s a riveting tale of betrayal, ruthlessness, honour and, most importantly, love.
The main cast members play a variety of roles and I found the portrait of an East End gangster author by Hanks (above) just hilarious. Cloud Atlas runs at two hours, 43 minutes, but it breezes by.
Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan, who star as vile divorced parents in a contemporary adaptation of Henry James’s classic novel What Maisie Knew.
Onata Aprile plays the eponymous cutie who is used like a football by her selfish parents. Alexander Skarsgard and Scottish-born Joanna Vanderham — a face to watch in her big-screen debut — play Maisie’s ‘minders’ who provide her with the love and stability she deserves.
Scott McGehee and David Siegel have done a beautiful job of transferring James’s tale from the late 19th century to present-day New York.
Ian McDiarmid, giant of the theatre (and Star Wars!), who will play the title role in Mark Ravenhill’s new translation of Bertolt Brecht’s modern classic A Life Of Galileo.
Roxana Silbert will direct the production for the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Swan Theatre in Stratford from January 31.
The story of the 17th-century philosopher and scientist Galileo Galilei, who battled forces in the Inquisition, as well as rivals in the scientific community, still resonates today. The play marks McDiarmid’s return to the RSC for the first time in nearly 27 years.
Greta Gerwig, who stars in Noah Baumbach’s delightful film Frances Ha, which is set in today’s New York and shot in black and white. Ms Gerwig (right) plays a modern dancer who at 27 still has to learn to grow up and find herself.
She’s excellent company, as is Mickey Sumner in her breakout role as the ‘best friend’.
Michael Shannon, who is chillingly sublime in his portrayal of the real-life New York mob assassin Richard Kuklinski in the movie The Iceman.
Superb supporting performances come from Winona Ryder and Chris Evans (as a rival hitman).