Yet another whacky time at SXSW! Jeff Baena & Actress Alison Brie team-up to co-write Comedy SPIN ME ROUND, with the former also directing. The Film centers on a group of high- performers at an Italian-American restaurant chain get invited to attend an educational retreat in Florence, Italy and get way more than what they bargained for!
Amber (Brie) has worked at her restaurant as a manager for nine years and hopes secretly that this retreat will help her find love. Her last boyfriend left her in severe debt, leaving her to work this job. She’s incredibly-drawn to the face of the chain Nick Martucci (Alessandro Nivola) who will be on the retreat as well. And wouldn’t you know it, he is attracted to her too! Kat (Audrey Plaza), his assistant, tries to warn her of his ways and she finds herself confused between this looming affair and being subjected to this horribly mundane retreat.
The interesting thing about SPIN ME ROUND is that the Film begins like many other Retreat Comedies we’ve seen, with a clash of personality types, including Deb (Molly Shannon), the larger-than-life one in the group who seems to get in the way. But as things progress in the Second Act, we begin to realize that like this retreat, this Film isn’t quite what we signed-up for. Is this a Horror? By the Final Act, chaos ensues, but we’re here for it as it makes the Comedy memorable. We cannot unsee this, and yay, justice for pigs!
Brie is just great in the leading role as our eyes into this wild escape and through it all, the story has a strong feminist message that deviates from the standard Rom-Com fare. Nivola is entertaining and irresistibly greasy, though his allure makes it easy to see why Amber is so torn at times. Plaza is wonderful, though hardly seen enough in Kat’s chill. And Shannon of course is a hoot, perpetually self-absorbed in Deb‘s world, while others simply are living in it!
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself craving some Olive Garden after this!
Emily (Aubrey Plaza) has a checkered past and her debts are mounting up. With prior arrests and charges on her record, well-paying jobs are hard to come by. When a friend at her catering job gives her a number to help with money, Emily lands herself in the middle of a credit card scam that proves to be just as lucrative as it is dangerous.
EMILY THE CRIMINAL is one of the most intense and thrilling movies of this year’s Festival. Full stop. First-time feature Writer/Director John Patton Ford has created one hell of a debut Feature, anchored by an unforgettable and unpredictable performance from Plaza. We know how strong and bold of an Actor she is, and she goes all in on that persona with Emily. She knows what she wants, and she will not let anyone stand in the way of her achieving her goals – even when her careless actions put her in immediate danger. The sheer raw brutality on display here will keep you on the edge of your seat, lending a gritty aura that hovers over the Film like a washed out haze. The feeling of dread and fear is palpable, and even with a second half turn slowing things down, you simply cannot look away from the dystopic world Emily inhabits.
Supporting turns from Theo Rossi (of Sons of Anarchy) and scene-stealer Gina Gershon are great, but they stand no chance of competing with Plaza. She is captivating and genuinely electric. You want her to succeed, even when she is or at least should be failing. Her harsh New Jersey accent is still ringing in my ears. I cannot wait for more people to experience this terrifying ride, and am looking forward to this being another stop on Plaza’s road to mega stardom.
EMILY THE CRIMINAL screens at Sundance as follows:
PREMIERE Jan 24 5:15 PM EST Available Until Jan 24 8:15PM EST
SECOND SCREENING Jan 26 10:00AM EST Available Until Jan 27 10:00AM EST
Check-out this Cast, Aubrey Plaza, Hugh Grant, Josh Hartnett and Jason Statham in a hilarious Spy-Action-Comedy! See the new Trailer for OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE.
In the film, super spy Orson Fortune (Jason Statham) must track down and stop the sale of a deadly new weapons technology wielded by billionaire arms broker Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant). Reluctantly teamed with some of the world’s best operatives (Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes, Bugzy Malone), Fortune and his crew recruit Hollywood’s biggest movie star Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett) to help them on their globe-trotting undercover mission to save the world.
Elevation Pictures release OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE, coming soon.
While the 2020 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS didn’t see a clean sweep for any particular Film, what made it most unique was the split of awards among deserving titles which may have been overseen on other circuits. Taking home top honours at this year’s Awards, held once again at Santa Monica Pier, was Lulu Wang‘s THE FAREWELL. The Film won Best Feature and Best Supporting Actress with Zhao Shuzhen, who sadly was unable to celebrate due to the Coronavirus situation in China. Wang‘s partner Barry Jenkins was with her to support her, showing his pride backstage.
UNCUT GEMS which surprisingly for many failed to garner an Academy Award nomination, performed very well at the Spirit Awards, rewarding Best Director to Co-Directors TheSafdie Brothers and also Best Male Lead (Adam Sandler). Sandler gave a spirited speech delivered completely as a different character, before thanking his family, while the Safdie Brothers both delivered a comical speech which saw them talking over one another.
Much like the rest of Awards Season, Renée Zellweger took home Best Female Lead for her work in JUDY, marking her first Spirit Award win after three nominations. Returning Host Aubrey Plaza delivered an opening number, a version of Judy Garland‘s Get Happy with hilarious lyrics, delivering the chuckles once again.
Watch it here:
MARRIAGE STORY also saw recognition with the Film’s team being awarded the Robert Altman Award, along with its Director/Writer Noah Baumbach who was also awarded Best Screenplay.Baumbach gave thanks to his partner Greta Gerwig, telling the audience “Even though she made a Movie (Little Women) too expensive to be here, she is just as independent as any of us.”. This was Baumbach‘s first Spirit Award.
Watch Film Independent’s YouTube Channel for more clips and speeches here.
We were thrilled once again to partner with Hollywood Suite, exclusive Canadian Broadcaster of the Awards!
See some of our star-studded Snaps. Navigate Albums by selecting the right arrow.
Elevation Pictures x Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to win a Run-of-Engagement Pass for two to see CHILD’S PLAY. Winners also get a collectible pin.
A mother gives her son a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature. The Film stars Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry and features the voice talent of Mark Hamill as Chucky. The film is directed by Lars Klevberg and written by Tyler Burton Smith.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK and indicate there your City. Re-Tweet this Tweet from @mrwillw for an extra chance!
Elevation Pictures release CHILD’S PLAYFriday, June 21, 2019.
Now in their 34th year, the FILMINDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS took place in Santa Monica this past weekend, celebrating the achievement in Independent Film over the past year. Taking top honours was Barry Jenkins’ IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, winning Best Feature. The Adaptation of the Novel by James Baldwin also was awarded Best Director and Supporting Actress, Regina King who the next day, would win an Oscar for the same performance.
As is consistent with most of this Awards Season, we’ve seen a split in the recognition of Films and the Spirit Awards were on-trend. CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? and SUSPIRIA received two awards each, the former winning for Best Supporting Actor, Richard E. Grant and Best Screenplay, Jeff Whitty and Nicole Holofcener. Grant shared some inspiring words about his experience playing Jack Hock, himself having seen several of his friends die victims of HIV. He dedicated his award in memory of those who passed away as a result of the disease.
The Cast of SUSPIRIA received the prestigious Robert Altman Award, honouring its Female Ensemble including Chloë Grace-Moretz, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Dakota Johnson and more. Its Cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom also was awarded for her work.
Hosted by Aubrey Plaza, the audience were treated to her expletive-filled dead-pan humour where several including Netflix nor even THE FAVOURITE Director Yorgos Lanthimos (equating the sound of his name to a Harry Potter spell, “You just shout Yorgos Lanthimos and someone gets fingered in a corset!”) were safe from her jokes. Kidding aside, she points out that 60% of Director nominees at the Spirit Awards this year were women, stating “Don’t get too excited, in this case 60% just means three women, but calling it 60% makes it sound way scarier to your uncles.”. On the growing phenomenon of Films getting digital releases over theatrical, she says, “I truly believe people should see movies how they’re meant to seen in the theatres.”.
Plaza‘s amazing Opening Monologue
Not only did Best Actress winner Glenn Close rule at the Awards, she and her adorable Havanese dog Pip charmed on the Blue Carpet, she dressed in a shimmery pink lamé suit, before getting her own private dinner hosted by Chanel at STK. Pip also attended.
The Cast of Suspiria also ruled the Blue Carpet with Mother Suspiriorum herself, Dakota Johnson, leading the charge and giving her time generously to fans who queued on the sand for a chance to see the stars.
See some of our Snaps:
Glenn Close x Pip
Barry Jenkins and “If Beale Street Could Talk” Team
Josh Hamilton, Elsie Fisher x Bo Burnham
Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth and the ladies of Suspiria
Chloë Grace Moretz x Riley Keough
Ray Romano x Mark Duplass
Yalitza Aparicio x Javier Bardem
Taraji P. Henson x Shangela
You also cannot miss Shangela’s daring performance
We attended together with our friends at Hollywood Suite, the exclusive broadcaster of the Spirit Awards and will never forget this amazing journey. Their Cam Maitland did an awesome job interviewing talent on the Blue Carpet which will air at later points. You can subscribe via your television provider at $6 per month, plus basic cable. Hollywoodsuite.com.
We were all traumatized by Chucky growing-up and here’s a chance for him to terrify a new generation. Check-out the new Trailer for CHILD’S PLAY!
A contemporary re-imagining of the 1988 horror classic, Child’s Play follows Karen (Aubrey Plaza), a single mother who gifts her son Andy(Gabriel Bateman) a Buddi doll, unaware of its more sinister nature.
See the Trailer:
Elevation Pictures release CHILD’S PLAYFriday, June 21, 2019.
Mr. Will and levelFILM want you to win on DVD, a copy of the complex and resonant ABOUT ALEX!
The twenty-something centric dramedy boasts a stellar cast of young stars including Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Max Greenfield (New Girl), Jason Ritter (Parenthood), Maggie Grace (Taken, Lost), Jane Levy (Suburgatory), Max Minghella (The Social Network) and Nate Parker (Non-Stop).
Hailed by CinemaBlend as “The Big Chill for Millennials“, About Alex is the story of seven college friends who reunite over a three-day weekend, after one of them has an emotional breakdown. When the friends get together to keep an eye on Alex (Ritter), the weekend that ensues will renew old crushes and resentments, shine light on bad decisions, and ultimately push friendships and relationships to the brink as the group tries to speculate when the simple life of their college years turned so muddy and complex.
The sometimes irreverent, sometimes poetic, and always moving, About Alex is the first feature film from writer/director Jesse Zwick and is an honest look at the changing nature of adult friendship in the Facebook/Twitter generation.
See the Trailer below:
To enter to win, simply click “like” on this Post at Mr. Will Wong on Facebook!
Share with your Friends on Facebook to increase your chances!
Elevation Pictures and Mr. Will want to take Toronto Readers to see part-Comedy/Horror/Romance, LIFE AFTER BETH starring Aubrey Plaza! Up for grabs are Run-of-Engagement Passes to watch at your convenience.
A young man’s recently deceased girlfriend mysteriously returns from the dead, but he slowly realizes she is not the way he remembered her.
LIFE AFTER BETH also stars Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Matthew Gray Gubler, Alia Shawkat and Anna Kendrick!
It absolutely is our favourite time of the year again and announced this morning is the official list of Talent coming to Toronto for TIFF ’14! We look forward to seeing plenty of returning names – some just here last year like the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Kate Winslet – and also plenty of Stars from years past making their way back here once more!
Among the names attending TIFF ’14 this year include:
Jon Stewart, Martin Scorcese, Richard Gere, Andrew Garfield, Viggo Mortensen, Gael Garcia Bernal, James Franco, Jane Fonda, Chloë Moretz, Brit Marling, Laura Dern, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vanessa Redgrave, Vera Farmiga, Al Pacino, Tina Fey, Haley Joel Osment, Robert Pattinson, Ansel Elgort, Alice Eve, Sam Rockwell, Amanda Seyfried, Michael Shannon, Dax Sheppard, Robert Duvall, Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Hailee Steinfield, Justin Chatwin, Method Man, Jennifer Connelly, Bobby Cannavale, Kuoth Wiel, Cassie Williams, Danny Webb, Dominic West, Jung Woo-Sung, John Boylan, Sam Worthington, Tye Sheridan, Andrew Scott, Timothy Spall, Alan Rickman, Connie Britton, Reese Witherspoon, Evan Bird, Zhao Wei, Han Ye-Ri, Melissa Benoist, Haley Bennett, Sonja Bennett, John Travolta, Julianne Moore, Isaach De Bankolé, Dan Stevens, Jason Bateman, Corey Stoll, Xavier Dolan, Peter Stormare, Ben Schnetzer, Abigail Spencer, Ellen Barkin, Bill Pullman, Charlotte Aubin, Kate Winslet, Ryan Reynolds, Rene Russo, Roger Waters, Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Loreto Aravena, Tobey Maguire, Aubrey Plaza, Tobey Maguire, Gemma Arterton, Juliette Binoche, Zhang Yimou, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kristen Wiig, Adam Sandler, Rose Byrne, Channing Tatum, Chris Evans, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Mark Ruffalo, Bill Murray, Daniel Barber, Liam Aiken, Mike Leigh, Olivier Assayas, Richard LaGravenese, Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Anna Kendrick, Morgan Freeman, Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas, Rosario Dawson, Chris Rock, John Cusack, Benedict Cumberbatch, Octavia Spencer, Keira Knightley, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kevin Costner, Anthony Mackie, Patricia Clarkson, J.K. Simmons, Miles Teller, Priyanka Chopra, Daniel Bruhl, Michael Winterbottom, Justin Chon, Steve Carell, Gong Li, Hayden Christensen, Tory Kittles, Jordana Brewster, Holliday Grainger, Max Irons, Lone Scherfig, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Paul Bettany, Daniel Barnz, Noah Baumbach, Barry Avrich, Jennifer Aniston, Akon, Nick Kroll, Holly Hunter, Catherine Keener, Greta Gerwig, Omar Sy Jennifer Garner, Salma Hayek, Kevin Smith, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Faye Marsay, Bill Nighy, Justin Long, Christopher Plummer, Marton Csokas, David Cronenberg, Sarah Gadon, Tom Schilling, Tom Hardy and more!
TIFF also will be hosting a series of In-Conversations-With as part of their Mavericks Programme. Joining-in are the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall, Denzel Washington, Richard Gere, Juliette Binoche, Jon Stewart, Dan Savage, Julie Taymor and several more!
As is the case always, it’s sometimes not just who’s coming – it’s who they’re bringing. Don’t be surprised if Jennifer Garner brings Husband Ben Affleck along and be warned if Andrew Garfield brings Emma Stone along!
Who’s on our list of Must-Meets? Plenty! We hope finally to get a positive moment with Reese Witherspoon and Kate Winslet! Excited about Martin Scorcese, J.K. Simmons, Bobby Cannavale, Miles Teller, Corey Stoll, Tobey Maguire, Rose Byrne, Michael Douglas and newer names like Max Irons and Douglas Booth, that’s for sure. And did we read TINA FEY!?!? Finally! AND WHERE IS TOM HARDY?!?!
The list is always subject to surprise and no-shows as we know all too well!