#SUNDANCE: “TO THE STARS”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
To the Stars follows the friendship that quickly develops between quiet Iris (Kara Hayward) and enigmatic Maggie (Liana Liberato) in a small town in 1960s Oklahoma.
Director Martha Stephens (Land Ho!) gives audiences a slice of what it was like to be a female in the 60s. Stephens takes a steady deliberate pace that leads to an effective satisfying ending. The Cinematography is beautiful and the choice of shooting black and white gives visual authenticity. The performances from Hayward and Liberato are enchanting. The two young Actresses have magnetic chemistry that’s as alluring to watch as the Film itself.
To The Stars screens at Sundance on Jan 25 at 9:30PM at The Ray PC, Jan 26 at 8:30AM at Prospector PC, Jan 27 at 12:15PM at Grand Theatre SLC, Feb 1 at 12:15PM at Eccles PC, and Feb 2 at 11:30AM at Prospector PC.
#SUNDANCE: DAY 2 SIGHTINGS AT THE 2019 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
It was a star-studded second day at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and our Amanda Gilmore was out and about capturing all the excitement in between her screenings.
She tells us TROOP ZERO is the one to look out for next Awards Season as the feel-good Film produced by and starring Viola Davis premiered to rousing reception. Check out her Review here.
She also saw the Adaptation of popular Richard Wright Novel, NATIVE SON which sees Best Picture-winning Moonlight star Ashton Sanders back in the spotlight again. Her thoughts on the Film here.
Real-life couple Director Bart Freundlich and Oscar winner Julianne Moore team-up on a Remake of Danish film AFTER THE WEDDING, which also stars Michelle Williams. Amanda‘s review here.
Throughout the day there were second screenings from films that premiered last night and into the afternoon and evening their were new premieres to come. One of those premieres was Shia LaBeouf’s screenwriting debut Film, which is semi-autobiographical, Honey Boy. When the Film finished, there was a strong applause and since then it has been on our radar. Another Film that premiered tonight was Screenwriter and Actor Mindy Kaling’s Late Night. This Film follows a female Late Night Talk Show Host, which is definitely something topical right now. It is one of the hardest tickets to get at this year’s Festival. Kaling has been a steady force within the industry since her days on The Office. Now IMDb has given Kaling the STARMeter Award today.
Out on Main Street, many stars were found walking, doing press and hitting some parties. Some people spotted today were Mindy Kaling, Nick Robinson, Julianne Moore, Jada Pinkett Smith, Malin Åckerman, Billy Crudup and more.
A majority of these actors opted to walk down the street to each of their interviews rather than taking a vehicle. And a lot of them took their time to stop for fans on the street even though a lot were running around to their next interviews.
Tonight also was the Sundance Kickoff Party that we were lucky enough to attend. The atmosphere was filled with high energy and conversations about the best films viewed so far. After overhearing conversations it is clear that many people loved Troop Zero, while others had a lot to say about Documentaries.
Check-out some of the awesome star sightings by Amanda in and around the hub of the Festival:
Ashton Sanders, Native Son
Sanaa Lathan, Native Son
Jada Pinkett Smith, Hala
Mindy Kaling, Late Night
Nick Robinson, Native Son
Malin Åkerman, To the Stars
Amy Ryan, Late Night
Abby Quinn, After the Wedding
Liana Liberato, To the Stars
There is still a lot of Festival left! Tomorrow Zac Efron will be in town to premiere his Ted Bundy Biopic, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, which just dropped its Trailer today. There is a lot of hype surrounding it so far at Sundance. There will be some star power hitting the Midnight Programme tomorrow night with Dakota Johnson and Armie Hammer’s new film Wounds. It is sure to be a day full of excitement and we look forward to bringing you all the latest, so stay tuned.
(Photo credit: Amanda Gilmore)
#INTERVIEW: CHLOË GRACE MORETZ ON “IF I STAY”
Chloë Grace Moretz certainly is no stranger to Toronto having filmed and promoted her on multiple occasions. More recently, she filmed back-to-back the Carrie Remake and Kick-Ass 2 here – the latter which had per reprising the role which won the hearts of Fanboys abound, Hit-Girl. The brilliant 17-year-old Actress in nine years has built-up an impressive Résumé working from just about everyone from Martin Scorcese to Denzel Washington. Moretz recently made a visit to the City in tandem with the 2014 MuchMusic Video Awards and we had the pleasure of chatting with the Star in Yorkville about her latest effort, If I Stay.
Based on Gayle Forman‘s popular Young Adult Novel, the Vancouver-made Film directed by R.J. Cutler (The September Issue, Nashville) certainly tugs at the heartstrings. Moretz plays a talented young Cellist named Mia whose world is torn apart after her and her Family are impacted by deep tragedy. She spends much of the Story in a Coma, caught between life and death and must ultimately decide her own future and fate. The Male Lead Adam is played by promising young Actor Jamie Blackley. Aspirations and devastation separate them, but is their bond strong enough to keep them together?
Moretz, giddy after meeting Hilary Clinton at an Autograph Signing earlier in the day, enters the room casual-chic. An Urban Outfitters Tee, J Brand Jeans and Kurt Geiger Shoes are appropriate for the low-key chat. “I tend to dress down in every day life. As I’m growing-up I’m trying to figure out what I like most and Fashion is an outlet.”. She reflects on her meeting Clinton beforehand, feeling incredibly validated, “She knew If I Stay, had seen it in a newspaper and was excited it was coming out.”. “So yeah, she knows me”, the Georgia-born Star jokes.
What is it exactly that makes Moretz stand-out from the remarkable pool of talent in Young Hollywood, we wonder. “I wanted to take on a Female Empowerment Character” she says, “Mia at the of the day knows her first love is the Cello which she found when she was five years old. And that’s how I am with acting. I want to portray that to young girls as someone to look up to.”. Despite being attracted to Mia‘s innocence, she reveals “I’m not one to be a Damsel – the Woman calling on a Man to save her.”.
The Actress admits that getting into Mia‘s psyche certainly was no breeze. “Every day was a tough acting day. It was worth it. Mia was worth going the emotion for” she recalls. “Music helps me a lot to stay in-character and shoot it out. We were shooting in an old Asylum, so the atmosphere was really heavy and that helped.”.
One of the things most remarkable about If I Stay is how completely believable Moretz is as a Cellist. An audition scene late in the Film is rather compelling and a mark of her true commitment to her craft. She describes the musical preparation for her role explaining, “I did five months of intensive training with a Cello Coach and she was amazing. We’d Skype three hours a day. It was difficult, but I did the most I could and did the best I could”. “At the end of the day though, you have amazing Doubles who make you look good.”. In her estimation she thinks that one would need at least 15 years of training to play at the level which her Character Mia performed.
I ask Moretz about her experiences filming in Canada, having seen the Country from two coasts. “In Canada, my favourite City is Toronto because the food is amazing first of all”. She names Little Italy‘s Vivoli and also Duff’s Wings among her favourite spots. Not to be outdone though she admits, “Vancouver was great with a really large Music scene. It’s very Seattle, very Portland. It’s very epic. I tend to enjoy the East Coast a bit more for the City vibe.”.
Make no mistake – despite her youthful effervescence, Moretz is a bit of an Old Soul. Dare I say she’s actually an Introvert? She answers each question with a wisdom beyond her years and in a nutshell understands exactly what she’s here to sell. She is asked what it is that draws people to “sappy” Movies. She explains, “I think that nowadays people really want to feel something when they go into Movies. I think it’s because we have less interaction because we’re all living our lives, so we’re not feeling as much.”. “Movies are becoming more and more sappy and tear-jerky.”. “Movies like this and The Fault in our Stars you walk-in and know you will get hit in the chest with a couple heavy-hitters”, says Moretz. “It’s worth it because they’re really good Movies.”.
Moretz gets candid with me when I ask her about her experience filming with some of her talented Co-Stars including the likes of Mireille Enos, Liana Liberato, Stacey Keach and of course her romantic interest in the Film, Blackley. She has the highest praise for the latter, stating “Jamie was such a great guy. It’s easy to fake a love relationship when you like someone was a Friend.”. Liberato plays Mia‘s Best Friend Kim and says, “Liana is a good friend of mine. We had sleepovers like every weekend!”. Enos, who has seen a significant boost in profile of late with Films like World War Z, we learn is a Nurturer. “She is like the ultimate Mother”, says Moretz. Jakob Davies plays her little Brother Teddy. ” He was like a little Munchkin you can’t help but fall in love with. He is his Character.”. “It wasn’t hard to get along with them. There wasn’t a person I didn’t like on this Movie which was weird… and great. I got lucky!”.
Moretz even shared her prized Clinton Autograph with us:
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release IF I STAY on Friday, August 22, 2014.
You’ve been warned to bring
some a box of Tissue.
(Photo/video credit: Warner Bros./Mr. Will Wong)