It's the true story of mafia hit-man Richard Kuklinski.
The Iceman, as he was nicknamed - partly from his stone-cold demeanour and partly because he used to store bodies on ice, was interesting because he was also a devoted family man. He loved his wife and kids, and in the movie, claimed he didn't kill women or children. Quite a trait/code for a contract killer, wouldn't you say?
Michael Shannon portrays Kuklinski in an eerily intimidating, appropriately cold-as-ice way. His co-stars include a barely recognizable Chris Evans, David Schwimmer, James Franco, Stephen Dorff, Ray Liotta as mob-boss Roy Demeo and Winona Ryder as Kuklinski's wife Deborah.
We had a chance to sit down with Liotta and Ryder in September during the Toronto International Film Festival to talk about their movie.
After transporting Toronto International Film Festival audiences to Mumbai for last year's City to City programme, the fest has chosen its new destination for 2013 and viewers will be getting a taste of Greek cinema, according to an announcement made today.
Cameron Bailey, TIFF's artistic director, and Dimitri Eipides, the fest's international programmer, shared the news via email press release, revealing that Athens will be the focus of the upcoming City to City programme, marking the film festival's fifth year spotlighting movies coming out of a specific region.
As for why Greece's capital, and largest, city was selected, Eipides pointed to their bourgeoning film industry on the cusp of discovery.
Olga Kurylenko never stops moving in Terrence Malick's To the Wonder.
She twirls through wheat fields, skips and jumps down the street, crawls on the carpet of her new house with taciturn beau Neil (Ben Affleck) and springs from the corner of her bedroom to the mattress with her face consumed by child-like glee as her tween daughter smiles back at her.
With very little dialogue, a heavy dose of French voice-over, only whispered hints at a narrative and inscrutable characters, To the Wonder is a Malick vehicle through and through, meant to inspire emotion, discussion, confusion and full immersion into the experiential world he creates for his actors, one that Kurylenko, best known for her work in Quantum of Solace, loved inhabiting.
Aging isn't for sissies, or so Bette Davis and the four protagonists of Quartet would have us believe. Throw that quote alongside the Bard's famous line about music being the food of love, and you've got the gist of Hollywood legend Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut. Play on, indeed.
Given the film's A-list director it should come as no surprise that Quartet contains some pretty impressive talent in front of the camera too. Peppered through with actual retired baritones, sopranos and pianists, the film's cast is led by Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay and Pauline Collins. Joining them on-screen is perpetual scene stealer Michael Gambon, alongside stalwart British thesps Michael Byrne, David Ryall, Andrew Sachs and Trevor Peacock.
The undoubtedly British movie seems a bit of an odd choice by Hoffman for his first foray behind the camera, so when we caught up with three of the film's stars, Connolly, Courtenay and Collins, shortly before the trio hit the red carpet for their world premiere, we took the time to ask. Find out what they had to say about Hoffman and the film after the cut!
The 12th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival's annual Top 10 list of the best Canadian films made room for heavyweights like David Cronenberg and Deepa Mehta and bourgeouning talents with Xavier Dolan's third film, Laurence Anyways and Sean Garrity's cheekily-titled My Awkward Sexual Adventure cracking the best-of list.
Canada's foreign language Oscar contender Rebelle, a drama about a female child soldier in Africa, directed by Quebec's Kim Nguyen, was also part of the honoured films, chosen by industry professionals and aimed at increasing awareness of the great homegrown movies that are being made on Canadian soil but don't often demand the visibility that their Hollywood counterparts do.
Director David O. Russell returns to unconventional form in Silver Linings Playbook, the story of Pat (Bradley Cooper) –a delusional and bipolar man sent to live at home with his parents after a stint in a mental hospital. When not berating Hemingway at three in the morning for being a proponent of unhappy endings or trying to surreptitiously find a way around the restraining order from his ex-wife Nikki, he's running (literally) from his manic-depressed, self-proclaimed nymphomaniac neighbour, Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence),whose desire to help Pat overcome his affliction borders on a Pepé Le Pew-like determination.
Co-starring Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver and Rush Hour's own Chris Tucker, Russell crafts a visceral film about mental illness and the affects on family in a story that make us easily recognize how close to instability we all are.
We sat down with the film's director and its stars, Bradley and Jennifer, to chat about the challenges of playing these types of characters and falling crazy in love. See what they had to say after the jump!
After making his mark in festival hits Martha Marcy May Marlene and Winter's Bone where he played sinister and sometimes charming men with wayward morals and manipulative streaks, John Hawkes proves he can just as ably inhabit a real-life figure with an easy smile and tangible warmth in Ben Lewin's The Sessions.
Hawkes is Mark O'Brien, a polio survivor and poet who's mostly confined to an iron lung but possessed of a sharp mind and undeniable charm and who, at 38, is still a virgin. After consulting his confidante Father Brendan (William H. Macy), he decides to seek out the help of a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) and finds out a lot about himself and love.
Directed by Lewin, himself a polio survivor, The Sessions is an uplifting story that shows a man without self-pity who decides to take a chance on himself.
Watch our chat with John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy right now.
Argo made its big debut this September as part of the Toronto International Film Festival, with Ben Affleck back in fine from and pulling triple duty as director, star and producer as he did in 2010 for The Town. Based on a true story, Argo, which stars Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin and Victor Garber, chronicles a covert operation that saw the CIA rescue six American embassy workers who were hiding at the home of the Canadian ambassador during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.
We were lucky enough to have a chance to sit down with Affleck in L.A. earlier this summer to talk about his latest project. Find out what the multi-tasking A-lister had to say about the edge-of-your-seat drama, after the jump.
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