Joseph Gordon-Levitt and “50/50” team want to hear your story – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell We recently caught up with Jonathan Levine’s “50/50,” and walked away surprised by how moving, authentic and honest the film was when portraying a young man’s battle with cancer.

It helps that Levine casts Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the lead. At the risk of sounding like a broken, Gordon-Levitt-praising record, the actor positively delivers in every scene. But he’s assisted throughout by a spectacular Anjelica Huston, an emotional Seth Rogen (being “Seth Rogen” for a reason), and Anna Kendrick giving the finest and most vulnerable performance of her young career.

It would please me to no end to see “50/50,” specifically Gordon-Levitt, enter the still-developing awards race … especially if it helps bring more attention to this new collaboration he’s launching with Rogen and Will Reiser, whose novel detailing his own fight against cancer inspires the film.

This YouTube video sent our way shows Gordon-Levitt, Rogen and Reiser riffing on their inspirations for the film before getting into the meat of the project. It basically amounts to JGL collecting stories from viewers, from fans, who went through trying times but with humorous results.

Why don’t we just let these guys explain it. The clip below has some NSFW language, so watch out for that.

“I know that even in the darkest times of my life, there have been those unexpected moments, circumstances and stories that just make me laugh my ass off. I want to start a collaboration for those kinds of stories,” Gordon-Levitt writes on his site.

He isn’t sure when and how he’ll use them. But he’s looking for submissions at

“You know how we do it. Maybe they’ll end up animations. Maybe they’ll become scripts for actors to perform. Maybe they’ll become musical numbers. We’ll see,” he writes. “Laughing and crying come from the same place. You know where.”

Now tell him. Then go see “50/50” when it finally reaches a theater near you. Keep the conversation moving forward. And let’s get JGL in the awards race.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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