September 19, 2015
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Elizabeth Banks added to cast of Charlie Kaufman’s “Frank or Francis”

By Sean O’Connell Elizabeth Banks hasn’t been busier. Her latest movie, “Man On a Ledge,” just opened. She has “The Hunger Games” on the horizon. And she continues to add extremely engaging projects to her acting radar.

The blonde beauty has joined the cast of one of our most-anticipated films, “Frank or Francis,” from the twisted mind of Charlie Kaufman. The writer of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Being John Malkovich” has penned a musical satire about moviemaking and the awards race.

The film stars Jack Black as a movie blogger who draws the ire of a talented film director (Steve Carell) who engages him in a “battle,” of sorts. Nicolas Cage, according to THR, plays “an actor who is famous for his high-concept films, while (Kevin) Kline will play the director of the world’s top-grossing movie as well as that character’s brother, who turns into an animatronic head.”

As for Banks, she’ll play an actress who’s having an affair with Carell’s character. So they’ll be rekindling some of that “40-Year-Old Virgin” chemistry?

“Frank or Francis” comes across as an impossibly clever premise, and I wouldn’t believe it possible if not for the fact that Kaufman was helming. The blustery awards race and the Hollywood machine could use a skewering. And while “Francis” might come across a little bit like biting the hand that feeds, Kaufman doesn’t seem concerned with staying in Hollywood’s good graces. We’ll continue to track “Frank and Francis,” which has one of the most impressive casts we’ve seen in some time.

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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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