April 19, 2014

Tag Archives: Jonathan Safran Foer

“Extremely Loud” and Stephen Daldry’s Oscar chances — AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: The “Awards Season Screener” of choice from family members visiting over the holiday weekend was Stephen Daldry’s “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” (The second most popular was Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse,” followed by “The Artist.”)
All three went over very well – an extremely unscientific poll, which is influenced by overeating and alcohol – but “Loud” was a devastator. I now know at what moment I need to get up and get the tissue boxes ready, because the tears are about to flow.
It worked every time. And now that I’ve seen it a number of times, I’m even more confident throwing my support behind Daldry’s powerful and moving drama. Mainly, I’ve come to realize the precise structure of Eric Roth’s adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel. Mysteries about The Renter (Max von Sydow), the key, the swing and other obstacles I might have encountered on a first pass are buttoned up with repeat viewings.
And then there’s Thomas Horn’s calculated performance as Oskar, the heartbreakingly challenged escort through Daldry’s complicated, emotional expedition through post-9/11 Manhattan. It’s such a mature turn, marked by complicated flourishes in scenes that young kids shouldn’t understand. Watch his scenes with Sandra Bullock or Jeffrey Wright near the end of “Loud.” It’s hard to say whether Horn – a former “Jeopardy” contestant – has a career outside of this movie, but for this particular part, he connects with a courage that resonates.
Of course, “Loud” plays on our sympathies for those who lost someone in 9/11, but the film rarely becomes the maudlin, manipulative movie that you fear. Instead, it’s the life-affirming story of a fractured family trying to rediscover a personal balance in the wake of that national catastrophe. Oskar father, who dies in one of the attacked towers, could have had a heart attack on his way home from his suburban office. He could have lost his life in a car crash, and young Oskar still would have to work through his grief using his own unique methods.
And yet, at the onset, I hated Oskar. Hated him. He’s insufferably eccentric, who’s inquisitive mind – and his enabling parents (played by Tom Hanks and Bullock) – grated on my every nerve. Oskar’s eccentricities, his insufferable narration, blocked me from embracing this story on my first pass. I was just about ready to wave the white flag and dismiss “Extremely Loud” as pretentious [...]

“Extremely Loud” having international premiere in Berlin – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: Stephen Daldry’s “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” which held its premiere over the weekend in New York City, is taking its promotional campaign overseas. The film will hold its international premiere with an out-of-competition screening at the Berlin International Film Festival. This year’s event runs from Feb. 9-19.
Daldry’s captivating drama adapts Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel about a special-needs boy (Thomas Horn) coping with the loss of his father (Tom Hanks) in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Sandra Bullock and Max von Sydow co-star in the emotionally stirring story, which was one of the last films to enter the Oscar season.
Gradually, “Loud” is picking up some awards heat – the BFCA recognized Daldry and his film with their Critics’ Choice Movie Awards nominations – and Warner Bros. Plans a Dec. 25 release in the States to keep it on Oscar’s radar.
It belongs there. those who’ve read Foer’s book know that Horn’s challenging character, Oskar, has Asperger’s Syndrome. It’s a subtle reveal, and one that changes the complexity of the film’s narration. With that knowledge comes tremendous sympathy, and overwhelming respect for Horn’s portrayal. Suddenly, the mission of this special-needs child isn’t as phony as you fear. It’s blunt. Honest. Emotional. And outstanding.
We’ll have more on “Loud” as the release date approaches. In the meantime, Berlin revealed that Zhang Yimou’s “The Flowers of War,” with Christian Bale, also will screen out of competition. And the following three films will compete: Brillante Mendoza’s “Captive;” Antonio Chavarrias’ “Childish Games;” and “Postcards From the Zoo,” the latest from Edwin.
Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
- Harvey Weinstein
- The cast of “The Artist.”
- Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
- Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
- Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
- Tate Taylor for “The Help.”
- Gavin O’Connor for “Warrior.”
- Gary Oldman and Colin Firth for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
- Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody for “Young Adult.”
- Steve McQueen for “Shame.”
- Glenn Close for “Albert Nobbs.”
- Seth Rogen and Will Reiser for “50/50.”
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Oscars: “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” a human journey – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: That uppercut to the gut we’ve been waiting for all awards season? It finally arrives in the form of young Thomas Horn.
Full reviews still have to be held until closer to release date, but I’m currently allowed to comment on the awards hopes for the film, which moved me in ways I certainly didn’t expect.
Warner screened the film late, which might have led to the goose egg from the Golden Globes. The Broadcast Film Critics Association responded to this film’s intense gravitational pull, awarding it with four nominations including Best Picture, Best Young Actor (for Horn), Best Director (for Daldry) and Best Adapted Screenplay (for Roth). And I’m hoping Oscar recognizes the film and its talent.
Daldry’s an Oscar veteran. That’s an understatement. When it comes to the Best Picture and Director races, Daldry’s a perfect three-for-three. If the Academy’s paying a bit of attention, he has a very good chance of going four-for-four in those two (and several other) categories come January.
More commentary and review coming soon …

Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
- Harvey Weinstein
- The cast of “The Artist.”
- Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
- Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
- Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
- Tate Taylor for “The Help.”
- Gary Oldman and Colin Firth for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
- Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody for “Young Adult.”
- Steve McQueen for “Shame.”
- Glenn Close for “Albert Nobbs.”
- Seth Rogen and Will Reiser for “50/50.”
For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.
Follow Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.
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Oscars: “Extremely Loud” reveals its second, longer trailer – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: It’s the last of the Oscar hopefuls to maintain a shred of mystery. Stephen Daldry’s “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” a 9/11-set adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s award-winning novel about a young boy (Thomas Horn) searching for a treasured item left behind by his father (Tom Hanks), who died in the World Trade Center on that fateful day.
Daldry has a remarkable track record with the Academy: Three feature films, three Best Picture nominations. Can it continue? I’ll know Friday.
In the meantime, here is the film’s latest trailer, which teases the drama ahead of its year-end release. “Extremely Loud” co-stars Viola Davis, Sandra Bullock and Max von Sydow. It will open in limited release on Dec. 25 before expanding in January.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUIafzL6Le8
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Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” and “Extremely Loud” land new release dates – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: A few films with Oscar potential are positioning themselves on the awards calendar as we start to shake off the summer heat and settle in for what’s shaping up to be a promising awards season run.
Let’s start with Clint Eastwood, who annually hears his name in the awards discussion as pundits wait to see what the prolific director has up his sleeve. This year, Eastwood is collaborating for the first time with Leonardo DiCaprio to tell the story of FBI founder J. Edgar Hoover.
Dustin Lance Black, who won an Oscar for penning “Milk,” reportedly has produced a screenplay that will focus on Hoover’s closeted homosexual life and rumored private life as a cross dresser. DiCaprio plays the lead, though he’ll be joined by Armie Hammer, Josh Lucas, Lea Thompson, Judi Dench and Naomi Watts as Helen Gandy, Hoover’s closest assistant who reportedly put the word “secret” in secretary.
While many were expecting an October release for Eastwood’s biopic, Warner recently announced a Nov. 9 limited release date, with the picture expanding wide on Nov. 11. It’s unclear yet if Eastwood will bring his finished film to any of the fall film festivals, though with the dates in place, a bow in New York seems possible.
Similarly, the studio has set an official release date for its anticipated adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Sept. 11-themed novel, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.” The film lands on awards tracker’s radars for so many reasons, starting with the dream team casting of Oscar winners Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock. Add in the presence of producer Scott Rudin and perennially nominated director Stephen Daldry (“The Hours,” “The Reader”) and you have a title that, on the surface, seems like a slam dunk in terms of awards potential.
We’ll know more when the film opens on Dec. 25. Warner also says “Close” will expand on Jan. 20, 2012.
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Photo courtesy of PRPhotos.com.

Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock drama “Extremely Loud” adds John Goodman

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Kudos to Stephen Daldry, who continues to add impressive character actors to his upcoming adaptation of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”
John Goodman is the latest name added to an ensemble that’s already headlined by Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock. The film, based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2005 novel, follows 9-year-old Oskar Schell as he searches for clues regarding a key he discovers in the wake of his father’s death. (The man died in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.)
Newcomer Thomas Horn has been tapped to play Oskat in the film, which is being penned by Eric Roth (“Forrest Gump”), according to THR.
No word yet on which character Goodman would play, though we still have time to figure it out. “Extremely Loud” will be in theaters in 2012.
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Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks could be sharing the screen together

HollywoodNews.com: Warner Bros. and Paramount are hoping that Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks will crank it up in their co-production “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”
The project is based on the dramatic novel by Jonathan Safran Foer about a boy who finds a key that belonged to his late father who died in the 9/11 attacks. The boy embarks on a search for the lock.
In a sign that the film is being groomed for a future Oscar season; Scott Rudin is attached to produce. He has apparently been developing the project for the last five years with Stephen Daldry (“The Hours”) attached to helm. Screenplay was penned by Eric Roth (“Benjamin Button”) who adapted the novel. Warner Bros. has offers out to Bullock and Hanks, but has not heard back in terms of their commitment.
At this point in time, both Warner Bros. and Paramount, who worked on “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” together haven’t greenlit the feature.
Variety scored the news today.
If Bullock lands the role, it will be her first following her Oscar win for “The Blind Side.” Hanks can be seen next in the Universal dramedy “Larry Crowne” alongside Julia Roberts which he also produced and directed. Rudin’s upcoming films are “The Social Network” for Sony and “True Grit” for Paramount.
Photo Credit: PR Photo
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Paul Rudd to star in “My Idiot Brother”

HollywoodNews.com: Anthony Bregman of Likely Story and Peter Saraf and Marc Turtletaub of Big Beach announced that Paul Rudd has signed on to star in “My Idiot Brother,” a comedy about family and the sacrifices it takes to deal with them. Based on a screenplay by Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall, “My Idiot Brother” will be directed by Jesse Peretz. Production is slated to begin in July in New York. Bregman, Saraf and Turtletaub will produce for their respective companies. Caroline Jaczko, Stefanie Azpiazu and Aleen Keshishian will executive produce. Rudd and Peretz have worked together previously on “The Château.” Rudd will next be seen starring in Jay Roach’s “Dinner for Schmucks” opposite Steve Carell and James Brooks’ “How Do You Know” opposite Reese Witherspoon. He will also be producing (alongside Judd Apatow, Wain, and Ken Marino) and starring in David Wain’s “Wanderlust” opposite Jennifer Aniston.
Ned (Rudd) is an idealist. His three sisters are ambitious. His mother is overbearing. Ned crashes at each of their homes, in succession, and brings truth, happiness and a sunny disposition into their lives. In other words, he wreaks havoc.
Producer Anthony Bregman stated, “We love this movie because it’s a universal theme. Everyone on earth who has a brother has an idiot brother. I come from a family of three brothers, so I know that better than anyone. And what could beat the prospect of working with Jesse and Paul –who are like brothers to each other– to bring that message out into the world.”
Producer Peter Saraf added, “Paul Rudd with this script and Jesse Peretz directing is a perfect combination of brilliant ingredients to make a flat out funny movie full of heart.”
Brillstein Entertainment Partners and UTA negotiated on behalf of Paul Rudd and Jesse Peretz. Rena Ronson at UTA is handling domestic and international sales for the film.
Likely Story is a New York-based production company founded by Anthony Bregman in October 2006. The company recently wrapped production on “The Oranges” starring Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, Leighton Meester, Allison Janney, Oliver Platt, Alia Shawkat, Adam Brody and Sam Rosen; directed by Julian Farino and written by Ian Helfer and Jay Reiss. This year, the company premiered Nicole Holofcener’s “Please Give” and Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman’s “The Extra Man” at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. “Please Give” was released in April 2010 by Sony Pictures Classics and “The [...]