September 04, 2015

Tag Archives: Keir Gilchrist

“The Stanford Prison Experiment”: One of the best indie films of 2015 so far

True life dramas are sometimes inherently less thrilling because you might already know the outcome. In the case of The Stanford Prison Experiment, the film is as riveting as the actual study was, and perhaps even more so. Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez and his amazing ensemble cast do real justice to the actual event and in turn put forward a captivating look at human nature. Unsettling, even upsetting at times, it’s a challenging movie, but one that’s about as good as any so far in 2015. It’s a small flick, but one that really demands to be seen. It opens this weekend and truly is a must see.
The Stanford Prison Experiment is a slightly dramatized look at the historic study of the same name by Dr. Phillip Zimbardo (played by Billy Crudup). The professor selected 24 male students out of 75 applicants and had them take on completely randomly assigned roles of either prisoners or guards in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology building during the 1970’s. The plan was for it to go on for two weeks, but it barely lasted six days. What you see is how it all broke down, with the guard subjects almost immediately brutalizing the prisoners. It’s captivating, truly. Alvarez directs a brilliant ensemble cast from a script by Tim Talbott. In addition to Crudup, the cast is a who’s who of up and comers that includes Michael Angarano, Moises Arias, Nicholas Bruan, Nelson Ellis, James Frecheville, Keir Gilchrist, Jack Kilmer, Thomas Mann, Callan McAuliffe, Ezra Miller, Chris Sheffield, Tye Sheridan, Johnny Simmons, Olivia Thirlby, and more. They’re all aces too.
Simply put, the cast is to die for. Everyone does tremendous work, with Angarano, Braun, Crudup, Ellis, Miller, Sheffield, and Thirlby especially impressing in a big way. You recognize them, but they disappear into their roles almost immediately. Angarano is the incarnate of man just going with whatever impulse he has when given power, with Crudup the overlord watching his subjects flail about. Miller gets to be the prisoner who cracks, while Thirlby is the voice of reason. It’s all so good, you forget that it’s not a documentary at times. That’s a credit to the writing and direction as well, and I’ll get to them next, but the cast just all do tremendous work. It’s probably too small of a flick to catch on during awards season, but the […]

“It Follows” is quickly becoming the first surprise indie hit of 2015

One of the best parts of my job is when I can watch a film or a performance that I’ve championed actually catch on with audiences. This year, a slightly unexpected one has occurred in the form of horror movie It Follows. Even though it had played the Cannes Film Festival last year and made a few other fest stops, it was always seemingly going to be just an independent fright flick that got good reviews and then faded. At best, it could duplicate what The Babadook (a film I think is far inferior to It Follows, by the by) did in 2014. Then, out of nowhere, it began to get some of 2015’s best reviews, followed by two weeks of lighting the indie/limited release box office on fire. Now, as it goes into theaters nationwide today on over 1200 screens, It Follows is a certified indie hit, one that’s as surprisingly as it is delightful to witness.
As I wrote on the site a few weeks ago when I raved about the film, “It Follows is a hybrid character study/coming of age tale/horror film. Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, it tells the story of a 19 year old girl named Jay (played wonderfully by Maika Monroe) who sees a sexual encounter lead to terror. After sleeping with her new boyfriend for the first time, he basically kidnaps her in order to safely inform her of what he’s passed on to her. Until they had sex, he was plagued by something monstrous following him slowly wherever he went. It started when he slept with someone on a one night stand, and now that he’s given it to her, he’s free from its clutches. Jay is warned that if it catches you, you die. Worse yet, it’ll take the form of people you know in order to get close to you. After he lets her go and runs off, she groups up with her friends, neighbor, and sister to figure out if there’s any way to survive. Monroe is the undisputed star, but the cast has some solid supporting players, including Keir Gilchrist. Besides Monroe, you’ll be blown away by Mitchell’s work, especially when it pairs with the cinematography by Mike Gioulakis and the score from Rich Vreeland.” I just wanted to make sure that I reiterated what the film was about…just in case you weren’t in the know yet.
Two […]

“It Follows” is the best horror film in years and the rare one worthy of awards

When it comes to the Academy, the genre the least seem to embrace (give or take animation, though that at least has its own category) is horror. With the exception of The Silence of the Lambs, no fright flick has been nominated for Best Picture, and while that’s not going to change, periodically we get such top notch entries into the genre that awards consideration is warranted. A few years back, it was The Cabin in the Woods that got a small Best Original Screenplay push, while more recently The Babadook and You’re Next drummed up a bit of buzz. This year though, we have the best of the bunch (or at least the best since The Cabin in the Woods) with It Follows. The film opens this weekend after playing at the Cannes Film Festival last year and is easily the best of 2015 to date…not just in terms of horror either. It’s the best release of the year so far, overall.
In case you don’t know, It Follows is a hybrid character study/coming of age tale/horror film. Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, it tells the story of a 19 year old girl named Jay (played wonderfully by Maika Monroe) who sees a sexual encounter lead to terror. After sleeping with her new boyfriend for the first time, he basically kidnaps her in order to safely inform her of what he’s passed on to her. Until they had sex, he was plagued by something monstrous following him slowly wherever he went. It started when he slept with someone on a one night stand, and now that he’s given it to her, he’s free from its clutches. Jay is warned that if it catches you, you die. Worse yet, it’ll take the form of people you know in order to get close to you. After he lets her go and runs off, she groups up with her friends, neighbor, and sister to figure out if there’s any way to survive. Monroe is the undisputed star, but the cast has some solid supporting players, including Keir Gilchrist. Besides Monroe, you’ll be blown away by Mitchell’s work, especially when it pairs with the cinematography by Mike Gioulakis and the score from Rich Vreeland.
While any Oscar attention is a long shot, I believe that this flick is truly worthy of consideration in a number of categories. Beyond the fruitless endeavor of pushing […]

TIFF ’10: Zach Galifianakis in “It’s Kind of a Funny Story”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: We continue to preview anticipated titles screening at the 35th Toronto International Film Festival in our “Road to Toronto” feature.
The fest kicks off on Sept. 9, and HollywoodNews.com will be on the ground bringing you reviews, interviews, and a clearer glimpse at the ever-shifting Oscar race.
To read our previous preview columns, punch “TIFF” into our search window. Today, we’re moving on to Focus Features’ suicidal comedy-drama, which they hope becomes a serious Oscar contender. And that’s no joke.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story

The Plot: Craig (Keir Gilchrist) is a 16-year old who checks himself into a mental health clinic filled with colorful characters. He even falls for fellow teenage patient Noelle (Emma Roberts).
The Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck (“Half Nelson,” “Sugar”)
The Cast: Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts, Viola Davis, Zoe Kravitz, Lauren Graham, Jim Gaffigan, Jeremy Davies
The Scoop: Hollywood’s celebration of all things “Galifianakis” continues as the “Hangover” star appears in another anticipated film. (He’ll also share the screen with Robert Downey Jr. in “Due Date,” out later this year.) Gilchrist isn’t a household name yet, though he has earned some cred with fine performances on Showtime’s “The United States of Tara.” And while the supporting cast is rock solid – from Viola Davis to Jeremy Davies – we’re most interested in the directing duo of Boden and Fleck, who have made two very durable pictures and seem poised to break into the mainstream with this lighter flight over the “Cuckoo’s Nest.”
Awards Potential: The Academy could respond favorably to Galifianakis playing against type (his role, based on trailers, seems more serious that, say, Alan Garner from “Hangover”). We’ll know more about Roberts and Gilchrist’s chances at breaking into the supporting categories once we’ve seen the film. Of course, with a very strong performance, “Funny Story” could easily slip into the Adapted Screenplay (it’s based on Ned Vizzini’s novel of the same name) and/or the Best Director categories.
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Zach Galifianakis’ ‘It’s a Kind of a Funny Story’ releases trailer

HollywoodNews.com: Zach Galifianakis’ latest film “It’s a Kind of a Funny Story” has just released a trailer for the film. The movie also stars Keir Gilchrist, Emma Roberts, Viola Davis, Zoë Kravitz, Lauren Graham, Jim Gaffigan and is about the following:
In this New York City-set comedy-drama, 16-year-old Craig (Keir Gilchrist of “United States of Tara”), stressed out from the demands of being a teenager, checks himself into a mental health clinic. There he learns that the youth ward is closed – and finds himself stuck in the adult ward. One of the patients, Bobby (Zach Galifianakis of “The Hangover”), soon becomes both Craig’s mentor and protégé. Craig is also drawn to another 16-year-old, Noelle (Emma Roberts of “Valentine’s Day”). With a minimum five days’ stay imposed on him, Craig is sustained by friendships on both the inside and the outside as he learns more about life, love, and the pressures of growing up.
The film is slated to hit theaters on September 24, 2010.
Watch the trailer below:
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Focus’s “Funny Story,” with Zach Galifianakis, could find way into the Oscar race

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Focus Features sent us a list of the next few pictures they’d be handling. And while I immediately gravitated toward Anton Corbijn’s “The American,” because it looks to feature George Clooney in both a cool and lethal role (it opens Sept. 1), it turns out we’re learning more about Focus’ next comedy this afternoon, instead.
The title is “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” and it will platform in multiple cities beginning Sept. 24. Set in New York City, the film follows Craig (Keir Gilchrist), a teenager who is so stressed he checks himself into a mental health clinic. Because the youth ward is closed, Craig lands in the adult ward, where he is mentored by fellow patient Bobby (Zach Galifianakis of “The Hangover” and “Dinner for Schmucks”).
The reason I’m so interested? It’s the latest picture from filmmaking team Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who delivered the devastating “Half Nelson,” with Ryan Gosling, and the earnest “Sugar,” about an up-and-coming baseball player struggling to survive in the minor leagues.
Focus tends to put their focus (sorry) on Oscar contenders in the second half of the year, so I’m wondering if “Funny” has that kind of potential. Emma Roberts, Viola Davis, Zoë Kravitz, Lauren Graham, and Jim Gaffigan co-star, lending suitable heft to the ensemble. And MTV recently posted a few new pics from the film to help introduce the cast.
The interesting movie season is right around the corner. Truthfully, it can’t get here soon enough.
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