April 24, 2014

Tag Archives: Mark Romanek

Carey Mulligan joining Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Great Gatsby”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: It sounds like Baz Luhrmann has plucked his Daisy Buchanan.
After weeks of workshopping a script for “The Great Gatsby” — with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire reading the parts of Gatsby and Nick, respectively – Carey Mulligan of “An Education” and “Never Let Me Go” has landed the coveted female lead, according to Deadline.
It goes without saying that this is another big step for Mulligan as she continues to build her acting resume. After receiving such heat for “An Education,” which earned her an Oscar nomination, she has appeared in Mark Romanek’s romantic sci-fi effort as well as Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” sequel. She’ll next be seen in the action thriller “Drive” with Ryan Gosling and Christina Hendricks.
But it’s “Gatsby” that could put Mulligan right back into the awards limelight and give her the best chance to sharpen her acting chops alongside DiCaprio, who last collaborated with Luhrmann on “Romeo + Juliet.”
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Andrew Garfield at the Hollywood Awards Gala

HollywoodNews.com: Andrew Garfield stars in “Never Let Me Go,” the critically acclaimed film directed by Mark Romanek co-starring Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley. He also stars in David Fincher’s highly anticipated film “The Social Network” alongside Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake, which follows the story of the founders of the social-networking website, Facebook. Garfield will also be playing Peter Parker in the upcoming remake of “Spiderman,” set to hit theaters in 2012. His other credits include Robert Redford’s “Lions for Lambs” alongside Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise, Terry Gilliam’s ” The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” and John Crowley’s “Boy A.”

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Image courtesy of the Hollywood Awards Gala.
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Awards Season Roundup: Eastwood on Eastwood, and the Academy’s exec director resigns

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: HollywoodNews.com’s Awards Season Roundup collects insights from around the Internet on films that are running in the Oscar race.
It was announced this morning that Bruce Davis, executive director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has resigned after more than two decades in the position.
As Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” prepares to open in theaters on Friday, the Oscar-winning director selects six of his films in which he is most proud. Some are obvious. One or two are not. Great list, though I think he’s missing “Bridges of Madison County,” which is subtle, beautiful and heartbreakingly honest.
AFI Fest, which runs Nov. 4-11 in Hollywood, offers a full slate of prestige pictures … and free tickets on a first-come/first-served basis.
Meanwhile, the 54th London Film Festival kicks off today with Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go,” and stars Keira Knightley and Carrie Mulligan are expected to walk the red carpet for the premiere. The fest continues all week with screenings of such Oscar heavyweights as “Black Swan,” “The King’s Speech,” and Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours,” which closes the celebration on Oct. 28.
Speaking of Boyle, the filmmaker has begun a promotional tour of the U.S. for “127 Hours,” which kicked off in Boston. Scott Feinberg was there.
Tony Goldwyn’s “Conviction” opens in limited release this Friday, and the New York Times has a good piece on Betty Anne Waters, the inspiration for the true-life story.
And finally, we might not have enough animated titles in this year’s race to produce five nominees.
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Andrew Garfield on “The Social Network” and playing Spider-Man

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Andrew Garfield is going to be a huge star.
And I’m not going out on a limb to proclaim that simply because the young British actor recently signed on to play Spider-Man – a lottery ticket of a role – in Marc Webb’s anticipated Marvel Comics reboot.
Instead, I’m basing it on Garfield’s on-screen performances of late. The 27-year-old actor more than held his own alongside Oscar nominees Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan for Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go.” And he deserves all of the awards buzz Justin Timberlake seems to be getting for David Fincher’s “The Social Network.” In that film, Garfield creates the only character we come close to caring about, and nails his crucial scene (a late confrontation with Jesse Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerberg in the West Coast offices of social media giant, Facebook).
I’ve also been lucky enough to interview Garfield twice in recent weeks, in Toronto for “Go” and in New York for “Network.” He’s funny, charming, grounded but aware of his pending fame. He’s easy at conversation, really listens to every question, and gives you a considered answer. We spoke about the relationship his character, Eduardo, had to have with Jesse’s Mark if “Social Network” was going to connect to its audience.
“I can talk about that for days and weeks and months and years,” Garfield said about working with Eisenberg. “There were some subconscious forces going about during our rehearsal process. Maybe it was just from my own perspective, but my subconscious knew that I had to kind of fall in love with him, see him as a brother, and have a genuine love for him. And it was very easy to project that on such an innocent face and an innocent soul. It’s so weird and awkward saying this about him. [Laughs] But I have been a fan of Jesse as an actor ever since I saw ‘The Squid and the Whale.’ It was just a wonderful thing to have a genuine connection with someone and allow that to bleed into not being filmed.”
As a follow up question, a fellow journalist asked Garfield – with tongue in cheek, I hope – if he has any future plans to announce.
“Yeah, no, I’m going to be Spider-Man,” Garfield said, adding nothing more to his answer.
He sat back in his chair, and saw the wealth of potential stretched out in front [...]

“Never Let Me Go” clips reveals previously secret plot point

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Opening in four theaters last weekend, Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go” performed wonderfully, pulling in an average of $27,000 per theater and giving Fox Searchlight a strong platform on which to expand.
Based on Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, the films stars Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan as childhood friends who grow up in an idyllic English boarding home but serve a greater purpose. For a while, it seemed like the “purpose” was being kept secret. But a new clip released to Yahoo Movies! explains in greater detail a key plot point.
Avoid it if you want to go into the film unspoiled. Curious folks, click away.
Romanek has created a science-fiction story that’s rooted in reality and draws from the heart, not our imaginations. I’m jokingly referring to “Never” as “Blade Lovers.” Because it asks controversial emotional questions, “Never” deserves deeper consideration. You should get the chance soon, as the film plans to add more theaters over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
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TIFF ’10: Mark Romanek and Carey Mulligan talk ‘Never Let Me Go’

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Early last year, as Mark Romanek was busy mounting his adaptation of Kazou Ishiguro’s beloved novel “Never Let Me Go,” the director received a four-word text informing him who would headline his film.
“We had trouble finding a Kathy. And Peter Rice, who was running [Fox] at the time, had seen ‘An Education’ in Sundance and sent me a text that said, ‘Hire the genius Mulligan.’ It’s true. And I asked him later why it was such a terse message, and he said that the movie wasn’t even finished yet. He texted it in the middle of the film,” Romanek said.
If you think that puts extra pressure on Mulligan as she assumes the role of Kathy – a delicate clone living a difficult life in an alternate existence – well, you’d be right.
“The amount of pressure I feel even now is more than any job before,” Mulligan told me during a recent talk in Toronto. “With ‘An Education,’ we didn’t expect anyone to buy it, let alone see it come to America or get any awards. Kathy is the lead character in a well-loved book. My worst nightmare is upsetting the fans of the book. My mother being one if them!

“I think it’s pretty faithful,” Mulligan continued. “It’s difficult for me to really be objective. I tend to be very critical. I also don’t watch a lot of it because when I’m on screen, I [hang my head]. And then when I go, I can look up again. But I think that they did a really beautiful job with the editing, the music, and how beautifully shot it is.”
Credit Romanek, who hadn’t directed a full-length feature since “One Hour Photo” in 2002. He says he came to this project as opposed to it finding him. He loved Ishiguro’s novel and dreamed of adapting it, but had to jump through a number of hoops while campaigning for the chance to direct.
He found himself very emotional after reading the book and said, “I realize reading the book that this was about me. This book says that we are here for a very short time, all of us, and the book is about how does one come to the end of one’s life and not regret how you lived it. I just found that very moving.”
And while there are sci-fi elements that drive the plot, Romanek [...]

TIFF ’10: Andrew Garfield talks ‘Never Let Me Go’ and his approach to ‘Spider-Man’

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Andrew Garfield is having a moment.
For those of you living under a rock (and lacking a decent wireless signal beneath said rock), the British actor has been chosen to don the iconic Spider-Man costume in Marc Webb’s reboot of Marvel’s superhero film franchise. Later this fall, Garfield has a part in David Fincher’s “The Social Network,” which documents the rise and fall of the young men behind Facebook. And at the Toronto International Film Festival, Garfield joins Oscar nominee Keira Knightley and Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan for Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go,” a romantic drama set in an alternate existence where clones are bred for the purpose of donating valuable organs to prevent life-threatening diseases.
Adapted from Kazou Ishiguro’s novel, “Never Let Me Go” is beautiful and sparse, which Garfield would know if he took the time to watch it. He won’t. He tells me that he can’t … at least not objectively.
“All I see is the stuff I don’t do,” he said. “I don’t see any positives. I only see the negatives.

“It’s like listening to your voice recorded back, exponentially, like one-thousand-fold,” Garfield continues with a slight grin. “You are seeing your soul recorded back and its really upsetting. Because you don’t know how you come across. And why should you know how you come across? If you are too conscious of that, then you will be disabled and totally restricted in your own life. I just want to be free and be myself, reinvent myself, play different characters and be different things.”
The next thing he’s going to be, however, is huge. As Spider-Man, Garfield’s going to find it near impossible to avoid seeing himself everywhere. Yet when asked about his approach to taking on such a massive task, Garfield says he’s attempting to view it as just another role in just another movie.
“That may be naïve of me, but that’s how I’m treating it,” Garfield said. “I’m honestly treating it like this is a role that has meant a lot to me since I was four years old. And I have been waiting for the call since then to be given the opportunity to play with a bunch of awesome cameras and effects and to feel like I’m swinging through New York City. It’s a childhood fantasy come to life. But I’m just treating it like an extension of my seven-year-old [...]

Carey Mulligan’s “Never Let Me Go” releases new photos

HollywoodNews.com: Carey Mulligan’s latest film “Never Let Me Go,” which is directed by Mark Romanek, takes a deep look at a remarkable story of love, loss and hidden truths. In it he posed the fundamental question: What makes us human? View some new photos from the film below:

Kathy (Oscar® nominee Carey Mulligan, AN EDUCATION), Tommy (Andrew Garfield, BOY A, RED RIDING) and Ruth (Oscar® nominee Keira Knightley, PRIDE & PREJUDICE, ATONEMENT) live in a world and a time that feel familiar to us, but are not quite like anything we know. They spend their childhood at Hailsham, a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. When they leave the shelter of the school and the terrible truth of their fate is revealed to them, they must also confront the deep feelings of love, jealousy and betrayal that threaten to pull them apart.
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TIFF ’10: ‘Conviction’ fights the good fight, while ‘Never Let Me Go’ offers sci-fi from the heart

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Sometimes you know exactly what you are going to get from a film before you even step foot in the theater.
Tony Goldwyn’s “Conviction” delivers that type of movie-going experience. What you see in the official synopsis is what you will see on the screen. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Based on actual events, “Conviction” stars Hilary Swank as Betty Ann Waters, a blue-collar bulldog who sacrifices damn-near everything in her personal and professional life so she can overturn her older brother Kenny’s (Sam Rockwell) murder conviction. She puts herself through law school, re-discovers crucial evidence that proves Kenny’s innocence, and fingers the corrupt law official (Melissa Leo) and multiple witnesses who lied to put Kenny behind bars.
Swank and Rockwell fit comfortably into roles that are tailored-made to their strengths; she as a ferocious underdog with the heart of a lion, he as a white-trashy rascal who isn’t as appalling as his scruffy exterior suggests. Through their connection, “Conviction” convinces us that blood remains thicker than the legal system. But the picture is going through the motions, tapping the right beats while mustering no surprises, no improvisations. This is by-the-book storytelling. What you think you’ll see is what you’ll get.
On the flip side, I had no idea what to expect from Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go,” and now that it has screened, I’m still not 100-percent sure what I saw. Not having read Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, I went into “Never” cold … and stayed a little frigid as this poetic, literate love-triangle drama played out.

I’m going to refrain from spelling too much of “Never” out, as it’s true that the less you know about the mysterious plot, the better the film will play.
I don’t think it’s ruining anything to say Romanek – a music video creator who directed “One Hour Photo” with Robin Williams – has created a science-fiction story that’s rooted in reality and draws from the heart, not our imaginations. I’m jokingly referring to “Never” as “Blade Lovers,” though that’s not a slight. Just a summation.
Because it asks controversial emotional questions, “Never” deserves deeper consideration and can’t be judged with a “yay” or “nay” on a few hours of contemplation (from a very tired brain). I plan to revisit the film again before writing extensively about it. For me, the film’s emotional pull wasn’t as strong as I anticipated, and part [...]

TIFF ’10: Keira, Carey and Andrew in Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: This is it. My last entry in the ongoing “Road to Toronto” feature before I board a plane and head north for the madness that is the 35th Toronto International Film Festival.

The fest begins Thursday, and I’ll be reporting regularly from the wilds of the Great White North. To read my previous preview columns, punch “TIFF” into our search window. Today, Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and the boy who will be Spider-Man come to terms with some harsh truths about their past, their present, and their uncertain future.
Never Let Me Go

The Plot: Kathy, Tommy and Ruth live in a world and a time that feel familiar to us, but are not quite like anything we know. They spend their childhood at Hailsham, a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. When they leave the shelter of the school and the terrible truth of their fate is revealed to them, they must also confront the deep feelings of love, jealousy and betrayal that threaten to pull them apart.
The Director: Mark Romanek (“One Hour Photo”)
The Cast: Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield, Carey Mulligan, Charlotte Rampling, Sally Hawkins
The Scoop: From what I hear, the less you know about “Never” going into it, the better off you’ll be. We do know it’s based on Kazuo Ishiguro’s beloved novel, and that it has serious talent involved at almost every creative turn. Romanek impressed critics by leading Robin Williams down dark corridors in “Photo,” and may have patiently awaited his feature-length follow up. The film has started to play festivals, but has split critics. The ones that like it really, really love it. The rest find it cold and detached. I find out on Thursday evening. It can’t get here soon enough.
Awards Potential: It will be very hard to speculate on “Never” until it’s seen, and early word isn’t helping place the film’s chances. If the picture catches on with a strong contigent of Academy voters, top categories like Best Picture and Director for Romanek certainly are a possibility. It sounds like Knightley is given the most chance to shine in the film, while Mulligan and Garfield give internal performances. Alex Garland certainly has a shot at an Adapted Screenplay Oscar if the script connects, and technical categories seem like safe bets. Rachel Portman’s score, for example, is getting a lot of early praise. More on “Never” as the film continues to screen.
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