Fracking may not sound like a fun subject, but you know what is fun? Looking at pictures of Matt Damon and John Krasinski, especially when their brows are all furrowed 'cause they're thinking about fracking. Check out all the pictures of them, Frances McDormand, and Rosemarie DeWitt in one of this week's new releases, the surprisingly entertaining environmentalist film Promised Land. We promise you won't regret it.
The environmental battle over natural gas drilling may not seem like the material that crowd-pleasing movies are built on, but Promised Land overcomes its potentially bland fracking setup to be a genuinely entertaining movie. In fact, this movie isn't really about fracking as much as it is the moral dilemma faced by its main character, portrayed by Matt Damon. He and John Krasinski square off in the Gus Van Sant-directed film as combating forces on either side of the fracking debate. They handily influence a small town (and the audience), though both campaigns are as compelling as they are dubious.
Damon plays Steve Butler, a slick but likable salesman, with familiar ease. He represents Global, a megacorporate natural-gas company that buys the drilling rights to citizens' land. Steve's got one last town (the fictional McKinley) to win over with his partner Sue (Frances McDormand, a pleasure to watch, as always) before he's promoted up the corporate ranks. They think they've got it in the bag until Dustin (Krasinski), an environmentalist with some bold claims about the detrimental effects of fracking and a whole lot of photos of dead cows, comes into town. Watching the tug of war that ensues to win the favor of the small population gets a little tedious, but the competitive dynamic between Steve and Dustin is one of the strengths of the film. Find out what else I thought of Promised Land when you read more.
Lucky actress Rosemarie DeWitt plays the love interest to both Matt Damon and John Krasinski in Promised Land, and when I sat down to talk with her, she spilled about what the two guys were like to work with. DeWitt also talked about how she feels about Krasinski and his wife, Emily Blunt, since she's starred in multiple films with the couple, and her character on Mad Men, Don's former lover Midge.
Kristen Stewart paired an A.L.C. see-through white tee with a black bra and Juicy Couture plaid pants to attend the Variety Studio in LA yesterday. It was the first day of Variety's symposium, bringing together performers to talk about movies and TV projects in comedy and drama categories. Kristen was among the many actors who attended the Variety event. Her On the Road costar Garrett Hedlund also swung by, as did Elle Fanning, Leslie Mann, Rosemarie DeWitt, Michael Peña, and Kerry Washington.
Kristen's in California after a few weeks away. Kristen Stewart and boyfriend Robert Pattinson were in the UK together, then stopped for a few days in NYC. Yesterday, Kristen and Rob went their separate ways for the afternoon. Kristen also opted out Tuesday when Robert had drinks at Chateau Marmont with a group of friends that included the singer M.I.A.
In Your Sister's Sister, Mark Duplass (of The League and our comedy dreams) stars as Jack, a guy coping with the recent loss of his brother. After making a scene at a memorial party, Jack goes up to his best friend Iris's (Emily Blunt) family cabin in Puget Sound. Instead of solitude, he finds Iris's sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), who is dealing with a severed relationship of her own. Their two-person drinking party ends up between the sheets, and when Iris arrives the next day, Hannah and Jack must find the best way to deal with the fallout of their drunken encounter — and Iris's secret feelings for Jack.
I love Duplass, and he has great chemistry here with Blunt and DeWitt. It's an intimate film with a small cast, but after viewing the low-key, earnest trailer, it's no wonder the flick has been earning critical praise. It's already been showcased at the Toronto Film Festival and Sundance, but Your Sister's Sister doesn't hit theaters until June 15. Until then, you can watch the trailer when you read more
Director Lynn Shelton made her Sundance premiere with Humpday, and she returned to the festival this year with Your Sister's Sister. The film has a tiny cast — in fact, most of the scenes are between just three actors — but this little indie is one of the most memorable films I caught at the festival. Here's why:
- Who's behind it? Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Mark Duplass make up the cast. Lynn Shelton (who also directed Duplass in Humpday) is behind the camera.
- What's it about? Duplass plays Jack, a guy who's on a bit of a downward spiral a year after losing his brother. Jack's still close friends with his brother's ex, Iris (Blunt), who suggests that Jack spend some time in solitude at her father's rustic lakeside cabin. When Jack arrives at the cabin, he's surprised to find Iris's sister, Hannah (DeWitt), and when Iris pops up for a visit, a very tangled web is woven between the three characters over the course of a few days.
- What did I think? This is a little gem of a film; all three actors turn in nuanced performances, making the complicated relationships between the three feel incredibly authentic. Duplass gets most of the laughs as Jack bumbles to keep the peace between Iris and Hannah, but it's Blunt and DeWitt that really shine as siblings that love each other through and through, but can't help pushing each other's buttons. The Seattle cabin setting also adds extra charm, and really makes the audience feel like you're trapped in the conundrum between the characters, isolated away from the rest of the world.
Jim Halpert is lining up his next vacation from The Office: John Krasinski is in talks to star in Nobody Walks, an indie drama written by Lena Dunham. The film focuses on a family and young artist who disrupts their lives after her weekend stay turns permanent. Rosemarie DeWitt and Olivia Thirlby are also on board; though, there's no confirmation on who's playing whom, my guess is Krasinski and DeWitt lead the family with Thirlby as the artist.
Lately, Krasinski's movie career seems to be taking a direction toward bigger studio films, like next month's Something Borrowed, but I'm eager to see him back in an indie, since I loved him in Away We Go.
One of the films I was most interested in checking out at Sundance was The Company Men. The timely tale, which focuses on three high-paid corporate executives slapped with downsizing at their company, boasts a stellar cast and is already drawing comparisons to Up in the Air. But does it have the potential to enjoy the same success?
- Who's behind it? Like I said, there are some heavy hitters here: Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Maria Bello, Craig T. Nelson, and Rosemarie DeWitt star in the film, with writer and first time director John Wells at the helm.
- What's it about? Affleck, Jones, and Cooper play three colleagues who excel at their jobs and have plenty to show for it — big houses, fancy cars, privileged families living in the suburbs of Boston. Their cushy lifestyles are quickly brought into jeopardy, however, when massive layoffs begin at their company; the men are forced to re-examine themselves, their careers, and their family lives as they face unemployment and potentially losing everything they've been working for all their lives.
To find out what I thought of the movie, just read more
Depending on your attitude, Rosemarie DeWitt either has great luck or terrible luck with on-screen sisters. She recently starred as Rachel opposite Anne Hathaway's Kym in Rachel Getting Married, and now she's the foil to Toni Collette's Tara in United States of Tara, which just premiered to strong ratings. At TCA, I chatted with DeWitt about her film families, how she got the Tara gig, and how much Rachel was like a real wedding. Here are highlights:
How did you get the role of Charmaine?
It was just like a straightforward, old-school audition that I had. I read the script, I thought it was fantastic, and when I auditioned for it I think the part of the sister was a guest star. So it wasn't a super high-pressure situation . . . I auditioned where Spielberg and Dreamworks is all set up, and I remember thinking, "I just want to work here."
When did you find out that you were getting the upgrade to a regular character? Did that give you a chance to get more into playing Charmaine?
It was over the Summer where they invited me back, and we spoke and they said, "We're going to change Charmaine a little bit." TV I feel like you have to play — in most ways I'm nothing like Charmaine, but you have to play it a little closer to yourself, because they do change things at the 11th hour, and if you were doing some crazy character with a hunchback and now you're running a marathon — I don't know, you just have to be able to do it, basically. So they made her a little bit more quote-unquote normal. I was happy that there was a lot more love between Tara and Charmaine. She's an outsider but it would have really been hard to be like Anne Hathaway and I are in Rachel.
It was interesting to hear Diablo Cody say that Charmaine is looking for attention.
She's got a lot of issues. It's funny, because she's really awesome, and she just, I think, doesn't like herself that much. The vitamin sales, I think, are a little bit of a self-help program in and of themselves, and she's got some body issues, and issues with men, so there's just so many places to go with her and so many women in my own life to observe and draw from.
To hear more about Charmaine and Tara's relationship and how it differs from Rachel and Kym's, read more
United States of Tara is one of the most unusual shows to hit TV in a while — even for Showtime, home of drug-dealing moms and sympathetic serial killers. First imagined by Steven Spielberg, created by Diablo Cody, and brought to life by a cast led by Toni Collette and John Corbett, the show centers on a suburban housewife named Tara who is living with Dissociative Identity Disorder, which causes alternate personalities to emerge when she's under stress. The show premieres on Sunday, and today, the cast and producers stopped by TCA. Here are some of the essential things to know — and be sure to check out some great pics of the stars over on Pop:
- It was important for Tara to be open about her condition. Cody said she's seen mental illness be destigmatized over the years, so it made sense for Tara's family not to keep her illness locked away. "Obviously there are some people who are frightened or curious," she said. "There are some people who are intrigued" — and that seemed like an appropriate, modern reaction.
- Deep down, the show's about acceptance. Nobody ever says outright that Collette's character is mentally ill, or that Tara's son is gay, or that her daughter is a jerk, said Brie Larson, who plays teenage daughter Kate. "There's no labels on this show, and I think that's the most interesting part."
- But not everyone's OK with Tara's personalities. One of the most tense relationships on the show is between Tara and her younger sister, Charmaine (Rosemarie DeWitt). "Charmaine always thought that Tara got more attention," Cody said. "She's always been resentful of that." Charmaine has an occasional flirtation with Max (Corbett), Tara's husband, but Cody said it's nothing with an actual romantic spark at this point — it's just a way for her to get someone to pay attention to her for once.
To see the final two essentials, just read more