Feb 11
2020

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced the Little Women Digital and Blu-ray release dates. Nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the timeless Louisa May Alcott masterpiece comes home on Digital March 10th and Blu-ray and DVD April 7th. The Blu-ray, DVD and Digital releases will take viewers even deeper into the beloved story of Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth with over 45 minutes of bonus features. In addition to earning the praise of critics worldwide with a Rotten Tomatoes “Certified Fresh” rating of 95%, the film has been honored with an Academy Award for Best Costume Design plus five nominations including Best Picture, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), and Best Music (Original Score).

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Feb 06
2020

Once again, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Meryl Streep has jumped aboard Rachel Feldman’s Lilly Ledbetter fair pay movie, Lilly. Streep has brought her backing to Feldman and fellow producers to bring the long-gestating feature based on the life of the equal pay icon to production. The Hollywood actress earlier lent her support to calls for equal pay for women in the U.S., including raising the issue while promoting her star turn in Suffragette, in which she played the iconic political activist Emmeline Pankhurst. Feldman will direct Lilly, which earlier had the working title Ledbetter, as it portrays Ledbetter inspiring the Fair Pay Restoration Act, the first piece of legislation President Barack Obama signed after his inauguration. J. Todd Harris (The Kids Are All Right) has also joined Feldman as a producing partner on the project. Ledbetter gained attention by fighting The Goodyear Tire Company for her right to pay equal to that of her male counterparts. She was a pioneer in putting a name to the issue, before Megan Rapinoe energized the fight for equal pay in sports and Michelle Williams spotlighted the pay gap for female actors in Hollywood. “Historic dramas often chronicle the external forces of politics, but Lilly tells the story of what happens to a woman’s inner life when patriarchal injustice overwhelms every aspect of her existence. Lilly is the perfect film for this moment in time,” Feldman, a director, screenwriter and activist and the former chair of the DGA Women’s Steering Committee, said in a statement.

Feb 06
2020

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Greta Gerwig’s Little Women has strolled past the $100 million mark at the domestic box office in another win for the Oscar-nominated film. The milestone comes on the eve of Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, for which the Sony movie is nominated in six top categories, including best picture, as well as for best actress (Saoirse Ronan) and best supporting actress (Florence Pugh). While Gerwig is up for best adapted screenplay, the filmmaker was shut out of the directors’ race. Little Women, opening Christmas Day, cost roughly $40 million to produce before marketing and will be nicely profitable for Sony and producer Amy Pascal after continuing to exceed expectations. The movie has grossed more than $64 million to date overseas for a global tally of $165 million. The latest adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel about the March sisters also stars Emma Watson, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet, Tracy Letts, Meryl Streep, Bob Odenkirk, James Norton, Louis Garrel and Chris Cooper.

Jan 18
2020

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Meryl Streep will lend her voice to Apple TV+ in an animated short film celebrating Earth Day. The three-time Oscar winner will star with Chris O’Dowd (Sundance’s State of the Union), Ruth Negga (Preacher) and Jacob Tremblay (Doctor Sleep) in Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth. The 36-minute film is based on Oliver Jeffers’ best-selling 2017 children’s book. It’s set to premiere April 17 on the tech giant’s streaming platform, five days before the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day celebration. Here We Are will follow a precocious 7-year-old (voiced by Tremblay) who over the course of Earth Day learns about the wonders of the planet from his parents (Negga and O’Dowd) – and from a mysterious exhibit at the Museum of Everything. Streep will narrate the film. The project comes from independent animation house Studio AKA (Hey Duggee, Oscar-nominated short A Morning Stroll). Philip Hunt directed the film and co-wrote it with Luke Matheny (God of Love, Maron). Hunt, Sue Goffe and Jeffers executive produce. Alex Somers (How to Train Your Dragon) composed the music. Hunt and Jeffers previously collaborated on the BAFTA-winning animated short Lost and Found, also from Studio AKA, based on the author’s 2005 book. Here We Are joins a lineup of kids and family programming on the two-and-a-half-month-old Apple TV+ that also includes the animated Snoopy in Space – part of a deal between Apple and DHX Media for Peanuts-related content — live-action show Ghostwriter and educational series Helpsters. The latter is from Sesame Workshop, which has a content deal with Apple.

Nov 25
2019

The initial batch of all very positive reviews are in for Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women”. The adaptation had a 96 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes as of Monday morning. The Hollywood Reporter‘s David Rooney wrote that the film is “gratifying.” He added that Gerwig brings “freshness, vitality and emotional nuance to source material” that has been adapted multiple times. “Gerwig skillfully navigates the line between respecting the story’s old-fashioned bones while illuminating the modernity of its proto-feminist perspective, only occasionally leaning into speechy advocacy of a woman’s right to self-actualization beyond marriage,” Rooney wrote. He added that the cast “may be slightly bound by their canonical character types, but there’s lovely ensemble work here.” After praising the individual performances, specifically Ronan and Pugh, Rooney added that the film is “pleasingly paced.” He concluded, “Gerwig has taken a treasured perennial of popular American literature and reshaped it for a new generation, which should give the captivating film a long shelf life.”

Kate Erbland of IndieWire also gave Little Women a positive review. The critic noted that while Gerwig “modernized the book’s timeless story in unexpected ways,” it’s clear the director has “affection for the original, and keenly aware of how the concerns of Alcott and the March sisters (loosely based on the author’s own family) have never quite abated, no matter the time.” Erbland wrote that Ronan’s performance was “vibrant,” while Pugh’s interpretation of Amy “has more dimension than we’ve seen in previous cinematic adaptations of Alcott’s book.” She added that Little Women has its flaws, including when Watson speaks with an American accent and that “a handful of characters aren’t given nearly as much dimension as the sisters.” Erbland concluded,”Gerwig’s Little Women offers its own delightful storybook polish, in its own unique terms, and what a comfort that is.”

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Nov 16
2019

Alan J. Pakula, who died in 1998 at the age of 70 in an auto accident, was a most unusual filmmaker. Though his peers, including Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Roman Polanski, George Lucas and William Friedkin, were as well-known as the stars of their films, Pakula stayed out of the limelight and let his films speak for themselves. And what films – some of the most memorable titles of the last half century. The AFI Fest in Hollywood is paying tribute to Pakula with free screenings of “Sterile Cuckoo,” “Klute” and “Sophie’s Choice” and a free screening Sunday evening of Matthew Miele’s thoughtful new documentary, “Alan Pakula: Going for Truth.” That film features insightful and often emotional interviews with Robert Redford, Harrison Ford, Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda and Dustin Hoffman, co-workers and family and numerous clips. Streep, Hoffman and Ford recently talked to The Los Angeles Times about what made Pakula such a powerful filmmaker and person. The quotes have been edited for clarity and brevity. You can watch the trailer for “Alan Pakula: Going for Truth” on Youtube. Many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.

I think he really laid a map of integrity for artists, and that, more than anything, is his legacy for me. He was such a moral filmmaker. It’s like an old-fashioned idea, but he was. He was a moral man and he had a backbone. He loved women and respected them. So I mean it was that thing where you feel listened to instead of tolerated. It’s a really a great, great quality. All the best male directors have it. All the best female directors have it naturally.

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Nov 08
2019

Meryl Streep, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emma Stone will host the 2020 Met Gala, marking Streep’s first time attending the fashion-focused event. Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière will co-chair alongside the trio. Additionally, the designer brand will be sponsoring the event, taking place May 4. The theme of next year’s gala, “About Time: Fashion and Duration,” will implore attendees to “explore how clothes generate temporal associations that conflate past, present and future” by utilizing Henri Bergson’s concept of la duree, per the Met’s official statement. “Virginia Woolf will serve as the ‘ghost narrator’ of the exhibition.” With fashion aficionados like Billy Porter, Lady Gaga and Zendaya (who rocked a Cinderella ensemble for this year’s Camp theme), next year’s event will likely make for some interesting grayscale looks as the exhibition attempts to detail the “linear chronology of fashion” and focus on “the fast, fleeting rhythm of fashion.” Juxtaposed against the black ensembles will be a cluster of white outfits and accessories that “predate or postdate those in black, but relate to one another through shape, motif, material, pattern, technique, or decoration,” said the Met’s statement. The exhibition will close with a section on the future of fashion to explore the topic of longevity and sustainability.

Oct 18
2019

According to The Guardian, Netflix has moved to shut down a lawsuit from Mossack Fonseca lawyers over a film about the Panama Papers scandal that led to the closure of their firm and criminal charges, arguing the partners’ reputations were “long sullied” before the film’s release. The film, The Laundromat, is due to be released on Netflix at midnight on Friday in the US, and stars Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas as Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca. Mossack and Fonseca sued Netflix this week alleging that the film portrayed them as “ruthless uncaring lawyers who are involved in money laundering, tax evasion, bribery and/or other criminal conduct” and sought a court ruling preventing the film being released. In a response filed to the US district court in Connecticut on Thursday, Netflix said the request was a “virtually unheard-of prior restraint on speech” and should be denied. The company said the film, although advertised as “based on some real shit”, did not try to portray itself as a non-fictional account of the Panama Papers scandal, but was instead a “comedic morality tale about a system which invites and protects abuse”. “While entertaining and largely comedic, it is intended to bring attention to the abuse of offshore shell corporations and tax shelters, and it is an indictment of the legal system that permits them,” Netflix said. Mossack and Fonseca, while given the same names in the film, are “palpably farcical characters”, Netflix said in the court filing. “They are cartoonish narrators who set up shell corporations around the world; it does not depict them as direct participants in criminal activity. “Rather, the film saves its pointed critiques for the opacity of the global banking system and the systemic corruption of wealthy individuals that permit that system to perpetuate itself.” Netflix said the film portrayed the pair as being “largely oblivious to the ways in which some of the shell entities they have set up are being abused, and it indicts the system for making such enterprises largely, if not entirely, legal”. The complete article can be read over at The Guardian.

Oct 17
2019

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mossack Fonseca, the Panama City law firm that watched in horror back in 2016 as a treasure trove of its documents became public, is now attempting to stop Netflix from streaming The Laundromat, a dark comedy that is inspired by those “Panama Papers.” The firm and its founders have filed a lawsuit in Connecticut federal court and are pushing for a restraining order to prevent the Friday release of the film. The movie, directed by Steven Soderbergh, stars Meryl Streep investigating the death of her husband in a boat tour and being led down a trail of shady dealings connected to an off-shore tax scheme exploited by some of the world’s most powerful individuals. According to some advance write-ups of the film, some of these dealings are traced to Jürgen Mossack (played by Gary Oldman) and Ramón Fonseca (Antonio Banderas), the named partners in the firm. As the new lawsuit points out, the movie’s trailer states The Laundromat is “based on some real shit,” referencing what was exposed by the leak of 11.5 million documents three years ago. Mossack and Fonseca complain that the film casts them as “villains profiting from the death of 20 people killed in the small town boat tour,” and also object to a comment in the film from Streep tying them to “bribery, corruption, money laundering.” The film provokes two big claims — defamation and trademark infringement. The former because these lawyers have allegedly been cast falsely as criminals, and the latter because the movie utilizes the film’s registered logo while allegedly diminishing and diluting its value. To each of the claims, Netflix will likely raise First Amendment defenses, including how use of the logos is artistically relevant and not explicitly misleading. But for now, the move for a restraining order is what’s most pressing. Prior restraints on speech face nearly insurmountable odds in court. To overcome the First Amendment, Mossack and Fonseca present a theory of irreparable harm tied to their due process rights as potential defendants in a criminal case.

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Aug 27
2019

As The Hollywood Reporter writes, “The Laundromat” will hit select cinemas September 27 and then debut on Netflix on October 18 – a month earlier than the previously-announced November release. The Steven Soderbergh directed film has also expanded its festival run. After a world-premiere at the Venice Film Festival (September 01), it will be shown at the San Sebastian Film Festival’s sidebar section (no date yet) and the Toronto International Film Festival (September 09), where Streep is set to receive the inaugural TIFF Tribute Actor Award. Here’s the offcial synopsis: When her idyllic vacation takes an unthinkable turn, Ellen Martin (Meryl Streep) begins investigating a fake insurance policy, only to find herself down a rabbit hole of questionable dealings that can be linked to a Panama City law firm and its vested interest in helping the world’s wealthiest citizens amass even larger fortunes. The charming—and very well-dressed—founding partners Jürgen Mossack (Gary Oldman) and Ramón Fonseca (Antonio Banderas) are experts in the seductive ways shell companies and offshore accounts help the rich and powerful prosper. They are about to show us that Ellen’s predicament only hints at the tax evasion, bribery and other illicit absurdities that the super wealthy indulge in to support the world’s corrupt financial system.