Artists from three media will come together for a special event at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium on Sept. 19, as three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep joins the Takács String Quartet for readings from Philip Roth’s novella, “Everyman.” The readings will be interspersed with music by Franz Schubert and Arvo Pärt. The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. The event is already sold out (in less than 12 hours); however, obstructed view seats will be put on sale on Sept. 2. In the unlikely event there are remaining tickets, they will be made available for purchase after Sept. 2 at the Frist Campus Center Box Office, at (609) 258-9220. As described by The New York Times, Roth’s “Everyman” is the story of “a nameless, multi-divorced advertising man in New Jersey grappling with family estrangement, illness and death.” The event will be presented by Princeton University Concerts, which will also collaborate with the Princeton Adult School to offer a two-session course on Sept. 15 and 16, exploring the themes of Roth’s novella. The complete announcement can be read here. Many thanks to Glenn and Rachel for the heads-up.
The new issue of Empire has a fresh look at Meryl Streep in Rob Marshall’s film adaptation of Into The Woods. This still comes from the scene, glimpsed in the trailer, where Streep bursts in on the baker and his wife – wait, does that make no sense as a pairing to anyone else?). They wished to have children, but a curse was laid on the baker’s father by the witch decades before, and the only way she’s willing to lift it is if they find her four ingredients for a potion. Cue a quest that brings them into conflict with other fairytale characters, some of them rather different to how you remember.
A new batch of production and promotional stills as well as on-set pictures of Meryl’s films have been added to the image library. Updates range from 1979 to 1986 and include “The Seduction of Joe Tynan”, “Kramer vs. Kramer”, “Sophie’s Choice”, “Plenty” and “Heartburn”. For a complete overview and list, check the previews below.
Image Library – Feature Films – Heartburn – Production Stills
Image Library – Feature Films – Plenty – Production Stills
Image Library – Feature Films – Plenty – On-Set Pictures
Image Library – Feature Films – Out of Africa – Production Stills
Image Library – Feature Films – Falling in Love – Production Stills
Image Library – Feature Films – Falling in Love – Promotional Stills
Image Library – Feature Films – Sophie’s Choice – Production Stills
Image Library – Feature Films – Sophie’s Choice – Promotional Stills
Image Library – Feature Films – Sophie’s Choice – Deleted Scenes
Image Library – Feature Films – Sophie’s Choice – Posters & Key-Art
Image Library – Feature Films – Still of the Night – Promotional Stills
Image Library – Feature Films – Kramer vs. Kramer – Promotional Stills
Image Library – Feature Films – The Seduction of Joe Tynan – Production Stills
Image Library – Feature Films – The Seduction of Joe Tynan – Promotional Stills
Image Library – Feature Films – The Seduction of Joe Tynan – On-Set Pictures
Most publications have released their reviews for “The Giver” in time for the film’s theatrical release. Unfortunately, the film is not a favorite with critics. Most compare it to other recent YA movie adaptations, whose books have been inspired by “The Giver”, while the novel’s adaptation does not hold up compared with its successors. But here’s the good thing about critics: They give you a chance to see the film and make your own opinion. A new production still, featuring Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges, has been added to the gallery. Below’s a selection of reviews.
Entertainment Weekly (Jeff Labreque, August 15, 2014)
Bridges, who spent nearly 20 years trying to bring the novel to the screen, seems trapped playing the passive seer, and Meryl Streep’s villainous turn as the Jane Campion-haired Chief Elder will test the blind devotion of Golden Globe voters. In the end, the film practically collapses under its own…hmm, what’s the opposite of ‘weight’? In any case, it falls apart with a slapdash final act that doesn’t work as drama or action and only serves to undermine Jonas’s heroics. It’s treated as a quest so non-Herculean that you wonder why the Giver didn’t do the job himself years ago. Maybe he just lost interest too.
Variety (Scott Foundas, August 11, 2014)
Sameness, the conformist plague that afflicts the futuristic citizens of Lois Lowry’s celebrated and scorned YA novel, The Giver, might also be the name given to what ails the movie adaptation—the latest in a seemingly endless line of teen-centric dystopian fantasies that have become all but indistinguishable from one another. A longtime passion project for producer/star Jeff Bridges, The Giver reaches the screen in a version that captures the essence of Lowry’s affecting allegory but little of its mythic pull—a recipe likely to disappoint fans while leaving others to wonder what all the fuss was about.
The Hollywood Reporter (John DeFore, August 11, 2014)
The changes, which include making the book’s 12 year-old hero old enough to make tween viewers swoon (he’s played by 25 year-old Aussie Brenton Thwaites), surely enhance marketability, even if they sand some edges off a tale that has won many hearts over the years. The presence of Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep in supporting roles will help draw some attention from grown-ups who don’t know the book, but while the film may see enough success to justify follow-ups (Lowry has written three sequels), this franchise won’t come close to competing with The Hunger Games and other more epic series.
The Washington Post (Ann Hornaday, August 12, 2014)
In its own way, the movie version—handsomely directed by Phillip Noyce and featuring an appealing, sure-footed cast of emerging and veteran actors—aptly reflects The Giver’s pride of place as the one that started it all, or at least the latest wave. Ironically, it wasn’t until its imitators became box office bonanzas that The Giver was seen potentially profitable enough to produce for the big screen. Far less noisy and graphically violent than those films, this mournful coming-of-age tale feels like their more subdued and introspective older sibling, even as it trafficks in the self-dramatizing emotionalism and simplistic philosophizing that are so recognizably symptomatic of the YA genre.
The Wrap (Inkoo Kang, August 11, 2014)
If the film aces its depiction of the dawning horror and social alienation that comes with studying yesteryear, the rest is largely a failure. The Giver is an anti-totalitarian allegory so farcically hyperbolic it feels like only a teenager could have come up with it… [It] feels pinned and tucked into place, evincing a too-smooth surface with all the standard narrative folds and corners. The picture is more human than the people it depicts, but it merely goes and ends where you’d expect it to, save for a gruesomely stupid final two minutes that surprises only with its laziness.
Many thanks to Claudia for sending in two scans from this and last week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, covering the recent theatrical release of “The Giver” (check the following update for a selection of reviews) as as well as the upcoming Christmas release of “Into the Woods” among their anticipated films of 2014.
Another big batch of screencaptures have been added to the gallery. Most of these come from broadcasts of award shows through the years, ranging from the 1980 Academy Awards for “Kramer vs. Kramer” to the 2014 Academy Awards for “August:Osage County” – and plenty in between. Also added are more interview screencaptures from promotions for “A Cry in the Dark”, “Postcards from the Edge”, “The River Wild”, “Adaptation” and “The Manchurian Candidate”. For a complete list of all new and updated albums, have a look under the previews. Enjoy the new additions.
Awardsdaily has the latest scoop on “Into the Woods”, according to Entertainment Weekly. In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, director Rob Marshall confirms he has cut the new Stephen Sondheim song which was written for Meryl Streep’s Witch from the final cut of Into The Woods. Last year, Streep revealed that Sondheim had written a new song for her character, “I have a new song that Sondheim wrote for me, so it’s all very, very. He gave me the manuscript of it and he wrote, ‘don’t f**k it up!’”
However, Marshall said the new song has ended up on the cutting room floor, saying, “We’ve been incredibly faithful to the original.” He promised people wouldn’t be disappointed and added, “I don’t think people will be remotely ready to hear her sing this material. The power from her is off the charts.” The song would have been eligible for Best Original Song at the Oscars. It will however feature all the classic songs including “Children Will Listen,” “Giants in the Sky,” “On the Steps of the Palace,” “No One Is Alone” and “Agony,” to name a few.