Tuesday, June 17, 2008

840 Maple Street

Author(s): Connor Campbell
Location: TX

"840 Maple Street"

Written & Directed by Michel Gondry
Cinematography by Conrad W. Hall
Original Score by Jon Brion

Main Cast
Maggie Gyllenhaal- Elizabeth Kendrick
Tom Wilkinson- Samson Walker
Jeremy Sisto- Michael Kendrick
Elizabeth Perkins- Jessica Western
Matthew Broderick- Gary Western

Tagline: "Have you ever felt like someone‘s in your house?"

Synopsis: For 5 years, Michael & Elizabeth Kendrick have lived at 840 Maple Street in Santa Ana, California. Elizabeth is a somewhat successful psychiatrist while her husband Michael is a big shot lawyer for one of the most successful law firms in south L.A.. Their relationship has lost something in the last couple of months. Both of them are too afraid to say anything about it and Elizabeth has turned to her alcoholic sister Jessica and her uptight husband Gary for comfort. But what they don’t know is that 840 Maple Street has also been the address of Samson Walker for a little over 6 months now. Samson was once a surgical intern at a hospital but quit after watching his wife die in surgery. He lost everything, his house and all his money. He worked odd jobs his whole life after that until one day he saw Elizabeth watering her plants outside her house. He was fascinated by this young beauty who reminded him of his wife he lost so long ago. So when she left the house, he broke in and has lived in her house while the Kendrick’s were at work, and living in the attic and night. One day, Elizabeth got home early. Samson frantically hid in the pantry. 30 minutes later, Samson moved from the pantry and slowly headed for the stairs while Elizabeth watched T.V.. When he was just almost out of site, Elizabeth turned around to see the bottom of his feet. She saw this as a chance to freshen up her life. She called him back down to the living room. Samson told her his story and Elizabeth was so fascinated by this old homeless man and fell for him. It was the beginning of an affair. When she was sure Michael was asleep, she would sneak up to the attic to be with Samson. He made Elizabeth happier than she had ever been. But when Elizabeth got pregnant, the real problems arose.

What the Press would say:
Michel Gondry’s newest film 840 Baker Street is a breathtaking film about a woman who takes back her life by having an affair with an old homeless man who’s been secretly living in her attic. Gondry has directed this film perfectly with the perfect blend of comedy and drama. Elizabeth, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal is one of the most original characters in recent cinema history. Maggie gives her best performance ever as the young psychiatrist who reclaims her boring life. She has proven that she will be among the greatest actresses to have lived. Maggie will certainly receive her first Oscar nomination and definitely her first win. Tom Wilkinson teams up with Michel Gondry once again with another brilliant performance. You forget that he’s homeless and old and learn to love him. Jeremy Sisto is also good as the husband who’s a little too involved in work to notice that his wife is sleeping with a hobo. Elizabeth Perkins stole every scene she was in as Jessica. Perkins is perfect as an alcoholic and is a lock for Best Supporting Actress. Rounding out the cast list is Matthew Broderick who nails the character Gary Western, a sort of real life Ned Flanders. This film is spectacular with a near perfect score from Jon Brion and the amazing cinematography of Conrad W. Hall, son of Academy Award Winning cinematographer Conrad L. Hall.
Hall has proven himself with some of the best cinematography for a comedy I’ve ever seen. Overall, 840 Maple Street is a masterpiece and is by far the best film of the year.

Best Picture
Best Director- Michel Gondry
Best Actor- Tom Wilkinson
Best Actress- Maggie Gyllenhaal
Best Supporting Actor- Matthew Broderick
Best Supporting Actor- Jeremy Sisto
Best Supporting Actress- Elizabeth Perkins
Best Original Screenplay- Michel Gondry
Best Cinematography- Conrad W. Hall
Best Original Score- Jon Brion

The Abstinence Teacher

Author(s): Chris M.
Location: NJ

"The Abstinence Teacher"

Directed by Curtis Hanson
Written by Curtis Hanson and Tom Perrotta based on the novel “The Abstinence Teacher” by Tom Perrotta
Original Music by Thomas Newman

Main Cast
Mary Louise Parker - Ruth Ramsey
Steve Carell – Tim Mason
Holly Hunter – Erika Morgan
Sean William Scott - Marvin Keats
Kristen Stewart - Tracey Ramsey
John Lithgow - Pastor Dennis

Tagline: "The movie with something to offend everyone"

Synopsis: Ruth Ramsey is a single mother, who is the sexual education teacher at the local high school, in the prominent town of Stone Wood Heights. Ruth approaches her "Health & Family Life" course with unflappable, matter-of-fact candor. Convinced that pleasure is good, shame is bad, and knowledge is power, she saw it as her mission to demystify sex. During the previous term, Ruth sparked a nasty community backlash when she took advantage of a teachable moment when she told her students, "From what I hear about oral sex, some people enjoy it." Erika Morgan, a noted conservative cable news pundit created a media storm when a concerned parent informed her about Ruth’s comment. Ruth found herself subjected to a lawsuit, denounced by religious figures across the country and dubbed the "Oral Sex Lady." Not only was Ruth forced to issue a public apology, but the school board adopted a new abstinence curriculum designed by Christian fundamentalists and supervised by a Marvin Keats, a highly attractive, but ferociously judgmental virginity consultant.Forced to teach this puritanical new curriculum in her classroom and enduring a long spot of involuntary abstinence at home, Ruth suffers through a lonely, aggravating fall term. Ruth’s’ life takes an interesting turn when she meets her daughter Tracy’s new soccer coach, Tim Mason. Ruth recognized him from her mandatory Tabernacle Church group meetings that she has to attend in order to keep her job. They become fast friends. Tim is a bit of a town pariah as well. Last year Tim lost his high paying job, after he hit a parked car while under the influence. To avoid a jail sentence, he agreed to community service, and was advised to coach the girl’s soccer team as a way giving back to the community. Tim's a reformed alcoholic and drug addict who's putting his life back in order with the help of the Church under the guidance of Pastor Dennis. Pastor Dennis, whom appears to be a strict and severe, political and social conservative, is truly a sincere individual who is concerned about his congregation. It’s under Pastor Dennis that the bond between Ruth and Tim flourishes. Over the past six months, they both have suffered the abuse, the insults, and public humiliation; it’s through their relationship and bond made that they can rebuild their lives, and ultimately creates a new life together.

What the Press would say:
Curtis Hanson has created a compelling film that captures the recent American phenomena that is the conservative evangelical movement. Hanson creates a darkly humorous film that examines the societal contradictions and hypocrisies in this evolving adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s novel “The Abstinence Teacher.” Mary Louise Parker leads this strong ensemble as Ruth Ramsey, a paranoid, pretentious sexual education teacher who crosses the line one too many times. She is hilarious in her self deprecating humor, and brings a sincere intensity to the role that only she can. Parker will be too hard to ignore by the Academy. Steve Carell delivers another intelligent comedic performance as the reformed alcoholic. Carell is at his best in this dark comedy when he flexes his ability to balance comedy and drama within the same scene, something few actors can do with such ease. Watch out for Carell in the Best Actor Race, he will be a contender. John Lithgow and Holly Hunter turn in hilarious supporting performances. Lithgow is incredible as Pastor Dennis, the over the top evangelical minister, and Holly Hunter as the insanely narcissistic, self processed “Moral Watchdog” Erika Morgan, a nationally famed conservative media pundit who creates a firestorm surrounding Ruth Ramsey. Both actors deliver tour de force performances, and will be recognized for their brilliant comedic work. The team of Curtis Hanson and Tom Perrotta has delivered a socially relevant and involving dark comedy. The auteur and the author will be rewarded for this successful collaborative effort. See the movie everyone is talking about.

For Your Consideration:
Best Picture (GG – Comedy / Musical)
Best Director – Curtis Hanson
Best Actor – Steve Carell
Best Actress – Mary Louise Parker
Best Supporting Actor – John Lithgow
Best Supporting Actress – Holly Hunter
Best Adapted Screenplay – Curtis Hanson and Tom Perrotta

Across the River

Author(s): Chris M.
Location: NJ

"Across the River"

Produced by Jonathan Demme
Directed by Jonathan Demme
Written by Bo Goldman
Based on the 1988 Etienne Chatiliez’s film “La vie est un long fleuve Tranquille”

Main Cast
Hugh Grant as Conrad Darling
Emma Thompson as Judith Darling
Tyler Hoechlin as Landon Darling
Dennis Quaid as Jerry Lahey
Elisabeth Perkins as Margery Lahey
John Patrick Amedori as Sean Lahey
Christina Ricci as Nurse Carol
Matt Dillon as Dr. Foster

Tagline: "N/A"

Synopsis: On Thanksgiving, 1989, at New York Presbyterian hospital, two women gave birth to sons. A nurse, named Carol is very upset because she has just found out that her obstetrician lover, Dr. Foster, is going to spend Thanksgiving with his wife and children instead of her. During her fit of hysteria she ends up accidentally switching the two infants shortly after delivery. Carol thinks she might have made a mistake but does not tell anyone because the children look so similar. Eighteen years later, Carol, on her deathbed, confesses to Dr. Foster, who in turn must contact the two families. The elitist, upper- class Darlings found out that their precious little boy has grown up across the Hudson River with the uncivilized, lower class Laheys. Horrified by how their child has lived, the Darlings decide to bring their son, Sean, back into their sheltered home; the Laheys agree, but for a fee. Sean's habits, however, are deeply ingrained; meanwhile the son the Darling’s have raised as their own, Landon, who begins to ponder curiosities about his real parents; and all hell breaks loose at the Darlings Manhattan Brownstone. Sean's arrival causes havoc among the upright, uptight Darlings and creates a link between the two socially opposite families.

What the Press would say:
“Across the River”, is, as everybody has been saying, the funniest movie in years. There are some filmmakers who can literally get away with anything, say anything, do anything, and people will let them. “Across the River” is a crazed grab-bag of a movie that does everything to keep us laughing. Jonathan Demme and Bo Goldman, the Oscar winning team behind “Melvin & Howard” reunite to create one of the most memorable comedies in years. This duo will be too tough to forget come nomination time, creating a lasting impression in the minds of whoever sees the film. “Across the River’s” comedy, performances, and insights are all dead-on perfect. The comedic team of Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant, as the wealthy elitist Darlings is wonderful. Emma Thompson has the stand out performance as the matriarch, Judith Darling, an aging socialite who learns that the son she has been raising for the past eighteen years really belongs to a gross, small time criminal family from New Jersey. She is hysterical and will be too hard to be ignored when nominations are announced. Dennis Quaid and Elisabeth Perkins turn in career best performances in their supporting roles as the Laheys. They are brilliant as the disgusting, lower class criminals who continually come up with new ways to scam the government, and parents who care more about money than the welfare of their own child. Nominations for Quaid and Perkins seem like a very strong possibility. Watch out for young actors John Patrick Amedori and Tyler Hoechlin as the children separated at birth. John Patrick Amedori, plays Sean, and delivers a terrific performance in his spookier-than-thou turn as the demented long lost son. Tyler Hoechlin plays Landon Darling and delivers a performance that matches his stunning debut in “Road to Perdition.” Hoechlin will likely be recognized for his strong work as a son who struggles to suppress his curiosity about his biological parents even though he knows they are terrible people. He brings the heart to this film. This is the one film you must see this season; it certainly is the most talked about.

For Your Consideration:
Best Picture
Best Director – Jonathan Demme
Best Actress – Emma Thompson
Best Supporting Actor – Dennis Quaid
Best Supporting Actor - John Patrick Amedori
Best Supporting Actor – Tyler Hoechlin
Best Supporting Actress – Elisabeth Perkins
Best Adapted Screenplay – Bo Goldman

Batman: End of All Hope

Author(s): Tony
Location: Pittsburgh

"Batman: End of all Hope"

Directed by Chan-wook Park
Written by Timothy J. Sexton
Music by Javier Navarrete
Produced by Grant Hill

Main Cast
Billy Crudup as Batman/Bruce Wayne
Robert Knepper as The Riddler/Edward Nigma
Madeleine Stowe as Silver St. Cloud
Ian McKellen as Alfred Pennywood
William H. Macy as Commissioner Jim Gordon
Laurence Fishburne as Lucious Fox
Martin Henderson as Dr. Richard Thorton
Ling Bai as Echo
Mellisa George as Query

Tagline: "One mans revenge is another mans obsession"

Synopsis: Chapter 1: "I am the beginning of all things. I am at the end of eternity. There is but one path from my beginning to my end. My whole embodies indifference. What am I?"The sounds of the heart monitor triggered that empty feeling Bruce had at the bottom of his soul, sitting there bed side near his father figure for most of his life. After the near death beating from Two-Face and Black Mask, Alfred still was in his coma. Months have past and comas this long are a rarity, which bothered Bruce. All he could do is sit back and think the fact that Mask had escaped and left Two-Face to die. Due to the wounds, Bruce knew no word would come from Black Mask in a long time, and it hadn't. His personal psychiatrist, Dr. Richard Thorton suggests that Bruce should be get back to work to pass the time, throw parties and socialize with the wealthy. He was after all the most powerful man in Gotham, which later on would prove to be his downfall.Chapter 2: "No legs have I to dance, no lungs have I to breathe, no life have I to live or die, yet I do all three, what am I?"A yacht party was how Bruce tried to forget about the problems at hand. On this yacht was sassy Silver St. Cloud and the brilliant, yet esoteric Edward Nigma. Atracted was Silver towards the blissful Bruce Wayne they all knew, yet he was confronted by the always plotting Nigma, who had to be restrained from Bruce. According to Nigma, he felt insulted that Bruce made his name through the family, money, and power, while his own wit and intelligence would prove to be much more potent. After the confrontation, Silver and Bruce would continue their discussions, and soon to be very close friends, which is what Bruce needed, or did he?Chapter 3: "You heard me before, yet you hear me again. Then I die, 'til you call me again. What am I?"Edward Nigma was a disturbed inventor, a genius fascinated with riddles and puzzles. He suffered from obsessive compulsion, the only reasons for his soon to be actions were to prove that he was the greatest person in the history of the world. That is how is alter ego, the Riddler, began. With no sign of Batman in weeks, The Riddler decided to begin his experiment. Along with his two assistants Echo and Query, two firearm and combat rebels, the Riddler would take his inventions and turn them into death traps, when the simple answer of a riddle would be the only chance of escape. He could never kill his victims when he had full control. With Batman missing, the Riddler owned the streets of Gotham.Chapter 4: "Give me an x, I'll stand to face you. Give me a cross, I'll turn my back on you. What am I?"With the Riddler purposely leaving clues at his crime scenes calling out Batman, Jim Gordon is on the hunt to find the Bat to put an end to the Riddlers madness. While Bruce was still in an emotional state and spending more time with Silver, Nigma went on a search to identify Batmans identity. After all the Riddlers careful calcuations, he would know Batmans true identity, but to reveal it was to easy. Nigma wanted to manipulate Gothams most feared vigilante in his personal life, starting with the murder of his psychatrist Thorton. With Bruce knowing the Riddler was after him, he took extreme caution with Silver, but it was too late. The Riddler captured Silver and put her in a mechnical device that would be stopped if Silver knew the keyword. "No sooner spoken than broken. What is it?" Chapter 5: "I come in darkness, but fill the mind with light. I bring enlightenment to some, while gripping others in the hand of fear. What am I?"After the funeral Bruce could think of nothing but vengeance. The device was triggered by sound, and all Silver had to do was silence herself, she couldn't. The Riddler had done it and drawn the Bat out. Now, Batman is on a mission to the Riddler down. To do so he must beat the Riddler at his own game he must take back the streets of Gotham, go through the Riddlers deadly traps, and some how, some way bring him to justice.

What the Press would say:
The Bat is back, and this time with a vengeance. Director Chan-wook Park, the man who brought us Oldboy and Lady Vengeance, takes part in the second film of this Batman epic. Park is known for his cult classics based on the revenge theme, End of all Hope was made for Park. His inventive and clever directing has a visual style that outstrips his ability to tell a story. Aside him is returning writer of Scars of Tomorrow, Tim Sexton, who once again brings a marvelous script that pays tribute to the old Batman comics, the ruthless villains and troubled hero. Much like Scars of Tomorrow, End of all Hope doesn't hold anything back, while being a superhero film it's not for the faint of heart Though not gory in the least bit, it's the surroundings that make this film what it is, a more disturbing look at a superhero that shows human capability, emotion. Aside from the director change, much of the cast has stayed the same. Crudup returns and is putting any other superhero that put on the black suit in shame. Crudup shows more acting ability then any other role in his career. While this film is loaded with suspenseful action, close calls, and nifty gadgets, Crudup takes on the most challenging aspect of Batman, realizing he's human after all. A new addition has been added to End of all Hope, and that is the natorious villian The Riddler, played by the uncomparable Robert Knepper. Knepper takes his ruthless Prison Break antics to use and transforms into the Riddler, a man with one of the most dangerous weapons, obsession. Nothing in his personal life was distorted, some people are just born evil. His weakness is himself, his condition allows him to be defeated. Knepper is sadistic, witty, and sinister, as a Batman villian should be.Don't miss out on falls most riveting action drama, Batman: End of all Hope. The superhero film for adults, the next great sequel in film.

Best Picture - Chan-wook Park
Best Director - Chan-wook Park
Best Actor - Billy Crudup
Best Supporting Actor - Robert Knepper
Best Original Screenplay - Timothy Sexton
Best Original Score
Best Cinematagraphy
Best Art Direction

Before She Sleeps

Author(s): Ryan D.
Location: MA

"Before She Sleeps"

Directed by: Stephen Daldry
Written by: Michael Cunningham

Main Cast
Cristina Ricci as Jude Cartow
Zooey Deschanel as Julia Paltrow
Julianne Moore as Suzanna Armstrong
Casey Affleck as Detective Falantry

Tagline: "3 Woman, 3 different times, 1 thing in common"

Synopsis: This is the story of the psyche of three female killers. Each in different periods of time, and at different stages in their murdering careers.First there is Jude (Ricci). She lives in the 1950’s, and looks like any average woman. One problem with Jude is she has been in a bad relationship where the man overpowers her. Her way of feeling dominant was killing him. Now she can’t stop killing. Though she wants to stop she feeds on feeling dominant.Than there is Julia (Deschanel). Julia is from the 1960’s. Julia, an Ivy League grad, looked like she was heading in the right direction. She than ended up marrying white trash and killed him when she couldn’t take it anymore. Right now she has been caught and throughout the whole film she is interrogated by Detective Falantry (Affleck). In interrogation she reflects on her regrets and life as a serial killer.Finally there is Suzanna (Moore). She lives in the present and is a lonely depressed woman living in New York City. She has low self esteem and feels like she isn’t noticed. She has decided she is going to kill someone to get famous. Even if it isn’t positive attention it is still attention in her mind. The film focuses on her pre-shooting.

What the Press would say:
Before She Sleeps is a moving, thrilling tail of the psyche of a female killer. With knock-out performances, good direction, and intelligent writing, this film is one of the year’s best.Director Stephen Daldry is really in his element, you get a good feel for this films direction. Daldry has a clear plan and follows through on it which is the best thing a director can do. The writing moves the film along with an appropriate pace and he gives each female depth.All three women really shine. Each has that one scene or line that screams Oscar. Cristina Ricci plays Jude with sorrow that really reads in her eyes. Zooey Deschanel giving her breakout dramatic performance steps it up to really shine. She has the hardest task; she is in one room for almost the whole film, sitting in a chair and still never bores you. Her slow deep southern accent reads perfectly for her character especially when she says “I have worked too hard in my life to get somewhere I aint ever goin’, how would that make you feel.” Julianne Moore exudes excellence with probably her most challenging role to date. Her character is extremely messed up in the head, and has so many layers, and Moore succeeds. Her scenes have a lot more art attached to them including scenes in her head of her falling into quick sand in her bedroom, and her whole room filling up with water. This film is a knock out.

Best Picture
Best Director
Best Original Screenplay
Best Actress-Cristina Ricci
Best Supporting Actress-Zooey Deschanel
Best Supporting Actress-Julianne Moore
Best Supporting Actor-Casey Affleck


Author(s): Chris P. / Zgamer
Location: IL / Eagle, ID


Written and Directed by Jason Reitman
Music by Rolfe Kent
Edited by Dana E. Glauberman
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures
Produced by Daniel Dubiecki and Joseph Drake

Main Cast
Jason Bateman as Patrick Layton
Linda Cardenilli as Amy Witherspoon
Andy Griffith as Richard Goodwin
Hank Azaria as Jim Shultz
Cloris Leachman as Wendy Goodwin
J.K. Simmons as Brad Eastbrook
Jenna Fisher as Susan Page

Tagline: "With the right reviews, any film can win an Oscar"

Synopsis: Patrick Layton (Bateman) is a well-known romantic comedy producer who has just recently funded a new film he feels will win him respect from the critics and his peers. It's a masterful big budget WWII epic romance titled, "The Other Side of the World", written by his war film loving friend Jim Shultz (Azaria). Ever since he read the first draft, he'd been convinced it would be a hit. It has Oscar written all over it. However, once the heads of Megamount Studios viewed the film, it became apparent that Layton's Oscar hopeful film could turn out to be a flop. So Brad Eastbrook (Simmons), the bombastic studio head, comes up with an idea. They must hire a critic to write fake reviews around the Internet promoting the film as a legitimate Oscar contender and a sure box office success to protect their investments. The critic he hires is Richard Goodwin (Griffith), a recently unemployed professional critic who was fired from his job after writing bad reviews to future successes, tarnishing his magazines respected name. Goodwin is first unsure about the idea but soon accepts the offer in order to keep his naggy wife, Wendy (Leachman), off his back. Once the reviews are posted on the web, Layton and his pregnant girlfriend, Amy Witherspoon (Cardenilli), start to believe his film actually has a chance at winning an Oscar. Then the film's good buzz finds itself in jeopardy after Susan Page (Fisher), an up and coming entertainment reporter, writes an article exposing the fake reviews that could ultimately hurt the film's chances at being a hit.

What the Press would say:
Jason Reitman certainly knows how to satirize Hollywood with his newest release "Buzzed" . He delved into it a little in "Thank You For Smoking" , but now he really gets a chance to smack around not only the awards-crazy mentality of studio heads but also the God-like power Hollywood gives critics come Oscar time. However, rather than go for the usual visual gags other directors use, Reitman weapon of choice in the film is witty dialogue and there's plenty of it in this film. Whether it's a heated argument between studio head Eastbrook and critic Goodwin or the casually mindless chatter of Layton and his girlfriend, Reitman covers a lot of ground that ranges from humorous, touching and, more often than not, truthful. His screenplay is simply brilliant, with some really hilarious scenes and very likable characters backing it up.The technicals for the film, while not its strong point, really create a distinct identity for the piece in a way that could only suit Reitman's directing style. The editing sets a nice pace that intermingles with the dialogue effectively and the settings, though not huge set pieces, really establish location. However, what will keep audiences attention is Reitman collaborator Rolfe Kent's delightful score. Just like his score in "Sideways", it creates the perfect mood for the bait, with a bit of light heartedness sprinkled with a dose of reality. From the opening suite to the closing credits, this may be the film's sure-fire Oscar win for technicals.Of course, it's the acting that really makes the film shine. Reitman has created another likable ensemble from actors few know about, but whom everyone will love. Bateman shines as Patrick Layton, the hopeful yet naive producer who wants to get his due. It's not exactly what specific thing Bateman does onscreen that him great, but just the way he handles his character throughout. All the little quirks Layton is given (especially that laugh) make the character come to life. The supporting cast is no slacker though. From Leachman's naggy but good intentioned wife to Cardenilli's faithful but distracted girlfriend/fiance, everyone has a chance to shine. However, two individuals make the biggest impression of the group. First is Simmon's loudmouthed (and sometimes foul-mouthed) studio head Brad Eastbrook. He is such a hilariously misguided character who embodies everything that makes people think Hollywood is nothing but a money whore. From his rapid-fire speech to his cut-corners attitude, Simmon's character steals the spotlight from almost everyone around him. The other is Griffith's Roger Ebert-like critic Richard Goodwin. He's such a lovable old guy that you just can't help but be mad at the way he handles his personal life. Plus, his scene with Simmons where they discuss "pretty actors" will most likely go down as one of the funniest dialogue scenes ever filmed. That should earn him an easy nod.This is by far the wittiest film of the year. From the great characters to the superb dialogue, this sets the benchmark for Reitman's films to come.

Awards Consideration
Best Picture
Best Director - Jason Reitman
Best Original Screenplay- Jason Reitman
Best Actor - Jason Bateman
Best Supporting Actor - Andy Griffith
Best Supporting Actor - J.K. Simmons
Best Supporting Actress - Cloris Leachman
Best Supporting Actress - Linda Cardenilli
Best Original Score- Rolfe Kent

The Cabin

Author(s): Chris M.
Location: NJ

"The Cabin"

Produced, Written, and Directed by Christopher Nolan
Original Score composed by Howard Shore
Cinematography by Wally Pfister
Film Editing by Dody Dorn
Original Music written by Bob Dylan

Main Cast
Jeremy Irons as Rory Colme
Kathy Bates as Anne Marie Courtney
Christian Bale as Robert Burns
Sandra Bulluck as Loraine Devine
Mos Def as Rondell Anthony

Tagline: "For them it was their shot at a dream, for him, their dream was his next novel"

Synopsis: Best selling author Rory Colme (Irons) is holding a contest for his most ardent fans. For over one month, contestants around the country submitted short stories they have written for a chance to win a spot in Colmes personal cabin in Wyoming. This cabin is where Colme’s has written every single one of his thirty best-selling novels. Four lucky contestants will be chosen and will spend three months in the cabin; they will compete in complete isolation from the outside world, a condition similar to what Lord Byron, Mary Shelley and others faced in the nineteenth century; that isolated group produced works such as Frankenstein; who knows what this group will produce. The ultimate winner will have their final product published by Colmes. Colmes hand picks each contestant, whom are, Anne-Marie Courtney (Bates), a housewife and mother of four from Maine, Robert Burns (Bale), a recent divorcee, who is a history professor at the University of Colorado, Rondell Anthony (Def), a working class family man from Georgia, and Loraine Devine (Bullock), a bakery owner from Texas, who was recently widowed. What happens when four strangers are stuck together in small quarters for three months, completely isolated from the outside world? Tempers rise, sanity is questioned, and survival is a goal. The contest is really a clever guise for Colmes real ambition, he has the cabin under surveillance and is writing his newest novel based on the behavior of these four very different contestants.

What the Press would say:
Christopher Nolan has successfully woven another psychological thriller in his modern masterpiece, “The Cabin”. Nolan has created another heart pounding film. Nolan will be recognized by the academy for his incredible script and intelligent direction. Instead of big budgets and special effects, Nolan allows his actors and script to leave his mark and it’s a powerful mark that he leaves. Look for an acting nomination for Christian Bale, who plays a troubled college professor who is coming to terms with his recent divorce, and is on the verge of losing his sanity. Critics are hailing his performance as one of the most realistic portrayals of a mental breakdown in film history. Bale is not only going to be nominated but he will win the Best Supporting Actor. Kathy Bates is incredible as Anne-Marie Courtney, a sheltered housewife and mother from Maine whose hobby has been writing short stories with aspirations of becoming a famous novelist. She shines in this role; she is socially awkward and does not deal well with the situation she has entered. Bates has created an endearing character that the audiences sympathies with, and come January, so will the Academy. Sandra Bullock plays Loraine Devine, and delivers the strongest performance of her career, in a role that is a departure from the lighter fare she is known for. Bullock dives into the role of Loraine Devine, a clinically depressed woman who hopes that this contest will help her in her process of grieving the loss of her deceased husband. Her condition worsens over time and she contemplates suicide only to survive with the unlikely ally of Rondell Anthony. Rondell is played by Mos Def who continues to build a resume of impressive work. He is the mediator who prevents confrontations between his housemates from escalating. He questions his own sanity but fights to the very end to return to his family. Jeremy Irons is brilliant as Rory Colmes, a two faced novelist who jeopardizes the sanity and health of four contestants in order to create his next best selling book. He plays his character effectively, as the man we love to hate. Irons will most certainly be rewarded for his work as the manipulative author. “The Cabin” is operatic in its ambition; a great, joyous leap into melodrama and coincidence, with ragged emotions, crimes and punishments, generational turmoil and celestial intervention, all scored to Bob Dylan’s inventive music. The more you think about “The Cabin”, the dry wit, the bravura staging, the intricate design, the wondrous performances, the better and more unusual the film seems. “The Cabin” is an impressive film with superior acting; featuring career best performances from its distinguished cast, a cant miss this awards season.

Best Picture
Best Director – Christopher Nolan
Best Actor – Jeremy Irons
Best Supporting Actor – Christian Bale
Best Supporting Actor – Mos Def
Best Supporting Actress – Kathy Bates
Best Supporting Actress – Sandra Bullock
Best Original Screenplay – Christopher Nolan
Best Cinematography - Wally Pfister
Best Film Editing - Dody Dorn
Best Original Score – Howard Shore
Best Original Song – Bob Dylan