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Posts Tagged ‘ Viggo Mortensen ’

O’Dowd To Star In Lance Armstrong Biopic

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StudioCanal is set to team up once again with Working Title, this time to finance and handle international sales on Stephen FrearsLance Armstrong biopic, which it will launch at AFM. The Paris-based studio will also handle distribution in France, U.K., Germany and Australia.

Based on the book Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong by Irish sports journalist David Walsh, the film is set to star Roscommon native Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) as Walsh and Ben Foster (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) as the disgraced seven-time Tour de France champion. Breaking Bad’s Jesse Plemons and Cesar-winning actor/director Guillaume Canet are on board for supporting roles. Shooting will start October 18 in France and the U.K. Continue reading

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On The Road…

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn…”

With the help of one all star cast which includes Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams, Kristen Stewart and Tom Sturridge director Walter Salles has finally done what so many before him have only ever dreamed of; brought to the big screen Jack Kerouacs 1957 novel On The Road. Adapting such a well known and well loved novel was never going to be easy but fortunately for the Brazilian director, the novels legion of die-hard fans, and of course all those fantasists that came before him I can honestly say that he has risen to the challenge and done quite the respectable if not somewhat predictable job here. When I say predictable I am of course referring to Salles earlier film The Motorcycle Diaries which On The Road undoubtedly echoes. Perhaps 2004s effort was simply the directors way of warming up? Who knows!

Set in the late 1940s On The Road tells the story of a group of young hipsters all of whom are yearning to experience something real, something beautiful. Although the story belongs to Sal Paradise (Sam Riley) the real star of the show is the charismatic Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) who is all but determined to live his life against the conformist grain. Following the death of his father aspiring writer Sal who is desperate to escape the bout of writers block that has been plaguing him for far too long now, begins frequenting various dive bars with the poet Carlo Marx (Tom Sturridge) only to find little in the way of inspiration or indeed relief. But then, suddenly he meets the freewheeling alpha male that is Dean and everything changes. Both the audience and Sal are first introduced to a stark naked Dean who has apparently been enjoying a tryst with his 16 year old bride Marylou (Kristen Stewart) So fascinated and inspired is Sal by this sexually charged and free spirit who seems so gloriously unbound by the restrictions of life, doing what he wants when he wants, and determined to avoid all sense of responsibility that he actually embarks upon a series of cross country road trips with him. Of course these aren’t just any old road trips rather they are the adventures that inspire Salles furious scribbling of notes for a would-be novel.

Predictably, Marylou joins the guys on the road and it isn’t long before Sal develops a sort of infatuation with the saucy youth but somehow it never feels genuine and viewers get the feeling that he doesn’t really care about her and that this infatuation may in fact be the result of one seriously displaced homoerotic bond with Dean. Hrmmm! Throughout the entire film we the audience are treated to a birdseye view of the non conformist life. A life in which drugs, experimental sex, jazz and black culture are all embraced – eagerly! We are also introduced to a whole host of equally weird and wonderful characters including the eccentric couple that is Old Bull Lee (Viggo Mortensen) and Jane (Amy Adams) as well as some very angry women who have been used and abused by the men of the film such as Camille (Kirsten Dunst – so good to have her back!) Camille, in case you were wondering, is the much more stable woman Dean eventually divorces Marylou for in order to settle down and start having babies with. As you can imagine, that doesn’t exactly work out and the films stud quickly returns, again and again, to the ever tolerant and ever willing arms of his ex-wife. Let the drama (or should I say even more drama?) begin…

Although, On The Road does carry with it a sort of touching sadness whereby Dean eventually becomes the used up and left behind raw material for a book destined to make Sal a wealthy New York big-shot the films impact is at best variable. This, I don’t believe can be attributed to any one thing. A film adaptation of the novel was always going to prove difficult after all throughout the novel there is a complete lack of dramatic structure as the book focuses on not one but several unique journeys which ultimately results in a fitfully episodic narrative. All of these are issues even the best director would struggle to overcome and as a result Salles deserves our respect as do the actors and especially the actresses who give it their all. Truly the women of this film do a brilliant job in each of their respective roles and in my opinion really steal the show. It is, after all, their shrill yet futile anger that proves to be one of the most raw and convincing elements of the entire film. And believe me I hate to say this but Stewart (Best known for her role as Bella in Twilight or perhaps for cheating on Robert Pattinson – the horror) who was chosen for the role of Marylou almost five years ago after giving a stellar performance in Into The Wild is perfect, in fact she is beyond perfect. As a long term fan of cinematography I have to say Eric Gautier makes great use of superb and diverse locations such as New York, Canada, Mexico and Argentina making this film, regardless of its overall success one truly worth seeing. Also wonderful is the overall sense you get when looking at the clothes, the decor and hearing the vast range of music that this film was researched to its very limit which not only lends a wonderful sense of authenticity to the movie but makes it an absolute pleasure to watch.

Just remember this; it is extremely rare for any adaptation or interpretation of a song, book, film or any other creative piece to live up to it’s original self and I can guarantee you will enjoy this film!

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