SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER NEWS 2013
The world premiere of
THOR: THE DARK WORLD was held in London's
Leicester Square on Tuesday evening. Stellan was on the red carpet with
his wife plus several cast members and director Alan Taylor. Stellan
reprised his role as scientist Erik Selvig in this latest Marvel film in
which he runs around Stonehenge half naked. When interviewed on the red
carpet, he said, "If you've seen what I've done before, you'll know that
I'm naked in half of my films so it wasn't a big deal. And I was born
naked too! I got a question through my agent asking would I mind
[getting naked] and I didn't mind." After reading several reviews, I had the feeling that
his comical scene brought welcome humor to the film, which presently has
a respectable 83% on the Tomatometer. It hits US theaters on November
8th. Check out the film page and the
premiere photo gallery.
the critics really hate ROMEO AND JULIET!
Out of 61 reviews at the Tomatometer, 47 are rotten giving the film
a 23% rating. Peter Rainer of The Christian Science Monitor sums the
majority view this way:
"What can you say about a
'Romeo and Juliet' that lacks heat, romance, eroticism, or lyricism?
Mercifully, not much. Carlo Carlei’s version of Shakespeare’s
warhorse never leaves the barn. Streamlined (i.e., dumbed down) by
screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who has seen better days with 'Gosford
Park' and 'Downton Abbey,' this adaptation will probably turn off
the young audiences for whom it was apparently intended. Hailee
Steinfeld’s Juliet is rather lovely and rather bland; Douglas
Booth’s Romeo might have stepped out of a special Renaissance Faire
edition of GQ."
the past week, I have added over 50 new
portrait photos to Stellan Online. I have also completed the
TAKING SIDES film page, which I
thoroughly enjoyed researching. I was thrilled to see overwhelming
praise for Stellan's performance. I viewed it several years ago and
loved it. Adapted from a play by Ronald Harwood, "Taking Sides" stars
Harvey Keitel as a U.S. Army officer in charge of investigating Berlin
Philharmonic conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, played by Stellan,
under the auspices of the American Denazification Committee in the years
following WWII. Furtwängler is accused of staying in Germany and
mounting performances for Hitler's staff during the war, but he argues
that he owed it to his country to stay and lift spirits through music,
while working behind the scenes to get Jewish musicians out of harm's
haughty and magnificently haunted, and Keitel has simply never been
better as a crass middle American who becomes the unlikely custodian
and avenging angel of the values of Western Civilization."
director Lars Von Trier loves controversy so this new provocative poster
campaign for NYMPHOMANIAC
comes as no surprise. Fourteen of his actors perform their best
rendition of an orgasm. There are no x-rated body parts revealed and
most photos are taken tastefully from the chest up though Stellan
gives us so much more. Again, no surprise since our Swedish thespian
adores taking off his clothes. His poster actually reminds me of his
shower scene in "Aberdeen".
we now have this beautiful poster of THE
RAILWAY MAN. The film premiered at TIFF on
September 6th and was also featured at the Zurich Film Festival on
September 30th. Internationally, American audiences will be the last to
see it. Harvey Weinstein reportedly dished out $2 million to purchase US
distribution rights but, for some reason, will not release it here in
the states until some time next year. In the meantime, Australia will
premiere it on December 26th followed by the UK a week later.
weekend ROMEO AND JULIET will have a
limited theatrical release in the US and Canada with a wide release in
the UK. On the Tomatometer, it's scoring 29% with 7 reviews tallied.
Today John Anderson of Newsday reviewed the film:
Less Bard, Less Passion. Every
generation seems to get the "Romeo and Juliet" it deserves: Baz
Luhrmann's hip-hop-and-Shakespeare sampling of '96; Franco
Zeffirelli's countercultural nude-sex version of '68. Director Carlo
Carlei's 2013 adaptation - starring "True Grit's" Hailee Steinfeld
as the ill-fated Capulet, and the lush-lipped Douglas Booth as her
main-squeezable Montague - has a predictable approach to making
Shakespeare more accessible: less Shakespeare. And more Julian
Fellowes, author of all those easily digestible "Downton Abbey"
episodes, whose screenplay takes great leaping liberties with the
Bard's most popular play, while feigning faithfulness. It's a neat
It is not, however, a very successful movie, partly because what has
so distinguished "R&J" is an uncanny use of comedy; the humor cuts
the tragedy, while making it more sharp. There are certainly some
laughable moments - Booth's first languorous close-up is one - but
there's a sober, sobering spirit to the production that takes the
joy out of a character like the Nurse and her exchanges with Friar
Laurence and gives us a "Romeo and Juliet" that walks around, like
much of its cast, with flared nostrils.
is our first look at Lily James as CINDERELLA!
Disney states that the look, crafted by director Kenneth Branagh, honors
the tradition of the iconic princess while giving it a new spin. "She
combines knockout beauty with intelligence, wit, fun, and physical
grace," Branagh says of the new version.
will be a wide theatrical release for FRANKIE
& ALICE on April 4, 2014. Yes, over five years since it was
shot! The movie has finally been picked up by the Lionsgate label
Codeblack Films. The deal ends years of struggling to find a
distributor. It made its debut in Cannes in 2010 and was also presented
at that year's AFI Festival, but interest then dwindled. Fortunately,
Codeblack tends to specialize in distributing films for the African
American market. Its president, Jeff Clanagan, announced, "Halle Berry
delivers a spellbinding performance in 'Frankie & Alice'. Codeblack is
thrilled to bring this important film to theaters nationwide delivering
on our commitment to bring more quality films to the marketplace." Ms.
Berry plays a woman with a multiple personality disorder (I have an
aversion to such films. Think "SYBIL"!) and Stellan takes on the role of
Jordan Riefe of
Critics Choice wrote, "Stellan Skarsgård
as Dr. Oswalt, delivers his usual solid performance, expertly countering
Berry’s hysteria with a soothing sobriety."
Weinstein Company has announced that it has acquired US rights to
THE RAILWAY MAN, which received a
prolonged standing ovation after its world premiere at the 2013 Toronto
International Film Festival last weekend. The film will be released next
year. TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein told the press, "With remarkable
performances from Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and Jeremy Irvine, Jonathan
Teplitzky has crafted a moving and compelling film based on an
incredible true story of a man named Eric Lomax, who was a POW during
World War II. After watching people jump to their feet applauding when
the credits rolled with tears in their eyes, we knew this was a film we
wanted to help take to audiences across America." At least the Weinstein
boys aren't releasing it on CHRISTmas Day as he's doing with "August:
month I posted one of the first movie stills of Stellan from "Thor 2:
The Dark World" and based on that photo, an anonymous fan doodled
the following cartoon that I couldn't resist showing you. I love it!
an update on Lars Von Trier's
The Norwegian cinema site Montages reports that the film will be
five hours long. Yes, you got that right! It will be split into two 2
1/2 hour films that will be released simultaneously in theaters. There
is even talk of a television spin-off series. Zentropa Entertainments
has reported that production included "268 scripts, 11 weeks of shooting
and 100 hours of material." According to Montages, the first half
of the film is much closer to "pure comedy" than Von Trier's last two
films. However, "Nymphomaniac" will get progressively grimmer as the
story spirals into darkness and tragedy. There will be eight chapters,
each one having its own stylistic approach, dictated by content and
tone. Some parts have a relatively ordinary formal language, but others
are more experimental. One of the chapters is shot in black and white.
The film still does not have an American distribution date, though the
film is set to premiere at CHRISTmas in Denmark.
Colin Firth said on Saturday he felt a special sense of obligation
portraying the true story of a British soldier who was tortured and then
suffered for decades before finding the strength to forgive his captors.
In THE RAILWAY MAN, which had
its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday,
Firth portrays WW II veteran Eric Lomax, who was captured by the
Japanese and spent years as a prisoner of war. Nicole Kidman plays
Eric's wife and Stellan plays his friend Finlay, a former comrade in
arms. The film drew a standing ovation following its premiere in Toronto
on Friday, though reviews were mixed. Variety and The Hollywood Reporter
both commended the performances of the actors, but were critical of the
structure and direction. Still, the production team won praise from the
real Patti Lomax, who acted as an adviser and was in the Toronto
audience. The film has yet to find a US distributor.
are some new b&w photos of Stellan's family. The first photo shows his
mother Gudrun, the second one is his son, Ossian, and the last photo
shows his children - Valter, Eija, Bill and Gustaf.
appears that Stellan's wife Megan has done more than change diapers over
the past three years. The Swedish media is reporting that she has
written a script for a film and TV series based on Stig Dagerman's book,
GERMAN AUTUMN. The book was published in 1947 and consisted of a
collection of stories that he had written for Expressen. It depicts the
lives of the people who lived in the ruins of post-WWII bombed Germany.
Stellan is set to be the executive producer. The photo below shows the
couple in Dublin in February 2012 when they were expecting their second
Megan told the press, "Stellan
always gives me Swedish books to read. When I read 'German Autumn', I
felt Dagerman created a sense just by simply telling the facts. And it
struck me how interesting and nuanced this was." She contacted the
author's daughter, Lo, and purchased the film and television rights to
the book. The project will be English-speaking. The Skarsgård
couple will now be looking for funding and a director. Stellan
previously was executive producer for "King Of Devil’s Island," a
winner of various local awards and an international sales success. Megan
says, "We are extremely proud to work with such an important collection
of war journalism, and to take on the daunting task of bringing the
ideas of such a treasured Swedish writer to a larger international
audience. We thank his daughter, Lo Dagerman, and Catherine Mörk of
Norstedts Agency, for their support of the project." This launching of
Megan's newfound career reminds me of the way producer Virginie Silla
propelled her name into the film industy by latching onto her husband's
famous name, Luc Besson.
night at 6:30, the Toronto International Film Festival will hold the
world premiere of THE RAILWAY MAN.
Leading stars Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth will be in attendance.
Stellan is presently in London shooting "Cinderella".