I have always been a sucker for a horse movie – National Velvet, Black Beauty, Secretariat – especially when, like Dream Horse, they’re based on actual events.
Dream Horse is the story of a Welsh town that bought a race horse and the way in which doing so brought a sense of pride back to the community (it probably helped that Dream alliance won a few races!).
Starring Oscar-winner Toni Collette and Damian Lewis, Dream Horse will be theaters this spring.
I’ve seen Hector and the Search for Happiness three times and a bit – only the first two were versions of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Danny Kaye, 1947 and Ben Stiller, 2013) and the bit was parts of a TV series called My World and Welcome To It, all of which were based on the writing s of James Thurber.
It’s always fun when a movie title describes precisely what’s in the box. Hector and the Search for Happiness. Seriously, what more do you need to know? Other than that it’s one of the films making its North American Premiere at the Toronto Film Festival – and that it stars Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård and Jean Reno.
There are two trailers for Hector after the jump. One is apparently the regular theatrical trailer (which I like, a lot) and the other is for TIFF (which I also like, but a little less). Feel free to check them both out and let us know which makes you happier.
Every time I see a remake that makes me cringe, I remember that Hollywood needed three tries to get it right with The Maltese Falcon. Then, when I see a good remake, like Fright Night, I feel ever so slightly vindicated for not giving up hope.
Showtime canceled United States of Tara – the series about the dysfunctional family with the matriarch who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder – after seeing its third season ratings plummet. This is a shame because the series was far better than the inexplicably more popular Nurse Jackie. Thus, all though it doesn’t get a proper finale, the show’s third season maintained its high quality and came to a conclusion that had a genuinely hopeful note.
In a world where… movie remakes are common but good remakes considerably less so, the upcoming remake of horror/comedy classic Fright Night is looking better and better with every bit of new information released. From a stellar cast [Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, David Tennant, Toni Collette, etc.] and intriguing directorial choice Craig Gillespie [Lars and the Real Girl, United States of Tara] – and a screenplay by Marti Noxon [Buffy the Vampire Slayer], to a half-dozen freshly released photos, it really looks like this remake will be a good one.
United States of Tara made quite a splash for Showtime when it premiered. It was [and is] the first television series to be built around a character who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder [formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder]. While the Diablo Cody-created series is quirky fun in its original weekly format, the storytelling seems even stronger when viewed on DVD – and if you thought the show was different during season one, well, it gets really weird in season two!
Tara Gregson [Toni Collette] is a struggling artist/designer with a charming husband, Max [John Corbett] and two kids – studious Marshall [Kier Gilchrist] and uber-brat Kate [Brie Larson]. She also has four more personalities [slutty teen, T; macho redneck Buck; super Betty Crocker, Alice, and a more primal figure, Gimme] – and a sister, Charmaine [Rosemarie DeWitt] who thinks she’s faking [“that’s not even a real disease,” she tells Max after an early incident]. Fortunately, Max is a little more open minded than she is – though the exchange does basically set up two schools of thought on DID. The United States of Tara is yet another reason that Showtime is sometimes referred to as “the new HBO.”
The unique United States of Tara [Showtime, 10-9C] reaches its first season finale this weekend with an episode appropriately entitled Miracle. It’s an ambitious episode that attempts to both tie together a number plot and character arcs and create a fresh beginning leading into season two.
Since the series’ premiere, we’ve seen the Gillespie family pulled in different directions as Tara [Toni Collette] has slowly become disconnected from her family – husband Max [John Corbett], Daughter Kate [Brie Larson], son Marshall [Keir Gilchrist] and sister Charmaine [Rosemarie DeWitt] – have been subjected to increasingly odd situations, including the appearance of a new alter, Gimme. Gimme is an animalistic creature; pre-verbal and, apparently, governed solely by emotions.
Max has become frustrated by the actions of Buck, T and Alice; Marshall has had his dreams of a relationship with first love, Jason, thwarted by T, and Charmaine has slowly come to realize that the alters are not just Tara pretending to avoid stuff – and is more than a little freaked out by that until Buck becomes her “booby buddy.” Kate finally discovers that her boss is something more than just a creep – something that makes her more appreciative of her mother’s many, shall we say, facets.
Over the last few episodes, we’ve learned of a bad date that Tara went on in boarding school, and, in Miracle, she makes the call and faces the man responsible. The results are not what anyone is expecting. The ep also extols the use of bowling as family therapy – and the final scene of the ep is literally mind-expanding. I think I can guarantee you won’t see it coming.
Miracle was written by series creator Diablo Cody and features the kind of crackling dialogue and character insights for which she has become known. The direction, by Craig Gillespie, is as fractured as Tara’s personality – and that’s a good thing. The ep’s pacing is determined by the characters and Tara’s alters. Over the course of its first season, the characters of United States of Tara have really been developed – especially the kids, who were more a collection of sarcastic dialogue and costumes, but are now recognizable people.
As I mentioned above, one of the most important things about Miracle is that it has to provide a satisfying conclusion to the season while simultaneously setting the stage for season two. Somehow, with everything else it has to accomplish, it does this particularly well. Kudos to Ms Cody and Mr. Gillespie.