October 14, 2011 |
With a top-drawer cast headed by Ryan Reynolds, Julia Roberts, Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson and others, "Fireflies in the Garden" is a story of a deeply dysfunctional family suddenly fraying even faster at the seams. Unfortunately there is as much fraying being done by the film itself, which partially explains why it's been on the shelf for years. "Fireflies" unfolds in two separate eras — the abuse-marked childhood of Michael Taylor and about 20 years later as we catch up with the troubled but successful romance novelist he's become (Cayden Boyd plays the younger, Reynolds the older)
October 13, 2011 |
Just a few years out of film school with an award-winning short in his backpack, Dennis Lee moved from New York to Hollywood at age 36 to make movies. Met with the usual crescendo of rejection, he cobbled together $500,000 from family and friends to direct "Fireflies in the Garden," the first screenplay he had written. Just weeks before he was to start shooting his tale about a domineering father's lasting impact on his family, Senator Entertainment, an American offshoot of a German film company, said it would give Lee $8 million to make the film.
October 18, 2009 |
During a water-skiing accident in 2007, Charlotte Gainsbourg suffered a blow to the head, resulting in a cerebral hemorrhage similar to the one that caused the tragic death of actress Natasha Richardson this year. Emergency brain surgery saved the now-38-year-old actress' life, but it took her nearly a year to recuperate. For her return to the big screen, Gainsbourg chose "Antichrist," opening in Los Angeles on Friday, Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier's staggering and surreal examination of grief, faith and sexuality.
November 14, 2004 |
WILLEM DAFOE conjures up the image of coiled intensity. During his quarter of a century on screen, he's played more than his share of villains and madmen. By his own admission, he was never "the boy next door." Starting out as an extra in the ill-fated "Heaven's Gate," the actor was cast as a postmodern heavy in 1985's "To Live and Die in L.A.," his breakthrough film, and nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar as the title character in 2000's "Shadow of the Vampire."
November 2, 2004 |
Fishing With John, Segment 4: Maine, with Willem Dafoe Directed by John Lurie DVD, $26.96 The thought of Willem Dafoe offering his parka-padded armpit in a selfless gesture while fishing on a frozen lake in northern Maine may seem scary. But it's a matter of survival in this hilarious ice fishing saga, a cross between "Waiting for Godot" and "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy."
June 28, 2004 |
When Pieter Jan Brugge was casting Fox Searchlight's new psychological thriller "The Clearing," the Dutch-born director-producer knew from the outset who he wanted for two of the lead characters: Robert Redford and Helen Mirren. The stars play a well-to-do American couple whose illusions of a happy married life are shattered when Redford's character is kidnapped.