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Zoe Kazan

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ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 2014 | By Deborah Vankin
Stage and screen credits abound in Zoe Kazan's family - her parents are the screenwriters Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord and her grandfather is the pioneering director Elia Kazan ("A Streetcar Named Desire"). But the 30-year-old actress and writer, who has lived in New York for the past 12 years, is wracking up a hefty IMDB page of her own. She is perhaps best known for having written and co-starred in the film "Ruby Sparks" with longtime boyfriend Paul Dano. Back when she was still studying drama at Yale University, however, her first play, "Absalom," premiered at the Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in 2009; its follow-up, "We Live Here," premiered off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 2011.  CRITICS' PICKS: What to watch, where to go, what to eat Kazan costars with Daniel Radcliffe in the recently released film "The F Word" and she's been cast in a Broadway production planned for spring, but she can't reveal the title yet. In the meantime, Kazan's third play, "Trudy and Max in Love," opens at the South Coast Repertory on Friday.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2014 | By Robert Abele
What would "The Pretty One" be without Zoe Kazan's pixieish melancholy and offbeat comic timing? Not much. In writer-director Jenée LaMarque's twee indie, Kazan does double duty, playing mousy rural Laurel, who lives with her parents, as well as sister Audrey, the popular one with the big city job and boyfriend (Ron Livingston). After a car accident kills Audrey and briefly gives Laurel amnesia, the wallflower takes advantage of the identity confusion and claims to be Audrey, adopting her sister's life as a kind of instant - albeit psychologically fraught - personality injection.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 2010 | By KENNETH TURAN, Film Critic
Sometimes a carefully placed pinprick can stay with you longer than a heavier, clumsier blow, and so it is with Bradley Rust Gray's delicately done but indelible "The Exploding Girl." This 80-minute feature is on one level the tiniest story imaginable, a look at a quiet emotional crisis a 20-year-old college student named Ivy goes through on spring break. But writer-director Gray is so committed to his minimalist aesthetic and applies it with such craft and skill that this careful character study, so exact in its aims and execution, holds our interest almost without our noticing how it's done.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 13, 2014 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
"Trudy and Max in Love," a new play by Zoe Kazan now at South Coast Repertory, might sound like an innocent romantic frolic, but red roses and sweet nothings have little to do with it. For the navel-gazing characters in Kazan's well-observed yet ultimately facile drama, being "in love" is a condition so extreme it may require medical intervention. Sure, it feels great in the beginning, but like any addiction it robs you of yourself. A study of an adulterous relationship, from its tentative beginnings to its unsurprising conclusion, the play has the contemporary sheen of a premium cable drama.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 27, 2008 | Susan King
When Zoe Kazan was preparing to play saucy young secretary Maureen Grube in "Revolutionary Road" -- the film adaptation of Richard Yates' novel about a young couple (Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet) trying to change their lives in staid 1955 suburbia -- she had definite ideas about her character's appearance. "I wanted her to look like she went to Sears Roebuck and bought three suits, two dresses, one pair of heels, two handbags and two pairs of gloves, then moved to New York City and gained 5 pounds," said Kazan, whose character ends up having a romantic fling with the New York corporate drone played by DiCaprio.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2014 | By Robert Abele
What would "The Pretty One" be without Zoe Kazan's pixieish melancholy and offbeat comic timing? Not much. In writer-director Jenée LaMarque's twee indie, Kazan does double duty, playing mousy rural Laurel, who lives with her parents, as well as sister Audrey, the popular one with the big city job and boyfriend (Ron Livingston). After a car accident kills Audrey and briefly gives Laurel amnesia, the wallflower takes advantage of the identity confusion and claims to be Audrey, adopting her sister's life as a kind of instant - albeit psychologically fraught - personality injection.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 13, 2014 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
"Trudy and Max in Love," a new play by Zoe Kazan now at South Coast Repertory, might sound like an innocent romantic frolic, but red roses and sweet nothings have little to do with it. For the navel-gazing characters in Kazan's well-observed yet ultimately facile drama, being "in love" is a condition so extreme it may require medical intervention. Sure, it feels great in the beginning, but like any addiction it robs you of yourself. A study of an adulterous relationship, from its tentative beginnings to its unsurprising conclusion, the play has the contemporary sheen of a premium cable drama.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2010 | By KENNETH TURAN, Film Critic
I'm coming out of the closet about Zoe Kazan, breaking a rule I've kept to my entire professional life. It was either that or stand by and watch a very small and quite special film struggle for life and likely wither and die in an unforgiving marketplace. If you don't know her name, Zoe Kazan is a young actress coming into her own. She played Leonardo DiCaprio's character's mistress in "Revolutionary Road" and Meryl Streep's character's daughter in "It's Complicated," was featured in the Royal Shakespeare Company's New York production of Chekhov's "The Seagull" and is costarring on Broadway with Christopher Walken, Anthony Mackie and Sam Rockwell in Martin McDonagh's "A Behanding in Spokane."
ENTERTAINMENT
July 24, 2012 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Imagine a 21st century romantic comedy that flirts with the classic Pygmalion myth - a Greek sculptor's beautiful statue comes to life - and throws in some Dr. Frankenstein "what have I created?" issues. Then you'll have a sense of"Ruby Sparks," an engagingly off-kilter love story of a writer, the girl of his dreams and the power of his pen. The film is about as meta as meta gets. Real-life couple Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan star as lovebirds Calvin (the writer) and Ruby (his dreamy dream girl)
ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 2012 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
A hippie circus returned to the hills of Laurel Canyon about this time last year as the cast and crew of the surrealist romantic comedy "Ruby Sparks" gathered at Sid Krofft's infamous retreat. Constructed with bricks salvaged from a Catholic schoolhouse and wood from Amish farms in Mexico, the house bursts with flora and fauna and is one of the most unique in Los Angeles. Krofft, who with his brother Marty created "Land of the Lost"and "H.R. Pufnstuf" in the 1970s, rarely allows filming on the property.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 2014 | By Deborah Vankin
Stage and screen credits abound in Zoe Kazan's family - her parents are the screenwriters Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord and her grandfather is the pioneering director Elia Kazan ("A Streetcar Named Desire"). But the 30-year-old actress and writer, who has lived in New York for the past 12 years, is wracking up a hefty IMDB page of her own. She is perhaps best known for having written and co-starred in the film "Ruby Sparks" with longtime boyfriend Paul Dano. Back when she was still studying drama at Yale University, however, her first play, "Absalom," premiered at the Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in 2009; its follow-up, "We Live Here," premiered off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 2011.  CRITICS' PICKS: What to watch, where to go, what to eat Kazan costars with Daniel Radcliffe in the recently released film "The F Word" and she's been cast in a Broadway production planned for spring, but she can't reveal the title yet. In the meantime, Kazan's third play, "Trudy and Max in Love," opens at the South Coast Repertory on Friday.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 21, 2013 | Mark Olsen
Actress Mackenzie Davis is probably about to go from a “who's that?” to a “that girl.” In only her third screen role, Davis gives a breakout performance in “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” a crime thriller that recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and plays again Sunday at Fantastic Fest in Austin. The film is directed by the sibling duo of Zeke  and Simon Hawkins from a script by Dutch Southern. The story, as Davis recently put it, is a “sort of noiry, dirty Southern thing” that references the pulp fiction of author Jim Thompson in its tale of small town ambitions, bad deals, double-crosses and good love gone sour.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 8, 2013 | By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
Just the name Neil LaBute can be a litmus test - garnering knowing smiles, dismissive eye rolls or even cursing. The filmmaker and playwright, who frequently shines a light into the darker corners of the male psyche, certainly gets a response out of audiences and critics; his work on stage and screen has been called misogynistic and even misanthropic. LaBute burst onto the film scene in 1997 by adapting his own "In the Company of Men," and in 2003 he adapted his play "The Shape of Things" with the stage cast including Paul Rudd and Rachel Weisz.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 3, 2013 | By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
Independent filmmaking often acts as a farm team of sorts for Hollywood, a showcase for performers and filmmakers who go on to bigger, if not always necessarily better, things. The following is a look at some of the people - and some of the films - that made a splash in the indie waters in 2012 that are likely to have a ripple effect in Hollywood. As a writer and critic with a focus on independent cinema, it's gratifying to watch emerging talents as they make their way into the mainstream.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 22, 2012 | By Betsy Sharkey
If you're looking for something light and lovely to finish out the summer before worrisome and weighty films fill theaters this fall, catch"Ruby Sparks"before it floats out to sea. Starring Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan, it is a smarter-than-most romantic comedy that begins with writer's block. Dano plays the writer, but Kazan actually wrote the movie. In the real world they're a couple, so it's all kind of sweet. In the film, the block breaks when Calvin (Dano) starts to put the girl he's been dreaming about onto the page.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 2012 | By Nicole Sperling
Six years ago, music video and commercial directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton made the transition to celebrated indie darlings when their sweet-natured family road trip movie "Little Miss Sunshine" emerged as the talk of the Sundance Film Festival and traveled a seemingly unlikley path to Oscar glory. Afterward, the two took on adventurous projects, working on adaptations of Tom Perrotta's "The Abstinence Teacher," the long-gestating comedy "The Used Guys" and Demitri Martin's "Will" script, but none of those made it past the development stage.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 21, 2013 | Mark Olsen
Actress Mackenzie Davis is probably about to go from a “who's that?” to a “that girl.” In only her third screen role, Davis gives a breakout performance in “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” a crime thriller that recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and plays again Sunday at Fantastic Fest in Austin. The film is directed by the sibling duo of Zeke  and Simon Hawkins from a script by Dutch Southern. The story, as Davis recently put it, is a “sort of noiry, dirty Southern thing” that references the pulp fiction of author Jim Thompson in its tale of small town ambitions, bad deals, double-crosses and good love gone sour.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 8, 2013 | By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
Just the name Neil LaBute can be a litmus test - garnering knowing smiles, dismissive eye rolls or even cursing. The filmmaker and playwright, who frequently shines a light into the darker corners of the male psyche, certainly gets a response out of audiences and critics; his work on stage and screen has been called misogynistic and even misanthropic. LaBute burst onto the film scene in 1997 by adapting his own "In the Company of Men," and in 2003 he adapted his play "The Shape of Things" with the stage cast including Paul Rudd and Rachel Weisz.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 24, 2012 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Imagine a 21st century romantic comedy that flirts with the classic Pygmalion myth - a Greek sculptor's beautiful statue comes to life - and throws in some Dr. Frankenstein "what have I created?" issues. Then you'll have a sense of"Ruby Sparks," an engagingly off-kilter love story of a writer, the girl of his dreams and the power of his pen. The film is about as meta as meta gets. Real-life couple Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan star as lovebirds Calvin (the writer) and Ruby (his dreamy dream girl)
ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 2012 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
A hippie circus returned to the hills of Laurel Canyon about this time last year as the cast and crew of the surrealist romantic comedy "Ruby Sparks" gathered at Sid Krofft's infamous retreat. Constructed with bricks salvaged from a Catholic schoolhouse and wood from Amish farms in Mexico, the house bursts with flora and fauna and is one of the most unique in Los Angeles. Krofft, who with his brother Marty created "Land of the Lost"and "H.R. Pufnstuf" in the 1970s, rarely allows filming on the property.
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