24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Carey Mulligan

'Great Gatsby' trailer: Jazz Age excess with a hip-hop flourish

May 23, 2012 | 10:31 am

The Great Gatsby
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

The first trailer for Baz Luhrmann's star-studded adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" has been released, and it features many of the Australian filmmaker's hallmarks, including spectacular visuals (the film will be in 3-D), modern music in an anachronistic setting and a lead performance by Leonardo DiCaprio.

The trailer opens with a voice-over setting the scene ("New York, 1922") and a Jay-Z and Kanye West song setting the mood ("No Church in the Wild," from the duo's "Watch the Throne" album). The Roaring '20s are in full swing, with flappers in sparkling dresses and gents in sharp tuxedos spilling champagne and dancing under falling confetti.

A quick montage of people asking about DiCaprio's mysterious title character sets up one of the story's central questions: Who is Jay Gatsby? Among those who want to know are Tobey Maguire, playing Nick Carraway (the book's narrator); and Carey Mulligan, playing Gatsby's star-crossed love interest Daisy Buchanan.

Other actors glimpsed in the trailer include Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan as the shady businessman Meyer Wolfsheim, Australian actor Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan (Daisy's husband) and newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker (Nick's love interest).

Luhrmann's eye for visual flair seems well-suited to the gilded glamour of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel, and fans of the book will recognize a few landmarks, including Gatsby's well-manicured lawn, a "valley of ashes" and an ophthalmologist's billboard.

View the full trailer below.

For the record, 10:30 p.m. May 23: A previous version of this post referred to Tom Buchanan as Daisy's wife instead of Daisy's husband, and described the voice over as being by DiCaprio. It is by Maguire.  



Dramas to get 3-D treatment too

Carey Mulligan: 'The Great Gatsby' gets me nervous too

Why is everyone so on Baz Luhrmann for a 3-D 'Great Gatsby'?

— Oliver Gettell

Photo: Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton in "The Great Gatsby." Credit: Warner Bros.

CinemaCon: Footage of 'The Hobbit' draws mixed reaction

April 24, 2012 |  3:14 pm

Preview of "The Hobbit" shown at CinemaCon
Last year at the theater owners' CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas, James Cameron put together a lengthy presentation touting the virtues of faster frame rates. This year, exhibitors were able actually to see the new technology put to the test in a feature film with 10 minutes of footage from Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

Jackson has shot the new film, due out in December, at 48 frames per second. For roughly 80 years, the standard industry frame rate -- the frequency at which images are projected -- has been 24 frames per second (Hence the name of this blog). Cameron, incidentally, has vowed to shoot the sequel to "Avatar" at an even quicker rate of 60.

In a filmed video message from New Zealand shown to exhibitors Tuesday, Jackson implored theater owners to project his new film at 48 frames per second. The new speed, he said, gives the "illusion of real life, where movement feels smoother, and you're not dealing with strobing."

Indeed, the footage shown did seem hyper-realistic. An opening aerial shot of dramatic rocky mountains appeared clearer than the images in most nature documentaries. But the effect was different when applied to scenes with actors dressed in period costume, whose every move -- and pore -- was crystal clear. Such realism put off some trade show attendees, who complained the footage didn't feel enough like a traditional film.

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'Shame' can take pride in its performances, critics say

December 2, 2011 |  3:33 pm

Michael Fassbender in Shame
Much ink has been spilled over the rare NC-17 rating of the new drama "Shame," which stars Michael Fassbender ("A Dangerous Method," "X-Men: First Class") as a solitary sex addict whose life is disrupted by the unexpected appearance of his troubled sister, played by Cary Mulligan ("Drive"). After earning praise and sparking debate on the festival circuit, "Shame" opens in select theaters Friday, and so far movie critics are calling it a compelling, if difficult film with powerful performances.

The Times' Kenneth Turan calls "Shame" "a psychologically claustrophobic film that strips its characters bare literally and figuratively, leaving them, and us, nowhere to hide." He commends Fassbender, who brings "commanding magnetism and intensity"; Mulligan, who delivers an unflinching performance; and cinematographer Sean Bobbitt, whose minimalist styling complements British director Steve McQueen's vision. Though Turan finds some plot elements unclear or contrived, these are "minor quibbles." In the end, Turan writes, "'Shame' is "difficult to watch but even harder to turn away from."

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Carey Mulligan: 'The Great Gatsby' gets me nervous too

November 23, 2011 |  5:16 pm



Carey Mulligan has two buzzy, and monosyllabic, films this fall in “Drive” and “Shame.” But she’s currently taking on a project that has its own share of conversation, some of the polarizing sort for next holiday season: The British actress is shooting “The Great Gatsby” as imagined by Baz Luhrmann. 

Yes, that Baz Luhrmann, who modernized “Romeo and Juliet” and brought the flash to period Paris in “Moulin Rouge" -- and who will have all eyes on him as he brings his sensibility to the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic.

Mulligan, who plays the iconic Daisy Buchanan in the film, said she feels her own pressure to perform.   “It's very nerve-racking,” the actress told 24 Frames by phone from Australia, where she is shooting the movie. “I know how much the book means, especially in America. And everyone has their own view on what the book means, which makes it even more nerve-racking.”

The story of Eggs west and east is also getting a 3-D treatment, which Luhrmann and Leonardo DiCaprio (who plays Jay Gatsby) say will give the film the depth of a stage play. (Luhrmann is one of the new wave of auteurs to embrace the format; Martin Scorsese does it in this weekend’s “Hugo.”)

Fitzgerald’s “Gatsby,” which of course tells of Nick Carraway’s sojourn with the wealthy in 1920s Long Island, has plenty to say about class and American gilded eras. That gives it a lot of resonance in the post-Occupy Wall Street world.

Luhrmann has said he wants to tease out the modern parallels, and Mulligan verified he'll be doing just that. “Baz does really like,” she said, “to connect the past and the present.”


Carey Mulligan: I wasn't uncomfortable being naked in "Shame"

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Carey Mulligan in "Shame." Credit: Fox Searchlight

Are Elizabeth Olsen and Carey Mulligan paving way for new nudity?

October 27, 2011 |  2:43 pm

Elizabeth Olsen

For the last couple weeks, Carey Mulligan was making the rounds to help publicize her soon-to-be-released film "Shame" before heading off to Australia to work on Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of "The Great Gatsby." In the NC-17 "Shame," directed by Steve McQueen, Mulligan plays the younger sister of a man (Michael Fassbender) with a crippling sex addiction, which seems to be the result of some shared trauma between them. In one particular scene, which audiences seem to respond to as equal parts disturbing and disarming, he discovers her in his apartment using his shower. Her bold refusal to cover up as he talks to her is a signature point in the film.

A few weeks back when Elizabeth Olsen was in Los Angeles for a whirlwind promotional tour for "Martha Marcy May Marlene," the 22-year-old perked up when a conversation turned to the 26-year-old Mulligan. (It should perhaps be noted that both "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and "Shame" are being distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures.)

"I've loved the movies Carey Mulligan has been in in the last year and a half or two years," said Olsen. "She's made cool choices, especially this year with 'Drive' and 'Shame.' That's amazing. Those are two movies it would be great to be a part of. I saw 'Shame' at the [New York Film] Festival. I did like 'Shame.' My personal taste, it's a little too graphic for me. I understand why all of it was there, but..."

Her response naturally (honest!) brought up the issue of Olsen's own offhanded nudity in "Martha Marcy May Marlene." In the film, written and directed by Sean Durkin, Olsen plays a young woman who is in the first stages of regaining her identity after fleeing from a cult. Certain societal norms seem for the moment beyond her, such as when she curls up on the corner of a darkened bed where her sister and brother-in-law are making love, or the way she casually shucks her clothes to skinny-dip in a lake, or unabashedly changes into a dress right in front of her sister.

Whether these high-profile actresses baring themselves marks a shift in the attitudes of young performers to nudity in the movies remains to be seen. Perhaps things are swinging back the other way from the modesty of the past few years, itself a response to the era of ubiquitous screen-capture infamy, when a moment from a film can be decontextualized to its basest, barest essentials and live forever on the Internet. While the bra-in-bed sex scene has become an accepted norm for audiences, are these few performances pointing the way to a new candor?

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Oscars: George Clooney, Brad Pitt may be their own worst enemies

October 26, 2011 | 10:09 am


Oscar's acting races are usually a fun study in contrasts -- gregarious actors squaring off against buttoned-down ones; Melissa Leo facing off against, well, anyone.

But this year brings a different sort of beast. Many of the actors are matched up with rivals who will no doubt look familiar: themselves.

As we explore in a piece in today's Times, more than half a dozen actors have multiple movies in the race, complicating things for them, their studios and even filmgoers, who could be forgiven for dropping in on said race only to find themselves saying "This guy again?"

Among the subplots: George Clooney could be deprived of his shot at best actor in "The Descendants" because voters will have devoted their goodwill for him to "The Ides of March," a movie on which he's personally eligible for director, screenplay, picture and supporting actor. Ditto for Brad Pitt, who seems like a favorite candidate for his wisecracking baseball executive in "Moneyball" -- unless some voters decide they'd rather write his name down only for "The Tree of Life."

And because Academy Awards voters are prohibited from voting for a person in the same category twice, Michael Fassbender and Ryan Gosling could be out of luck. Each of them has two lead roles ("Shame" and "A Dangerous Method" for Fassbender and "Drive" and "Ides" for Gosling), which means that voters could give them just about the right amount of votes for each role to deny them a nomination for either.

Ditto for Carey Mulligan, the bridge between the two: She's a strong supporting candidate for both "Drive" and "Shame."

There's a more concrete problem, too. Actors have only so much time, and wherewithal, to devote to the exhausting process that is running for Oscar. That means that when they have two movies they're going to have to decide which one to campaign for, "Sophie's Choice" style.

There's a pretty straightforward reason this is happening (besides hard-working actors). It's a lot tougher to get awards-caliber movies made these days. So producers keep coming back to the same small handful of stars who are perceived as sure things. That's good for these actors' bank accounts. But it may make some of us wonder if there isn't another young actor out there who can star in a drama besides Ryan Gosling.


Oscar's dual role problem

Is Ryan Gosling turning into George Clooney?

Is Brad Pitt beating George Clooney at his own game?

-- Steven Zeitchik


Photo: George Clooney in "The Ides of March." Credit: Sony Pictures

Carey Mulligan: I wasn't uncomfortable being naked in 'Shame'

October 25, 2011 |  3:15 pm

Carey Mulligan at the Hollywood Film Festival
Carey Mulligan has laid her emotions bare on screen numerous times. But in "Shame," the upcoming drama about a sex addict played by Michael Fassbender, she exposes far more of herself.

In the movie, Mulligan plays the sister of Fassbender's character -- a somewhat promiscuous young woman open with both her body and her feelings. The role required the actress to get fully naked for one scene in a shower -- something Mulligan said was surprisingly easy to do.

"I wasn't uncomfortable being naked. For other roles, it may be inappropriate, but for this, I felt like it was right for the part," the 26-year-old told 24 Frames on the red carpet Monday evening at the Hollywood Awards, where she was accepting a prize for her supporting role in the film. "It was a very small set and a very small crew, so it didn't feel like I was doing it in front of that many people. And Michael is so engaging when you act with him ... I felt like I was just in the room with him."

What caused more anxiety, she said, was having to sing a rendition of "New York, New York" in the Steve McQueen-directed film.

"That was actually probably more nerve-racking than the nudity. Yeah, that was scary. We did about 15 takes because [Steve] wanted it live," she said, adding that said she was so taken with the script that she "begged" McQueen for the job, despite not being an "obvious choice for the role."

Meanwhile, the movie will almost certainly receive an NC-17 rating when it is released stateside in December. The actress said she admired McQueen for not excising the film's riskier parts in an effort to make the movie more commercial.

"I think Steve was brave and made an uncompromising film and didn't want to change anything and won't change anything," she said. "He wanted to sort of hold up a mirror and show real people doing real things."


'Shame' director surprised by controversy

Michael Fassbender trailer has little 'Shame' [Video]

Michael Fassbender exposes more than skin in 'Shame'

— Amy Kaufman


Photo: Carey Mulligan poses on the red carpet at the Hollywood Awards. Photo: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Telluride 2011: Michael Fassbender exposes more than skin in 'Shame'

September 4, 2011 |  5:15 pm

Carey Mulligan and Michael Fassbender in Shame 
There’s no shortage of naked flesh in British director Steve McQueen’s “Shame” — the film is certain to receive the adults-only NC-17 rating — but it’s human emotions that are truly laid bare in the new drama about sexual compulsion.

“Shame,” which had its North American premiere at the Telluride Film Festival a few hours after showing for the first time at the Venice Film Festival, stars Michael Fassbender as Brandon, a thirtysomething New York man obsessed with impersonal gratification. McQueen, who co-wrote the film with playwright Abi Morgan, said in a taped introduction to the screening that Brandon “has difficulties with his sex life,” which is a bit like saying the Titanic had difficulties with an iceberg.
Brandon’s workplace computer and his Manhattan apartment are jammed with porn, and within the movie’s opening minutes Brandon (with a courageous performance by a full-frontal Fassbender) has slept with a prostitute and masturbated in the shower. And then things get really kinky.

For all of his obsessions, Brandon somehow gets by. But when his troubled sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan), crashes in his apartment, Brandon’s shaky grip on functionality quickly loosens. Sissy is a remarkable singer (proving that Mulligan can do everything except split the atom), but she has plenty of her own problems and needs, exacerbating Brandon’s impulses.

The independently financed feature arrived in Venice and Telluride seeking a distributor, and specialized film companies who like to court controversy (paging Harvey Weinstein!) should be drawn to the film. McQueen’s intense first feature, 2008’s “Hunger” (which also starred Fassbender), was incredibly well reviewed but grossed just $154,000 in domestic theaters.

"Shame” is not quite as hard to watch as “Hunger” (although a handful of usually intrepid Telluride guests walked out), but it’s nonetheless raw. “I’ve got nowhere else to go,” Sissy says to Brandon at one point in the film. Unfortunately, Brandon does — down, into some of the darkest places you’ll see in a theater.


Jennifer Garner Spreads "Butter" in Telluride

George Clooney Makes Waves with "The Descendants"

Glenn Close Gender-Bends in Telluride Film "Albert Nobbs"

—John Horn in Telluride, Colo.

Photo: Carey Mulligan and Michael Fassbender share a rare smile in "Shame." Photo: See-Saw Films.



2011 Los Angeles Film Festival will welcome stars Guillermo del Toro, James Franco, Ryan Reynolds and more

May 11, 2011 | 11:16 am

Katie Downtown Los Angeles better get ready to roll out the red carpet.

After announcing the bulk of its lineup last week, the Los Angeles Film Festival on Wednesday revealed its slate of more glamorous screenings and events. The annual festival, which is sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, will welcome Guillermo del Toro as its guest director, and his film "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" will close the festival. That means star Katie Holmes and maybe even husband Tom Cruise should be on hand to lend some star power to the movie gathering, which runs from June 16 to 26 at L.A. Live. It's taken a long time for the movie to get a premiere date: The horror film was produced by Disney's Miramax film unit, but its release was held up when the parent company was shuttering and selling off the specialty film division. Although Del Toro is credited as the film's producer and co-writer, he was a very active participant in the film's making.

The festival's special screening will be "Green Lantern," the highly anticipated film based on the popular DC comic and starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. That likely means the crowd will be comprised of more fanboys than last year, when "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" played in that slot and hundreds of teen girls camped out in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Robert Pattinson.

Meanwhile, two smaller but also buzzworthy films will be shown in the gala screenings program. One is "Drive," which stars Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan and is about to have its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. The other, Chris Weitz's "A Better Life," is about an illegal immigrant's quest to start over in Los Angeles. It will have its world debut at the festival.

Continuing his quest to make an appearance at every significant cultural event, James Franco will sit down for a conversation about "film, poetry and pushing the creative envelope," according to the festival's release. He will also present a film he wrote, directed and stars in, "The Broken Tower," about gay poet Hart Crane. 

LAFF will also welcome Julie Taymor, who recently came under creative fire for her involvement in the highly criticized and troubled "Spider-Man" musical on Broadway. She will be discussing how one takes source material and makes it work in theater or film.


2011 Los Angeles Film Festival lineup unveiled

--Amy Kaufman


Photo: Katie Holmes stars in "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark." Credit: FilmDistrict.

Oldboy auteur Park Chan-wook could make his English-language debut ... directing Carey Mulligan

November 16, 2010 |  5:33 pm

EXCLUSIVE: Few directors get hardcore film fans excited as much as Park Chan-wook, the South Korean auteur behind the international favorite "Oldboy."

Now those fans could get to see Park direct an English-language movie featuring major stars.

According to two people familiar with the film, Park is in talks to direct "Stoker," a dramatic thriller about a young woman whose eccentric uncle comes back into her life after the death of her father.

"Stoker," you may recall, is the first film from "Prison Break" star Wentworth Miller, who penned the script in his other life as a screenwriter, and is being produced by Ridley and Tony Scott's company, as well as  Carey Mulligan is playing the young woman, and Jodie Foster is costarring in the movie (the uncle part has yet to be cast, but it's likely to be a boldfaced name too, according to sources).  There's no known major genre element in the film, which is being developed by "Juno" and "Slumdog Millionaire" studio Fox Searchlight, but the tone sits right in Park's wheelhouse.

Considered a master of dark, often violent material, Park is best known for "Oldboy," which won a top prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004. It's about a man released from years of mysterious captivity who's bent on tracking down his captor. Steven Spielberg and Will Smith have been trying to get an American remake going for years.

Auteurs rarely make the jump to English-language films with major stars; Timur Bekmambetov, the Russian-Kazakh director who made the leap to "Wanted" a few years back, is one of the few to do it.

"Oldboy," which routinely lands on surveys of the top Asian films of all time, is one of three movies in Park's so-called vengeance trilogy, which also includes "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" and "Lady Vengeance."

Park last was heard from in 2009 with his religiously inflected vampire movie "Thirst." That movie didn't get much acclaim in the United States, but with "Stoker," it may just be a matter of time before a broad American audience gets to see his work in theaters.

-- Steven Zeitchik


Photo: "Oldboy." Credit: Show East.



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