A Dangerous Method – A 2011 Film by David Cronenberg

A Dangerous Method is another David Cronenberg film that will leave you excited, curious and waiting in anticipation for what will unfold next. Cronenberg created a name for himself with sinister films reeling on psychology, spirituality and sexuality in Dead Ringers, A History of Violence and Crash. His newest film will soon become a prized supplement to this incredible repertoire.

A Dangerous Method is a well-rendered film about two giants in the field of psychiatry, Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender).  An interesting quandary forms between the two men and a woman named Sabina Speilrein (Keira Knightley), and though the film features two powerful personas from history, its primary focus is on the relationship that forms between Jung and Sabina.

The story begins with a glimpse into Jung’s perfect life following a successful career.  He was a Freudian by heart even before he met the master, and he applies Freud’s theories to his patient Sabina, a Russian woman who displays instability and mental disorder as a result of suffering beatings and humiliation from her father when she was a child. Soon, Freud and Jung meet, and their shared thoughts on many things forge a connection that acts as a continuous alliance between the two.  The plot starts to thicken, however, with the arrival of Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel), a cocaine addict that encourages Jung not to repress the most natural of instincts.  Otto’s influence results in Jung engaging in a sexual relationship with his patient, which marks the beginning of conflicting ideology with the man he once revered.

The articulate exchanges between Freud and Jung, as they analyze the field of psychology, make A Dangerous Method an intelligent and thought-provoking film, further enhanced by a plot that engages the audience throughout the entire movie to its thrilling outcome.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

The Descendants – George Clooney’s Latest Film

At first glance, the film appears to be a predictable family drama about a father and daughter who must learn how to coexist after a devastating tragedy.  However, in his typical style, director Alexander Payne finds a way to ratchet it up a notch by adding additional layers of depth and emotion.

Adapted from Kaui Hart Hemmings’ bestselling novel, The Descendants is a story of a desperate father, Matt King (George Clooney), who is now faced with two problems in his life: a wife who has been left comatose after a boating accident, and two daughters to whom he never had the chance to be a father, yet now finds himself in a situation where he has to be.  And if that weren’t enough, his daughter Alexandra (Shailene Woodley) finally admits the gut-wrenching truth about why she is so angry with her mother: Matt’s wife has been cheating on him.  So, together with his two daughters and Alexandra’s surfer dude boyfriend, Sid (Nick Krause), Matt embarks on a road trip quest to find the man who has been having an affair with his wife.

Though the film could be considered a tearjerker, Payne and his co-writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, succeeded in balancing the tone with well-placed moments of laughter and comedy.  There is an undercurrent of irony throughout the story, yet also a very clear message that people may not always be who we think they are – sometimes they’re better.

Despite the seriousness of the storyline, it is impossible to ignore the beautiful Hawaiian scenery.  Interestingly, it reminds us that nothing is ever perfect…even in the midst of a tropical paradise, the dynamics of human nature can leave life feeling less than satisfying.  In the end, however, The Descendants is a film that touches your heart and leaves you feeling good inside.
Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

The Help – A Film By Tate Taylor

The extremely heavy issue of racism in the 1960’s had been taken to a lighter level in the new film The Help, directed and written by Tate Taylor. Adapted from the bestselling novel by Kathryn Stockett, the film offers a powerful cast, including Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Emma Stone.

The Help explores the racial discrimination of the white Southern-bourgeoisie against their black household maids…..only this time, with a twist.  The movie approaches the familiar subject from an unfamiliar angle, turning the limelight away from the whites and onto the black “help”. Even if such topic may seem a bit off especially to caucasian viewers, in the end, everything turn out to the greater reality of accepting the past and ironing out differences to proceed on as better human beings – together.

Emma Stone plays the young Skeeter, a society girl who returns home to Mississippi in order to become a writer. She decides to tackle a controversial subject and ventures out to interview the household maids in the community and document their side of the story. Though she may seem to find herself going to a more dangerous direction, nevertheless, the enslaved black maids have found their voice and even someone, not from their own race, listening to their woes and pains in life.

Aibileen, a black maid played by Viola Davis, influences Skeeter’s story as she opens up about her sorrows and tumults, while remaining ever-polite throughout the process.  She also encourages other women in her situation to begin telling their stories as well.

The story conveys the suffering the black maids endure from their white employers, but also the fact that, despite it all, they maintain an overflowing love for the children for whom they care. While this film is by in large part light hearted and comedic, do not be surprised if you find yourself mixing your laughter with the occasional tear – for no film that touches on the topic of racism could bypass the issues that weigh heavy on many hearts. Spencer, who plays Aibileen’s best friend, Minny, demonstrates her control over the mood of the film by creating an entertaining, feel-good movie.

Overall, Taylor succeeds in maintaining the integrity of the book while turning it into an award-winning film by depicting the Southern culture of the 1960’s with a powerful cast, lovely setting, and intelligent dialogue. The Help is a must see movie that will not only widen your historical knowledge, but will leave you laughing, crying, and feeling good inside.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

The Artist – A Hollywood Movie by Michel Hazanavicius

Who says that a silent film can no longer become as famous as ones with all the jabber? And, who could imagine a black and white film surviving in this multi-colored, 3D-packed movie industry? Well, Michael Hazanavicius is making it happen with his new movie The Artist.

Set in Hollywood between the years of 1927 and 1931, The Artist depicts the life of a once high-flying silent film actor and a novice actress, who soon becomes a well-known persona in the movie industry.  The storyline depicts an exchange of roles as it follows the downfall of a formerly renowned actor amidst the blossoming career of a new star.

George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a legendary silent movie actor that, for years, captured the hearts of both men and women in the 1920’s with his charming smile, admirable physique, and the ability to illicit laughter with his silent, yet comical antics. One day, he bumps into a young aspiring actress, Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), and an immediate mutual attraction ensues.  The head of the studio (John Goodman) soon decides to bring in “talkies” to replace the silent films, which simultaneously results in a sudden fall out for George and a new opportunity for Peppy. Though experience destroys George, especially when he overhears Peppy’s commentary on old films; however, Peppy looks for ways to demonstrate how grateful she is to George for her success.

While most moviegoers could not envision themselves sitting in a movie theater, watching a black and white silent film, The Artist is endearing in its distinction from regular oldies-inspired films. The story pays homage to the black and white, silent films that paved the way for the success of the talkies.

It may be tough for filmmakers these days to refrain from incorporating complex effects into their movies, but the simplicity and lightness of The Artist creates a special tone and is very comical, thanks to the comic genius of its cast.  Dujardin was truly ideal for depicting the charm, confidence, and humor of George at the beginning of the movie, but equally well-suited for the drama that ensues as he falls from the limelight.

The Artist stars Jean Dujardin as George Valentin, Berenice Bejo as Peppy Miller, and John Goodman as Al Zimmer, and also includes James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle, Ben Kurland and Bitsie Tulloch. The movie has already won two awards at the Cannes Film Festival (Dujardin for Best Actor and Uggy, the dog, for Best Canine Performace in a Movie).

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – A Film By Stephen Daldry

Anytime you hear that a film by Stephen Daldry is coming out in theaters, chances are you want to see it.  Stephen Daldry has developed a huge name for himself directing movies such as Billy Elliot, The Hours and The Reader, and he is now adding another feature to that hat with the upcoming movie Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

Based on the much applauded novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, adapted to screenplay by Eric Roth, is about the heartbreaks and lost lives surrounding the 9/11 attacks.

The story centers around an eleven year old boy, Oskar Schell, who sets out on an inspiring journey of self discovery and healing. Oskar is a brilliant, multi-faceted child, who is talented in the art of invention, jewelry design, and music. After the loss of his father, who dies in the World Trade Center attacks of 9/11, he finds a mysterious key in his father’s closet that prompts him to search out the missing lock. He travels through the five boroughs of New York City, meeting several different people with one thing in common: each is a survivor in their own way.

Although the movie reflects the grand scale atrocities of 9/11, the story itself focuses on the individual experience of the young boy. The movie instills a sense of inspiration amidst the heartbreak, and the film is sure to be a success amongst movie goers and critics alike.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close stars Academy Award winner Tom Hanks and Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock as Oskar’s parents and Thomas Horn as eleven-year-old Oskar.  Actors also include Viola Davis, Max vin Sydow, Jeffrey Wright, James Gandolfini, and John Goodman.

As the holidays approach, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close will no doubt touch the hearts of audiences and remind them of the power of love and compassion.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

Ides of March – A Film By George Clooney

Dramatic, idealistic and downright political are the very descriptions that the new George Clooney film, “The Ides of March”, aims to achieve. In addition to capturing the classic plot of a political meltdown, it also strives for political conception and the reality behind the promises and ideals of a political candidacy.

Not only does this film, based on Beau Willimon’s Farragut North, mark the fourth that Clooney has directed, but he also co-wrote the script and played the supporting role of the aspiring Governor Mike Morris, who is running for presidency.  “The Ides of March” offers a good story that is not overly dramatic and ambitious and focuses on political power and the unscrupulous truth behind it.

The film stars Ryan Gosling as Stephen Meyers, the young and idealistic campaign staffer of Governor Morris, as well as Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, and Evan Rachel Wood.

Stephen works as a dedicated campaign staffer for Governor Morris, fueled by his passion for politics and the reformation that could be made possible through the ideology and promises of the Governor.  Soon, however, he finds himself in conflict with Paul Zara (Hoffman), Governor Morris’s campaign manager, and finds himself being recruited by Tom Duffy (Giamatti) on the side of the opposition. The plot continues to intensify with the arrival of the desirable Molly Stearns (Wood), an intern whose loyalty is open-ended and whose innocence continues to betray information throughout the film.

Though the plot focuses strongly on political careers and the decadence behind them, “The Ides of March” is still a somewhat erstwhile tale recreated in different angles. While it forefronts the corruption, deception, and ambition of modern politics, it focuses less on the private life of the candidate himself and more on the young idealist, whose dreams of political rectification are crushed in the face of reality.

One of the movie’s largest strengths lies in the powerful performances by Gosling and the serious and sharp rival campaign managers played by Hoffman and Giamatti. Gosling remains resolute throughout the movie, even as he finds himself in between the dynamic and hefty political personas of Hoffman and Giamatti.

“The Ides of March” is a riveting film, especially for fans of political exchange, ambition, and the fight for supremacy.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

War Horse – Another Steven Spielberg Masterpiece

Steven Spielberg, has done it again and fanatics of this legendary entertainment force will undoubtedly rush their nearest theater this Christmas to catch his latest masterpiece. War Horse is set to soon to become another epic movie about history, hope, chivalry and war- all combined with the heartfelt love of a young man and his horse. Yes, that’s right, despite the morose sounding name of the film; the upcoming Spielberg film sets its attention on the beautiful friendship between a young man, Albert and his horse, Joey.

The film begins when Joey first comes to young Albert as an untamed, wild horse – yet at once, Albert can tell this one is special. We watch as Albert goes through the process of training the wild horse and the emotional bond of love, trust and respect that is created between the two in the process. Once trained happy times seem short lived for the film when Joey is sold into the British Calvary and immediately thrust into the trenches of World War I. Despite being too young to serve in the military – Albert embarks to France to save his new best friend on a journey of hope which ultimately touches the lives of the British Calvary, the soldiers, and everyone else who he comes in contact with – not to mention the audience.

War Horse stars a brilliantly cast Jeremy Irvine as Albert, Emily Watson, Benedict Cumberpatch, Tom Hiddleston and Davd Thewlis. It is no wonder War Horse is already starting to catch attention from the media and movie buffs alike. One source has even called this film Steven Spielberg’s “Thoroughbred winner for the Oscars.” Aside from the unparalleled directing of Steven Spielberg, complete with masterful scoring of John Williams, War Horse is setting itself up to be the perfect holiday-tearjerker that will surely inspire and warm the hearts of any audience as only these types of films seem capable of doing.

Although the main character of the Joey may overshadow the other characters in the movie, no one should overlook the brilliant casting that was made for this film. It will be very interesting to see if any award season buzz will mount from this film – especially from the irresistible and loving performance Jeremy Irvine executes.

Incontestably, Spielberg is known for his extraordinary talent in historical biopics after winning two Best Director Academy Awards for Schindler’s List in 1993 and Saving Private Ryan in 1998. The film, War Horse, is another highly anticipated movie that will irrefutably be in line for one of the best films of this year.

War Horse originated as a children’s novel of the same net by Michael Morpurgo in 1982 and later was adapted for the stage in 2007. This epic story will be making its debut in movie theaters this December and it is rated appropriate for all audiences of all ages.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

Midnight In Paris – A Film By Woody Allen

Woody Allen seems to be one of those directors that polarizes audiences into either “love” or “hate”. If you are one of those who typically love his work, then you will not be disappointed by his latest film; Midnight in Paris starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Marion Cotillard. It has all of the trademarks of a Woody Allen film that audiences have grown to love; subtle humor, witty banter, and just an overall breezy film that leaves you always looking forward to what Allen will do in his next movie.

Midnight in Paris focuses around a man named Gil (Owen Wilson), who instead of having a romantic moment in the City of Love, he finds himself trapped, confused and miserable. Gil is a screenwriter who is amidst a nasty case of writers block when it comes to finishing his first actual novel. Problems continue to rise when his fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams), appears a little too charmed by her dear, old friend Paul (Michael Sheen), who happens to be in Paris with his wife at the same time, yet makes no efforts to masks his reciprocal flirtation with Inez. Things only seem to worsen for Gil as Inez’s parents (Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy) seem keen on pointing out how Gil is no where near as successful as Paul, and that Inez married the wrong man.

To take his mind off of what’s troubling him, Gil decides to take a walk one night and finds himself longing for the “Golden Era” of Paris, the 1920’s. Before he knows it, he is whisked away in a strange car and ends up at a magnificent party the exact era he was just wishing for where he meets the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and the entrancing beauty – Adriana (Marion Cotillard) – a sophisticated costume designer and mistress of Picasso.

Some may call it just another time travel story but Allen puts in a great deal of fun and laughter in for the audience to enjoy. Although part of the story is set in the year 1920, he does not recreate what actually happened with historical accuracy, but simply forms a beautiful picture of the past based on what Gil imagines the era would have been like.

The obvious criticism is that this may not be as instant of a classic as some of Allen’s earlier films, but surely Allen created an amalgamation of bygone sophistication, romance and lots of hilarity that will definitely amuse any audience. The script itself blinded the moot realism of the early 1900s with the clever and amusing libretto of each character and many historical remarks that may go unnoticed to audience members not well schooled in important characters of the time.

The actors and actresses are well suited to the characters they portray and helped to take the film past being just another “ordinary comedy”. Wilson was a perfect fit for the perplexed and casual personality of Gil, while Cotillard was nothing but sophistication, glamorous and charismatic. The cinematography was also quite excellent in that it makes you feel at ease and as if you are merely eavesdropping on a conversation of friends. The mesmeric montage of Paris that begins the film sets the tone as Allen would want his viewers to truly appreciate the beauty of Paris and love it just as much as he has claimed on several occasions, whether they have been to the city or not. If for no other reason – the film is worth seeing just based on the exploratory feel of the city of lights.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

Like Crazy – A Film By Drake Doremus

If you’ve ever been in love and been forced away leaving you without a single good option to make it work, this movie may be a very emotional experience for you. While we may remember  such a sentiment in real life, having it portrayed well in film will surely creates a long line for aficionados of drama and bitter-romances.

Like Crazy is a 2011 film by Drake Doremus starring Anton Yechin and Felicity Jones. The story is about two people finding their path to true love but also having to face the difficulties that come with it along the way. Jacob (Yechin) met Anna (Jones) in college and soon a passionate relationship buds, one which they are sure will last forever. However, Anna is forced to return to England in the midst of their romance for two reasons: she must attend an important wedding  back home, and she needs to go return to the UK before her student visa expires. When Anna decides to return to the U.S. after being home, she is denied entry. Being in love, the couple finds a way to make their relationship work until temptations on both sides complicate the once pure and simple relationship.

The connection between the two lead actors makes it the perfect match with each giving truly great performances in their respected roles. Yelchin and Jones create a strong chemistry that gives way for sincere emotions throughout the movie. The way Anna and Jacob look at each other when they first fall in love, followed by the heartache that follows with their soon severed connection strike a chilling chord in the heart of anyone who has ever experienced a similar situation.

Despite the stellar performances of the two lead actors, the film does not highlight the actors as much as one might think; giving way to cinematography and near-constant views of inanimate and seemingly unimportant props that supposedly give an insinuation of what is really going on in the lives of the two young lovers.

Although Jacob and Anna’s love for each other is manifested throughout the film, it hardly provided the drama that is often felt in true bitter-sweet or perhaps star-crossed romances. Doremus also gave less weight to what is traditionally underlined to convey a passionate attraction thus leaving the audience with some reservations as to what the real score between Anna and Jacob truly is Are they really in the realm of true love or finding themselves wanting to just love a person “one day”?

Nevertheless it is a powerful film that will most likely stir up the emotions of anyone who has been through long distance relationships, suffered from heartbreak and intense longing, and not knowing what to do when love starts with the “right person”, even if it is against all odds.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

Angelina Jolie In The Land Of Blood And Honey

Angelina Jolie is working on a new film project but you won’t be seeing her on screen. That’s right, the Tomb Raider star will be directing an upcoming film set to release in December, “In the Land of Blood Honey”. Starring Zana Marjanovic, Goran Kostic and Rade Serbedzija, this drama-romance film is set during the Bosnian war.

A forbidden love between a Bosnian woman (Marjanovic) and a Serbian man (Kostic) blossoms during the civil war in Bosnia in the 1990s. The two lovers meet at the eve of the war and find themselves longing for a romantic relationship. The film depicts the life of the Bosnian people during the civil war and how the war takes its effects on the lives of the two very different people in love.

Portions of the shooting for the film took place in Saravejo, Bosnia, although Hungary was the primary backdrop for the production. Since the film focuses on the love relationship between a Serbian rape camp administrator and a Bosnian war victim the film obviously touches on sensitive issues such as ethnic battles and rape – several protests were ignited, which revoked permission of the movie to be filmed in Bosnia. However, Angelina Jolie resolved the matter and secured another permit which then pushed the filming successfully.

Several of the cast members commented on how they found the script very interesting and how it was written with great authenticity. It further came as a great surprise to them to learn that their director was also the writer of the intense drama. Goran Kostic said that they had no idea who wrote script but expected it to be someone big and from the top. When they discovered the author was Jolie, they were quite surprised.

Jolie wrote the script at her house in France during her quarantine due to the flu. Her husband Brad Pitt was supportive of his wife’s work and even said that the script was “not bad”. Aside from that, Pitt refused to comment choosing to remain very tight lipped about his wife’s work.

The film, “In The Land Of Blood And Honey” is set to be released December 23, 2011. Both fans and critics alike are generally excited for outcome of the film.  This will be Jolie’s directorial debut.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment