A Separation

A Separation, a 2011 Iranian drama film, was the recipient last Sunday night of the 84th Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.  The distinction is the first for the country of Iran, who has extremely poor political ties with the United States, making the win monumental on a series of different levels, both culturally and politically.

Simin (Leila Hatami ) and Nader (Peyman Moaadi) are an upper middle class married couple in modern-day Iran.  Their daughter, Termeh (Sarina Farhadi), has been placed in a difficult decision when her parents decide they want to divorce; leave the country with her mother, or stay with her father in the country and assist her grandfather, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

But when Nader hires Razieh (Sareh Bayat), a pregnant, impoverished woman to take care of his father, things turn ugly when he suspects her of negligence regarding the elderly man.  When Nader is involved in Razieh falling down the stairs, he becomes key suspect in her miscarriage.  In his plight to prove his innocence, the family’s life begins to fall apart as everyone’s morals come into question.

Directed by Asghar Farhadi, A Separation was one of the many foreign films that dominated in Southern California, bolstering a record high number of winners in the region with Saving Face (2011), a documentary from Pakistan, winning the documentary section.   Appearing as the best film on Roger Ebert’s list of favorite 2011 films, the screenplay, acting, and intensity was unparalleled in 2011.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

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Saving Face

Saving Face, a 2011 Pakistani documentary, focuses on the horrific attacks on two women that resulted in acid attacks.  This year, the documentary won the Oscar for Best Short Documentary Film at the 84th Academy Awards.  This win represented a huge win not only for those involved in the feature, but for the entire country of Pakistan.

An acid attack can be defined as when an individual punishes  another by throwing acid on them, normally around their face, and/or possibly igniting it, leaving extreme aesthetic damage and physical and emotional wounds.  Dr. Mohammad Jawad, an English doctor, comes to Pakistan to help two young women down the road towards recuperation and justice.

Although over a 100 acid attack reports are documented each year in the country, there is likely to be many more as women are afraid to come forth.  This film was created in hopes to help the current victims heal and give inspiration to women who might be afraid to step out of the shadow of their abusive family members and seek help.

Directed by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Daniel Junge, Saving Face was cited as a more “positive” story than most, as the London-based doctor was able to successfully help the two women.  The Oscar was a first for the country and also celebrated with another winner in the region, A Separation (2011),an Iranian film, making Sunday night’s festivities a huge hit in the Middle East.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

Star Wars: Episode 1- The Phantom Menace

Star Wars: Episode 1- The Phantom Menace, a 1999 sci-fi action movie, will be rereleased to the general public, this time, in the wonderful dimensions of 3D.  In 1999, George Lucas came back to his culture-changing films but decided to do things differently; instead of leaving where he left off, at film number 3, he started a number one, the Phantom Menace.

Set in the Galactic Republic, a futuristic realm where creatures of all kinds’ co-habitat and democracy runs rampant, interplanetary tax disputes have caused massive political tensions between the two dominant planets of the region.  Queen Amidala, who was visiting the rival planet, now needs an escort to ensure her safety off the planet.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) the novice Jedi knight learning the force under the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), is sent to retrieve the public figure Queen Amidala along with Jinn.  Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), a young slave, enters the Star Wars legacy as he shows signs of The Force, leading into the following series where his path takes a dark turn.

Directed by the famed Geroge Lucas, the rerelease of the film has already brought in an unprecedented $86 million dollars, putting the total gross of the film over $1billion dollars.  Following such iconic movies as Titanic (1999), rereleases of stellar movies of the past may soon be more common than you think, with new technology available to increase picture quality and add 3D components.   Reliving these classics definitely can’t be a bad thing, though.

 

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds

Good Deeds, a 2012 romantic drama film, will be the 11th film Tyler Perry has directed, as well as the 10th that he’s starred in, making him an impressive hybrid in the otherwise polar entertainment industry.  A star in his own right, Perry’s films alone have grossed over $500 million worldwide.

Set amidst the hectic lifestyle of the big city, Wesley Deeds (Tyler Perry) has become complacent with ‘the mold’, following his father’s footsteps to a tee.  Tailored to run his pop’s successful company from the get-go, Deeds never really had the chance to realize his own dreams, putting others ahead of himself and doing only what was expected of him.

But when he runs into a down-on-her-luck mother who’s working a part-time job at his office, the timing is serendipitous as everything begins to fall into place for Wesley.  When he begins to realize that he has choices in his life and that it’s ok to stray away from expectations, he finally begins to shed light on the true meaning of ‘happiness’.

Directed by Tyler Perry, Good Deeds is the aberration of Perry’s first few films that were primarily comedies.  Starting to shift focus from the more light-hearted films that made him the highest paid man in entertainment, Perry’s most recent film has a more serious, romantic narrative this time around.  So if you’re having a bad day and need a nice pick-me-up, this inspirational flick should do the trick.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

The Lorax

The Lorax, a 2012 computer-animated film, will be the next film that was inspired by the famous Dr. Seuss, writer of several films that were transformed from his books including, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), Horton Hears a Who (2008), and The Cat in the Hat (2003).  With all these films being commercial successes, expect this one to be no different.

Set in small town called “Thneed-Ville” Tom (Zac Efron) has a school-yard crush on his neighbor Audrey (Taylor Swift).  Her one and only desire is to see a real life tree, as their entire town is completely artificial, having no plant life of any kind.  Knowing finding a tree will win her heart, he sets out on an adventure to find this illustrious thing.

What he stumbles on even he could not predict; and entirely new world that has been secluded off from his own, where plants are everywhere.  He meets the Lorax (Danny DeVito) who is the guardian of the lush new world.  But after deforestation occurs at the hands of the a young businessman, Tom must bring what’s left of this new world back home to his family and friends.

Directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda, The Lorax seems to be just another one of the Dr. Seuss’ genius stories brought to the big screen and will have no problem taking off with all types of audiences.  With an all-star lineup of voice actors and great animation, three years later, we’re ready for our next Dr. Seuss masterpiece.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

Wanderlust

Wanderlust, a 2012 American comedy, features comedic heavyweights Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston in their second full-length feature film together. The term ‘wanderlust’ is defined as ‘a strong feeling or desire to wander or travel’.  Unfortunately for the characters in this film, all these wanderlust’s have some managed to find each other; and wander together.

Linda (Jennifer Aniston) and George (Paul Rudd) are just starting to settle into their new life in New York by buying a house and setting down roots for their future family.  But when George loses his job, they are forced to sell their house and pack up.  They decide to stay with family in Georgia and start heading South.

But when they arrive at a bed and breakfast en route, they encounter a community of people unlike any other.  Seemingly nomadic and strangely out of touch with reality, this breed of people turns out to indeed be a hippie commune, and when one of them runs Linda and George’s car into a lake, take the couple into their group of wacko’s on this wildly hilarious ride.

Directed by David Wain, the on-screen chemistry between Rudd and Aniston is nothing new; the pair starred in the 1998 comedy, “The Object of my Affection” and as recent as seven years ago, were both cast in the last 18 episodes of the hit television show “F.R.I.E.N.D.S”. As outlandish as the plot may seem, these two stars make this film definitely worth the watch.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance¸ a 2012 3D superhero film, features acting sensation Nicolas Cage in much-anticipated sequel to the 2007 box office hit Ghost Rider.  The second film to be released under the Marvel Knights name, this flashy flick features our famed fire-starter, Johnny Blaze, fighting fire with fire.

Set in an obscure part of Eastern Europe, Johnny Blaze has been plagued with her curse for years and has yet to find a solution to fix his life-changing aliment.  After unsuccessful attempts, he decides it’s best for society if he disappears altogether.

But when a secret religious society asks for his help, he is forced to recognize his condition and helps ave the boy.  Infected by what the villagers think is the devil, Johnny Blaze must harness his powers as the Ghost Rider and face the heinous entity head on.

Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the majority of the film was shot in Romania and Turkey,  where the plot coincidentally takes place.  Although receiving mixed reviews, this film should do exactly what its predecessor did;  receive little sympathy from the critics but draw out a plethora of people to make it another box office hit.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment