Tag: kristen stewart

Café Society Is Woody Allen at his most lazily Allen-ish

Café Society Is Woody Allen at his most lazily Allen-ish

The director’s new film isn’t without resonance, writes Richard Lawson from Cannes, but is too preoccupied with its least interesting character.

There are maybe three different movies fighting against each other in Woody Allen’s new film, Café Society, which opened the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday night. It’s part creakily nostalgic ode to Old Hollywood, part satiric appreciation of the Jewish-American male’s romantic neuroses, and part wistful, half-serious rumination on the ephemeral fixations of love.

I like that last movie, Allen in his reflective years revisiting a familiar, old trope—the sexual-social peccadillos of the heterosexual intellectual—with a final huff of “Eh, who knows?” Café Society ends on a pleasing note of bittersweet ambiguity—or perhaps there’s nothing ambiguous about it, Allen arguing that there is certainly some uncertainty in life, always a wondering about what could be, a speculation that never quite merits seeking out answers.

But the other two-thirds of this disjointed movie, which starts in 1930s Los Angeles and ends in the New York City social scene referenced in the title, is Allen at his most lazily Allen-ish, Jesse Eisenberg’s aspiring somebody (what he does to “make it” doesn’t really matter) rattling through scene after scene of fretting dully over women, all of whom are inexplicably attracted to this irksome, self-involved jerk.

Café Society Is Woody Allen at his most lazily Allen-ish

Those women are played by Kristen Stewart and Blake Lively, both giving appealing performances. (Though, Stewart’s cadence is perhaps a bit too modern.) Neither character—the Hollywood assistant Eisenberg’s Bobby courts nor the New York society gal he eventually marries—is very fleshed out, but these two often unfairly maligned actresses do their best at pretending that Bobby is worth anyone’s time.

Buried underneath all of Café Society’s cheap-looking period gloss—the cinematography, by Vittorio Storaro, is oddly lush and intricate and garish for an Allen picture—is a simple story of a young man exploring the sense of possibility he finds in women. The movie treats its female characters as territory to be discovered, resources to be used, in Bobby’s journey toward manhood. There will always be another girl flickering and flaring on the outskirts of a man’s life, roads not taken more than people not known, and there is something a little sad, and a little sweet about that, Café Society suggests.

Which, sure. At 80 years old, Allen is well positioned to look back at the entanglements of youth with a knowing sigh. But much of Café Society is tainted by a cynical, transactional view of (straight) sex and romance, Allen perhaps setting his film in the shimmery past to protect himself from the glare of social consciousness. There’s a truly hideous scene in which Bobby hires a prostitute (played by Anna Camp with her usual despite-it-all dignity) who shows up late, annoying Bobby, and then practically begs him to sleep with her out of a desperate need for validation. Allen used to be somewhat insightful about women—Hannah and Her Sisters at least had a glow of empathy to it—but his view on the sexes has gotten narrower and far less charitable as he’s aged.

Café Society Is Woody Allen at his most lazily Allen-ish

Bobby and his uncle, a high-powered agent played with alarming flatness by Steve Carell, consistently forgive their own loutishness as they go, preventing the film from achieving any truly honest self-assessment. Ultimately, Allen seems not nostalgic for the particular era of his birth—the dread-tinged time between the Depression and World War II—but instead for a certain callowness that is no longer celebrated the way it used to be. Only one man, Bobby’s gangster brother, played by Corey Stoll, gets any comeuppance for his loutishness, but it’s for a number of murders.

Bobby and his uncle—both philanderers and objectifiers of women—don’t need to be punished, of course, but some sense of balance or fairness or perspective would be appreciated here. Especially when the movie is so stocked with talented actresses giving winning performances. There’s Stewart and Lively, but also Parker Posey as a Dorothy Parker–esque friend, Jeannie Berlin as Bobby’s plainspoken mother, and a warm Sari Lennick as his sister.

Still, when Café Society reaches its quiet conclusion, Allen has managed to conjure up some pensive feeling, softening his movie’s jarring pointiness. The film is nowhere near as effective as, say, Midnight in Paris’s murmuring about time, or his earlier dramas’ rueful interpersonal wisdom, but it’s not entirely without resonance. I just wish the film wasn’t so fascinated by the least interesting character wandering around this whole crazy scene called life.

Related: View full production notes for Café Society

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Kristen Stewart talks about her sexuality and LGBT movement

Kristen Stewart talks about her sexuality and LGBT movement

Kristen Stewart doesn’t need to put a label on her sexuality to know who she is.

The Café Society actress Kristen Stewart opens up about why she chooses to remain vague about her sexual orientation in the debut issue of Variety Magazine’s new redesigned format.

“Me not defining it right now is the whole basis of what I’m about,” she tells the mag. “If you don’t get it, I don’t have time for you.”

The actress, 26, says she’s been inspired by the way young people are able to love and view each other without labels.

“There’s acceptance that’s become really rampant and cool,” she said. “You don’t have to immediately know how to define yourself.”

Though she admits she struggled with the pressure to put a label on her herself while growing up, Stewart says she now believes in the idea of sexual fluidity.

Kristen Stewart talks about her sexuality and LGBT movement

“I had to have some answer about who I was. I felt this weird responsibility, because I didn’t want to seem fearful. But nothing seemed appropriate,” she explained. “So I was like ‘F—, how do I define that? I’m not going to.”

And while she says the LGBT movement is “so important” and something she wants to be involved in, she’s careful not to send the wrong message to people who might be struggling with their own sexuality.

“I didn’t want to be this example: it’s so easy,” she explains. “I don’t want it to seem like it was stupid for them to have a hard time.”

Related Link: View Full Production Notes for The Café Society Movie.

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Kristen Stewart Career Milestones

Kristen Stewart Career Milestones

Born: Kristen Jaymes Stewart
Birth Date: April 9, 1990
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA

An exceptionally poised young film actress with a knack for challenging roles as troubled adolescents, Kristen Stewart got her big break playing Jodie Foster’s daughter in David Fincher’s hot-wired thriller, “Panic Room” (2002). As the teen’s profile rose over the following years, Stewart consistently impressed audiences and critics alike with her realistic performances and her choice of projects – which echoed Foster’s early career by straying far from family fare and jumping right into demanding adult dramas with aplomb.

She would go on to make her biggest splash as Bella Swan, the tortured teen in love with a vampire in the pop cultural phenomenon, “Twilight” (2008) as well as its subsequent sequels. Such was her appeal as this particular film heroine that she would develop a huge fan contingent and hopeful rumors would abound about possible off-screen love with her equally gorgeous co-star, Robert Pattinson. Having come full circle as the tomboy trapped in a panic room to the dreamily romantic Bella, Stewart proved she was one of the more versatile young actresses of her generation.

Born April 9, 1990, Stewart was raised in Los Angeles, where her father worked as a stage manager, producer and director on numerous Fox television shows and her mother was a scriptwriter. Her performance in a grade school Christmas play caught the eye of a talent agent in the audience, so at the age of eight, Stewart began auditioning for film and television roles. She landed a bit role in the Disney Channel TV production, “The Thirteenth Year” (1999) and snared a more substantial part two years later in Rose Troche’s challenging independent drama “The Safety of Objects” (2001), in which she played the tomboyish daughter of troubled single mom Patricia Clarkson.

Kristen Stewart Career Milestones

Stewart found herself at the center of a major Hollywood production in 2002 when she was cast as the juvenile lead in David Fincher’s “Panic Room.” Despite the presence of such veteran actors as Jodie Foster – to whom the youngster bore a remarkable resemblance – Stewart held her own and delivered an assured performance that led some critics to compare her skills to Foster’s early style.

In 2003, Stewart signed on to play the daughter of Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone in another suspenseful project, Mike Figgis’ “Cold Creek Manor” (2003). However, it fared poorly with audiences. Her first leading role came with “Catch That Kid” (2004), a breezy, teen-friendly caper, with Stewart as a young mountain-climbing aficionado who orchestrates a high-tech bank robbery to pay for an operation for her gravely ill father. A minor hit with ‘tweens, it allowed Stewart a chance to show a lighter side of her acting talents and finally showcase herself to family audiences. The same year, she appeared in the psychological drama “Undertow,” which despite a cast led by Jamie Bell, Josh Lucas and Dermot Mulroney, received almost no theatrical play.

“Speak” (Showtime, 2005), based on the best-selling novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, gave Stewart the opportunity to play both dark and light in the same project. She portrayed a high school freshman who stops almost all verbal communication after being raped by an upperclassman, but retains a vivid and often sardonic running commentary in her head. She handled the complexities of the character with her customary skill and segued into Jon Favreau’s underrated space fantasy “Zathura” (2005), which, despite requiring her to remain in a state of suspended animation for part of the film, gave her a showcase for her comic skills. In 2006, Stewart starred in the Canadian feature “Fierce People,” a drama by actor-director Griffin Dunne, about a troubled masseuse (Diane Lane) who arranges for a better life for her teenage son and herself, with unfortunate results.

Stewart had a starring role in the moderately successful supernatural film “The Messengers” (2007), and her career began to soar with no less than 10 film releases in the subsequent two years. She starred opposite Meg Ryan and Adrian Brody in the comic drama “In the Land of Women” (2007), and gave a bold performance as a teenage commune dweller who falls for an idealistic young drifter (Emile Hirsch) in Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild” (2007), one of the top critics’ picks of the year. In Mary Stuart Masterson’s well-received directorial debut “The Cake Eaters” (2007), Stewart gave an excellent performance as a young woman with a debilitating disease, and in the Hollywood satire “What Just Happened?” (2008), she was memorable as the rebellious teenage daughter of a stressed-out studio executive (Robert De Niro).

In the fall of 2008, Stewart co-starred in the highly anticipated film adaptation of “Twilight,” Stephenie Meyer’s acclaimed novel about a teenage girl who falls in love with a handsome vampire. Finally featured in a youth-oriented mainstream release, Stewart earned legions of new fans through her work in the goth love story. The 18-year-old began to segue into young adult roles with the independent film offerings “Adventureland” (2008), a comedy about employees of an amusement park, and the domestic drama “Welcome to the Rileys,” starring James Gandolfini.

It was while working on the sequel “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” (2009) – that rumors began swirling that the much beloved onscreen coupling of Stewart and her co-star, Robert Pattinson – her seductive vampire love, Edward Cullen – was becoming a lovefest off set. Blogs and teeny bopper magazines dissected every photograph and interview the two participated in, all in order to get to the bottom of the question at hand: was the couple dating? Neither officially said, but the furor only added more luster to the highly anticipated “Twilight” sequel.

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Kristen Stewart to return for Snow White sequel

Kristen Stewart to return for Snow White ünd the Huntsman Sequel

Kristen Stewart to return for Snow White ünd the Huntsman Sequel

After Kristen Stewart’s summer admission that she’d been romantically involved with her married “Snow White and the Huntsman” director, Rupert Sanders, there was doubt as to whether the 22-year-old actress would return for a possible sequel.

Now, according to Kristen, not only is she set to reprise her role as the fairest of them all for a second installment of the fairytale story, it’s going to be quite the crowd-pleaser.

“Oh, it’s gonna be f**kin’ amazing,” Kristen told Indiewire, when asked where her “SWATH” character would journey in the sequel. “No, I’m so excited about it, it’s crazy.”

The actress said she’d been instructed to remain tight-lipped about further details. “I’m not allowed [to reveal details]. The other day I said that there was a strong possibility that we’re going to make a sequel, and that’s very true, but everyone was like, ‘Whoa, stop talking about it,'” she said. “So no, I’m totally not allowed to talk about it.”

Kristen did share that plot ideas discussed for the future of her Snow White character would justify her return to make a second film.

“Oh my God. F**k, yeah. Absolutely,” she told the blog, when asked if she was happy with the plan for Snow White.

An official statement confirming a “SWATH” sequel has yet to be made, and it is not yet known if Rupert will be replaced as director.

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Kristen Stewart pairs flirty mini-skirt with blazer

Kristen Stewart pairs flirty mini-skirt with blazer

Kristen Stewart is one of the week’s best dressed with her equestrian-like ensemble.

Kristen Stewart rocked an equestrian-like look upon arriving at a “Snow White and the Huntsman” industry screening in L.A. on Tuesday night. The 22-year-old actress — who was outfitted by designer Stella McCartney — paired a high-collar blouse with a black blazer and matching mini skirt. A loose updo, smokey eye makeup, and two-tone platform pumps completed her youthful yet chic ensemble.

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Nick Cassavetes to Direct Kristen Stewart in Cali

Nick Cassavetes to Direct Kristen Stewart in Cali

The Michael Diliberti penned script follows a young San Fernando couple who sell a fake snuff film to make some quick cash. Years later, the woman who supposedly “died” on film must return to her hometown to save her younger sister from trouble. Complications thus ensue.

Producer Zev Foreman had this to say about Nick Cassavetes boarding the project. “Nick’s the perfect director for this gritty, L.A.-based story and will smartly balance the dynamic action with a true love story. Nick’s record of working with top talent continues here in his collaboration with Kristen Stewart.”

The film is set for a late summer start date. Cali comes to theaters in 2014 and stars Kristen Stewart.

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Kristen Stewart discusses Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

Kristen Stewart discusses Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

In LA for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 press day – the next-to-last film of the franchise – Stewart talked about having to shoot two films at once, the wedding scene, playing a pregnant newlywed, Bella’s journey, projects outside of the Twilight universe, and her next big project: Snow White and the Huntsman.

Director Bill Condon talked about you having a schizophrenic life while making this movie, playing a virgin in the morning, a vampire in the afternoon, and delivering a baby in the evening. Can you talk about that experience?

Kristen Stewart: “Shooting two movies at the same time completely out of sequence, it wasn’t something that initially we were concerned about, keeping sequences in tact scheduling-wise. It was like, ‘Okay, we’ll work on this part and we’ll work on this part.’ It really was everywhere within each day, like Bill said. I think what that gave me is that she’s thinking, like, she’s always either looking into the future and thinking about what she’s going to achieve – and ultimately in this movie she does get everything she wants – or she’s sort of feeling bad about things. Jacob, for instance. Her family. She’s very much in her own head.”

“Basically what I’m saying is that being able to play a vampire, a human, a woman who’s pregnant, a woman who about to get married, literally sometimes within the same day or sometimes within the same week – who knows – actually helped me remind me…everything felt more important to me and more relevant to me. Everything felt very close. So, I think if we did it more systematically, it just wouldn’t have been the same. Everything was happening all at once and it was so sort of overwhelming that it was good. It gives you that energy every day.”

Bella has become such a mythological pop culture character, but how does she compare to playing Snow White?

Kristen Stewart: “I guess the only actual comparison, or I guess that a million could be drawn, but the one thing that sticks out in my mind is that they really are both in different ways matriarchs, very strong matriarchs that need to find that position. You see the whole process, but they’re so different.”

“Them both being icons, Snow White, I didn’t grow up on fairy tales. I know everyone says that the reason that this thing is so cool is that we’ve all grown up with these stories and it’s a retelling. I’m like, ‘Nah, not really. I didn’t.’ I also didn’t grow up with Twilight. So, for me, these things are sort of being put on these characters. Right as I think, ‘Wow, this is important,’ everyone goes, ‘That’s important.’ It’s like, ‘Okay, cool.’ So, I’ve gotten really lucky. I didn’t know going into either of these things necessarily, or I mean, I know Snow White obviously more so than Twilight was expected to be important to people because they know it.”
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‘Twilight’ wedding gown hits stores

'Twilight' wedding gown hits stores

True fans can now walk down the aisle wearing the same dress as Bella Swan.

In the “Twilight” series, first came vampire love. Then came the proposal. And next, the wedding. The bride, played by a glowing Kristen Stewart, in “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I,” would be walking down the aisle to marry her immortal beloved, and all eyes would be on her dress.

When Carolina Herrera, the fashion designer who consulted with “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer, created the gown for the wedding scene, she was sworn to secrecy. At the “Twilight” premiere, she told MTV that she wanted to convey romance and innocence.

Now the secret is out, and not only can fans get an eyeful, they can actually purchase a licensed replica of the dress, available through bridal designer Alfred Angelo.

Fans expected something mah-jor, but not modern. The description of the gown is decidedly old-fashioned, with long sleeves and buttons running down the back, an homage to the bride’s 110-year-old groom.

In a press release, Alfred Angelo describes the design as a “liquid satin sheath gown with a dramatic plunging cut-out-illusion back…and full-length lace-trimmed sleeves.” While sales figures aren’t available yet, a representative for the designer said brides were already snapping it up at $799 a pop. Not Kristen Stewart’s size? Not a problem. This dress is available “in sizes 0 to 30W” to fit every “Twilight” bride.

Reviews of the Bella Swan vision in white seem generally positive. On the US Weekly website, one Twi-hard raved, “Very beautiful. It’s modest, but the back screams sultry. Love the detail and the fact that it isn’t strapless. Channels old Hollywood glam.” Another was less inspired: “LOVE ‘Twilight’, LOVE weddings, wasn’t impressed by this dress at all.” A third chimed in, “Her dress was really pretty. I love the back.”

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Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser and Kristen Stewart in Vancouver

Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser and Kristen Stewart in Vancouver

Here’s a brand new photo of Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser and Kristen Stewart in Vancouver! They star in the upcoming film “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” aka Eclipse starring Robert Pattinson (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), Kristen Stewart (Adventureland, The Runaways), Taylor Lautner, (My Own Worst Enemy, The Twilight Saga: New Moon) and Xavier Samuel (Road Train, The Loved Ones).

Short Synopsis: Bella and Edward have been reunited, but their forbidden relationship is threatened to be torn apart again with an evil vampire still seeking her revenge. And Bella is forced to choose between her true love for Edward or her friendship with Jacob Black as the struggles between vampires and werewolves continues. But there is still another choice for Bella to make, mortality or immortality?

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Snow White and the Huntsman Theatrical Trailer

The fairytale is over.

Snow White is the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen. Unable to tolerate the insult to her vanity, the evil queen decides that Snow White must die. The queen sends a huntsman to kill Snow White. However the huntsman finds himself unable to murder the innocent you woman, and instead ends up training her to become a warrior capable of threatening the queen’s reign. The Huntsman is not a love interest (fear not, the prince is still in the story) but acts more as a mentor, teaching the teen girl to fight and survive.

Snow White and the Huntsman is an American dark fantasy action film based on the German fairy tale “Snow White” compiled by the Brothers Grimm. The film is directed by Rupert Sanders and written by Evan Daugherty, Martin Solibakke, John Lee Hancock, and Hossein Amini. The cast includes Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, and Bob Hoskins.

The film received two Academy Award nominations for Best Visual Effects and Best Costume Design at the 85th Academy Awards. It was a success at the box office. Although critics praised the production design and the performances of Theron, Hemsworth and Claflin, Stewart’s performance received mixed reviews, and Daugherty, Hancock and Amini’s screenplay was criticized.

Snow White and the Huntsman Theatrical Trailer

Joe Roth, former chairman of 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney Studios and producer of Tim Burton’s fantastical global hit Alice in Wonderland, knew that his team had found something incredible when Evan Daugherty’s script for what would become Snow White and the Huntsman arrived at his Los Angeles-based production house, Roth Films. At the time, Roth’s head of development (and executive producer of this film), Palak Patel, saw the potential in Daugherty’s story, which was an innovative take on the age-old Brothers Grimm tale, originally published in 1812 in the text “Kinderund Hausmärchen” (“Children’s and Household Tales”).

Roth and Patel were also responsible for finding the man who would helm the company’s next epic action-adventure. Rupert Sanders, a highly decorated commercial director, had made his way to the top of his game with a unique visual style that distinctly branded ad campaigns such as those for the juggernaut video game Halo 3. Roth, Patel and fellow executive producer Gloria Borders grew fascinated by the uncompromising tone and impressive variety in Sanders’ work, as well as the depth of soul to his commercials.

When Roth’s team had a draft of the script with which all were comfortable, Sanders was the first and the only filmmaker to whom they sent the idea. A veteran of imaginative gaming spots, Sanders believed it was as important to reimagine the story as it was to open up a filmic Snow White to both genders. Everyone felt that Sanders’ vision and skill set offered a deft balance that would guarantee the production its green light.

Snow White and the Huntsman

Directed by: Rupert Sanders
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Sam Claflin, Chris Hemsworth, Ian McShane, Lily Cole, Nick Frost, Toby Jones
Screenplay by: Evan Spiliotopoulos
Production Design by: Dominic Watkins
Cinematography by: Greig Fraser
Film Editing by: Conrad Buff, Neil Smith
Costume Design by: Colleen Atwood
Set Decoration by: Fainche MacCarthy
Art Direction by: Andrew Ackland-Snow, Alastair Bullock, John Frankish, Oliver Goodier, Stuart Rose, David Warren
Music by: James Newton Howard
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief sensuality.
Studio: Universal Pictures
Release Date: June 1st, 2012

Related Link: Read the Full Production Notes for Snow White and the Huntsman

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