Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman begin 'How To Talk To Girls At Parties' shoot
November 16, 2015
ScreenDaily | By Michael Rosser

Sci-fi romance How To Talk To Girls At Parties, starring Elle Fanning (Maleficent), Tony Award-winning Alex Sharp (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) and Nicole Kidman, has begun principal photography in the UK, where it will shoot for six weeks.

Directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus), the film is based on a short story by Neil Gaiman (Coraline) from his collection “Fragile Things”.

The screenplay has been written by Philippa Goslett (Little Ashes) with Mitchell. Kidman reunites with Mitchell, who directed her Oscar-nominated performance in Rabbit Hole (2010).

The cast also includes Ruth Wilson (The Affair), Matt Lucas (Bridesmaids) and Joanna Scanlan (The Invisible Woman).

The story centres on a shy teenage punk in 1970s London (Sharp) who falls for an alien girl (Fanning) whose race plans a showdown with humans.

Producers are Howard Gertler (Shortbus, World’s Greatest Dad, How to Survive a Plague) for Little Punk alongside Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of See-Saw Films (Shame, Macbeth, Lion) and Mitchell.

Kidman, Canning and other key elements were first reported by Screen during Cannes.

The creative team includes director of photography Frank DeMarco (All Is Lost, Rabbit Hole), production designer Helen Scott (The Selfish Giant, Fish Tank), costume designer Sandy Powell (Carol, Cinderella), editor Brian A. Kates (Kill your Darlings, Rabbit Hole) with original music from Nico Muhly (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Kill Your Darlings), Xiu Xiu and Matmos.

Finance comes from Film4, Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund and Delish Films. HanWay Films handles international sales, with StudioCanal distributing in the UK and A24 in the US.

Irish Box Office Smiles On ‘Brooklyn’
November 16, 2015

Joint Best Local Drama Debut In 19 Years

Sundance breakout Brooklyn opened in Ireland this weekend, setting a nearly two-decade best start for an Irish drama. The immigrant story which Lionsgate UK released on November 4 scored an opening frame upwards of £432K ($650K) on 87 screens, including Northern Ireland. That’s the best drama debut since Michael Collins opened to £465K in November 1996. Helmer John Crowley’s film also bested recent Irish hits Angela’s Ashes (£398K) and Calvary (£331K). Lionsgate added the UK on Friday for a combined opening of £1.04M ($1.56M), making it the top newcomer in the markets. Last year’s comedy Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, which Universal released in Ireland, maintains the overall record for an Irish film at an opening weekend of 802£K.

Brooklyn was one of the most sought after titles at Sundance in January. There, Fox Searchlight paid $9M for rights in the U.S. and multiple international territories. The 1950s-set period drama is generating awards heat, nabbing five British Independent Film Awards nominations last week. Fox Searchlight opened Stateside this weekend grossing $181K in five theaters for a $36,200 per-screen average.

Saoirse Ronan stars as a young woman who uproots and heads to Brooklyn, trying to forge a new life and finding work and first love. Family tragedy brings her back home, where she is forced to make a heartbreaking choice between two men and two countries.

Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters also star. Adapted by Nick Hornby from Colm Tóibín’s New York Times bestseller, Brooklyn is produced by Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey.


‘Brooklyn’ Offers Pure Enjoyment
November 16, 2015

Brooklyn is a crowd-pleaser, an irresistible story fulfilled by director John Crowley, screenwriter Nick Hornby (who adapted the best-selling novel by Colm Tóibín), and their radiant star, Saoirse Ronan. Only a misanthrope could fail to empathize with Ronan as an Irish girl who leaves her close-knit village to embark on a great adventure: emigrating to America in the early 1950s. A kindly priest (Jim Broadbent) has promised to look out for her as the sheltered young woman learns about life in the big city.

Ronan’s Ellis Lacey isn’t ignorant or foolish, just unworldly. We relate to her at every turn of the story, from living in a boardinghouse filled with gossipy single women—and run by the hilarious Julie Walters—to learning the ropes as a salesgirl in a posh department store where her frozen-faced frown is discouraged. Gradually, Ellis comes out of herself, especially when she meets a gregarious Brooklyn lad (Emory Cohen) who falls in love with her at first sight. A plain-spoken Italian-American, he lifts her spirits and makes her feel at home for the first time.

Circumstances oblige her to return to Ireland for a brief visit and here, too, we can understand Ellis’ conflicted feelings as she is welcomed back to her village and gets to know a handsome fellow (Domhnall Gleeson) who takes a shine to her.

The period flavor in Brooklyn is nicely delineated but never ostentatious. The costumes, sets, and locations have an organic feel to them that suits Ronan’s beautifully understated performance. It’s especially satisfying to see this gifted actress take a breather from heavy, angst-ridden drama, which has been her stock in trade since her breakthrough in Atonement. (The Grand Budapest Hotel was lighthearted but her time onscreen was all too brief.)

Emory Cohen is a perfect match for Ronan and makes a strong impression as the diehard Dodger fan who sweeps her off her feet...
Oscars: Poland Selects ’11 Minutes,’ Denmark Goes for ‘A War’
September 25, 2015
by Leo Barraclough |

LONDON — Poland and Denmark have selected their entries to contest in the foreign-language film category of the Oscars. Jerzy Skolimowski’s “11 Minutes” is the Polish champion, while Denmark has backed Tobias Lindholm’s “A War.” Both films played at Venice Film Festival: “11 Minutes” was in competition, while “A War” ran as part of Horizons.

“11 Minutes” is a “buzzing, hurtling, too-fast-to-think thriller,” according to Variety’s reviewer. “Ida” director Pawel Pawlikowski, who headed Poland’s Oscar selection committee, said the film was “a universal story told using very edgy film language; a film that portrays chaos, cacophony and emptiness in today’s world.”

In the movie, the same 11 minutes in the lives of various protagonists are shown through parallel storylines. Before the last second of the 11th minute is up, their fates intertwine in an event that will have a huge impact on their lives.

The film was produced by Skopia Film, co-produced by Element Pictures, Telewizja Polska, Orange, HBO and Fundacja Tumult, and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, Eurimages and the Irish Film Board. International sales are handled by HanWay Films.

“A War” is a drama about the consequences of war. It follows army officer Claus Michael Pedersen, who is stationed with his men in an Afghan province. During a routine mission, the soldiers are caught in heavy crossfire and in order to save his men, Claus makes a decision that has grave consequences for him — and his family back home.

The film is produced by Nordisk Film Production, with support from the Danish Film Institute and Nordisk Film and TV Fund. International sales are being handled by Studiocanal.

The deadline to submit foreign-language films for the Academy Awards is Oct. 1. The e...