Watch Meryl Streep, Benedict Cumberbatch, & Many More in the Trailer for ‘August: Osage County’

Well, any trailer that opens with narration by Sam Shepard whilst he tends to a boat, is aces in my book. And with the first trailer for August: Osage County, The Weinstein Company gives us the premiere look into the Weston family after a crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in.

Adapted from Tracy Lett’s play of the same title, John Wells takes the directorial helm to bring the dysfunctional story of a family dealing with the aftermath of death, confronting the past, and facing the future, to the screen. Starring Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Ewan McGregor, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Abigail Breslin, Dermot Mulroney, Sam Shepard, and Margo Martindale, August: Osage County is slated to premiere this November, just in time for awards season.

Check out the trailer below.

au

My Editor Is Wrong About ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

As a writer for this august publication of record, it is my sad and solemn duty to report upon all of my editor’s gravest errors. In this case, it is his willful dismissal and obstreperous refusal to see the relative merit and entertainment value in Silver Linings Playbook (2012), which is so totally good enough to kill a few hours with, so watch your mouth, Tyler.

My esteemed editor registered his disgust on his personal Tumblr before bragging about his remarkable state of domestic bliss at present:

Ten minutes into this movie, I thought, “What the hell is this shit?” Five minutes later, Andrew turned to me and said, “I hate this.” We left about an hour later. 

True love is sharing a hatred for overrated Oscar-bait movies, you guys.

First of all, “Oscar-bait”? The last thirty-odd Best Picture winners have been overwrought melodramas, not screwball romantic comedies. [Ed. note: "screwball?" More like blue balls. Also, please review Shakespeare in Love, Chicago, and last year’s winner, The Artist.] Secondly: you left an hour after you both agreed you hated it? Seats must have been pretty comfortable, dude. [Ed. note: We were in the front row. Perhaps that added to my discomfort? That and the choppy, extreme close-ups that David O. Russell employed foolishly.] Feels like you might as well have stuck it out to the end, where it becomes the exact kind of movie you like! [Ed. note: So, like, Wet Hot American Summer? Coal Miner’s Daughter? DO EITHER JANEANE GAROFALO OR SISSY SPACEK SHOW UP?] (Am I kidding? You’ll have to watch to find out.)

In conclusion, I’m not entirely sure what this man expected from the director of Flirting With Disaster, Three Kings, and ♥ Huckabees. [Ed. note: Solid point. None of those are particularly good, either.] I thought Silver Linings Playbook was slighter than these but slotted neatly into the oeuvre itself, delivering the philosophical laughs and credible absurdities I’ve come to associate with David O. Russell’s work, and I certainly can’t see what in it would so offend as to drive one from the theater. [Ed. note: Well, there was the whole thing where Jennifer Lawrence was playing a role that could have gone to Miley Cyrus or, hell, Juliette Lewis if it came out fifteen years ago. Both would be similarly competent at delivering lines in which they explain their feelings rather than bothering to subtely show them.] But perhaps it’s not for me to say how my editor has strayed from the path—only to note that he has.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter. [Ed. note: I wouldn’t recommend it.]

Movies Opening This Weekend, in Order of How Much We Like Their Trailers

Some people judge a movie based on reviews, other will go see something just because it features a favorite actor. Here, we’re judging this weekend’s offerings based solely on what we see in the trailers and ranking them accordingly.

Hick: Chloe Moretz plays a runaway kid on her way to the bright lights of Vegas. On the way she meets a cast of ne’erdowells including Eddie Redmayne, Blake Lively and Juliette Lewis. It’s a story we’ve seen before, but this trailer is exciting enough that seeing it again doesn’t sound so bad.

A Bag of Hammers: This SXSW-approved indie comedy follows two con men who pose as valets as they steal their way into audience’s hearts. The introduction of a kid promises to schmaltz up the joint and might lead to a saccharine ending, but any trailer that uses The Cure so well is alright by us.

Dark Shadows: Tim Burton and Johnny Depp take on the beloved 1960s and ‘70s daytime creepfest with their signature Goth-lite touch and a cast featuring Michelle Pfeiffer and, as always, Helena Bonham Carter. The trailer doesn’t sell exactly the vampire movie we want to see, but it’s the one they’ve got.

Where Do We Go Now: A subtitled foreign number about women who are attempting to keep their village safe from a religious war and the men who can’t seem to help but start one. This won’t take care of your car-chases-and-explosions needs, but if you’re feeling brainy it could be satisfying.

Dragon Eyes: When a town plagued by drugs and gangs gets a new citizen in the form of martial arts master Ryan Hong… well, you know what happens. The fight scenes promise to be sickening, the rest will be boilerplate.

Girl in Progress: A coming of age story about a kid obsessed with coming of age stories and her immature mom. Eva Mendes had better be making this movie to pay off some sort of debt, because she should know better.

Juliette Lewis to Star in ‘Nights of Cabiria’ Remake

Juliette Lewis’s career always sort of fascinates me. I can’t think of a movie in which I really liked her (the only thing on my mind is What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, although I suppose she successfully creeped me out in the thumb-sucking scene in Cape Fear). Sure, she rocked Carnegie Hall last month at The Rolling Stones tribute show, but I’ve never actually heard the music she’s recorded with her band, Juliette and the Licks. Yet I recognize that she’s a very famous actress, which is why when it was announced that she’ll star in a remake of Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria, I was like, "Oh, OK, fine."

We learn from Variety (via Vulture) that The Days of Mary is a reimagining of the Fellini classic, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1957. Directed by Brad Michael Gilbert, the new film will take place in Reno instead of Rome, but the central character (for those not in the know) will still be a lovably hapless prostitute. "Juliette was born to play this role," Gilbert tells Variety. Go ahead and sit on that for a while, folks. 

I’m assuming that Lewis won’t be singing, which is a shame as the story lends itself to a musical adaptation: Bob Fosse’s brilliant Sweet Charity was itself a musical remake of Nights of Cabiria. Wouldn’t it be fun to see Juliette Lewis hoofing it across some Reno rooftops à la Shirley MacLaine and Co.?

Marianne Faithfull and Others Pay Tribute to The Rolling Stones

It’s been forty years since The Rolling Stones released Hot Rocks, their first best-of compilation which included their biggest hits from the years 1964 to 1971. The album is still the Stones’ biggest-selling to date, and includes enough material for a huge tribute concert. Such an event took place last night at Carnegie Hall under the supervision of City Winery’s Michael Dorff, who culled together an impressive line-up of classic rock ‘n’ rollers and a handful of revered indie acts for a mind-blowing concert in celebration of one of the greatest bands in rock and roll history.

Stand-outs included Steve Earle performing “Mother’s Little Helper” (“This is the first song he learned to play on guitar,” he announced, “which is probably why I’m so fucked-up”), The Mountain Goats with a toned-down piano-heavy version of “Paint It Black, a surprisingly bluesy and suble "Heart of Stone" from Peaches, Rosanne Cash’s sultry voice leading vocals on “Gimme Shelter” (she later joined Jackson Browne and Marc Cohn to perform “Wild Horses”), and actress and singer Juliette Lewis, who kicked off her sequined heels and jumped and jived across the stage during her rendition of “Satisfaction.”

Opening the show was Italian rapper Jovanotti, members of TV on the Radio, and the Young Audiences New York Chorus with a spirited rendition of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” which actually closes the album but was performed first on account of it being a school night. Taj Mahal, who performed at last week’s Robert Johnson tribute, brought his daughter Deva Mahal to join him in a deep country rendition of "Honky Tonk Women." I shouldn’t even have to mention how amazing it was to see rock legend Marianne Faithfull in person, much less to hear her perform “As Tears Go By,” the song that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote especially for her. After the proper Hot Rocks line-up, Faithfull returned to the stage to perform “Sister Morphine,” which she co-wrote with Jagger. It was enough to cancel out the only low point of the night when The Swell Season’s Glen Hansard, who ended his cover of “Under My Thumb” with the chorus from Them’s “Gloria,” as if he decided that Van Morrison needed some representation.

Proceeds from the show went to charities Church Street School for Music & Art, The Pinwheel Project, Music Unites, The American Symphony Orchestra, Young Audiences New York, Fixing Instruments for Kids in Schools, Midori and Friends, The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, and The Center for Arts Education.

Check out the video below for a short clip of the entire line-up performing “Tumbling Dice” from the seminal Exile on Main Street as the encore.

Photo by Bobby Bank

Check Out Our Handmade Birthday Cards from James Franco, ScarJo, Diddy & More

In case you didn’t catch Barack Obama’s presidential address last Saturday, this month marks fifteen years of BlackBook. We’re so excited that we published an entire issue loosely themed around it, and tonight, at the Olive Garden in Times Square, we’re throwing a party to celebrate it. (You’re invited!) But what would a 15th anniversary be without 15 former cover stars sending you 15 birthday cards? The answer is nothing! So with that in mind, here’s an exclusive gallery of birthday greetings from the 15 most thoughtful former cover stars a magazine could ask for.

Juliette Lewis Names the Top 5 Movies People Recognize Her From

To say that Juliette Lewis and I have a past might be correct, but it wouldn’t be accurate. Sure, I’ve caught her rock act four times now, reviewed it twice, and underwent all kinds of maybes before I interviewed her by phone for two different publications. And yes, I’m a longtime fan of her film work. But for two people to have a past, both have to know about it. And until last Thursday, it’s highly unlikely that Juliette Lewis even knew I existed, let alone imagined a backstory that comprised spilled drinks, stunned silence, a stilled heart, and more superlatives per column-inch than any Thesaurus. So when I got the nod to meet with the blinding and bewildering star of stage and screen before she and her merry band of mayhem-makers opened for the Dolphins/Bears up at Sun-Life Stadium, I jumped at the chance to add to that past – and to clue her into it in the process.

Fanboy hyperbole aside, Juliette Lewis remains one of the most remarkable women on the planet – a fact I’ve spent innumerable hours telling anyone who’d listen. And I’d sooner walk a plank than miss out on a chance of meeting her. That in the end we actually got to sit down and have almost a conversation kinda leads me to believe there could be a past after all.

But first the present, or the near present anyway. As you might suspect, up close and personal, Juliette is decidedly present, and her presence is deeply felt. She considers each question, answers with candor, and endures anecdotes and asides with the grace of an angel. After we’d spoken, I left the conference room kitchen feeling as if I’d just been blessed. Of Juliette’s four South Florida appearances, it’s the last blast at Bardot that is her favorite thus far. Sadly, it was the only one that I’d missed. But she didn’t hold it against me. In fact, she was still thrilled with what went off that night.

“Miami’s a weird town for rock ‘n’ roll,” she said. “And I was so pleased that all the rock ‘n’ rollers and all the freaks in Miami came to my show. I was like “Yay!”

Considering I consider Juliette to be one of the baddest-assed performers I’ve ever seen, you’ll understand why I sat quietly and kicked myself for missing the Bardot show. But like I said, Juliette’s too cool to put a cat on the spot, not without good cause anyway. And her ease allowed me to continue without dwelling too badly on the lapse. I told Juliette that I was still a little giddy from interviewing John Waters at Miami Book Fair the night before. I mention how cool he is, and how he was everything you’d expect him to be. Juliette countered with a little fandom of her own:

“That’s how Chrissie Hynde is too. I opened for the Pretenders last year and she is everything you could ever want and imagine. She’s just totally herself – uncompromised.”

Cat Power was also on that tour, and Chan Marshall seems to have left a mark of her own.

“She was lovely, man. That particular tour was like a walk in the park; it was like a dream tour. I’d just play thirty minutes and then watch the most incredible musicians. So I was in heaven.” Speaking of legends, I add that Patti Smith was also appearing at Book Fair and asked if Juliette had met her as well.

image

“Yes, I got to hang out with her at her house, and she is just as uncompromising and radical as she was when she was younger.” When I tell Juliette that I’d caught the rock goddess back at the Miami Jai-Alai Fronton when I was wee lad, and how I’m still a bit struck by the sight of her having to be dragged from the stage while screaming “Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger,” she seemed equally struck by the notion of punk’s first lady “making a statement.”

Juliette was also eager for me to know how excited she was to be staging later with a certain Aerosmith guitarist, who, over the years, has made a few statements himself. “I can’t believe I’m about to have Joe Perry shred while I do ‘Hard Lovin’ Woman,'” she said. And the wow was apparent in every word. Juliette’s “basically doing one-off shows, until I make a new record, which will be later in the winter.” Whether or not she again works with Mars Volta’s Omar Rodríguez-López, as she did on 2009’s Terra Incognita, is still to be determined. “I’d love to. He’s a busy man. I was lucky to get him once.”

What isn’t in question is who’ll be backing her on the next offering: “I wanna work with this band on the next record – and then name us.” Naturally, a chat with Juliette Lewis isn’t complete without speaking about movies. Figuring fans would be first to recognize her from Natural Born Killers, I ask how many times a day people yell “Hey Mallory!” Turns out I underestimated the depth of Juliette’s audience. “Never,” she said. “It’s always funny, because I’ve been around the world so many times touring, for like a week people will know me from The Other Sister. There are top five movies people recognize me from: there’s Natural Born Killers, Gilbert Grape, Cape Fear, Kalifornia, and The Other Sister. And I’m always surprised when I get a rare one like Strange Days or Romeo’s Bleeding. Then for younger people of course there’s Old School.”

Out now are Due Date (“I’ll do anything [director] Todd Phillips asks.”) and Conviction, which tells of a woman’s eighteen-year quest to free her wrongly convicted brother.

Conviction is the most intense piece of work I’ve done in the last decade. I always look for new things, things I’ve not done before, because that’s just how I am. But I’ve never transformed so completely. It’s a very small part – two scenes. But the second scene is really long, and there are all these emotional twists and turns and contradictions. I play a real-life character, because it’s a true story. So it’s really intense. And everyone’s heart was really in it, because we all wanted to honor the real Betty Ann Waters, who lived this story.”

Juliette was adamant in mentioning the Innocence Project, and if she’s adamant, I’m adamant. Later, backstage, she was also adamant that the paparazzi step back so she could snap a shot with me, and then a few for my photographic accomplice, Jeffrey Delannoy, who is steadfast whenever I get a great get. Then she and her band roared through a drive-by set that not only knocked the proverbial socks off the sports fans, it left me standing just a little taller, smiling just a little wider, and walking away with just a little but more swagger. Why? Because my past had again caught up to me – and this time I didn’t mind one bit.

image

Photo: Jeffrey Delannoy

Juliette Lewis and Alexander Skarsgård Do the Red Carpet Thing

For anyone who’s never had the opportunity to be on either side of the velvet rope at a red carpet, lucky you. Doing the red carpet—whether you’re conducting the interview or answering the question— has a tendency to be at once boring and unnerving. Basically, you don’t want to be asking folks the same questions the person next to you will ask. As the star, you are forced to listen to yourself answering the same question repeatedly to interviewers who are all perched side-by-side like open-mouthed baby birds. Here’s a video of our girl Juliette Lewis and our boy Alexander Skarsgård as they dole out some classic stock answers while repping their animated movie—the dark, dystopian Metropia at the Tribeca Film Festival. Enjoy! (Or don’t.)

Video: Elizabeth Glover

Juliette Lewis as Mick Jagger, Bettie Page, Bonnie Parker

If you caught our interview with Juliette Lewis, you saw her incarnate famous rebels like Mick Jagger, Bonnie Parker, Bettie Page, and Coco Chanel. Now feast your peepers on this bonus gallery of behind-the-scenes outtakes of Juliette’s versions of Mick, Bettie, and Bonnie. See full gallery. Photography by Mary Ellen Matthews; styling by Ting Ting Lin.