The real-life husband and wife talk about sharing the screen in "Everybody Knows" and how soon they might work together again. Plus, director Asghar Farhadi sheds light on what it was like working with the couple.
Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem have acted in four films together since they became a couple roughly a decade ago. But any more than that might have caused trouble in their relationship, the actress said.
“We’re not planning to do this every year -- it would be risky,” said Cruz, who was at the Toronto International Film Festival to promote “Everybody Knows,” her latest film with her husband. “I think it would be risky for any couple to make a movie every year. It wouldn’t make sense. But I think it also wouldn’t make sense to force it in the opposite direction and say no to something like this.”
This was the opportunity to work with Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, who learned Spanish just so he could memorize all the lines of dialogue in the kidnapping drama, which premiered earlier this year at the Cannes film festival.
You could feel the excitement in the air before the packed Toronto premiere of “Roma,” the much-anticipated new movie directed by Alfonso Cuarón. A beautifully composed memory piece that conjures the faded Mexico City of the director’s 1970s childhood, the film was easily one of this 10-day event’s most breathlessly anticipated attractions. “Roma” arrived having already earned rapturous reviews at festivals in Telluride, Colo., and Venice, where, mere days earlier, it had won the Golden Lion, the top prize.
The bestower of that prize was the director Guillermo del Toro, Cuarón’s pal and countryman, who served as the president of the Venice competition jury. (Del Toro promised beforehand not to do any friendly favors for Cuarón’s film, and “Roma’s” unanimously glowing reception certainly made the choice beyond reproach.) Notably, Del Toro himself had won the Golden Lion just a year earlier for his period fantasy “The Shape of Water,” the first piece of hardware he collected en route to winning the Academy Award for best picture.
None of this necessarily means that the Golden Lion has suddenly become some hot new harbinger of awards-season glory; this is a prize, after all, that has in the past gone to more recondite pictures such as Alexander Sokurov’s “Faust,” Gianfranco Rosi’s “Sacro GRA” and Lav Diaz’s “The Woman Who Left,” none of which were made with dreams of Oscar in mind.
From "A Star Is Born" to "Halloween" to "Widows," Times writers Justin Chang and Jen Yamato discuss the standout films at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
With a lineup boasting everything from Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar-tipped “Roma” (ro-ma-ma) to the sheer star power of Lady Gaga (ooh-la-la), the 2018 Toronto International Film Fest was a starry-eyed cinephile’s dream.
The annual Toronto fest played host to high-profile launches of Oscar hopefuls from Gaga’s musical vehicle “A Star Is Born” to the Viola Davis-starring "Widows" to Barry Jenkins’ Harlem-set follow up to “Moonlight,” “If Beale Street Could Talk.”
In between all the prestige fare eyeing awards season runs there was much more to behold, absorb, digest and discuss, including a near-unrecognizable Nicole Kidman in Karyn Kusama’s L.A. noir “Destroyer,” the return of Michael Myers (and Jamie Lee Curtis) in a new “Halloween,” and the space hijinx of Claire Denis’ “High Life.”
From the Los Angeles Times studio at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, Times writers Justin Chang and Jen Yamato discuss the standout films of the fest.
Real-life couple Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson talk about adapting James Frey's book and why they felt including a full-frontal nudity scene "hit the right tone."
In 2006, after Oprah Winfrey selected his book as one of her book club picks, James Frey acknowledged on the talk show host’s program that he had fabricated much of his so-called memoir, “A Million Little Pieces.”
The book delved into Frey’s alcohol and drug addictions, which he said caused him legal trouble and eventually sent him to rehab. It was eventually shopped as a novel before being purchased by Random House.
Despite the controversy, however, director Sam Taylor-Johnson and her husband, actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson, decided the story depicted in the book was still worthy of a film.
"The Walking Dead" grad Steven Yeun and director Lee Chang-dong talk about why it was important to film "Burning" in Korea and how it changed Yeun's approach to the part.
“Burning,” the first new film from South Korean writer-director Lee Chang-dong since his acclaimed 2010 film “Poetry,” has arrived on a wave of high expectations. When “Burning” premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, Los Angeles Times critic Justin Chang called it “a quietly riveting stunner.”
The movie was also recently chosen to represent South Korea for this year’s foreign-language Academy Award, a prize for which the country had not even been nominated before.
Adapted from a short story by Haruki Murakami, “Burning” is about a young man named Jongsu (Yoo Ah-in) who reunites with a woman he grew up with, Haemi (Jun Jong-seo). Just as the two seem to be becoming more than just friends, she leaves for a trip to Africa. When she returns, she is with Ben (Steven Yeun), a mysterious and mysteriously rich young man. Jongsu is consumed by feelings of jealousy and suspicion, and the story shifts into the mode of a thriller.
James Baldwin means different things to different people.
To some, Baldwin is the prototype of the artist as activist, his writing an example of how to battle injustice and prejudice against black people in America. To others, he’s one of the foremost purveyors of the black experience, his mastery of language precisely capturing what life was, and is, like for African Americans in an oppressive society.
Those two aspects are forcefully represented in Baldwin's 1974 novel “If Beale Street Could Talk,” noted Barry Jenkins, the Oscar-winning filmmaker of “Moonlight,” and a reason why he wanted to adapt the book for the screen.
Jonah Hill discusses why it took four years for his directorial debut to get made and "Mid90s" stars Sunny Suljic and Na-Kel Smith shine some light on his directorial style.
Jonah Hill: actor, screenwriter, director ... skateboarder?
Yes, growing up in Southern California, Hill found solace on his board in skate parks. So for the past four years, he’s been working on channeling his teenage skating experience into his directorial debut, “Mid90s.”
“It’s always been like, if I was angry or sad or something, I always had this thing to go work on,” Hill, 34, said of the film.
Stars Olivia Wilde and Mandy Patinkin break down the "complicated" ensemble drama from "This Is Us" creator Dan Fogelman. Patinkin says it has "the greatest screenplay I've ever read."
Dan Fogelman’s NBC show “This Is Us” is a critical darling, but reviewers have not been as kind to his new film “Life Itself.”
The ensemble drama, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, has been skewered by the handful of film critics who have reviewed it so far, notching only a 21% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
That’s of little consequence to Mandy Patinkin, however. The actor -- who joins Olivia Wilde, Oscar Isaac, Antonio Banderas and Annette Bening in the large cast -- said the script “blew his mind” when he first read it.
Robert Pattinson stars in French director Claire Denis' first English-language film, "High Life," an erotic space odyssey co-starring Mia Goth and Juliette Binoche. Pattinson, Denis and Goth discuss the film at the Los Angeles Times studio at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was acquired for theatrical release by A24.
Filmmaker Claire Denis is a longtime favorite on the international festival circuit who stands to reach a whole new audience with “High Life.” The movie is her first in English, her first science fiction film and has a cast that includes Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Mia Goth and André Benjamin.
The story revolves around a group of death row inmates jettisoned into space on a craft that will not return. One thing leads to another and a man (Pattinson) finds himself the last survivor on the ship, save for the baby girl that he has fathered.
Denis, Pattinson and Goth stopped by the LA Times photo studio in Toronto to talk about the film, which is having its world premiere at TIFF and was acquired for theatrical release by A24.
Writer-director Paul Dano pulls back the curtain on the process of developing the "Wildfire" story and actress Carey Mulligan talks about relating to her character at the Los Angeles Times studio at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“Wildlife” marks actor Paul Dano’s debut as a director and screenwriter. With a galvanizing performance by Carey Mulligan, alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Bill Camp and Ed Oxenbould, the film tells the story of a family in 1960s Montana coming apart in the face of a father’s dashed ambitions and a mother’s reinvigorated sense of self.
When Dano and Mulligan stopped by the L.A. Times studio at the Toronto International Film Festival, he talked about the filmmaker writing the adaption of Richard Ford’s novel in collaboration with Dano’s real-life partner, actress and writer Zoe Kazan. He was drawn to what he called the “spare, strong, kind of lean” style of Richard Ford’s writing.
“Zoe just kind of tore apart my first draft and destroyed all my confidence as a first-time writer and was like, 'Why don’t you let me do a pass?' and I said, ‘Great,'” Dano said. "And then we just traded it back and forth. So we never wrote in the same room ever, we’d sit down and talk for like two hours and then one of us would take it. It was actually a great way to work. I don’t know if she would do it again, I would definitely do it again.”