My One-on-One "Somewhere" Interviews with Sofia Coppola, Stephen Dorff, and Elle Fanning! 

Sofia Coppola takes us back inside hotel rooms in her new film “Somewhere.” This time, the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood plays a character in this study of boredom, purpose, and self-discovery.

Stephen Dorff stars as Johnny Marco, a famous movie star in search of his soul. His daughter, Cleo, played wonderfully by Elle Fanning, is the key to his redemption.

Much like “Lost in Translation,” the characters in “Somewhere” spend most of their time inside a hotel room thereby making us claustrophobically focus on the situations and the dynamics.


In this interview with Sofia Coppola, we talked about:

*** “Somewhere” is packed with shades of Italian neorealism. Was she subconsciously paying homage to the neorealism greats such as Antonioni?
*** What inspired her to make “Somewhere?”
*** Why did she put us back into hotel rooms again?
*** What made her decide to cast Dorff and Fanning for the father and daughter roles?
*** Did she write the part of Johnny Marco with Dorff in mind?
*** Expound on the Johnny Marco character
*** What about the dancing twins in the film? What’s with this obsession on twins?
*** How did she hire Chris Pontius from the “Jackass” franchise?
*** How does motherhood affect her creatively?
*** What’s next for Sofia Coppola? More films set in hotel rooms perhaps?


In this interview with Stephen Dorff, we talked about:

*** Why “Somewhere” is poetic, elegiac, sweet?
*** His character, Johnny Marco, is unreliable – an unlikeable person that you love to like
*** Does he identify with Johnny Marco?

And the rest of the interview has Dorff expounding on celebrity culture, and why he, sometimes, could fall into the trap. What an amazing person!


In this interview with Elle Fanning, we talked about:

*** How did she get involved into making the film?
*** How she screen-tested for the part of Cleo?
*** Does she ice-skate in real life?
*** How did she and Stephen Dorff bond?
*** The value of crispy food!
*** How she prepared for the part?
*** The bond between a father and a daughter
*** Hope in the end

Elle was a delight in real life as much as she was on-screen in “Somewhere!” I predict bigger and better things for this 11-year-old actress!

Here's more info on "Somewhere"

You have probably seen him in the tabloids; actor Johnny Marco is living at the legendary Chateau Marmont hotel in Hollywood. He has a Ferrari to drive around in, and a constant stream of girls and pills to stay in with. Comfortably numbed, Johnny drifts along. Then, his 11-year-old daughter Cleo from his failed marriage arrives unexpectedly at the Chateau. Their encounters encourage Johnny to face up to where he is in life and confront the question that we all must: which path in life will you take?

Logline: When a bad-boy actor, stumbling through a life of excess at Hollywood' Chateau Marmont, is visited by his 11-year old daughter, he must reexamine his life.
Genres: Comedy and Drama
Running Time: 1 hr. 38 min.
Release Date: December 22nd, 2010
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, nudity and language.
Distributors: Focus Features
Production Co.:
American Zoetrope, Medusa Film
Pathe International
Tohokushinsha Film Corporation
Studios: Focus Features
Filming Locations: Los Angeles, California, USA
Produced in: United States

Cast and Credits

Starring: Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning, Chris Pontius, Michelle Monaghan
Directed by: Sofia Coppola
Produced by: Francis Ford Coppola, Fred Roos, Paul Rassam

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Watch My "True Grit" One-on-One Interview with Barry "Lucky Ned" Pepper 

Barry Pepper plays Lucky Ned Pepper, one of the supposed villains in the Coen brothers' remake of "True Grit" based on the novel by Charles Portis. In this interview, we talked about:

*** What went through his mind upon hearing that the Coens were remaking "True Grit?" He gave an answer that would make John Wayne proud!
*** What attracted him to making the film?
*** How he prepared for the role? Hours and hours of make-up!
*** Working with the marvelous Hailee Steinfeld

Here you go and have fun!

Here's more info on "True Grit" from Yahoo:

Fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross's father has been shot in cold blood by the coward Tom Chaney, and she is determined to bring him to justice. Enlisting the help of a trigger-happy, drunken U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, she sets out with him -- over his objections -- to hunt down Chaney. Her father's blood demands that she pursue the criminal into Indian territory and find him before a Texas Ranger named LeBoeuf catches him and brings him back to Texas for the murder of another man.

Logline: Punishment comes one way or another.
Genres: Action/Adventure, Western, Adaptation and Remake
Running Time: 1 hr. 50 min.
Release Date: December 22nd, 2010 (limited)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some intense sequences of western violence including disturbing images.
Distributors: Paramount Pictures
Production Co.: Scott Rudin Productions, Skydance Productions
Studios: Paramount Pictures
Filming Locations:
Austin, Texas, USA
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Produced in: United States

Cast and Credits
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Nicholas Sadler, Barry Pepper
Directed by: Joel Coen, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Produced by: Steven Spielberg, Robert Graf, David Ellison

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Ben Affleck, Danny Boyle to be Honored at the 22nd Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival 

Ben Affleck and Danny Boyle will be honored at the upcoming 22nd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF). Affleck will receive the Chairman's Award while Boyle will be honored with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award. ("The Town" Movie Review)

The Awards Gala will kick off the 2011 awards season on Saturday, January 8, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Previously announced honorees are Javier Bardem, Robert Duvall, Colin Firth, Jennifer Lawrence, Carey Mulligan, Natalie Portman, David O. Russell, Diane Warren and the cast of The Social Network. The Festival runs January 6-17. ("127 Hours" movie review, and interviews with Danny Boyle and James Franco)

Here's the rest of the press release:

Commenting on Affleck, Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said, “If there is truly a renaissance man in today’s cinema, it’s Ben Affleck. He has distinguished himself as a premier writer and director, as well as an actor with a broad-ranging and impressive filmography. In his latest work, The Town, Affleck once again puts his acting, writing and directorial skills to work, in a stinging portrait of a New England town and the grip it has on generation after generation, who find it impossible to leave. For his ability to “do it all” and constantly evolve as an artist, The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Ben Affleck with the 2011 Chairman’s Award.”

Commenting on Boyle, Matzner continues, “Throughout cinematic history, truly great filmmakers have never been afraid of taking risks that challenge their audiences. Danny Boyle believes that doing something different that jolts audiences out of their comfort zones, defines the essence of a filmmaker. In his latest work, 127 Hours, Boyle captures the instinct to survive in a most visceral way. For his vision, guts and boundless skills, The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Danny Boyle with the 2011 Sonny Bono Visionary Award.”

Ben Affleck will receive the Chairman’s Award. Affleck directed, co-wrote and stars in The Town, which was a hit both critically and commercially. A dramatic thriller about robbers and cops, friendship and betrayal, love and hope, and escaping a past that has no future, the film also stars Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Titus Welliver, Pete Postlethwaite and Chris Cooper. The Town has been honored by the National Board of Review (Best Ensemble Cast) and has received nominations from the Critics Choice Awards (Best Acting Ensemble), Golden Globe Awards (Best Supporting Actor for Renner) and Screen Actors Guild Awards® (Best Supporting Actor for Renner).

In addition to The Town, Affleck starred this fall in the indie feature The Company Men, with Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones. He made his directorial debut in 2007 with the feature Gone Baby Gone, for which he won several critics groups’ awards, including the Best Directorial Debut Award from the National Board of Review. Affleck first came to prominence in 1997 with the acclaimed drama Good Will Hunting, which he starred in and co-wrote with Matt Damon. The two won numerous honors for the film’s original screenplay, including an Academy Award®, a Golden Globe Award and the Humanitas Prize. His other film credits include Hollywoodland, Extract, He’s Just Not That Into You, State of Play, Shakespeare in Love, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Forces of Nature, Boiler Room, Changing Lanes, The Sum of All Fears, Daredevil, Jersey Girl, Man About Town and Smokin’ Aces.

Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award include Dustin Hoffman and Nicole Kidman.

Danny Boyle will receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award, named after the Festival’s founder. Boyle directs 127 Hours, the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston's (James Franco) remarkable adventure to save himself after a falling boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated slot canyon in Utah. Based on the book Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston, the film is written by Boyle & Simon Beaufoy. 127 Hours has been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards (including Best Actor for Franco, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score), three Independent Spirit Awards (including Best Feature, Best Director and Best Male Lead for Franco) and a Screen Actors Guild Award® (for Franco as lead actor).

Boyle’s first feature, Shallow Grave, earned him the Alexander Korda Award for Outstanding British Film at the BAFTA Awards, as well as a host of other accolades including Best Director at the San Sebastian Film Festival, The Empire Award for Best Director and Best British Film and the London Critics’ Circle Film Award for Best British Newcomer. Boyle’s second feature, Trainspotting, is one of the highest grossing British films of all time. The critically acclaimed film won four Empire Awards including Best Director and Best Film and was nominated for a BAFTA Alexander Korda Award.

In 2002 Boyle made the smash hit horror film 28 Days Later, which earned more than $80 million worldwide. The film earned Boyle a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. His other features include Millions, starring James Nesbit, Alex Etel and Lewis McGibbon; The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio; A Life Less Ordinary, starring Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz; Alien Love Triangle; and Sunshine, starring Cillian Murphy. Slumdog Millionaire, his eighth international released film, won the People’s Choice Award at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival and went on to win more than 100 international industry awards including four Golden Globes, seven BAFTAs and eight Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Past recipients of the Sonny Bono Visionary Award include Quentin Tarantino, Baz Luhrmann, M. Night Shyamalan, Gus Van Sant and Joe Wright.

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Trailer Alert: "Hanna" Starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, and Cate Blanchett! I Can't Wait for This Film! 

Here's more info on "Hanna" from Yahoo:

Raised by her father, an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland, Hanna's upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own. As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity.

Logline: A 14-year-old raised by her father to be a cold-hearted killing machine must learn how to be a girl.
Genres: Drama and Thriller
Release Date: April 8th, 2011 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual material and language.
Distributors: Focus Features

Cast and Credits
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander, Olivia Williams
Directed by: Joe Wright
Produced by: Leslie Holleran, Marty Adelstein, Scott Nemes

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"True Grit" Movie Review -- How Many Kisses Do the Coen Brothers Get? 

The 1969 film version of "True Grit" was considered one of the quintessential westerns and was revered for John Wayne's performance. The actor won his first and only Best Actor Oscar for the role of Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn.

So when the Coen brothers announced that they were planning on remaking the film based on the novel by Charles Portis, many fans shouted in disbelief. But have no fear, the latest version of "True Grit" remains true to the book's mythic Western adventure full of vengeance and valor. Read More...

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