How To Turn a Lesbian Cult Classic Novel Into an Acclaimed Film: Carol Screenwriter Phyllis Nagy

Rich Juzwiak · 11/20/15 11:41AM

Todd Haynes’s Carol is simple, elegant, and devastating. It tells a story of pre-Stonewall gay love between two women, who become what they are using no specific societal blueprint (none existed for lesbians in the ‘50s), but through their love for each other. Carol (Cate Blanchett) is a mother going through a divorce who happens upon Therese (Rooney Mara), a younger shopgirl in her 20s, and is immediately enchanted. What ensues is a love story that is told with tenderness, pacing, and melodrama that evokes the era depicted in the film. Sometimes it shouldn’t even work—like when during an emotional peak between Carol and Therese, it starts snowing out of nowhere—but it always does, thanks to the tremendous directing, writing, and performances of everyone involved. Carol is, simply, one of the year’s finest movies and its final shot is among the most indelible I’ve ever seen. This movie imprints itself on you, and what’s more, you want it to.

The Great and Powerless Gatsby

Rich Juzwiak · 05/10/13 02:35PM

We didn’t need another film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel The Great Gatsby, but if someone had to do it, it had to be Baz Luhrmann. The kind of large-scale opulence that the book describes and critiques is the 50-year-old director’s wheelhouse. For a while, Luhrmann pulls it off, too: The first hour of his Gatsby is an ecstatic tear through '20s hedonism. The camera swoops and whizzes like it's just excited to be there. The music, which finds contemporary pop royalty marrying big-band with big-room house or just dipping into dubstep, blares. Bouquets of people dance in pools, spill out of convertibles, and cram into ample hallways. The words “chemical madness” and “kaleidoscopic carnival” are uttered. Luhrmann parks at the intersection of kitsch and hallucination, stumbles out of his Duesenberg and deliriously rolls all over in the road.

A Discussion With Salman Rushdie and Midnight's Children Director Deepa Mehta

Rich Juzwiak · 04/10/13 10:45AM

Gawker is very excited to host a Q&A with author Salman Rushdie and filmmaker Deepa Mehta. Salman has adapted his classic 1981 novel Midnight's Children into a screenplay and the resulting film, directed by Deepa, will be in select U.S. theaters on April 26. For those who haven't read the book or need a refresher, here is the film's official synopsis:

First Look At 'The Smurfs' Makes Us Hope For PG-13 Rating, No Disneyfication

Molly Friedman · 02/18/08 07:03PM

Even before we knew what "smokin' somethin'" meant, we knew that the creators of The Smurfs were smokin' a little somethin' somethin'. After all, anyone who would create a world inhabited by little blue men who spoke in a a trippy language and lived in magic mushrooms had to be one of those "Mary Jane smokin' hippies" that our parents always warned us about. So after seeing some stills from the upcoming Smurfs movie, we're enthralled to see that the French animators who are making the film sure seem to be smokin' somethin' too. Seems as though this adaptation will finally tell the tale the way it was meant to be told: darkly.

Julia Stiles To Gaily Tromp On Plath Grave

Emily · 04/26/07 03:55PM

"Esther Greenwood has a strong outlook on life, and we're really looking to bring out the humor in the character. We don't want to do a depressing descent into the world of suicide," Bell Jar flick co-producer Celine Rattray told Variety today, announcing that Julia Stiles was signed on to star. Right on! Who wants to snooze through some downer movie anyway? But there's still the problem of that bummerific title. Former teenage girls will recall that the bell jar is a metaphor for clinical depression—"To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream," etc. Not very upbeat! We decided to help Julia out with some cheerier suggestions.