By | Nat-news

We’re back with some more mini Natalie news items. Dig in!

– Let’s kick off with the box office and despite being one of the more robust holds during the week, Jane Got A Gun fell off a cliff this weekend. Granted, with such a poor first weekend we’re talking a pretty short fall. Speaking off planting face first into the dirt, many moons ago Natalie was to star in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It was to be written and directed by David O’Russell, but he dropped out and went on to become the Oscar darling of the last few years. Natalie dropped out soon after and there was a string of directors coming on board and then exiting.

The film was finally released this weekend and it’s another “why did they even bother?” with a massively underwhelming box office take.

– Next up, a new German Knight of Cups clip has arrived with Natalie and Christian Bale having some fun on a pier.

– Speaking of Knight of Cups, here are a couple very positive reviews for the film – Theology and Movies and Podcasting The Softly.

Rachel Reviews JGAG

By | Opinions

I saw Jane Got a Gun this evening. Dazza told me to enjoy the film and asked me to write a review. I responded with “I’ll try,” and I did. I tried to care about the story. I tried to care about the characters. But I just couldn’t. I feel like the last couple of my reviews of Natalie’s films can be summed up as “Well, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good, either,” and Jane Got a Gun is no exception.

Disclaimer: There aren’t any spoilers that you didn’t already see in the trailers. I am not Dazza or Andreas; writing is not my forte. You’ve been warned.

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JGAG Tidbits

By | Uncategorized

There is tons of Jane Got A Gun related news, which we’ll be trying to catch up with for days, so here is another collection of news items.

Box Office Mojo indicates that the theatre count plans have essentially doubled for this weekend from 550 theatres to 1,210 offerings.

Weinstein originally estimated it would only be arriving in 550 theaters, but that count rose to 1,210 theaters today making it a little more possible it could find a spot in the top ten, but it has a tough road ahead of it.

Not only did it have a troubled production, but the marketing campaign appears to be almost non-existent. A target figure for the weekend would seem to be $3 million, but the fact this is a Western with little juice behind it doesn’t seem to be working in its favor.

– A positive JGAG review has emerged from Screen Daily, which has an interesting take on the feminism of the film.

Portman’s Jane is strong and self-sufficient with a lucid take on survival — she’s not afraid to help herself and she knows when she requires help from others. Some very bad things have happened to her but she’s nobody’s punching bag. And not unlike Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road, one might be tempted to think that Portman is just too much of a natural beauty for this role, but any such objection quickly subsides.

– That feminist take is completely contradicted by a piece that calls the film “unbelievably sexist”

The past year was a great one for women on the big screen. We had Mad Max: Fury Road, Spy, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens — movies that championed tough, smart, independent female characters.

And now, kicking off 2016 is Jane Got a Gun, a movie that runs screaming in the opposite direction.

JGAG Tidbits

By | Nat-news

Jane Got A Gun week continues and we’ve got lots of related updates.

– The film is opening on 550 screens this weekend, which is one of those mid-sized releases that isn’t a small platform release where they hope to build and certainly isn’t a wide release. The Weinstein’s aren’t in a good place financially, which could account for not only that but why there has been little to no marketing push. Perhaps a fitting release for a film that has had one of the most troubled releases in years. Thanks to Belerofonte.

– A couple reviews have landed with The Hollywood Reporter giving a mixed review.

Portman certainly commits herself fully to the role, and one can imagine how much the double-duty of starring in and presiding over such a troubled project was no simple turkey shoot. Still, at times, the actress seems almost too graceful to be playing a woman in Jane’s predicament, especially one living under harsh conditions and suffering years of strife across the continent.

The New Yorker is more mixed negative and touches on something that has bothered me in the trailers.

Can a face as famously beautiful as Portman’s ever show the weathering of such peril, or the scars of a hardscrabble life? Well, yes. It certainly did in “Cold Mountain,” where she played a lonely widow in a secluded shack, and which she stole in a few brief scenes—shooting down a fleeing soldier, and weeping at the touch of a hand. Somehow, “Jane Got a Gun” fails to be scuffed by that sense of desperation.

– This is a really nice video interview with Natalie and Joel Edgerton, in which they discuss working on Star Wars together, the troubles on set and Natalie ends by talking about the wage disparity between men and women.

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By | Nat-news

It’s been a pretty great start to the year for Natalie news. Let’s try and keep that going with some mini news items.

– More encouraging news about Annihilation, the director Alex Garland seems intent to make it more than the typical action sci-fi. “Atmosphere and tone over structure and plot” and “impressionistic mood poem” sounds right up my alley.

– A very deep review of Knight of Cups that is positively rapturous about the film.

This poetry is a resistance and a provocation within contemporary cinema. It speaks a nostalgia for a world full of spirit(s). But also, in one or two key shots, a nostalgia for the aquarium of magical fauna that lit up childhood. We forget to our detriment this essential quest in Malick – those eyes which dream up watery nymphs here, or dinosaurs and a levitating mother elsewhere. The meanders of Knight of Cups belong to those who have opened their eyes for the first time to a world that, through habit, they usually screen out.

– Finally, I’ve been coming around on Jane Got A Gun but this new clip from the film is a bit cringe-y. What do you think?

JGAG French Release Date

By | Nat-news

Following the horrible terrorist attacks in Paris, various films have had their release dates pushed. This includes Jane Got A Gun, which has already faced its many shares of postponing. Previously, a statement on the matter has been released stating that the priority of the film was to have it be shown during a more peaceful time, and to have it debut when media can focus on matters other than the attacks. Well, we have a confirmed release date now. The film has been pushed to January 27, 2016, as it is shown here. That mentioned statement can be found here, and another official announcement on the matter can be reached here.

If you’re looking for some more insight on how this film is doing (when we weren’t sure if it would have even seen the light of day ever), there’s a new German review that basically states that this film is okay. From what I can gather from this review, it may be a predictable ride that is made better with the talents of the film’s leads. Hey, after all of the production nightmares, I’ll take it! The review is here.

Thanks to Belerofonte for the scoop as usual. We are slowly getting this film finally.


By | Nat-news

We’re missing out on what would have been a lot of great Natalie content this week, but here are some tasty tidbits to make up for it.

– Natalie’s next film, the biopic Jackie, is officially in pre-production.

– Further explanation on the French release date shift for Jane Got A Gun, including a possible new release date of January 27, 2016.

– Finally, another review to suggest that the long wait for the film might almost be worth it. Another French review but the most positive yet – 4 stars.

Jane got a gun for all these reasons is one of the great surprises of year-end marking not only the return of Natalie Portman in a leading role, but also confirming all the good we think of the director Gavin O’Connor.

Thanks to Belerofonte and Nina.

Second JGAG Review

By | Nat-news

A second French review for Jane Got A Gun has arrived and while the first was lukewarm at best, this is definitely more positive.

If one is not totally convinced by the narrative twists and a little easier, shape, it imposes the tone. That of a thoroughbred western, sometimes intimate, sometimes thundering, in any case, more than attractive.

The full review in English, courtesy of Google translate and Belerofonte, is after the jump.
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JGAG Tidbits

By | Nat-news

Jane Got A Gun will finally land early next year in the states but it is arriving in French cinemas in just a month’s time, which means THINGS ARE HAPPENING.

– Here we have the first review (in French) that calls the film “not bad”. Stick that one on the poster! There are some encouraging comments about Natalie at least – they call her “great”.

– Next up we have a massive version of the poster, free of that annoying typography.

Jane Got A Gun

– And finally, here are a couple character posters for Ewan McGregor and Joel Edgerton.

Thanks to Belerofonte, Nina, and Mike.

A Tale of Love and Darkness review

By | Nat-news

I’ve written on this site for a little while now. I actually have written reviews for a good chunk of my life, and I contribute both film and music reviews to the Toronto E-Zine www.liveinlimbo.com for the past few years. Having said that, I have been fortunate enough to attend a few Toronto International Film Festival screenings, including A Tale of Love and Darkness. Because of this, I will post a review here for all of you to check out.

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS OF SOME SORT. I won’t give away specific details or give away the ending, but if you want to go in blindly, maybe avoid this.

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Dazza Reviews KoC

By | Nat-news

Ah, the beauty of living in Berlin – seeing interesting films early! I’ve just come back from a Knight of Cups screening and tapped up some thoughts. I think this would be considered spoiler free for the most part.

You break up with a girlfriend. You lose a parent. You fall in love. You learn you’re having a child. These “big” moments are followed by moments of reflection. You’re going about your life but your mind is elsewhere, back in the moment. Most films don’t like to delve too deeply into this aftermath. It doesn’t make for great cinema.

KoC is almost 2 hours of those non-moments strung together. Only for the briefest moments do we see the real moments of life occurring and when we do, within seconds they are gone and we are with a reflective Bale ruminating in standard Malick fashion about life, love and everything in between.

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Bumper Tidbits

By | Nat-news

Argh, struggling to keep up with Rachel AWOL and work stacking up, so let’s do a post that merges a bunch of items that could very well have made up their own posts.

– First up, Natalie was snapped filming a new Dior video in Paris on Tuesday. Based on this photo alone, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this will be the best commercial ever made.

Natalie Portman films Dior in Paris

– From Paris Natalie will of course be heading to TIFF in Toronto and it sounds like as soon as TIFF is over she will be straight back to Paris to film Planetarium (‘Le Soeurs Barlow’) for Rebecca Zlotowski. According to the casting call, the film will shoot from mid-September through to mid-November.

– Finally, moon-walking back to the TIFF mention where Natalie will be premiering A Tale of Love and Darkness, a new review for the film has arrived from The Jerusalem Post and it’s incredibly positive. They call the film “triumphant” and claim that Natalie gives her best ever performance.

Thanks to Amo, Belerofonte and Nina.

ATOLAD Tidbits

By | Nat-news

Let’s kick off the week with a few A Tale of Love and Darkness news items.

Tablet have a really nice write up of the film’s premiere in Jerusalem and woven in is a review of sorts – a rather positive one at that. Here’s hoping that when it plays at TIFF the reactions are a bit less neutral than those that came out of Cannes.

Though A Tale of Love and Darkness received mixed reviews when it was first screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May, it’s an ambitious undertaking on Portman’s part, and the result is often quite beautiful.

– Here are a couple Instagram photos from within the theatre. Click here and here.

– And finally, a new photo of Natalie and Amos Oz on the set of the film. This was tweeted by Oz’s daughter, Fania.

Natalie Portman on set with Amos Oz

First TOLAD Reviews

By | Nat-news

Natalie’s writing and directorial feature debut has finally been seen and the early reviews are across the board. No real consensus beyond “it doesn’t suck”.

The most positive so far has been via The Guardian.

Homely, bespectacled Arieh (Gilad Kahana) and even glum little Amos (Amir Tessler) are inevitably overshadowed by Portman’s near-radioactive screen presence. But its on her achievement as a director that her role in this film will be judged, and it’s accurate to say she has done an impressive job, easily the equal of Angelina Jolie, who went similarly serious for her first feature, the Bosnian war drama In the Land of Blood and Honey.) Portman has made a film with something serious and interesting to say about Israel, a nuanced portrait of the place that demonstrates a commitment to, and connection with, her home country. This is an assured, heartfelt debut.

The Telegraph gave the film 3 stars.

The film feels like a personal project for Portman, but thankfully never a vanity one. It’s a fine piece of work – and you sense there’s better to come.

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More Sony Leakage

By | Nat-news

It appears that a more complete collection of the Sony leaked emails have been made available online. On the Natalie front there are a couple items worth mentioning…

Firstly, Sony is working on an adaptation of a young adult set of novels called The Fifth Wave series, in which the world has been kicked back to the stone-age after an alien invasion. The emails reveal that Natalie was the number one choice for the role of Reznik, a tough drill sergeant who trains the kids.

That sounds like some awful casting to me and it seems that Natalie agreed as later emails confirmed that Natalie read the script and passed on it.

Secondly, Michael Lynton, the chief executive at Sony, mentions A Tale of Love and Darkness in passing to another a friend at The New Yorker.

ps I saw Natalie Portman’s film based on the Amos Oz book on Monday. She directed it. It is in Hebrew and is great. You may want to do something with it.

Thanks to Sarah.

KoC Reviews

By | Nat-news

We’ve got a couple more Knight of Cups reviews for you today. Despite several strongly positive reactions on Twitter, it hasn’t really translated into many raves from the critics. The reviews below don’t change that unfortunately.

Anne Thompson found some aspects to admire but was lukewarm at best.

Like “Tree of Life,” it’s best to let the film wash over you and enjoy Lubezki’s gorgeous images such as mist rolling over a hillside and various inventive underwater perspectives. But a lot of them are shallow views of a banal life, and offer a male gaze on the female form in many lovely guises. Not a new narrative, this.

Indiewire liked it a lot more, giving the film a B rating, but there were still a lot of shots fired.

Eventually, “Knight of Cups” finds some respite for the beleaguered Rick when he meets a more supportive woman (Natalie Portman) who ultimately provides him with the salvation he seeks. However, their courtship hardly registers as more than an ethereal snapshot of burgeoning romance. Despite the uplifting atmosphere surrounding the movie’s final act, “Knight of Cups” foregrounds Malick’s fetishistic obsession with small moments at the expense of lasting emotion.


By | Nat-news

Once more just an attempt to keep up with all the Natalie news flying about. There is still lots lots lots more to come this week.

– Another Knight of Cups review has arrived and it’s 4 out of 5 stars but I’m mentioning it because the writer considers Frida Pinto and Natalie’s scenes to be the most moving in the film.

– You can see Natalie’s arrival to last night’s Shooting Stars event on the Berlinale site. Natalie arrives at the 2:30 mark.

– The AskMen Top Outstanding Women poll (is it me or did they rebrand this poll to make it less meathead-y?) is up and you can vote for Natalie in the Star Performer section. It’s lucky Annie Clark isn’t there as I would have been torn.

– Finally, here is the full Knight of Cups press conference from Berlinale.

Thanks to Garcy, Belerofonte, Jess, and Lightscamerareaction.

Knight of Cup Reviews

By | Nat-news

The reviews have started to land for Knight of Cups and while there were some wildly praise worthy tweets initially…

Mikko Pihkoluoma ‏@MikkoPihkoluoma 50 sför 51 sekunder sedan Visa översättning
Knight of Cups. If there was a movie about LA I wanted to see this was pretty much it. Surprised by how much I loved it. Very Tree of Life.

Gabriele Capolino ‏@gabrielecapo 2 minför 2 minuter sedan Visa översättning
Knight of Cups: sort of a definitive L.A. movie, ‘plotless’, works straight on emotions. We are fragments. Love/hate it, I love #Berlinale

Karsten Meinich ‏@KarstenM 1 minför 1 minut sedan Visa översättning
Terrence Malick goes completely into a Godardian essayism with KNIGHT OF CUPS – an emotional and terrifying world of phantoms and imagery.

Dana Knight ‏@DanaisKnight 2 minför 2 minuter sedan Berlin, Deutschland Visa översättning
#KnightOfCups a wonderfully cinematic deeply philosophical deeply moving film-poem

…but the reviews that have landed are, while more positive than not, aren’t as over the top with praise. It sounds like it’s typical Malick fare, which is potentially great if you love his work but not likely to win over many new fans. It also sounds like Natalie’s role, and really all the roles beyond Bale, is a lot smaller than we had hoped.

The Telegraph – 3 stars “a director running on empty”
The Playlist – B “In moments like these it feels like Malick is doing something new, in amongst so much that is very familiar.”
THR – “The upshot is a certain tedium and repetitiveness along with the rhythmic niceties and imaginative riffs.”
Variety – “there’s no denying this star-studded, never-a-dull-moment cinematic oddity represents another flawed but fascinating reframing of man’s place in the modern world”

Thanks to Belerofonte and Lightscamerareaction.

Jane Got A Meh

By | Nat-news

Jane Got A Gun, the Natalie film with the most disastrous of productions, is a film that’s still a big old question mark, with basically no official materials to indicate that the film even exists. Well it does and lightscamerareaction spoke to an Awards Daily member who managed to catch a screening. We’ve had a screening review before, which called the film dull (although Natalie got praise). This latest review? Dull and no praise.

I know typically I don’t read much about the movies coming up soon, but I guess I just didn’t care enough about this one when it was first announced, so I’ve been following the disaster of the making of it. So I felt that I sort of had to go to the test screening.

Well, the movie wasn’t that great. It just seemed pretty bland to me. The movie opens and closes with a narration (that doesn’t need to even be there) claiming that Jane is a legend and heroic and has been talked about all the time, but really, her character doesn’t do much in the movie that’s so legendary or heroic. So pretty much the title “Jane Got a Gun” is misleading. Yes, she gets a gun, and yes she does shoot some people, but really, I was at least expecting some kind of Johnny Guitar heroism, or hell, even Sharon Stone Quick and the Dead. Maybe have some horse chases through the desert or fights in the canyon or bank robbery, or something like that, but instead it’s basically her and two guys stuck at her house preparing for the bad guys to come.

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Jane Seen

By | Nat-news

As a slight pick me up after the news of Jane Got A Gun moving, from an August release to one in February, lightscamerareaction spoke to someone who saw an early cut of the film. First a mention about whether the film would be ready for August (this was before the news broke).

I don’t see any reason why it can’t be. I saw it at the test screening late last year, and while the film clearly wasn’t finished then, I’ve seen other screenings where the film had more work to be done, and I thought the original August date was totally reachable.

When asked about the film itself he doesn’t give much away, but it sounds more positive than not.

I signed an NDA (and the film was unfinished) so I can’t really go into detail about it yet. But I’ll say it is probably not an Oscar contender (just not that kind of film) except maybe for cinematography, but I don’t expect it to be a massive failure some are predicting either.

I thought the late August release date made sense, I believe Lawless had that date, and this film reminded me of that in some ways (that film was also one of the ones they asked if you had seen to qualify for the screening).

This is the second time we’ve heard from someone who has seen the film, the first being a rave for Natalie’s performance but more modest feelings for the film itself.