January 27th, 2018       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

While there are still glowing reviews for Toni’s performance in the Sundance premiere of “Hereditary” coming in – its theatrical release has been set for June 8, 2018 – another of her films has been quietly released on demand yesterday, the Ben Lewin-directed drama “Please Stand By” starring Dakota Fanning. “Please Stand By” was shot over 29 days in L.A. as well as a couple days in San Francisco last year. Magnolia Pictures, which is affiliated with 2929 came on to distribute. The company is tapping Star Trek fans and the neuro-diverse community in the lead up to its day and date theatrical release this weekend. Fanning plays a girl with autism and Toni Collette plays her caretaker in a supporting role. Two clips from the film, as well as a promotional featurette, have been added to the video archive. Here’s a collection of reviews:

Observer, Rex Reed (January 26, 2018)
This is a sweet confection that mercifully never gets treacly—part family adventure, part suspenseful nail-biter, and reassuringly life-affirming from start to finish, with fine ensemble work by a first-rate cast, including a lovely bit by Patton Oswalt as a Hollywood cop who restores Wendy’s lost sense of security by conversing fluently in Klingon. But the powerful thread that keeps Please Stand By focused is Dakota Fanning’s deep dedication to her role. Shy, brave, and finding strength in unexpected places, her struggle to hold her sanity in check against overwhelming odds is what makes her performance—and the film—so memorable.

The Hollywood Reporter, Sheri Linden (January 26, 2018)
For the most part, Lewin uses a straightforward visual scheme. That gives the few subjective flourishes, blending Wendy’s surroundings with those of her imagination, more impact, as when the desolate part of a strange town transforms into an otherworldly desert. Wendy sets out on her life-changing journey. Her sister is soon in pursuit, as are Scottie and her teen son, Sam (River Alexander). Sam’s apparent unhappiness and his friction with Scottie are pointedly introduced only to be abandoned with no further comment. Yet even with that story thread left dangling, Collette communicates plenty with her character’s powerfully wordless reaction to someone’s mention of their single mother.

Vulture, David Edelstein (January 26, 2018)
It’s hard to judge Dakota Fanning’s performance. She keeps her eyes fixed, speaks in a monotone, and seems unnatural — but, of course, people at this level on the spectrum are apt to seem unnatural. So she’s probably very good. Although Scottie is a role that Collette could play in her sleep, she remains awake and shows conviction.

Den of Geek, Don Kay (January 26, 2018)
The movie also has some nice thing to say about fandom along the way (especially thanks to a third-act cameo from supernerd Patton Oswalt) and gives ample time to both Collette and Eve’s characters, with Collette in particular making it look effortless in the role of the sensitive yet no-nonsense Scottie.

  January 5th, 2018       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

“Please Stand By” will be released on January 26 in theaters, on demand, on Amazon Video and on iTunes. The film’s official website has been updated with a couple of the official poster, new production stills as well as production notes, giving a better insight into Toni Collette’s role: “Wendy’s psychologist, Scottie, would be filled with actress Toni Collette. “We knew Toni would bring balance to the issues that plague her character’s world both at home and at work,” says Daniel Dubiecki. “Toni is smart, warm and has an edge and toughness to her that brings so many layers to her characters,” Lara Alameddine adds. “Scottie has to hold it all together despite some of those layers crumbling. She is a single mother of a teenage boy, and embodies strength and empathy while staying grounded and principled in her work and home life.” “Scottie is a bit robotic in her home life and finds it easy to lean into work because of the safety of it not being her actual family,” says Colette. “At home, her son Sam confronts her at every turn and makes her feel like a failure. She’s a problem solver; but she can’t solve Sam’s issues or make his fatherless life any better. At work, Scottie has made huge strides with Wendy. She sees how brilliant and special Wendy is and wants Wendy’s family to see that too. It is easier for Scottie to be open with people at work because there is an actual structure which allows closeness without much intimacy.” “Wendy escapes and when that happens, Sam and Scottie unite and go on a mission together for the first time in ages, she adds. “Through their journey to find Wendy, Sam and Scottie bond again. Sam’s young perspective on Wendy and her writing allows Scottie to understand her more and that is where her real insight comes. Scottie begins to admire her son for the first time in a long time and that opens things up for them, allowing them to truly see each other again.” “The work of a therapist is hard work and oftentimes thankless,” adds Ben Lewin. “You’ve got to find your little victories here and there and through Wendy, Scottie finds a victory. Toni Colette brings a sense of compassion, empathy and respect to Scottie. She brings a motherly strength and humanity to her role rather than a sense of ‘I’m the expert, listen to me.’”

  December 4th, 2017       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

In Please Stand By, Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds, The Twilight Saga) plays a young woman with autism who runs away from her caregiver in order to boldly go and deliver her 500-page Star Trek script to a writing competition in Hollywood. Will she live long and prosper? You can find out on Jan. 26, when the film is released in theaters, on demand, on Amazon Video, and on iTunes. Please Stand By is written by Michael Golamco (NBC’s Grimm) and directed by Ben Lewin (The Favour, The Watch, and the Very Big Fish, the John Hawkes-starring The Sessions). The film costars Toni Collette, Alice Eve, and Jessica Rothe from the recent hit horror film Happy Death Day, with a special guest appearance by Patton Oswalt.

  November 25th, 2017       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

Magnolia Pictures has announced that “Please Stand By” will be released in select theaters and on demand January 26, 2018. Toni filmed a supporting role for Ben Levin’s coming-of-age drama in early 2016. Starring Dakota Fanning, “Please Standy By” recently world-premiered at the San Sebastian Film Festival and centers on a young autistic woman (Fanning) who runs away from her caregiver (Collette) in an attempt to submit her manuscript to a writing competition. There’s no official material launched by now, but I’m sure that’ll change closer to its January release. For now, you can visit its official website for a comprehensive list of what streaming services will feature “Please Stand By”.

  August 23rd, 2017       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

Australian director Ben Lewin’s latest film “Please Stand By” has been selected to screen at the Austin Film Festival in Texas. It is the first film by the Melburnian since his Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA-nominated 2012 feature, The Sessions, starring Helen Hunt and John Hawkes. His new comedy drama stars Toni Collette, Alice Eve and Dakota Fanning and was written by Grimm’s Michael Golamco. Lewin is best known in Australia for creating the TV series Rafferty’s Rules and the mid-1990s feature Paperback Romance, starring Gia Carides and Anthony LaPaglia. “Please Stand By” will premiere in Austin in October. Meanwhile, the Hamptons International Film Festival will host the east coast premiere of “The Yellow Birds”, and has also announced Toni Collette to attend the festival. No dates have been released yet. “The Yellow Birds” has had its world-premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, garnering less than enthusiastic reviews. Maybe they’ve used the time for a new cut. Here goes the official synopsis: In the midst of the Iraq War, Bartle (Alden Ehrenreich) and Murph (Tye Sheridan), two young soldiers fresh out of training camp, find themselves woefully unprepared for the realities facing them upon their deployment into active duty. What starts off as a simple mission ends in tragedy, driving one traumatized soldier to return home desperate to escape the past while the other’s parents begins their own search for the truth. Aided by stand-out supporting turns from Jennifer Aniston and Toni Collette, “The Yellow Birds” provides a haunting look at the personal devastation facing both the soldiers on the ground and those they leave behind.

  March 20th, 2016       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

Once again it’s very quiet around Toni Collette, as she has proven time and again to successfully stay out of the limelight. Which doesn’t mean there’s nothing to look forward to. Since the beginning of 2016, Toni has wrapped both “Please Stand By” and “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage”. The former stars Dakota Fanning and deals with a young autistic woman who runs away from her caregiver in an attempt to submit her manuscript to a writing competition. The latter needs no introduction – Xander Cage is left for dead after an incident, though he secretly returns to action for a new, tough assignment with his handler Augustus Gibbons. Vin Diesel reprises his famous role with Samuel L. Jackson and Toni Collette in supporting roles (probably as agents?). This will make for a crowded year, which also sees the release of the Noomi Rapace starrer “Unlocked” and the announced “Jasper Jones”, “The Yellow Birds” and “Imperium” (with no further news on those except the initial announcements).