Posted on January 26th, 2018 by Frederik

Toni’s second film, “Hearts Beat Loud” has premiered at Sundance, and while it’s a bummer that Toni wasn’t there to promote two films at once, it’s promising to see such positive reviews for both. Here’s a collection of reviews:

The Hollywood Reporter, John DeFore (January 24, 2018)
For some, the four songs Frank and Sam concoct together (written by film composer Keegan Dewitt) will be a highlight. They’re sprinkled throughout, then showcased in a final concert that feels too Hollywood for its underdog setting. When all’s said and done, father and daughter make peace with their respective places in the world, setting their sights on more realistic goals.

Variety, Amy Nicholson (January 24, 2018)
“We’re not a band,” groans freshman medical student Sam (Kiersey Clemons) to her dad Frank (Nick Offerman) in Brett Haley’s “Hearts Beat Loud,” a friendly musical about an aging Red Hook hipster who needs to let go of his daughter, and his dreams of pop stardom. But Frank’s not giving up either one, at least not until Sam leaves Brooklyn for California at the summer’s end, though the flinty widower is considering abandoning everything else: the record store he’s owned for 17 years, his shoplifting mother (Blythe Danner) who must be put in a home, and the dignity that’s kept him from asking his landlady Leslie (Toni Collette) out on a date. Haley (“The Hero,” “I’ll See You in My Dreams”), and co-writer Marc Basch’s good-hearted goodbye to late-’90s alterna-culture is as pleasant and fleeting as sorbet on a hot day — or the feeling of being young and cool, a loss Frank mourns with every strum.

Slash Film, Ethan Anderton (January 25, 2018)
This movie is what one might consider a Sundance cliche, but it’s executed so earnestly and lovingly thanks to the performances and musical stylings of Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons. Not only does Offerman rock on the guitar, but Clemons has some beautiful pipes that I’d like to see her stretch even more in a musical. The duo brings the original songs written by Keegan DeWitt to life effortlessly, and you’ll be nodding your head, tapping your foot and smiling ear-to-ear as the duo rocks all throughout the film. Adding to the delight of this movie are Toni Collette as Frank’s landlord and possible love interest, and Ted Danson as Dave, Frank’s bar-owning, weed-smoking, laid back best friend.

Cultured Vultured, Danielle Solzman (January 24, 2018)
Hearts Beat Loud is not an outright musical in the sense that it’s another La La Land but it’s a music-driven film with original music written by Keegan Dewitt. Dewitt’s contribution may only be four songs, including a rocking title song and a love ballad, but the music is what drives the film. It wouldn’t work without a star-making performance from Clemons. It’s music that one will want to listen to on repeat and never get tired of it.

Film School Rejects, Neil Miller (January 25, 2018)
Hearts Beat Loud is full of what its title promises: heart. In that heart, there’s a song. And in that song is a forthright story about love, parenthood, and dealing with change. The film also gets plenty of full-hearted joy from its supporting cast — the likes of Ted Danson, Blythe Danner, and Toni Collette — all of whom are great. But in the end, it’s the Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons show. And they’re both wonderful.

Posted on January 23rd, 2018 by Frederik

That’s the headline from one of the reviews after Toni’s upcoming horror film “Hereditary” had its world-premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this week. Sounds like a great leading role in an unusual horror film. Count me in. Here’s a collection of reviews. Edit: More reviews from the “big ones” have been added as well:

The Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney (January 24, 2018)
Arguably the most effective domestic horror chiller since The Conjuring and The Babadook, this A24 release should hit discerning genre fans right where they live. Aster’s ability to modernize his obvious reverence for the expert mood modulation, visual command and layered characterizations that defined sophisticated horror of the 1960s and ’70s catapults the writer-director into the vanguard of contemporary horror auteurs. The film’s superb cast, led by an astonishingly good Toni Collette, represents another strong draw.

Variety, Owen Gleiberman (January 24, 2018)
Collette’s performance is staggering. She plays Annie as a woman who begins to wear her buried rage and guilt on the outside. It pours out of her, as if she were “possessed,” and indeed she is — but by what, or whom? The fear and violence that secretly dominate her express the spirits that came before her, incarnated by no one but herself.

Vulture, Kyle Buchanan (January 24, 2018)
Once Hereditary finally shows its cards, Aster goes full-throttle and serves up some memorably scary images and unnerving sound motifs that had the audience yelping. The back half is where Collette really pulls the stops out, and it’s a pleasure to watch her get such a full-fledged leading-actress showcase, even though the poor woman goes through hell.

Screen Daily, Tim Grierson (January 25, 2018)
Collette is asked to shoulder a great deal as the film’s main character. It’s typical for the lead in a horror movie to react to seismic shocks and deliver ear-splitting screams, but Aster has given her a role which is impressively nuanced. Hereditary paints a portrait of a woman who has lived her life feeling cursed — she’s fearful that, for some reason, she deserves the woes that have visited her family. Exactly why she holds onto this belief is part of the delicate character development that Hereditary finesses into a story that gets increasingly more tense. Collette wears Annie’s anguish movingly, the film’s horrors always connecting to the character’s sense of inadequacy as a mother and daughter.

Vanity Fair, Richard Lawson (January 25, 2018)
I don’t want to say anything else about what goes on in Hereditary, because it benefits from pure discovery. What I can say is that Collette is a force throughout, turning in a full-bodied performance that gloriously skirts the edges of camp before returning us to a place of primal humanity. It’s a big, rewarding bit of work, and a good reminder that Collette should be let loose and given room to do her thing more often.

IndieWire, Eric Kohn (January 23, 2018)
Before it becomes an ultra-creepy haunted house movie, “Hereditary” is an almost-unbearable study of the grieving process. A family copes with traumatizing loss, screaming, crying, and growing apart as the scariest aspect of their lives becomes the actual hardships of each passing day. At its center, Annie (a terrifically unhinged Toni Collette) copes with her mother’s death by throwing herself into building a series of intricate miniatures in her large, creaky home. Her distracted husband (Gabriel Byrne) mostly keeps to himself, while her teenage son Peter (Alex Wolff) sulks on the sidelines, and his spooky younger sister Charlie (Milly Shaprio, who won a Tony for “Matilda” on Broadway) lurks around saying little. Just when it seems like “Hereditary” is entering traditional creepy-kid territory with Charlie giving off serious “The Omen” vibes, the movie takes an abrupt, violent twist that further the complicates the family’s dark moment.

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Posted on January 20th, 2018 by Frederik

In one of the first deals of the Sundance Film Festival, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has acquired international rights to Brett Haley’s Hearts Beat Loud after a packed sneak peek screening last night in Park City, according to Deadline. The film starring Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons has its world premiere next Friday at the Eccles in the fest’s Premieres section. The deal does not includes North American rights. Endeavor Content repped the filmmakers in the deal and SPWA’s Michael Helfand, Joe Matukewicz and Jon Freedberg negotiated for Sony. The pic centers on a one-time musician (Offerman) who owns a struggling record store in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and forms an unlikely band with his daughter (Clemons) the summer before she is set to leave for college. Ted Danson, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner and Toni Collette co-star. Houston King, Sam Bisbee and Sam Slater produced. Franklin Carson, Paul Bernon, David Bernon, Theodora Dunlap, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Lance Acord, Danny Rifkin and Frank Brenner, and Offerman are executive producers.

Posted on January 18th, 2018 by Frederik

2018 starts off with great news, as the Sundance Film Festival will boast not only one but two of Toni’s upcoming films: The world-premieres of both “Hearts Beat Loud” and “Hereditary”. It hasn’t been that long since we’ve first heard about this project, so it’s nice to see it move along so fast. World premiere will be on January 21, here’s the officia synopsis:

The Graham family starts to unravel following the death of their reclusive grandmother. Even after she’s gone, the matriarch still casts a dark shadow over the family, especially her loner teenage granddaughter, Charlie, whom she always had an unusual fascination with. As an overwhelming terror takes over their household, their peaceful existence is ripped apart, forcing their mother to explore a darker realm in order to escape the unfortunate fate they’ve inherited.

The feature-film debut of writer/director Ari Aster captivates the audience with a delicate and deliberate take on domestic turmoil, and it’s filled with haunting manifestations. Aster’s script ratchets up a feeling of delirious dread as the family members isolate themselves, only furthering their descent into madness. While consistently surprising in its twists and turns, this is a horror story firmly grounded within the desperate emotions of its compelling lead performances. Among a talented cast including Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, and Ann Dowd, the real standout is the menacing performance from young Broadway actress Milly Shapiro.

Posted on January 5th, 2018 by Frederik

“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.’”

Posted on December 18th, 2017 by Frederik

Toni’s latest feature film, the French comedy “Madame”, has been released on DVD and Blu-Ray in Australia in November, and I’ve been happy to receive my copy. The film has made it to theaters in various European cities as well, and for once I cannot understand the critics being rather mixed on this one. The story might not be the most realistic – a modern-day Cinderella story with quite an odd Cinderella (a charming Rossy De Palma) – but it drags you as soon as you commit yourself to it. It has a poignant ending though that I really liked. Toni Collette has the “evil stepmother” part in this one, and for one I can’t understand the negative reviews for her portrayal, with the Herald Sun calling it “one of the few complete performance misfires of her career with a very loud bang”. And that in a year which brought us “XXX: The Return of Xander Cage”? :-) She was having fun with the part, and I’d recommend “Madame” without hesitation. Screencaptures from the Blu-Ray have been added to the photo gallery.

Posted on December 4th, 2017 by Frederik

Article and pictures courtesy the Manchester Evening News: Toni Collette was pictured with blood streaming down her face after a bike crash in Macclesfield – but she was thankfully unhurt as the dramatic scenes were being filmed for a new BBC drama. And at the weekend she was involved in dramatic scenes as she took a tumble while cycling through Tytherington, near Macclesfield. But it was all part of the storyline – and The Sixth Sense and Muriel’s Wedding star Toni was soon seen laughing and joking with the production team, while fake blood poured down her face. The new drama is described as “a searingly insightful and funny exploration of the relationships of a multi-generational family” and also stars Steve Mackintosh, Zawe Ashton and Royce Pierreson in the six-part sereis. Toni plays Joy Richards in the drama, a therapist trying to find a way to keep her spark with her husband alive after a cycling accident causes them to reassess their relationship. As we meet her family, friends, neighbours and clients, remarkable yet relatable stories of love, lust and forbidden desire emerge. Toni said on the news being released abut the drama: “I am honoured and thrilled to work with Nick Payne’s wonderful words on Wanderlust. It is an authentic and revolutionary story about relationships, sex, love and all the things we really care about. I could not be more excited.” The film crew have already been spotted filming several scenes of the new show in Chorlton last month. Commissioned by BBC One and a co-production with Netflix, the series will premiere in the UK on BBC One and globally outside of the UK on Netflix.

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