TAG | James Franco
The critics group awards are off and running. Last week we saw the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review, and the Boston Online Critics announce their annual awards, and today we have three more groups to add to the pile. 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture in the Boston and New York Online groups, but the Los Angeles voting resulted in a tie for Best Picture between Gravity and Her. Alfonso Cuaron took Best Director in the Los Angeles and New York Film Critics Online awards, while Boston went for 12 Years a Slave’s Steve McQueen. While many votes seemed to be in line with early predictions, James Franco shared the Best Supporting Actor moniker in the Los Angeles group for his work in Spring Breakers.
If there’s one takeaway from the critics group awards we’ve seen thus far, it’s that Spike Jonze’s Her has a heavy amount of love in the film community, which could very well translate to Oscar. Hit the jump to read the full list of winners for all three groups, as well as the runners up for the L.A. and Boston awards.
Los Angeles Film Critics Awards
Best Picture: (tie)
Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
Spike Jonze – Her (Runner-up)
Bruce Dern – Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave (Runner-up)
Best Actress: (tie)
Adele Exarchopoulos – Blue Is the Warmest Color
Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actor: (tie)
James Franco – Spring Breakers
Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting Actress:
Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
June Squibb ...
Homefront allowed James Franco to go a little nuts as the villain, a meth lord who makes life hell for Jason Statham. As previewed in the Homefront trailer, Statham is a former DEA agent who moves to a small Southern town with his young daughter to pursue a quieter life. Little did he know that the community would be a hotbed for meth dealing, with Franco’s evil villain at the top of the food chain. Franco could have been one of those actors who does his own stunts, but given what a pro Statham is, Franco decided to leave it to the professionals.
"Jason does all of his own stunts. I don’t. My guy gets really beaten up,” Franco told Movie Fanatic. “There was a stunt guy that was just happy to do that. I’ve done a lot of movies with fight scenes, and you know when you’re working with somebody that’s good. Fight scenes are really more like dances than they are fights, because you’re depending on your partner to do the right move at the right time.”
Franco did do a few of his own fight scenes -- he’s just being modest! “A fight scene has a lot to do with the other person,” Franco admitted. “We had one fight scene in the movie. It was like, ‘Yeah. Okay. This is great. Actually I’m not scared here. I feel great here because Jason knows what he’s doing. I’m not going to get hurt.’ Whereas, somebody that hasn’t done a lot of fight scenes is not tough and will probably hit my hand with the sword or punch me in the face by accident.”
Franco also welcomed the chance to play a villain, but he insisted it be more than a one-dimensional character that so many villains can be. And it so is, as we report in our Homefront review.
“I think it helps serve the movie if he’s not just a bad guy that’s there as a device, that he is somebody that does bad things, and you don’t condone his actions, but you can understand why he’s doing it. What that meant to me was that maybe he shouldn’t do the meth, that this is a business. He sees it as a business,” Franco said.
“When he goes after Jason’s character, maybe he has a little fun with the torture of it, but it’s more that he sees this guy as just a key to helping his business, to helping him achieve his dream of getting out of this town and just making something of himself, which is something that we all do.”
The actor admitted that there is something in his portrayal of Gator in Homefront that is universal, whether we want to admit it or not. “Whatever our business is, we want to succeed. We want to achieve. And so, we can all understand that side of it where he crosses the line that hopefully none of us crosses. ‘Well, okay, I’ll hurt somebody else in order to achieve my dream.’ We don’t go with him there, but it’s like you can understand the human motivation behind what he’s doing,” Franco said.
“That’s why I thought the meth is just his way. It’s just what he found. It’s the way that he thinks he can get out of this wicked little town.”
When Franco got the script written by Sylvester Stallone, all the elements were there… but he wanted to tweak a little something. “I read it and I saw that it was a well-constructed movie and that there was a good villain that I could have a lot of fun with. I thought there were two key things to be brought out with Gator. In the original script I read, he did everything that was in the script, but he didn’t really care about his sister (played by Kate Bosworth),” Franco said.
“She was addicted to drugs and he would hold it over her head. So I went to the book. I looked at the book and realized that in fact there was a much more complex relationship to be had, that he actually loves his sister and cares about her and probably likes her more than she likes him.”
He also sought to improve what was on the page between Gator and the girlfriend character played by Winona Ryder. “Winona’s character, it was written like I was the boss of the relationship. I thought it would be more interesting if he was insecure about this relationship, and it turns out she was seeing one of the other gangsters before, and it upsets Gator,” Franco said.
“I thought it would make it a little bit more unusual that he could be insecure in this relationship rather than just, ‘I run this show,’ and that she’s the boss of the relationship until the end.”
Opening this week is the Jason Statham-starrer Homefront. Adapted by Sylvester Stallone from the Chuck Logan novel, Homefront centers on DEA agent Phil Broker (Statham) who moves to a quiet town with his daughter (Izabela Vidovic) in order to start a new life, but winds up tangling with the local druglord (James Franco), his band of thugs, and meth’d-out sister (played by Kate Bosworth in a bit of a shocking turn). Homefront also stars Winona Ryder, Rachelle Lafevre, Clancy Brown, Omar Benson Miller and Frank Grillo. For more on the film, watch the red-band or regular trailer.
At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with Franco. He talked about whether he has more fun playing the hero or the villain, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's next film The Interview, and more. Hit the jump to watch.
And here's my video interview with Jason Statham and Izabela Vidovic if you missed it.
Does he have more fun playing the hero or the villain
How much fun has he been having on Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's next film The Interview?
Opening November 27th, Homefront follows the classic Western paradigm of an ex-lawman who goes to live a quiet life in a small town only to discover he can’t escape his troubled past. Jason Statham plays former DEA agent Phil Broker, a family man who moves off the grid with his daughter (Izabela Vidovic) to a seemingly quiet bayou backwater until meth kingpin Gator Bodine (James Franco) puts them in harm’s way forcing Broker back into action. Directed by Gary Fleder from a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone based on the book by Chuck Logan, the action thriller also stars Kate Bosworth and Winona Ryder.
At the film’s recent press day, Statham, Franco, Ryder, Bosworth, Vidovic and Fleder talked about bringing depth and humanity to the characters, finding the right emotional tone, Bosworth’s physical transformation, Statham’s unusual role as a father protecting his daughter, handling the dangerous stunts and action sequences, how production designer Greg Berry and D.P. Theo Van de Sande created the film’s authentic look, shooting on location in rural southern Louisiana, and composer Mark Isham’s indigenous score that acknowledges the region. Franco also revealed what he’s learned from teaching, how he balances it with his busy filmmaking career, and his decision to adopt the film’s kittens. Hit the jump to read the interview.
QUESTION: James, you have a character that’s very unpredictable on the dark side and you bring some great humanity, depth and quality to him. How did you find that emotional tone and balance in creating Gator?
JAMES FRANCO: When ...
If you have doubts that James Franco can play an unhinged, meth-cooking, backwoods gangster named Gator, then this new red-band trailer for Homefront might just change your mind. Written by Sylvester Stallone and directed by Gary Fleder, Homefront stars Jason Statham as a former DEA agent who moves to a quiet town with his daughter in order to start a new life, but winds up tangling with the local druglord and his band of thugs. I hope Statham saves some energy to kick his realtor's ass because this town is the worst ever.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Also starring Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, and Frank Grillo, Homefront opens November 27th.
Check out the red-band trailer for Homefront below (via IGN):
HOMEFRONT is an action movie about a widowed ex-DEA agent who retires to a small town for the sake of his 10-year-old daughter. The only problem is he picked the wrong town.
Now playing in limited release and coming soon to VOD and DVD is James Franco’s adaptation of the 1930 classic American novel from William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying. Starring Franco,Tim Blake Nelson, Danny McBride, Ahna O’Reilly, Logan Marshall-Green, Beth Grant, and Jim Parrack, the film chronicles the Bundren family as they traverse the Mississippi countryside to bring the body of their deceased mother Addie to her hometown for burial. For more on the film, watch the trailer.
The other day I landed an exclusive phone interview with Franco. He talked about making the film, the challenges of adapting the book, the way his career has developed, how film school helped shape him as a filmmaker, future films like Bukowski and The Sound and the Fury, and how he balances being an actor with future directing projects. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
Collider: You don’t allow yourself to be pigeonholed—you’re an artist, you’re a director, you’re an actor, you teach, you do so many different things. Have you ever had any feedback from agents or managers or people in your camp being hesitant in the way you are leading your career?
JAMES FRANCO: No, certainly not now. They all understand that this is how I operate. A lot of this wasn’t planned this way, a lot of it I kind of just found. I found a way that all of it could work together, different things could work out for each other. Like teaching, for example, that’s something I never planned on doing. I was in school for ...
James Franco has turned into a prolific director, with 14 credits since 2010. However, he saves his mainstream efforts for Actor James. Director James is more interested in the arthouse, and none of his works so far have seen a wide release. Sal should have some broad appeal as a biopic of notable star Sal Mineo, yet two years have passed since Sal premiered at the 2011 Venice Film Festival.
Tribeca Films is nearly ready to release it to the world on VOD October 22, followed by a limited theatrical release November 1. Val Lauren stars in the title role. Franco, James Franco, Vince Jolivette, Jim Patrick, Trevor Neuhoff, Stacey Miller, Raymond T. Williams co-star. Watch the trailer after the break.
James Franco's Sal chronicles the final day in the life of actor Sal Mineo (Val Lauren), 1950s teen idol and an Academy Award® nominee for his roles in Rebel Without a Cause and Exodus. Almost two decades later, Mineo is no longer the marquee sensation he had once been — but he has become open about his homosexuality and is finding his way to becoming the actor and director he has always wanted to be. Featuring a magnetic performance by Lauren, Franco's intimate portrait finds the human details in a larger-than-life Hollywood story.
The first trailer for Jason Statham-starrer Homefront is now available and it clearly plays to the action man's strengths, namely kicking ass, taking names and not saying all that much beyond the occasional one-liner. Adapted by Sylvester Stallone from the Chuck Logan novel, Homefront centers on DEA agent Phil Broker (Statham) who moves his family to a quiet town that just happens to be Meth-Central, USA. When his daughter runs afoul of a tweaker family's kid, the meth'd-out mother (played by Kate Bosworth in a bit of a shocking turn) seeks retribution from the local drug lord, Gator (James Franco) and his gang. While I don't buy Franco as the threatening sort, I'd happily watch Statham punch through Gator's army of thugs any day.
Also starring Winona Ryder, Rachelle Lafevre, Clancy Brown, Omar Benson Miller and Frank Grillo, Homefront opens November 27th. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.
Check out the Homefront trailer below (via Yahoo!):
The first trailer for Palo Alto has been released online. Based on a collection of short stories written by James Franco, the film revolves around the lives of a group of people in the titular California city, including a soccer coach (Franco), a teenage babysitter (Emma Roberts), and a pair of troubled kids (Jack Kilmer and Nat Wolff). Written and directed by Gia Coppola, the film certainly looks peculiar. Franco’s character strikes up a relationship with the younger Roberts, but it appears that she may also be involved with Jack Kilmer’s character. It’s tough to suss out much from this brief trailer, but the appearance of Val Kilmer (yes, Jack is his son) is a highlight.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Zoe Levin, Claudia Levy, Chris Messina, Keegan Allen, Don Novello, and Talia Shire. Palo Alto will premiere at the Telluride Film Festival this weekend.
A couple of new featurettes have landed online, one for an upcoming movie and one for a 2012 film that’s vying for Oscar gold:
Oz the Great and Powerful – A new featurette for director Sam Raimi’s prequel to The Wizard of Oz shows quite a bit of new footage and does a nice job of introducing us to the cast of characters (James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams). I find it curious that they’re trying to keep the audience guessing as to which witches are good and which are bad, since the names are the same as the ones in the source material. The film opens in 3D on March 7th.
Moonrise Kingdom – Hot off a Best Original Screenplay nomination for writers Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, this new featurette focuses on the genesis of the project and the writing of the incredible script. The film is currently available on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD.
Hit the jump to watch the featurettes.
Here’s the official synopsis for Oz the Great and Powerful:
Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot–fame and fortune are his for the taking–that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are ...