Hello brave listener and welcome to WFPL’s Sound on Film.
On this episode, our thoughts on director David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” follow-up “American Hustle”, starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner, with enough elaborate hairdos and polyester suits to shake a stick at, as well the Danish film “The Hunt”, a strong contender for the Oscar for best foreign picture, starring Mads Mikkelsen.
But first, it’s new from around the Filmosphere, with a full preview of the Academy Award category for Best Foreign Language film at large, news of comedic actor Paul Rudd’s impending date with some superhero tights, and Netflix’s foray into 4K streaming.
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Special thanks to house band Discount Guns.
Netflix plans to stream “House of Cards” Season 2 in 4K (00:50)
This news will only affect a small number of us in the short run, namely, those out there who received a 4K ultra HD television in their stocking this year, which current range in price from $5,000 to (cough) $25,000, but it was interesting nonetheless to see Netflix make the first step in a committed pivot towards the new medium with the announcement that the second season of the streaming service’s hit show “House of Cards” will be available in 4K as of its Feb. 14 premiere, as will every other Netflix series, original feature, and pilot, moving forward.
Paul Rudd for Antman (07:20)
And now, word that comedic actor Paul Rudd stands poised to become both huge and tiny.
Yes, Marvel Pictures has made waves with its official confirmation that Rudd has been cast to play the titular role in the upcoming film “Antman.” A fan-favorite B-lister from the pages of Marvel comics, Antman is the moniker adopted by several characters throughout the years, all of whom sharing the ability to shrink down to near-microscopic scale, or conversely, grow to giant proportion.
The development of “Antman” has been the personal crusade of director Edgar Wright (“Scott Pilgrim,” “Shaun of the Dead”) for years, and seems to represents another example of Marvel’s willingness to expand expectations of what a “comic book movie” can be, alongside 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” directed by James Gunn (“Super”).
Wright co-wrote the script for “Antman” with Joe Cornish, who previously wrote and directed the excellently fun 2011 film “Attack the Block”.
Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film Shortlist (13:10)
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released its shortlist of the nine films that will compete for the Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film. And as with years past, controversy took root almost immediately.
The list seems to confirm Denmark’s “The Hunt” (which we’ll detail shortly) and Italy’s“The Great Beauty,” as a potential front runners, at the very least to make it to the final five which will be voted upon by Academy members at large, but in thanks largely to some puzzling omissions.
Missing in action is Iran’s entry “The Past” (from the director of the Best Foreign-Language winner “A Separation”), as well as a number of other highly lauded pictures like Yuval Adler’s “Bethlehem” (Israel) and Haifaa Al-Mansour’s “Wadjda” (Saudi Arabia). Also absent are two strong contenders for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, Japan’s “The Wind Rises” (the final film from acclaimed animator Hayao Miyazaki) and France’s “Blue is the Warmest Color” (technically disqualified due to a late release date).
The full list of nine includes:
“The Broken Circle Breakdown” (Belgium), “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker” (Bosnia and Herzegovina), “The Missing Picture” (Cambodia), “The Hunt” (Denmark), “Two Lives” (Germany), “The Grandmaster” (Hong Kong), “The Notebook” (Hungary), “The Great Beauty” (Italy) and “Omar” (Palestine).
American Hustle (23:40)
Loosely based off the FBI’s real-life ABSCAM sting operation of the late seventies early eighties, we pick up the story of David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” as con-partners Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) find their operation co-opted by ambitious FBI agent Richie Dimaso, played by Bradley Cooper. Dimaso uses his leverage over the pair in order to take their operations from small-time fraud to a sprawling caper with the purpose of incriminating multiple congressmen and senators, all under the watchful eye of organized crime. The long con centers around Camden, N.J., Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner), with Jennifer Lawrence as Irving’s fiery and unpredictable wife Rosalyn, and including cameos from comedian Louis C.K, Michael Pena, and Robert De Niro.
The Hunt (42:00)
From up and coming Danish director Thomas Vinterberg, The Hunt portrays the terrifying travails of of an innocent man whose life is altered forever by a small-town witch hunt. The film stars actor Mads Mikkelson (Hannibal, A Royal Affair) as kindergarten teacher Lucas, who is mistakenly accused of pedophilia by one of his students. The student in question being the daughter of his best friend Theo. The accusation is treated as benign initially, at least by most, but as more and more children begin to make similar complaints Lucas finds himself with nowhere to turn.