Ben Mendelsohn has played a lot of memorable criminals over the last two years, but it's sign of his chops that the performances have virtually nothing in common. The son of a neuroscientist and a self-described "autodidact," Mendelsohn, 43, began as a TV actor in his native Australia in 1980s and encountered film stardom there in 1987 as the ill-fated juvenile delinquent Trevor in The Year My Voice Broke. more »
After an illustrious career playing intimidating characters, Ray Liotta got to see how the other half lives (and begs for mercy) in Killing Them Softly. I sat down with the actor to discuss his harrowing beating scene — which will be much-discussed after the movie's opening weekend — and the underlying politics of Brad Pitt and director Andrew Dominik's stylish film noir. more »
Killing Them Softly is set in Boston, maybe. Someone mentions living in Somerville, a scattering of the characters have the accent, and they talk about going down to Florida. But the film was shot in New Orleans, often in the industrial edges still ragged from Hurricane Katrina, and the only people who seem to inhabit its universe are gangsters — high level ones with pretentions of civility and hardscrabble losers struggling to get a few dollars together by way of hazardous schemes. more »
Andrew Dominik does not look like a guy who could teach this country a lesson. With his floppy hair, fashionable glasses and ever-present cigarette, he resembles the kind of international hipster you'd find brandishing his American Express black card in Manhattan's Meatpacking District on a Thursday night. But don't be fooled by appearances. more »
The film played to a mixture of reactions when it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May, and this latest film by Andrew Dominik, starring Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta packs a wallop of gun shots, fights and explosions. Harvey Weinstein recently suggested a violence summit might be in order to take place among Hollywood types in the wake of the tragedy in Aurora, CO. If so, this Weinstein Company release may be a good example of what he's talking about. But in Cannes, both Dominik and Pitt took exception to suggestions the film had "too much violence."
Politics lurched to the forefront Tuesday in Cannes as director Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly took its turn as the spotlighted world premiere here. But this isn't just any world premiere: This one featured Brad Pitt, who manages to still excite even some otherwise jaded festival attendees.
Every performer must pay their dues, but with this week’s old school-flavored ghost pic The Innkeepers character actor Pat Healy cashes in over a decade of memorable supporting turns and guest spots for the spotlight at an auspicious moment in his career. Having popped up in a number of great films over the years (Magnolia! Ghost World! Rescue Dawn!) Healy stars with Sara Paxton in the Ti West film as a sardonic desk clerk at the Yankee Pedlar Inn, where spooky happenings are afoot; meanwhile, Healy also earned writing credits on the award-winning In Treatment and recently took Sundance by storm with Craig Zobel’s controversial Compliance. And to think: It all began with the one-two punch of My Best Friend’s Wedding and Home Alone 3…
Next March will see Brad Pitt re-teaming with Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) in Cogan's Trade, a crime thriller about an enforcer (Pitt) investigating the robbery of a high stakes poker game run by the mob. Which promises -- according to the very first official-ish image -- Brad Pitt in black leather, hair slicked back, shotgun in hand, wielding the cold stare of a killer. Watch out, Scoot McNairy!