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Coco Before Chanel
Director: Anne Fontaine
Cast: Audrey Tautou, Benoît Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola
Opening: 25 September 2009
Distributor: Warner Bros. (France) Sony Pictures Classics (U.S.)

Audrey Tautou, star of the beloved indie classic Amelie, returns to the screen as Coco Chanel in the upcoming movie Coco Before Chanel. The film centers around Chanel during her youth, before her name became the iconic fashion label for the chic modern woman. Seen as a social mischief in her era, Coco allures a few prominent suitors, who vie for her heart and become intrigued by her eccentricity. Coco Before Chanel has already hit screens in France, Australia, and the U.K., and will see a limited Stateside release on September 25th.

Where does one truly find inspiration?  The directorial debut of Rob Perez, writer of 40 Days and 40 Nights, presses to answer that exact question.

Lindeman (played by Sam Rosen), a sculptor with his art school final project in front of him, finds himself simply stumped. He looks for inspiration around every corner, in every scene. This includes the goth scene, the gay scene, becoming an intellect, a lover and a vegan, but nothing seems to be the answer to his artistic existential crisis. He realizes that being a nobody defines somebody.

The movie is also accompanied by a musical score and soundtrack completed and compiled by Guster’s lead singer Ryan Miller, who also, impressively enough, co-wrote the movie with Rob Perez. The film premieres Thursday, October 1 at the State Theatre in Minneapolis, MN.

Watch and re-watch the trailer until then.

What does a director famous for his awkward, dry comedies do when he has squeezed all of the sarcastic strangeness out of real life actors?  Apparently, he turns to animation. In his new stop-motion film, Fantastic Mr. Fox (based on the Roald Dahl children’s book of the same name), director Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited) enlists the help of some of his old favorites, including Rushmore screen mates Bill Murray and Jason Bateman, to give voice to his woodland creatures. Although the failure of Tim Burton’s new film 9 to live up to its fantastic trailer should serve as a word of caution to film-goers looking into the genre of “animated film with a wonderful trailer by a notoriously strange director”, I for one am hoping this film rings true to the high tone the hilarious trailer sets.

So yes, it’s a bit on the experimental side, but this new short film “Artificial Paradise, Inc.” by Jp Frenay is too visually stunning to be ignored. Not sure exactly what’s going on? Don’t worry, no one is, but the description Frenay gives may help a little, or not:

“an experimental film anticipating a future where a major corporation has developed an unique software, based on organic virtual reality, which holds all the lost memories of humankind. A user connects to this database of the forgotten…what is he searching for?”

Aside from incredible work in computer graphics wrapped in some vague notion of plot many post-modern video artists are notorious for, I’m not really sure what anyone is searching for in this film, but it is somehow beautiful just the same.

ARTIFICIAL PARADISE,INC. from Jp Frenay on Vimeo.

In 2002, Moore was considered a heavy favorite to win the Oscar for her excellent lead work as Cathy Whitaker in Todd Haynes’ Far from Heaven or her equally powerful supporting in Stephen Daldry’s The Hours as Laura Brown. Joining a list that includes Emma Thompson and Sigourney Weaver, she went home empty-handed that fateful night.

Deja-vu: watch out for her upcoming two-category sweep in 2010: First up is a much-discussed lead turn in Atom Egoyan’s Chloe, a sexually-charged drama in which Moore’s tony doctor hires an escort (Amanda Seyfried) to bed her husband. Remember that nobody does “sexually-charged” quite like Moore. This is the woman who gave us Boogie Nights’ Amber Waves and the tawdry, delicious Savage Grace last year, after all.

Then comes the pièce de résistance for the awards season: Moore’s supporting turn in designer-turned-film director Tom Ford’s A Single Man, opposite Colin Firth as a gay man who has just lost his long-time lover.

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