During an era when so many new directors come from the worlds of advertising and music video, catering to increasingly shorter attention spans and relying on gaudy visuals to engage audiences for seconds at a time, Oscar winner John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, not Monday Night Football) is a throwback to a time when dramas drew their strength from the spoken word.
Summer is slowly winding down, giving Hollywood just a few more weeks to unload the last of its annual sequels, prequels and remakes before Oscar season begins in earnest. The bad news, for some: School will be back in session soon. The good news: August packs a promising lineup of big-screen spectacles, including:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Aug. 5)
The primates: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Andy Serkis
Todd Solondz can’t wait to get to Chicago, the next stop on the promotional tour for his challenging new drama, Life During Wartime.
Unfamiliar with Mark Twain’s appraisal of the City by the Bay's seasonal chill factor – “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco” – Solondz, a New Jersey native, craves heat and humidity. But lounging in a climate-controlled suite at the Prescott Hotel, the 49-year-old director seems to have found his comfort zone.