At long last, they come face to face. It seems as though the Roberts Rivalry has been going on for decades. In reality, though, the Roberts themselves have barely been going on for decades. I'm of course referring to Emma Roberts, American star of films like It's Kind of a Funny Story and The Art of Getting By, and Craig Roberts, a Welsh newcomer to the big screen, who won audiences with his starring role in last year's Submarine. It seems the thespians Roberts will be either setting aside what has to be a bloodthirsty enmity, or scheming diabolically with the "Keep Your Enemies Closer" maxim, as they will be teaming up in the developing Derick Martini film I Am My Family Secret.
One might wonder why I assume there's such a heated discord between this duo. It can't simply be because of their shared surname. Well...it's mostly that. But there are a few uncanny similarities we can't help but derive theories from. Craig's breakout role was in a film called Submarine—Richard Ayoade's blissful adaptation of Joe Dunthorne's terrific novel. Five years prior, Emma Roberts starred in a movie titled Aquamarine. Now, you can't tell me this is just a coincidence. Moving further: Emma played the lead in Nancy Drew back in 2007. This past year, Craig snagged a part in Jane Eyre. Both movies about woman who uncover closely-guarded secrets! Other connections can be drawn (Emma's upcoming Adult World to Craig's Kiddo; Craig's Being Human to Emma's Hotel for Dogs), but I think I've made my point perfectly clear.
Martini's new movie, I Am My Family Secret, focuses on a pair of brothers who happen upon a shocker that their parents have been hiding from them. No word on what roles will be filled by the Robertses. This will not be Emma's first time working with director Martini. 2008's comedy/drama Lymelife starred the young actress alongside Alec Baldwin, Jill Hennessy, Cynthia Nixon and Rory and Kieran Culkin.
The filmmaker, best known for the Martin Scorsese-produced coming of age comedy Lymelife, is accused by his dad Frederick of going behind his back to steal ownership of a Manhattan property he had taken interest in.
Martini Sr. claims his son forged a copy of the deed, giving him half-ownership of the place, according to the New York Post.
The father and son are now set to face off over the building in court.
Love her or hate her, Blake Lively (of Gossip Girl and the upcoming Green Lantern) is making an effort to shore up her indie credentials with a co-starring role in director Derick Martini's Hick, alongside British thesp Eddie Redmayne (The Yellow Handkerchief) and Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass).
Based on the shocking coming-of-age novel by Andrea Portes -- who is also penning the film's screenplay -- Hick centers on 13-year-old Luli (Moretz), a girl from Nebraska who "gets more than she bargained for" when she takes off alone for Las Vegas. Lively will play a grifter who mentors the young runaway, and Redmayne will play a loner who shares a past with Lively and has his own plans for Luli.
If you're interested in more story details (and SPOILERS) for the upcoming indie from the director of the 2008 award-winning Lymelife (2008), read on for the full plot synopsis from Amazon:
Portes's chilling debut tracks a 13-year-old Nebraska girl's hard-going life on the road. Young Luli knows losers—her "aging Brigitte Bardot" mother, Tammy, and her father, Nick, go at each other every night at the Alibi, the watering hole in hometown Palmyra, Neb. Tammy runs away one morning, and Nick soon follows, leaving Luli alone at home with the Smith and Wesson .45 her Uncle Nipper gave her. Pistol in tow, she hitches rides heading west to Vegas. A crooked man (literally; he "looks like an italic," says smart-alecky Luli) named Eddie picks her up briefly before throwing her out of the car. Next comes cocaine-snorting grifter Glenda, who enlists Luli as an accessory to a robbery that goes awry. Glenda takes Luli under her wing. The two cross paths again with Eddie, who rapes Luli and ties her up in a secluded motel. Glenda comes to her rescue, but the confrontation with Eddie ends badly. Luli's flippant narration makes for a love-it or hate-it read.
Kathryn Bigelow's hard-hitting war drama The Hurt Locker has emerged as an early Oscar favorite after picking up a string of nominations for the upcoming Gotham Independent Film Awards, one of the season's first big prizegivings.
The movie will be up against Amreeka, Big Fan, The Maid and A Serious Man in the Best Feature category, while star Jeremy Renner will fight for the Breakthrough Actor prize, and he and his castmates are up for Best Ensemble Performance.
Meanwhile, director Bigelow will be among the filmmakers and stars honored with tributes at the 19th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards, held in New York on Nov. 30. Natalie Portman, Stanley Tucci and producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will also be presented with career tributes.
Meanwhile, Chris Rock's Good Hair will compete with Food, Inc., My Neighbor, My Killer, Paradise and Tyson for the Best Documentary prize, and Cruz Angeles (Don't Let Me Down), Frazer Bradshaw (Everything Strange and New), Noah Buschel (The Missing Person), Derick Martini (Lymelife) and Robert Siegel (Big Fan) will fight for the Breakthrough Director award.
Up against Renner in the Breakthrough Actor category are Ben Foster (The Messenger), comedian Patton Oswalt (Big Fan), Catalina Saavedra (The Maid) and Souleymane Sy Savane (Goodbye Solo).
Adventureland, Cold Souls, A Serious Man and Sugar will compete with The Hurt Locker for the Best Ensemble Performance honor.
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The movie will be up against Amreeka, Big Fan, The Maid and A Serious Man in the Best Feature category, while star Jeremy Renner will fight for the Breakthrough Actor prize and he and his castmates are up for Best Ensemble Performance.
Meanwhile, director Bigelow will be among the filmmakers and stars honoured with tributes at the 19th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards, held in New York on 30 November (09). Natalie Portman, Stanley Tucci and producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will also be presented with career tributes.
Meanwhile, Chis Rock's Good Hair will compete with Food, Inc., My Neighbor My Killer, Paradise and Tyson for the Best Documentary prize and Cruz Angeles (Don’t Let Me Down), Frazer Bradshaw (Everything Strange and New), Noah Buschel (The Missing Person), Derick Martini (Lymelife) and Robert Siegel (Big Fan) will fight for the Breakthrough Director award.
Up against Renner in the Breakthrough Actor category are Ben Foster (The Messenger), comedian Patton Oswalt (Big Fan), Catalina Saavedra (The Maid) and Soulemane Sy Savane (Goodbye Solo).
Adventureland, Cold Souls, A Serious Man and Sugar will compete with The Hurt Locker for the Best Ensemble Performance honour.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
It’s 1979 the world is changing economically and culturally and an outbreak of Lyme disease turns 15-year-old Scott Bartlett’s life inside out just as his parents — including a workaholic father Mickey and doting mom Brenda — are about to get divorced and his brother Jimmy is shipping off to fight in the Falklands war. Making life even more complicated during this time of turmoil he has fallen for his next-door neighbor Adrianna whose mother Melissa is carrying on a not-so-secretive affair with Scott’s dad as her husband Charlie is feeling the devastating effects of a bout with Lyme's.
WHO’S IN IT?
A superb ensemble cast navigates co-writer/director Derick Martini’s emotionally tricky and somewhat autobiographical screenplay in style delivering sharp-edged substantive portrayals of suburbanites in a state of flux. Rory Culkin shines as the confused but likeable Scott stuck in a coming-of-age nightmare of conflicting feelings and discovery. His virginal love scene with the wonderful Emma Roberts playing girlfriend Adrianna is poignant real and quite funny. As his father Mickey Alec Baldwin stands out in one of his best performances and his marital dustups with Jill Hennessy playing wife Brenda are blistering in their raw force. Cynthia Nixon as Melissa plays uptight and needy about as well as anyone and Timothy Hutton has some nice moments as her rather hapless Lyme-stricken hubby. Culkin’s actual brother Kieran is around as the older bro and does nice work with his real-life sibling.
Martini manages to recreate a specific time and place with ease and captures a difficult time when society was trying to adapt to an unknown new world of change. What makes it really work is the sardonic sense of humor he manages to work into the proceedings. Lymelife is edgy dark and memorable a movie that may make you uncomfortable at times but one you will have a hard time shaking off.
The relatively brief running time precludes actually developing some backstories and character arcs making some of the film feel a little rushed at times but mostly it’s solidly paced and engrossing all the way.
Developed with the help of the Sundance Institute and premiered at the 2009 festival Lymelife has indie cred up the kazoo and shows that even with close to no budget you can make a smart drama for adults.
NETFLIX OR MULTIPLEX?
Give these filmmakers some support and see it in a theater. Perhaps its success will inspire others to make challenging film fare in the future.
Chris Remi is a responsible mostly serious accountant with the nickname Goat of Fire. Tony is his younger brother a struggling actor who's popular with the ladies and goes by the nickname Smiling Fish. When their parents die the two must learn to adjust to life without Mom and Dad. Meanwhile Chris attempts to reconcile with his estranged wife before meeting an Italian beauty while Tony must decide what he wants when he meets his perfect match.
Chris and Tony played by real-life brothers Derick and Steven Martini respectively are relatively newcomers to the big screen and their acting doesn’t necessarily leave a lasting memory. They’re brothers playing brothers no real stretch there. The best performance by far is provided by Bill Henderson who plays Clive Winters -- a retired soundman from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Clive warms up to Chris taking him under his wing to teach him a thing or two about the wonders of love and weaving the films various subplots into a sweet package.
Director Kevin Jordan also wrote this film with the Martini brothers and produced it on a shoestring budget of $40 000. Clearly then it's all about the story. Shot in Los Angeles over 12 days Jordan draws you in with the appealing story line wins you over with some comic relief and keeps you hoping that each brother will get his girl.