Another in a great mass of "old friends reuniting" movies is underway, and this one has a cast that will thrill anyone who loved Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind's B-Story. Mark Ruffalo and Billy Crudup have been signed onto Red Light Winter for some time, and news is that Kirsten Dunst is joining the duo to star in the film.
Red Light Winter is the story of two old friends (presumably Ruffalo and Crudup) who have chaotic run-in with an Amsterdam promstitude (presumably Dunst) after heading to the notorious Dutch capital attempting to reconnect and distance themselves from the miseries of their mid-thirties. It seems pretty indie, considering the plot, cast and source material—a play by Adam Rapp—which is to say that it sounds interesting and intropective.
Plus, the exploration of Amsterdam in a way not entirely ensconced by goofy marijuana jokes is rare for Hollywood. We should be excited to see some of the darker, more severe and artistic vantage points of the rich but haunting city.
Note: Red Light Winter has absolutely nothing to do with Spike Lee's developing Red Hook Summer. But it should.
This Friday, America will be graced with Alexander Payne's The Descendants, a movie that is resting with at least some substance on the pull of its cherished leading man: George Clooney. Although Clooney has the star power, it is important not to forget some of the smaller players in The Descendants, like Judy Greer.
Some of you might not recognize Greer by name, but you'd know her if you saw her. Greer is one of those omnipresent supporting actors, with smaller roles in countless movies. Although Greer is quite the formidable example of this type of performer, she is certainly not one the only one. See if you can guess the other supporting actors with impressive resumes from the hints provided below (the answers are below the videos)! Beware: some of the clips below are NSFW.
This Supporting Actor has played a mob boss who was outsmarted by Billy Crystal, a detective who is duped by Kevin Spacey, a gangster who befriends Robert De Niro’s son, and a nightclub owner who makes Chris Kattan very uncomfortable.
It's Chazz Palminteri!
This Supporting Actor has played a preppy WASP who is startled by Christina Ricci, the estranged biological mother of Robin Williams’ son, Warren Beatty’s unfaithful wife, and a mild-mannered reporter investigating a murderous Renée Zellweger,
It's Christine Baranski!
This Supporting Actor has played a businessman who likes to “Pow!” Will Ferrell, a taser-happy Nevada policeman with no patience for Bradley Cooper, a disloyal CIA agent who betrays Ashton Kutcher and a former military man who amps up the strength of Rob Corddry's paintball team.
It's Rob Riggle!
This Supporting Actor has played the flighty mother of an attendant of Johnny Depp’s chocolate factory, a long-named dodgeball champ who falls in love with Joel David Moore, the tentacled crewmember of Tim Allen’s space ship, and as a member of a futuristic society wherein Zach Galifianakis greets people by giving them the finger.
It's Missi Pyle!
This Supporting Actor has played a slimy gangster in a Coen Brothers movie, a bumbling producer’s assistant in a Coen Brothers movie, an inept private eye in a Coen Brothers movie and a mysterious dry cleaning investor in a Coen Brothers movie.
It's Jon Polito!
This Supporting Actor has played a med school interviewer who lost his temper with Kal Penn, the headstrong future father-in-law of Jason Biggs, a catchphrase-happy former actor involved in a folk music production starring Eugene Levy, and the captain of a space ship fostering the entire population of a very overweight humanity.
It's Fred Willard!
This Supporting Actor has played an airheaded secretary at Matthew Broderick’s high school, the neglectful mother of Juliet Lewis, an airport employee who curses out Steve Martin, and the doting assistant to a college-bound Rodney Dangerfield.
It's Edie McClurg!
This Supporting Actor has played an untrusting bureaucrat who teaches Ron Perlman how to smoke a cigar, the mayor of a village that Jim Carrey villainizes, the father of one of Ben Stiller’s camp counselors, and the co-coach of Paul Giamatti’s wrestling team. But of course, he's probably best known for his TV work...
It's Jeffrey Tambor!
This Supporting Actor has played a soldier on Tom Hanks’ rescue mission, one of the only non-imaginary friends of Russell Crowe, a college student who gets attacked by an anti-Semitic Michael Rapaport (suspension of disbelief), and a high schooler who pals around with Anthony Rapp.
It's Adam Goldberg!
This Supporting Actor has played a vindictive prep school dean who was chastised by Al Pacino, an FBI employee who is outsmarted by Joe Pesci, an underhanded politician who is outshined by Chris Rock, and the Secretary of Defense who fends off alien attackers with Will Smith.
It's James Rebhorn!
A modern take on Puccini’s classic opera La Boheme Rent isn’t a complicated story. Set on the brink of the ‘90s we meet a group of er bohemians living in a rundown tenement in New York’s East Village struggling with AIDS eviction and creative ways to express themselves. The denizens include a budding documentary filmmaker Mark (Anthony Rapp); his rock musician roommate Roger (Adam Pascal); the stripper drug addict Mimi (Rosario Dawson) who lives downstairs; Mark’s ex-girlfriend edgy performance artist Maureen (Idina Menzel) and her new lawyer girlfriend Joanne (Tracie Thoms); street-drumming drag queen Angel (Wilson Jermaine Heredia) and his handsome boyfriend philosopher professor Tom Collins (Jesse L. Martin). When their fraught way of life in their beloved ‘hood is threatened by expanding corporate gentrification orchestrated by Mark ’s former roommate Benny (Taye Diggs) the group does what we’d all like to do--sing. And sing and… Non-musical fans may need a breather but at least the songs by Jonathan Larson (the show’s young composer who died suddenly before opening night) are MTV ready and vital to the storytelling. Casting most of Rent’s original Broadway stars is definitely a plus. Menzel Rapp Heredia (who won a Tony for his role) Diggs Martin and Pascal understand what it takes to make this story come alive and how to really belt out those songs. But the fact they are all mostly stage performers you get the feeling watching these talented thespians that they never stop wanting to give 110 percent which may come off over the top for the big screen. A seasoned film actor like Dawson (Sin City 25th Hour) is at an advantage. She understands the requisite subtleties of acting for the camera and gives a tour-de-force performance as Mimi all at once seductive sad and oh-so-tortured. Dawson is certainly one to look out for during this awards season. Wow director Chris Columbus sure is gutsy. Not only did he revive the long-stalled project from years in development limbo but he also had to live up to the high expectations of the Broadway show’s cultish fan base. Of course he isn’t a stranger to appeasing the masses having helmed the first two Harry Potter movies but ultimately with Rent Columbus turns out to be the wrong man for the job. The film is fairly static without much creative flair--and very long. Spike Lee was originally attached for the longest time. Imagine that film for a moment. Still to be fair to Columbus turning Rent into a movie is just plain difficult because it is NOT a cinematic story. It’s an opera--a good opera with lots of great pulse-pounding heart-wrenching songs but an opera nonetheless. Fans of the show or “Rent-Heads” as they are lovingly referred to should be happy with this big-screen version but once again I was left wishing I’d seen it on stage.