Sony Pictures Classics today debuted a new trailer for Carnage, Roman Polanski's adaptation of Yasmina Reza's acclaimed play God of Carnage. The film, which stars Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, and John C. Reilly, pits two affluent couples against each other in a game of verbal warfare over an alleged playground confrontation involving their children:
Carnage opens December 16, 2011. Read our thoughts on the movie from the New York Film Festival.
Source: Yahoo! Movies
Kate Winslet most recently starred in the virus comedy Contagion. Click on the image below for our gallery of the winsome actress:
There's an inherent risk when adapting a play to screen, no matter how many Tonys it racked up on Broadway. Movies rely on "show, don't tell" cinematic techniques, while theatrical productions are all about the language. Even if it's top-notch writing, a play adaptation that feels too talky, too staged, can rub even the biggest theater lovers the wrong way.
So is the conundrum of the new film, Carnage, based on the award-winning play God of Carnage.
The film, set entirely in a Brooklyn apartment, paints a portrait of flaring emotions between two parent couples: The repressed Nancy (Kate Winslet) and her manic businessman husband Alan (Christoph Waltz) vs. the laid back shlub Michael (John C. Reilly) and his type-A wife Penelope (Jodie Foster). The warring duos are pitted against one another after Nancy and Alan's son smacks Michael and Penelope's son in the mouth with a stick. Unfortunately, the request for apologies opens a Pandora's Box filled with vehemence and philosophical debate. A few cocktails and no thoughts go unspoken.
The film was translated to screen by playwright Yasmina Reza and director Roman Polanski (Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby, The Ghost Writer) and their work appears faithful. Carnage is a 90 minute roller coaster—sharp dialogue zipping us up and down the emotional spectrum as the couples unwind and explode. Each character has their own cadence (Foster's Penelope moves and talks like a twitching chipmunk, while Waltz employs a slower, condescending swagger), but hushed moments are few and far between. Everyone wants the last word.
Committing to a heightened reality leaves Carnage feeling like a theatrical affair (which turned off many of the New York Film Festival-goers), but Polanski and his quartet of talented thespians work magic with the material. Foster's always been an understated actress and watching her come alive is a delight. She makes the smallest details—like opening and closing a refrigerator door—mean something. In a claustrophobic space, that's key. Reilly finds a balance between his dramatic films (Magnolia, The Hours) and his comedies (Talladega Nights, Step Brothers) and crafts the perfect pitiful putz. Waltz steals the show, radiating a complete distaste for the situation around him by bouncing back and forth between his cell phone and the real world. He knows he's a douchebag. He loves that he's a douchebag. Winslet is strong, but feels the least involved—that is, until she projectile vomits across the room and becomes completely unhinged.
Watching the quartet shout, glare, run around the apartment and face-off against one another is like watching a visceral dance. Polanski turns the boxed-in set into an obstacle course, gliding along with the actors as they move throughout the house and selecting anxiety-ridden shots to elevate the couples' argument. The cinematics escalate as the throw-down does, keeping shots simple and composed as the couples meet, then relying on near-Hitchcock style when heads start spinning.
After the screening of the film, many of the audience members around me asked, "why was that a movie?" Yes, Carnage is stagey, and that can be an obvious turn-off. But to that complaint I retort: Does every movie have to be like a movie? The film's theatrics are what make it unique, and watching stellar actors like Foster, Winslet, Reilly and Waltz engage each other with unadulterated acting is an exhilarating experience.
That's why it's a movie.
Read our previous New York Film Festival coverage:
Kirsten Dunst Proves Her Range in Melancholia
The filmmaker snubbed an invite to attend the world premiere of his project at the prestigious Italian event, but his absence had little affect on the media's rousing reaction to the film, which is based on the hit Broadway play God of Carnage.
The big-screen adaptation stars Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz as two sets of parents who meet up after their kids brawl at school - and their performances have been well-received by film critics.
The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy writes, "Roman Polanski's mastery of films within small spaces is evident in his adaptation of the Yasmina Reza play."
Meanwhile, a writer for Britain's The Telegraph newspaper brands Carnage "well-acted and giddily enjoyable", while the Associated Press reporter notes the comedy drew "rounds of applause and riotous laughter" at the early screening.
Winslet, Reilly and Waltz were all on hand to celebrate the big premiere on Thursday afternoon, while Polanski and Foster were notable absences.
Polanski's decision to stay away is said to stem from the legal battle which ensued after he was arrested at the Zurich Film Festival in Switzerland in 2009. He subsequently fought extradition to the U.S. to face court proceedings linked to a 1977 sex case.
Polanski was allowed to walk free following several months of jail time and house arrest at his Swiss chalet after the extradition bid fell apart.
Director Roman Polanski's forthcoming film Carnage has been selected to open the New York Film Festival this September (11). The movie, an adaptation of Yasmina Reza's Tony Award-winning play, stars Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly as two bickering couples.
The production closed on Sunday (29May11) after eight weeks, grossing over $7.5 million (£4.7 million). Almost 98,000 theatre fans saw the Yasmina Reza play, which also featured Jeff Daniels and Hope Davis.
The production picked up the Best Play Tony Award in 2009 when Gandolfini, Harden, Daniels and Davis starred in the show on Broadway.
The Ahmanson's previous top-grossing play was The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, which starred Lily Tomlin. That production earned $3.7 million (£2.3 million) for an eight-week run in the 2002-03 season, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The four original stars of the Yasmina Reza comedy, about about two warring couples, will reunite for a six-week run at the Ahmanson Theatre this spring (11).
The last production won each actor a Tony nomination in 2009, and Harden took home the Best Actress honour.
Producers have announced the original cast will resume their roles alongside director Matthew Warchus.
The resurrected play is scheduled to run from 5 April to 15 May (11).
Roman Polanksi has been attached to direct a film adaptation of the award winning Yasmina Reza's play since earlier this summer. Now word has finally dropped on who the four leads will be. We have Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, and, wait, is this right? Matt Dillon? What?
The world’s favorite babysitter Polanski has assembled quite an award winning cast for the movie, even Dillon! Waltz recently gained international acclaim for his role in Inglourious Basterds and Winslet scored gold in The Reader. Foster has most recently been working behind the scenes (and in front of camera's on her yet-to-be-released The Beaver, thanks Mel) though she has two Academy Awards for Silence of the Lambs and The Accused. Dillon won an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain for his work in There’s Something About Mary, so he’s got that going for him...
God of Carnage tells the story of two couples who come together one afternoon after their sons have been involved in a school yard fight. Things slowly start to deteriorate and soon the whole thing dissolves into beautiful chaos. Set in a pristine living room, the whole thing is trashed by the end of the show. The transition to film should be interesting. The play takes place in a single room during a single conversation, no word on whether the world we be expanded or if it will stick close with the source material.
Despite having such a stellar cast, the film will nevertheless be heavily scrutinized. Besides Polanski’s little problem back in the US (which forces the movie to be filmed in France even though it’s set in Brooklyn), Foster has recently been under fire for defending Gibson after his tirade against his former girlfriend. And Dillon’s brother Kevin appears in Entourage, which, let’s be honest, is about as bad as anything.
The Rosemary's Baby filmmaker regained his freedom on Monday (12Jul10) after Swiss officials turned down U.S. prosecutors' request to extradite him to be punished for a 33-year-old child sex case.
They had demanded the filmmaker be sent back to the States to face sentencing for having sex with a 13-year-old girl at a Hollywood party in 1977. He pleaded guilty to the offence but fled to Europe in 1978.
The U.S. extradition request was denied because Swiss authorities could not rule out the possibility that there was a "fault" in the case.
Polanski has been working with God of Carnage playwright Yasmina Reza since 2009 to adapt the play for film and she reveals they completed the script while he was under house arrest in Gstaad.
According to Reza, the story location for the movie will be changed and set in New York, although Polanski plans to recreate the streets of Brooklyn in Europe.
Reza tells AFP, "The shoot is planned in early 2011. The location has not yet been chosen, but since Roman only has the right to go to Poland, Switzerland and France, there is a good chance the shoot will be close-by.
"We had already talked about it before his arrest. The real work started when he was under house arrest in his chalet in Gstaad, where I went several times.
"We wrote the script of the film together. Then when we had finished, we gave it to someone to translate, because the action of the play will be transferred to Brooklyn and the film will be made in English."
God of Carnage has also been turned into a hit Broadway show and was named Best Play at the 2009 Tony Awards.
The pair will again share the stage alongside Hope Davis and Marcia Gay Harden when the Yasmina Reza play resumes on Tuesday (08Sep09) after a brief summer hiatus.
Gandolfini was forced to scrap a preview of the show on doctors' orders to rest his voice in March (09) - and Daniels is anxious his celebrity co-stars will fall ill before the cast takes its final bow.
He tells the New York Daily News, “I’m old school. I don’t have any patience... There’s a responsibility to show up, even more with us (four) to do the show no matter what.”
Billy Elliot, The Musical is leading the way at this year's Tony Awards after scooping 15 nominations -- tying with The Producers for the most nominations ever garnered by one show.
Click here for full coverage of the Tonys and all things Broadway!
The production, based on the 2000 film about a coal miner's son who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer, will go up against Next To Normal, Shrek The Musical and Rock of Ages in the coveted Best Musical category at the 63rd annual ceremony, which honors the best on Broadway.
Elton John, who has been nominated for the show's original score, says of the nomination: "It's been an amazing experience. It's made an incredible impact on my life."
The drama 33 Variations was nominated for Best Play, competing against God of Carnage, Dividing the Estate and Reasons to be Pretty.
Meanwhile, Hollywood actors James Gandolfini and Jeff Daniels, who both star in God of Carnage, have been pitted against each other for the Leading Actor in a Play award.
Their co-stars Marcia Gay Harden and Hope Davis will battle it out in the Leading Actress in a Play category, which also includes veteran actress Jane Fonda for her role as a dying musicologist in 33 Variations.
The winners will be announced on June 7 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
The main list of nominees is as follows:
Dividing the Estate - Horton Foote
God of Carnage - Yasmina Reza
Reasons to be Pretty - Neil LaBute
33 Variations - Moises Kaufman
Next to Normal
Rock of Ages
Shrek the Musical
Leading Actor in a Play:
Jeff Daniels - God of Carnage
Raul Esparza - Speed-the-Plow
James Gandolfini - God of Carnage
Geoffrey Rush - Exit the King
Thomas Sadoski - Reasons to be Pretty
Leading Actress in a Play:
Hope Davis - God of Carnage
Jane Fonda - 33 Variations
Marcia Gay Harden - God of Carnage
Janet McTeer - Mary Stuart
Harriet Walter - Mary Stuart
Leading Actor in a Musical:
David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish - Billy Elliot
Gavin Creel - Hair
Brian d'Arcy James - Shrek the Musical
Constantine Maroulis - Rock of Ages
J. Robert Spencer - Next to Normal
Leading Actress in a Musical:
Stockard Channing - Pal Joey
Sutton Foster - Shrek the Musical
Allison Janney - 9 to 5
Alice Ripley - Next to Normal
Josefina Scaglione - West Side Story
Next to Normal
9 to 5
Shrek the Musical
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