Monday, April 13, 2009

"Feel-good hit of the season" : US Dates

"Easy Virtue" continues to screen on all of its cinemas as it enters it 6th week in Australia. Excellent reviews, tremendous box office and great word of mouth have all buoyed the films cache as is now prepares to open in France (on May 6th), the US (May 22nd) and New Zealand (May 28th). [Advertisement from SMH, Saturday 11th April, 2009]

Prior to those release dates, there will advance festival screenings in the US. The Tribeca Film Festival - has invited 'Easy Virtue' to be a part of their 'Spotlight' section. It will have it's first American screening at 6pm on the 28th of April, (BMCC cinema) and again at 4.15pm the next day (at AV7-07) and 9.30pm on Friday the first of May (AV7-04).

Tribeca Film Festival: Program Notes say:
"Based on the Noel Coward play, Easy Virtue is reworked and revitalized in Stephan Elliott's (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) triumphant adaptation. Class-conscious Brits the Whittakers meet their son's (Ben Barnes) gorgeous and scandalous bride, Larita (Jessica Biel) with hesitation and subsequent disgust. She is a wily American race car driver with all the flair of a young Dietrich, but her carefree and liberal attitude does not go over well with the in-laws' old-world values and stuffy traditions. Larita's biggest naysayer is Mrs. Whittaker, wickedly played by Kristin Scott Thomas. Her husband (Colin Firth) is the offbeat recluse of the bunch, who adds wonderful comedic relief in tense moments. As the mother-in-law and new world daughter duke it out in hilarious fashion over the course of the couple's stay, we can't help but cheer on the shake-up.

"Elliott sticks to the heart of the Coward play by digging into the hypocrisy of priggish aristocrats refusing to roll with the times, and he and fellow screenwriter Sheridan Jobbins inject each scene with delightfully witty dialogue. Easy Virtue mesmerizes and tickles with great performances and good old-fashioned laughs. A Sony Pictures Classics presentation.
--written by Genna Terranova"

The film has also been invited to the San Francisco International Film Festival, screening at 6pm on Wednesday 6th of May, Thursday afternoon, 7th of May.

Their review of the film says: "The director of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert returns after a nine-year absence with this randy update of the classic Noel Coward Jazz-Age play, giving it a jaunty 21st-century swing while retaining all its original barbs and charms. It’s the mid-1920s in stuffy old England, and the snobbish family of wealthy trophy-boy John Whittaker wouldn’t mind if time stood still forever. Imagine their consternation, then, when John brings home impromptu new bride Larita (Jessica Biel), who’s not only a modern woman with modern charms (and legs), but is also a successful auto racer (gasp!) and an American (even bigger gasp!). While John’s lackadaisical father (Colin Firth, perpetually perched between slumber and scruff) doesn’t seem to mind Larita’s presence, his overbearing mother (an icily regal Kristin Scott Thomas) certainly does, and soon a battle of wits and wills rattles through the family’s crumbling estate, as two strong women—one of the past, the other of the present—battle for the future. Director Stephan Elliot infuses the play’s already toxic social commentary with some unexpectedly modern fashions and pop hits (“Sex Bomb,” “Carwash,” etc.), but his wisest decision is to just let his cast loose on Coward’s notoriously cutting dialogue. All barbed-wire niceties and ice-water kisses, Thomas embodies a social scion of a very certain class, while Firth counters her chill with a dishevelled warmth all his own. It’s Jessica Biel, however, who delivers the truly astonishing performance, her bohemian beauty polished by a spirited, razor-sharp wit."