In Whatever Works, out on DVD this week, Patricia Clarkson plays Marietta, mother to the 21-year-old Melodie (Evan Rachel Wood) who marries the curmudgeonly Boris (Larry David). Clarkson's character comes to New York intent on ending her daughter's marriage ... and then makes a radical lifestyle change.
Whatever Works is Clarkson's second appearance in a Woody Allen movie, having played an unhappily married housewife in 2008's Vicky Cristina Barcelona. On the next Secret's Out, Clarkson talks with Leonard Maltin about how she got started working with Allen.
Tune in for the Secret's Out premiere on Friday, December 11, at 6:30 PM ET/ 3:30 PM PT. Or catch one of its encore showings. Posted 12.11.09 by reelz
|Title ||Weekend ||Total ||Analysis |
|The Proposal ||$34.1M ||$34.1M ||Chick flick prevents dude movie The Hangover from three-peat. |
|The Hangover ||$26.9M ||$152.9M ||Movie cost just $35M to make. |
|Up ||$21.3M ||$224.1M ||Will likely pass Star Trek next week as year's biggest box-office draw. |
|Year One ||$20.2M ||$20.2M ||Opens in same, dismal ballpark as disappointing Land of the Lost. Remember that movie? |
|The Taking of Pelham 123 ||$11.3M ||$43.3M ||123 #5 in second week and fading fast. |
Bomb of the Week: A fourth-place finish for the widely released Year One makes it this week's BotW, but on a much-less destructive scale than Imagine That. This week's anti-bomb is Woody Allen's Whatever Works, which averaged an astounding $31K per screen in spite of lukewarm reviews. Posted 06.21.09 by reelz
In an extensive interview with NPR, Woody Allen talks about his latest comedy, Whatever Works, and gets existential about his relationship to the characters in his movies. In his own view, things are not quite as close as they might appear.
The curmudgeonly worldview adopted by his latest lead, Boris (Larry David), is illustrated at the beginning of the interview with an audio clip from Whatever Works. Boris explains to an outraged mother that he didn't throw a chess set at her son:
That idiot's your son? Do me a favor. Don't send that cretin to me any more. I can't teach an empty-headed zombie chess.... I didn't throw it at him. I picked up the board and dumped the pieces on his head as an object lesson to shake him out of his vegetable torpor.... Your son's an imbecile. Teach him tiddlywinks, not chess.
Funny and over-the top. In other words, classic Allen. But the director insists that he isn't nearly as misanthropic or as arrogant as Boris, a part that he originally envisioned for Zero Mostel. The characters he's felt comfortable playing, himself, are a lot more self-depricating.
Nonetheless, his basic philosophy ends up just as bleak. As Boris sums up his view near the beginning of the movie: "Life is short, so take what little pleasure where you can get in this chamber of horrors." It's an attitude that has recurred again and again in Allen's movies. Allen takes up the theme at a more personal level too, explaining that for him "making a movie is a great distraction from the real agonies of the world." The ultimate solution, for both his character and himself, seems to be to spice things up with a little humor and "whatever works." Posted 06.16.09 by reelz
No, don't worry; it's highly unlikely that Seinfeld co-creator and Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David will be popping up in any superhero films anytime soon. Still, that didn't stop MTV's Eric Ditzian from asking David about it in a recent interview:
Ha, Ha, Ha! Pardon me, that's very funny! That's the biggest laugh I've had in a while. The Riddler. I'll consider that, yeah.
David's upcoming movie, Whatever Works, is his third film with acclaimed director Woody Allen, though his first in the starring role. Posted 06.14.09 by BrentJS
Early in his career, Woody Allen famously cast himself as the male lead in his movies, making a name for himself as an actor in Bananas, Annie Hall, Manhattan, and many others. As he grew older, Allen kept the neurotic persona but has occasionally charged other actors with the role, including John Cusack, Will Ferrell, and Jason Biggs.
For his upcoming release Whatever Works, Allen has once again thrown the role onto someone else, casting Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David as the lead. While it was a bit of a stretch for someone like Ferrell to take up Allen's mantle, with just a little digging it's clear that this role won't be too difficult for David. In fact, their similarities are pretty stunning. SeeWhatever Works: Woody Allen Casts His Twin. Posted 06.08.09 by reelz
Whatever Works is in many ways a throwback to earlier eras, according to an in-depth feature on the movie in New York magazine. Not too surprising given that Woody Allen first penned the script, and then shelved it, way back in the 1970s. It is of the same era as his New York classics Manhattan and Annie Hall and might well be considered, this article suggests, the missing movie from that period.
Both the return to filming in New York and the resurrection of the script just now were a bit of an accident, Allen tells the magazine. The threat of a summer-long actors strike (which never materialized) pushed him to start working on a new movie three months earlier than anticipated. So he started with where he was and what was ready to hand.
Allen isn't so sure that the film is bringing back some kind of lost Jewish humor, though:
You know, it's funny. I have a blind spot there. Because I wouldn't see what I do as Jewish humor. I would see it as funny if you think it's funny, or not if you don't. But I never think of it as Jewish in any way. Now, as I say, this is a blind spot. Because you and other people might feel differently.
And some clearly do. The rest of the article is an interesting and informative exercise in trying to prove the director wrong about this particular aspect of his own work -- the writer can't be faulted for his lack of chutzpah, in any case. Posted 05.26.09 by reelz
It just wouldn't be a Woody Allen movie if the lead character didn't have a few phobias.
Although Allen isn't playing neurotic, himself, in Whatever Works, Boris Yellnikoff (Larry David) displays plenty of phobias of his own, along with some rather eccentric -- and obsessive -- ideas about what might work as protection.
In a new compilation clip, we're treated to a series of funny scenes in which he puts his "happy birthday" mantra and ritual hand washing to work in the battle to ward off germs. Posted 05.20.09 by reelz
Evan Rachel Wood is turning a lot of heads lately. She plays a woman who gets caught up in a quirky May-December romantic entanglement with the much older Larry David in Woody Allen's Whatever Works. The parallels between this and the director's own scandalous past are obvious.
But age gaps are hardly new ground for the 21-year-old Wood either, who's rumored to be involved with 56-year-old Mickey Rourke, according to one source, and considering getting back together with 40-year-old rocker Marilyn Manson, according to another. To top it off, she's slated to guest star as the 500-year-old Queen of Louisiana on HBO's True Blood.
And in the May issue of GQ, she gets even more exposure, posing in lingerie and tied up in a chair, as she discusses what it was like working with Woody Allen. The experience was, she says, "nerve-racking," because he didn't audition her and gave her almost no direction. He just decided she was perfect for the part and let her do whatever she wanted.
What role her Lolita rep had in all of this is anyone's guess, but from the photos in GQ, it is evident that it's an association she's not running away from. Posted 05.14.09 by reelz
"This is not the feel good movie of the year," says the curmudgeonly Boris Yellnikoff (Larry David) early on in the new trailer for Woody Allen's Whatever Works. Indeed it isn't. It is chock full of clever one-liners though -- and an extra helping of irony.
At its center is the romantic entanglement between the 60-something New Yorker Boris and a cheerfully naive 21-year-old girl from the south (Evan Rachel Wood), an unlikely pairing that mirrors Allen's own scandalous relationship with Mia Farrow's adoptive daughter. Not so surprising perhaps, except for the fact that Allen penned the script for the movie more than 30 years ago, long before the scandal -- so long ago, in fact, that he originally had the late Zero Mostel in mind for the role of Boris.
From what we can see in the trailer, it does seem like classic Allen though, with his philosophy of life front and center: praying for forgiveness does you no good, so you might as well try whatever works. And enjoy the laughs along the way. Posted 05.09.09 by reelz