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Lovelace Review


Very Good

An unusual structure gives this biopic a surprising kick as it explores both sides of the porn industry: the glamour and the sleaze. Oscar-winning documentary filmmakers Epstein and Friedman (The Times of Harvey Milk) keep things so balanced that it sometimes feels a bit clinical, never letting us feel the intense emotions that gurgle throughout the story. But it's a strikingly well-made film with a terrific all-star cast.

It also cleverly looks like it was actually made in the early 1970s, the period in which it's set. This is when 21-year-old Linda Boreman (Seyfried) left the home of her harshly religious parents (Stone and Patrick) to live with her free-spirited boyfriend Chuck (Sarsgaard). By 1972 she was the most famous porn-star on earth, as the lead actress in the crossover adult movie Deep Throat. But the glamorous lifestyle covered a much darker reality: that the abusive Chuck forced her to make the film while selling her body to anyone willing to pay. And it took her several years to break free, tell her story and stand up against the industry that used her.

Cleverly, the film carefully lays out the male-dominated culture in the industry along with the jet-set high life before rewinding and showing us the gruesome underbelly. It's a bold gimmick that undermines the emotional momentum but forces us to examine our own perceptions. And it helps that the filmmakers recreate the period without much fussiness. Yes, there's a lot of big hair and groovy music, but it's never played for laughs. Everything centres on the characters, who are sharply well-played. Seyfried brings a terrific fragility to Linda, while Sarsgaard reveals Chuck's darkness in a complex way. The unrecognisable Stone is also excellent, while Patrick has the film's most moving moment.

Continue reading: Lovelace Review

Is Linda Lovelace's Complex Story Simply Unfilmable?


Amanda Seyfried Peter Sarsgaard James Franco

Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's biopic of porn actress Linda Lovelace has been in development for some time. It's no secret that before Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard came along, Kate Hudson was offered the role in 2011, with James Franco in talks to play Linda's husband Chuck Traynor.

Amanda Seyfried Peter SarsgaardPeter Sarsgaard [L] and Amanda Seyfried [R] In Lovelace

By November 2011, Epstein and Friedman began to sure up the cast, with the lead stars put in place and Sharon Stone, Juno Temple and West Bentley coming on-board. Franco ended up taking the role of Hugh Hefner.

Continue reading: Is Linda Lovelace's Complex Story Simply Unfilmable?

Sarah Jessica Parker On Fame, Family Life And Matthew Broderick


Sarah Jessica Parker Matthew Broderick Amanda Seyfried Sharon Stone Juno Temple Peter Sarsgaard

Sarah Jessica Parker, appearing as the cover girl for September's Harper's Bazaar, discusses her husband Matthew Broderick and their family life.

Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker at the premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the musical at Theatre Royal, London.

The 48-year-old actress commented on how life had changed for her and her husband. Despite the materialism we associate with Parker, primarily because of her role as Carrie in Sex and the City, she claims when she was starting out "the trappings" of fame were never a priority.

Continue reading: Sarah Jessica Parker On Fame, Family Life And Matthew Broderick

Oscars Alert: Cate Blanchett Gives Tour De Force Performance In 'Blue Jasmine'


Cate Blanchett Woody Allen Peter Sarsgaard

Cate Blanchett's latest film Blue Jasmine was released today (July 26th 2013) and has already received a flood of positive reviews.

The Aviator star portrayed the cold, haughty and formerly wealthy socialite Jasmine in the new Woody Allen drama which sees her lose everything from her high status to her husband as she is forced to move in with her sister and rebuild her life once more.

So far it has been a hit with critics with Rotten Tomatoes holding it at a more than reasonable 82% as reviews heap praise onto Oscar winning Cate. ''Blue Jasmine' showcases a brilliant, Oscar-worthy performance by Cate Blanchett as sort of a WASP version of Ruth Madoff', said the New York Post, while the Los Angeles Times praise Woody with: 'For all of 'Blue Jasmine's' darkness, the movie is among the filmmaker's most emotionally affecting.

Continue reading: Oscars Alert: Cate Blanchett Gives Tour De Force Performance In 'Blue Jasmine'

Amanda Seyfried On Taking 'The Riskiest Role In Hollywood'


Amanda Seyfried Peter Sarsgaard James Franco Rob Epstein

Amanda Seyfried, the 27-year-old actress who plays Deep Throat adult film star Linda Lovelace in Rob Epstein's new biopic, says she considered the role the 'riskiest' in Hollywood after first reading the script. Of course, the subject matter of 'Lovelace' will always raise eyebrows, but is the new movie co-starring Peter Sarsgaard and James Franco really that risqué?

Amanda SeyfriedAmanda Seyfried as 'Linda Lovelace' in Rob Epstein's Forthcomig Biopic

"I read the script and I was like, 'Wow, this is the riskiest thing that's happening [in Hollywood] right now,'" said Seyfried to Elle magazine this month. "The first thing you think about is that it could have ruined my career. At the same time, I was like, 'This is my chance to show them, to show the industry, to be recognized.'"

Continue reading: Amanda Seyfried On Taking 'The Riskiest Role In Hollywood'

Lovelace: First Look At Amanda Seyfried As Linda Lovelace [Trailer And Pictures]


Amanda Seyfried Linda Lovelace Peter Sarsgaard James Franco Hugh Hefner Robert Patrick Hank Azaria Chris Noth Adam Brody Chloe Sevigny Juno Temple

The first trailer for Rob Epstein and Jeffrey's Friedman's biopic of 1970's adult movie star Linda Lovelace has rolled out online. Lovelace, stars Les Miserables actress Amanda Seyfried in the lead role, with the excellent Peter Sarsgaard playing her sleazy and abusive husband Chuck Traynor.

LovelacePeter Sarsgaard [L] as Chuck Traynor and Amanda Seyfried [R] as Linda Lovelace

Though the movie is set in the nostalgic era of sideburns, flower dresses, flares and sexual exploration, 'Lovelace' is a grimy film about the 'Deep Throat' star who became a battered, broken woman at the hands of a monster of a man. 

Continue reading: Lovelace: First Look At Amanda Seyfried As Linda Lovelace [Trailer And Pictures]

Lovelace Trailer


Linda Lovelace was a hugely successful pornographic actress who hit global stardom with her 1972 hardcore film 'Deep Throat'. Although apparently happy, feisty and at ease on the surface, she suffered severe abuse and violence at the hands of her husband and manager Chuck Traynor who forced her into the sex industry at gunpoint; a stark contrast to her previous life, being well-known by her friends for keeping all her previous boyfriends at a good distance. While she apparently seemed to enjoy the highlife of national and international stardom, she made attempts to quit pornography to the anger of Traynor, who did everything he could to frighten her into submission. A vulnerable woman who spent her life being used, and who would go on to be a key figure in later anti-pornography movements.

Continue: Lovelace Trailer

Blue Jasmine Trailer


Jasmine is an aristocratic New York housewife whose luxurious lifestyle and marriage to the wealthy Hal has been snatched away from her leaving her with quite literally nothing but the clothes on her back. She is forced to fly to San Francisco to move in with her sister Ginger whose apartment is well below her usual standards, as is her boyfriend Chili who is equally as resentful of Jasmine. It doesn't take long before Jasmine starts to plummet emotionally and mentally and only just manages to keep herself sane with several handfuls of anti-depressants a day. In a bid to get her life back on track, she takes a job as a dental receptionist while pursuing a career in interior design. Suffering from a serious breakdown, things are looking dark for Jasmine's future, but do things begin to look up when she meets the sophisticated Dwight?

Continue: Blue Jasmine Trailer

Amanda Seyfried Wants Her 'Beautiful, Huge Breasts' Back!


Amanda Seyfried Juno Temple Ellen Degeneres Noah Baumbach Adam Driver Ben Stiller Greta Gerwig Naomi Watts James Franco Peter Sarsgaard

Les Miserables actress Amanda Seyfried says she lost her "beautiful, huge breasts" after moving to Hollywood to pursue a career in movies. The 27-year-old - who plays Linda Lovelace in a forthcoming biopic - called in on the Ellen Degeneres show this week to discuss her beginnings.

"I looked way better when I was 15. I had beautiful, huge breasts!" the actress explained, "And then I came to Hollywood and I was like I gotta lose weight. I gotta look thin. I gotta get fit. And I lost them a little bit." It seems she lost more than "a little bit," telling DeGeneres she was an D cup though that she doesn't miss them, "...because they were ... uncomfortable."

Despite her own decisions, Seyfried warned, "I was feminine. I had some nice curves. And I think we should appreciate that instead of trying to get rid of everything."

Continue reading: Amanda Seyfried Wants Her 'Beautiful, Huge Breasts' Back!

Robot & Frank Review


Very Good

A warm drama that drifts into light, goofy comedy, this film is too slight to be a classic, but its subtly sharp-edged script holds our interest and gives the cast something to work with. Frequently very funny, this is much more than just a story of an old man with a robotic sidekick, as it explores jagged family relationships and even features a lively caper subplot.

At the centre is Frank (Langella), who doesn't want to leave the rural home where he raised his now-adult children (Marsden and Tyler). Even as they have their own lives far away, they worry about him living alone, so his son buys him a robot assistant (voiced by Sarsgaard) whose only mission is to look after Frank's mental and physical health. Frank dismissively names it "Robot" and tries to ignore it until he realises that its prime directive allows it to help him secretly relaunch his cat-burgling career. His first target is to rescue the town library run by his old friend Jennifer (Sarandon), which is about to be turned into a high-tech social centre by a young businessman (Strong).

Director Shreier keeps the film's pace gentle, underplaying both the comedy and suspense while letting Langella indulge in an enjoyably grumpy scene-stealing performance. Frank may be losing his memory, but he is still sharp as a tack when it comes to planning a heist, especially with the help of Robot. And watching him build up the confidence to pursue Jennifer is enjoyable as well. Meanwhile, Sarsgaard nods to 2001's Hal in the way he invests Robot with deadpan humour and emotion. By comparison, none of the side characters has much to do since they haven't a clue about what Frank is up to.

Continue reading: Robot & Frank Review

10 Of Our Favourite Movie Robots


Star Wars Frank Langella Peter Sarsgaard Ben Burtt Elissa Knight Transformers Peter Cullen Anthony Daniels Kenny Baker Alan Rickman Kevin Spacey Sam Rockwell Alan Tudyk Will Smith RoboCop Jon Davison Peter Weller Brigitte Helm Futurama John Di Maggio Doctor Who Elisabeth Sladen Tom Baker Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator

What with Jake Schreier's upcoming movie 'Robot & Frank' scheduled for release in the UK on March 8th 2013 and talks of 'Star Wars: Episode VII' being in the making, we've put together a list of what we think are the best robots that we've ever seen on screen. This is with the exception of cyborgs, human-looking robots, cybernetic organisms and bots from TV programs because, let's face it, we'd be here forever.

Robot ('Robot & Frank')

Robot & Frank

Continue reading: 10 Of Our Favourite Movie Robots

Robot & Frank Trailer


Frank is former burglar suffering from increasingly worsening dementia. His lawyer son Hunter notices his condition deteriorating and decides to introduce him to a robot caretaker programmed to take care of him and assist him in his daily tasks such as gardening. He is at first extremely mistrustful of the machine but soon begins to become fond of it as it cannot tell the difference between legal and illegal actions. The pair decide to commit a huge jewellery heist to win the heart of the local librarian Jennifer's library which is about to close down. His daughter Madison, meanwhile, tries to persuade him to get rid of the robot due to her own uncertainties but Frank insists that it is his friend. However, with his dementia becoming worse and worse, there looks to be only so many things that the robot is able to help him with. 

This heartwarming comedy drama is set in the near future and has been directed by Jake Schreier in his feature film directorial debut and written by Christopher D. Ford ('The Scariest Show on Television', 'The Fuzz'). The robot it based on the Japanese humanoid creation called Asimo which was introduced in 2000. 'Robot & Frank' is set for release on March 8th 2013.

Director: Jake Schreier

Continue: Robot & Frank Trailer

In The Electric Mist Review


Excellent
French filmmaker Tavernier captures Louisiana with a remarkable eye. Even though the film meanders a bit, the skilful direction and camerawork combine with strong acting to create an engaging, insinuating thriller.

Dave (Jones) is a detective looking into the violent murder of a prostitute when movie star Elrod (Sarsgaard), filming nearby in a swamp, stumbles across the decades-old skeleton of a chained-up black man. In Dave's mind, the murders are linked, and as he questions a local mobster (Goodman), a partying investor (Beatty) and the film's director (Sayles), both cases get increasingly haunting. Dave also imagines that he sees a Confederate general (Helm) roaming the bayou around his house. And within this swirling mist, things start to make sense.

Continue reading: In The Electric Mist Review

Rendition Review


Good
About halfway through Gavin Hood's Rendition, Peter Sarsgaard's dweeby congressman's assistant approaches Meryl Streep's white witch of the CIA with enough huff-and-puff to blow down a Dairy Queen. The two ideological opposites go at it with crisp, cool reverie: He promises to send her a copy of the Constitution while she promises him that a copy of the 9/11 Report will be arrive in his mailbox posthaste. It's sloganeering at its finest and that's not the half of it.

CIA watchdog Corrine Whitman (Streep) sets up the titular protocol when evidence is uncovered against Chicago family man and chemical engineer Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally), Egyptian by birth. Whitman suspects that El-Ibrahimi had a hand in a recent bombing of an unnamed North African tea house; an attempt on the life of North African security head Fawal (Igal Naor). Fawal heads the "interrogation" with CIA analyst Douglas Freeman (Jake Gyllenhaal) there as counsel while they electrocute, drown, beat, and strangle Anwar to give up information on the attack.

Continue reading: Rendition Review

Shattered Glass Review


Very Good
The need to get the best story first has always been an inherent part of the news business. But when a journalist crosses the line into the realm of fictional the whole integrity of the news business is thrown out the window.

This is in essence what happened to The New Republic magazine in 1998 when a writer of theirs named Stephen Glass fabricated a story about a computer hacker to such an extent that nothing in it was true including - sorry to say - the allegation that the hacker left his mark with an appealingly humorous alliterative caption: "THE BIG BAD BIONIC BOY HAS BEEN HERE BABY." (This of course has been overshadowed by the recent Jayson Blair/New York Times scandal, which shook out nearly identically but with much greater fanfare earlier this year.)

Continue reading: Shattered Glass Review

Unconditional Love Review


Weak
Great googly moogly, what have these filmmakers and stars gotten themselves into with Unconditional Love?

In a plot that I can only describe as inspired-by-peyote, Kathy Bates decides to head to rural Britain for the funeral of a murdered pop star after hubby Dan Aykroyd abruptly dumps her. Dressed in sequins and seen mainly in Six Feet Under-like flashbacks/materializations, Jonathon Pryce plays the pop star. As it turns out, pop star is gay and has left his estate to his lover (Rupert Everett). Bates and Everett then take it upon themselves to hunt down the murderer. What follows includes both Barry Manilow and Sally Jessy Raphael.

Continue reading: Unconditional Love Review

Empire Review


Good
When you stop and think about it, the similarities between Italian mobsters and urban gangsters -- as filmmakers commonly portray them -- are really quite astounding. For every gold chain stuck in a mobster's chest hair, there seems to be a corresponding gold medallion slung around some gangster's neck. For every Cadillac, there's a Lincoln Navigator. In place of the Tommy gun, there's the Glock. It's a comparison that writer and director Franc Reyes is all too keen on making in his debut film, Empire.

Played by John Leguizamo, Victor Rosa is a Latino gangsta with all the ambition of a young Godfather and all the attitude of a taller Joe Pesci. He spends his days violently whacking errant drug dealers and monitoring the sales of his own designer "street pharmaceutical" not so subtly labeled Empire -- which is exactly what Vic thinks he's building in his little bit of the South Bronx. But when his girlfriend (Delilah Cotto) announces that she's pregnant, he thinks it might be time to go legit.

Continue reading: Empire Review

The Skeleton Key Review


Weak

A first-rate concept for a spine-tingling tale of voodoo, hoodoo and possible hauntings in the swampy Louisiana bayou, "The Skeleton Key" is rendered impotent by bland, generic execution.

The wannabe chiller stars Kate Hudson as a New Orleans hospice nurse named Caroline who takes a job at a remote, run-down plantation manor, looking after a mute and paralyzed elderly stroke victim (played with eerie, deceptive vacancy by John Hurt) in what will probably be his last weeks of life.

Caroline is selfish, snooping and disrespectful (having an unsympathetic heroine is another of the movie's problems), so soon she beings sticking her nose where it doesn't belong -- opening attic doors that have been locked for decades and digging into the house's history. Doing so raises the ire of her patient's bitterly old-fashioned and superstitious Southern wife (Gena Rowlands), but more importantly it puts the skeptical Caroline on a path toward believing in the ghosts of lynched former servants that the old lady claims haunt the place.

Continue reading: The Skeleton Key Review

Kinsey Review


Good

Writer-director Bill Condon has a talent for hitting just the right tone in his work. Whether he's paying stylistic homage to "Bride of Frankenstein" creator James Whale in "Gods and Monsters" or writing a screenplay for "Chicago" that re-envisioned the Broadway musical as a wannabe showgirl's uniquely cinematic daydream, Condon always finds a way to seamlessly marry the crux of his story to the strengths of his medium.

In "Kinsey," he legitimizes and revitalizes a rather tiresome narrative gimmick -- on-camera interviews with the characters. For a biopic about legendary sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, there could be no more apropos structure for the story. Kinsey himself interviewed thousands of Americans about their bedroom predilections in the 1940s and '50s to compile his groundbreaking, rather comprehensive and certainly controversial studies on the subject. So Condon opens the film in kind -- with a simple, head-on, black-and-white image of the bluntly matter-of-fact and obliviously awkward Professor Kinsey (Liam Neeson) being quizzed about his own background and sexual experience.

Composing the film around Kinsey's answers, Condon cues flashbacks of an upbringing under the fire-and-brimstone hand of a preacher father (John Lithgow), introduces the equally clinical-yet-passionate student who becomes his wife (Laura Linney), touches on the man's own pseudo-scientific dalliances and their promiscuous effect on his marriage, and sets the stage for the studies that helped launch the sexual revolution.

Continue reading: Kinsey Review

Empire Review


Weak

Any chance that "Empire" might be all that different from other drug- dealer- trying- to- go- straight movies is lost with the opening voice-over, in which heroin mini-kingpin Victor Rosa (John Leguizamo) rattles off a dozen street life clichés in 60 seconds, starting with the line, "Damn, if I'd known then what I know now! It's all about making money, baby."

Never mind that the plot includes the hero losing his shirt and his boss's drug money in a Wall Street scam perpetrated by a savvy, Caucasian, uptown con artist. That only serves to prove that Victor is a sucker, not that his story is any different from those of drug dealers depicted in scads of other movies from the last 15 years -- October's "Paid In Full" or 1994's "Sugar Hill," for example.

Universal Pictures even admits as much in the film's press kit, which compares it "in theme and execution" to a "list of urban gangster films" but goes on to trumpet the fact that "Empire" is the first time this recycled story "has been told from the point of view of a Latino character."

Continue reading: Empire Review

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Peter Sarsgaard Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Jackie Trailer

Jackie Trailer

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The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

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The Magnificent Seven Trailer

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Pawn Sacrifice - Featurette Trailer

Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber and Peter Sarsgaard talk about Bobby Fischer, the main inspiration and...

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Black Mass Trailer

Whitey Bulger has had the FBI under his thumb for too long, and now people...

Black Mass - Teaser Trailer

Black Mass - Teaser Trailer

Irish-American criminal mastermind Whitey Bulger was arguably one of the most dangerous men in America...

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Pawn Sacrifice Trailer

Sometimes, the greatest conflicts and clash with smaller and internal conflicts in a major way....

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Black Mass - First Look Trailer

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Night Moves Movie Review

Night Moves Movie Review

This may be a slow-burning thriller about eco-terrorists, but it's also directed by Kelly Reichardt...

Night Moves Trailer

Night Moves Trailer

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Blue Jasmine Movie Review

Blue Jasmine Movie Review

With a riveting performance, Cate Blanchett creates one of Woody Allen's most memorable movie characters...

Lovelace Movie Review

Lovelace Movie Review

An unusual structure gives this biopic a surprising kick as it explores both sides of...

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