Movies

Julia Roberts was 'freezing' on set of 'Ben Is Back'. Julia Roberts. Big star. "Ben Is Back." Small indie. She plays the mother of a druggie. He's It boy Lucas Hedges. She liked him. She liked the script. Roberts: "Almost everyone knows someone who's addicted to something. Addiction is today's epidemic. That's why I wanted to do this movie. "It takes place over one day. You see the microcosm of the whole problem of this disease through the actions of one son who will do anything to get what he needs. There's his desperation to try and go straight, and my character, as a mom, to help him get there." Indie movies don't have fake sets. This is real upstate New York. When everyone looks cold, they're not acting. "Making this, we were freezing. I mean, really cold. You didn't want to be outside more than a few minutes at a time. I thought I was used to the cold, having lived here before. But we all turned to stone making this thing." A warm reception for this will shut everyone up. (PageSix)

Shaun the Sheep Goes Sci-Fi in Aardman's First 'Farmageddon' Trailer. Strange things are afoot in the Mossy Bottom Farm. It's close encounters of the herd kind in the first teaser for Shaun the Sheep's new movie. Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon continues the production partnership between British animation powerhouse Aardman and StudioCanal and sees strange lights that appear over the quiet country town of Mossingham herald the arrival of a mystery visitor from far across the galaxy. But at nearby Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun has other things on his mind, as his mischievous schemes are continually thwarted by an exasperated Bitzer. The film, which follows the $106 million success of the original Shaun the Sheep Movie in 2015, is directed by Richard Phelan and Will Becher, written by Jon Brown and Mark Burton, produced by Paul Kewley with executive producers Mark Burton and Richard Starzak, Peter Lord, Nick Park and David Sproxton. Lionsgate is releasing Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon domestically in 2019/2020, while StudioCanal is releasing in its territories of Germany, France, U.K. and Australia/New Zealand from September 2019. The film will be first feature released by Aardman since the company's founders Lord and Sproxton made the landmark decision last month to hand over ownership to its employees. The studio is also working on a sequel to its 2001 hit Chicken Run, still the most successful stop-motion animation of all time. (Hollywood Reporter)

Juliette Binoche Named Berlin Festival Jury President for 2019 The Oscar-winning French actress, a Berlinale regular, will head the 69th Berlin International Jury. The French actress and Oscar winner Juliette Binoche will serve as president of the International Jury for the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival, Berlin announced Tuesday. "I'm very pleased that Juliette is president of the 2019 International Jury. The festival shares a strong connection with her, and I'm very happy that she'll be returning to the festival in this distinguished position," said Berlin Festival director Dieter Kosslick. Binoche, in a statement, thanked "Dear Dieter" for the "tremendous honor" of being asked to head the jury for what will be Kosslick's last Berlin as festival director. "It means the world to me!" she said. "I'm looking forward to this special rendez-vous with the entire jury and will embrace my task with joy and care." At least since her international breakthrough in Philip Kaufman's The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), Binoche has been a star on both the U.S. and European film scenes. She was the first actress to be honored at all three top European festivals, winning the Coppa Volpi in Venice in 1993 for her role in Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors: Blue, the Silver Bear (and best supporting actress Oscar) for The English Patient in 1996 and Cannes's best actress honor in 2010 for Certified Copy. Binoche has been a regular in U.S. independent productions, including alongside Johnny Depp in Chocolat (2000), a role which earned her a second Oscar nomination, and together with Steve Carell in Dan in Real Life in 2007. But she has continued to work in Europe, where she made her cinematic debut in 1983 in Pascal Kane's Liberty Belle. In her carrer, Binoche as worked with some of Europe's acclaimed directors including Jean-Luc Godard (1984's Hail Mary); Andre Techine (Rendez-vous in 1985), Leos Carax (The Night is Young, Lovers on the Bridge) and Michael Haneke (Cache). Binoche's last appeared in Berlin in 2015's opening night film Endless Night from Isabel Coixet. She most recently starred in Claire Denis's sci-fi drama High-Life and Non-Fiction from director Olivier Assayas. The 2019 Berlin International Film Festival kicks off Feb. 7, 2019 with the New York-set drama The Kindness of Strangers from Danish director Lone Scherfig starring Zoe Kazan, Tahar Rahim, Andrea Riseborough, Caleb Landry Jones, Jay Baruchel and Bill Nighy. The 69th Berlinale runs through Feb. 17, 2019. (Hollywood Reporter)

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