Robert and Craig here with the number 12 movie in the "We Can't Wait: Summer and Beyond" series
It's Kind of a Funny Story
Directed by: Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden
Starring: Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts, Lauren Graham, Viola Davis, Zoë Kravitz, Daniel London and Keir Gilchrist.
Synopsis: Based on Ned Vizzini's young-adult novel, the film follows 16-year-old Craig (Keir Gilchrist), stressed out and depressed from the demands of being a teenager, as he checks himself into a mental health clinic. There he learns that the youth ward is closed and finds himself put on the adult ward. One of the patients, Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), becomes Craig's mentor and at the same time he's also drawn to another patient, Noelle (Emma Roberts).
Brought to you by: producers Ben Browning and Kevin Misher (dist. through Focus Features)
Expected release date: November 2010
Craig: The most exciting thing about It's Kind of a Funny Story for me is that it's the new one from Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, who made Half Nelson and Sugar - both of which were two of best films (imo) in their respective years. I think they're two of the most exciting filmmakers working (together) in the US at the moment. And the cast looks good - really unexpected and interesting. I'm only familiar with Zach Galifianakis from The Hangover and Lauren Graham from Bad Santa, two rather broad comedies, so I'm intrigued to see what they do with more dramatic material. I haven't read the book, which I hear is quite acclaimed...
Robert: I agree that the selling point on this film for me is Fleck and Bodden who are still an under-appreciated part of that neo-neorealism indie film movement I keep hearing about. It's as if they're overlooked among the understated... ironic. The film's story fits in nicely with their oeuvre which involves young men trying to find their way in the world, often having to come to terms with their own ordinariness. Zach Galifianakis has decent recognition at the moment (even if he is just "that bearded dude from The Hangover"). Is it just wishful thinking to hope that his presence will help this film find some much-needed exposure?
Craig: Yeah, I think that Galifianakis being in it could be a stroke of commercial luck - he's recognisable, and has good comic timing (if it is a funny kind of story) - and he's kind of an unusual, though inspired choice. He'll hopefully get more folk in to see the film at least... but I guess Ryan Gosling and his Oscar nom went a fair way to get Half Nelson a fair amount of exposure. It depends how it all goes on its release. Whatever the cast though, I'm hoping Fleck and Boden won't sell out, as such, just because they have a guy from a really lucrative film in it - but they are great storytellers and deserve a bigger audience. I hope their handling of the smaller, though still relevant, issues doesn't fly under-the-radar in today's new Avatar-istic world... It seems that Fleck (with Boden) is kinda working in the space that someone like Hal Ashby (in thoughtful mode) or earlier Bob Rafelson left. Do you think we need more old school-style filmmaking like theirs?
Robert: I've never really thought of Fleck/Boden movies as old fashioned before. But I suppose they do have a welcome old-school character-based simplicity to them (especially when many indie movies are heavy on the quirky characters and stylish flourishes). I still suspect the Galifianakis bump is more wishful thinking than anything. Although, it should be interesting to see where the marketing takes this film. Hey, maybe Fleck and Boden have gained more of a following than I suspect. Their mere presence has certainly gotten us excited for this one.
Craig: I quite like the fact that they've sidestepped the quirky stuff so far, as there's plenty of others doing that anyway. I guess, currently, they're more akin to someone like Kelly Reichardt and co. more than the Mumblecore crowd. But yeah, I'm really anticipating what'll be in store for this one. Maybe it'll be their "breakout" hit - a third time lucky sorta thing.
So, is anybody kind of looking forward to it, or are you Flecking excited?
"We Can't Wait: Summer and Beyond"
The "orphan" picks Nathaniel (Burlesque), JA (Love and Other Drugs), Jose (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger), Craig (What's Wrong With Virginia?), Robert (True Grit) and Dave (Brighton Rock); Team Film Experience Countdown #12 It's Kind of a Funny Story, #11 Sex & the City 2, #10 Scott Pilgrim vs the World, #9 Somewhere, #8 The Kids Are All Right, #7 The Illusionist, #6 Toy Story 3, #5 Inception, #4 Rabbit Hole, #3 Never Let Me Go, #2 Black Swan and #1 The Tree of Life.