Saturday, April 10, 2010

We Can't Wait #12: It's Kind of a Funny Story

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?

Ryan Fleck and Anne Boden

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.


Volvagia said...

Yes! Loved Half Nelson, want to see Sugar. I just hope the tens won't lead into an equivalent of Ashby's 80s for Boden and Fleck.

Michael B. said...

I've been saying it for the past couple of weeks, this could be Emma Roberts "make" year.

She already had a hit with Valentine's Day but with pretty big supporting roles in It's Kind of A Funny Story and What's Wrong With Virginia? I feel that she will be noticed, even if it isn't with an Oscar nom.

Krauthammer said...

Yeah, I'm definitely looking forward to this one. After seeing Sugar last month Fleck & Boden instantly jumped into my "filmmakers to see everything by" club. It's signifigantly more powerful than Half Nelson (and I liked Half Nelson a lot), their films have such subtle tones to them.

And Galifniakis being a part of it is just an added bonus. Even though I found The Hangover fairly humorless, Galifinakis is the funniest stand up working today to these eyes and ears.

Deus Ex Machina said...

Two "we can't wait" movies starring Emma Roberts? I think she's gonna be the next Jul... err, nevermind.

mrripely said...

Are they jewish!!!

Andrew R. said...

The book is very funny. I can't wait.

It could be an Oscar contender, it has a sense of humor that reminds me of Reitman, especially Juno.

Lfinley said...

You know I love it when a movie has a diverse cast like this. Were you see actor's worling with someone you never thought they would be. Movie's like This, You will meet a tall dark stranger, etc

Arkaan said...

I own the book, which is quite good, and I think this team is a left field but strong choice. Needs a strong performance from the leading actor to work, though.

Agustin said...

This looks promising
Keir Gilchrist is awesome in US of Tara
great cast

Joe Reid said...

Yeah, Kier Gilchrist is my #1 reason to see this, Boden/Fleck #2. He's the lead kid, right? He's fantastic in United States of Tara.

Readingjunky said...

The book is excellent, and from what I'm hearing about these directors, it will hopefully be a hit.

Congrats to author, Ned Vizzini!


Brad @ IceCreamUScream said...

I'm super pumped. So pumped I wrote a song based on the book. Last track at this link: