Four years is too long between films, especially when the director concerned is Claire Denis. The French filmmaker, whose body of work reveals a stringent application of her creativity and moments that cross between the sublimely beautiful and the brutally transfixing, follows the likes of Beau Travail, Trouble Every Day, 35 Shots of Rum and most recently 2009's White Material with Bastards. It's the contemporary story of a container ship captain summoned to Paris by his sister, who claims that a powerful businessman's pressure has resulted in her husband's suicide, her daughter's institutionalisation and the bankruptcy of the family business. The aggrieved brother, Marco, vows to take revenge, moving into the same building as the enigmatic mistress of the tycoon, with whom he unexpectedly falls in love.
Denis has cast Vincent Lindon (Anything for Her, Welcome) as Marco, with Chiara Mastroianni (Persepolis) as his sister, Sandra. Others in the exceptional ensemble include Lola Creton (Goodbye First Love, Something in the Air) as Sandra's daughter and one of Denis' favourite actors, Michel Subor, who starred in Jean-Luc Godard's The Little Soldier 50 years ago and has been in numerous Denis works, appears to be playing Marco's adversary, Edouard Laporte. The film recently screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
Clarke becomes candy man
Stephen Gaghan, who won an Academy Award for writing Stephen Soderbergh's Traffic in 2000, hasn't directed a film since 2005's Syriana, an interwoven examination of energy politics and international machinations, but now he's bringing his dramatic conspiracies to Brooklyn with Candy Store. Australian Jason Clarke, who achieved international prominence in Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty, will play an American law enforcement official who discovers that the international crime organisation he once fought is now covertly based in his own city. Gaghan already has Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook) on board, and now he's added Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) as a crime boss nesting in the suburbs.
Marston sees double with remake
Joshua Marston, who distinguished himself with his 2004 debut Maria Full of Grace, is set to remake the 2009 Italian thriller The Double Hour. Guiseppe Capotondi's original work is about a chambermaid and an ex-cop who meet at a speed dating night and go away for the weekend as a romance develops, only to become caught up in a dangerous robbery. Marston's English-language version will team up another Australian actor who featured in Zero Dark Thirty, Joel Edgerton, with the often sublime Michelle Williams, who is broadening her purview having already been the best thing in Oz: The Great and Powerful.
Reese makes nice for Vice
Paul Thomas Anderson – rehabilitation officer? When Joaquin Phoenix needed to get his career back on track after the mockumentary disaster that was 2010's I'm Still Here, he placed himself in the hands of the director responsible for Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood, resulting in an extraordinary performance in last year's The Master. Now Reese Witherspoon, who unexpectedly got her mug shot taken recently after a night out with her husband ended in an embarrassing arrest, has taken a role in Anderson's next film (which stars Phoenix), an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's hippie-era detective novel Inherent Vice. Anderson, unlike the arresting officer, obviously knows who she is.