2012 Jan 27

Kate Winslet and Catherine Keener join Charlie Kaufman’s “Frank Or Francis”

Kate Winslet and Catherine Keener, two brilliant actresses who have done Oscar-nominated work when handed a Charlie Kaufman script, have just attached their names to another. Vulture reports that they have been added to the already impressive cast of Kaufman’s Frank Or Francis, a musical comedy that reportedly hacks away at the movie blogging industry with gusto.

Adding either of those two to any project would get me excited, but adding both to a Kaufman production has me gasping for air. Winslet, of course, earned her nominations for playing Jim Carrey’s elusive soulmate in Kaufman’s Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. Keener, meanwhile, played meta games with John Cusack and a frumpy Cameron Diaz for the brilliant Being John Malkovich.

This reportedly is going to get even more “inner monologue” with Kaufman’s latest, which stars Steve Carell as a Hollywood director who grows obsessed with the movie blogger (Jack Black) who continues to write nasty things about him on a message board. Taking aim at the Academy Awards and the whole Oscar race, Frank Or Francis reportedly has Adaptation star Nicolas Cage playing the host of an Oscar-type event and Kevin Kline in a supporting role.

So it’s a refreshing mix of those with Kaufman experience and some newcomers. Doesn’t matter. Remember how brilliant Meryl Streep (Adaptation), Chris Cooper (ditto), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Synecdoche, NY) and Carrey were when handed Kaufman’s twisty prose? I already couldn’t wait for Frank, mainly because I’m a self-centered, egotistical movie journalist who’s eager for Kaufman to take my industry down a few pegs. But with this cast? Frank Or Francis honestly can’t get here quick enough.

Source: Cinema Blend

It might be too risky to say that Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind is the key reason why the world loves Kate Winslet, simply because she has performed so phenomenally in so many other well-crafted films. But her gig as the emotionally erratic Clementine in the 2004 fantastical romantic comedy/drama, written by the genius Charlie Kaufman, certainly plays a role in the public’s lasting adoration of the actress. Catherine Keener is another actress whose impressive career is speckled with Kaufman-scripted highlights, including Being John Malkovich and Synecdoche, New York (the latter being the writer’s directorial debut). Both Winslet and Keener are reviving the Kaufmania in the screenwriter’s second stab at directing: Frank Or Francis.

Winslet and Keener are joining a cast that includes stars Steve Carell, Jack Black, Nicolas Cage (himself a Kaufman returnee as well; Adaptation is arguably Cage’s best role to date) and two Kevin Klines — one playing a human, one playing a computer. May that be the first of many eyebrow raisers that you embrace with excitement as you run through the summary of Kaufman’s out-of-its-own-mind Frank Or Francis.

The story, serving as a critique of sorts on entertainment bloggers (we’re beyond flattered to be part of your spectrum, CK), will place Carell in the Frank role as film director Frank Arder, who takes tremendous issue with the critical comments about his work in an online message board occupied by the socially inept genius blogger, Francis (played by Black). We’re not exactly sure what roles Winslet and Keener will take on, nor how the rest of the characters fit in just yet: Cage plays washed-up comedian/actor Alan Modell who serves as the host of the Academy Awards in the film, and Kline, as “explained” above, operates as both the brother of a successful (but not Oscar-successful) director and as a disembodied head in a computer that writes screenplays. Are your eyebrows still raised? Well, keep ’em up there. The film is a musical.

This is genius-level crazy. Kaufman’s scripts have always been odd—unhappy puppeteer finds a portal into the head of actor John Malkovich, two incompatable lovers erase one another from their memories via a special operation, the host of The Gong Show is actually a CIA agent, a guy puts on a play about himself putting on a play about himself putting on a play (and so on), Nic Cage writes a movie — but this is a whole new level. A level for which I could not possibly be more excited.

Source: Vulture

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