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Actors Go Behind The Camera

The Hottest StateThe Hottest State 

Wednesday, August 22--------Oscar nominated actor Ethan Hawke and fellow thespian Justin Theroux are two of the latest actors  who have gone behind the cameras for their latest films. Hawke has adapted his own novel THE HOTTEST STATE for a wide screen version that had its world premiere at last year's Venice Film Festival. The film stars Mark Webber as a New York city actor (originally from Texas) who falls desperately in love with a singer (played by Oscar nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno, who was recognized for her outstanding performance in MARIA FULL OF GRACE). When things become complicated, she calls things off, plunging their coterie of friends and family into turmoil.

The film, written and directed by Ethan Hawke and riffing on his 1997 autobiographical novel, illuminates the indie-bohemian persona of Hawke's coterie of actor/artist friends in New York. As he did with his debut directorial effort, CHELSEA WALLS (set inside the halls of the famously decadent Chelsea Hotel, Hawke knows the byways of this bohemian lifestyle and brings a New York grit and post-911 sensibility to the proceedings.  The director's use of literary and visual flourishes make the narrative a little less ordinary, with Hawke himself appearing in lyrical flashbacks as the young actor's absentee father. The film taps into fiery emotions. when the initial euphoria of lust and love is soon replaced by bitterness, anger, and confusion. The handsome cast, which includes Oscar nominees Laura Linney, Sonia Braga and Michelle Williams, is directed with a knowing hand by an experienced actor who was recently seen on the New York stage in Tom Stoppard's monumental three-part THE COAST OF UTOPIA. After his long marriage to Uma Thurman dissolved in the last few years, Hawke knows the depths of desperation and obsession wrought by a broken heart. The film opens this Friday via Thinkfilm.

Justin Theroux is a minted indie actor who has made impressions in such films as I SHOT ANDY WARHOL, AMERICAN PSYCHO, MULHOLLAND DRIVE, STRANGERS WITH CANDY and the current releases BROKEN ENGLISH and THE TEN. He has also had an active career on television, most notably as the somewhat creepy neighbor in the HBO series SIX FEET UNDER. For his directorial debut DEDICATION, Theroux mines the contours of contemporary romantic comedy, with a subversive twist. A misogynistic children's book author (played by indie fave Billy Crudup) is forced to team with a beautiful illustrator (Mandy Moore) after his best friend and creative collaborator (Tom Wilkinson) passes away. As the writer struggles with letting go of the ghosts of love and life, he discovers that sometimes you have to take a gamble at life to find love. The film, which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, brings a knowing edge to its story, and featuring a terrific cast, which also includes Bob Balaban, Peter Bogdanovich, Amy Sedaris, Dianne Weist and Bobby Canavale. Theroux, who directed the original script from scenarist David Bromberg, demonstrates that he knows when to let his talented troupe of actors find the poignant moments in the story, but does not shy away from some out-loud laughs. Theroux is currently filming his latest script TROPIC THUNDER, a satire on big budget war movies, in which he stars along with Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. DEDICATION will be released in theaters nationally this Friday by The Weinstein Company.

Sandy Mandelberger, Coming Attractions Editor 

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About Coming Attractions

Sandy Mandelberger
(International Media Resources)

Previews of Upcoming Films, Videos and New Media Coming To Theaters, Festivals, DVD and the Internet.


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