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Review: Diablo Cody's Insipid & Cloying Directorial Debut 'Paradise'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • October 17, 2013 6:06 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Paradise, Julianne Hough, Diablo Cody
​The prestigious fall film festival, in which anyone who remotely mattered in cinema (or Hollywood), trotted about their latest vehicle. But one name, an Academy Award-winner with a brand spanking new movie, was conspicuously absent. While plenty of unknowns, first-timers and even actors-turned-directors turned up at fests at home and abroad, famed screenwriter Diablo Cody quietly unveiled her feature-length debut on the little-seen DirecTV cable channel in August. And unfortunately it seems like Cody's feature directorial inauguration, "Paradise," was tucked away for good reason: it’s an insipid confection of cloying hopefulness, bubblegum teen spirit and self-reflexive clever quips.

Surprises, Oscar Clout & The "Magical Negro" Trope: Diablo Cody, Octavia Spencer & Julianne Hough Talk 'Paradise'

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • October 15, 2013 1:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments
For such a notable first-time event from one of our favorite screenwriters, Diablo Cody's directorial debut “Paradise” certainly stuck a soft landing. First popping up under the title “Lamb of God” with an odd blend of cast members—Russell Brand, Octavia Spencer, and Julianne Hough—it then promptly disappeared before Cody announced on Twitter its DirecTV world premiere with the changed title. Following a young Christian woman (Hough) in Montana as she loses her faith after a horrific burn accident and travels to Las Vegas to transgress, the film is in fact one of Cody's sweeter efforts, away from the bitter laughs of “Young Adult” or the horror comedy of “Jennifer's Body.”

"What's The Magical Negro" Narrative Convention? Watch The First 2 Clips From Diablo Cody's 'Paradise'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • September 27, 2013 5:26 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Paradise, Diablo Cody, Octavia Spencer, Russell Brand, Julianne Hough
"Young Adult" rules, the wry '80s teen horror homage "Jennifer's Body" would have fared far better with another director, and "Juno"—regardless of what you think of that film and its pop-culture referencing protagonist—has become an indie film classic (haters, let us remind you it won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Lead Actress). So with screenwriter Diablo Cody making her directorial debut, "Paradise," it's time to get excited, right?

Tilda Swinton Stokes The Flames Of 'Snowpiercer'-Gate; Bong Joon-Ho Says Nothing Finalized

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 7, 2013 1:12 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Snowpiercer, Tilda Swinton
Jumping to conclusions before the facts are in is par for the course these days. As is the blind leap to vilify Harvey Weinstein over anything mildly controversial that he has even dared look sideways at (though yes, his track record is poor, but generally the dude knows what he’s doing), but at the Deauville American Film Festival in France, actress Tilda Swinton made some pointed, not-so-exactly subtle remarks about the brouhaha brewing over Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho's upcoming Weinstein sci-fi thriller, "Snowpiercer."

Review: Diablo Cody’s Directorial Debut ‘Paradise’ Is A Cloying After School Special

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 5, 2013 2:52 PM
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  • 8 Comments
​The prestigious fall film festival season is in full swing and anyone who remotely matters in cinema (or Hollywood) is represented in some shape or form—especially at the celeb-friendly Toronto International Film Festival which accepts over 250 films. But one name, an Academy Award-winner with a brand spanking new movie is conspicuously absent. While plenty of unknowns, first-timers and even actors-turned-directors (like Jason Bateman) are about to make their first-time feature bow at Toronto this week, in contrast, famed screenwriter Diablo Cody quietly unveiled her feature-length debut on the little-seen DirecTV cable channel last month (look for the number of reviews; there aren’t many). And unfortunately it seems like Cody's feature directorial inauguration, "Paradise," was tucked away for good reason: it’s an insipid confection of cloying hopefulness, bubblegum teen spirit and self-reflexive clever quips.

Viola Davis & Octavia Spencer Eyed To Reteam With 'The Help' Director Tate Taylor For James Brown Biopic

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 27, 2013 1:32 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The last time Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer worked with Tate Taylor, in the director's 2011 hit "The Help," they both earned Oscar nominations, with the latter taking home the trophy to put on her mantle. So is it any surprise, that they may jump at the opportunity to work with the filmmaker again?

Watch: Trailer For Diablo Cody's Directorial Debut 'Paradise' Explores Worldly Pleasures

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 4, 2013 10:56 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Diablo Cody has carved out a niche for exploring the crises of young women. Whether it's the sudden onset of pregnancy in "Juno," midlife travails in "Young Adult" or high school horror in "Jennifer's Body," Cody brings her own unique perspective to these situations. And for her directorial debut "Paradise," it's faith that's shaken and opens the eyes of its lead character.

Diablo Cody's Directorial Debut 'Paradise' To Premiere On DirecTV Next Week

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 1, 2013 12:49 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Honest to blog? Diablo Cody just tweeted that "Paradise," her directorial debut that stars Julianne Hough, Octavia Spencer, Russell Brand, Nick Offerman and Holly Hunter, wouldn't bow theatrically in October, but rather would get its big premiere on satellite channel DirecTV next week. The tale of a young woman (Hough) who loses her faith following a horrific plane crash (she's badly burned) and travels to Las Vegas to experience all the seediness the town has to offer, was originally scheduled for an October 18th release date but will now debut on August 8th in your living room.

First Images Of Julianne Hough, Octavia Spencer & Russell Brand In Diablo Cody's Directorial Debut 'Paradise'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 26, 2013 8:57 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Though you might think the directorial debut from an Oscar winning screenwriter might be surrounded by a bit more hoopla, things have been relatively quiet around "Paradise" (formerly known as "Lamb Of God") from Diablo Cody. Shot last year, things seem to have been kept on the down-low...until now. It turns out it's heading to theaters in just a couple months and we'd wager a stopover at festivals in Toronto and New York probably isn't out of the question, but at either rate a batch of new images has arrived from the movie.

Review: 'Fruitvale Station' Starring Michael B. Jordan & Octavia Spencer

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • July 9, 2013 8:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Fruitvale Station
There are now a few stories surrounding Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station.” There’s the “Fruitvale Station” that as a passion-project debut feature from an untested filmmaker, was plucked from obscurity, championed notably by Forest Whitaker, and put into production. There’s the “Fruitvale Station” that went from a standing start to become the runaway success story of Sundance, netting two of the biggest awards in the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Prize. There’s the “Fruitvale Station” that launched a distribution bidding war, and catapulted its director and star to the top of everyone’s “ones to watch” list. And there’s the Fruitvale Station which is a stop on a BART line at which in the small hours of New Year’s Day 2009, 22-year old father of one, Oscar Grant was shot by a transit cop, dying later from his wound. There is the film, there is the story it tells, and there is what actually happened.

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