Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Playlist

Rome Interview: Stephen Dorff On 'The Motel Life,' The Coppola Clan & The Dilemmas Of A Career Renaissance

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • November 20, 2012 3:40 PM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
Few Hollywood actors of any generation, no matter how glorious their start, achieve consistent success. But even fewer, perhaps, experience the seemingly random phenomenon of the mid-career resurgence, winning a gift of a part that suddenly has everyone take notice all over again. Stephen Dorff undoubtedly belongs to the lucky latter category. While he never really stopped working, or wanted for offers, the big break just didn’t come and he started to accept films that were, by his own admission of a lesser quality. And when he did get to work on prestige projects it tended to be as maybe “the third or fourth lead. Not really my movie…”

Rome Review: 'The Motel Life' A Small But Perfectly Formed Indie With A Sweet, Sad Heart Of Gold

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • November 16, 2012 6:14 AM
  • |
  • 4 Comments
On the surface, there should be nothing particularly special about producer-turned-director brothers Gabe and Alan Polsky's debut, "The Motel Life," which premieres tonight at the Rome Film Festival. Threatening to sound like indie-by-numbers on paper, the film, based on the well-received novel of the same name by Willy Vlautin, is indeed familiar in its downbeat, disenfranchised Americana setting and even some of its themes: familial love, redemption and the fragility of hope in the face of ill-starred circumstance. But while it doesn't reinvent the wheel, or revolutionize the genre, it achieves its modest ambitions affectingly well, in no small part due to a clutch of cherishable performances, especially from leads Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff, as brothers Frank and Jerry Lee.

First Look: Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch & Stephen Dorff In 'The Motel Life'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • November 7, 2012 12:47 PM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
Nope, the festival season isn't over yet. The Rome Film Festival gets underway this weekend, and our Jessica Kiang will be on the ground fueled on espressos and cinemas to bring us coverage. But before that, we've got a few sneaks at some of the movies coming up, and the first is from "The Motel Life."

LFF Review: Strong Performances Carry An Otherwise Pedestrian 'Zaytoun'

  • By Joe Cunningham
  • |
  • October 17, 2012 4:58 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
How affected you are by the closing scenes of "Zaytoun" may depend on your pre-existing knowledge of the Lebanese Civil War and the Israeli incursion in the country. Nothing’s spelled out in "Zaytoun" other than pointing out the date and location -- Beirut, 1982 -- but that would place the events depicted in the film shortly before the Sabra and Shatila massacre so brutally recalled in 2008’s “Waltz With Bashir.” It’s not something that directly impacts upon the story told on screen, but that the film assumes knowledge of will fundamentally affect the emotional impact its final act carries for different viewers.

Review: 'Brake' Isn't Stuck, But It's Only Built For An Obvious B-Movie Set-Up And Shallow Payoff

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • March 23, 2012 9:02 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
And here with his audition for a basic cable star vehicle is Stephen Dorff. The diminutive actor has been allowed by Hollywood to attempt to play tough guys repeatedly, despite having the physical composition of Christian Slater’s post-shave whiskers. But his effort as a journeyman actor in both big studio films and art house efforts have paid off, as Dorff, in his later years, has become an actor of uncommon gravity in a series of ill-fitting projects. While he still cannot hold the center in a big starring role, his weathered handsomeness more often than not enriches the emotional plausibility that surrounds him, even if at times it’s close to nil.

Random: Steve Coogan, Stephen Dorff & Rapper K'naan Team For Nick Broomfield's 'The Catastrophist'

  • By Simon Dang
  • |
  • September 1, 2011 1:53 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Even within the realm of random collaborations and teamings, this one still veers off to the higher end of the scale.

Stephen Dorff, Ray Winstone & Michelle Monaghan To Star In David Jacobson's 'Boot Tracks'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • May 25, 2011 1:21 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Matt Dillon No Longer AttachedBeing cast as the lead in Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere" didn't immediately seem to give Stephen Dorff the big career boost that he might have hoped, mainly due to the film being a hollow, tedious experience. But the actor, who for some time had languished in DTV hell, is certainly on the up, with roles in Tarsem's "Immortals" and the Emile Hirsch indie "The Motel Life" on the way, and it seems to have legitimized the actor as a leading man in the independent world again.

Dakota Fanning Joins 'Motel Life' With Emile Hirsch & Stephen Dorff; Also Goes 'Mississippi Wild'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • February 16, 2011 9:49 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
Robert Duvall, Mickey Rourke & Forest Whitaker Also In Talks For 'Mississippi Wild'It looks like Stephen Dorff is going to find out what working with the other Fanning sister is like. Variety reports that Dakota Fanning has signed on for a couple of films that should keep her busy for the next little while.

Stephen Dorff Talks Tarsem's Swords & Sandals Epic 'Immortals' Starring Henry Cavill

  • By Simon Dang
  • |
  • December 22, 2010 3:21 AM
  • |
  • 5 Comments
Calls His Character Stavros The Han Solo To Cavill's Luke SkywalkerHis role in Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere" has been described a Mickey Rourke-esque revitalization, but one of the first tests Stephen Dorff's star power and quality faces will be his role in Tarsem's swords and sandals epic "Immortals" alongside the likes of Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto and Rourke himself. And, from the sounds of it, Dorff has a fairly meaty and potentially scene-stealing role.

Exclusive: Sofia Coppola Talks The Minimalism Of 'Somewhere'

  • By Erik McClanahan
  • |
  • December 21, 2010 10:21 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Sofia Coppola's latest effort, "Somewhere," tells the story of a partied-out action star (played by Stephen Dorff) who hangs out at the chateau marmont, gets laid at will and basically lives a fleeting, empty existence, until he's forced to deal with his daughter (Elle Fanning) full time, and he reassess his life. There's not much else to the film, and we noted that in our review but that's what Coppola was striving for.

Email Updates

Recent Comments