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The Playlist

Exclusive: James Ponsoldt Talks Going Widescreen In 'The Spectacular Now' Featurette Plus Win The Film On DVD

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 13, 2014 4:16 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The Spectacular Now
2013 is behind us, and 2014 lies ahead, but there are likely still a handful of movies from the past year you haven't yet caught up on. And one worth making room for is James Ponsoldt's "The Spectacular Now."

Jason Segel To Play David Foster Wallace In 'The End Of The Tour' Co-Starring Jesse Eisenberg

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • December 12, 2013 10:21 AM
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  • 3 Comments
David Foster Wallace Jesse Eisenberg Jason Segel James Ponsoldt
Of his upcoming biopic, “Hillary,” James Ponsoldt recently told us it “has nothing to do with celebrity of the character…that story is not a cradle-to-the-grave biopic, it’s sort of looking into a keyhole of a very specific period of her life." The “Spectacular Now” director is currently selecting the right young Hillary Clinton to match those points, but in the meantime Ponsoldt has emerged with another surprising biopic with a fixed-timeframe, and it already has quite the intriguing cast assembled.

Savannah Film Festival: James Ponsoldt Talks 'Spectacular Now,' Taking On Hilary 'Rodham' & The Power Of 'Pure'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 4, 2013 4:35 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The Spectacular Now, James Ponsoldt.
Sitting down with James Ponsoldt backstage at the Lucas Theater in Savannah, Georgia, one thing becomes immediately clear: he loves movies. Already thrilled that his latest "The Spectacular Now" is screening at the Savannah Film Festival in a cinema first build in 1921, my conversation with the director is peppered with references to classic cinema and the answers to my questions are thoughtful and deeply infused by his admitted voracious movie watching habits, which have left him with a clear sense of what he enjoys in his film experiences and what he doesn't. And at the end of the day, no matter the genre, budget or any other factor, it's characters he's fascinated by, and the more complex they are, the more he's invested and involved.

Stream This: 'The Canyons,' Brian De Palma's 'Passion,' 'On The Road' & More On VOD This Week

  • By Emma Bernstein
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  • August 2, 2013 11:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Hey-o cinephiles, and welcome to the deluxe edition of Stream This. There was a lot to cover this week, with so many films being released on VOD concurrently or in advance of their theatrical debuts, and we didn't want to leave anything out, including those nifty themed picks. Thus, the result at hand: an extra-long version of the column, where we give you eight suggestions instead of six. (Don't worry, you won't have to buy special sheets or anything.) There's work from Brian De Palma, Paul Schrader, and Lynn Shelton to name a few, and all of it is either playing or will be playing shortly on a silver screen near you. In related news, James Ponsoldt's third film, "The Spectacular Now," opens this weekend to much critical praise from Sundance on down, so if you're looking to brush up on his canon, an earlier work is available to stream. Plus there's a largely forgotten Mark Wahlberg picture from the early 2000s to honor the "2 Guns" star while reminding us why we like artist formerly known as Marky Mark so damn much. And now, for our streaming picks of the week.

Review: James Ponsoldt's 'The Spectacular Now' Starring Shailene Woodley & Miles Teller

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • August 1, 2013 7:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Spectacular Now
Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) is the charming, good time guy who lives in the moment. Self-assured, he’s the life of the party, popular, and he and his girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson) breeze through their high school experience. Sutter and Cassidy are like a teenage power couple that rule parties thanks to their appeal and all the social lubricants at hand. But, writing an admission letter to the Dean of a university, Sutter reveals his life is at a crossroads. Thinking she's caught him with another girl, Cassidy has dumped him, when the truth is that Sutter was using his good-time skills to help get his timid friend Ricky (Masam Holden) laid. But Cassidy isn’t having it and Sutter can’t see why this is the straw that broke the camel’s back with her.

25 Films About First Love To Fall For

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • August 1, 2013 12:59 PM
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  • 15 Comments
This Friday sees the release of James Ponsoldt's "Smashed" follow-up, the tenderly drawn coming-of-age teen story "The Spectacular Now." Boasting standout performances from young leads Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, the film, which we reviewed out of Sundance and called "valuable and honest," evokes the growing pains of the unusually real-feeling central duo via a familiar conduit—the story of their first love. Romantics that we are at heart, we took this opportunity to sit on our sofas for a week with a bucket of ice cream and a pack of kleenex, revisiting a slew of films that share that theme. Given the breadth of the field, we've done our best to concentrate on films that take first love as their primary theme, but it should be noted that it crops up as a subplot with astonishing frequency, too.

Interview: Miles Teller Talks Unbroken Takes In James Ponsoldt’s ‘The Spectacular Now,’ Admiration For Donny Osmond & More

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • August 1, 2013 10:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The Spectacular Now
Since his portrayal of a guilt-wracked young man in “Rabbit Hole” deservedly vaulted him into the spotlight, actor Miles Teller has committed to different shades of the high school/college experience. He snagged considerable parts in “Project X” and “21 and Over”—both anarchic, single-night party films—and while upcoming projects range from YA sci-fi franchises (“Divergent”) to college-graduate dramas (“Get A Job”), he first realizes a stunning take on teenage love in James Ponsoldt’s “The Spectacular Now.”

'Smashed' & 'The Spectacular Now' Director James Ponsoldt To Helm Hillary Clinton Biopic

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 29, 2013 4:53 PM
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  • 7 Comments
When you're hot, you're hot, and there are few filmmakers right now burning up with the kind of fire that "Smashed" and "The Spectacular Now" director James Ponsoldt is currently getting. Thanks to successive Sundance hits, he's been busy lining up a whole host of gigs including the YA adaptation "Pure," a big screen version of author Matthew Quick's (“Silver Linings Playbook”) next effort “Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock,” as well as a job penning the musical "Pippin." But this new project on his slate might well be the buzziest of them all.

James Ponsoldt To Direct Adaptation Of New Book By 'Silver Linings Playbook' Author, Write Musical 'Pippin'

  • By Ken Guidry
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  • April 17, 2013 9:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Five years passed between his first and second film, but now James Ponsoldt appears to be working at a prolific pace. His third film, “The Spectacular Now,” premiered at Sundance this January, which is exactly one year after his sophomore film “Smashed” made its debut in Park City. In January, he signed on to write and direct “Pure,” an adaptation of the young adult novel written by Julianna Baggot. And it looks like he’ll be adding two more projects to his plate, in a partnership with The Weinstein Company.

Sundance Review: Wise & Mature 'The Spectacular Now' Marked By Strong Performances From Miles Teller & Shailene Woodley

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • January 19, 2013 1:13 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) is the charming, good time guy who lives in the moment. Self-assured, he’s the life of the party, popular and he and his girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson) breeze through their high school experience. Sutter and Cassidy are like a teenage power couple that rule parties thanks to their appeal and all the social lubricants at hand. But, writing an admission letter to the Dean of a university, Sutter reveals his life is at a crossroads. Thinking she's caught him with another girl, Cassidy has dumped him, when the truth is that Sutter was using his good-time skills to help get his timid friend Ricky (Masam Holden) laid. But Cassidy isn’t having it and Sutter can’t see why this is the straw that broke the camel’s back with her.

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