The Playlist

Emile Hirsch Talks 'The Motel Life,' John Belushi & America's Obsession With Weight

  • By Diana Drumm
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  • December 6, 2013 1:20 PM
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With his first child, a couple of indie films ("Prince Avalanche," "The Motel Life," "Twice Born"), a miniseries (A&E's "Bonnie and Clyde") and a meaty high-profile role on the horizon (John Belushi in the as-of-yet untitled biopic), 2013 is chalking up to be a pretty good year for Emile Hirsch. Over the course of his film career (his debut being in "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" in 2002), Hirsch has frequently varied his acting choices. Being led simply by the quality of the material, rather than trying to configure a trajectory or formulate a brand, Hirsch has run the gamut of being a young actor in (and outside of) Hollywood.

Interview: Gabe & Alan Polsky On 'The Motel Life,' Future Projects And Producing For Werner Herzog

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • November 8, 2013 2:14 PM
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Motel Life, Alan & Gabe Polsky
Well, it's been a long time coming, nearly a year in fact since its 2012 Rome Film Festival debut, where it picked up three awards—editing, screenplay and the coveted Audience Award—but "The Motel Life" (our review here) is finally making its way onto screens this week. The debut film from producing-turned-directing brothers Gabe and Alan Polsky, starring Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff with Dakota Fanning in a small role, the film is based on the 2006 novel by musician and writer Willy Vlautin and tells the story of two brothers who flee their Reno motel after getting involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident.

Review: Sweet, Sad 'The Motel Life' Starring Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff & Dakota Fanning

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • November 6, 2013 7:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
On the surface, there should be nothing particularly special about producer-turned-director brothers Gabe and Alan Polsky's debut, "The Motel Life." 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 circumstances. 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.

Exclusive: Poster For 'The Motel Life' Starring Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff & Dakota Fanning Plus Watch The New Trailer

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 24, 2013 4:21 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The fall moviegoing season is nothing short of dominated by star-driven, heavy-hitting drama, as the studios all jockey for awards season gold. But there are plenty of smaller pictures that might not have the benefit of multi-million dollar campaigns but are no less potent and worthy of investigation. And one effort to keep an eye out for on the horizon is Alan and Gabriel Polsky's "The Motel Life."

Exclusive: 'The Motel Life' Starring Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, & Dakota Fanning Hits Theaters In November

  • By Edward Davis
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  • September 5, 2013 4:58 PM
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The Motel Life
The fall film season just won't let up this year and one more understated gem of a movie is joining the fray: Alan and Gabriel Polsky's 2012 Rome film fest entry, "The Motel Life." Starring Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Dakota Fanning, and directed together by the Polskys (producers of "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" and "Little Birds") the drama depicts a pair of working-class brothers who flee their Reno motel after getting involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident. Today, Polsky Films announced a November 8, 2013 release for "The Motel Life" in 15 cities nationwide, and on VOD via FilmBuff.

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

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • November 20, 2012 3:40 PM
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  • 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…”

Larry Clark's 'Marfa Girl' & 'The Motel Life' Earn Top Awards At The Rome Film Festival; Italian Films Also Rule

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • November 18, 2012 11:25 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Last night in Rome, the Festival came to a close, as the winners were announced, the awards handed out and the dissection of What It All Means began. The festival, suffering a cut in budget from last year, but boasting perhaps the closest thing to a superstar Artistic Director in Marco Mueller (ex of the Venice Film Festival) for the first time this year, was, as Mueller himself admitted, a schizophrenic affair. The lack of really standout high-profile premieres (the festival would have taken on a different shape if it had landed, say "Django Unchained") gave rise to a somewhat cobbled-together last-minute feel, in which the targeted 60 world premieres happened, but we got the feeling quite a few might have been there just to make up the numbers.

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

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • November 16, 2012 6:14 AM
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  • 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
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  • November 7, 2012 12:47 PM
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  • 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."

Joshua Leonard Joins 'Motel Life' With Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch & Stephen Dorff

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 28, 2011 6:35 AM
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  • 2 Comments
EXCLUSIVE: The rooms at "The Motel Life" are getting a little more full as reps for indie actor Joshua Leonard ("Humpday," "Bitter Feast") have confirmed to the The Playlist that he has joined the film.

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