This past Friday, the Toronto International Film Festival hosted the premiere of Imogene, the highly anticipated “feel-good dark comedy” from Kristen Wiig. Wiig served as both executive producer and leading lady for Imogene, heading up an all-star ensemble cast including Annette Bening, Matt Dillon, Christopher Fitzgerald, and of course, fandom’s favorite son Darren Criss, in his first feature film.

Imogene tells the story of the title character, a failed New York playwright who fakes a suicide attempt to win back the attention of her former boyfriend. The plan backfires, and she is carted back to the family home in New Jersey. Imogene Duncan, played by Wiig, attempts to re-examine her life whilst living with her mother (a gambling addict called Zelda, played by Bening,) Zelda’s boyfriend (Dillon) – an alleged CIA agent known only as the Bousche; her reclusive brother Ralph, played by Broadway veteran Christopher Fitzgerald, and Lee, the Yale-graduate lodger renting Imogene’s bedroom while he moonlights as a Backstreet Boys impersonator (Criss). The film was a passion project for Wiig, who fought hard to get it made after reading Michelle Morgan’s script, and it is directed by husband/wife team Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman. Here’s a round-up of what the critics had to say:

The Hollywood Reporter:

Straight comedy is pretty far removed from what Springer Berman and Pulcini are usually up to, though one can feel the wry influence of Woody Allen sprinkled like stardust over the characters, notably in the scenes set in uptown Manhattan at its most pretentious. Imogene is superbly introduced as the 10-year-old star of a school production of The Wizard of Oz, who has issues with sending Dorothy back to Kansas. She is next seen all grown up (ironic Saturday Night Live star Wiig) and living in New York, trying to fit in with an insufferable bunch of false friends and a boyfriend who doesn’t like her.

Hollywood.com:

Wiig may have shtick, but she’s a capable performer who is capable of stretching her style to fit riskier vehicles (Paul was one such attempt). Imogene touches the surface of a twisted, dysfunctional family antics and but with Wiig at the wheel, it could have (and should have) pushed harder. The saving grace is a lovely dynamic between Wiig and her young costar Darren Criss.

Indiewire:

…there is Kristen Wiig, and she once again proves her value. Whether smuggling a library book under her old phys. ed. shirt or weeping in the rain on a broken chair, she is adorable, heartfelt and smart. Bening is typically wonderful, of course. She’s been on a heckuva run during the past few years, and her role in “Imogene” plays to her acerbic strengths. Quite simply, the pair, and their co-stars, elevate the material.

But the real surprise is Darren Criss. For audience members who have never turned the channel to “Glee” (guilty), his name stands for little. Yet in “Imogene” he is likable, funny and poised, and plays remarkably well opposite Wiig. This could be a breakout role for the actor, whose character, the singer in a Backstreet Boys tribute band, is one of the film’s highlights.

Variety:

An amusing scene at the halfway mark, featuring one of Lee’s nightly performances as a Backstreet Boy lookalike in a hokey ’90s-nostalgia lounge act, marks a turning point for their relationship as well as for the film, as Wiig and Criss begin to generate an appealing older-woman/younger-man chemistry, and Bening and Fitzgerald bring animating subtleties to their broadly eccentric roles.

This is the first bigscreen production directed but not also scripted by Springer Berman and Pulcini, working here from a screenplay by Michelle Morgan (who had a role in their 2011 telepic “Cinema Verite”). As such, the originality and conceptual ingenuity of the filmmakers’ 2003 breakout debut, “American Splendor,” are even less in evidence here than in their prior two pictures, as “Imogene” tells a thoroughly predictable tale of a needy, self-pitying city girl forced to renew bonds with the unsophisticated beach-town folk who really care about her.

Variety also listed the film as one of the most likely to sell within 24-48 hours, and this proved accurate – on Monday night, Imogene was picked up for U.S. distribution by Lionsgate, who will release the film in conjunction with its partner, Roadside Attractions.

We also found this fantastic report on Tumblr from a fan who attended the premiere screening:

On paper Imogene is somewhat similar to her character in Bridesmaids— a bit of a trainwreck, jaded, her life a total mess. However, Kristen really made this character different. It was just the way she carried herself…I was just surprised that she was able to differentiate the role from the one in Bridesmaids.

Annette Bening – I mean, not that it’s any surprise, but she was flawless. It’s a really great character role and she did fantastic with it. Her rapport with Matt Dillon, who plays her boyfriend, was hilarious, and Matt Dillon himself KILLED in his part. Christopher Fitzgerald played Imogene’s brother and again, just really fantastic.

And Darren! He was honestly, genuinely great in the role. It was not Blaine-like at all. He played Lee as much more laidback, a little sarcastic but not too biting, and charming as hell in a not slick at all way. His role is significant, but like the other characters, firmly in the supporting role of Imogene — as far as material, it was a lot of banter with Kristen Wiig, charming Kristen Wiig, and getting a little hot and heavy with her too. There wasn’t much in the dramatic department, though he has a few sweet, sort of earnest scenes with her character. It’s definitely a bit of manic pixie boy syndrome but it fit him perfectly. The writing is smarter and just better than what Glee churns out, and so I think that helped elevate him too – personally I’ve always thought of Darren as an actor who can carry strong material, but when the writing isn’t there, he can fall down on improving it, if that makes sense; if you give him dialogue that sounds like a HUMAN BEING, he is much stronger.

You can watch a cast Q&A from the premiere right here, as well as a cool video featuring Darren and the directors discussing the ensemble piece:

And because we’re us, we just wanted to make sure you also saw this video posted by Darren Criss on the day of the premiere:

“In the car, on the way to the world premiere screening of Imogene… Don’t have many words other than this:”


Darren Criss on WhoSay

How are you liking the sound of Imogene so far? Will you go see it in theaters?

Fox has moved the third and final Maze Runner movie to 2018.

The cast and crew were only a few days into filming The Death Cure in March when Dylan O’Brien suffered serious injuries on set, prompting the production to be put on a break so he could recover. When his recovery ended up taking longer than expected, the production was put on an indefinite hold.

Now, a plan to resume the shoot seems to be in place. Fox announced Friday The Death Cure will be hitting theaters January 12, 2018, which is nearly a year later than the original February 2017 date. The last Maze Runner movie, The Scorch Trials, opened last September.

Production on The Maze Runner: The Death Cure likely won’t resume until late this year or early next. Dylan O’Brien has already committed to another movie which is expected to shoot this summer.

Getting the rest of the cast and crew back together to shoot The Maze Runner finale may be a bit of a challenge since they may’ve committed to other projects that were supposed to be shooting after they finished The Maze Runner. However, the new Death Cure release date suggests Fox has found a time that’ll work for everyone.

Tom Cavanagh will return to The Flash in season 3 as a series regular, though which character he’ll be playing remains to be seen.

Cavanagh has had a unique acting challenge on The Flash, playing a different version of his character in each of the first two seasons — and now it looks like he’ll be doing it for a third season in a row, as EW confirms that he will be a series regular in season 3.

In season 1, Cavanagh played Eobard Thawne, aka the Reverse Flash, in Harrison Wells’ body. Thawne, after traveling back in time, killed the original Wells and took his form to expedite the development of the particle accelerator so he could return to his own time. Thawne was written out of existence in the season 1 finale, though, leaving fans curious about who Cavanagh would be playing in season 2.

This past season, Cavanagh played the Earth-2 version of Harrison Wells, nicknamed Harry, who was a significantly different character from the man we thought was Wells in season 1. However, in the season 2 finale, Harry and his daughter, Jesse, returned to Earth-2.

The Flash season 2, episode 6 recap Wells

So, who does that leave for Cavanagh to play in the third season?

My guess would be the Earth-1 version of Harrison Wells, who we only briefly met in a flashback in season 1. Why the original Wells? Because in the final moments of the season 2 finale, Barry traveled back in time and stopped Thawne from killing his mother. This means the timeline in which Thawne killed Wells and took his form no longer exists, so Earth-1 Wells would be the version left alive.

Assuming he does play the original version of the character, the one who was killed and had his identity stolen, it will be interesting to see Cavanagh inhabit yet another version of the character. While we already met Wells briefly in the flashback to his death, that was a small sample size. I look forward to seeing him differentiate another Wells from those he’s already played for entire seasons.

Are you excited to see more Tom Cavanagh on ‘The Flash’?

‘Glee’ alum Mark Salling indicted on child pornography charges

The actor is facing a lot of jail time.

4:55 pm EDT, May 27, 2016

Following an arrest in December, Glee star Mark Salling (who played Puck on the Fox series) is now facing child pornography charges.

A federal grand jury has charged the 33-year-old actor with two counts of child pornography after a search of his home turned up “thousands” of images and videos involving children, TMZ reports. He will be arraigned in early June.

Salling’s charges potentially come with big sentences: 5 to 20 years in prison for receiving child porn, and another 20 years for possessing it.

After Glee went off air last year, Salling has worked on only one project: The action movie Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets which is slated to hit theaters later this year.

The actor has been in trouble with the law before — he was sued for sexual battery in 2013.