Maggie Gyllenhaal & Ralph Fiennes Team Up To Tell True Story Of Farnsworth House

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Maggie Gyllenhaal and Ralph Fiennes are to star in the true story of Farnsworth House.
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Maggie Gyllenhaal on ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’, ‘The Deuce’ & Not Starring in Her Elena Ferrante Adaptation

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As with her previous work in projects like Secretary and The Honorable Woman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, doesn’t shy away from the raw underside of humanity in Netflix’s The Kindergarten Teacher. In the titular role of Lisa Spinelli, Gyllenhaal explores the do…

Maggie Gyllenhaal On ‘The Sexiness, Opera & Punk’ In Netflix’s ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’

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After playing prostitute-turned-blockbuster porn director Candy Merrell on HBO’s gritty ’70s/’80s NYC crime drama The Deuce, portraying a Kindergarten teacher who yearns to become a poet in Netflix’s The Kindergarten Teacher &#8…

2019 Oscar Contenders, From Rami Malek to Spike Lee (Exclusive Photos)

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Rami Malek, Spike Lee Willem Dafoe, Annie Lennox, Maggie Gyllenhaal and more are vying for Academy recognition this season. They stopped by StudioWrap for an interview and photo session.
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Netflix Stars Explain ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,’ ‘Private Life’ and ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ – The Contenders NY

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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs actor Tim Blake Nelson first received the script for the Coen brothers-directed project back in 2002. Private Life director Tamara Jenkins revealed she wasn’t sure she wanted to broach the topic of infertility before embark…

‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ Star Maggie Gyllenhaal on Why Flawed Female Characters Matter

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Maggie Gyllenhaal wanted to be a part of “The Kindergarten Teacher” as soon as she read the script and locked into its deeply flawed female protagonist — a character that is not often seen on the big screen.

“I’m always looking to shatter a fantasy,” Gyllenhaal told TheWrap’s Thom Geier at a Q&A following a screening of the film in New York on Thursday night. “I wonder if people don’t want [to see] their mothers — to see women as broken and shattered and flawed and confused as we actually are. What works about the movie is she could be our friend, our sister, our neighbor, until she really collapses.” 

In the film, which was released on Netflix last month, Gyllenhaal plays a kindergarten teacher who tries to protect the artistic talent of one of her students and soon crosses the line into obsession. The film is an adaptation of a 2015 Israeli film of the same name, and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. 

Gyllenhaal credited the female team behind “The Kindergarten Teacher” — including its writer/director Sarah Colangelo — for the film’s nuanced portrayal of a troubled female character. “If women are at the helm of something, and they do give themselves space to represent something real and human, it won’t be a fantasy of what a woman is. It will be a very complicated version of what a woman is,” she said.  

Also Read: ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ Film Review: Maggie Gyllenhaal Blurs Boundaries as an Art-Obsessed Educator

The film was shot in 22 days in New York City with “no money,” so Gyllenhaal said that Netflix’s acquisition of it was a total game-changer.

“[Netflix] told me how many people had seen the movie in the first 10 days, and I was actually, absolutely astonished,” she said. “And the reason I say that is because this is a complicated, difficult movie that requires care and attention and thinking, and I think for a really long time, people have not had access to that unless they live in really big cities [with] art houses.”

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‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ Film Review: Maggie Gyllenhaal Blurs Boundaries as an Art-Obsessed Educator

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Lisa Spinelli (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is a good person. She’s a loving mother, a caring wife, and, as the titular educator in “The Kindergarten Teacher,” a dedicated professional. She has endless patience for her students, even as she fills their juice cups up for the thousandth time.

And yet.

Who could fill a juice cup a thousand times, without going a little crazy? Watch her teenage children (Daisy Tahan, Sam Jules) grow up and move on, without her heart breaking? Or look at her worn-out spouse (Michael Chernus,”Orange Is the New Black”) and her worn-in Staten Island home, and not wish for more?

Watch Video: Maggie Gyllenhaal Teeters at Edge of Art and Madness as ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ (Exclusive)

It’s clear early on in Sara Colangelo’s intently understated drama (premiering October 12 in limited release and on Netflix) that Lisa wants more. And all that dissatisfaction, that feeling that life is half over and she’s barely accomplished anything? It’s eating her away.

She tries to find an outlet in a continuing-ed poetry class, but her teacher (a perfectly-pitched Gael García Bernal) is notably unimpressed. She truly loves art, but doesn’t seem able to produce it herself. It’s a strange and demoralizing dilemma.

Until, one day, one of her students (excellent and adorable newcomer Parker Sevak) makes up a poem. And it’s good — better than hers. Lisa is awed by Jimmy’s natural talent, and becomes convinced that he’s a prodigy. She tracks down his father (Ajay Naidu), and passionately compares Jimmy to Mozart. But his dad, like the other adults she consults, thinks a five-year-old should be free to play, not pushed to write poetry with his teacher.

Watch Video: Maggie Gyllenhaal: ‘Kindergarten Teacher’ Is What Happens When a Woman Is ‘Starving’ to Be Heard

So Lisa determines, with increasing urgency, to save Jimmy from the philistines. She begins waking him up at naptime, and calling him at home, to teach him how to “see” better. She bribes him with candy, so he’ll go study with her alone. And all the time, we’re worried about what line she’ll cross next.

As both writer and director, Colangelo — adapting a 2014 Israeli film of the same name — knows that we’re watching with particular expectations. There’s a built-in tension to our assumptions, but Lisa is not the predator we expect her to be, nor the sort of monster with whom we’re most familiar.

Looked at from one angle, in fact, most of the movie could be considered entirely sympathetic to Lisa’s perspective. But then the camera lingers just a little too long on her inscrutable expression. Occasionally, the plaintive piano-and-strings score (by Asher Goldschmidt, “White God”) feels just a bit too ominous. And is her habit of touching everyone an expression of her compassion? Or her needs?

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Though Gyllenhaal (who’s also a producer) is all-in on this complex character study, it’s in an admirably subtle way. She never once overplays Lisa’s precarious emotional state, choosing instead to portray a rather ordinary woman doing some rather extraordinary things. It’s an intriguing approach, and one that carries us far.

However, her spare turn and the film’s deliberately unhurried pacing do require the support of an especially solid script. This one, unfortunately, seems like it’s missing a few pages. When the inevitable finale arrives, it feels false: the Lisa we’ve come to know so intimately would never make the most extreme choices the plot requires of her.

That letdown, though, is a reflection on the strong and honest work to come before it. Anyone with some patience and a penchant for thoughtful ambiguity will find more than enough rewards here, from Gyllenhaal’s intelligent performance to Colangelo’s empathetic insight. True, it’s not always an easy movie to sit through. But the impact of Lisa’s plight lingers long after her fate’s been sealed.



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Maggie Gyllenhaal: ‘The Deuce’ Should Not Be Shut Down Over James Franco Misconduct Allegations

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Maggie Gyllenhaal Acquires ‘The Lost Daughter’ Novel To Make Her Film Directorial Debut

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Maggie Gyllenhaal, Marta Kauffman and Denise Shull Join Women in Entertainment Summit (Exclusive)

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The Women in Entertainment Summit, an annual event dedicated to empowering women in the entertainment industry, has added “The Deuce” actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, “Friends” executive producer Marta Kauffman and Denise Shull, the inspiration for “Billions” character Wendy Rhoades, to its Oct. 11 summit.

“We are thrilled to invite our audience to be a part of the conversation with such dedicated thought leaders in the entertainment world,” said Women in Entertainment founder Gretchen McCourt in a statement. “We have volumes to examine in our summit and we are thrilled to offer this time to our speakers and audience.”

Gyllenhaal, Kauffman and Shull will be part of the summit’s Fireside Chats. They join previously announced speakers Geena Davis and CBS All Access’ executive vice president of original content Julie McNamara. The chats will feature conversations on issues pertaining to the #MeToo movement and how to empower the next generation of women in entertainment.

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The news of the additions comes after the announcement that there will be a “She-Ra: Evolution of a Warrior Princess” panel at the summit ahead of the Netflix original series premiere. The Dreamworks Animation Television panel will include executive producer Noelle Stevenson, directors Jen Bennett and Kiki Monrique, art director Liz Kresin and story editor Josie Campbell.

The fourth annual Women in Entertainment Summit is set to take place at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The summit began in 2015 by founders Gretchen McCourt and Rene Rossi.

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HBO Renews David Simon’s ‘The Deuce’ for Third and Final Season

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HBO has renewed its David Simon-helmed drama, “The Deuce” for a third and final season.

Starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Deuce” follows the story of the legalization and subsequent rise of the porn industry in New York’s Times Square from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s, exploring the rough-and-tumble world that existed there until the rise of HIV, the violence of the cocaine epidemic and the renewed real estate market all ended the bawdy turbulence.

The second season of the drama premiered on Sept. 9.

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“The Deuce” is from Simon and co-creator George Pelecanos. Franco, Nina Noble and Richard Price are executive producers, with Gyllenhaal and Marc Henry Johnson as producers.

Simon, who also created HBO’s “The Wire” and “Treme” has a habit of wrapping up his series quickly. “The Wire” ran for five seasons, with the fifth getting a shorter run, while the New Orleans-based “Treme” had just 36 episodes over four seasons.

On Twitter, Simon thanked HBO for “the third and final season renewal and the chance for #thedeuce to tell its full story.”

We’re always conjuring the last scene before we write the first. So much the better when we work for people who allow us to consistently plan, arc and execute as intended. Thanks, @HBO, for the third and final season renewal and the chance for #thedeuce to tell its full story. pic.twitter.com/B1cOuady1X

— David Simon (@AoDespair) September 20, 2018

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Maggie Gyllenhaal On Finding A New Kind Of Thriller In ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ – Toronto Studio

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In a good year for English-language remakes, Sara Colangelo’s take on the 2015 Israeli film of the same name by Nadav Lapid built on the momentum it gained in Sundance with a TIFF bow in the run-up to its release by Netflix in October. Dropping by the …

Maggie Gyllenhaal: ‘Kindergarten Teacher’ Is What Happens When a Woman Is ‘Starving’ to Be Heard (Video)

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Maggie Gyllenhaal’s new film “The Kindergarten Teacher” may be a Polanski-like psychological thriller and allegory about obsession, but she says it perfectly captures the way many women are feeling in 2018 – mute.

“I think she’s a woman right now who’s going, ‘I’m starving. I thought I was OK. I’m not OK,’” Gyllenhaal told TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), speaking of her character’s need to be heard. “And that’s what all of us are doing. That’s like the cultural conversation right now.”

In Sara Colangelo’s film, which premiered at Sundance and screened at TIFF this month, Gyllenhaal plays a kindergarten teacher who overhears a child reciting a poem and takes an unhealthy obsession with him when she starts to believe he’s a prodigy.

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“The Kindergarten Teacher” takes a sinister turn and ratchets up the tension to thriller levels, but Gyllenhaal says the story serves as a case study for what happens when a woman’s voice is ignored and suppressed.

“She’s also an artist, and she’s just completely not being heard or seen as an artist, as a person in her life at all,” Gyllenhaal said. “Like many women these days, she’s waking up to the fact that she’s ‘starving.’ In terms of trying to get herself fed, she goes down this really questionable path.”

Gyllenhaal points out that Colangelo’s film is an “allegorical example,” but that the stakes and the parallels to today’s cultural conversation are still very real.

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“Here’s an example of the consequences of ‘starving’ a woman. It doesn’t have to be this,” Gyllenhaal said. “But still, here are the consequences. This is what’s on the table if you don’t ‘feed’ us.”

“The Kindergarten Teacher” will be available on Netflix on Oct. 12. Watch a clip from our interview with Gyllenhaal and co-star Gael Garcia Bernal above.

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The 2018 Toronto International Film Festival has added conversations with Mahershala Ali, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hilary Swank to its lineup, as well as special events including a Jason Reitman Live Read and an IMAX screening of “First Man,” …