You don’t hear much from writer-director Neil LaBute anymore. In the late 90’s, the playwright became an indie sensation by adapting his play In the Company of Men into a movie. He followed that movie up with the equally buzzy Your Friends & Neighbors and went slightly mainstream with the comedy Nurse Betty. But LaBute’s upward trajectory didn’t continue. In 2006, he would hit the skids with the infamous remake of The Wicker Man. In between his early career highs and eventual lows, LaBute made the 2002 drama Possession starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart. Stephen Rebello interviewed the director for the May 2002 issue of Movieline magazine.
Glenn Close celebrates her 70th birthday today. After graduating from William & Mary, she pursued an acting career, and made her Broadway debut in 1974 in a revival of William Congreve’s Love for Love. She worked steadily both on and off Broadway for the next decade, and won a Tony for Best Actress in a Play for the original Broadway production of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing. By this time, she had also begun a film and television career; her first three film appearances, in The World According to Garp, The Big Chill, and The Natural, all brought her Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress. She then received her first nomination for Best Actress for a 1987 thriller:
The indie movement of the 90’s saw several new directors rise to prominence. That era gave us Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Richard Linklater and David Fincher. But the 90’s also introduced us to several promising directors whose relevance has faded over time. Among those is writer-director Neil LaBute. LaBute made a splash with his 1997 comedy In the Company of Men. But ever since then, he has slowly fallen off the radar. His latest movie, Dirty Weekend, stars Matthew Broderick and Alice Eve. But even among the indie crowd, it’s been received with a collective shrug and even a bit of derision.