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This image released by 20th Century Fox shows Ben Affleck in a scene from ‘Gone Girl.’
Bullock to star in Taylor’s ‘Tupperware’ ‘I Origins’ uneven sci-fi romance

LOS ANGELES, July 19, (RTRS): I’ll say this about “I Origins”: Michael Pitt and Brit Marling wear great-looking glasses in it. Those specs don’t really fit the characters, but at least puzzling over writer-director Mike Cahill’s costuming choices distracted me from the ridiculous love story underpinning the first half of the movie. Pitt, an unconvincing scientist if there ever was one, plays molecular biologist Ian Gray, a university researcher obsessed with eyes to the point he has assembled a database of them. One Halloween night, he takes himself and his eye-catching spectacles to a party, where he meets a goth woman with a stocking covering all of her face except her eyes. When he finds Sofi (Spanish actress Astrid Berges-Frisbey) after a series of seeming coincidences, the two proceed to begin a relationship of opposites: She is intuitive and ethereal, while he demands proof. We see them frolicking around New York in series of storybook scenes: Cahill (“Another Earth”) clearly intends them to be endearing, but these moments come off as tedious and painfully familiar.
 
Rational
Luckily, we have Karen, a research assistant played by frequent Cahill collaborator Brit Marling, to ground the story. Inquisitive and rational, Marling’s Karen sports those lab coats with greater conviction.
Sofi and Ian engage in all sorts of philosophical talk about doors and windows when they’re together. William Blake and Jim Morrison would be so proud, but those with less patience for metaphors may find themselves suppressing an eye roll or two of their own. “I Origins” takes a turn for the better once Sofi’s out of the picture. The action flashes forward to the present day, with Ian a successful scientist and Karen is about to give birth to their child. Their happy world is upended when a routine retina scan of their child turns up unsettling results. Tables turned, the scientists must put their deductive reasoning to work and suss out what other researchers are really investigating.
 
It is here where the film, winner of the Alfred P. Sloan prize for science-themed movies at this year’s Sundance, starts to get interesting and truly otherworldly. “I Origins” simultaneously evokes the creepier side of retina scanning in an age of reduced privacy - do we really want to live in a society where a database of such distinctive data can be so readily accessed? - while also exploring the spiritual notion that we could be linked to strangers in explicable ways. Maybe we aren’t as unique as scientists like Ian would like to think we are.
 
Old pal Kenny (Steven Yeun, “The Walking Dead”) gives the couple access to the latest biometric technology, which draws Ian to India. There he runs into Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”) playing Priya, a woman running a community center, before eventually finding a precious link to his beloved Sofi. I suppose this is meant to be incredibly romantic — or maybe it passes for closure — but it just seems a little creepy. Karen has been awfully understanding of Ian’s lingering love for Sofi, and seems like she could actually be the stronger scientist of the two. Does she really deserve a husband so clearly obsessed with an old flame? Maybe Cahill can explore that philosophical question in his next movie. The final third of “I Origins” helps make up for much of the movie’s earlier shortcomings, and while it does have a nice gothic look, it’s not nearly as captivating as Cahill intends. All the hair tussling in the world can’t make Pitt seem like a credible scientist, nor can it turn hackneyed musings into captivating insight.
 
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LOS ANGELES: Oscar winner Sandra Bullock is attached to play marketing pioneer Brownie Wise in Tate Taylor’s adaptation of “Tupperware Unsealed,” which will be released by Sony Pictures, the studio announced Friday. Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman packaged the project and brought it to the studio, which acquired “Tupperware” in a competitive situation. Taylor will write and direct the film as well as produce through his Wyolah Films banner along with Hoberman, Lieberman and Tom Shelly of Steele Mill Productions. John Norris and Alex Young will serve as executive producers. The movie is based on Bob Kealing’s non-fiction book “Tupperware Unsealed.”
 
Wise created the Tupperware home party strategy that made the brand a household name and opened new professional avenues for women. “As a writer-director, Tate has the rare and delicate ability to capture both the romanticism and restrictions of a time and place — in this case 1950’s suburban America. His characters are both immediately recognizable while also uniquely iconic. Such was the magic of Brownie Wise. There is no one better than Sandy to play Brownie — they share a fierce bravery and independent spirit,” said Sony’s production president Hannah Minghella, who will oversee the project for the studio along with Andrea Giannetti.
 
“Sandy and I have been trying to work together for years. Finally, I’m very excited to put Tupperware in her hands. This is a collaborative dream come true,” added Taylor. Though Brownie Wise is frequently remembered as the idealized 1950s housewife, she was in fact a groundbreaking businesswoman who built a social network through which other women could earn their own money and independence. The first woman ever featured on the cover of Business Week, Wise became a popular and famous figure during her time as a marketing executive for Tupperware. However, her own clashes with company founder Earl Tupper, and the circumstances surrounding her exit from the company, underscored the limits of the liberation movement she personified.
 
Taylor is the director of “The Help” whose next film is the James Brown biopic “Get On Up,” which features a dynamite performance by Chadwick Boseman. Taylor is also directing the pilot for Netflix’s original series “Grace & Frankie,” which he’s also executive producing. The show stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Bullock won an Oscar for “The Blind Side” and was recently nominated for “Gravity.” She’ll next be heard in the animated film “The Minions.” Bullock and Taylor are represented by CAA, while WME reps Hoberman, Lieberman and Shelly.
 

 

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