“The F Word,” starring Daniel Radcliffe and executive produced by Pittsburgh native Jesse Shapira, has a new title and release date.
Variety reports and CBS Films confirms, on its website, the romcom has been renamed “What If” and will open in New York and Los Angeles on Aug. 1 and expand during the next two weeks. That means Pittsburgh likely will get the movie Aug. 15.
Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan play friends who try to resist their obvious attraction. She’s an animator and has a longtime boyfriend, and he is a medical school dropout who hates the idea of infidelity, due to his parents’ divorce and ex-girlfriend’s affair.
I saw it in Toronto, where it had its world premiere and where it was enthusiastically received and deservedly so. It’s warm and funny and allows the “Harry Potter” star to flash a winning, comic, romantic and adult side – thanks to a brief skinny dipping scene in Lake Ontario (the movie mainly is set in Toronto).
The film is from Michael Dowse (“Goon,” “Fubar,” “It’s All Gone Pete Tong,” “Take Me Home Tonight”) and also stars Rafe Spall, Megan Park, Adam Driver and Mackenzie Davis.
I haven’t had a normal Oscar watching experience since 1989. That would have been the last time I was home, eating popcorn or whatever snack food was then in fashion, and watching the show on TV like a civilian.
I’ve worked every Academy Awards from 1990 to now, usually in the office, sometimes in Los Angeles or Hollywood. So I watch the show with one eye on the clock and my deadline-driven editors and one on the TV. I’m usually typing most of the time, too, and sometimes trying to transcribe what was just said on stage.
But I thought Ellen DeGeneres did a good job as host. Not the best ever but not the worst and a warm, welcoming presence who wasn’t going to insult the A-listers in front of her or the Z-listers at home soaking up every detail about Cate Blanchett’s embellished gown or Jared Leto’s hair or Matthew McConaughey’s wife and mom.
DeGeneres was a soothing tonic after Seth MacFarlane and his famous song about women’s breasts. The show did something that rarely happens by awarding the first Oscar of the night within 10 minutes and making it count by giving it to Jared Leto.
Producers can caution winners about speeches but they cannot control them. Heck, even winners may not know how they’re going to react when they float to the stage and take the 8-pound Oscar in their hands.
Whether you liked the selfies or the pizzas, the 86th Academy Awards were notable for the quality of the thank yous, with special praise for Leto, Lupita Nyong’o, Blanchett and McConaughey. I especially loved McConaughey’s image of his dad in heaven, dancing in his underwear with his favorites in hand or nearby – a cold Miller Lite, a big pot of gumbo and some lemon meringue pie. Anyone whose own father has died had to smile in appreciation.
Leto was inspirational, Nyong’o was poetic and Blanchett funny and forceful in reminding the world that moviegoers will see a movie about a woman. None pulled out a folded piece of paper from a pocket or purse or décolletage.
The speeches should be what people remember about the show. If the host is the most memorable, something’s wrong. And in an endless season when the same foursome seemed to win virtually everything, that was a challenge.
They rose to it. Well done.
Top photo by Todd Wawrychuk / A.M.P.A.S