Charlie Countryman

 

This was the official website for the 2013 magical thriller Charlie Countryman.
Content is from the site's archived pages and other sources.

 

Rating: R (for some brutal violence, language throughout, sexuality/nudity, and drug use)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Comedy
Directed By: Fredrik Bond
Written By: Matt Drake
In Theaters: Nov 15, 2013  limited
On Disc/Streaming: Jan 21, 2014
Runtime: 108 minutes
Studio: Millennium Entertainment

 



Charlie Countryman - Official Trailer (2013) Shia LaBeouf

 

 

Cast/Crew

Shia Labeouf

Shia has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors. His natural talent and raw energy have secured his place as one of Hollywood’s leading men.
Most recently, Shia was seen in John Hillcoat’s crime drama, Lawless, alongside Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska. Set in Depression-era Virginia, the film tells the story of a bootlegging gang and debuted to a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival.
Up next, Shia will be seen in Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep, a thriller about a former Weather Underground activist who goes on the run from a journalist who has discovered his identity. The film co-stars an award-winning ensemble cast that includes Robert Redford, Julie Christie, Stanley Tucci, Susan Sarandon and Chris Cooper. It premiered to rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival and will be released in April 2013. He also stars in The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, opposite Evan Rachel Wood and Melissa Leo. The film will premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and focuses on Charlie’s romantic exploits with a girl who was previously claimed by a mob boss with a penchant for violence and a gang at his disposal. He recently wrapped production on Nymphomaniac, a drama directed by Lars von Triers which follows the story of a woman’s sexual history.
LaBeouf starred in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which marked his third and final turn as the enterprising and heroic Sam Witwicky. From the original Transformers released in 2007 (which earned over $700 million around the world in theatrical release and became the highest grossing DVD of the year) to the second installment in 2009, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, (which garnered global receipts upwards of $836 million,) Sam continued to find himself in the middle of a life and death struggle between warring robot legions on earth.
Additional film credits include Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps opposite Michael Douglas, the fourth installment of Steven Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones” series, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, alongside Harrison Ford, D.J. Caruso’s Eagle Eye, the Anthony Minghella-scripted segment of New York I Love You, a romantic anthology, the popular thriller Disturbia, the Oscar® nominated animated film Surf’s Up, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, which won “Best Ensemble Cast” at the Sundance Film Festival, Emilio Estevez’s acclaimed drama Bobby, The Greatest Game Ever Played, I, Robot, Constantine, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, HBO’s “Project Greenlight” featuring The Battle of Shaker Heights produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and in 2003 he made his feature film debut in the comedy Holes, based on the best-selling book by Louis Sacher.
In 2007, Shia was named the “Star of Tomorrow” by the ShoWest convention of the National Association of Theater Owners, and in February 2008 he was awarded the BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award, which was voted for by the British general public. In addition, he was nominated for four Teen Choice Awards for Transformers, winning the Breakout Male Award, the Teen Choice Award for Movie Actor in a Horror/Thriller for his performance in Disturbia; as well as a Scream Award. In 2004, he was nominated for the Young Artists Award for “Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film” and the “Breakthrough Male Performance” at the MTV Movie Awards for his performance in Holes.
On television, LeBeouf garnered much praise from critics everywhere for his portrayal of “Louis Stevens” on the Disney Channel’s original series Even Stevens. In 2003, he earned a Daytime Emmy award for “Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series” for his work on the highly rated family show.
LaBeouf currently resides in California.

 



 

 

TOMATOMETER  CRITICS 28% | AUDIENCE 45%

 

CRITIC REVIEWS

November 25, 2013
Bruce Diones New Yorker Top Critic

This preposterous mashup of magical realism and romantic thriller is a fever dream of a movie, directed without a net by Fredrik Bond. Shia LaBeouf stars as a grieving son whose dead mother tells him to go to Bucharest (for no apparent reason). Once there, he falls in love with a punky concert cellist (Evan Rachel Wood) and uncovers some dirty doings by her thug of a husband (a mad Mads Mikkelsen). The script, by Matt Drake, is an overstuffed disaster—a clichéd stranger-in-a-strange-land scenario filled with drugs and violence—but the evocative and memorable images (the cinematographer is Roman Vasyanov) provide a tawdry high. LaBeouf, who throws himself wholeheartedly into every role regardless of its worth, is a fearless and fascinating actor, and his sincerity holds the entire sleazy mess together.

+++

 

November 15, 2013 | Rating: 1/4

  • Glenn Kenny  RogerEbert.com Top Critic

Every now and then, one comes across an indie film that's so showily awful, so drenched in bathos and cliché, and yet features such a uniformly sharp cast that you have to wonder: "What is it with actors?" Or, if one already knows what it is with actors, "Did this material actually look good on paper?"

The heavy-sigh-inducing "Charlie Countryman" is just such a motion picture. It's a thoroughly queasy pastiche of magic-realism/coming-of-age/romantic-thriller/bloody-Chiclets nonsense (and when I say "nonsense" I am substituting a much stronger word). It starts on a note familiar to anyone familiar with Sundance Film Festival entries in the ten years that followed "Reservoir Dogs."  A young man, his face beaten to a pulp, is hanging from a rope tied to his leg and attached to a crane hoist at the other end; he dangles above a body of water as men with guns observe him from dry land. We hear the report of a shot fired, and into the water he falls, and…
It's just a dream, or is it a portent? Out of the bathtub pops Charlie, coming to, face intact, roused by dad Vincent D'Onofrio to visit the hospital to see his mom, Melissa Leo, taken off life support.  Charlie not only has vivid dreams, he seems to have a sixth sense, as dead mom then visits him in the hospital corridor to tell him to "Go to Bucharest." And yes, "are you sure she didn't mean Budapest?" does become a running "joke" in the movie. After a brief pause to bother an ex-girlfriend played by Aubrey Plaza, there's Charlie on a plane.

How he comes to meet non-manic somewhat-damaged pixie almost-literal Dream Girl Gabi is a scenario that would not be enhanced by synopsizing. But meet her he does. She's played by Evan Rachel Wood (who's fine, despite the fact that there are maybe a hundred actual Romanian actresses who would have been fine too), and she's all punky and dour of countenance, and she plays the cello. Charlie, of course, falls for her like several years' worth of output from a brick fantasy. Skeptical Gabi warns him off: "Perhaps you have some sort of fantasy about sad woman from distant land who plays the cello." Perhaps a smart producer might have informed writer Matt Drake and director Fredrik Bond that self-consciously pointing out the hoariest commonplaces in your dumb hipster romantic fantasy doesn't automatically absolve you from them.

And Gabi has a husband, who's a Very Bad Man With Poor Social Skills (Mads Mikkelsen, who need only glower a lot to achieve full Mikkelsen effect), and Charlie gets kicked over to a youth hostel (a really grungily utopian youth hostel, I gotta admit) where he kicks it with Harry Potter vet Rupert Grint, here playing a wannabe porn performer (that's ONE way to distance yourself from the franchise). Later, in a great "what are the odds" "twist," Charlie and friends get in trouble at a strip club run by a former associate of Mikkelsen's character (Til Schweiger, completely wasted), and the plot, as they say, thickens. And what does the constantly reappearing salesman for the supplier of janitorial products have to do with the story? Is he supposed to be funny, or insightful? Or is he an inside joke that no one viewing this film will get?

As you might have inferred by now, I found all of this pretty insufferable. And Shia LaBeouf, in the title role, only made it all worse. Over the years LaBeouf has transmogrified from an appealing teen performer (I really enjoyed him in 2003's "Holes") into a too-efficient delivery system for overamped Michael Bay smarm. His compensating attempts at indie cred, or something like it, seem less convincing every time out, and his performance here is particularly lame. He reminds me here of Chuck Jones' obnoxious cartoon character Charlie Dog, who aggressively seeks an owner by pointing out his own "soulful brown eyes," which he then widens to disarming-in-the-wrong-way effect. The rest of the cast does, I think, more sincere work, but again, as they do, you can't help but wonder why. Because this is bad stuff, from stem to stern.

 



Other Reviews

 


 

The most tiresome person in the history of cinema … Shia LaBeouf in The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman. Photograph: Allstar/Millennium

 

Peter Bradshaw
Thursday 30 October 2014 21.00 GMT

 

Shia LaBeouf continues his relentless campaign to prove himself the most tiresome person in the history of cinema, or showbusiness, or the universe. He stars in this fantastically narcissistic and uninteresting drama set in Romania; the location may well have afforded all sorts of tax advantages to its investors and producers, but the film offers very little for the rest of us. LaBeouf plays the annoyingly surnamed Charlie Countryman, a guy who is deeply upset at the death of his mum (a sugary cameo phoned in by Melissa Leo).

She appears to him in a kind of vision, telling him to change his life and go to … Bucharest, of all the crazy, tax-efficient places. There, Charlie falls in love with beautiful, vulnerable cellist Gabi, played with an appalling foreign accent by Evan Rachel Wood. He protects her against an abusive estranged husband apparently called Nigel – Nigel? – played by super-scary foreign person Mads Mikkelsen. There is finally an aerial shot of a dead body, perhaps intended to recall the famous news image of Nicolae Ceausescu’s corpse. This is a movie with a chalk-outline around it.

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CharlieCountryman-movie.com