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Published – 02/10/17 – 09:00 AM | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman star in HBO's 'Big Little Lies.' PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman star in HBO’s ‘Big Little Lies.’ PHOTO CONTRIBUTED
The San Diego International Film Festival partnered with HBO for the San Diego premiere of “Big Little Lies,” the cable giant’s limited series based on Liane Moriarty’s 2014 best-selling novel of the same name, which drew a packed house at The Lot in La Jolla on Wednesday night.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with San Diego’s independent film festival and HBO to showcase this amazing venue,” said Lot General Manager Robert Smythe. “We have beautiful theaters, ample parking, and a fantastic restaurant to support what Hollywood and networks like HBO need to do. It’s a perfect marriage.”

Under a fine evening mist that blanketed the sky, the crowd of 300 film supporters and friends walked into the sophisticated and hip venue that combines entertainment with al fresco dining to preview the first two episodes of “Big Little Lies,” which stars Reese Witherspoon and was created by seven-time Emmy Award-winner David E. Kelley.

The opening night excitement was immediately replaced by a hush as festival director Tonya Mantooth took to the stage to introduce Tupper, who talked about the extraordinary experience shooting with director Jean-Marc Vallee.

Guests were treated to a lively red carpet followed by an after-party at the theater’s restaurant with actor James Tupper, who plays Nathan Carlson in the comedy-drama, and who, with his partner Anne Heche, enjoyed mingling with San Diego’s film lovers and cultural cosmopolites before and after the film.

“The director was the part of the puzzle that really was phenomenal for me,” said Tupper. “He kind of created a whole new way of filmmaking, where he hangs out with a camera and we shoot in one place for six hours—he just moves the handheld camera around and gets all these little nuances, little details—no lighting packages, no hair and makeup people around, just us.”

Based on the New York Times best-seller, “Big Little Lies” is a seven-episode “who done it” that deals with domestic violence and friendship in the seaside town of Monterey, CA. Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, who bought the rights to the book and are two of the executive producers, lead a stellar cast that includes Tupper, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, and Alexander Skarsgård.

Described by HBO as a tale told through the eyes of three mothers, Madeline (Witherspoon), Celeste (Kidman), and Jane (Woodley), befriend each other in a town fueled by rumors and divided into the “haves” and “have-nots.” Conflicts, secrets, and betrayals compromise relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children and friends and neighbors.

On the red carpet, Tupper was effusive in his praise for HBO but was most impressed with his accommodations during the shoot. “Working with HBO was amazing, and everyone on that set felt the same way but I really knew I made it when I walked into my trailer-I had a big flat screen and I brought my kids over and said ‘Come on, you gotta see what Dad is doing!’”

The “Big Little Lies” screening kicks off the SDIFF’s Insider Series and is the first in a sequence of six private screenings that will be held once a month from February through July in La Jolla. The series is available to the public and can be purchased for a limited period of time, at the reasonable price of $150. Created by Tonya Mantooth, the executive and artistic director of the SDIFF, the package includes private screenings, a cocktail party, and a “Q and A” session with special guests and a post champagne reception with dessert.

“The Insider Series gives people a chance to come out and see exclusive premieres, meet the actors or filmmakers and socialize with fellow film-lovers,” says Mantooth. “It is exactly the experience I want to create for our members. In a time when things are so divisive, the film reminds us that our bond is through human connection. San Diego International Film Festival is a place where people can come together, experience cinema, create dialog and maybe take in a new perspective.”

The 2017 festival, which begins on Oct. 4 and will run through Oct. 8, comes on the heels of the most successful year the festival has ever seen in terms of attendees and star power. A few of the Oscar-nominated independent films screened at the 2016 San Diego festival include the Weinstein Company’s “Lion,” nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, and “Hell or High Water,” which garnered four Academy Award nominations including Best Actor for Jeff Bridges.

According to Mantooth, the goal of the festival this year is to grow the awareness and audiences that attend the October festival and to increase the audience of film lovers in the San Diego and north county communities that want to engage in independent films all year long.

For more information on the Insider Series, visit www.sdfilmfest.com/.

Terri Stanley is the creator and executive producer of the Emmy award-winning Boston lifestyle show “styleboston” and former executive editor of Boston Common magazine. Since moving to the San Diego area, she freelances as a lifestyle writer and short film producer. Reach her at terris@styleboston.tv.

San Diego Community News Group – HBO premieres Big Little Lies at SDIFF

Tremblant

There is something for everyone at Tremblant, Quebec’s most upscale mountain resort destination. The skiing and riding is superb, but what really makes Tremblant worth the trip is the charm of the pedestrian village, the après scene, and the myriad of activities available to those who don’t get their thrills on the hill. Join the worship of everything maple syrup, go shopping, get your spa on, experience dog sledding, ice skate under the stars, and enjoy the diverse cuisine. Tremblant is a great choice for couples, families, and singles looking to mingle.  Teeming with Brits and Europeans, there is always “a party on the patio” regardless of what the temperature is.

I love the French chic that is evident everywhere you look in Tremblant. Here skiers and riders step it up a notch, maybe several notches actually, with what they wear both on and off the mountain.  Paging Dr. Zahivago: Real fur is the big story at Tremblant and the fashion forward are mixing it up a by wearing furs of different origins at the same time. Not your ‘80’s neons, yellow, pinks, and graphic prints stood out boldly against the snow and metallic touches were everywhere. The hottest accessory is the knit hat with an oversized pom pom, with spikey fox or raccoon fur poms being the most sought after. Tremblant boutiques cannot keep these hats in stock right now and remember fashion fans, the bigger and higher your pom pom, the closer to god.

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The Top Five Meals on Wheels Ideas That Will Never Be:

1. Martini Popsicle Truck: Gin, vodka, dirty, extra dry, whatever. I want little more than a full menu of boozy frozen treats on a stick, preferably either olive-, lemon-infused, to roll up my street right about 5 p.m. every day.

2. Nutella-Grand Marnier-Banana Crepes Truck: A heady creation, so overwrought with disparate flavors, they actually taste a little like bubble gum taken altogether. But the combination, while disgusting on paper, is one of the world’s most glorious street foods. Regular orders kept me alive in Paris. And would give me one big reason to live now.

3. Fat-tastic Truck: Dutch chocolate beignets, duck rillettes, Awful Awfuls, triple crème cheese. If it’s jacked up with saturated fat, it’d be peddled off this diet-destroying rig. Healthy? Hardly. Will it all be positively dripping with flavor? You bet your fat ass.

4. Vampire Mobile: A fix for Sooki Stackhouse addicts between Sundays. Think True Bloody Marys, garlicky crostini, red velvet cupcakes. Okay, so it’s a pretty thin concept. But get Alexander Skarsgård to serve it all shirtless, and you’ve got yourself a slam-dunk of a biz.

5. Mean, Lean, Green Machine: Any putz can get a prescription for legal marijuana and fire it up. But to clarify it in butter perfectly and roll it out into beautifully rich chocolate chip cookies takes a special kind of pastry chef. Or, more specifically, a special kind of baker.

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