In his desire to create personal films marked by narrative authenticity and
universal resonance, NICK CASSAVETES (Written and Directed by) embraces the
tools of classical filmmaking while always remaining true to his independent roots. This
deft blending of craft and intensity, the timeless and the immediate, comes in Cassavetes'
latest film, Alpha Dog.
Released on February 15, 2002, New Line's John Q stars Denzel Washington as a
father who goes to increasingly desperate lengths to save his son from a potentially fatal
illness. Buttressed by a gifted ensemble cast (including Robert Duvall, Anne Heche, Ray
Liotta and a standout performance by Kimberly Elise), as well as elegant visuals and a
moody, orchestrated score, the film achieves a rare and winning combination of drama,
suspense, poignancy and realism.
Currently, Cassavetes is developing several projects that reflect both his
versatility and his passion for compelling narrative. He recently completed writing and
will direct an adaptation of Tim O'Brien's National Book Award-winning novel, Going
After Cacciato, a hallucinatory dark comedy about a private who deserts his post during
the Vietnam War. In addition, Cassavetes is penning and will executive-produce an
updated version of his late father John's classic noir film The Killing of a Chinese Bookie,
for director Sam Bayer.
Cassavetes' facility for character-driven intimacy was evident in his
writing/directing debut, Unhook the Stars, starring Gena Rowlands, Marisa Tomei,
GĂ©rard Depardieu, Moira Kelly and Jake Lloyd. An incisive and deeply felt drama about
a lonely widow whose lust for life is rekindled through a series of unlikely relationships,
the critically acclaimed film was recognized by the National Board of Review, while also
garnering Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Rowlands and Tomei.
That was followed a year later by Miramax's She's So Lovely, a bold and
unflinching drama about the inexorable bonds of love starring Sean Penn, John Travolta,
Robin Wright Penn, James Gandolfini, Debi Mazar and Harry Dean Stanton. Co-adapted
by Cassavetes from his father's script, the film garnered two awards at the 1997 Cannes
Film Festival, including a Best Actor Award for Penn, as well as a Golden Palm
nomination for Cassavetes. In addition, Wright Penn received a Best Actress nomination
from the Screen Actors Guild, and She's So Lovely was named Independent Film of the
Year by Details magazine.
A one-time student at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Cassavetes began
his career as an actor, appearing in such films as Just Like Dad, Blind Fury, Quiet Cool,
The Wraith and Twogether, as well as on television in NBC's L.A. Law and Quantum
Leap and in CBS' critically acclaimed Shannon's Deal. Most recently, he starred
opposite William H. Macy in Henry Bromell's Panic, with Johnny Depp and Charlize
Theron in New Line's The Astronaut's Wife and opposite Eddy Murphy and Martin
Lawrence in Ted Demme's Life. In addition, Cassavetes appeared as playwright Robert
E. Sherwood in Alan Rudolph's Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle and opposite John
Travolta and Nicolas Cage in John Woo's Face/Off.
In addition to his work as a director, Cassavetes has penned several feature
projects for New Line, including Blow, The Godforsaken and Unless That Someone Is
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