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It seems like every website in the Western hemisphere and a lot besides are regurgitating Netflix’s new press release about their original movie Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday. Not only is it not news that the film will be a Netflix premiere – that dates back to 2014 – it’s not even news that Wonder Showzen’s John Lee will be directing.
All credit to Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411 for reporting these facts and many more besides over a month ago. It’s the extra info that’s really worth repeating.
As well as Pee-Wee Herman, who will of course be played by Paul Rubens as he has been for the last 34 years, there are several other key characters in the film. The ones we know about all seem to be female.
There’s Pepper and Freckles, “pretty” and “tough” girls of around 30 who seem to be bank robbers; they sound like »
- Brendon Connelly
Sister, My Sister: Baumbach’s Energetic Return to Facades of NYC
The latest in Noah Baumbach’s prolific slew of projects, Mistress America is the follow-up collaboration between the director and actress/muse Greta Gerwig. Though it isn’t as fine-tuned and charmingly buoyant as their 2012 feature Frances Ha, it’s an intelligently droll counterpart to the pleasant yet painstakingly glossy While We’re Young (which reaches theatrical release this coming spring). Witty and well-written, Baumbach’s tone is influenced by a slew of transmogrifying 1980s American films, though the dialogue heavy banter recalls everyone from Howard Hawks to Woody Allen sidestepping on slapstick. Though Baumbach isn’t covering new ground, his post-collegiate privileged characters still inveigled with the paralyzing ennui of adult prospects that graced his lovely 1995 debut, Kicking & Screaming, he hasn’t lost his knack for portraying disillusioned lives lost hopelessly in their own sea of problems.
Entering Columbia as a college freshman, »
- Nicholas Bell
The Oscars sum up Hollywood quite tidily: The most popular people get together to find out who has been selected as being especially notable, and then everyone claps. If you're the type who likes attention - and let's face it, most who excel in Hollywood do - getting that moment onstage is a dream come true. Every now and then, however, an Oscar winner isn't present to receive his or her statuette. It's Hollywood heresy - the thought that someone would have somewhere more important to be than onstage, receiving applause. But it happens, and when it does, there's usually a good story behind it. »
- Drew Mackie, @drewgmackie
The 87th Academy Awards are this Sunday evening, and we're counting down the minutes!
We've already given you our Oscar predictions, and now we're bringing you a few of the best (and craziest) Academy Awards facts. From the first Best Actor winner to the "one dollar" Oscar rule, here are 25 things you (probably) don't know about the Oscars.
1. The youngest Oscar winner was Tatum O'Neal, who won Best Supporting Actress for "Paper Moon" (1973) when she was only 10 years old. Shirley Temple won the short-lived Juvenile Award at 6 years old.
3. After winning Best Actress for "Cabaret" (1972), Liza Minnelli became (and still is) the only Oscar winner whose parents both earned Oscars. Her mother, Judy Garland, received an honorary award in 1939 and her father, Vincente Minnelli, »
- Jonny Black
With Oscar’s big day just days away, preparations and rehearsals continued Wednesday for the 87th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre.
Excited for the red carpet fashions and A-listers?
People has partnered with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to present the 2015 Oscar Fan Experience on Sunday, February 22nd. The People Oscar Fan Experience treats red carpet and movie buffs around the world with unprecedented access.
700 fans including People VIP subscribers were selected to watch and cheer nominees, presenters and film’s biggest stars with a full day Oscar experience on the most anticipated red carpet of the year. As the telecast begins, People Oscar Fan Experience guests will be whisked away for an exclusive viewing party at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles.
“People is excited to partner for the third consecutive year with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” said Karen Kovacs, Publisher, »
- Michelle McCue
For our roundup of current goings on, we begin in New York, where you can see Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, Eve Arden and Lucille Ball in Gregory La Cava’s Stage Door (1937), surveys of the careers of John Carpenter, Lynn Hershman Leeson and John Boorman, a car company promo by Nagisa Oshima, Jim Jarmusch riffing on Man Ray and documentaries by Wang Bing and Lav Diaz at MoMA. Plus: Billy Wilder in Berkeley, Lewis Klahr in San Francisco, James Benning in Hamburg, Noël Burch in Brussels and more. » - David Hudson »
However stagily preposterous, George Cukor’s 1940 movie The Philadelphia Story, now rereleased, is also utterly beguiling, funny and romantic; it is based on the same stage play, by Philip Barry, as the 1956 musical High Society. This is the most famous example of the intriguing and now defunct prewar genre of “comedy of remarriage”, the subject of an equally interesting study by film theorist Stanley Cavell called Pursuits Of Happiness. It features three stars from the studio era who are the aristocrats, or deities, of the Hollywood golden age: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart. Part of the fascination in watching this movie again is savouring those three extraordinary voices, highly imitable but entirely unique. Hepburn is the statuesque heiress Tracy Lord, »
- Peter Bradshaw
The Philadelphia Story, 1940.
Directed by George Cukor.
Set to remarry, Tracy Lord (Hepburn) has to contend with her ex-husband (Cary Grant) and a reporter on the snoop (James Stewart) as she tries to go through with her upper-class wedding – with their intention to spoil it.
Romance is in the air. The arrow of cupid has struck and, as Robson and Jerome covered, this Saturday night is at the movies. You may believe a Subway and Titanic is a romantic night in. I would argue it’s not*. In fact, an alternative is to head down to the BFI and watch a re-mastered copy of The Philadelphia Story. Not only will this extraordinary comedy give you a superior sense of cinematic taste, but it also features the genius pairing of Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart – and that’s in addition to the feisty Katharine Hepburn, »
- Simon Columb
Catherine Shoard recommends The Philadelphia Story, George Cukor's 1940 screwball romantic comedy starring Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart and Cary Grant. Tracy Lord (Hepburn) finds herself torn between her ex-husband and a newspaper reporter on the eve of her wedding to a businessman
• The Philadelphia Story is rereleased in the UK this Friday, just in time for Valentine's Day
- Catherine Shoard and Paul Frankl
Exclusive: One year later, 2013 Best Actress winner Cate Blanchett is ready to hit the Oscar stage again. This year she will be opening the envelope and announcing the name of the Lead Actor winner, the most hotly contested of all acting races. But when I mentioned that as I spoke with her on the phone her home in Australia, Blanchett almost brushed it aside, wanting to talk about instead about a different category: the one she won in last year for Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. “Well, I don’t know. There are also a lot of great performances, yet again by women, and another five that didn’t make it could easily have been nominated,” she said.
- Pete Hammond
★★★★★ Time has been favourable to The Philadelphia Story (1940). Even as a septuagenarian, it still sizzles and simmers in fine form. Dubbed a "comedy of remarriage", it is now being played in all its rom-com glory at the British Film Institute as part of a season focusing on the films of Katharine Hepburn. This film in particular has become a pillar of the romantic comedy genre, the film by which most others of it kind are measured - and it reignited Hepburn's career after a string of financial flops. Having acquired the rights to the story, she was able to guide the production per her wishes and, in doing so, position herself for a winning comeback at the box office.
- CineVue UK
For Cate Blanchett, all roads these days lead to Oscar.
And she landed that job at an Oscar ceremony.
When the 2010 “Dragon” was nominated, director Dean DeBlois approached her at the ceremony about doing a role in the sequel. As she told Variety, “He just walked up to me and said, ‘I’ve written a part for you.’ I thought, ‘Yeah, that is such a line…!’ But he had. He said she was a Jane Goodall-type of character who had spent her life with dragons. I loved the first film and had watched it about nine times with my boys. So my curiosity was piqued, and I thought, ‘How will they top that? »
- Tim Gray
Both roles initially seem secondary to the male hero in their respective films (Ben Affleck's Nick in the former, Eddie Redmayne's Stephen Hawking in the latter), but gradually come to take over the story in their own right. Here's our pick of nine further films where a heroine usurps her male counterpart.
Women usually get a raw deal in Bond films, so much so that the leads are dismissively referred to as 'Bond girls'. But the casting of Judi Dench as M from 1995's GoldenEye onwards went some way to redressing the gender balance - and by her final outing in Skyfall, she had almost become the protagonist in her own right.
M had always been in a »
In A Scott Berg’s memoir Kate Remembered, published just days after Katharine Hepburn’s death in 2003, the author makes a very telling point about what distinguished Hepburn from almost every other movie star in history. In the early 1980s, Berg had interviewed silent movie actress Blanche Sweet for a biography he was writing of Samuel Goldwyn. As Sweet acknowledged, her own film celebrity had long since faded. »
We're knee-deep in awards season at the moment, with all the attendant speculation, drama and controversy you would expect. Who should win? Who was snubbed? Who will fall over before they reach the podium? We're looking at you, Jennifer Lawrence.
Around this time, we tend to realise the shocking number of lauded films from previous years which we still haven't seen. So here's a selection of the best award-winning films you can catch up with on Netflix:
Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 classic hardly needs an introduction from us. The film took three Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Marlon Brando, as well as a record five Golden Globes and further nods from the Grammys, and Writers and Directors Guilds of America.
The Grammys are the most fun awards ceremony because you can win, um, so many of them. U2 has 22. Kanye West has 21. Katharine Hepburn only won four Oscars, and that's considered miraculous. Bring on the hardware, Grammy committee! Consequently, it's possible to win a bunch of Grammys in a single night. Today we honor the pop stars who defied the odds and netted five or more trophies in one evening. Roger Miller was the first to achieve the feat in 1966, but we've had a bunch of Grammy windfalls since then. Here are 10 folks who cleaned up at a single Grammy ceremony. »
- Louis Virtel
Some unlikely actors have been inspired by the Oscar-winning icon. As the BFI launches a retrospective, we pick our favourites
In a slew of romantic and screwball comedies of the 1930s and 40s, Katharine Hepburn defied convention by playing women who were independent, forthright and unruly. She had the audacity to behave that way off-screen, too. Myth and nostalgia would have you believe she was unique, but she has spawned many kindred spirits working today. Less the manic pixie such as Zooey Deschanel or Kirsten Dunst, or feisty beauties such as Penelope Cruz or Jennifer Lawrence, or even scatty navel-gazers such as Greta Gerwig or Lena Dunham. Here are 10 Hollywood actors who have channelled Hepburn’s chutzpah, and whose shtick wouldn’t exist without her.
Continue reading »
- Isabel Stevens
Aleksei German's Hard to Be a God is currently at Anthology Film Archives in New York and will screen from February 20 through 23 at Northwest Film Forum in Seattle. A few cities here and there follow, but for the rest of us, we'll get to see it eventually, so you must see James Kang's collection of reviews at Critics Round Up. Linking to 26 pieces by top-notch writers, James figures the overall score to be 97/100. More goings on: Tell It Like It Is: Black Independents in New York, 1968-1986; Brooklyn Boheme; films starring Charles Laughton and Katharine Hepburn; Philippe Garrel's Le Révélateur (1968); and work by Eric Baudelaire and Paul Sharits. » - David Hudson »
By Anjelica Oswald
The stars may align in Hollywood this year in a way we’ve only seen once in the past 77 years.
Since the Oscars went to four acting categories in 1937, only once have all four of the acting winners been 46 or older.
The frontrunners — who now look locked in for Oscar wins — for three of the acting categories are supporting actress nominee Patricia Arquette, 46; supporting actor nominee J.K. Simmons, 60, and lead actress nominee Julianne Moore, 54. If all three of the aforementioned nominees win and if Birdman’s Michael Keaton, 63, beats Redmayne for lead actor, all four winners will be 46 or older.
The last time all four acting winners were older than 46 was 1982.
That year, Maureen Stapleton was the youngest acting winner »
- Anjelica Oswald
Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters have two of the most challenging (yet enviable) jobs in Hollywood, serving as showrunners on ABC’s “Agent Carter” and “Resurrection,” two high-concept dramas with vocal fanbases and — following the breakout success of “Resurrection” and the blockbuster track record of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe — plenty of scrutiny.
If they’re feeling the pressure, you wouldn’t know it to talk with the accomplished pair, who sat down with Variety for a gregarious discussion about their professional partnership of 16 years, the experience of playing in the Marvel sandbox, and what’s ahead for “Agent Carter,” as Hayley Atwell’s titular heroine delves deeper into a web of conspiracies and secrets that may leave her feeling betrayed by those she trusts most, as the below preview from the Jan. 27 episode illustrates.
You have the Herculean task of juggling two broadcast drama series at the same time in »
- Laura Prudom
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