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While David Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars polarized critics during its festival run, the performance of its leading lady cannot be denied. As a washed-up actress desperate to regain the fame she once had, Julianne Moore went above and beyond. In a role that other actresses might have deemed alienating, or just too provocative, she shone – like a star (ahem) – in one of her finest performances in recent years. She even snagged the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Maps To The Stars picks up the story of Moore’s older thespian in the process of signing on to star in a remake of a film made famous by her mother. Inevitably, that’s cause for concern – what if she flails in the role her mother excelled in? To assuage her fears, she enlists a personal assistant (Mia Wasikowska) and then… well, everything goes nuts.
The fading »
- Gem Seddon
David Fincher‘s Gone Girl, adapted from the popular novel by Gillian Flynn, is one of the most anticipated films of 2014. With reports on potential plot changes and wild reactions to the film’s casting, fans have been following production from the start. But is the final product worthy of the hype?
Because we can’t wait until the official release date, and there are too many book-to-movie adaptations flooding the box office this fall, let’s break down what we’ve learned from the first official reviews. Spoilers ahead (duh).
The Film’s Ending Does Not Stray from the Book
Yay? Flynn adapted her 2012 novel for the film and stayed extremely close to the book. While early reports claimed that the lackluster ending your book club has been griping about for two years could be getting a big screen makeover come October, The Hollywood Reporter says don’t hold »
- Emily Exton
Shumaker had been with the company for four years, spearheading their efforts to broaden their production, acquisition, and financing activities in the U.S..
During his tenure, Shumaker acquired and produced a number of critically-aclaimed films, including Jim Mickle’s “Cold in July,” which opened at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, and Richard Glatzer’s “Still Alice,” which premiered at Toronto, earning warm reviews and Oscar buzz for Moore’s performance.
“Emilie (Georges), Tanja (Meissner) and the rest of the team are family to me. I couldn’t be prouder of the films we’ve acquired and produced during my tenure. From daring, genre bending works like ‘Compliance,’ ‘Cold in July’ and ‘Blue Ruin’ to emotionally resonant, award winning titles like ‘Short Term 12, »
- Elsa Keslassy
David Cronenberg is having a fine cinematic renaissance of late, turning from the internal displeasure of body horror to the outward nightmare. The sense of a world gone wrong, and out of control are prevalent in his latest works, with Maps to the Stars being the most tangible example so far.
In this film he lays bare the horror of Hollywood, painted with a thick, black streak of satire and sees the director reunite with his recent muse Robert Pattinson. Joining the Patz are Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams and (thankfully) John Cusack as well as the bright shining star in the centre of the film – Julianne Moore.
Moore plays a fading actress whose past haunts her waking hours, and with the mix of psychosexual drama and a commentary on the black hole of Hollywood this is something special.
Here’s a new clip from the film which sees Julianne Moore’s character, »
- Jon Lyus
But together, Cronenberg and Wagner, along with Cannes Best Actress winner Julianne Moore and her excellently creepy costars Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Olivia Williams and Robert Pattinson make this black void somehow feel sinister and real. In a recent Guardian op-ed, Wagner opened up about the famed script's thwarted journey, how Oliver Stone inadvertently pushed him into writing it, why this isn't "a satire" and why "Maps to the Stars" is a dead serious ghost story. "The thought of an industry satire makes me want to vomit." Wagner grew up on the fringes of Hollywood, working at bookstores, as a limo driver for celebrities including Orson Welles ("the prospect of sitting next to him for hours was suddenly and inexplicably stressful"), an ambulance driver, a would-be actor and a pencil-pusher at Paramount, where "Maps" got its start. -"In my early 30s, Oliver Stone introduced me to Billy Wilder. I’ll never forget my frisson. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
When Julianne Moore took the Best Actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival this year, there was some surprise. Many thought Marion Cotillard deserved it for her turn in the Dardennes' "Two Days, One Night." But if you want to get an idea of the fearlessness in Moore's performance that clearly won the jury over, perhaps this clip will help. Warning: it's very, very Nsfw. David Cronenberg's Hollywood satire takes its aim in a variety of places, with Moore representing a particular breed of aging actress, desperate to stay relevant and do anything to land a juicy part. And in this scene, we see her in a therapy/massage session with a hot New Age guru played by John Cusack. And during their session, Moore's character flashes back to one incident that found her in the midst of a threesome with someone who could help her land a big role, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Several unspoken-for films came into this year’s Toronto International Film Festival determined not only to find a distributor, but to set a 2014 release date. In the case of Still Alice, the touching drama of a woman’s descent into early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, that plan worked spectacularly well. It had a stirring world-premiere screening on Sept. 8 in a less-visible afternoon slot at Tiff and quickly sparked Oscar buzz for star Julianne Moore, a four-time nominee who has never won.
Sony Pictures Classics presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard quickly recognized the kind of role that has Oscar written all over it, and two days later the picture sold to Spc (which, despite having its largest slate of Oscar hopefuls ever, still had an »
- Pete Hammond
A-listers unite! Wow, talk about a star-studded ad campaign. L'Oreal Paris managed to pull in a ton of Hollywood power players, like Zoe Saldana, Eva Longoria, Blake Lively, Jane Fonda, Julianne Moore and Freida Pinto. The campaign is for the beauty brand's latest lipstick launch, Collection Exclusive Pure Reds. And in the ads, all the women pose clad in white, which of course makes all their red lipstick really pop. The campaign (shot by Norman Jean Roy) also features beauties like Laetitia Casta, Liya Kebede, Natasha Poly and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Even though all the women sport gorgeous red lips—they are all wearing different hues. The idea is that the colors match their varying »
Oscar predictions are a funny thing. Sometimes you have to just update them wholesale, and sometimes they only require a small bit of tinkering. That’s the nature of this beast, one where a single new contender can upend the race, one way or another. With a week to go until David Fincher’s Gone Girl is seen, we’re waiting for that new contender to change the landscape, but enough has happened since my last update that I wanted to make sure I brought this new one to you now. By the end of September, a lot more will be known. Exciting, right? If you look at what I have in this particular update, you’ll mainly see some category placement confirmation and the inclusion of Julianne Moore for Still Alice. In regards to the former concept, especially in Best Actress/Best Supporting Actress, contenders like Felicity Jones are going to be campaigned Lead, »
- Joey Magidson
Red Queen’s Lost Her Head: Westmoreland & Glatzer’s Poetic Elegy of Familial Tragedy
It’s been a busy year for Julianne Moore, in between tent pole studio fare like the last Hunger Games installment and a Liam Neeson action flick she managed to snag Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her perversely satisfying role in David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars. While that role is unlikely to generate the same amount of buzz from the Academy, it’s her moving performance in Still Alice that’s likely to garner her considerable awards attention and rightly so. The third film from Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, it’s a return to quiet, and subtle examinations of human interactions that so generously marked their breakout debut with 2004’s Quinceanera.
A Columbia University Linguistics Professor, Alice Howland (Moore) has just turned fifty. Happily married to her husband, Dr. John »
- Nicholas Bell
By Anjelica Oswald
With the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival now over, all eyes are on the 52nd New York Film Festival, which runs Sept. 26 to Oct 12. The festival’s lineup includes some festival favorites from these past few weeks, including Whiplash and Foxcatcher, but the festival’s premieres have been gaining buzz since the lineup was released. Here is a list of the top 10 films to see in New York (in alphabetical order with their festival date):
Birdman (Oct. 11)
Dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
This dark comedy features Keaton as a former film star who created a Broadway play in an effort to make a comeback. The film premiered in Venice to rave reviews before heading to Telluride where it created more Oscar buzz. It will close the festival, which the Academy Award-winning Her (2013) did last year. »
- Anjelica Oswald
With Maps To The Stars, the erstwhile king of venereal horror David Cronenberg trains his scalpel-like gaze on Hollywood, and the resulting film is as withering and unsettling as you might expect. Based on a screenplay by Bruce Wagner, it’s a Tinseltown drama vaguely in the tradition of Sunset Blvd or Swimming With Sharks, but layered with Cronenberg’s trademark fascination with the frailties of human flesh.
Mia Wasikowska plays Agatha, the young, wraith-like waypoint into a demented vision of upper-crust Los Angeles. Stepping off an overnight bus into the Californian sunshine, she’s in town to help Carrie Fisher (yes, that Carrie Fisher) with her latest novel, but really, her arrival has more to do with a disconnected group of people who all have three things in common: fame, »
The studio acquired worldwide distribution of “Top Five” a week ago following its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival to strong reviews.
At the Variety Studio in Toronto, Rock said he hoped the film would get a release this year so Rosario Dawson can get an actress nomination. Dawson beamed and laughed, and thanked her costar-director.
Though the best-actor derby is already overcrowded, the five Oscar slots for best actress have fewer contenders, with strong possiblities so far including Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”; Shailene Woodley, “The Fault in Our Stars”; Hillary Swank, “The Homesman”; and Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything.”
- Tim Gray and Dave McNary
Ever since Sony Pictures Classics acquired "Still Alice" at the Toronto Film Festival and pulled Julianne Moore back into the Best Actress Oscar race, she has been rapidly climbing in our racetrack odds, and nowhere faster than in our editors' predictions. Not only do we favor her to win, we're nearly unanimous. -Break- Oscars Poll: Who's Really more overdue, Amy Adams or Julianne Moore? As of this writing, six out of seven of us – myself included – rank her first in the race for her role as an early Alzheimer's sufferer. The performance won her great reviews in Toronto, and she's got a big Oscar Iou, having lost four previous races. She hasn't been nominated at all since 2002, when she became one of only 11 actors in history to receive two bids in one year: she was nodded in the lead race in "Far From Heaven" and in supporting for "The Hours. »
It’s September, so why wouldn’t we start predicting an Oscar race that won’t finish for another five months?
To be fair, Venice, Telluride, and the Toronto film festivals have all concluded. Many films have screened. Many films have connected with audiences, and a rough draft of the Oscar race is beginning to come into focus. Sure, no Academy member will even begin popping in those screener DVDs for another couple of months, but it’s still worth discussing what has buzz and what is likely to still be on voters’ minds once the weather finally begins to cool off. »
- Nicole Sperling
In a development that feels more inevitable than surprising, Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass are in talks to get back into the Bourne business. The two had sent mixed messages over the years, ever since Jason Bourne disappeared in the murky East River at the end of The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007, with the major roadblock being Damon’s insistence that a reluctant Greenglass direct, while Universal handed the franchise over to writer-turned-director Tony Gilroy. But with Gilroy’s Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner, failing to live up to the original three Bourne films at the box office, and Damon’s recent non-Bourne projects, »
- Jeff Labrecque
Lionsgate has unveiled a collection of new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 images from the first half of director Francis Lawrence’s conclusion to the franchise. As seen in the full-length trailer, the story finds Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss on the frontlines of an all-out war between the rebels of District 13 and the Capitol. These new images showcase Katniss’ battle-readiness, but the highlight of Mockingay – Part 1 for me continues to be Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer’s Cressida. She looks absolutely badass in the role, and after hearing Dormer’s thoughts on women in the movie industry at the “Women Who Kick Ass” panel at this year’s Comic-Con, I’m essentially ready to vote her into office. Hit the jump to take a look at the new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 images. The film also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, »
- Adam Chitwood
Guardians of the Galaxy may have become the first domestic release to cross $300 million at the box office this year, but I don't think anyone doubts that will be a drop in the bucket compared to what The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 hauls in when it hits theaters on November 21. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire made over $424 million domestically last year and I'm not expecting the sequel to do any less. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see it clock in at over $500 million and end the largest domestic release of 2014. But let's not get too ahead of ourselves here, the film still has to hit theaters and Lionsgate is ramping up the promotion. We had the new trailer earlier this week and now we have six new pictures from the film featuring stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Natalie Dormer in the film that picks up »
- Brad Brevet
Unlike last year, Toronto didn’t seem to herald an Oscar best-pic frontrunner. But it was the Year of the Actor, as much of the awards talk focused on performers. Some saw career revitalizations, though Al Pacino’s two roles didn’t seem to draw as much awards buzz as some other thesps.
Both are likely nominees, and “The Theory of Everything” wowed folks in many different categories.
His performance in “St. Vincent” lives up to the buzz. And the reclusive actor had fun promoting it.
- Tim Gray
A rep for IFC films has confirmed exclusively to Gold Derby that Patricia Arquette ("Boyhood") will compete in the Oscar race for Best Supporting Actress instead of lead. It was a tough decision. Arquette has so much screen time and such strong emotional impact upon viewers that the film could have been called "Motherhood," but it's really the core story of a boy growing up in a fractured family over 12 years. Over the past month, Gold Derby has featured Arquette as a prediction option in both races, resulting in a clear preference by our Experts, Editors and Users. In the lead race, she's currently ranked eighth, but in supporting, she's way out front to win with the backing of 12 our 16 Experts. See our official racetrack odds. -Break- Oscars Poll: Who's Really more overdue, Amy Adams or Julianne Moore? Of course, Oscar voters have the option of ignoring the IFC Films »
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