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30. No Country for Old Men (2007)
Scene: Coin Flip
There was a brief period of time from 2006-2009 when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made some more daring, but wholly deserved choices for Best Picture. It began in 2006, when Martin Scorsese finally won for The Departed which, while not his best and not nearly as dark as, say, Taxi Driver or Raging Bull, still leaned that direction. Three years later, they handed the Oscar to The Hurt Locker over the blockbuster Avatar, rewarding quality over audience love. But in between the two it was given to No Country for Old Men, an incredibly dark neo-Western based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. It’s still one of the Coen Brothers’ best films, an incredible cat-and-mouse journey through West Texas in the 1980′s. The film stars Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, »
- Joshua Gaul
“Inspirational stories for the damned” is the label given by one blinded soldier to survival tales like his in “Testament of Youth” — it’s also an apt description of this rousing, robust adaptation of Vera Brittain’s landmark First World War memoir. Deftly balancing restrained sentimentalism with tough-minded human tragedy, this impressive, unashamedly classical feature debut by TV helmer James Kent has the populist heft one expects from producer David Heyman, while preserving the solemn intimacy of Brittain’s account of lives and loves severed by the conflict. Sumptuously appointed and attractively cast — with Swedish up-and-comer Alicia Vikander a luminous Brittain — “Youth” may be lower in profile and star wattage than a comparably skilled wartime weeper like “Atonement,” but should be appreciated by much the same audience.
Previously adapted by the BBC as a television serial in 1979, Brittain’s 1933 tome has taken several years to reach the big screen under Heyman’s guidance. »
- Guy Lodge
Paris– Gaumont TV France, the television division of the Paris-based major, is set to produced “Spy City,” a 10 one-hour English-language series that will be showrun by William Boyd (“Any Human Heart”) and directed by Pascal Chaumeil (“Heartbreaker”).
Created and written by Boyd, the series takes pace in the early 1960’s, in Berlin. It sheds light on the personal lives of spies and focuses on a group of men and women of different nationalities and backgrounds who are in the “hornet’s nest” of divided Berlin.
“Spy City” will be co-produced by Odeon in Germany. Mischa Hofmann, Odeon CEO, and Britta Meyermann, head of international co-productions, negotiated the deal.
Boyd’s most recent works include his novel “Ordinary Thunderstorms,” the latest James Bond book “Solo,” and the espionage novel “Waiting for Sunrise.” Boyd wrote the screenplay for Richard Attenborough’s “Chaplin,” which earned two Emmy Awards nominations.
In the run-up to Mipcom, »
- Elsa Keslassy
With Tuesday comes a rundown of the new DVDs and Blu-rays, but today we're also discussing a range of topics such as the new trends in creating "Cinematic Universes" vs. the idea of "dark and gritty", latest news bits from the Magic Mike Xxl casting, Taken 3 being titled Tak3n (to be known henceforth as Takthreen) and Lindsay Lohan wanting another Mean Girls sequel. Then there are games and so forth... Hope you enjoy. If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add »
- Brad Brevet
The Santa Barbara Film Festival is sending out announcements. That must mean it’s Oscar season officially. The first of their special announcements is the Us premiere of Richard Raymond’s Desert Dancer, »
- Sasha Stone
Jurassic World details revealed in leaked brochure
The sign is the same one that Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) knocked down when he was trying to escape from the island with dinosaur embryos in the 1993 classic.
Will those dinosaur embryos be referenced in the new film or was this just a cheeky nod to the Steven Spielberg masterpiece?
— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) September 22, 2014
Regardless of the gigabyte capacity, the snap leaked onto Twitter by the director himself is poised to make fans of the original sit up and take notice. And then consider the implications of an innocent photo. With the simple caption “Autumn”, this latest shot pays homage to a rrecognizablelocation from the first outing, a definite throwback to Steven Spielberg’s original 1993 flick, Jurassic Park.
Beneath a pile of crisp, golden leaves, a discarded sign which reads “East Dock” lays barely recognizable amidst the foliage. For fans of the first movie, you’ll remember the sequence in which the signage appeared. Dennis Nedry, the messy, opportunistic InGen employee, stole numerous vials of dino embryos and smuggled them »
- Gem Seddon
Following the death of Sir Richard Attenborough late last month, director Colin Trevorrow posted a picture of their tribute to him as John Hammond that will be seen in the forthcoming Jurassic World. Now another look behind the scenes shows off a familiar location to fans of Jurassic Park. In the original film, you might remember that Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) tried to smuggle dinosaur DNA out of the park in order to sell it on the black market But he got lost in a rainstorm and didn't know where to go. Well, since Jurassic World goes back to Isla Nublar, it looks like we're going to return to that area at some point. Here's what Colin Trevorrow posted from the set of Jurassic World on Twitter: Autumn. pic.twitter.com/rbWVJHDtmy— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) September 22, 2014 And here's the original sign after Nedry knocked it down in Jurassic Park: »
- Ethan Anderton
Daniel Radcliffe will win an Oscar, eventually. He's driven, he's eclectic, he's riding Leonardo DiCaprio-esque blockbuster momentum that he's happy to cash in for provocative material, and, most importantly, he's good. And getting better. Holding his own against Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith and Ralph Fiennes for a decade certainly helped. Based on the talent assembled for his latest project, Radcliffe's time could be coming sooner than later. Goldcrest Films announced today that Sir Ben Kinglsey ("Schindler's List") and Brie Larson ("Short Term 12") will join Radcliffe in Killer Films' "Brooklyn Bridge," the story of engineer Washington Roebling and his calamitous road to realizing New York City's iconic structure. Radcliffe will play Roebling, who inherits the Brooklyn Bridge project from his father (Kinglsey) and finds an unlikely working partner in his wife, Emily (Larson). Radcliffe's costars provide an awards-friendly bedrock for "Brooklyn Bridge." Kinglsey is a four-time Oscar nominee, picking »
- Matt Patches
By Anjelica Oswald
Robert Downey Jr. is no stranger to box office smashes; The success of Sherlock Holmes, Iron Man and The Avengers has proven Downey’s ability to dominate the world of Hollywood blockbusters. Downey takes a step towards a more serious role than he’s had the past few years with this fall’s family drama, The Judge.
Since opening the 39th Toronto International Film Festival Thursday evening,the film hasn’t been hailed as the next best picture nominee to come out of Toronto, but that doesn’t mean it won’t score any nominations.
Both Oscar winner Robert Duvall and two-time Oscar nominee Downey, have been garnering high praise for their roles as father and son, which could lead to potential nominations for the 87th Academy Awards. Duvall has a long awards history, but Downey also has his fair share of praise. Here are »
- Anjelica Oswald
“The truth is I’m just an old veteran character actor” says Robert Englund as we sit down to discuss The Last Showing, his latest foray into genre cinema. To find one standing opposite the genial and softly-spoken man who devoured so many hours of sleep by searing to the mind the menacing image of claws piercing first the mattress and then the torso, can only be described as ‘surreal.’ As these words flow onto the page there is a realisation that the reason horror cinema earns our affection was so eloquently phrased by Emily Berrington when she said, “There is a desire to feel that tiny part of your mind that otherwise doesn’t get tapped into.” By touching our sensibilities in a way that we crave, these terrifying encounters remain some of the most evocative and defining moments of the human experience, and therein cinema is our fix. »
- Paul Risker
“I feel like I was sucker-punched, but it was a happy punch,” Robert Downey Jr. told me after the Toronto Film Festival’s opening-night movie The Judge. At the Montecito restaurant after-party, the star and his wife Susan Downey, who was one of the producers of the project, admitted they had not seen the film before in such a large venue as Roy Thomson Hall, where the October 10th Warner Bros release had its world premiere Thursday night.
Downey admitted to tearing up at least five times watching the film tonight. I sat near the cast and noticed that co-star Dax Shepard was a complete emotional mess the minute the lights came up and the audience stood to applaud. Susan Downey agreed with me that if audiences — particularly adult filmgoers who don’t necessarily rush to movies on the first weekend — show up to support the film it will mean »
- Pete Hammond
As we bid goodbye to the Summer action blockbusters, we say hello once more to the serious slate of films looking to pick up award gold in the last few months of the year. And what better subject matter than the true story or the biographical or “bio-pic”? Maybe a good mix of the two, and since Hollywood enjoys celebrating itself why not tackle one of its greatest stars? Though not as highly merchandised today at contemporaries Bogart, Monroe, or Hepburn (either one), few stars shone as brightly in that golden age than Errol Flynn, king of the silver screen swashbucklers. Now Flynn was played by the similarly dashing Jude Law ten years ago in the Howard Hughes story, The Aviator. And previously he was parodied wonderfully by Peter O’Toole as Alan Swann in the raucous comic gem My Favorite Year in 1982 and by former Bond Timothy Dalton as »
- Jim Batts
Reel-Important People is a monthly column that highlights those individuals in or related to the movies who have left us in recent weeks. Below you'll find names big and small and from all areas of the industry, though each was significant to the movies in his or her own way. Sir Richard Attenborough (1923-2014) - Actor and Filmmaker. He won Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture for Gandhi and also directed Chaplin, A Bridge Too Far, Cry Freedom and A Chorus Line. He'd been an actor first, earning Golden Globes for supporting in Doctor Dolittle and The Sand Pebbles. He also starred in Jurassic Park (see below), Lost World: Jurassic Park, the 1994 version of Miracle on 34th Street, The Great...
- Christopher Campbell
Jurassic Park is not only the greatest dinosaur film of all time, it’s one of the best films Spielberg has ever directed. Not only did the film resurrect (fictionally only, unfortunately) an extinct race of giant reptiles for the silver screen, it also bolstered an already amazing premise – borrowed from Michael Crichton’s novel – with a cast of actors that performed their characters with the utmost care and attention. From Wayne Knight’s performance as the oafish programmer of the park’s security systems to Richard Attenborough’s almost godlike presence as the park’s owner and creator: John Hammond – there’s little wonder why Jurassic Park is considered an outright classic in its own right.
But the real stars of the show were the dinosaurs, and while there was only 15 minutes of screen time for the prehistoric beasts, that made them no less prominent or memorable within the film. »
- Joe Pring
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the greatest news wrap-up on the web: the WhatCulture.com News Brief! In this weekly column, we collect the most important and interesting news stories that graced our RSS feeds, and kept us talking about all things film and television.
As summer draws to a close and blockbuster season winds down, we’ve run into a bit of a news slump. Things slowed considerably this week, but there were still plenty of things to talk about. We’ve got a few reboots on the horizon (shocking, I know!), on both the small screen and the silver screen. This week we heard about Underworld, Shutter Island, The Tick, and The Greatest American Hero reimaginings, remakes, and reboots in the works. Meanwhile, Ron Howard and Tom Hanks return to the mysterious world of Dan Brown adaptations, while the Richard Pryor, King Arthur, and Looney Tunes films find their stars. »
- James Garcia
Nothing is too heavily encrypted in “The Imitation Game,”, rendered in such unerringly tasteful, “Masterpiece Theatre”-ish fashion that every one of Turing’s professional triumphs and personal tragedies arrives right on schedule and with nary a hair out of place. More than once during the accomplished (but not particularly distinctive) English-language debut for Norwegian director Morten Tyldum (“Headhunters”), you can catch the ghost of the late Richard Attenborough nodding approvingly over the decorous proceedings. And yet so innately compelling is Turing’s story — to say nothing of Benedict Cumberbatch’s masterful performance — it’s hard not to get caught up in this well-told tale and its skillful manipulations. Likely to prove more popular with general audiences than highbrow critics, this unapologetically old-fashioned prestige picture (the first of the season’s dueling studies of brilliant but tragic English academics, to be followed soon by “The Theory of Everything”) looks and »
- Scott Foundas
The Important News We heard Hawkeye might be in Captain America 3. And were teased that someone else in the sequel will have fans freaking out. We also saw new images from Avengers: Age of Ultron and heard some rumors about how that sequel will end. Guardians of the Galaxy became the hightest grossing movie of the summmer. And they made a real dancing Groot toy. Sir Richard Attenborough died. And was paid tribute by the production of Jurassic World. Keith Stanfield will play Snoop Dogg. Mike Epps will play Richard Pryor. Chris Hemsworth will play Audrey's husband in the next Vacation. We got our first look at Pixar's next female hero. And our first look at Disney's Feast. Acme is the next Lego Movie...
- Christopher Campbell
Over the next weeks, on screens in Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York, dozens of film will starting the journey that they will hope will end with the top prize: a Best Picture Oscar win. There can only be one, which means the race will be fierce, and few will survive, so before the madness begins (though some would argue it already has), let's take a look back a few decades to see the movies that captured the imagination of awards voters and audiences. Following supercuts for the 1990s and 2000s, Miguel Branco returns with a look at the 1980s. Once again, it's another carefully put together piece, spanning three minutes, which weaves together some very different movies. Ranging from the late Richard Attenborough's epic "Gandhi," to Oliver Stone's grim "Platoon," to Robert Redford's grief drama "Ordinary People," the 80s found the Academy favoring heavier subject matter. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Editor's Note: The British filmmaker Michael Anderson, 94, is the oldest living best director Oscar nominee; he was nominated for helming the 1956 best picture Oscar winner, Around the World in 80 Days. 72 years ago, he was the assistant director on the film in which Richard Attenborough made his big-screen debut. He would go on to direct Attenborough in two other films over the next 33 years. The year was 1942. The great Noel Coward and the soon-to-be-great
- Michael Anderson
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