The Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. Awards will be revealed on Dec. 8, five days after the Gotham critics weigh in with their picks. To predict the winners of these awards, you need to look beyond your Oscar forecast. Although based in filmdom's capital, this group is disconnected from the more mainstream academy voters. Last year, Lafca went their own way, naming "Amour" as the Best Picture of the year after Nyfcc and the National Board of Review had gone with "Zero Dark Thirty." Both films went on to lose the top Oscar race to "Argo." "The Master," runner-up for the top prize with Lafca, won four awards: Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson), Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix), Best Supporting Actress (Amy Adams) and Production Design. Only the two performers reaped Oscar bids. Lafca's love for "The Master" denied eventual Oscar champ Daniel Day-Lewis his fourth »
Over the past few years, Paul Dano has established himself as one of the best actors of his generation and someone that can morph into any role. While most people will immediately remember his work in Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood and Little Miss Sunshine, he's also great in Kelly Reichardt's Meek's Cutoff, Paul Weitz's Being Flynn (opposite Robert De Niro), Ruby Sparks, Looper, and many more. Based on his work in the films I just mentioned, it's no surprise directors Denis Villeneuve and Steve McQueen wanted him in Prisoners and 12 Years a Slave, respectively, and he delivers some of his best work in both films. Last week I landed an exclusive interview with Dano. He talked about how 2013 has been a very good year, working with Villeneuve, Hugh Jackman and Roger Deakins on Prisoners, McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, getting to play Brian Wilson in »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 31 Oct 2013 - 07:01
We train our sights on the year 1996, and the 25 underappreciated films it has to offer...
Independence Day managed to revive both the alien invasion movie and the disaster flick in 1996, and just about every other mainstream picture released that year lived in its saucer-shaped shadow.
Yet beyond the aerial battles of Independence Day, the flying cows in Twister, and the high-wire antics of Tom Cruise in Brian De Palma's Mission: Impossible, there sat an entire library of lesser-known and underappreciated movies.
As part of our attempts to highlight the unsung greats of the 90s, here's our selection of 25 such films from 1996 - the year chess champion Garry Kasparov lost to the might of the computer Deep Blue, and the year comedy star Jim Carrey starred in an unexpectedly dark tale of obsession...
25. The Cable Guy
We can't sit here and »
At first I didn’t like the way this group of names was arranged on the risers of the red carpet stairway. But on second thought to see celebrity mingled »
- Ryan Adams
It's our first podcast to run near two hours in a long time as Laremy and I review The Counselor and Blue is the Warmest Color as well as discuss the marketing around Captain America: The Winter Soldier, J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan taking over the Star Wars: Episode VII screenplay, get in a heated discussion over Oscar-related minutia and play some games. It's a jam-packed episode and we hope you enjoy. Also, if you are on Twitter, we have a new 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
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice adapts the Thomas Pynchon novel about a scruffy, stoned detective and his doper friends—and as anyone who’s watched The Wire or even Boardwalk Empire knows, you can’t have a bunch of people indulging their vices without Michael K. Williams eventually showing up. Williams’ participation in the project has been the subject of rumor for some time, but Deadline seems to confirm it with an offhand remark buried at the end of this report on Williams starring in Captive—a thriller in which he plays a cop investigating the case of a »
Although production has long since wrapped for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Inherent Vice, the ensemble is still revealing actors left and right. Last week Eric Roberts announced his involvement and now The Wire star Michael K. Williams has been named as part of the ensemble, buried in a Deadline article (via Cigs & Red Vines). His role is undisclosed, but he’ll [...] »
- Jordan Raup
Chicago – In a situation that has happened in many U.S. households over the last ten years, the new film “The Girls on Liberty Street” explores the days leading up to a family shipping on of their own to the Army. The twist is that the potential soldier is female, and the reaction to this in the story is rich and nuanced. The film was produced, written and directed by John A. Rangel, and produced by David Rokos.
Brianna Zepeda is Leaving Home in ‘The Girls on Liberty Street’
Photo credit: Chicago International Film Festival
The film was entered in the new directors competition, remarkable for a local (Aurora, Illinois) filmmaker and a micro budget film. There are so many personal commonalities in the film as to the reaction to the girl, portrayed by Brianna Zepeda, and the story offers a unique insight into the variety of human souls who »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Exclusive: While Michael K. Williams‘ Chalky White character seems to be becoming a larger presence on each season of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire (I am most certainly not complaining), he’s found a movie to do during his hiatus. Williams signed with Bn Films to join Captive, the thriller directed by Jerry Jameson and written by Brian Bird and Reinhard Denke. Williams joins David Oyelowo, Kate Mara, Leonor Varela and Mimi Rogers. The film is a fictionalized thriller based on a well-known true story. While Ashley Smith, a single mom, struggles to overcome her drug addiction to regain custody of her daughter, she’s taken hostage by an escaped, quadruple murderer. Her only defenses: faith in God, a love for her daughter, and the book A Purpose Driven Life, parts of which she reads aloud to her captor during the harrowing ordeal. This leads to a surprising epiphany for both Ashley and the convict. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
For any filmmaker, particularly if you're working on an independent movie, accolades from critics and audiences are cherished and valued, providing validation for the long hours put in to realize your vision. But it must feel extra special when a director the caliber Paul Thomas Anderson takes the time to single out your effort for praise. "I absolutely love it. You've never seen anything like it. It's a smile from beginning to end," Anderson said about Laura Colella's "Breakfast With Curtis" after discovering it last year at the L.A. Film Festival. And now, we get a chance to see what captured his attention. Today, we're exclusively unveiling the poster and trailer for "Breakfast With Curtis," a movie which not only boasts the approval of Anderson, but won the Find Your Audience Award from the 2013 Indie Spirits. Starring Theo Green, Jonah Parker, David Parker, Aaron Jungels, Virginia Laffey, Yvonne Parker, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
She’s used to handbags and heels but here we have a picture of Reese Witherspoon (Legally Blonde) hiking in Oregon, fresh from the set of her new film Wild. Wild is an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s novel of the same name and tells the story of a woman who decides to walk over a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail alone, in an effort to leave her depressing and stunted life behind.
It was also announced just last week that Witherspoon would be joined by Laura Dern (Jurassic Park 3). Wild is directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (The Young Victoria) and was written by well-known author Nick Hornby (About A Boy).
- Ellen Daniels
It's no secret that Austin Film Festival has a stellar lineup this year. Although we here at Slackerwood are always eager to tell you our top picks for upcoming films, we thought we would switch it up a bit by also telling you a little about the conference panels we are most excited to attend.
Aff left no stone unturned with their lineup of speakers and presenters for this year's 20th anniversary celebration. If you know anyone on the Aff staff, you know how long and hard they worked to bring you these stellar writers, actors and filmmakers. The awardees alone are names to be marveled at: Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad, The X-Files) will receive the Outstanding Television Writer Award; Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia) will receive the Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award (to be presented by Paul Thomas Anderson); Callie Khouri (Thelma and Louise, Nashville) will »
- Marcelena Mayhorn
Following the silly and disappointing action comedy This Means War, actress Reese Witherspoon has taken some less than glamorous roles on the big screen. From Mud to the recently premiered The Devil's Knot, the actress is really working her acting muscles to the max. Next year, we'll see her in Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice, but right now she's filming Wild, an adaptation of Chery Strayed's novel of the same name about a woman decides more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail all by herself in an effort to leave her self-destructive life and depression behind her. Now we have the first photo from the Fox Searchlight film already in production featuring Witherspoon hiking on the set in Oregon. Look below! Here's the first look at Jean-Marc Vallée's Wild from Reese Witherspoon's Twitter: Wild is directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, The Young Victoria »
- Ethan Anderton
12 Years a Slave
Directed by: Steve McQueen
Running Time: 2 hr 13 mins
Release Date: Oct 18, 2013 (Chicago)
Plot: Freed man Solomon Northup (Ejiofor) is kidnapped and forced back into slavery for twelve years.
Who’S It For? All fans of great film ready to face history.
12 Years a Slave ends with a character speaking what must be Steve McQueen’s official motto, considering his previous Shame, and now his followup about American slavery: “There is nothing to forgive.” Directors often fit material to their own authorship, but here are events that specifically require McQueen’s attitude and vision, making for a rare, exhilarating match. Such a pairing makes for voraciousness as dark and rich as American historical films can be, observing dehumanization in economy and religion this side of Paul Thomas Anderson’s magnificent There Will Be Blood. »
- Nick Allen
• One-time Oscar nominee Josh Brolin (Milk) is reportedly in talks to star in Jurassic World, the fourth installment in the dinosaur franchise. Jurassic World has a release date (July 12, 2015), a director (Safety Not Guaranteed’s Colin Trevorrow), a script in the works, and a few cast members (Bryce Dallas Howard and Iron Man 3′s Ty Simpkins), but little else is known about the plot or the characters. Brolin has a number of projects scheduled for release this and next year, including Jason Reitman’s Labor Day, Spike Lee’s English-language remake of Oldboy, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, »
- Lindsey Bahr
Dutch Colonialism and its long-lasting consequences are the topics of the documentary ’Empire’ at the Redcat (photo: ’Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism’) Mixing personal narratives, investigative journalism, video art, and split/multiple screens, Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill’s transmedia documentary Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism — the lengthy title gives you a pretty good idea of what the film is about — will have its West Coast Premiere on Monday, November 11, 2013, at 8:30 p.m. at downtown Los Angeles’ Redcat. Both Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill are expected to attend the screening. Previously shown at the 2013 New York Film Festival, Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism was filmed in more than half a dozen countries over the course of three years. According to the Redcat press release, the Dutch-American filmmakers (Jongsma is Dutch; O’Neill is American) "traveled 140,000 kilometers through Asia, Africa, Oceania and »
- Andre Soares
The six-part dark comedy — created by Matt Piedmont and Andrew Steele, and produced by Ferrell’s Funny or Die — is the bizarre adaptation of a non-existent novel penned by fictional author Eric Jonrosh (voiced by Ferrell). The show follows a dysfunctional family of oil tycoons led by Jonas Morehouse (Tim Robbins). His children, played by Kristen Wiig and Tobey Maguire, are set to inherit the fortune if they can fight their forbidden love for each other, (“I kicked heroin, I can’t kick you,” Maguire tells Wiig before they embrace).
- Maane Khatchatourian
Bridget Moynahan ("I, Robot") has joined the cast of Chad Stahelski and David Leitch's contemporary revenge thriller "John Wick". Derek Kolstad penned the script and filming has begun in the New York area.
Keanu Reeves plays a former hit man forced to return to action after thugs steal his car and kill his dog. Moynahan plays Reeves' wife. Willem Dafoe, Alfie Allen, Michael Nyqvist, Adrianne Palicki and Dean Winters also star. [Source: THR]
A Light Beneath Their Feet
- Garth Franklin
The third season of “Live Read, Directed by Jason Reitman” started off with an, ahem, bang Oct. 10, with a live reading of Paul Thomas Anderson‘s “Boogie Nights,” presented by Film Independent at Lacma.
Reitman opened the evening by asking the audience if anyone brought any children. “You know,” he said, “this is a very profane screenplay.” He explained the process of the popular series, telling the aud that there are no rehearsals, that many in the night’s cast hadn’t met before that night and that it was like listening to great jazz musicians jam.
Taylor Lautner ably stepped into the role of Dirk Diggler with great gusto and was joined by surprise reader Don Johnson as porn director Jack Horner. The pair, seated side by side, had a great rapport as surrogate son and father. Lautner proved himself to be more than just a “Twilight” hunk with a hilarious, »
- Terry Flores
“This is a very profane screenplay,” Jason Reitman warned the audience at Lacma before staging his latest Live Read, a recitation of the Paul Thomas Anderson masterpiece Boogie Nights. “It’s one thing to see it. It’s another thing to hear it. If you’re young or religious, you probably should leave now.”
The laughs in the audience suggested everyone knew what they were in for and cheered uproariously as Reitman introduced his cast, which included Taylor Lauter as Dirk Diggler, Don Johnson as Jack Horner, Judy Greer as Amber Waves, Mae Whitman as Rollergirl, Nick Kroll as Reed, »
- Lindsey Bahr
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