20 items from 2013
Woody Allen steps in front of the camera for the first time since 2006's Scoop to join a typically starry cast in this quattro formaggi platter of love and laughs, made in the Eternal City. Allen is the opera director who is crazily inspired after meeting the gifted father of his daughter's Italian fiance, while visiting architect Alec Baldwin guides student Jesse Eisenberg through a tricky romantic situation. Elsewhere, Penelope Cruz's call girl puts a newlywed in a compromising position and local nobody Roberto Benigni suddenly finds himself a national media star. »
Possibly having gotten its inspiration from the U.S.-based Broadcast Film Critics Association (Bfca; the critics group that hands out the Critics Choice Awards) or, just as possibly, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA; the organization that hands out the Golden Globes), the European Film Academy has added a new category to its European Film Awards roster: European Comedy. As per a press release, the new category was decided by Efa's board at its latest meeting in Berlin to “pay tribute to a genre which has proven that it is able to unite and entertain audiences across Europe and beyond.” (Pictured above: Daniel Brühl in Wolfgang Becker's 2003 comedy Good Bye, Lenin!, winner of that year's Best Film trophy.) The release adds that this year's three nominations for in the new category "will be decided by a special committee," while the eventual winner "will be voted for by the »
- Andre Soares
There were several “big” projects previewed at the 2013 CinemaCon in Las Vegas, but the one that (surprisingly) generated the most enthusiastic buzz was the 15-20 minute presentation for director/actor Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which opens in theaters this year on Christmas Day.
Furthermore, the positive reception for the Walter Mitty footage coincides with the reports about Robert Downey Jr. indicating he wants Ben Stiller to direct the new live-action cinematic take on Pinocchio that Rdj has pitched and intends to co-headline – by playing the puppet-maker Geppetto, rather than the titular wooden boy (lest you think the actor is pulling a Roberto Benigni).
Secret Life of Walter Mitty, for those not familiar, is a remake of the 1947 movie, which ...
- Sandy Schaefer
"As a kid I decided that a Canadian accent doesn't sound tough. I thought guys should sound like Marlon Brando. So now I have a phony accent that I can't shake, so it's not phony anymore." – Ryan Gosling
Greetings from the apocalypse! I gave up hunting for Cadbury Creme Eggs on my front lawn for Lent, so this Easter holiday comes as a huge relief. Let's celebrate this holiest of weekends with a story featuring death and glorious resurrection … of Hasbro toy characters.
Friday, March 29
Pow! In Theaters
Get locked and loaded as Dwayne Johnson brings out the big guns for "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." Ever since the trailer debuted in 2011 I've had visions of mountain-climbing ninjas dancing in my head, but what the good lord giveth, the good lord taketh away, and the summer 2012 release got delayed so they could add more Channing Tatum. That better not be at »
- Max Evry
Sometimes movies can be pretty heartbreaking. From cancer in Terms of Endearment to bees in My Girl, deaths in film have affected us in memorable and tear-jerking ways. Other times, the tragedy isn’t centered around death but love lost, as in the cult hit Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. These moments cause emotional resonance that leave audiences crest-fallen, giving them something to chew on long after the end credits have faded and the theater lights have again brightened the cinema.
But as we repeatedly had shoved down our throats by Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook, sometimes seemingly tragic events have silver linings. In life, this may manifest as a car accident victim being an organ donor, saving the lives of many others in a final act of charity. And film, of course, gives us ample opportunities to find similar moments in which the apparently mournful finales actually have an upside. »
- Nick F
Statistically speaking, with his third best actor Oscar in hand, Daniel Day-Lewis is now officially the greatest actor of all time. But statistics lie. Richard Burton, the greatest actor of his generation, was nominated for six Oscars and never won. Roberto Benigni did. Cary Grant, who almost single-handedly invented motion pictures, never won an Oscar. F Murray Abraham did. Heath Ledger, the most gifted actor of his generation, won his first and only Oscar – for best supporting actor – after he was dead. Art Carney, Nicolas Cage and Richard Dreyfuss were all very much alive when they were singled out as best actor of the year. Yes, Art Carney. As previously noted, statistics lie. Especially when they involve Nicolas Cage.
Arguing whether »
- Joe Queenan
By Joey Magidson
Believe it or not, no actor or actress has ever won an Academy Award for a performance in a film directed by Steven Spielberg. It’s an incredible dry spell, but this Oscar drought should end this weekend. Lincoln is poised to at least score Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis, if not Tommy Lee Jones for Supporting Actor and Sally Field for Supporting Actress as well. Day-Lewis is a lock, while Jones is a 50-50 proposition at this point and Field is almost assuredly losing. This won’t suddenly mean that Spielberg is King Midas for actors, but the tide is definitely turning at last.
This change got me thinking about the best performances induced from actors by Spielberg that resulted in nods but no wins. It’s an odd statistic since the Academy often goes out of its way to nominate his movies. Sometimes »
- Joey Magidson
"And the Oscar goes to…" Five words that will send nervous tingles through even the coolest of Hollywood customer. Winning an Academy Award can prompt tears of joy, euphoria, the desire to kiss whoever crosses your path or, in the case of Joe Pesci, extreme terseness.
As the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence and Ben Affleck ready themselves for the big night on Sunday (February 24), Digital Spy takes a look back at 20 of the most memorable acceptance speeches in Oscars history.
"Thank you life, thank you love. It is true, there are some angels in this city!" So usually a calm and restrained presence in interviews, Marion Cotillard let her emotions run free as she picked up a much-deserved Oscar for her barnstorming turn as Édith Piaf.
> Watch Marion Cotillard's Oscars acceptance speech
"It's my privilege. »
After the shambles of Quantum of Solace (I still have no idea what that title meant), it was touch and go whether the Bond franchise, so spectacularly revivified by Casino Royale, actually had a future in the 21st century. Enter secret weapon Sam Mendes who, 50 years after the screen debut of this very British screen icon, has ensured that 007 has more bite, relevance and popularity that at any time in his changeable career.
Focusing first and foremost on story and character but without skimping on the spectacular action set pieces, Skyfall (2012, MGM/Fox, 12) establishes a template for a new era of Bond movies that acknowledges the past while looking towards the future, balancing the "orgy of nostalgia" provoked by the appearance of an Aston Martin with a notable lack of gadgets (goodbye invisible cars, hello snippy »
- Mark Kermode
Rome – Italian producer Vittorio Cecchi Gori, whose productions include three Oscar winners, was sentenced to six years behind bars and ordered to pay €11.5 million ($15.6 million) in damages Friday in connection with the with the bankruptcy of his Safin Cinematografica, his production firm. Cecchi Gori, 70, the son of late Italian production legend Mario Cecchi Gori, has produced nearly 200 films on his own or together with his father. His credits include three Oscar winners: Gabriele Salvatores’ Meditrraneo from 1991, Michael Radford’s Il Postino (The Postman) from 1994, and Roberto Benigni’s La Vita e’ Bella (Life
- Eric J. Lyman
Chicago – After acknowledging that the rewards of reality are infinitely preferable to the shallow pleasures of a nostalgic dreamworld in his Oscar-winning crowd-pleaser, “Midnight in Paris,” Woody Allen’s tirelessly neurotic psyche appears to be more calm and serene than ever before. Perhaps his compulsion to make one picture a year has finally brought him some sort of therapeutic catharsis.
His eagerly anticipated follow-up, “To Rome with Love,” is an entertaining trifle that functions as little more than an absurdist travelogue, but it’s also his most relaxed, causally playful offering in many a moon. Considering the unfathomable potential of its powerhouse cast, the script’s hit-or-miss trajectory is a considerable letdown. The film wasn’t quite worth the full price of admission in theaters, but as a Friday night rental, cinephiles could do a whole lot worse. As for die-hard Allen fans (such as myself), there is plenty here to savor. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Robert De Niro is widely regarded as one of the best actors of his generation, so it may surprise you to learn how long he went without making a truly great movie. (Sure, we all laughed at “Meet the Parents” back in 2000, but "Meet the Parents" is no “The Deer Hunter.”) The Oscar nomination De Niro earned with his supporting role in last year's "Silver Linings Playbook" is his first since 1991, when he played that crazy guy who clings to the bottom of Nick Nolte's car in "Cape Fear." And he hasn't won an Academy Award since 1981, when he portrayed the tormented boxer Jake Lamotta in "Raging Bull."
If you want an idea of how long ago that was, here is a video of a young De Niro accepting his award from Sally Field:
If you want a few more ideas, keep reading.
On the day Robert De Niro »
- The Huffington Post
Rome -- Steven Spielberg made an appearance in Italy’s Senate as part of a visit to promote the release of Lincoln here and ended up answering a question about a possible movie about Italian media mogul Silvio Berlusconi. Spielberg said he was not interested in making a film about the billionaire and three-time prime minister. But he expressed hope of making a film with Oscar-winning Italian comic and director Roberto Benigni. Spielberg mainly came to Rome to promote the release of Lincoln, which earned 12 Oscar nominations and will open in Italy on Thursday. However, he also made a
- Eric J. Lyman
There are plenty of reasons Woody Allen cast Jesse Eisenberg to be play a fictionalized version of himself in "To Rome With Love," a charming, omnibus portrait of life in Italy's picturesque capital. They're both relentless workers (Allen makes a film a year, Eisenberg says he's going to do a play a year), they're both famous for being quirky (regardless of how reductive that characterization is), and, well, they cut a similar figure.
But Allen comparisons aside, Eisenberg is a star in his own right. After rocketing to fame on the strength of his performance as Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network," the 29-year-old Queens native has added a string of fun roles to his resume, including a memorable voice gig in "Rio" (and the forthcoming "Rio 2") and a turn in "30 Minutes or Less," a comedy in which he held his own in the company of Aziz Ansari and Danny McBride. »
- Kia Makarechi
In addition to the titles below, The Possession is also available on DVD this week. Taken 2 Badass dad Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is at it again, this time fighting for his own life. Two years after his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) was kidnapped overseas, the father of one of Kim's assailants returns to exact vengeance for his murdered son. He takes Bryan and ex-wife (Famke Janssen) hostage in Istanbul, and Kim must sharpen her own set of skills to help her parents escape. Though Neeson is spry as ever, the sequel to 2008's sleeper hit is sloppy and overly silly. DVD extras include an alternate ending, deleted scenes, and making-of featurettes. 21% To Rome With Love Die-hard Woody Allen fans might not find the director's latest offering up to snuff, but his signature print is all over this sweet but uneven ensemble piece. The movie features four interweaving stories full »
- Maggie Pehanick
Like most Woody Allen movies, To Rome With Love features an all-star cast: heavy hitters Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Penélope Cruz and Roberto Benigni join familiar faces Carol Alt, Alison Pill, Judy Davis, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page and, of course, Allen himself, in a film about the lives of residents of and visitors to Rome and the adventures people have that will change their lives forever. Allen says, “So much of the action and activity in Rome takes place outside, in its cafes and streets. It’s an amazing city just to walk in. The city itself is a work of [...] »
- Channel Guide Contributor
Romance! Adventure! Hilarity! Italy! Woody Allen leads this all-star cast on a rollicking ride through the streets of one of the world’s greatest cities. Lovers and Fiancées, Opera Singers and Architects, the talented and the famous, and the youthful and the wise are all players within this ensemble tour-de-force, as their stories and lives magically criss-cross and collide throughout this engaging film. Also starring Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penélope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page in a movie as incredible as Rome itself.
To Rome With Love is available to pre-order on DVD:
Send your full name to email@example.com along with the »
- Movie Geeks
Contributors: Michelle McCue and Melissa Thompson
It was a morning of Oscar surprises . both shocking and welcomed. Nominations for the 85th Academy Awards® were announced today (Thursday, January 10) by this year’s Oscar host (and nominee) Seth MacFarlane, and actress Emma Stone. Minus the usual podium, MacFarlane and Stone humorously unveiled the nominees at a 5:38 a.m. Pt live news conference attended by more than 400 international media representatives. Wamg and the various outlets were greeted with a golden breakfast, strong coffee and Jamba Juice.
The nominees for best motion picture of the year are:
- Movie Geeks
Cologne, Germany – Academy voters showed they have much love for Michael Haneke's harrowing, touching Amour – nominating the French-language drama in five categories, including best director and best actress for Emmanuelle Riva. Haneke has also managed the rarest of Oscar doubles, scoring nominations both in the Best Foreign Language category and for Best Picture. It puts Amour in an elite club. Only three films have managed the best film/best foreign language double in the same year before: Costa Gravas’ Z in 1969, Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2000 and Life is Beautiful from Roberto Benigni in
- Scott Roxborough
Michael Haneke's Palme D'Or-winning Amour has continued its emergence as a strong outside bet for Oscars success after taking three top prizes from the National Society of Film Critics at the weekend.
The Austrian film-maker's French-language drama about an elderly couple dealing with the aftermath of a devastating stroke was named best film of 2012, while Haneke was garlanded with the best director prize and Emmanuelle Riva won best actress. It was also a good night for Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, which has an even better shot at being the year's big winner at February's Academy Awards; the historical biopic taking best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis and best screenplay for Tony Kushner's script. Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master achieved rare honours in what has been a disappointing awards season »
- Ben Child
20 items from 2013
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