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1-20 of 36 items from 2005   « Prev | Next »


Blanchett Appeals For Calm in Sydney

20 December 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett returned to her native Australia on Sunday to appeal for calm following the recent race riots in Sydney. Lebanese-Australians have been clashing with white-Australians on the beaches of the New South Wales city, leading to a heavy police presence in the suburbs over the past two weeks. Speaking at Sydney's Coogee Beach on Sunday, The Aviator beauty spoke out against the riots and urged unity amongst the divided communities. Blanchett said, "It's actually very clear and simple. Violence and racism are bad. Whenever they occur they are to be condemned (and) we should not turn a blind eye to them. It's about respect. Respect for others, respect for the rights of others and respect of the rights of everyone to go about their lives in a peaceful way." »

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Virtual deal reality for Warners

7 December 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Warner Bros. Pictures has entered into a co-financing agreement with Virtual Studios Llc. that will see the companies partner on six upcoming films. Virtual is a joint-venture company that invests equity capital in the production and distribution of major motion pictures as well as in the movie's operating companies. In October, Warners signed a deal with Relativity Media worth $528 million to invest in six films. Relativity then proved instrumental in bringing in the Virtual financing. The films include The Good German, starring George Clooney, Cate Blanchett and Tobey Maguire and directed by Steven Soderbergh; Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Ed Zwick; 300, starring Gerard Butler and directed by Zach Snyder; The Assassination of Jesse James, starring Brad Pitt and Sam Shepard and directed by Andrew Dominik; Poseidon, directed by Wolfgang Petersen; and V for Vendetta, starring Natalie Portman and directed by James McTeigue. All but 300 are slated for release next year. »

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'Proposition' takes top IF prize

23 November 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

SYDNEY -- Rowan Woods' gritty Little Fish, John Hillcoat's dark 18th-century western The Proposition and Sarah Watt's edgy Look Both Ways dominated this year's Lexus Inside Film Awards, held here Wednesday, with The Proposition taking the best film award. The Proposition, which will be released next year in the U.S. by First Look Pictures, also won best music, cinematography and production design. Little Fish took best actress and actor awards for Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving, respectively, as well as best sound and boxoffice achievement. »

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Watt wows Aussie critics

13 November 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

SYDNEY -- Sarah Watt's Look Both Ways dominated this year's Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards, winning best film, director and actor (William McInnes) as well as best original screenplay for Watt and best editing for Denise Haratzis. The awards were held in Melbourne on Saturday. Rowan Woods' Little Fish collected three acting awards: best actress (Cate Blanchett), best supporting actress (Noni Hazlehurst) and best supporting actor (Hugo Weaving). »

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Popular trio lead Oz film awards noms

19 October 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

SYDNEY -- Recent Australian releases Little Fish, Look Both Ways and The Proposition dominated nominations for major awards in the Inside Film Awards and the Film Critics' Circle of Australia Awards announced Tuesday. Both organizations said that all three films have been nominated for best film and most other key categories. The IF Awards, voted by the public through the Internet and industry committees, will be handed out in Sydney on Nov. 23, while the FCCA Awards, judged by Australia's key film critics, will be announced in Melbourne Nov.12. The IF Awards gave director John Hillcoat's The Proposition nine nominations, including best director and actor (Guy Pearce); the FCCA offered 11 nominations for Rowan Woods' Little Fish, including best film, director and actress (Cate Blanchett) but mostly mirrored the IF Awards tally. Sarah Watt's Look Both Ways also reflected the general tone, with similar nominations in most categories and thriller Wolf Creek fared well. One big surprise was the almost total absence of Robert Connolly's Three Dollars, one of the most popular local films at the boxoffice earlier this year, apart from an FCCA nomination for adapted screenplay. »

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BAFTA adds award to laud Rising Star

19 October 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

LONDON -- The next Orange British Academy Film Awards will have a new award added to its roster with the creation of the Orange Rising Star nod, organizers said Wednesday. Created in honor of casting director Mary Selway, whose credits before her death in April last year included "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and Enduring Love, the new award will honor a young actor or actress of any nationality who "has demonstrated exceptional talent and ambition." A jury that includes actors Cate Blanchett and Ewan McGregor and director Alan Parker will select five nominees from a long list of recommendations put forward by the film industry and BAFTA members. The winner will be chosen by a public vote. »

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Blanchett Suggests She's Snubbing 'Elizabeth' Sequel

2 September 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Cate Blanchett is leaving fans guessing about her regal return as British queen Elizabeth I after insisting industry reports about a sequel to the hit 1998 movie Elizabeth are untrue. The actress has reportedly signed up to play the flame-haired queen in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, but comments she made yesterday in Australia's Herald Sun might give producers pause for thought. She says, "I'm really good friends with Shekhar Kapur (director) and he's forever saying he's going to do this movie or that movie and I think there was talk about it. There's so much there if it were to happen, but my initial instinct is, why (make it)?" Hollywood's top trade magazines report the sequel would co-star Geoffrey Rush and Clive Owen and start shooting in April. »

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Australian Film Institute picks awards contenders

26 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

SYDNEY -- Two much-anticipated Australian feature films -- Rowan Woods' Little Fish, starring Cate Blanchett, and John Hillcoat's Australian Outback tale The Proposition -- will be the first to screen for Australian Film Institute members in the run-up to November's AFI Awards. The AFI announced Friday that 17 feature films are in contention for the 41-year-old AFI Awards. AFI members determine the winners following screenings that will commence Sept. 7 in Sydney. Other movies up for gongs include such audience favorites as Robert Connolly's Three Dollars, which stars David Wenham, Frances O'Connor and Sarah Wynter, and Anna Reeves' rural drama The Oyster Farmer. »

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Cornish tapped for Oz star award

16 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

GOLD COAST, Queensland -- Abbie Cornish was named Australian Star of the Year during Monday night's opening proceedings at the Australian International Movie Convention. Cornish, who won an Australian Film Institute award last year for her lead role in Somersault, will next be seen opposite Heath Ledger in Neil Armfield's Candy, which had a sneak preview for exhibitors Monday night. Exhibitors also were treated to a preview of upcoming Australian product Monday. Trailers screened included Little Fish, with Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Martin Henderson; Like Minds, featuring Toni Collette and Richard Roxburgh; and Irresistible, starring Susan Sarandon and Sam Neill. Rolf de Heer's Ten Canoes, however, appeared to receive the greatest buzz following the previews.The story of love and family with humorous overtones is set in the time before white settlement and is the world's first-ever dramatic feature shot in the Aboriginal language. Canoes was filmed on location in the Northern Territory. »

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Little Fish

20 July 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

SYDNEY -- For his second feature, director Rowan Woods again proves himself a master at creating a strong mood. Despite echoes of the bleak territory visited in his debut feature The Boys, a grim dissection of the violence in Australia's underclass, Little Fish manages moments of great beauty thanks in no small measure to the presence of lead actress Cate Blanchett in her first Australian role since 1997's Oscar and Lucinda.

After a series of high-profile international roles including her Oscar-winning turn in The Aviator, Little Fish sees Blanchett shake off her fondness for period pieces and do something rare: play her age and speak with her own accent. Despite dark themes of crime, moral compromise and drug addiction, this midbudget Australian film from a fine indie team should benefit from Blanchett's presence and see solid boxoffice interest on the international art house circuit. The film will be released in Australia on Sept. 8.

Little Fish is set in Sydney's multicultural southwest, an area rife with drug addiction and organized crime. Woods' talent lies in investing s unlikable characters with a huge well of heart and soul. Tracy Heart (Blanchett) is doing it tough. She's kicked a serious drug habit, but the dark, tenuous world of addiction is all around her.

The streets are littered with junkies: Her own brother, troubled amputee Ray (Martin Henderson from "Bride & Prejudice"), is caught up in the drug trade; her weakened father figure (Hugo Weaving from the Matrix and Lord of the Rings films) is bent in a web of heroin abuse; and ex-boyfriend Johnny (Dustin Nguyen) has returned after four years in Canada. Trying to start a new life, Tracy soon finds that the past is about to catch up with her.

This is a tough film grounded in authenticity with the feel of Ken Loach's realist British cinema. Genre conventions are in place -- drug deals, murder, criminals -- yet Little Fish is a character study. Screenwriter Jacquelin Perske skillfully steers the narrative into the interconnected stories of those around Blanchett's Tracy.

Family is at the core of the film. As Tracy becomes increasingly desperate, she's pulled apart by two disparate but related forces. Her brother's illicit drug deals claw her back into the old life, while her mother (a wonderfully crackling turn from veteran actress Noni Hazlehurst) works to keep Tracy on the straight and narrow. This clash provides the film's central dynamic from which the characters' flaws are explored.

Little Fish has a grimy authenticity. Homes feel rigorously lived in, and the costume design is scrubbed clean of even the remotest sense of glamour. Thankfully, none of this stops Woods from taking visual flights of fancy. Danny Ruhlmann's cinematography adds an almost surreal gleam, swirling and tilting as it conveys Tracy's inner conflict. Similarly, the strong presence of the haunting score by Nathan Larson (Boys Don't Cry, The Woodsman) gently tugs the film away from a purely realist approach.

Blanchett is loose, natural and wholly believable as Tracy, a character she imbues with a kind of bruised tenderness. Weaving's hopeless junkie is a brave turn from an always-brave actor: He's physically transformed, rail-thin with a nasty goatee beard and hurtles through a bundle of different emotions as a sly seducer one moment, a desperate wreck the next.

Confrontational, raw and always compelling, Little Fish is a film of rare power and conviction.

LITTLE FISH

Icon Films (Australia)

Film Finance Corporation Australia presents

A Porchlight Films production in association with Mullis Capital Independent, the New South Wales Film and Television Office, Myriad Pictures and Dirty Films

Credits:

Director: Rowan Woods

Screenwriter: Jacquelin Perske

Producers: Vincent Sheehan, Liz Watts, Richard Keddie

Executive producers: Robert Mullis, Barrie M. Osborne, Kirk D'Amico, Marion Pilowsky

Director of photography: Danny Ruhlmann

Production designer: Luigi Pittorino

Costumes: Melinda Doring

Music: Nathan Larson

Editors: Alexandre De Franceschi, John Scott

Cast:

Tracy Heart: Cate Blanchett

Lionel Dawson: Hugo Weaving

Brad Thompson: Sam Neill

Ray Heart: Martin Henderson

Janelle Heart: Noni Hazlehurst

Johnny: Dustin Nguyen

No MPAA rating

Running time -- 114 minutes »

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'Fish' lures Oz luminaries to Melbourne

20 July 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

MELBOURNE, Australia -- The cream of Australia's film industry turned out in force for the world premiere of Little Fish, Cate Blanchett's first Australian film since 1997's Oscar and Lucinda, as it opened the 54th Melbourne International Film Festival on Wednesday night. Director Rowan Woods accompanied Blanchett's co-stars Hugo Weaving and Noni Hazlehurst down the red carpet outside the city's Village Theater, along with screenwriter Jacquelin Perske and producers Liz Watts, Richard Keddie and Vincent Sheehan. The film, set against a backdrop of drugs and organized crime in Sydney's southwest, is the first Australian film to have screened after passing through the Film Finance Corp. Australia's new evaluation system, which assesses films for their audience potential and creative worth. »

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Melbourne catches 'Fish' to open fest

15 June 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

SYDNEY -- Little Fish, the new Australian film starring Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett (The Aviator), will have its world premiere as it opens the 54th Melbourne International Film Festival, organizers announced Wednesday. Johnnie To's Election will close the fest. MIFF runs July 20-Aug. 8. Little Fish is director Rowan Woods' follow-up to 1998's The Boys. The drama, about a young woman who must learn to confront her fears in order to find happiness and escape the pain of her recent past, was written by Jacqueline Perske and co-stars Martin Henderson, Hugo Weaving and Sam Neill. »

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Blanchett Jets Burned Son Back to Britain

18 May 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Cate Blanchett has rushed back to Britain with her young son after he was burned in an accident in Morocco. Blanchett - who's shooting her new movie Babel alongside Brad Pitt in the African country - traveled with one-year-old Roman to a Marrakech hospital following the incident on Sunday. However, worried Blanchett loaned a private jet to whisk her child to a top burns specialist in London. Her publicist Lisa Kasteler says, "Roman had an accident and he's being treated for a minor burn. He's not on a drip. He's still being treated and Cate is with him. I think Cate will return to Morocco in a few days. She's almost finished filming." It's not known exactly how little Roman sustained his injury. Blanchett celebrated her 36th birthday with screenwriter husband Andrew Upton and sons Dashiell, three, and Roman in Marrakech on Saturday. »

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Germans are ready to buy

16 May 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

CANNES -- Germany's economy may still be spluttering, with unemployment at record highs and growth almost nonexistent, but after a couple years of quiet, German independent distributors are again pulling out their checkbooks at the Cannes market, snatching up several high-profile Hollywood projects. Andreas Fallsheer's fast-growing Falcom Media Group grabbed Gregory Nava's crime drama Bordertown, starring Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Lopez, from Mobius International. The Swiss-based group also grabbed Mobius' .45, a modern Bonnie and Clyde tale featuring Milla Jovovich. Falcom also inked a deal to take German distribution rights for the horror title Rise, starring Lucy Liu, from Mandate Pictures. Babel, the Brad Pitt/Cate Blanchett/Gael Garcia Bernal omnibus feature from Mexican helmer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, was bought by Berlin-based Tobis Film from Summit Entertainment. »

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Blanchett Slams Botox

10 May 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett is disgusted by how many of her Hollywood peers have succumbed to using face-paralyzing Botox. The Gift star, 35, is happy to age gracefully and is saddened so many young girls are injecting the chemical into their faces in the hope of retaining eternal youth. Blanchett says, "It's not just women on film, 18-year-old girls feel pressure to do preventative injecting. I see someone's face, someone's body who'd had children and I think they're the song lines of your experience, and why would you want to eradicate that? I look at people sort of entombing themselves and all you see is their little pin holes of terror... and you think, just live your life, death is not going to be any easier just because your face can't move." »

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Blanchett, Pitt on 'Case' for Fincher

6 May 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett are in negotiations to star in the long-gestating adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which David Fincher is directing. Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures are co-financing the project, with Paramount handling domestic rights and Warners taking international. Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are producing. The story centers on an elderly man who gets younger as time passes and encounters complications when, at age 50, he falls in love with a woman who is 30. »

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Pitt & Jolie's Second African Getaway

5 May 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been caught enjoying a second romantic African getaway in as many weeks after checking into a Moroccan hotel last weekend. The couple were snapped together with the actress' adopted son Maddox on a beach in Kenya on 19 April, and now they've been spotted at Morocco's Amanjena Hotel, where they spent 24 hours alone in their room, according to US tabloid National Enquirer. Airport worker Muhammad Dhabi, who saw the couple arrive by private jet at an airfield near Marrakech, tells the tabloid, "They got off the plane separately as though they were ashamed. You could see they are a couple in love." The couple reportedly disembarked from the jet separately, just in case photographers were waiting for them at the military base, where they landed. Hours later, the couple had checked into the Amanjena Hotel in Ouarzazate, where Pitt is shooting new movie Babel with Cate Blanchett. »

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Blanchett, Pitt on 'Case' for Fincher

4 May 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett are in negotiations to star in the long-gestating adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which David Fincher is directing. Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures are co-financing the project, with Paramount handling domestic rights and Warners taking international. Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are producing. The story centers on an elderly man who gets younger as time passes and encounters complications when, at age 50, he falls in love with a woman who is 30. »

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Blanchett, Pitt on 'Case' for Fincher

4 May 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett are in negotiations to star in the long-gestating adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which David Fincher is directing. Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures are co-financing the project, with Paramount handling domestic rights and Warners taking international. Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are producing. The story centers on an elderly man who gets younger as time passes and encounters complications when, at age 50, he falls in love with a woman who is 30. »

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Aus film funding spread too thin?

4 May 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

SYDNEY -- Listening to Film Finance Corporation Australia chief executive Brian Rosen, you can practically feel the hot breath of Canberra's politicians on the back of his neck. It's been nearly a year since Rosen introduced a new system of assessment for the government's key production investment agency commonly known as "evaluation," and the expectation for it to perform is huge. Little Fish, starring Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Sam Neill and due to premiere here later this year, was one of the first to go through evaluation, introduced last July 1 in response to the poor commercial and critical performance of Australian films in recent years. Under evaluation, films are assessed for their creative worth and audience potential. Evaluation managers Tait Brady (ex-Palace Films distribution executive) and producer Bridget Ikin rigorously assess scripts, the creative team and other elements before deciding whether the FFC should invest. If they disagree on a project, Rosen will weigh in. »

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