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Much has been made of the vocal performance that Scarlett Johansson delivers as the title character in Spike Jonze’s latest film, “Her,” about a computer operating system named Samantha who falls for her human owner Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix).
There’s another perfectly cast voice in the movie too — a foul-mouthed alien child who appears inside a videogame played by Theodore. The actor? Jonze himself. “It might be his best role yet,” jokes the helmer’s longtime editor, Eric Zumbrunnen. Asked why the filmmakers didn’t enlist a real child for the part, Zumbrunnen instantly responds, “We did!”
“Childlike” is a word used often by those who know Jonze best, including a tight-knit group of collaborators the filmmaker ferries from set to set, some of whom he’s worked with for nearly 20 years. “He’s a handful,” says Johnny Knoxville, who collaborated with Jonze as an actor on MTV’s “Jackass” series and movies, »
- Jenelle Riley
With many of the major critics' groups nominees and winners landing, and with a Best Actress Oscar race that's virtually locked-and-loaded at this point, there is little hope for any of the year's fine yet overlooked female to squeeze in. But the following eight actresses -- which you can see in films now available to stream -- deserve kudos even if their films were relegated to the festival circuit or played too early in the year to be remembered now. Clips after the jump. And check out Anne Thompson's feature on eight other best actress underdogs who deserve awards attention. Emma Watson, "The Bling Ring" (Amazon, iTunes) Best Supporting Actress While Ms. Watson freed herself from the shackles of Hogwarts last year in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," she rules the screen as coquettish teen queen Nicki Moore in Sofia Coppola's underrated "The Bling Ring" -- which you'll »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Is Zoe the next supreme? It seems like a real possibility. Taissa Farmiga’s teenage witch began this season of American Horror Story with the worst power — guys who sleep with her bleed from the eyeballs and die — but now she’s bringing her dead pals back to life, laying waste to zombies and liberating serial-killing house ghosts. In the last episode, she even found a loophole when it came to her sex problem. Nice! Vulture caught up with 19-year-old Farmiga, who also co-starred in Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, to talk about Zoe’s rise, Connie Britton’s potential return, and, yes, Paris Hilton’s ginormous closet.The last time we saw Zoe, she was about to have a wild night in the bedroom. Was it weird being propositioned by both Emma Roberts and Evan Peters, who are dating in real life?Yeaaah. It was definitely a little odd, »
- Denise Martin
Yesterday, Steve McQueen was named Best Director by the New York Film Critics Circle for 12 Years a Slave, and while that doesn’t make him a lock for the Oscar, the group’s track record of matching Academy choices is a good sign that he’ll become the first black director ever to win the coveted statuette. In the past 10 years, the Nyfcc has differed from the final Oscar pick 4 times (in 2003 when they picked Sofia Coppola, 2008 when they picked Mike Leigh, 2010 when they picked David Fincher and 2012 when they picked Kathryn Bigelow). If statistics were a real factor here, that would mean a 60% shot at McQueen winning, but the true takeaway is that the win provides a significant launchpad going into awards season. Of course, John Singleton became the first black director to be nominated for an Oscar in 1991 with Boyz n the Hood (as well as the youngest director ever nominated at 24), and Lee Daniels was »
- Scott Beggs
The Writers Guild of America has remained tough on qualifying scripts for its screenplay awards, excluding more than a dozen high-profile scripts, including John Ridley’s screenplay for “12 Years a Slave.”
The guild’s restrictions — far more rigorous than other guilds — require that scripts be produced under WGA jurisdiction or under a collective bargaining agreement in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the U.K. The WGA had no immediate comment on the exclusions, but the restrictions on eligibility are a longstanding practice at the guild.
Other notable screenplays excluded include Peter Morgan’s screenplay for “Rush”; Ryan Coogler’s script for “Frutivale Station”; “Philomena,” written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope and “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” penned by William Nicholson.
Voting to determine the WGA’s nominees launched Tuesday on 95 eligible screenplays — 41 in the adapted category and 54 in the original category. The guild’s restrictions also require that the »
- Dave McNary
If your Thanksgiving was anything like mine, you spent a portion of your meal talking about movies. It’s Oscar season, after all, and every favorite aunt, distant cousin, and annoying neighbor has an opinion — a strong opinion — on the year’s best movies. It’s a conversation that will only grow louder in the coming weeks, as the race’s final contenders open in theaters, year-end Top-10 lists take shape, and studios begin to jockey in earnest for nominations. At stake is nothing less than cinematic immortality: To win an Oscar for Best Picture or Best Actress or another »
- Jeff Labrecque
Stephen King's bloody teen masterpiece has been updated – but with few 21st-century additions and fewer still original touches
It is strange to think that the high school prom is an American tradition that Brits are attempting to import, despite Hollywood doing its best to warn us about it over the years, in all sorts of films. Supposedly a romantic event for teenagers, an appropriate night to lose one's virginity and an opportunity for the prom queen to experience a status boost equal to her wedding day, it has been regularly exposed on screen as a theatre of cruelty, anxiety and most of all, humiliation. The two classic texts are surely the Farrelly brothers' There's Something About Mary (1998), in which Ben Stiller gets his penis caught in his zipper, and Brian De Palma's Carrie (1976), in which Sissy Spacek gets a bucket of pig's blood tipped over her head. It is this second film, »
- Peter Bradshaw
In 2010, Stephen Dorff found himself on the industry’s hot list after starring in Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere,” a meditative drama about a Hollywood actor and his lonely daughter. Dorff recalls a stream of offers from a fickle business that he’s been navigating since he was 12.
As he sifted through the stack of scripts that he’d been sent, he finally came across what he was looking for.
“What the fuck is this doing at the bottom of my pile?!” Dorff recalls asking his agent. The movie in question was “The Motel Life,” a dramatic tale about two brothers who experience hardships after a tragic car crash.
Dorff, 40, wanted to play the part of the older brother, Jerry Lee, who loses his leg early in the film from an amputation.
“I just thought, Jesus, I don’t know how to play this guy,” says Dorff. He was drawn to »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Amazon.com today announced an exclusive content licensing agreement with new film studio A24, known for cutting-edge commercial hits such as Spring Breakers and The Bling Ring. This groundbreaking multi-year agreement makes Prime Instant Video the exclusive premium subscription home for all of the current and forthcoming A24 titles shortly following their release on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Here's what Brad Beale, Director of Digital Video Content Acquisition for Amazon had to say in a statement.
"We are always looking for new ways to bring our Prime Instant Video customers, unique, exclusive movies and TV that we think they will love. As always, we monitor DVD and digital sales very closely and A24 movies such as Spring Breakers and The Bling Ring are exceptionally popular among our customers. This new deal with A24 allows us to offer those same titles to our Prime Instant Video customers soon after they are released »
Seattle–Nov. 21, 2013– (Nasdaq: Amzn)—Amazon.com today announced an exclusive content licensing agreement with new film studio A24, known for cutting-edge commercial hits such as Spring Breakers and The Bling Ring. This groundbreaking multi-year agreement makes Prime Instant Video the exclusive premium subscription home for all of the current and forthcoming A24 titles shortly following their release on DVD and Blu-Ray. “We are always looking for new ways to bring our Prime Instant Video customers, unique, exclusive movies and TV that we think they will love,” said Brad Beale, Director of Digital Video Content Acquisition for Amazon. “As always, we monitor DVD and digital sales very closely and A24 movies such as Spring Breakers and The Bling Ring are exceptionally popular among our customers. This new deal with A24 allows us to offer those same titles to our Prime Instant Video customers soon after they are released on DVD and »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
Co-starring Glenn Close (Mars Attacks!), Kristen Stewart (Twilight), Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire), Sam Waterston (Law And Order) and Tim himself, the plot focuses on a group of university students who group together after their professor is mugged.
Chang was brilliant as the whip-smart and sassy Rebecca in Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, and you can also see her in the upcoming A Birder’S Guide To Everything. As her career is only just taking off, joining Nelson’s newest project is a clever idea, especially when you consider you she’ll be starring alongside.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
- Jazmine Sky Bradley
The project is set in New York and follows a group of people whose lives come together when Columbia University professor Walter Zarrow (Sam Waterson) is violently mugged. Katie Chang will be playing Amy, a love interest for Walter Zarrow's grandson.
The film has already begun production in New York City. »
• Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man) and Golden Globe-winner Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) are set to join Adam Sandler in The Cobbler. Plot details are being kept secret, but The Cobbler is the brainchild of Win Win and The Station Agent writer-director Thomas McCarthy. [The Wrap]
• Ron Livingston (Drinking Buddies) has joined the cast of Supreme Ruler, a comic indie drama about two men competing to be the “Supreme Ruler” of their local Buffalo Lodge. The other lead will be played by Vincent D’Onofrio (Escape Plan). Duane Edwards is making his feature directorial debut on the project, which also stars Marcia Gay Harden »
- Lindsey Bahr
The Bling Ring actress Katie Chang has joined Anesthesia, the indie film starring Glenn Close, Sam Waterston, Gretchen Mol and Kristen Stewart. The Tim Blake Nelson-helmed drama follows a group of New Yorkers whose lives intersect after the violent mugging of a popular Columbia University professor, Walter Zarrow (Waterson). Photos: 'The Bling Ring' Premiere: Fashion Worth Stealing Chang, who starred as the ringleader of a group of teen robbers in Sofia Coppola's film, will play Amy, a young love interest for Zarrow's grandson in Anesthesia. Chang should feel comfortable in the film's setting as she's currently studying creative writing
- Rebecca Ford
Jackson Ball presents his five essential Bill Murray roles...
There are few comedy acts in Hollywood as beloved and respected as Bill Murray. Over a career spanning nearly 40 years, he has been consistently delivering his dry wit and expert timing to cinema-goers everywhere. Where many of his counterparts have occasionally lowered themselves with cheap laughs and half-hearted performances, Murray rarely gives anything less than his A-game.
Fresh off of his Saturday Night Live success, Murray plays an integral part to this comedy classic. As the unhinged groundsman, locked in perpetual combat with a mischievous gopher, Murray is allowed to let loose his sillier side, rather than his usual brand of dry sarcasm.
“In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, ‘Au revoir, gopher’.”
The finest of several wonderful collaborations with Wes Anderson, »
- Gary Collinson
After adding three more screenplays yesterday, I have another three today as A24 has made available the screenplays for Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter screenplay for The Spectacular Now and Harmony Korine's script for Spring Breakers. The most interesting thing about these three, for me, is you won't find one of the more memorable scenes in the film in the script since it was improvised on the spot by James Franco. Of course, I'm speaking of the "Look at my sh*t" scene, which I have for you below just in case you needed a reminder. Look at all my sh*t. I've got shorts, every f**king color. I've got designer t-shirts. I've got gold bullets for motherf**kin' vampires. Scarface on repeat. Constant, y'all. Got Escape -- Calvin Klein Escape -- mix that sh*t up with Calvin Klein Be. »
- Brad Brevet
Odd List Simon Brew 15 Nov 2013 - 07:08
Lots of films are dedicated to, or in memory of someone. But it's not always clear why. We've been finding out...
Back when Breaking Bad returned for its final batch of episodes in August 2013, it had a dedication at the end of it. The card read 'Dedicated to our friend Kevin Cordasco'. As it turned out, Kevin Cordasco was a 16-year old who had been battling cancer for seven years, who had met both Bryan Cranston and Vince Gilligan. Cordasco died before he could ever get to see the episode dedicated to him.
I found this such a moving story, that it got me wondering about the dedications that appear on films, and what the story behind them was. After all, the dedications are there for a reason. What I uncovered was some funny stories, mainly extremely sad ones, and some extremely moving dedications. »
To orient you to a filmmaker who's been away for far too long: If Wes Anderson’s central preoccupation is tightly controlled diorama-like compositions, Tim Burton’s obsession is dark, kooky misfits, and Sofia Coppola’s fixation is alienated teenagers soundtracked to exquisite pop songs, then Laurie Collyer’s main absorption is the forgotten underclass and their perils. The filmmaker behind “Sherrybaby” (and the gripping social documentary “Nuyorican Dream”), Collyer hasn’t made a movie since 2006, but her latest, “Sunlight Jr.,” could easily act as the third in a trilogy about the impoverished, the destitute and the depressed. And severely depressed, “Sunlight Jr.” is. So much so that it may be too hard to watch for some viewers. Set in the indigent, trailer-park trash areas of Southern Florida, Collyer’s latest writer/directorial effort centers on a uneducated, penniless couple struggling to get by on minimum wage. Their daily struggle »
- Rodrigo Perez
It looks like Arcade Fire don't have complete ownership of premiering new material through unique outlets. French rockers Phoenix are still out promoting their latest LP Bankrupt! and frontman Thomas Mars' wife, the little-known indie filmmaker Sofia Coppola (ha), has directed the band's latest video for the tune "Chloroform." And where has it debuted? Online at MoMA, of course. And, credit where credit is due, it's certainly a beautiful-looking spot. Employing good ol' Academy ratio, the sepia-toned spot is rather simple, with the band performing as a bunch of inconsolable young women look on, weeping in slow motion. And with the chorus intoning, "My love, my love, my love is cruel," it makes perfect sense. "The idea came from a photo by Joseph Sterling in his book 'The Age of Adolescence,' " Coppola told MoMA (you see that photograph here). "I wanted to show they were at a Phoenix concert, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
After the Ida Documentary Award nominees were dished out just over a week ago, now comes the turn of the other big doc ceremony, the Cinema Eye Honors. Recipient of the Ida’s Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award, Zachary Heinzerling’s Cutie And The Boxer narrowly steals Josh Oppenheimer’s thunder with six nominations to The Act Of Killing’s five.
With the Gotham Awards, the Ida and Ceh all settling on The Act Of Killing in their respective best feature categories, Oppenheimer’s Oscar buzz shows no sign of slowing down. However, with Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell and now seemingly Heinzerling’s Cutie And The Boxer nipping at his heels (Miley Cyrus tweeted about Cab, yo), this race is far from over.
The ceremony will be held in January – check out the full list of nominations below:
Non Fiction Feature:
- Emma Thrower
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