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Away from the controversy over whether the International Press Society members actually saw Wolf Of Wall Street before voting (hello tick box theory…), this year’s Satellite Award noms read as little more than the Ips’ Oscar predictions – give or take an extra three or four names in each category for comfort. Naturally resulting in a very uninteresting list, 12 Years A Slave leads the pack with ten nominations, followed narrowly by Gravity and American Hustle’s eight.
With strong turnouts in the acting categories, it’s surprising to see Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Dallas Buyers Club and Nebraska not contending for the big prize, and the Ips will surely find themselves in the minority for omitting Will Forte for his turn in the latter, even if it is rewarded for Best Ensemble. Though not appearing in the acting, directing or Best Picture categories, Fruitvale Station is still very much a focal point, »
- Emma Thrower
Received wisdom says that most years, including this one, the Best Actress field of contenders for the Oscars is "weaker" than their male counterparts, with a fairly limited group of possibilities who are plausible nominees. To which we can only say: horseshit. Every year, but this one in particular, we watch scores of fine female performances be overlooked because they're in small indie movies or because they were overshadowed in reviews by male co-stars or because they're not Meryl Streep. Over the last few weeks, we've suggested some out-of-the-box possibilities for voters in the various acting categories (Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Actor), but it was so much more difficult to pare down our list for Best Actress, which makes it so much more baffling that Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Emma Thompson, Meryl Streep and Judi Dench have been the preordained five for months. Once you take a look at the list below, »
- Oliver Lyttelton
‘The Wind Rises’ and more Nyfcc 2013 winners (image: Hayao Miyazaki ‘The Wind Rises’) (See previous post: "Cate Blanchett, cross-dresser Jared Leto: 2013 New York Film Critics’ Movie Stars.") Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, a major blockbuster in Japan ($119.51 million according to Box Office Mojo) despite — or perhaps because of — a right-wing backlash against the film’s anti-war stance, was the New York Film Critics Circle’s Best Animated Feature of 2013. The Wind Rises beat better known U.S.-made fare such as Disney’s Frozen, currently in theaters. Miyazaki has vowed that he has retired from filmmaking; if true, The Wind Rises will be his last film. Via its Touchstone Pictures banner, Walt Disney Studios will be releasing The Wind Rises on February 21, 2014, in North America. Now, how could a 2014 movie (in the U.S.) get a 2013 award from the Nyfcc, better known for honoring movies a year (The Lives of Others »
- Andre Soares
Steve Coogan co-wrote, co-produced, and co-starred in one of the year.s best films, .Philomena.. Starring Dame Judi Dench, the film is based on the investigative book by Martin Sixsmith called .The Lost Child of Philomena Lee.. Coogan is Sixsmith and Dench is Philomena in this thought-provoking film from director Stephen Frears.
I interviewed Coogan via satellite and we talked about:
*** At the heart of the film is faith and devotion . is that what attracted Coogan to making .Philomena?.
*** How this film is a passion project for him.
*** When I interviewed Coogan for .Hamlet 2,. I observed his penchant for turning human frailties into comedies
*** Coogan and Dench . the buddy pairing we all want to see!
*** He loved when I said . .Philomena. still makes you feel good but you won.t be hating yourself for doing so!
It may only be November, but the starter pistol has already fired and the Oscars race is well and truly under way. We've already seen a host of films - from Gravity to Captain Phillips - released in cinemas, but many more are on their way looking to leave their impression on Academy Awards voters.
Digital Spy looks at 15 films competing for golden statues below...
Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks's bracing hijacking drama Captain Phillips left audiences on the edge of their seats and threw its leading man right into the mix for the Best Actor race. Greengrass bagged a directing nomination back in 2007 for United 93, so expect him to be in the race.
12 Years a Slave
12 Years a Slave continues to be the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to nominations. After leading the Spirit Award nominations it now leads the International Press Academy's (Ipa) 2013 Satellite Award nominations with a total of ten noms, followed by American Hustle and Gravity, each with eight nominations. The top five nominees were rounded out by Rush with seven nominations and Inside Llewyn Davis and Saving Mr. Banks with six nominations each. The Satellites, however, are an interesting bunch. As you can see there are several nominations in each category, leaving pretty much no stone unturned. I guess you could say no nomination for Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station) is a surprise and, in my personal opinion, with such a large field of nominees I'd like to see Joaquin Phoenix (Her) get a nomination, but that certainly isn't going to be a film for everyone even though Arcade Fire was »
- Brad Brevet
Back again this week after about 12 hours of travel, only managed to make a few stumbles that I'll directly attribute to jetlag. Still, got to gush about the people of Tallinn, Estonia that hosted me for the Black Nights Film Festival, as well as chat about Frozen, Disney's latest film, Philomena with the incomparable Judi Dench, and Alex Gibney's The Armstrong Lie....
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Hunger Games sequel remains the clear leader as Us studios count their holiday takings
• The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – review
• Frozen - review
Catching Fire sparks mighty second session
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire added an estimated $75m (£46m) in its second weekend and – having reached $297m (£181m) – will cross the $300m threshold on Monday. The Thanksgiving holiday period was catnip for Katniss and the gang, who have now notched up $573m (£349m) worldwide including $276m ($168m) from the international arena. What a result for Lionsgate, the "seventh studio" behind the established Us majors, and one that has proved to be stunningly adept at finding franchises. (It owns the Twilight films, which still quiver and hum with the memory of their commercial might.) Catching Fire will soar past $600m (£366m) worldwide by Tuesday, and at this rate should finish on at least $800m (£488m). Just time to catch our breath before the third film, »
- Jeremy Kay
Winners Of The Week: Fire and Ice. "Some say the world will end in fire/Some say in ice," wrote Robert Frost. But at the multiplex, moviegoers found both were nice and would suffice. To no one's surprise, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire remained on top for a second straight week, with an estimated $74.5 million from Friday to Sunday (and a total of $296.5 million in 10 days), but Disney's cartoon Frozen gave it a run for its money. The snowy tale, which showed great promise on just one screen last week, »
The Weinstein Company’s aggressive bet on “Philomena” looks to have paid off. TWC expanded the British drama, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench, into 835 theaters after opening it on just four last weekend and it took in $4.6 million to crack the top ten at No. 9. That’s a healthy $5,508 per-screen average. ‘We decided to go this wide with it fairly late,” Weinstein’s distribution chief Erik Lomis told TheWrap. “We were thinking the Wednesday and Thursday shows were like sneaks, where we just wanted to get the picture out there and let the word of mouth kick. »
- Todd Cunningham
While the studios saw record numbers this holiday weekend care of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and "Frozen," a good dozen smaller films tried to take as much turkey money as they could in varying levels of release. Though only newcomer braved the crowd in Justin Chadwick's Nelson Mandela biopic "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom," which The Weinstein Company released in 4 theaters to a respectable $100,306. That made for a $25,077 average, the highest of any film in release. The Weinsteins also aggressively pushed out their other November release, "Philomena," in its second weekend. Expanding from 4 to 835 theaters, the film -- which stars Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in the real life story of a woman (Dench) searching for the son that was taken from her decades earlier -- grossed $3,789,000 to jump into the overall top 10. It was a risky expansion move so quickly into the film's release, but it seems »
- Peter Knegt
Powering up a record-setting Thanksgiving weekend at the movies, Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” brought in a whopping chart-topping estimated $110.2 million from Wednesday to Sunday, bringing the film’s Stateside total to $296.5 million. Globally, “Catching Fire” has amassed $573 million.
Meanwhile, providing icing on the … er … pie was Disney’s 3D animated musical “Frozen,” which technically bowed last weekend at a single-screen engagement but expanded nationwide Wednesday, grossing a projected $93 million through Sunday.
See Also: Film Review: ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’
“Catching Fire” and “Frozen” now have the first and second largest three-day and five-day Thanksgiving grosses, respectively.
From Friday to Sunday, “Catching Fire” estimated $74.5 million, while “Frozen” collected $66.7 million over the three-day frame. (Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” previously held the record for both Thanksgiving tallies.)
“For a company whose foundation is built on animation, an opening like this is really great,” said Disney distribution exec Dave Hollis, »
- Andrew Stewart
Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb....
As it continues to be screened nationwide, Charles Gant highlights the importance of Judi Dench’s casting in Philomena – and the impact on its box-office - in the recent January 2014 edition of Sight & Sound:
"Steve Coogan may be a producer, co-writer and star of Philomena, but for backers Pathé there was never any question about the key selling-point. 'Judi Dench is the asset that launches the film,' says the company’s UK distributing boss Lee Bye."
Read the full article by subscribing to or buying this month's Sight & Sound here.
Gant clarifies how integral Judi Dench is to the “grey cinema audience”, and how her role in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (pulling £20m at the box-office) and Ladies in Lavender have established her as bankable as Jude Law and James McAvoy.
Philomena has had exceptional word-of-mouth and a film-savvy audience »
- Gary Collinson
As previously reported, both The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen are headed to record-breaking Thanksgiving weekends at the box office. But Black Friday numbers suggest that both films may be even bigger than originally thought — and both could pull in more than $100 million over the five-day frame!
Catching Fire topped the chart on Friday with a sizzling $31.3 million, which sent it right past the $250 million mark on its eighth day of release. The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises are the only two films to ever reach $250 million faster. Catching Fire is currently on pace for a Friday-to-Sunday weekend in the $75-80 million range, »
- Grady Smith
Every Friday through the Oscars on March 2, 2014, Variety’s awards editor Tim Gray offers a rundown of the warming trends and cold fronts in our weekly “Temperature Gauge,” in addition to his latest projections in each of the major awards categories.
What’s New This Week?
With the addition of forecasts on the two supporting races, we look at how the Indie Spirit nominations and a Golden Globes might reflect who’s heating up and cooling off.
- Tim Gray
Editor’s note: Our review of Philomena originally ran during this year’s Tiff, but we’re re-posting it now as the film opens in limited theatrical release today. In a strictly paint-by-numbers world, Stephen Frears’ Philomena is one hell of a prestige picture bound for awards season glory – who could possibly balk at a Judi Dench-starring true-life tale of a woman’s decades-long quest to find the baby who was taken from her by the evil Irish Magdalene laundries? – but the final execution of the film is so contrived and unoriginal that it all but begs for an immediate remake that possesses even a drop more sensitivity. Even with the essential inclusion of Steve Coogan (who also helped script the film) as a smirking journalist on the outs with the entire world, Philomena never fully embraces either its humor or its drama. Uneven and weirdly insensitive, Philomena is unable to combine its many elements into »
- Kate Erbland
It turns out moviegoers want fire and ice this Thanksgiving.
Both The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Disney’s Frozen are thriving at the box office, so much so that the films are on track to break records and achieve the two best Thanksgiving five-day weekends of all time.
Catching Fire earned $20.7 million on Wednesday and $14.9 million on Thursday. That $35.6 million haul puts the film on track for a five-day weekend of about $100-105 million, which will handily beat Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone $82.4 million gross over the same period of time in 2001. Remarkably, Catching Fire will have »
- Grady Smith
At the grand age of 78 Judi Dench is still proving to have some pulling power at the box office. Her latest film, Philomena, opened in four theaters for the Weinstein Company this past weekend and opened wider in 600 locations yesterday. A $33K per-location average suggests Dench has another hit on her hands, with […]
Read Philomena opens strong in limited Us release on Filmonic. »
- Liam Goodwin
Happy Thanksgiving! This week at the multiplex, we’ve got a frigid fairy tale ("Frozen," featuring voice performances by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel); a small-town drug war ("Homefront," starring Jason Statham and James Franco); a holiday musical ("Black Nativity," starring Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett); a quest for vengeance ("Oldboy," starring Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen); a mother’s search ("Philomena," starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan); and a troubled childhood ("The Book Thief," starring Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson »
- WSJ Staff
While its title is as simple and unremarkable as the lifeless posters advertising it, Philomena has a lot more going on than some other awards horses coming out the gate this time of year. On the surface, it’s a featherweight film about a cynical man helping a little old lady reunite with her long lost son, one that leans into the age and class gap separating the central partnership for all it’s worth, and then some. Looking to do more though, Philomena works to achieve dramatic balance and comedic tilt out of conflicts between faith and skepticism, wealth and modesty, pomp and practicality, as well as all manner of other unlikely pairings.
The most engaging of its comparisons is the one drawn between fact and truth, and how personal history becomes a narrative when seen from the outside. Martin Sixsmith no doubt wrestled with this distinction when writing »
- Sam Woolf
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