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This latest assured gem from Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne recalls the work of their spiritual ancestor Robert Bresson in its rigorous examination of a simple moral dilemma. In a rural French town wracked by economic tough times, Sandra (Marion Cotillard, in a tour-de-force performance) learns that, having just returned to her job at a solar panel manufacturing plant after a leave for clinical depression, she is now going to be laid off, because her sixteen co-workers have voted to fire her rather than lose their 1,000 euro bonuses. This news hits Xanax-popping Sandra hard, given that going back on the dole will take a toll on her family’s financial circumstances – not to mention that it’s a blow to her already fragile sense of self-worth. Nonetheless, Sandra f »
Marion Cotillard's performance is one of the primary draws for the powerful drama "Two Days, One Night," which premieres on October 5 at the New York Film Festival and opens in limited release on December 24, but it's also Belgium's Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film. Can it score bids in that race as well as Best Actress? -Break- Oscars predictions update: Scott Feinberg--Tom O'Neil [Podcast] Belgium has never won the Foreign Film Oscar, despite seven previous nominations, most recently for "The Broken Circle Breakdown," which lost last year's prize to Italy's "The Great Beauty." "Two Days" is written and directed by brothers Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, who have never contended at the Oscars despite abundant international acclaim for their work. For Cotillard, it actually hasn't been that long since she won her Oscar for "La Vie en Rose" (2007) &n...' »
Can’t tell the players without a scorecard?
So far, about 60 countries have submitted entries for Oscar’s foreign-language race, with the Oct. 1 deadline looming. Most of the titles are unseen outside their country of origin or the festival circuit. So Variety asked its critics and pundits for insights, to help get a little insight into some of the submissions.
General consensus: Poland’s “Ida” is a front-runner, while many of the other films are notable either for their quality or their oddness. Or both.
At this point, the tally is far below the record 76 submissions last year. But there are still several days to go, and powerhouses including China and Russia haven’t yet named their submissions. But Mauritania and Kosovo have proudly made their first submissions ever.
Here’s a look at a dozen entries that are building buzz.
Argentina: “Wild Tales,” Damian Szifron. Critic Jay Weissberg praised »
- Tim Gray
Two Days, One Night
The end of Sandra’s (Marion Cotillard) journey does not matter, it is the journey that does. And though that sounds entirely conventional, even cliché, it might be the brilliance of Belgian auteurs Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne; their ability to get away with plot points that would seem at home in the most Hollywood, middlebrow fare comes off as resonant, enthralling, and emotionally realistic. Thus, in Two Days, One Night, the Dardennes prove their relevancy and potency as directors once again.
But let’s not give all the credit to them: Cotillard is frankly mesmerizing as Sandra, a woman who must go from co-worker to co-worker to convince them to vote in her favor so that she can keep the job that she needs in order for her family to make ends meet. As an actor, »
- Kyle Turner
Ladies, let us in on the joke! Marion Cotillard and Dakota Fanning, both lovely in dark daywear, were spotted gleefully giggling side-by-side in Paris—and who could blame them? The actresses scored coveted front row seats to the Christian Dior spring 2015 runway show, where designer Raf Simons debuted a delicate collection of prairie-inspired clothes for next season. Cotillard, 38, a Dior model alongside Jennifer Lawrence (for whom we just shopped the collection!), was the epitome of Parisian chic in a structured Lbd, a look she paired with coral [...] »
The film-festival circuit this time of year is not unlike presidential-primary season. Venice or Telluride are sort of like the Iowa caucus, an important first step for a film to generate some name recognition and Oscar buzz—but not exactly the setting for a coronation. Toronto is the traditional Oscar-campaign battleground, a sort of New Hampshire primary that often separates the contenders from the pretenders. Last year, Toronto unofficially nominated 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, and Dallas Buyers Club, and those films went on to collect major awards.
But this year, the races still remain wide open after the first new rounds, »
- Jeff Labrecque
Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, held a reception in honour of Sony Pictures Classics founders Michael Barker and Tom Bernard as they were presented with the insignia of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York. Mamadou Diouf, Leitner Family Professor of African Studies and History at Columbia University was also honoured.
French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Laurent Fabius: "I am delighted to welcome you tonight to celebrate three men, … who will receive the highest distinction of French government, the Légion d'honneur."
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Jaco Van Dormael’s “The Brand New Testament,” Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s “Let The Bodies Sunbathe” are among the 19 feature films selected by the Wallonia Brussels Federation to receive funding.
The org will be injecting more than 3.2 million Euros ($3.8 million) into 47 projects, including feature films, shorts, documentaries and TV movies.
Van Dormael’s “Testament” is a surrealist comedy co-written by Thomas Gunzig. The film, which is now shooting in Belgium, stars Benoît Poelvoorde, Catherine Deneuve and Yolande Moreau. Le Pacte handles international sales. It’s produced by Terra Incognita Films.
Cattet and Forzani, whose latest singular films, “The Strange Color of Your Bodies’ Tears” and “Amer,” were extensively showcased at festivals and sold worldwide, will next venture into a film noir with “Let The Bodies Sunbathe,” an adaptation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s novel. Anonymes Films is producing.
Production fund will also go to “AnimaL,” Frédéric Dumont’s follow-up »
- Elsa Keslassy
When Julianne Moore took the Best Actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival this year, there was some surprise. Many thought Marion Cotillard deserved it for her turn in the Dardennes' "Two Days, One Night." But if you want to get an idea of the fearlessness in Moore's performance that clearly won the jury over, perhaps this clip will help. Warning: it's very, very Nsfw. David Cronenberg's Hollywood satire takes its aim in a variety of places, with Moore representing a particular breed of aging actress, desperate to stay relevant and do anything to land a juicy part. And in this scene, we see her in a therapy/massage session with a hot New Age guru played by John Cusack. And during their session, Moore's character flashes back to one incident that found her in the midst of a threesome with someone who could help her land a big role, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Canadian wunderkind director Xavier Dolan scored the Jury Prize in his first time in the main Cannes Competition earlier this year with Mommy. The film has now been selected to represent Canada in the Foreign Language Oscar race. While the last Canadian film to win an Oscar was 2003’s The Barbarian Invasions, the country has had a strong showing with four nominees since 2006. Mommy is 25-year-old Dolan’s fifth film as director and his second to rep Canada after his 2009 breakout I Killed My Mother. Produced by Nancy Grant, Mommy stars Anne Dorval, Antoine Olivier Pilon and Suzanne Clément. It’s set in a fictional Canada, where a new law allows distressed parents to abandon troubled children to the hospital system. Séville International handled sales of the film which was acquired by Roadside Attractions domestically.
Another Cannes competitor, Two Days, One Night, has been chosen to rep Belgium. This is »
- Nancy Tartaglione
She's already got one Oscar under her belt thanks to her performance in "La Vie En Rose," but most would agree Marion Cotillard has done ever better work since. She's astonishing in Jacques Audiard's "Rust And Bone," and this year she was very strong in James Gray's "The Immigrant." And while some folks are burning fires to her to get nominated for that performance (sorry, not gonna happen) this latest bit of news suggests she might not be out of the race just yet. Belgium has announced that Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s "Two Days, One Night" will be their official selection for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. It's a nice boost for a movie that certainly deserves more attention. Cotillard is again terrific in this "minor" effort from the Dardennes (not a slight, as a "B" movie from them is still leagues better than pretty much »
- Kevin Jagernauth
By Anjelica Oswald
With the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival now over, all eyes are on the 52nd New York Film Festival, which runs Sept. 26 to Oct 12. The festival’s lineup includes some festival favorites from these past few weeks, including Whiplash and Foxcatcher, but the festival’s premieres have been gaining buzz since the lineup was released. Here is a list of the top 10 films to see in New York (in alphabetical order with their festival date):
Birdman (Oct. 11)
Dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
This dark comedy features Keaton as a former film star who created a Broadway play in an effort to make a comeback. The film premiered in Venice to rave reviews before heading to Telluride where it created more Oscar buzz. It will close the festival, which the Academy Award-winning Her (2013) did last year. »
- Anjelica Oswald
The jury, presided by Joëlle Levie, chose the film for its “cinematographic quality and its powerful topical and universal subject matter.” The committee, made up of six industryites, also pointed out the film’s strong international potential of the film due to the presence of Cotillard, who won an Oscar for her performance in “La Vie en Rose.” “Two Days, One Night” received upbeat reviews at Cannes and was sold by Wild Bunch in more than 60 territories.
IFC Films, which will release “Two Days, One Night” on Dec. 24 in the U.S., has already started positioning the film for the Academy Awards, presenting it at key festivals, including Telluride and Toronto, as well as the upcoming New York and Los Angeles AFI fests. It will »
- Elsa Keslassy
Belgium has elected, again, to go with the latest from directing brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne in its bid for a foreign-language Oscar nomination. Belgium's national Oscar selection committee on Friday picked the Dardennes' Two Days, One Night to represent the country in the upcoming Oscars race for best foreign-language film. The drama stars French actress Marion Cotillard (Inception) as a woman who has a single weekend to convince her co-workers to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job. Two Days, One Night debuted in competition in Cannes and screened in both
- Scott Roxborough
The Belgian national selection committee has chosen Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s Two Days, One Night to represent Belgium for forthcoming Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.
The jury, composed of six Flemish and French-speaking Belgian film professionals and presided by Joëlle Levie, unanimously praised the latest Dardenne film’s cinematographic quality and its powerful topical and universal subject matter.
Best Foreign-Language Film Academy Award submissions 2015
The jury also underlined the strong transatlantic potential of the film thanks to the presence of lead actress and Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard and critical acclaim following its world premiere in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Two Days, One Night, distributed in the Us by IFC Films, has already started its Us campaign with selections for festivals which play a key role in the Oscar race, including Telluride and Toronto, and forthcoming New York Film Festival and Los Angeles AFI Festival.
The film will »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Glenn Whipp says to "think again" if you believe the Oscar race for Best Actress is "thin" this year. He partially blames "the allure of the new, with some pundits flailing their arms each time an unseen movie debuts." A few days ago, Julianne Moore ("Stil Alice") jumped to the tops of prediction lists strictly because she came out of nowhere and was the most recent person to be screened. Along with Moore, Reese Witherspoon ("Wild") and Felicity Jones ("The Theory of Everything") are strong possible choices. He also adds in the lesser-viewed Gugu Mbatha-Raw ("Belle"), Marion Cotillard ("The Immigrant"), Lindsay Duncan ("Le Week-End"), and Jenny Slate ("Obvious Child") to consider. L.A. Times -Break- Join the lively film and TV discussions going on right now in the Gold Derby message boards Gregory Ellwood provides eight important revelations after Venice, Telluride, and »
Each and every single awards season, there are tons of both newcomers and veterans to the Oscar game. Tomorrow I’ll be taking a bit of a look at those seeking their first nominations from the Academy, but today I’m going to be going ahead and listing some of the major players who’ve already been nominated before, and in some cases are already winners. It’s leading up to me re-ranking the contenders in the major categories next week, but right now it’s just going to be a preview of which old hands to the Oscar ranch are saddling up for another ride on the awards season pony. In the Best Actor race, the highest profile former nominee is Joaquin Phoenix, who will look for his first win this year with Inherent Vice. He represents the most likely non first time nominee who could win the Oscar in this category, »
- Joey Magidson
Two Days, One Night
Written and directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Sandra (Marion Cotillard) spends the majority of Two Days, One Night knocking on the doors of her co-workers and modestly pleading with them to decline a significant pay bonus so that she can save her job and her family. Some are instantly receptive to her request while others blow her off and even resort to violence. It’s an episodic structure that is executed with measured precision and tension from master Belgian auteurs and critics-darlings Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (The Kid with a Bike). Acting as the antithesis of the hardworking, stubborn, and desperate titular character from the directing duo’s immaculate Rosetta (1999), Sandra’s glowing and unwavering empathy towards those who stand in opposition to her is the crux of her character and the streamlined grace that runs through this humbled marvel of a film. »
- Ty Landis
By Anjelica Oswald
The Academy has a long and complex relationship with musicals, particularly with their ability to secure best picture nominations. The best picture nomination for Les Miserables (2012) at the 85th Academy Awards marked the first time since Chicago’s (2002) nomination and win that a musical was nominated in that category, and as of this moment, there aren’t many options that could break into the category this year.
Since premiering at Toronto, The Last 5 Years — the film adaption of the off-broadway musical written by Jason Robert Brown — has been receiving decent reviews but nothing that would propel it to best picture status. The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney said both Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan bring “confidence and depth of feeling” to their songs and “shift back and forth between rom-com breeziness and full-blown passion, be it the soaring highs or the heartsick lows” with ease, »
- Anjelica Oswald
Look across the landscape of Best Actor Oscar contenders this year. Michael Keaton, Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne, Bill Murray, Timothy Spall, Chadwick Boseman, Kevin Costner, Ralph Fiennes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Hardy, James McAvoy, Channing Tatum all seen and stumped for. Joaquin Phoenix, David Oyelowo, Brad Pitt, Jack O'Connell, Bradley Cooper, Oscar Isaac, Matthew McConaughey and Mark Wahlberg all looking for room on the other side. Gael García Bernal, Ellar Coltrane, Brendon Gleeson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tommy Lee Jones, John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Miles Teller all likely to find supporters besides. Now look at the Best Actress contenders… It seems an oft-repeated lament. The leading lady category always feels just wide enough to manage a healthy slate of nominees, while the fellas deal with shocked asides on Oscar nomination morning about Tom Hanks or some such somehow missing the cut. "It was just too competitive." But it never seems »
- Kristopher Tapley
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