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13 items from 2006


Broadcast Film Critics Association noms

12 December 2006 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Promoting themselves as a barometer for Oscar predictions – this pretty much group all the favorites and safe picks. Leading the pack are “Babel," "The Departed," "Dreamgirls" and "Little Miss Sunshine" each with seven nominations each. Now its in 12th year, the Critics Choice Award is voted on by film critics from almost 200 television, radio and online critics. The 12th annual Critics’ Choice Awards ceremony will be held on Friday, January 12, 2007, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Best Picture Babel Blood Diamond The Departed Dreamgirls Letters From Iwo Jima Little Children Little Miss Sunshine Notes on a Scandal The Queen United 93 Best Actor Leonardo DiCaprio - Blood Diamond Leonardo DiCaprio - The Departed Ryan Gosling - Half Nelson Peter O'Toole - Venus Will Smith - The Pursuit of Happyness Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland Best Actress Penelope Cruz - Volver Judi Dench - Notes »

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2007 Independent Spirit Awards Noms

29 November 2006 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- It comes as no surprise that leading this year’s pack of nominees are Little Miss Sunshine and Half Nelson, but this year’s mix of contenders are a mixed breed coming from films that were showcased a little everywhere – including this year’s Sundance. And the 2007 Independent Spirit nominees are...Feature (Award given to the Producer)"American Gun," Ted Kroeber, producer"The Dead Girl," Tom Rosenberg, Henry Winterstern, Gary Lucchesi, Richard Wright, Eric Karten, Kevin Turen, producers"Half Nelson," Jamie Patricof, Alex Orlovsky, Lynette Howell, Anna Boden, Rosanne Korenberg, producers"Little Miss Sunshine," Marc Turtletaub, David T. Friendly, Peter Saraf, Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa, producers"Pan's Labyrinth," Bertha Navarro, Alfonso Cuaron, Frida Torresblanco, Alvaro Augustin, Guillermo Del Toro, producersFIRST Feature (Award given to the director and producer)"Day Night Day Night," Julia Loktev, director; Julia Loktev, Melanie Judd, Jessica Levin, producers"Man Push Cart," Ramin Bahrani, director; Ramin Bahrani, »

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'Sunshine' and 'Nelson' Head Spirit Awards Nominations

29 November 2006 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Quirky road movie Little Miss Sunshine and classroom drama Half Nelson will lead all contenders at the Spirit Awards in February after picking up five nominations apiece yesterday. The two films will compete with American Gun, The Dead Girl and Mexican movie Pan's Labyrinth for the Best Film prize, while Little Miss Sunshine's Alan Arkin and Paul Dano are both nominated for Best Supporting Actor honors. Ryan Gosling will compete for the Best Actor prize for his portrayal of a teacher with a drug problem in Half Nelson. Gosling's co-star Shareeka Epps is also nominated for Best Actress. Maverick filmmaker Robert Altman, who died last week, earned a Best Director nomination for his final film, A Prairie Home Companion, while new 007, Daniel Craig, is also among the Spirit Supporting Actor nominees for his portrayal of a murderer in drama Infamous. The awards, formerly known as the Independent Spirit Awards, will be handed out in Santa Monica, California on February 24. »

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DVD Review: 12 and Holding (2005)

28 November 2006 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- 12 and Holding (2005) Movie: Disc: Click here to read the dvd review! "Cuesta had been told on numerous occasions not to work with children as leads for what one would assume to be obvious reasons but he continues to prove them all wrong. In L.I.E., he directed a young Paul Dano through a budding discovery of his potential homosexuality while navigating the difficult waters of a relationship between a 16-year-old and someone at least 40 years older. " »

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Paul Dano Doubles Down

3 August 2006 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Quick Links > Paul Dano > Where the Wild Things Are > There Will Be Blood > Little Miss Sunshine > The King Paul Dano will star opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in Paul Thomas Anderson's (Punch Drunk Love) drama There Will Be Blood. Dano, still riding high on the wake of his Sundance Film Festival hit Little Miss Sunshine, is set to play a gifted and charismatic young preacher who captivates churchgoers. Day-Lewis (Gangs of New York) will portray a tycoon who strikes it rich after gaining oil rights to a family's ranch, turning the small town where Dano's character preaches into a boomtown. Although Anderson is shrouding the turn of the century period piece in secrecy, further reports state that Mary Elizabeth Barrett and David Willis are set to join the cast, though neither are attached as yet. The film is loosely based on Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel Oil! Dano is keeping busy »

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Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, directors of Little Miss Sunshine

1 August 2006 3:07 PM, PDT | The Scorecard Review | See recent Scorecard Review news »

Co-directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris have been working together for more than 20 years doing videos for R.E.M, the Ramones, Weezer and the Smashing Pumpkins. They’ve shot commercials for Volkswagen, Apple and Espn. Now their first feature film, “Little Miss Sunshine,” is generating some huge buzz. This ensemble dramedy features Greg Kinnear (“As Good as It Gets), Toni Collette (“About a Boy”), Steve Carell (“The 40 Year Old Virgin”), Alan Arkin (“Slums of Beverly Hills”), Paul Dano (“Fast Food Nation”) and Abigal Breslin (“Signs”). The film is about a dysfunctional family which goes on a road trip to help Olivia (Breslin) enter the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant. It took Dayton and Faris 5 years (and only 30 days of shooting) to put together. Amazingly, the directors were able to get »

- Jeff Bayer

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Fast Food Nation

20 May 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

CANNES -- The great expose of the meat-packing industry was Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, his 1906 muckraking novel that shocked a nation and led to stricter federal controls over food safety. Eric Schlosser's 2001 Fast Food Nation not only confirmed that many meat safety issues remain unsolved but portrayed a country so addicted to grab-and-eat junk food that a fifth of its adolescents are obese and major health issues abound. Which is why Richard Linklater's curious attempt to make a narrative feature from that nonfiction book is so disappointing. Following up on Morgan Spurlock's wildly successful indie film Super Size Me, critics of fast food were hoping that a one-two punch would further raise consciousness among consumers and purveyors alike. Alas, Fast Food Nation is punchless.

What Linklater and Schlosser arrive at in their screenwriting collaboration is a collection of characters inhabiting or passing through the medium-sized Colorado berg of Cody, a kind of Our Town set in strip malls and fast-food joints that make Cody look like Anywhere USA with nothing distinctive about the place. That lack of definition extends, unfortunately, to the characters -- all are well-known types, but few are individuals.

It's hard to see this Fox Searchlight release having much impact in U.S. art houses, where our poor dietary habits, mistreatment of undocumented workers and cynical business practices are old news. The film plays better in Europe, where it says all the things people here love to hear about America.

The conceit of the movie has every character tangentially connected to fast food, from the executive from Mickey's fast-food restaurant chain (Greg Kinnear) sent to the town's big meat-packing plant to investigate contamination in the company's meat, to high schoolers who work at Mickey's (Ashley Johnson, Paul Dano), undocumented plant workers Catalina Sandino Moreno, Ana Claudia Talancon, Wilmer Valderrama), their coyote (Luis Guzman), the predatory line boss (Bobby Cannavale), a rancher (Kris Kristofferson), a meat buyer (Bruce Willis) and the young political activist Lou Taylor Pucci) willing to commit acts of eco-terrorism.

The movie never decides whether it wants to be The Jungle or Our Town. Characters' story lines keep intersecting the film's journalistic purpose, throwing off both ambitions.

Some characters take you out of the movie altogether. Linklater regular Ethan Hawke shows up as Johnson's uncle and for several scenes lectures her on the dead-end nature of life in Cody, none of which is necessary because his niece and the movie's viewers are already in agreement on that point.

Promising story lines disappear, like Kinnear's radicalized exec, who gets a lecture from Willis on the realities of Big Food Business in America and then drops out of the picture. And the movie's astonished examination of the exploitation of illegal aliens is hardly a revelation.

Nevertheless, the movie thumbs through the book's chapters with its cardboard characters. You get the sexual harassment of female plant workers, wretched plant conditions, a bloody industrial accident and -- in the movie's "money" shot saved for last -- the butchering of cows and ripping apart of carcasses to make more Mickey's burgers.

Yet the lives of these characters are too dull to compel interest, and the shock value of the documentary excursions has little impact other than perhaps to alter dinner plans after the movie.

FAST FOOD NATION

Fox Searchlight Pictures

A Recorded Picture Co. presentation in association with HanWay Films, Participant Prods. and BBC Films

Credits:

Director: Richard Linklater

Screenwriters: Richard Linklater, Eric Schlosser

Based on the book by: Eric Schlosser

Producers: Jeremy Thomas, Malcolm MacLaren

Executive producers: Jeff Skoll, Ricky Strauss, Chris Salvaterra, Ed Saxon, Peter Watson, Eric Schlosser, David M. Thompson

Director of photography: Lee Daniel

Production designer: Bruce Curtis

Music: Friends of Dean Martinez

Costumes: Kari Perkins, Lee Hunsaker

Editor: Sandra Adair

Cast:

Don: Greg Kinnear

Mike: Bobby Cannavale

Cindy: Patricia Arquette

Amber: Ashley Johnson

Tony: Esai Morales

Sylvia: Catalina Sandino Moreno

Paco: Lou Taylor Pucci

Coco: Ana Claudia Talancon

MPAA rating R

Running time -- 112 minutes »

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Voices roam for 'Wild Things'

4 May 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

A diverse group of vocal talents, including Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro, Michael Berry Jr., Paul Dano, Tom Noonan, Catherine O'Hara, Forest Whitaker and Michelle Williams, has been recruited to provide the voices of the titular characters in writer-director Spike Jonze's adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's book Where the Wild Things Are. The film, which Warner Bros. Pictures is producing in association with Legendary Pictures, will combine voice performances, live-action puppetry and computer animation to dramatize the ad-ventures of Max, a rebellious young boy who runs away from home after a fight with his mother and finds himself in a forest where the wild things roam. »

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Agnew, Keller's 'Damned' finds production turf

23 February 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

First-time scribes Jim Agnew and Sean Keller have sold the horror spec Damned to Fried Films/the Pantry, the production company founded by producers Rob Fried and Dan Keston. The story revolves around an all-American family that survives a plane crash only to descend into a backwoods nightmare of demon-fearing religious zealots. Fried and Keston are in postproduction on Weapons, a film about violence and racial tension in a suburban town. The film stars Nick Cannon and Paul Dano and was written and directed by Independent Spirit Award nominee Adam Bhala Lough. Fried's producing credits include New Line Cinema's The Man and Universal Pictures' upcoming Man of the Year, directed by Barry Levinson. Agnew and Keller are repped by Danny Sherman at Principal Entertainment and attorney Mark Temple. »

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Little Miss Sunshine

23 January 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

This review was written for the festival screening of Little Miss Sunshine.

PARK CITY -- A screwball family takes to the road and wondrously finds itself in this crowd-pleaser at Sundance. A brainy blend of farce and heart, this is one of those movies that veteran moviegoers complain they don't make anymore. Most winningly, Little Miss Sunshine should radiate warm appreciation across age and class lines.

Centering on the Hoover clan, a brood as goofy as any in this dysfunctional age, Sunshine rambles cross-country in the comic fashion of a latter-day National Lampoon's Vacation. Up front in the crowded yellow VW are Pop, a tightly wired motivational speaker; Mom, a decidedly desperate housewife; oldest child Dwayne, who refuses to speak; and tiny Olive, who dreams of winning a beauty contest. Further back are the extended, and even more addled family members: cantankerous gramps and Mom's depressed professorial sibling. As quirky as the tribe it transports, the VW not only can't start without a running push but incessantly honks.

As this aggregation sputters and rambles toward California (where else?), each member must confront a personal failure. Screenwriter Michael Arndt has brilliantly woven each family member's problems into an endearing and transforming amusement. Under the splendid modulation of co-directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Sunshine careens along with a perfect combustion of character and comedy.

It's a tribute to the well-assembled cast that each character is not only antic in their own way but also identifiably human and sympathetic: Greg Kinnear shows fiber in the father's surface shallow character, while Toni Collette infuses an addled vulnerability to her role as the overstretched mom.

Alan Arkin is inspirationally whacko as a man nearing the end of his run. He is truly the court jester and, to a large extent, the off-center compass of this film's moral pinions. As the kids, Paul Dano is expressive as the non-talking Dwayne, while young Abigail Breslin is a vital blend of klutziness and grace as the ambitious grade-schooler. As the suicidal Proust scholar, Steve Carell distills an array of emotions into a credible whole.

Fueling this fun are the smart technical contributions: Credit composer Mychael Danna for the frothy sounds and Kalina Ivanov for the nutty middle-class production design.

LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE

Fox Searchlight

A Dayton/Faris Film and Big Beach/Bonafide production

Credits:

Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Screenwriter: Michael Arndt

Producers: Marc Turteltaub, David T. Friendly, Peter Saraf, Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa

Director of photography: Tim Suhrstedt

Production designer: Kalina Ivanov

Music: Mychael Danna

Costume designer: Nancy Steiner

Editor: Pamela Martin

Cast:

Olive: Abigail Breslin

Richard: Greg Kinnear

Dwayne: Paul Dano

Grandpa: Alan Arkin

Sheryl: Toni Collette

Frank: Steve Carell

MPAA rating: R

Running time -- 101 minutes »

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Little Miss Sunshine

22 January 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

PARK CITY -- A screwball family takes to the road and wondrously finds itself in this crowd-pleaser at Sundance. A brainy blend of farce and heart, this is one of those movies that veteran moviegoers complain they don't make anymore. Most winningly, "Little Miss Sunshine" should radiate warm appreciation across age and class lines.

Centering on the Hoover clan, a brood as goofy as any in this dysfunctional age, "Sunshine" rambles cross-country in the comic fashion of a latter-day "National Lampoon's Vacation". Up front in the crowded yellow VW are Pop, a tightly wired motivational speaker; Mom, a decidedly desperate housewife; oldest child Dwayne, who refuses to speak; and tiny Olive, who dreams of winning a beauty contest. Further back are the extended, and even more addled family members: cantankerous gramps and Mom's depressed professorial sibling. As quirky as the tribe it transports, the VW not only can't start without a running push but incessantly honks.

As this aggregation sputters and rambles toward California (where else?), each member must confront a personal failure. Screenwriter Michael Arndt has brilliantly woven each family member's problems into an endearing and transforming amusement. Under the splendid modulation of co-directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, "Sunshine" careens along with a perfect combustion of character and comedy.

It's a tribute to the well-assembled cast that each character is not only antic in their own way but also identifiably human and sympathetic: Greg Kinnear shows fiber in the father's surface shallow character, while Toni Collette infuses an addled vulnerability to her role as the overstretched mom.

Alan Arkin is inspirationally whacko as a man nearing the end of his run. He is truly the court jester and, to a large extent, the off-center compass of this film's moral pinions. As the kids, Paul Dano is expressive as the non-talking Dwayne, while young Abigail Breslin is a vital blend of klutziness and grace as the ambitious grade-schooler. As the suicidal Proust scholar, Steve Carell distills an array of emotions into a credible whole.

Fueling this fun are the smart technical contributions: Credit composer Mychael Danna for the frothy sounds and Kalina Ivanov for the nutty middle-class production design.

LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE

Fox Searchlight

A Dayton/Faris Film and Big Beach/Bonafide production

Credits:

Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Screenwriter: Michael Arndt

Producers: Marc Turteltaub, David T. Friendly, Peter Saraf, Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa

Director of photography: Tim Suhrstedt

Production designer: Kalina Ivanov

Music: Mychael Danna

Costume designer: Nancy Steiner

Editor: Pamela Martin

Cast:

Olive: Abigail Breslin

Richard: Greg Kinnear

Dwayne: Paul Dano

Grandpa: Alan Arkin

Sheryl: Toni Collette

Frank: Steve Carell

No MPAA rating

Running time -- 101 minutes »

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Sundance sales begin with ray of 'Sunshine'

22 January 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

PARK CITY -- Marking the first big buy at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, Fox Searchlight acquired worldwide rights to Little Miss Sunshine, the audacious comedy debut from husband-and-wife rookie filmmakers Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, early Saturday morning. Sources placed the deal at north of $10 million, the record set by Miramax Films' purchase of Happy, Texas in 1999. The dark comedy, which stars Alan Arkin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano and Greg Kinnear as a dysfunctional family taking a little girl (Abigail Breslin) to a California beauty contest, drew a standing ovation at the Eccles Theater Friday evening. Negotiations among the filmmakers, Cinetic Media's John Sloss, 20th Century Fox senior vp acquisitions Tony Safford and Searchlight exec vp Joseph De Marco went through the night, closing at the Cinetic lodge in Deer Valley at 8 a.m. "We look forward to sharing this perfect gem with the world," said Searchlight president Peter Rice. "It's in the tradition of movies that have worked well for Searchlight, from 'The Full Monty, ' 'Waking Ned, ' and 'Sideways' to 'Garden State'." »

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Searchlight takes shine to 'Miss Sunshine'

21 January 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

PARK CITY -- Marking the first big buy at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, Fox Searchlight acquired worldwide rights Saturday to Little Miss Sunshine, the audacious comedy debut from husband-and-wife rookie filmmakers Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton. Sources placed the deal at north of $10 million, the record set by Miramax Films' purchase of Happy, Texas in 1999. The dark comedy, which stars Alan Arkin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano and Greg Kinnear as a dysfunctional family taking a little girl (Abigail Breslin) to a California beauty contest, drew a standing ovation at the Eccles Theater Friday evening. »

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13 items from 2006


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