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Is there any actress who appears as though she's having the time of her life than Jessica Chastain? The two-time Academy Award nominee has joined Amy Adams as the next great American actress ready to be coronated for her body of work, but clearly isn't relegating herself to prestige fare. Today, Deadline reported that Chastain is joining Chris Hemsworth, Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron in "The Huntsman," and, quite honestly, the news made us smile. "The Huntsman" has a lot of red flags surrounding it including the fact original helmer and screenwriter Frank Darabont departed over the dreaded "creative differences" excuse and first-time director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan (Visual Effects nominee for "Snow White and the Huntsman") was brought on to replace him. The Universal Studios flick is supposedly a prequel to the aforementioned "Snow White," but it's all slightly confusing. In hindsight, it was probably a mistake to develop it without »
- Gregory Ellwood
Written by Gabriel Sabourin
Directed by Daniel Grou
Daniel Grou (affectionately known as Podz by the Quebec public) got his start in television, directing a number of very successful shows for Radio-Canada, the national channel. In 2010 he made his cinematic debut with two films and has since been working exclusively for the big screen. His most recent film, Miraculum, finds it’s aesthetic routes in television though, often feeling more like a creaky pilot than a full fledged film. While Podz and his actors give it their all in this film, they are let down by the script which is trite, obvious and poorly constructed.
Films about intersecting fates rarely gel very well. For every Magnolia (which is flawed, but doesn’t collapse under the weight of it’s own hubris) there are dozens of copycat films that are varying degrees of unbearable. The narrative just never comes together, »
- Justine Smith
And the Independent Spirit Awards have revealed the winners and it's looking a lot like the Academy Awards! "Birdman" beat "Boyhood" for the Best Feature trophy but Richard Linklater took away the Best Director award from Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu.
Is this a sign of what's going to happen at the Oscars tonight?
2015 Film Independent Spirit Award Winners (Highlighted) And Nominees
(Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)
Winner: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Winner: Richard Linklater
Ahead of tonight’s Academy Awards, the 30th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards were announced last night in Santa Barbara, California.
Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman claimed the most awards, taking home three gongs including Best Feature, although Iñárritu lost out in the Best Director category to Richard Linklater for Boyhood.
In the acting categories, Julianne Moore (Still Alice) and Michael Keaton (Birdman) claimed Best Actress and Best Actor, while Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) and J.K. Simmons (b) were honoured in the supporting categories.
Here’s a full list of the nominations, with the winners highlighted in red…
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
David Zellner, Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
Dan Gilroy, »
- Gary Collinson
Digital Spy rounds up all of the winners from this year's ceremony below:
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) - Winner!
David Zellner - Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
Best First Feature (Award given to the director and producer.)
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Director/Producer: Justin Simien
Producers: Effie T. Brown, »
“Birdman” won the Spirit Award for best feature, and Michael Keaton nabbed the statue for actor for Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s whimsical comedy-drama that dominated the 30th edition of the Film Independent Spirit Awards.
The film thus triumphed in two of the categories that have been most difficult to predict this awards season. The feature trophy went to producers Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan and James W. Skotchdopole.
Richard Linklater was named top director for “Boyhood.” The split between the helmer/pic prizes could be a foreshadowing of Sunday’s Oscars, since the top races are hard to call. And Oscar could throw a few other curve balls into the mix, since “American Sniper,” and “The Theory of Everything” are ineligible for Spirits (since, respectively, the budget exceeded $20 million and the production was British).
- Dave McNary
The 30th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards were presented Saturday from a tent on the beach in Santa Monica. Check out the full list of winners below. Best Feature "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" - Winner "Boyhood" "Love is Strange" "Selma" "Whiplash" Best Director Damien Chazelle, "Whiplash" Ava DuVernay, "Selma" Alejandro G. Iñárritu, "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" Richard Linklater, "Boyhood" - Winner David Zellner, "Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter" Best Screenplay Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, "Big Eyes" J.C. Chandor, "A Most Violent Year" Dan Gilroy, "Nightcrawler" - Winner Jim Jarmusch, "Only Lovers Left Alive" Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias, "Love is Strange" Best First Feature Ana Lily Amirpour, "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night" Justin Simien, "Dear White People" Dan Gilroy, "Nightcrawler" - Winner Gillian Robespierre, "Obvious Child" Anja Marquardt, "She's Lost Control" Best First Screenplay Desiree Akhavan, "Appropriate Behavior" Sara Colangelo, "Little Accidents" Justin Lader, »
- Kristopher Tapley
The 30th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards have officially begun. Stay tuned for updated winners throughout the show. Hosted by Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell, the ceremony will be broadcast live on IFC at 2:00 p.m. Pt.
Updated List of Winners:
Feature (Award given to the producer)
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
- Variety Staff
The film, inspired by the stoning to death of an unmarried couple with children by Islamists in northern Mali in 2012, has gained fresh resonance in France following the deadly attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January.
The picture also picked up awards for its screenplay, sound, editing and cinematography while celebrated Tunisian composer Amine Bouhafa clinched the César for best original score.
Timbuktu is in the running for an Oscar in the foreign language category on Sunday night, alongside Ida, Leviathan, Tangerines and Wild Tales.
“The reasons why people make films here in France are very different from the reasons why people make movies in Hollywood, and I prefer it here a little bit,” Stewart said backstage about the courage of French filmmakers. She also revealed she will star in another French film but declined to reveal any further details.
“Timbuktu” won best film over Olivier Assayas’ “Sils Maria,” Bertrand Bonello’s “Saint Laurent,” Thomas Cailley’s “Love at First Fight,” Robin Campillo’s “Eastern Boys,” Eric Lartigau’s “The Belier Family” and Thomas Lilti’s “Hippocrate.”
In his acceptance speech, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Cesar Awards, in progress Best Actress Adèle Haenel, Les Combattants Best Actor Pierre Niney, Yves Saint Laurent Best Foreign Film Mommy, dir Xavier Dolan Best Director Abderrahmane Sissako, Timbuktu Best Supporting Actress Kristen Stewart, »
- Ryan Adams
"I'll make you a deal - I want three things..." With this film now playing in theaters in Canada, there's no better time to feature the first official trailer for Elephant Song from Canadian distributor eOne Films. Elephant Song is a psychological drama starring Xavier Dolan, the same filmmaker who made Mommy and Laurence Anyways, as a rather eerie patient with a mysterious past. Captain Pike of Star Trek, actor Bruce Greenwood, also stars as the hospital's director, and both Catherine Keener and Carrie-Anne Moss appear as well. I don't want to give away anything else in the plot, but the trailer should give you a good idea what's going on. I missed seeing this at Tiff, and I've been waiting to catch it. I've got to say, this trailer makes me more intrigued, even if I prefer Dolan as a director he certainly can act, too. Take a look. »
- Alex Billington
Earlier today, fellow film nerd Marc Heuck tweeted the following: Incompresa, the moving new @AsiaArgento film, still has no U.S. distributor. Wtf? Dozens of boutique labels here yet nobody's stepping up? — Marc Edward Heuck (@the_hoyk) February 17, 2015 I reached out to "Doctor Strange" director Scott Derrickson, who is a producer on the film and who talked to me about it before the Cannes Film Festival, where it absolutely flattened me. I asked him if it's true that the film is still without a distributor, and he told me they haven't been able to figure out anything. Not theatrical. Not VOD. Not even a basic DVD release. This is wrong. This is a mistake. Are you seriously going to tell me that there's not a single distributor out there who sees the merit in the film? Am I supposed to believe that there's no marketing hook you can craft around »
- Drew McWeeny
We asked Variety’s trio of top critics and our awards gurus to weigh in on 2014 cinematically with these questions:
1. How do you rate 2014 against other years cinematically?
2. What is the scandal/most talked or not talked about issue of the year?
3. What aspect of the year in film made you stand up and say bravo?
Here are their answers.
Tim Gray, Awards Editor
1. I can’t answer this question until 2030, when we see what movies held up. But until then, I would rate the year highly. That’s based on the fact that we have at least four movies that could easily win best picture, and deserve to. Some years, it’s slim pickings, but there are some terrific films this year.
2. The most unsettling story is the Sony hacking. I feel bad for all those people who had their Social Security numbers and private information made public. And »
- Variety Staff
We got a first look at festival favourite Xavier Dolan’s latest, Mommy, at last year’s Cannes. It’s taken nearly a year for the film to reach our cinemas, but it’s due next month and there’s a trailer online to prove it. Mommy is the story of Diane “Die” Després (Anne Dorval), a Quebec widow who, at the beginning of the film, collects her son Steve (Antoine-Olivier Pilon) from a care home. Steve is a dropout and a delinquent, it seems, but soon we learn that he suffers from an extreme case of Adhd, which poses greater and greater and problems for Diane. It’s a tough time for both of them at least until shy neighbour Kyla (Suzanne Clément) gains Steve’s trust and becomes a close friend and helper. Dolan, who serves as writer, producer, director, editor and costume designer here, shoots everything in »
The 2014 RopeofSilicon Movie Awards It's hard to believe I've been doing my own brand of "awards" for seven years now. Perhaps because film awards seem to have grown increasingly irrelevant, but when you watch as many movies as I do per year it is nice to sit back and remember the finer moments of the past year, especially when we're stuck in the doldrums of the early year releases, dealing with the likes of Jupiter Ascending, Taken 3, Blackhat and Seventh Son. So, as we are now only a few weeks away from the 87th Annual Academy Awards, it's time to hand out the 2014 RopeofSilicon Movie Awards, looking back on a year that turned out to be much better than it initially appeared it may be. A hard question I'm trying to answer is just what kind of year in movies was 2014c Like previous years, blockbusters came and went. »
- Brad Brevet
Struck Friday night at the European Film Market by sales agent The Film Factory off a two-minute promo, the deal confirms the sales potential of the latest title from Trapero (“White Elephant,” “Lion’s Den”) since France often rates as the biggest international territory out for foreign-language movie sales. Twentieth Century Fox has already taken Latin American rights.
The Diaphana deal for France kicks starts sales on “The Clan,” which Film Factory closed for world sales in the run-up to Berlin.
Now in post, “The Clan” is being talked up by pundits as a frontrunner for selection at the Cannes Festival where Trapero’s “The Lion’s Den” played in competition and “The White Elephant” in Un Certain Regard. »
- John Hopewell
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Running time: Tbc
Director: Michael Cuesta
Running time: 112 mins
Running time: 101 mins
Director: Ken Scott
Running time: Tbc
Director: Gregg Araki
Running time: 91 mins
Far from the Madding Crowd
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Running time: Tbc
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Running time: Tbc
Director: Saul Dibb
Running time: 107 mins
Director: Chris Rock
Running time: 102 mins
Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Shailene Woodley, »
The Film Stage talks to the team behind Tangerine, the iPhone shot movie that was my favorite from Sundance
Pajiba green screen Jean-Claude Van Damme clips for you to make your own movie with
T, The New York Times Style Magazine profiles Xavier Dolan
Entertainment Junkie looks at the visual effects Oscar race
The Dissolve The Voyage of Time Terrence Malick's forthcoming film will have two versions. One with Brad Pitt's voice and one with Cate Blanchett's. I'm getting tired of multiple versions of the same thing, I must admit. It seems so indecisive. But maybe I'm just smarting because today I learned that...
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby arrives on DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesday and I keep hearing conflicting things. Some say it has all three versions of the film and some say it just has "Them" (which from everything I've read is the disappointing »
- NATHANIEL R
Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake leads the pack in this year’s International Cinephile Society Awards with nine nominations, while Xavier Dolan’s Mommy (a film considered a 2014 release but landed theatrically last month) places 2nd, with eight total noms. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Under the Skin and Boyhood all placed well and should effectively land wins in the multiple categories below. The winners of the 12th Ics Awards will be announced on the 20th. Here are the noms:
• The Grand Budapest Hotel
• Goodbye to Language
• Stranger by the Lake
• Two Days, One Night
• Jean-Luc Godard – Goodbye to Language
• Alain Guiraudie – Stranger by the Lake
Film Not In The English Language
- Eric Lavallee
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