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Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu.
A washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory.
Birdman, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s hysterical parody of art and artistes, provides a whole new direction for the director. Inarritu’s set his po-faced callousness adrift and tackled this tale of a washed-up former superhero movie star attempting a comeback on the New York stage with a wry cynicism that bites, kicks and has acid for blood. We’re on new ground for the director, familiar ground for a re-energised star – Michael Keaton, as ageing has-been Riggan Thomson – and find ourselves guided by Emmanuel Lubezki, perhaps the greatest living DoP (hyperbolic? Not at all). That’s Lubezki »
- Gary Collinson
The Steve Jobs biopic, Jobs, has had quite a wild ride over the last month. In the latest turn of events, the film was picked up by Universal with Michael Fassbender now officially cast in the role of the legendary tech icon Steve Jobs.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore
Last month, Sony Pictures was eyeing Seth Rogen to play Jobs’ right-hand man Steve Wozniak. It was only days later that Christian Bale, then set to play Jobs, walked away from the role of the Apple founder after much deliberation and conflicting feelings that he wasn’t right for the part. Sony dropped the project soon after Bale exited the film and it was quickly snatched up by its current owner Universal, who have now confirmed Fassbender in the leading role.
- William Fanelli
It's that time of the year again. Which is to say that it isn't, yet, but it's close enough for us all to start speculating.
The 2015 Oscar nominations won't be announced until January, and thanks to the peculiarities of transatlantic release schedules, many of these contenders will barely have reached UK shores by then.
But we've now seen enough of the heavy-hitters to have a decent sense of how the next awards season is shaping up, and below we've rounded up our best guesses for the ten films that will dominate this year's Academy Awards.
Scroll al the way to the bottom to see our complete list of predictions for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
Bennett Miller's brooding true crime drama emerged as one of the year's earliest awards season frontrunners when it opened at Cannes, centring on »
Alejandro González Iñárritu is a happy man. Since "Birdman" earned raves on the festival circuit, it's doing well at the box office, too. He laughed as he shot the film for the first time in his life, he says, describing the process as "a joy. Michael Keaton got naked spiritually and physically." When the filmmaker turned 50, his examination of his life and psyche led him to collaborate with a team of writers on this sharp show business comedy that skewers the current Hollywood obsession with superheroes as it reveals the psychological pitfalls of the creative process. This is something Iñárritu knows something about, as he followed up his breakout "Amores Perros" with a series of tough English-language dramas ("Babel," "21 Grams") as well as Spanish "Biutiful," which garnered an Oscar nomination for Javier Bardem. Now he's already prepping his next movie set to start »
- Anne Thompson
The nominations for the 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards have been announced.
The Best Female Lead category sees Marion Cotillard take on Julianne Moore, Tilda Swinton, Jenny Slate and Rinko Kikuchi. Meanwhile, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Lithgow, David Oyelowo, André Benjamin and Michael Keaton will battle it out in the Best Male Lead category.
The awards will be handed out on February 21, the day before the Oscars takes place.
The full 2015 Film Independent Spirit Award nominations:
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu - Birdman or »
"Moulin Rouge!" (2001), "Chicago" (2002), "The Phantom of the Opera" (2004), "Dreamgirls" (2006), "Enchanted" (2007), "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (2007), "Nine" (2009), "Les Misérables" (2012). Between them, 50 oscar nominations, only three of them recognized for Best Picture and only one of them taking the big prize. That's more or less the modern legacy Rob Marshall's "Into the Woods" is looking to enter into, a stage of relative reinvigoration for the musical film genre. Of course, then there are films like "Burlesque," "Hairspray," "Mamma Mia!" and "The Producers," which were stiffed by the Academy but were remembered in the HFPA's Best Picture — Comedy/Musical category at the Golden Globes. Not to mention others like "Fame," "Footloose," "Idlewild," "Rent" and "Rock of Ages," which weren't remembered at all come awards season (with "Jersey Boys" and maybe "Annie" likely to meet similar fates). All of that is to simply illustrate the ups and downs for these »
- Kristopher Tapley
Having barely survived Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 21 Grams when it came out, I was inclined to stay away from his filmography for the rest of my life. But people I respect and trust — Iñárritu haters no less — kept saying that Birdman was actually quite good, so I popped in; two hours later, I felt as if my initial disinterest had been validated the hard way. Praise first for Edward Norton’s note-perfect rendition of the actor as a toxically always-“on,” reflexively self-dramatizing narcissist. Swaggering into conversations and pushing them into weird rhythms he can play with without regard for the […] »
- Vadim Rizov
Heavy-hitting holdovers Foxcatcher, The Theory Of Everything and Birdman were robust in expansion in the specialty release side of the box office this weekend. Meanwhile, a pair of limited-release newcomers, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night and doc Monk With A Camera – both Kino Lorber releases – bowed with solid numbers.
A Girl, Ana Lily Amirpour’s self-described “Iranian vampire Western” that debuted at Sundance, opened in two theaters in New York and L.A., grossing $26K, for a $13K average.
Kino Lorber also opened Monk With A Camera, Guido Santi and Tina Mascara’s documentary, with an exclusive run at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in an 85-seat theater that had sell-out showings. The film grossed $10K Friday to Sunday.
- Brian Brooks
She makes you care about her. Mary Bee Cuddy is a New Yorker who has set up a homestead in pre-Civil War Nebraska. She's as strong and smart and as capable as any man, her neighbors reluctantly admit. She can farm, and ride, and shoot. She just can't seem to find a man who wants to marry her. She's bossy and she's plain, everyone keeps telling her. But she's the only homesteader willing to transport in a wagon three women who have each gone crazy trying to deal with the hardscrabble pioneer life. And when she gets the chance to save the life of a man named Briggs (Jones) sitting on a horse with a noose around his neck, she gets him to join her on this three-week trek with the women across the prairie. They have no idea what they are in for. See: Best Actress Oscar Predictions 2015. Up next for Swank, »
- Anne Thompson
I’m going to keep it short and sweet today folks, or at least a bit shorter than usual in terms of set up. You all know by now that it’s time for my middle of the month Oscar predictions update piece. Sometimes, there’s only a tinker or two to be done, but today…today I have a seismic shift to include, namely in the arrival of Selma on the scene. It’s gone from being shut out (what was I thinking?) to contending for wins in multiple major categories. In fact, more than one of the big eight categories have new winners listed, so this is a definite change in thinking. Some of it might be short lived, but that’s what the upcoming new set of predictions next month is for, right? I’ve also added the three short form categories (Animated Short, Documentary Short, and »
- Joey Magidson
Now playing in theaters is one of the best films of 2014: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman. Made to look like one long shot, Birdman stars Michael Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory. While some movies have incredible performances or a great script, Birdman is one of those rare films where everything across the board is memorable. It’s absolutely one of my favorite films of the year and it should be seen as soon as possible. Trust me, this is a special movie that you will want to see. The film also stars Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough, and Amy Ryan. At the New York City press day I landed a video interview Naomi Watts and Andrea Riseborough. »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
So contrary to popular belief director Alejandro González Iñárritu is actually capable of having a sense of humor. The man who gave us the two hour misery fests like Babel, Biutiful, and 21 Grams is now shockingly making a comedy – well as close to a comedy that he can get.
His latest film Birdman is an all-out assault on the comic book movie culture of today’s Hollywood. Along with an indictment of the current movie going audience that favors the popcorn fantasy over the cold hard truth. Also taking aim at the idea of celebrity and the warped mental state one can find themselves in when seeking universal artistic glory. Birdman’s true personality comes from its abrasive style that is like an exploding shotgun »
- Dan Clark
Spectral Motion is a special effects company that specializes in creature designs, prosthetic makeup effects, and animatronics. They were hired to work on Fox Searchlight Pictures' Birdman, which was directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. Their main responsibility was constructing the superhero costume. It is seen in the film harassing Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), who is haunted by the role. Mike Elizalde, the owner of Spectral Motion, chatted with HitFix about what director Alejandro González Iñárritu wanted the costume to look like. "He said he wanted to really play off of a little bit of the inherent cheesiness of superhero costumes, but he didn't wanted to be ridiculously cheesy he just wanted a few elements that were a little blingy," Elizade explained. "He still wanted something heroic and cool-looking, but those were sort of the guidelines. So the elements that we focused on were the belt buckle and the wristband »
Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman is one of the most technically dazzling and thematically ambitious films of the year. With an all-star cast and some spectacular digital effects to make the film seem like it was done in one long continuous shot, Birdman is stuffed to the gills with ideas and importance. This movie doesn’t just want to make you feel […]
The post Let’s Talk About the Ending of ‘Birdman’ appeared first on /Film. »
- David Chen
The 18th annual Hollywood Film Awards kicked off awards season Friday night, and for the first time ever, the event was broadcasted live on CBS. Host Queen Latifah entertained the crowd at the Hollywood Palladium as viewers and attendees got a glimpse of some of this year's major award frontrunners.
"There’s never been anyone better and there likely never will be," Downey said of Duvall, who was equally effusive about his co-star.
"The reason I took the project mainly is because of Robert Downey Jr," Duvall praised. "We spent many good times together."
Duvall also thanked his wife Luciana Pedraza, laughing, "I’ve had a few better halves, but she’s the best better half I’ve ever had."
Glenn has been attending the 25th Stockholm Film Festival as a member of the Fipresci jury where he saw a selection of Oscar hopefuls including ‘The Imitation Game’ and foreign language competitors ‘Human Capital’ and ‘Mommy’.
One of the curious things about festivals in a city like Stockholm is that, due to delayed distribution methods, films like Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman (the director’s memo about the name change apparently hasn’t crossed oceans) can compete for prizes alongside global curiosities like Pascale Ferran’s Bird People and Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s The Owners. They feel unfairly situated alongside arthouse titles from the whole globe.
My fellow jurors were surprised when I informed them that The Imitation Game was an Academy frontrunner. Given that the Oscar Best Picture competition at this stage appears to be quite polarizing and auteur-focused, I »
- Glenn Dunks
One of the most interesting precursors to me is always the Independent Spirit Awards. They don’t always cite the same things that the Academy does, so it’s a chance to see smaller and more eclectic fare given a moment in the sun. Even though the Spirit Award have matched up with Oscar more often in the recent past than was usual, it’s still a place where you can see honors for films that wouldn’t otherwise have a chance. Personally, that’s one of the my favorite things about certain precursors, the fact that they bestow citations on worthy cinema that could have been ignored entirely. Before I give you my shot in the dark predictions for this year’s Spirit Awards (which will announce their nominees in under two weeks…specifically on November 25th), I just wanted to further my point about the choices made by this group. »
- Joey Magidson
AFI Fest 2014 presented by Audi today announced this year’s Jury and Audience Awards for features and short films included in the festivals New Auteur and Shorts programs. The New Auteurs section highlights first and second-time feature film directors and the Shorts selections represent diverse and varied international perspectives. Grand Jury Awards were presented to Self Made (Boreg), which received the New Auteurs Critics’ Award, and to The Tribe (Plemya), which received the Vizio Visionary Special Jury Award. Buffalo Juggalos by Scott Cummings received the Live Action Short Award, and Yearbook by Bernardo Britto received the Animated Short Award. Special Jury Award winners went to GÜEROS and Violet. Red Army, GÜEROS, 10,000 Km and The Midnight Swim received Audience Awards.
Select award-winning films will screen again today at the Chinese 6 Theatres. Admission is available to AFI Fest 2014 pass holders and the general public via the rush line, which begins forming one »
- Michelle McCue
We’re about to jump deep into awards season and it all kicks off in January for the Golden Globe awards which takes place in a glittering ceremony in Hollywood on the 15th January, 2015. As the season hots up, we thought we’d take a look at the films that are starting to generate some pretty good buzz.
Released this past week, Christopher Nolan’s out-of-this-world Interstellar is currently the hot favourite to take best motion-picture drama at the Golden Globes. The science-fiction drama is closely followed by David Fincher’s adaptation of Gilliam Flynn’s book Gone Girl, which sits at odds of 4/1. They’re not alone as coming in as joint third favourites, with odds of 6/1, are the Steve Carell and Channing Tatum led Foxcatcher and Angelina Jolie’s upcoming biopic Unbroken. Outside favourite in the category is her husband Brad Pitt’s World War II tank actioner »
- David Agnew
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu.
In an attempt to reinvent himself, a has-been actor, who once played a blockbuster superhero, stages a serious Broadway play with hopes to grab hold of his former glory.
Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is the type of film that only comes around once every several years. It is hilarious and entertaining while at the same time also challenging and dramatic. It is a portrait of a single man that makes bold statements about the current state of our society at large through its use of universal themes.
The film opens with Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) having conversation with his growl of an inner voice while levitating in his shabby, theatre dressing room. The voice, that of his legendary former superhero character alter ego Birdman, »
- Gary Collinson
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