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Although Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men received three Oscar nominations back in 2007 (none of which it ended up winning), the fact that the movie did not get a Best Picture nod caused a minor uproar at the time and even now seems like a pretty big oversight. Granted, there were a handful of other great films that were also overlooked that year, but much like The Dark Knight, the movie resonated with people so deeply that it inspired a grassroots fan campaign  to back it up (which obviously didn't help). Regardless, the movie has not been forgotten, and stands out as one of the true masterpieces of this past decade in film. Based on a novel by P.D. James, Cuarón's dystopian near-future is frighteningly familiar. It's a world full of poverty, political unrest, terrorism, and of course, a mysterious biological plague threatening to end the human race where it stands. »
It seems that the Cannes film festival got things right this year, even if audiences seemed to not quite get the quality of the competition. After consideration of a wealth of films from around the world, big and small, I find my end of year top-10 list peppered with films of heady considerations tackled with both visual bombast and narrative elegance. While 2007 will likely be remembered as the strongest year of the aughts for cinema, 2009 is one of sheer variety. There be lots of surprises and pleasures of both the cerebral and visceral kind.
10) The Limits of Control - Jim Jarmusch's deliberate ode to architecture, form and patient viewing is bumped into masterpiece territory by the wonderful cinematography of Christopher Doyle and the handsome (dude can Wear a suit) figure of Isaach De Bankolé.
9) Mr. Nobody - Has quantum physics and romantic love ever been successfully combined in a large-scale science fiction epic? »
Here I am. Where are you? I love you. I miss you.
Lukas Moodysson woefully neglected (at least in North America) new film starring Michelle Williams, Gael Garcia Bernal and Marife Necesito (a wonderful Filipino actress who is the real heart and soul of the film) steps back from flirtations with pornographic explicitness (A Hole in My Heart) or the baffling bauble of Container and takes on the large task of trying to understand family bonds in the 21st century. A film as timely as Up In The Air or the 2006 film it is inevitably compared to: Alejandro González Iñárritu's Babel (if only because of the world-hopping story and Gael Garcia Bernal who is, more or less, in the Brad Pitt role), it may be even better than either of those two because of its quiet (distant) empathic confusion. While it eventually comes to a boil, for the most part, »
What this means for Oscar race is that a film such as The Road could potentially take one of the 10 nominations slots and what this means for the Malick film is that it will find a competition slot alongside Alejandro González Iñárritu's Biutiful at the 2010 edition of Cannes 2010. - Thanks to a good rapport with Apparition's Bob Berney, Anne Thompson has closed the case Tree of Life and the pegged, very doubtful, December 2009 release date. Those following the operations at Apparition probably had the same inkling that I had that Malick was still in editing mode when Jean-Marc Vallee's The Young Victoria hopscotched in a December 18th release date. What this means for Oscar race is that a film such as The Road could potentially take one of the 10 nominations slots and what this means for the Malick film is that it will find a competition slot alongside »
- Ioncinema.com Staff
Lights. Cameras. Birthday Action (for this, the 30th of November). Only one month left to go and it's 2010. How crazy is that?
Ridley, Terrence (in the 70s) and Marc
1926 Richard Crenna, character actor
1927 Robert Guillaume, "Benson"
1937 Ridley Scott, manly director whose movies are usually way better when they're shot through with a strong female presence. Consider the three classics: Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Alien. The rest of the filmography surely has its moments but that's the trinity right there.
1943 Terence Malick, »
- NATHANIEL R
1694 Voltaire, Enlightment philosopher, writer, progressive. Candide is his work that's most familiar to modern audiences having been filmed, adapted, and put on lists like this one as well as being adapted into a popular and oft-revived comic operetta. Kristin Chenoweth doing "Glitter and Be Gay" is theater heaven.
1912 Eleanor Powell, queen of tap. Broadway Rhythm it's got me Everybody...
1938 Marlo Thomas, That Girl. Yes, that one.
1941 Juliet Mills, Globe nominated film actress (Avanti!) best known for TV roles. She was a cougar before they had a word for it, marrying hunky Maxwell Caulfield when she was 39 and he was 21, before he'd even made Grease 2. They're still married, going on thirty years now. Today's generation might know her best as witchy Tabitha from her long campy run on daytime soap Passions.
- NATHANIEL R
In March 2006 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences sprung one of its annual surprises by awarding the best picture Oscar to Crash, rather than Ang Lee’s acclaimed gay cowboy drama, Brokeback Mountain. At the time it looked as though racism and multiple vehicular pile-ups had trumped homosexuality in the battle of the “hot button” issue movies. But perhaps the Academy was belatedly acknowledging the kind of ambitious, densely plotted, multi-character dramas made famous by the great Robert Altman. From 1975’s Nashville, to Short Cuts, Prêt à Porter and his 2006 swansong A Prairie Home Companion, Altman allowed audiences to immerse themselves in the cinematic equivalent of a book of short stories. Writer Alissa Quart has characterised these films with multiple intersecting plotlines as “hyperlink movies”, in which, “information, character, and action co-exist without hierarchy”. Now I’m a fan of Altman and I loved Paul Thomas Anderson’s, »
New York, NY (November 1, 2009)- Sony Pictures Classics announces its acquisition of United States’ rights to Rodrigo García’s Mother And Child from Wme Global. The film debuted at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival as a Gala Presentation, where it was actively pursued by several Us distributors.
Mother And Child is the moving tale about the choices we make, the chances we miss, the opportunities we seize and the power of the unbreakable bond between a mother and her child.
The film was written and directed by Rodrigo García (Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her and Nine Lives) and produced by Lisa Maria Falcone through her Everest Entertainment and Julie Lynn via her Mockingbird Pictures. The films’ director of photography is Xavier Grobet (City Of Ember, The Woodsman, Nacho Libre,) Steven Weisberg edited (Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, Permanent Midnight), with music by Ed Shearmur (Wings Of The Dove, »
What movies will be taking home little gold statuettes this awards season? We give you some of our predictions.
Photo: Dale Robinette/ Paramount
As the calendar page turns to October and the last of the summer blockbusters fade into the distance, it is time to cleanse our palate. That's right, folks, awards season is here once again, and this weekend's release of "A Serious Man" indicates that it's time to put away remakes, roman numerals and TV adaptations and instead expect movies that are — gasp! — smart.
Naturally, we here at MTV will be all over the 2009 awards season, right up to our annual coverage backstage at the Oscars. But who will be the next "Slumdog," "Brokeback" or "Little Miss Sunshine"? Below you'll find a list of 10 films we'll be watching closely between now and Oscar night.
Over the last few years, »
It seemed appropriate that "The Young Victoria" closed out Toronto this year, considering that the festival turned out to be a coronation for women in film, in addition to being a celebration its host metropolis (a series of pre-screening clips from Toronto-based films honored the city's 175th anniversary). Besides showcasing upcoming femme-centric fall releases as "Bright Star," "An Education," "Whip It!" and "Fish Tank," the festival ended up bestowing audience awards upon the coming-of-age drama "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" and the doc "The Topp Twins," which focuses on a pair of lesbian sisters and musicians who have been entertaining New Zealand for the past three decades. (A full list of winners can be found here.)
- Stephen Saito
Somewhere in Guillermo Arriaga’s three-film run with director Alejandro González Iñárritu—2000’s Amores Perros, 2003’s 21 Grams, and 2006’s Babel— Arriaga’s achronological, everything-is-connected screenplays lost their originality and surprise, and started to become more like shtick. Now absent Iñárritu’s considerable filmmaking chops, Arriaga’s directorial debut, The Burning Plain, sinks into full-on self-parody, slogging through themes of guilt and redemption with joyless, artless determination. Arriaga always rankled at the credit Iñárritu received for their collaborations, but Arriaga’s leaden touch behind the camera is a reminder of how much I »
The time shifting interwoven character drama, in which multiple discordant storylines merge into a coherent whole, is the primary characteristic of the films of Alejandro González Iñárritu and longtime collaborator Guillermo Arriaga. Together, the men perfected the form in Amores Perros and 21 Grams. Its potency waned in Babel, the film that appears to have irreparably fractured their relationship. With The Burning Plain the form can be pronounced to be, if not officially dead, on its last bit of life support. What once seemed like a fresh and exciting method of storytelling, an offshoot of a mode popularized by Robert Altman and others, has become impossibly trite. Written and directed by Arriaga, the film cuts back and forth over more than a decade, weaves its way through two concrete settings and winds up at a place heavy on symbolism and melodrama but empty on ideas. Charlize Theron stars as Sylvia, proprietor of a high-end Portland restaurant and a »
- Robert Levin
With the Venice Film Festival having just concluded and Toronto now underway, the award season's wheels begin to roll with big name players, both indie and arthouse, making a showing, with Steven Soderbergh and Jennifer Aniston keeping things light at the multiplex.
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"35 Shots of Rum"
While Claire Denis' latest film, "White Material," is in the midst of a prestigious festival run that will take in Venice, Toronto and soon London, fans of the French filmmaker's work can enjoy this delicate domestic portrayal of tenderness and devotion from last year that begins a small theatrical run here in New York. Set in a nondescript Parisian neighborhood, Denis' film casually unfolds the dynamic of unspoken trust and mutual support played out between a stoic widower Lionel (Alex Descas), his daughter Joséphine (Mati Diop), and the »
- Neil Pedley
- The 22nd Tokyo International Film Festival will open with the highly anticipated, long-gestating, documentary film from Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud. I believe principal photography commenced something like five years ago on Oceans. The doc was picked up earlier this year by Disneynature for a Spring 2010 release. Oceans is an ecological drama/documentary, filmed throughout the globe. Devoting over 70 trips to 50 places and 4 years it captures more than 100 species. Jacques Perrin (Le Peuple Migrateur) presents a tale of the mysterious ocean and the living with the latest cinematographic equipment, capable of taking miraculous images. The film penetrates the mysterious and fascinating marine world like never before. Before they made even one announcement, the festival was at the center of controversy for not including Louie Psihoyos' The Cove. Jeffrey Wells (read here) was quick to point out how Alejandro González Iñárritu should consider stepping down from the head jury position, »
Yes there are other films we're excited to see in this final Tiff line-up announcement - Alejandro Amenábar's Agora, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done by Werner Herzog - but let's face it the chance to see John Hillcoat's adaptation of the The Road two months early is just so damn cool that we had to give it top billing here.
You can check out the full Galas and Special Presentation line-ups after the break, or learn more about the entire festival over at the official Tiff site.
North American Premiere
In the fourth century, while Egypt was under the Roman Empire, violent religious upheaval in the streets of Alexandria spills over into the city’s famous library. Trapped inside its walls, the brilliant astronomer Hypatia (Rachel Weisz) and her disciples fight to save the wisdom of the ancient world. Among »
- With the final Gala and Special Presentation announcements for Tiff out of the way, and unless Telluride, BFI London and Rome reveal some major world premiere coups, we can expect to see new works from Alejandro González Iñárritu, Taylor Hackford, Géla Babluani, Radu Mihaileanu, Mark Ruffalo, Olivier Dahan, Julie Taymor, Sylvain Chomet only in 2010. Curiously, among the titles listed below, three of them happen to star Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren. Here are 9 must see titles of 2009 that we should end up seeing in 2010. * Biutiful It's being sold by Focus Features Intl. who will logically distribute the film domestically and while Focus have nothing on slate for December, Alejandro González Iñárritu's latest which stopped shooting sometime this summer, could logically be bumped until a Cannes premiere next summer. Prediction: Fall 2010 release. * The Concert This will receive a November 4th release in France and while The Weinstein Company own this »
'There's no one like him,' Pitt says of the director he started out with almost 20 years ago.
Hollywood — The biggest movie star in the world, Brad Pitt, is finally a basterd. And that's a very good thing.
"Yes I am," he laughed on the red carpet at Monday's "Inglourious Basterds" premiere, flashing one of the most photographed smiles in the world. "And yes it is."
In the early '90s, names like Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Robert Rodriguez and Steven Soderbergh reinvented the notion of the "independent film," combining attitude, originality and commercial appeal as few had before. In the years that followed, huge names like Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise and Bill Murray took a break from big blockbusters to embrace the indie spirit. The careers of Tarantino and Pitt could be looked at as bookmarking the phenomenon. »
- #3. Biutiful Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu Writer(s): Iñárritu, Armando Bo, Nicolás GiacoboneProducers: Fernando Bovaira, Alfonso Cuarón, Iñárritu, Jon Kilik, Guillermo del ToroDistributor: Focus Features. The Gist: This is about a man embroiled in shady dealings who is confronted by a childhood friend, now a policeman. Fact: Bardem had a spinal injury on the set. Why is it on the list?: How will Iñárritu fare without Guillermo Arriaga? I'm guessing he'll be more than fine (track record is impeccable). Javier Bardem is on board and so is Dp Rodrigo Prieto. Release Date/Status?: Currently in post-production, the chances this does a double showing at Venice and Toronto are very likely. A December 11th date is pegged for theatrical. »
- Paramount Vantage we hardly knew you. From an outsiders point of view, you'd think that winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for 2007's No Country for Old Men and winning Best Actor and Best Cinematography for There Will Be Blood would be a sign of better things to come, but at the end of the day, it's not the number of Oscars you win, but the plus and minus on the balance sheet. Vantage sealed its fate way before Guy Stodel came on board and even when Amy Israel was in charge the returns weren't in the plus. Paramount Pictures might be currently looking to merge and cut expenses, but it was a continual set of major faux-pas that has ultimately lead to the demise of the indie unit. When they did away with the Paramount Classics label, they got rid of pick-ups with very little returns »
Bardem, you might remember, won the 2007 Best Supporting Actor Oscar when he starred in Joel Coen and Ethan Coen's No Country for Old Men. He played Anton Chigurh, the psychopath with a killer cattle gun and an even-more-killer haircut. Bardem also appeared in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona and in Biutiful, which was helmed by Babel director Alejandro González Iñárritu and arrives in theaters this December.
Eat, Pray, Love is based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling, critically acclaimed memoir of same name. It tells of Gilbert's journey of self-discovery after a painful divorce and her subsequent world travels. The movie, which is in pre-production, will be directed by Nip/Tuck writer-director Ryan Murphy, who also wrote and directed the big-screen adaptation of »
- Rich Z Zwelling
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