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By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
It’s not easy for a tiny indie to land a best picture Oscar nomination. Those that do are generally handled by savvy distributors which carefully nurture word-of-mouth buzz over the course of an awards season, largely by taking their contender from one film festival to another. That worked, in recent years, for Amour, An Education, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Tree of Life and Winter’s Bone. And my sense is that it may work again this year for Whiplash, a powerful drama that is being handled by Sony Pictures Classics.
Following stops at Sundance, Cannes and Toronto, the film — which is about an ambitious young drummer (Miles Teller) at a Juilliard-like conservatory and his complicated relationship with one of its most revered but feared instructors (J.K. Simmons) — screened at the New York Film Festival on Sunday night, where its end credits »
- Anjelica Oswald
Now that summer movie season is over, it’s Oscar season. During winter and fall many Oscar-hopeful movies are released. This is our overview of what you can expect leading up to the 2015 Oscars.
For fans of film, fall and winter are the best times of the year. This is when, typically, some of the most well-received films are released. Unofficially, we call it Oscar Season, and there’s good reason that the year’s best films are saved for last. Any film released before the end of the year is eligible for Oscar nomination. Therefore, if you release your film towards the end of the year, it will be fresher in audience and critic minds when awards time rolls around in early March/late February (February 22nd, 2015 to be exact).
In preparation for the fall and winter movie season, we’ve put together this preview of films that have been getting lots of attention. »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
Emma Watson and Daniel Brühl have signed on to star in Colonia, a thriller set during the 1973 Chilean military coup.
The plot centers on Daniel (Daniel Brühl), who is arrested by dictator Augusto Pinochet's secret police. Emma Watson plays his lover Lena, who tracks Daniel to a sealed-off area in the south of Chile known as Colonia Digignad. The government has set up a charitable mission run by a preacher as a front for this sinister place where no one escapes. In order to get Daniel back, Lena must join this cult.
Florian Gallenberger, who directed Daniel Brühl in John Rabe, is directing Colonia from a screenplay he co-wrote with Torsten Wenzel. Benjamin Herrmann is producing through his Majestic company, with Nicolas Steil co-producing for Iris Productions.
Principal photography will begin towards the end of this year, with shooting to take place in Luxembourg, Munich, Berlin and South America. »
As the actress is making headlines in her new position as Women's Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations, Emma Watson is showing no signs of slowing down her acting career. The Harry Potter franchise star was just seen in Noah earlier this year and she has the thriller Regression with Ethan Hawke and the musical La La Land with Miles Teller on the way. Now Deadline reports the British actress is starring in Colonia, a new thriller set in Chile during a military coup in 1973. She will star with Daniel Bruhl (Rush) as a young couple who become entangled in the military conflict in South America. Read on! In the film, Daniel (Bruhl) is abducted by Pinochet’s secret police and Lena (Watson) tracks him to a sealed-off area in the south of the country called Colonia Dignidad. The title refers to an organization represented as a charitable mission run by a lay preacher, »
- Ethan Anderton
"Harry Potter" and "Perks of Being a Wallflower" star Emma Watson made waves last week for her impassioned United Nations speech on the topic of feminism. Watson's “HeForShe" campaign made waves in the social sphere and continues to snowball with support, but it appears the endeavor won't disable the star from going about her day job. Deadline reports that Watson is on board a Chilean docudrama, fresh territory for the worldly 24-year-old actress. Watson will costar alongside "Inglorious Basterds" actor Daniel Bruhl in "Colonia," from German director Florian Gallenberger. The film revolves around a young couple who sink deeper and deeper into the 1973 Chilean military coup. When Bruhl's character is abducted by Pinochet’s secret police, Watson tracks him to a sealed-off area in Southern Chile called "Colonia Dignidad." According to Deadline's announcement, "The Colonia presents itself as a charitable mission run by a lay preacher, but is in fact »
- Matt Patches
Whiplash is jam-packed with high notes and drumroll-worthy moments, but Miles Teller has a favorite scene: "When J.K. Simmons slaps me in the face, because he hits like a girl!" he joked to The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday night at its New York Film Festival premiere. The particular moment, which has the arts professor testing the aspiring jazz drummer's abilities with tempo, is the audience's first introduction to the extent of Simmons' berating in the band room. It wasn't an emotional stretch for Simmons, who joked on the red carpet that he got so angry after "just
- Ashley Lee
Josh Trank's upcoming Fantastic Four reboot continues to be a complete mystery. While big comic book movie productions like The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice have to deal with all kids of paparazzi spy photos from the set, the 20th Century Fox film managed to slip in and out of production without drawing too much attention, and we have yet to actually hear any details regarding the film's plot. With the film not out until August of next year, it may still be a little while before anything is officially confirmed, but for now we can subsist on the rumors that keep trickling in. Take, for example, this new report from Schmoes Knows, which claims to have information about the Fantastic Four actually become the Fantastic Four in the new Fantastic Four movie. According to the site's source, Reed Richards (Miles Teller), Sue »
We are only just on the cusp of October and you can already put the “No Vacancy” sign out on the Best Actor Oscar race. Sorry, no room. Don’t even think about jumping in. Every year of late, it seems the Actor race gets richer while the Actress contest actively searches for candidates. Remember how “sure things” Tom Hanks and Robert Redford didn’t even make the cut last year? Perhaps that is just a reflection of what juicy roles the industry is offering on either side of the gender divide.
Nevertheless, for 2014 it’s worse than ever and we have a serious glut of qualified Best Actor possibilities — just under 30 by my count, and even more seem to be trying to gain entry. This is the year the Board Of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences really ought to amend the rules, just as »
- Pete Hammond
Having premiered at Sundance, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize (Dramatic) and the Dramatic Audience Award, Damien Chazelle's Whiplash has since hit all the major festivals and screens at one more, New York, before opening in theaters on October 10. Miles Teller plays Andrew Neyman, "an aspiring jazz drummer lured to one of the finer music academies in the country by the promise of working under the famed maestro Fletcher (J.K. Simmons)," writes writes Angelo Muredda in Cinema Scope. "Trouble is, Fletcher’s a monster." We're collecting reviews and have posted the trailer and a clip. » - David Hudson »
"Did you think of [your character] as a psychopath?" asked Amy Taubin, who moderated the New York Film Festival press conference for the indie drama "Whiplash," which premieres at the fest on Sunday night, September 28, and opens in limited release on October 10. Actor J.K. Simmons answered, "If I say no, will you hate me?" -Break- Can 'Whiplash' win at Oscars for J.K. Simmons without any other nominations? Simmons plays Terence Fletcher, a music teacher who inflicts verbal and physical abuse on an aspiring jazz drummer (Miles Teller). The story was inspired by the personal experiences of writer-director Damien Chazelle, who himself was a student drummer. Explained Chazelle, "I had a conductor who made a point of terrifying his students and his players, and my motivation for being a drummer was born out of fear, which in a way is so antithetical to what art should be." The director added, &qu. »
"I guess I was a professional musician. I got paid tens of dollars," J.K. Simmons shrugged, getting the first of many big laughs at the press conference for Damien Chazelle's Whiplash. He was being grilled about his music background (he studied classical music in college) and what he brought to his big big role in this crowdpleasing drama. Whiplash is about the sweaty bloody foul-mouthed, humiliating and combative relationship of Andrew, a talented drummer (Miles Teller) and his sadistic mentor, Professor Fletcher (Simmons).
The movie is muscularly directed by Chazelle, like he's got as much to prove as Andrew (he'll direct another music related film next) and edited for maximum razzle-dazzle as if syncopated to the double time jazz rhythm -- or any other rhythm, really, that Fletcher demands during grueling rehearsals. Often stopping the action to scream "Not my tempo!"
Whiplash than sometimes gives off the illusion that it's directed from within, »
- NATHANIEL R
Written and directed by Damien Chazelle
Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, now conquering New York after wowing audiences at film festivals all the way back to Sundance last winter, opens with a title card over black while a few taps on a snare drum build into a furious drum roll. It’s a fine way to symbolize the conflict at the center of the film, which accelerates to ‘furious’ so quickly and easily that it’s barely perceptible. Tension builds slowly in an empathic crescendo, before snapping over and over again like the repeated pounding of a cymbal. Whatever arguments this film may inspire, it’s clear that there is no other film in existence which makes music so thrilling.
The film follows Andrew Nieman (Miles Teller), a student of the drums at the fictional Shaffer Conservatory of Music in New York City. Andrew catches the eye of Terence Fletcher (J. »
- Mark Young
The much beloved actor, currently out doing promotion for David Cronenberg's "Maps To The Stars," used an interview with The Guardian as a chance to frankly talk about the current state of the Hollywood industry - specifically its attitude to both ageing and women.
"It's a whorehouse and people go mad. I got another 15, 20 years before they say I'm old. For women it's brutal. [Screenwriter] Bruce [Wagner]'s thing about if you're 26, you're menopausal? It's only absurd because it's a little bit further than the truth. I have actress friends who are being put out to pasture at 29. They just want to open up another can of hot 22. It's becoming almost like kiddie porn. It's f--king weird."
He talked about how the nature of the business has also changed since the time he grew up in Hollywood and talks »
- Garth Franklin
20th Century Fox has done an effective job of keeping almost everything about director Josh Trank’s (Chronicle) upcoming reboot of The Fantastic Four under wraps, going through the entire shoot with barely so much as a set photo. When it comes to the plot, virtually nothing is known save for speculation that it will take inspiration from the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic book series, and now Schmoes Know has posted some alleged plot details that appear to support that claim.
According to the site, “the team will gain their powers through a lab experiment gone wrong in a way, where they create a portal to another world or dimension (its not clear) and they get their powers after the exposure to this other dimension/planet.” This is pretty much identical to the Ff’s origin in the Ultimate comic book series, where our heroes – and Victor Van Damme – are »
- Gary Collinson
With production already wrapped on 20th Century Fox's superhero reboot The Fantastic Four, new plot details have been leaked that may reveal how the four main characters receive their incredible super powers. There will be Spoilers that follow, so read on at your own risk.
Schmoes Know reports that Reed Richards (Miles Teller), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), Sue Storm (Kate Mara) and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) receive their powers after an experiment goes terribly wrong, and creates a portal into another dimension. This is quite similar to how the Ultimate Fantastic Four characters attain their powers, after a teleporter experiment goes awry.
When the cast was announced back in February, many fans thought the reboot would be based on the Ultimate Fantastic Four comics, which feature a much younger group of heroes than the original version. However, Kate Mara revealed in July that the story isn't based on any »
It appears this is the week where Hollywood actors have decided to let off a bit of steam. First it was Miles Teller dissing (but not really) the cash cow "Divergent," and now it's John Cusack taking a dig at the industry and its attitudes towards young actors, older actors and women in general. “It’s a whorehouse and people go mad,” the "Maps To The Star" actor told The Guardian, talking about the industry, and he observes that it's not a great place to be right now, no matter your age or gender. “I got another 15, 20 years before they say I’m old. For women it’s brutal. [Screenwriter] Bruce [Wagner]’s thing about if you’re 26, you’re menopausal? It’s only absurd because it’s a little bit further than the truth,” Cusack says. “I have actress friends who are being put out to pasture at 29. They just want »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The Josh Trank-directed Fantastic Four reboot is done filming and slated for release next June, but we still don’t know that much about it. In fact, we hadn’t realized they had started filming until Kate Mara tweeted a photo of the team celebrating the end of shooting. Surprisingly little has leaked (they haven't even released any official photos of the cast), but Schmoes Know has some new details on the film that just might pique your interest.
First of all, addressing the outcry that accompanied news that Michael B. Jordan had been cast as Johnny Storm: Johnny and Sue Storm (Mara) are still siblings. Sue is just adopted.
Next, the group’s origin story will be a bit different than it was in the original comics and the previous movies. Instead of the mission in outer space, the group will gain their powers after a lab experiment »
- Mily Dunbar
It's Friday and that means it's review day and today not only will we review The Equalizer, but Laremy will finally be able to review a movie with me as he too saw it. On top of that we talk about Miles Teller's comments regarding Divergent, Matthew McConaughey's comments regarding Interstellar, "True Detective" casting, your questions, games and much more. If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly. An alternative to that option »
- Brad Brevet
"I was there to push people beyond what's expected of them," J.K. Simmons tells Miles Teller at one point in Whiplash, the film festival favorite that follows aspiring jazz drummer Andrew Neyman who is berated by his performing arts professor, Terence Fletcher. But even if the result is extraordinary, is the talent worth the torment? During a press and industry post-screening Q&A (coincidentally held at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theatre, just next door to Julliard) ahead of its New York Film Festival premiere, writer-director Damien Chazelle explained that the drama is inspired by his experiences as
- Ashley Lee
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
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