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As 2016 hits the halfway point, the Oscar race is even fuzzier than usual. Two things are clear: The studios are back-loading their awards hopefuls yet again, with launches at fall festivals and/or the fourth quarter; and there are more diverse films in the mix, with at least 16 potential biggies from filmmakers who are women, Asians, Latino-Hispanics, black and seniors (i.e., over 65).
In the past few years, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Boyhood” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” had been widely screened and started industry buzz by late June. This year, there is a lot of industry enthusiasm for a few January-to-June titles such as “Zootopia,” “The Jungle Book” and “The Witch.” But best-pic contenders? Not so sure.
The festivals so far have offered possibilities like “Manchester by the Sea” and “Loving.” And some pundits anointed “The Birth of a Nation” as the Oscar front-runner last January (a mixed blessing for Fox Searchlight, »
- Tim Gray
Hate — as no one reading this needs to be reminded — clings for life to this country like a cat with its claws sunk into the side of a space shuttle as it screams towards the stratosphere. So while the inert, inelegant and (wait for it) somewhat problematic “Free State of Jones” may not be a valuable contribution to the canon of American historical epics, the shapelessness of its story is worth celebrating for how palpably it conveys the tenacity of prejudice.
In the wake of emancipation, a nefarious “apprenticeship” system is enacted in order to resume the tradition of slavery by another name; from the ruins of the Confederate Army, the Ku Klux Klan rises up to lynch a race of newly liberated citizens. And all the while, a brusque and bearded Matthew McConaughey rides against injustice from deep within the swampy heart of Mississippi, punctuating a half-century of historical »
- David Ehrlich
It begins with Joaquin Phoenix peering into the camera, his sea-green eyes filled with tears. A similarly distressed Matt Damon appears next, followed by Rooney Mara, looking even more ashen than usual. What has rendered Hollywood's biggest stars so distraught? In a season fraught with senseless gun massacres and racially charged political upheaval, the source of their torment, believe it or not, is a food festival held halfway around the world. But this is no ordinary food festival. The Yulin Dog Meat Festival is an event held annually in the southern Chinese city of Yulin. Timed to the summer solstice
- Seth Abramovitch
Every year, thousands of dogs are stolen, kept in tiny cages and then slaughtered for consumption for the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, according to a new PSA. Celebrities like Matt Damon, Joaquin Phoenix, Kate Mara, Rooney Mara and many more are speaking out to stop the cruelty. The celebrities teamed up with Marc Ching, the founder of the Animal Wellness Project who is on the ground in China trying to save dogs by the hundreds before the festival begins on June 21. "This is built upon the belief that if you torture or abuse the animal, it makes the meat taste »
- Stephanie Petit, @stephpetit_
The upcoming historical war drama “Free State of Jones” follows Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey), a Confederate dissident who led an armed rebellion against the Confederacy in Jones County, Mississippi during the Civil War. Knight subsequently marries a former slave, establishes a mixed-race community in the South, and fought for the rights of African-Americans after the war is over. Director Gary Ross, who previously wrote and directed films like “Pleasantville” and “Seabiscuit,” has posted a comprehensive website annotating topics and scenes in the film to expand on their historical basis and accuracy, including extensive footnotes and many primary documents.
Ross made clear that he didn’t want the film to come off like the work of an amateur. “I stopped my life to read and study for two years before I even started writing a script,” Ross said in an interview with The New York Times. “If people want to pick apart this history, they can. But they should know that this wasn’t the glib work of a screenwriter who was inventing things.” In the same Nyt profile, Ross discussed how he consulted with many different historians, with Harvard’s John Stauffer commenting that working with the director was like “working with grad students you really like.” Ross also discussed how he tried to reframe Knight’s role in the film less as a “white savior” and more of an “ally,” and how he made sure not to sentimentalize the Confederate cause.
See the website for yourself. “The Free State of Jones” enters theaters on June 24th.
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- Vikram Murthi
Variety first reported during the Cannes Film Festival last month that Farrell had been set to reunite with Lanthimos in the Greek helmer’s latest project.
“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is expected to begin shooting in August with Lanthimos re-teamed with co-writer Efthymis Filippou and producers Element Pictures and Film4. Hanway Films was shopping the title to foreign buyers in Cannes.
Farrell will play a successful surgeon who attempts unsuccessfully to integrate an increasingly sinister teenager into his family. Kidman will play Farrell’s wife.
“The Lobster,” which won the Jury Prize at Cannes in 2015, has generated more than $5 million in limited release in a month for A24.
Kidman is repped by CAA, Media Talent Group and Shanahan Management.
- Dave McNary
“You are probably going to be a very successful computer person, but you’re going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a nerd. And I want you to know from the bottom of my heart that that is not true. It’s because you’re an asshole.” Erica Albright’s (Rooney Mara) last […]
The post 18-Minute Video Essay Details The Brilliant Dialogue Of ‘The Social Network’ appeared first on The Playlist. »
- Ryan Oliver
With live-action versions of “Pete’s Dragon,” “Winnie the Pooh” and “Beauty and the Beast” all on the way, Disney is ramping up its live-action blitz. Co-writer/director David Lowery’s reimagining of the 1977 animated/live-action hybrid about a boy and his fire-breathing friend is first, which should come as welcome news to anyone who saw his 2013 Sundance hit “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.” The first full trailer is now available.
It begins with Bryce Dallas Howard and Wes Bentley’s characters discovering Pete himself, a little boy who’s been living alone in the forest for six years — well, alone except for his dragon Elliott, who can turn invisible at will and looks considerably more easygoing than Drogon. Robert Redford, Karl Urban and Oakes Fegley all co-star.
Read More:Watch: Indie Darling David Lowery Goes Full Disney in ‘Pete’s Dragon’ Teaser
In addition to “Saints,” which starred Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, Lowery is also for editing Shane Carruth’s “Upstream Color” and Amy Seimetz’s “Sun Don’t Shine;” his next Disney collaboration will be a new “Peter Pan.” “Pete’s Dragon” hits theaters on August 12.
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- Michael Nordine
James’ novel centers on Isabel Archer, a vivacious New World ingénue, who leaves America for Old World Europe, keen to experience all that life has to offer. She rejects a series of marriage proposals from eager but safe lovers for a life of independence, but when she inherits an unexpected fortune that will grant her desires, she falls prey to two American ex-pat schemers, the elegant Madame Merle and the charming but cruel and calculating Gilbert Osmond, and is lured into a marriage with unfortunate consequences.
Karlsen said: “We believe we share a sensibility with Nicola of being drawn towards material with complex and compelling female lead characters, which is one of the defining elements of ‘Portrait of a Lady.'”
Shindler added: “Having been originally published as a monthly serial, and addressing themes of personal freedom, betrayal and modernization, Henry James’ ‘Portrait of a Lady’ lends itself perfectly to the long-form storytelling that only TV can offer.”
Number 9’s “Carol,” an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel “The Price of Salt,” starred Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, and picked up six Academy Awards nominations. Upcoming releases for Number 9 in 2016/17 include Jane Goldman’s adaptation of Peter Ackroyd’s “The Limehouse Golem,” directed by Juan Carlos Medina, starring Olivia Cooke and Bill Nighy, and Gaby Chiappe’s adaptation of Lissa Evans’ “Their Finest Hour and a Half,” directed by Lone Scherfig, starring Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin.
Red’s recent credits include Sally Wainwright’s multi BAFTA award-winning and critically acclaimed “Happy Valley” and “Last Tango in Halifax,” Harlan Coben’s first original TV drama “The Five,” and Russell T. Davies trilogy “Cucumber,” “Banana” and “Tofu.”
- Leo Barraclough
Netflix obtains global rights to The Discovery. The science fiction film from Charlie McDowell stars Rooney Mara, Robert Redford and Jason Segel and will premiere on the streaming service before seeing limited theatrical release. Netflix’s acquisition of the property is another move in the company’s efforts to present films that have yet to see release […] »
- Reggie Peralta
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Netflix has acquired the global rights to the “The Discovery,” starring Rooney Mara, Robert Redford and Jason Segel, the streaming company announced on Monday. Directed by Charlie McDowell, the film is set to premiere on Netflix and in select U.S. theaters in 2017. “The Discovery” is set one year after the scientific verification of the afterlife. Redford stars as the researcher responsible for the discovery, while Segel plays his son and Mara plays Segel’s love interest. Also Read: Jason Segel, Robert Redford Join Rooney Mara in 'The Discovery' “To describe the story as original doesn’t begin »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
McDowell and Justin Lader penned the sci-fi story set two years after the discovery of an afterlife that has been scientifically proven where millions of people have taken their own lives in order to start over.
Segel plays the son of the man (Redford) responsible for the discovery, and Mara plays a woman he falls in love with whose life is tinged by a tragic past. Jesse Plemons, Riley Keough and Ron Canada also star.
Source: Netflix »
- Garth Franklin
Netflix has made a “discovery.”
The streaming giant has nabbed worldwide rights to the film “The Discovery,” starring Robert Redford, Jason Segel and Rooney Mara. The movie will premiere on Netflix then hit select U.S. theaters next year.
Directed by Charlie McDowell and written by McDowell and Justin Lader, the sci-fi love story is set in a world with an afterlife, where millions are now taking their own lives in the hopes that committing suicide is akin to pushing a reset button.
Redford plays the man responsible for the scientific discovery, Segel portrays his son and Mara is the woman Segel’s character falls in love with who’s haunted by a tragic past.
“The Discovery” was produced by Alex Orlovsky of Verisimilitude and James D. Stern of Endgame Entertainment, and was co-financed by Endgame Entertainment and Protagonist Pictures. Executive Producers are Mike Goodridge and Dimitra Tsingou for Protagonist, and Julie Goldstein and Lucas Smith for Endgame.
“The Discovery” joins Netflix’s growing slate of original films debuting this year, including “The Fundamentals of Caring,” starring Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts and Selena Gomez (premiering on June 24); “Tallulah,” toplined by Ellen Page and Allison Janney (July 29); “The Little Prince,” featuring the voices of Rudd, Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard and Benicio Del Toro (August 5); and David Michôd’s “War Machine,” starring Brad Pitt, Anthony Michael Hall, Topher Grace and Will Poulter (fall of 2016).
- Maane Khatchatourian
Exclusive: SVOD giant Netflix has acquired global rights to Charlie McDowell's The Discovery, starring Rooney Mara, Robert Redford and Jason Segel. The film will premiere on Netflix and also get a limited theatrical domestic run in 2017. This deal has been a few months in the making after the project was first brought to market at AFM last November, initially with Nicholas Hoult attached opposite Mara. Now that it has closed, it’s another high profile get for Netflix… »
PBS SoCal’s “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors” series has nabbed its second consecutive nomination for a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award.
The series that features notable actors in conversations about their craft is a contender in the entertainment programming category. “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors” won the trophy last year on its first nomination.
Hosted by Variety‘s Jenelle Riley, the 2015 edition featured such pairings as Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, Amy Schumer and Lily Tomlin, Brie Larson and Joel Edgerton, Steve Carell and Rooney Mara and Bryan Cranston and Jason Segel.
Also nommed in the category is Kcbs/Kcal’s “Nx Soundstage” series and Ktla’s “Parade Countdown” telecast.
Univision’s Kmex and NBC’s Knbc lead the field in the 68th annual L.A. Emmy Awards derby overall with a total of 19 nominations apiece. Kcet grabbed 13 while Ktla and Telemundo’s Kvea each garnered 10.
In the news races, »
- Variety Staff
The 28th Palm Springs International Film Festival will run January 5-16 next year with the Awards Gala set for Monday, January 2, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. This past year honored Cate Blanchett, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Johnny Depp, Michael Fassbender, Brie Larson, Rooney Mara, Tom McCarthy, Saoirse Ronan, Alicia Vikander and the cast of The Big Short. The festival will begin on with an Opening Night screening followed by a reception at the Palm Springs… »
It may have first entered production all the way back in 2011, but thanks to directing duties on both To The Wonder and, more recently, the Christian Bale-led Knight of Cups, Weightless fell far down the pecking order for esteemed filmmaker Terrence Malick.
It’s finally starting to display signs of life, however, with the British Board Of Film Classification (via The Playlist) posting not only the movie’s official running time – just north of 145 minutes in length – but also the ensemble cast that will be headlining Malick’s latest creative effort.
Pulling together some of the talent that also featured in existential feature Knight of Cups, the filmmaker will reteam with Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman for the musical drama, while there’s also roles for Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Haley Bennett, Michael Fassbender, Val Kilmer, Benicio Del Toro, Clifton Collins Jr., Angela Bettis, Bérénice Marlohe, Florence Welch, »
- Michael Briers
With Knight of Cups arriving on Blu-ray soon (albeit with some embarrassing cover art) and Voyage of Time finally getting a release date, the year of Terrence Malick looks to continue as promised. His other feature in the can is the Austin-set Weightless, which follows intersecting love triangles in the world of music. Today finally brings confirmation it’s complete with an official running time, rating, and cast.
Thanks to an update at the British Board of Film Classification, we know they’ve given the film a 15 rating for “infrequent strong sex” and “sex references,” which makes it likely the MPAA will slap the film with an R rating. They also note that Weightless runs 145 minutes and 45 seconds — nearly 30 minutes longer than Knight of Cups — and confirm the cast: Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Haley Bennett, Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender, Val Kilmer, Benicio Del Toro, Clifton Collins Jr., »
- Jordan Raup
Top brass announced on Tuesday the run dates for the event’s 28th edition.
The next Palm Springs International Film Festival (Psiff) will take place from January 5-17, 2017. Best of the Fest screenings are scheduled for January 16, 2017.
The Psiff awards gala is set for January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.
This year’s event honoured Cate Blanchett, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Johnny Depp, Michael Fassbender, Brie Larson, Rooney Mara, Tom McCarthy, Saoirse Ronan, Alicia Vikander and the cast of The Big Short.
For additional information visit the official site. »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
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