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‘Elle’ Star Isabelle Huppert Wins Best Actress, Xavier Dolan Wins Best Director at France’s Cesar Awards
Paris — Oscar nominee Isabelle Huppert won best actress at the 42nd Cesar Awards, the country’s top film prize.
Huppert has been on a laureled path since “Elle” competed at Cannes: she notably won the Golden Globe award. Set in France and produced by Said Ben Said and Michel Merkt, “Elle” has been described as a powerful rape-revenge thriller laced with dark humor. The movie was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics at Cannes.
The biggest surprise of the night was Xavier Dolan winning best director and editing with “It’s Only The End of the World” which also earned Gaspard Ulliel the best actor prize. Dolan is currently shooting “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan” in Prague.
- Elsa Keslassy
Claire Danes, Jim Parsons to Star in Transgender Family Drama ‘A Kid Like Jake’ (Exclusive)
According to a plot description, the project is about a couple trying to raise a 4-year-old-son who prefers to dress up as a princess instead of G.I. Joe. The story is especially timely given widespread concerns about the rights of transgender youth in the United States. On Wednesday, President Trump rolled back protections for transgender students to use public-school bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
Daniel Pearle wrote the screenplay, based on his 2013 stage play, about the Brooklyn couple, trying to find the »
- Ramin Setoodeh
‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’ Scores Massive $33 Million Opening Day in China
Sony’s “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” has opened with a stellar $33 million on its first day in China, including preview showings.
“Resident Evil: Final Chapter” marks the sixth and final installment in the franchise adaptation of Capcom’s video game series.
Milla Jovovich — who has been in all six movies — portrays the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Iain Glen, Ruby Rose, Eoin Macken, South Korean actor Lee Joon-Gi and Fraser James also star with Paul W.S. Anderson returning to direct.
- Dave McNary
Why Emma Thompson Won’t Be in the ‘Love Actually’ Reunion Short Film
“Love Actually” director Richard Curtis announced in February that he reunited with the cast for a special short film, produced for the British charity Comic Relief. Although the project brought back almost the entire star-studded, Emma Thompson was not present.
Thompson explained, while doing press for “Beauty and the Beast” that it was “too soon” since the death of her counterpart in the film, Alan Rickman. For that reason, Curtis was unable to write her a part.
‘Love Actually’ Cast, Director Reunite for Charity Short Film
“Richard wrote to me and said, »
- Sarah Ahern
Asghar Farhadi to Be Represented at Oscars by First Female Space Tourist and Former NASA Scientist
Rome – Two prominent Iranian Americans – engineer Anousheh Ansari, known as the first female space tourist, and Firouz Naderi, a former director of Solar Systems Exploration at NASA – will represent Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi and his film “The Salesman” at the upcoming Oscars ceremony, Farhadi’s publicist said Friday.
Farhadi, whose film is nominated for the foreign-language film Oscar, had announced several weeks ago that he would boycott the Oscars ceremony to protest President Trump’s travel ban, even if exceptions were made to allow him entry to the U.S.
The film’s French producer, Alexandre Mallet-Guy, said in an email two days ago that he had decided not to attend the ceremony in solidarity with the director, and that nobody from the film would attend. He also said Farhadi would not be doing interviews if the film won.
The decision to ask two prominent Iranian Americans with no ties »
- Nick Vivarelli
Box Office: Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ Scares Up $1.8 Million on Thursday
Universal-Blumhouse’s thriller about a young African-American man’s visit to his white girlfriend’s estate is coming into the market amid strong critical support with a rare 100% “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes. “Get Out” expands to 2,773 North American theaters on Friday, where it’s expected to gross $18 million on its opening weekend and challenge the third weekend of “The Lego Batman Movie” for box office leadership.
The film, starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford, is the feature directorial for Peele, best known for his Comedy Central series “Key & Peele.” The Fandango online ticket service reported that “Get Out” was accounting for a leading 32% of its sales Friday.
“Get Out” should be highly profitable, given its modest $4.5 million price tag. Low-budget horror specialist »
- Dave McNary
Picturehouse stands firm over pay dispute despite further strike action
UK entertainment union Bectu is holding a protest in London today with striking Picturehouse staff.
UK entertainment union Bectu is holding a protest in London’s Leicester Square this afternoon (Feb 25) over an ongoing staff pay dispute with exhibitor Cineworld and its subsidiary Picturehouse.
According to Bectu, “the majority” of workers from four of Picturehouse’s London venues - the Ritzy [pictured], Hackney Picturehouse, Picturehouse Central and Crouch End Picturehouse - are striking in order to join the protest.
Labour MP and shadow chancellor of the exchequer John McDonnell was due to attend today’s protest, the union told Screen.
Bectu wants London Picturehouse venues to pay the London living wage of £9.75 per hour.
Staff at Picturehouse’s Brixton location the Ritzy currently earn £9.10 per hour, while staff at other Picturehouse locations in London earn £9.05 per hour. Outside of London, the rate is £8.18.
Picturehouse this week defended the company’s pay structure in a statement on its website »
- email@example.com (Tom Grater)
Jodie Foster: it is our time to resist – video
Actor Jodie Foster speaks to protesters rallying against the proposed Trump travel ban in Beverly Hills on Friday. Foster said assaults on free expression and civil liberties were the start of an attack on Democracy, adding that ‘it’s time to show up’. Speaking outside the headquarters of the United Talent Agency, Foster said all sides must come together and resist chaos and ineptitude
Jodie Foster tells Us travel ban rally: ‘It is our time to resist’
Continue reading »
- Guardian Staff
Salmon Oscars and five gallons of hot fudge: catering for the Academy Awards
Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck has the unenviable task of feeding an army of stars, guests and workers on Oscars night. He discusses shopping with 50 tractor trailers and tickling John Travolta’s tastebuds
It’s hard to move far through the shopping malls of Los Angeles without encountering the name Wolfgang Puck. The Austrian-born chef, 67, moved to California in 1975 and soon earned fame and celebrity endorsements for the à la minute cuisine he served at fine-dining joints such as Spago in Beverly Hills and the Hotel Bel-Air. His empire now encompasses a couple of dozen fine-dining restaurants, four-score Wolfgang Puck Express franchises and a line of tinned tortilla soups.
Likewise, it’s hard to move far through the film business without at some point being proffered one of his signature smoked-salmon Oscars. Puck is the official caterer for the Academy Awards and it is his creations that will line 1,500 stomachs at the 89th Governors Ball, »
- Richard Godwin
Foreign language Oscar nominees decry 'climate of fanaticism in Us'
All six directors up for this year’s prize – including Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who is boycotting the ceremony – have issued a statement blaming ‘leading politicians’ for inciting fear and bigotry across the world
The six directors in the running for this year’s foreign language Oscar have issued a joint statement blaming “leading politicians” for the fear they feel is creating “divisive walls”.
The statement, which was issued on Friday, comes ahead of Sunday’s Academy Awards, which are tipped to be the most political in recent memory, with winners and presenters expected to speak out against the new Us administration.
Continue reading »
- Catherine Shoard
Did #OscarsSoWhite work? Looking beyond Hollywood's diversity drought
With Moonlight, Hidden Figures and Fences in the running, Hollywood appears to have responded positively to last year’s protests. But is it just lip service? And could measures to promote diversity go too far?
At a stroke, the 89th Academy Awards appear to have laid the ghost of last year’s #OscarsSoWhite furore. In 2016, no actors of colour were nominated, for the second year running. This year, seven of the 20 acting nominees are from ethnic minority backgrounds, topping the previous record of five.
That’s not all. Of the nine films nominated for best picture, one is an Asian story and three tell stories of black people with mostly black casts. One of these, Hidden Figures, manages to be both black and feminist. Another, Moonlight, is both black and gay. The creator of the latter, Barry Jenkins, is the fourth-ever black nominee for best director.
Continue reading »
- David Cox
Syrian Oscar contender Khaled Kateeb barred from entering Us
The cinematographer, who worked on The White Helmets, was scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles on Saturday, but was unable to obtain a visa waiver
Us immigration authorities have barred entry to a 21-year-old Syrian cinematographer who worked on a harrowing film about his nation’s civil war, The White Helmets, that has been nominated for an Academy Award.
According to internal Trump administration correspondence seen by Associated Press, homeland security officials decided at the last minute to block Khaled Khateeb from traveling to Los Angeles for the Oscars.
Continue reading »
- Staff and agencies
Universal, Blumhouse & Jordan Peele Tell ‘Lego Batman’ To ‘Get Out’ – Friday Night Box Office
3rd Update, Friday Pm: “How were we to know weeks out this was suppose to work?” That was one major producer’s marvel today about Universal/Blumhouse’s surprise weekend hit Get Out which is looking at a three-day that’s close to $28M, making it the fourth No 1 opener for the studios’ partnership together after The Purge, Ouija and last month’s Split. Some estimates tonight even indicate that Get Out could creep past $30M for the weekend. In addition, box office analysts… »
Syrian Cinematographer Barred from Entering U.S. to Attend Oscars
A 21 year-old cinematographer from Syria has been denied entry to the U.S. for Sunday’s Academy Awards.
Khaled Khateeb, the cinematographer behind Netflix’s “The White Helmets,” which is nominated for the documentary short award, is said to have been blocked from entering the country by the Department of Homeland Security.
The Associated Press reports that U.S. officials found “derogatory information” against the young cameraman before his Saturday flight from Istanbul to Los Angeles.
Syria was one of the seven countries that was targeted by Donald Trump’s so-called Muslim Ban that prevented refugees from entering the country. Trump is set to introduce a new travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries after the initial one was struck down by the court.
“The White Helmets,” a 40-minute documentary short film about The Syrian Civil Defense, better known as the White Helmets, which has has been credited with saving more than »
- Variety Staff
‘We refuse to think in terms of borders,’ proclaim foreign-language Oscar nominees
Filmmakers decry ‘climate of fanaticism and nationalism’
The five nominated directors in the best foreign language Oscar category on Friday issued a stirring joint statement two days before the Academy Awards.
Denmark’s Martin Zandvliet, Sweden’s Hannes Holm, Iran’s Asghar Farhadi, Germany’s Maren Ade and Martin Butler and Bentley Dean from Australia decried the wave of nationalism that has taken root in the Us and may other countries.
The six filmmakers (Australia’s Tanna is directed by two people) dedicated the foreign-language Oscar – regardless of who wins on Sunday – to “all the people, artists, journalists and activists who are working to foster unity and understanding, and who uphold freedom of expression and human dignity – values whose protection is now more important than ever.”
As previously reported, Farhadi is boycotting the ceremony in protest over Us president Donald Trump’s executive order banning entry to citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
UTA Rally: “This Is Our Time To Resist,” Jodie Foster Tells Crowd; Asghar Farhadi Speaks Via Video – Watch
Updated with video montage and more quotes, 7:45 Pm: “The rights of the press and artists and the right to seek a better life is what this country is about,” UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer told a crowd gathered in the heart of Beverly Hills as his agency hosted a rally at its headquarters. He also joked about getting a tweet from President Donald Trump that read, “UTA best company in the world. Rally so sad.” Check out a video montage of the days events above. Jodie Foster was… »
Film Review: ‘2017 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animation’
This year, there’s a switcheroo afoot in Oscar’s two animation categories: Michaël Dudok de Wit’s gorgeous desert-island fable “The Red Turtle” is a rare, snowflake-singular work of art, made possible after producers at Japan’s celebrated Studio Ghibli fell in love with the director’s 2001 Oscar-winning short “Fathers and Daughter” and approached the helmer about collaborating on a feature. Meanwhile, four of the directors represented in this year’s animated short category have worked on Oscar-winning features, but are branching out in an effort to try more personal work. The results are a mixed bag, but make for entertaining viewing in ShortsHD’s annual theatrical package, which also includes three bonus toons that didn’t make Oscar’s cut.
- Peter Debruge
Chelsea Handler Doesn’t Want to Host the Oscars (or the Spirit Awards)
Some awards hosts must wait forever for the offer, like this year’s Oscars headliner Jimmy Kimmel. But other comedians have a different problem: how to just say no.
In an interview with Variety last December, Chelsea Handler revealed she was offered the gig to emcee the Film Independent Spirits Awards. The star of Netflix’s streaming talk show “Chelsea” accepted, before promptly changing her mind.
Handler also told Variety she has no interest in hosting the Oscars, but there’s one awards show she might consider. Here are a few snippets from our conversation.
Variety: Would you ever go back to network TV?
Chelsea Handler: I hope not. But who knows? I would never do a late-night talk show on a network. »
- Ramin Setoodeh
‘Collide’ Review: Despite Ben Kingsley At His Craziest, This Cut-Rate Car Chase Movie Crashes And Burns
Sir Ben Kingsley has never been shy about hamming it up in low-rent garbage (check out 2015’s “Self / Less” to watch him dye his skin orange and play a bald-headed version of Trump), but his latest performance takes things to another level entirely. The kind of low-rent action movie that only exists because everybody involved knew that nobody in the Western world would ever see it, Eran Creevy’s “Collide” stars Nicholas Hoult as a reformed car thief and Felicity Jones as the dying girlfriend whose kidney failure inspires him to do one last job.
But they’re both really boring. You know who’s not boring? Geran, the Turkish drug kingpin who lives in a gold-plated trailer with four prostitutes, suffers from short-term memory loss, and likes to spend his free time watching the 1985 John Travolta classic, “Perfect” (that’s the one where Travolta goes undercover in a Los Angeles fitness club). Kingsley, »
- David Ehrlich
Publicist and Actress Patty Freedman Dies at 64
Patty Freedman, an actress who became a publicist, died in her New York home on Feb. 17. The 64-year-old had been battling breast cancer.
Born in Detroit but raised in Southfield, Mich., Freedman started performing early at Cass Tech, Detroit’s performing arts high school, before attending Interlochen Arts Camp and University of Michigan, from which she graduated with honors and musical theater degree.
As Patty Dworkin, Freedman went onto perform on stage in Ohio with the Kenley Players before moving onto Broadway, where she worked on “See Saw,” “Shenandoah” and “Sly Fox.” After working with Jackie Gleason on “Sly Fox,” impressed ABC casting executives put her under contract and relocated her to Los Angeles. The ABC contract brought her roles on shows including “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” “Dynasty,” “Happy Days,” “Delta House,” “One Day at a Time,” “Eight is Enough,” and “Shirley.”
In film, Freedman was featured in “Ghostbusters, »
- Dani Levy
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