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British Independent Film Awards: ‘God’s Own Country’ and ‘Lady Macbeth’ Win Top Prizes

2 hours ago

“God’s Own Country” won multiple prizes at the British Independent Film Awards, including Best British Independent Film, Best Actor for Josh O’Connor, and Best Debut Screenwriter for Francis Lee. Lee also directed the romantic drama, which stood tall at the ceremony in London; “Lady Macbeth” — which took home the Screenplay, Actress, Most Promising Newcomer, Cinematography, and Costume Design awards — and “I Am Not a Witch” (Director, Debut Director, Breakthrough Producer) had big nights as well.

Read More:‘Lady Macbeth’ Leads British Independent Film Nominations

This year’s ceremony, the 20th, took place in London. Full list of winners:

Best British Independent Film

“God’s Own Country”

Best Director

Rungano NyoniI Am Not a Witch

Best Screenplay

Alice BirchLady Macbeth

Best Actress

Florence PughLady Macbeth

Best Actor

Josh O’Connor “God’s Own Country”

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia ClarksonThe Party

Best Supporting Actor

Simon Russell Beale »

- Michael Nordine

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Spike Lee Weighs in on the Casey Affleck, Nate Parker Controversy: ‘It Was a Dirty, Low-Down Shame’

4 hours ago

Armie Hammer made headlines once again this week when he compared Casey Affleck unfavorably to Nate Parker, in whose “The Birth of a Nation” Hammer co-starred. He later apologized for his remarks — which had to do with Affleck (who settled two sexual-harassment lawsuits) winning an Oscar the same year that Parker (who was accused of rape in college) appeared to lose all his career momentum — but someone else was paying attention: Spike Lee.

Lee was asked about the situation in a Daily Beast interview, responding in typically fashion that “there were some shenanigans there” and “it was a dirty, low-down shame.”

Read More:Spike Lee, On Fire: An Exclusive Conversation About Netflix, Domestic Terrorism, and the Brilliance of ‘Get Out

“[Affleck] settled several times,” says Lee. “I don’t know the exact details of it. One day, someone’s going to write a book about that whole thing, because I’ve »

- Michael Nordine

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‘Coco’ and ‘Wonder’ Lead Lousy December Box Office

5 hours ago

Grosses this weekend were seasonably typical, which means as lousy as most early December weekends. With “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” looming large, most companies are avoiding new wide releases. That makes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Like “Moana” last year, a Disney animated title leads the pack for a third straight week: Pixar’s “Coco” continues to be a strong performer, well-positioned to play well through the lucrative holidays ahead. “Coco” should easily continue in two-thirds or more of its dates, even though it started lower than last year’s “Moana.”

Unlike last year, no new wide release boosted results, which will come in just under the same weekend in 2016 at around $80 million total. Last year saw “Office Christmas Party” open to $17 million. This year, the sole film to risk opening wide was the senior citizen comedy “Just Getting Started” (Broad Green). It managed a poor $3.2 million, good enough only for »

- Tom Brueggemann

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‘I, Tonya’ is a Hit for Neon, While A24 Thrives With ‘The Disaster Artist’ and ‘Lady Bird’

6 hours ago

Over the last six weekends, six new specialized releases have opened to a per-theater average of over $60,000. “I, Tonya” is the latest, and comes at a time when seats at prime theaters are at a premium.

Still, it isn’t necessarily a bad weekend to open. Last year, “La La Land” launched to $881,000 in five theaters, a nearly $170,000-per-theater result. But it had far less competition, ecstatic reviews, top stars, and signs of early appeal that propelled it to over $100 million and much more worldwide.

This year has more strong titles; even better, most show early success with wider audiences. “The Disaster Artist” expanded quickly in its second weekend to place #4 overall, while A24 had a second Top 10 hit again with “Lady Bird.” That film, coming off critics’ group wins, is thriving and easily the leader among fall releases so far. In fact, it already is the second-biggest specialized release »

- Tom Brueggemann

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‘The Simpsons’ Writer Reveals Cut Scenes From ‘Who Shot Mr. Burns?’ 22 Years Later

6 hours ago

We’ve known for many years now who shot Mr. Burns, but way back when it was the biggest mystery to ever hit Springfield. 22 years after answering that question, “The Simpsons” writer Josh Weinstein has revealed cut lines from one of the show’s most famous episodes.

Read More:‘The Simpsons’ Team Considering How to Handle Apu Backlash, Hank Azaria Says

Grampa Simpson, Homer’s Brain, and Milhouse all appear in the excised scenes, which revolve around, you guessed it, figuring out who shot Mr. Burns. (Spoiler alert: It was Maggie!) “That’s right,” Grampa Simpsons says at the beginning. “We all gotta stick together if we’re going to have any hope of bringing that awful Homer to justice.” Homer finds himself in the woods hours later and complains, “When I agreed to this plan, I didn’t know there’d be so much running.”

Read More:‘The Problem »

- Michael Nordine

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Inside the ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ World Premiere: Hollywood Celebrates Rian Johnson’s Movie

7 hours ago

Misdirection: Keep that in mind when you check out the eighth “Star Wars” installment, “The Last Jedi,” next weekend.

That’s what writer-director Rian Johnson does throughout this dense, careening, seemingly unstructured movie’s 2-hour, 32-minute running time. The movie is worth a second viewing, as it demands that you pay attention. Every little detail pays off.

At the world premiere — the first-ever public screening — Saturday night at downtown L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall, security guards swept under every car, guests wore individual badges with seat assignments, carried their own smartphones in locked security bags to their seats, and kept their collectible “Last Jedi” popcorn buckets with them all night.

Read More:‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Star Gwendoline Christie Has a Charming Theory About Those New Porg Creatures

On crutches, veteran director and puppeteer Frank Oz headed into the auditorium to see the film for the first time. »

- Anne Thompson

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‘Ready Player One’ Trailer: Steven Spielberg Takes Us to the Oasis of the Future — Watch

7 hours ago

If you’re done obsessing over the fact that a newly released “Ready Player One” poster makes it look like Tye Sheridan has a freakishly long leg, avail yourself of the new trailer for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming nostalgia fest.

Read More:‘Ready Player One’: Trey Parker Compares Steven Spielberg’s Video-Game Movie to the Member Berries

Spielberg’s adaptation of the Ernest Cline novel of the same name tells of a virtual-reality game that brings together an array of ’80s pop-culture touchstones: “Back to the Future,” Freddy Krueger, “Mad Max,” and so on and so forth. That’s fitting of the director, whose own output in that most reminisced-upon of decades has inspired everything from “Super 8” to “Stranger Things” in recent years.

Read More:‘Ready Player One’ Will Feature the Iron Giant, and People Are Freaking Out

Sheridan stars as Wade Watts, a wayward youth living in Columbus, »

- Michael Nordine

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Sufjan Stevens Says ‘I, Tonya’ Didn’t Want His Tonya Harding Song, but You Can Listen to It Anyway

8 hours ago

Sufjan Stevens contributed two highly acclaimed tunes to the “Call Me by Your Name” soundtrack, with both “Mystery of Love” and “Visions of Gideon” considered likely nominees for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. To hear the indie-rock icon tell it, he almost had another in the mix this fall: “Tonya Harding,” which, despite his efforts, bears no relation to “I, Tonya.”

Margot Robbie stars as the disgraced figure skater in Craig Gillespie’s biopic, which has earned strong reviews since premiering in Toronto and opens later this month. Stevens writes on his website that he’s “been trying to write a Tonya Harding song since I was 15” and that the final product is “not at all related to the new biopic” because he “sent it to the music supervisors but they couldn’t find a way to use it.”

Read More:‘Call Me by Your Name’ Soundtrack: Sufjan Stevens, »

- Michael Nordine

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‘SNL’: James Franco Gets Some Help With His Monologue From Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Steve Martin — Watch

8 hours ago

Oh hai, “Saturday Night Live.” James Franco hosted the show for the fourth time last night, an occasion that, according to the director and star of “The Disaster Artist,” isn’t treated as a big deal. Lorne Michaels and the other higher-ups didn’t even write him a monologue, Franco said, and so he was simply there to take questions from the audience — which included Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and even Steve Martin.

Read More:‘Saturday Night Live’ Review: James Franco Plays Himself, and Plays It Safe, in 4th Hosting Appearance

The bit included much ribbing between the old friends, as Rogen and Hill claimed to not even know (or care) that Franco was on hosting duty — they were mostly just there to see Sza, the evening’s musical guest. “I’m just here to see the show in general,” Rogen said. “I didn’t realize you were hosting it. »

- Michael Nordine

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‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ First Reactions Are Highly Positive: ‘It Will Shatter You — and Then Make You Whole Again’

9 hours ago

Star Wars: The Last Jedi” had its long-awaited premiere last night in Los Angeles, and early word is highly positive for Rian Johnson’s contribution to the space-opera franchise. Formal reviews won’t be published for another few days, but praise like “so beautifully human, populist, funny, and surprising,” “spectacular and unpredictable,” and especially “Space Dern” indicate that they’ll be similarly enthusiastic.

Here’s what people are saying:

Read More:Mark Hamill Seems to Think There Are Too Many ‘Star Wars’ Movies: ‘Great Marketing There, Disney’


Luke was right: “This is not going to go the way you think.” #TheLastJedi will shatter you – and then make you whole again. pic.twitter.com/PJyYpH5loP

— Anthony Breznican (@Breznican) December 10, 2017

#StarWars: The Last Jedi is so beautifully human, populist, funny, and surprising. I cried when one Poc heroine got her moment because films like these leave their mark on entire generations »

- Michael Nordine

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‘Saturday Night Live’ Review: James Franco Plays Himself, and Plays It Safe, in 4th Hosting Appearance

16 hours ago

There’s still one more week to go before “Saturday Night Live” breaks for the holidays, but the show is still ramping up the yuletide cheer. In addition, like other “SNL” episodes with an experienced host at the helm, the tone this week felt more driven by their skill set than that of first-timers. And when it comes to this week’s host… well, it’s a very specific sort of tone.

Host: James Franco

Let’s be honest: James Franco is always at his best when he’s committing to a clear sort of character. It’s something we’re seeing right now with his performance as Tommy Wiseau in “The Disaster Artist,” and something we’ve seen before as he embodied known figures like James Dean or the dual roles of “The Deuce.”

In his fourth hosting appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” the role that Franco seems most comfortable playing is James Franco, »

- Liz Shannon Miller

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Ida Documentary Awards: ‘Dina,’ ‘Edith + Eddie,’ ‘The Defiant Ones’ Take Top Honors

20 hours ago

The documentary film and television community came together to honor their own at the festive 33rd Annual Ida Documentary Awards celebration Saturday night at the Paramount Studio Theatre. The evening’s top prizes went to Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini’s Sundance-jury-winning love story “Dina” for Best Feature, and Laura Checkoway’s Oscar-shortlisted “Edith+Eddie” for Best Short.

Other winners included Dan Lindsay and Tj Martin’s Oscar-shortlisted “La 92” for the ABC News VideoSource Award, PBS’ Independent Lens for Best Curated Series, HBO’s “The Defiant Ones” for Best Limited Series, BBC’s “Planet Earth II” for Best Episodic Series, The New York Times Op-Docs for Best Short Form Series (which boasts three Oscar-shortlisted shorts), and Joel Fendelman’s “Man on Fire” for the David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award.

Charles Burnett presented the Emerging Filmmaker Award to Yance Ford, winner of the Sundance Special Jury Award for Storytelling, »

- Anne Thompson

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‘Call Me by Your Name’ Meets ‘Monsters University’ in Hilarious Trailer — Watch

9 December 2017 2:59 PM, PST

Later, Sully. Now that “Call Me by Your Name” has emerged as an awards-season favorite and bonafide art-house hit, two things are certain: hot takes and memes. “We Are Bears” writer Mikey Heller has gifted us with the latter, recutting the “Call Me by Your Name” trailer using clips from “Monsters University.” Why, you ask? No, reader — why not?

Read More:The Best Sex Scenes of the 21st Century Ranked, From ‘Y Tu Mamá También’ to ‘Call Me by Your Name

Like most of these exercises, this one cleverly capitalizes on the two films’ superficial plot similarities — Luca Guadagnino’s acclaimed drama deals with academia, as does Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” sequel; too, both involve unexpected friendships. Only the former delves into romance, of course, which is where this gets truly inventive.

Read More:2017 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards: ‘Call Me by Your Name’ Wins Both Best Picture and Best »

- Michael Nordine

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European Film Awards Tip ‘The Square’ as Foreign-Language Oscar Leader

9 December 2017 2:07 PM, PST

Ruben Östlund’s “The Square” dominated the European Film Awards ceremony in Berlin, winning six prizes: European Film, European Director, European Actor (Claes Bang), European Comedy, European Production Design, European Screenwriter. Östlund took to the stage several times, explaining how he wanted his film to tackle serious issues but still be “wild, entertaining and exciting.” He also thanked his breakout star Claes Bang for adding so much to the screenplay.

Read More:European Film Awards: ‘The Square’ Wins Big in Near-Sweep at the Continent’s Most Prestigious Awards Ceremony

The European Film Academy is often predictive of the eventual Foreign-Language Oscar: Recent winners include “Ida,” “The Great Beauty” and “Amour.” On the other hand, last year’s winner went to “Toni Erdmann” while Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman” took home the Oscar.

Andrey Zvyagintsev’s “Loveless” took home awards for European Composer and Cinematography.

Alexandra Borbely won European Actress for Hungarian »

- Anne Thompson

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‘Jessica Jones’ Season 2 Release Date and Trailer: Your Favorite Defender Returns to Netflix Next Spring — Watch

9 December 2017 1:52 PM, PST

Now that she’s teamed up with the other Defenders, Jessica Jones is ready to take center stage again. Netflix has announced that its Marvel drama will return on March 8, and even included a trailer to go along with the announcement video. Watch below.

Read More:‘Jessica Jones’ Season 2 Furthers the Sexual Assault Conversation From a Woman’s Perspective

Here’s a brief synopsis of what’s in store this time around: “New York City private investigator Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is beginning to put her life back together after murdering her tormenter, Kilgrave. Now known throughout the city as a super-powered killer, a new case makes her reluctantly confront who she really is while digging deeper into her past to explore the reasons why.”

Accompanied by Heart’s “Barracuda,” the trailer makes it clear that she’s the same Jessica Jones: “If you say ‘With great power comes great responsibility, »

- Michael Nordine

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European Film Awards: ‘The Square’ Wins Big in Near-Sweep at the Continent’s Most Prestigious Awards Ceremony

9 December 2017 1:00 PM, PST

The Square” was the big winner at the European Film Awards, taking nearly every top prize: Best Film, Director, Actor, Screenwriter, even Best Comedy for good measure. It continues a very good year for Ruben Östlund’s art-world satire, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and is considered a likely nominee for the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film.

Also represented were “On Body and Soul,” which won the Golden Bear at Berlinale and earned Alexandra Borbely the Best Actress award, and “Communion,” which took the Documentary prize.

This year’s ceremony, the 30th, took place in Berlin. Avail yourself of the winner list below.

Read More:2017 European Film Awards Nominations: ‘The Square,’ ‘Bpm,’ ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer,’ and More Lead the Way Best European Film

“Bpm (Beats per Minute),” (Robin Campillo, France)

Loveless,” (Andrey Zvyagintsev, Russia, Belgium, Germany, France)

On Body and Soul,” (Ildiko Enyedi, »

- Michael Nordine

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Mark Hamill Seems to Think There Are Too Many ‘Star Wars’ Movies: ‘Great Marketing There, Disney’

9 December 2017 11:58 AM, PST

Mark Hamill has long been known to speak his mind, even when it’s to the chagrin of the higher-ups at Disney. He continues that proud tradition in a New York Times interview alongside his castmates in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” using a question about the relationship (or lack thereof) between Luke Skywalker and Rey (Daisy Ridley) to throw shade at Disney for releasing so many movies within such a short span of time.

Read More:Take the Knee: Mark Hamill, J.K. Rowling, Michael Moore, and Others Respond to Donald Trump’s NFL Tantrum

“We had no relationship in VII. It’s left up to the audience to decide if he knows who she is,” he says when asked whether we’ll see Luke and Rey get to know each other better this time around. They established earlier that I had a telepathic ability with my sister — would I know what’s going on now? »

- Michael Nordine

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‘The Florida Project’ and A24 Are Partnering to Send Holiday Gift Cards to the ‘Hidden Homeless’ in Florida

9 December 2017 11:02 AM, PST

The Florida Project” is a good movie, and the people behind it are trying to do some good offscreen as well. Writer/director Sean Baker just announced on Twitter that the movie itself, its distributor A24, and the Felix Organization are partnering to provide holiday gift cards for children in need in Kissimmee, Florida — meaning anyone who saw the film can now become a Secret Santa.

Read More:New York Film Critics Circle Leans Into A24’s ‘Lady Bird’ and ‘The Florida Project

The issue is clearly close to Baker’s heart, as he’s said on multiple occasions that his acclaimed drama — which recently took runner-up in the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s Best Picture race and earned him Best Director laurels from the New York Film Critics Circle — is about the “hidden homeless” living in the shadow of Disney World.

Read More:Bria Vinaite Says She’s ‘Not a Traditional Person, »

- Michael Nordine

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‘Making a Murderer’s Brendan Dassey Has Conviction Upheld: ‘A Profound Miscarriage of Justice’

9 December 2017 10:30 AM, PST

Few exemplars of the true-crime craze have compelled viewers to the same extent as “Making a Murderer.” Netflix’s miniseries focuses on Steven Avery, who spent 18 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of murder and was later put behind bars for another killing; his nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also charged with the second murder. The rulings have been highly controversial, but Dassey just had his conviction upheld by a federal appeals court in Chicago.

Read More:Netflix’s ‘Making a Murderer’ Subject Steven Avery Has Been Denied a New Trial

Dassey’s defense contends that he was coerced into confessing his participation in the murder and was not actually involved. He was sentenced to life in prison 10 years ago. “The state courts’ finding that Dassey’s confession was voluntary was not beyond fair debate, but we conclude it was reasonable,” said the 39-page ruling in the 4-3 decision.

Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner, »

- Michael Nordine

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‘The Crown’: Matt Smith Knows If The Royal Family Has Seen The Netflix Drama, But Doesn’t Know How It Will Handle Trump

9 December 2017 10:22 AM, PST

When “The Crown” star Matt Smith was asked if he knew whether or not the Royal Family has watched “The Crown,” he gave IndieWire a line from classic spy thrillers: “If I’d told you, I’d have to kill you.”

That’s an unusual thing for an actor to say while promoting their show, but Smith did at least clarify that “I’m pretty certain that someone has seen it. In fact, I know that someone else has seen it.”

Then he repeated: “But if I told you which ones, I’d have to kill you.”

While it remains a mystery as to whom Smith was referring, he was otherwise relatively candid about shooting Season 2 of Netflix’s “The Crown.” Smith plays Prince Philip, husband to Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy), in the series.

Read More:‘The Crown’ Season 2: Episode 2 Tackles the Philip Problem Head-On and Proves His »

- Liz Shannon Miller

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