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Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Spacey, and Michelle Williams Join Year-End Oscar Fray

19 July 2017 11:55 AM, PDT

Mid-summer is a crucial time in the life of movies in production. Distributors have to figure out where they belong. Will they pass muster for the crazy competitive primetime award season, when scrutiny and costs are exponentially higher? Already, many movies that need a wider berth are moving into 2018. Some fortunates will be finished in time for the fall festival crucible. And others will just make it into theaters by the end of the year.

Read MoreSave the Dates: Here’s the 2017-2018 Awards Calendar

That list now includes drama “All The Money In The World” (December 8, Sony), four-time Oscar nominee Ridley Scott‘s starry follow-up to “Alien: Covenant.”

Written by David Scarpa  (“The Last Castle,” “The Day The Earth Stood Still”) from the true story of the kidnapping of Getty Oil scion John Paul Getty III, the biopic stars Oscar perennial Michelle Williams (four nominations), two-time Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey, »


- Anne Thompson

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‘The Crown’: 7 Reasons Why the Netflix Series Should Dominate the Drama Emmys

19 July 2017 9:21 AM, PDT

Do not buy into the idea that Netflix’s “The Crown” is just another dowdy “Upstairs Downstairs” period fantasy for tea-drinking “Downton Abbey”-loving Anglophiles. The most expensive series ever made brings the English royal family to vivid life, from building a life-size replica of Buckingham Palace, to designing a $35,000 wedding dres, to finding a series of vintage coupes.

Emmy voters showered the show with 13 nominations, including Oscar-nominated showrunner Peter Morgan, director Stephen Daldry, and star Claire Foy, supporting actress Vanessa Kirby, and supporting actor John Lithgow. Last week, BAFTA laid five television award nominations on the series as well.

Season 2, which takes place 1956-1964 and has an even bigger budget, will air later this year. In the meantime, here’s why “The Crown” could win the competitive Emmy race for drama series against “Stranger Things,” “This is Us,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” among other fierce competitors.

1. It starts »


- Anne Thompson

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Greta Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird’ Lands A24 Awards Season Push

18 July 2017 1:37 PM, PDT

With “Lady Bird,” brainy actress and screenwriter Greta Gerwig is finally making her solo directorial debut after her collaborations with Noah Baumbach on “Frances Ha” and “Mistress America” and co-directing “Nights and Weekends” with Joe Swanberg.

Read MoreFor ’20th Century Women’ and ‘Jackie’ Standout Greta Gerwig, Playing Real Women Is Its Own Reward — Consider This

The relationship comedy stars Saoirse Ronan as Christine McPherson (Lady Bird, no relationship with the wife of Lbj), a rebellious student at a conservative Catholic Sacramento high school who wants to escape her family and small town constraints to go to college in New York.

Co-stars include Laurie Metcalf, Lucas Hedges, Tracy Letts, Timothée Chalamet, and Beanie Feldstein.

Read MoreA24: See All of the Distributor’s Dynamic Posters

Gerwig is selling the movie to A24 to release worldwide. Producers are Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, and Evelyn O’Neill, and a planned fall berth suggests festival play and awards contention. »


- Anne Thompson

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‘Dunkirk’: Why Christopher Nolan’s War Epic Is a Certain Oscar Contender

18 July 2017 7:00 AM, PDT

Christopher Nolan and the Oscars have a love-hate relationship. He’s been nominated for only three Oscars, two for Original Screenplay: “Memento” in 2000 and big-scale epic “Inception” in 2010. That year, he was also nominated as a producer of “Inception,” which followed the surprising omission of  “The Dark Knight” for Best Picture contention in 2009. That pushed the Academy to change its rules to allow more Best Picture slots, which might encourage more people around the world to watch the Oscars.

Read More‘Dunkirk’ Review: Christopher Nolan’s Monumental War Epic Is The Best Film He’s Ever Made

Nolan’s films have mostly cleaned up in the technical realm. Cinematographer Wally Pfister was nominated for “Batman Begins,” “The Prestige,” and “Inception,” which landed eight nominations and four wins (for Pfister, sound editing and mixing, and VFX) . The Academy voters punished sequel “The Dark Knight Rises” with no nominations at all. And »


- Anne Thompson

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