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John Irving attacks 'intolerant' Trump in defence of political awards speeches

23 minutes ago

Writer of The Cider House Rules laments new president’s threat to Lgbt and abortion rights, and says winners at next weekend’s Oscars should be free to protest

Oscar-winning novelist John Irving has taken aim at Donald Trump over the latter’s threat to Lgbt and abortion rights as well as religious-based bigotry.

Irving, who won a best adapted screenplay Oscar in 2000 for the adaptation of his own novel The Cider House Rules, has contributed an essay to the Hollywood Reporter in which he considered the “protocol” over whether or not award winners should make explicitly political speeches.

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- Andrew Pulver

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A modern space opera: has Star Wars escaped the George Lucas worldview?

1 hour ago

Disney’s takeover of the Star Wars has seen bigger roles for women and people of colour, in a sophisticated cinematic universe that looks more like the one we live in

It’s pretty obvious that George Lucas, for all his statements to the contrary, does not particularly enjoy watching from the sidelines while other film-makers lead Star Wars into a brave new era. In the wake of The Force Awakens taking the global box office by storm in December 2015, the saga’s creator unwisely quipped to Us talk show host Charlie Rose that he had sold his “kids … to the white slavers that take these things” – referring to Disney’s October 2012 purchase of all rights to the long-running space opera – and criticised Jj Abrams’s film as a “retro” effort. It felt like a low blow from a film-maker whose own efforts to reinvent Star Wars, the execrable prequel trilogy, »

- Ben Child

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A Quiet Passion trailer: Cynthia Nixon in Terence Davies' biopic of poet Emily Dickinson

3 hours ago

Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon plays the great 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson in the new film from British director Terence Davies, of Sunset Song and House of Mirth renown. Dickinson, who lived almost all her life in Amherst, Massachusetts, only published a handful of poems herself; she only became known as a major writer after her death in 1886, when her sister found hundreds of her poems.

A Quiet Passion is released on 7 April in the UK.

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- Guardian Staff

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Hungarian slaughterhouse love story wins top prize at Berlin film festival

3 hours ago

On Body and Soul took the Golden Bear, beating odds-on favourite The Other Side of Hope, which came away with best director for Aki Kaurismaki

Hungary’s On Body and Soul, a tender love story set in a slaughterhouse, won the Golden Bear top prize Saturday at the Berlin film festival, Europe’s first major cinema showcase of the year.

The drama by Ildiko Enyedi, one of four female film-makers in competition, features graphic scenes in an abattoir set against the budding romance of two people who share a recurring dream.

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- Staff and agencies

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The Lego Batman Movie holds off The Great Wall at Us box office

5 hours ago

The superhero spin-off easily sees off Zhang Yimou’s new fantasy action thriller, starring Matt Damon, and puts Fifty Shades Darker in the shade

The Lego Batman Movie has won the weekend for the second week in a row at the Us box office, easily holding off the challenge of Fifty Shades Darker (also in its second week) and new arrival The Great Wall.

Related: The Lego Batman Movie review – funny, exciting and packed with gags

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- Andrew Pulver

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My favorite best picture Oscar winner: Midnight Cowboy

5 hours ago

Continuing a series of Guardian writers’ all-time Academy picks, Gwilym Mumford explains why the 1970 winner remains a vital and progressive triumph

The Oscars best picture category has a long and ignoble history of favouring the inoffensive over the revolutionary – Citizen Kane lost out to How Green Was My Valley. Forrest Gump defeated Pulp Fiction. The Third Man, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Do The Right Thing failed to even be nominated for best picture. (It’s a cruel world when Crash can win the thing and that lot can’t even get a look in). As a rule, the Academy tends to be behind the times – #OscarsSoWhite is recent evidence of that.

All of which makes the decision to crown Midnight Cowboy best picture in 1970 seem, in retrospect, like such a welcome aberration. It was a rare moment when Hollywood saw the coming changes in cinema and, rather than ignore »

- Gwilym Mumford

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Hollywood could be sued for discrimination against female directors

7 hours ago

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report concludes that Us film industry is guilty of discrimination against female directors, and plans to take action against studios

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Eeoc) – a federal Us agency that administers and enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination – looks likely to take legal action against major Hollywood studios.

According to Deadline, the body is currently in talks to resolve charges that studios systemically discriminated against female directors. A source is quoted as saying: “Every one of the major studios has received a charge contending that they failed to hire women directors.”

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- Catherine Shoard

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Silver linings playback: will Jack Nicholson's return inspire film's dormant veterans?

8 hours ago

The role of an eccentric dad in Toni Erdmann has persuaded the Hollywood heavyweight to make his first movie since 2010. Which of his retired peers are also due a comeback?

Related: Jack Nicholson set to come out of retirement for Toni Erdmann remake

So it turns out that Jack Nicholson might un-retire himself and return to the big screen with a Us remake of the recent German hit Toni Erdmann. Before he stopped working in 2010 – after the toothless James Brooks flop How Do You Know – Jack was offering one interesting performance per decade, down from a tally of about one every nine months in the 1970s. But perhaps Erdmann – an eccentric weirdo who creates a bewigged alter ego to try to reconnect with his daughter – is a meaty enough role to rescue his acting talent, now long marooned in lukewarm romantic dramas.

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- John Patterson

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Why Moonlight should win the best picture Oscar

9 hours ago

Benjamin Lee makes the case for Barry Jenkins’ heartfelt and artful look at the life of a black gay man in America

An all-too-frequently used response to the call for increased diversity on screen is based around a rather defensive notion. It’s that a piece of entertainment may be enjoyably consumed without the need for unequivocal identification with the characters being viewed. Just check out the comments section of any article arguing for a more varied set of narratives from Hollywood.

Related: Why La La Land should win the best picture Oscar

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- Benjamin Lee

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Angelina Jolie speaks out on 'difficult' Brad Pitt divorce for first time

9 hours ago

Actor says ‘we are and forever will be a family’ in emotional BBC interview before screening of new Cambodia film

Angelina Jolie has spoken out for the first time since she filed for divorce from Brad Pitt last year, announcing it had been a difficult time but adding “we are and forever will be a family”.

“It was a very difficult time,” Jolie said, appearing visibly upset. “Many people find themselves in this situation … My whole family have all been through a difficult time. My focus is my children, our children.”

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- Oliver Holmes

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Tell us your alternative Oscar nominees ahead of the awards

10 hours ago

We’d like you to nominate a film or performance the Academy may have overlooked. Tell us who gets your vote and why

As La La Land, Manchester By the Sea and Moonlight battle it out for Oscar glory, we’d like you to tell us which films deserve a special mention this year.

Although the Golden Globes produced a couple of surprises earlier this month – including Damien Chazelle’s musical picking up just five awards, not the expected 14 – we’ll all have heard, and likely already seen, this year’s nominees.

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- Guardian readers

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