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18 articles


Us cinemas to show Nineteen Eighty-Four in anti-Trump protest

1 hour ago

Coordinated screenings across North America set for 4 April to highlight Orwell’s portrait of a government ‘that manufactures facts’

Nearly 90 cinemas in the Us and Canada are planning to show the film adaptation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, starring the late John Hurt, in protest at President Trump’s policies. The coordinated screenings will take place on 4 April, the date that the book’s central character Winston Smith writes on the first page of his illegal diary.

Related: Peter Bradshaw on John Hurt: 'A virtual folk memory of wisdom and style'

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- Andrew Pulver

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My favorite best picture Oscar winner: Unforgiven

3 hours ago

Clint Eastwood went back to the genre that made his name and deconstructed its tropes, making it current by incorporating the psychological impact of killing

The best picture race at the 1993 Oscars was one where many sides of 20th century machismo were examined – usually by groups of men shouting really loudly at each other. There was Scent of a Woman, where Al Pacino road tested his mid-90s “maximum volume” approach; Stephen Rea’s howls in the Crying Game; and Jack Nicholson’s bellows of pure testosterone in A Few Good Men. Merchant-Ivory’s rather more subtle Howard’s End featured mostly internal screams brought on by that most vexing of subjects: Edwardian class struggle. The winner, though, was a film in which toxic masculinity oozed out of the screen, delivered with a mix of muttering and barely raised voices.

Related: My favorite best picture Oscar winner: Midnight Cowboy

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- Lanre Bakare

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Why Hidden Figures should win the best picture Oscar

7 hours ago

Theodore Melfi’s feelgood biopic about three African-American women working for Nasa in the 1960s breaks boundaries with a knowing kick of its kitten heel

Traditionally the period drama sweeps the red carpet at the Academy Awards, training the best picture statuette in its sights with the aid of lavish costumes, detailed sets, a casual approach to factual accuracy and important historical figures stuttering or slaying evil kings. In 2017, however, it’s not easy to argue the case for this sort of crowd-pleaser when the rest of this year’s slate boasts largely gritty, groundbreaking and norm-challenging nominees. But Hidden Figures manages to both stay faithful to the genre’s most enjoyable elements while puncturing the boundaries with a knowing kick of its kitten heel.

Theodore Melfi’s biopic tells the previously untold story of Katherine G Johnson (Taraji P Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe »

- Kate Hutchinson

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How we made The Crying Game

10 hours ago

Miranda Richardson: ‘I got some flak off Ira sympathisers. They thought my portrayal of a terrorist was unflattering’

The last two films I’d directed in America had been bruising. If I couldn’t get The Crying Game made, I intended to give up directing and return to writing. The provocative nature of my script – which addressed the Troubles, race, sexuality and gender confusion – made it hard to finance, but I was thrilled to just be making something I believed in. The opening tracking shot of the fairground, from the bridge over the River Nanny in Laytown, had great personal resonance. I grew up in County Meath and spent much of my childhood playing beside that bridge. My father died while fishing underneath it.

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- Interviews by Jack Watkins

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Toni Collette gets wistful: 'Australia was so beautiful and seemingly so innocent'

15 hours ago

Making Jasper Jones ‘in the middle of nowhere with no budget to speak of’, the actor is happy to be on home soil

Toni Collette says her latest character is having a “classic midlife crisis”. It’s an experience that must seem a world away for the western Sydney-born actor, contentedly married with two children and never out of work, even as she longs for more roles on home soil.

On the Western Australian set of the feature film Jasper Jones, Collette says she misses “the space, the light, family, friends, fresh air – all the basics”.

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- Steve Dow

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Moonlight's Mahershala Ali: anti-Islam prejudice 'not a shock' if you have grown up black

17 hours ago

Oscar-nominated Muslim actor reveals additional discrimination he has faced since converting to Islam in 1999

The actor Mahershala Ali, whose performance in the widely acclaimed Moonlight has made him a favourite for the best supporting actor Academy award, has spoken out about the discrimination he has experienced as an African American and a Muslim.

Ali said he found out that he was on an FBI watchlist after 9/11 and that, as a black man, anti-Islam prejudice “does not feel like a shock”.

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- Andrew Pulver

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Lorraine Bracco on Goodfellas, therapy, and almost turning down The Sopranos

21 hours ago

The star talks about fighting with Martin Scorsese, missing James Gandolfini – and her dad scaring Dustin Hoffman at the Oscars

I ask Lorraine Bracco if she remembers the first time she saw Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese’s dazzling portrait of life in the mob. “Absolutely,” she says. “It was last year.” Which is strange, given the film came out in 1990, and Bracco was one of the stars. She is laughing as she speaks, a husky giggle, her accent doorstop-thick New York. “Well, I went to the premiere, but I missed the start doing interviews, and then they pulled me out before the end, and then I had another job on a film with Sean Connery in the fucking jungle. And by the time I came home it wasn’t playing. And I never wanted to see it on TV. So, yeah, I didn’t see it until – Mo, when was the 25th anniversary? »

- Danny Leigh

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

22 hours 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?

20 February 2017 8:58 AM, PST

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

20 February 2017 7:10 AM, PST

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

20 February 2017 6:57 AM, PST

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

20 February 2017 5:32 AM, PST

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

20 February 2017 5:00 AM, PST

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

20 February 2017 3:12 AM, PST

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?

20 February 2017 2:00 AM, PST

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

20 February 2017 1:47 AM, PST

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

20 February 2017 1:36 AM, PST

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

20 February 2017 12:00 AM, PST

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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