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'Argo' Wins Best Film & Best Director At The 2013 BAFTAs, Emmanuelle Riva Wins Best Actress

10 February 2013 11:01 AM, PST

Over the weekend, Hollywood's A-list have been flying into London to be greeted by the traditional British February welcome of rain-that-sometimes-turns-into-snow, in order to brave tonight's British Academy of Film and Television Awards (or BAFTA Awards), the U.K. equivalent to the Oscars. The show's getting underway as we speak in the Royal Opera House in London, with whichever of the glittering selection of stars could be persuaded to appear to help their Oscar chances. So will "Argo" continue its award sweep? Or are there more surprises in store? You can see every winner below, plus you can see how they match up against our predictions right here. Best Film Winner: "Argo" "Les Misérables" "Life of Pi" "Lincoln" "Zero Dark Thirty" Leading Actor Ben Affleck - "Argo" Bradley Cooper - "Silver Linings Playbook" Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis - »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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Box Office: 'Identity Thief' Steals Top Spot With Best R-Rated Comedy Opening In February Ever

10 February 2013 9:08 AM, PST

Schedule management is underrated. Your studio might have a film that screams “hit,” you might market the picture like a genius, and you might have the hottest actor in the world. But sometimes, films are filling a void left empty for casual audience goers, and the demand is pent-up not for a specific film, but rather a specific type of film. In this case, we’re talking about “Identity Thief,” now in line to score the year’s biggest three-day opening with $36 million, making it the best R-rated comedy opening ever in February. The negative reviews didn’t bother Universal, who had run a big, loud and colorful ad campaign that clearly illustrated the premise. It helps that the movie brought back two recognizable attributes of 2011’s most beloved R-rating comedies: director Seth Gordon was re-teaming with his “Horrible Bosses” star Jason Bateman (again playing a white collar schlub – versatility! »

- Gabe Toro

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Jennifer Aniston, Eugene Levy, Kathryn Hahn Join Peter Bogdanovich's 'She's Funny That Way' With Owen Wilson

10 February 2013 7:20 AM, PST

Poor Peter Bogdanovich. Well-respected, when was the last time he made a narrative feature that remotely moved the needle (let's not include the good doc, "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream")? "Cat's Meow" in 2001 that wasn't very good? And before that, "Mask" in 1985? The well-liked filmmaker, actor, cinephile has had a pretty rough go of it all and all in Hollywood (an unimpeachable beginning, a quick fall from grace), but perhaps his upcoming picture will be a late-era comeback? It certainly has no shortage of talent involved. Produced by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach and formerly titled, "Squirrel to the Nuts," Jennifer Aniston has joined the retitled, "She's Funny That Way." Also new to the cast that already features an impressive foursome of Owen Wilson, Olivia Wilde, Brie Larson, and Jason Schwartzman are Bogdanovich's former muse Cybil Shepherd, »


- Edward Davis

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Berlin Review: Biopic 'Lovelace' Oddly Uninterested In Linda Lovelace

9 February 2013 4:41 PM, PST

Not so much a film about Linda Lovelace as a film about a bunch of things that happen to Linda Lovelace, including a destructive marriage to seeming complete, total, bonafide scumbag sonofabitch Chuck Traynor, today saw the first international screening of Sundance pick-up “Lovelace” at the Berlin Film Festival. It’s a glossy, starry package featuring loving '70s set design, costuming and narratively crucial hairstyling (more on that later), but the main question was always around the casting of the leading lady, especially given that the last few years have seen a flurry of names come and go from both this and rival Lovelace project “Inferno” (which famously once boasted Seyfried’s “Mean Girls” co-star Lindsay Lohan). Yes, Lovelace was herself by many accounts a very sweet and warm person, but she was also the first porn superstar, and later on a vocal anti-porn crusader; we knew Seyfried could play the white swan, »

- Jessica Kiang

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Charlotte Gainsbourg Gets In The Middle Of A Man Sandwich In New Pic From Lars Von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac'

9 February 2013 3:28 PM, PST

Lars von Trier has a new movie. It's called "Nymphomanaic." And basically, if you're any sort of cinephile, that is all you need to know for this one to be way, way up on your list of anticipated films of 2013. But here are the details in case you've been sleeping on this one. The pic starts Charlotte Gainsbourg in a two-part hardcore or softcore (there will be two versions) look at the sex life of a woman who recounts her tale to a bachelor (Stellan Skarsgård) who finds her badly beaten in an alley one evening (see that pic here). Shia Labeouf, Jamie Bell, Christian Slater, Connie Nielsen, Willem Dafoe and Uma Thurman are among the cast, and yeah, no matter how this turns out, it's gonna be memorable. Seriously, just check out that new pic above. The question of course, is whether or not von Trier will be welcomed »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Captain Kirk & John Harrison Face Off In 2 New 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Photos

9 February 2013 11:45 AM, PST

Fanboy curiosity has always been manic, but it's curdled into desperation of late. Adult geeks have looked at "Iron Man 3" children's toys to assay spoiler characteristics in upcoming Marvel films, but the intense inquisitive desire surrounding "Star Trek Into Darkness" and its main villain is true child's play in comparison. Perhaps it's because director J.J. Abrams is so secretive that it has become a challenge to nerds to figure everything out in advance, and so no one is buying that Benedict Cumberbatch's antagonist character (named John Harrison) is who the film says he is and assume he's Khan, as played by Ricardo Montalban in "Star Trek 2" (wouldn't they have least given him the same look if this was the case? It's not like Zachary Quinto looks different from Leonard Nimoy). Fans have pointed to a recent typo in an issue of EW as proof that Cumberbatch is Khan, »

- Edward Davis

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Berlin Review: 'A Single Shot' With Sam Rockwell Unravels From A Tight Premise Into A Downbeat, Messy Misfire

9 February 2013 10:36 AM, PST

The main narrative surrounding the evolution of David M. Rosenthal’s “A Single Shot,” which premieres at the Berlin Film Festival today, has been about the longer-than-usual casting merry-go-round -- since 2009 a roster of talent as long as your arm has signed up then signed out of the film. However the fear that, as the accepted wisdom goes, there must be something fundamentally wrong with a project that takes this long to put together was somewhat mitigated by the kind of names who kept on stepping up: as worrying as it might be to lose the likes of (pre-breakout) Michael Fassbender, Alessandro Nivola, Forest Whitaker or Juliette Lewis, it doesn’t sting so hard when you get Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Jeffrey Wright and Jason Isaacs to show up instead -- all actors we admire. Except in this case, accepted wisdom should again be accepted: “A Single Shot” does »

- Jessica Kiang

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Göteborg Interview: Director Volker Schlöndorff On ‘Calm At Sea,’ His Greatest Cinematic Failure & 'The Master'

9 February 2013 9:55 AM, PST

Presenting his new film “Calm at Sea” (reviewed here) in the Bio Roy Theater during the Göteborg International Film Festival last week, director Volker Schlöndorff said, in mock-pique, “It’s so great to be in this wonderful theatre, named after Sweden’s great filmmaker Roy Andersson. I‘m still waiting for my hometown to put up a theater in my name.” And perhaps given the level of esteem in which he is held, especially in his home country, the idea of one day catching a 2.30 showing at The Volker is not so farfetched. But of course Schlöndorff’s career has hardly been plain sailing, with his towering achievement, the oddly compelling, uncanny adaptation of Günter Grass' “The Tin Drum” rather overshadowing the films that came before and after, especially having been crowned with an Oscar and the Palme d’Or. Nonetheless the director has continued to work in various genres and media, »

- Jessica Kiang

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Interview: 'Angels in Exile' Director Billy Raftery Talks The Street Kids Of Durban & How To Partner Social Activism With Documentary

9 February 2013 9:27 AM, PST

Audiences were captivated by the visceral, intimate look into the lives of street kids in Durban, South Africa, captured by filmmaker Billy Raftery in his documentary “Angels in Exile,” which premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival last week (review here). However, one couldn’t help but also be drawn in to Billy’s story and the circumstances surrounding this film that was ten years in the making. We sat down with Raftery and his producer Adam Paul Smith to chat about the making of “Angels in Exile,” how he was able to gain access into this population of rogue street kids, and what the future holds for social activism documentary filmmaking.  Eventually narrated by Charlize Theron, Raftery wasn’t looking for a documentary subject when he went to South Africa for a surf trip in 2003. The subject found him and he was immediately taken in by the story. »

- Katie Walsh

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Göteborg Interview: Tobias Lindholm On 'A Hijacking,' 'The Hunt,' The Psychology Of European Cinema & More

9 February 2013 9:07 AM, PST

Director of the hotly buzzed “A Hijacking” (our glowing review here) that has been doing the festival rounds since Venice last year, Tobias Lindholm is, in his own words, about to “close up the circus and start working on the next thing.” But with his two breakthrough film projects “The Hunt,” which he co-wrote with director Thomas Vinterberg, and “A Hijacking” still awaiting U.S. releases (the latter is slated for second-quarter 2013 bow through Magnolia Pictures), it is tempting to cast him as being only "on the cusp" of major international success. However during our extensive interview at the Göteborg International Film Festival last week, it became clear that Lindholm is very happy, in a grateful and non-complacent way, with the life he has built for himself in Denmark, and with his "day job" -- writing for acclaimed Danish political procedural “Borgen,” featuring his ‘Hijacking’ »

- Jessica Kiang

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Saoirse Ronan Joins Ryan Gosling’s Directorial Debut 'How To Catch A Monster'

9 February 2013 8:40 AM, PST

Is 2013 going to be Saoirse Ronan's biggest year yet? It's certainly shaping up to be that way. She's got potential franchise coming with "The Host" opening next month, genre offerings "Byzantium" and "How I Live Now" are on the horizon, and she's currently lensing Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" taking the female lead role. Now she's adding Ryan Gosling to her list of accomplishments. Ronan has boarded the actor's directorial debut "How To Catch A Monster" with a cast that now includes Christina Hendricks, Ben Mendelsohn, Eva Mendes and "Doctor Who" star Matt Smith. Written by Gosling, the story centers on Billy, a single mother of two, who is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery, if their family is to survive. No word yet on. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Interview: 'Blumenthal' Director Seth Fisher Talks The "Recipe" For Indie Filmmaking & The Fear Of Your Own Characters

9 February 2013 8:25 AM, PST

Last week, at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, actor Seth Fisher premiered his debut feature film, “Blumenthal,” in which he takes a multi-hyphenate approach to independent filmmaking, as writer/director/star/editor/and more. “Blumenthal” tells the story of a New York City family reeling from the sudden death of famous playwright Harold Blumenthal (Brian Cox), who dies laughing at his own joke. Brother Saul (Mark Blum) feels that Harold stole his ideas, his wife Cheryl (Laila Robins), an aging actress is dealing with her own issues about her body and mortality, and Saul’s son Ethan (Fisher), is an Ocd pharmaceutical rep with a few particular issues with women. Back when he only had a first draft of his script, Fisher launched the blog watchmemakeamovie.com, chronicling his process of independent filmmaking, and garnering fans along the way who contributed to his crowdfunding campaign to make “Blumenthal” a reality. »

- Katie Walsh

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What Are You Seeing This Weekend? 'Would You Rather' 'Glimpse Inside The Mind' Of 'Side Effects' Or 'Identity Thief'?

8 February 2013 1:58 PM, PST

It's a big weekend for names. Steven Soderbergh is back for one last go-round on the theatrical circuit (read our retrospective of his work here). Indiewood favorites of this past fall, John Hawkes and Bill Murray, show up to remind us how fantastic they are (and why they should have gotten Oscar noms). Even Charlie Sheen makes a (rather central) appearance. It's a big weekend for experiments too: surrealism, wuxia, and modern-day Shakespeare are here in full force. And, of course, no theatrical release bundle is complete without the "torture porn" of a middle school game gone adult and awry. So, uh, get ready. And let us know what you'll be seeing in the comments below! (And if you're on the East Coast facing Nemo, stay warm and safe!) "Identity Thief." Directed by Seth Gordon. Starring Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Amanda Peet and Jon Favreau. Our review: "With long stretches »

- Emma Bernstein

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Ya Update: 'The Maze Runner' Coming Valentine's Day 2014; Mark Waters To Direct 'Blood Sisters'

8 February 2013 1:43 PM, PST

After a directorial change-up was announced in August with "Twilight" helmer Catherine Hardwicke being replaced by Wes Ball, the fate of the dystopian teen franchise "The Maze Runner" was unclear. But now, Fox has stamped a Valentine’s Day 2014 release for the as-of-yet unfilmed project, based on the first in author James Dashner’s sci-fi trilogy about adolescent boys trapped in an ever-changing maze. The premise never struck us as being particularly romantic in the way young adult fare generally is, but maybe there’s more to this maze than meets the eye. Or maybe Fox plans to stock this maze full of dreamy, steamy young bucks and lure the high school bachelorettes in. Meanwhile, we thought vampires were dead and gone, having been slowly phased out of relevance by zombies and witches, but apparently Mark Waters (“Mean Girls”, “Spiderwick Chronicles”) is making a last-ditch effort at post- ‘Twilight’ vampire. »

- Tess Hofmann

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Watch: Lizzy Caplan Uses Fashion Ad To Make Fun Of Fashion Ads In Funny Short 'Fashion Film'

8 February 2013 1:20 PM, PST

We love Lizzy Caplan, but then who doesn’t? It’s pretty hard not to. She was awesome in one of the best comedies of the last decade (“Mean Girls”), similarly awesome in one of the best sitcoms of the last decade (“Party Down”), and has continued to impress in interesting projects ever since. We’re looking forward to seeing her alongside another favorite of ours, Michael Sheen, in Showtime’s intriguing looking “Masters of Sex” later this year. But today we have an unexpected bonus dose of Caplan with the online short, “Fashion Film.” You can watch the short below, which was directed by Matthew Frost, and as you’ll see, it is actually a commercial for the Viva Vena brand. It serves as a pretty great spoof, effectively poking fun at some of the clichés you’d normally see in this kind of thing, and predictably Caplan’s great in it too. »

- Joe Cunningham

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Review: 'Would You Rather' See This Movie, Or Make A Better Use Of Your Ten Bucks?

8 February 2013 1:00 PM, PST

Several filmmakers have their own insight into what the recession has done to the middle class. Few of them have as much anger as David Guy Levy, director of “Would You Rather,” a sinister new thriller opening in theaters this Friday. Levy thinks of the general public as prey not to be hunted, but to be toyed with -- why eat the poor, when they can provide entertainment? It’s not the most optimistic outlook, admittedly. Brittany Snow is Iris, a broke medical assistant slaving away for wages that don’t even come close to what she needs. Her brother is suffering with an untold disease, and she’s abandoned her prior life to work at home and assist in his health. Levy tries to emphasize this backstory as pivotal without harping on the specifics, rendering it movie shorthand; maybe the one token moment of sincerity with her ailing bro »

- Gabe Toro

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'Beasts Of The Southern Wild' Star Quvenzhané Wallis In Contention To Play 'Annie'

8 February 2013 12:44 PM, PST

It's one thing to be a young actress and deliver a performance that gets noticed. It's quite another to get an Oscar nomination for your efforts, but Quvenzhané Wallis has been turning heads all through 2012 with her electric turn in "Beasts of the Southern Wild." And while the actress has since taken a small role in Steve McQueen's "Twelve Years a Slave," she may be quickly boosting herself up into blockbuster territory. EW reports that Wallis is "in consideration" for the lead role of the brewing "Annie" remake, which recently nabbed "Easy A" director Will Gluck to direct. The new version of the musical that was previously turned into a hit 1982 movie, will be contemporary instead of set during the Great Depression, but that's all the details there are for now. But with both Will Smith and Jay-z combining their Voltron-like producing powers, this one is gonna be big »


- Kevin Jagernauth

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First Look: Philip Seymour Hoffman & Rachel McAdams In Anton Corbijn's 'A Most Wanted Man'

8 February 2013 12:17 PM, PST

In the grip of the early winter blahs at the multiplex and with the blockbuster season just around the corner, it may seem that anything resembling a smart, adult drama is far, far away (this weekend's "Side Effects" being the exception). Well, not to fear, because Anton Corbijn is here and the "Control" and "The American" director is gearing up a new thriller, "A Most Wanted Man," and now we have our first look. Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Daniel Bruhl, Robin Wright and Willem Dafoe (ace cast, btw), the film tells the tale of a half-Chechen, half-Russian, tortured half-to-death immigrant who turns up in Hamburg’s Islamic community, laying claim to his father’s ill gotten fortune. Both German and U.S. security agencies take a close interest in him as the race is on to find out who he really is: oppressed victim or destruction-bent extremist? It's »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Predicting The Winners Of The 2013 BAFTAs

8 February 2013 12:03 PM, PST

We're two weeks out from the Academy Awards, but this weekend brings the last of the major precursor ceremonies (excluding the WGAs) before Oscars -- the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards, or the BAFTAs. Historically leaning more towards celebrating homegrown fare than following the award season narratives, things have changed in the last few years with BAFTA moving the ceremony before the Oscars, and with a significant proportion of AMPAS members being British, it can be a good indicator of how things will go with the Academy. This year, the nominees quite often match up fairly closely with the Oscars, but there's enough difference in both those nominated and in the voting patterns that it's no guarantee this is how it will play out at the Dolby Theater. So with the ceremony only 48 hours away, we've taken a stab at saying who will (and who should) win BAFTAs in each category. »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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Watch: Clever Trailer For Doc 'Room 237' Pays Homage To The Original 'The Shining' Teaser

8 February 2013 11:43 AM, PST

There are few films in the horror genre -- or even the general history of cinema -- that have continued to spur the kind of obsession, fascination and discussion decades after its release that Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" has. Indeed, the last few weeks have seen the script pages for the deleted original ending to the movie come to light, while a camera operator went on record about the helicopter shadows in the now classic opening to the movie. But there's oh so much more revealed in the excellent documentary "Room 237," a fascinating look at "The Shining." A new trailer has dropped, and should drum up more excitement for this one. But here's the thing -- in order for director Rodney Ascher to fully delve into the various theories about what "The Shining" really means (everything from a subversive statement on the Holocaust to an allegory on American »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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