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‘Toni Erdmann’ Remake: Maren Ade Praises Jack Nicholson, Says She Will ‘Definitely Not Be Involved’

1 hour ago

After winning a Spirit Award for best international film, “Toni Erdmann” director Maren Ade stepped into the backstage press tent where the media was interested in asking her one question in particular: What does she think of the news that her film is set to be remade with Jack Nicholson touted to play a central role?

“It’s a bit funny because I always had the feeling that it was a movie that could be remade,” she said. “When we were shooting it was one of my favorite jokes to say, ‘It doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect, it will be done better in the remake,'” Ade said.

Related

Spirit Awards: ‘Moonlight’ Wins Best Feature Film Award

When asked if she would be a part of the remake, Ade dismissed rumors that she would be involved.

“That was a wrong announcement maybe, or it was misunderstood, I will definitely not be involved, »


- Will Thorne

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Isabelle Who…ppert? A Beginner’s Guide to the Oscar-Nominated ‘Elle’ Actress

1 hour ago

“Isabelle who…?” It’s a question I’ve gotten more times than I’d care to count this Oscar season, as audiences discover the fearless star of Paul Verhoeven’s subversive French thriller “Elle” — who just added an Independent Spirit Award to the collection of accolades the role has earned. Still, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, if you count yourself among the cinephiles who are only now learning Mme Huppert’s name (pronounced “Hoo-pair”).

Just yesterday, the French film academy honored Huppert with her second César award — but even her compatriots are late to the party. She’s been nominated 16 times, but France takes the provocative — and extremely prolific — actress for granted. After all, she’s never not acting, whether it’s on stage (from “Medea” to “The Maids”) or screen (at a rate of two or three movies a year). When French audiences see “Elle,” in which »


- Peter Debruge

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Casey Affleck Slams Trump Administration’s ‘Abhorrent’ Policies in Spirit Awards Speech

1 hour ago

During what was a mostly apolitical ceremony — especially when compared with those of the awards season so far — Casey Affleck took his moment at the Spirit Awards podium to call out the Trump administrations’ “abhorrent” policies.

Affleck won best lead actor at the independent film awards on Saturday for his role in “Manchester by the Sea.”

After Affleck grabbed his trophy and gave initial thanks, he expressed some hesitation about saying anything political.

Related

Spirit Awards: ‘Moonlight’ Wins Best Feature Film Award

“Now I’m going to do something that I know I shouldn’t do,” he said, sounding trepidatious. “I should just whisper it in the bathroom, and I have whispered it to myself in the bathroom.”

Then he resolved, “But I feel like increasingly my kids don’t listen to me unless it’s something I say on TV.”

And, with that, Affleck took aim at the White »


- Seth Kelley

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Academy Rescinds Sound Mixing Oscar Nomination for Violation of Campaign Regulations

3 hours ago

The Academy announced on Saturday, the day before Oscar Sunday, that Greg P. Russell’s sound mixing nomination for “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” has been revoked for “violation of Academy campaign regulations.” Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth remain sound mixing nominees for the film.

“The decision was prompted by the discovery that Russell had called his fellow members of the Sound Branch during the nominations phase to make them aware of his work on the film, in direct violation of a campaign regulation that prohibits telephone lobbying,” the release said.

Related

Who Should Win the 2017 Oscars? How Variety’s Critics Would Vote

“The Board of Governors’ decision to rescind Mr. Russell’s nomination was made after careful consideration,” Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement. “The Academy takes very seriously the Oscars voting process and anything – no matter how well-intentioned – that may undermine the integrity of that process. »


- Seth Kelley

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Spirit Awards: ‘Moonlight’ Wins Best Feature Film Award

4 hours ago

Barry Jenkins’ coming-of-age drama “Moonlight” won the best feature award at the Spirit Awards on Saturday. The film won six awards total including prizes for director and screenplay.

Moonlight” won the feature award over “American Honey,” “Chronic,” “Jackie” and “Manchester by the Sea.” The trophy went to producers Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Adele Romanski.

Casey Affleck won best actor for his role in “Manchester by the Sea” and Isabelle Huppert took the best actress trophy for her role in Paul Verhoeven’s thriller “Elle.”

Affleck blasted President Donald Trump without naming him in his acceptance, saying, “The policies of this administration are abhorrent and will not last.”

Related

Casey Affleck Slams Trump Administration’s ‘Abhorrent’ Policies in Spirit Awards Speech

Huppert gave strong support to the role of independent film, saying, “Good cinema is independent — it’s independence that makes art win.”

Moonlight’s” Joi McMillon and Nat Sanders won the award for editing, »


- Dave McNary

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Oscar Pre-Parties 2017: Inside Alfre Woodard’s Sistahs Soiree, Film Is Great & More

5 hours ago

There is always a lot to celebrate during Oscar week, but many of this year’s special occasions toasted to something in particular: a historical year for Oscar nominations by the Academy. Diversity and inclusion was front and center for celebrations throughout the week, from Alfre Woodard’s Sistahs Soiree, to Common’s pre-Oscar dinner (pictured above), to African-American publications Ebony and Essence toasting to black Hollywood at their respective fetes. 

Women were also a part of the conversation. While the landmark moment for people of color was applauded, the ladies in the industry were still pushing for progress at the Women in Film’s annual cocktail reception, which sprinkled in motivational speeches from Brie Larson and Meryl Streep with the hors d’oeuvres.

Take a peek inside this year’s pre-Oscar celebratory gatherings below:

Related

The Ultimate Oscar Party Guide 2017

Oscar’s Sistahs Soiree:

Progress, not politics, was what »


- Variety Staff

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Natalie Portman Will Not Attend Oscars, Spirit Awards Due to Pregnancy

6 hours ago

Natalie Portman will miss the 2017 Oscars on Sunday and the Spirit Awards the day prior because of her pregnancy, according to a statement acquired by Variety.

“Due to my pregnancy, I am unable to attend the Independent Spirit Awards and the Academy Awards,” Portman wrote. “I feel so lucky to be honored among my fellow nominees and wish them the most beautiful of weekends.”

Portman is nominated for best female lead at the Spirit Awards for her portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in Pablo Larrain’s “Jackie.” The film is also up for best feature and editing. The same role, which has earned the actress rave reviews, also earned Portman a nomination for best actress at the Oscars. “Jackie” is also nominated for score and costume design.

Jackie” is Portman’s third Oscar nomination. She won the best actress award in »


- Seth Kelley

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How to Watch the Spirit Awards Online

6 hours ago

Film Independent’s 32nd Spirit Awards will take place on Saturday afternoon — the day before the Academy Awards — in a tent on Santa Monica Beach. Comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney of “Oh, Hello” fame will co-host the awards.

The Spirit Awards are voted on by members of Film Independent and require that the films be produced in the U.S. for less than $20 million. “Spotlight,” “Birdman” and “12 Years a Slave” won both the Spirit Award and the Oscar best picture trophies, as did “The Artist.”

For those who want to watch the 2017 Spirit Awards online, IFC will stream the awards on its website with proper cable login. Sundance Now will also stream the show, which viewers can access through a seven-day free trial.

Film Independent will also live-tweet highlights from the show in real time, as will Variety‘s official account.

Edgar Ramirez and Jenny Slate announced this year »


- Variety Staff

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Film Review: ‘Discreet’

7 hours ago

There can be a paradoxically public intimacy to YouTube culture: an artificial sense of personal connection forged by those everyday video updates, so many of which feign a diaristic, confessional tone that can both alleviate and prey on loneliness among those watching. It’s a needling, fascinating subject for psychodrama, so all credit to candidly queer American filmmaker Travis Mathews for identifying its complex potential in “Discreet” — a story of a childhood abuse victim whose fixation with a well-meaning video blogger only confuses his connection to the real world. The result, unfortunately, is his least persuasive feature to date. Opaque and formally ungainly, this itchy meditation on a host of contemporary social ills offers audiences a vividly, deliberately ugly worldview, but finally makes for hollow viewing.

If not all the film’s ideas and enquiries seem quite to have escaped its own head, that shouldn’t hinder it on the »


- Guy Lodge

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Razzie Awards 2017 Winners List: ‘Hillary’s America,’ ‘Batman v Superman’ Dominate

9 hours ago

Even the Razzies got political at the 2017 awards, recognizing the “worst in film.”

The Golden Raspberry Awards, nicknamed the “Razzies” crowned “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party” the worst picture of the year on Saturday, the day before the Academy Awards. The critically drubbed political documentary, which earned a staggering 4% on Rotten Tomatoes, also swept the worst actor, worst actress and worst director categories.

As to not be entirely overlooked, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” also took home four awards for worst supporting actor, screenplay, screen combo and, finally, worst prequel, remake, rip-off or sequel.

Related

The Worst Films of 2016

The only category not won by either of the two films was Kristen Wiig’s prize for worst supporting actress in “Zoolander 2.”

Revel in the full list of 2017 nominees below with the winners denoted in bold:

Worst Picture

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice »


- Seth Kelley

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Box Office: Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ Dominates Friday With $10.8 Million

11 hours ago

Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” continued its strong box office opening run on Friday, earning $10.8 million at 2,781 locations. Its weekend total is now estimated at $28.5 million, and it should easily win the weekend.

The same, however, can not be said for Lionsgate Premiere’s “Rock Dog” and Open Road’s “Collide.” The former made $888,000 on Friday from 2,077 theaters, bringing its weekend estimate to $3.5 million, while the latter made $538,000 from 2,045 locations and is eyeing a $1.5 million opening weekend.

Related

Playback: Jordan Peele on ‘Get Out’ and Art’s Role Under a Trump Regime

Get Out,” from Universal and Blumhouse, is the feature directorial debut for Peele, who is best known for the Comedy Central series “Key & Peele.” The horror-thriller, about an interracial couple who visit the girlfriend’s white parents at their mysterious and threatening estate, stars Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford. Like several of Blumhouse’s »


- Seth Kelley

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Syrian Cinematographer Barred From Entering U.S. to Attend Oscars

20 hours ago

A 21-year-old cinematographer from Syria has been denied entry to the U.S. for Sunday’s Academy Awards.

Khaled Khateeb, the cinematographer behind Netflix’s “The White Helmets,” which is nominated for the documentary short award, is said to have been blocked from entering the country by the Department of Homeland Security.

The Associated Press reports that U.S. officials found “derogatory information” against the young cameraman before his Saturday flight from Istanbul to Los Angeles.

Syria was one of the seven countries that was targeted by Donald Trump’s so-called Muslim Ban that prevented refugees from entering the country. Trump is set to introduce a new travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries after the initial one was struck down by federal courts.

The White Helmets,” a 40-minute documentary short film about the Syrian Civil Defense, better known as the White Helmets, which has has been credited with saving more than »


- Variety Staff

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Film Review: ‘2017 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animation’

24 February 2017 6:22 PM, PST

This year, there’s a switcheroo afoot in Oscar’s two animation categories: Michaël Dudok de Wit’s gorgeous desert-island fable “The Red Turtle” is a rare, snowflake-singular work of art, made possible after producers at Japan’s celebrated Studio Ghibli fell in love with the director’s 2001 Oscar-winning short “Fathers and Daughter” and approached the helmer about collaborating on a feature. Meanwhile, four of the directors represented in this year’s animated short category have worked on Oscar-winning features, but are branching out in an effort to try more personal work. The results are a mixed bag, but make for entertaining viewing in ShortsHD’s annual theatrical package, which also includes three bonus toons that didn’t make Oscar’s cut.

Chances are you’ve already seen “Piper.” Directed by 20-year Pixar veteran Alan Barillaro, the 6-minute short played before the studio’s hit discombobulated-fish sequel “Finding Dory,” which »


- Peter Debruge

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Chelsea Handler Doesn’t Want to Host the Oscars (or the Spirit Awards)

24 February 2017 6:14 PM, PST

Some awards hosts must wait forever for the offer, like this year’s Oscars headliner Jimmy Kimmel. But other comedians have a different problem: how to just say no.

In an interview with Variety last December, Chelsea Handler revealed she was offered the gig to emcee the Film Independent Spirits Awards. The star of Netflix’s streaming talk show “Chelsea” accepted, before promptly changing her mind.

In her place, the Spirits landed Broadway’s “Oh, Hello” actors Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, who will preside over the beachside festivities in Santa Monica on Saturday afternoon.

Handler also told Variety she has no interest in hosting the Oscars, but there’s one awards show she might consider. Here are a few snippets from our conversation.

Variety: Would you ever go back to network TV?

Chelsea Handler: I hope not. But who knows? I would never do a late-night talk show on a network. »


- Ramin Setoodeh

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Publicist and Actress Patty Freedman Dies at 64

24 February 2017 5:49 PM, PST

Patty Freedman, an actress who became a publicist, died in her New York home on Feb. 17. The 64-year-old had been battling breast cancer.

Born in Detroit but raised in Southfield, Mich., Freedman started performing early at Cass Tech, Detroit’s performing arts high school, before attending Interlochen Arts Camp and University of Michigan, from which she graduated with honors and musical theater degree.

As Patty Dworkin, Freedman went onto perform on stage in Ohio with the Kenley Players before moving onto Broadway, where she worked on “See Saw,” “Shenandoah” and “Sly Fox.” After working with Jackie Gleason on “Sly Fox,” impressed ABC casting executives put her under contract and relocated her to Los Angeles. The ABC contract brought her roles on shows including “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” “Dynasty,” “Happy Days,” “Delta House,” “One Day at a Time,” “Eight is Enough,” and “Shirley.”

In film, Freedman was featured in “Ghostbusters, »


- Dani Levy

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‘Get Out’ Star Daniel Kaluuya Joins Viola Davis in Steve McQueen Heist Movie ‘Widows’

24 February 2017 5:34 PM, PST

Daniel Kaluuya, the star of Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” has joined the cast of Steve McQueen’s heist movie “Widows,” opposite Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, and Cynthia Erivo.

McQueen is directing from a script he’s co-writing with “Gone Girl” screenwriter and novelist Gillian Flynn. Emile Sherman and Iain Canning of See-Saw Films, which produced “Lion,” are producing along with McQueen. Film4 is co-financing.

“Widows” is based on the 1983 British mini-series about a caper terribly gone wrong. The story follows four armed robbers who are killed in a failed heist attempt, leaving their widows to finish the job.

Canning and Sherman teamed with McQueen on “Shame,” and also produced the best picture Oscar winner “The King’s Speech.” The movie marks McQueen’s first feature since he won the best picture Academy Award for “12 Years a Slave” in 2014.

Get Out” has been over-performing at the box office »


- Dave McNary

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Film Review: ‘2017 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action’

24 February 2017 5:00 PM, PST

When it comes to the Oscars, the Academy fiercely defends its definition of movies as a theatrical experience, disqualifying those that debut on home video or VOD from consideration in all the feature categories. For years, the short films were the exception, though in a happy twist, despite the fact that most have been seen exclusively at festivals prior to nominations, they now enjoy a healthy theatrical run after the fact thanks to the efforts of all-shorts-all-the-time network ShortsHD. This year’s live-action offerings are unusually strong across the board, with nary an English-language one among them.

An ambitious idea elegantly compressed into a tight dramatic package, Hungarian director Kristóf Deák’s “Sing” captures the moment when a young person’s faith in the inherent fairness of authority ruptures. A transfer student arrives at a public elementary school, where she is drawn to join the award-winning choir, overseen by the school’s beloved music teacher. »


- Peter Debruge

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Jodie Foster Leads Anti-Trump UTA Rally: ‘It’s Time to Resist’

24 February 2017 4:56 PM, PST

Updated: Jodie Foster was among the “United Voices” that spoke up against Donald Trump at UTA’s rally outside its Beverly Hills offices on Friday.

According to the Beverly Hills Police Department, more than 1,500 people people, including agents, clients, and supporters, gathered in the plaza to protest the Trump administration’s policies, including its recent travel restrictions on seven Muslim-majority countries. The agency canceled its annual Academy Awards party in protest of the ban and organized this event in its place.

“This is exactly the way to celebrate our industry and our commitment to humanity on and off screen,” Foster said. “I don’t do this very often, but this year is a different year, this is a singular time — it’s one to show up, time to engage. As the very dead Frederick Douglass once said, ‘any time is a good time for illumination.'”

“It’s time to show up, »


- Maane Khatchatourian

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Oscar-Nominated Foreign Filmmakers Decry Worldwide ‘Climate of Fanaticism’

24 February 2017 3:50 PM, PST

The filmmakers behind this year’s five Oscar-nominated foreign language film contenders released a statement Friday expressing “unanimous and emphatic disapproval” of a “climate of fanaticism and nationalism” seen in the United States and other countries.

Regardless of who ultimately wins the Oscar Sunday, the quintet preemptively dedicated the award “to all the people, artists, journalists and activists who are working to foster unity and understanding, and who uphold freedom of expression and human dignity – values whose protection is now more important than ever.”

“The Salesman” director Asghar Farhadi announced last month that, due to Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban from seven predominantly Muslim countries, he would not be attending the ceremony. It was revealed Friday that he will be represented at the Oscars by two prominent Iranian Americas: engineer Anousheh Ansari and former Nasa Solar Systems Exploration director Firouz Naderi

Read the filmmakers’ full statement below.

***

On behalf of all nominees, »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Trump Jokes, Lgbt Issues Take Center Stage at Oscar Wilde Awards

24 February 2017 3:29 PM, PST

The whiskey and Trump jabs were flowing freely at the Bad Robot offices on Thursday night.

Stars from the worlds of “Star Trek” and “Loving,” music, and comedy gathered at the sprawling headquarters of J.J. Abrams’ production company for the 12th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards. The U.S.-Ireland Alliance event, founded by Trina Vargo, was designed to honor Irish talent in entertainment.

The vast Bad Robot space was bathed in shamrock green, with a podium installed in one corner on the roof next to an open bar (perhaps appropriately for an Irish-centered event, as honoree Martin Short pointed out). Abrams served as emcee for the night, and after jokingly asking why on earth he had been asked back to host the event, he listed the honorees: Short, Glen Hansard, Caitriona Balfe, Ruth Negga, and Zachary Quinto.

As Quinto had previously told Variety, his connection with Oscar Wilde runs far deeper than shared Irish roots, »


- Will Thorne

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