1-20 of 76 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
Inevitably the question of over-rated movies is a well trodden road, and generally speaking, when approaching the subject in general (and it’s a painful inevitability for any cinephile to either accuse or defend something beloved in those terms) you have a fairly simple set of criteria. A lot of things win oodles of Oscars or gain mass acceptance yet can be clearly pointed to as overrated without ruffling too many feathers – seriously, does anybody get mad when you complain about Gone With the Wind anymore? There have been countless arguments about Forrest Gump or Titanic not actually being very good, and frankly, nobody really cares much when you are critical of the big Hollywood productions, because they’re somehow classed as fair game or a justifiable target.
When you turn that same critical eye towards low budget darlings however, you start threatening some real sacred cows. »
- Gavin Bard
The actor was so happy making music with his band that he thought he'd never make a film again
Hi Jared! You've always struck me as a fairly private person. Do you hate giving interviews? No, not at all. But if the interview's bad, then it's no fun, and by bad I mean routine, you know? So the challenge has been set!
When you were preparing to play Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club, an HIV-positive transgender woman, did you talk to trans people and people with HIV? Yeah, definitely. I talked to transgender people and that was the education and the start of it all. I'm really grateful for those experiences.
Did you go method? I stayed in character the entire shoot. I couldn't imagine doing it another way. I'd gone too far to pick it up and drop it off. »
- Hadley Freeman
Famed Culver Studios, the studio where “Gone With the Wind” and other movie classics were filmed, has a new owner — and it's not only going to stay a studio, an expansion is planned. Hackman Capital Partners, a privately held industrial real estate investment firm with headquarters in Los Angeles, acquired the studio from Lehman Brothers for about $85 million, the company said Wednesday. That's about what Lehman and other investors paid Sony Pictures Entertainment a decade ago for the 14-acre property on L.A.'s Westside. Also read: Hollywood Tax Credit Fight: Will California Finally Support Blockbusters and Broadcast? Chief executive Michael Hackman denied a. »
- Todd Cunningham
Culver Studios — site of the iconic mansion seen at the beginning of “Gone With the Wind” and other Selznick Studios films — has been sold for an estimated $85 million.
Los Angeles-based Hackman Capital Partners, an industrial real estate investment firm headquartered in Los Angeles, bought the studio from Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy six years ago.
Company topper Michael Hackman denied recent reports that the property would be converted to condos and promised that his firm will upgrade the facilities — some of which date back 90 years — and add more parking.
“We want to make this the best independent studio in the world and we’re going to keep the mansion and front lawn area,” he added. “Southern California has the best infrastructure and talent pool in the world. We think we can help maintain its dominant position.”
The lot includes more than 350,000 square feet of space and is the current »
- Dave McNary
Culver Studios, the iconic film studio where Citizen Kane, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and The Matrix, among many others, were filmed, has been purchased by Hackman Capital Partners for $85 million. The deal closed Tuesday. The studio, located in downtown Culver City with its highly recognizable front lawn and columned mansion (used for the Atlanta fire scenes in Gone With the Wind), was originally created by silent movie pioneer Thomas Ince in 1918. Past owners of the 14-acre studio property have included Cecil B. DeMille, Joseph Kennedy, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, David O. Selznick and Howard Hughes. Story: How
- Alexandria Abramian
There are so, so many reasons to hate-watch Bravo's new series "Southern Charm" (Mondays at 10:00 p.m.). These are the stories of the very idle rich (well, except for the one guy who's going to law school and complains about how his stoopid job at a law firm gets in the way of his party schedule). They play polo. They have parties at noon on a weekday. Occasionally they get arrested or dabble in extreme sports. And they drink. They drink, and they drink, and then they drink some more. Man, do they drink. When the punch tastes like Benadryl, as one man-child describes it, this is not considered a negative. It tastes like drunk, and that's good enough to do the job. I'm sure the founding fathers and early settlers who carved a path for these ne'er do wells would be very proud to see how they're spending »
- Liane Bonin Starr
I am delighted Steve McQueen's serious and beautifully filmed movie was recognised at the Oscars but I found it oddly bloodless in spirit
12 Years a Slave is a remarkable film and I share the widespread delight that it won recognition at the Oscars in Hollywood, especially when there was always a risk that an enjoyable bit of immoral trash like The Wolf of Wall Street might have done some business at its high-minded expense.
But best film of the year? I hope not. It's a political film with a political message for our times – slavery isn't over when there are an estimated 21 million slaves today, so Steve McQueen reminded his audience on Sunday night. But Casablanca was a very political film too, plenty are, but dialogue, plot, character made them better movies.
By the time we first glimpse 33-year-old carpenter, Solomon Northup, author of a moving 1853 memoir and hero »
- Michael White
Forgetting stars in the Academy Awards "In Memoriam" segment is almost as much a tradition as the fashion and speeches. But which stars missed out on live Oscars broadcast in 2014? Cory Monteith, Dennis Farina, Sarah Jones and Tom Clancy are among those not memorialized on TV.
Thanks to the Internet, the 86th Academy Awards can claim to honor just about everyone in film who died. Still, there's a bit of a slight felt by fans of those deemed unworthy for the telecast. Here are some of the biggest names left out of the video:
Jonathan Winters -- Died: April 11, 2013. Claim to Oscar fame: "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," "The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming," "The Smurfs"Gary David Goldberg -- Died: June 22, 2013. Claim to Oscar fame: "Must Love Dogs," sitcoms from "Family Ties" to "Spin City"Cory Monteith -- Died: July 13, 2013. Claim to Oscar fame: "Glee, »
These days especially, what matters in a three-and-a-half hour awards show like Sunday's 86th annual Academy Awards is not who won or lost -- though the victories for Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" and Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" seemed to be part of history in the making -- but which moments were most likely to go viral.
In case you missed the Ellen DeGeneres-hosted extravaganza -- or nodded off at some point during its 212 minutes -- here are the best and worst of the evening's memorable moments.
Best DeGeneres Opening Monologue Joke
Poking fun at Hollywood vanities and neuroses, she said, "I'm not saying movies are the most important thing in the world, because we all know the most important thing in the world is youth. But really, we know that the most important thing in life is love and friendship and family. And if people don't have those things, »
- Gary Susman
The 2013 Academy Awards telecast was a mess, but it was an understandable mess. Seth MacFarlane was going to do Seth MacFarlane things, regardless of whether they were appropriate to the setting. And the show featured multiple tributes to the 10th anniversary of "Chicago" because the Oscar-cast was being led by "Chicago" producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron — and, as we were reminded of by the end of Matthew McConaughey's speech tonight, people in Hollywood like to pat themselves on the back when an opportunity presents itself. Zadan and Meron were back as producers of the 2014 Oscar-cast, but the ways in which this year's show went so badly awry, so often — beyond the usual bloat and predictability of any Oscar show in this century — were harder to see coming. In lieu of an 11th anniversary "Chicago" tribute — or a random ode to the Zadan and Meron-produced "Smash" — we got a theme of "Heroes In Hollywood, »
- Alan Sepinwall
With her Oscar win for her searing portrayal of Patsey in “12 Years a Slave,” Lupita Nyong’o became the 15th actress to win an Oscar in her film debut.
The 30-year-old joins such notables as Barbra Streisand, Julie Andrews, Marlee Matlin, Eva Marie Saint and Jennifer Hudson. She was cast in the role by director Steve McQueen three weeks before graduating from Yale Drama School.
“It does not escape me that so much of the joy in my life comes from the pain of someone else,” said the radiant Kenyan-Mexican actress in her acceptance. “And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey.”
A day after winning at the Spirit Awards, where she dedicated that trophy to her mother, Nyong’o dedicated her Oscar to children around the world, saying, “No matter where you are from, your dreams are all valid.”
Nyong’o joins 14 other black actors who have won Oscars. »
- Dave McNary
Big-name success proves a must-have for retaining a global audience as American Hustle fades following Golden Globes win
It was one thing everyone seemed to agree on: this year's Oscar lineup was the strongest for years. A Vanity Fair article in October set the tone by asking: is 2013 the greatest year for movies since the Gone with the Wind era?
Others including the Hollywood Reporter have stoked the fire, suggesting that this year's offerings – from meaty social-conscience dramas such as 12 Years a Slave through oddball indie flicks (Her, Nebraska) to blockbuster laden with special effects in the shape of Gravity – are on a par with Hollywood's best ever. But as Oscar night nears, the mood appears to have subtly altered. Will the results night suggest that Hollywood's best and most artistically significant film-makers are unable to cut it commercially?
This, in truth, is one of Hollywood's oldest dilemmas, perhaps emphasised most dramatically at the 2010 Oscars, »
- Andrew Pulver
Everyone's got an opinion when it comes to the Oscars, unfortunately most people's are negative, censored or ridiculous
Oscars predictions are to Los Angeles what political gossip is to Washington DC, and during the week of the Oscars it's pretty much impossible to walk down the street, let alone open a newspaper, without somebody giving you their tuppence on the matter. As with arseholes and opinions, everyone's got their own prediction but in the final days before the ceremony one verdict was becoming increasingly loud: Gravity will beat 12 Years a Slave to Best Picture. Why? Because a true story about slavery is, well, kind of a downer.
"For many, 12 Years a Slave is too hard to watch," declared a front page headline in the La Times above a story by the paper's film critic, Betsy Sharkey, suggesting audiences have shied away from the movie. But a brief glance at the »
- Hadley Freeman
Peter Debruge: Ok, gentlemen, time to guess who will win the Oscar for best picture. I say “guess” because the word “predict” seems entirely too confident when it comes to the Academy Awards. Despite all the ink and all the effort that people put into anticipating who will win on Sunday night, all the logic and algorithms that factor into their prognostications, I still think it’s a crapshoot — and I say this as someone who once managed to win Variety’s office Oscar pool. That’s no humblebrag, mind you. Quite the opposite. My point is that only once in the last 20 years of the Academy Awards have my preferences aligned with the Academy’s — a group that prefers “Argo” to “Amour” and “The Lord of the Rings” to “Lost in Translation,” while overlooking what I consider to be the best film of 2013: “Inside Llewyn Davis.”
See Also: »
- Peter Debruge, Scott Foundas and Justin Chang
Oscar’s big night is always filled with surprises and great moments — here are our favorites:
Newsreel clips show that she was visibly moved in a historic win.
Charlie Chaplin, Honorary Oscar
After 20 years in Europe, he returned in 1972 to a 12-minute standing ovation. (Unfortunately or fortunately, the video doesn’t show all 12 minutes.)
Louise Fletcher, Best Actress, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
As she spoke, she signed part of her speech for her deaf parents.
The actress summed up the exuberance of the moment as “You like me, right now, you like me!” It’s Oscar’s most misquoted speech.
The Italian filmmaker walked on the backs of the seats.
- Variety Staff
Academy Award-nominated actress Lupita Nyong’o, Ava DuVernay, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and more were honored at this year’s seventh annual Essence Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon in a beautiful event that took place at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday. Oprah Winfrey, Kerry Washington, Spike Lee, and more were in attendance at this year’s celebration, which packed an emotional punch as honorees spoke of personally struggling with finding their place in the world. Read on to find out what the winners had to say in their acceptance speeches below:
When accepting the award for Best Breakthrough Performance, Nyong »
- Pamela Gocobachi
Just as horse racing has its Triple Crown, red-carpet season has its own impressive awards haul that only the boldest of films aspire to win: the "Big Five" at the Oscars. Taking home a trophy in the Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay categories is considered a "sweep" at the Academy Awards, and this year's contest has American Hustle vying for the honor. In the 86-year history of the awards, 42 films have been nominated across the big five categories, with only three ever pulling off the sweep: 1934's It Happened One Night, 1975's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest »
- Kiran Hefa
Unless you're prediction-loving, number-crunching wizard Nate Silver, you probably find statistics pretty boring. But stats concerning the Academy Awards have always been fascinating, mostly because the Oscars are just plain weird, and riddled with anomalies.
The ceremony got its start in the late 1920s, when movies were just making their transition into sound, and early nominees and categories reflected the sheer chaos of those halcyon days of what would eventually become Hollywood's golden age. (Though, of course, any film aficionado worth his/her salt would have a strong opinion about the exact dates that that age entailed.)
As the Oscars tradition continued, the awards became a bit more traditional themselves, settling into a predictable pattern of narratives that have stayed relatively consistent to this day. But there are always idiosyncrasies hiding in the woodwork, and the Academy Awards have them in spades. Here, we've collected some of the most distinctive »
- Katie Roberts
The idea that only a British director such as Steve McQueen with British stars could have made Hollywood confront America's slavery legacy is a popular one with fans of UK cinema. But is there any foundation for it?
The bookies, at least, are of one mind: Sunday's Oscars victor will be either Gravity or 12 Years a Slave. The space spectacular must surely rank as the greatest-ever achievement of British film craftsmanship; the Louisiana-set drama doesn't even qualify as a UK film. Nonetheless, Britain's cinema chauvinists aren't all rooting for Gravity. There is something about its rival that inspires yet fiercer patriotism.
Of course, unlike Gravity, Slave features British stars. But that doesn't fully explain its hold on British hearts. Something else is involved: after decades of guilty silence from Hollywood, many believe, a British director has laid bare America's historic shame. Steve McQueen's feat is thus a rare transatlantic putdown of the swaggering yanks. »
- David Cox
Name: 12 Years a Slave
Release date: Oct. 18, 2003 (limited); Nov. 8, 2013 (wide)
DVD release date: March 4, 2014
Run time: 134 minutes
Box office: Opening weekend, wide release: $6.675 million; domestic total: $49.133 million; international total: $78.9 million (as of Monday, Feb. 24)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent
- Hillary Busis
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