4 items from 2015
Taking home four Oscars out of its nine nominations, including Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay and Cinematography, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman was the big winner at this year’s Academy Awards. Premiering last August at the Venice Film Festival (where it left with trio of minor awards), cinematography has long been the awards season lock for the film (winning Lubezki a BAFTA), and it’s picked up a pair of Golden Globes (Screenplay and Actor) and a host of critic’s choice awards. Box office has also been profitable, opening last October in limited release before expanding nationwide Mid-November to successful box office results—its Best Picture win will most likely edge it over or close to the one hundred million mark.
- Nicholas Bell
It’s getting down to the wire.
Academy online voting officially started Friday, though members who requested paper ballots have had them for a week now. Whichever way you are voting, they are due in by 5 Pm Pacific on Tuesday, February 17, but snail mailers should make sure ballots are posted by Saturday at the latest since Monday the 16th is Presidents Day, a postal holiday. Advertising for the big contenders still seems pretty fierce as now with BAFTA and all the major guilds having weighed in — with the exception of WGA, holding off until Valentine’s Day — the race for Best Picture appears as wide open as it has been all season. With Birdman taking key honors at SAG, DGA and PGA (it is ineligible at WGA) vs Boyhood’s critical love and wins at the Golden Globes and especially yesterday at BAFTA, these two could fight it out to a photo finish, »
- Pete Hammond
Sticking up for the controversial North Korea-baiting comedy is hard when it’s so unfunny
The censorship row over Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s satire The Interview – whose Us release was briefly halted by North Korean activist-hackers outraged by its mockery of Kim Jong-un – feels redolent of a more polite age, a Marquess of Queensberry age. In the light of the Charlie Hebdo murders, it seems trivial. The movie is now out in the Us and Europe, and it would be nice in a #JeSuisTheInterview spirit to stick up for it – to hail it as something in the tradition of Ernst Lubitsch’s To Be Or Not to Be, or indeed Sacha Baron Cohen’s xenophobia comedies. But after a promisingly crass start, the film runs out of ideas and after some T&A material and violent slapstick, winds up in a mood of plumply sentimental solemnity.
Related: James Franco »
- Peter Bradshaw
Remember that modern take on William Shakepeare’s “Cymbeline” that we last saw a trailer for in 2013? It made its debut last fall at the Venice International Film Festival and received mostly negative reviews, so of course they’ve changed the name and now have a new trailer ahead of its release in theaters this March. The new title is Anarchy, which is kind of silly because from its inception the adaptation has been likened to (and now can be seen as definitely resembling) the show Sons of Anarchy. Which itself was already heavily inspired by the tragedies of Shakespeare. While the original play involves a romantic tale of Ancient Britain, in which a war is fought against Rome as a result of the titular king’s meddling in his daughter’s love affairs, this new movie version takes place in the present and is set in the world of outlaw bikers. The »
- Christopher Campbell
4 items from 2015
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