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Three Variety critics agree to disagree about Oscar winners and losers both onscreen and on the Dolby stage.
Peter Debruge: Last year, the Academy made a statement in giving the best picture award to “12 Years a Slave.” This time around, over the course of a spread-the-wealth evening, it was the winners’ turn to speak their minds, and they did so in force, using Hollywood’s prom as a podium to demand equal rights — for women (“Boyhood’s” only winner, Patricia Arquette), for African-Americans (Common and John Legend, accepting “Selma’s” only win), for gays (“The Imitation Game” writer Graham Moore, urging young Lgbt viewers to “stay weird, stay different” as he collected the film’s lone statue), for those with disabilities (both Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne turned the spotlight on talents who achieved while coping with Als), and for immigrants (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, offering a plea on behalf of »
- Peter Debruge, Justin Chang and Scott Foundas
With the 2015 Oscars almost here, Moviefone will be releasing a set of staff predictions each day this week (in countdown fashion) for the four major categories. We wrap it up today with arguably the hottest contested race: Best Director.
We've already given you the beat on the 2015 Oscars race, so now let's break down our favorites to win the award. Here, we've listed the directors we expect to win, and then, more importantly, who we think should win.
Who Will Win: Alejandro González Iñárritu. The Academy loves an innovator -- just look at Alfonso Cuaròn's 2014 win for "Gravity" -- and this year will be no different. "Birdman" is a wild ride, visually and emotionally. Iñárritu took what could have been an inside-baseball, rarified glimpse into the world of stage acting and the Hollywood career cycle and turned it into a riveting voyage into Batman's burned-out actor Riggan Thomson's comeback-obsessed psyche. »
- Moviefone Staff
There are 195 individuals nominated for Oscar this year. And when the winners are named Feb. 22, they will become part of film history, joining such greats as Billy Wilder, Ingrid Bergman, Ben Hecht and Walt Disney.
But 80% of the contenders will go home empty-handed. However, there is good news: They are in good company as well.
Here is a sampling of nominees that didn’t win: “Citizen Kane,” “Chinatown” and “Star Wars”; directors Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Stanley Kubrick and Ingmar Bergman; writers Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Dashiell Hammett, John Steinbeck, Graham Greene, Harold Pinter and David Mamet; actors Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Blvd.”; Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”; and Peter O’Toole in “Lawrence of Arabia.”
They managed to do Ok, though.
- Tim Gray
Ktla Channel 5 in Los Angeles plans to air a half-hour tribute, “Stan Chambers: L.A. Newsman,” to the pioneering T.V. reporter who died Friday morning at his home in the Holmby Hills section of Los Angeles. After the 9 p.m. broadcast, the tribute will be posted on Ktla.com.
Chambers, 91, helped introduce TV news in Los Angeles and delivered its first “live shot” in the late 1940s, when he covered the dramatic attempt to rescue 3-year-old Kathy Fiscus from an abandoned well in San Marino.
Chambers’ more than six-decade career at Ktla Channel 5 began in the era of black and white reports filmed by cumbersome cameras and ran until the run-and-gun computer age of multiple feeds, often supplied via digital cameras and satellite uplinks.
“Stan Chambers was a newsman in the truest sense. His dedication to producing the best story possible led to innovations that define the newscasts we watch today. »
- James Rainey
Written by Sydney Boehm
Directed by Rudolph Matté
When Joyce Williecomb (Nancy Olson), humble assistant to wealthy businessman Henry Muchison (Herbert Heyes), takes the train to Chicago, little does she know that the next few days will prove to be the greatest test of patience and nerves she has ever known. Shortly after the train departs for its destination, it is halted in order for two suspicious looking gentlemen to embark. Convinced something is amiss, Joyce, upon arriving in Chicago, immediately alerts the security at Union Station of the two mystery men, sending railroad police detective William Calhoun (William Holden) into action. Much to Joyce’s surprise and horror, it turns out that targets have in fact kidnapped her employer’s blind daughter, Lorna (Allene Roberts), to whom she had said goodbye mere hours ago. Now demanding a ransom, a game of cat and mouse »
- Edgar Chaput
If you’re looking for alternatives to raiding Target for costumes for your next production, UCLA can help. Its School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA Tft) is hosting a panel of top Hollywood costume designers Feb. 21. Mark Bridges (“Inherent Vice”), Milena Canonero (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”), Jacqueline Durran (“Mr. Turner”), Anna B. Sheppard (“Maleficent”), Ruth E. Carter (“Selma”), Kari Perkins (“Boyhood”) and Albert Wolsky (“Birdman”) will be featured at the fifth annual Sketch to Screen Costume Design Panel. The event, which starts at 2 p.m., takes place on campus at Schoenberg Hall. Tickets range from $10-$30. Other upcoming events include: Horrible Movie NightFeb. 13 from 9-10:30 p.m.NerdMelt Showroom 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood Tickets are $8 in advance; $10 at the door. Popcorn is free. Puppetzilla’s Anti-Valentine’s Day SlamFeb. 15 at 6:30 p.m.Bootleg Theater2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles Tickets $8 in advance, $13 day of at the door. Meet the Casting Directors 2015Feb. »
By Anjelica Oswald
With the DGA Award in hand, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has become a frontrunner in the best director Oscar race for Birdman.
Only seven winners of the DGA Award have not won the best director Oscar in the 66 years that the Directors Guild of America has given the award. The most recent case was two years ago, when Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated for the best director Oscar for Argo, which won best picture.
No American has won for best director since 2011 and if Inarritu, who is from Mexico, takes the Oscar this year, the trend will continue. Inarritu could become the second Latin American director to win for best director, following Alfonso Cuaron’s win last year.
In the 86 years since the Academy Awards’ inception, 89 Oscars have been given for best director. Twenty-six awards (29 percent) went to non-American born directors.
At the first annual »
- Anjelica Oswald
Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett movies (See previous post: "The Charles Brackett Diaries: Billy Wilder and Hollywood in the '30s and '40s.") Below is a list of movies on which Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder worked together as screenwriters, including efforts for which they did not receive screen credit. The Wilder-Brackett screenwriting partnership lasted from 1938 to 1949. During that time, they shared two Academy Awards for their work on The Lost Weekend (1945) and, with D.M. Marshman Jr., Sunset Blvd. (1950). Billy Wilder would later join forces with screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond in movies such as Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, and One, Two, Three. However well-received, Wilder's later films generally lacked the sophistication and subtlety found in his earlier work with Brackett. Charles Brackett, for his part, became associated with 20th Century-Fox, working as a producer-screenwriter. His Fox films, though frequently popular and at times applauded by critics, were decidedly made-to-order, »
- Andre Soares
Billy Wilder screenwriter-producer partner Charles Brackett remembered: Q&A with film historian Anthony Slide (photo: Charles Brackett ca. early 1940s) Six-time Academy Award winner Billy Wilder is a film legend. He's renowned for classics such as The Major and the Minor, Sunset Blvd., Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment. The fact that Wilder was not the sole creator of these movies is all but irrelevant to graduates from the Auteur School of Film History. Wilder directed, co-wrote, and at times produced his films. That should suffice. For auteurists, perhaps. But not for those interested in film history facts. That's why the Charles Brackett diaries offer such a refreshing glimpse into his and Billy Wilder's moviemaking process. Now, Charles who? Oscar winner Charles Brackett Charles Brackett (1892-1969) just happens to be the – largely forgotten – guy who co-created with Billy Wilder (and, at times, with a third screenwriting partner) classics »
- Andre Soares
“Or as they call it in L.A…29,” Fallon joked, in his opening monologue Monday night, marking the first show of his weeklong stay out west.
“I remember driving down Sunset Boulevard,” Fallon told the live audience, including Variety, reminiscing about his time working as a standup comedian in L.A. “My gas thing was on [empty], and you know when the needle goes into that weird color paint and you go, ‘I don’t know if I’m gonna make it home, I’m definitely running on fumes right now.'”
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell had never met before landing the title roles on “Mike & Molly.” Five years later they’re thick as thieves. Variety’s Geoff Berkshire asked the stars to reflect on their journey together on the occasion of the show’s 100th episode (which McCarthy directed).
On Meeting For The First Time …
Melissa McCarthy: We had a great beginning, I felt like it was meant to be. The second we read (together) I think I audibly went, “Oh!”
Billy Gardell: I did the same thing. I walked out of there thinking, “If I have any shot, it’s because I read with her.”
McCarthy: Even when we did the pilot we felt like we were three years in, in a good way.
Gardell: We just trusted each other, I think that was the key. I don’t know why or how, maybe it’s a Midwest thing, »
- Geoff Berkshire
If you stand in front of a moving car, you're gonna get hit -- which is Justin Bieber's defense in a lawsuit filed by a photog he mowed down.Bieber was sued last year by Walter Lee, who claims Biebs struck him in 2013 as he left a comedy club on Sunset Boulevard. Bieber claims Lee deliberately stood in front of the moving vehicle so Ts.Bieber also doubts Lee was actually hurt. As TMZ first reported, »
- TMZ Staff
Jenni Olson begins The Royal Road, her latest emotional excavation of Hollywood nostalgia via Benning-esque 16mm landscape portraiture, by self-referentially quoting Michel Chion on the shadowy pretext of off screen voiceover after reflecting in her own dryly articulated voiceover on the monologue that opens Billy Wilder’s classic allegory of broken La dreams, Sunset Boulevard. Though Olson’s film revolves around another stretch of California highway, the 600-mile El Camino Real strip, the cinematic reference leads us down a winding poetic path on which Hollywood history, the neglected record of the Mexican American War and Olson’s own unrequited romantic pursuits come together with the same sort of mannered meditation that won her San Francisco Film Critics Circle’s Marlon Riggs Award for The Joy of Life back in 2005.
Pitting rigorously composed images of modern day Los Angeles and San Francisco against her own gender dysphoric voice, she explicates an »
- Jordan M. Smith
Much like her 2005 debut, “The Joy of Life,” Jenni Olson’s sophomore feature, “The Royal Road,” is a poetic film essay that uses landscape photography and voiceover narration to ruminate on a wide swath of topics — all historical, whether first-person romantic, exploring California’s Spanish colonial past, or referencing Hollywood’s cinematic back pages. Experimental in its docu/narrative hybrid yet emotionally accessible, this beguiling meditation is a marginal commercial proposition that should nonetheless win over more adventurous viewers and programmers. Showcases for gay and avant-garde filmmakers should be prominent supporters as pic travels the fest circuit.
The title refers to the tangle of local roads, now supplanted by freeway, that once constituted the primary route between Northern and Southern California. El Camino Real was the territory’s first and most important thoroughfare, stretching from San Diego to Sonoma missions as Spain laid claim to more and more Western terrain »
- Dennis Harvey
Look, the news of "Supergirl" and the new trailer for the Tina Fey-produced Netflix series "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" has got me riled. I've got to cope with these exciting developments by watching movies and TV featuring awesome, powerful, hilarious, and/or weird women. Here are five options for riiiiiight now. Go Netflix them! Go on! "The Fall": Gillian Anderson is patron saint of no-nonsense "The Fall" is a captivating British serial about a calculating, dead-eyed serial killer (Jamie Dornan, who is currently skulking about the dungeon in "Fifty Shades of Grey") and the detective in Northern Ireland named Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) who's onto him. Dornan's moody machinations are entrancing, but Anderson's understated authority propels this whole show. It's always creepy and occasionally very dark, but Stella is a feminist protagonist who is as comfortable theorizing about a woman-hating psychopath as she is exploring her own sexuality. "30 Rock": Lemon In. »
- Louis Virtel
Are we looking at Hollywood's latest dynamic duo? Chris Evans and Lindsey McKeon had lunch together yesterday and no sooner had they exited El Compadre on Sunset Boulevard did the Internet start wondering whether these two were...on a date. Squee! Reps for both have remained silent regarding the romance speculation. Moreover, before anyone gets ahead of themselves, McKeon got married last year (wearing Vera Wang, and at a vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley!)—and that sure looks like a wedding band on her finger in this photo. So Chris and Lindsey could easily just be reunited old pals, the two having both been on the short-lived series Opposite Sex together back in »
In September 1999, an American television news broadcast featured a human interest story on Nigel McGuinness, one of many young athletes attempting to make a name for themselves on the burgeoning scene of independent pro wrestling. McGuinness had left his native England for the United States, spurred on by his childhood dream of becoming a pro wrestler. His final goal was the then-wwf — but the bingo halls he was wrestling in during his early days in the ring were a far cry from the pomp and ceremony of the big leagues.
Ten years later, much had changed for all the involved parties. McGuinness had gone on to be part of a talented generation of independent wrestlers who forged an industry of their own. Ring of Honor was the focal point of this movement, the jewel in the crown of independent wrestling in America. The Philadelphia-based promotion was a proving ground for future stars like Cm Punk, »
- Brad Jones
Writing for V Magazine, the actor said that the pair had previously discussed potential film plots.
Franco wrote: "She has this idea for a film. I want to do it because it's a little like Sunset Boulevard. A woman is alone in a big house in La. She doesn't want to go out. She starts to go crazy, and becomes paranoid because she feels like people are watching her. Even in her own house.
"It's like an awesome B-movie that lives in Lana's head. It's about her, and it's not about her. Just like her music."
Franco also explained that he has trouble persuading the star to sit down with him and talk about her ideas.
He said: "I wanted to interview Lana for a book and she said, 'Just write around me, »
We support this fully: a romance between the indecipherable James Franco and the equally indecipherable Lana Del Rey. They're perfect for each other and he seems to know it, penning an essay (that's bordering on a poem?) about the mysterious singer in V Magazine (in stores only). You know what would be perfect? If they made a movie together ...She has this idea for a film. I want to do it because it’s a little like Sunset Boulevard. A woman is alone in a big house in L.A. She doesn’t want to go out. She starts to go crazy, and becomes paranoid because she feels like people are watching her. Even in her own house. It’s like an awesome B-movie that lives in Lana’s head. It’s about her, and it’s not about her. Just like her music. Oh yeah, you guys should definitely ... do that. »
- Lindsey Weber
Watch Golden Globes 2015 online - Red Carpet arrivals and awards ceremony George Clooney will be present at the Golden Globes 2015 ceremony to pick up his Cecil B. DeMille Award. Will Tina Fey and Amy Poehler sink or swim – or both, alternately? Well, the Golden Globes 2015 ceremony will begin shortly. Would you like to watch it online? Here are a few possibilities. First of all, when it comes to the Golden Globes 2015 Red Carpet arrivals, depending on where you are in the world you can watch them right now on the NBC website or here or here or on the Golden Globes website itself. According to various online sources – and, in all honesty, I can't vouch for their accuracy – you can watch the Golden Globes 2015 live streaming online here. That's supposed to be the actual ceremony, which kicks off at 8 p.m. Et / 5 p.m. Pt. So, will Selma and Into the Woods really win, »
- Steve Montgomery
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