9 items from 2015
It has not been an easy week. At the start of the week, we had our editorial meeting here at HitFix, as we do every Monday, to talk about both the week ahead and longer-term projects as well. For fairly obvious reasons, there was a fair amount of talk about Valentine's Day content, and I mentioned a few different ideas that I might write about, including one that I'll end up publishing at some point about Steve Martin. But even as I pitched a few ideas, I found myself uncomfortable with the entire idea of writing about romantic films right now. Honestly, I was hoping to spend this week with my head down and then just sail right through this weekend without writing about love at all, because for the first time in my adult life, I am no longer sure what I think about it. After all, I was with my wife for 14 years. »
- Drew McWeeny
Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Kevin Hart, Shirley MacLaine, Chris Pine, Miles Teller and Naomi Watts will be presenters at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC. Affleck, a two-time Academy Award® winner, received an Original Screenplay Oscar® for “Good Will Hunting” (1997) and a Best Picture Oscar for “Argo” (2012), on which he served as a producer, director and star. His most recent role was opposite Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl” (2014). He will play Batman in the upcoming feature “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “The Accountant.” Chastain has received two Oscar nominations, one for Actress in a Leading Role for “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) and one for Actress in a Supporting Role for “The Help” (2011). Her most recent films include 2014’s “Interstellar,” “A Most Violent Year” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. »
- Josh Abraham
Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Kevin Hart, Shirley MacLaine, Chris Pine, Miles Teller and Naomi Watts will be presenters at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC.
Affleck, a two-time Academy Award winner, received an Original Screenplay Oscar for “Good Will Hunting” (1997) and a Best Picture Oscar for “Argo” (2012), on which he served as a producer, director and star. His most recent role was opposite Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl” (2014). He will play Batman in the upcoming feature “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “The Accountant.”
Chastain has received two Oscar nominations, one for Actress in a Leading Role for “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) and one for Actress in a Supporting Role for “The Help” (2011). Her most recent films include 2014’s “Interstellar,” “A Most Violent Year” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. »
- Michelle McCue
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
After being bumped from previous release dates and passed off from one distributor (Universal) to another (Open Road), Erik Van Looy’s “The Loft” finally opened on North American screens Jan. 30, just in time to be mostly ignored by its presumptive target demographic — i.e., young male moviegoers — during Super Bowl weekend. Even so, this outrageously over-plotted, borderline-campy erotic thriller might attract a slightly larger audience in ancillary platforms, if only because the unwary might misinterpret a synopsis of its plot — five buddies find an inconvenient corpse in the condo they use for their adulterous assignations — as a promise of fantasy fulfillment and dark comedy.
As it turns out, however, “The Loft” is not intentionally funny at all. Rather, it is a feverishly melodramatic mashup of “The Apartment” – try to imagine what might have happened had Jack Lemmon not foiled Shirley MacLaine’s suicide attempt – and “Murder on the Orient Express, »
- Joe Leydon
There’s an old Hollywood truism that good movies are made from second-rate books, not the classics. On Broadway, the new musical “Honeymoon in Vegas,” which opened Thursday at the Nederlander Theatre in New York, uses a second-rate movie from 1992 for its source material. Have its makers been able to turn it into a good musical? Or is this one effort that should have stayed in Vegas?
- Robert Hofler
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
If you're curious about all the awards season fuss over Richard Linklater's epic project, here's your chance to catch it on Blu-ray. Filmed over the course of 12 years, "Boyhood" charts the life of a young Texas boy as he grows up -- it doesn't sound too exciting, but watching young Ellar Coltrane grow into adulthood is pretty trippy for everyone involved. Lorelei Linklater co-stars as his sister, alongside Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as their estranged parents. Maybe next up we could get "Motherhood"? Get a taste of the award-worthy movie with an exclusive clip below.
- Jenni Miller
9 items from 2015
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