1-20 of 78 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
The most fervent of the detractors of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. prefer to obsess over the group’s Golden Globes balloting lapses, while obstinately overlooking the org’s real awards voting history.
For every Pia Zadora, there are dozens of Globes winners that consistently demonstrate a seriousness of purpose that regularly matches or surpasses the Academy’s Oscar champions.
The HFPA’s track record of rewarding edgier, more demanding achievements in the dramatic film category is ironically the benefit of the group’s recognition of comedies and musicals.
Cynics will say having both film drama and comedy/musical Golden Globes categories means more stars on the HFPA’s red carpet and awards TV broadcast and more tables sold to the producers. Those are certainly byproducts, but the more significant impact of the acknowledgement of lighter efforts is the ability to double-down on rewarding the more demanding serious fare.
- Steven Gaydos
Following the Trumbo première attended by Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, Michael Stuhlbarg and Louis C.K., as well as Dalton Trumbo's daughters Niki Trumbo and Mitzi Trumbo, director Jay Roach mapped out for me the links between birds, Edward G. Robinson's art collection, Otto Preminger, Kirk Douglas and Spartacus; USC, Edward Dmytryk and Lee Grant; Roman Holiday, 30 Seconds Over Tokyo and A Guy Named Joe; Kitty Foyle, Ginger Rogers' mother, Hedda Hopper's hats and horse manure; Bertolt Brecht's Hollywood poem and Myrna Loy's radio show.
While Taylor Hackford, Dana Delany, Kathleen Turner, Elle MacPherson, Tony Bennett, Susan Crow, Julie Taymor, Robert Wuhl, Kate Lardner, Ruben Blades, Tim Daly, Trumbo screenwriter John McNamara, producers Michael London, Kevin Kelly Brown, »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
This year’s Oscar hopefuls boasts the largest roster of biopics in recent memory. From more traditional, straight-forward affairs such as Straight Outta Compton and Black Mass, to films that focus on one particular real-life event such as The Big Short and Spotlight, to less typical takes focused on separate periods in the subjects’ lives such as Steve Jobs and Love & Mercy, this year’s films cover the entire spectrum of the biopic genre.
As a result, many of the frontrunners in the four major acting categories are for performances portraying real-life people. Looking back on the Academy’s history, it is hard to find a year in which an acting award did not go to a performer portraying a real person. Eddie Redmayne, Matthew McConaughey, and Daniel Day-Lewis (the last three best actor winners) all starred in biographical films.
This year the trend looks to continue, »
- Patrick Shanley
“I was good to you, Ben!” Well, that’s true, Willard, up to a point. Daniel Mann’s Willard (1971) makes a few good and satirical points, one being don’t bite the hand that feeds you, especially as that “hand” might bite you right back. Willard kicked off the 70’s Critters Done Wrong By (trademark pending) subgenre, leading to such memorable fodder as Frogs (1972), Food of the Gods (1976), and Day of the Animals (1977). However, Willard stands out from the (rat) pack by keeping it thrills low key and scurrying on the ground.
Produced by Bing Crosby Productions (yes, that Bing) and distributed by Cinerama Releasing Corporation (they also put out The Beast Must Die and Seizure), Willard received good notices, and more importantly to the genre, pulled in over $14 million Us when it was released in June of ’71. Propelled by top notch performances, Willard delivers the vermin to your doorstep. »
- Scott Drebit
The newest big screen “golden age of Hollywood” biography represents something of a 2015 trilogy, a hat trick, if you will. It doesn’t focus on the illustrious career of a celebrated actor or actress, but there are some stars involved and in support. No, this is the story of a legendary screenwriter, yes an idea man. The man in question is one Dalton Trumbo, a fellow nearly as theatrical as the thespians reciting his words. Beyond his work, he was perhaps best known as the most famous of the “Hollywood Ten” during the Communist “witch hunts” of the 1950’s. So the “cold war” is the backdrop for this bio, much as it was for Bridge Of Spies, the true life drama, and that frothy spy send-up, The Man From Uncle, both released earlier this year. It’s odd that this is the last film to arrive in theatres, though its events precede the other two. »
- Jim Batts
Marvelously balances the silly and the solemn. There’s almost a whiff of the Coen-esque in its slick sharpness, in its whistling past the graveyard. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
For a prestige drama about one of the more shameful periods in American history (there are a lot of those), Trumbo is surprisingly funny. And thank god for that. It feels good to laugh at the idiocy surrounding the Hollywood blacklist of the 1950s, if only so that you don’t have to think too much about how widespread support for the most unAmerican things — all in the name of America, naturally — has been a constant refrain in American public discourse. You have to be a special kind of sheltered not to hear such nonsense demanding to »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Bryan Cranston reveals where Dalton Trumbo got the pseudonym “Sam Jackson” from in an exclusive “Trumbo” clip, given to TheWrap before the film expands to more theaters this weekend. In the scene, Trumbo (Cranston) is talking to director Otto Preminger (Christian Berkel) about revisions to the script for the 1960 film “Spartacus,” which Trumbo wrote before it became the then-biggest moneymaker in Universal history. Trumbo leans back in his chair to give his bird a kiss before revealing how he got the idea for the alias, which he was forced to use after being blacklisted as one of the Hollywood Ten. »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
Though he was once Hollywood’s highest paid screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo (who penned Roman Holiday and Spartacus) reach a heightened level of fame in the 1940s. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for his award-winning writing. Trumbo was a member of the American Communist Party, and after an investigation by the Un-American Activities Comitee, was sentenced to a year in jail.
He, along with nine other screenwriters, became part of the infamous Hollywood Ten. Blacklisted and unable to work with any film studio for over a decade, Trumbo began writing scripts under various pseudonyms.
Bryan Cranston portrays the scribe in the Jay Roach-directed Trumbo. Though set against the glitzy backdrop of the Hollywood Golden Age, the film captures a portion of American history that is certainly painful to revisit. After a successful run on the festival circuit, the movie finally hit theatres this past weekend, and we were on hand at »
- Justine Browning
Throughout the 1960s-early 1970s, a combination of financial desperation, creative daring, and an adventurous movie-going public had produced a creative detonation in mainstream American movies not seen before or since. Each year of the period seemed to bring at least one mightily ambitious visual experiment by a new contributor to the commercial movie scene, the “look” of that effort being as much a part of its identity as its characters and story. One could pick no better representative of the trend than Stanley Kubrick, for no director of the time so extended the boundaries of mainstream commercial filmmaking, or what it meant to be a mainstream commercial filmmaker.
For the most part, Kubrick’s professional ascent was built on the taking of standard genres – the war story, science fiction tale, sword-and-sandal epic – and twisting them into shapes so singular that each Kubrick outing became an acknowledged one-of-a-kind classic. Paths of Glory »
- Bill Mesce
If you love "Roman Holiday"—or God forbid have never seen it—Turner Classic Movies is partnering with Fathom Events to screen William Wyler's charming 1953 classic romance in theaters for two days. On November 29th and December 1st, select U.S. theaters will show the Oscar-winning film at 2 and 7pm, with a special introduction from TCM host Robert Osborne. Read More: How 'Trumbo"'s True Hollywood Blacklist Story Got Made Starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, "Roman Holiday" won three Academy Awards, including Best Actress, Best Costume Design and blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo's Best Screenplay—which was not credited to him. Bryan Cranston plays the irascible screenwriter, who eventually fought off the Hollywood blacklist— thanks to fearless Kirk Douglas ("Spartacus") and Otto Preminger ("Exodus")— in Jay Roach's biopic "Trumbo," which is holding its own at the crowded fall awards season box »
- Anne Thompson and Ruben Guevara
Many of us think we know the history of the Hollywood blacklist, but given that hundreds of people in the '50s during the McCarthy era were targeted and prevented from working because of their leftist politics, there are multiple stories to tell. Screenwriter John McNamara (TV's "Lois and Clark") decided to focus on the Hollywood blacklist through the eyes of its most flamboyant and gifted victim: Oscar-winner Dalton Trumbo, whose drive to write and survive helped to break the work boycott—which lasted from November, 1947, when the Hollywood Ten were sent to prison, until 1960—with help from both German director Otto Preminger ("Exodus") and Kirk Douglas ("Spartacus"). McNamara first learned of Dalton Trumbo from his Nyu professor Ian McLellan Hunter 31 years ago, when he confessed that he had not written "Roman Holiday," and turned him on to the book about Dalton Trumbo by Bruce Cook. It only took 31 years »
- Anne Thompson
Trumbo tells the story of Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo who was the most renowned face of the Hollywood ten, individuals blacklisted for their political beliefs in the decade of the McCarthy hearings. »
- Jazz Tangcay
Trumbo producer Kevin Kelly Brown confided that they were surprised at Hollywood columnist Hedda Hopper's ferociousness and actually had to tone her down, while Helen Mirren at the after party mentioned that she wasn't surprised at all by the gossip queen's viciousness. Bryan Cranston captured Dalton Trumbo's physicality, his real-life daughters Niki Trumbo and Mitzi Trumbo confirmed to me, as they waved to Ring Lardner Jr.'s daughter Kate Lardner, author of Shut Up He Explained: The Memoir Of A Blacklisted Kid.
Bryan Cranston: Yeah! You know, it's wonderful. I watched a lot of his [Trumbo's] films again - Roman Holiday, Spartacus, The Brave One. Even, like, 30 Seconds Over Tokyo and Kitty Foyle and I re-read his Johnny Got A Gun novel that he »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
'Trumbo' movie: Bryan Cranston as screenwriter Dalton Trumbo and Helen Mirren as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. 'Trumbo' movie review: Highly entertaining 'history lesson' Full disclosure: on the wall in my study hangs a poster – the iconic photograph of blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, with black-horned rim glasses, handlebar mustache, a smoke dangling from the end of a dramatic cigarette holder. He's sitting – stark naked – in a tub surrounded by his particular writing apparatus. He's looking directly into the camera of the photographer, his daughter Mitzi. Dalton Trumbo's son, Christopher Trumbo, gave me the poster after my interview with him for the release of Peter Askin's 2007 documentary also titled Trumbo. That film combines archival footage, including family movies and photographs, with performances of the senior Trumbo's letters to his family during their many years of turmoil before and through the blacklist, including his time in prison. The letters are read by, »
- Tim Cogshell
The story follows the writer's stand and his professional exile of 11 months in prison for contempt of Congress.
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Trumbo"...
- Michael Stevens
The former "Breaking Bad" actor, who appears as blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo ("Roman Holiday," "Spartacus") in director Jay Roach's "Trumbo," spoke to Fandango Movieclips about his favorite movie, "On the Waterfront," as part of its "I Love Movies" video series. "Watch: Bryan Cranston Aims to Beat the Blacklist in New 'Trumbo' Trailer" "Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was a man who cared deeply about workers’ rights, and 'On the Waterfront' was a cautionary tale about how to navigate those choppy waters of employment," Cranston says. "In 'Waterfront,' people were getting persecuted for their political ideals, as Trumbo himself was persecuted and then prosecuted for it." Discussing the film over clips from the gorgeous, black-and-white drama, Cranston focuses on the "honor" woven into the film—of hard work, of standing up for one's beliefs as Trumbo did, and of paying »
- Matt Brennan
The Brave One: Roach Recapitulates Black List Era Hollywood
Examining the past from the safer perspective of our more enlightened period, Jay Roach’s Trumbo is a salutation to famed screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, a man who defied the blacklist following Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunt in Hollywood. Unfortunately the film doesn’t seem worthy of the talented man it’s lionizing. Some might conclude, now more than ever, a remembrance of Trumbo and those brave souls who continue to stand against a corrupt system despite personal losses, are important. But then, one would expect a much more unruly and rebellious film, something harpooning Hollywood’s greedy, superficial sugarcoating rather than just another period send-up. Despite a sympathetic and altogether enjoyable performance from Bryan Cranston, Roach dithers around with a host of stereotypes and clichés, presenting mimicry of cinematic golden days sporting a cavalcade of caricatures not unlike Sacha Gervasi »
- Nicholas Bell
Tom Hardy has made a career playing intense roles, including this summer’s blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road which has an outside shot at a best picture nomination, and this year is shaping up to continue that trend for the British actor.
With this month’s Legend, in which Hardy plays dual roles as identical twin gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray, and a role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in last year’s best director winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s The Revenant this Christmas, Hardy may be looking at his first nomination from the Academy. That may not be an accomplishment the actor aspires too, however, as he described the Oscars to Entertainment Weekly last week, “It’s like putting a wig on a dog, or a tutu on a crocodile. It doesn’t look right, it’s not fair to the animal, and inevitably someone will get bitten and hurt. »
- Patrick Shanley
“Dalton Trumbo was an American patriot, but his defense of our freedom of speech made him a traitor in some people’s eyes,” director Jay Roach says. “One of the great questions that the film asks is how we as a country got to a place where it seemed right to send someone like Trumbo to jail and prevent him from writing.”
A fixture on the Hollywood social scene, and a political activist supporting labor unions, equal pay and civil rights, Trumbo and his colleagues are subpoenaed to testify in front of the »
- Michelle McCue
Most of us love the Trumbo-Douglas-Kubrick thinking man's leftist gladiator epic, and after several iffy disc presentations this exacting digital restoration follows through on the photochemical reconstruction done 25 years ago. It looks incredibly good, almost too good to be a Blu-ray. Kirk contributes a new featurette interview, telling us that this is the show he'll be remembered for. Spartacus Blu-ray + Digital HD Universal Studios Home Entertainment 1960 / Color / 2:20 widescreen / 197 min. / Street Date October 6, 2015 / 19.98 Starring Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Jean Simmons, Peter Ustinov, Tony Curtis, Woody Strode, John Gavin, Nina Foch, Herbert Lom, Charles McGraw, John Ireland, Nick Dennis, John Dall, Herbert Lom, Joanna Barnes, Harold J. Stone, Peter Brocco, John Hoyt, Richard Farnsworth, George Kennedy. Cinematography by Russell Metty Music by Alex North Edited by Robert Lawrence Produced by Kirk Douglas and Edward Lewis Screenplay by Dalton Trumbo Based on the novel by Howard Fast Produced by »
- Glenn Erickson
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