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This story first appeared in the Feb. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Leading actor and actress nominees: Steve Carell, Foxcatcher Carell, 52, has wrapped the indie drama Freeheld, starring Julianne Moore, and next shoots The Big Short with Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale. He also is executive producing the TBS comedy series Angie Tribeca, starring Rashida Jones. Bradley Cooper, American Sniper He'll reunite with Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell and star Jennifer Lawrence for Joy in March. After Cooper, 40, performs The Elephant Man onstage this summer in London, he will produce and possibly
- Rebecca Ford and Borys Kit
Jose here for a special weekend edition of Stage Door, starring one of our Best Actor nominees...
The stage directions for Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man strictly call for “no prosthetic makeup” to be worn by the actor playing the severely deformed character of Joseph Merrick. It's only during a scene in which surgeon Frederick Treves explains to the audience what his deformities consisted of, that we get to see the actor playing Merrick become “the Elephant Man”.
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
Having helped to drum up a lot of box-office business and several Oscar nominations for American Sniper, Bradley Cooper is looking to stay in league with Warner Bros.. The studio is now in talks to buy up the film rights to Gregg Hurwitz’s new book thriller Orphan X for the actor to produce and potentially star in. Hurwitz’s book is still a year away from shelves, and will tell the story if a man named Evan Smoak, a Jack Reacher-type “Nowhere Man” who travels around helping other people, often by getting punchy. His latest job draws him into a dark world of human slavery run by a corrupt Los Angeles Police Department detective. The writer, who has several books, comics and TV scripting experience on his CV, will step up to adapt the tome.Cooper may end up starring as Smoak and will definitely produce the film »
David Lynch’s 1980 film The Elephant Man was his first successful wide release, and the first film to garner him an Oscar nomination for Best Director. Join us as we discuss how his choices as director made this film a standout.
The 1970’s and 1980’s were a time when directors really started exploring new territory, as far as, what film could be and where it could go. While visionaries, such as, Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis explored ways to expand the appeal of film across generations, and make those films exciting and adventurous, other filmmakers such as David Cronenberg and David Lynch revealed something darker, more mysterious and unexpected. Lynch’s debut, Eraserhead was so bizarre and shocking, yet artistic and innovative at the time of its release, that it caught the eye of many directors and producers in Hollywood. They were intrigued by Lynch’s potential and he was »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
Yes, Birdman is for real. If there was any lingering doubt that industry awards voters are dead serious about honoring a movie that is about a lot of things but especially about themselves, the DGA’s top honor erased those questions. Now after triumphing at the PGA, winning the SAG Ensemble Cast prize and DGA Directorial Achievement Award for Alejandro G. Inarritu this movie has flown past the competition and left what was thought to be a front runner, Boyhood, in its dust. It’s an important moment for the film as its victory occurred on the very weekend Oscar balloting begins.
The Boyhood momentum was created by critics and pundits based on its sweep through the critics portion of the season where it pulled a Social Network by winning everything right thru the Golden Globes for 2010, only to be trounced by The King’s Speech once the Guild prizes started rolling in. »
- Pete Hammond
Medallions were presented to all five feature film directors (who participated in a symposium earlier Saturday), as "American Sniper" star Bradley Cooper took time off from playing "The Elephant Man" to present to 84-year-old Clint Eastwood, who earned a rousing standing ovation. He did a solid Eastwood imitation, describing the director kneeling down in the dirt with a hand-held camera for a tricky shot and asking bulky Cooper to jump over him, kicking up dust. Eastwood laughed. He didn't win the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, though--that went to Ag Iñárritu for "Birdman," the second Mexican in a year to win--Alfonso Cuarón handed his amigo the prize. He won last year for "Gravity--and went on to win the Oscar. That could happen again. The DGA winner often presages Best Picture, too. "Birdman" also took home the PGA and SAG ensemble awards and is »
- Anne Thompson
Laika (Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls) is bringing an insanely-inventive short film, The Alchemist’s Letter, and this is a trailer you have to see. You aren’t going to get that much, but it already looks so good that it will have you begging for more.
Given what we’ve seen come out of the studio, you have to think that there is a great story to offer here as well, and this looks like a short that could expand the abilities and delivery of the medium in much the way that Pixar‘s forced-view effort has.
Get the info below, and check this trailer out.
Pixel Veil Productions Release Trailer For Animated Short Film, The Alchemist’S Letter New Dark Fairy Tale Narrated by Academy Award-Nominated John Hurt Takes Viewers on Richly Inventive Journey Through the Power of a Person’s Memories
Today, Pixel Veil Productions debuted the trailer »
- Marc Eastman
While most of the press corps fire questions at the Oscar nominees one by one in the interview room at the Beverly Hilton (our coverage here), a few of us Oscar watchers get to go inside the lunch. As we walk into the hotel, there's a lottery selecting which table we get to sit at--the nominees, Academy governors and seven former presidents as well as a few luminaries are scattered around the room, such as Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and Disney's master Academy Museum fundraiser Robert Iger. (AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs reminded that the museum is set to open in 2017.) Last year I scored a spot next to the late-arriving Martin Scorsese (hog heaven); this year I'm charmed by the delightful "Birdman" star Emma Stone, who has been clocking many hours on cross-continental flights while she stars as Sally Bowles in "Cabaret" on Broadway. She and fellow Broadway Baby, »
- Anne Thompson
One of the best events of the year, the annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon ran nearly three hours today at the Beverly Hilton. But it looked to me that no one wanted to leave when it ended. The mingling factor here, both during cocktail hour and when it was done, was epidemic. Next to the AFI Awards Luncheon, this is the one event surrounding the awards-season circus that actually is civilized and where everyone is a winner. More than 150 nominees from sound editors to superstars were democratically spread throughout the Hilton’s large ballroom as the Oscar show’s marketing slogan — “Imagine What’s Possible” — for the February 22 ABC broadcast was flashed on large screens over the stage. You have to think that that these contenders believe anything is possible, and just in case, they’d better start working on those 45-second acceptance speeches. And the importance of an appearance here can’t be underestimated, »
- Pete Hammond
Beverly Hills — This year's Oscar-nominated actors and filmmakers convened at the Beverly Hills Hotel Monday afternoon for the Academy's annual Nominees Luncheon. It's a unique event that often finds a number of talented circuit staples in the same room for the first time as relationships are rekindled, new ones are forged and the reality of Oscar dreams really begins to crystallize. Take "Whiplash" writer/director Damien Chazelle, for instance, nominated for his screenplay. Here is a young man who was an Oscar geek for years, following the race annually, reading sites like In Contention (he was a big fan of the Oscar Talk podcast and skewered me over the weekend for folding it). Now he's standing on a set of risers next to Oprah Winfrey as…an Oscar nominee. His mind must have been blown. "Song of the Sea" director Tomm Moore, nominated for Best Animated Feature Film, was grinning »
- Kristopher Tapley
Exclusive: It’s tempting to say that Alessandro Nivola lives a charmed life, and that might be true if he weren’t working so hard. He’s Zelig in plain sight: At this moment in time you can see him in Selma as Justice Department civil rights lawyer John Doar, who would become the lead prosecutor in the government’s case against the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. And you can see him on the other side of the mirror, as a mobbed-up oil distributor and bete noir of Oscar Isaacs in A Most Violent Year. He played another nemesis, FBI agent Anthony Amado, on the trail of Bradley Cooper in American Hustle. And he’s still batting it around with Cooper, but now on Broadway, where he plays Frederick Treves, the humanistic doctor who rescues Cooper’s John Merrick – Aka the Elephant Man – from life in a freak show booth. »
- Jeremy Gerard
“It’s the casting in a movie that puts you halfway home,” he explained of the Iraq War drama, adding that Cooper made a major effort to bulk up by 40 pounds during pre-production.
“Bradley was constantly eating — 8,000 calories a day,” Eastwood said, also noting that the actor subsequently slimmed down for his Broadway performance in “The Elephant Man.”
Eastwood said he and Cooper met with the family of Chris Kyle, the Navy Seal portrayed by Cooper, in order to be able to depict the war’s impact on the home front — which the director also did in his 2007 WWII film “Letters From Iwo Jima.”
“The biggest antiwar statement is what it does to the families left behind,” Eastwood said.
The event, held at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, »
- Dave McNary
Actress behind Fox soap’s Cookie grossly misunderstands the prize
The actress joined Jimmy Fallon and Ryan Seacrest for a competitive game of charades on Friday’s “Tonight Show,” where she pretty much single-handedly won the thing for her and teammate Tariq of house band The Roots. By TheWrap‘s count, however, there’s a bit of an asterisk next to that “win.”
Henson was playing for something bigger than pride: The actress thought the prize was $120,000 dollars, »
- Tony Maglio
He’s currently wowing Broadway with his portrayal of Joseph Merrick in The Elephant Man, and the production looks set to light up London’s West End in May. The three-time Academy Award nominee will appear at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from May 19th to Aug. 8th of this year.
“Never did we think we would have the privilege to perform this show on Broadway, let alone in London,” Cooper said to the press. “I’m honoured that Alessandro, Patricia, the entire company and I have the opportunity to continue to tell his story.”
The play’s New York run ends on the 21st February, just a day before Cooper attends the Academy Awards in Los Angeles where he is nominated in the Best Actor category for American Sniper.
Source: Daily Mail »
- Paul Heath
The Massachusetts summer festival that launched Austin Pendleton, Christopher Reeve, and the current Broadway production of “The Elephant Man” into the theatrical stratosphere is now accepting applications to its renowned apprenticeship program. Nestled in the scenic Berkshires, the Tony-winning Williamstown Theatre Festival puts early-career actors and artists through the wringer from June–August, immersing them in the vigorous world of professional theater among some of the best. If you’re looking for hands-on training and networking opportunities, you have until March 15 to make this summer one to remember. Apprentices are critical to both the festival’s logistical operations and its philosophy, explained artistic director Mandy Greenfield. Williamstown Theatre Festival is “in many instances the steppingstone between their education and their early experiences in the professional arena—into the fire, the hot seat, the real belly of the theater scene.” Because apprentices are doing everything from building sets and hanging lights »
The vast column inches and pixels dedicated to Clint Eastwood's American Sniper of late may have questioned its celebratory portrayal of a man who took hundreds of lives and how it racked up an astonishing $90 million box office debut, but one aspect of the film's fallout has been overlooked entirely: Bradley Cooper is now a bona fide A-list movie star.
American Sniper's financial records keep stacking up. Best ever three-day opening for a Best Picture Oscar nominee, biggest ever January opening, an IMAX bow that beats 2012 blockbuster Prometheus and a career best for its 84-year-old director.
All this is vindication for Cooper, who picked up the film rights to Navy Seal sharp-shooter Chris Kyle's memoir in 2012 with a view to producing a film starring Chris Pratt in the lead role. Warner Bros backed the project on the proviso that Cooper himself play Kyle, while the star's Silver Linings Playbook »
Will “American Sniper’s” gargantuan box office make it a surprise favorite at the Oscars? The Clint Eastwood drama about Navy Seal Chris Kyle is peaking just days before voters are about to receive their ballots on Feb. 6. Over the long weekend, the Warner Bros. release made an estimated $105.3 million — already more than any of the other best picture nominees.
The Academy is often stubbornly immune to popular sentiment; “Avatar,” after all, lost to “The Hurt Locker” in 2010. And for that reason, I still think “Boyhood” is going to win best picture. It’s the frontrunner that’s picked up nearly every precursor award, and “Sniper” missed out on a crucial directing nomination for Eastwood. Only four films in Academy history (including 2012’s “Argo”) won picture without a director nomination.
- Ramin Setoodeh
Heartland heat, Oscar buzz and star Bradley Cooper give the Iraq War saga extra ammo
The electrifying $90.2 million wide opening of “American Sniper” – shattering records for the best January openings by tens of millions of dollars — stunned box office analysts and even distributor Warner Bros. Sunday.
The Clint Eastwood-directed Iraq War saga starring Bradley Cooper was on pace to top $100 million over the four-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend, uncharted territory for a movie at this time of year. It was »
- Todd Cunningham
Broadway played a starring role in the 2015 Academy Awards nominations — just as two nominees are playing starring roles on Broadway.
Both Bradley Cooper, nominated for best actor for “American Sniper,” and Emma Stone, tapped for supporting actress in “Birdman,” are currently playing eight performances a week on Broadway stages. Cooper’s headlining the strong-selling revival of “The Elephant Man” through Feb. 21, while Stone is amping up sales at the revival of “Cabaret,” which she’ll exit Feb. 15.
And Broadway, of course, plays a major part in “Birdman,” in which Michael Keaton’s character tries to resuscitate his acting career by writing, directing and starring in a Main Stem play. Filmmakers of “Birdman” — currently celebrating the movie’s nine noms, including best picture — camped out in Broadway’s St. James Theater for weeks in order to film the feature and also shot a couple of important scenes in theater district hangout Rum House. »
- Gordon Cox
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