13 items from 2015
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. 1982 is the Best Movie Year Ever. How do I know this? Well, it's not just that it contains an absolutely perfect comedy with the name "My Favorite Year." It's that it contains so many different movies that you could consider the best ever of their particular type. In "E.T.," it has the best kids movie ever (and perhaps Steven Spielberg's best movie ever, depending on your preferred flavor of Spielberg). In "Tootsie," it has perhaps the best movie comedy ever (the AFI ranked "Some Like It Hot" one spot higher in its top 100 comedies list, but since this year also has "Victor/Victoria," I say you combine the two gender-benders to outmuscle Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis). In "Diner," it has the »
- Alan Sepinwall
The Star Wars franchise is going strong 38 years later. But what about the artists and filmmakers who helped make the 1977 original a hit?
In theatres all over the world in 1977, audiences thrilled at the sights and sounds of Star Wars. Harking back to a bygone age of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, it also pointed forward to the coming age of ubiquitous computers and special effects-led blockbusters.
But while the triumphant fanfare of John Williams' score gave Star Wars a confident swagger, its success was far from preordained. George Lucas reworked his script time and again; studios turned his concept down; even the production was rushed and torturous.
By now, the contribution George Lucas, John Williams and Star Wars' cast made to cinema is well documented. But what about some of the other artists, technicians and fellow filmmakers who helped to make the movie such a success? Here's »
Pete Travis, whose credits include “Vantage Point,” “Endgame” and “Dredd,” directs the pic, which Protagonist Pictures will be selling at Cannes. Icon Film Distribution will be releasing the film, which will shoot for six weeks in London, in the U.K. and Ireland next year.
The cast is led by Riz Ahmed (“Nightcrawler,” “Shifty,” “Four Lions”) who plays down-at-heel gumshoe Tommy Akhtar. Piper, who plays Brona Croft in “Penny Dreadful,” and whose credits include “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” and “Doctor Who,” plays Shelley, Akhtar’s long-lost love. The ensemble includes Cush Jumbo (“Josephine and I,” “The Inbetweeners”), James Floyd (“My Brother the Devil,” “Everywhere and Nowhere”) and Roshan Seth (“Indian Summers,” “Gandhi,” “My Beautiful Laundrette”).
The screenplay is written by author Patrick Neate, based »
- Leo Barraclough
Frank Galvin (Paul Newman) is a man who has given up. A once-promising honors graduate of Boston College Law School, partner in one of the city’s most prestigious firms (not to mention married to the daughter of the firm’s founder), Galvin discovered too late that he had the biggest Achilles Heel an attorney can be cursed with: a conscience. Upon learning that another partner in his firm tried to bribe a juror from a case Frank was trying, thinking he’d be helping Frank out, Frank threatened to report him to have him disbarred and prosecuted. So of course, the firm backed Frank, fired the crooked lawyer and made sure he spent many years making license plates at the state pen, while giving Frank a raise and a key to the city. Right?
- The Hollywood Interview.com
This month Alan Rickman's A Little Chaos, Ryan Gosling's Lost River and Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner see these performers make the dizzying leap from actor to director. But in which of their colleagues' footsteps might they follow?
We take a look at six different categories of actor-turned-directors.
Too handsome to be a supporting actor, and lacking the gravitas of a major star, Ben Affleck looked to be heading towards Kilmer-ville before he released Gone Baby Gone, a dark Dennis Lehane thriller he co-wrote and directed, with brother Casey taking the lead. Follow-up The Town proved solid, but his next effort, Argo, was a surprise Best Picture winner. The fact Affleck didn't receive a Director nomination suggests he's not yet been forgiven for the likes of Gigli, but the forthcoming Lehane adaptation Live By Night should fix that.
As an actor, Clint Eastwood's flinty »
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
Having had its premiere over the last weekend at the Berlin Film Festival, the first poster for Terrence Malick’s (Badlands, Tree of Life) new film Knight of Cups has now been revealed by FilmNation Entertainment…
See Also: Watch the first trailer for Knight of Cups
Rick (Bale) is a slave to the Hollywood system. He is addicted to success but simultaneously despairs at the emptiness of his life. He is at home in a world of illusions but seeks real life. Like the tarot card of the title, Rick is easily bored and needs outside stimulation. But the Knight of Cups is also an artist, a romantic and an adventurer.
In Terrence Malick’s seventh film a gliding camera once again accompanies a tormented hero on his search for meaning. Once again a voiceover is laid over images which also seek their own authenticity. And once again Malick seems »
- Scott J. Davis
Oscar winner Ben Kingsley (The Boxtrolls, Iron Man 3) has joined the cast of John Pogue’s (The Quiet Ones) action thriller Wake starring Bruce Willis (Die Hard film franchise), and produced by Michael Benaroya (Lawless, Margin Call), Tobin Armbrust (A Walk Among The Tombstones, Begin Again), David Alpert (upcoming American Ultra, AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’) and Chris Cowles (The Numbers Station, Autobahn).
International Film Trust (Ift) is handling foreign rights to the film, which they are actively selling at the European Film Market. CAA is representing the domestic sales rights.
“Sir Ben is a truly one of a kind talent, with a unique subtlety to his work. He brings characters to life and charges them with emotion and power at just the right moments. He’s a tremendous addition to this cast, I can’t wait to see what he does with Kole, this film’s powerful antagonist, »
- Michelle McCue
By Anjelica Oswald
With Michael Keaton winning the Golden Globe for best actor in a musical or comedy and Eddie Redmayne winning for best actor in a drama, both men continue establishing themselves as the frontrunners in this year’s lead actor race at the Oscars.
Though not new to films, Redmayne starred in Oscar-nominated films such as Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2008) and Les Miserables (2012). His performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, however, propelled him to widespread acclaim and put him on the radar. He is one of four best actor nominees — along with Keaton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Steve Carell — to receive their first nomination this year.
For most of his career, Keaton was known for his comedic roles, such as Mr. Mom (1983) and Beetlejuice (1988), and for his turn as Batman in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). These roles earned Keaton praise and »
- Anjelica Oswald
The 72nd Golden Globe Awards are just days away! With over 30 years of coverage under our belt, we're taking a trip down memory lane back to 1983 -- Et's very first time on the carpet with the winners we still love today.
A frontrunner that night was Steven Spielberg's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, but the scene stealer on the carpet was the adorable 7-year-old Drew Barrymore who loved getting decked out for the big show.
"I think they're very fun!" Barrymore said of awards shows. "I like to get dressed up for them."
Watch: All You Need to Know About the Golden Globes
"I guess the one thing that’s nice about [awards shows] -- is that the people can get up and thank the people that worked on the various projects that aren't in the »
'Selma' movie review: Politically salient in the early 21st century and 'beautiful in all the ways of cinema' (photo: David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. in 'Selma') The title of director Ava DuVernay's historical drama Selma tells us what the film is about, while implying what it isn't about. In other words, Selma is not about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. -- wonderfully played by British actor David Oyelowo -- even though the reverend is the film's gravitational center and its emotional weight accrues to him. Just like what took place in Selma, Alabama, back in 1965. In fact, Oyelowo's presence is as transfixing as that of the young Ben Kingsley in his transformative interpretation of Gandhi in Sir Richard Attenborough's 1982 titular classic about one of Dr. King's inspirational figures. Unlike Gandhi, however, Selma is a single canvas on which a few months in Dr. »
- Tim Cogshell
30. Apollo 13 (1995)
Lost to: Braveheart
In 1995, director Ron Howard brought a true life story of hope in the face of peril and started sweeping up awards. He won the Directors Guild Award. He won the Producers Guild Award. He won the Screen Actors Guild Ensemble Award. He lost the Golden Globe Drama to “Sense and Sensibility,” though he was nominated. Nothing could beat “Apollo 13.” Oscar night came and the Academy decided to hand the award to Mel Gibson’s historical epic about William Wallace, whose only precursor award was a surprise directing win at the Golden Globes. I’m not saying “Apollo 13″ is a greater film than “Braveheart.” It’s just proof that even the mighty may fall if a charismatic actor/director is at the helm.
29. L.A. Confidential (1997)
Lost to: Titanic
- Joshua Gaul
13 items from 2015
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