11 items from 2015
The image of Helen Hunt determinedly trying to climb onto a surfboard — looking clumsy, tired and frustrated, yet refusing to accept defeat — is irresistible enough to offset some of the more wobbly missteps in “Ride,” an alternately endearing and exasperating dramedy that represents the actress’s first directorial outing in the eight years since “Then She Found Me.” Warm and engaging when it focuses on Hunt as an uptight New Yorker learning to mellow out on the beaches of Los Angeles, the film turns gratingly forced whenever her naive, angsty son steps into the frame, occasioning so much shrill, self-involved mother-son bickering you long for a tidal wave to come along and sweep them both out to sea. Fortunately, calmer waters ultimately prevail, and with its calculated, crowd-pleasing elements, this labor-of-love effort should earn some fans as it makes its way through the distribution pipelines.
The first scene in “Ride »
- Justin Chang
Let's hope Jack Nicholson has a pleasant birthday on Wednesday, or at least a less disturbing one than the birthday when pal Hunter S. Thompson showed up outside his house, turned on a spotlight, blasted a recording of a pig being eaten alive by bears, fired several rounds from his 9mm pistol, and (when the terrified actor and his kids refused to open the door) left an elk's heart on the doorstep.
Nicholson turns 78 on April 22, and even though he hasn't been in a movie for five years, he still looms large in our collective imaginations. Younger viewers know him from his flamboyant performances in "The Departed," "The Bucket List," "Something's Gotta Give," and "Anger Management," but his older films remain ubiquitous on TV as well, including "As Good as It Gets," "A Few Good Men," "Batman," "The Witches of Eastwick," "Terms of Endearment," "The Shining," and "Chinatown." A late bloomer, »
- Gary Susman
Pic is produced by Borderline Films, the company behind “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” and turns on James White, a troubled twenty-something whose hedonistic lifestyle in New York City gets turned upside down after his mother starts battling a serious illness.
Variety’s Brent Lang described “James White” as the “anti-‘Terms of Endearment.” “In Hollywood movies, death is often a beatific experience. In ‘James White,’ the edgy indie drama from Josh Mond, it’s filled with night sweats, moments of incontinence, hallucinations, and a few moments of grace,” wrote Lang.
“We saw the film in Sundance and fell in »
- Elsa Keslassy
Last year’s indie upstart Whiplash, which premiered at Sundance, banked three Academy Awards this February, including one for the compulsively-watchable powerhouse performance by J.K. Simmons as conservatory conductor Terence Fletcher.
Quebec native François Girard has already retraced the first few steps made by Whiplash director Damien Chazelle; His next film, Boychoir, played the festival circuit, starting with September’s Toronto International Film Festival, and his music conservatory-set film also features a noted portrayer of antiheroes – this time Dustin Hoffman – as the conductor.
Girard’s 1998 film The Red Violin, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Canada’s own Colm Feore, netted an Academy Award win for Best Original Score. Though The Red Violin’s seventy-seven-year-old composer John Corigliano won’t be reteaming with Girard for Boychoir, we »
- Sasha James
By Anjelica Oswald
At Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, Julianne Moore could join the ranks of 10 actors and actresses who have had five or more acting nominations before their first win.
Moore earned her fifth nomination for her portrayal of a professor suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice, based on Lisa Genova‘s 2007 novel of the same name. She was first nominated in 1998 for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights.
In Academy history, five actors and actresses have won their first Oscar on their fifth nomination.
Gregory Peck, who was first nominated in 1946 for The Keys of the Kingdom, didn’t win until 1962 for To Kill a Mockingbird. Five years later, Peck was awarded The Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
- Anjelica Oswald
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
Hailed as “the most exhilarating film this century”, director Christopher Nolan’s “must-see masterpiece” (New York Post) Interstellar makes its highly anticipated debut on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand March 31, 2015, from Paramount Home Media Distribution.
The film arrives two weeks early on Digital HD March 17, 2015.
A breathtaking filmmaking achievement, Interstellar has been named one of the Top Ten movies of the year by Rolling Stone, Esquire, theNew York Post and more, and has received five Academy Award nominations including Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Original Score. Academy Award-winner Matthew McConaughey1 stars as ex-pilot-turned-farmer Cooper, who must leave his family and a foundering Earth behind to lead an expedition traveling beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars. The film also stars Academy Award-winners Anne Hathaway2 and Michael Caine3 and Academy Award-nominees Jessica Chastain4 and »
- Michelle McCue
In Hollywood movies, death is often a beatific experience. In “James White,” the edgy indie drama from Josh Mond, it’s filled with night sweats, moments of incontinence, hallucinations, and a few moments of grace.
“I wanted it to be as real as possible,” said Mond.
The film premieres at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it hopes to secure distribution.
“My mom died of cancer and good friends of mine died of AIDS,” said Nixon. “I feel it’s kind of like when you have children and they’re growing up. Every kid is different, but you recognize the stages and this script did a good job of depicting the stages of dying.”
Mond said »
- Brent Lang
Some actors struggle their entire career to land that one iconic or important role—the role that ultimately defines their career and marks their legacy. For John Lithgow, his 42-year career has been filled a number of notable parts, including prominent TV characters on 3rd Rock from the Sun and Dexter and two Oscar-nominated supporting roles in Terms of Endearment and The World According to Garp. But it’s Love Is Strange that the 69-year-old says is his best film role he’s ever had.
In what Lithgow describes as a modest indie film, Love Is Strange tells the story of Ben and George, an older, recently married gay couple forced to live apart after losing their New York apartment. The Ira Sachs-directed film, while not a box office hit, became a favorite among critics and even earned Lithgow his first Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Male Lead. The film also »
What's old is new again thanks to Netflix's massive collection of iconic movies. Now that you've relived all your '90s favorites, it's time to take a trip back to the outrageous, materialistic, and Lol-worthy '80s. The movie-streaming service has no shortage of coming-of-age classics, including Brat Pack staples The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. And then there's Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which, to this day, gives you the thrill of skipping school like a badass. If, however, you like movies that'll bring on the waterworks, look no further than a proven tearjerker like Terms of Endearment. That's just the beginning - scroll through to discover all the '80s treasures waiting for a spot in your queue. »
11 items from 2015
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