17 items from 2014
Grandeur often rules the day in Best Production Design, which awards the men and women responsible for a movie's set design and construction. The category typically favors period pieces, though at least one fantasy title tends to find a home every year. It is rare for truly contemporary films to be nominated. However, the category is more open to fantasy and contemporary pieces than its cousin Best Costume Design. (Last year was the first year the costume designers had their own branch, but no easily discernible new trends could be observed in my opinion.) Recent years have also suggested openness to CGI-complemented work ("Life of Pi" and "Gravity" immediately jump to mind). On that note, it's worth mentioning that the Art Directors Guild has implemented a new rule somewhat under the radar for its precursor awards this season. According to the new provision, period films must now have the majority »
- Gerard Kennedy
By Anjelica Oswald
Oscar buzz continues to follow Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher after its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May and its screenings at various film festivals, including the Telluride, Toronto and New York film fests. The film is set to close AFI Fest Thursday and open in Theaters on Friday. Sony Pictures Classics will be pushing for three of its stars to land Oscar nominations: Channing Tatum and Steve Carell for lead actor and Mark Ruffalo for supporting. If the film was to score all three nominations, it would be one of 15 films to land that many actor nominations and the first film since 1991’s Bugsy.
The biographical crime drama about Benjamin Siegel, the infamous gangster known as Bugsy, landed Warren Beatty a lead actor nomination for his role as Bugsy and supporting actor nominations for Harvey Keitel and Ben Kingsley. None of the actors won. »
- Anjelica Oswald
London — Camerimage Film Festival, which is dedicated to the art of cinematography, is to open with Gala Screenings of “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” and “The Imitation Game” on Nov. 15.
The director of photography on “Birdman,” which is directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu, is Emmanuel Lubezki, who won an Oscar with “Gravity,” and was Oscar nommed for five other films, most recently for “The Tree of Life.”
“Birdman” is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) famous for portraying an iconic superhero as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to save his family, his career, and himself.
- Leo Barraclough
With only six presumed major contenders yet to be screened by these eyes (Unbroken, Big Eyes, Into the Woods, A Most Violent Year, Selma, American Sniper) it's awfully late in the year for there to be so little in the way of clues as to what the full Supporting Actor lineup might look like. In a more competitive year Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), and Edward Norton (Birdman) probably wouldn't seem like cast iron locks in October. But they do.
In the fantasy world inside my head, the Academy board of governors throws up their hands and admits defeat, making a special ruling that from this day forward there will be 7 Supporting Actress nominees each year and only 3 Supporting Actors because everyone knows that's the »
- NATHANIEL R
Somehow I haven't gotten around to talking to legendary costume designer Albert Wolsky in my time, but "Birdman" presented the opportunity and here we are. With seven Oscar nominations and two wins, Wolsky is one of the titans, with a legacy on both stage and screen. Alejandro González Iñárritu's latest, then, was a fascinating project for him in that it bridged the gap between those two disciplines. But as Wolsky says in the lengthy interview below, the work in movies like this is "invisible." By design, of course, but often that leads to a lack of appreciation for what goes into outfitting a movie like this. Nevertheless, Wolsky has tried his hand at a number of extravagant productions in his day, so of course we carved out plenty of time to talk about some of those. From Bob Fosse's "Lenny" and "All That Jazz" to Sam Mendes' »
- Kristopher Tapley
Today we have a new trailer for the upcoming "The Humbling," which is directed by Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Bugsy, Wag the Dog) and star Al Pacino, Greta Gerwig, Kyra Sedgwick and Charles Grodin. Check it out below. Plot: A story set on a farm in upstate New York and centers on the sexual relationship between an aged, suicidal actor and a younger woman. Based on a novel by Philip Roth. The new movie already appeared at the Venice Film Festival and at the Toronto Film Festival. It will be released in select theaters and on VOD on January 23rd, 2015. Trailer: »
NBC announced the Jennifer Lopez drama "Shades of Blue" back in February, revealing that the police procedural had received a 13-episode direct-to-series order for the 2015-16 season. That was an impressive piece of longterm planning from the network, which was months from ending the 2013-14 season and only in the early phases of plotting its schedule for the 2014-15 season. Given the foresight of the announcement, it's not surprising that nobody has really said much about "Shades of Blue" for the past eight months, which made it a pleasant surprise to get Monday's (October 6) release saying that not only does NBC remember that "Shades of Blue" exists, but a director has been hired, an Oscar and Emmy winner at that. Per NBC, Barry Levinson will direct the "Shades of Blue" pilot and will serve as executive producer. Levinson will also "be hands-on and participate in the development process," which is »
- Daniel Fienberg
NBC has enlisted an Oscar winner to direct and exec produce its upcoming Jennifer Lopez drama Shades of Blue. Barry Levinson, who took home the Academy Award for directing Rain Man, will helm the pilot and exec produce the 13-episode drama series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Levinson, whose credits also include Academy Award nominations for his work on Bugsy, Avalon and Diner, will have a hands-on role in developing the series. Read more Jennifer Lopez Drama Ordered Straight to Series at NBC Shades of Blue centers on Harlee McCord (Lopez), a single mother and dirty cop recruited
- Lesley Goldberg
By Anjelica Oswald
The 87th Academy Awards could see a collection of familiar names in the costume design category, from Oscar winner and 10-time nominee Colleen Atwood to one-time nominee Michael Wilkinson. When It comes down to securing nominations for costumes, it doesn’t matter how well the film has fared in other Oscar categories. Films such as Jane Eyre (2011), Mirror Mirror (2012) and The Invisible Woman (2013) were only nominated for costume design.
Atwood could receive nominations for Disney’s Into the Woods and Tim Burton’s Big Eyes during the upcoming awards cycle. Of her 10 nominations to date, she’s won three: best picture winner Chicago (2002), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) and Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010). Atwood has designed the costumes for nine of Burton’s films: Edward Scissorhands (1990), Ed Wood (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Planet of the Apes (2001), Big Fish (2003), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Alice in Wonderland »
- Anjelica Oswald
Has Bugsy Siegel's killer finally been identified? According to an article in October's Los Angeles Magazine, the killer behind the grisly 1947 murder of the feared gangster, who was instrumental in the creation of the Las Vegas Strip, wasn't a mobster hit man. Rather, the man who reportedly pulled the trigger on Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel - famously played by Warren Beatty in the 1991 film Bugsy - was a Slavic truck driver and crane operator named Mathew "Moose" Pandza, who was the lover of the wife of Siegel's best friend and mob partner Moe Sedway. "It's a love story," explained Sedway's son Robbie, »
- Johnny Dodd, @Johnny_Dodd
Today we have the trailer for the upcoming "The Humbling," which is directed by Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Bugsy, Wag the Dog) and star Al Pacino, Greta Gerwig, Kyra Sedgwick and Charles Grodin. Check it out below. Plot: A story set on a farm in upstate New York and centers on the sexual relationship between an aged, suicidal actor and a younger woman. Based on a novel by Philip Roth. The new movie just premiered at the Venice Film Festival and will have its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival later this month. Trailer: »
The 50-year-old actor was wearing a balding wig cap, fake teeth, a blue open shirt with a gold chain, and a black leather jacket as he shot the film's final scenes in Lynn, Massachusetts.
The Scott Cooper-directed crime drama is due for release in cinemas on September 18, 2015.
Bulger spent 16 years at large and 12 years on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list before he was arrested in June 2011, aged 81. Prosecutors indicted him for 19 murders and he is currently serving two life terms.
Here are 9 other actors morphing into some of the world's most notorious real-life gangsters below: »
The companies have hired the writing team of Stephen Rivele and Chris Wilkinson, whose credits include “Ali” and “Nixon,” to rewrite the script. The project is a true story-thriller about a Us spy recruited by the Chinese to infiltrate Japanese intelligence in 1938.
“China Black Chamber” was announced in September as the first project in Fundamental Films’ plan to co-produce a slate of English-language themed movies, casting a combination of top Chinese and U.S. talent as part of its strategy of making commercial European and American films with budgets upwards of $20 million.
- Dave McNary
I haven't forgotten about the Oscar charts. This first installment is the most time-consuming is all, as it sets the templates up for an entire years worth of handwringing and hiearchy juggling. With this latest update we only have the "big eight" categories left to do (minus actor & supporting actress which we've already surveyed). But here are a few thoughts on new charts that are up...
I perhaps overstate the music branch's love for their favorite sons each year. It's not that that love isn't evident each year (stop to consider how many composers, for example, have 8 or more nominations and how rare that is in many other fields) it's that Hollywood's favorite composers are quite prolific so, John Williams & Alexandre Desplat aside (who never miss for a nomination) aside, there's no guarantee that any »
- NATHANIEL R
As much as we talk about the stats and trends of the Oscars, each year of the awards seems to present us with a new piece of history. This year, Dallas Buyers Club could make history as the first film to win both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in a film that did not receive a Best Director nomination. While Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto seem to be locked into their wins, this did provide an interesting jumping off point to look at the recent history of this category.
Here are the films in the past 25 years that have managed a Best Actor and Supporting Actor nomination:
1989: Driving Ms. Daisy – Morgan Freeman and Dan Ackroyd
1993: Schindler’s »
- Terence Johnson
Barry Levinson, the man behind Good Morning, Vietnam, Rain Man, Bugsy and more, last directed the dull found footage thriller The Bay. The film had its supporters, but trust me, it wasn't any good. Since then he's been attached to the Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass, which I featured on my list of most anticipated films of 2014 and again this morning in my list of book adaptations heading to the screen this year. Well, scratch any hope of it hitting theaters this year and it appears scratch any hope of Levinson directing. Levinson's film was expected to feature Joel Edgerton while Johnny Depp as original slated to star, but then bounced, allegedly over money. Rumors of Depp bouncing on the project and off again persisted, but it seems the camel's back has broken. A new report from Deadline suggests Levinson is off the project, Depp may actually be back on and Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, »
- Brad Brevet
Since 1988, there have been 30 instances where the actor and supporting actor for the same film were nominated. This year, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are hoping to make it 31 films as both are in contention for Oscar nominations. With that, I decided to take a look at the past 25 years in Oscar to see what might bear out this year for these actors.
List of Films with Actor and Supporting Actor Nominations
1989: Driving Ms. Daisy – Morgan Freeman and Dan Akroyd
Oscar Fate: 9 nominations/4 wins (Picture, Actress, Adapted Screenplay and Makeup)
Oscar Fate: 10 nominations/2 wins (Art Direction, Costume Design)
Oscar Fate: 9 nominations/4 wins (Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, and Film Editing)
Oscar Fate: 6 nominations/1 win (Original Screenplay)
1993: Schindler’s List »
- Terence Johnson
17 items from 2014
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