17 items from 2014
Best British movies of all time? (Image: a young Michael Caine in 'Get Carter') Ten years ago, Get Carter, starring Michael Caine as a dangerous-looking London gangster (see photo above), was selected as the United Kingdom's very best movie of all time according to 25 British film critics polled by Total Film magazine. To say that Mike Hodges' 1971 thriller was a surprising choice would be an understatement. I mean, not a David Lean epic or an early Alfred Hitchcock thriller? What a difference ten years make. On Total Film's 2014 list, published last May, Get Carter was no. 44 among the magazine's Top 50 best British movies of all time. How could that be? Well, first of all, people would be very naive if they took such lists seriously, whether we're talking Total Film, the British Film Institute, or, to keep things British, Sight & Sound magazine. Second, whereas Total Film's 2004 list was the result of a 25-critic consensus, »
- Andre Soares
London – Dakota Fanning starrer “Effie Gray,” which is the first original screenplay written by Emma Thompson, world premieres on Oct. 5 in London, and opens in the U.K. on Oct. 10 through Metrodome Distribution. Variety has been given an exclusive clip from the film. The U.S. distributor is due to be revealed on Oct. 9.
The film, which is directed by Richard Laxton, explores the true story of the relationship between Victorian art critic John Ruskin, his teenage bride, Euphemia “Effie” Gray, and Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais. It reps Fanning’s first adult starring role as Effie.
Other thesps in the film include Thompson (“The Remains of the Day,” “Howards End”), Julie Walters (“Harry Potter”), Tom Sturridge (“On the Road”), David Suchet (“Agatha Christie’s Poirot”) and Greg Wise (“Walking on Sunshine”).
- Leo Barraclough
Sony Pictures Classics is making good on its promise to debut its Toronto acquisition Still Alice this year to qualify the film for an Academy run, announcing this morning that it will open the picture for one week in December on both coasts before releasing the film wider on January 16, 2015.
Spc acquired the Julianne Moore-starring film about a psychologist who faces the early onset of Alzheimer’s this month at the Toronto International Film Festival in what was a low-seven-figure deal from filmmakers Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. Since premiering in Toronto, the film has gotten a fair amount of buzz for Moore who stars in the film with Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, and Kate Bosworth.
The film is based on the novel of the same name by author Lisa Genova and is produced by Marie Savare, Christine Vachon (Killer Films), Maria Shriver, Emilie Georges, Nicholas Shumaker, Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler. »
- Anita Busch
The aristocratic Crawley clan are back and its all going on upstairs, downstairs and in my ladys chamber
Rump of yellow labrador, wagging faithfully towards big cedar and Jacobean-style stately, accompanied by tinkly easy-listening piano and soaring strings. Its back: Downton Abbey (ITV, Sunday), posh soap more Howards Way than Howards End I know, I did that one before, but I like it, Ok? Im plagiarising myself.
She (presumably) the lab is called Isis, unfortunately. Well, the Crawleys werent to know what that would come to mean, 90 years down the road (Downton has now reached 1924). Likewise when they named their (as yet unseen) cat Al Shabaab
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- Sam Wollaston
Emma Thompson discussed her screenwriting process, differences between the genders and her appreciation for Clint Eastwood and Billy Wilder at a BAFTA and BFI screenwriters lecture in London on Saturday night. Eastwood has always been "a great hero" of hers, she said. "I grew up on westerns." Since she grew up watching them with her father every night, she said "I was very much influenced by that form." Speaking at the BFI Southbank location, she recalled when she won an Oscar for her work in Howards End (1992), while Eastwood won for Unforgiven. She said the actor put his
- Georg Szalai
The first Effie Gray trailer for director Richard Laxton’s (Burton and Taylor) significantly delayed period drama has arrived. Written by Emma Thompson, the film is a biopic of Effie Gray (played by Dakota Fanning) that centers on her doomed marriage to art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise) in 1840s London. Despite her beauty, Ruskin didn’t consummate the marriage and the devastate Gray eventually fell in love with Ruskin’s protégé, painter John Everett Milias (Tom Sturridge). Thompson won an Oscar for starring in 1992’s Howards End and another for writing 1995’s Sense and Sensibility, and she returns to the “British Period Drama” genre with Effie Gray. The film looks to be considerably grim and feels slightly reminiscent of the drab and dull Therese, but there is certainly a strong pedigree behind it, so here’s hoping it’s worth the wait. Watch the Effie Gray trailer after the jump. »
- Adam Chitwood
Elisabeth Bergner, who started in German silents went on to a Best Actress Oscar nomination for Escape Me Never (1935)Schweigen a fine collection of 1920s and 1930s postcards of film actors. I loved looking at it despite my Richard Dix aversion. And this postcard left makes me desperate to see Escape Me Never, one of the 30s Best Actress nominations I still haven't seen
Pret-a-Reporter Inside Madonna's 56th birthday bash
THR Cinematography Gordon Willis who died earlier this summer, was memorialized in Hollywood this weekend
Rope of Silicon every death in a Quentin Tarantino movie thus far
- NATHANIEL R
On July 2, Eric Bana stars in Deliver Us From Evil as a New York City street cop who becomes entangled in a case that has ties to the paranormal. Also appearing in the film? Comedian Joel McHale (“Community”). Now, you might be a little hesitant, not knowing why Bana and McHale have been thrown together for a horror flick, but Bana and McHale have more in common than you’d think. For starters, both Bana and McHale have a well-developed funny bone.
- Rachel West and Sasha James
Sony Pictures Classics honchos Michael Barker and Tom Bernard have been feted up one side and down the other lately. The duo celebrated 20 years of Spc in 2012 and have received awards from the Museum of the Moving Image and the Gotham Awards as of late. Tonight they will receive the Los Angeles Film Festival's Spirit of Independence Award as the love keeps pouring in. Given that we recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of Fox Searchlight — another crucial entity in the indie film space — it seemed like we were over due for a similar appreciation of Sony Classics' 22 years of output. The interesting thing, though, is that unlike Searchlight, there isn't necessarily anything outwardly identifiable about Sony Classics films as, well, "Sony Classics films." They all have a strong whiff of good taste but they don't have the heavy marketing footprint of some of the studio's contemporaries. Barker and Bernard's cinephile passion is always evident, »
- Gregory Ellwood, Guy Lodge, Kristopher Tapley
Any readers who have been with us since 2011 (when it topped Kris' Top 10 list and nearly did mine) will know that we at In Contention are paid-up members of Team "Margaret" -- the brilliant, troubled Kenneth Lonergan drama that trickled into theaters three years ago, six years after it began production. Critical acclaim (including a Best Actress win from the London Film Critics' Circle), social-media campaigning and the eventual DVD release of Lonergan's own cut marked a tentatively happy ending for a film plagued by post-production disputes. But its legal problems only ended this year, as producer and financier Gary Gilbert made a request for his lawsuit against Lonergan to be dismissed. The Hollywood Reporter offers a fairly detailed breakdown of the misbegotten case's history. In a nutshell, things kicked off when Fox Searchlight billed Gilbert's company, Camelot Pictures, for $6.2 million in 2008, after accepting Lonergan's already long-delayed edit; when Gilbert didn't pay up, »
- Guy Lodge
Fresh from a triumph in New York, one of our most extravagantly talented stars will soon unveil one of her most cherished projects to date, Effie, a film about John Ruskin – lawyers permitting.
Picture gallery here
It was only a matter of time until the BBC broadcast images of Emma Thompson's downstairs lavatory. The combination of her larky sense of humour and love of a theatrical flourish made it somehow inevitable. And so last month it came to pass. The actress, having been overlooked for an Oscar nomination, was televised at her home receiving a "Mark"; a golden statuette in the likeness of the Observer's film critic, which was offered in recognition of her screen portrayal of the author of Mary Poppins, Pamela Travers.
She was, Kermode said, "sheer perfection in the complex role of 'Mrs Pl', never allowing the author to descend into crotchety caricature, constantly suggesting a »
- Vanessa Thorpe
British actor plays Mrs Lovett alongside Bryn Terfel for just five performances at the Avery Fisher Hall
Emma Thompson has made her New York stage debut to critical acclaim but it will be over in a flash – there will be only five performances of her playing London's worst piemaker .
She plays Mrs Lovett and when she began the run on Wednesday she was following in some impressive footsteps. Angela Lansbury won a Tony after originating the role in 1979 and the character has been played in the West End by Sheila Hancock, Julia McKenzie and in 2012, Imelda Staunton.
So how did she do? Writing for the Guardian, Kayla Epstein said Thompson "not only held her own against more experienced vocalists, »
- Mark Brown
Exclusive: Wme has signed Kenneth Lonergan, the screenwriter, director and playwright who was Oscar nominated for You Can Count On Me. Lonergan, who had been with CAA, just took meetings and Wme brought him into the agency fold. Lonergan made his first foray into TV with a miniseries adaptation of the E.M. Forster novel Howards End for BBC. His other credits include co-writing Gangs Of New York, which also got him an Oscar nomination. He continues to be lawyered by Jackoway Tyerman. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks ‘snubbed’: Oscar nominations 2014 (photo: Emma Thompson in ‘Saving Mr. Banks’) The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences uses the preferential voting system to select the nominees in the various Academy Award categories and — pre-1944, post-2009 — the Best Picture Oscar winners. When it comes to the nominations, that means an ardent minority has a good chance of selecting a nominee, whereas a widely popular — but not ardently popular — choice may be left out of the Oscar shortlist. Oscar 2014 non-nominees Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson likely had their names listed on numerous (perhaps even on a wide majority) of ballots; Hanks for Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips, Thompson for John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks. But if in most instances they weren’t listed at or very near the top, they’d have little chance of earning a nomination, especially if there was an — even »
- Anna Robinson
The bad news from having such a great year at the movies is the inevitable disappointments on Oscar nominations morning–there wasn’t enough room for everybody.
But Thursday morning’s nomination announcement was especially tough on the legends. No Oprah Winfrey for “The Butler”? No Emma Thompson for “Saving Mr. Banks”? No Robert Redford in “All Is Lost”? No Tom Hanks in “Captain Phillips”? And no posthumous nomination for James Gandolfini in “Enough Said”?
Oscars: Complete List of Nominees
The Academy forgot to nominate some of its most Academy-friendly stars, which speaks to a shifting tide in an organization trying to become younger and hipper. At least Leonardo DiCaprio, for once, wasn’t left off the Oscars list for “The Wolf of Wall Street.” And Harvey Weinstein managed to keep his best picture streak alive–he’s been nominated in the category every year since 2008’s “The Reader”–by sneaking in “Philomena. »
- Ramin Setoodeh
With Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine"), Sandra Bullock ("Gravity"), Judi Dench ("Philomena"), Emma Thompson ("Saving Mr. Banks") and Meryl Streep ("August: Osage County") currently ranking as our top five contenders here for Best Actress, we could end up seeing the first-ever lineup of nominees in a female acting category consisting solely of previous Oscar champs. Blanchett won for "The Aviator" (2004, Supporting Actress); Bullock prevailed for "The Blind Side" (2009, Actress); Dench for "Shakespeare in Love" (1998, Supporting Actress); Thompson for "Howards End" (1992, Actress) and an additional win in writing for "Sense and Sensibility" (1995, Adapted Screenplay); while Streep has taken home three acting wins: "Kramer vs. Kramer" (1979, Supporting A »
Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Actress (photo: Meryl Streep in ‘August: Osage County’) (See also: "Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Actor.") Compared to the vibrant Best Actor field, the 2014 Academy Awards’ Best Actress category looks somewhat anemic. Not in terms of quality, but in terms of quantity. Whereas ten actors could be called strong competitors for the Oscar 2014 shortlist, only five actresses can be considered truly strong candidates for this year’s Best Actress shortlist. Besides these five, there are three unlikely runners-up and a handful of long shots — and we mean "long" as in "light-years-away long." Note: Exact SAG Award and Academy Award matches are actually less common than you might think for the reasons mentioned in our previous Oscar 2014 predictions post (see link in the paragraph above). For instance, last year Marion Cotillard and Helen Mirren were both shortlisted for the Best Actress SAG Awards for, respectively, Jacques Audiard’s »
- Steve Montgomery
17 items from 2014
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