1-20 of 62 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
When people are asked what Best Picture Oscar races resulted in the wrong film winning over another, two in the past twenty years immediately come to mind. The first was in 1999 when "Shakespeare in Love" beat "Saving Private Ryan" for the gong.
The second and arguably more incredulous though was 2006 when Paul Haggis' racial drama "Crash" beat out Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain" for the honor. On the tenth anniversary of the film's release, Lee and producer James Schamus talked to Variety about the making of the film and Schamus explained how he thinks the loss simply came down to the Academy playing it safe:
"You could sense the lack of excitement in Hollywood after the 847th trophy was picked up, and I could tell that a lot of folks felt there was a safe political narrative (with 'Crash'). The day the Oscar ballots closed, I gathered everyone at the »
- Garth Franklin
London — Joseph Fiennes, who was BAFTA nominated for “Shakespeare in Love,” has taken the role of Scottish runner and devout Christian Eric Liddell in “The Last Race,” which plays like an unofficial sequel to “Chariots of Fire.”
Liddell’s feats as an athlete, and his rivalry with Harold Abrahams, were immortalized in “Chariots of Fire,” which won four Oscars, including best picture. “The Last Race” portrays Liddell’s life after the events depicted in “Chariots of Fire,” when he worked as a teacher and missionary in China, the Independent newspaper reported. He was interned by the Japanese in 1943, and died in the prison camp of a brain tumor.
The film is written and directed by Stephen Shin, and co-directed by Michael Parker. It also stars Chinese-Canadian actor Xiao “Shawn” Dou, who plays Liddell’s friend Xu Niu, and British actress Elizabeth Arends. It will be distributed in China by Alibaba Pictures. »
- Leo Barraclough
Turning 10 this year, TeamTO has blossomed into one of France’s top animation producers, forging ties with local and international players and diving into feature films.
Boasting sprawling high-tech facilities in Paris and Bourg-les-Valences (near Lyon), TeamTO raised its profile thanks to in-house-produced hit TV skeins like “Angelo Rules,” “Oscar & Co” and “Plankton Invasion.” Now advancing into the next chapter of its growth, the shingle’s first feature-length toon, “Yellowbird” is already an international sales hit. Repped by Sc Films, the animated pic has been acquired by Universal for a flurry of territories, including the U.K. and Australia.
“We’re managed to make ‘Yellowbird’ with a 10 million Euros budget, which is much less than the price tags of ‘Little Prince’ and ‘Mune’ and yet our film boasts the same drive to travel worldwide thanks to ambitious storytelling and well-polished animation designs,” said Corrine Kouper, TeamTO’s co-founder, head of development and exec producer. »
- Elsa Keslassy
A celebration of film and television music was once again at the heart of Krakow’s Film and Music Festival, now in its eighth year.
Running from May 27-31, the event brought together more than 58 international composers - including Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare in Love, Mon Roi), Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones), Jeff Beal (House of Cards), John Lunn (Downton Abbey) and Trevor Morris (The Borgias, The Tudors) – for a culmination of performances, panels and master classes.
“Composers are not often given the attention they deserve,” said Artistic Director Robert Piaskowski. “So we wanted to create a space that presents film music as art, and where audiences can come and appreciate a score’s symphonic sounds.”
Piaskowski is not alone in his interests. The festival now aligns itself as the start of the season, with similar musical events taking place in Tenerife and Cordoba in July and Vienna and Gent (that also hosts the World Soundtrack Awards) in October »
“Big Stone Gap” was shot entirely on location in the coal-mining Virginia town of the same name, which is also Trigiani and Wilson’s hometown.
“We made not just a great movie, but a beautiful movie,” Goldberg said. “It looks lush.”
- Dave McNary
'Saint Joan': Constance Cummings as the George Bernard Shaw heroine Constance Cummings on stage: George Bernard Shaw, William Shakespeare and Benn W. Levy (See previous post: "Constance Cummings: Actress Went from Harold Lloyd to Eugene O'Neill.") In the mid-1930s, Constance Cummings landed the title roles in two of husband Benn W. Levy's stage adaptations: Levy and Hubert Griffith's Young Madame Conti (1936), from Bruno Frank's original, which was presented on both sides of the Atlantic. (On Broadway, the play had a brief run in spring 1937 at the Music Box Theatre.) The Theatre Guild-produced Madame Bovary (1937), from the Gustave Flaubert novel, staged in late fall at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre. Referring to the London production of Young Madame Conti, The Sunday Times critic James Agate wrote that the American actress had made "a roaring success out of what in other hands might so easily have been an inarticulate, »
- Andre Soares
Steven Spielberg and daughter Destry Spielberg on the Oscars' Red Carpet Steven Spielberg and daughter Destry Steven Spielberg and daughter Destry Spielberg arrive at the 83rd Academy Awards, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Spielberg has taken home two Best Director Oscars: Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Schindler's List also won Best Picture, but Saving Private Ryan lost to John Madden's Miramax-distributed Shakespeare in Love. There was quite a bit of animosity at the time, as some felt that Miramax, owned by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, overdid its Oscar campaigning – while still managing to sway enough Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members to vote for its film. Somewhat ironically, at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony Steven Spielberg presented the Best Picture Award to The King's Speech. Toplining Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, and Claire Bloom, this British production was »
- D. Zhea
Kristen Stewart 'On the Road' dancing, with Garrett Hedlund on the right Down memory lane: Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart 'On the Road' images At the time best known as The Twilight Saga's conflicted human Bella Swan, Kristen Stewart was cast as the exuberant Marylou in Walter Salles' film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's iconic 1950s novel On the Road. Salles had been impressed with Stewart's pre-Twilight work in Sean Penn's Into the Wild. Based on LuAnne Henderson, Kerouac's close buddy Neal Cassady's first wife, Marylou is described as a "beautiful little sharp chick." Apparently, one who also likes to move seductively to the sound of music – as can be attested by the Kristen Stewart picture above, which first came out online in early 2011. Besides Stewart, On the Road also features Garrett Hedlund – at the time best known for Tron: Legacy – as Dean Moriarty, »
- Zac Gille
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
The new faith-based movie Risen is set to open in theaters winter of 2016.
Starring Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Peter Firth (“Spooks”) and Cliff Curtis (Live Free or Die Hard), and directed by Kevin Reynolds (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), the action drama will be released on Friday, January 22.
Risen is the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection and the weeks that followed, as seen through the eyes of an unbelieving Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a high-ranking Roman Military Tribune. Clavius and his aide Lucius (Tom Felton) are instructed by Pontius Pilate to ensure Jesus’ radical followers don’t steal his body and claim resurrection. When the body goes missing within days, Clavius sets out on a mission to locate the missing body in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.
- Michelle McCue
Oscar-winning stables Breakthru Films and Trademark Films are behind Loving Vincent, which tells of the final months and mysterious death of the famously troubled 19th century Dutch post-Impressionist.
Production got underway last week at Three Mills Studio in London’s East End and principal animation will continue in Gdansk.
They plan to bring Van Gogh’s masterpieces to life using the Painted Animation Workstation system patented by Breakthru Films, Hugh Welchman’s London and Poland-based company that won the best animation short Oscar for Peter & The Wolf in 2008.
The filmmakers will project live-action footage frame-by-frame onto canvas and deploy a team of »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Gwyneth Paltrow silver dress on the Oscars' Red Carpet Gwyneth Paltrow at the Academy Awards Donning a shining silver dress, Gwyneth Paltrow arrives at the 2011 Academy Awards held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Paltrow's latest movie, Country Strong, was up for a Best Song Oscar. It lost to the Toy Story 3 ditty "We Belong Together," by Randy Newman. More than a decade ago, Gwyneth Paltrow took home the Best Actress Oscar for John Madden's Shakespeare in Love (1998), a romantic comedy-drama also featuring Joseph Fiennes (as William Shakespeare), Judi Dench, Geoffrey Rush, and this year's Best Actor Oscar winner, Colin Firth (The King's Speech). Paltrow's (moderately) gender-bending Shakespeare in Love heroine remains her only Oscar-nominated performance to date. Directed by Shana Feste, Country Strong fared decently at the U.S. box office, but not as well as some had expected. Besides Gwyneth Paltrow, the cast includes »
- D. Zhea
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century? Check here for a complete list of our essays. The end of the 1990s was the end of an era on the big screen. The independent filmmaking movement that started the decade had taken full bloom and infiltrated the business. Major studios had begun to jump headlong into the "dependent" game, amping up prestige product and utilizing the awards season as a marketing tool. The blockbuster landscape at the summer multiplex had been interesting, full of original concepts (good and bad), but something else was on the way — a new overlord in the business of film, and one that would more or less make the age of the movie star (at least as we had come to know it) a thing of the past. For those reasons and a slew of others, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Billed as “the world’s first painted animation feature”, the film aims to bring Van Gogh’s masterpieces to life in a unique way. Live action footage will be filmed and then projected, frame by frame, onto canvas and painted over in oils in the style of Van Gogh.
A total of 60 painters will work for a year to complete the 57,800 oil paintings making up the film.
Loving Vincent stars Douglas Booth (The Riot Club), Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones), Chris O’Dowd (Calvary), Saoirse Ronan (The Grand Budapest Hotel), John Sessions (The Iron Lady), Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark), and Aidan Turner (The Hobbit).
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Check here for a complete list of our essays. Just one glance at the Oscar nominees for 1998 might make it seem less a questionable choice for “best year in film” — and more an insane one. Instead of a 1974 – The Godfather II, The Conversation, Chinatown, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, etc – or even a 1994, where Shawshank, Quiz Show, and Pulp Fiction lost to Gump – you choose a year where the Oscars would allow Roberto Benigni to climb atop both the figurative and literal chairs of the Shrine? Fine, step away from the Oscars. Would you still celebrate a year that saw not one, but two movies about asteroids threatening the Earth? A year that saw such scars carved across cinematic history as Patch Adams, My Giant, Stepmom, and Krippendorf’s Tribe? It bears repeating: Krippendorf’S Tribe? »
- Michael Oates Palmer
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. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
20th Century Fox
From “Schindler’s List”, to “The King’s Speech” and “Braveheart”, there have been some brilliant – and, unfortunately far-too-often, terrible – historical, biographical and political films released down the decades.
What exactly makes a classic historical film “great” is exceptionally hard to pinpoint. Although history aficionados can often by nitpicky about factual accuracy and the like, the majority can forgive mistakes and the use of artistic licence if a film still tells a dramatic, fascinating and largely-truthful story of the events that occurred.
Films such as “Titanic” and “Shakespeare in Love” were adored in Hollywood but lambasted by history boffins for their factual inaccuracies and failure to adequately depict dramatic and important historical events.
Thankfully, 2015 still has plenty of historical offerings which have yet to be released and that should whet the appetite of all those people who love watching the dramatic re-telling of past events. From Cold »
- Chris Waugh
Annapurna Pictures has named David Kaminow president of marketing, several weeks after he departed from Sony Pictures.
Kaminow will report to founder Megan Ellison and will oversee global marketing and publicity.
Annapurna’s upcoming slate includes Richard Linklater’s “That’s What I’m Talking About,” which will be released in theaters later this year by Paramount; David O. Russell’s “Joy,” set for a Christmas launch by Fox; and Ana Lily Amirpour’s dystopian drama “The Bad Batch,” starring Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Jim Carrey and Keanu Reeves.
In 2009, Kaminow was named president of worldwide strategic marketing and research at Sony, where he oversaw all worldwide theatrical market research. He’s the latest in a long line of executives to depart from the studio over the past two years.
He worked on Sony titles including the Spider-Man franchise, “Skyfall,” “21 Jump Street” and its sequel, “The Da Vinci Code,” “Angels and Demons, »
- Dave McNary
The 71st Academy Awards are looming closer, and it looks like at least two of the biggest categories are all but assured. Steven Spielberg’s World War II drama Saving Private Ryan has been cleaning up both at the box office and with critics, and I have no reason to doubt it’ll reign supreme at this year’s Oscar ceremony. The last time Spielberg tackled the World War II era, he gave us Schindler’s List, and Saving Private Ryan is as much a love letter to veterans of that war as it is an astoundingly crafted feature film. There are actually three World War II-centric films nominated for Best Picture this year, but Saving Private Ryan is really the only one that has a shot at winning. Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line, although brilliant, is likely too esoteric for voters, and while there’s significant love for Life Is Beautiful, »
- Adam Chitwood
Photo credit: Giles Keyte
Mr Holmes is a new twist on the world’s most famous detective. 1947, an aging Sherlock Holmes returns from a journey to Japan, where, in search of a rare plant with powerful restorative qualities, he has witnessed the devastation of nuclear warfare. Now, in his remote seaside farmhouse, Holmes faces the end of his days tending to his bees, with only the company of his housekeeper and her young son, Roger. Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, Holmes comes to rely upon the boy as he revisits the circumstances of the unsolved case that forced him into retirement, and searches for answers to the mysteries of life and love – before it’s too late.
- Michelle McCue
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