16 items from 2015
How many greats have found themselves on the short end of Oscar glory after being nominated for Best Director? Frankly, some of the greatest filmmakers of all-time: David Fincher, Gus Van Sant, Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, Pedro Almodóvar, Ridley Scott, Michael Mann, Terrence Malick, Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman and Mike Leigh, among others. We're personally hoping that eventually "Birdman's" Alejandro G. Iñárritu, "Boyhood's" Richard Linklater and "The Grand Budapest Hotel's" Wes Anderson make it off that list, but only one will join the winner's club Sunday night. Last year the Academy faced a similar quandary between the incredible work of Alfonso Cuarón ("Gravity") and Steve McQueen ("12 Years A Slave"). Eventually, Cuarón distanced himself from his contemporary and his win was "expected." That's truly not the case this season. Linklater has earned raves for his 12-year journey making "Boyhood" since it debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival over a year ago. »
- Gregory Ellwood
Though it is apparently still in post-production, a trailer for A Perfect Day has hit the web ahead of WestEnd Films packaging it for sale at the European Film Market next week.
Written and directed by Fernando Leon de Aranoa (Mondays In The Sun), who adapted the story from the novel Dejarse Ilover, by Paula Farias, A Perfect Day tells the tale of five conflict zone aid workers who all have various agendas. They find themselves having to work together to left a dead body out of a well, so a community can have access to water. The film stars Academy Award winners Benicio Del Toro (Traffic) and Tim Robbins (Mystic River), who are ably supported by Olga Kurylenko (Oblivion) Melanie Thierry (The Zero Theorem), and Fedja Stukan (In The Land Of Blood And Honey)
Variety reports that writer-director Fernando Leon de Aranoa explained his view of the project to the press last year:
- Sarah Myles
On Sunday, Alexandre Desplat won a BAFTA Award and a Grammy, both for “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Next up: the Feb. 22 Oscars, where he is nominated in the musical score category for “Budapest Hotel” and “The Imitation Game.” According to conventional wisdom, this is his year — he’s earned six noms in the past eight years, but no wins yet.
On the other hand, conventional wisdom says that he could cancel himself out. Clearly, conventional wisdom is wrong in one of those cases.
Asked which of the two scores is his favorite, Desplat deadpans, “The Grand Imitation Hotel.”
The composer, reached in Paris, quickly adds that he loves both films, and each presented special challenges and rewards.
“Budapest” features a lot more music in its 100-minute running time, with the mood vacillating among drama, light comedy, fantasy and mittel-European atmosphere. Desplat says, “We needed to find instruments to create a special sound, »
- Tim Gray
London — “Welcome!” a soldier shouts at B (Tim Robbins), Mambru (Benicio del Toro) and interpreter Damir (Fedja Stukac) as their jeep approaches a military checkpoint. “Tell them not to wash the car: We don’t have any money. It’s a joke, tell them,” B urges Damir, who hesitates then does; the soldiers, 30 years younger than B or Mamru, who are grizzled vets, stare back eyes glazed, light automatic weapons in hand.
Joining Del Toro and Robbins, Oscar winners for “Traffic” and Mystic River” respectively, are Olga Kurylenko (“To the Wonder,” “Quantum of Solace”), Melanie Thierry (“The Zero Theorem”) and Stukac (“In the Land of Blood and Honey”), who round up a top-notch ensemble cast. »
- John Hopewell and Leo Barraclough
Matthew McConaughey‘s next drama, “Gold,” will begin production in June, and producers hope to sell foreign rights to the film directed by Oscar winner Stephen Gaghan at the European Film Market in February.
“Imitation Game” producer Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear Pictures announced on Wednesday that Sierra/Affinity will be representing the project at Efm, which runs concurrent to the Berlin International Film Festival.
See photos: The Evolution of Matthew McConaughey: From Shirtless Surfer Dude to HIV Drug Dealer
“Gold” is based on the real-life experience of a modern day prospector, played by McConaughey, who teams up with »
- Greg Gilman
By Anjelica Oswald
Only one of this year’s adapted screenplay nominees isn’t adapted from a book, and that’s Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, which is adapted from his short film of the same name that took home the jury prize for short film from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The other four adaptations all come from books, three non-fiction and one fiction.
- Anjelica Oswald
Not surprisingly, the Screen Actors Guild Awards is one of the best precursors as to who will win the four acting categories at the Oscars. Over the past two decades, these kudos have previewed 57 of the 80 Oscar winners for acting (if you count Benicio del Toro, who won in lead at SAG in 2000 for "Traffic" and supporting at the Oscars and Kate Winslet who did the reverse, winning supporting at SAG in 2008 for "The Reader" and lead at the Oscars). -Break- All four of last year's Oscar acting champs first prevailed here. However, that marked only the fifth time in 20 years that the guild hit a home run. In both 2012 and in 2011, SAG winners went three for four at the Oscars. The guild is far less reliable when predicting Best Picture. In the 19-year history of the Best Ensemble award, that winner went on to take Oscar's top prize only nine times. »
By Anjelica Oswald
With the addition of Marion Cotillard’s lead actress nomination for the Belgian film Two Days, One Night, 32 actors and actresses have been nominated for their performances in foreign-language films. Cotillard was nominated for her role as a young mother and wife struggling to salvage her job in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes’ film, which was chosen as Belgium’s submission to the foreign-language category but failed to secure a spot on the Oscar shortist.
Though her performance did land a Critics’ Choice Award nomination, the Oscar nomination did come as a surprise for many pundits.
Cotillard was previously nominated for the French foreign-language film La Vie En Rose (2007) and won. She is one of six actors or actresses to win for a non-English role and is also the most recent winner.
The first acting nomination for a foreign-language performance went to Sophia Loren in 1962 for »
- Anjelica Oswald
With 2015 upon us, we figured it was a good time to look back on the movies the millennium has brought us. And so we've dug into the archives and are re-running our Best of the 2000s pieces, from way back in 2009 when the Playlist was a little Blogspot site held together with tape and string. Each list runs down the top 10 films of each year. Check out 2000 right here, and today we continue with 2001. The original piece follows below, and thanks to staffers past and present who contributed. What was the state of cinema in 2001? Oscar-wise, the Academy Awards made some bold nominations, but of course awarded the safer "Gladiator" in favor of Steven Soderbergh's far superior "Traffic." Still, Soderbergh did pull off the feat of being nominated twice in the same directorial category for his drug trade drama and "Erin Brockovich" (he would win for "Traffic" and Julia Roberts »
- The Playlist Staff
Actors Luis Guzman (“Traffic,” “Boogie Nights”) and Finesse Mitchell (“Saturday Night Live”) have landed guest spots on Showtime’s “Roadies” from Cameron Crowe and J.J. Abrams, the cabler announced Thursday.
“Roadies” — a comedy following a rock band on tour, seen through the eyes of the band’s crew — stars Christina Hendricks as the band’s production manager and Luke Wilson as the tour manager. Imogen Poots, Rafe Spall, Colson “Mgk” Baker, Peter Cambor and Keisha Castle-Hughes round out the ensemble cast.
Guzman has been cast as the band’s tour-bus driver, Gooch. Mitchell will play Harvey, the tour accountant, who’s involved in illegal side businesses.
Crowe wrote the pilot and will direct. He’s exec producing the pilot with Abrams, Bryan Burk (“Lost,” “Fringe,” “Person of Interest”) and Winnie Holzman (“My So-Called Life,” “Wicked,” “Huge”), who will also serve as showrunner. Kathy Lingg (“Person of Interest,” “Fringe”) is co-exec producing. »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Did you know that Meryl Streep landed her record 19th Academy Award nomination for Into the Woods when the contenders were announced? That’s just one of the many facts and pieces of trivia you need to know about this year’s pool of nominees vying for Oscar gold.
Oscars: The Complete List of 2015 Nominees
Let's break it all down:
2. Bradley Cooper earned his third consecutive nomination for American Sniper. He was previously nominated for Best Supporting Actor for American Hustle (2014) and Best Actor for Silver Linings Playbook (2013). He’s now one nomination away from tying Marlon Brando for the most consecutive acting noms.
3. Speaking of Cooper, he’s actually nominated twice. He’s one of the producers of American Sniper, which was nominated »
Recently-announced financial drama, The Big Short, is the second Michael Lewis adaptation Brad Pitt and his Plan B productions are bringing to the big screen. Based around the 2008 economic downfall, the movie will follow the book’s key figures who were all partly responsible for the escalating housing and credit problems that caused a global financial crisis. Already queued up to take leading roles are Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale, who look like they might be joined by funnyman Steve Carell.
Hot off the back of Foxcatcher, Carell’s foray into dramatic fare is slated to continue with this latest casting tidbit. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he’s being eyed to play “Steve Eisman, a money manager who shorted subprime mortgages for FrontPoint Partners.” Fleshing out the character specs for the already-announced cast, THR added that Gosling is “to play Deutsche Bank trader Greg Lippmann,” with Bale in talks to play “Michael Burry, »
- Gem Seddon
Anderson, Eastwood, Iñárritu, Linklater, Tyldum.
Directors Guild of America President Paris Barclay today announced the five nominees for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2014.
“In a year full of excellent films, DGA members have nominated a stellar group of passionate filmmakers,” said Barclay. “Inspiring and artistic, these five directors made films that left an indelible impact not only on their fellow directors and members of the director’s team, but on audiences around the world. Congratulations to all of the nominees for their terrific work.”
Of the DGA nominations, Oscar pundit Scott Feinberg (THR) writes, “You’ll notice that the list does not include Selma’s Ava DuVernay, Gone Girl’s David Fincher, Foxcatcher’s Bennett Miller, Interstellar’s Christopher Nolan, Inherent Vice’s Paul Thomas Anderson, The Theory of Everything’s James Marsh, Unbroken’s Angelina Jolie, Into the Woods’ Rob Marshall and A Most Violent Year »
- Michelle McCue
Brad Pitt’s Plan B production outfit are building a reputation for backing solid dramatic fare, which is set to continue with the just-announced financial drama The Big Short. The adaptation of the non-fiction best-seller by Michael Lewis will mark Pitt’s second dalliance with the author’s works following Moneyball. This time around, however, the film has attracted a trio of big-name headliners, as Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale are all on board to star.
Plan B will work in conjunction with Warner Bros for the film, which will delve into the detailed goings-on behind the worldwide financial crisis of 2007-2008. Beginning back in the early 2000s, The Big Short aims to chart certain key players directly involved in the global event that saw the housing and credit bubble burst leaving countless people homeless and facing life-long debt. Some of those pivotal roles will be filled by the aforementioned three actors, »
- Gem Seddon
In what is now a new and continuing tradition, the Golden Globe Awards have been revealed ahead of the Oscar nominations, which will be made public this Thursday. Of course, voting for the Oscar nominations was closed before the awards were revealed so don't think last night's wins will have any effect on the nominees. But this isn't an article designed to look at nominations, though we'll certainly get into a little of that. Instead we're looking at what chance last night's Globe winners have at winning the Oscar based on the recent Globe vs. Oscar history. This post serves as my ninth installment of my "Globes vs. Oscars" column (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) and we'll take a look at the past 30 years of Golden Globe winner history compared to the Oscars and see where last night's winners may gain an edge and where they most likely won't and we'll begin with the lead acting categories. »
- Brad Brevet
By Anjelica Oswald
J.K. Simmons’ portrayal of a vicious and relentless instructor at a music conservatory in Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash has propelled Simmons as a frontrunner in the supporting actor Oscar race since the film’s premiere at Sundance. He received the Spotlight Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on Jan. 3 and was nominated for a Golden Globe, which will be distributed on Jan. 11.
Simmons likely will earn his first Oscar nomination on Jan. 15 and if he wins on Feb. 22, he will become the eighth supporting actor in the last 14 years to win for his first nomination.
In the past 14 years, 50 percent (seven of 14) of supporting actors and 64 percent (nine of 14) of supporting actresses were never nominated before winning their first Oscar.
- Anjelica Oswald
16 items from 2015
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