10 items from 2014
For me, there are two immediately interesting takeaways from the news that Steve Spielberg will be developing the religious drama "The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara." The first is that it would mark his third collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner after "Munich" and "Lincoln." The other is that the project would be a co-production between DreamWorks and The Weinstein Company. DreamWorks, quietly celebrating a 20th anniversary this year after being concocted by entertainment magnates Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, saw some interesting Oscar battlefield time opposite Harvey Weinstein back in the Miramax days. Round one went to Weinstein, as "Shakespeare in Love" shocked "Saving Private Ryan" to win the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1998. But Spielberg and company won rounds two and three with "American Beauty" topping "The Cider House Rules" in 1999 and "Gladiator" blowing past "Chocolat" in 2000. (DreamWorks also co-produced the 2001 Best Picture winner, »
- Kristopher Tapley
The Nicholas Sparks Limited Edition DVD Collection is another of those set releases that is the best and worst of all possible worlds. Serious fans are going to be happy to get collectible postcards, and a “personal letter from Nicholas Sparks,” but they already own the movies, and the discs don’t have any new bonuses.
On the other hand, if you don’t already own the movies (or only have one or two), this is a great collection to bring them all home at once. While there aren’t new bonuses, and the films aren’t remastered, or otherwise jazzed up with new treatments, most of the films include some solid bonuses anyway, and even the aging Message in a Bottle looks pretty good.
The Collection includes:
Running through »
- Marc Eastman
A movie about pirates. Based on a theme park ride. Starring the eighth lead from Lord of the Rings and the second fiddle from Bend It Like Beckham. From the director of The Ring remake (which was good) and The Mexican (which was, well, The Mexican.) Yes, expectations were let’s-say-mild for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, a film which looked on paper like a high-concept travesty-in-waiting. (The full title was ten words long.)
But there was a wild card in Disney’s deck. When Pirates arrived in July 2003, Johnny Depp was a well-respected actor »
- Darren Franich
Oscar-winner Juliette Binoche ("The English Patient") is the best reason to see Fred Schepisi's "Words and Pictures" (new trailer below), a light romantic comedy about two rival high school teachers. Clive Owen's English teacher with a drinking problem falls for Binoche's art teacher trying to paint as she battles rheumatoid arthritis. They engage in a war of words vs. pictures that ignites them as well as their students. Some of the best scenes involve Binoche sprawled belly-down on a swirling chair as she maneuvers a giant paint brush, splashing wide swatches of color on her canvas. It turns out, I learned from our interview in Toronto, that she came up with this visual idea, based on her research. She created the paintings in the film herself. Binoche broke out at age 23 in Philip Kaufman's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," opposite Daniel Day Lewis, followed by "The Widow of St. »
- Anne Thompson
Once upon a time, Johnny Depp played human characters. He revealed his natural features to create recognizable roles in movies like What.s Eating Gilbert Grape, Donnie Brasco, Chocolat and Blow. Then there are "The Tim Burton Years," followed by the various Pirates of the Caribbean movies (of which a fifth, Dead Men Tell No Tales, is in the works). Transcendence looks like a return to the former titles, with Depp avoiding the white-faced makeup yet choosing to hide behind Another device in what looks like a twisty, techno-narrative. He plays Dr. Will Caster, whom the studio describes as "the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions." We.re not exactly sure what all of that means, but we know that it makes him the target of »
Actor reveals macular degeneration has left her unable to read scripts or watch films – but says 'somehow I get by'
The Oscar-winning actor Dame Judi Dench has spoken of how her failing eyesight has left her unable to read scripts and struggling to watch films.
Dench suffers from macular degeneration, an age-related condition that leads to a gradual loss of vision, which her mother also had.
But the actor, 79, who has notched up 95 award nominations during her illustrious career, balked at suggestions her career would slow down because of failing health.
She told the Hollywood Reporter: "I never want to make much of it, but it is difficult – very, very difficult.
"I can't read any more. I can't paint like I used to. I try to watch movies, but it's quite difficult. But these are all of the negatives. I don't want to really think about all that. What I can do, »
Our Oscar coverage continues. Here we overview the best acting and best directing award nominees.
Best Actor Nominees
Previously Best Known For:
Bruce Wayne/Batman – Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy
Patrick Bateman – American Psycho
Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:
Interesting Fact: If he plays an American character, he will use an American accent in all the interviews related to the film. He says he does this so the audience isn't confused
Previously Best Known For:
Freeman Lowell – Silent Running
Asa Watts – The Cowboys
Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:
- firstname.lastname@example.org (G.S. Perno)
George Orwell's novel is being re-tooled as a heartstring-plucker. Don't despair – share your dystopian visions of how bad it will be
The literary world is agog, reeling, aghast, at the news that Kristen Stewart is going to star in a romantic remake of 1984. You read that right. Romantic. Remake. 1984.
I've had to check to make sure it isn't 1 April. It isn't. This is happening, people. "Equals is an adaptation of the 1956 film 1984, which itself was based on George Orwell's classic novel about rebellion in a futuristic society," runs the story. Stewart told the AP that the remake is "a love story of epic, epic, epic proportion", where "things go wrong because you can't deny the humanity in everyone". "It's the most devastating story," she said. "I'm terrified of it. Though it's a movie with a really basic concept, it's overtly ambitious."
Anyway, the news has sent literary types into a flat spin. »
- Alison Flood
By Mark Pinkert
One of the most popular Oscar hopefuls this year is Bruce Dern, who has gotten a lot of love from critics and from his peers for a great performance in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska. But, other than the role itself, what has made his story so special is that he’s had an extremely prolific film career–mostly as a supporting actor–and is finally getting Oscar recognition for the first time at the age of 77. (Dern did get nominated for Best Supporting Actor thirty-five years ago for Coming Home (1978).) Even getting a nomination, though, will be an uphill battle, as he’s in a tight race with the likes of Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Matthew McConaughey.
Unfortunately for Dern, he’ll also have to squeeze past another 77-year-old, Robert Redford, who is due for a win as well. Surprisingly, this iconic actor »
- Mark Pinkert
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
10 items from 2014
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