12 items from 2014
The 3rd July 2013 saw the release of Disney's The Lone Ranger, its larger-than-life western starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. Its theatrical debut marked the end of a lengthy and difficult production, stories from which had been hungrily served up by the media - the previous summer was dominated by news stories of its spiralling budget, which was thought to have crossed $250m. Nevertheless, the 2013 blockbuster season should, in theory, have marked a fresh start for Disney, as it spent a reported $150m on marketing The Lone Ranger. But the House of Mouse hadn't counted on the popularity of another film launched on that exact same day in July: Universal's animated sequel, Despicable Me 2.
The Lone Ranger, a film with an »
Philomena is as surprising in its existence as it is in its ability to transform a story that ought to be cliche syrup into something real and moving. The film’s ability to deliver honest emotion may be more surprising, given the synopsis, but the existence question may need some explanation.
Steve Coogan, of Alan Partridge and other comedic efforts fame, isn’t a name you immediately associate with not only starring in a venture like this, but also co-writing it and becoming something of a driving force behind the production. Moreover, it’s rare to get anyone behind a film that is taking a pretty serious shot at the Catholic Church, much less big names like Judi Dench and Stephen Frears. And, speaking of Stephen Frears, though he manages a lot of variety in his films, ranging from Dangerous Liasions, and Liam, to High Fidelity, and Tamara Drewe, a biopic exploration of hope, »
- Marc Eastman
Just when you thought that Stephen Frears’ latest film, Philomena, would be yet another questionable exercise from the once generally revered auteur, (judging from a recent string of misfires that resulted in his career worst with 2012’s unfathomably awful Lay the Favorite), he switches it up with his best work since The Queen. Presented at the Toronto Int. FIlm Festival, the Academy Award and BAFTA award-nominated crowd pleaser, to be sure, but despite its unavoidable pretense as an awards darling (of which there are bound to be several), a disavowal to wallow in chintzy schmaltz at least makes it deserving of praise in that it’s intelligently written (and based on a true story! Oh my!) and genuinely performed, even if the film is rather visually banal.
- Nicholas Bell
Anchor Bay Entertainment and The Weinstein Company have announced the home entertainment release of the critically acclaimed comedy/drama starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, Philomena. Directed by Stephen Frears and co-written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena will be available for digital download on April 4, 2014 before heading to DVD and Blu-Ray™ with Digital HD UltraViolet™ on April 15, 2014.
Philomena premiered in the main competition section at the 2013 Venice Film Festival where it took home the prize for Best Screenplay. Later, the film won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Hamptons International Film Festival. The Weinstein Company released the powerful film theatrically on November 22, 2013 where it has grossed over $34 million dollars to date. The film accolades continued with a 2014 Screen Actor’s Guild nomination for Judi Dench for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role and 2014 Golden Globe nominations for Judi Dench for Best »
- Michelle McCue
3D space disaster movie wins six awards at Royal Opera House, including best director and best British film
It was a contest between two wildly different films – a 3D space disaster movie and an unflinching portrayal of 19th-century American slavery – and on paper it was the former, Gravity, which emerged as the biggest winner at the 2014 Bafta ceremony.
It won six awards, including best director and best British film. But 12 Years a Slave unquestionably picked up the biggest prize, best film, with Chiwetel Ejiofor named as best actor.
In a year when no one film swept the board, American Hustle also came away with three prizes.
Alfonso Cuarón was named best director and said you would not know it from his accent but he considered himself a part of the British film industry. He has lived in London for 13 years and joked: "I make a very good case for curbing immigration. »
- Mark Brown
“12 Years a Slave” screenwriter John Ridley and Solomon Northup, whose memoir inspired the film, were named winners at the 26th annual USC Libraries Scripter Award ceremony Saturday, honoring the year’s best adaptation of the written word to film.
In accepting the award, Ridley first acknowledged Robert Towne, whose daughter presented him with the Scripter Literary Achievement award, the only other prize given that evening. “I don’t know, in your career, how many writers have come to you and said ‘I’m here because of you.’ But if I can’t do anything else tonight, let me say I’m here because of you,” Ridley said.
Ridley also said that the process of writing an adaptation has been “new and different” for him and talked about the relationship between the writer and the originator. He got emotional as he spoke about how he learned of Northup’s life.
- Andrea Seikaly
Philomena Lee, whose search for the son sold for adoption by nuns was turned into a film, has met Pope Francis in Rome
• Lee and Coogan on meeting the pope: 'Those nuns would be jealous now'
Philomena Lee, whose young son was sold for adoption by nuns in 1955, has met with Pope Francis in Rome.
Lee, 80, was accompanied by her daughter, Jane Libbteron, and by Steve Coogan, the star, co-writer and producer of Philomena, the Oscar-nominated film based on her case. The contingent were representing The Philomena Project, a campaign which calls on the Irish government to enact legislation to open up adoption records and reunite mothers separated from their children as a result of forced adoption.
They attended mass in St Peter's Square before the audience with the Pope. A screening of the film is expected to take place in the Vatican this afternoon, before a press conference on Thursday morning. »
- Catherine Shoard
Carroll Cartwright and Nancy Doyne – screenwriters, and Henry James – author of the novel of the same name (What Maisie Knew) Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope – screenwriters, and Martin Sixsmith – author »
- Ryan Adams
The award will be presented Feb. 8 at the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library at the University of Southern California.
The Scripter award honors the writers of adapted screenplays and authors of the written work upon which the screenplay is based. “Argo” won last year’s trophy and previous winners include “The Descendants,” “No Country for Old Men” and “The English Patient.”
The finalists are:
- Dave McNary
Winners were announced at the ninth Final Draft Annual Awards on Tuesday at the Paramount Theatre.
Ridley (pictured above) topped the adapted category over “Before Midnight” by Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke; “Captain Phillips” by Billy Ray (based on the book “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy Seals,and Dangerous Days at Sea” by Richard Phillips & Stephan Talty); “Philomena” by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope (based on the book “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee” by Martin Sixsmith) and “The Wolf of Wall Street” by Terence Winter (based on the book “The Wolf of Wall Street »
- Dave McNary
In limited release now, this fantastic film is beating box office expectations, and generating some well-deserved Golden Globe and Oscar buzz.
Coogan obtained the rights to the best-selling book, “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee” by Martin Sixsmith and adapted the script with Jeff Pope. Coogan portrays Sixsmith who aided Mrs. Lee in her spiritually triumphant and emotionally charged quest.
He told the co-hosts that it is based on a true story, one he read in the paper one day that moved him to tears.
“It made me cry,” Coogan said. “I was compelled to tell it because, »
- Michelle McCue
“Philomena,” – based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee” – is looking like a winner at the box office. The independent feature, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, has raked in nearly $20 million domestically, while taking in another $17 million overseas, according to Box Office Mojo. The film is also garnering Oscar buzz, picking up a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture, as well as Dench grabbing a nomination for Best Actress. “Our exit polls were as high as anything we’ve had, including "The Artist" and "The King’s Speech,"" Erik Lomis, president of distribution and home entertainment for The Weinstein Company, told Deadline.com. “Philomena” focuses on the efforts of Philomena Lee (Dench), mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock — something her Irish-Catholic community didn’t have the highest opinion of — and given away for adoption in the United States. In following church doctrine, »
12 items from 2014
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