19 items from 2015
Ari Folman continues to follow his own strange star. The Israeli filmmaker will follow his spellbinding animation hybrids "Waltz with Bashir" (Oscar-nominated) and "The Congress" (a high-iq cult oddity that will someday get its due) with an animated retelling of the life and diary of Anne Frank. A blend of stop-motion and traditional animation—with 2D characters cut into stop-motion backgrounds — his Anne Frank Film is the first of its kind. That's because Folman, with Diana Elbaum of Belgian-based production company Entre Chien et Loup, negotiated to obtain world rights in all languages and media and complete access to the Anne Frank archives. Read More: Ari Folman Takes on Animated Anne Frank Feature Production began in winter 2014. Folman has finally shared concept art from the studio at Passion Films in London. Folman is collaborating with "Fantastic Mr. Fox" Dp Tristan Oliver and designer Andy Gent to hew the film's stop motion look, »
- Ryan Lattanzio
While John Williams is confirmed to score the soundtrack for this December's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it seems the idea of also taking on a number of standalone films set outside the main saga was too much to ask. Instead, director Gareth Edwards has turned to a familiar collaborator for his upcoming Star Wars standalone movie. Alexandre Desplat is now confirmed to score Rogue One.
Alexandre Desplat revealed the news himself with Radio Classique's Culture Club. He just won the Oscar for scoring The Grand Budapest Hotel for Wes Anderson. This past summer, he also composed the music for Gareth Edwards's Godzilla. That film saw him incorporating Akira Ifukeube's iconic 1954 Godzilla theme, so it makes sense that he would come aboard to provide a soundtrack that will also demand some of the original John Williams music be used. Though, no further details about his plans have been unveiled at this time. »
Last week Lucasfilm announced the title of Gareth Edwards’ upcoming Star Wars movie to be Star Wars: Rogue One, and it seems that the first standalone Star Wars film will also be the first not to include music by John Williams, as Alexandre Desplat has revealed that he’s signed on to compose the score.
The French composer has recently collaborated with Edwards on last year’s blockbuster Godzilla, and is coming off the back of an Academy Award win for his work on The Grand Budapest Hotel. Desplat was also nomintaed this year for The Imitation Game, while he has six previous Oscar nominations for Philomena, Argo, The King’s Speech, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Queen.
- Gary Collinson
A grownup storybook of a movie spun out of candy-colored nonsense that challenges you to embrace its falseness and deny its romance. I’m “biast” (pro): love Wes Anderson
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Thank god for Wes Anderson. Our entertainment ecosystem may be one of bland tediousness in which creatively bankrupt movie machines spit out the same stories over and over again, but once in a while Anderson will commute from the other plane of existence he lives on — I imagine the colors are brighter there, and the air always faintly redolent of baking cookies — to bestow upon us a cinematic bonbon such as The Grand Budapest Hotel. Anderson’s boons are a torment as much as a treat, of course, reminders of just how unoriginal almost everyone else making movies is. Somehow, I endure them anyway.
- MaryAnn Johanson
Here.s something you almost certainly never noticed: Wes Anderson has a slight obsession with the colors red and yellow. You probably don.t believe that.s true. Joking aside, there.s a handy video now available that showcases just how often he uses these colors, and it.s pretty damn wonderful. Watch it below! See, what did I tell you? Kudos to Rishi Kaneria for creating Red & Yellow: A Wes Anderson Supercut, which divinely brings together and amalgamates footage from the likes of Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, along with the short films Hotel Chevalier and Castello Cavalcanti. Just in case you didn.t know, that.s all of Anderson.s movies - which suggests that he might have a problem. Could be a medical reason for Wes Anderson »
This year's race for Best Score is one of the most competitive in recent memory: look no further than the charts to find our experts splitting all over the place, and for good reason. The Golden Globes went for relative newcomer Johann Johannsonn for "The Theory of Everything," while the BAFTAs sprung for perennial bridesmaid Alexandre Desplat for "The Grand Budapest Hotel." Let's take a closer look at the race and each contender's chances of winning: -Break- Alexandre Desplat ('Budapest,' 'Imitation') on double Oscar nods and composing a score in three weeks [Podcast] Alexandre Desplat, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" In less than a decade, Alexander Desplat has become one of the most honored composers in recent history, with six previous nominations – "The Queen" (2006), "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (2008), "Fantastic Mr. Fox" (2009), "The..."' »
Justin Chang: We don’t always agree, Guy (no two critics ever should), but it’s safe to say we’ve been more simpatico than usual over the course of this very long and happily almost-over awards season. I think we would both argue, for example, that “Foxcatcher” was ridiculously worthy of an Oscar nomination for best picture, and that its failure to nab one seems all the more inexplicable given that Bennett Miller managed to crack the much more competitive directing race. Likewise, I don’t know anyone else who had almost precisely the same reaction and counter-reaction to “Birdman” as I did — an initial thrill that almost completely fell apart on second viewing.
Clearly the industry feels otherwise, if “Birdman’s” presumed Oscar-frontrunner status is to be believed — which I fear it is, even as some of us are still clinging desperately to the hope that “Boyhood” will prevail. »
- Justin Chang and Guy Lodge
Prolouge When it comes to the Oscars, filmdom's biggest honour, Wes Anderson has seen his movies limited in nominations. Until this year, he had racked up two nominations for scribing, likely with a quail feather quill on pastel parchment ("The Royal Tenenbaums," 2001; "Moonrise Kingdom," 2012), as well as for his Animated Feature ("Fantastic Mr. Fox," 2009). Part 1 - W. Anderson Then this year, in a sublime irony, his film about a hotel Lobby Boy named Zero was able to score nine nominations. That's the most of any film in contention, tied with "Birdman." Wes is now not only competing again for his writing but also in the both the Best Picture and Director races. So with such an incredible explosion into the awards, what is the fate of "The Grand Budapest Hotel"? -Break- Updated: Experts' Oscars predictions in 24 categories Part 2 - Check Point 9 categories Perhaps this unpr...' »
Our Oscar coverage continues. Here we overview the best acting and best directing award nominees.
The Best Actor Nominees
Previously Best Known For:
Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:
Interesting Fact: Owns and operates the Marshfield Hills General Store in Marshfield, Massachusetts where he has a summer home.
Previously Best Known For:
Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:
Nomination - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role 2013- as Richie Dimaso in American Hustle
Nomination - Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role 2012 - as Pat in Silver Linings Playbook
Interesting Fact: Had to miss his graduation commencement at Georgetown University because he was filming Wet Hot American Summer.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (G.S. Perno)
While 21 of our Oscars experts are predicting that BAFTA and Writers Guild champs Wes Anderson and Hugh Guinness will win Best Original Screenplay for "The Grand Budapest Hotel," seven of them expect a victory for the Golden-Globe winning quartet who scripted "Birdman." Anderson, who also contends for directing and producing this year, lost his two previous bids in this race ("The Royal Tenenbaums," 2001; "Moonrise Kingdom," 2012) as well as Animated Feature in 2010 ("Fantastic Mr. Fox"). This is the first Oscar nomination for Guinness. -Break- Updated: Experts' Oscars predictions in 24 categories "The Grand Budapest Hotel" is the 8/15 favorite with 21 Experts backing it: Thelma Adams (ZEALnyc), Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Kyle Buchanan (Vulture), Mike Cidoni (Associated Press), Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter), Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair), Dave Karger (Fa...' »
Screenwriters never have it easy, do they? They often complain they are seen as second class citizens to the director. Actors often get credit for improvising a line they wrote and, worse, producers will often play games with the media, insisting they came up with a key storyline or the entire project themselves. Things get even more complicated with the sometimes unfair arbitration rules that often find the wrong writer getting final credit for a project (often because of a contract he or she signed). Frankly, all of this adversity might be one reason why winning an Academy Award means so much to a working Hollywood screenwriter. This year's crop of Original Screenplay nominees are all worthy of taking home Oscar on their previous merits. Without a true "first-timer" in the group*, it goes without saying whoever wins this year might find the spoils that much sweeter. "Boyhood's" Richard Linklater »
- Gregory Ellwood
Today we're reviewing The Boy Next Door and Mortdecai, but not before we discuss the American Sniper fake baby story a little more, chat about the NFL's #Deflategate and answer a lot of American Sniper and Selma related questions. And once that's done we play a few games and even give a listener a call. Hope you enjoy! If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly. An alternative to that option is a new way »
- Brad Brevet
Thursday morning provided its share of surprises and snubs, but the Academy’s musical branch took a pretty clear anti-star stance in the Best Song category.
The biggest names in Best Song, instead, come from Selma’s entry into the category: “Glory” performed by John Legend and Common. Because the Academy enjoys formality the pair’s given names - John Stephens (Legend) and Lonnie Lynn (Common) - can now be added to the collective trivia file.
The song was one of just a pair of nominations for the historical drama, but having just won the Golden Globe in the same category, it begins the race as the front-runner.
The rest of the song entries run the gamut, »
- Shane McNeil
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 »
Paddington details the origins of Paddington Brown, one of most beloved bears of children’s literature – from deepest, darkest Peru to stuffy, rainy London — where he was adopted, somewhat reluctantly, by the Brown family. Director/writer Paul King brings the bear to life with all the technology that the modern world can offer while the voice of Ben Whishaw completes the illusion in this charming and just silly enough film. Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins lead the Brown pack as Mr. and Mrs. Brown, who foil each other at almost every turn. Bonneville’s grumpy, cautious patriarch fears what Paddington could do to their home without the proper insurance, while Hawkins’ compassionate, optimistic matriarch is ready to welcome Paddington with open arms. Bonneville and Hawkins play off each other smoothly, pushing their characters only slightly to the realm of the absurd. At first, Mr. Brown’s hesitancy to accept Paddington seems to be the only problem, but »
- Emily Estep
Clearly Wes Anderson is doing something right. He broke box-office records when "The Grand Budapest Hotel" opened last March in four theaters, and it's still the highest-grossing indie of the year, heading toward $60 million. Why? This enjoyably gorgeous escapist blast from the past boasts rave reviews (87 Metascore) and a fabulous comedy ensemble led by Ralph Fiennes. We started out our video interview talking about my flipcam, which led to his explaining his aesthetic, which is very controlled. Anderson describes how his detailed Retro-Euro concoction came to evolve after "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," why Fiennes was the right guy for concierge M. Gustave, how composer Alexandre Desplat set the tone, and what exactly is a funicular. My movie review, Ralph Fiennes Career Watch, an interview with Lafca award-winning production designer Adam Stockhausen, and Berlin press conference, feature and roundtable »
- Anne Thompson
There are few directors with a visual style as distinctive as Wes Anderson's, and to find out just what goes into his carefully composed shots, you'll want to talk to Robert Yeoman. The 63-year-old cinematographer has shot every one of Anderson's films (save for the stop-motion Fantastic Mr. Fox); though, astoundingly, he's never been nominated for an Academy Award. Still, with The Grand Budapest Hotel in the hunt for multiple Oscar nods next week, what better time to talk to Yeoman about his storied career, using nine of Anderson's most famous scenes and shots as prompts?Bottle Rocket Anderson's first film is more visually straightforward than most of his later works, but this gun-firing montage shows distinct glimmers of moments to come. "That particular scene was storyboarded, but I remember it had kind of a loose feel when we were shooting it," says Yeoman. "As time has gone on, »
- Kyle Buchanan
We were sorry to see Folman’s last film, 2013’s The Congress so apathetically received after it opened the Director’s Fortnight sidebar at Cannes, a hybrid of live-action and animation. Known for his skillful animation, which was most prominent in his 2008 breakthrough third film, Waltz with Bashir, Folman looks to be returning to its pool for another history lesson with his as yet untitled Anne Frank project, which went into production, purportedly, at the end of 2013. Recently, Folman revealed it would be a stop-motion animated feature and was being worked on by Passion Films in London. Folman also is collaborating with DoP Tristan Oliver, who worked on Wes Anderson’s 2009 film The Fantastic Mr. Fox.
U.S. Distributor: Rights available
Release Date: We »
- Nicholas Bell
With fact-based contenders like Selma, The Imitation Game, American Sniper, Unbroken, Big Eyes and Foxcatcher all under varying degrees of controversy over their credibility, and with no one movie standing out from the field and currently running away with it all, could this be the year Academy voters dig deep in their memories all the way back to, uh, say, March to come up with a movie they can all agree on? In the modern era of Oscar campaigning pulling a contender from that early in the year is an increasingly rare occurrence but it is one I think all signs are pointing to happening with Wes Anderson’s lilting and masterful The Grand Budapest Hotel.
The facts speak for themselves: no film released before May has even been nominated, much less won Best Picture since the turn of this century. The last film released as early as March (or »
- Pete Hammond
19 items from 2015
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