15 items from 2015
Bound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as “Tomorrowland.” Bird has gathered a great team behind the lens with Oscar® winning director of photography Claudio Miranda (“Life of Pi,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), production designer Scott Chambliss (“Star Trek,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Cowboys & Aliens”), Oscar® nominated costume designer Jeffrey Kurland (“Inception,” “Ocean’s Eleven”) and Academy Award®-winning editor Walter Murch (“The English Patient,” “Cold Mountain”). Tomorrowland will be released through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on December 12, 2014. »
Having been attached to the adaptation for some time, Life of Pi director Ang Lee has now officially signed on to helm Ben Fountain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which is set to be the first project to be released under Sony Pictures’ partnership with Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8.
Together with Bona Film Group, the company is joining forces with Tom Rothman’s TriStar and Film4 on the flick, which tells the story of a 19-year-old private who is transformed into one of America’s most sought-after heroes after a news team captures an intense conflict between his squad and Iraqi militants.
With Simon Beaufoy on screenplay duties — who bagged himself an Oscar for his work on Slumdog Millionaire — the big screen interpretation of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is certainly not short on talent, and in tandem with today’s announcement, Tom Rothman spoke of »
- Michael Briers
Taking a more serious and less busily contemporary path after his primarily comedic 2011 indie, “Delhi in a Day,” writer-director Prashant Nair’s sophomore feature, “Umrika,” is a straightforward, ingratiating drama that builds toward a satisfyingly expansive close. Chronicling a rural youth’s journey to the big, bad city to discover what really happened to his supposedly America-bound brother, the pic belies its potentially cliched themes with likable understatement. The lead presence of “Life of Pi” star Suraj Sharma (in his first Bollywood role) and “The Grand Budapest Hotel’s” Tony Revolori should draw some interest beyond the usual home and expat auds for Indian cinema.
An entire mountain-farming village turns out to send off ambitious Udai (Prateik Babbar), who’s doing the unimaginable by starting on the long journey to the United States, an almost mythical place for this isolated community. When he fails to be heard from for months on end, »
- Dennis Harvey
Jeff Robinov’s Fosun-backed Studio 8, together with Chinese distribution company Bona Film Group, will partner with Tom Rothman’s TriStar and Film4 on the adaptation of Ben Fountain’s acclaimed novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, to be directed by three-time Oscar-winner Ang Lee.
The deal brings together several members of the family of companies at Sony Pictures, which will distribute the film worldwide, except for Greater China, which Bona Film Group Ltd will handle. Film 4 will have UK free television.
The film is now set for start of principal photography in mid-April and casting is underway.
In the film, Bravo Company, and 19-year-old private Billy Lynn, survive a harrowing Iraq battle that is captured by news cameras. They are brought home by the Us administration for a promotional tour, culminating at the spectacular halftime show of aThanksgiving Day football game, all while facing an imminent return to the war. »
- Melissa Thompson
Jeff Robinov’s Fosun-backed Studio 8, together with Chinese distribution company Bona Film Group, will partner with Tom Rothman’s TriStar and Film4 on the adaptation of Ben Fountain’s acclaimed novel “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” to be directed by Ang Lee.
Sony Pictures will have worldwide distrib rights except for China which Bona Film will handle.
“Ang is pushing the envelope even beyond what we achieved in ‘Life of Pi.’ Innovation is key to getting audiences out to cinemas now, but such advances often take a brave village,” Rothman said. “I have long admired Jeff personally and have great respect for Studio 8 and Bona. It’s a neat fit, as we are all in the business of trying to do cool things for Sony, not to mention we park right next to each other.”
In the film, Bravo Company and 19-year-old private Billy Lynn survive a »
- Justin Kroll
Simon Beaufoy, who won an Oscar for writing “Slumdog Millionaire,” adapted the book for Film4 and The Ink Factory. The film will be produced by Marc Platt, Ink Factory’s Stephen Cornwell, Rhodri Thomas and Simon Cornwell, and Lee.
Also Read: TheWrap’s 25 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015: From ‘Fifty Shades’ to ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Spectre’
Filming is set for April and casting is now underway.
The dark satire »
- Linda Ge
Festival resurges as launch pad for awards contenders while sales agents are prepared for healthy market
Those up in arms over Hollywood’s limited roles for women and minorities should be excited for the diversity of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday with no shortage of films that address the broad range of human experience, while renewing the festival as a key launch platform for awards season hopefuls.
- Jeff Sneider
And the Oscar nominees are ... the whitest since 1998.
That's the truth as far as the acting categories are concerned. For the first time in 17 years, not a single person of colour stands to win an acting Oscar. [The Atlantic says the last entirely white Oscar nomination list was in 1995. We'll let them duke out which year it is.]
We here at Moviefone Canada looked at Oscar winners and nominees from the past decade to see how they stack up against the upcoming 2015 ceremony. We restricted ourselves to the acting, directing and screenwriting categories.
The definition of "people of colour," of course, varies widely. But when it comes to Oscar nominations, we largely considered people who don't come from an all-white heritage within the last couple of generations.
We plugged the numbers ... and 47 out of 350 nominees in the past 10 years went to people of colour.
That's 13 per cent ... and it's not enough. Especially when U.S. government statistics show that white people (excluding Hispanics or Latinos) make up only 62.6 per cent of the country's population. »
- Jesse Ferreras
February 22 could be the least-watched Oscar show in years, no matter how hard energetic new host Neil Patrick Harris and his musically gifted producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron try to dazzle viewers worldwide -- having the five best songs performed on the show is a start. Viewers come to see their favorite films-- from "Argo," "Life of Pi" and "Gravity" to "The Lord of the Rings," "Titanic" and "Avatar"-- vie for Best Picture. »
- Anne Thompson
Do: check the instructions (Wild)
This month sees the release of Wild, based on Cheryl Strayed's memoir about her solo hike along the gruelling 1,000 mile Pacific Crest Trail. Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon) certainly doesn't make it easy for herself, buying the wrong type of gas cylinder for her stove and thus being forced to subsist on a diet of "cold mush."
Don't: give up (Touching The Void)
Consider the obstacles that Joe Simpson faced during his calamitous attempt to climb Peruvian mountain Siula Grande: a broken leg; a fall into a crevasse; and zero hope of rescue after partner Simon Yates left him for dead. And yet, as recounted in classic documentary Touching The Void, Simpson gritted his teeth and dragged himself through hell to reach safety.
Do: stay calm (Life Of Pi)
Travel is unpredictable. One minute, like Indian teenager Pi (Suraj Sharma), you're emigrating to Canada aboard a freighter. »
Oscar voters stuck to the arthouse and steered clear of the multiplexes this year.
Siding with art over commerce makes 2014’s slate of best picture nominees the weakest crop of contenders from a box office perspective in recent history.
This is the first time since 2007 that no film up for the top prize has collected $100 million domestically by the time nominations were announced. Only one film, “American Sniper,” looks positioned to ever hit that benchmark.
As it stands, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is the highest-grossing contender, having made $59.1 million Stateside.
“I don’t know if less people are going to watch [the Oscars], but it does mean that less people will be invested in the telecast,” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “It’s simply a numbers thing.”
Among the eight films up for best picture, the average gross before nominations were announced was $25.4 million. In contrast, »
- Brent Lang
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
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
The film will receive its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan 24 and is the only Indian title in its World Cinema Dramatic Competition. North America sales will be handled by ICM Partners.
Set in the mid-1980s, a small village in India is invigorated when one of their own travels to America and details his adventures through letters home. But when the letters mysteriously stop, his younger »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
First up, how are the extensive special effects coming along?
"We are coming to the very end of 2014," Jones said, "and the film has been shot and we are finishing the editing. There are so many complicated special effects in the movie, that it will take a while longer before the film will be complete."The special effects will be very impressive though. They are being done by Ilm, who are best known for their work on the Star Wars movies."Heading up the work are visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhoffer, who won an oscar for his work with Ang Lee on Life of Pi, and Jeff White at Ilm, who made the Hulk such an excellent and »
- Philip Sticco
15 items from 2015