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In politics, a Presidential endorsement can be the magic touch, imbuing a candidate with exposure and voter confidence. Does the same hold true in the Oscar race? The team behind "Boyhood" hopes so. Speaking to People Magazine (via The Huffington Post), President Obama revealed that he fell hard for the Richard Linklater’s 12-years-in-the-making, coming-of-age film. And he was kind of a quote-whore about it. "'Boyhood was a great movie," Obama told the magazine. “That, I think, was my favorite movie this year.” Is it too late to send out guild screeners emblazoned with that quote? Obama is, traditionally, a softy when it comes to movies and television. When People put him on the spot with the same question in 2012, the President named "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Life of Pi" and "Argo" as his favorites. He has told the press that "Modern Family" and "Parks and Recreation" are family favorites. »
- Matt Patches
Now that the wildly popular podcast Serial has come to a close, we're ready to watch the murder mystery unfold on the big screen -- and we know just who would play Jay, Sarah Koenig, Adnan Syed, Hae Min Lee and of course, Mr. S.
Photos: The 10 Biggest Breakout Stars of 2014
If you're unfamiliar with the true crime podcast that draws over 1 million listeners per week and is put on by the This American Life producers, Serial reexamines the 1999 murder of an 18-year-old Baltimore high school senior named Hae Min Lee.
Not long before Lee went missing, she had broken up with her boyfriend, then-17-year-old Adnan Syed, an honors student of the Muslim faith who was later tried and convicted for killing her. Adnan is now 33 and serving a life sentence for Hae's murder, but insists in a series of telephone interviews with producer Sarah Koenig that he's innocent.
Above is the first piece of concept art Disney has released for "The Jungle Book," which looks more like the 1967 animated version of the Rudyard Kipling tale. But director Jon Favreau ("Iron Man," critics' fave "Chef") is attempting a film more along the lines of "Life of Pi" or "Avatar," a photorealistic fully immersive 3D world with lush environments and amazing animated animals. Starring 10-year-old Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Esposito, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley and Lupita N'yongo, Disney's "Jungle Book" remake is slated for an October 9, 2015 release. Here's more official language from Disney: Directed by Jon Favreau (“Chef,” “Iron Man,” “Elf”), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of »
- Ryan Lattanzio
This interview contains a spoiler for, er, The Snowman.
Airing tonight on Channel 4 is White Christmas, a feature-length episode of Black Mirror that weaves together three tech-paranoia tales set against the backdrop of the festive season. Writer Charlie Brooker likens the special to a selection box - a sound description if you can imagine Cadbury’s substituting Crunchies and Curly Wurlies for tragicomic ruminations on voyeurism, torture and ostracisation.
It’s a terrific ninety minutes; funny, acerbic and eventually horrifying. It feels exactly like watching a condensed series of Black Mirror in a single sitting, which should be both recommendation and warning to fans of the show. However disturbing a reflection of our world Brooker shows us though, in his own words, “There’s nothing in that that »
While being the guest of honor in the River to River Florence Indian Film Festival, actor Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi) talked with The Hollywood Reporter about his career in both Hollywood and Bollywood and what can audiences expect with the upcoming blockbuster, Jurassic World in which he plays the park owner. Read his remarks about the film below:
When asked about his role in the upcoming film, he said:
“I'm playing the park owner, a very flamboyant person. When the first Jurassic Park came out, I barely had the money to see it, and now I'm playing a part. He's trying to entertain the world with good intentions, but sometimes being flamboyant doesn't mean having much wisdom.”
Then he was asked about what is different in this film from the original film and he said:
“For sure it will have more vibe. It's the Jurassic World of these times, »
- Munir Abedrabbo
After being the guest of honor at the River to River Florence Indian Film Festival, Life of Pi star Irrfan Khan sat down with The Hollywood Reporter and shared a few of his thoughts on being honored, his illustrious film career, and his role in the upcoming blockbuster sequel Jurassic World. Not much has been revealed about his role yet, but according to the official website, he'll be playing the new park owner Simon Masrani, a man who inadvertantly sets off the film's devastating events after creating a new species of dinosaur. Check out Khan's comments on Jurassic World below and definitely check out the full piece by clicking Here! What can you tell us about your upcoming role in Jurassic World? I'm playing the park owner, a very flamboyant person. When the first Jurassic Park came out, I barely had the money to see it and now I'm playing a part. »
Actor Irrfan Khan was the guest of honor at the celebrated River to River Florence Indian Film Festival where Mayor Dario Nardella awarded him the keys to the city. The actor, his first time in Italy with his first European retrospective, was visibly moved. Residents of the famed Tuscan city enjoyed the full spectrum of his work, from The Lunchbox to his starring episodes of In Treatment. Khan, who started out as an actor in Bollywood, has gained huge success in Hollywood, working in Academy Award winning films including Slumdog Millionaire and The Life of Pi. He’s been a part of billion dollar franchises, playing
- Ariston Anderson
Animated features are a vital addition to Hollywood’s balance sheets, and are contenders for the best animated feature Oscar and on occasion even compete for the best picture gold. But in some crafts, animated features remain ghettoized.
Features that adopt the “animated” moniker have never been Oscar-nominated for their cinematography. Yet three recent cinematography winners, “Avatar,” “Life of Pi” and “Gravity,” had more computer-generated imagery than photography, and might have qualified as “animated” if they’d been so submitted. Animated films get nominated for sound and music, but not for art direction and costume design.
Why not? Why are designers on “animated” films ignored in favor of live-action?
See Also: Gallery: Artists Get Into Character
Sound designer Randy Thom believes animated films are at a disadvantage because they’re often marketed for families or children and often lean toward the comedic, which can mean they’re not taken as seriously. »
- Karen Idelson
Big Star Trek 3 news, folks. While it was clear that J.J. Abrams was not going to be able to return to direct Trek 3 due to his duties on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Paramount Pictures opted to keep things familiar by tapping Star Trek producer/writer Roberto Orci to make his feature directing debut on the project. This was a big coup for Orci, who has zero directing credits to his name and is a massive Trek fan, but was cause for concern for some who thought his previous filmography as a writer and producer wasn’t exactly encouraging. Well now those fans can rest easy, as word comes that Orci has vacated the director’s chair for Star Trek 3. With Paramount wanting to have the film finished in time for the Star Trek 50th Anniversary in 2016, they’ll need to work quickly to find a replacement. »
- Adam Chitwood
Ten films have made the cut with the academy's Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee. Now, all visual effects branch members will have the opportunity to view 10-minute excerpts from these shortlisted works on Jan. 10 to determine the five films that make the Oscar ballot. -Break- Even though this category used to belong to summer blockbusters, 10 of the last 14 Visual Effects Oscars have gone to a Best Picture nominee, including the last six in a row: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Avatar," "Inception," "Hugo," "Life of Pi" and "Gravity." That is great news for "Interstellar," Christopher Nolan's technologically audacious thriller about space travel. It is the overwhelming frontrunner in this race. The comic book crime fighters still in the running are: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” a »
In the race for best picture of the year, the first three prizes were a draw between “Boyhood” (New York Film Critics Circle), “Birdman” (Gotham Awards) and “A Most Violent Year” (National Board of Review). But these scattered results only play to the advantage of “Boyhood,” Richard Linklater’s paean to growing up that was 12 years in the making. Here are 12 reasons why “Boyhood” will probably be the best picture winner at the Academy Awards next February.
(1) The Early Frontrunner Theory
In Oscar seasons with no late-breaking favorite, the early frontrunner wins by default (see 2006’s “The Departed,” 2009’s “The Hurt Locker” and 2012’s “Argo”). “It’s a s—ty year for the Oscars, like it was a s—ty year at the box office,” says a member of the Academy, talking about this year’s race. The fact that “Unbroken,” “Selma” and “The Imitation Game” are all opening at around the same time, »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Produced by Manish Mundra and Swati Shetty, Umrika features Life of Pi fame Suraj Sharma along with Adil Hussain, Prateik Babbar, Rajesh Tailang and Tony Revolori in lead roles. The film is about a young village boy who discovers that his brother, long believed to be in America, has actually gone missing. He begins to invent letters on his behalf to save their mother from heartbreak, all the while searching for him.
Nair’s first film Delhi in a Day traveled to several festivals in India and Indian festivals abroad, besides releasing theatrically in August 2012.
Last year, Geethu Mohandas’ Liar’s Dice was selected for World Cinema Dramatic Competition in Sundance.
Clearly, the harrowing 135-minute survival tale is Oscar material. That said, it's not necessarily a Best Picture slam dunk. Word was that the film was a hard sit, and violent. All true. But the movie compares in a good way to Oscar-winners "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and "The Deerhunter" or more recent "Life of Pi"— and while our fair hero suffers much torment at the hands of his nemesis, a Japanese prison commander named "The Bird," well-played by Japanese rock star and rookie actor Miyavi with poise and malevolent charm, the movie is not too hard to take. That's because O'Connell embodies the tenacious spirit of Zamperini, who did get to see the film at the hospital on Jolie's laptop before he died this July at age 97. Following “Unbroken”’s rousing Australian premiere, director Jolie is back in Los Angeles, having finished filming her third feature "By the »
- Anne Thompson
Angelina Jolie had one key goal, I believe, in bringing Unbroken to the screen, and that was to do right by the remarkable life of Louis Zamperini. Simple as that. And that she has accomplished in every way. This was clearly evident as the film got its local sendoff Sunday afternoon with multiple screenings for guild and Oscar voters as well as the pundit crowd, which couldn’t wait to jump on Twitter to give an instant verdict on the film’s Oscar chances.
After all, this one is a big target, as it is the last realistic Best Picture contender to debut and it has been handicapped, virtually since it went into production, as the one to beat. Is it? Who knows?
Some viewers sent off mixed vibes afterward, though most seemed at the very least to admire it. A few cautioned about the realistic scenes of torture that Zamperini, »
- Pete Hammond
Revisit Gareth Edwards' massive Godzilla movie with this awesome VFX breakdown video that has been released by Legendary Pictures. This gives the fans an intriguing look at the film’s visual effects and shows us how much attention to detail they had when animating the epic Kaiju battle at the end of the film. The effects were created by Mpc, who also worked on the VFX for Man of Steel, World War Z, Life of Pi, and Prometheus. If you enjoy watching behind the scenes visual breakdowns like I do, then you’re really going to like this one!
- Joey Paur
As CEO of DreamWorks Animation, Jeffrey Katzenberg has seen a huge upheaval in the Hollywood landscape over the past 20 years. The carefully-crafted 2D animations have fallen by the wayside, as souped-up digital blockbusters like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar have taken their place.
Katzenberg, who oversaw an animation renaissance during his tenure as Walt Disney Studios chairman (which spanned from The Little Mermaid to Tarzan), isn't wistful for those heady days. "I don't have a nostalgic gene in me," he told Digital Spy. "What I find most valuable focusing on are my mistakes and on the things that went badly because I find my best lessons come from the things I did wrong, not the things I did right."
The studio boss addressed latest offering Penguins of Madagascar, what's in store for DreamWorks and why the industry has let the public down with its approach to 3D.
There's a »
Adil Hussain is one of the most respected actors in the Indian film industry today, but the Life Of Pi actor was recently spotted repairing Sunny Deol’s punctured tire at a makeshift garage near his residence!
Surprised? Well, don’t be… it was a part of a promotional activity to promote upcoming film Zed Plus, in which Adil Hussain plays the role of a puncturewala named Aslam. The photographs taken at the venue show that Adil was indeed taking his role quite seriously while Sunny, who was joined by the film’s director Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi, looked on with an amused smile.
Directed by Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi, Zed Plus is a political satire about a poor man, who is given Zed Plus security following a chance meeting with the Prime Minister of India, leading to hilarious consequences.
- Press Releases
If current frontrunner “The Imitation Game” does indeed end up winning best picture at next year’s Academy Awards, it will be the latest in a growing list of winners that played at the Toronto Film Festival. In fact, every best picture winner since 2008 has played the fest (sometimes after first screening to Telluride tastemakers), with the two closely spaced fests coming to be viewed as the start of awards season.
Playing Toronto — and winning kudos there — gives a film time to build buzz and be perceived as the movie to beat. That psychology seems to come in handy in fending off latecomers. Last year, the two frontrunners were “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity,” both of which screened in Toronto. While others films — from “American Hustle” to “The Wolf of Wall Street” — came along to attempt to challenge their status, in the end, it was a “12 Years”-“Gravity” showdown. »
- Jenelle Riley
When the cast of Exodus: Gods and Kings was coming together a few years ago, some fans started to complain that this Biblical re-telling of Moses' story was happening with all white actors, which include Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley and Aaron Paul. While we still have a few weeks left until this epic adventure hits theaters, it remains to be seen if the caucasian cast will be criticized even more. When asked about the "whitewashing" in an interview with Variety, director Ridley Scott revealed that he never even considered hiring non-white actors, claiming that his movie would never get financed.
"I can't mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such. I'm just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn't even come up."
The project, selected for this year’s Co-production Market at Film Bazaar, is based on the true story of an Indian food company that was taken over by a multinational in the 1990s.
“The rest of the cast will be from Delhi,” said Kharkongor. “This is the story of a five-member family, headed by Rajat’s character, who runs a successful company, and the things that happen to each of them in a changing India.”
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Udita Jhunjhunwala)
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