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Benicio Del Toro landed an Academy Award for 2000’s “Traffic,” in which he played a conflicted police officer. His new film, “Sicario,” puts him back in the world of drug trafficking, but as a very different character — a mysterious, dangerous man bent on revenge. Will Smith has earned two Oscar nominations for playing real-life people in “Ali” and “The Pursuit of Happyness.” He stands to earn his third nod for his portrayal of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a doctor who fought against the National Football League to expose the danger of head trauma in players. Among many topics, the two spoke about their mutual love of Roger Deakins and Eddie Murphy.
- Jenelle Riley
By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
“I don’t find it difficult at all to make a hit movie,” says Will Smith, arguably the biggest movie star on the planet for the past 20 years, as we sit down to tape the 13th episode of ‘Awards Chatter,’ the first podcast that he’s ever done. “I find it really freaking hard to make a good movie.”
Smith’s latest film, Concussion, in which he portrays the Nigerian-born forensic pathologist who took on the National Football League for suppressing evidence that concussions cause players long-term harm, is likely to be received as both. Indeed, the hard-hitting drama, which had its world premiere at AFI Fest on Nov. 10 and will be released by Columbia nationwide on Christmas Day, almost certainly will bring Smith his third Oscar nomination for best actor (the previous two also came for biopics, 2001’s Ali and 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness »
- Patrick Shanley
This year’s Oscar hopefuls boasts the largest roster of biopics in recent memory. From more traditional, straight-forward affairs such as Straight Outta Compton and Black Mass, to films that focus on one particular real-life event such as The Big Short and Spotlight, to less typical takes focused on separate periods in the subjects’ lives such as Steve Jobs and Love & Mercy, this year’s films cover the entire spectrum of the biopic genre.
As a result, many of the frontrunners in the four major acting categories are for performances portraying real-life people. Looking back on the Academy’s history, it is hard to find a year in which an acting award did not go to a performer portraying a real person. Eddie Redmayne, Matthew McConaughey, and Daniel Day-Lewis (the last three best actor winners) all starred in biographical films.
This year the trend looks to continue, »
- Patrick Shanley
Biopics have been a staple in global cinema for decades, but have seemingly become more prevalent over the past few years. In fact, it’s gotten to the point that established actors who haven’t played a real person at some point early in their career are few and far between. And here’s a news flash: based on this sample, most actors seem to really enjoy it. Will Smith has already earned two Oscar nominations for his portraits of real people, first with Muhammad Ali in “Ali,” then as Chris Gardner in “The Pursuit of Happyness.” And he’s back in the race this year as Dr. Bennet Omalu, who battled the NFL to expose a football-related brain trauma in “Concussion.”
Another case in point, Kate Winslet. The Oscar winner has portrayed five historical figures to date and could barely contain her enthusiasm describing the research that went into »
- Gregory Ellwood
Earlier this year, when the nominations for the 87th Annual Academy Awards were announced with every actor in contention being Caucasian, the hashtag #Oscarssowhite began trending on Twitter with fans reacting to the lack of diversity in acting categories (the year before, however, had a person of color nominated in every major acting category except best actress and the past two best directors, Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón, are Mexican).
This year’s race is not shaping up to be that much more diverse than its predecessor, with almost none of the acting frontrunners being people of color. The strongest contender at the moment seems to be Will Smith, who has earned two nominations in his career for playing real-life figures (best actor as legendary boxer Muhammad Ali in 2001’s Ali, best actor as struggling father Chris Gardner in 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness »
- Patrick Shanley
At a key turning point in Gabriele Muccino’s “Fathers and Daughters,” Russell Crowe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist is sent into a severe tailspin by insensitively harsh reviews for the work he regards as his personal magnum opus, the unpromisingly titled “Bitter Tulips.” One wonders if Italian helmer Muccino is tacitly chiding his own critics in the wake of such English-lingo misfires as “Seven Pounds,” but either way, this waxen slab of glossily packaged soap is unlikely to get them — or mass audiences — back on side. Though its tale of intergenerational psychological crises alternates between parallel, mutually predictable plotlines, set in 1989 and 2014 respectively, the film itself appears to have sprung principally from the former era: In its shape and sheen, “Fathers and Daughters” seems dated even before Michael Bolton surfaces to cough up a gelatinous closing-credits ballad.
Already released in multiple Euro and Asian territories, “Fathers and Daughters” is still seeking a U. »
- Guy Lodge
Will Smith is potentially going to be a force to reckon with in Best Actor this year, but first he’s going to be honored at the 19th annual Hollywood Film Awards. Yes, Smith is receiving the Hollywood Actor Award for his work in Concussion, which looking to shake up the Oscar race (no pun intended). The talented actor has a baity role here that he very well may have knocked out of the park, so this is very much a jumping off point for his strong Academy Award candidacy. The Hollywood Film Awards could have gone in any number of directions here, but their choice of Smith should speak volumes about his work. Don’t you dare sleep on him as a player in the Best Actor field, as he could shoot to the top of the category in no time… Here’s part of the press release once »
- Joey Magidson
Will Smith has been a major box office earner for nearly two decades, but recent years have seen some low points in the star’s career, with 2012’s Men in Black 3 and 2013’s After Earth both underperforming. Though the star is known primarily for big summer blockbusters, he has received recognition from the Academy for his work in serious dramas.
This year, with the release of the controversial football-centered film Concussion, Smith is hoping to reassert himself as a serious actor and garner further attention from Oscar. With a Christmas release slated for the film, however, it will have stiff competition at not just the box office, but for awards season momentum as David O. Russell‘s Joy, Quentin Tarantino‘s The Hateful Eight, Alejandro G. Iñárritu‘s The Revenant, and Adam McKay‘s The Big Short are all opening that week with big Oscar potential. »
- Patrick Shanley
Two-time Academy Award® nominated actor Will Smith will be honored with the “Hollywood Actor Award” for his performance in Concussion, and Academy Award® winning actress Jane Fonda will receive the “Hollywood Supporting Actress Award” for her role Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth. The “19th Annual Hollywood Film Awards” will be hosted by critically and globally acclaimed actor, comedian and late-night talk show host, James Corden. The awards ceremony will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, on Sunday, November 1, 2015. The Hollywood Film Awards, the official launch of the awards season®, has recognized excellence in the art of cinema and filmmaking for 18 years, honoring some of the world’s biggest stars. More than one hundred honorees have gone on to garner Oscar® nominations and wins. “Will Smith and Jane Fonda, two of Hollywood’s finest actors, deliver tour de force performances in Concussion and Youth,” said Allen Shapiro, CEO of dick clark productions. »
With 17 out of his 21 leading roles banking over $100 million each, no other actor has ever quite held a candle to Will Smith’s box office successes.
Officially the most bankable star on planet Earth, Will left behind “The Fresh Prince” moniker to become the quintessential blockbuster leading man in movies like Independence Day, Men in Black, and Bad Boys. The Philadelphia native also found critical acclaim for his work, banking two Oscar nominations for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness; Though he was never better than in 1993’s Six Degrees of Separation.
We will openly admit to being a little distracted by the younger generation of Smiths’ antics – seriously, Jaden, a Batman costume at a wedding? – but Will Smith is truly the hero of this particular story.
It’s the Willenium after all.
- Sasha James
Will Smith may have solidified his place on the A-list with blockbuster films like Bad Boys, Independence Day, The Pursuit of Happyness, and the Men in Black trilogy, but we'll never forget how he got his start: as the basketball-playing, backward-hat-wearing funny guy on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It's safe to say that time has been very good to Will, and in addition to his youthful looks, he's also retained his boyish charm and infectious laugh. In honor of the iconic show's 25th anniversary today - and because we're still devouring those Fresh Prince reruns - here are 11 examples that prove he's still Bel-Air royalty. »
- Brittney Stephens
Following the critical drubbing of wonky drama “Seven Pounds” and the box office disappointment of M. Night Shyamalan’s sci-fi clunker “After Earth,” actor Will Smith’s career seemed due for a realignment.
He signed on with a handful of indie directors breaking out into larger territory (Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s “Focus,” Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s “Collateral Beauty”) and even dived headlong into Hollywood’s superhero revolution (David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad”). Tucked within are a pair of prestige dramas, one from Edward Zwick (“The American Can”) and the other a potential awards player this season (Peter Landesman’s “Concussion”). Let’s look at the latter, which debuted a teaser trailer Monday.
The film tells the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian-born neuropathologist who was the first to blow the whistle on the NFL and the connection between brain trauma in football players and a sport where guys, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Will Smith stars as real-life crusader Dr. Bennet Omalu in the upcoming Columbia Christmas release "Concussion." The good doctor battled the NFL after he discovered the true extent of the damage caused by repetitive head injuries to football players. Will this true story be embraced by the Oscars? Watch the new trailer below and use our drag-and-drop menu to make your predictions. -Break- 'The Martian' trailer: Will Matt Damon overthrow Bff Ben Affleck at the Oscars? Smith has been nominated twice before at the Oscars, both times for playin real-life people. His first bid came for another true sports story as boxer Muhammad Ali in "Ali" (2001). His second was for another against-the-odds true story: "The Pursuit of Happyness" (2006), in which he played Chris Gardner, a homeless father who eventually became an entrepreneur. We know how much the Oscars love true life tales. Indeed, nine of th »
Of the many storylines that begin during awards season, few are usually as compelling as the ones centered around who’s most due for an Academy Award. I think that it’s usually pretty satisfying to see a former bridesmaid finally become a bride, as it were. As such, below I’ve made up a list of ten actors or actresses who’ve previously been nominated for Oscars but have yet to win one who are in contention this year. I’ve more or less ranked them by how due they are, and just to be fair, I’ve excluded anyone who has already won a prize elsewhere (sorry Matt Damon, for example), or any of the myriad contenders who are seeking their first ever nomination by the Academy. Take a look below and I hope you enjoy! Here now are the ten actors and actresses most due for their »
- Joey Magidson
Some of the objections to the fast-track auction of bankrupt Relativity Media were abandoned or cast aside by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in New York, though the final decision on whether the mini-studio will go on the block Oct. 1 remained to be decided when a hearing resumed Tuesday afternoon in front of Judge Michael Wiles.
One of the most obstinate opponents of Relativity’s quick bid to sell itself, Rka Film Financing of New York, dropped its objections to loans that will keep the bankruptcy and sale on track. The film financier has said it is owed more than $75 million that it loaned for promotion of films, which it claims was diverted to Relativity’s general operating expenses.
Rka’s concession that an auction could go ahead came following a compromise last week by the other side. Senior lenders Anchorage Capital Group, Luxor Capital Group and Falcon Investment »
- Brent Lang
Russell Crowe reunites with his Les Miserables co-star Amanda Seyfried in the first trailer from Voltage Pictures' Fathers and Daughters. The studio still has not issued a release date for this upcoming drama, directed by Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness), but it is expected to be released by the end of this year for Academy Awards season consideration. While we wait for that announcement, you can check out the first footage from this upcoming drama.
Jake Davis (Russell Crowe), a Pulitzer-winning novelist, finds himself fighting against the world when a fatal car accident leaves him to raise his 5-year-old daughter, Katie, all on his own. Overcome with guilt from the loss of his wife, he struggles with the daily routine of raising a child compounded by his overbearing relatives intent on taking her away from him. As the narrative weaves back and forth between the 1980s, and present day, »
Today we have an international trailer for the upcoming "Fathers and Daughters," starring Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Paul, Diane Kruger, Jane Fonda, and Octavia Spencer. Check it out below. Plot: A Pulitzer-winning writer (Crowe) grapples with being a widower and father after a mental breakdown, while, 27 years later, his grown daughter (Seyfried) struggles to forge connections of her own. The new movie is directed by Gabriele Muccino (Seven Pounds, The Pursuit of Happyness). A Us release date has yet to be set. Trailer: »
Italian filmmaker Gabriele Muccino may not be a household name in Hollywood, but his two most prominent western films – Seven Pounds and The Pursuit of Happyness – have underlined the director’s ability to capture raw, profoundly human emotions on camera. Now, Muccino is back with a star-studded cast for Fathers and Daughters, which has today debuted its heart-wrenching international trailer.
Starring Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried and Aaron Paul, Fathers and Daughters is a tragic tale about one family ripped apart by a car crash. It’s Crowe’s Pulitzer-winning novelist who shoulders the most pain, though, blaming himself for the loss of his wife. Left to raise a 5-year-old daughter on his lonesome, the narrative will jump between Katie’s troubled childhood and the present day, where she will be portrayed by Seyfried.
While the first look doesn’t appear to be too remarkable, Fathers and Daughters earns the benefit »
- Michael Briers
Michael Dorman (The Water Diviner, Wonderland) and Resurrection‘s Kathleen Munroe have been cast as male and female leads in Amazon pilot The Patriot, from The Pursuit of Happyness' Steve Conrad. The comedic thriller/family dramedy centers on not-quite-master spy John Allerton (Dorman), the son of Tom Allerton, a Director of Intelligence with the State Department. John’s career as a spy working under Non Official Cover (Noc) is plagued by one little detail: he’s got a… »
After having a brief bromance with Will Smith, working with the actor on "The Pursuit Of Happyness" and "Seven Pounds," Italian filmmaker Gabriele Muccino hasn't quite hit the same heights since in Hollywood. His last effort was the Gerard Butler effort "Playing For Keeps" and now comes "Fathers And Daughters" which has some decent names attached, but as this first international trailer reveals, maybe not the most promising results. Starring Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, and Aaron Paul, with a Black List approved script by Brad Desch, this is time-jumping tale about the relationship between a widower novelist and his daughter, with the story told through her eyes, in a narrative that spans decades. Here's the official synopsis: Jake Davis, a Pulitzer-winning novelist, finds himself fighting against the world when a fatal car accident leaves him to raise his 5-year-old daughter, Katie, all on his own. Overcome with »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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