18 items from 2014
Tilda Swinton has always exuded an otherworldly aura. Maybe it’s the pale, almost translucent skin that highlights her steely blue eyes. She speaks with such rabid intelligence that even a casual conversation sounds like it was scripted by Dorothy Parker. She seems impossibly tall, a willowy figure whose striking, androgynous looks have been tilted toward a wide range of menacing characters.
In Wes Anderson’s latest fairy tale, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” the 53-year-old Scottish actress is virtually unrecognizable under droopy skin and wrinkles as octogenarian Madame D. In the just-released drama “Only Lovers Left Alive,” directed by Jim Jarmusch, she portrays Eve, a chic-looking (if 3,000-year-old) vampire. And in June, she’ll be seen Stateside in Bong Joon-ho’s futuristic “Snowpiercer” as a terrifying political leader whose inspiration draws from equal parts Kim Jong-un and Marilyn Manson.
Her versatility as an artist makes her impossible to classify.
- Jenelle Riley
If the guy from the Dos Equis commericals is The Most Interesting Man In The World, it’s possible that Tilda Swinton is The Most Interesting Woman – though she has the advantage since she’s real, and so are her accomplishments. Taleted, thoughtful and endlessly idiosyncratic, Swinton has been crafting indelible characters on film since the late 1980s, when she worked with late director Derek Jarman, and slowly moved into more mainstream projects where her natural singularity created distinctive, memorable characters and performances. And since 2005, she has collaborated closely with equally unique filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, in whose latest project, Only Lovers Left Alive, she plays Eve, an anachonristic – and yet timeless – vampire in a long-term, and long-distance relationship with her equally immortal partner Adam (Tom Hiddleston).
Swinton recently spoke to press at the film’s Los Angeles press day, where she unpacked the film’s themes – and its impact on »
- Todd Gilchrist
With no more skin in the "Bourne" game—he's decidedly not involved with Justin Lin's "Bourne 5" coming next summer—Tony Gilroy has some time on his hands and what better way to spend that free time than to talk screenwriting with some BAFTA members. The half-hour long lecture finds Gilroy shedding light on his "entire Kama Sutra of Hollywood experience," joking about how he's "assumed both positions as a screenwriter." The talk finds the "Michael Clayton" writer-director in his usual completely honest mode. Essentially, any time with a writer of Gilroy's stature is definitely something you'll want to check out. Whether you're a fan of the filmmaker or just wanting to learn more about the industry, this lecture—part of BAFTA's Screenwriters Lecture series—is well worth a look. Watch it below. »
- Cain Rodriguez
• The original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Noomi Rapace, will star as a CIA Agent in Unlocked. Mikael Hafstrom (Escape Plan) is set to direct the thriller, in which Rapace’s character gets tricked into supplying info to the wrong side and ends up at the center of a potentially devastating biological attack on London. Peter O’Brien’s 2008 Black List script was recently let go from Warner Bros. (which picked it up in 2010) and is being produced as an indie. [Deadline]
- Lindsey Bahr
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
new to stream
Tarzan: Disney’s glorious 1999 animated version, and the last film of the Disney Renaissance [my review] [at Netflix]
I caught up with…
La Camioneta: The Journey of One American School Bus: follow a humble yellow school bus as it is transformed into something joyous and defiant; it’s like discovering that your grandma has another life as a secret agent [my review] [at Netflix]
new to streaming
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Smaug is a magnificent cinematic creation… but there’s no good reason it takes so damn long to get to him [my review] [at Amazon UK Instant Video]
new to Prime
Byzantium: acclaimed director Neil Jordan takes on vampire horror, and finds a hard-edged feminism in a new mythology of the bloodsuckers [at Amazon UK Instant Video] The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: kooky-cutesy dramedy about British pensioners who retire to India, where they can »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Tilda Swinton is not only one of the best actresses working in Hollywood today, but also one of the most unique. She has a unique look that has served her well in such memorable roles as Orlando in Orlando, the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Karen Crowder in Michael Clayton (which earned her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress). With each performance she gives, Swinton brings a raw originality that other actors can’t quite lay claim to, and she captivates you thoroughly for every moment she appears on screen. That holds true for her latest role as well, which has her playing a centuries old vampire in Only Lovers Left Alive and sees her back with independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, whom she worked with on Broken Flowers and The Limits Of Control.
Yes, Only Lovers Left Alive is another vampire movie, »
- Ben Kenber
Even in a generic corporate office, in the middle of an exhausting multi-city promotional tour, Tilda Swinton couldn't help but be cheeky. The statuesque Scottish Oscar-winner gave an impromptu tour of her home for the day — an antiseptic room at Sony Pictures Classics, distributor of her slow-burn vampire film Only Lovers Left Alive. (It opens Friday, April 11th.) She pointed out the framed, crookedly hung Sony logo on the wall ("That's a lovely piece of art," she said dryly, "Can you imagine?") and commented on a lonely bulbous vase guarding »
President Johnson gave a historic speech about voting rights one week after violence erupted in Selma, Alabama.
Watch a trailer for The Grand Budapest Hotel below: »
• Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage is in final talks to join the Adam Sandler comedy Pixels, about aliens versed in only 1980s video games who appropriate those strategies for their attack on Earth. A group of video game experts are called upon to defeat the threat. Chris Columbus is directing the pic. Josh Gad and Kevin James also star. [The Wrap]
• Mel Gibson is in talks to star in Blood Father, which the report describes as a “Taken-style action thriller.” The film is about an ex-con who is trying to protect his 16-year-old daughter from drug dealers who are out to kill her. »
- Lindsey Bahr
There's quite a lot of firepower already stacked up behind Ava DuVernay's Martin Luther King Jr. biopic "Selma." Brad Pitt and Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner are producing (hot off a Best Picture Oscar win for "12 Years a Slave") along with Oprah Winfrey, and today, a new actor has been announced for the cast. The Wrap reports that Oscar nominee Tom Wilkinson ("In the Bedroom," "Michael Clayton") is in early talks to play President Lyndon B. Johnson in the film, which will star David Oyelowo ("Lee Daniels' The Butler") as King in the story of the landmark 1965 voting rights campaign. This is one of three Mlk films that have been in the works, the others being "Memphis" (penned by Paul Greengrass with Scott Rudin producing) and an Oliver Stone/Jamie Foxx project set up at DreamWorks that has the backing of the King family. Those projects were very slowly coming together, »
- Kristopher Tapley
• Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) is in talks to board Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck. The details of the comedy are being kept under wraps, but it stars Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, and Colin Quinn. Swinton would be joining as Schumer’s boss. Saturday Night Live’s Vanessa Bayer and Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) also recently boarded the movie, set to hit theaters on July 24, 2015. Swinton is currently starring in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. She can be seen next opposite Tom Hiddleston in Jim Jarmusch’s vampire pic Only Lovers Left Alive »
- Lindsey Bahr
Tommysaurus Rex and Tom McCarthy - sounds like a perfect match. Over at Heat Vision they're reporting interesting development news on a comic book adaptation that's been in the works since 2004. Universal first acquired the rights to adapt Doug TenNapel's graphic novel Tommysaurus Rex back in 2004, ten years ago, for around $1 million. The project has been bouncing around at the studio ever since, but now they've picked up Tom McCarthy, an actor/writer/producer and director who will be co-writing the script and possibly directing the movie, too. Now I actually have some hope this might turn out pretty damn good. Most may recognize Tom McCarthy from the Meet the Parents series, or Michael Clayton, 2012, The Lovely Bones and so on. However, McCarthy is actually an award-winning director, behind the films The Station Agent, The Visitor and Win Win, as well as a writer, credited on the script for »
- Alex Billington
Oscar 2014 TV ratings: 10-year high in overall viewership in U.S. (image: Twitter hit ‘Ellen selfie Oscars,’ featuring Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, and Oscar 2014 company) Hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, whose "Oscars selfie" became a record-breaking Twitter hit, and featuring the likes of Angelina Jolie, Will Smith, and John Travolta as presenters — in addition to a pizza delivery man as part of an extended DeGeneres joke — the 2014 Oscar ceremony hit a 10-year high in overall viewership. In the coveted 18-49 age bracket, this year’s Oscar show drew a 12.9 rating vs. 13.0 last year; overall, in the United States an estimated 43 million people watched at least some segments of the Oscar telecast held on Sunday, March 2, 2014 — up 6% compared to last year’s show hosted by Seth MacFarlane, and featuring Ben Affleck’s Argo, Jennifer Lawrence, Daniel Day-Lewis, Christoph Waltz, and Anne Hathaway among the winners. »
- Steve Montgomery
As much as we talk about the stats and trends of the Oscars, each year of the awards seems to present us with a new piece of history. This year, Dallas Buyers Club could make history as the first film to win both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in a film that did not receive a Best Director nomination. While Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto seem to be locked into their wins, this did provide an interesting jumping off point to look at the recent history of this category.
Here are the films in the past 25 years that have managed a Best Actor and Supporting Actor nomination:
1989: Driving Ms. Daisy – Morgan Freeman and Dan Ackroyd
1993: Schindler’s »
- Terence Johnson
By Mark Pinkert
* * *
For my final post of the Oscar season, I decided to interview Scott Feinberg, the preeminent Oscarologist and namesake of this website, to get some insights from him about his own career and influences, his experiences on the awards circuit this year and his impressions about the current state of the film industry. Below is the full transcript of our conversation. It’s long, but certainly worth a read.
MP: Tell me a little bit about how you began your career and also about your early influences—not just in movies but in journalism.
Sf: Well, I’ve always been interested in journalism and, in fact, one of the earliest things I remember doing was a project at the local library—I must have been in third or fourth grade. It was basically to create a newspaper, a sort of news bulletin. This was before we »
- Mark Pinkert
The 2014 Academy Awards are fast approaching and one of the most interesting races will see Lupita Nyong'o, Jennifer Lawrence, June Squibb, Sally Hawkins, and Julia Roberts competing for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. With that in mind, it's time to take a look back at previous winners in that category. Indiewire is sharing the 48 films which earned Best Supporting Actress nods and are now available to stream on Netflix and Amazon Instant. From the all-time classics (Ruth Gordon for "Rosemary's Baby," Kim Hunter for "A Streetcar Named Desire") to more recent favorites (Tilda Swinton for "Michael Clayton," Penelope Cruz for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"), these are the performances the Academy chose to highlight. The Help (2011) – Octavia Spencer The Fighter (2010) – Melissa Leo Precious (2009) – Mo'Nique Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) – Penelope Cruz Michael Clayton (2007) – Tilda Swinton Dreamgirls (2006) – Jennifer Hudson The Constant Gardener (2005) – Rachel »
- Max O'Connell
The walls of his rustic chic home, tucked away on a quiet wooded street in Studio City, are graced with framed black-and-white photographs of gorgeous leading men from a bygone era: Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Gregory Peck and Paul Newman, among them. In his living room, next to all the regal portraits, there is a snapshot of him and then-Sen. Barack Obama side by side at a 2006 Washington, D.C., press conference concerning the genocide in Darfur. The walls of George Clooney’s abode — once owned by Gable himself — speak volumes about the man who is at once a charismatic star craving legendary fame and someone who thinks beyond the borders of insular Hollywood.
Meet Citizen Clooney.
The 52-year-old actor-director-producer is among a small group of celebrities, including power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, as well as Oprah, and Bono, who can shine a global camera on significant »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Since 1988, there have been 30 instances where the actor and supporting actor for the same film were nominated. This year, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are hoping to make it 31 films as both are in contention for Oscar nominations. With that, I decided to take a look at the past 25 years in Oscar to see what might bear out this year for these actors.
List of Films with Actor and Supporting Actor Nominations
1989: Driving Ms. Daisy – Morgan Freeman and Dan Akroyd
Oscar Fate: 9 nominations/4 wins (Picture, Actress, Adapted Screenplay and Makeup)
Oscar Fate: 10 nominations/2 wins (Art Direction, Costume Design)
Oscar Fate: 9 nominations/4 wins (Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, and Film Editing)
Oscar Fate: 6 nominations/1 win (Original Screenplay)
1993: Schindler’s List »
- Terence Johnson
18 items from 2014
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