12 items from 2014
After years of appearing in a succession of truly terrible movies from How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days to Failure to Launch to Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Matthew McConaughey has done an amazing job of reinventing himself in the public imagination as a hugely talented and in-demand actor. Finally fulfilling the promise he showed in the early days of Dazed and Confused, McConaughey’s run of films involving Killer Joe, Mud and Magic Mike resulted in an Oscar last month for Dallas Buyers Club.
This so-called “McConaissance” has generated plenty of column inches and enormous amounts of media discussion, but the Interstellar star is not the only actor to have hit a rich vein of form of late after years of uninspiring films. While critics and the Academy have been falling over themselves to shower McConaughey in praise, these six actors have been quietly enjoying their own career renaissances. »
- Jack Gann
Oscar doesn’t always translate to career gold, but winning an Academy Award can boost reputations, earning power and/or brand value. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, the poster children of Hollywood’s rags-to-riches stories, launched their careers by winning an Oscar for original screenplay in 1997 with “Good Will Hunting.” Since then, the two friends have become bona fide superstars — in Affleck’s case, both in front and behind the camera.
In the past 20 years, Oscar winners such as Quentin Tarantino (“Pulp Fiction”) and Jennifer Lawrence, who was nominated for her third Academy Award in four years, have proved that an Oscar win or even just a nomination can take a showbiz career to a whole new level.
After a four-year acting hiatus, »
- Maane Khatchatourian
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
What's It About? A routine space walk goes horribly awry when space debris smashes into the shuttle, leaving a medical engineer (Sandra Bullock) and an astronaut (George Clooney) a mere 90 minutes to make it to the International Space Station.
Why We're In: Even though you won't be getting the whole IMAX 3D experience of being alone in space with Sandy Bullock, you'll still feel crazy anxious about the fate of her character. Plus, Alfonso Cuarón and his crew have snagged tons of awards and Oscar nominations for this sci-fi chiller.
Exclusive: Go behind-the-scenes on "Gravity" (Video)
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
What's It About? Roman Polanski's take on Thomas Hardy's classic novel "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" is a Victorian drama about a lower class peasant (Nastassja Kinski) who runs into all sorts of trouble when her father discovers »
- Jenni Miller
Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Mr. Nobody Nemo Nobody (Jared Leto) is 118 years old and on his death bed. He’s the last human doomed to die in a world where mankind has achieved a level of immortality and no longer faces an expiration date. Before he passes on, Nemo gives an interview to share the story of his life, but the tale he tales is an impossible one featuring multiple outcomes and events that simply couldn’t all be true. Or could they? This gorgeously shot and endlessly fascinating film is actually from 2009 and only now getting a release here in the U.S. for reasons unknown. It’s far from a traditional film, but if you like science fiction that explores humanity in surprising ways then you owe it to yourself to seek this one out. Leto »
- Rob Hunter
Gravity While my opinion of Gravity has diminished somewhat since first seeing it, if there was a movie last year that I hope you caught in theaters before seeing it at home it would be this one. I just don't know how good this film can be on a smaller screen in your living room. After all, at home is where movies depend on the narrative even more than they do in theaters and this one is seriously lacking in that department.
Blue Is the Warmest Color (Criterion Collection) I don't quite understand the motivation behind Criterion's decision to release a bare bones version of Blue is the Warmest Color with the promise of a special edition further down the line, but here it is. Their explanation was something to the effect of "get it to the audience as soon as possible", but it seems to me Criterion is just sugar-coating a double-dip effort. »
- Brad Brevet
Best Supporting Actor
Justin Chang: Bonjour, Peter. I know you’re still settling into your new Parisian digs as we speak (I’m picturing you at your laptop in an “I Louvre Paris” T-shirt with a cafe au lait at the ready), so I appreciate your taking the time to discuss this year’s Oscar nominees for supporting actor and actress — specifically, the ones we’d love to see win, the ones we’d rather see lose, and the grievous omissions in each category.
To start with the latter: I was saddened, if not exactly shocked, that the Academy didn’t give James Gandolfini a supporting-actor nomination for his wonderful performance as a divorced dad navigating the perils of midlife romance in “Enough Said.” Some suggested early on that the actor’s death, just three months before Nicole Holofcener’s film made its world premiere at Toronto, would surely earn »
- Justin Chang and Peter Debruge
Jared Leto has been busy these last few years with everything except acting.
As frontman for rock band 30 Seconds to Mars, the former star of '90s teen drama "My So-Called Life" has toured the world, released four albums (most recently 2013's "Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams"), and settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit with his record label. He also directed "Artifact," a documentary about that lawsuit, and has made a name for himself as a savvy investor in the tech arena.
Set at the dawn of the AIDS era in the early '80s, "Dallas Buyers Club" marks Leto's first movie role since filming the underrated "Mr. Nobody" in 2007. He plays Rayon, a transsexual who goes into business with Ron Woodruff (Matthew McConaughey), an AIDS-stricken rodeo cowboy, to import AIDS treatment drugs unapproved by the government into the U.S. The role, which saw Leto drop more than 30 pounds, recently »
- Sean Plummer
Jared Leto has a coffin in the living room of his Los Angeles home. Perhaps even stranger, he’s not sure exactly where it came from. “I think it’s from ‘Mr. Nobody,’ ” he says, referring to the recently released film he shot back in 2007. “But I can’t really remember.”
Leto’s eclectic taste in titles, along with his wide collection of unique art from all over the world — including a sculpture inspired by the Moloko Bar in “A Clockwork Orange” — reflects a man and artist who is not easy to pigeonhole.
His co-star in “Dallas Buyer’s Club” instantly discovered that about Leto when they first came face to face: “I met a performance artist,” Matthew McConaughey says. “He is not someone bound by one certain craft — acting, »
- Jenelle Riley
When Jared Leto’s name was called at the Golden Globes as the winner of best supporting actor for his work as transgender prostitute Rayon in “Dallas Buyers Club,” he was likely the only person in the room to be surprised. In an interview one week ago today, which will appear in this week’s issue of Variety, Leto admitted he hadn’t prepared a speech and called himself a “dark horse.”
Asked backstage about this remark after his win, he noted, “Well, obviously I didn’t prepare a speech.” And does he still feel like the dark horse? “I’ve always been a bit of an outsider and I don’t think that changes after tonight.” But, as he noted, “Rayon was a bit of an outsider.”
In actuality, his speech was quite lovely and entertaining. He talked about waxing his entire body, including his eyebrows, and added, “”I »
- Jenelle Riley
Actor Jared Leto expressed gratitude for, uh, pubic hair during the acceptance speech for his first-ever Golden Globe award tonight for his role in Dallas Buyers Club. "I'm just fortunate it was a period piece, and I didn't have to do a full Brazilian," he said. "Ladies you know what I'm talkin about and so do some of you men, I think."
See the Hottest Live Photos From the Golden Globe Awards Red Carpet
Leto won the award for his role in Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. »
They’ll work closely with Vincent de la Tour, managing director of Twentieth Century Fox of Germany and Germar Tetzlaff, manager, marketing, of Twentieth Century Fox Germany with the goal to increase the co-production, acquisition and development of German-language films for Fip.
“Anna and Magdalena will be instrumental in continuing to build-out our local operations in Germany,” said Fox Intl. Prods. president Sanford Panitch in a statement. “Vincent de la Tour has done a superb job in both managing and distributing our local films in Germany, and this expanded production team brings additional strength to the already excellent local team.”
- Carole Horst
Now that my Overrated and Underrated picks have been released (which many of you have strong opinions about), it's time for me to unveil my 10 favorite films of the year. As I have said before, 2013 has been an incredible year at the movies, with fantastic big-budget blockbusters (Iron Man 3 and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), superb drams (Philomena, Mud), comedies (The Way, Way Back, Drinking Buddies) and everything in between (Spring Breakers). As much as I loved all of those films mentioned above, you will not find them on my Top 10, which can only mean that the quality of movies released this year was rather special, since superb cinematic experiences like these didn't make the cut. Of course, I didn't see Every movie released in 2013 (clickHere to check out every movie I saw this year), but this list represents the films that blew me away, in more ways than one. »
12 items from 2014
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