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Palm Springs, CA (December 19, 2014) . The 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival(Psiff) will present Academy Award-winning actor Robert Duvall with the Icon Award and Academy Award-nominated director Alejandro G. Iñárritu with the Director of the Year Award for Birdman at its annual Awards Gala. The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Richard Linklater, Julianne Moore, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Eddie Redmayne, J.K. Simmons, Reese Witherspoon and the cast of The Imitation Game. Presented by Cartier, and hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2-12.
.Robert Duvall gives an outstanding and amazingly realistic performance as Judge Joseph Palmer in The Judge,. said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. .This is sure to be remembered in his long listof iconic character roles, including Tom Hagen in The Godfather films, Gus McCrae in Lonesome Dove, Mac Sledge in Tender Mercies, »
The sleeper indie hit Mud was considered a pivot-point for Matthew McConaughey, who was transitioning away from mimbo roles into darker and more complex territory, like his subsequent Oscar-winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club. But Mud also featured another actor at a similar career crossroads: Reese Witherspoon. In Wild, Witherspoon teams up with McConaughey's Dallas director Jean-Marc Vallée and writer Nick Hornby to bring Cheryl Strayed's 1,100-mile-hike memoir to the screen. It's a savvy career move by the revitalized actress/producer after several years of mediocre choices (Four Christmases? How Do You Know?) that failed to take advantage of »
- Jeff Labrecque
Every year, there are always some enticing “based on a true story” films that make their way to big screens. In past years, 12 Years a Slave, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Philomena have been some of the more critically-acclaimed entries that were based on true stories. This year brings plenty more, with films likeFoxcatcher, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything being high-profile films that have already generated a considerable amount of Oscar buzz.
One such film which hits theatres in month is Wild starring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern. Adapated from Cheryl Strayed's hughely popular memoir, the film follows Cheryl, who is played by Witherspoon, on a solo journey up the Pacific Coast Trail as she comes to terms with a gamut of personal issues. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, the movie made waves at Tiff where it premeired this past September, and is now slowly rolling »
- Amanda Wood
Several weeks ago, it was rumored that Jared Leto was being eyed to play The Joker in the DC Comics film Suicide Squad. While the 30 Seconds to Mars lead vocalist may seem like an odd choice for the Clown Prince of Crime, he proved he has the acting chops by earning multiple awards this past year for Dallas Buyers Club, so he may be able to handle the same role actors like Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger have performed in the past. After several weeks of silence, Leto has finally addressed this casting rumor with a cagey, yet clever answer. While interviewing him about his band 30 Seconds to Mars. documentary series Into the Wild, MTV asked Leto whether there was any truth to him being connected with the Joker role. Said Leto: "You know there.s a film called Fight Club, my friend. And you know the first rule is, »
Wildlike will screen at 5:00pm Saturday, November 22nd at the Tivoli Theater as part of the St. Louis International Film Festival. Ticket information can be found Here. Frank Hall Green will be in attendance to answer questions about his film
In writer-director Frank Hall Green’s Wildlike, Mackenzie (Ella Purnell of “Malificent”), a troubled but daring teenage girl, is sent by her desperate and struggling mother to live with her uncle (Bruce Geraghty of “The Hurt Locker”) in Juneau, Alaska. Although her uncle initially seems like a supportive caretaker and friend, the relationship takes an uncomfortably sinister turn, and Mackenzie is forced to run away. Trying to make her way back to Seattle alone to find her absent mother, Mackenzie instead ends up going ever deeper into the Alaskan interior. Lost and with no one else to turn to, she shadows a backpacker, the loner Bartlett (Bruce Greenwood of »
- Tom Stockman
Directed by Jean-Marc Valle.
There are times that Wild threatens to become the film everyone assumes it is, based on the trailer. Take, for instance, any scene where Cheryl comes into contact with the opposite sex. There’s always a tense exchange of dialogue, and in one scene, a vague threat of sexual assault. Yet, it’s always either played down or just dissipates, once Cheryl realises that the man in question is practically harmless.
It’s a strange thing to bring up in a movie, that, had it being adapted by anyone other than Nick Hornby, would have taken a little creative license and made said scenes a bit more…unsettling.
Yet, Wild isn’t the bleak, »
- Gary Collinson
Somewhere between Into The Wild and Ray Mears’ Wilderness Walks lies Wild, Reese Witherspoon’s hotly-tipped character drama. It’s set along the stunning vistas of the American west and has a new poster showing Witherspoon as the story’s heroine, Cheryl Strayed. Click on the pic for a closer look. Strayed’s book, Wild: From Lost To Found On The Pacific Crest Trail, tells the story of her attempt to walk the length of that path. Bearing in mind it spans California and Oregon and ends on the border of Washington State, and considering her hiking experience to that point was nil, this undertaking was not, to the outsider's eyes, wholly sensible. But Strayed was driven by more elemental forces – grief, heartbreak and enough person demons to populate a Stephen King novel – and she set off on a journey that would change her (and her feet) forever.Witherspoon, »
While some of the Holiday Forecast picks are locks (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, etc.), there are a handful of fringe titles (Unbroken, Horrible Bosses, Annie, The Interview) which could wind up outside the Top 12 when all is said and done.Which upcoming releases could move in to one of those spots? Here's a brief look at box office prospects for the rest of the movies set to open between now and the end of the year.Wide ReleasesDumb and Dumber To (Nov. 14): This is the movie that has the best chance of cracking the Top 12 holiday releases. The first Dumb and Dumber opened 20 years ago and earned $127.2 million; that's the equivalent over $241 million today. If the sequel sells half as many tickets, it will be one of the biggest hits of the season.Still, there are »
- Ray Subers
For many, the news that Disney are breathing life into one of their old titles will evoke the following reaction: great, another dreaded remake! In the case of White Fang, that’s only half-true, with the studio returning to the original source material for a modern take on Jack London’s classic novel.
This will be the second time London’s adventure tome will be receiving the big screen treatment from Disney. Their first effort in 1991 was a mildly-successful version helmed by Grease director Randal Kleiser and starring a young Ethan Hawke. Taking artistic license in a move away from the sprawling book, the original feature focused on Hawke’s young lad during the Gold Rush era after he befriends a wild wolf. The pair inevitably bond and traverse the wild together, which varied considerably from London’s novel.
Will this new update remain loyal to the original narrative? If »
- Gem Seddon
Carine McCandless waited 22 years to write the story of what pushed her brother Chris to disappear into the Alaskan wilderness on an ill-fated adventure that was later chronicled in Jon Krakauer's bestselling book Into the Wild and in Sean Penn's 2007 movie of the same name. "I just felt it was time," Carine, 43, tells People. "I think it's important for people to have the facts." Those facts, painfully detailed in her new book, The Wild Truth, out Tuesday, reveal that it wasn't just her brother's love of nature and adventure that drove him, but his longing to break free from his violent, »
- Johnny Dodd, @Johnny_Dodd
There have been many movies about the infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in the starting blocks for years but it took a Frenchman, Rassam, to deliver the first narrative feature about him in “Escobar: Paradise Lost.” Starring Benicio Del Toro and Josh Hutcherson, the film earned critical kudos at its Toronto festival preem in September.
In the past eight years, Rassam has succeeded in raising the financing for some of France’s biggest-budgeted English-language movies, such as “Upside Down” (estimated budget: $40 million) and the upcoming animated feature “The Little Prince” (budget: $77 million), directed by “Kung Fu Panda” co-helmer Mark Osborne with a voice cast that includes James Franco, Marion Cotillard and Rachel McAdams.
Rassam, who launched On Entertainment with his longtime associate Aton Soumache in January, is prepping a move to L.A. in March. “I already travel there 10 to 12 times a year, and I’m now really looking »
- Elsa Keslassy
Want to know what's in contention for Best Picture? Look to Best Film Editing. No category except Best Director has as much overlap with the top category as of late. Is that how things will turn out this year? Let's take a look… That aside, the branch is also fond of suspense films, action films and war films. Musicals (if they are big players overall) and films with non-linear narratives tend to have a leg up, too. We don't tend to see film editors racking up nods like we do other disciplines, though. Michael Kahn is the all-time nominations leader with eight. And don't get me wrong – that's a lot of nominations. But compared to "all time" figures in every other crafts category, it's on the low side. So with that out of the way, what can we bank on this year? William Goldenberg won this category two years ago »
- Gerard Kennedy
With Camp X-Ray hitting theaters this weekend, Kristen Stewart is finally exploring life beyond Twilight. The indie drama, which tells the story of one soldier stationed at Guantanamo Bay detention camp, is a far cry from Bella and the world of vampires Stewart became so famous for over the past five years. During that time, Stewart became pigeonholed and often hated on for her participation in The Twilight Saga. And for those who only know those films are doing themselves a disservice. Her latest film — the first of three high profile films she has coming out this year — has earned the actress accolades on the festival circuit and reminded many of the promise she showed in roles, such as Sarah Altman in Panic Room or Emily in Adventureland. It’s those films that fans (and the haters) should watch if they want to restore their faith in Stewart.
Panic Room (2002)
Directed by David Fincher, »
- Stacy Lambe
When HBO confirmed this week that Vince Vaughn would be joining the cast of the second season of True Detective, the Internet's reaction was mixed, to say the least. Colin Farrell had already been confirmed as one of the detectives, and while Vaughn's name had been linked to the show already, some fans felt that the show wasn't the appropriate place for the king of Frat Pack comedy. However, you shouldn't discount Vaughn too quickly, as there are actually several reasons why he may be a perfect fit for the new season. Keep reading to see our breakdown of why Vince is a great pick. He's Not Playing Colin Farrell's Partner One of the biggest misconceptions about Vaughn's role in the new season is that he is playing one of the lead protagonists. Instead, Vaughn is playing Frank Semyon, a career criminal who is being described as "the central antagonist" on the show. »
The McConaissance was already in full swing when Matthew McConaughey agreed to star in the first season of True Detective with Woody Harrelson. But HBO and show creator Nic Pizzolatto are gambling that the hard-boiled anthology can serve as a rejuvenation machine for other treading-water actors aching to break out of a rut. HBO officially confirmed today that Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn will star in season 2—but not as partners, a la Rust and Marty. Farrell is a cop, but Vaughn will play a “career criminal in danger of losing his empire when his move into legitimate enterprise is »
- Jeff Labrecque
Michael Cusumano here to talk about a quality title before the similar Wild completely overshadows it.
When people ask Robyn Davidson why she intends to trek across 1700 miles of punishing Australian desert with only four camels and her dog as company, she dodges the question or falls back on clichés like “Why not?” But even if Davidson is reluctant to spell out her motivation, director John Curran manages to make Robyn’s actions clear by tuning in the camera to her state of mind. In Tracks, the true story of Davidson’ 1977 journey, people are most often framed as mindless, swarming groups which descend on her, shattering her solitude. Journalists, tourists, even friends and family. They are all mobs. The sound design makes little attempt to separate their dialogue into discernable lines, letting them blend into a pack of chattering hyenas.
Having effectively put the audience on Robyn’s wavelength having »
- Michael C.
Directed by Dallas Buyers Club's Jean-Marc Vallee and based on a best-selling memoir by Cheryl Strayed, Wild stars Reese Witherspoon as a formerly heroin-addicted divorcee who decides to regain control of her spiralling existence by taking a 1,000-mile hike across the North American west.
Through a series of flashbacks, the narrative weaves in and out of Cheryl's present journey through the perilous but inspiring outdoors, and her past - the traumatising catalyst of her mother Bobbi's death, her descent into sex and drug addiction and her crumbling marriage. Her past hardships only highlight the several obstacles we see her overcome on her journey, including threats from rattlesnakes, a vanishing water supply, and the gargantuan backpack she lugs around, nicknamed 'The Monster'.
Nathaniel's adventures in Toronto. Running on fumes...
Color me surprised that my favorite among the consensus Best Picture hopeful Oscar launches from festival season (the others being Foxcatcher, Imitation Game and Theory of Everything... though I have yet to see Birdman which didn't play here) is Jean-Marc Vallée's Wild, an adaptation of the memoir by Cheryl Strayed. How could a months long solo hike across the Pacific Crest Trail be so cinematic? The answer is in its smart mosaic, visual and aural, as Reese hikes through expansive physical and intimate mental terrain. The present and the past converse and overlap consistently in the sound design like fragments of song sung, hummed or played as if remembered - who is singing? and snippets of dialogue the same evocative way.
- NATHANIEL R
Cheryl Strayed’s heartrending 2012 account of her 1,100-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail presented no shortage of obstacles en route to the bigscreen, not least in the way it used the great outdoors as the backdrop for a resolutely interior journey. But director Jean-Marc Vallee, screenwriter Nick Hornby and star-producer Reese Witherspoon have met the challenge head-on with imperfect but rewarding results in “Wild,” that represents a fine addition to the recent bumper crop of bigscreen survival stories. Resting squarely on Witherspoon’s sturdy shoulders (along with the back-crushing backpack she carts around throughout), the Fox Searchlight release should be admiringly received by critics and arthouse audiences come Dec. 5.
Still, the film could face some competition from John Curran’s equally accomplished “Tracks” (set to open Sept. 19 Stateside), this year’s other adaptation of a bestselling woman-in-the-wilderness memoir, and it remains to be seen whether it can improve on »
- Justin Chang
Telluride, Colo. — Fox Searchlight’s world premiere of “Wild,” starring Reese Witherspoon, kicked off the 41st Telluride Film Festival on Friday, screening to a packed Chuck Jones theater audience that included Witherspoon, co-star Laura Dern, director Jean-Marc Vallee and surprise guest Oprah Winfrey.
The pre-screening buzz on the adventure drama was all about Witherspoon. It was deserved: she offers a tour de force performance that moves her solidly into the Oscar race in the best actress category, where she last won in 2006 for “Walk the Line.” But the film should compete in many other categories, including supporting actress for Dern, who plays Witherspoon’s mother.
See Also: Photos from Telluride Film Festival’s Opening Day
Vallee, who last directed “Dallas Buyers Club,” easily »
- Tim Gray
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