6 items from 2015
The actor-musician will sing “Lost Stars,” nominated for Best Original Song
Also Read: Oscars 2015: The Nominees (Photos)
“Adam Levine is an exceptional and dynamic artist. We’re thrilled to have him make his Oscars stage debut this year,” said Zadan and Meron.
“Lost Stars” is written by former New Radicals »
- Linda Ge
By Anjelica Oswald
Of the five Oscar-nominated original songs for the 87th Academy Awards, Selma’s “Glory” and Beyond the Light’s “Grateful” are the only songs that solely play over the end credits of their respective film. The other three songs — “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie, “Lost Stars” from Begin Again and “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me — are all performed at some point during the film.
Now, that’s not to say that the end-credits songs aren’t relevant to the plot. Both “Grateful” and “Glory” stick with the themes of their respective films and summarize relevant events, even if they aren’t integral to each plot’s progression.
“Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie is featured in the film as a popular song in the Lego universe, one the characters sing along to, but »
- Anjelica Oswald
It has been seven years since Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová stood on an Oscar stage, stunned and humbled while accepting the Best Song award for their timeless ditty, “Falling Slowly,” from Once. Slowly, the imitators of that modest Irish masterwork have started to appear. Song One, the debut film from Kate Barker-Froyland, owes much of its flavor and feeling to John Carney’s gen. From the downbeat acoustic touches and low-fi feel to the location shoots inside Williamsburg music stores and concert halls, her film tries to depict both the joy and grit involved in making music that Once displayed with ease. However, despite some lovely chemistry from the lead actors, Song One is too pleasant and not powerful enough to hook you into the central romance. Mere minutes after viewing the film, one also strains to remember how any of the tunes went.
Like an early scene from Once, »
- Jordan Adler
Can a song save your life? That was the question posed in “Begin Again,” John Carney’s followup to the beloved indie musical “Once.” That film, formerly titled “Can A Song Save Your Life?” wasn’t so hot, but a more authentic version of the same kind of story and organizing principle is realized in “Song One.” Starring Anne Hathaway, Johnny Flynn, Mary Steenburgen and Ben Rosenfield, “Song One” is set in the singer-songwriter music scene in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and is about a young woman (Hathaway) who strikes up a unlikely relationship with her ailing brother's favorite musician. The movie features original songs written by Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice and features live performances by musicians like Sharon Van Etten, The Felice Brothers, Dan Deacon, Paul Whitty, Naomi Shelton and Elizabeth Ziman. Here's our review from Sundance, and here's the movie's official synopsis: Oscar® winner Anne Hathaway (Interstellar, »
- Edward Davis
After Gravity blew your eardrums out of the airlock in 2013 with its seamless mix of sound effects and music, it was hard to imagine a film wowing just as much the year after, but 2014 was a year in which movie soundtracks became, if anything, even more intricate, from films about the nature of being a musician to those that replicated the noise of human existence for alien senses.
Before 2014 becomes a distant ringing in the ears, here are the top 14 movie soundtracks of the year.
Once you've heard Mica Levi's soundtrack to Under the Skin, everything else sounds both disappointing and even more exciting. I say 'soundtrack' because, like the best movies, Jonathan Glazer's sci-fi understands that sound and music are two halves of the same hastily-conceived metaphor. »
One of the most disappointing realities about 2014 was that as box office shrank compared to last year, independent films were often hit the hardest. Despite stellar reviews, even festival darlings like “Whiplash,” “Foxcatcher,” “The Skeleton Twins” and “Dear White People” each grossed less than $10 million domestically. Here are the 17 most underrated movies of 2014 that deserve a second look in the opinion of Variety’s film critics and reporters.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s biggest, most buzzed-about performance of 2014 may have been in “Nightcrawler,” but his best work could be found in “Prisoners” director Denis Villeneuve’s existential thriller about a mild-mannerded Toronto history professor who discovers he has a doppelganger in the form of a bad-boy bit-part movie actor. Virtually a solo — make that dual — performance piece, with Gyllenhaal playing most of his scenes opposite himself (and, in one case, a giant tarantula), this freewheeling mash-up of Davids Cronenberg and Lynch »
- Peter Debruge, Ramin Setoodeh, Scott Foundas and Jenelle Riley
6 items from 2015
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