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Culture Dump #20: 5 Actors who Really want to win an Oscar!

The 90th Academy Awards is just a few months away – and you can tell. The industry has stepped up its game by firing out its best and brightest titles in the hopes of bagging gold – but who’ll come out on top? While Oscar predictions can often be hit and miss, some stars wear their intentions very much on their sleeve when it comes to Academy approval. People like…

Joaquin Phoenix

When actors pick roles the old saying goes: one for them, one for you. Unless you’re Joaquin Phoenix. The Gladiator star seems to have dedicated his entire career to fully immersing himself in characters most likely to land him on the Best Actor shortlist. While he may have only been nominated thrice (Gladiator in 2001, Walk The Line in 2006 and The Master in 2013), you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s happened more, having starred in look-at-me awards fodder Her,
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

‘Stronger’ Review

Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, Miranda Richardson, Clancy Brown, Lenny Clarke | Written by John Pollono, Jeff Bauman | Directed by David Gordon Green

David Gordon Green drifts yet further from his Pineapple Express and Your Highness frat comedy legacy with this safe and reverent adaptation of the true-life story of Jeff Bauman, a young Bostonian who lost his legs in the marathon bombing of 2013. You may not be familiar with the tale, but the film’s title will give you an idea of the direction of travel.

Excitement builds for the big race. Jeff (Jake Gyllenhaal) heads to the finish line to cheer his on-off girlfriend, Erin (Tatiana Maslany). Suddenly, two bombs explode, maiming the crowd with a rain of shrapnel. Jeff loses his legs. With the help of his family and Erin, Jeff begins his recovery: the traumatic aftermath, the recovery of memories, and the gradual move toward prosthetics.

It’s an all-American story,
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Laurie Collyer’s Road Trip Movie Starring Tessa Thompson and Melissa Leo Secures Distribution

Thompson in “Westworld

IFC Films will steer U.S. and Canadian distribution of Laurie Collyer’s new road movie, The Hollywood Reporter confirms. Led by rising star Tessa Thompson and Oscar winner Melissa Leo, “Furlough” co-stars Whoopi Goldberg and “True Blood” alumna Anna Paquin.

The comedy centers on a Thompson’s character, who is caring “for her aging mother while working at a jail,” THR details. “She gets assigned to accompany a rowdy prisoner (Leo) on an emergency furlough to visit her dying mother, but the duo’s trip goes haywire.”

No word on when to expect “Furlough,” but THR notes that it’s completed.

Collyer’s previous credits include “Sunlight Jr.” and “Sherrybaby.”

Thompson stars in “Thor: Ragnarok,” which is in theaters now. “Westworld,” “Creed,” and “Selma” are among her other credits. Her upcoming projects include sci-fi flick “Annihilation,” which sees her heading on a mysterious expedition, and Nia DaCosta’s “Little Woods,
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Mandeville Films Immersed in a World of ‘Wonder’

Mandeville Films Immersed in a World of ‘Wonder’
Even with all the talk of diversity/inclusion, Hollywood still overlooks people with disabilities, but 2017 offers reasons for hope — both on the awards front and at the box office.

In the Oscar race are such films as “Downsizing,” “Logan,” “The Shape of Water” and “Wonderstruck” as well as “Wonder,” starring Julia Roberts, and “Stronger” with Jake Gyllenhaal. All feature strong depictions of people with disabilities, or PWDs.

The latter two contenders were produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films. Last month, “Wonder” surpassed B.O. expectations with a $27.5 million opening weekend and it has now passed $100 million. The Lionsgate release centers on a boy with facial differences (Jacob Tremblay); “Stronger” is about the real-life adjustments of Jeff Bauman after the Boston Marathon bombings.

Lieberman and Hoberman say it wasn’t a game plan to release three films about outsiders in one year — they also produced the year’s biggest earner, “Beauty and the Beast” — but
See full article at Variety - Film News »

IFC Nabs Melissa Leo, Tessa Thompson Comedy ‘Furlough’ (Exclusive)

IFC Nabs Melissa Leo, Tessa Thompson Comedy ‘Furlough’ (Exclusive)
IFC has nabbed U.S. and Canadian distribution rights to “Furlough,” a new comedy with Tessa Thompson, Whoopi Goldberg, and Melissa Leo, Variety has learned.

Furlough” centers on a woman (Thompson) who lives with and cares for her aging mother (Goldberg), while working part-time at a jail. At work, she is given a chance to show off her abilities when she is assigned to accompany an unruly prisoner (Leo) on an emergency furlough to visit her dying mother. The trip does not go as planned.

Furlough” was written by Barry Strugatz and directed by Laurie Collyer, who previously worked with IFC on “Sherrybaby,” a critical hit that starred Maggie Gyllenhaal. Leo, an Oscar-winner for “The Fighter,” is back in the awards race again with this year’s “Novitiate.” Goldberg won an Oscar for “Ghost” and currently co-hosts “The View.” Thompson recently appeared as Valkyrie in “Thor: Ragnarok.” Her credits include “Westworld,” “Creed,” and “Dear White People.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Oscar Race Is the Year of the Character Actress

Oscar Race Is the Year of the Character Actress
Ask Melissa Leo about the challenges of being a “character actor” and she’ll respond with a hearty laugh.

“Because I get hired at the last minute my moniker for myself is ‘Last-Minute Leo.’ They call me in when they don’t know what else to do,” Leo says. She adds that it’s “a badge of honor.”

Actors who have the “character” label may not always land magazine covers (or want them, frankly), but a number of lauded actresses known for getting lost in their roles are dominating this particular awards season with a vengeance. The legendary Frances McDormand (four Oscar noms and one win) in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is one of them, Lesley Manville in “Phantom Thread” is another. And of course Leo, who won an Oscar for her role in “The Fighter.”

In the 1960s period drama “Novitiate,” Leo pays a Reverend Mother whose world is turned upside down by new reforms
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Melissa Leo On Becoming A Nun, Acting Opposite Puppets & That Bleeped Oscar Speech – The Actor’s Side

Melissa Leo On Becoming A Nun, Acting Opposite Puppets & That Bleeped Oscar Speech – The Actor’s Side
Melissa Leo won a supporting actress Oscar for David O. Russell’s 2010 feature The Fighter and a whole slew of other top awards in her career including Emmys and Golden Globes. In the latest edition of my video series The Actor’s Side, the New York/Vermont-raised actress talks about getting bleeped during her Oscar acceptance speech, starting out in acting by working opposite giant puppets, what makes a good director, and why it’s not such a bad thing to be on a soap…
See full article at Deadline »

Christian Bale Completes His Dick Cheney Look with Bald Head and Weight Gain

Christian Bale Completes His Dick Cheney Look with Bald Head and Weight Gain
With a bald head and a heavier figure, Christian Bale is ready to play former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The actor, 43, who regularly undergoes dramatic weight transformations for roles, will play George W. Bush’s second-in-command for the upcoming movie Backseat. He was spotted without hair on Monday while doing press in Los Angeles for his new western movie, Hostiles.

To pack on the pounds, Bale previously said that he’s eating a Thanksgiving favorite.

“I’ve just eaten a lot of pies, so far,” he told Variety.

Related Video: Christian Bale’s Most Transformative Roles of All Time

Bale
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Amy Adams Talks ‘Justice League,’ American Cinematheque Award

Amy Adams Talks ‘Justice League,’ American Cinematheque Award
Amy Adams can rise to any challenge: sparkle as a princess, brawl like a Boston barmaid, dance with Muppets, kiss Superman, earn five Oscar nominations and hold her own against Meryl Streep — twice. Still, on Nov. 10, the deeply private, craft-driven actress will face a new test when Tom Hanks, Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Kristen Stewart, Chris Messina and Denis Villeneuve take the stage of the Beverly Hilton Hotel to praise her talents as the 31st recipient of the American Cinematheque Award.

Being lauded for her entire body of work is “a little overwhelming,” says Adams. “I tend to look at things piece by piece.”

As for the prospect of watching a montage of her entire filmography, Adams falls silent. “Yup,” she eventually says with the well-mannered equanimity of an actress who spent years doing dinner theater in Minnesota. Then she giggle-exhales.

“I wasn’t even comfortable at my wedding having my family say things that were nice
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Ridley Scott’s Decision to Replace Kevin Spacey Sends the Right Kind of Message (Opinion)

Ridley Scott’s Decision to Replace Kevin Spacey Sends the Right Kind of Message (Opinion)
On Wednesday, director Ridley Scott announced a plan that is virtually unprecedented in the history of Hollywood: With his new film “All the Money in the World” already in the can and less than two weeks from its planned world premiere, he will recast Kevin Spacey’s role (as deep-pocketed oil tycoon J. Paul Getty) and reshoot the publicly disgraced actor’s scenes with 87-year old Christopher Plummer, while still attempting to adhere to the film’s Dec. 22 release date.

It’s a bold move, and one that I predict, sight unseen, could earn Scott his first best director Oscar. Not that awards had anything to do with Scott’s dramatic switch. He wanted to save the picture, which might easily have imploded by association with Spacey, who was last week accused of making sexual advances on several young men.

Spacey is just the latest domino to fall in a brisk industry-wide house-cleaning triggered by last month
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Melissa Leo Remembers Her Greatest Fashion Hits on the Red Carpet

Melissa Leo Remembers Her Greatest Fashion Hits on the Red Carpet
Two-time Oscar nominee and supporting actress winner Melissa Leo is still getting used to the limelight. “It’s a struggle that I frankly have had, of not having grown up as an actress walking red carpets and being seen in places, except my work,” she says. “And now, at fiftysomething years old, this old actor finds she’s got to find a graceful way to walk in that world.” She credits costume designer greats including Ann Roth and Marlene Stewart for teaching her how to dress for her body. She often considers her character in her fashion choices. “I don’t think, should I get invited to wonderful places this year with ‘Novitiate,’ that I will show up in a habit,” jokes Leo, who’d always longed to play a nun. “But I think a ladylike gracefulness would go along with the Reverend Mother; dark colors would suit her. It’s a respect that I pay to
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘The Ashram’ With Melissa Leo Lands At The Orchard — Afm

The Orchard has secured North American distribution rights to Ben Rekhi's thriller The Ashram, starring Sam Keeley (The Cured), Oscar winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Kal Penn (Harold and Kumar franchise), Hera Hilmar (Da Vinci's Demons) and up-and-coming Indian actress Radhika Apte (Badlapur). Co-written by Rekhi and Binky Mendez and shot in India, the film is set in the timeless and mystical world of yogis in the Himalayas. It follows American skeptic Jamie, who…
See full article at Deadline »

‘Novitiate’ Star Melissa Leo On the Demanding Role She ‘Prepared a Lifetime’ For and Still Can’t Quite Shake Off

‘Novitiate’ Star Melissa Leo On the Demanding Role She ‘Prepared a Lifetime’ For and Still Can’t Quite Shake Off
Melissa Leo doesn’t let go of her characters easily. Nearly a year after finishing production on Maggie Betts’ “Novitiate,” and the Oscar winner is still quick to slip back into the mindset and motivations of her Reverend Mother. As the head of a seemingly thriving convent, Leo is at her fearsome best, tasked with playing a woman who revels in her position, lording over the many young nuns (and those seeking to become nuns) with a steely reserve and a very sharp eye for discipline. A decade after she defied expectations and earned her first Oscar nomination for “Frozen River,” she delivers another powerful performance that could bring her to the podium again, this time in the supporting category.

But the Reverend Mother’s ability to wield absolute power is challenged during the course of Betts’ film, which is set in the mid-’60s, just before and after the
See full article at Indiewire »

Melissa Leo Previews Her Oscar-Worthy Performance as a Sadistic Nun in 'Novitiate' Clip (Exclusive)

Melissa Leo Previews Her Oscar-Worthy Performance as a Sadistic Nun in 'Novitiate' Clip (Exclusive)
In the period drama, Novitiate, the titular term -- a prospective member of a religious order who has yet to prove herself worthy of taking vows -- refers to Cathleen (Margaret Qualley of HBO's The Leftovers), an idealistic young woman who joins a convent, the Order of the Sisters of Blessed Rose, ruled over by Melissa Leo's authoritarian nun.

In this exclusive clip, debuting on Et, Cathleen's mother, Nora (Julianne Nicholson), confronts the Mother Superior of the cloister about the treatment her daughter is receiving, though the women have a difficult time seeing eye-to-eye. "It's Mother. Or Reverend Mother," Leo coolly chides. "I'm not a Miss, or a Mrs. either, for that matter." To which Nicholson replies, "Lady, I am not calling you Mother."

Photo: Sony Pictures Classic

Novitiate premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year before screening at last month's Toronto International Film Festival, earning Academy Award winner Leo (The Fighter) Best Supporting Actress
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Melissa Leo: 'Things we would call abuse on set? Happens all the time'

The Oscar-winning star of The Fighter talks about the difficulty of working with female directors, why she decides not to read the news and jealousy in Hollywood

About a third of the way into my interview with Melissa Leo, she stops talking; a curious, alarmed expression on her face. We’re in a conference room on the third floor of ABC Studios on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and Leo has spotted something.

“What the hell are those guys doing up there?” she says, motioning towards a water tower on the roof of a building close by. I’m struggling to spot exactly what she’s seeing, but there’s a rising sense of panic emanating from her.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Amazon, in Wake of Harvey Weinstein Scandal, Drops Robert De Niro Drama

Amazon, in Wake of Harvey Weinstein Scandal, Drops Robert De Niro Drama
The Harvey Weinstein sexual-assault scandal has claimed a high-profile casualty: Amazon will no longer produce an upcoming drama series starring Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore, since it was produced by The Weinstein Company.

The streaming service announced on Friday it was cutting all ties with The Weinstein Company, according to our sister site Deadline, dropping the De Niro/Moore series and moving forward with Matthew Weiner’s The Romanoffs anthology series, but “without the involvement of The Weinstein Company.”

VideosSam Bee Obliterates Harvey Weinstein, Warns Remaining ‘Hollywood Creeps’

The untitled De Niro/Moore series, which was to be written
See full article at TVLine.com »

Directors' Trademarks: Darren Aronofsky

  • Cinelinx
Directors’ trademarks is a series of articles that examines the “signatures” that filmmakers leave behind in their work. In this installment, with the release of Mother!, we’re looking at the trademark style and calling signs of Darren Aronofsky as director.

Darren Aronofsky trained as a field botanist after high school. As part of his studies, he embarked on a backpacking trip across Europe and the Middle East. This inspired him, and he decided to attend Harvard, eventually graduating with a degree in film studies. He then went on to the American Film Institute to study directing. In 1997, he released his first feature film, the low-budget Pi. This film was well received by critics, and Aronofsky won the best director award at Sundance. Due to the success of his debut, he was offered the opportunity to make another film with a larger budget. That film became Requiem for a Dream,
See full article at Cinelinx »

Tiff Review: ‘Stronger’ Pushes Beyond Biopic Clichés

Peter Berg’s take of unsung heroes Patriots Day is barely a year old and here we are with another Boston Marathon bombing film in David Gordon Green’s Stronger. Rather than focus on the event itself, however, John Pollono’s script turns focus squarely onto the shoulders of Jeff Bauman—the terrorist attack’s most recognizable victim. But while he could have easily minimized this man’s struggle into a generic fluff piece of Hollywood inspirational perseverance, he admirably highlights the darkness those “lucky” enough to survive endure instead. We’ve seen the interviews and heard pundits declare Jeff a hero on national TV. We’ve seen his smile waving the Bruins’ flag and throwing a Red Sox pitch. Pollono and Green make it their duty to show what’s missing from those images: the pain concealed beneath.

Our country is owned by reality TV and the 24-hour news
See full article at The Film Stage »
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