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Biopics are an actor’s gateway to an Oscar nomination and those that play characters based on real people are often counted as the frontrunner in the awards race. Biographical reenactments are often counted as the highest form of acting talent with great scrutiny to not only the look of the real-life character but also sound and mannerisms of said person. Just look at previous winner Daniel Day-Lewis. Much was made about his uncanny resemblance to Honest Abe in Lincoln, and there was just as much debate over his choice to play Lincoln with a somewhat high-pitched voice.
Since 2000, over 35 performances in biopics have been nominated across the four acting categories at the Academy Awards. Winning roles have included famous people »
- Rachel West
On the night of June 9th 2007, a new television reality show called ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ went on air in the UK. On its first ever broadcast, a shy, unassuming man opened his mouth to sing the famous operatic aria ‘Nessun Dorma’, delivering a beautiful, stirring rendition that would change his life from that moment forward.
Swept up in the contagious emotion of Giacomo Puccini’s stunning aria, and the unlikely figure with crooked teeth and diluted confidence who had crooned it for them, the show’s three judges – Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan – stared in awe at what they had just witnessed, while the audience of 2,000 at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff erupted in a standing ovation.
Britain was instantly won over by Paul Potts, who was then working as a manager at the Port Talbot branch of The Carphone Warehouse, and followed him on his »
- Michelle McCue
A month ago Academy Award winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) dropped out of Paul King’s adaptation of the beloved children’s book Paddington, saying that he no longer felt that his voice fit the part. His departure came just a few months before the iconic British bear’s winter release date, meaning King and co. needed to find a new voice actor quickly.
Whishaw told the Daily Mail that he had “no relationship to Paddington whatsoever” before being asked “quite out of the blue” to audition for the part, but in the grand scheme of »
- James Garcia
It's the 1969 Academy Awards, and Walter Matthau and a tuxedo-clad chimp present John Chambers with an honorary Oscar for his work on Planet of the Apes. Viewed in retrospect it's one of the more surreal presentations in the ceremony's history, but this was something of a landmark event for the industry. It was only the second time the Academy had dished out a prize to make-up artists (William J Tuttle won four years earlier for 7 Faces of Dr Lao), and it highlighted the growing importance of Hollywood's backstage creative artists.
Fast-forward 45 years and prosthetics are giving way to digital pixels - for characters that require a complexity of movement and expression, performance capture technology gives a director the scope to execute their vision by marrying an actor's performance with visual effects. In its basic form, the actor will strap on a bodysuit that's wired up to a computer. All their »
Oscar winner Mike Nichols (The Graduate, HBO's Angels in America) will direct Academy Award winner Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady, Sophie's Choice) in Master Class, HBO Films' adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play of the same name by Terrence McNally, who will adapt his work for the screen, it was announced today by Michael Lombardo, president, HBO programming, who issued the following statement.
"We are delighted to welcome back the incomparable Mike Nichols and the gifted Meryl Streep, whose collective brilliance shone on HBO with Angels in America almost ten years ago. Terrence McNally's riveting play about the iconic Maria Callas is the perfect platform for these two consummate talents."
Director Mike Nichols also offered his own statement.
"It is a terrific play written with awareness of a great artist's process, and it will be one great artist playing another."
Master Class will begin production in early 2015, with Nichols, »
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Sept. 2, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $40.99
The documentary For No Good Reason explores the life of British cartoon-artist Ralph Steadman, who is best known for caricatures he created alongside the work of longtime friend, journalist Hunter S. Thompson of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas fame (or infamy).
For No Good Reason was mainly shot on Steadman’s country estate with the artist’s pal Johnny Depp (The Tourist) serving as tour guide and narrator. The film, which incorporates archival footage, personal photographs, selections of the artist’s provocative and entertaining work and animated “updates” of said work, also features contributions from Terry Gilliam (Monty Python), Richard E. Grant (The Iron Lady), Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption) and Jann Wenner (co-founder and publisher of Rolling Stone), and features music from Slash, All-American Rejects, »
After turning to crowdsource funding in his efforts to raise money for his long-planned Miles Davis film, House of Lies actor Don Cheadle is finally moving forward with Miles Ahead, which he’ll both star in and make his directorial debut on. Shooting begins this week in Cincinatti, and Entertainment Weekly just unveiled our first look at Cheadle in the role (below).
Carrying a trumpet and proudly sporting the jheri-curled mullet Davis made famous, Cheadle certainly looks the part. And if what we’ve been hearing about Miles Ahead so far is any indication, Cheadle’s appearance is just one of many reasons to be excited for this film. For one, the actor has shied away from the word biopic - Miles Ahead focuses on the jazz musician’s attempts to break out of his five-year silent period and into the music industry – as well as back into the heart »
- Isaac Feldberg
Actor Robert Carlyle is making his directorial debut on the new horror comedy The Legend of Barney Thomson (formerly The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson), and we have the first image from the set for you. Check it out!
Myriad Pictures announced Tuesday that principal photography has begun in the UK on the darkly humorous film which will star two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks, Sense and Sensibility), Ray Winstone (Snow White and the Huntsman, The Departed, Hugo), and Carlyle, who will also play the title role.
The script is based on a widely popular series of novels by Douglas Lindsay and was adapted for the screen by BAFTA award-winner Colin McLaren (Donkeys) and Richard Cowan. Myriad Pictures is handling worldwide sales on the film.
In The Legend of Barney Thomson, Carlyle plays the title character, a downtrodden Glaswegian barber who inadvertently stumbles into serial murder, with both absurd and macabre consequences. »
- Steve Barton
The TV Collective founder Simone Pennant has questioned the validity of the licence fee at a Creative Week panel on the lack of diversity in the film and TV industries.
Pennant, whose organisation The TV Collective has tens of thousands of members, told the audience: “There’s so much talk around this issue but if we don’t have real progress, I think a lot of our membership will ask ‘why should I pay for something like the licence fee?’. If they aren’t going to service or support our needs then why should we pay? People are getting very despondent and are dropping out of the industry because they are tired of this issue.”
Pennant, who was speaking on a panel about practical ways producers can make productions more diverse, added: “The way the Bame community is perceived needs to change. I get too many requests for runners and researchers.”
Film producer »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Meryl Streep steps into the role of a maniacal dictator as Chief Elder in the upcoming adaptation of Lois Lowry's 1993 novel "The Giver." Channeling Margaret Thatcher ("The Iron Lady") and Miranda Priestly ("The Devil Wears Prada"), she looks scary as ever in the new trailer, promising the transformation of 'disorder into harmony.' Directed by Phillip Noyce ("Salt," "The Quiet American"), the haunting story centers on Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), a young man in a colorless, dystopian world who comes into knowledge of the dark and twisted past of his community. Boasting a stellar supporting cast, including the likes of Jeff Bridges, Alexander Skarsgård, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift, the film will be released in theaters on August 15. Check out the trailer below: »
- Oliver MacMahon
English ingénue Carey Mulligan broke onto the international stage in 2009 with her Academy Award-nominated turn in An Education. Since then, she's shown a passion for tackling daring dramas, from the sci-fi-infused love triangle tale Never Let Me Go to Steve McQueen's nymphomaniac character study Shame, and Nicolas Winding Refn's ultra-violent romance Drive. Now she's giving voice to the early feminist movement with her upcoming drama Suffragette. Collider shares the first still from Suffragette, which shows Carey Mulligan in turn-of-the-century attire, raring for a fight at a "Votes for Women" rally. At her side appears to be Romola Garai, and tucked under that dreadful big hat hides Helena Bonham Carter. Screenwriter Abi Morgan, who has previously adapted history into female-fronted dramas with The Iron Lady and The Invisible Woman, found her inspiration for Suffragette, not in the genteel upper class ladies most often associated with the movement, but with »
Tom Rothman’s TriStar Productions has joined with BBC Films to greenlight The Lady In The Van, Alan Bennett’s adaptation of his commercial and critical West End hit, based on his own bestselling memoir.
The film tells the true story of Miss Shepherd, an eccentric woman of uncertain origins, who “temporarily” parked her broken down van in Bennett’s London driveway… and proceeded to live there for the next fifteen years. Smith, who will play the singular Miss Shepherd, will be joined by Alex Jennings (The Queen), who will play both Bennett and, with some movie magic, his alter ego, Ab.
The film will be Hytner’s first directorial outing after ending his massively successful decade at the head of the British National Theatre. »
- Michelle McCue
How this fall will shake out in terms of the 2015 Oscar race is largely still a mystery, but few films have as much clout behind them heading into the second half of the year as Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette. With its absolutely loaded cast and thrilling, true-history story, Suffragette is basically Oscar bait at its finest. And with An Education‘s Carey Mulligan, Les Miserables‘ Helena Bonham Carter and Nowhere Boy‘s Ann-Marie Duff in the cast, not to mention Meryl Streep, this is shaping up to be one formidable awards contender.
Now, we’ve got our first look at the film, with an image (above) that shows, from left to right, Duff, Mulligan and Bonham Carter’s characters raising their voices as part of a feminist protest. What makes Suffragette particularly interesting is that it doesn’t center on the feminist movement as a whole; rather, it zeroes in »
- Isaac Feldberg
Unfortunately, we won't be seeing Carey Mulligan on the big screen at all this year, but that doesn't mean the actress isn't working this year. The Great Gatsby star has a lead role in Suffragette as Maude foot soldier of the early feminist movement who turns radical and begins using violence for change. Now we have the first photo from the film showing Mulligan spiritedly cheering at a feminist really, and co-stars Helena Bonham Carter and Anne-Marie Duff are beside her. Are they attending the rousing speech that Meryl Streep was hired to give as iconic political activist Emmeline Pankhurst? It's certainly possible. Look below! Here's the first photo from Sarah Gavron's Suffragette from Pathe (via The Film Stage): Suffragette is directed by Sarah Gavon (Brick Lane) and written by Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady). The film tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, »
- Ethan Anderton
Belle is released in the UK on June 13. »
The Sargent-Disc BAFTA Filmmakers’ Market – an annual networking and skills development event for first-time feature filmmakers – is to run its sixth edition at BAFTA’s London headquarters on July 5.
The event will comprise of a day of masterclasses, screenings, and speed surgeries to help improve creative and business skills, as well as offering advice to help to navigate and progress in the industry.
Highlights of the day include:
a session on ‘how to find your cast’, presented by Rada, with casting director Des Hamilton (Nymphomaniac, This Is England);
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Direct from its world-premiere screening at the Cannes Film Festival, Sff and Vivid Ideas are proud to present the Australian Premiere of the highly anticipated futuristic thriller The Rover and host director David Michôd, actors Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson and producer Liz Watts at the State Theatre on Saturday 7 June. The Rover screens as part of Sff’s Official Competition. Michôd, Pearce, Pattinson and Watts will also give a talk as part of Vivid Ideas at Town Hall on Sunday 8 June.
Actor Cate Blanchett will attend the Festival to introduce a special screening of DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 the second chapter of the epic trilogy in which Blanchett is the voice of the character Valka. The screening is held at 2pm on Public Holiday Monday, 9 June, at Event Cinemas George Street.
- Press Releases
London — The surge in support for the U.K. Independence Party — demonstrated at the European Union election last week — may have major consequences for the British film and TV industry.
UKIP, which advocates an exit from the European Union, took first place among British parties in the EU election, the results of which were just announced. It is the first time a party other than the Conservatives or Labor Party has come first in a national election for 100 years.
The Ukip vote surged 11% to nab 27.5% of the votes cast, compared with 25.4% for Labor, and 23.9% for the Conservatives, which forms part of the coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, whose support fell 6.87%, leaving it with just 6.87% of the vote.
There is a double threat to EU membership posed by the Ukip surge. First, if Ukip wins next May’s general election, then the U.K. will definitely leave the EU. Second, »
- Leo Barraclough
The Bennett Miller-directed drama is based on the true story of Olympic wrestling champion Mark Schultz, who seeks justice for his fellow champion brother Dave Schultz after he is killed by his paranoid schizophrenic coach du Pont.
Carell's performance has been described as "the definition of a career-redefining performance", and director Miller recently revealed that he was barely recognised after his first test screening due to his fake nose and aged appearance.
Does a fake nose equal critical acclaim and an Academy Award? Not always (Steve Martin in Roxanne was robbed!), but we've found 5 actors and actresses who've worn a prosthetic schnoz and gone on to win an Oscar below:
Robert De Niro put on a reported 60lbs and quite sizable, »
Yesterday we took a tour of some of the small screen’s worst mothers, and today it’s time to celebrate the ladies who did it best. Ranging from traditional to terrifying, these mothers represent the kinds of moms we’d be honored to call our own. (Of course, I should mention that my own mother blows these fictional ladies out of the water – mean it, Ma!)
(in alpha order)
Morticia Addams (The Addams Family)
Goth icon Morticia (Carolyn Jones) belongs on this list because she didn’t give a rat’s damn about fitting into the mold of a modern wife and mother – she clearly loved her children dearly (also her garden of Deadly Nightshade), and the fact that she looked like Vampira from Plan 9 From Outer Space was nobody’s damned business. Steadfast in her loyalty to family and tradition, Morticia taught us all to let our »
- Brian Juergens
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