As awards season begins to pick up pace, certain films are starting to generate real buzz. Though awards at the Toronto International Film Festival are not always an indicator of future success, The Imitation Game certainly didn’t hurt its chances by picking up the People’s Choice Award at the festival.While it's not a guarantee of Oscar glory, the People's Choice Award has become a bit of an early indicator: in recent years 12 Years A Slave, The King's Speech and Slumdog Millionaire all saw their wins followed by a Best Picture prize. Expect, then, at least a few nominations for Morten Tyldum's film come January.The film, which tells the story of Alan Turing, one of Britain’s unsung heroes, questions how and why the man who contributed so greatly to his country’s war effort could end up vilified and hounded by its government. As the maths genius-turned-codebreaker, »
This year's Toronto International Film Festival belonged to the actors.
Among the 300-plus films premiering at the annual movie feast - the north star to much of Hollywood's fall season and the continent's largest film fest - there were, of course, many terrific movies and a theater's worth of fine filmmakers. But nothing captured the spotlight of this year's Toronto, which wraps up on Sunday, like the performances.
That's unlike many previous years where the loudest buzz from Toronto rang out for a freshly proclaimed masterpiece like 12 Years a Slave or a stunning cinematic event like Gravity, both of which left last year's festival hoisted upon the shoulders of enthusiastic Oscar prognosticators and awed moviegoers.
While likely best-picture nominees certainly played at Toronto, no movie quite stood out like those heavyweights or previous Tiff sensations like the Academy Award-winners Slumdog Millionaire or The King's Speech. Instead, the applause was thickest for its stars, »
- Cineplex.com and contributors
When you win the Academy Award for Best Director, a great deal of anticipation naturally builds around the possibilities for your next choice of film. When Ang Lee received that honour for Brokeback Mountain, he released Lust, Caution two years later. But here we are, almost two years after his win for 2012’s Life Of Pi, and his next directorial project has yet to be officially confirmed. It does seem that he is in talks to take the reins of the upcoming adaptation of the 2012 novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain, however, and – if it comes to fruition – this could be an incredible follow-up.
Billed as a ‘biting’ satire of the Iraq War, the novel is set in Texas, and centres around a squad of soldiers returning from the conflict for a stage-managed, media-intensive ‘victory tour’ at Texas Stadium. The official synopsis for the novel is »
- Sarah Myles
The Imitation Game won the big prize, the People's Choice Award, at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. Tiff's audience award winner is often a precursor to Oscar glory. Last year, the award went to the eventual best picture winner 12 Years a Slave, and previous Tiff audience award winners have included American Beauty, Slumdog Millionaire and Silver Linings Playbook. The festival reached its conclusion today, as the drama, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as British code-breaker Alan Turing, won the award, voted by fest's audiences. The World War II drama, directed by Morten Tyldum, will be released by the Weinstein
- Etan Vlessing
"Life of Pi" and "Brokeback Mountain" director Ang Lee is the frontrunner to helm "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," a film adaptation of Ben Fountain's acclaimed Iraq War novel for Film4 and The Ink Factory.
The dark satire follows a ninteen-year-old Texas-born infantryman and his fellow U.S. servicemen who survive a firefight in Iraq in 2005. The Bush administration brings them home for a victory lap that leads them to the Dallas Cowboys’ football stadium where they're honored during the team's Thanksgiving halftime show. Then they return to war.
Lee has been working on a 3D boxing film for Universal that will include the famed 'Thrilla in Manila' fight between Frazier and Ali, however that project is said to be on hold for now due to budgetary reasons.
- Garth Franklin
We're coming up on two years since Ang Lee swept away audiences and critics with this 3D adaptation the best-selling "Life Of Pi." He walked away with a Best Director Oscar for his efforts, and has fallen in love with the three-dimensional format, with his next picture supposed to be a 3D take on the Thrilla in Manila, the legendary match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. But apparently, that project might be on hold as the budget is worked out, potentially giving Lee time to sneak in a smaller movie first. And thus, The Wrap reports that the filmmaker is the frontrunner to direct the Iraq War satire, "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk." Written by Ben Fountain, the National Book Award Finalist was adapted by Simon Beaufoy ("Slumdog Millionaire," "127 Hours") and apparently has the stuff awards season trophies are made of. Here's a brief Amazon synopsis: A razor-sharp »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire, Catching Fire) has scripted an adaption of Ben Fountain‘s novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which has been called the “Catch-22 of the Iraq War,” and was nominated for the 2012 National Book Award. Now Ang Lee, whose last feature was the Oscar-winning Life of Pi, is a likely director prospect for the film. […]
The post Ang Lee May Adapt Iraq War Novel ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ appeared first on /Film. »
- Russ Fischer
Two-time Oscar winner Ang Lee is the frontrunner to direct “Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk” based on the critically acclaimed Iraq War novel by Ben Fountain, an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap. Simon Beaufoy, who won an Oscar for writing “Slumdog Millionaire,” adapted the book for Film4 and The Ink Factory, whose Simon Cornwell, Stephen Cornwell and Rhodri Thomas are producing “Billy Lynn.” A representative for Lee had no comment, while The Ink Factory did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Also read: Ang Lee Drops Out of FX's ‘Tyrant’ Pilot Described as the »
- Jeff Sneider
Toronto — If it's September, not only is it fall film festival time, but it's also time for the return of the Contender Countdown. Yes, your weekly snapshot of the Best Picture race is back and who knew 2014 might actually deliver another real race? By this point last season, the showdown between "12 Years a Slave" and "Gravity" was well under way. There were some films on the horizon that had a chance at joining the fray, but it never really came to pass. The 2015 season is markedly different. Venice, Telluride and Toronto have ended with only two major contenders having been vetted by pundits and audiences alike, "The Imitation Game" and "Birdman." Neither is the frontrunner yet, although the former may jump into the lead fairly quickly. Toronto's major honor, the People's Choice Award, will be announced on Sunday. Over the past six years three winners went on to win the Best Picture Oscar ("Slumdog Millionaire, »
- Gregory Ellwood
The idea of sampling new films at Toronto is sort of like going to the Cheesecake Factory for a little nibble. It seems like a good idea, but then you realize: There is no such thing as a small portion.
The 11-day fest, which passed the halfway mark on Tuesday, offers 300 films. This means that on Saturday, Sept. 6, press and industry members had a choice of 140 screenings. (Things slow down a bit after the first four-day frenzy. On Thursday Sept. 11, for example, there are a mere 120.)
Similarly, awards possibilities are too plentiful, yet one feels hungry for more. Of the new films hoping to enter the Oscar race, speculation so far centers on acting: “The Theory of Everything” (Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones), “St. Vincent” (Bill Murray), “Nightcrawler” (Jake Gyllenhaal), and “The Judge” (Robert Duvall).
There are other newbies with strong performances, but it’s not clear if they will »
- Tim Gray
Im Global is boosting its exec ranks as sales action kicks off in Toronto. The film and TV sales, financing, and production company has hired Emil Elmer to serve as Svp, International Sales and Acquisitions out of its London office. Prior to Im Global, the former Focus Features International Svp and Miramax and Pathe alum worked on titles including Blue Jasmine, Turner, Under The Skin, Bullet To The Head, Eastern Promises, Slumdog Millionaire, and Amélie.
Im Global has also boosted London-based exec David Jourdan to Svp, International Business Development and Operations. He’ll be working out of the La headquarters with CEO Stuart Ford and COO Chris Bosco focusing on Asia and Latin America operations and overseeing acquisitions for Im Global’s Apsara label reporting to President Jonathan Deckter. Apsara’s upcoming titles include Selfless, American Ultra, and The Night Comes For Us. The expanding Im Global has outposts in La, »
- Jen Yamato
Coming-of-age drama The Road Within has sold to Well Go USA, which has acquired U.S. rights and is plotting a day-and-date release in theaters and on VOD. Gren Wells scripted and makes her directing debut with the story of three teenage residents at a behavioral clinic — a Tourette’s patient, a rebellious anorexic, and an Ocd patient — and the unexpected but life-changing road trip that takes them all by surprise. Zoe Kravitz (X-Men: First Class), Robert Sheehan (The Mortal Instruments), Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), Robert Patrick (True Blood), and Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) star. Pic debuted this summer at the La Film Festival and is produced by Bradley Gallo, Michael A. Helfant, Robert L. Stein, Brent Emery and Guy J. Louthan. Executive producers are William Gallo and Viola Jager and co-executive producers are Philip M. Cohen, Raphael Kryszek Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Junior, Alberto Raposo de Oliveira and Allen Church. »
- Jen Yamato
Toronto (AP) - The commodity that most fuels the fervor of the annual Toronto International Film Festival is that elusive lifeblood of Hollywood's awards season: buzz.
That's what the major films will be seeking at Tiff, which opens Thursday with the premiere of the Robert Downey Jr. courtroom drama The Judge. The festival packs some 285 feature films into 10 days of north-of-the-border movie-going gluttony.
An eager reception. A hearty standing ovation. Viral tweets. These are the seeds that many of the fall's most anticipated films will hope to sow in Toronto, the first sprouts of - they hope - lengthy Oscar campaigns. Toronto is where best picture-winning films like The King's Speech and Slumdog Millionaire debuted, and while there isn't an obvious 2014 candidate to that lineage, there are a host of films looking to capture Toronto's spotlight. »
- Cineplex.com and contributors
The Persian Gulf, where film distributor Gulf Film holds the lion’s share of the cinema market, looks radically different today than it did when the company launched 25 years ago.
The staggering growth of this high-striving region is evident in its sparkling skyscrapers, its smooth superhighways and its couture-packed malls.
But there’s another indicator that the Gulf’s growth remains firmly in the fast lane: its multiplex theaters, which have gained a serious foothold in this once cinema-shy region thanks primarily to Gulf Film.
Headquartered in Dubai and owned by Qatar Media Services (q.media), the media arm of the cash-flush Qatari government, Gulf Film has a 51% market share and distributes 150 titles per year, the vast majority of them Hollywood blockbusters and thrillers. One of every two films that comes to the Middle East today is handled by Gulf Film.
It holds an exclusive deal to distribute Paramount Pictures’ films in the Middle East, »
- Debra Kamin
The teen drama is definitely a strange beast. By its very nature, it tends to be a little shallow and melodramatic because after all, that’s sort of how teenagers are too. Half of the stuff that we watched as teens may have been entertaining for us, but it was objectively not very good television, and looking back at it now we can see it for all of the flaws that it had. They were either needlessly soapy (Beverly Hills 90210), sanctimonious (7th Heaven), or trying way too hard to be hip (Glee).
But every once in a while, there was a legitimately good show on the air aimed at teenagers. One that was particularly intelligent, or had strong actors, or just managed to tap into something real and genuine. These were the shows that your parents would find excuses to watch with you (as lame as that was), and when you watch them now, »
- Audrey Fox
Hollywood seems to have found new inspiration in the East. In a time when film releases are full of superheroes, remakes and reboots, films that take place in India or feature Indian characters is becoming a trend. Since Slumdog Millionaire (2008), many other films have followed and The Hundred-Foot Journey is the last in the list.
The Hunded-Foot Journey is based on the novel of the same name written by Richard C. Morais. Directed by Lasse Hallström and starring Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bon, the film tells the story of the Kadam family, led by Papa (Puri) and his son Hassan (Dayal), a talented and promising chef. After tragedy strikes the family, the Kadams decide to move to a quaint village in the South of France with the plan of opening an Indian restaurant, despite the fact that only 100 feet opposite stands a Michelin starred classical French eatery. »
- Núria Bonals Hidalgo
As the four-day Telluride Film Festival wraps Sept. 1, the big awards question is: Did we see the 2014 Oscar best-pic winner?
Since Telluride has screened the winner in five of the last six years, it’s a valid question. The answer is that there was no slam dunk. But three films that debuted here are clear possibilities for a best-pic nomination and maybe more: “Birdman,” “The Imitation Game” and “Wild.” The festival also offered Sony Classics’ “Foxcatcher,” which had bowed at Cannes and which seems destined to be a golden player in all categories.
“Foxcatcher” is universally admired; no one seems to dislike it, and some love it. “Birdman” is inspiring the most animated discussions, with many enthusing about the content and the technical magic. But it is too early to declare either film a front-runner.
Aside from those four, Telluride offered films that had premiered at other fests and that »
- Tim Gray
By Anjelica Oswald
With the conclusion of the 41st Telluride Film Festival today, and the commencement of the 39th Toronto International Film Festival Sept. 4 (which runs through Sept. 14), the impetus of Oscar season is upon us.
Though Telluride is known for being a more intimate and low-key festival, it has become a frontrunner in debuting Oscar contenders and winners in recent years. In the past six years, four of the Best Picture winners have premiered at Telluride: 12 Years a Slave (2013), Argo (2012), The King’s Speech (2010) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008). Gravity (2013), winner of seven Academy Awards, made its North American debut at Telluride last year. Academy Award winners Capote (2005), Juno (2007) and The Descendants (2011) all bowed at the festival. Countless Academy Award nominees, including Amélie (2001; North American premiere), Little Children (2006) and Up in the Air (2009), were introduced in the small Colorado town.
Telluride’s debuting prowess has been recognized by filmmakers and film buffs alike, »
- Anjelica Oswald
"I knew Jb well before I was involved in the film," he explained. "I ran into him in 2007 at a function, asked him what he was doing. »
Director: Craig Gillespie.
Running Time: 124 minutes.
Synopsis: A twenty-something comedienne’s unplanned pregnancy forces her to confront the realities of independent womanhood for the first time.
Jon Hamm continues an incredibly lingering transition to the big screen with Disney’s American hit Million Dollar Arm, part sports drama, part romance, part fish-out-of-water comedy which combines to make up what is essentially a biographical rags-to-riches tale.
Tracking the story of sports agent Jb Bernstein (Hamm) and an innovative idea which takes him to India (via a path of self-enlightenment and Britain’s Got Talent), we are introduced to his tough-to-like cynic who, whilst residing in a pristine apartment decorated with a flash car on the drive, spends his days dating models, soullessly shunning hellos from Lake Bell’s kooky tenant, Brenda.
With this being Disney, »
- Jacob Stolworthy
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