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For a while there, Alexander Payne's Downsizing sounded like one of those great sci-fi projects that was never going to happen. Between his acclaimed films Sideways and The Descendants, Payne was working on a sci-fi satire where the less wealthy are given the opportunity to shrink themselves. It makes perfect sense when you think about it; with property prices shooting up all the time, wouldn't it make better economic sense to shrink yourself to fit a small property instead of paying a fortune in rent for somewhere larger?
Paul Giamatti, Reese Witherspoon (both Payne collaborators, from Election and Sideways respectively) were set to star alongside Sacha Baron Cohen. It all sounded promising, but little more was heard about Downsizing until 2014, when Matt Damon was attached.
Now, it looks as though »
The New York Film Festival has always been one of the classiest, most finely curated stops on the global festival circuit. But it wasn’t until five years ago that the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which puts on the annual showcase, really capitalized on its position in the film awards season.
That year, David Fincher brought “The Social Network” as a world premiere to open the 48th annual event. The splash was considerable, and soon after, the fest adopted an understanding that two of its three major galas — opened night, centerpiece and closing night — had to be world premieres. Suddenly, a new launching pad was born for movies looking to springboard into the Oscar conversation.
In 2011, Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” kicked things off, while Simon Curtis’ “My Week with Marilyn” served as the centerpiece. Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” wrapped things up after bowing in Telluride and screening in Toronto as well. »
- Kristopher Tapley
Shailene Woodley has been a household name for years. After starring in ABC Family's hit show The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Shailene quickly became the one to watch. And with a slew of hits since the show wrapped in 2013 - including The Descendants, The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent, and Insurgent - the brunette beauty has earned her spot on Hollywood's new A-list. From Shailene's adorable relationships with her hunky costars to her quirky habits, there are many reasons to love the one-of-a-kind actress. Look back at her stunning evolution from an adorable child star to a confident woman. »
- Caitlin Hacker
Blazing a trail in 1995, Hackers tackled web culture on screen before the internet really took off. The cyber-thriller helped kick-start the career of a major Hollywood A-lister and swiftly became a cult classic thanks to its Hacker Manifesto.
As Hackers celebrates its 20th birthday today (September 15), here's what happened to the six stars who made up the cyber-punk crew.
Hackers handle: Acid Burn
In 1995, Jolie was a fast-rising 20-year-old actress with Cyborg 2 and some big music videos (including Meat Loaf, Lenny Kravitz and The Lemonheads) on her CV. New York Times critic Janet Maslin was non too plussed about Jolie's performance, saying of her character: "Kate stands out. That's because she scowls even more sourly than [her co-stars] and is that rare female hacker who sits intently at her keyboard in a see-through top."
Now, the 40-year-old is an Oscar-winning superstar with humanitarian work spanning more than a decade and »
One of the tricks of the Telluride trade is to offer a classy tribute to a major talent who will then unveil their latest film. Robert Redford introduced "All is Lost," George Clooney talked up "The Descendants," and so on. This year fest veteran Danny Boyle will be accepting a Silver Medallion Award. One of the pleasures of the festival is to interview some of these folks (Boyle with eventual Best Picture Oscar-winner "Slumdog Millionaire," Jean-Marc Vallee with "Wild,"Jason Reitman with "Up in the Air" and Bennett Miller with "Capote" come to mind), before they hit the lengthy PR circuit. Thus Boyle's tribute serves as a vehicle for debuting "Steve Jobs" well before its gala at the New York Film Festival--and starting the awards drumbeat with the select media corps in attendance (including me). Also getting a medallion is Rooney Mara, who may seem a tad young for such an award, »
- Anne Thompson
This Labor Day weekend the 42nd Telluride Film Festival will host a crop of films and filmmakers that hope to be in the hunt for Oscar gold later this season. The most coveted slot in is the “Patron Preview”, a special screening open only to the festival’s biggest spenders who generally do not know which film will be shown until they have already taken their seats. Past success of films that have premiered to the patron crowd has made the slot a hot commodity and rumors and speculation as to what film will play this year are swirling about.
Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation, the studio’s first foray into feature films, stars Idris Elba, is directed by True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga, who helmed the critically acclaimed series’ first season, and is a possible strong contender for the patron slot. Another possibility is Steve Jobs, »
- Patrick Shanley
You can never tell the future, especially in fickle Hollywood, and even more so when it comes to those mercurial Oscar voters. But there are several young talents who have quickly made names for themselves and ust need one well-timed project. Several have come close already: consider Miles Teller in "Whiplash," Shailene Woodley in "The Descendants" and Michael B. Jordan in "Fruitvale Station." -Break- 'Crash': 10 years after controversial Oscars win, does it still deserve the backlash? We asked our forum posters, many of whom are Hollywood insiders, what other up-and-comers might be in line for an Oscar someday soon. Read some of their comments below, then join the discussion now. patmcb: Ah, you already mentioned Miles Teller (my favorite)! I'll add Mia Wasikowska to the list. I think her receiving an Oscar is inevitable. Tye-Grr: The three you mentioned (Teller, Woodley, and Jordan). I'd thr »
The Teen Choice Awards are kicked off Sunday night, gathering some of the biggest stars in music, movie, TV and the Web world to let teenagers decide who wins.
In music, One Direction and Fifth Harmony took home an impressive bounty, winning such awards as choice selfie taker and choice summer song, respectively. “Empire” unsurprisingly won the prize for best breakout TV show, and “The Vampire Diaries'” Nina Dobrev won her final award for the drama.
See a full list of winners below.
Choice Web Star: Female
Bethany Mota (Winner »
- Variety Staff
To celebrate the Blu Ray™ and DVD release of Insurgent, we are giving 3 lucky readers the chance to win a copy.
This fast-paced follow up features outstanding performances from; Shailene Woodley (The Fault In Our Stars, The Descendants) as powerful divergent Tris; Theo James (Underworld: Awakening, The Inbetweeners Movie) as fellow divergent Four; Ansel Elgort (The Fault In Our Stars, Carrie) as Tris’ brother Caleb; Miles Teller (Whiplash, The Spectacular Now) as dauntless Peter; with Oscar® winner Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic) as the leader of the Erudite faction, Jeanine, and Oscar® nominee Naomi Watts (While We’re Young, Birdman) as Four’s returning mother, Evelyn.
To be in with a chance of winning, please complete this entry form. »
- Laura Holmes
Stars Kate Winslet (Jeanine), Miles Teller (Peter), Zoë Kravitz (Christina), Theo James (Four) and producer Lucy Fisher discuss how the relationship between Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four has evolved in our exclusive preview from The Divergent Series: Insurgent, debuting on Digital HD July 21 before its release on Blu-ray and DVD August 4. Both Theo James and Miles Teller discuss how much more at ease the cast was with each other in the sequel, since there is a level of familiarity, while Kate Winslet discusses how much Shailene Woodley has grown as a person since the last film, and how it shows on screen. This exclusive video also offers plenty of behind-the-scenes footage from this beloved sequel.
Shailene Woodley (The Fault in Our Stars, The Descendants) and Theo James (Underworld Awakening) pack a powerful one-two punch in the blockbuster action-adventure, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, arriving on Digital HD July 21 and on »
Lily Rabe (“American Horror Story”), Timothee Chalamet (“Interstellar”), Lili Reinhart (“Kings of Summer”), Anthony Quintal (“Lohanthony”) and Rob Huebel (“The Descendants”) are set to star in Julia Hart’s directorial debut “Miss Stevens,” which will be a co-production between Beachside Films and Gilbert Films. Hart co-wrote the script with Jordan Horowitz and the film will be made in association with her production company Original Headquarters. Horowitz and Gary Gilbert will produce for Gilbert Films, while Alex Turtletaub and Michael B. Clark will produce for Beachside, which is financing the picture. Production is currently under way in California. When high school teacher Rachel. »
- Jeff Sneider
The Descendants co-writers Jim Rash and Nat Faxon have signed with CAA. This marks the duo’s return to the agency where they had been represented until moving to Wme exactly a year ago. Rash and Faxon, who met while at The Groundlings, shared with Alexander Payne the 2012 best adapted screenplay Oscar for Payne’s The Descendants. Additionally, Rash and Faxon wrote and directed the Sundance feature The Way Way Back that starred Steve Carell. Their latest film project, The B… »
The 2015 Sundance Film Festival may be long gone, but its fires continue to burn bright as festival sensation "Dope" enters theaters this weekend alongside the award-winning and expanding "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl." We've rounded up 10 more Sundance hits that are now available to stream on Netflix, including prestige documentaries such as "Hoop Dreams" and the Academy Award-winning "Man on Wire." These films are listed below in alphabetical order. Read More: 9 Indie Tearjerkers Now Streaming on Netflix "Citizen Ruth" (Alexander Payne, 1996)The debut feature of Alexander Payne ("Election," "The Descendants"), "Citizen Ruth" stars Laura Dern as an unruly pregnant woman whose actions draw attention from both sides of the abortion debate. With a wicked clever script and a tone that balances the moral shades of each side of the argument, "Ruth" proves just how acerbic and intelligent »
- Zack Sharf
London — The Munich Film Festival is to pay tribute to Alexander Payne with a complete retrospective of his movies.
Payne’s last visit to the event was in 1997 when he won the High Hopes Award for “Citizen Ruth,” the predecessor of the festival’s CineVision Award. The film starred Laura Dern as a white trash antihero who becomes a cause celebre when she gets pregnant with her fifth child.
Among the movies to play in Munich this year are “Election,” which was the international breakout role for Reese Witherspoon, “About Schmidt,” starring Jack Nicholson, “Sideways,” which stars Paul Giamatti, “The Descendants,” starring George Clooney, and “Nebraska,” with Bruce Dern toplining.
The Munich retrospective will show all Payne’s shorts, features and TV films. On June 26, there will be a gala held in his honor, and the director will also speak about his life and movies at Filmmakers Live in the Gasteig Black Box. »
- Leo Barraclough
Actress Judy Greer - known for her parts in shows like Archer and Arrested Development, as well as movies like The Descendants and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - has a role in Tomorrowland. but if you blink you.ll miss her. In the movie, she plays the mother of Britt Robertson.s character, Casey Newton, but only briefly appears on screen in a home movie that.s played early in the film. It might strike some as odd that a known actress would have such a small part . but as it turns out she originally had a more significant role that ultimately had to be axed because of first act pacing issues. While recently sitting down to talk with Tomorrowland director Brad Bird, I took the opportunity to ask about Judy Greer.s tiny role, and he confirmed that her role in the movie was larger during »
Shailene Woodley was the woman of the night at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards. She cleaned up in multiple categories, was honored with the prestigious Trailblazer Award, and remained her effortlessly cool self – from her acceptance speeches down to her outfit. Shall we just bow down now?
Shailene has been recognized for stellar performances in The Descendants, The Spectacular Now, Divergent, and The Fault in Our Stars, and still remains a grounded role model. Here are all the ways the 23-year-old beauty owned the entire night.
Ansel wasn’t at the show, but Shailene managed to give an epic solo acceptance speech (which is damn near impossible for Best Kiss winners). “If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to kiss your brother, it’s pretty great,” she said. Oh, Shailene.
2. She tipped her hat »
- Taylor Ferber
The crowning achievement of the MTV Movie Awards is Best Kiss. It's a necessary, telling category. Frankly, a kissing scene is often the most interesting part of a movie. (See: "Talladega Nights," "The Notebook," and "Cruel Intentions," which all won in this category.) How do this year's nominees hold up? We rank them from fifth to first. 5. Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson: "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" Get More: 2015 MTV Movie Awards, Latest Movie News So it's a cute moment. There's quippy dialogue. Evans is in his chill Eddie Bauer gear and Johansson is commanding and stony. But the idea of kissing in public as a masquerade is the stuff of ancient teen movies and, more recently, "Inception." We already had this nomination in 2011 with Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and that was both funnier and more intense. 4. James Franco and Seth Rogen: "The Interview" Get More: 2015 MTV Movie Awards, »
- Louis Virtel
With films like Sideways, The Descendants, and Nebraska, director Alexander Payne has proven himself a master at deftly balancing comedy and drama in his chosen projects. Now, if all goes according to plan, it looks like he has found yet another vehicle to allow him to do what he does best. That's because he is now in talks to helm a romantic comedy inspired by a true story about a woman who won the Texas State Lottery an impressive four times. The new project is titled Septillion to One, and while Payne is not officially attached just yet, The Wrap says that the film has definitely caught his eye. The script he would be working from is written by Adam R. Perlman and Graham Sack, and described as "a cross between Silver Linings Playbook and Ocean.s 11." The story centers on an ambitious former FBI agent working in the fraud »
The script itself prompted a high stakes bidding game – from which OddLot Entertainment emerged victorious – and now, Academy Award winner Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants) is considering taking a chance on Septillion To One. Penned by The Newsroom writer Adam R. Perlman and newcomer Graham Sack, the true tale of a mysterious serial lottery winner has sparked the imaginations of several production companies – all keen to get behind OddLot in pushing the project through to production as soon as possible.
Septillion To One is inspired by the real, and suspiciously fortunate activities of Joan Ginther, who won large sums of money playing the lottery in Texas, and also happens to have a PhD in Statistics from Stanford University. Ginther’s first big win came in 1993, when she picked up half a Lotto Texas jackpot, amounting to $5.4 million. She reportedly moved to Las Vegas in 2001, but continued to return to her »
- Sarah Myles
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